Saturday, March 31, 2007

YAP Fundraising

Between the Film Fundraising Night when Josh L, Thomas, Craig & Josh provided the Paradise Zone with a cinematic experience complete with hotdogs, popcorn, nachos and drinks and the Spring Sale with Craig, aided by Josh & Tony running the Tombola, & the Recycled Sale Stall, Grass Head & Adopt a Plant Stall, and the Easter Nest stall, as well as Alan getting Sponsorship ...we made over £200 cash with promises of more to come in sponsorships....

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Ice Cream Lunch

Tony loves Ice-cream, so a trip to Haagen Daz (a restaurant which had menus of just ice-cream) seemed the perfect treat for his 'graduation' long as he planned it all out from transport to cost. If he didn't get us there and have the right amount of money it meant no ice-cream for anyone.

This is how Tony planned the expedition...

Step 1:Googled Haagen Daz & found website.

Step 2: Checked out Haagen Daz UK website for nearest Ice-cream restaurant in London.

Step 2: Used Transport for London to find the best way from Poplar to the Haagen Daz...a number 15 to Charing Cross and a short walk to Leicester Square.

Step 3:Found the Leicester Square on Multimap and printed the route from Charing Cross out.

Step 4: Worked out how many people needed to get tickets to travel and the cost per person per ice-cream and some left over for 'just in case'

Step 5: Worked out when we should meet and how long the trip should take.

Step 6: Bought tickets & got 15 bus...playing 'spot the place of interest' on the way there and giving us interesting facts (most of the time)...Watney Market, London Hospital, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, The Millennium Bridge, Fleet Street, The Savoy Hotel, Trafalgar Square...

Step 7: Told us all where to get off bus and led us as he followed map to Leicester Square & Haagen Daz

Step 8: Checked out the menu & ordered some 'samples'

Step 9: Decided on the ice cream concoction to order (and within budget)

Step 10:Ordered ice-cream and ate ice cream

Step 11: Asked for the bill

Step 12: Worked out how much the tip should be and paid bill.

Step 13: Paid bill, led us home and joined us in a game of "I went shopping and I bought"....which involved Craig buying an Empire and all that comes of such an event.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Holding Hands

Seeing two children witness their mum experience violence was sad. Seeing the three year old boy cry was upsetting. But when the four year old girl watched as if this was nothing out of the ordinary I just wanted to cry.

They both took hold of my hands as if I wasn't a stranger who had just walked up to them in the street. They kept hold of my hands as we watched the adults continue to grapple and shout at each other. They kept hold of my hands as the two adults, noticing my presence, try to end the physical fighting. They kept hold of my hands as the two pulled away from each other and as he ran off and she shouted after him. They kept hold of my hands as the police came round the corner, as one spoke to her and others ran after the man. They kept hold of my hands as we followed their mum through the market back to the police station, the younger one only letting go a moment to dive in and under some bicycle rails, only to run and grab hold of my hand again.

Holding hands is underrated: it can give comfort, human contact, coveys security and safety, caring, love...and while you are holding hands its very hard to use them as weapons.

Alice Walker, author of The Colour Purple, was shot while playing with her brothers, aged 8 with a BB she said:

"How sad now never to see men holding hands, while everywhere one looks they are holding guns."

Indira Gandhi put it like this:

"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."

Anne Frank once said:

"How true Daddy's words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."

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Dates for Diaries

  • Thursday 29th 7.30 Film Night for YAP Fundraising
  • Friday 30th 11.30am Ice Cream escape for Friday Volunteers
  • Saturday 31st 10am-12 Spring Sale for YAP Fundraising
  • Monday 2nd 11am - 3pm First Aid Peer Education Group
  • Wednesday 3rd Meeting for YAP & Plan Uk
  • Thursday 5th 1030am Thorpe Park Trip (Drugs Awareness Group)
  • Friday 6th - Monday 9th Easter


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bicentenary of Slave Trade Abolition

"Why mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic trade in Africans?"

...asks Professor Verene Shepherd, chair of the Jamaica National Bicentenary Committee & chairperson of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Check out the 'for' and 'against' in the Jamaica Gleaner

In an Observer Article titled 'My journey in footsteps of anti-slavery heroine', Ms Dynamite, after her TV film for the anti-slavery law bicentenary, talks about Jamaica's first freedom fighter.

Guide to Oppression

My surname Lynch, sadly has not got very pleasant origins being associated with such horrors as lynchings and the like and especially with such infamous characters as Willie Lynch who is attributed with a speech on the 'divide and rule' philosophy of the slave trade. In his speech he gives, what I would call a guide to oppression, saying:

I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves: and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.

Take this simple little list of differences, and think about them. On top of my list is "Age", but it is there only because it starts with an "A": the second is "Color" or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status on plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slave live in the valley, on hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, coarse hair, or is tall or short.

I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect, or admiration.

Source: AWARE (Alliance Working to Achieve Racial Equality)

His speech could be a guide to anyone in power on how to exert that power and could be applied to any modern day oppression whether bullying, gang fights, war (legal or illegal), all the 'isms' from racism to sexism to homophobia, modern day slavery, human trafficking, 'moral panics', asylum seeker/refugee control, human rights violations, North South Divide, poverty - where differences are made bigger and fear, distrust and envy are used for control purposes.

However, unlike my namesake, I believe trust is stronger than distrust, and that adulation, respect and admiration will win hands down over envy...eventually.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

On This Day

Paul finally decided to make an appearance...a few days late and 40+ hours labour & a C-section later. All are well - Mum (Sue), Nan (Christine) & Baby (Paul) - but tired.

Paul is, a handsome wee chap (its obviously genetic), hiccups a bit (also genetic), is 3.5 kg (they didn't know the pounds and ounces)...sorry re. pics...he moved about a bit and I didn't want to use the flash...try to imagine the three photos together as an action shot!

Here's some other good stuff that happened today (March 24th) in history:

1379 - The Gelderse war ended.

1550 - France and England signed the Peace of Boulogne.

1721 - In Germany, Johann Sebastian Bach published the Six Brandenburg Concertos.

1743 - George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" had its premiere, in London.

1792 - Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major, also known as the "Surprise Symphony," was performed publicly for the first time, in London.

1806 - Explorers Lewis and Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.

1828 - The Philadelphia & Columbia Railway was authorized as the first state owned railway.

1837 - Canada gave black people the right to vote

1883 - The first telephone call between New York and Chicago took place.

1898 - The first automobile was sold.

1900 - Mayor Van Wyck of New York broke the ground for the New York subway tunnel that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1903 - The Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent.

1904 - Vice Adm. Tojo sank seven Russian ships as the Japanese strengthened their blockade of Port Arthur.

1905 - In Crete, a group led by Eleutherios Venizelos claimed independence from Turkey.

1906 - The "Census of the British Empire" revealed that England ruled 1/5 of the world.

1911 - In Denmark, penal code reform abolished corporal punishment.

1920 - The first U.S. coast guard air station was established at Morehead City, NC.

1924 - Greece became a republic.

1932 - Belle Baker hosted a radio variety show from a moving train. It was the first radio broadcast from a train.

1934 - U.S. President Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines.

1938 - The U.S. asked that all powers help refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

1955 - Tennessee Williams' play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuted on Broadway.

1960 - A U.S. appeals court ruled that the novel, "Lady Chatterly’s Lover", was not obscene and could be sent through the mail.

1965 - It was the first date of the Rolling Stones anniversary tour.

1981 - "Nightline" with Ted Koppel premiered.

1985 - Thousands demonstrated in Madrid against the NATO presence in Spain.

1991 - The African nation of Benin held its first presidential elections in about 30 years.

1993 - In Israel, Ezer Weizman, an advocate of peace with neighboring Arab nations, was elected President.

1995 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a welfare reform package that made the most changes in social programs since the New Deal.

1998 - The movie "Titanic" won 11 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best song, to tie the record set by 1959's "Ben-Hur." (The record was tied again by "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" in 2003.)

1997 - The Australian parliament overturned the world's first and only euthanasia law.

2006 - In Spain, the Basque separatist group ETA announced a permanent cease-fire

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


She wasn't my friend
I was her hostage
Quote from a great production at the Half Moon Theatre...says it all - about anything which has a hold on us or has power over us... like addictions, bullies, stresses...we think sometimes they are our friends but we are their hostages and we have Stockholm Syndrome.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

First Day of Spring

March 21st England
...if you take it as the vernal equinox
(Spring begins February 1st in Ireland - making more sense than having the first day of spring on March 21st, four days before Summer time begins and the clocks go forward on March 25th!)

Emma & Craig made this collage with Junior Club today!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Peace Strike

You know you're on a protest when a complete stranger comes up to you, hugs you and says 'Thanks for being so bright!"

(He may not have been talking about my rainbow-peace-flag may have been what he was referring to...though with the cold and wind in Pariliament Square he may have simply been using me as a wind block/shield )

PeaceStrike Website

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

St Patrick's Day

Pat & Bride, Jane's Grandparents came from Ireland for their 40th Anniversary today...

We went to Portabello Road Market ...

....checked out the stalls....

...saw Bargain Hunt being filmed...

...checked out some more stalls...

...listened to some music, had some coffee & strolled some more & checked out some more stalls...

then we headed to Docklands & had lunch....

...and strolled some more, this time round Canary Wharf...& headed home...not to Ireland...Poplar for now.
(the next day went to the Irish Festival...with parade, stalls, Music & other festivities in Trafalgar Square & Covent Garden)

Some cards we made @ club....

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Red Nose Day

Tony takes a break from volunteering on Red Nose Day to get a little sunshine (including some vitamin D & light therapy!)


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No Smoking Day

Some messages designed by Monday Club Young People
Many young people with parents who smoked wished they didn't as was reported in a BBC News Story called Children Ask Mums to Stop Smoking!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Tobacco & Alcohol: Class A Drugs?

Why do Alcohol & Tobacco remain unclassified when they are the drugs which kill the most?
Why are these drugs legal when other less harmful drugs are illegal?

(Some questions which have come to mind during our Drugs Awareness Workshops)

A recent investigation into drug laws (BBC Report & Guardian Report ) looks at the 'harm' of drugs and their classification and looking at the figures below its not hard to figure out why.

Drug-related deaths in England and Wales 2000 to 2004





Opiates (heroin, morphine & methadone)

25,000 - 200,000 approx.

500,000 - half a million approx

(Source: Drugscope)

6,000 die annually from alcohol abuse & alcohol is involved in more than half of all visits to accident and emergency departments and orthopaedic admissions.
100,000 die annually from tobacco.

Wide-ranging class of prescription tranquilisers
Buprenorphine: Opioid drug used in treatment of opiate addiction
4-MTA: Amphetamine derivative sold as 'flatliners' and ecstasy
Methylphenidate: Amphetamine-like drug used to treat ADHD
Alkyl nitrites: Stimulant often called amyl nitrites or 'poppers'

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My Desk

Saw this cartoon by Dave Walker on We Blog Cartoons
...anybody who has seen my desk will know how true this cartoon is...except that my PC and keyboard is a little to the right.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Trees for Cities

Summer last year began our relationship with Trees for Cities. We started with some workshops and activities about, yes you've guessed it - trees. Then we went to a local park Alton Green and the young people made suggestions as to how the area could be developed and where they thought trees, shrubs and flowers should go in the area. More recently the young people voted for the trees and shrubs they liked best, made some decorations for the tree guards and today we planted them with about 150+ volunteers from the community and Trees for Cities.

It was a great day - I even got some sun...I suppose you will after 6 hours outdoors under blue skies even in March. We dug up the ground, planted shrubs and trees, mulched (technical term for throwing bits of wet bits of tree bark around the tree, shrub and flower beds to keep in moisture and stop weeds growing!) and decorated the tree guards with the flowers we made and even showed some other young people how to make them (including a Caitlin & Francis).

On the day there were all kind of other activities including face-painting, wood carving, mask painting, games and fire making and weaving (Emma made a chicken from reeds, as you do - it only took her an hour!).

It was lovely to see so many people from the community out today in the sunshine, working and playing together, enjoying the day and making the world a better place.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day

Finally finished the collage from last year.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Fall by Albert Camus

A book for the 'do-gooders'. A warning. I saw myself in this book. I saw what I set out to achieve, metaphorically looking for the blind to lead and at times my frustrations with them to the point where I felt like kicking their sticks from under them (metaphorically!). I saw myself as the 'judge-penitent', a contradiction in terms. I judged and found people wanting and tried to 'help' but then felt guilty that it was never enough or not possibly the the right thing or just guilt for my own inadequacies or for the reasons I was doing what I was doing. Both sides of a coin.

The book examines the sometimes less than altruistic reasons we 'do good' , whether they are to salve our consciences, to feel better than others, to feel good about ourselves, to be seen to be 'good' by others or to have the most 'Brownie-points' at the final court hearing after death.

The book made me question my motives and was brought to mind when yesterday I stopped to enquire of a man (holding a can of lager sitting on the street with blood dripping from his head) if he needed help. He and his friend said 'Thanks but no', an ambulance was on its way. I was disappointed. I wondered if I should hang round in case the ambulance was a long time. Then I saw the ambulance pull up and I felt relieved. So why the disappointment? Was it that I missed an opportunity to 'do good' or that I would have felt guilty if anything happened to the man and I hadn't done everything I could?

I intend reading The Fall again, as its a short and insightful read, I would imagine, again and again. For more on the book check out Wikipedia's article on The Fall.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

World Book Day

In a World Book Day Survey, The Guardian revealed the 100 Books ‘you can’t live without’.

I was surprised by some of the choices and realised of the ones I have not read (in italics), only half of them I would want to read, having seen versions on TV or the cinema ie. Gone With the Wind. Whereas War & Peace and Anna Karenina are on my list to be read, as is Lovely Bones and The Bell Jar recommended to me by Sarah and Wendy respectively.

Of the ones I have read I've hi-lighted some of my favourites (bold). They may be picked for different reasons like nostalgia ie. named Jane after Eyre & Austen in 80s. Or because I read a certain book at a point it really made sense to me like The Little Prince. And some I have chosen despite finding parts of some of the larger works better than others like in The Lord of the Rings, the Bible and Shakespeare's works.

1 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations Charles Dickens
11 Little Women Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the d'Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
13 Catch-22 Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare William Shakespeare
15 Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis
34 Emma Jane Austen
35 Persuasion Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin Louis de Bernières
39 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh AA Milne
41 Animal Farm George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney John Irving
45 The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies William Golding
50 Atonement Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi Yann Martel
52 Dune Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck
62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones's Diary Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
72 Dracula Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory Iain Banks
94 Watership Down Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
100 Les Misérables Victor Hugo

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