Christmas 2011 and Giving

<Places humbug hat on head> It’s at this time of year all the Christmas cards start flooding in from people I know professionally and personally (including readers of this blog and Twitter followers).

I’m delighted to receive them, but if you’re expecting one from me please don’t be disappointed or unhappy if you don’t receive one. I don’t send Christmas cards to family, friends or colleagues. Arguably I’m a scrooge but I have a good reason not to do so. Rather than spend money sending cards to people, I give the money I would have spend on cards and stamps to the British Heart Foundation.

In 2005 my dad died suddenly, and very unexpectedly, from a massive heart attack. He was only 59. He was a very fit man, lean and healthy, and having had some good fortune was able to stop working in his early 50s. He worked some land he acquired in France growing fresh veg and fruit off which he pretty much lived – fine healthy food, great lifestyle – all that was correct. He’d been pronounced 100% fit 2 weeks before he died during his annual health assessment with his GP. The doctor on hearing of his death was astounded and could not believe it.

So he died of an unknown, undetectable, genetic heart condition. And that needs finding out and eradicating. It’s one thing to extend people’s lives but other people are dying too early. So I need to help to stop this. If you want to give too, you can do here.

Happy Christmas to you all. In the real world, I’ll see some of you and share a beer. In the virtual world I’ll speak to you too (maybe less beer) – a tweet, a Facebook conversation (hey I’ll go mad and do a Google+). Much better than a card. And much more personal.

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