Friday, 18 October 2013

I MOUSTACHE you a question

Hey hey everybody!!!

So it's half way through October which only means ONE THING..... Yep, I know you've guessed it and you are excited... It's close to the next challenge... And boy this one is a good one! 

Before I tell you about it I am gonna have a little ramble. Tell you what I've been up to. I won't go on about work or my increasingly ridiculous love life or lack of, but I will tell you about how I spent a WHOLE DAY baking cookies. It turns out I'm not bad at this baking malarkey, and once I get into it it's quite relaxing. Theraputic some would say and I definitely think baking is going to be my chosen hobby for retirement. Yes, I am aware it's a while off but I am already quite looking forward to it. I think I will spend time baking for my grandchildren, maybe the local rotary club (still not sure what they do but I think it's something to do with old people and charity, both of which I am a huge fan of!). 

Anyway, so I made a LOT of cookies (296 to be precise - not including the ones I droppedand/or broke) and then bagged them, ribboned them and spent an afternoon (which turned out to only be an hour due to shopping needs and the rain!) of walking around knocking on doors selling cookies like a stereotypical American Girl Scout :) It was not easy! Turns out the most likely to buy cookies are old people and mums with begging children... Just a thought if you ever do the same. It was harder than I thought and I didn't quite think it through when I decided to do it at 4pm on a Sunday. A LOT of people have roast dinner! I am quite glad that it is still a tradition in many homes (at least in swanley it is!). I mean I am not personally a bit roast dinner fan (gasp!) but I am glad families are still making time for this very English tradition! :) However, I made a bit of money and while telling people about my year to make a difference slowly came to the realisation that a lot of these lovely people probably then went back in to their families and imagine the conversation went like this.. "who was at the door dear?".... "Oh just some crazy girl with a moustache..." (see below)

Sightly concerned a moustache suits me in a old time gentleman way?!

Anyway I suppose I should get back to the original purpose of my ramble today. So, the reason you are getting this blog so early is because I am off on holiday tomorrow for two weeks.... I REALLY want to boast and tell you all about it because I am off to Bali for two weeks to spend girly time with two of my besties in paradise....but I won't do that because there is more important things to be doing... So, November. The challenge....

Moustache For A Month

Yep. That's right. I, Hope Anscomb am pledging to wear a moustache for a MONTH to raise money in aid of The Autism Trust. Now, I know a lot of you are probably familiar with Movember and because I kind of stole the idea from them I will be making a donation to their cause at the end of November and to make this worthwhile, my friend Dale will be doing the "man thing" and growing an "actua"l moustache for Movember. So this month we will be a hairy team and both charities will get our support!

Now, the good bit! 

I am in fact wearing a moustache for the WHOLE month and it will be worn at ALL times. That means on the tube, the train, the work, in the gym, to the pub. You name it, moustache will be present AND IF YOU SEE ME PLEASE SAY HELLO / TAKE A PICTURE! kind of like a where's Wally! :) I know, you are thinking one of two things,...
1. She won't keep it on, she will be too embarrassed
2. She is Stupid

I can tell you that you are wrong on both counts. Although if you are thinking insane rather than stupid you might be slightly correct. 

Now the AWESOME bit for you people. I am not only wearing a moustache but I am varying my moustache. I will start wearing my moustache on 1st November AS LONG AS I get to £1300 on my just giving page before then... It's on £1260 now. So that's £40 I need before I start (and I know you can drum that money up!).
Now it gets better (yes, it IS possible!). So each moustache I have (and there are 5 different ones) will require me hitting a target to wear it. Believe me you are going to want to share my blog and get the money rolling it to "Up-my-Stash". These are the following moustache stages...

£1300 - this starts me off with a gangsta style thin moustache. Quite understated but still noticeable (I am a girl wearing a moustache. ANY facial hair would be noticeable!)
£1400 - this will get me to thick and bushy. I would say this is a Tom Selleck style stash
£1500 - now we are getting a bit more serious with an Ali-G goatee... 
£1600 - this makes me Mexican!! with a fabulous gringo lip tickler
£1700 - the grand finale.... drum roll.... The Holy Grail of facial hair.... Mutton chops and boy do I WANT to get to this stage! 

Evolution of 'Stash

YOU, the lovely public are in charge of my facial hair. YOU have the power to make my chops to be as bushy as you wish. 

I will of course document my moustached journey which will in fact start in Bali, assuming we can raise the first £40 before I get back.... In fact I would love to return as Tom Selleck. If I step off the plane and 20 middle aged women faint after mistaking me for the moustached heart throb I will be a happy woman! So that's the aim and the game folks... So all that's left to say is get sharing, get spending and make me HAIRY.!.!.!

Now you should all know the link by now but if you don't here it is....

I will see you in two weeks.... And I hope to see you as my new Gangsta Alter Ego 
Don Candy Russo

So today I leave you to get to work to get me moustached! Happy rest of October!

Hope.... Out

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Can't get enough of your love

Well well well.... What can I say. To be honest I think I am still in shock. I have never felt so lucky and I know it sounds corny but totally and utterly blessed. This weekend was tough, I mean it was also tonnes of fun, but it was definitely tough. I can say hand on my heart, I couldn't have done it without the amazing people that I have to support me. Friends and family and friends that I would count as family all rallied round me and got me through a hula hooping torture!

Every time I looked like I might give up they were there. They were there early and late to help me set up our cake sale, to pack away and generally keep my spirits up. Now hula hooping might not seem like too tough a challenge but try it for an hour or so and you will understand a tiny bit of what I  feel like now. I am totally convinced I have internal bruising!

To see photos from my weekend please have a peek at

But! Now this is a huge but!!! It was worth it! My god was it worth it! With all contributions from sponsors and cake sales we made just over £1000 this weekend! I am absolutely gobsmacked! The generosity was insane and we met so many parents with children who have been diagnosed with autism or as refers. We were so surprised at the number of parents that also did not know about the Autism Mothers page that was set up by the Autism Trust to support and help mothers with autistic children. It is such a fantastic resource where worried parents can share heir problems and get answers from mothers who have experienced the same things. So not only have we raised a lot of money but we have helped numerous families connect and find support they didn't know existed! I don't know who reads this blog, or if anyone bothers reading it at all, but if you are reading this and you have a family member who is autistic and you are struggling please seek out Autism Mothers on Facebook. They can and will help!

This is the reason I want to do this year of fundraising for this particular charity. To raise awareness. There are so many children diagnosed with autism and these children grow up into adults with autism. Autism is incurable. It can be improved with a lot of time and patience and the correct professional experience but this is lacking in the UK and can be expensive. The Autism Trust focuses on taking these young adults and assisting them in finding their place in the world...

  • Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full time employment.
  • Nearly two-thirds of adults with Autism in the UK do not have enough support
  • At least one in three adults with autism are experiencing sever mental health problems due to a lack of support

These facts are what I want to help change. To make a difference. The money I have raised so far is already going to help!!

The centre in Ascot, Polly's Place, will soon be the proud owner of a new gorgeous arts and crafts table as well as craft supplies for their visitors that come weekly. This area is also used for coffee mornings for mums to get support and discuss issues they are having.

The money is also giving towards helping someone in particular... Alain. He is my age, and dreams of being a video editor. One day his dad walked past Polly's Place and went in in desperation. His son, Alain, cannot get a job. His autism holds him back. His dad didn't know what to do. The Autism Trust took on his challenges without hesitation. This money will go towards assisting him with support from Emily from the Trust to get some experience, a portfolio together and eventually a job, some independence and his dad, peace of mind knowing he did his best to help his son realise his dream. Alain will hopefully be creating a lovely video montage of my photos. As soon as it's ready I will share it with you :)

So, I suppose you all want to know what's next... Well, you are in for a treat!! And all those who haven't donated yet, save your money. You are going to want to save it for my next challenge! ;)

I'm not going to give it all away today, want to keep you in suspense..... But I'm not a cruel person so I will give you a little teaser...... Ready?!

I think you may have guessed!

I will give you more of a clue soon but until then...

Hope.... Out

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hoping my hips are up to it

If I could make a nervous sound via typing then I would... But I can't so you will just have to imagine a pained expression upon my face

This said, I am super excited! I think this is going to be an amazing weekend of memories and I think we are going to raise a lot! Probably mostly due to the amazing cakes on their way from friends and family rather than my ability to continuously hula hoop :S but either way it will be raising awareness and money so I don't mind why it's coming as long as it's coming!

I have had THE most amazing response and I tell you there is nothing more humbling than when you have the support that I have got from friends and family. In fact I am not embarrassed to admit that I am pretty much attempting to type this through happy tears right now just because I feel so lucky that I have all these amazing people around me following me in my insane endeavours!

On the other hand those same supportive lovely people do keep dropping in the "you are CRAZY!" Which to be honest I totally understand and I have been thinking the same thing but I have managed to shout down those voices with even bigger ones that all chorus in with "you can do it! Even if your arms fall off and your hips disintegrate you can DO IT!". I, grateful for these voices, even if they are slightly upside down in their support!

So I am not going to plug the event any more today because I think you all get it and of course know what and where and why so I am going to tell you about my trip down to the autism trust on Saturday. Now it started off as a reasonably simple trip. My partner is crime, Jen, and I set off at 12:30 heading for Ascot. Thinking 2pm latest we will be there. Lovely jubbly.... Oh how wrong we were! Now I have been on a motorway before and seen the traffic that stretches miles on he other side of the road and thought "you poor sods! You don't know how long this goes on for and you literally have no choice but to sit and wait..... But HAHAHAHA I am on the other freely moving side..."
Karma. Believe in it people. It gets you eventually.
Jen and I sat in traffic for over 3 and half hours!!! It took 4 and half to get to Ascot. And I know Jen won't mind me saying but there was a detour for the two of us to the side of the road so Jen could pee.  Don't worry, she kept it classy and hid herself in the bushes! We aren't animals!

Anyway after a horrific journey down there we finally arrived at the charming little village of Sunningdale. Gorgeous place. And nestled within it is Polly's Place. This lovely little shop is where they sell handmade gifts and paintings on behalf of autistic artists. This shop supports people with autism all over the UK and in fact world. One boy who's painting hangs on the wall ready to be sold has sent his painting all the way from the USA with the big dream for his art to make it to Paris. It is half way there just waiting for someone to buy it and take it to France :)

It's a charming shop full of charming people. I met Polly Tommey, founder of The Austism Trust. An incredible woman and an inspiration to many and I am sure she won't mind me saying, bolshy, which quite frankly I loved. The centre was filled with gorgeous gifts and paintings, and on the floor Emily sitting packing orders from the online shop going to Sweden!

We had a wonderful time there and before leaving I had to buy myself a cute little bracelet made by one of the autism mothers. With, very wonderfully, a Hope pendant dangling from a pretty rope chain.

So Saturday and Sunday, when I am crippled by bruises and my arms are stinging I will remember all the faces of the kids and adults that Polly's Place is already helping and imagine the silhouettes of those it is yet to help. It will get me through, those thoughts and all the support the lovely people that will be there with me, visiting me and donating!

Thank you all so far and stay tuned because once this is over, it only gets more ridiculous!

So one last reminder.
Saturday and Sunday
8am til 8pm
Pavilion Leisure Centre Bromley
24 hours of hula hooping!

So wish me luck!!
Hope....... Out