“A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.” ― H.L. Mencken

The media. For some they’re a bunch of lying charlatans poking their noses into other peoples’ business. For others they’re a bulwark against the corruption of the political classes with their exposés. Whether your point of view, if you’re doing a charity fundraiser then the media can be a very useful (and sometimes willing) ally. We hear a lot about how social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc) mean that the media are less important. Whether this is true or not, if like me, you’re trying to ‘get the word out to the kids’ about whatever bee is in your bonnet then you have to use every tool at your disposal.

This means that not only have I been boring the crap out of everyone via Facebook and web forums but I’ve also been busy talking to the media. Yes my darlings, today I have been working on my media profile and it’s been too exciting for words. So thrilling that I had to change my pants earlier – which was either down to excitement or the early signs of prostate trouble.

The day began early at 10am when Monsier Jean-Paul Delvart of that illustrious and world renowned journal Le Voix du Nord came to call. He’s a freelance hack for what is our regional newspaper and therefore somebody to be extra nice to – although to be fair I am extra nice to everyone. Anyway, JP listened very attentively and made notes as I bored the arse off him and talked in mangled French about my walk. Nice man – didn’t laugh once. Perhaps he’s used to hearing tales of the English and their eccentricities so one more loony wouldn’t surprise such a hard nosed reporter.

Later, as I was busy repainting my window shutters in the barn (yes we media creatures lead such exciting lives) I got an email from The Lancaster Guardian. I’d contacted them a few days previously in the hope that they might carry a story about me. Something along the lines of ‘Look what this unhinged former resident is planning to do’. The very nice lady there had been passed my info from her colleague and wanted to know more. So I duly filled her in (that’s not a euphemism by the way). Hopefully they’ll carry the story sometime next week.

My final sojourn into the heady world of fame and media stardom was a call to the Bognor Regis Observer. Back in the 1990s I used to live in this delightful seaside watering hole. Truly a delightful place somewhat reminiscent of Monte Carlo in the 1950s. My ‘pitch’ (that’s the technical term we media luvvies use) to the nice lady journalist was similar to that of the Lancaster Guardian – look what japes this former resident is up to.

Now as everyone knows I am a quiet unassuming person who shuns the media wherever possible. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve had to turn down ‘Hello’ magazine. But the more media coverage I get then the more chance people will donate. That, in all seriousness (and yes, I can do serious) is the bottom line.

Thanks to some truly lovely kind people I have already raised just shy of £400 on my JustGiving page (https://www.justgiving.com/remember/160636/Barrie-Houghton). Every time a donation comes in I get an email. And every time I get an email it makes me smile. And makes me feel very grateful for such kindness and support. Thank you.


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