Another Day in the Life of……..

Posted by | fitness, kindness, Marathons and Runs, new Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh, The Retreat, Volunteers | No Comments

Despite today being a difficult one personally (5th anniversary of my stepson’s sudden death in a Road Traffic Incident) it has been a good day.

Ian and I worked together on a number of Ripple Retreat issues – ordering furniture and asking for discounts – I have been very successful in getting great discounts so far!  Time consuming but very worthwhile. Ian, meantime, was dealing with BT.  Enough said…….

Then I got a lovely call offering me a London Marathon place and so I had a couple of hours of checking with folk who had asked in the past and, well, to cut a long story short one of our fab long time supporters is going to take  up the opportunity.  I shall tell more next week – she wants to make a plan first before announcing it.

I started my January To Do List as in I started to compile it, not started to work it.  I need to clone me.  Yikes, there is much to do.

However, let me tell you about last night’s amazing success.  I wrote on our Facebook Trustees and Ambassadors page that it is more work than I ever imagined.  Because it is. That I need to get 250 prizes in.  That I need to sort events out volunteer wise.

Before you knew it, emails, messages and tweets were pinging in offering prizes and volunteers.  Hazel, one of our Glasgow Ambassadors pulled together a team of 6 volunteers for an event in Glasgow in March. Several Ambassadors shared a few posts about treks and challenges. One of our Ambassadors, Kev, offered us a fabulous topiary coo to auction.  At another event it raised £8500!.    Now, if there is anyone out there who would like to give me £10k right now, it is yours!   worth every penny – I have seen how these are made and it is hard work and incredible skill.  Not to mention Kev’s kindness in donating.

I now have 50 of the 250 prizes I need – there is much work to do on getting the rest but I like work. Just wish I had more time in each day.

In case I make it sound like life is one big party – raising money, organising events, asking for prizes, requesting discounts, let me tell you that it takes hours and hours or hard work and there is one job always destined to put a gloomy cloud over my head when it is mentioned.  Getting guests to pay.  We have some who are so fast it isn’t true. But there are also others who need a few reminders.  I hate doing reminders, makes me feel like a nagging wife (and Ian will very happily tell you, that I am far from a nagging wife).  I gotta do it though if I want to keep doing events.   Well, I say I gotta do it.  I mean me and Shonagh gotta do it.  She has the lion’s share of chasing.  The sigh of relief when all money is in for an event is audible in space, I am convinced.

Anyway, I must go as have a few more emails to send off tonight asking for prizes.  Wish me luck!

Kev Paxton of ArtFe - topiary coo

Kev Paxton of ArtFe – topiary coo


Posted by | Events, Kilimanjaro | One Comment

It’s taken a wee while but finally we are getting on track with our Kilimanjaro project – possible date is 9 september 2013 – leaving from Edinburgh.  Already 2 of us are signed up  – Janette McPherson and me.   A guy in Huddersfield has emailed to say he’d like to know more!  Great.  Eight others have expressed an interest – I tweeted about it yesterday and one of the people who follows me (and I her) sent a message to say she was seriously interested too.

It is going to be a really tough challenge but that is why we have 2 years to get ready.  My daft way of training – to ‘walk’ the 5000 miles to kilimanjaro has been delayed by a month because of injury and illness –  minor but annoying.  However I am excited to be getting going on that again on 1 Sept.

I am taking advantage of the down time to figure out how I am going to finance the trek.   Each of us will have to pay our own way – £2500 and raise  a min of £1000 for the charity.  No exceptions.  Indeed I believe as co-founder of this charity and trek leader I need to lead by example and so have started by clearing out the attic, garage, kitchen cupboards, wardrobe (ok, I got a bit carried away and addicted to the clear out process) and have started selling on ebay, gumtree, facebook, twitter and at events.  I am putting off doing a car boot sale – they just aren’t the fun they used to be.

Already I have found I do not like ebay.  Finding that you have sold something for a quid and have to post it off in 48 hours isn’t my idea of fun.

Gumtree is proving good so far.

I have made over £250 already. There is still lots to sell too so I am sure that I can indeed get to that £2500 saving by the end of 2012.  The bonus is that the house is much tidier already – not just because I am selling anything that hasn’t been used in a year but also by searching for those items I have dusted, polished and hoovered wherever I have gone (ok, not in the attic but I did take a brush up there and sweep it!)     I also have two birthdays and two christmases between now and then too and have asked for money  instead of a gift.

Janette’s plan for saving involves much baking.   She is a world class baker – indeed should be on the Great British Bake off.   She plans to bake and sell at her work.  Everyone loves Janette’s baking.

If you have other ideas for us do get in touch!

We have big plans for our little elephants, Elmar, Ellie and Ailsa.

   Ellie is covered in photos of the babies, children and young people who have fought or are fighting cancer.   She is to remind us why we are doing this trek.  Elmar is going to be covered in logos – any individual or business who donates £100 or more to our Kili fundraising can have their logo or business card put on Elmar.  Ailsa is our well read elephant.  She is off to Wigtown Book Festival end of the month to be signed by as many authors as we can get!   (and we plan to ask a few of our local resident authors here in Edinburgh to sign her too).  Wigtown BF have been incredibly welcoming to Ailsa and are excited to have her for the duration of their festival and we are most grateful to them for that.   Once she has lots of signatures she will be sealed with varnish and along with sets of signed books will be auctioned at our Inaugural Ball in March next year.

If you are interested in any part of our Kilimanjaro trek or fundraising ideas please get in touch

An information meeting about the Trek will be held on Saturday 1 October 2011 from noon to 2pm at Bruntsfield, Edinburgh.   If you’d like to come along to hear more from the Really Wild Challenge company we plan to use, email me.

Thanks to all at Zest Health and Beauty

Posted by | Events | No Comments

What superb value the guests at yesterday’s event at Zest got.   Welcomed by a glass of sparkling wine, Bottlegreen soft drink or orange juice and chocolate coated strawberries they could try a treatment – many were able to try all the mini treatments on offer.  File and polish  or mini facial , face mapping or the truly amazing candle oil massage where Gail from Just Be oils dripped warm candle oil onto your hands and massaged them.

The Zest staff are so friendly and the salon’s re-vamping welcoming – free parking (and let’s face it, that’s a big deal these days!) – I heard lots of the guests signing up for future treatments.

They were also very generous – over £400 raised yesterday- thanks to all staff at Zest and especially owner Louise

Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Hilton Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh

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What?: Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Hilton Caledonian Hotel (NOW SOLD OUT)

When?: Sunday 4 December 2011

Where?: Hilton Caledonian Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh

Cost?:£20 pp

Afternoon Tea

The 2010 Christmas Afternoon Tea was so well received that we have booked the date for this year’s!

Sunday 4 December will see us at the Caledonian with carol singers, flower displays, gift wrapping advice and so much more – tickets sold so fast last December we are putting them on sale now!  Don’t miss out. Book now.  £20pp – a bargain price – this includes full afternoon tea and a glass or two of sparkling wine.

As we know, it’s always hard to buy gifts for the men in our lives – we plan to make it a little easier with some ideas for their christmas gifts – our shopping experience between 1 and 2pm will feature ideas for gifts for men and boys.   Adrienne Kerr of Magenta Ink will provide expert tips on wrapping their gifts too!  (though perhaps we should do a gift wrapping service for the men!)


This event is close to being sold out – to ensure you don’t miss out on this lovely afternoon event get in touch soon!

Email or call 07901 555 352

Fashion Show

Posted by | Events | One Comment

What?: Fashion Show

When?: Sunday 6th November 2011 4-6pm

Where?: Tom Fleming Centre for the Performing Arts, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh

Cost?: £5 pp

Our annual Fashion Show returns to the Tom Fleming Centre for the Performing Arts later this year.   Tickets are priced at an astonishing £5 (we want to fill the Centre this year- that is 550 seats!). Indeed if you book ten tickets you will get an extra special offer as you will only pay for nine!  Photos from last year’s show can be viewed on Flickr.

This event will be held between 4-6pm.

Our models all have a reason to model for us – from young cancer patients, their siblings, parents to the professional staff who take care of them.   We are also lucky to have top model Anna Freemantle leading catwalk skills workshops for our models in the months leading up to the event!   The wonderful Charlie Miller team of hairdressers will look after all our models.

Clothes from – so far, Tea at Aunties,  Fifi Wilson, Kakao by K, Sam Brown, Joyce Paton, 21st century kilts, Anta.  Hamilton & Inches will be loaning some jewellery too!

Our very talented Patron,radio presenter and favourite pantomime baddie (oh yes he is)  Grant Stott will co-host the event alongside two young cancer patients – Laura Gibson and Shannon Mackenzie.


Tickets can be booked by emailing or calling 07901555352

Blingo at the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh

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What?: Blingo at the Roxburghe Hotel

When?: Thursday 19 May 2011 7pm till late

Where?: Roxburghe Hotel, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

This event is sold out.

To be sent advance information about the 2012 Blingo event please email or call 07901555 352

Spring Afternoon Tea at the Hilton Caledonian Hotel

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What?: Spring Afternoon Tea at the Hilton Caledonian Hotel

When?: Sunday 6 March 2010

Where?: Hilton Caledonian Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh

Cost?: £20 pp

Our elegant Afternoon Teas continue in 2011. The first is on Sunday 6 March
With fashion from stunning new boutique Fifi Wilson at Bruntsfield (also at Covent Garden London) and full afternoon tea with glass of fizz or two this is a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The afternoon tea and fashion starts at 2pm but you can also come earlier to see a floral demonstration and visit some stalls showcasing stationery, jewellery and crafts. Join us from 1pm in the Boardroom.
To book your tickets email or call 07901555352