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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Years Eve

Good morning y'all.. yep it's New Year's eve

To all my blog followers new and old, and readers who pass through from time to time, I've enjoyed your company this year as always, and I've enjoyed reading your blogs also, funny wise and informative.. a nice mix.
for those who stumble across me by accident remember... there are no accidents! :)
(I kid.. there are)

So.. whatever you're up to today, whether chilling at home or planning for a night on the town later.. enjoy

and all being well..


See you in 2014! x

Monday, 30 December 2013

Ruben Studdard .. winding up 2013

We are approaching the end of 2013. Wow… that went by quickly.
I must say it’s been interesting. I’m not sad to see it go by, yet I take away some key moments.

I remember Corey. That was a shocking week, and I remember watching a family experience an agony I’m in no hurry to witness again. Then there were many others who seemed to leave this earth a little early, others perhaps not early but poignant.
I guess it’s a reminder that we should never take our lives or the lives of others for granted, as you just never know.
I can’t quite grasp all that occurred in 2013. The years sometimes seem to roll on so effortlessly that things can become a blur.. Ti started Uni, and my other two are both well.
Kai started wearing a school uniform, and nature took care of the huge tree in the backyard.. so it’s now only huge on one side
Music seemed to carry me through more than ever, and I have enjoyed it all... new and old. During times when I’ve struggled… when I’ve felt like giving up, in times of joy or despair, it’s been there.. encouraging me in some way, providing comfort in others
It’s a spiritual thing.

I realised that I’m quite passionate about international development, and the causes of war and conflict in the African region.. Some countries perhaps more than others, and the roots of which arguably reside in the legacy of colonial rule.
Are we post-colonial? Not quite... But perhaps we will forever redefine who we are… in relation to it... or not.
I guess what I’m also saying is I’m discovering more of who I am, what I’m about, where my interests and my passions are. .. even if I have many. In short, I learnt a great deal this year, but if I’m honest I stalled in the area of completing a particular stage play. Yes.. It happens.
When I apply myself ( and if I’m honest, I don’t always) I found that I can write pretty well. I read an article quite recently on Welfare and it was one of the most engaging academic papers I’ve read in a while…empirical research, and not boring at all. I always knew academic writing need not be boring, but can, and should be engaging, and accessible to all... and by all I mean regular everyday folk. When I finished reading it.. I remember thinking.. ‘hey!.. now I wanna write like that!.
But we find our own voices don’t we… indeed... ours is not to provide a carbon copy , but to create...to invent
I learnt basic French, this year too, I kept coming across French in my readings, and loved Aljazeera's 'Black France' series so much, that I was inspired.. but I will need to practice if I'm to improve on it. I'm in no hurry, I'm just relieved to know I can actually learn it.. I enjoy it, so will find a way to fit it in.

It’s clear that my mum is not ready to relinquish her crown as main holiday cook, but I cooked alongside her, and you know what?… we didn’t argue. I didn’t get angry with her for not being organised.. and she didn’t snap at me or call me stupid or impatient. Cool result.
Actually.. To be honest my mum stopped snapping at me years ago. (I think she’s proud of me again)
Although, she did ask what ‘stupidness’ we were all watching as we all craned our necks to see behind her as we ate, to watch Toy Story 3.. however, she finally relinquished, moved aside.. and watched it too.
That film is a tear jerker. Who knew.
Seems I’m a big kid also. Who knew
In fact, mum was on good form, even though the arthritis is clearly painful at times. But folks.. be upstanding..as honestly?..the food was delicious as always. Even if I say so myself.

I can’t even stay on this for long as I’m writing up something else, but I was in the mood to offload a little.

I’m looking forward to the New Year. I suspect it won’t be plain sailing, but I’m hoping for some highs along the way.
Laughs, love, fun, focus, study and achievements, write something girl… and a whole lot more..

I wish you all the best for the New Year.
A year older, a year wiser, and a year cuter :-)
That we strive to do onto others.. .that which we would like done onto ourselves
That we try to live in truth as much as possible
And that even if and when we fail… we don’t’ give up..
That our happiness is not determined by anything other than a desire to love and be loved...
Although…
Strong growth in the economy, public and private would be great
Be mindful of promises made by political parties in 2014, vote wisely in 2015
Hey.. be mindful .. period.
2014?.
Bring it.
Anyway, here’s my song of the day..and going into 2014

I like the way... Iyanya, Kcee & Wiz. ''softly softly baby.. Ogadinma'











Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas one and all! xx



Ti treated himself to a top with an Indian chief on it. I said he looks familiar, he asked who it was then.. didn't know so I told him 'Cap'n Jack'




Today I have a few more gifts to wrap.. that's it.

I suspect the fighting doesn't stop for the week in CAR, or Sudan, or Congo, or Mali, or Somalia, or anywhere else where war and conflict has touched down...
..places where the greatest gift for any child, would be.. peace




Not such a great time for the lonely or homeless either.



It's great spending time with family.
Told my lot to stop eating all the 'Christmas food' before Christmas. (never thought i'd hear myself say that!)
What on gods green earth is 'Christmas food' !?!.. but seriously.. let it breathe.. give it time to settle in the house.. in the fridge (not gonna happen is it)

tis the season

Anyway, Love ya..Xxx
Over an' out for now
( unless they start drivin' me nuts of course..)



Sunday, 22 December 2013

Ledisi

Conversations

Thought id post some of the conversations I've looked at and had on pause, on draft, over the past few weeks.

I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'house negro' used on question time before



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He talks of much more than what's implied.









Fela Kuti


This documentary was made in 1982, when Fela was 44
Fela died in 1997



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Saturday, 21 December 2013

A song.. a film.. a quote.. or 2



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I'd quite like to watch this film on Winnie Mandela
The DVD's region 1 though.. why is that?
Region 1 shows in America but not on all DVD players in the UK. Would have been nice to watch it tonight.





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A new season of Boondocks due soon



Saturday, 14 December 2013

Saturday music spot.. ft Beyonce, Rhianna and Ciara

I quite like this



Rhianna certainly has some catchy and even quite thoughtful tunes at times.
I'm not sure who writes her songs or if she simply writes her own, but she's a versatile artist.





An equally nice song from Beyonce



My daughter used to sing this everyday.. over and over. She loved it. I can't hear or see Beyonce now and not see.. or even be reminded of Nai. She laughed when I told her that. I tell you something.. it was ages before I even realized it was Beyonce at all. I thought she wrote it!:)

Says it all..good song.. flaws an all



Ciara.. the dancer. Love her moves.



Happy evening all x.

Apartheid, the ANC and Mandela's 'political ' fight for Freedom

It's been a week of remembrance, thanks, and goodbyes to Mandela across our media forums and channels.
Today he returned to his childhood home. His work is over, and he had a profound impact on the world.



This documentary is quite long, so can be watched in parts. I found it very insightful and definitely worth a watch.
This looks at the political negotiations leading up to those '94 elections.. and is a reminder of how truly difficult ending minority rule must have been..
..not many will give up on power easily.. regardless of its illegitimacy.
Often I feel that the struggle, was very much a struggle for humanity

Mandela.."The reason why you are not using your capacity to put an end to violence, is because you want to maintain the status quo.. you wanted to either weaken, or destroy the ANC.. I said that to him ( de Klerk) openly"


'In the winter of 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island where he would spend 18 of his 27 prison years. Confined to a small cell, the floor his bed, a bucket for a toilet, he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months. But Robben Island became the crucible which transformed him. Through his intelligence, charm and dignified defiance, Mandela eventually bent even the most brutal prison officials to his will, assumed leadership over his jailed comrades and became the master of his own prison. He emerged from it the mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.' [source]







Tamar Braxton

Soundtrack for a late night, and new day














Friday, 13 December 2013

CeeLo - This Christmas

Friday
It's Friday.
The lovely CeeLo - got to be one of my favourite voices for some time.
and.. that is, a special kinda Christmas.



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It was Reggie who mentioned this song in a comment a while back, and I've since fallen for it so much that's it's become one of my top Christmas tunes.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Les miserables

Glad it's Friday tomorrow


Burnt my dinner in the oven


Then didn't cook enough


So still hungry


and cold


even though


the heating's on


Still

I'm warming up nicely

have biscuits and tea


feeling more relaxed


Set any worries aside


Shocked to hear about the 'fake signer'!?!


at Mandela's memorial


I love masterchref


so will watch that

then somthing real light and silly


read a little..and get to bed

to sleep.. and to dream


as..

tomorrow is another day


the day before..

The weekend

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Schools out

No more lectures for this year, this term has gone by so fast!
I've really enjoyed it, I'm glad I chose social justice, so now to produce a piece of writing over the hols, that does it.. justice ( no pun intended)

A really nice bunch.. and I'm almost there.

This was posed to me today..

'What do you do, when you get to the emerald city and look behind the curtain and realize that the great wizard of oz really isn't that great after all'
Cliche?.. perhaps.. yet still I didn't have an answer.. however I did feel a sense of abstract disappointment.
I listened to the questioner and realized that at some point.. we all get to see behind the curtain if we want or choose to, as truth struggles to remain hidden.
This is the second person in 2 weeks to throw this line of questioning at me.

I think the point being made was that once you learn something.. you cannot pretend with ease of self.. that you haven't. You will see things very differently.. which can be painful..but ultimately will release you and set you free.
That's my take on what was being said

Just the other week a guy I was talking to said he felt a little pessimistic and cynical (looking at international human rights law/politics).. and said he found himself asking..
Is there a point?
I think that's a great question, and I love that he asks, as (through my lens) it shows that he cares about it a great deal.
I believe the answer to that question..is yes

Monday, 9 December 2013

About a girl..


or about a boy


about to chill...


The hope for peace..

C.A.R is a landlocked country, a former French colony.
It's neighboring countries.. have also know instability. It's reported that the situation in C.A.R is worsening.


'The country is rich in gold, diamonds and uranium but remains one of the poorest in the world.
A series of coups has meant 50 years of conflict and political instability with little of the profit from the natural wealth being invested in the country’s infrastructure.'
[source sky news]


The hope for peace..In an otherwise beautiful land..





Surplus food distribution

In the news today was a feature on the launch of a Community Shop [click]

I like it
The redistribution of surplus supermarket waste, back to those who need it most. Discounted at 70%.
With so much food waste, it makes sense doesn't it?


I've heard of 'Freegans' [click] (those who 'scavenge' supermarket bins for food thrown out) but it seems a little tough to go through the bins like that.
Perhaps stores could have an hour.. 'Come buy/collect waste'.. schedule..
But that could get messy. This way.. (organized distribution) seems straightforward enough


It doesn't solve the root problem.. but it helps in the interim


Interesting though, sustainable.

cute



Saturday, 7 December 2013

Maybe I've been living under a rock..

As although I've always felt that Taye Diggs has that boy next door charm..



I really hadn't noticed that Terrance Howard was just so darn cute looking.




His eyes are amazing..what are they.. green?. His cheeky character in the film made me laugh

Yes.. The Best Man Holiday

I really enjoyed it. A heartwarming, way to beat off a chilly evening
A film about life, love, family, and friendships.. made me think about stuff
Tinged with sadness ( that can feel tough to watch) yet, it's funny too, and sweet.

plus Terrance Howard sure makes one fine an' naughty Santa

Gosh..


Funny- Sexy- Sad- Cool.. Best Man Holiday..definitely worth a watch





The wrath of the public servant?

'Many welfare benefit claimants are treated appallingly… by public servants'.

This is something I have been told time and time again, and it's also something I have witnessed, a number of times.

Increasingly, those who are reliant on state benefits, are being denied the right to choice, the right to take control of their lives denied the right.. to agency.
Grown adults, treated as children, forced to occupy a position of an underclass, by those (who we may hope) should really know better.
Yet, despite such treatment, they are expected to feel good about their lives, actively and confidently pursue employment, get involved in their communities, and basically, pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get on.
They are often denied opportunities of their choosing, and knowledge is filtered to the extent that they have little awareness of what options are truly available to them outside of what they are presented with.
Many are caught in a political bureaucratic maze, with no map.

Let me tell you a story

I spoke to a man recently who had an appointment with a public servant at 12.30. He told me, that at 12.30 he sat opposite the lady in question. She ignored him until 1.30, until.. he stood up. He was then asked to account for his job seeking time. I asked him if she knew who he was, and he said yes.
So… why did she keep him waiting an hour with no explanation and no apology?
Because she could.
Why did he not contest it, get angry and ask why on god’s green earth he was being ignored and kept waiting?
Because he couldn't
He couldn't because he knew, or at least his fear was, that should he annoy or irritate her (little arse dawna be objective) in any way. She could, suspend his benefits.

His fear of the knowledge that she could make his difficult life, that much more difficult, with serious ramifications, reduced him from a man.. to a boy.
To be fair, it is not every person in receipt of benefits that is treated this way.
The working poor, who receive in work benefits, are perhaps spared the wrath of the public servant, and tend to get by without feeling as though they are being stripped of their humanity.

So the issue appears to be one of power.
There is no doubt that many systems are simply not worth the paper they are written on. There’s no doubt that many ‘jobs worth bureaucrats’ are also a problem.
Public servants are there to serve the public, and really shouldn’t forget that.
Many are aware of that, and as a result are doing a great job no doubt.

But there’s something about being ( or even believing one is ) in a position of power and authority over the life of another, that can bring out the absolute worst in a person

There’s no doubt that the disrespectful treatment of welfare claimants needs to stop.
Get back to seeing a person.. and not a political ideology.



Mandela .. spotlight on a life lived 1918 - 2013.. in words and pictures


" There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of"


"No one is born hating another because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart, than its opposite".



"Poverty is not an accident. like slavery and apartheid, it is man made, and can be removed by the actions of human beings"


"I detest racism. I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man, or a white man"


"I dream of an Africa, which is at peace with itself"




" A good head, and a good heart, is always a formidable combination"




"It always seems impossible.. until it's done"



Rest in Peace.. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela