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Grenfell Tower, June 2017 – Ben Okri

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I could not get that burning tower out of my head. Bearing witness seemed the only thing to do. Three days after the fire I made my way there. Many years ago I used to live nearby and the tower was always in my periphery. I saw photographs of the dead before I saw the tower itself. Their faces were everywhere. They stared out from the undeniable reality of their lives. They were alive when those pictures were taken, alive like you and me. There were pictures on ordinary white paper, with their names below, sometimes their ages, and then the word MISSING. At that time their families still hoped they would be found. Seeing those faces on the wall, faces that were fresh with life, faces that were serious with a sense of the insurmountable problems of life, faces of a young couple that showed them happy and in love—I was quite overcome. Even before I had walked a few yards, I was already fighting the tears.

Acknowledgement – FT 8 June 2018

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Don’t Worry About a Thing

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Three Little Birds

PLEASE CLICK ON BLOG PIX OR BLOG TITLE TO SEE THE VIDEO LINK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYi5aW1GdUU

Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)

Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin’, this is my message to you

Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be alright, don’t worry
Singin’…

Bob Marley

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Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark

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Last year saw Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark unfold in Reading. With a small team, we brought over 24 diverse events to the town, hoping to stimulate a shift in consciousness. It became apparent this would be subtle rather than seismic, and indeed most major cultural, political, religious and corporate bodies shunned or ignored the festival. And yet, it was powerful.

To use a yoga anaology, it’s all about ‘micro-muscles’, deep internal muscles not reachable through dynamic exercise and obvious stretches. So one sits in almost complete stillness, focussing on small micro-movements. It feels slightly foolish, disappointing; how much more satisfying to be panting after a few hearty rounds of Salute to the Sun. Yet if one is attentive, the deep workings can be felt; if one envisions the movements, they make sense.

For those feeling overwhelmed by noise, despair, rage, preaching, and shouting for desperate action, exercising of the deep internal spiritual muscles through yoga, meditation, breathwork, gardening, stillness, then hone one for the power of dynamic action.

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Goat Yoga

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Goat Yoga is ‘big’ in the US apparently; rapidly gathering enthusiastic joiners in the UK. From the imaginative response to her own challenges, Lainey Morse 45, from Oregon, has brought happiness to scores of people.

One such Goat Yoga class was featured by Kate Humble on her BBC Programme endorsing small- scale new ‘farm’ projects.

Another series of classes is promoted by Dartington Dairies ; an offshoot of Dartington Hall inspirations, over many years. ( The Dartington Trust founded in 1925 by Dorothy & Leonard Elmhirst is well worth researching as a transformative heart- land for thousands of visitors seeking inspiration around the arts, social justice and sustainability. ”It attracts people with big ideas who want to transform the world”).

And the facts: Petting animals releases stress-reducing hormones including serotonin ; there’s a similar effect from yoga practice.

Read about Goat Yoga – HERE – Goatyoga

Dartington Trust  – HERE – Dartington Hall

 

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The dark nurtures growth

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Glory Falls

Glory falls around us
as we sob
a dirge of
desolation on the Cross
and hatred is the ballast of
the rock
which lies upon our necks
and underfoot.

We have woven
robes of silk
and clothed our nakedness
with tapestry.

From crawling on this
murky planet’s floor
we soar beyond the
birds and
throught the clouds
and edge our way from hate
and blind despair and
bring honor
to our brothers, and to our sisters cheer.

We grow despite the
horror that we feed
upon our own
tomorrow.

We grow.

Maya Angelou

Poem from “I Shall Not be Moved,” Bantam Books

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Riverford Organic Foodboxes

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Starting 25 years ago, Riverford was one of the first pioneering organic vegetable box schemes, in the UK. From the family farm GUY WATSON delivered first to 30 friends in Devon; a business which has grown to 47,000 deliveries in the UK. Within the 4 English farms and 1 in France, Riverford has a dairy herd, a dairy producing yoghurt and cheese, poultry, farm shop, kitchen and bakery, meat box business and Field Kitchen restaurant.

“We work with a number of small-scale organic producers supplying everything from mushrooms to mayonnaise. They’re an interesting bunch. Some are innovators, others preserve valuable traditions.”

In addition, Riverford support the ‘Send a Cow’ project in Uganda with customer £1 donations (added to their order), plus fundraising to the tune of £204,000. The aim is to support sustainable living from small plots of land, teaching the families about access to markets and wealth creation.

Read more – Riverford.co.uk

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A Prayer for Mankind

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I was approached by Anne Yarwood in June 2016 with an idea of conveying the suffering and injustice taking place in Israel and Jerusalem in a play, which Anne felt my drama skills could portray.
My experience playing the young Arab lady in ‘Take Two’ was an eye opener for me to the extent of injustice and suffering these people were going through. I felt the character was alive in me, speaking out to the audience her message of ending the pain and suffering of her and her people, and she was reaching out to the audience to spread the word of peace and to seek help for her people.
I felt my body was acting as a vessel to carry out the voice of many people who are crying out for help from the world. I felt chosen to use my acting skills to project out the spirit of this young lady and many more in her position.
The whole play was a big prayer to the world for world peace.

Kirti Dhanoa

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Comforting

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Amidst urgent advocacy, practical and emotional support for us all, when stricken…There’s the snuggle- into -a -woolly -jumper COMFORT. Sugary cake, birthday candles, watching Detectives on telly …reaching out for a “last” choccy. And HUGS.

I used to think signing off a note with “HUGS” was naff. No longer! Being enfolded, is what us children need. THERE’s so much bloody misery around !!!

One reason I’m resilient, I believe is because as a tiny child, I was hugged. Sat on my Father’s scraggy little knees, enfolded by his large hands or on my Mother’s knee; snuggling my head on her billowing breast. Held….

Now I’m 84. My friends and I “enfold” many a wonder and an horror. More and more, I love the bodily comfort of HUGS. D’you agree, dear Readers ?

See ‘Poems to hold on to’ by Diamond Twigg & Sophie Hannah –  HERE

 

Photo acknowledgement: Wonderopolis

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In Praise of Engineers

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Theopholous Isambard Kingdom Brunel is the name we’ve given the brown spider, come to hang over the kitchen table. Two brilliant Engineers.

Theopholous first wove a web attached by guy ropes to the curtain on the left and lamp to the right. THEN the lamp was moved. Next day, web gone! Woven back again by this evening.

( Thoughts of Mr. Brunel & the Great Eastern iron ship…. AND the New Forth Bridge Engineers)

Problem is …..no passing food. Does Amazon sell dried v. small flies , on line?

We are worried !!!!

Recommended: Deborah Cadbury ‘Seven Wonders of the Industrial World’ plus accompanying DVD -recreates the stories of the most brilliant pioneers of the Industrial Age – Bell Rock Light House, Brooklyn Bridge, the London Sewers HERE

Isambard Kingdom Brunel – Wikipedia HERE 

Photo acknowledgement –  michael podger on Unsplash

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You Can Do It !

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Listing Stories of friends’ achievements in the Ascot, Windsor, Slough, Bracknell, Reading areas of Berkshire UK, currently and as legacies from the 1980s –

Bill Carey Craft Workshop, WEB Bus education, Play Centre Old Magistrate Court, Light House Peace Yurt, ‘Take Two’ Palestine- Israeli play, Play reading group, Wordsmiths writers’ group, Festival of the Dark, Windsor Homeless project, PARITY: equal rights for men & women, Scar healing in Sarajevo, Windsor International One Act Play competition, ASCENT Environment Network & Festival, Quiet Garden retreat at 30, Granny Kettle Wood: high court action to preserve trees, Wildlife in Ascot, Save Heatherwood Hospital, DOCS: Defend Our Community Services, ‘How Come We Didn’t Know?’ exhibition NHS privatisation, Community access to Ascot Races, The ‘Just Walk’ to Palestine, Surrey Swans: Gender fluidity group, Collections for CALM: male suicide, The Circle Works at 30, Values & Visions Foundation, Wells for India at 30, Mindfulness classes, INSECT ARMAGGEDON

Cobra uses information & communication technologies to help local communities document & promote their own solutions to sustainability challenges & inspire others locally, nationally, internationally – Watch inspirational video: self- reliance & sustainability HERE 

 

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