19 Mar 2011

Hestia does...Comic Relief

Friday was Red Nose Day, where we were encouraged to do something for money to raise funds for charitable projects at home and abroad.  Sonshine went to school dressed as Elvis and I pulled on my big gypsy skirt and hoop earrings and did Tarot readings via e-mail and facebook.

Tartarus, of course, did nothing.

He's worked in the ports of many an African country and he is not swayed by pictures of fly-flecked children with distended bellies, nor bereaved mothers weeping over tiny coffins.

I, of course, was.

By the time Sonshine kissed me on the cheek to head off to an overnight fund-raiser at the primary school (4 primary school classes - 8pm until 8am - madness!) my face looked like a boiled sausage because I'd been crying so much.

And as the night went on, the weeping got progressively noisier and snotterier.  Tartarus calmly drank his glass of red wine and sat unfazed as I worked my way through the tissues.

'You can throw money at this all you like,' he said. 'But the problems in Africa won't go away until they run their governments differently.  There's corruption like you wouldn't believe. And what about piracy? That makes our job bloody impossible down there.'

I nodded my agreement and blew my nose.

David Tennant read through a charge sheet of children in a hospital ward - all suffering from malaria.  He said that if you hadn't already donated, you should donate.

I nudged Tartarus.  'He's looking right at you, you know.  And he's from Paisley. And he was Dr Who.  You should do what he says.'

Elvis - or is it Morrisey?
Tartarus declined (I had, of course already donated money from our joint account at 9am yesterday morning, but *ssssh* he didn't know that)

The phone lines got swamped and terrier-fringed Claudia Winkleman (I long to elastic-band up that fringe like you would a Yorkshire Terrier's) urged us to use the text option.

Jimmy Carr came on.....Tartarus perked up.....Jimmy Carr cracked a joke about how Comic Relief did send aid to 57 countries -'it used to be 58 but Somalia's pirates keep abducting people and boats, so fuck 'em.'

And there it was. Tartarus's point of view, represented at last on Comic Relief.  He reached over and picked up the phone....and texted 'yes' to 70010.  A cool tenner thanks to Mr Carr.

He stared at his phone.

'Nothing's come off the balance.  Do you think it went through?'

By this time there was another film about dying children and I was howling into my wine glass.

'Do you think I should just have used capitals like they've got on the screen? I bet you it's because I didn't use capitals, it's not gone through.'

Reader - we don't text.  When I text it takes me ages because I type things out in full.  With full grammar.

And paragraph spacing.

Tartarus texted again.  Still nothing happened.

We were now awaiting Armstrong and Miller...Tartarus had heard that it was the chavvy airmen - my favourites.  By this time, my eyes were reduced to tiny pink slits in my boiled potato face.

Tartarus's phone made a wee noise.  Ten pounds had been successfully donated.

Armstrong and Miller came on and did their skit.  Not the Airmen.  Here it is:-)

Tartarus's phone made another wee noise.

I stuffed my hankie into my mouth as I watched Tartarus light up like a Christmas tree as he realised that he had actually donated two lots of £10.00 to those feckless Kenyans.


Smithy slagging George Michael couldn't have made me laugh any harder.

You can still donate to Red Nose Day - honestly, every tiny bit helps!


  1. Snigger. 20 quid! Due to infrequent texter's itchy trigger finger! Brill :) I had repeatedly explain to my youngest who cried with me several times as the David Tennant pieces were shown that we can't text those numbers from US 'cell phones' we have to go online and so it through paypal....still didn't stop me going online at your 2am to give an extra tenner than I originally planned to (we have 20 during filming of 24 Panel People because they showed the Tennant film then & I was overjoyed at something showing live in my timezone :)) Seeing a total at the end if RND of £74 million makes me so proud to be British, that my little nation can be so generous and that we gave people like Comic Relief co-ordinarily such clever wats to get us to donate more than we anticipated and then saving & changing lives with the money :)

  2. Good on ya! You did brilliantly with the tarot card reading and like you, I'm in drunken floods of tears during the show frantically texting whilst wielding the bank card.
    Sonshine does look scarily like Morrissey.
    It does make you proud to be British, recession or not, we are unfailingly generous with both time and money and we blooming rock. xxxx

  3. I donated, I always do, and also helped out at Ton's nursery for their fund-raising (we made cakes).

    We watched the last bit of Comic Relief when we got home from the pub yesterday, and Dave pointed out that there is a lot more of them showing us how bad things are, and a lot less of them showing what the actually do with the money.

    I think Comic Relief is brilliant, but they are now beginning to rely on the same guilt tactics that WWF etc use, and I'm not sure it's a good thing.

    People's knowledge of the corruption T was talking about it makes them hesitate, and I think they'd be more likely to donate if they knew what there money was doing to help.

  4. With you all the way.. sat in my overindulged home in front of a roaring fire, half pissed on Absolut Vodka ... ,my existence could not be more removed from those poor souls .. I love comic relief .. I love the affect it has on this nation xx

  5. Poor Tartarus, I do hope you encouraged him to text back and ask for a refund.
    We have our own Red Nose Day in New Zealand, but it's not until November, and the UK show doesn't make it to our TVs.

    I always used to contribute when I lived in the UK, but I stopped.

    I think *gasp* Tartarus is right. Sort out the corruption first.

    I also think Sonshine is the spitting image of a young Tommy Cooper

  6. Dearest Ali, what a brilliant post. Bless you with your "boiled sausage" and "boiled potato" face! You are funny.

    I always donate and always cry. The Smithy/George Michael sketch was genius.

    I'm proud to be British too it was an amazing amount to raise. Love you xx

  7. Oops,
    sorry, forgot to give you my condolensces about Tartarus' premature extratextulation.

    Thanks for the clips

  8. TSB - he got over it by going out the following evening and spending a lot more. On drink. Allegedly to keep the malaria mosquito (which is, as you know, RIFE, in Scotland) at bay.

    Christina - I can't believe how much was raised - it's a phenomenal amount.

    Ruby T - it's easy to forget that people would rather do you a good turn than a bad one when you listen to the news or read the papers. But nice teenagers don't sell copy as much as thuggy ones do. Britain is not broken :-)

    LM - there doesn't appear to be a cake materialised here with my name on it *sulky lack of cake face*

    Vix - he came home from his sleepover at the school with his nails painted. His father was looking a bit concerned.....

    Tempest - I've been looking for you! I see on FB that you have moved house. Aintcha coming back to Blighty then?

    Ali x

  9. it was Jack Dee that got to me.....and yes the George Michael made me howl with laughter.....I remember in NY, me and my mate the doctor trying to explain to some friends the joy and pain and baths of baked beans that is red nose day but somehow I think it got lost in translation!! x

  10. The Miranda bit was so funny I was crying with laughter during it. Mind you, that's better than just crying - I was bawling through most of the videos. I should be banned from watching these things; I always feel like a limp rag afterwards.


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