My Mum. The hero.


Gorman Family 2.jpg

My Mum is a quiet hero.

She won’t read this unless one of her more connected pals (or me) print it off for her.

But.  She is.  A hero.

I’m inclined to call her a heroine but I think that word may be becoming old school; like actress.  Most actresses prefer the moniker, actor, these days and I think that’s fitting for my mum to extend the convention.

So.  She’s a hero.

Some 30 years or so ago she started working at a homeless refuge called The Matt Talbot Association in Leith, in a building, an old church, that, I think, was called the Calton Centre, owing to its view of Calton Hill perhaps.

In any case, a homeless refuge, where men and women could drop in from the streets and share a cup of soup, some sandwiches and a little TLC.

It was unfunded.  So she took it upon herself to establish an annual wine and cheese party at Holy Cross Church Hall where the good people of the parish lavishly invested in the opportunity to win in an evening of booze fuelled raffles (entirely inappropriate given that many of the beneficiaries were alcoholics.)

Apart from the odd chocolates every single prize ever was bevvy.

We also had an indescribably indescribable Tombola where, if you were lucky, you might win a scented candle or a Big Slipper or a salt sellar or a moon bear purse or a ill-conceived picture frame containing a poorly worded aphorism.

One year my great friend, Mike Donoghue, came along at the end of the evening with a pal, a little refreshed, and proceeded to win a TV.

The star prize.

Two minutes through the door, ten pounds lighter of wallet, but a winner.

His embarrasement was tangible and he immediately put it back to re-raffle.

I’d have kept it.

You pays your money, you take your chances.

Anyway, the event  was an immediate hit and she and my dad persevered as we, gradually coming of age, as her children and in-law children, became her supporting cast.  My Dad: impresario in chief, and a born showman took centre stage and MC’ed the evenings to great effect.

Year after year the events raised between £1,000 and £3,000. but the day came, some 20 -25 years later, when the Talbot Association ran its course and that more or less coincided with my father also moving on to an observational, rather than participatory, role from the great parish of St Peters in the sky.

But this was meant, I think, because my Dad left this mortal coil at the venerable St Columba’s Hospice and, with the timing so appropriate, we shifted our new found energies to raising the evening’s funds for St Columba’s.

However, in March this year we decided the event, in round about its 30th year, had perhaps run its course.  My Mum had made, perhaps, £50,000 for The Talbot Association and had, in one fell swoop, funded its requirements year in, year out for the best part of a quarter of a century.

St Columba’s, being more organised, was able to confirm that in the seven latter years that they had become the beneficiary, had banked a few pounds short of £20,000.

My mum doesn’t go for bigging herself up, but, as she approaches her 80th birthday, and having finally taken a rest, I think she deserves a wee tip of the hat in acknowledgement of her determined achievements.

And I also think the generosity of the parish of Holy Cross should not go unacknowledged.

Of course, she has not achieved this alone.  Many people have been part of her team; Vic, Dougie, Gerry, Arthur, Annie, Robert, Chris, Angelo and more, many more.

Well done Mum.

 

Who will win £100 and help Pego’s millions for St Columbas Hospice?


I’m running a sweep to guess when I will hit 1,000,000 views of my blog and the proceeds will be donated to St Columbas Hospice.

The reason I am doing this is because my blog first took off as I wrote about my dad dying whilst he was in St Columba’s.

So the deal is this.  Go to this link and Pledge £10 to guess when the magic millionth reader will  arrive and the closest to the time and day will win £100 and a bottle of champagne (put up by me and not taken out of the proceeds!).

Now, to give you a little help we currently sit at 964,124 views (at 8pm on Sunday November 7th).  I am currently averaging 786 views a day but it has been higher and lower.

At this rate I will hit Pego’s millions in 45 days. (About 21st December roughly?)

But will it be sooner and at what time?

You can enter as many times as you like.  Good luck.

New year in the merde


Well, it was cold at 11.30 on new year’s day here in Scotland. So, doing this sort of sillines wasn’t a good idea, except that we made a fortune For Maggies Cancer Care Centres. So it wasn’t so daft after all was it?

A very pertinent point Pete. (And nice use of alliteration).

whos-idea-was-this.jpg

But triumphal all the same…

triumphant.jpg

It was OK for the RNLI. They were prepared for the weather…

lifeguard.jpg

In fact they were loving it…

rnli-loving-it-2.jpg

The Speedos made an appearance as promised.

speedos-sm.jpg

I even got me tits oot fur the giruls…

happy-as-larry-small.jpg

But they reciprocated!

bunnies.jpg

And we all went away happy for another year.

happy.jpg

For those of you who made a pledge, would you mind sending me a cheque to the house made out to Maggies Centres. If you don’t know my home address call me. I ain’t publishing it here. It might attract crackpots!

Thank you all for your support once again.

It’s all on film here but a tad slow to load.

Thanks for this Doug!

And here too…

Thanks Mike

And here

The season of goodwill is upon us and I sincerely ask for your support


Many of you will be aware of the unique, and I mean unique, event that is “The Loony Dook”.

Here’s a picture of it from the past.

loony-dook.jpg

First off, it is probably the least PC event held this, or any other, year and will no doubt at some point in the future be renamed “The not overly sensible swim.”

And that would be fine if that was what it was called, because that is what it is.

It is the coming together of several hundred people, on the morning of January 1st , at 11.30 am to swim in the River Forth at South Queensferry.

For the record, here is the weather forecast for the next five days to show you just what we are letting ourselves in for.

loony-dook-weather-foirecast.jpg

Of course, it might get warmer, it might get cooler. One thing is for sure. It ain’t gonna be Boca Raton!

So, why?

Why indeed?

And where do you, dear reader, come in?

The answer is simple.

Charity!

My dear mate Terry Bryant had a nasty dust with cancer for a great deal of this year and decided he should bring some of his mates to their aid in terms of fundraising to support the respite centre, The Maggie’s Centres, who came to his aid when he needed them.

So, I am to bare my chest, my arse and my fortitude to the freezing Scottish winter so that you lot can have a laugh at my expense and Terry can help out Maggies.

Do me a favour.

If you’ve enjoyed even a moment of my ridiculous waffling on gibberish this year, post a comment committing to sponsor me in my moment of madness; sorry, non-conformism.

If not, have a happy Christmas all the same.

PS If, you’r reading this on your return to work after the New Year and you wished you could have helped. It’s not too late. I’ll be posting the evidence of my participation on this blog so you can be sure I delivered and I’ll happily accept sponsorship post event!.