Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Good Deeds Galore! Oxfam Unwrapped: Build a Bog

Today we find an excuse to start with our favourite Bridget Jones quote:

Dread the exchange of presents with friends as, unlike with the family, there is no way of knowing who is and isn’t going to give and whether gifts should be tokens of affection or proper presents, so all becomes like hideous exchange of sealed bids.  Two years ago I bought Magda lovely Dinny Hall earrings, rendering her embarrassed and miserable because she hadn’t bought me anything.  Last year, therefore, I didn’t get her anything and she bought me an expensive bottle of Coco Chanel.  This year I bought her a big bottle of Saffron Oil with Champagne and a distressed wire soap dish, and she went into a complete grump muttering obvious lies about not having done her Christmas shopping yet.
(Bridget Jones’s Diary, Fielding 1996, 293)

It has recently come to our attention that there are worse privations in life than having to use a toilet with a cumbersome horizontal lever flush, or opening doors with your elbow to avoid touching door handles after the OCD voices in your head have made you wash your hands three times.  These privations, our sources tell us, include not having a toilet at all, or not having clean water to drink, never mind wash your hands with.  Luckily, however, there are clever people working night and day to overcome these privations, building toilets and doing good deeds left, right and centre!  And not only do these good and clever people build toilets, they can also help you reduce stress this Christmas!

If you're struggling to think of what to give loved ones for Christmas, Oxfam will sort it for you!  Buy their “Build a Bog” card (£50), and someone you love gets a lovely card and a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and a toilet-deprived person receives a toilet!  How's that for multitasking!  If your finances don't quite stretch to building a bog, the Oxfam Unwrapped gifts give you many other options, for instance “Safe Water” (£9), “Hygiene Kit” (£14),  “Rainwater Collection” (£18), and “Fix a Well” (£22). We are all guilty of buying presents just for the sake of it, thus perpetuating the guilt-fuelled cycle of giving away unwanted presents. This wastes energy and increases landfill. But with Oxfam Unwrapped, you don't generate any plastic!

Isn't it fantastic!  You can now stop worrying about Christmas presents, and instead walk around with that smug, serene feeling of having done a good deed!  So practise your Princess Diana smile, give a friend a lovely card and a warm feeling inside, and give Hygeia, the goddess of health, sanitation and hygiene, a helping hand!

Also, remember that Friday is World Toilet Day! For more information, and a luscious quote by Stephen Fry, see the Wateraid website: http://www.wateraid.org/uk/get_involved/world_toilet_day/default.asp

Christmas is coming, but there's no need to panic!

Bridget Jones quote:
Fielding, Helen. Bridget Jones’s Diary. London: Picador, 1996.

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