Pause for thought

An advert for humanity

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Help Is Here

This is America. Not the rubbish we see in the papers and on TV, not the over rich politicians who have no idea what it is to be hungry, or have nowhere to rest, not the overpaid sports, media, and entertainment “stars”. These are the stars!

that little voice

I returned home just days following Hurricane Harvey’s rampage through this part of Texas, getting a first hand view of the devastation to some 100+ families, not including the dozens of businesses that were impacted in our small town. The saddest part of this tragedy is most of those affected could not afford these life changing events.

They lost everything…except each other. They have no clothes, no shoes, no food, no furniture,  no school supplies, no homes, no direction…and no money.

Rebuild? How? With What?

Move? Where?

Pull yourself up with your boot straps? Who has boots?

I sat with a restaurant owner yesterday as she handed out grocery store gift cards, clothing store gift cards, and cash to her staff members who have no place to live, and no means to ‘start over’. It was important that the restaurant open because these folks needed to get a paycheck, and that wouldn’t…

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Reminders for Myself

Sage advice from Owen here. If these could be instilled in all, instead of 25% of the current curriculum, we may begin to climb out of the doldrums!

No Talent For Certainty

Never excuse one evil by pointing to another evil

When recounting your grievances, remember: people lose patience with reruns

You aren’t a failure just because someone said you were —
you aren’t a success by that measure, either

Never try to explain some small random thing
by substituting an even larger, more random thing

Respect people for the human value they provide; i.e.,
show a lot more respect to farmers

Better yet, respect people, period

Fight the human tendency to believe
that if you don’t know what someone does
they must not do anything

Imagination breeds expectation, which yields disappointment;
imagination also breeds empathy, which allows us to help each other through disappointment —
so, do that

Social reinforcement doesn’t make something right or wrong,
it just makes it feel that way

People are starving for any bits of respect or affection
even though we can all give them away…

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Elysian

This post by Chris Nicholas is well worth reading (right to the end!)

If you are someone who struggles to accept people who are different: try.
You just might learn something new, or even help to make the world a better or safer place.

Love is love. Human is human. And regardless of what some may wish to believe; we are equal. We are all valued. And we all connected.

The Renegade Press

Milk and honey have different colours, but they share the same house peacefully.

  • African proverb

One of the most defining moments of my admittedly short writing career came on December 20th, 2014 when I received my first death threat from a reader. The threat, received via email, was in response to an article I had written which drew comparisons between religious intolerance and a criminological model known as the Broken Windows Theory. Throughout the post, I suggested that the constant defamation of an ideology through misrepresentation and bigotry damages an individual’s perception of a subculture, and creates a rift in our society.

To illustrate my point, I spoke of the Islamic faith and the unjust insinuation that it is a religion defined by violence. I compared acts perpetuated by extremists as stones hurled through the windows of a beautiful monument in an attempt to damage its image and cheapen…

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Handfasting – a poem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

Handfasting was very prevalent in the Hebrides, the Inner, and Outer, islands off the west coast of Scotland.

I had the unique privilege of living on St Kilda, a remote archipelago, some 45 miles West North West of North Uist, for several periods, mostly 6 weeks at a time. Stays sometimes proved to be longer, because access is always determined by the weather! In total, I spent some 8 months of my life there.

St Kilda has a strange hold on all who set foot there, rather akin to desert fever for anyone who has experienced true desert.

I follow a page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/St.KildaHebrides/ , on Facebook, dedicated to St Kilda, and, as part of advice being offered to a would be visitor, came across this poem written by Andrew Lane in 2009.

I do not know Andrew but, from what I’ve seen and read, feel that we would get on very well. He is a musician, so this may well have been written to perform. In any case, I hope that you find the poem at least a little interesting, especially those who may know nothing about the Scots, or their unique language.

Andrew has a lovely “lived in” face, and someone commented that it was obviously the result of someone’s advice:

“Smile a lot when you are young so that when you grow older, your wrinkles will all be in the right place”

THE HAND-FASTING

Oh, lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Bring the lassies from the wheel
To spin themselves a proper reel.
Bring the laddies from the loom
To weave a dance beside the groom.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Bring the stoddart from the braes
And leave the hoggie to its ways.
Bring the fisher from the shore;
This man will be a boy no more.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Set your creels upon the ling
And bow the fiddles till they sing.
Take the whistle from your poke
And pipe a tune for dancing folk.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Set the bellyrive aboot,
And spread the meat upon the cloot.
Place the whisky pig beside
And you shall see the hand-fast tied.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Stoddart – a herdsman. Hoggie – a young sheep. Bellyrive – a feast.
Cloot – cloth. Whisky pig – a whisky jar.

©Andrew Lane July 2009

 

Too Soon to Speculate: thoughts on Grenfell Tower Fire

What a brilliant article by my friend Kirsty, and what chilling reading the blog of the Grenfell Action Group makes. (Linked from the “raised again and again….”) Clearly, there has been a problem for a long time, and there is still a problem with other tower blocks. No money to cure the problem? Tough – We have to find the funding! What a great community spirit has been displayed in the aftermath, with no regard to race, colour, religion or gender.
Whether you have a faith, or none, pray that you never have to experience what those fellow human beings have had to endure, and what they have to live with for ever!

kirstwrites

Sometimes you can watch the TV news unfold its daily horrors and let it just wash over you; at other times the sheer awfulness leaves you breathless, heartsick, overwhelmed. Today is one of those other days. It’s been difficult to concentrate at work today, flicking back to the news websites every so often with a pounding heart. If this is how I’m feeling, a comfortable 200 miles away from Grenfell Tower, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for those personally affected.

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Lymelight Festival 2017

A fantastic report on Limelight Festival 2017 by a talented young music blogger. Read and enjoy!

E Major

We waited patiently, for a whole 12 months. We attended gigs, we played our music loud and we counted down the days until we’d be back in front of that stage once more. We watched with excitement, as the lineup, the headliners and the last minute acts were announced. We planned our May Day bank holiday weekend accordingly and then we headed for Newcastle town centre, cagoule in hand and hopes high.

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The fifth annual Lymelight Festival ran from the evening of Friday 28th April through until late afternoon on Monday 1st May and by all accounts, it was spectacular. Opening with sets from Captain Stingray’s Groove Machine, Vidorra, 10o’clock Chemical and Akahum, it seemed that from the get go, this would be more than just your usual local festival.

S A T U R D A Y

It was dry and sunny on the morning of the 29th of…

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The little sods from the !st Monchen Gladbach Scout Troop

Read this fantastic story of Scouting of yesteryear told by John. He is now retired, both from stealing from the Tuck Shop, and from his legal duties. He can still sing the old scouting songs though!

Broadsides

scouts-threeIt must have been the summer of 1961. Certainly before the Beatles. The music that year was all Dean Martin and the Drifters, or itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini.* And I recall being in love with a girl in the 4th form at Queens’s school in Rheindalen, Carol, and constantly singing a song to her called “Oh Carol”.** And there was Elvis of course. Anyway, I was in the boy scouts then. Moved on I had from the cubs, left behind all that Akela and dib dib, dib, dob, dob, dob stuff. Cubs had sixers in charge. I had been a sixer when a cub. Born to command I was. Now, in that summer of ’61, I had graduated to the scouts and I was quickly made a Patrol leader. Sometimes I even wore long trousers.

They would meet once a week, Wednesday evening…

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In memory of P.C. Keith Palmer, Metropolitan Police.

b4d7c990b8e792469d58c5dc69dc0f9e072ab9f4a3aabf6f6802f732b5e63e3f_3915030“The Final Inspection”

The policeman stood and faced his God,
which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?”

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
because those of us who carry badges
can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I’ve been violent,
because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
that wasn’t mine to keep….
Though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
among the people here.
They never wanted me around
except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here,
Lord, It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected, or had too much,
but if you don’t…..I’ll understand.

There was silence all around the throne
where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
for the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, policeman,
you’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets,
you’ve done your time in hell.”

Author Unknown