A walk in a bra: All for charity.

In just a few days a group of friends and colleagues of mine will be stripping down the their underwear (tastefully, of course) and walking trough Edinburgh, Scotland. The walk will be long. It will take hours and hours to complete, but it is all for charity and well worth it. It’s called ‘Walk the Walk’. 

Walk the Walk came into being 14 years ago when just 13 women Power Walked the New York City Marathon in their bras to raise money  and awareness for breast cancer. What started out as a one-off fundraising event, has blossomed into a thriving multi-million pound charity, raising to date in excess of £65 million for vital breast cancer causes. You can read more about it here.

Here’s a little bit from two of my friends….

It seemed like a really good idea at the time. “It’ll just be like a long day out shopping, but in trainers instead of heels!” So began the insane idea to walk (please note the word WALK before you get too impressed) a marathon. 26.2 miles. At night. For Breast Cancer Awareness. In Edinburgh. In a bra.

That was six months ago. Many hours of walking, giggling, fundraising and bra decorating later we are all still friends! Today we walked our ‘big’ training walk before the real thing on June 11th. We managed 18 miles in just under five hours. Not too shabby all things considered! That means we are on schedule to walk the MoonWalk Edinburgh 2011 in under 8 hours. We know we can do it because we are all in this together.

Sadly every one of us knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. We are doing this for the people we love, the people we’ve tragically lost, but also for all those people we will never know but who will benefit from every penny we raise. We are doing this for us. We are doing this for you.

Love, happiness and big hugs,
Lou, Em and The Truly Scrumptious Team xxx

Emma and Lou are ready for the walk.

Call the emergency services! He’s been stolen! (The best and most shocking call made to the police).

This is a real call made to the emergency services in the UK. OK, for many of you the accent may be difficult to understand. (It’s quite strong). I managed to find this great typography video on YouTube that creates graphics from the words. (I hope it helps you follow the conversation).

I was stunned when I heard it! Really stunned!!!!! Some people are so stupid. I couldn’t help but share it with you all, bloggers. Enjoy!

I love the fact that she is calling because someone has stolen her snowman….. The fact that she admits that her street is not that great is hilarious. I’d love to have seen her snowman with teaspoon arms and coins for eyes. Hahahaha…..

I was under the impression that window displays were an art form.

Shopping…..(let me just sit back and think about it)….Yes, I love it. I love shopping. I just zoned out for a second to think about what I could be buying right now. Oh, to have that credit card with the endless limit (and the paid-balance every month).

I enjoy a good trip into the city to shop around, but most of all to be lured in to each and every shop (store, my American friends) by the tempting window displays. Some window displays, especially at Christmas time, are amazing. The effort and time put into making them perfect in every way is clear to all. The shops clearly make a lot of money from them. Lure the customer in and they’ll be hooked, searching for anything they remember from the window.

Shopping in Cyprus was not like this. Well, that’s rather unfair actually as most of Cyprus is wonderful. I did venture to the capital city of this lovely Meditteranean island when I visted one summer. I thought I would take in some of the sights, do a spot of exotic shopping…….and came across these window displays!

Well,... "Hello Ladies!"

A man?…As a teacher?…Is that even legal?

When I was in my final year of my degree I was lucky enough to get my first job. I hadn’t graduated, but my university tutor had already found me a great school to work in. It was all about the contacts back then. I was really excited about teaching my very first class. The class that would be mine. It was exciting and scary at the same time.

I visited the school a couple of times to meet staff and get to know the routines, the building and my new classroom. I remember the day the letter went out to the nursery parents (my future class parents). I stood in the Nursery and watched the children, who would soon be in my class, leave for the day. One by one the parents started to open the school bags and read the letter inside.

Within seconds one mum had come into the classroom and approached the teacher. She had no idea who I was, standing in the corner. She held the letter and said,

Parent: “Hi, I’ve just read the letter as see that it says Mr ….. Surely this is a mistake?”

Teacher “Erm, no, that’s right”.

Parent: “But surely it can’t be a man. Is that even legal? Are men allowed to teach children this young?”

Teacher: “Yes of course”. Turning to me, she replied “This is your son’s new teacher. Would you like to meet him?”

The mum didn’t know what to do with herself. She stood there stunned…. All words had gone then she tried to make up for it by saying,

Parent: “Oh, no, erm…but I haven’t got a problem with it, of course”.

Not likely! The biggest backtrack in history from a parent.

We went on to have a great teacher-parent relationship but trust and reputation had to be earned, possibly a little harder than it would have been for any of my female colleagues. It was an interesting aspect of my career. For years I was the only male teacher working with children younger than 8. I always knew that my career was dominated by women, but I never imagined that there were parents with the view that men were not legally allowed to teach infants. How times have changed…. I hope that the years I have been in teaching have helped to broaden the views of some.

The hype with certain films.

Harry Potter fever has hit once again. The latest film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has taken more money in its opening weekend than any other Harry Potter film (so far). I would imagine that the final instalment will break all records. I haven’t been to see the film yet, but by the end of the week I too will be able to add it to my list of films seen. I love the whole Harry Potter hype. When the book was first written I made an attempt at ‘getting into it’ but failed. I wasn’t keen on reading stories about wizards, magic and dark arts. The fact that the book was full of names that I had no idea how to pronounce made it even less appealing.  

It was only once the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (yes, I’ll use the English title), was released that I became hooked. A few books in the series were already finished by then and so I whizzed through them one by one. I couldn’t get enough. It had taken me a few years to become a Potter addict and suddenly I was counting down the weeks and days to the next book release and the next film premiere. I’m so glad that the films have lived up to the hype. It is questionable though as to how well they reflect the amazing depth that each book contains.

Other films that I have been to see have had quite the opposite effect. In 2007 I went to see the film ‘The Golden Compass’, based on the book ‘The Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman. Here was a film that I expected to amaze in every way. I left the cinema feeling thoroughly deflated. It was dull and endless. It was strange that a book that had been so successful could be so unsuccessful in film format.

Sex and the City – I never really got hooked on watching the TV series. Friends of mine loved it. Maybe that’s because many of my friends are female and could relate to at least one of the characters. I was brave enough to venture to the cinema to watch SATC (the first one). I was like a fish out of water! I was one of 4 males in the packed cinema. It was quite an experience. About fifteen minutes into the film it stopped. There was clearly a technical error and the tape had stuck. I could feel tension building and women beginning to get agitated. Women started looking around, checking towards the control room at the back and murmuring to one another. Not a good sign! These women were already feeling empowered. They were together. They were watching ‘their’ film. I had visions of a riot breaking out. There would be lipstick flying soon, so get the film going again!

The film continued and the women around me settled down. I munched away on my Maltesers and surprisingly enjoyed the film. The plot was predictable, but the women around me made it memorable. They whooped and screamed and laughed and even heckled the film. It was a first for me and I loved it.

Sometimes you never know what to expect with a film. Sometimes it’s best to go to see a film without hoping that it will be one of the best films you’ve ever seen. Maybe I should avoid hype….It could be easier that way.

Whipped on the dancefloor.

Some nights out just stick in my memory and last Saturday night will be no exception. After a great Italian meal with friends we headed to a wine bar in the centre of The Hague. I’m loving the bars in The Hague at the moment. Over the last few years there has been a shift from the traditional Dutch bar (smoky atmosphere and Oom-pah music playing loudly) to the more sophisticated wine bar. A street that once had McDonalds, job agencies and furniture shops now has wine bar after wine bar each with their own style and flair. It’s great!

We ended up in the bar with cosy private seating and a dance floor. The dance floor had the squares that light up just like the one in Saturday Night Fever! I was in my element. I’d already enjoyed some vino with my friends and was raring to have a boogie. I won’t be winning any dance competitions in the near future but I was loving it. The music, though distinctly dodgy, was good enough to dance to. There were some awful tracks from the 90s played but hey, who cares when you feel like shaking it on down with the girls.

It was later in the evening when the dance floor was packed that the ‘entertainment’ arrived (and I use the term loosely). Two girls in their late teens arrived; one was dressed in normal ‘going out gear’, the other had clearly dressed as an exotic dancer. I mean, who wears skin tight white trousers, a tight white crop top and heels that only a drag queen would be proud of? This was topped off with her straight white-blond porn-star hairstyle. I was just minding my own business, drinking my wine and chatting to friends when the new arrival decided it was time to thrash herself around wildly to the music. How we didn’t end up in bruised is anyone’s guess. She clearly thought she could dance. Provocative was an understatement! When she started thrusting around an imaginary pole at I couldn’t keep my laughter contained. She was really going for it. So, there she is….head thrashing, her hair whipping me and my friends in the face. It was all completely unnecessary. I’m sure that by the time she woke this morning she had the need for a neck brace.

If I’d wanted a night watching exotic dancer (which I didn’t) I would have arranged it. We’re just not safe out on the town anymore, not while the crazies are out on the loose.