Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fundraising target reached. Or not.

Happy days. I've sort of reached my fundraising target. Well, you've reached my fundraising target. I haven't contributed a thing. 

I should rectify that. Can I contribute to my own sponsorship target? It seems a bit pointless - why not just give the money direct to the charities? Feels like cheating, contributing to your own target.

Anyway I've/you've only sort of reached "the" fundraising target, because it's only more than £1000 if you include the gift aid.

So I suppose we haven’t reached the target. Or have we? Gift aid is a very confusing thing in that regard. 

Let’s push on regardless. Let’s make it a definite reaching of the fundraising target. If you haven't yet donated and were thinking that you might, please consider clicking here, right now. 

If you don’t have the first clue why I’m asking you to do this, click here.

Amy, my 9 year old, asked if I got to keep any of the money I raise over the course of the year.
"What, not even £50?"

She seemed non-plussed by this.

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation. I know none of you hope to or have any wish to see your money again, but the prospect of giving it all back twofold made a genuine contribution to my abstinence, especially early on. 

When I realised having a drink before 1 Jan 2015 would cost me upwards of a grand, the chance of failing to make it through the year fell to zero. The way to this man's willpower is through his wallet.

Seriously, your generosity has astounded me. I expected to be begging for money come December to make the total. I frankly had no idea I had so many rich friends.

If you would like to read a blog post about my blog, written by someone from the sober bloggers directory, who had an issue with my attitude to not drinking, who I then wrote a response to, who then posted up my response as a separate blog post, click here.

If you'd rather ruminate on whether gift aid should be acknowledged in helping measure the complicated allegiance of necessity, creativity, friendship and opportunity which characterises the exchanges between a fundraiser, sponsor and charity, or whether it simply a government-licenced side-effect of altruism, here's some thinking time for you. Use it wisely...




And, relax. Till next time.

Friday, 18 July 2014

World of Sober

There's a whole world of sober bloggers out there. I have affiliated.

I'm not sure if by only being sober for a year I'll be perceived as a bit of a tourist.

We'll see. Anyway they want me to post this link on my blog as a condition of affiliation which suggests to me the whole thing is a SEO scam anyway.

We'll see.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Charles Bukowski
Just finished Charles Bukowski’s Factotum. It’s a good book. I read Post Office and Women when I was younger. 

I find it much harder to enjoy a novel now. I generally turn to biographies, long-form journalism and reference books. My current bedside reading is a bunch of factual material about drugs and alcohol, but I couldn’t help picking up some fiction on the subject. Hence Bukowski.

The trouble with reading a classic like Factotum is the tendency to over-layer it with so many filters - why it was written, how it was received, what it provoked, what the author was (not) trying to say. Then there's the difference in my own response to Bukowski’s writing now and how I felt twenty years ago. It’s difficult not to be distracted by changes in personal and cultural frames of reference. 

Whenever I’m in danger of losing myself in a piece of fiction I can't help thinking about the processes outside it. It's not enough to enjoy the content for what it is. I have to know how it was made, why it succeeds, how others enjoyed it and what the author was trying to achieve in creating it. 

I first noticed this at gigs. I used to be entertained by the music. Then I found I was more becoming more interested in the logistics of making an event happen.

Fiction is reduced to a code for what truth the author is trying to communicate to the reader. It might be nothing more interesting than “look how good I am at making you turn these pages. Tell your friends to buy my book.” It might be something more complex. 

That said, without an interesting text, the context is irrelevant.