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Anne Yarwood

Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark

By | Blogs

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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Enter an Animal’s Consciousness Gallery

By | Uncategorized



Whistlejacket – George Stubbs


In our Imaginations, Dear Readers, I invite us to get closer to Animals’ experience of life through the ages: where did power lie?

  • In the caves of Lascaux in the Dordogne, September 1940, teenager Paul Ravidar and his dog Robot were the first to see some of the 2000 PREHISTORIC 15,000 year paintings of the hunt. Hunts which had been between equals: kill or be killed.
  • DOMESTICATION of animals began in the land between the Euphrates & the Tigris 10,000 years ago by the SUMERIANS; goats then sheep. Current research is finding a complexity of information e.g very new DNA techniques analysing archaeologically retrieved bones, offer genetic samples of domestication played out long ago. Such knowledge adds to our understanding of how plant and animal domestication changed human settlements from a hunting to a settled, farming society
  • One of the 5,000 year old Indian religion JAINISM’s premise is AHIMSĀ: NON- VIOLENCE. This includes no harm to animals or their life- cycle…. ‘the first function of the soul is to help one another’.
  • CHEROKEE Native American matriarchal society: women worked the land, men hunted, preparing themselves by sacred rituals. They would pray to the wind, rivers and mountains for success, then ask the gods’ forgiveness for taking a life, after a kill. AND note…the slaughter of the Plains’ buffalo herds by the White Man.
  • Specific LIFE- STYLES developed around the world, illustrated by the COUNTRY HOUSE culture of the 18th century in the British Isles: balancing land enhancement with the central social life of hunting, shooting & fishing. This culture symbolised then and today, the power of the gentry as creators of the values of rural society; importantly including rural employment.
  • BEASTS OF BURDEN in the pits & on the battlefield. Pit ponies first used in 1750 and to replace women & boys under age 13 in Lord Shaftesbury’s Mines Act 1842, following public outcry when The Times revealed conditions. In World War 1 – 8 million horses and mules died. Invaluable for transport, hauling ammunitions and supplies. They died agonising deaths from wounds, starvation, thirst, exhaustion, diseases and exposure.
  • UK FARMING Post Brexit. ‘HEALTH and HARMONY’ DEFRA’s long- awaited consultation paper on food, farming & the environment: vision of a ‘green Brexit’. Over-arching goal, to change way land is used to provide Health and Harmony. Animal Welfare in UK ranked internationally in top four by World Animal Protection. Government COULD pilot scheme offering targeted payments to farmers who deliver higher welfare actions.
  • UK FACTORY FARMING run by giant, primarily private corporations, strives to maximise output by minimising costs. The farming method was encouraged by 1947 Agriculture Act granting subsidies to farmers to encourage greater output through new technology. This in order to reduce British reliance on imported meat.
  • The OPPOSITION / SUPPORT ON ANIMAL RIGHTS ISSUES consolidates. On the one hand, is the power of the Cosmetic Industry & University Research departments who support Animal Research. In US 26 million animals are used annually in research. Out of 98 Nobel prize winners in Physiologyy and Medicine, 78 used animals in research. A growing section of the opposition to animal research is VEGANISM; take-up of its diets & life- styles, apparently inspired by celebrities. At 5th international EAT Forum Stockholm, strong Vegan and Vegetarian presence.
  • ANIMAL THERAPY is gaining use in statutory and voluntary settings. In 1984 EDWARD O. WILSON’s ‘Biophilia Hypothesis’ – included the idea that attachment and interest in animals stems from the strong possibility that human survival was partly dependent on signals from animals in the environment indicating safety or threat.
  • Our own FAMILY ANIMALS who have given us loyal companionship and love.



Leigh Bowery – Lucian Freud



An exhibition at the Tate until August 27

ALL TOO HUMAN : Bacon, Freud & a century of painting life: expressing the tangible reality of life through paint – HERE

Placed in our Gallery to witness the human amidst the animal









No. 11 – Wake Up to and shout aloud…..facts about Factory Farming

By | Wake Up

Head of Compassion in World Farming, Philip Lymbery states :

“There is a desperate need for joined-up action on Industrial Farming if we are to avoid a catastrophic impact on Earth”  – READ HIS ARTICLE HERE

IN ORDER FOR HUMANS TO BE ABLE TO BUY LOW COST MEAT – Interrelated conditions exist :-

  • In UK there are 1,674 intensive factory farms. Average space per. chicken 25cm x 25 cm. 94% chickens raised for meat in these conditions.
  • About 1/2 European antibiotics are given to livestock to combat infection & to enhance rapid animal growth. Infection spreads rapidly in factory farms.
  • Dutch scientists estimate 1/3 to 1/2 of antibiotic resistance in humans is due to infections originating in agriculture.
  • Poor working conditions for Farm Workers in factory farms: bacterial infections, cross contamination, excessive lines’ speed, exploitation, low wages
  • 5 privately owned firms control the new MEGA FARMS:- Faccenda, Moy Park, Cargill, 2 Sisters, Banham Poultry .They supply cheap meat to Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison, Asda, Macdonalds, Nando,



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Goat Yoga

By | Blogs

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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Permaculture Gallery

By | Uncategorized


A picture celebration of family and friends’ imaginings: skilful play, with all forms of Creativity





Hand of the Desert, Atacama

Muttering on about, swaying between …the hopelessness of Plastic Pollution and the practicality of Permaculture, here’s some more thoughts, before the pix –

  • ‘‘Instead of feeling hopeless about our beautiful planet, Permaculture opened my eyes to the many simple solutions that can be adapted & applied to create a better world’’ Mel Chambers. PDC Graduate (Permaculture Design Course).    SEE HERE – to Learn more about Permaculture
  • A selection of 6 of the 12 Permaculture Principles, from David Holmgron:- Observe & Interact, Catch & Share energy, Obtain & Yield, Produce no Waste, Use Small & Slow Solutions, Creatively use & respect Change.   SEE All 12   and   SEE HERE – 22 Facts about Plastic Pollution and 10 things we can do about it
  • CUBA : crisis of agriculture after Collapse of Soviet Union followed by US imposition of Trade Sanctions. Once it only grew sugar & was heavy handed with fertilisers and pesticides. Organic farming began, as a necessity. ‘‘People from abroad see us as a paradise of sustainable farmers, but we are not. We’re coming out of a very bad model of agriculture, to something better” (Guardian Environment 2/5/18, Food & Environment Reporting Network .US. FERN)    SEE HERE – about CUBA
  • RISC (Reading International Solidarity Centre): Gardens – sustainability & food security.  SEE HERE – about the Roof Garden
  • Sarah Cox, artist – an exemplar of Permaculture principles in action.  SEE HERE – Sarah’s new website 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  – Photo Hand of the Desert, Atacama – Yuri Beletsky, Nightscapes



No. 10 – Wake Up to getting Mad as Hell about Plastic Waste

By | Wake Up

( and loadsa other concerns !)

Organisations who hold power ARE responding to the pollution crisis :- e.g.

  • Plastic indispensable part of daily life; not an environment opportunity to maintain the circular economy . UK Plastics Pact : Aim,together create a sustainable system for plastics at the forefront of the circular economy.
  • “ EU declared war on plastic waste” Plan includes 350 mill. euros funding research to modernise plastic production and collection…..Each piece of packaging on the continent to be reusable /recyclable by 2030.
  • EU “Priority to clamp down on single-use plastic: 5 seconds to produce,5 minutes to use, 50 year’s to break- down”.
  • George Monbiot:” Oil companies will invest £130bn.globally in new plastic facilities in next 7 years…..UK Government’s praiseworthy “clean growth” policy, in practice entails more growth, more resources, more consumption.
  • Encouraging : proliferation in mass- circulation newspapers of articles photographs & campaigns plus social media petitions calling for government, commerce & consumer action to control useage & wastage & pollution.

AND it all RASPS AGAINST FACTS… AND THE FACT that the present crisis has been known and “hidden”, for decades..MYOPIA : near- sightedness.

  • 8 mill.tonnes of Plastic reach the sea every year.
  • By 2050 there will be more Plastic in oceans than fish.
  • 99% of seabirds will have eaten plastic.
  • average sea-food eater will have ingested 11,000 pieces of micro plastic,yearly.
  • Orb media reports billions of people in 12 countries drinking water contaminated by Plastic particles.
  • Plastic debris in oceans a growing hazard as toxins climb the food chain.
  • See list references at end of TALES SECTION of this website
  • I’m Mad As Hell Speech From Network (1976) 


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The dark nurtures growth

By | Blogs

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

We grow.

Maya Angelou

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

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By | Uncategorized


A picture celebration of family and friends’ imaginings: skilful play, with all forms of Creativity





Here’s some of my research, following the middle of the night ALERT to myriad SELF-RELIANT WORKERS world-wide.



The crucial role GOVERNMENTS can play in protecting workers’ rights. UK Government legislation requisite to make self employment secure. (See WAKE UP suggestions for UK). In Ghana, the government aims to lift the ban on small- scale mining in order to provide alternative income- generating and environmentally sustainable, opportunities to GALAMSAYERS and rural communities.

Link –  SEE HERE



⇒ Community determination to emerge from war-torn chaos.

WLP (Women’s Learning Partnership) Project example ‘EMPOWERING SYRIAN WOMEN for a better future’





The three co-founders of Mujeeb: Aghyad Al-Kabbani, Eyad Al-Shamani and Zeina Khalili

Young Entrepreneurs in Syria “they’ll rebuild what the war has destroyed”. An estimated 5 million sought external refuge during the 7 years of war in Syria. 8 million people still live in Syria amidst rising poverty, high unemployment. Amidst the 52.9% of working age, 75% are Young People; before war it was 15%.

Link –  SEE HERE






⇒ The INTERMEDIARIES, enabling for example, craftsmen in war- torn countries or small- scale producers, to access the complexities of Western markets. The Intermediaries include:-


Tradecraft Exchange  – Two years ago Tradecraft Exchange started working with low-income Senegalese fruit farmers & collectors to expand the market for their exotic fruit







TC Exchange is also supporting new livelihoods for women in Bangladesh, by strengthening their trading position in the Jute trade.

Links –  Traidcraft







⇒ Turquoise Mountain  – established 2006 at behest of Prince Charles works in Afghanistan, Myanmar and (so-called) Middle East. It aims to preserve and regenerate historic communities with a rich cultural heritage; reviving traditional crafts, creating jobs and skills and renewing a sense of pride.

Link –  Turquoise Mountain




Pratap Thapa and Lennart Budelmann,
Co-founders, aQysta

European Young Entrepreneurs – Young People from an early age are creating opportunities not only for themselves but for whole industries, developing new technologies and thriving work- places


Links – EU startups

and Forbes Top Under 30 European Social entrepreneurs






And INSECTS: FELLOW SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS – ‘Insect Armageddon’ local community research project aiming to raise- awareness of the crucial part that Insects play in our lives, globally AND THE FACT that the is an 80% global decline in global populations.

Links –  Wildlife in Ascot







No. 9 – Self Employment UK 2017/8

By | Wake Up

WAKE UP trumpets Self Employment whilst unearthing limitations within the sector requiring serious UK Government overhaul action.

Self employed 4.6 million, represent 15% UK workforce. Increase of 800,000 since 2008.

Self Employed at lower end of market – take home pay considerably less than Employed.

1/3 families have no savings: issue of nil pension provision

Government policy / practice intervention urgently required e.g. cut Red Tape, incentivise savings, taxation administration clarified/ simplified, flexible systems in general, legal definition of Self Employment.

Accessible ongoing support plus education for young people to better prepare them for Self Employment


Who are the Self Employed ? -New Policy Institute (npi)  SEE HERE

Who are the Self Employed ?  – CAB ( Citizens Advice Bureau)   SEE HERE and  SEE HERE

Self Employment Review – an independent report by Julie Deane OBE .

“The labour market has changed, and continues to change. The opportunities have never been greater”  SEE HERE

Enterprise for All – Review 2010-15 by Lord Young of Graffam   SEE HERE

Make it Work – Gingerbread   SEE HERE

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Riverford Organic Foodboxes

By | Blogs

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 –

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