Why I’m all for the #icebucketchallenge

August 20, 2014


So, bout that Ice Bucket Challenge, eh?You literally couldn’t miss it, even if you wanted to, and I actually, for once, really don’t want to. And I’m not just saying that for sopping wet Tom Hiddleston reasons. (…honestly).

I absolutely hated #nomakeupselfies. Sure, it was raising money for cancer research and that’s all to the good, but it was mainly making money for an organisation that pretty much poops £££ already, comparative to some charities in the same space. But more than that, I disliked it for what it was and what it said about us as a society. Here was a “challenge” involving taking a photo of your own face.

I mean…really though.

Forgetting the sheer vanity of that for a second, let’s also remember that the challenge was mainly “accepted” by women because let’s be honest, the vast majority of men don’t wear make up, and it played on the idea that not wearing makeup was something…noteworthy. Because god forbid a woman should exist on the planet in a sort of natural state and not be feeling that she’s making a big political statement, amirite?

But the ALS challenge (for Motor Neurone Disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is crazily brilliant because it isn’t just fun to watch famous folk and friends do something daft like drench themselves in iced water, it actually very momentarily replicates the freezing and lack of control you have over your muscles as a sufferer of a degenerative disease. Fun and empathetic? Someone out there was an evil genius to spot the link and jump on it. Yes, some slebs aren’t getting a good plug in for the charity, but lots ARE and it’s raised over $22 million for a charity that probably wouldn’t see that kind of income in a long time…never mind over the course of one heady week.

I know in days of Ferguson and Gaza and IS in Iraq and James Foley and all the heaping, bloody, barbaric things happening in the world, this can seem…inconsequential. Frivolous maybe. Wasteful, even. There’s often a sense of hopelessness that can fall over the whole idea of online activism at times; how often have you thrown a link out into the void (the same one that thousands and thousands of others are too) and known deep down that no matter how loudly you try to shout about the subject matter, or how deeply you feel the injustice or horror or truth of a matter, that pixelated point won’t make the slightest bit of difference to the outcome? But these buckets of water are turning into literal buckets of cash that will fund real research, that one day years from now will mean the difference between life and death for the diagnosed.

So I’ll leave you with this video I saw today – of 26 year old Anthony Carbajal who did the ice bucket challenge but then went on to explain why it’s a seriously good thing for him. Watch it to the end, especially if you’re lairy about the whole shebang…maybe it’ll persuade you that it’s a good thing after all.


August 12, 2014

Ride London // www.lauratosney.co.uk

On Sunday I stood in the peeing rain for two and a bit hours, clapping the riders streaming on past Hampton Court palace, on their way for another 60 miles around the countryside and London. A good six or so stacked it on this corner pictured above, but most people were great at calling GRAVEL! SLOW IT DOWN! Which is good, because there’s literally nothing you can do as a spectator except grimace while someone and their £1000 worth of bike go sliding along the tarmac in the most painful looking way possible. I think I’ll stick to my little mountain bike hires in Clumber Park, ta.

Monday Reminder

August 4, 2014

Anne Lamott |Via the magnificent Trish McCosh’s blog.

In almost everything, after the first enthusiastic flush of an idea fades, the first step is the hardest. What if I fail? What if I’m not as good at that as I thought I was? What if I let people down who are counting on me to do a good job? What if I don’t reach these ridiculously high bars I set myself? What if what if what - nuuuuaggghh.

Think it, write it down on a piece of paper, and then screw it up, throw it in the bin and just get on with it. My favourite way to take the first step towards something = work on the project for just ten minutes every day. Increments make it easier to start moving and you’ll probably start taking longer once you get stuck in. And if you have trouble remembering, or keeping motivated, use the Commit app to keep you on track.

Early bird breakfasts

August 3, 2014

coffee // www.lauratosney.co.uk

Is my blog 80% coffee? Am I? Hmm. There’s a question. I do and I don’t need this, having been awake since 6.30am both yesterday and today; not a notable thing for most people, but despite wanting to be a “morning person”, every attempt at becoming one usually crashes and burns by Tuesday morning (*snooze button* __ *snooze button* __ *snoo-). If this doesn’t continue into the working week, I’ll be ridiculously sad…mainly because there never seem to be enough hours in the day to achieve everything you want to, plus, the light days won’t be here forever – we ought to make the most of this, the best summer we’ve had in a long time. Also, and this is the best bonus, getting up early means SECOND BREAKFASTS.

It seems I am officially a hobbit.

If you’re a fan of leisurely weekend brunches (and who isn’t?) you should add these cauliflower tots to your repertoire. They can’t possibly be healthy, given the amount of cheese I’ve put in mine, but they make a nice replacement for potato-based side dishes. I was up so early yesterday that I actually had time to make a new batch of granola before I sat down to eat. This is great, given that bags of Gluten Free granola are both expensive and rubbish, because they don’t come in crunchy, chewy clumps…just bags of toasted oats with loads of seeds thrown in. So now I make my own (starting with this recipe, but you can throw in whatever you like additional) and it turns out the secret to making chunky granola is whipping up an egg white, coating the ingredients, baking and then leaving it to cool in the pan completely before you break it up. Nom!

So close, yet so far…

July 26, 2014

coffee pour // www.lauratosney.co.uk

Yesterday Self remembered to put cold brew into the fridge before she went ceilidhing. Today Self was momentarily amazed at organisation, until the utter dismal quantity of coffee beans was revealed and it was proven that the coffee was not (whisper it) actually drinkable.

So Today Self will faff around with badly set-up pouring shots for funsies instead of doing the necessary chores that have been put off all week because life…

Monday reminder

July 21, 2014

Dalai Lama | www.lauratosney.co.uk

Truth. But also don’t forget you can question things and not be pessimistic. Sometimes people can’t separate the two – asking “what if” or “why” doesn’t mean you’re not optimistic about the eventual outcome of a project.