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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Spring clean your life!


Have you ever walked into your home and wanted to walk straight back out again?
Ever felt that after the space and freedom of the outside world that inside you can no longer think – no longer be creative – no longer feel energised?

If that’s the case then my prognosis is that it’s definitely time for a spring clean.
Never underestimate the space around you as it's important for many reasons.
It’s your sanctuary. A place you go to recharge your batteries – to think – rest – enjoy – entertain and pray . All roads lead to home eventually – so home really needs to reflect who you are – it needs to feel right – connected…. You need to be able to ‘centre’ in it.
However - whilst with a home you can literally walk back out again if you feel angst (You can go take a walk around the block – count to ten then walk back in again mentally prepared for whatever you need to do) - it’s not that easy with mental clutter.
Mental clutter is the baggage that lurks at the back of your mind – preventing you from moving forward. Preventing you from feeling creative and doing the things you really want to do.
Clutter that acts as a barrier between you and your heart’s desire.
Prevents you from being you
Some of it was put there by you – some of it you harbor on behalf of others. (Usually folk who have so much baggage they can’t wait to offload a little onto you)... but do you have space back there? I think each one of us only has just about enough space for our own junk.

In the same way you clear out your home – you also need to clear your mind.
There’s a saying that ‘if you haven’t used something in 5yrs chances are you really don’t need it so throw it out’.
Whilst I’m not advocating you do that necessarily ( as there are some things that will always have value and if kept in good condition can still be used) I would say however that if something is not supporting your dream/s - there’s probably no point in holding on to it.
For example – you think that you’re not very good at something – or that you always make mistakes... let it go
Another example is bitterness towards one and all… why? How will that support your dream when nobody cares? … Let it go)

Sometimes - you have to be ruthless when you have a spring clean – and that may apply to people.
By that I mean those negative naggers who refuse to watch you grow – let you go - prefer to keep you close – whilst simultaneously sucking your energy and creativity dry.
You may need to apply vanish to that one – let it soak in and rinse well.
Other things that may need a clear out is that feeling of helplessness - feeling as though you don’t - or can't control your life.
You really are in the driving seat. Obstacles will come along – and you may face a bump or two in the road from time to time - but you still hold the wheel…. Don’t let go of the wheel.

So as we enter into the summer and de-clutter our homes – as we paint and polish... take the time to de clutter the mind also .
Sow some new seeds and watch them grow – as they surely will If you feed them regularly – and don’t neglect them.
Seek out those who will nurture your dreams also – support each other and have fun
Let me know how it goes…

Loves intended purpose


How can you find a way to forget
A glass of wine perhaps
And yet
A bottle half full or half empty is still meaningless in that
The thought still remains
A little hazy the image but enough to tug on the heart
To raise the pulse
Sigh
You have been captured
And resistance will never prevail
Over loves intended purpose
It will not accept defeat

A long walk
To ponder on the beauty of nature
In the hope it will detract from the beauty you see
In your mind’s eye
When thoughts turn to the one you love
The weather beaten jacket you wear
Is suitable attire for what lies beneath
Battered yet not beaten
Dejected
Yet never rejected
Only surety will set you free
Announce it to your heart
What will be will be

Early summer days
And chilly summer nights
Yet warmth do you feel
As you realise time has passed
again you will meet
A never ending pause
Impatience gathers speed
No longer for denial can time be allocated
For time is precious
No longer a desire to forget
Neither wine nor walks of love can subdue
its intended purpose

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Perfection

The notion of perfection taunts us often.
It’s what many of us strive for yet never acquire. Yet if we did, all would be worthless would it not?
Perfection doesn’t exist. Regardless of how great you may think you are - regardless of well you complete a task – there will always be room for improvement.
I heard a quote recently from Les Brown a motivational speaker and he said - “Practice doesn’t make perfect – it only makes improvement. Perfection doesn’t exist so take it out of your consciousness”.
That stuck in my mind I guess as I’ve had a crush on perfection for as long as I can remember. It’s unrequited - and as always with unrequited love I‘ve known for a long time – I had to let it go.

The feeling that we cannot achieve perfection can be a scary one - Yet it can also set you free. In knowing that you no longer need to strive for something that in reality doesn’t exist helps you to focus on yourself – clearly. It helps you to focus on being the best you can be – today – tomorrow – and the day after that. Each day you strive to improve – to get better. Each day – you are reborn to begin again –in the knowledge that history has granted you that greatest gift - Experience. For with experience comes wisdom. Knowing that perfection doesn’t exist removes the glass ceiling and all of a sudden sky’s the limit. You are free from the restrictions of perfection – rescued from what in reality is emotional baggage...an extra weight which holds no real value.
For perfection is the end of the line. It’s the limit.

So many of us punish our selves when we fail to live up to what we feel we should be doing or should have achieved by a certain time. We may look at our flaws and punish ourselves for not being better people – not having more – earning more – being more. Tell ourselves we’ll be happier when we get more – yet more is never enough – is just a precursor to…well…wanting and needing more!. There is an upside though – especially if you’re the type of person that enjoys misery – it can however lead you to more… unhappiness!
When you feel you’re arrived – when you feel you’re perfect you seize to grow. You become stagnant – stale - you’re no longer progress – instead you regress. You become set in your ways and all the things you never wanted to be – you risk becoming. There will always be more questions than answers and I believe that to be a good thing. Remain open to the possibility that lessons can come from anyone – anywhere – anytime.
If you practice enough at whatever it is you want to be good at you will eventually become great at it even when you make mistakes. You no longer need to beat yourself with the perfection stick. There is something even greater the notion of perfection – and that... is the pursuit of goodness.

Interview with Professor Stuart Hall

Britain's leading cultural theorist and sociologist Professor Stuart Hall spoke recently on Radio 4.. hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Jingoism and Football - what's the score?

I’ve been following some interesting Tweets during the England v Ghana game.
Apparently – for some – they can’t quite understand why 2nd generation Ghanaians and Nigerians are supporting the country they ‘holiday’ in.
It was said that England is too tolerant and that if 2nd generation loyalties are not to the country they were born in - then why are they here.

Grrrr
Well – I’ll speak for most and say – bite me!
No seriously – I’ll speak for most and say that their loyalties are with England… just not when playing Ghana:-)
I’m neither from Nigeria or Ghana but I’ll support Ghana whenever they’re playing. I’ll support England most times but not against Ghana.
Now – whilst many may find this complicated let me try and simplify it for you.

You will always have an affinity to your country of origin.
Unless - however - you’ve experienced terrible hardships – had to flee your original home – or lived in your country of origin under severe persecution.. I’m very fortunate in that these are things I’ve only ever read about – never experience 1st hand - so maybe(as a result) my view is slightly romanticised… I can accept that. ( I tend at times to focus not on things as they are - but as they should or could be)
Yet as a way of explanation I could present another view - perhaps an overview of the whole colonial history thing - and remind you of how second generation African Caribbeans fought hard in the UK( at the detriment of their own progression in some cases - and to be branded trouble makers) to secure equal rights – challenge racism- and endure physical racial abuse - yet stand firm - in order to pave the way for others from Africa and the Caribbean to live and study here- and to do so relatively freely – to be given opportunities both at work and in education that without the struggle may have remained a distant dream (you can thank us later;-) Well...It's both a thought and a credible theory - worthy at least of consideration.

The irony of the 'Tweet' is that despite the fact that I was born here – 'proper Londoner’ - the most frequent question I’m asked is – where are you from? – why? –well I guess it must be because my skin is the colour of chocolate – yummy.
I like it though...on a daily basis it's not really an issue for me - perhaps because i've become accustomed to it.
I tend to choose a country of origin depending on how I feel at the time – Senegal one day – Ghana another - whatever – I’ll lay claim to anywhere.. Like a true Brit!

So…just as the English and the Aussies have a bit of friendly banter at cricket. Just like the English and the French have their isms.
When your team comes out to play.
Bring it on!
What’s your beef?
Funnily enough – I don’t think Fabio Capello has ever put so many 2nd generation African/Caribbeans on the pitch all at once to play for England - lord have mercy – where were they before? (thank god for the Ghana game!)
I joke of course

Minor displays of jingoism are apparent in football - possibly more so than other sports – but to be honest it’s pretty much evident across all sports.
But let's' not get carried away - sport is sport – let's not read too much into this - it's competition - and rivalry is healthy in sports – without it – it’s pointless.
I’m a London girl through and through – born and bred – love it
Happy to maintain a dual identity - Happy to be a lady of complexities
Deal with it
Variety they say – is the spice of life

Classic 'Rockers' movie clip

One of the best movies of it's genre If you enjoyed the harder they come you'll love this.. the humour alone is well worth it!
A cool film recommendation for the Summer 10/10

Smile..even though...





and with lyrics...

Monday, 28 March 2011

Are achievable goals overrated?

Are we really motivated by achievable goals?.

There was a time when both public and private sector speak was littered with the need to have - or at least set SMART targets - SMART goals.
Now whilst they may be a useful tool in explaining why a task cannot be met - or why someone may have an unrealistic expectation... in terms of motivating and propelling us forward - I'm not sure that they do.

What they do is give us a quick burst of euphoria ( yay look what I've done) but it doesn't last. For example - I know I can take a certain book of the shelf any time and read it.. Yet knowing that wont make me pick it up any faster. Why?..well because it's there. The only thing that will really get me to pick it up ( other than the fact that I really I want to read it of course ) is - discipline.
Discipline can be boring
It's not sexy
Discipline is not necessarily fun or exciting.
Discipline is not the same as a smart goal. You may argue that to achieve a goal takes discipline but I would argue not necessarily. Set your goal or target low enough or close enough and you'll hardly need to break a sweat to get there ( now that is smart!)
I would argue that the best goals are the ones you set not really knowing how on earth you're going to get it done - yet you know within your heart that it means so much to you - you're willing to work your knuckles off to achieve it.

The type of goals worth setting are the ones that will stretch you as a person. Develop you - bring out skills and abilities you never even knew you had. The type of goals that when you look back you wonder "How on earth did I do that?".

The type of goals that once achieved - you rightly feel a real sense of achievement and pride knowing that against the odds... you made it happen.

Maybe SMART goals are great in the workplace. Maybe they exist to protect staff from being overworked - over stressed and wrongly chastised. Maybe they help to retain a sense of realism with regards to what's possible. If that be the case then yes - the case for is a compelling one. But in terms of your personal development.. It may be worth setting your goals a little higher.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

A womans guide: 10 things to look for in a partner : A mans tool for getting it right!

1. Availability

Come on guys – if you have a husband - boyfriend wife – or a girlfriend. What’s the deal with the ongoing search for more? If the relationship you’re in no longer serves you - or the love has gone. Call it a day and move on – then you’re free to start anew. Some people moan and complain about their partners but are just too scared to be alone. Why do you fear yourself? Or – are you afraid you’ll never meet anyone else? – Of course you will!

Now only yesterday a married man offered to carry my shopping as close to my home as possible ( I let him of course..!!) Then to have him ask for my number while the glare of the ring nearly blinded me in the spring /summer sun..
“Get outa here jack!!...Like I don’t want a bloody husband of my bloody own to nag!!”
“Beat it!”
“What am I - a bloody husband magnet??”

I didn’t say it - but I thought it... I also thought – how old does he think I am… I’m way to grown for this!!”

No – the temptation is always there – especially for some of us commitment phobics– but let’s give it a go shall we!! Let’s both be available at the same time - imagine the fun we can really have!!... You won’t need to worry about a rolling pin in your head when you get home - and I won’t have to worry about getting jumped in the Tesco car park…

and just for the record guys.. well.. will never be a crediable substitute for yes or no when asked the question are you married. sure I know it can be tough - what with us girls being so cute an all but really... welllll???

2. Smarts or Talents

The man should be of the same level of intelligence as the woman - or above(cheers sis... i get it now)
If not the man will resent the woman - maybe not today – maybe not tomorrow - but he will – and for a long- long time
The best way to guard against that would be if he has a skill – or a craft that the woman doesn’t have... something he’s very good at - be it a musician a plumber a builder or something like that – or - maybe his skill is he knows how to make a woman feel like as Rhianna puts it” The only girl in the world.. (Trust me it’s a skill – because a lot of men struggle with that)
Yep - If he has a talent of some kind – all may be well

3. Secure

Oh yes - an insecure man is like a very angry lion in an unlocked cage - dangerous.
An insecure man with a secure woman is like oil on water. It can’t mix.
He will use everything in his power to demean or discourage you – he may even cheat
He will – resent you - period. Maybe not today - maybe not tomorrow – but he will… and for a long - long time.
To the men... come on – 40 going on 14 aint cute – 50 going on 15’s just plum ridiculous. Whilst retaining a youthful outlook in life is always welcome - childishness is an annoyance. And can actually be quite dangerous – e.g. domestic violence

4. Values

A man without values is like a loose cannon – what can I say. No values – no moral compass
No moral compass - run!

5. Sexual compatibility

If you’re not compatible in that department – chances are – it won’t work. If it’s not great - both should be willing to learn but my feeling is – it shouldn’t be a chore – you shouldn’t have to ‘work at it’ it’s either you’re attracted to someone or you’re not. Don’t fake attraction just because you’re tired of being alone. It may convince you that’s how it is for real... no – there’s always a match for someone. What’s not for you – will be for someone else – let it go – that way your hands are free to receive the blessings destined to come your way.

6. Emotional Intelligence

Some folk just haven’t got a clue. If you both lack it – fine. But if one has it and the other doesn’t – again - arguments can arise.

7. Loyalty

We can use war as an example.
If the streets are a battlefield – and life can wear you down – you don’t want to come home and find the ‘enemy’ within the confines of your home.
Once that door is shut – that’s it – the ‘enemy’ should be on the other side
Your significant other should be your greatest supporter. You need to know they have your back – will never sell you out. Will never be persuaded you’re anything other than great (if you are great that is ) by troublemakers and ne’er do wells
You need to be able to trust them explicitly.

8. Social awareness*

Someone who recognises the difficulties that others go through – cares about issues that affect many people – understands the isms and would support a just cause if needs be (you know what I mean??)
*you may not think it’s important – but if he doesn’t care about others – will he ever really care about you

9. Kindness

Yes – he must have a heart.
Find out about his upbringing also
Check out those eyes ladies… they are the windows to the soul
Also – he must be generous with his time – his emotions – buy you little inexpensive gifts now and then. If he’s mean – and you’re not - you will end up resenting him.

10. Fun

Sometimes – you just want to have fun – you want to have a laugh.
Life’s too short not to. You want someone who can laugh at themselves from time to time – not take life toooo seriously. Someone whose company you enjoy. After all – if you don’t enjoy each other company - what else is there?

Happy SMSx

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Are marches out of date?

Do you remember...

In Feb 2003 hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of London to 'voice their opposition to military action against Iraq'.

We went to war

Police said at the time that "it was the UK's biggest ever demonstration with at least 750,000 taking part, although organisers put the figure closer to two million"
Despite the will of the people - despite the zeal - despite the fortitude - the government decided - and action was declared.

Today (Saturday 26th March 20011) around 400,000 people have joined a march in London to oppose the coalition government's spending cuts.

The Guardian today states..
'In what looks like being the largest mass protest since the anti-Iraq war march in 2003, teachers, nurses, midwives, NHS, council and other public sector workers were joined by students, pensioners and direct action supporters, bringing the centre of the capital to a standstill.

Tens of thousands of people streamed along Embankment and past police barriers in Whitehall. Feeder marches, including a protest by students which set off from the University of London in Bloomsbury, swelled the crowd, which stretched back as far as St Paul's Cathedral.
The biggest union-organised event for over 20 years saw more than 800 coaches and dozens of trains hired to bring people to London, with many unable to make the journey to the capital because of the massive demand for transport.

My question is this..

As even more people marched against the war in Iraq than they did today - What will make this government listen if marches no longer have an impact?
I think that the true success of these marches is the way in which they can bring people together. Marches - unify - and as they say... 'united we stand - divided we fall'.. I wasn't there today - in hindsight maybe I should have been..
I too am beginning to feel the need to be amongst my fellow man in times like these -marches move people - they educate - they motivate - they inspire - they instill a sense of purpose and belonging..
But... that's not the real purpose of the march... is it?

I am beginning to wonder however - if there isn't another way.
If the front door is closed - is there a side door entrance?

It's too early to know what the impact of today's marches will be but..
If this doesn't work
"Just what will make the government listen??

NB On the day of this great march a simple tweet perhaps summed up the feelings from the top..from our very own Mayor of London - Boris Johnson
His tweet??... "Well done Oxford!"
Who could forget the Oxford v Cambridge boat race eh...
:-)

Sensual Saturday Vid for the Soulful

Im researching something else I stumbled across this .. honest I did :-)
I used to play this when my boys dad was getting on my nerves
"What you playing that for??"
"Shut up!" (exit stage left!!)
Well... they say it's good to talk!

Thought I better change the video - may have been a bit risque for some....
Still - check it out yourselves whenever.. enjoy the music


One more from Ms Braxton.. can't show video - been disabled by Sony.. it's really cool though..

Friday, 25 March 2011

Sunshine - but don't ditch the coat just yet!

Hi all

Today was a really nice day

A sunny day where - for the first time in a long time - I actually spent most of my time outside without a jacket.. chatting to passers by - and soaking up that vitamin D
Felt good at the time
Doesn't feel so good now..
I can feel that well known 'heaviness' above the eyebrows and have the beginnings of a sore throat. So - before I 'hunker down' to wrap up and rest - I'd like to say to you all..
I hope you had a productive and enjoyable week.. with love - happiness and laughter
or at least one out of three ain't bad..

Try right now to think of that one thing that made you smile.. cool
May you carry that feeling through tonight - this weekend..and beyond

I'm pleased to say I've made a start on that garden I always speak about - ( yeah I know... finally)
Hopefully feel better tomorrow

Have a nice nightx

Short clip looking at how cuts may affect communities

Lee Jasper Speaks..

Comments welcome as always...

Happy Birthday Elton John - enjoy two of my favs folks..



Thursday, 24 March 2011

Why self hate is the bedfellow of racism

One of the biggest legacies of racism is self hate.
It’s where years of subliminal - actual - direct - and indirect discrimination causes the individual /s to internalise events as though they are somehow at fault.

If - in a society - messages of all that is good appear to be all that you are not - the ability to remain steadfast in your beliefs and culture can become more and more difficult.
Many people - as a result of witnessing what can happen to those who speak out - or try to fight an entrenched system - decide the best option is to remain silent - to try their best to fit in with the status quo – and to assimilate into the system as much as possible - If not by appearance – then by way of thought – lifestyle - attitude and beliefs.
Some confuse this with multiculturalism

Yet multiculturalism is not about denial of one’s self and differences – it’s not about denial of who you are – it’s not about accepting your way as not quite as good as the majority - it’s about ( at the very least ) acknowledgement - respect and belonging
It's feeling as though - and knowing for a fact – that you have a natural right - as opposed to rights as indicated by law.
It’s that natural sense of entitlement that is not always felt by minorities.

Denial of one’s self can eventually metamorphose into self hate - and self hate - will grab hold of the baton passed by racism quicker than Usain Bolt if one’s not careful.

Picture this – in a relay - the baton is passed from one runner to the other with the aim of reaching the end with the baton still intact.
That is how this form of neo racism works. Those who are not mindful will internalise derogatory and- or oppressive messages to the point where they not only hate themselves – but others who look like – or remind themselves of - them.

This is where the baton is passed. The person on the receiving end of this bizarre but obvious form of discrimination may (unless they stall – fumble and drop the baton ) decide that the problem again - is them – that there is something intrinsically wrong with them - thereby forming a dislike not only of themselves - but (you guessed it) others who look like them - and this - is the cycle - the never ending relay - this - is when the oppressed (often unwittingly ) become oppressors.

Laws do not effect change – people do
And to do that - to really effect change - takes courage and it takes bravery.
I dare you – to dare yourself
I dare you to love what you see – love your difference - love your reflection manifested in others
Want change?
Know your worth
Do yourself a favour...drop the baton!

The Art of listening

We place a lot of emphasis on the art of conversation. People like to talk – like to air their views – love to be heard – whether what they have to say is of great importance or not.

I guess we’ve long had a love affair with the voice ever since we realized we could cry – scream – or shout and get what we want. Babies and children love the sound of their voice. Watch them at play – unaware of any audience they will make sounds – talk – hum - or sing with carefree abandon.
The charm wears off as we become adults. Try that out whilst shopping for example and watch the looks you’ll get. Yet as adults we find other ways to soothe our souls through endless chatter.

The real art in my view however – is the art of listening.
The art of being able to fully hear what the other person is saying. The ability to clear the clutter of what can be (at times) nonsensical ramblings and cut through to the real issue.
When you listen to someone - they feel important. If you listen without interrupting – or without succumbing to the need to cut in and steer the conversation around to you - it genuinely helps – not only the person being listened to - but it also helps you - as it’s through listening – that we learn.

We learn because we all see the world through different eyes. We experience things differently – and the recognition of that creates understanding.
Isms such as racism – sexism etc stem also from a person’s inability to really hear what the other person is saying. Denial (for whatever reason) of their worlds view - of their experiences. So wrapped up in guilt perhaps that denial (for some) is the best form of defense. So afraid to cause an affray – or rock an already rocky boat that denial (for some) is the best route to acceptance.

Try today to listen to someone. Really listen.
What do they mean when they say what they say? Is it coming from a place of love – or is it coming from a place of bitterness. Is what they say aimed at truly bringing about harmony and promoting understanding – or - is there a more sinister purpose to their talk?
The best friend you could ever have - is someone who can listen to you – and if you truly love and care for them – you will listen also.
Listening can be hard work when you have no real interest in the other person – in that respects it can also be difficult to fake. Can it be learned? I’m not sure … it’s a bit like asking can you teach someone to care...
To be honest – I don’t think you can

You can make someone aware of techniques or tips you can use to make it look like you’re listening – or help you along the way – a bit like teaching – where you can have all the tools and learn the techniques – but it will never really make you a stand out teacher unless you have that 'thing'. That thing that money can’t buy – I guess you’re either you’re born to teach – or you’re not.
Maybe I’m being over simplistic - unfairly oversimplistic

I guess what I’m saying is that I do believe that whilst were all good at something –there is something in particular that we are great at.
In life – it’s a lucky few who not only know what that is – but are given the chance to use it. In life – we're often put into little controllable boxes – the trick is to fight the desire to stay there.

As they say – Only you can be you....hope you’re listening now x

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A Budget Response 2011

I wonder how many of you were impressed by George Osborne’s Budget today. Pretty impressive stuff - a neat economic package wrapped up in a bundle of slick sound bites that tap into our love of showbiz - aspirations - and our desperate desire to feel as though things - to quote Blair’s anthem.. ‘Will only get better’
I seem obsessed with the Blair years – let it go D… it’s over
Anyway
Osborne describes it as a budget "Built on sound money" – well it’s definitely a budget built on an ideology that those who earn more should pay more – however – those who earn less – will not pay less- no – they - will pay more - also.
In that respects it’s not a budget build on an ideology of equality.
In a rhythmic display to set your pulse alight he described it as a budget to take the country “From rescue to reform - from reform to recovery”

Yet the cuts to the public sector will hit families hard once further job losses are realized – and few at that time will view that impact as either rescue or recovery.
“ A budget for making things – not making things up”
Well actions speak louder than words - so we can only hope that the private sector is able to replenish the gap left by public sector job cuts - and that the new Enterprise Zones announced today will offer much needed employment to those most in need

Osborne stated that “Britain is open for business” – and whilst that may be true it’s hardly new. Wealthy investors and a large number of private sector businesses have reaped the benefits of British business for many years. Those - however - who are not in a position to invest - or provide services will continue to be consumers - and ironically - those will the least – often appear as attractive bait to big fish - are often enticed the most – expected to spend the most - and as a result of being dependant on services - will continue to remain the most vulnerable..

So – “Britain needs to make things again”
Will we see a return to factories I wonder? … Is the “Plan for Growth ?“ - A plan to rely less on foreign imports?... Will the Enterprise Zones be like little industrial areas once more – where a worker can learn the skills required by their immediate employer - skills they couldn't’ possibly use elsewhere? – so - if they lose that job it's back to square one? ..
Still – a job is a job – and as people are now expected to work longer – we need to create more jobs for our school leavers – our young adults – and our (not quite pensioner) pensioners

There was some good news...
There will be funding for 12 new Technical Colleges which the government will increase to 24 - Technical Colleges that will provide vocational training to 11 – 19yr olds
This I guess will be for those students who the powers that be feel may be unable to achieve the new Baccalaureate - who knows…
This is a great thing if the skills of these students are recognized and truly valued – that they are not viewed as somehow second class – second rate qualifications’
We need skilled people in all areas – and I hope this is the government’s recognition of that.

Osborne’s stated in the house that the “Biggest problem facing our economy in the future is low - or lack of skills of our working age population”
Yet it’s hard to see how that will be improved if the plan to charge for Level 3 qualifications goes ahead. Low skills do not equal low ability. We have a large number of highly capable people in boroughs such as Hackney who - quite often (for no fault of their own) did not acquire a decent education - or gain the necessary qualifications. A lack of – or not having qualifications can mean – especially for minority groups - a reduction of opportunity - low paid jobs - and very little money to pay for classes. It’s a vicious cycle.

Still - it’s good to hear that 'Non Dom’ tax dodgers will have to pay tax like the rest of us... pretty sure they’ll find a way around that – but it’s a good step towards fairness

Osborne closed his speech with an almost poetic rallying call of …
“Made in Britain
Created in Britain
Designed in Britain
Invented in Britain
To drive our nation forward
A Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers
That is how we will create jobs and support families,
We have put fuel into the tank of the British economy and I commend this budget to the house!” ‘yeaaaah’
Cool
So - up stepped Ed Miliband with my favorite quips of the day

What say Ed (you sure you’re not from Hackney?) Miliband?
‘Cha’ ( I said that)
“Same old Tories!”… Shouted Ed.. “It’s hurting …but it isn’t working!”… he went on…
“The wrong type of Chancellor … in the wrong type of government …with the wrong priorities for Britain”… a complacent - arrogant Chancellor in a complacent - arrogant government..

Lord have mercy…

It’s true what they say – you can’t please ‘em' all…

Monday, 21 March 2011

Nine Months- for you..

This little person thou hath create
So totally reliant on you
Will soon see your face
Will know your scent
Will love you
Will memorize the contours of your image
Clasp your finger tight
Cry at night
To be with you and only you
Till comfort again is restored

This little person you did create
Exists of nothing more wondrous
Oh joy what you are capable of
What nature can do
Away from prying eyes
So pure
Untainted by life
So tiny
Unable to fill the smallest cotton
Whether sky blue or pink
Whether the whitest white
No love greater
Will you know

This little person you did create
Will someday speak your name
Will look a little
Maybe a lot
Like you
Remind you of the way you were
Of your lover
Of your spouse
Of their ways
A look
Better days
Brought together as you were
For the creation
Of life

This little person you did create
A blank canvas
As you expand
Woman
Run your hand
Over your stomach
Trace your hand
Over theirs
As they push left to right
Against the walls of security
Ready now to see light
Ready to view the world
As you do

Laugh oh sweet one
Laugh oh gentle one
Watch the rise and fall
Sing
For someday soon
You will hold
Will kiss
Oh curious emotion
Those tear filled eyes
Clear my vision
For now I need see

So onto you
A gift
So precious
Now you have
This little person
thou did create
You are mother
You are father
You
Are born again

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A 'tongue in cheek' guide of what not to say on a Soul Mate Sunday

Hello readers - and how was your day today?..
Many of you will know that on a 'Soul Mate' Sunday I like to pen something 'kinda ' romantic - or write a piece about relationships..

Well I'm almost out of time but I thought I'd have a bit of fun today-so have come up with this 'tongue in cheek' guide of things you really wouldn't want to hear said in the boudoir.

I polled a couple of women... had to think on behalf of you men as you're not always as forthcomming with these things as we'd like - and have selected a few statements I think we could all agree on
So without further ado - and in no particular order..I give you our
'watchwhatyousay' guide...in bedroom etiquette

12 things she never wants to hear him say in bed

1. Yikes…I didn’t realize you were that old
2. Sorry I thought the cream would have cleared that up by now
3. I’m only using you until someone better comes along
4. My ex used to do it this way – can you?
5. Keep it down my parents are next door (he’s over 40!)
6. What my wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her aka Oh sorry – I thought you knew I was married
7. I’m missing footy for this
8. I don’t know what I’m doing here
9. You’re not as bendy as my girlfriend - still never mind – now I know
10. I’m gonna need another drink for this
11. It’s not me – it’s you
12. If you get pregnant I’m outa here

12 things he never wants to hear her say in bed

1. You need to repaint the ceiling
2. Are you in yet?
3. And just what number are you?
4. Never mind… we can still make it work
5. It used to happen all the time with my ex
6. Did you shower today?
7. I’m missing Corrie for this
8. They only sell regular - Is it meant to be this baggy?
9. Do you know what you’re doing?
10. Now I know why your girl left you
11. No – same as always - I’m just tired - of faking
12. Boring

Hope you all had a wonderful day - remember - give love a chance - and 'Smile'x

War! and Great Speeches.. does anyone really listen?

Greetings this blessed Sunday Morning
Overnight - for many - the world has changed.. and in view of that change - I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about speeches.
I watched David Cameron last night talk about British Forces "being in action over Libya" and how "they've come together as a coalition to enforce the will of the UN - and to protect the Libyan people!" great ... Rwanda anyone??

Good to see the UN have their teeth back.. at last

Anyway.. that aside - our PM did a great job in justifying taking action - almost taking away - in a sense - the true reality of what that means...of what war means for hundreds - no thousands of innocents in Libya..

A bitter pill is easily swallowed if administered just right... and in this case Cameron did (in my view) get his words just right...
"It is necessary"
"It is legal.. aka I'm not Blair!"
"and it is right"
Who can argue with that...

Great speeches can impact on the world - move people in a way that very little else can .. remember Barack Obamas victory speech?
When young and old across the world gathered in front of the TV to watch this wonderful spectacle take place in a land where the history of African Americans is littered with the blood of many great activists whose only real desire was equality fairness - and for people ( who looked like me) to be treated like - well... people - and not animals...

Remember..
"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord...
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics"

Yes - great speeches can offer hope to the hopeful - of rectifying a bad or intolerable situation - the possibilities of a better life - a better future.

Again ...Barack Obamas Inaugural Address..
"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it"

Who can forget the beautiful closing statement of his victory speech....
"This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can"

Yes we can..
Yet still - we fight
Yes we can
Yet still - we appear incapable of peace
Yes we can
Yet still - we don't

Nothing for me sums up this current situation across the world better than a speech written over 47 years ago..
It speaks much of the ways things will continue to be unless we change.
It speaks of the ills of human nature
It could have been written yesterday
It was actually written by Haile Selassie - and set to music by Bob Marley
I stumbled across these words on the back of an album cover when I was very young - and nothing I've witnessed or heard since then has ever disproved them
Some of you may be of an age where you can remember the speech being delivered.. I wonder if it had an impact on you at the time..

However - as far removed from the echelons of power and decision making as I may be -I believe my words to be of no less importance when I say that I believe... more strongly than ever - that there must be a change
As people... we need to change...
We can make it right..

Yes we can..x

Saturday, 19 March 2011

I will..

I sat
At the top of the bus on this bright spring day
I saw
What looked to me like the beginnings of a smile
I glanced
Again in the hope that it was for me
It was
Yet the traffic held no romantic fascination for either one of us
I waved
The only reminder I have is the flicker of panic across your face
I wished
For a moment longer - to know your name - for you to know mine
I should
Have insisted the driver stopped - reversed - held up traffic
I knew
Saturday shoppers on a mission would never understand
I will
Walk that way
Again
Slowly
Observably
You
Will never
Feel lonely
Again
I yearn
To be close
To you
Until then
I shall listen to this
And think
Of you
Yes
I will

Friday, 18 March 2011

Live in the now!..Westlife Words & Music



Mine Broke!-still -an example of the kindness of strangers..



Apperances may be deceptive

As adults (especially us women) we would run a mile at the thought of being seen next to someone wearing the exact same outfit as us. We might just allow the same shoes – but anything more visible than that would have us drop everything... *(boardroom – speech – party – date – wedding – anything!!) for a trip home and a quick outfit change!!. You see - we girls have a desire to feel special – men – please take note – I repeat… (special) We want to look different - a bit unique in some way. Sure there are times when one may want to blend in but even then – there’s always a little quirk somewhere that says – ‘this is me’ – some undergarment perhaps?? Whatever…

The thought crossed my mind today and I just wondered if children felt like that also, and if so, my heart goes out to any twins out there whose parents dress them in the exact same outfit as their brother or sister everyday including accessories (this of course would only really apply to same sex twins – unless the parents are way off beam!!)
I wonder also if police officers, soldiers and other uniform wearing occupations have that burden. I wonder if they ever feel like saying
“Yo – Boss… I don’t mind wearing this as long as I can roll up one trouser leg …or... shorten that skirt by two inches – or - I feel I need to ‘rock this outfit’ with bright blue laces.
Or - has everyone else grown up and out of the need to be different??

Do identical clothes equal identical attitudes?
For example - If there is one rogue police officer – does it then equate that they are all rogue?
Does one robber in a ‘hooded top’ equate to anyone in a hooded top being of a criminal persuasion?
Does one ganja smoking dreadlocks equate to anyone with dreadlocks being a lover of the ‘herbs man hustling??’ (Sugar Minot fans will get that!)

Talk to me – what’s your screw up??

How much of our identity is wrapped up in the clothes we wear. We know for a fact that people judge us by our appearances (Yes- sad but true – let’s be honest)
Some things you can change – (like an outfit) others you can’t – like skin colour or gender (actually you can kinda change your gender now so scrap that – and -come to think of it - people can become darker or lighter at will also - so again - hmmm)
But you know what I mean!!
Sorry??…what is that you say?? - people can have plastic surgery?? yeah - okay - but – can we just stay on point please!!

If there were no ‘rule’ governing how we should appear at work or just in public in general… How would you appear??

Do you not think it’s short sighted of us to think that a man in a suit is anymore professional or intelligent than a man in a ‘Trakky’ or ‘Jeans?’ – If I’m honest I do have a penchant for a suit wearing man I confess – but – trust me - I can still see beyond that – way beyond that! – easy readers – stay with me here!!
For example - is a woman in a tight top any more flirtatious than a woman in a very ‘conservative’ garment?
No? - so why then do we still act the way we do more often than not?

If children (twins in particular) could really say what they felt without being chastised do you think that the ‘twins’ who are forced to dress alike would scream’’ I am my own person… please buy me something else – something more fitting of who I am!! ‘Know me mama’ – see me ‘papa’ I am different
Cute- yes – but different

Having said all that I quite like my Librarians to look ‘Book-ish’, my Doctors to look ‘Meticulous and my Bankers to look…well…’Banker-ish’ - if I had my way I’d insist all Bankers wore bright red braces at all times, and a monocle over their right eye – I guess this is what’s known as social conditioning – who knows – whatever turns you on right..

So many questions I know… just a thought – or two – on a Friday Fabulous Friday.

*Not all women – I do exaggerate from time to time – my aim is not to upset the feminist movement here – merely to showcase aspects of a female’s nature –which is evidently stronger in some than others

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I have seen..the everlasting poem

I have seen the green shoots of spring
I have seen a grown man cry
I have seen unbridled joy on the face of a baby
I have seen sadness etched on old faces
I have seen the seasons change
I have seen a bus break down in the snow
I have seen a tree bear fruit
I have seen crowds sway with excitement
I have seen the red mists of an urban riot
I have seen calm after a storm
I have seen victory over exhaustion validate an athlete
I have seen mercy given by the merciful
I have seen a man lash out in anger
I have seen a woman’s rage
I have seen a teacher lose control of a classroom
I have seen a student put a book down in defeat
I have seen an argument begin from a single comment
I have seen friendships lost
I have seen two people fall in love
I have seen two people fall out of love
I have seen the beginnings of an affair
I have seen the end of one
I have seen faith in god restored
I have seen it lost
I have seen a boy grow into a man
I have seen a girl grow into a woman
I have seen a leader lost in leadership
I have seen the meek become forceful
I have seen a fake smile
I have seen a real smile
I have seen a person ostracized
I have seen a person welcomed
I have seen real friendships blossom
I have seen fake friendships fade
For I have seen much
Yet very little
For such a list could never be complete
Should never be complete
For such is the beauty of life
No day is the same
For all I have seen
I could never list
Yet I have seen
This
The everlasting poem

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Hope


What is Hope
Hope is life’s fuel
Life's motivation
A desire
To be free
To be given a chance once more
For someone to have faith
Believe in you

Hope can restore emptiness to fulfillment
Dry tears and heal hearts
Can instill trust in one’s own ability to succeed
Can overcome obstacles
Energise
Set a clear vision
A clear direction
Propel you closer to your chosen destination

Hope has no limitations
No restrictions
All change is possible
All joy achievable
Hope is the necessity of creation
Of dream fulfillment

When others may turn their back on you
Refuse you the time to explain
Judge you harshly
Maybe unfairly
Hope is the rod to strengthen your back
Shelter you from attack

You have no cross to bear
Fill your cup
Never give up
Smile
Learn the lesson
As all of life is learning
Hope the greatest teacher of all

Two sides of a coin


Never and forever
Two sides of the same coin
Devoid of time
A vacuum
Space
Capable of being filled
Yet in doing so
Become something entirely different.
Perhaps a meal to a hungry man
A full stop in a sentence
An answered question

Never and forever
Tortuous if tinged with sadness
Both yearning for something
Like never giving up
Never messing up
Forever being strong
Forever loving a song
A phrase
A picture
A person
Cake

Some say “never-say- never”
Some say “nothing is forever”

These colloquial words
Cast asunder
Often without a second though
Yet powerful enough
To change your life
In –an- instant.

Never and forever
Two sides of the same coin
Loved and feared

Cute



So you think I’m cute
You can never be mad at me
Never lose your patience
Or raise your voice to me
Without you feeling
Absolutely
Guilty
Afterwards
You’ll try to make amends

So you find my ways endearing
Can never imagine life
without me talking in your ear
About anything and nothing
Everything and something
Even when you’re busy
The most important thing to you
Is that you’re there
For me
As I am here for you

So you never want to change me
Happy to watch me grow
As you’re beside me
You are stronger
I am stronger
So we’re equal
You can be my guide
As you're insightful
Even if I can be ‘kinda’ fickle
At times
It’s not a huge percentage
And nothing can ever dent it
Your love for me
Because
You think I’m cute

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The joy of reading


Perhaps one of the greatest gifts you could give to a child is a love of books - and of reading.
I remember spending hours in Stamford Hill library as a child
looking forward to reading back to back Topsy and Tim books and my awaiting my night time story when whoever was drafted in to read was not allowed to stop until I was fast asleep
Stories to take you on an adventure - funny stories and fairytales
Pretty much anything you need to know can be found between the pages of a book.
That love has stayed with me

A book can alleviate loneliness
Open the mind
Inspire and motivate.
There are no limits to the imagination
No limits to aspirations
A person devoid of aspirations is incomplete
It's natures way

Children who struggle with reading often become frustrated
Yet the pressure they can find themselves under can put them off reading - sometimes for many years-right through to adulthood.
Reading - like writing should be a joy
An expression
It should not be used as a tool to destroy confidence

Books in many ways have helped to shape my life
Gave me the opportunity early on to find my own voice
They offer a comforting presence whether open or closed

I would wish for all children to have a passion
If not for books then for something that brings them joy - and helps to shape them into strong and wonderful individuals
Something that helps them to discover who they are - their individuality
Helps them to feel comfortable in their own skin
Less needing of the validation and approval of others
A parents role among others is to help to facilitate that

City of London


Beguiling beauty
Never dulled by time
Never tainted
Overstated
Oh city of mine

The backdrop to my youth
My eternal canvas
My inspiration
Flirtation

Tempted I may be
By the lure of Central Park
Yellow Taxi cabs
Walk don’t walk
Hot bagels and coffee shops
I compare thee not
To this city
Oh city of mine
As confusing and complex as I

Do you know how beautiful you are at night?
Listen to me
Like no one else
Keeper of all my secrets
Silent
Serene
Will you still protect me

Monday, 14 March 2011

Oops!!


Oh Boy
Did it again
Messed up got it wrong
Didn't mean to offend
I'll hold up my hands
I'll smile when I say
I seriously need
To get my facts straight

My hand's on my jaw
I'll cover my eyes
Will you forgive me
I hear you sigh
Hey life would be dull
If not for these things
These little mistakes
That make us all wince

Inside I'll scream
Inside I'll shout
My eyes tell my ears
To shut my mouth

Yet even if
Mistakes are made
At least you know
that somebody cared
So oops is a word you use now and then
Followed by a smile
a chuckle and then
all is forgiven
Yes all will be fine
Getting to know someone
Often takes time

Do not despair


Things are rarely as bad as you think they are
In the midst of despair
It can be difficult to see beyond the pain.
To see beyond the anguish that grips you feels like an impossibility. Yet...you will get through it.

Feelings come and go - and you will be strong again
Cry if you must
Feel sorry for yourself if you must
But you will wake up one day and forget that dull ache that held you hostage for so long
You will forget the reasons that prevented you from smiling
That prevented you from truly believing that you deserve to be happy

Things that you once celebrated
you will celebrate again

Cry if you must
Feel sorry for yourself if you must
But you will one day wake up and feel glad you're alive

Time has a way of healing wounds
both visible and invisible
In time - all will be well

Still..

I still make mistakes
Still should know better
Still fret and worry
Would love to be prettier

Still sulk on occasions
Frown on vacation
Still have a weakness - give in to temptation

Still love warm Sunday mornings
Think love is forever
Still spend my last pounds on a pretty picture or sweater

Still allow my mind to take me down a road of despair
convinced of upset that isn't even there
Still cry over nothing at night in the dark
Still enjoy walking in my local park

Still I am hopeful if a bit naive
Still it's my way and to it I cleave
Still I am good - occasionally bad
Still I will always be
Perpetually sad

Still I am joyous
Happy to be
Still to be loyally
Still loving me

Do desperate times always equal desperate acts?

Whilst an attack on anyone is deplorable - an attack on a pensioner on her doorstep is pretty darn low... yet that's what two young strapping men felt it necessary to do to my mum this afternoon. Fortunately my brother came along just as one man was trying to 'wrestle her handbag away from her' As my brother called out and rushed over they turned tail and ran - cowards.

Now - granted- these are pretty desperate times for a lot of us - but regardless of how bad your situation is - your fight is not with me - not with a pensioner - not with Joe Blogs down the road as they as not responsible for your situation. You are.
Yes you may have had to flee your country of birth and are now seeking refuge and a new life - you may have no recourse to public funds - and no food to eat - you may have had a hard time ... for a long time.. but even if that be the case it still does not give you the right to mistreat your fellow man.

You are responsible for your actions - you must take responsibility for your actions.

The irony is that my mother is the type of person who will feed anyone - help anyone - offer compassion where all you may get from me at times is a raised eyebrow and a blank stare ( I'm not that bad really.. but you get my point) She's of a generation where people looked out for each other.. lived the Big Society long before David Cameron was even a twinkle in his fathers eye..

Personally..I'm not easily angered - well ... I can be .. but only if seriously pushed - or if I feel deeply disgusted by something - or that some kind of injustice or disrespect has taken place without provocation ( Come to think of it...I really should be angered everyday when you consider these things are becoming quite common place in our society..) But I'm really pretty cool about most things- most of the time..
But this time I'm almost glad I wasn't there - as out of all of us in the family... well... I'm probably the least tolerant in a situation like that - hurt my family - you hurt me - hurt me and..you crazy??

I asked my bro if he called the police but neither of them did - didn't feel as though there was any point..
My case in point... I'll report a lost oyster card if I felt some bugger nicked it
Yes.. one crime reference number to go please!..

I hope this is not a sign of things to come - but I fear it may be. As people become more desperate they tend to carry out desperate acts.. and the easiest targets may be those least likely - or least able to fight back..
I don't want to start viewing people with suspicion but I will be on my guard.. for anyone asking for directions with a map..aided by an accomplice

10 Tips for getting going on a Monday morning

1. Plan what time you want to get up the night before

2. Get up half an hour earlier than planned

3. Drink a herbal tea (without sugar)

4. Watch something funny - or play your favourite track and dance (be careful not to wake the neighbours)

5. If you have a garden - stand outside for 1o seconds.. ish
If you don't have a garden open the front door or a window and take in that fresh air

6. Be positive (sooner you get going - sooner you'll be done)

7. Stay happy - think of what you'll be able to do once your working day is over

8. Try to love your work - it makes it easier

9. Enjoy your hot bath or shower ( but splash your face with cold water)

10. Plan to wear something nice

Sunday, 13 March 2011

In Memory of Delroy Wilson 5/10/48 - 6/3/95

Sometimes the most beautiful love songs speak of unrequited love or never finding love at all... heartache can be the birthplace of profound beauty..
Ask yourself - when are you at your most thoughtful - when are you at your realist 'truest' state...
I used to listen to this growing up.. one of the many soundtracks to my life
The old 'Family Gram' Big Youth - U Roy - Heptones - Delroy Wilson... you name it

Finding your soulmate .. my tips for 'Soul Mate Sunday'

What would you do if you realised the person you most desired and admired lived only a few blocks away?
How could that be? you wonder...
You've never crossed paths before... never randomly bumped into each other in a local shop- or had a chance to wave at them from across the road.. But there you have it - right under your nose all along..

Life is nothing if not full of surprises.
Finding a soul mate can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack - yet it's possible that your soul mate has already been chosen for you.. and the time without them is just the right amount of time you need to prepare.

I believe that to truly have a fulfilling relationship there are various steps that need to be taken.. so I'd thought I'd share those with you today on what I've dubbed 'Soul Mate Sunday'

Step 1
Be the Best person that you can be.. the absolute best version of yourself-grow - learn more - do more.
This will inevitably bring you in to contact with more people who think like you... and are as passionate about you - as you are..
It may sound cliche to say 'love yourself' - 'know yourself'.. but really .. if you don't who else can?

Step 2
Write a list.
List all the qualities you look for in your 'perfect' partner. Don't write what you don't want - only what you do..
Anything goes - put it all down - tall? short? fat? dark? black hair - bald head fun - good listener - smart - funny- whatever does it for you - put it down - put it out there - into the ethos - once you done that- put it away - be open - and remember your soulmate may not be what you expect at all..

Step 3
Keep busy
Yep that's it - don't think - just do - actions speak louder than words never forget that

Step 4
Be patient
Things don't necessary happen immediately or when you want them to. They may - they may not. Have faith - know that it will.. just keep working on Step 1

Step 4
Forget the list!..
You wrote it - so now you can forget it. don't refer back to it like some mantra.. it's already in the ethos...believe

Step 5
De clutter. Make space in your life for this person as they're on their way. Clear out the wardrobe- have a spring clean at home - sweep the yard - paint the fence. Know how this person will fit into your life

Step 6
Listen not to the 'haters' or 'doubters' - 'bitchy women' or 'grumpy men'. Never look at anyone elses relationship and wish for what they have. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors...
Don't allow any negative thought or imagery to distract you. You know what you want.

Step 7
Be prepared. Do some research - read a few books. Increase your 'Love' knowledge

Step 8
As Step 7 ( but of a more intimate nature... if you know what I mean!! ;-)
yep..being lousy in that department 'aint' big ( pardon the pun!) and it aint clever.. think you know?.. check again :-)If it's worth doing.. it's worth doing well..

Step 9
Never forget to be beautiful inside and out

Step 10
How wonderful! - Your soul mate has arrived! Now show your love - celebrate your love.. be passionate - only say I love you when you mean it and...never forget to Smilex -

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Cool studio vibes -cool studio guys


What started out as a warm day - with me parading around in the garden in some cute 'little and nothings' ended in a cold damp evening..with only a 'shiver as a blanket' aka I was cold. Yet despite the 'over long' journey to North West -and train cancellations..I had a wonderful day. There's nothing like spending time in the company of the most talented people on the planet - it's when you know you're alive and all is right in your world.. I spent all day in the studio and there's nowhere else I would rather have been...I've said it before..Musicians.. my favourite people.. I can't live without 'em...soooo cool
Just what I neededx

Friday, 11 March 2011

One Family


Never forget we are one family.
When your brother hurts - you hurt
when your sister cries - you cry

Real love knows not the 'isms of man'
Yet we create barriers and limit ourselves to what we feel we know - what we perceive to be safe ground - too afraid to experience the world as it it - diverse - multifaceted - so we remain steadfastly rooted in the familiar

As the earths inhabitants we are interdependent on each other - we live not in a vacuum - not today - not any day
Sending love to our Global Family - to those who suffer greatly
In Hackney - London - England and across the entire World... Africa, Japan India - America
No corner of the earth remains without suffering
The world is changing - unity a real possibility
As Japan witnesses the worst earthquake ever..as many suffer the force of the Tsunami
We forget you notx

TGIF

Yep..Thank God it's Friday!
I've been told however not to wish my life away - so I mean it in the sense of - 'we made it though.. now let's enjoy the weekend' It's been up and down for me as I was a bit under the weather but I'm feeling better now..(note to self must increase my Vitamin C intake and stay away from coffee as I've heard it absorbs Iron from the body.. it does seem to effect me..hmmm - then again - maybe it's in the mind - either way...not cool )

Hi to my readers and a big hello to my new followers..
Thank you all for your comments - I enjoy reading them all...and I hope you're enjoying my blog.

How was your week?..

I hope you all had a productive week - and on reflection if something or someone made you smile...even once..hold on to that..
Call it a defining feel good memory (DFGM)if you like - to counteract anything you didn't particularly enjoyx..trust me - it helps;-) luv ya x

Somewhere out there..


Somewhere out there
You wait for me
Make a wish for me
Stay up late for me
Name a star for me
Feel complete with me
Reserve every Friday night for me

Somewhere out there
You yearn for me
Thoughts turn to me
Of holding me
Of knowing what you mean to me
Knowing you’re secure with me
Your secrets ever safe with me
Enjoying Sunday morn with me

Somewhere out there
Under the stars
Under the glow
Of the moonlight
The farther we are
The closer we become
Look up

Believe in you!


People matter more than things
Despite the pursuit of monetary gain
Of material things
Of accolades
Of coming first in the popularity stakes
Of friendships won and friendships lost
The truth cannot be suppressed without cost
It will be set free
Show your colours
Who are thee
Even the angels are confused

People matter more than things
Not how they look but deep within
Things that remain on sight unseen
Yet surface involuntarily to expose the true self
Whether purity or blemished
Not one can remain scar free
Having lived any kind of life
Not hidden away from strife
Fearful and fretful
Be bold be free
Ask yourself
Who matters most?
Them or me

People matter more than things
Yet not for servitude
Or folly
To feed the ego
Or acquire monopoly over thoughts
Of minds
Ambitions
Desires
Yet not to halt your ability for self expression
An opinion is great
But not to become an obsession
Of what is thought by others
Of you
Care not
Matters what
You believe in you

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Malcom X


A little boy sits and stares
To be a man
Of great courage
Of knowledge
Self discipline and belief
He wonders if he too could make such sacrifice
Never accept defeat
To stay so cool under intense heat

To be a wanted man
Equally by friend and by foe
Must take great intuition to know
Not fear
But acceptance
Of what will be will truly be
To let thy name go down in history
You knew
You were free

A little boy sits and stares
How I wish I met you
Knew you
Had a chance to talk to you
To play baseball in the park with you
Football after dark with you
Ask you about girls
Of what I should do
Watch you laugh at my youth
If only times were different then
Yet
Because of you my life is what it is
I have a better tomorrow yesterday
Everyday
My freedom came at a cost for some
But your legacy lives on
In me

Love


Why hide your love
If it's real
If it's what makes your heart beat every day
Why not say
This is mine
I am yours
Resistance is futile
If it claims you
Embraces you
Is you

Never hide your love
Acknowledge it
For what you seek
You have found

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A leap of faith


What will it take for you to be true
To be kind and gentle
To trust again despite history
My eyes tell a story
Read them well and understand that I
Just like you
Am taking a leap of faith
Do you see what I see
Hold my hand
I promise not to leave you

Remote


Funny old day today. Felt present but not present. Remote. It may just be due to feeling a bit tired and needing a rest. Who knows.
Have you ever been somewhere - yet somewhere else at the same time? Odd isn't it. Your mind really needs to compute all that's going on around you but it struggles to do so quickly.

I think it's natures way of recharging the mind - realigning the soul, helpinhg you to shed 'old skin' focus on the now - the journey ahead of you..

A way of letting go - accepting what is - knowing what's in your power to change - recognising what you should focus your energy on - and letting go of the rest

Making you stronger

Maybe

The Old Wooden Chair

A clutch of flowers appeared down the road from my back yard
Past the children’s playground on the corner of the junction
Where an old man sits on an old wooden chair that had seen better days about a hundred years ago
He oversees those flowers
Taking great care to water them occasionally
I’ve seen him there
Late at night when everyone with reason has fallen asleep,
But me
The local fiends
The restless
and the nocturnal

A few days later the flowers are accompanied by a photo or more
From passport size to A4
A smiling face seemingly out of place on the cold concrete floor
Despite the eerie beauty of the willowy bunch
The photos are losing the war and jostle for equal billing
Earned surely when accompanied by an inscription or two
An I loved you
Love you still
And
Why

The old man sits and watches on as they turn up one by one
All so young
Too young he thinks to know such grief
He’s silent and yet he weeps
He sees it far more often now
Times have changed
From when a dispute would end with a bout of name calling
A playfully chant of fight -fight- fight
To which all would gather later that afternoon to night to watch two friends circle each forever
Before cautiously delivering a punch or two
Not really meant to hurt just gently bruise
But now it’s serious
Now it ends
A destroyed family never again
To see the face of their beautiful baby boy or girl
The old man sits
In a new age world

A clutch of flowers again appeared
I know who put them there
She oversees those flowers tending them all
Adjusting the pictures against the wall
On behalf of a family
That lost it all
That night
Like the old man
On the old wooden chair
Wondering how on earn
We got here
Does anybody care

Monday, 7 March 2011

100%

100% Love
100% Truth
100% Loyalty
100% Joy
Not 70%
Not 50%
Not 30%
Not 10%
Are you less than 100%?
To accept less than 100%?
If that's on offer say – “are you sure?”
Is that what you see? No more?
Walk away - run
That missing link
To accept less than 100%?
A scale imbalance?
A Librans nightmare!

My Guardian Angel

I think I met my guardian angel today
But he didn’t want to speak to me
It is a he
Definitely not a she
Can’t imagine she would have been quiet at all!
My guardian angel is much like me
Although I’m a girl - a woman indeed
Only he knows better
Knows more than I do
Shakes his head whenever I screw…up

My guardian angel is very cool
If I’m frank – I imagine handsome too
Never gets angry
And always has time
He’s been looking after me since I was five
Looking out the window
The brightest eyes
He chose me
I’m glad he did
Any time I’ve stumbled he’s picked me up
Set me straight
Yet never judged

My guardian angel never lies to me
Never misleads mistreats or misunderstands
Celebrates when I do well
Cries when I’m sad
It’s okay for him to cry
Even though he’s a guy
I don’t see that as a weakness
But a quality to die – for

Hey guardian angel
My silent friend
I know you read when I put paper to pen
‘Wanna’ hang out tomorrow?
I know I need not say
You show up anyway
When I least expect
But need you most
I hope you have an angel too
I’d hate to think you were alone
Or lonely in any way
But you're bigger than that
You never lack

It was nice to have you with me today
Through thick and thin - you're always there
I trust you completely
As you never let me down
Or go behind my back given the opportunity
So thanks for everything
For all you've yet to do
My best mate – what can I say
100% quality
Through and through

I am not my environment!

I am not my environment
Not the dark backstreets of Hackney
The mist over the Marshes
The Betting shops
Or a fast food shop
The red faced drinkers by the Bus stop

I am not my environment
Not the dirty street signs
Not the litter on the floor
The piss stains on some estate block corridor
The herb or the crack sold by a piece or a bag
Not part of E9 E5 or E8
Not part of N16, N1 or E9
Not interested in boundaries marked out by the council
Not that bitter pill of imagined ownership
Not your friend or your foe
Not your wanted sign
Man - walk on by

I am not my environment
I am not a target group
Not a statistic
A policy
Or unit to be measured
Not the lazy coffee drinkers ‘al fresco’ around town
Or your muffin eating afternoon playmate
Not the shop worker with graffiti shutters
Not the road sweepers
Tired of clearing up behind the careless and the carefree

I am not my environment
Not a cause to be rallied on behalf of
Not your meal ticket
Nor your salary
Not your research material
Not your low expectations
Or lack of ambition
Not your conversation over dinner
Or the cheese to compliment your wine
Not another profile

I am not my environment
Not the hustling commuters
A sardine on a train
A suit on a Monday
An over worn stiletto heal
or Doc Martin Boot
A handbag clutch bag or rucksack
an umbrella in the rain

Do you really know me at all?
Stop
I am a stranger to you
I am the world
The world is me
A unique creation
Serendipity
Yet not
It’s all by design
A manifestation
Divine
All and nothing
Elevating minds
I am the sun the moon and the stars
My subconscious is conscious
I am awake
More than what you see
I am me

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Soul Mate Sundays

I think love songs are designed for Sunday Mornings don't you?

Yeah you can listen to them anytime but Sunday mornings are special as it's the morning after Saturday night - when the option was always...'taxi for one!'
No .. you only tend to spend Sunday mornings with someone if they're kinda special to you - or they're becoming special to you!..put it this way...you didn't 'kick em out' for a reason!
Love songs on a Sunday morning will make you stand in the garden survey the wreckage and say.. 'stunning'
with the music on in the background.. whether it's Mikey Spice ( Play 'Love by you' whilst reading this and you'll know what I mean!!.. I've posted it so if you scroll down it's there..hmmm!!) Beres or Luciano.. or perhaps something more to your taste - time almost stands still and nothing and no one else matters.You don't have to work.. picking up a paper is a luxury.. and you enjoy preparing breakfast - without having to rush
It's all about taking it easy -while the Spring sun shines through your window pane
Knowing that all is right in your world

Feeling like a girl - just hanging out with a boy!
A Princess with her Prince
Everyone loves fairy tales as they tap into our basic desire for goodness and inner belief that love really can conquer all!

I love Sunday mornings don't you?
I'm gonna rename them Soul Mate Sundays! So when I ask - how's your SMS.. I'm not talking about your phone!
Let's get back to what really matters in life - what's really important.
The connection of souls - hearts- and minds - more powerful than anything you could ever possibly measure..

Luciano and Beres Hammond











Spice up my Sunday M.S!







Beautiful Sunday Morning!

Bunny Sings Lead


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Diabetes Awareness

My youngest boy Tiras has Diabetes and I wanted to highlight two charities that work towards improving the lives of those living with this condition.

Ti, has what's known as type 1 diabetes, which is basically when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin - or enough insulin to regulate the blood glucose levels in the body

Type 1 diabetes is when you are insulin dependent - which means you need to inject insulin every day - minimum twice a day - but sometimes up to four...basically whenever you have a meal - or eat something fairly sweet - for the rest of your life - or until a cure is found.

Diagnosed at 7 ( he's 17 now)it was scary for him.. it was just after the 9/11 attacks ( which had a huge impact on him... I've never known a child could be so affected by an incident like that - but - now I know!) and two months after my dad died. He was really close to his grandad so it was all 'a bit much' shall we say. My mums convinced his body went into shock and caused an imbalance in his body - but who knows.

It is what it is.

Anyway - ever since then - we've been under the care of the Junior Paediatrics Team at Royal London. A great bunch of people who watched Ti grow from a little boy to a young man.. even taller than his mama!

Every visit our consultant would ask Ti if he's taking his insulin when he goes out -etc etc - and Ti would sit there looking really sheepish... answer: = No. You see the thing with Ti is he doesn't like taking it out as according to him if anyone see's him injecting himself they might think he's a junkie - that and the fact that it's dirty outside, in loos and everywhere else.. it's really off putting for him ( All understandable reasons.. however...)

"No Ti!" - we'd say again and again - "take it - with you ... it's important!". I'd real off stories ( true ones) of a colleague I once worked with who'd take out her kit in the office after lunch every day and take her injection and no one had a problem with it. "People are more understanding than you give them credit for!"

Anyway not long ago - Ti 'graduated ' from the junior team and is now under adult care.
We went from a warm brightly coloured hospital ward with yellow duck feet patterns on the floor leading you in - and yellow duck feet patterns on the floor leading you out.. to.. what Ti describes as 'a grey and white old peoples ward - with nowt on the floor but old stains!'( Tiras can exaggerate!)

To be honest we were both a bit sad that day - as we really liked the team at Royal London - and this marked a turning point in both our lives - but... I guess everyone has to grow up eventually - and I'm sure the team at Barts are equally as nice.

I'm still on at Ti every day - to take good care - check his levels and take his insulin - and to be fair.. he's getting much better now. ( oddly enough - he does appear to be the only one in the house with a sweet tooth! chomping the odd chocolate bar when he really doesn't need too.. and quite frankly shouldn't!)

I know it's hard for him as he sometimes says things like "why does he have to be the one that's cursed!" and I'll say .. 'ask your dad!!..it's his genes i'm sure!!' not really..I'm kidding!!..
I'll really say something like "Ti - you're not cursed!.. you have a million and one blessings to count - and many people live with diabetes..in fact - you may even have students at college sitting right next to you who have it and you just don't know.."

He's cool about it most of the time now anyway..
He's very funny is Ti.. and very caring

Anyway - I wanted to share that with you - in case you have it too - or a loved one or friend is living with Diabetes
and just to highlight 2 charities.

1. The Junior Diabetes Research Foundation and...
2. Diabetes UK
Both charities work to improve the lives of those with diabetes, and continuously work towards raising funds for many projects including a cure which would change the lives of so many people - words cannot express how amazing that would be!

Anyway
Symptoms of diabetes can include...

1. Increased thirst
2. Tiredness
3. Frequent urination, both day-time and night-time (nocturia)
4. Weight loss (although appetite often increases)
5. Itchiness, especially around the genitals, caused by overgrowth of yeast on the skin (thrush)
6. other infections on the skin (yeast infections and boils).
7. A family history of diabetes makes it more likely that you will get diabetes too.

NB Type 1 diabetes is much less common than Type 2 diabetes.

This year I aim to do a bit more for both charities - as they have helped Ti so much over the years with information and support and I want to thank them. I keep meaning to run the marathon but whenever I start training, winter kicks in - darkness freaks me out and I fall off my programme - still - one small step and all that

I'll let you know whatever I'm doing
I think I'll have to start small and work my way up!
Beginning with awareness
Anyway

That's it

Ernest Ranglin - Skatalites - Don Drummond..











The Double Bass player is KING!!!

Orphaned Soul...

What is about your reflection you hate
You scorn it
You fear it
Evidently want to crush it to the ground
Never hear it speak
A silent reminder of what you think you lack
So you attack
Scoff
Ostracize and never acknowledge its presence
Consider it a non entity
Of no real value
A less than
Minus
Residue

Why do you scorn yourself so..
I feel bad for you
Sad for you
Say it aint so
And then I’ll go
No
You hate your past - and your future has no relevance
Of little consequence
The scorn you carry with you
Builds your enemies higher
Putting yourself in danger
A lost stranger
In a lost land

Look in the mirror again my friend
That is not a curse you see
Yet it can hurt you
Be your worst enemy
Unless you take control
And begin to find yourself again
Abolish the deliberate attempts to steal your soul
Did I say steal – no
Now - you gave it away
You give it away
Too weak to say
Enough

Look in the mirror again my friend
Straighten your back
With shame it bends
See the beauty the world has hidden from you
Hidden from view
But plain enough for anyone with eyes to see
Remove the blinkers
Set yourself free
Do yourself a favor
Get off your knees
It’s time to write your name
Spray it with the finest perfume and say
My reflection is not to be feared
It’s to be cared for
It is me

Be no longer a fool
Despite the smiles you recieve as payment
Blood money stains the hands
And clogs the arteries
Don’t allow your reflection to hate you in return
For your neglect
Eventually it will get upset - vexed
And say **** you!
Then you really will be all alone
A cold and lonely
Orphaned soul

Love your self
Give your reflection a chance
To prove to you that you are great
Can be great
Never understate
Or yearn for something other
Than what you have known all along
You - are as sweet as birdsong
A tiny motel vacancy sign at the end of a long journey
Water on a hot day
A scarf on a cold
Appreciate your reflection now
Caress your very soul
Begin again
Start a new
Like a star breaking free to a clear night sky
Allow yourself
Glow..