Our best ‘Blue Sunday’ yet!

And just like that it’s June, and May and M.E. Awareness month are done. I obviously carry on with my blog and my attempts at awareness raising all year round. So it’s business as usual. But I felt important to do a little round up post.

In May, £5906 was raised for the ME Association. £380 for Smile For ME. An unknown amount for other M.E. causes.

I’m uncomfortable with praise. Don’t really know what to do with it. I’m overconscious of coming across as smug and full of myself. And this post is not made in the hope that it’ll make you flood me with more compliments!

Since the tea party (on 17th May) I have had so many messages and comments of thanks. But I didn’t raise this much money on my own. We did it. All of us. Any one who joined in helped reach this magnificent total. SO many of kept the JustGiving link in you social media bio and shared it on your own blogs.

But someone commented on how I’d “given us all an opportunity to fundraise”. And I like that. I can take that. I made something that we could all get behind. Something that we didn’t have.

Growing up, we were encouraged to be quite modest. So it is uncomfortable for me to toot my own horn as it were. But I’m going to. It’s something I’m learning to do. It feels alien and I always want to add to a counter argument whenever I do it. But here goes.

I created the tea party that is now the focal point of many peoples’ M.E. Awareness week. Me.

When I created it in 2013 I had no idea it would come to be adopted by the UK’s leading M.E. charity and become the inspiration for their Go Blue 4 M.E. campaigns.

The version of myself that started ‘Blue Sunday’ was very, very unwell. Far more restricted than I am now. Her life was far smaller than it is now.

I’m allowing her this one immense triumph in a life filled with suffering, overcoming ordeals, and struggling to keep her head above water.

In a life where achievements can be hard to come by, I now celebrate every little thing. Making my own coffee. Using the oven safely by myself. Washing my own hair. Managing a shower without my bathboard. The tea party, as an achievement, is therefore off the scale.

Thank you so much for your kindness, your support, your donations, and for joining me for ‘Blue Sunday’ 2020. For many of you, it was your first year taking part. But for others you’ve been with me from the very start 💙

The Virtual Tea Party For M.E. 2020

A little bit about the Virtual tea party as taken from what would have been this year’s leaflet:

Life with M.E. can be incredibly isolating. Often sufferers are too unwell to receive visitors. The communication, sensory overload, and exertion of even a five-minute visit will likely leave the sufferer worse off than the before. Many sufferers are housebound, often bedbound, and so making the journey to be with us here today is not possible.

Today there is also a Virtual Tea Party happening online for those who would otherwise be left out of yet another social event.

Throughout the day photos and videos from our tea party will be uploaded onto social media where those unable to join us in Real Life can feel a part of something.

They too are enjoying tea and cake but from the relative comfort of their own homes. They’re posting photos and chatting online with others doing the same. 

Have you seen this year’s JustGiving page total? Not including Give Aid, or donations that went to other M.E. causes, Blue Sunday has raised £5876 for The ME Association. Astounding! www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AnnaRedshaw2020

I thought I’d share with you just some of the photos from this year’s online event. My plan had been to count how many people joined in this year. Well let’s just say there ended up being too many to count!

Each of these photos were posted to Instagram under the hashtag #BlueSunday2020 and I’ve kept the Instagram account name at the top of each one as the photo belongs to that person.

It was undoubtedly the most popular Blue Sunday so far. I think we have ‘Lockdown’ to thank for that as more of us than ever before are confinded to our homes and feeling the loneliness.

Look at all that lovely cake. Enjoy!

Cake Quiz – Blue Sunday 2020

Just a little cake realted quiz for anyone wanting something to do today. Answers will be shared at the bottom of this page tomorrow. Good luck!

1. What is the filling in a Baked Alaska?

  • a. Chocolate
  • b. Honey
  • c. Ice cream
  • d. Jam

2. What was the name of the 2004 crime thriller starring Daniel Craig?

  • a. Fruit cake
  • b. Angel cake
  • c. Cheesecake
  • d. Layer cake

3. What item is traditionally found inside a Christmas pudding?

  • a. Mistletoe
  • b. Lump of coal
  • c. A silver coin
  • d. A joke

4. Which of these is twice baked?

  • a. Russian teacakes
  • b. Snickerdoodles
  • c. Shortbread
  • d. Biscotti

5. What two colours make Battenberg cake?

  • a. Black and white
  • b. Pink and yellow
  • c. Blue and green
  • d. Orange and black

6. What is not a traditional cake ingredient in a Victoria sponge?

  • a. Eggs
  • b. Flour
  • c. Sugar
  • d. Peanuts

7. What two ingredients are usually used to make icing?

  • a. Butter and icing sugar
  • b. Honey and sugar
  • c. Strawberries and sugar
  • d. Flour and water

8. What cake was named after the monarch who favoured a slice of the sponge cake with her afternoon tea?

9. Who replaced Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off when it moved from BBC to Channel 4.

10. Which of these ingredients is not traditionally in hot cross buns?

  • a. Ginger
  • b. Saffron
  • c. Coriander
  • d. Nutmeg

11. What time is tea time in ‘Alice in Wonderland’?

12. In ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which of these characters are NOT at the tea party?

  • a. Dormouse
  • b. Mad Hatter
  • c. March Hare
  • d. Cheshire Cat

13. What kind of cake does Miss Trunchbull make Bruce Bogtrotter eat in Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’?

  • a. Fudge cake
  • b. Black Forest gateau
  • c. Lemon cake
  • d. Chocolate cake

14. Where do cupcakes get their name from?

  • a. Originally cups were made from cakes
  • b. They were made to look like cups
  • c. They were baked in cups
  • d. The first person to bake them was called Mr Cup

15. What is Homer Simpson’s favourite food?

Answers: 1) C. 2) D. 3) C. 4) D. 5) B. 6) D. 7) A. 8) Victoria. 9) Prue Leith. 10) C. 11) Six o’clock/All the time. 12) D. 13) D. 14) C. 15) Doughnuts.

Countdown to cake!

Right then.

• Giveaway (on Instagram only) almost ready to share

• Quiz done

• Donations coming in already

• Those leaflets I was meant to be emailing/posting out definitely lost

• Icing sugar on its way!

• Flour found courtesy of a lovely surprise delivery from an friend on Instagram

ID: Anna is washed and dressed! She smiling at the camera as she sits in her husband’s office having one final search for the missing 2018 tea party leaflets! She’s wearing a ochre yellow jumpsuit and a cornflower blue cardigan.

I’m hoping by now I’ve shared with you everything you might need to know ahead of Sunday’s virtual tea party. It really is quite straightforward; wear something blue, have yourself a lovely pot of tea, treat yourself to a slice (or two) of cake, donate the price you’d expect to pay for said tea and cake in a café (if you are able to), and connect with others online who are doing exactly the same.

I’ll be using and following the hashtags #BlueSunday2020 and #TeaPartyForME2020 on both Instagram and Twitter. I’ll also be using the Facebook Event (link in the Blue Sunday section on my blog.)

My JustGiving page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AnnaRedshaw2020 and there is also a code you can use to get there direct from your phone/tablet camera. I will share this next.

Holding your phone/tablet camera over this code should take you directly to the JustGiving page. I’m not sure how helpful that is if you’re reading this on your phone or tablet though hahaha…

If there’s anything else you need clarifying please get in touch. Thank you so much to everyone who’s planning to join in on Sunday and to all those who’ve already spread the word. It means the world 🥰