You Can't Buy A Rain Coat Unless It's Raining Madam

Want to hear something really daft? My sister and I went to see Katie Tunstall at Thetford Forest on Friday night. As we arrived it was starting to spit with rain. A woman in the queue in front of us was told she couldn t take an umbrella in to the gig as

Want to hear something really daft?

My sister and I went to see Katie Tunstall at Thetford Forest on Friday night. As we arrived it was starting to spit with rain. A woman in the queue in front of us was told she couldn't take an umbrella in to the gig as it might restrict someone's view, which it totally fair, but one of the security staff happily informed her that she could buy a plastic poncho for £1. After walking round the site twice, unable to find the plastic poncho stall, I went back to the main entrance and asked where the stall was and a member of the security team went to find out. He came back five minutes later and said: "There isn't a stall, we are selling them here on the gate, but you can't have one because it's not raining! I pointed out that the sky was black and a downpour was probably imminent and I didn't want to have to lose my place in the crowd to come back again should there be a sudden downpour. But he was adamant. We couldn't buy one unless it was raining at the point of purchase. I did point out that following his logic that would mean I could only buy food if I was hungry or drink if I could prove that I was thirsty. All to no avail, no rain, no poncho.

Well, I did it. I gave my first pint of blood. I was absolutely terrified by the time last Wednesday evening came around and nearly didn't go, but my sister said she would come and hold my hand (or catch me should I faint) so I went along to the Walter Gidney Pavilion and offered myself up. In the end it was a small prick in the arm, a slightly light-headed feeling afterwards (which was quite nice after a hard day at the computer) and a bit of itchiness when the plaster came off, but that was it. The blood donor people are absolutely lovely and so grateful to anyone who takes the time and trouble to give blood as the blood stock is low at the current time.

I had a nice cup of tea and a biscuit afterwards and went home feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Apparently my blood is full of iron, which surprised me as I am a vegetarian, and it took just over six minutes for me to give my pint, and I also have good veins, which made it a bit less painful.

Around 8,000 pints of blood are used every day in hospitals up and down the country so it is really important that stocks are replenished regularly and the sad fact is that only four per cent of the population give blood two or three times per year.

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Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. It wasn't the most pleasant experience of my life but then again, we can all be uncomfortable for six minutes four times a year?

I was feeling well enough (just kidding) to drive on Friday and took up an invitation to visit Wicken Fen. If you haven't been, it's a pretty amazing place. You step out of the car and a peacefulness and stillness engulfs you. I was shown round by Howard Cooper who kindly explained the meaning of words such as 'lode', 'lighter' and 'sedge' and once I had come to grips with some Fen language we went for a walk. Wicken Fen is home to 7,800 species of animals, birds, amphibians, insects and plants and the views are amazing. After a lovely walk during which we heard a cuckoo and saw the Konik ponies we arrived back in time for tea and home-made cake. What a delightful end to the working week.

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