Archive for the ‘Music and Dance’ Category

Hello!

She’s alive –  she’s beautiful.

Just thought I’d share.

Here’s to activists who, unlike myself, actually get off their arses and take real-life risks in order to try and protect our lovely, good planet.

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One Love

Bob Marley

6th February 1945 – 11th May 1981 

Aged 36

Me only have one ambition, y’know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together – black, white, Chinese, everyone – that’s all.

That’s all.

Not much to ask for.

Simple.  Basic.  Powerful.

Bob Marley – a spiritual force with a desire for peace and justice that was expressed with depth in his music.

I hope you’re jamming somewhere beautiful Mr Marley.  After thirty years without you on this good Earth, your legendary music is still playing.

Arts cuts, police cuts, nursing, crime and tangents . .

Isn’t it strange how the news regarding police cuts doesn’t seem to get the left as animated as they get towards other cuts.  I know the police have not won many public hearts lately due to their public displays of aggression and intimidation at recent protest rallies and suchlike – and quite right too.  We’ve seen some appalling police behaviour and the lack of accountability is downright criminal but I guess they’re not all our enemy.  Just as there are good and bad nurses and good and bad teachers, the same surely applies to the police.

I had three police officers at my house this morning.  Two officers came and went followed by a crime scene investigator.  They were here, in short, because my eldest daughter’s car was broken into.  The poor girl has only had the car for one week.  She was chuffed to bits about it.  What with the sky-scrapingly high insurance costs for new, young drivers, she thought she would never be able to afford a car.  But to her credit,  she somehow made it happen.  She chose the smallest, cheapest, cutest little car available – one with low economical running costs and not so harsh on the environment.

Being a student nurse,  she receives a little bursary each month which just about pays for said car.  But crucially, being a student nurse, she has to go on placements far and wide and at all times of the day and night so a car is really quite essential.  I was very tempted, incidentally, to talk her out of nursing.  She was all set up for university.  Had a guaranteed place at Liverpool and everything.  She couldn’t wait to start.  Why she changed her mind, I’ll never know.  And why she chose to go into nursing befuddles me even more but I suspect her boyfriend, and the reluctance to leave him, had something to with the decision. Ho hum.

Anyway (tangents dear girl, tangents), her shiny, new little car was violated right outside our house the other night and she was gutted.  The perpetrator just popped the lock right out of the door.  Nothing was taken because there was nothing to take.  The police officer said he was probably looking for spare change or hoping to find an ipod because the car came with an ipod thingy where you can plug in your ipod and listen to your playlist.

The first two officers who attended were very nice and helpful.  They showed care and concern towards my daughter and were very attentive.  After they’d completed their bit they left and told me a crime scene investigator would come along later to take fingerprints and stuff.  They asked my daughter if she would need to use the car today and she said yes – she had to go into uni at 12 o clock so they said they’d try to get the forensic guy to come before then.  I didn’t expect this to happen but lo and behold, the lovely lady turned up at about 10.30 with her little black bag of forensics tools.  I was impressed.  She too was very caring and concerned but she couldn’t do any dusting on the car door because it was raining.

I had been listening to the news all morning and there was much talk about the police cuts and cuts to the Arts.  Objections to the Arts cuts, by the way, are easy to dismiss but I don’t mind admitting that I object to these cuts almost as much as other cuts, not least because Art enriches all our lives but more importantly,  there will be many-a knock-on effect by way of employment, education and suchlike and will result in only the well-off being able to afford to study an Arts degree or pursue a particular ‘Arts’ talent.  And youth theatre groups, sports groups . . . what about all those youngsters who are committing time and energy to something fulfilling that they enjoy . . . something that helps to keep them fit and healthy.  We already know that too many unfit teenagers spend their time hanging around streets with nothing to do and nowhere to go.  Tell me what’s beneficial about taking away their facilities when those things give them a focus, where they can learn about commitment, self-respect and teamwork.  The Arts have the power to transform and vastly improve lives.  I’ve seen it working.  Dance teachers are creating community dance-groups everywhere.  It’s classless, genderless and available across the scale.  The kids who attend such groups are growing daily in self-esteem and self-confidence.  And they’re active for god’s sake!  Off the streets.  Not being thugs!  Not being a nuisance!  Not committing crimes!  Isn’t that the goal?  You need look no further than the absolutely fantastic Dance United to realise just how effective and empowering such groups can be.

Basically, Arts funding is there to provide equal opportunities for everybody to have their lives enriched and improved. The Arts cuts are regressive and will make Art and Culture elite and inaccessible to all but a privileged few.   Osborne’s few.

Anyway, where was I? (More tangents.  Focus girl!) My police experience, although brought about by a nasty and annoying crime, was an altogether positive one but it got me thinking about the cuts and how it might affect the three nice officers who dealt with our case.  I don’t know anything about the structure of police forces.  I know that like nurses, doctors, paramedics etc. police officers take a lot of crap from the public.  They deal with aggressive and abusive people on an almost daily basis and are always the first in line for a bashing and being blamed for everyone’s problems.  I do stand by my belief that a lot of officers join the police force for the wrong reasons (ie: power, means to bully etc) but generally speaking, I like to think that, like nurses, teachers etc., most of them are decent with a genuine desire to help others and like most of us, they face worrying times and insecurities.

There’s more to a police force than the images we see of police thuggery on our TV screens and the government’s promises not to cut front line jobs is meaningless given that front-liners depend on non-front-line staff to do their jobs properly so no matter how they spin it, the cuts will detrimentally affect the police and how they protect the public and no matter how bitter the relationship between activist and policeman is, it’s surely in our interest to support them at this time.

Gosh!  It’s all or or nothing with me.

Erm, it’s been a while . . .

T’is rather hard to know where or how to start when one has been so ludicrously absent from blogs and the posting thereof but I shall give it a go, somewhat sheepishly but hey ho.  No. Actually.  Forget the sheep.  I think I’ll start true to form – with a rant.  Here goes . . .

Yule Tide

Another Christmas has been and gone and I made the same mistakes.  Every year, no matter how much I try to resist, I fall under the spell of consumerism.  Not obscenely so but enough to make for some serious self-berating.  I argue with myself and finger wag at my kids that we’re cutting back this year . . .  don’t expect so much because I really mean it this time!!! . . . but Captain Capitalism always manages to bewitch me at Christmas and forces me to buy all kinds of crap that no-one really needs (and probably doesn’t even want that much if truth be told).  The food wastage alone is a sin of biblical proportions but it’s the whole Xmas package (and packaging!) that gets so mental.  Well what’s done is done.  I tried to be as green and as ethical as possible but if I’m honest I failed on more levels than I care to admit.  Anyhoo, here are some UK Christmas eco-facts:

  • Every year some one billion cards are used and only a fraction of them are recycled.
  • Almost 3000 tonnes of aluminium foil is used to wrap around the 10 million turkeys we eat every Christmas.
  • Almost half of the toys given will be broken or discarded within three months and because most of them will be plastic, they will be destined straight for our delightful landfill sites.
  • Approximately 23 million jars of pickles, mincemeat and cranberry sauce will be consumed. If all these glass jars were recycled, it would save enough energy to boil water for 60 million cups of tea but alas only a small percentage are recycled.
  • Over 83 square km of wrapping paper will end up in UK rubbish bins, enough to cover an area larger than Guernsey
  • [End of rant]

Winterval

The snow queen visited her lovely self upon us for the second year running (well I know we’ve had snow other years but not with any intensity worth mentioning).  T’was another beautiful Winterval with some delightful bright snowy days and our enchanting moon providing some gorgeous nights with its orange silveryness above us (I know. Just use your imagination).  I sometimes find myself wishing I had a really good camera that would do justice to some of the moons I’ve enjoyed this Autumn/Winter.  Mind you, a proper, decent camera would be wasted on the likes of me so my little Nikon will suffice for my limited technical knowledge.  I don’t even use that to it’s full capacity . . . and I dropped it once so now an elastic band keeps the battery cover closed.  I’m really rubbish sometimes. Anyway, some piccies:

Comfort and Joy

Lovely Middlie provided the joy by dancing in the local theatre panto again and of course she was brilliant.  This year it was Mother Goose and it was hilarious.  And in a rare, out-of-character moment, I was actually organised enough to book tickets early enough to get the comfy seats with optimal viewing.

And finally:

The best thing about 2011 is going to be

England lifting the rugby world cup on my rugby-mad son’s 12th birthday.  Yay!

Well that wasn’t so bad.  TTFN folks.


Three years ago today: Sophie Lancaster RIP

Happy 101 Sweet Friends – a meme moment

The delightfully gruff PaddyK has tagged me and right proper chuffed is how I’m feeling about it.  I mean Paddy is one of my very top favourite writers and his dry wit and pragmatic wisdom has me laughing out loud and spluttering into my coffee many-a-time.  So to be tagged by such a force can only be interpreted as a compliment and I thank the good and lovely man for that.  My only problem is that I have to tag ten blogging friends too but I don’t actually have ten friends who blog regularly so five will have to do.

What you do:  List 10 things that make your day and then give this award to ten (five) bloggers.  So here goes:

Ten things that make my day (or made my day once):

1. Hearing an old favourite song played on the radio when I’m alone in the car and it’s played early on enough in my journey so that I get to hear it in its entirety before I get to where I’m going and I don’t have to sit in my car pretending to chat on the phone or look for something till it finishes.

2.  An act of kindness.  As touchy-feely as it sounds, I mean it.  For me it’s the little things in life that uplift, inspire and quite simply make the world seem better.

3.  Hearing me laddie play a piece of guitar music perfectly after weeks of struggling with it.

4.  Watching me laddie score a try at rugby.  His position is hooker and he’s great at that but he rarely scores a try so when he does, my mad  inner-madwoman is usually released and I can be seen jumping,  yelling and whooping on the sidelines like a, erm, mad madwoman.

5.   Morning cup of coffee brought to me while I snooze in bed.  I get this treatment every Saturday and it’s often the best part of my day.  Usually goes pear-shaped from then on due to boring stuff such as laundry, cleaning, mopping, shopping and squabbling kids then picks up again in the evening, which brings me nicely to my number 6.

6.  A glass of white wine, a bowl of green olives and my feet up while hubby cooks dinner.  Another regular Saturday treat.

7.  Seeing three deer jump out of the woods and run across our path right in front of us.  This happened last weekend when we were hiking on Great Gable in the Lake District.  It was one of those heart-stopping moments and it definitely made my day.

8.  My middle daughter getting in from school and telling me all about her day – word for word.  Never a dull moment for this girlie.  Her life is full of sunshine because that’s just the way she is and I love listening to her.  Sometimes I’m busy and I only half listen but that’s my loss.

9.  Coming home from work to a clean and tidy house.  This is a rarity.  Every now and then one of my girls has a rare attack of domesticity and gets stuck into the dishes and the dirt.  Only the women will understand just how wonderful it feels to come back to a tidy home.

10.  Getting a Green MP in Westminster at long last.

There you go.  And the five friends that I am tagging are my other favourite bloggers.  Feel free not to take part:

The romantic Mysoul whose makes me think and writes beautiful poetry and prose.  Her blog is a haven.

The wise and witty Zhisou who is very clever with words.  He makes everything simple.

The lovely Helen who has a warm compassion for humanity.  She’s also a published poet.

The sweet and loyal Jose who has encouraged and supported my blog since I began writing here.

The unassuming and tolerant JimJay from The Daily (Maybe) whose blog has been a great source for Green party information and interesting links.  As a dedicated Green party member I suspect he will be too busy to take part in this.  Fair enough.

Earth Hour 2010:27th March 8.30pm

Less than one week to go now actually.  Time to sign up again if you’re up for it and can stand a whole hour without your comforts and your TV’s and all your other gadgets – a huge challenge for some I imagine but it’s only an hour so it’s not that much of a hardship.  Just look at it as the hour you’re going to lose when we put the clocks forward.  Yes, I know that doesn’t add up but don’t let the pesky details deter you.

One hour isn’t going to solve the climate problem and some would argue that it’s nothing more than a gimmick, but it will raise awareness and perhaps it will encourage us to have more lights out hours.

As individuals, it will take no effort.  It could be fun.  We usually light some candles, get out the nibbles and play board games on the floor.  But please, no Monopoly.