Geoffrey the ginger giraffe had a very shiny eye and….

if you ever saw him, all of them you would buy!

On one rainy monday morn

We made the oven nice and warm

In went all our little friends

Selling out like the latest trends.

Lauren and Lois spent all morning making giraffes and with Joseph and Christian, walked around the village in the pouring rain selling festive giraffes for beating bowel cancer and raised £72.00!  A  brilliant effort by 3 teenagers and 1 wannabe teenager.  Who dare says the yoof of today are only interested in themselves?  A massive thanks all. xx

YouTube has been invaded by bananagiraffes

I am now the lucky recipient of not 1 but 2 youtube videos!

First one by Lauren Pettitt age 13 and pretty fantastic it is too! I think there is part 2 coming soon.  She also took all the photographs of the day, quite a few are on her movie and some more are on the bananagiraffes facebook page.


Second one by Tom Van Kaenel (age …no I can’t do that)from  huge thanks for all the support on the day.


Bananagiraffes can play the piano (well badly)

Huge thanks to everyone who donated money today to Beating Bowel Cancer, not least BBC Radio Oxford and Malcolm Boyden who publicised it so well yesterday.  Will let you know how much we raised later. Photos coming later for Decembeard, courtesy of our photographer for the day Lauren Pettitt.  And I may dare point you towards a YouTube video courtesy of Tom Van Kaenel from Hopeful Notes and the Sea2Sea challenge.  Massive thanks for his excellent compere duties today and drumming up such great support.

Here is the audio clip from the BBC Radio Oxford telephone interview after the piano knock about.  Listen out for Lois, very moving.

And Challenge number two – watch out for news of a 40 foot Banana Giraffe poking out of our roof!

Now, I need to put you straight on something

I have been complimented for the way I am dealing with this bit of cancer problem.  Some of you have even worried that I might be hiding what I am really feeling and not doing my fair bit of mourning or raging.

I recognise this as the “there but for the grace of God” syndrome.  I had it myself when colleagues or relatives got ill.  You can’t imagine how you would deal with it, and assume the ‘victim’ has courage beyond your wildest dreams or nightmares.

So here’s the good news should you ever have any bad news, it’s not true!  You would almost certainly cope the same as me. I have had the honour of meeting some inspirational women going through similar treatments as well as those in remission and without exception they are getting on with it and living without the heavy burden of ‘why me’ dragging them down. Mary, Liz, Marion, Kathy, Mindy and Jackie, you have made it easy for me to follow you and I am enormously grateful for you giving me a crash induction course into the cancer club when I became a recent recruit.

The body and brain is designed to cope better with reality, than “whatifery”.  So living and curing yourself becomes a full time occupation and leaves very little space for your brain to indulge in fantasies.

For example, there is absolutely no point in pretending you have the intellectual wordsmithery of Stephen Fry and then getting upset when you can’t finish the Sun crossword!  Or that you are as fit as a butcher’s dog and start whimpering when you can’t lift your back legs off the floor. The sooner you come to accept reality and get on with noticing the kindness and warmth that surrounds you like a protective shield, and spot the amusement that can be found in unexpected quarters, the better for you and everyone. 

I have never been one for taking things too seriously and I find that cancer only exacerbates that character trait in me.  I am not saying everyone will deal with it in the same way, but the more people who realise the harder journey by far is for those watching, caring and worrying for you,  the better.

I have known people who positively thrive on being unhappy, enjoy a good argument and wallow in their own misfortunes.  But my approach is the complete opposite.    The way I see it, there can be few things more unpleasant than living with a grumpy old goat with a life threatening illness, so quite seriously I need to have a good old laugh to make things a little easier around here for all of us. So please feel free to take the micky and point out when I am being a bore or having a sense of humour crisis as it makes me feel more normal and I like that.

Taken at the Churchill Hospital last week!