November has become quite an important month for two significant events: Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day; and secondly for Movember, growing a silly moustache for a very important cause. But I’ve probably been asked more this year than ever within this multi-cultural, youthful society in which we live, what the hell both are about.
This year my mum, in getting back into knitting after making a shit-tonne (think that’s the technical term) of small owls to help raise funds for the local owl sanctuary that they also sponsor, has also knitted a few poppies to raise money for the British Legion. For those that aren’t familiar with Remembrance Day, it takes place on 11th November each year, with two minutes of silence at 11am. In the UK, all radio programs stop and play nothing but air for the duration. The date signifies the signing of the armistice for the First World War, guns finally ceasing at the eleventh day on the eleventh month on the eleventh hour in 1918. As for the poppy, these are the flowers growing in Flanders Fields, Belgium, where some of the bloodiest battles took place. The slogan in Australia is, ‘Lest We Forget’, and the poppy is worn to honour those that gave their lives so that we can live. Fortunately for me, both my Grandfather and Great-Grandfather fought in and survived the second world war and first world war respectively.
As for Movember, this is the third year I’ve taken part. If you’re new to Movember, it’s a leading men’s health charity, funding more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men. Some knock your socks off statistics - globally, every minute, a man dies by suicide. Our fathers, brothers, sons and friends. In Australia, 75% of suicides are men. That’s balmy! We simply don’t speak about our problems enough. If you’d like to contribute to a great cause, it’ll only take a mo-ment, please check out the donation page here. It’s not all about the mo-ney, but any funds you choose to donate for Movember go towards research in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
What I’m reading: I’ve just finished Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last, and have picked up God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens and The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson. I’m flirting with Dickens’ David Copperfield but just can’t quite muster the enthusiasm for Dickens!
What I’m listening to: Virgin’s Richard Branson’s Business Laid Bare on audiobook at 150% speed (hark at me!) and some Lamb of God to spice up my morning when I’m tired.
Writing and writing...