now it is 6.30am and i am on my second strong coffee of the day, and i have started my blog with bonejoower, so you may have to bear with me, this could be a bumpy ride!
it is friday morning, and i have a very busy day collecting coats ahead, are you with me, nod if you are?
ok, for those of you reading this blog who have looked quizzically at this caffeine crazed dreamers prose, i will explain.
a month or so ago i was at a business dinner with a local businessman, for the purposes of this blog we'll call him ed barnett, mainly because i believe that is what his parents christened him (i told you it was gonna get bumpy, now buckle up i don't wanna lose ya!)
ed is a very focused, charming, driven businessman, and runs the cardiff branch of ignite, http://www.ignitecardiff.co.uk/ which if you haven't heard of it is an evening of 'passionate speakers, random topics and a great audience' their words not mine, as i haven't attended an event yet, but i'm very much looking forward to.
somebody recommended ignite to me before i went to everest, and i put my name on the list to speak at one of ed's nights, and then i bottled it, didn't confirm my spot, and missed my opportunity, phew, got away with it! i'm really not a public speaker, and suffer from self doubt on why anybody would ever give a crap about what i'm up to, which the psychiatrists among you will probably point out is due to a broken family, and the desire to be loved, and the fear of rejection, but hey let's not get deep here before our muesli (other breakfasts are available)
i digress, the ignite opportunity had passed me by, and the e-mail from ed barnett i received pre everest told me very politely so, and when he introduced himself at the business dinner a little part of me died as my brain computed that possibly he may restoke the fire (not a euphemism) and say the words 'you really should speak at ignite' but i kept my poker face as we talked ink, ed does not have any tattoos as far as i am aware, but owns a business that supply's copiers, printers, and all manner of ink based products.
ed is funny, and has a similar warped sense of humour to mine, and after our night at cardiff business club we agreed to meet up for a coffee or even push the boat out and go for a grape or wheat based drink.
ed consulted his diary and offered up the 21st october as a date to meet, and as this was approximately six weeks time i silently thought this guy must have a very busy social life, as my own calendar has cacti and swirling dust clouds anything past a week.
october 21 was booked, and as we got close to our meet up, ed's p.a. a lovely young lady called mishail e-mailed me and said that i had booked the 22nd to meet ed, and he had suggested meeting at a bar in cardiff called porters for movieoke, which she informed me was karaoke with movies, so it should be a good laugh.
really mishail, a good laugh?
'great' i wrote back.
i contemplated feigning laryngitis on the 21st, or was it the 22nd, or whenever.
so, cometh the hour cometh the man.
the trusty mother of our shared children drove me on the chilly tuesday evening down to the 'good laugh' place, and i sat there sipping my vanilla porter, a very sour stout, which i really don't recommend, and i like guinness, so work that one out.
our predetermined 7.30 meeting time came and went, and surrounded by a flock of musicians all with the same very unique look, who all looked like they would enjoy doing the voiceover to that hilarious scene out of ghostbusters as much as me.
hmmmmm, i didn't take ed for being one to be late, which caused my gene that always assumes i am in the wrong place if somebody else is late to kick in.
i looked at my phone, and was pleased that my friend john jones had worked on getting wifi into the city centre of cardiff, and scrolled through my e-mails confirming that i was actually twenty three and a half hours early for my 'good laugh.'
'hi baby, i got the day wrong.'
silence, (i hate that silence with a passion btw)
'i'll come and get you.'
no more vanilla porter for me sir, no sir, i exited knowing i would be returning the next night, and hoped that nobody questioned me why i left in such a hurry the previous night when i returned.
anyway, here's the point of my story.
as i walked to meet the lovely tania who was driving to pick me up, i noticed how the temperature had dropped, and it was in fact seriously cold.
my mind then skipped to the homeless folk of cardiff that we help to feed monthly, and how being on the street that night was going to be even more uncomfortable with this change in the weather.
i then had this idea, why don't we ask our friends on social media, and you oh lovely blog readers to see if we could get some heavy coats, hats, gloves, sleeping bags, etc, donated, that we can then distribute.
i then put a facebook message up explaining my plan, and suggested let's 'grab your coat' with a view to giving items that are sitting at the back of your cupboard to someone who will really benefit from them.
well, i was very surprised by the response, in a positive way, the activity on my facebook page has never seen so many shares, which showed i was on the right track.
also, the activity and commitment to help has been amazing, so amazing that i think this idea could spread all over the place.
today in cardiff i have taken a day off, luckily i work for myself, and will be collecting from a number of really kind folk who have made contact offering items that will keep our homeless throng warm, and have a similar effect on my heart.
as well as south wales based kindness, i have received messages from bigmoose followers all over the place, and yesterday had a young lady in london reach out and offer to provide a london based drop off point, where londoners can take warm stuff, and she will deliver it to homeless shelters in the centre of london, which sounded like a beautiful idea, and without embarrassing her, it turns out she was very closely related to my friend gary, who bigmoose was named after, and as such when she told me i found myself welling up, and as i type this i feel the same way, as every now and then emotions wash over me, and i can't actually explain why, but maybe it's confirmation that bigmoose is a cathartic thing for me that we are doing good things to remember a very kind guy.
wow, that hit me hard, sorry about that.
phew, back on it.
so, the idea that has grown from this london based bigmoose family is that we could actually take this idea nationally, so i have kris king in sheffield who has agreed to be our bigmoose family in the steel town, and what i would love to happen is we get this idea rocking before christmas, so we have helped people before the cold hits.
so if you want to help, contact us, and let's spread the word, and let's 'grab your coat' and help those less fortunate, and really show the spirit of christmas.
if you want to e-mail me i am firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 07977585548.
i am always paranoid that anything i do will be viewed by some people as self gratifying, attention seeking, or some other crap they will invent, but to me this idea is just perfect, with hopefully no negatives, and my mental risk assessment says it's a goodun, i hope i'm right.
in other news as i am typing this i have just received some pictures and description of our youngest member of team moose, the son of my manaslu guide bruce hasler, and i have to share his bio and pics with you, as i want to finish todays blog with a smile after my 'tiny tears' moment earlier!
At 5 months old and growing fast, perhaps the youngest member of the team. Son to Bruce and Jen, world traveller, front-pack adventurer. Living so much on the edge, he ends up shitting himself on am almost daily basis.
if you aren't smiling now check your pulse!
so let's see how this week goes, and with your help we can leave the world better than we found it.
till next week, i'll be seeing ya,