HUMP DAY!! Yes it’s that half way point in the week where everyone who works Monday to Friday can breath a sigh of relief that the week is half done, that its all downhill from here on until the weekend and they are a tiny bit closer to the freedom of Friday afternoon! I am not quite so jubilant about this fact myself though, as the weekend ahead is signifying the fact that my six week holiday break is almost at an end and not only will I be going back to work, but I will also be sending my daughter off to nursery for the first time. And yes, she’ll be fine, I know that, and I have totally loved looking after her each day of the holidays, it has been a real blessing not many fathers are lucky enough to be able to do that, but I’d still rather be continuing the situation! It has been a great time and we’ve had a lot of fun. We have been out visiting people, but then I have also sat by at home and waited as she snoozed half the day away. That girl loves her sleep!
After lunch I popped over to see one of my sisters in her new flat and took Olivia with me, as my sister just can’t get enough of her. I was feeling decidedly tired after last night, and was consequently a little quiet while I was over there. This always bothers me when I leave somewhere knowing how quiet I have been, as I don’t want to appear rude or ignorant, but it does highlight to me the need to get to bed at a sensible time, especially in the last few days of the holiday, I need to reconfigure my sleeping pattern. I want to be up fresh and early on the first day back, as I will be back on the bike again and I’ll be needing some energy in the morning! I haven’t tackled rush hour traffic on two wheeled peddle power for six weeks now! We stayed for a couple of hours, and talked about my sisters new job role at my school, having finally left retail after six years of essentially being taken for a mug! Retail is no environment to work in when you have a family, its all about the business and the numbers, never ever about the staff! Staff are bottom of the pile, and completely expendable, staff needs are a mere inconvenience, and if you’re thinking of taking a day off sick, well that’s just for quitters, and if you take it, you’re now one tick box closer to the company finding a reason to fire you! Getting out of retail was the best move I ever made, my mental health was starting to suffer in the last few months before I got out, and I never thought I’d hear myself saying that! Thankfully, my sister is now on the path to a better life, one that can offer a much improved work/life balance and sense of security.
This particular Wednesday however, sees what I consider is probably going to be the peak of the social media viral craze, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Now initially I thought that of course it was a good thing, but just wanted to keep my head down and stay invisible. Apparently that doesn’t work! Within 24 hours I had received not just one, but two nominations. There was no escaping it, although without any ice in our freezer and all the shops shut on bank holiday Monday, I put mine off until the Tuesday, which is technically over the 24 hours that you are supposed to complete the challenge in, but I completed it anyway, better late than never. I had noticed that the more people were taking part, the more there were some people who were getting quite vocal about what a waste of water it was, and how people in Africa had no water and we were just throwing it away for fun. To me, they missed the whole point of why we are doing this, and it almost annoys me a little bit. They’re like a grumpy old person living on their own that doesn’t want the kids playing out in the street to have any fun or make any noise! Their objections seem petty and almost to a point, irrelevant, and I’ll offer my thoughts as to why. Firstly, our water usage has never been a concern of anyone living in Africa, here we are using it to raise awareness of what is essentially a crippling disease at first, leading to a truly horrible way to die, literally trapped inside your own body as each internal organ starts to shut itself down. Not only that, but this activity is raising HUGE amounts of money for research into this, money that the charities and the sufferers of the condition could never have even dreamt that they’d ever see! What does it cost us? Our dignity and half a bucket of water, that’s it! That water was NEVER going to be wrapped up and posted to Africa, no-one was going to look at their bucket and think “maybe I should carry this to a hot country and give it to someone who doesn’t have any water!”. Doing this challenge isn’t going to affect the UK water usage one tiny bit, no more than filling up a childs paddling pool, washing the car, or using a hosepipe to water the garden. At what point do we actually think an activity is clearly wasting water. Does a child NEED to play in a paddling pool? Does our car REALLY need washing when poor Africans have no clean water? Should I wash my clothes each time I wear them, or hang them back up and get a few more days out of them? Where do we draw the line? The water we are using to raise this money changes nothing for anyone, but the end result is massive for these charities that are benefiting, and its not just ALS now, people are starting to choose their own charities, and so much money is being raised, its absolutely amazing! I completed my challenge on Tuesday night, made my donation to ALS and even made a donation to WaterAid to pacify those getting on their high horse about it. There are also some people voicing concerns about how ALS conduct some of their research, but I have looked into it myself, and don’t have a problem, I believe they are doing the best job they can.
If we disregard those who are stamping their feet and move on, then we come to Wednesday night and a challenge duo, Scott and Ian on the same night. It was a multi bucket fun fest of ice cold water, and this wasn’t going to be a low key, quiet affair. But respect to Scott for really getting on board and embracing his challenge, the video was hilarious, and I was just glad I got a good shot of it! Once the dry clothes were on, it was time for some hot drinks and hot spicy chicken to warm everyone back up again.