Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Felan

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pro-Peace Protest

Today Josh, Craig, Thomas, myself & thousands of other people like us marched for peace.

I lost my photos so it gave me a chance to re-create some of my pictures in words.

Here's a one photo that I took with Thomas' camera...and one Thomas took...guess which is which.

Check out Just Another Hippie for all Thomas' photos.

Check these Posts for more of my Pro-Peace & Protest pieces...

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Friday, February 23, 2007

"Viral Video"

Having just learned how to get video onto my blog, I am happy to contribute to the 'virus'. Read about the video here.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Missing Kafka

I don't usually buy new books, for all the usual reasons...they can be expensive, I like recycling, I like borrowing a book from someone who has just read one and loved it and I can share it with them and mainly because I have hundreds at home lining shelves and old suitcases which I haven't quite gotten round to reading yet.

But sometimes you just can't find the book you want to read right there and then and need inspiration. This is how I came to be standing in front of a bookstores 'recommendations' section, reading the staff & public handwritten reviews and how I found myself buying two new books and shelling out the full price for both.

And this is how I discovered Kafka.

I didn't discover him in the way you might discover the answer to a question but more in the way you might discover questions you never thought of asking before.

I was delighted to read sentences a paragraph long and be perplexed by their meaning and at the same time was frustrated that I 'just wasn't getting it' - that I didn't immediately know what his point was and why I should continue reading when every end to a piece he had written didn't give me the satisfaction of what I usually read. But I also quite liked that about him. He didn't conform. He didn't even want his writing read, he had asked for it to be destroyed on his death. And much of his writing was destroyed and much is still missing...it could be out there somewhere in someones library shelf or old suitcase. But much of his writing is missing in many other ways - missing full stops....missing a narrative structure...missing plain speaking. And I, as far as being able to interpret his message, continue missing the point completely.

I wonder then, when I think I understand, if I have really understood at all.

When he says...

You are free and that is why you are lost

... I think that it is similar to when he says...

It's often safer to be in chains than to be free

...I am astonished each time he says something that I finally see as being the words that fit to certain 'truths' and at the same time wonder if they are true at all.

Its like his words seem to present an obvious subject like hopelessness but somehow raise the less obvious opposite subject of hope, like darkness and light, evil and good...they all can be a measure of the other by their existence or absence.

So the missing writing of Kafka, or what is missing in Kafka's writing could be more important than what is there, written in black and white on the page. And what we know may not be as important as what we don't know, or don't know yet. And nothing may be as important as all the questions that help us search for whats missing and keep us eternally asking, 'Why?'

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Monday, February 19, 2007


I know how to spell magic...see there I did it! But earlier today when I wrote it, for some reason, I wrote it as 'majic' and even though I knew it was wrong, I couldn't work out why. It had something to do with the 'j' , I knew, but couldn't think of another letter that could make the 'juh' sound.

Why am I telling you this?

It is a cry for help....from my brain. I am seriously worried that my brain is starting to shut off sections that aren't being used in an effort to conserve energy (just as we are told to do with our electricity & lights) and is trying to either divert energy elsewhere, save the energy for an emergency or is planning to just switch me off completely, without my prior consent.

What do I do about it? Should I be worried?

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

YAP Km Count 1

To raise money for a Youth Project in Africa we are running and walking and cycling and swimming the distance from London to Africa, that's 2085 Km...this is the start of my contribution....

Day 1: Friday 16th February

  • Destination: Three Mills
  • Distance: 5km
  • Mode: Walking

Note: See Friday Post

Day 2: Saturday 17th February

  • Destination: Victoria Park
  • Distance: 10Km
  • Mode: Cycling

Note: Met Emma & Alan on YAP walk! BTW need softer wider seat on bike or else padded pants or else a large cushion for my behind - ouch!

Day 3: Sunday 18th February

  • Destination: Trinity Buoy Wharf
  • Distance: 5km
  • Mode: Running & Walking

Note: Planned on running but due to injury from previous day - bike related (see note) walked more than ran...who knew you used your butt so much running!

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hi-lights of Half-Term

Monday: 12th February
1-3pm Drugs Awareness Intro
4.30pm Birthday Meal with Thomas
So it was Thomas' 16th Birthday ...or the week after his birthday but the first official 16th birthday cake he had! Bram, Rhonda, Kelly, Jim, Keeley, Emma, Craig, Josh and me were all delighted for the excuse to go to Wings Chinese Buffet.

These guys are not competitive...no they won't even make eating into a competition...they would never get to the stage where proving yourself meant either a plate of cucumer or a plate of prawn crackers after 7 previos plates at an all-you-can-eat-buffet!

Jim strikes a pose between courses!

Tuesday: 13th

EEE Jack the Ripper Walk

Guided Jack the Ripper walk...in the rain and dark...but it didn't dampen spirits...made from Tower Hill to Spitalfields market...alive!

In an otherwise empty Spitalfields Market came across this group of people practising all kinds of juggling acts and feats of manual dexterity (generally throwing things about in an entertaining and skillful fashion)

And went to the 24 hour Bagel Shop in Brick Lane after...for, yes you guessed it, bagels!

Wednesday & Thursday: 14th & 15th

Fundraising Days

Friday: 16th

First 5Km for YAP

Saturday: 19th

Kevin's 40th Birthday Party

Three Hippies waiting for the 15 bus to take us to William Booth Training College for Kevin's Birthday Party. His present was: Peace, Love, Harmony and a melon with a large pink bow!

The aforementioned Peace, Love, Harmony and melon with a large pink bow.

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Friday, February 16, 2007


As its half-term I decided to take my Friday off, off. One of the things I thought I'd do today, on my day off was to start clocking up some kilometres for our YAP fundraising and at the same time get out and get some fresh air, some exercise and a bit of de-stressing.

I went armed with Tom's MP3 player (cos I couldn't find mine...its been that long since I have walked or run anywhere!) and my camera to keep my mind off work...as I knew that thats what I would think about if I didn't have other distractions. I also headed for Three Mills...somewhere I thought I would avoid people to do with work.

I was doing well, only bumped into one young person from Senior Club (who I told about our up and coming Drugs Awareness Workshops starting on Tueday from 6-8) between home and the river so I thought I had gotten away with it.

I trotted along listening to a whole bunch of songs that I wouldn't usually listen to but was enjoying (I reccomend ipods/mp3 player
swopping) and came across this sight which saddened me and immediately got me wondering what had happened, if it was a young person, whether there was work to be done in relation to the incident around waterway safety or to do with substance abuse...all kinds of assumptions came to mind which I tried to dismiss and failed dismally.

I continued to find a bench with this red diary on it and again thought of work and about sorting out the programme and my diary and again had to try to switch off those thoughts by concentrating on taking some photos.

Then along the path comes a couple of young people from Intermediate & Junior Club with a member of their family and we had a friendly chat and went on our ways, saying we would see each other at club.

I got to 3 Mills and took some photos and looking at the Graffiti thought again about club regarding up and coming Trees for Cities art work, the mosaic project and the tiles that need to go in the car park as well as the interest in Banksy which I want to explore.

At this point I decided that a bit of shopping might do the trick to take my mind off work, when on the way in I pass some guys who I know of and to see, and overheard them discussing
stealing a bike. I looked at the bike and looked at them and thought to myself: Self...don't you wish you hadn't heard their plan to steal the bike...and the answer was, yes. So I hung around for a few minutes continuing to take pictures, including one of the bike. It was going to be be for a blog about bicycle theft complete with 'before' and 'after' pictures...I was hoping they would leave the lock just for effect. But as it would happen, they didn't steal the bike...they may have noticed my interest in it or they decided to do some shopping instead.

So there I am about to shop when I get a phone call from a Youth Organization asking me about a young person who should have got in contact with them...then I call the young person to tell them about the call and decide to turn my phone off after this to avoid more work and buy some letter cookie cutters for club.

So next I am on my way back again, not exactly feeling the relaxation I was expecting from this walk and come across some other young people, one of whom legs it when he sees me saying to one of the others that he was avoiding me 'cos he owes me money'. Apart from the fact I knew this couldn't be true because I never loan young people money, if I had as he said I did, it would have been only 30p (the cost of club subs) and he was unlikely to want to evade me for this. In fact it was more likely, by the appearance of the young person wh
o told me about this, that he didn't want to draw attention to his 'mashed' appearance. Before the guys went back to their 'Friday Night' as they called their 'party' I told them about our Drugs Awareness session on Tuesday, which I thought they might be interested in and which may even benefit them.

So I am nearly home and I see another young person, who has been a volunteer in the recent past and I chat with him and tell him about the Drugs Session that his friend, the previous week, had said he'd probably want to come to...

I finally arrive home, hot and sweaty and totally not refreshed and revitalised by my walk and vow to go out instead in the early morning or to cycle or run so I can speed past people or to just give up and just accept that this is all part and parcel of living in the community I work with...

Well, at least I got my first 5 km done (with a bit of 'outreach' thrown in).

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

We started Phase 2 of fundraising for our Youth Africa Project (YAP) today. Thomas, Craig, Sarah & Josh all took responsibility for various aspects of the fundraising.

One of the 'Big Ideas' is a Sponsored Relay-athon from London to Africa...2083 Km. Between us we will walk, run, cycle or swim the distance as the bird would fly - starting today!

There were many more great ideas and plans and lots of commitments made.

A great way to spend Valentine's Day - I could feel the love today!
(Oh & I learned a new 20 letter word - incomprehendibleness!)

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


Growing up, I used to be a huge fan of Elvis. My Brother Daniel knew this. What my brother Daniel didn't know was why, for years his sister sent her brother his Birthday card, email or message one month before his birthday. I hadn't realised that I was doing this. I hadn't realised that I had his and Elvis' birthdays mixed up - Elvis was on the 8th of January and my brother Daniel's was on the 8th of February...and because it just seemed that I was early posting the card it went on for years....but I'm sure you can see the likeness!


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Saturday, February 03, 2007


This Scrubology the following Scrubbers, lent their scrubbing skills to clean up the Youth Club: Tony, Janette, Emma, Thomas, Josh S, Craig, Sue, Nick, Josh H & Jane. We polished, mopped, swept, shined, dusted, wiped, cleaned, hoovered, and generally scrubbed the place down and finished with fish and chips all round. Thanks everone!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

February 1st

February 1st, the day my daughter Jane was born. Rightly so I thought - the first day of Spring. Or so I thought until I said so to anyone in the UK and they looked at me as if I had two heads. And this is how I discovered that Ireland and England have very differnent calendars. The Irish calendar has February 1st as the first day of spring - the day my daughter Jane was born. Rightly so, I say!

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