On the blog

Friday, 29 June 2012

My runs were for Toilet Twinning...

Toilet Twinning asked marathon runner and blogger 'Ready to Run' to guest blog: 

So here's the thing: I decided to enter a marathon just over six months ago, blogging about anything that tickled my fancy along the way. All those phrases about having the runs and running to the loo kept popping into my mind, as I was bursting every time I got to my front door following a run!
It seemed apt to introduce Toilet Twinning to my friends, colleagues and family. And, on a serious note, the venture does fantastic work to bring sanitation to those who need it; introducing the issues on its website in a fun, engaging way.

If you want to raise money, writing a blog as you go will attract people’s attention, and advertise your charity too. I found just posting a link to Toilet Twinning was enough to get people engaged, and then giving. Having a Virgin Money Giving page meant that I didn’t directly need to ask people to donate.

As it stands with gift aid, I have raised close on £700 which is enough for almost 12 toilet twins!   Consider using a pseudonym for your blog. I decided to use song lyrics and film titles to give my blog, Ready to Run, an identity of its own: https://sites.google.com/site/phoebestewart1965/

 Here are some extracts from my blog:

The Boys are back in Town 22/12/12 Thin Lizzy 1976

Well I ran near midnight for this short run with two of my four sons, number one and number three.  I wonder if the second son is fed up getting referred to as a no 2 !  … the boys danced, ran backwards, sideways and all-sorts in order to keep to my slow pace. I completed the run in my fastest time so it looks like their antics paid off.

Wind beneath my Wings 1/1/12

This Bette Midler song was played on the radio as I ran my LONG run of eight miles along the coast on New Year's Day.  Maybe it was the endorphins, but as I ran and listened I began to pick up pace and sung these lyrics out loud. I was singing to myself!  I was my own hero; my self esteem had gone sky high … people moved out of my way as I passed, other runners gave me that “You go girl” look. It felt great, the weather changed, the rain, wind and waves came, I loved it, another 'first' and on New Year's Day.

Dog days are over 13/2/12 Florence and the Machine

…Run for your mother
Run fast for your father…

Well today saw me run to my home town, very nostalgic, I ran past my parents' home, though they are no longer there... Lots of memories came to the fore, two hours and 50 minutes worth! It was 12 miles, me running 12 miles, me running to my home town, ME, ME. It was ME.
Run Forrest Run -  eve of Marathon 6/5/12

The clip from Forrest Gump when he starts to run really resonated with me when I watched it today … before I started running it was just another movie clip. I had thought of running a marathon when I turned 40. However, a few difficult things had happened along the way so I never got round to it.  

But then like Forrest “I decided to go for a little run...”

Friday, 22 June 2012

Eight pit latrines twinned from one man’s moustache!

A Bristolian moustache has been shaved off at auction to provide no less than eight toilets. What fab facial follicles to produce such a result! 

We can’t now see whether the moustache in question was waxed and twiddled, a Dali curve or a bit of a bushy nostril warmer, so perhaps Steve Wilmhurst, our newly-bare donor, could pick out his style from the chart below and let us know:

 Credit: MOUSTACHE by yana segal

Whatever it was (and RIP) it has been used to bring transformation in some of the poorest communities across the globe.  

But that’s not all. Steve’s friends from the youth group at Kensington Baptist Church in Easton, Bristol, under the leadership of Rebekah Rice, got together for a dinner and auction that raised over £2,000, including the moustache money – so all in all that’s enough for 30 toilets in Burundi!

Organiser Rebekah said: 

‘We had a wonderful evening.  It was great fun, and we even had someone there from the BBC, who interviewed some of our youth group! Everyone was so, so generous and we raised over £2,000.’  

Relief and development charity Tearfund (who run Toilet Twinning in partnership with peacebuilding agency Cord) sent their Volunteer Manager for the South West, John Archer, to talk about the twinning scheme.  

He said 'it was a brilliant night with over 50 auction lots, and dancers who would have done well on Britain’s Got Talent.  Best of all, it’s provided toilets for as many people in Burundi as attend Bristol’s Kensington Baptist Church.'

Toilet Twinning thinks that’s a top result!  Thank you Kensington youth group.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Toilet twinning for Dads

You know how dads are – they tend to go on a lot about the value of education.  Do your homework, pay attention in class, remember all the kids in the world who don’t get any schooling etc. Well this Father’s Day, you could empower your papa with a bit of learning around loo etiquette, starting with cleaning the bowl:

Eco-friendly toilet cleaner - you will need:

1 measure white vinegar
¼ measure bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate – available in hardware shops)

Put the bicarbonate of soda into the toilet bowl and add the vinegar slowly.
It will foam, so be careful not to let it overflow.
Leave for 10 – 20 minutes.
Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush
Then flush to rinse – easy!

If he seems a little reluctant to take on the task, remember it’s a good bonding thing to watch films with your dad – try this short one to get him in the mood for the toilet task:

When your dad has mastered the technique, remind him to keep your mum happy and put the seat down! More than half the women (54%) quizzed by home shopping retailer 24studio.co.uk, in their 2010 survey of 1,165 women, said failure to put the seat down was their man's most irritating trait.  If this is all too much hard work, you could take the easy option for Father’s Day and twin his toilet for him instead.  He’ll get a framed picture of his twin to hang in his own loo. 

Just click on the Twin your toilet now! tab above.