Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge...

Well, it's been an interesting summer,

We had an amazing trip to see Papa's family in Singapore and had time to catch up with lots of old friends, as well as mananging to take a short break to Thailand, staying in a friend's villa - it was lovely.

But all of this was happening whilst our house was being re-built. We have a home by the river and, unfortunately, whilst this seems idyllic it also means that occasionally bad things happen - like the garden seeming to subside or the ground floor sinking. But we agreed that it could all be fixed whilst we were away on holiday. Except when we came back, it wasn't. So the poor dogs had to stay in kennels for an extra week whilst we went first to Granny's and then onto a rented apartment in London, near Papa's work.

That was great fun as we were able to do lots of touristy things, like the Tower of London and the Cutty Sark and then meet Papa afterwards and still have dinner as a family.

It was after one of the trips that we decided to stop off at a local pub and wait for Papa there whilst I had a cheeky glass of wine (well, I was still officially on holiday) and the boys had lemonade.

It was whilst we were here that we witnessed probably the strangest 'ice bucket challenge' yet.

I'm not a fan of the challenge - as anyone who has challenged me knows. I did the honourable thing - I made my donation and then put the ice in a gin and tonic. I think the challenge got a bit out of hand myself, but that's just a personal opinion and who am I to question anything that raises money for charity? But here is what finally put the hole in my charity bucket...

We were sat outside enjoying the early September sun when suddenly a group of banker types came and stood next to us and started to remove their shoes and socks. We were by the Thames so I was concerned that we might be witnessing a mass drowning of the financial industry, or if we were really lucky, estate agents, but no. They were (I assume) senior managers who had all decided to do the ice bucket challenge together.

Duly stripped to their trousers and shirt sleeves they stood as their 'minions' (well, someone lower in the pecking order) came along with the ice buckets - each bucket also containing a bottle of champagne. By now both boys were fascinated and were itching to push through the suited crowd and see what was going on.

One of the waitresses sat next to me to watch. 'Some of them have spent over £100 a bottle", she said.  There were 5 bottles in 5 buckets.

'Are they donating a similar amount?" I asked her. She wasn't sure.

The senior managers then each made a long speech into the flurry of smart phones pointing at them - I was reminded of the French Revolution for some reason and then once they had finished giving their presentations (I half expected them to produce a power point display) they then all poured the buckets over themselves and then popped the champagne bottles spraying champagne, F1 driver style, over their colleagues.

It all seemed to be great fun. The boys certainly loved it and spent ten minutes kicking lumps of ice into the river.

But somehow it grated just a little on me. I can't explain why. I've heard the arguments that the challenge wasted gallons of water but here we were wasting bottles of expensive champagne - and I'm sure any charity would have been grateful for the £500 spent on it.

It was at that point I decided the ice bucket challenge had out lived its usefulness.

However, this week it is the MacMillan bake off coffee morning - I shall be taking part and am sending Papa in to the office clutching a batch of cakes to sell - hopefully for £500. I won't be eating any though - I'm on a low carb diet! (again...)

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