Right back at the beginning of the pandemic, one of my neighbours died. Wendy lived directly opposite me, and our lives had been intertwined just so since 1973 when I was just a toddler. She was born in 1944, so she had been a part of my Mum’s life for much longer. When I moved … Continue reading To hope or to hide? Rutger Bregman: “Humankind – A Hopeful History”
“We’ve followed the science” parrots a politician from a daily press conference podium. Defending themselves against charges of inaction or incompetence, the same politician responds in a monotone voice, from a pre-scripted reply that “we’re straining every sinew”. Words are important, but what is crucial is what they really mean – what is behind them. … Continue reading “Earth Emotions – New Words for a New World” by Glenn A. Albrecht
I've been enthusiastically marking the first 'Hampshire Day' - established as the 15th July, which is also the feast day of St. Swithun, the patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. The day is meant to celebrate the diverse culture, tradition and history of communities across what is often referred to as 'the first shire'. It means … Continue reading Hampshire Day – and the importance of ‘place’
I've just emerged from another Sunday morning appointment with the politicians on the TV, accompanied by my only real constant each week, a plate of the kippers that do get my vote (and maintain consistently his satisfaction levels). This week, we really are in the thick of it with the Tory leadership contest, the revelations … Continue reading Perfidious Albion
To mark the start of "Real Bread Week" (23rd Feb - 3rd Mar 2019), I did everything in my power to pass on the 'sourdough bug' to my 10 year old niece Olivia. I'm not sure whether sourdough baking is more poetry or science - looking after the starter culture; autolysing the dough; the rhythms … Continue reading Real Bread – is flour, water and salt really poetry, science, history – or politics?
In the summer of 2018, I got volunteered together with other local residents in helping to create a neighbourhood plan for our local area - Yateley, Darby Green and Frogmore, in Hampshire. My specific area of interest is 'Getting Around', whether that is transport in all its shapes and sizes, or provision for those of … Continue reading Better connectivity could mean trams and light rail
A recent independent inquiry - Civil Society Futures - published its report in the middle of November, called "The Story of Our Times: shifting power, bridging divides, transforming society," which said that civil society must up its game, or risk complete irrelevance. I usually abhor acronyms, but it came up with one - PACT - to … Continue reading Making connections
Over the last few months, I’ve had cause to concentrate my focus on the theory and practice of turning protest into power, to an extent that I probably haven’t done since the mid-90s. The campaigns-related side of public relations, and best ways of developing effective strategies are obviously things which have dominated my time as … Continue reading Resist!
The Boundary Commission's final proposals for the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies have finally been laid before Parliament, as part of its review of seats. Irrespective of whether I agreed with the decision to cut the number of seats, I do think the number of electors in each seat should be more equal - although … Continue reading Counter-consultation crosses a boundary
When a good friend sent me an email this summer about a campaign she was involved in, I had no hesitation in asking a selection of women neighbours, family and friends to take part in it, to support it as much as I could. I've re-printed the text of the email, to provide some background, … Continue reading What Women Want 2.0