Centenary of the Russian Revolution 1917 – 2017

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I spent one summer when I was 13, reading about Russia and a book entitled ‘The lives of the great composers’ …..many Russians.

I LOVED Russia. Knew nothing of the political implications of the Revolution. Just loved the Soul of Russia. 

The 2017 Proms ended on 9/9. They had celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution throughout the Programme.

One performance broadcast the day before the Last Night, was Shostokovitch 5th Symphony. This was composed in 1937 at the height of Stalin’s purges.

A small point…Valery Gergiev conducted the Marinsky Orchestra from the floor not from the rostrum.

A sense of those times … those aspirations…sounding in the music.

Acknowledgements : Royal Academy of Arts – Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932

Poster: The Bolshevik – Boris Kustodiev 1920

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‘Again … How Come We Don’t Know ?’

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Today’s Blog echoes the Story and Tales about OUR local NHS services and the importance of knowing what’s happening locally so we can be involved and respond with IMAGINATION.

The leaked 82-page government Brexit-immigration report should ring alarm bells for the NHS as it tackles the greatest workforce crisis in the health service’s history.

The Home Office proposes measures to reduce the number of lower-skilled EU migrants by offering them residency for a maximum of only two years, whereas those in “high-skilled occupations” would be granted permits to work three to five years.

[ Acknowledgement  – The Guardian, Article by Ben Howlett 7/9/17]

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Stay focused on Climate Change

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There’s some encouraging global news about technological innovation in response to Climate Change. One aspect of relative public inertia is the fact that information is not easily accessible and understandable in terms of ‘my pocket’ relevance.

For instance, did you know about SUBSIDIES TO FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES ? 

Report in the journal of World Development estimates that in 20115.8% of global GDP was expended on fossil fuel subsidies, rising to 6.5% in 2013. The subsidies exist in part because consumers don’t understand their size. The authors note that environment, fiscal & welfare gains from subsidy reform would be substantial.

So, local Environment groups importantly encourage local environmental awareness: ITS RELEVANCE TO DAY TO DAY LIVES… schools, at community events …popping up all around the place !

Ref. John Abraham, Guardian, 7 August 2017  –  World Development vol.91. Pages 11-27

Please have a look at TALES  – which provides details of the ASCENT Festival and its coverage on Climate Change. 

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Saw this caterpillar ….

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Almost under the car wheel. After much squiggling by insect and adult…it was extracted from near squash-of-a-death. Moved to flower bed.

A friend said had seen such a caterpillar in his garden. Apparently, a glut of the Purple Elephant Moth this year. The caterpillar enlarges its eyes to warn-off a predator.

The caterpillars’ preferred food is Fuschia and Rose Bay Mountain Willow Herb.

Adult night-flying moths feed on Nectar.


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Leaf-Cutter Bees

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A  friend has a ‘bee hotel’ hanging from a tree branch in her flower-filled garden.

AMAZED is she !! to see little holes cut from leaves which perfectly fit the ‘hotel’ entrances. Maureen saw different sized holes nibbled from the leaves by the bees who enter the hole which fits  their size… pull the accurately sized leaf- door over the entrance… and lay their eggs.

 These are Solitary Bees. Essential pollinators. See ref. article  below.

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Gratitude and Appreciation

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Listening today to my friend Marielou tell me about her Mother, visiting home in the Philippines. The lady (my age 83) is failing quite fast now. My friend is gathering in the high airfare…like so many in this country who are called “back home” when their elderly need them and travel costs are exorbitant.

I recall both my parents dying when I was equally far from home in Malaysia.

And I think in GRATITUDE of our NHS in comparison to all the countries of our world where you have to pay for medical care . And indeed all the lands where scant medical care is the norm.

And I think in APPRECIATION of the myriad hospital auxiliaries, like my friend, who work hard and with such grace, in our NHS hospitals. 

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The Other and Wobbling

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Lately, I’ve suddenly lost balance. Crashed down. Hurt.

Of course I relate this to the “wobble” of the political world.

An aspect of wobbledom crashed into our house the other night. Meeting of our Environment Group. In the starting Go Round…”how are you ?”… one member reported a racist incident .

Young Black mother with two small children being violently harassed by young White man. He, jeered on by young women companions. Our friend intervened. Reported to Police.

We recalled our years educating beyond racism, sexism : myriad forms of evolving into a sense of interdependence…Oneness

Our group saw this attack as a demonstration of current “permission” to abuse “the Other”.

We are heartened to read of the Values & Vision programme for young children, in Primary & Secondary schools; education to enhance our confidence in Oneness.

Useful background information  – see ‘INSTED: Equality & Diversity in education’


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Take Courage

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Following the years when he couldn’t walk at all, after a shattering car accident …. one day my Mother was pushing my Father in his wheel-chair across a cobbled pathway.

“Stop Lil, Stop!” he shouted.  “What’s that shiny thing there?”

Lil picked up a little badge; Courage Brewery… a golden Cockerel topping the call

“Take Courage”

Arthur wore it ever after, on his lapel.

Just one of the multitude of such stories of grit ! that we’ve all known.

This website is founded on our collective experience of COURAGE.

Courage in small, daily acts, everywhere.

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Nelson Mandela’s Birthday – 18 July

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In memory of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July 1918 – a few of his inspiring words to reflect upon :-

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”


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