On Friday the 31st October, Halloween, we received a zombie visitation at our Waterside premises. There were all sorts of zombies at various stages of decomposition and from all walks of life and death.
I’ve been doing a little bit of research on zombies as I have to confess, they’re not something that I profess to know a great deal about. Most people are aware that in popular culture, zombies are people who have died and been resurrected as mindless flesh eating monsters that attack the living. They are often referred to as being the ‘living dead’, the ‘walking dead’ and the ‘undead’.
In popular culture a lot of people are familiar with the zombies who have starred in horror movies, TV programmes and video games, but few have knowledge of their interesting origins.
Zombies date back hundreds of years to stories in Haitian Voodoo folklore. Haitian history books allude to tales of people dying and being brought back to life by a witch doctor. The person resurrected has no idea or awareness of who they once were but they were never considered a danger or threat to anyone.
As zombies gained a stronger presence in American culture they slowly began to evolve into violent cannibals and a terrifying threat to society and sparked off a whole new horror genre.
At Postcode Anywhere we had a range of zombies including surgeons, convicts, celebrities as well as people who just came into the office looking appallingly gruesome. Even our CTO Jamie Turner, who generally has an allergic reaction when in close proximity to theatrical grease paint, entered into the spirit of things looking frankly quite repulsive.
The winner of the best dressed zombie, which was judged by our own Café Afloat proprietor and in-house caterer Jacqui, was our reseller account manager Neil Majhu. He was dressed as a zombie Edwardscissor Hands, and very disturbing he looked too.
Looking every inch as dashing as Johnny Depp, who played the lead role in the 1990 dark fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, Neil brought a new gothic horror dimension to the role as his scissor hands were splattered with blood. I’m not sure whether I would let him give me a short back and sides or even a trim.
Neil won a well-deserved bottle of champagne and even more exciting was the fact that I received a runner-up prize for my Marilyn Monroe zombie outfit. It was a particular triumph for me as in all my years of donning various guises of fancy dress at Postcode Anywhere I have never actually won a prize. My acceptance speech, as I received a packet of chocolate pumpkins, was a very moving one and I was transported back to a late 1950s Oscar ceremony taking care not to become too emotional and spoil my vivid green make-up.
After the prestigious Hollywood award bestowal ceremony, just before lunch, we enjoyed a game of Loo Roll Mummy wrap, where the boys’ team competed with the girls to see who would mummify their victims first in the time allocated. As it happened it was a close tie and then Philippa Jaine and Alex Schofield came up with the idea that the durability of a mummy costume should be tested to the limit. Our two tightly-wrapped mummies Derek and Gemma were subjected to the humiliation of being ordered to perform five star jumps each. Luckily Gemma’s costume stayed intact whereas Derek’s began to unravel before his empty soulless eye sockets.
Although we all had a lot of fun there is always a serious and altruistic side to our fund raising activities and our Zombie Apocalypse event was no exception and once everything is totted up we hope to raise nearly £400.
Semi-retired consultant urological surgeon David Baxter-Smith, has done so much to raise awareness of the lack of health care provision for prostate disorders in Worcestershire. This prompted him and his wife to set-up the Worcestershire Prostate Awareness Group.
Having worked in Worcestershire hospitals for over 25 years, Mr Baxter-Smith, now helps to raise awareness of prostate disorders nationally, including prostate cancer which affects one in eight men in the UK.
He said: “The Worcestershire Prostate Awareness Group” is a small as yet an unregistered charity which seeks to make men more aware of possible problems with the prostate gland. We regularly visit Droitwich, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Stourbridge and Worcester offering men a free P.S.A. blood test and the offer of a confidential talk to a consultant urologist. Each test costs the charity about £15 so we are limited in our activities by the donations we receive. So far we have identified 66 men with early prostate cancer who have since been treated and many of these can now look forward to cure from this disease. The donation from Postcode Anywhere will help us to continue with this work.”
The PSA test has been widely used to screen men for prostate cancer. It has also been used for those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer to see if their cancer has recurred after treatment or therapy.
We were happy to help Mr and Mrs Baxter-Smith as they work selflessly and tirelessly to raise both money and awareness for prostate cancer and the more support they receive the more men they will educate and help to detect in the early stages of this potentially life threatening cancer.
If you would like to find out more of how you can support the Worcestershire Prostate Awareness Group or you are interested in the P.S.A. prostate cancer screening events, please contact: 07817 083492.