Carpe Diem: Donate my hair

For as long as I can remember, my hair has been long. Like, long-long. A little bit weird-long.

But not long ago, a pal on my basketball team challenged me to a deal: if I cut my hair and donate it for wigs for cancer patients, she’d do the same!

I’d been wanting to do this for a while, but not really put much thought into it. It always feels a bit of a waste when I trim my hair… And I do suppose I take having long hair for granted; I know I’d be gutted if ever I lost it all. So when I received the challenge, I went for it (probably to my friend’s surprise…)!

Anyhow, my pal gave us a month while she grew out her super-fast-growing hair, which gave me a bit of time to do some research. In the states, I’d immediately think of Locks for Love, a charity that accepts hair donations. But I couldn’t seem to find an equivalent in the UK, until I stumbled upon the Little Princess Trust! It’s the same sort of thing but based in the UK. They send donated hair to a wig-maker in China who make the wigs for free. (I mean, even Jessie J did it – street cred!)

Earlier this month, my pal and I met before basketball practice, and another friend on our team who is a hairdresser chopped it all off for us! The following morning, I put it in the post for Little Princess Trust. So proud!

Every little bit counts and happy that my annual haircut can finally be put to good use. =) Will definitely make a habit of this in the future.

Added bonus: While we were getting our hair cuts, another basketball team’s practice ended, and some of the parents and such wanted to contribute (even though we never even thought to take donations or anything!) – and our pal who cut our hair let us donate her fee as well – so we were even able to give money to Little Princess Trust, as well as hair. Double win!

EDIT: Got lots of nice confirmations from Little Princess Trust about our donation!

Via JustGiving:

Hello,
Thank you for your donation. We’re sending it straight to The Little Princess Trust so you’ll be making a difference very soon.

A word from The Little Princess Trust
A big thank you from the Little Princess Trust! Rest assured your donation will go towards helping us to continue to provide real-hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses. On behalf of everyone connected with the charity, thank you again. You have made a difference and your contribution is very much appreciated.

And Little Princess Trust sent a certificate as well when they received our hair donation:

LPT_HairDonateCert

Carpe Diem: Beekeeping – DONE!

Sad to finish my Beekeeping course at the Uni. It was lots of fun and I learned so much every lesson. We had 5 classes, but on account of the weather (it’s getting chilly!) only one trip out to open the hive, but it was a blast and I am totally amazed and excited about honeybees!

We learned loads in our first class which was ace.

In the second class we went out to the hive, opened it up (which required a J-bar tool to crack through the hard propolis that the bees make to keep the hive secure), and had a look around. We were checking to make sure the bees were doing okay and getting ready for winter, when they go sort of dormant to survive the cold. We were also feeding them sugar water. We learned how to open the hive properly so as not to accidentally confuse or kill the queen (which would be terrible for the hive!).

It was super exciting and we were very lucky because with only a bit of looking around, our teacher Matilda managed to find the infamous Queen bee for us and we all got to actually see her running away! She was indeed much bigger than the worker bees.

It was a bit weird and exciting being in a beekeeper suit and knowing that bees were landing on me all over. I’ve never been stung before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the bees were so calm and we’d been prepared in advance so nothing to worry about! (And I managed to leave unstung!)

For the third and fourth classes, we learned loads and went over the information we’d taken in so far. We watched an awesome retro video (which Matilda gave us a copy of on the last day for reference). We talked about swarming, and why a hive might do it, and how to ‘catch’ your swarm if it leaves your hive. We learned about varroa mites – parasites that can kill your bees and that you need to treat with special chemicals to keep at bay. We also learned about the different beekeeping societies we can join, locally and further afield. I think once I get a house and get settled and such, I’ll try to join the EMBA (Edinburgh Midlothian Beekeepers Association) at the very least to support their work. Matilda said essentially as a member you can go to the apiary and practice your skills out on the communal hives there, and you can ask for help and advice from the community of beekeepers, which seems a great resource!

For the final class, we did a honey-tasting and got to taste honey from our actual bees! It was delicious! We did a taste comparison between our honey, and a couple types of store-bought honey. It was interesting to taste different types of honey together, mostly because I don’t think I’d ever noticed the quite significant differences in flavors! Ours was definitely the best though – and I’m looking forward to seeing the Pollock Halls honey in shops, but I think that won’t be for another year or so.

It was a really brilliant class and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a follow-up course perhaps in the spring with the hive is more lively and ‘buzzing’ and the bees are in peak foraging season. That will be really exciting!