Baring it All! - Going Bald for Cancer Research UK

What would you give to see me lose all my long hair?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wigs and hats

Ok, I'm going to do a fresh post for this. I managed to get the video onto a cd at someone else's house, got home and put the disc into my rubbishy old computer, and it won't recognise it! :-(

I'm still trying, and am really half way there. Now, all I have to do is find somewhere to play the cd, so I can edit it and put it on Utube. Won't be long now, hopefully.

But, in the meantime, I thought I'd put all the pics of hats and wigs (and there are a few... :-) ) I've modelled for your amusement, onto a slide show.... so, here it is:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Head Shave!!!

update (23 Dec 2006):
Ok, found out that connection that looks like a usb is a firewire, often used for transferring videos, which I don't have on my poor old scrubby pc. However, having spoken to my sister, it might be possible to put the video cartridge another camcorder, and transfer it to the pc that way. If worst comes to worst, and I can't find anyone beforehand, I might be able to do it after Christmas, when my sister comes a-visiting.
Really sorry for the delay!

update (21 Dec 2006):
Sorry guys- I've just had the video out, and realise I have the wrong connections on my computer for putting it up here - I'm going to have to get some advice on this, and it may take a while. I'll get the video up as soon as I know how to do it... It's worth waiting for - the atmosphere in the hall was brilliant!!

I'm afraid you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the video - Got to get it first on the pc, then onto Utube (and they take a while to OK it!), but until then, here's some pics to go on with! :-D

Going on Stage - the Evil teacher takes a hostage
and is going to shave her head as punishment

An wicked cackle fills the air, as the teacher
takes the clippers to the hostage's head

Here it goes...
and the minions sweep the floor,
not daring to leave any evidence

Head back to get to grips with the scalp

The shorn-off hair is thrown onto the hostage's lap

Only one last bit...

That's about it!

No, Oh No! Put my hair back on my head!!!

Yahay! It's all over! Let me outta here!

The Evil teacher (Heta Lumsden) and the tortured hostage

Wearing the Mickey Mouse Santa hat - oops, no one told me it was on crooked!

More thanks? Yup.

This time not for financial support. I have some thanks to give for moral and emotional support....

First to my friend and colleague, Pip Brett, who fanned the initial enthusiasm from a little spark into the full blown fire. She's had to put up with my rantings, my frantics, my bouncing ideas off her (she has the classroom next to my prep room, so there was no escape), and also, we have Pip to thank for standing throughout the head-shave itself, and taking all the photos (else we'd have nothing to look at just now, whilst I'm waiting to sort out the videos!!)

Also, to my other workmates - Liz, Karen and Lynne for being so darned patient with me, and boosting me up when I thought no-one was going to sponsor me :-) They also had to put up with a lot of erratisism in the last month... and they put up with me magnanimously! That goes for Iain too, who has the classroom on the other side to me...

And thanks also to my sister, Helen, who had to pull me out of the doldrums when I started to doubt whether I could make a difference, and for checking up my blog virtually every day giving me moral support. It helped!

And thanks to everyone who's visited here regularly over the last couple of months (you know who you are :-D ), leaving messages to let me know I wasn't doing this alone - especially when I was ill, and had little contact with anyone else - you saved my sanity!

And thanks to everyone else, who either came up with ideas, or pushed me a little further, or encouraged me to speak out in front of assemblies (not something I'm a natural at!) and for those who took initiative to make collections on their own - you were all fantastic.

But best of all are my kids!!! (how could they not be!!?!). I was really worried about their reaction to my being bald, and not only being bald, but doing the shave in front of the whole school where they attended. They might have been embarrassed. They might not have wanted me to do it. That would have put me in a right old quandry, because their feelings come tops. They not only encouraged me - they teased me; they wanted to know how I was doing, they encouraged their friends, they got involved, and donated their small change pocket money. In fact, they were brilliant! And they have continued to be afterwards. They had a laugh over my bald head, tried on my wigs and continued to check how the fundraising's going!

I also want to thank Mrs Edmonds for allowing me to carry out the fundraising and event in the school.

I'm sure there's more I haven't mentioned yet, so I'll say a big thank you to everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

1 day... Bald-Eve

Ok, only going to say a couple of words...


Yoikes again!

(Anyone got a place to hide?????)

Going for a run in a few hours, to wear of some of the nervous energy. It's not just nervousness though. There's an excitement to it too... In less than 15 hours my hair will be whipped off my head - by drama teacher, Heta Lumsden (who was the only person brave enough to agree to do it in the end).... It will be a new era. You have no idea!

I'm already thinking differently. Like a person who has no hair, whose hair no longer dictates who I am. I'm even considering keeping no hair... because I'm realising I'm more than just my image. I'm more than a hairstyle, or face make-up. I am me. An inner me. Not just the me I project to the world. And I kinda like that me, and in that realisation can bear the thought of having myself exposed in the most dramatic, but baring way...

There's part of me that's scared of getting all emotional, and bursting into tears on stage. But there's also part of me that wants to shout out "It's just hair! It's not me!"

But, I also know I'm doing it out of choice, and it's not permenent. It will grow back (if I choose to let it).... although I'm hearing from a lot of people that it might grow back completely different than it is now. Some say it will grow back thickly, some say curly, some say it will be all grey, some say it will be soft... Well, whatever.... it is for me to find out. I'll let you know :-D

More than that, I know I'm shaving my head of all it's 73cm of hair for a very very good cause! If there isn't research, then what hope for the future? We all made a contribution... and we all hope that there will be a future where cancer doesn't rule our lives and deaths. I hope and pray that cures for all the different types of cancer will be found in the not too distant future, and that anyone who has cancer today might be helped by those discoveries. I hope, also, that there is a future for our children where the word 'cancer' doesn't strike up any more fear than the common cold - wouldn't that be cool? A world where you can go to the doctor with cancer, and (s)he would prescribe a medicine that would just reduce it within a week? Or, even better, where you could be vaccinated against it as any other illness...

The next post I do will be after the deed tomorrow - Wednesday- or rather, later today!!!

I hope to have pictures. I hope to have a video. I'll see what I can do. I know there's a lot of people who won't be able to be there. Hopefully, you can see what happens... I'll do my best, OK?

Thank you everyone who's made this possible.

and thank you everyone for supporting me.

I hope we've made a difference - I'm sure we have!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

2 days - Wow!

Fanfares a trumpeting!


We've surpassed the target!

Thank you to everyone who'd donated or otherwise supported me!

Over £1000 - thanks to the generosity of people like you!

My hair's coming off on Wednesday...

Watch this space for pictures (and hopefully a video!)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

3 days - hair down...

...ready to go!

Only 3 days to go... so my hair's come down again, ready to go :-)

My friend, Julia, came over yesterday, and we went back to a few places we used to build camps and stuff. It was really weird to see our old haunts - especially the place we built a huge stick and fern village, cutting steps into all the surrounding slopes, and scrumping apples from the nearby orchard... We spent a whole summer at this one!

Across fields...

...over gates...

We just had such a lot of fun exploring and remembering. And it was the perfect visit for the perfect time.

Afterwards we had a cuppa, and Julia took off her hat, revealing her baldy head. We had a little laugh over the fact I'd also be bald in a few days... and the afternoon reminded me exactly why I was doing this.

I'm going to stand side by side with my friend, bald as a baby, in the not too distant future... £1000 is going to Cancer Research UK... and I've learned a lot through the experience.

Just before Christmas (21st December I believe) Julia gets the results of the latest scans to find out how the chemo's going - Good luck my friend!!

By the way, it's not too late to donate - it all goes to Cancer Research UK !! The website is at

Saturday, December 16, 2006

4 days - Temperature's Red Hot!!!

Oh My God!!!

Just looked at the total, and We're nearly there - only £40 to go!!! This is fantastic! Amazing! Stupendous! and many more superlatives!

I have no doubt we'll hit the target whatsoever- I know of another couple of donations that have been offered, and my nephew and son tell me there's been some few from 6th formers too! And if what they say is right -


Yahaaaaaay!!! Hurrah!!! Yipeeee!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

5 days - - - - - - !!!

You may have noticed I've not been posting so much.

I reckon I'm a bit overwhelmed by it all actually....

Yesterday, I was in the staffroom, and saying to my workmates I'm close - very close! Only another hundred and something more....

Four people immediately said they hadn't put their sponsor up, and went to the form and wrote it on!!! I have to admit, a teeny weeny tear welled up in me, for all the generosity of people!!!

Karen and Lynne and Liz - a big part of their contribution is as a christmas present to the rest of us technicians... this year (I think I've mentioned this before) instead of pressies to each other, it was agreed the money that would have been used would go into my fundraising - So thank you so much for that! That was a very generous and appreciated thing to do!

There are too many people to name everyone in the post, but I'd just like to draw people's attention to all the names in the sidebar - this isn't everyone who's contributed - just the ones I've got the names of.... Without them, the target would not be reached.

I want to say a special thank you to all the students in the school who've made contributions. I am well aware that many of you have donated your last few pence, or your sweet money, and in some cases larger amounts. I appreciate that more than you can know. I'm well aware how much this is for you - when you don't have a lot, it is a lot more!!! So, a big thank you to you!
(and by the way, if you're going to come along on Wednesday - I think it's fair to say that we'll reach the target now!- bring along any other cash you'd like to donate and put it in the collecting boxes on the day!!! We might even just zip passed the target! :-D )

I have to go Christmas shopping now, but I'll try and write again soon!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

7 days - 1 week today!!!

Well, anyone who's been to Just Giving lately, and looked at my page, will see the thermometer's showing a rising temperature! Thing's are hotting up!!!

And, you might also note the day of the week is Wednesday. In exactly one week from now, I will be losing my mop (I'm convinced that the target of £1000 will be reached if we carry on the way we're going!)

Did I say before? I've talked with the IT technician aat school, and seems I'll be able to get the deed videoed, so as soon as possible afterwards I'll get it on Utube, and all the lovely people who've sponsored me, but can't actually be there, will get to have a ganders!!! (says me, quivering in me boots.....)

Photos will hopefully be up before I even leave the school....

Here's a picture of me from a physics teacher's slide show, which he's said I can a momento of my hair :-D

Saturday, December 09, 2006

11 days - A quick thank you!

I'm a bit busy today, but just wanted to say a special thank you to my third cousin, Tony Smith, who sponsored me unexpectedly, and very generously, yesterday!

We've only met through the internet about a year ago, and have never met personally - but we apparently share the same gypsy blood! :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

12 days - (12 days??!!!)


Yesterday evening Tawny Owl, leader of my daughter's Brownie pack, asked me if I would go in at the beginning of Brownies, and have my hair measured - they'd been talking about what I'd been doing... They measured it to be 73 cm! That's nearly two and a half feet! Even I didn't think it was quite that long!!

And what a lovely surprise I had when I went to fetch my daughter at the end of the session - they had decided that the way to sponsor me was by donating 50p per centimeter, handing me a cheque for £37!!! Thank you so, so much 1st Wadhurst Brownies - You're all wonderful (especially you, Sally!) Tawny then also filled in my sponsor form, so I could get the tax on it reclaimed (which will be another £8-£9... not to be sneezed at!)

Then, whilst I was there, another lovely lady, Eileen Hemsley, also said she would sponsor me. Thankyou Eileen - it all helps!

13 days - final countdown

My fellow science technicians and myself have agreed between us to put what we would have spent on pressies for each other into the funds - So, big thanks to Liz, Karen and Lynne!!! (I put my contribution on today - the £15 becoming £19.23 with the tax relaimed! Liz wrote hers onto the sponsor form along with a seperate personal sponsorship (thanks Liz!) and Lynne and Karen have said they'll do theirs online.... Which will be another £38 +

Also, today, Natalie brought in the funds she'd collected from around Ticehurst and her family with her sister, Donna (?) - another £55.07 - Excellent contribution and very well done Natalie - A huge thank you to you!!!

I also checked the sponsor form in the sports center - that's up to nearly £20 now - thanks to the staff and people passing through.

Thanks also to my sister, Karen, who's given a generous donation today.

I've added the above to the funds so far, and this brings the total to about £690... with promises of more to come...

(and also, I haven't yet added any tax that might be regained from the sponsor forms... I'm hoping to persuade a few more people to tick the box)

Getting there... step by step...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

14 days - Officially over half way!!

Ooo, I must've been asked half a dozen times about my hair being shaved off today, and with it brought mixed feelings.
Yes, I love my hair (sometimes :-D ), and yes, I will shave it off in front of the school, and yes, I am a bit nervous, but no I won't back out (oh er, if the target's reached, of course!)

I was over at the main staff room today, and a teacher said to check out one of the offices, as there was something for me there. When I went there, 3 largely stuffed envelopes were brought out and given to me... 3 envelopes full of coins the kids have collected themselves from each other - £43.22!!! Nice going kids! And a big thank you to all who collected, and all who donated - you're wonderful!

A Big, special well done in particular to these Stars:
, David and TJ, who collected one Friday lunchtime
Dion Baker, Matt Jordon & Amber King, who collected one Friday break time
and whoever it was who collected last (?) Monday lunchtime and in afternoon registration period

While I was in this office, the visiting school nurse, hearing what I am going to do, immediately dug into her purse and made a contribution too! What a lovely gesture!

3 more people have signed up on the staffroom sponsor form - thanks guys! And a student has actually put her name down in the 6th form Common room... again, thank you!

So, all in all, I can add another £68.22 to that collected! Getting there, everyone! :-D

Sunday, December 03, 2006

17 days... on your marks... get set...


ha ha!

Not exacty running :-)

Though I was this morning...

Last night I was watching a film (something about a monkey) with my youngest, and fell asleep half way through. I have a vague recollection of her climbing off my bed and saying goodnight.... and then nothing until the morning! I woke up to the sound of wind blustering hard, and things knocking around outside, and wondered briefly if the cover of the swing seat was still there [how many times have I thought to take that in???!!]

Bleary -eyed, I wander downstairs to get a cuppa to take back to bed, only to see the front door wide open...

First thought was the dogs. I call the dogs...


I call the kids....


I run upstairs to check the kids. They're there (thank goodness! :-) ), but no dogs. Damn! The Jack Russel's been trouble from the word 'go!'

The whole reason I took him on in the first place was because he could jump my sister's 6 foot fence (and frequently did!) and he could get through a crack between the gate and it's post that I couldn't stick my fingers through (and no, I haven't got gi-normous hands!!! )

So, round the back, I have a special fence that alerts him if he gets too close. He's only run over it a couple of times, and is normally pretty good.... but the number of times I've had to run down the road in my slippers to catch the little bugger when he's escaped out the front door (it only takes a moment to forget, and it only takes a moment for him to slip between the legs and out...), and the number of times one of the kids has run without shoes down the street to catch him before he creates havoc on the roads (or worse...). He has absolutely no road sense whatever!

Back to this morning - the Jack was gone. But so was our other dog... good, faithful, well-behaved (normally!) and an absolute darling [ok, ok... we've had him since he was a puppy, and you can't help being extra attached to a dog that's chewed up all your shoes, eaten the carpets, dug holes in the walls - all at my mum's I hasten to add :-D - and come through it the other side as completely adorable!]. I called. I looked. I checked outside. Nope - little blighters had skipped it!

I was just about to put on the wellies [well, I would've if I could find any that fit :-) ] and start the hunt. I'd done this before, spending hours hunting, only to have the Jack return when he was hungry. But, in the meantime you worry, and anything could've happened, couldn't it?

Then I heard a beep. Could've been the house phone batteries running down. I was going to ignore it when I realised it could also have been an alert from my mobile. So, hunt the phone time... I'd used it last night, when I got back from my sister's, so it had to be around somewhere!! The worst thing about the mobile is that there's no reception in the house. All around the house, but not in it... The third company I'd tried as well....

Found the phone, and there were 6 (yes, six) missed phonecalls!! How could it be that not one of them had got through?
And they were all from the same number - a mobile number. A lovely person called Carol (A huge THANK YOU!) had found my dogs. She'd been trying to reach me, and finally had to give up, and drop them off at a police station 10 miles away in Tunbridge Wells! And what's worse, was she was dropping them off on the way to work, and it was only 5.45am! Poor thing!

So, rung the police, and found the station's not 'open' until 10am, but spoke to a very nice lady who took details and said she'd ring back. Finally, 10am arrives, and I go to fetch the dogs with youngest... Forgot about Christmas, didn't I?! Queues going way back... So, what should've taken 20 minutes, max, took an hour. Collecting the dogs wasn't too bad - we got to look about the hundred year old police station a wee bit, and see all the tiny old cells prisoners used to be kept in. The two dogs were joyful to see us - muddy paws all up our nice clean clothes (which happened to be wet on the backside anyway, because some idjut (ehm - me...) left the sun-roof open... and soon we were away home.

So, the little critters took up most of the morning. And the rest of day's been spent catching up...

Hopefully tomorrow will be a more fruitful day, in the way of things happening (or perhaps being a little less eventful :-) ).

(and maybe I'll even find someone else to sponsor me! :-) )


Friday, December 01, 2006

19 days...oh well...

So, you know I said "Come Hell or High Water!" ?

Well, that was a wash-0ut!

I got up Thursday, dropped off various kid on route to work, and by the time I arrived, I already felt awful. By the time I'd said hello to my work-mates, all energy had sapped out of me... So, my lovely boss sent me home!

So, why didn't I write a post yesterday?

Well, tell the truth, I didn't have a clue what to say. I looked at the stats, and saw most of my visitors are coming from the States, and not from my local area, where one might expect a bit of support. I don't know if it's a week of being ill, or whether it's just that nothing's been happening at all on the Just Giving site, or that I haven't been able to do anything myself, not being up to it an' all...
But, I just haven't got the inspiration to write anything.

Maybe I need other peoples' input, their feedback, to keep me going? Or maybe I just need a kick up the backside to stop me moping (it isn't like me at all!)

So, I'm going to leave it for today, and maybe I'll think of something tomorrow...

If there's anyone reading this that lives nearby, please say "hello!" in the comments!