Orange and red firethorn, bonfires and fundraising – In a Vase on Monday – 5 November 2018

Orange and red firethorn, bonfires and fundraising – In a Vase on Monday – 5 November 2018

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Anyone in the UK will be well aware it’s Guy Fawkes Night, so as I’m writing this there’s the fizz, bang and pop of fireworks all around me. Plenty of people still hold their own family fireworks in the back gardens. Locally, in Pendleton in Salford, there is a huge fireworks display and bonfire at Buile Hill Park organised by Salford Council – many of the cricket and rugby clubs were hosting events as fundraisers.  I’ve had the colours of fire on my mind today. I wanted to write about two things today – flowers and fundraising. Orange is the connection – we’ve been fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Red and orange pyracantha coreopsis, marguerite in a triangular, red glass vase

Red and orange pyracantha coreopsis, marguerite in a triangular, red glass vase

In a Vase on Monday – fire!

I wouldn’t usually include the berries that are going over but it seems appropriate to acknowledge the change in the seasons…

The vase is an unusual triangular shaped red glass vase dating from the early 1960s.  I found it in my friend Steve’s home after he died in 2015. It must have been a wedding present for his father and mother.  Knew them over 20 years, I never saw flowers in the house.  But, I kept this vase and a pair of crystal vases probably another wedding present.  One had a pile of pennies in it.  I fill these vases with flowers and think fondly of Ju, Kev and Steve – very missed.


As usual, I am joining Cathy at – it’s a simple idea pick plants, flowers, seedheads etc from your garden or locality and put in a ‘vase’. The vases are very inventive – gardening bloggers from around the world join in.  Do have a look – it certainly lifts my mood on a dark, wet Manchester evening when I can see flowers in their full Spring glory on the other side of the world.


Prickly plants help stop burglars

With the dark nights, it’s easier for burglars to lurk and enter unlit buildings. One way to deter people with nefarious intentions is with shrubs with thorns. Good contenders are:

  • Pyracantha – Firethorn – I certainly felt it taking cuttings for the vase.
  • Berberis – there are many different varieties, including a stunning maroon one.  My mum has it under her kitchen window.
  • Roses including climbers.
blue ticket for Motor Neurone Disease Association Manchester Ball - 3 Nov 2018 with orange mascarade mask on a party table

Motor Neurone Disease Association Manchester Ball – 3 November 2018

Fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association

On Saturday, my husband and I attended the Masquerade Ball for the Manchester Motor Neurone Disease Association along with 300 other people in all their finery. Bright blue and orange are the corporate colours of the association.

Our aim is to raise as much money and awareness as possible to help people living with MND (we call them warriors) five of them were at the ball.

My husband’s younger brother died from MND aged fifty in January after five years with this vile disease. He is loved and missed every day.  My husband runs ultra marathons, endurance events, trail and half marathons. He’s pushed our pal Bethan who has cerebral palsy around Brighton marathon. Bethan lost her mum to MND.

The ONLY positive thing about MND arriving in your life is that you find some amazing people who become lifelong friends.  We were with many local pals from the association and our running pals from #RunMND who came from all over the country to support our fundraising and have some fun.  Plenty of people were there too from our local hospital Salford Royal which is the regional centre for MND support and care.

We had some suburb auction prizes including Manchester United tickets, take that concert tickets, numerous meals and afternoon teas, wines and spirits. We won the auction on a specially commissioned painting.

The event was organised by Stacey Kerr who’s our awesome volunteer fundraising coordinator – she has raised nearly £40k in her own right in five years.

We raised a staggering £11,600 – well done everyone

Here we are in our outfits #withfilter  wearing my wedding dress 🙂 yes my shoes glow under the flashlight 😉

Find out more about our branch here:

My husband’s next run is Manchester Marathon next April 2019 – you can find his JustGiving page here:

Find the RunMND posse (usually wearing orange ra-ra skirts) – there are nearly 900 of us around the UK and even some in Australia:

Plodders, strollers, endurance in anything (walking, pushing wheelchairs, running) are very welcome – including supporters like me

More information and help on MND:

It’s a vile, grim disease but if you’re affected please get in touch.

You’re never alone xxx xxx

Find us on social media too.


I still can’t form sentences to explain how much I miss my own brother who died suddenly in March 2017 – he was doing what he loved which is a comfort.  He is loved, missed and thought about all around the world

I am reminded that ‘life isn’t a dress rehearsal’ get out and live it, have fun with the people you love, be kind, make a difference and laugh every day.


Do you fundraise?

Carpe Diem,

Love Bec xx xxx



  1. 07/11/2018 / 8:23 am

    What a triumph the event was! Congratulations to all involved. We’re working on a reverse advent this month, for our local foodbank and taking a bunch of stuff to baby basics on Friday.

    • 09/11/2018 / 12:26 am

      Thank you Hannah – we had a great time. We know how much difference the fundraising will make. We’ll done about the collection for the food bank – I collect too.

  2. 07/11/2018 / 12:43 pm

    Those blooms would brighten any dull day!

    • rebecca jones
      10/11/2018 / 12:38 am

      They definitely do – the yellow fire thorn are bright too 🙂

  3. 07/11/2018 / 7:39 pm

    A wonderful and poignant post and such a good promotion for MND; I hope training for your husband’s marathon goes well and best of luck with all the fundraising. You are working so hard at living a positive life and should be proud of all that you have achieved.

  4. 08/11/2018 / 9:34 am

    Gosh this was such a thought-provoking post – thank you for sharing your stories with us, it’s so heartbreaking to lose those we love but to do amazing things like fundraise for others helps to ease the pain a little, doesn’t it? Sending lots of love and support!

  5. katykicker
    08/11/2018 / 12:47 pm

    I do fundraise! I like to do what I can for charity and encourage others too. I love your dress x

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