good morning bigmoose blog reader, and thanks for showing up this week, it’s good to see ya :)
if you’re in the uk, we have just had a long weekend, or as we call it a bank holiday, giving us an extra day to go to festivals, visit in-laws, mow the lawn, rue the fact that summer has gone, and generally criticise not actually having had a proper summer as the australians, americans, canadians, new zealanders, spanish, ecuadorians, etc, that are reading this do.
this is a brit thing, as weather is a big part of our lives, even though we don’t actually have defined seasons, my snowmobile that i cherish and love riding has sat forlorn in my lockup, looking skyward for the last two years longing to see snow, but alas not a flake, and this summer i haven’t even brought my lawn furniture out, only having the pleasure of cleaning my barbecue twice this year, so the seasons thing has again passed us by, and as weather goes it’s been very much meh, unlike specifically my mates in canada and the u.s. who get proper seasons allowing them to plan long weekend aka bank holiday activities.
my knowledge of these places across the pond stems back to my hockey playing career, and i was fortunate enough to spend many summers with team mates from these climes, and when i first turned pro i played my first season for the telford tigers, i did not realise the impact playing ice hockey would have on my life, in all ways, including discovering the world, and in particular summers that happened annually!
as well as travelling, having someone pay me to do something I had loved doing since I was ten years old in london, learning to skate on a very tiny sobell sports centre ice rink, was amazing.
i had loved ice hockey from the moment i watched my first live game at wembley, watching the london lions, who were a farm team for detroit, which basically meant all the young guys who were hopefully going to make the show, and the older guys who were past their peak were playing in the farm team as it was known, which fed the main detroit redwings national hockey league team, and formed the first live hockey i had seen, and i loved it.
i vividly remember walking home on a cold dark winter’s night after a game against a touring russian dynamo moscow team, and seeing another schoolkid of a similar age to me with a hockey stick that a player must have given him, and the fact that it was giant, and towered above me, the size difference between me and it were jaw dropping.
as I woke the next morning i vowed to copy these falstaffian giants, and my cousin mark and I fashioned two hockey sticks from mum and nan’s umbrellas, and we used a rubber, normally employed to erase incorrect maths, as our puck.
my nan’s kitchen was to hold a capacity 15,000 passionate spectators that day, and one and all they cheered loudly as goals were scored at the cupboard end or the door end.
unbeknownst to me at that time, my future was decided.
so it was that as i entered the tigers dressing room as the new guy from streatham in london, fresh from playoff success that spring, and my first visit to the capacity filled wembley arena with the redskins as their goalie, the ten year olds dream had taken twelve years to become a reality.
the current goalie for the tigers, one mr john wolfe, was to greet me, and as his rival for his position on the team, he was to be one of the nicest guys i’ve ever competed with, a genuinely lovely guy, who i enjoyed working with for the good of the team, which had not always been the case with goalies i shared the roster with.
me and wolfey got on immediately, and he welcomed me into what was very much his sandbox.
the rest of the team was made up of miscreants and journeymen from around the leagues, and a sprinkling of hockey stars from across the pond, with our leader on the ice and off it, a very strong willed canuck from saskatoon, mr chuck taylor.
chuckie signed me that season, and has stayed a life long friend, and it was great to see him and a gang of tigers teammates at the recent one hundred years of ice hockey celebration in durham, and lots of memories were shared.
one of the guys also to pull on the orange jersey that season was mr kal land, aka lando, and i have spoken of lando before, he was a great hockey player, a tough adversary, and a bloody nice guy, and at the durham event he wandered around with flowing silver locks that had me envious as a previous owner of similar length barnet, and he was dressed in bright hawaiian shirts, a look that only lando could pull off and look great.
life in my opinion needs characters, and they don’t come much bigger than kal land.
lando has rapier wit, which i have seen kill many men who have chosen to challenge him in what in recent times has become known as banter, and lando was and still is the king of bants, dealing blows to anybody foolhardy enough to engage him in this barbaric modern day form of dueling.
but lando’s soft side was born out as i have mentioned in social media, post durham event, with him offering his holiday home in florida for the use of an underprivileged family that could benefit from such a holiday.
the tough guy showed the side of him that wasn’t a surprise to me or others that really know him, but still a very cool gesture.
so now what we are going to do is work out a plan for how much we think tickets for flights, disney theme parks, car hire etc, are going to work out to be, and then when we have a ballpark figure, we are going to initiate raising that money so that we can make it an all inclusive holiday for the chosen family, so it can be a real trip of a lifetime.
now this isn’t a new concept, but it will be the first time bigmoose has done it, so i am pretty amped at the prospect, and as a project I think it will be brilliant, and as we are looking to hold our second supertri for superkids, we are thinking that we might use this as a vehicle to fundraise to give this as yet unknown family, a pretty special christmas present.
so if you know of anybody that you think might be deserving of such a holiday, for whatever reason, drop me a line, and we will look at who we give it to, with lando guiding us on making the final decision, and if you want to get involved in any other way just shout.
so the bigmoose mantra of leaving the world better than we found it continues, and please stay with us on the journey as we grow from strength to strength.
and talking of strength i must just give two of my mates shout outs for their upcoming events they are attempting, so in no particular order kris king aka kinger is attempting to set a new british speed record for running up mount Kilimanjaro, and as such you can monitor what he’s up to via his facebook page, and twitter feed, which is quite interesting, as kris has asked me to take over his social media for him while he attempts this amazing feat.
so basically i have full power over his social media world, which whilst being quite a responsibility, also give me the power to write anything i want, so if any of you guys want birthday shouts, football team bigups, or just to challenge me to insert all the seven dwarves names, i will be happy not grumpy to oblige!
oh my kris king, what have you done!
but on’t serious note (said in a doncaster accent, where kinger’s from) massive good luck to him on this epic challenge, that sees him raising awareness of huntington's disease, which is very close to his heart, and forms part of his story, and is probably what has drawn us together, as we have both lost friends too early.
the second amazing act of strength is a gentleman by the name of matthew pritchard, who found infamy on a tv show called dirty sanchez, please do not google this as it is just wrong.
but mr Pritchard as i now know him, was introduced to me via my pal sian gunney, who by the way last week overcame her massive fear of heights to skydive for the first time to raise money for touch trust, so congrats sian huge achievement.
sian is a social media queen, and seems to know everybody, and it was no surprise when we first talked about getting hairdressers to cut the homeless people’s hair that she knew somebody, as she always does.
so it was that pritch, as everybody knows him, got one of his hairdressers that work at his tattoo and barber shop swyd (sleep when you’re dead) in cardiff to join ian davies, another haircutting legend friend of sian’s to join us that cold night.
when i first met mr pritchard, he was resplendent in trilby hat, and an obvious follower of fashion as his sartorial elegance became apparent under the dim lights of m & s, whilst cutting homeless peoples hair.
as well as his tv and movie fame mr p was a professional skateboarder, with my research telling me that he was one of the best in the world, high praise indeed.
as we did our grab your coat campaign last winter, getting people to donate warm clothes for the homeless, matthew donated a number of bags of warm stuff, as well as some very interesting items, which I will not share in this blog, needless to say his philanthropy was apparent.
so, back to strength.
matthew has made a living out of doing things extreme, and along the way has already raised thousands for great causes whilst running crazy distances including lands end to john o groats, so it is no surprise then that on september 18th he is not doing what, for most of us would be an amazing feat of strength known as an ironman, which for those who don’t know the stats are, it's a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle, and a full 26.2 mile marathon all in one go, without a break.
matthew is doing a double ironman!
the double brutal as it is known, is a 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile cycle, and a 52.4 mile run, how flipping radio rental is that?
i am into extreme stuff, but mr p just blows my mind with this challenge, so it is with great pride that I wish this new pal of mine good luck, and if you want to follow him, join the other 73.1k people following him on twitter at
another reason for telling you about matthew’s colossal challenge is because I am very excited about a project he and i are just about to announce for 2016, which will be gargantuan in it’s size, and equally exciting for the fundraising we will be attempting, so watch this space, it will be a biggy i promise.
so what with all these crazy folk doing mammoth challenges, don’t lose sight of the good you can do by doing your thing, and in conclusion today i would like to say thank you to all the people who have volunteered to help collect and distribute the greggs food we collect every night for the homeless, and whilst not as jaw droppingly extreme as kinger or matthew, in my eyes they are equal in kindness, so never underestimate the value in what you do.
finally, here is a quick piece from darren hardy to encourage you to life change in 20 seconds, have a look, i think it makes great sense.
thanks for reading and watching, and continue doing good stuff, and i hope in some way bigmoose inspires you to do more :)