Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Late Tomatoes

Another one of our produce from the tomato plants we planted from seed...the plan is to pick the rest of the green ones, see if they ripen in the window and use any ripe ones for their seeds to be dried out to plant again...

...and btw the wormery is still going strong...and the worms when last checked were alive and kicking (figuratively - yes I do know that worms have no legs to kick, thank you)

When did gardening enter the realms of youthwork - never saw it on my job description.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Westminster Bridge Freeze

So I saw a link about Improv Everywhere then checked out if there were any groups in London and if they were doing anything. There was and they were...the next day.

So I ended up next day with working with 12 complete strangers on a freeze on Westminster Bridge, where one person stops and looks out (not at the obvious like Big Ben) and another comes along and stops and freezes and so on until Big Ben chimes and we all just disappear into the crowd as if nothing has happend.

Why? For fun and because we could!

I was quite impressed with the fact a bunch of complete strangers could co-ordinate and co-operate with each other to do such a thing in such an impromptu fashion...gives you hope for what might be achieved with a little planning...

(Picture by John Ryan)

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Youth Work Awards

Josh & Craig @ their graduation ceremony
were they were awarded by London Youth with
Level 1 Foundation in Youth Work

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Children in Need

Great reflection idea from one of our youth volunteers to raise awareness of Children in Need and also highlight the work we do...

Pugsy Bear is drawn with bandage but no spots. Red spots are cut and given to people to write how we as a centre meet the needs of children and stick them on!

We also made Pugsy Bear biscuits - 3 x blobs - 1 bigger with 2 small stuck on for ears
(can also add features like eyes with icing)

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

New York Times Hope Hoax

Millions of New York Times given out free today full of good news...hopes such as Iraq War ending and things like National Health Care for the US...

New York Times Special Edition Video News Release - Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Cactus

So its mid November and the Christmas cactus is in full bloom...

...is it global warming...

or is it just beautiful?

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Rap

A rap explaining how its gonna work ... be careful you will be singing along... about partical physics...protons and quarks...innit bruv.

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Yay! First time I was first!!!
(What do some of those words mean? Do those people really know them? Should I?)


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Dream Come True

I saw the moon landing, the Berlin wall come down....

....and tonight I stayed up to see Barack Obama elected by the American people as the next President of the United States.

At 4am at the same time I sent a text "Today the world is a better place" and Thomas sent me a text "And the world is a better place."

As Thomas said 'Great minds think alike'...yeah I reckon quite a few million great minds might be thinking alike.

A day that Jessie Jackson wasn't sure would happen as he stood alongside Martin Luther King...

...when it was all just 'a dream'...

...the dream has come true.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Conversation & Youth Work

We didn't really do anything apart from tell people a time and place and provide a few nibbles...the rest was up to who ever came for however long...it was like an open-house or drop-in kind of thing, people could come and go when they liked or just pop in, although most were there from 7-9 and some arrived at 6.40 while others left at 11. It was chilled out and people sat and talked or played games like pool or the wii or singstar - table tennis 'round the table' was popular and got alot of people mixing, but there was no plan and no pressure...

It was good to see some new faces and some old faces and to hear about what everyone is doing and relive some old stories and create links to make some new ones.

Subjects discussed included the following:
  • The US Presidential Election
  • The book The Art of War
  • Table Tennis
  • Study of Theology
  • The round carpet of club being a representation of the missing round window that was the sun (and being handy for circle games)
  • Fatherhood
  • Pool
  • SA/youth work at the training college, Poplar present & past, Clapton, Nunhead, Mile End Climbing wall, secondary schools and more
  • Sign language
  • Youth work training & qualifications
  • Mountain Leadership Training
  • Weddings
  • Birthdays
  • Making links across corps
  • Essentialism
  • Child protection training
  • Wii games
  • Separation
  • Cheese boards and knives (seemed novel to some)
  • Volunteers
  • Babies
  • Choice of subject of study at university & personal statements
  • The rise of popularity of the pitta bread & humus in the Poplar area's young people accounting for Thomas' only vegetables in his diet apart from tomato sauce
  • Poplar's facilities
  • People who people would like to have seen to catch up with
  • Bulbs in a building that's had them all installed at the same time having them all go around the same time
  • Growing vegetables
  • Working with young people with special/complex needs
  • Study Support
  • Young people
  • Funding
  • Music, songs & singstar
  • Ownership
  • The educational system of Germany
  • Children
  • Fireworks
  • Meeting the needs of young people
  • Racism
  • The X Factor
  • Skiing
  • Poplar the oldest existing Salvation army Corps
  • Breast feeding
  • Facebook
  • Playing the guitar
  • The French Language
  • Cooking
  • Obama's autobiography
  • A Levels
  • Hair cuts
  • Bicycles
  • Art
  • Studying for a PGCE
  • Food
  • Studying childcare at college
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Relationships
  • Meeting up again
  • Contact details
...and these were only the conversations I was part of or overheard.

One conversation, though especially illustrated what youth work is about. A conversation between a worker who that night returned to the centre after many years to see one of the young members he worked with now grown up and now a youth worker like he was. A conversation about relationship and all that grew from that. Youth Work.

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Jane described the ambulance pulling in and paramedics racing out to the person lying in street. The attempts at resuscitation. The attempts to shock the heart into starting again. The person being taken into the ambulance and being driven away, quietly.

There's nothing worse, she said, than an ambulance leaving a scene like that quietly, no siren sounding...

The siren is like a signal of hope.

I remember as a child in Ireland, the custom to bless yourself when a funeral went silently by. I always thought that was the wrong time. I instead used to bless myself when the ambulance went blaring by... because then there was still hope for my prayers.

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