Birthday Month: Celebrate the grim north - Beerwalk

The day after Whit Friday is the Saddleworth Beerwalk.

Basically, this event is an 11 mile walk around the villages of Saddleworth. The participants are in fancy dress and most people collect money for charities along the way. The walk is helped along by more beer than you can shake a stick at and is such a fun event for everyone involved.

This year, the Boy and I went as Lady Gaga and the skeleton tattoo dude from the Born this Way video:

Gaga doesn't have bald dogs in the video but we decided not to let that stop this photo from going ahead. It's not often we're the same colour scheme as the lads:

The make up was done by yours truly and the response was so fantastic I am considering a second job as a make-up artist. We actually made a small child cry at one point.

The theme this year was Crawl of Duty: Black Hops so there were plenty of people in camouflage. My favourite costumes were a little more creative.

This Marge Simpson outfit was incredible.

The team efforts were often the best.

We didn't see this group of tetris blocks put themselves together but we did wonder how they would manage toilet breaks in those outfits.

Gingers 4 Justice were the most hilarious group who chased me up a hill to give me a hug and declare me "safe now"!

The views of Saddleworth make some of the uphill struggles, like Lark Hill, worthwhile.

Last year was our first year doing the walk and we had no idea what to expect. This year, as seasoned veterans, we were much more confident and collected on behalf of Merlin. Collecting put a completely different spin on the event for us because it meant that we interacted with onlookers a lot more than we did when we simply walked.

Children held all of the donation power as they had been given pocketfuls of change by their parents. With hundreds of collectors to share their money amongst it was funny to see the different ways that the kids determined who to donate to. A lot of them would only donate if they got a sticker in return, which put us at a disadvantage as we hadn't really noticed the sticker phenomenon last year. Next time we'll be well prepared! Others went on the quallity of the outfit, with one girl so enthralled by us she followed us round and emptied her entire bag of pennies in our buckets. Some children decided to give a penny to eveyone that went past until they ran out and some didn't have a system at all.

In total we collected £27 , which weighed a lot when carried 11 miles in a bucket.

If you would like to donate to Merlin, you can do so directly on their website:

Alternatively, you can sponsor me as I attempt to climb the equivalent height of Everest in one day (as part of a team of 10) on an indoor climbing wall in July/August. Leave a message on the wall saying hi to me so I know that you've sponsored me. None of the money you sponsor will go towards the cost of the event, it is 100% going to Merlin to do wonderful things with. Every little helps so please consider giving today.