Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Do A Lot Of Work For Charity... Don't Like To Talk About It

If you’ve come to this page in breathless anticipation of seeing photographs of me and my more handsome relations resplendent in kilts whilst attending a family wedding at the weekend, I’m afraid you’re going to be left panting a little longer. I left my camera down south and if it falls into the wrong hands, who knows what kind of internet havoc could be wreaked by a determined psychopath with a working knowledge of Photoshop.

So drop on by in a week or so where, as well as photos packed with tartan and muscular legs, there could be actual video footage of a kilt-wearing 40-something strutting his not inconsiderable stuff to Abba’s Dancing Queen on the dance floor!!! Now go get a Kleenex and wipe that drool from your chin...


Now that I’m unemployed with large amounts of spare time to kill, my thoughts have turned to how best I can utilise my skills and life experience to make the world a better place. My first initiative – the campaign to persuade all races and religions to lay down their arms and arrange their CDs in strict alphabetical order – has not been the overwhelming success I’d envisaged. Believe it or not, some people still insist that The Beatles should be filed under ‘T’! F#ckwits!

But undeterred by this initial setback, I have decided instead to undertake some selfless charity work in a foreign country. My research uncovered a once-proud nation in desperate need of help to rebuild its economic infrastructure and the morale of its people, after it was brought to its knees by a series of recent disasters and merciless acts of God. Close friends were aghast when I announced my intentions and tried to dissuade me by pointing out the scale of human suffering I would encounter. But my mind was made up and my resolve was strong so last week I packed my bags and set off on the long, arduous journey. To England.

As fate would have it, the timing of my gallant relief work coincided with an invitation to attend a family wedding in the drought region of East Anglia. As I followed an endless stream of painfully slow caravans along the dusty, backwater roads, I passed through deserted villages with quaint names like Flipping Norflap, Piddle-On-The-Wrye and Ooh Vicar What Lovely Crumpets. Bedraggled St. George’s Crosses flew at half mast and in the local sports shops, even the hardy ladies of the W.I. seemed to be having trouble offloading unwanted Wayne Rooney Manchester United tops. “Buy 2, get a Ronaldo strip free!”

Occasionally I spied one or two natives wandering around the streets aimlessly, their faces still white with shock following the recent penalty shoot-out debacle with Portugal. “Cheer up,” I cried from the safety of my speeding vehicle. “It could be worse. At least you didn’t lose to the Scots.” Watching them grow smaller in my rear view mirror, I could tell my comforting words had helped soothe their pain as they waved me on my way with energetic arm gestures.

Eventually I arrived at the wedding venue where my cousin Ewen, a fervent England supporter despite having a Scottish father, had spent many months planning The Best Day Of His Life with meticulous attention to detail. The drinks were chilled and the catering was organised and he’d selected a pristine white shirt to complement his overall ensemble. However, when England failed to reach the World Cup final, he was fortunate to have his wedding day to substitute as a much needed tonic a week later.

Weddings in England are truly sophisticated affairs. They start early, finish late and have something called a “wedding breakfast” in the middle of the afternoon. They even allow time for an afternoon nap before the evening festivities when the Hobbits emerge from their holes in the Shire at twilight to commence the Morris dancing round the Maypole on the village green. Come to think of it, I might have just imagined that last bit after smoking the international pipe of peace with the more bohemian members of my extended family tribe.

All in all my mission of mercy to a troubled land seemed to achieve most of its objectives. Ewen ended the day with a smile on his face and began married life with a spring in his step. He was still depressed about the England result but at least now his CDs are in strict alphabetical order.

More newspaper stuff here.

6 Comments:

At 18/7/06 10:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aha I read it! What a weekend we missed! We have run out of buttons...I feel rather guilty having eaten most of them but I fear I only have the pregnancy excuse for a wee while longer...feeling rather queer and I didn't smoke the family pipe of peace. I haven't noticed our CD collection being in alphabetical order after you dropped in..tut tut! Did you find the castle ready for the next Sutherland adventure? Where there lots of rams around?

Dawn and Fraser

 
At 18/7/06 3:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsk, you never even dropped in! East Anglia isn't even that far from Norwich, you know...

 
At 18/7/06 8:00 pm, Blogger Lena said...

Such a shame the wedding and your charity work plans clashed. I hope you still intend to do something later.

I played a sponsored busk in London for the Malcolm Sargent Chilren With Cancer charity in honour of my friend's little girl who suffered a brain tumour at just 4 years of age. It's a moment of sheer pleasure when your final amount raised is declared. The only ingredient you really need is a heart.

There is still too much suffering in the world. A world where we really do have the means to make a difference, too!

If you still plan do something in the future, I'll back you 100%, but I reckon you may already be setting the wheels in motion...

Good Luck
Lena

ps.......I've an old tin bath and a mountain of baked beans there if you need them!

 
At 20/7/06 6:15 pm, Blogger DC said...

Neil,

" Wedding Breakfast" - does this include pizza? if so are "single" toppings aloud - boom boom!

Charity suggestion - writealotofshiteathon - it's a winner, trust me.

DC

 
At 21/7/06 1:37 am, Blogger Neil said...

Dawn - nice work on the old baby-production front!

Hazel - It was sort of a straight down, straight back up kinda thing. Apologies. Next time for sure.

Lena - If you're ever busking in Central Scotland, let me know. I have a guitar.

D.C. - Been a while since you cracked the classic 'single' jokes. One day it'll be funny.

 
At 23/7/06 2:24 am, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Congratulations on being an uncle again, not that you had ever stopped, but maybe after the kilt photos show up...

PS Did you dance to FAME?

 

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