Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Memories Of A Chilly Reception

On Friday I began a voluntary role where for a few hours a week I’ll act as social media administrator for a charitable group. My task entailing sporadic monitoring of newly created Twitter and Facebook accounts for the East Leeds Marie Curie fundraising group.

These accounts manifesting from a desire to raise the profile of our group’s work; not to mention increase team membership to join us in the facilitation of these worthy causes.

I’ve written endlessly about my motives for undertaking gratis employment for various cancer fundraising organisations, consequently won’t regurgitate my own particular agenda. Additionally, I won’t dwell upon previous prose referring to the feelgood factor experienced by undertaking these roles.

The weather isn’t always as friendly as our benefactors. However, even through inclement meteorological conditions we volunteers attempt to unearth whimsy from the situation. An example of which this narrative I penned around a year ago:-

I’ve just returned from Leeds city centre where I’ve been collecting donations on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care. The location for this charitable work Bridgewater Place’s atrium; a domain which this morning was officially recorded as a 9 on the ‘Carol Kirkwood Flipping Freezing Scale’…… Bearing in mind the scale only goes up to 5, it gives an indication into how chuffing cold this morning’s voluntary work experience was.

For those who know Leeds, Bridgewater Place is the skyscraper adjacent to the railway station. Dominating the city skyline, on this particular chill day this edifice felt like it’d morphed into the UK’s largest refrigerator.

One thing that struck me, whilst standing freezing my bosker browns off, was the munificence of the workforce at this imposing structure. Sadly, the workers generosity was the only warming part of those bitingly cold couple of hours. It was worth it, though, as the Marie Curie organisation will have benefited splendidly from their benevolence.

That being said, there wasn’t a great deal of benevolence from passing polar bears, whose donations were conspicuous by the absence. Although in their defence, they probably weren’t flush with cash after embarking on unscheduled Trinity Shopping Centre visits to purchase winter coats.

Subsequently, I’m currently sitting at the laptop in my dining room area feeling like I’ve been cryogenically frozen. Yours truly has written over 950 blogs, but this is my inaugural attempt at penmanship while perched on top of a radiator……. Now, all I need is to turn the central heating on and I might start thawing out a tad……. Hold on a moment, I’ll be back presently!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means complaining about collecting for charities. How could anyone complain about an undertaking they’d volunteered for? On the contrary, I find involvement in voluntary work very therapeutic. It’s just nicer to undertake it surrounded by animals who like warmth, instead of in the company of polar bears and penguins.

Coming to think of it though, lions, tigers, alligators and venomous snakes prefer warm climates…… On second thoughts I’ll stick to collecting in the close proximity of Pingu and his mates.

It’s around thirty minutes since I commenced this blog, and having my posterior adjacent to the radiator is at last starting to pay dividends. Thankfully, now some sensation has returned to my feet, legs, buttocks and lower back.

I’ve also just heard a clanging sound emanate from the radiator below me. I’m unclear as to the root cause, but I’ve narrowed the noise down to either the agoraphobia that was gripping (not literally) my frozen testicles is no more; or the weight of me perching on the heater is starting to affect it’s stability.

For those wondering why my testicles would clang on impact with a radiator, I’d like to clarify they aren’t metallic. I was using artistic licence in an attempt to instill levity into the narrative……. For those who felt the quip was inappropriate, or were eating meatballs when they read this, I apologise unconditionally.

I’m collecting at the same venue in a couple of weeks. After today’s ‘enlightening’ experience, next time I’ll ensure my clothing companions are a proper winter coat, gloves, a hat and fourteen pairs of undies.

Categories: Blogs, fiction, humour, Karen's Cancer Fight

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