Saturday, September 30, 2006

A blog about blogging

I managed to put a visitor counter on this blog (see below). I think bloggers all need encouragement.

It looks like I am advertising some sort of diet web site, can't I do chocolate, don't I get a choice. Chocolate or some sort of fatty substance would be so much more appropiate.

Here is a picture of my biscuits to compensate.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 4

Our team all sat down the other day and discussed our experience of Annual Appeal. War stories if you like, below are some of the highlights. These all happened this year.

My Dad knocked on a door and was made to make the dog sit before they would give him some money. For those who know my dad, this is extra funny, in fact I would have paid to watch this.

My Dad was also asked if he was a musician. He replied, rather nervously, that he was, he got an extra pound for playing the cornet.

Heather got chased from a house by a bat. (She got all unecessary).

Ray knocked on a house where a little girl opened the front door. Ray asked if her mummy or daddy where in and she said "yes". She went to a door at the end of the hallway and opened the door to reveal her dad in the bath.

Ray also helped a woman who was having a hypo-glycaemic attack (I would like to thank my doctor friend for the spelling here). Ray himself is diabetic and new exactly what to do. Sadly, it was the woman having the attack and the bloke in the bath.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I have a great job ...

As part of the programme I run, I went with a group of students up Moel Famau. Great view from the top but it was extremely windy.

On the way down looking at the fantastic view my colleague said "We get paid to do this!!!OpenDocument

I'm off collecting tonight, if my legs stop shaking.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 3

Thanks John for the suggestion of looking at the rebuffs. I have come across some misunderstandings mainly:

Firstly there was the typical misunderstanding. "Sorry, I thought you had come to read the meter". Funny thing here is that I did was not wearing my uniform, just chinos and army polo shirt. Perhaps she was waiting for the gas or electicity man.

Secondly there was the unusual misunderstanding. "No I won't contribute, I support a lot of charities. You can't join the lot can you?". I didn't ask him to join the band or sing of the songsters just some of his small change. The level of his committment is implicit in the question "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their annual appeal". Perhaps I should need to make sure the question is more explicit. "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their annual appeal by putting your lose change in this money box." Perhaps I could add "Although we do have an opening on B flat Bass if you fancy a blow."

Thirdly there was the lady who said "Oh! can I give it a miss today, thanks". It appears that she thinks the Salvation Army will be knocking at her door every day until she gives in and donates some money. Sadly I won't be able to do this as tomorrow I am out in another area - doing door to door collecting.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 2

Last night whilst out collecting I have been challenged with the following questions:

What words do I use to ask strangers for money?
If I did not give this any thought the following words would come out of my mouth, "Umm, money, erhhh, put in box, No? OK Bye"

So, I have settled on the following "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal?", smile and wait for the answer. The thought here is that its a closed question which prompts the answer yes or no, so either way I am away quickly from the door or someone can start a conversation if they want.

The problem is that as the evening goes on, "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal?" becomes more and more indistinct, especially when it becomes cold (it was worse in February).

The other big question raised in door to door collection is how long do you wait outside a door after you have knocked and rung the bell. Especially when you know the occupants have seen you approach the house and are ignoring you. Well I have been giving this some thought.

The obvious approach is to sing on the doorstep (out loud or in your head). You could get through a couple of verses of:

  • Guide me O thou great Jehovah

  • Shine Jesus Shine

  • or When the music fades

Depending on your age etc.

Although this has its draw backs. I have found myself surprised by someone answering the door (why that should be, especially as it has been me who has rung the bell and knocked on the door, is strange) and am not ready with "Would you like to help the Salvation Army in their Annual Appeal" and it comes out as "Oh! would you like to help the Pilgrim through this barren land, No! Sorry, Doh!".

Play a game on your mobile phone (No, not a good idea)

So I recommend the follow approach, Don't go near music, too dangerous:

  1. Approach the door

  2. Knock and ring the bell as already discussed

  3. Notice how the door could do with a lick of paint

  4. Oh! I really don't like simulated wood effect double glazing

  5. Where is the spider in that cobweb

  6. Is Arteta best placed on the right or left of that diamond formation or is his best position in the centre of the pitch where he bosses the game, but they do get good results with that formaiton and Andy (sorry Andrew) Johnson does well on his own especially support by Cahill coming late into the box. We have spent a lot of money for Beattie and he does try really hard......

  7. Oh my goodness how long have I been here, where is Gill is she back at home eating my chocolate biscuits.

  8. Time to go to the next house.

I assure you the time goes so much quicker this way.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Guidance for Annual Appeal 1

I have changed the title of this blog to Annual Appeal since I found out that I am stupid.

September is always a busy month as us Sallys find ourselves raising money for the "Annual Salvation Army Appeal". If you are not a Sally then this will not make any sense, but if you are, here is some guidance.

Do and Do nots


  1. Smile and say "Thank you very much, Good night" even if you do not get any money.

  2. Wonder why so many families are called "Friedland"

  3. Knock on the door and ring the bell.

  4. Always ignore stickers on the door that say "We don't buy anything from salesmen"

  5. Be careful when knocking on glass doors (mind you, I have not broken one yet)

  6. Try and beat the Littlewoods Pools or the milk man when he is on the same "round".

  7. When collecting with a partner on the same side of the road, try and make sure that they get to the house with a) the person cleaning the car b) the gang of lads smoking at the front door c) the house with the Fiesta rather than the BMW or Mercedes.

  8. If collecting in a uniform always smile politely when mistaken for a policeman.

  9. If they drop their money, always let them pick it up.

  10. Address the man of the house as "Sir", if he is wearing a shirt and tie.
Do not

  1. Leave the gate open or kick the milk bottles if your request for money is denied.

  2. Leave the house by one garden gate go to the next garden gate and end up back at the same house (did that yesterday).

  3. Get stuck miles from the car when it starts to throw it down with rain (did that on Tuesday).

  4. Run away from the house cheering or doing "high fives" when you get given twenty quid.

  5. Get caught picking you nose when the house holder answers the door.

  6. Fall into garden pond.

  7. Try to keep a count of how much you have so far.

  8. Walk across a prize lawn.

  9. Scale a garden wall to get to the next house

  10. Don't say "Cheers!" when you leave.
The best house

  1. Christian literature in the hallway.

  2. Doors answered by older people.
The worst house

  1. Knock on the door, a light comes on, nobody comes to the door

  2. The householder watches you come up the drive whilst they are watching television and refuses to open the door.

  3. Houses with dogs (no matter the size).

  4. When the children answer the door.

  5. When you have to do those intercom things at the gate before you get to the front door.

  6. No lights on at all in the house.

  7. The house when the man answers the door with no trousers on (happened yesterday).

  8. When the occupier says they can't give because they are eating their dinner. Usually we have come straight from work and missed dinner.

Worst response

  1. Sorry the is nobody in

  2. Sorry my wife is out

  3. My Dad said there is nobody in

  4. Do the Salvation Army save fallen women? Save one for me (Always laugh politely)

  5. If someone asks you to sing a song for a donation, make sure you know the amount before starting to "Shall We Gather" (Gill)
Games to play

  1. Guess the age of the house holder, based on the type of car, type of house, number of small toys lying around the garden.

  2. Chasing your partner collector down the street when he does not wait long enough for people to answer the doors.

  3. Don't walk in the cracks in the pavement.

  4. Create a blog entry whilst collecting.

  5. Wonder how much time some people must have by the extraordinary tidiness of their garden.

  6. Admire double glazing.

  7. Watch bits of Eastenders, The Bill, Emmerdale as you go round.

  8. Guess what people are having for dinner.

  9. Guess what the appeal is going to be called next year (Self Denial, Red Sheild, Annual Appeal)

I plan on creating an exhaustive list above if you have any additions please let me know and I will update.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Your results:
You are Superman

The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz