Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Well, what a week!! A week in which I've been reflecting on what it is to be a neighbour.
We've decided to call the spangle 'Molly'. My apologies to anyone out there called, or related to a Molly, but the name really suits her. At the Shrewsbury Folk Festival last year we met some Molly Dancers called 'Black Dyke Molly'. They were very friendly camping neighbours who dressed in black with flashes of white, which is exactly how the spangle's coat looks. So there we are, she's called Molly.
At the weekend my next door neighbour and I built a run for her. Our garden is insecure due to upcoming building work, so she now has a safe, 70 square metre area big enough for a horse!
It was a pleasure to work with my neighbour. He is a multi talented man who has a tool and an idea for everything. Without his help, I'm not sure I could have built it so quickly and robustly, if at all. When he came round for sunday dinner, it put me in mind of how communities used to be - neighbours helping neighbours and accepting nothing more as payment than a place at table and the fellowship that comes from that. We regularly hear on the news the phrase 'close knit communities'. I've doubted for some time if, with the rise of television, commuting, cheap supermarket alcohol and dwindling church attendances, such things exist outside of soap operas. I think if I have a new year resolution, it has to be to pay more attention to the needs of my neighbours.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Well, it's amazing how your life can change in a matter of moments. On tuesday we found a beautiful little dog at the rescue centre which just has to come and enrich our lives. She's a 'spaniel', but with lots of mongrel I reckon, so is I guess she's a SPANGLE. She's a livewire, so god only knows what's going to happen.
I've finally tendered my resignation from the army and I feel a huge weight has gone from my shoulders, metaphorically and really!! I cannot be part of an organisation which restricts freedom of speech, while at the same time existing as the instrument of a government that seeks to protect our freedoms worldwide. It is a paradox born out of, and nurtured by a delusion as to what freedom is. We live in a culture which is one of the most observed, surveilled, restricted and legislated in the world.A culture which is seeking to make everyone 'middle' class, with a university education from what used to be a polytechnic, creating 'middle' England. All so beautifully stable, controlled, so that those that place themselves above us can maintain their status, whether they be politicians, bankers or whatever, and we, satisfied with our middleness will not rock the boat, in case we lose what we have.
On tuesday, I saw freedom. She is black, with a white chest and a big bounce. She has floppy ears and has no idea who her parents are. Her free exuberance is irresistibly attractive. But, for her to live with us in harmony we are all going to have to bend a little to make it work. Surely, true freedom exists when all of us work together for mutual advantage, not when one party seeks to dominate the other.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Well, it's a beautiful morning here on the outskirts of Bridgnorth. We are very fortunate, Jane and I to live here.
I've been reflecting, as I do, on all the troubles of the world and reckon that me being prevented from reading my poem on the BBC is small beer in relation to the freedoms now being compromised for the people of Haiti, especially as I can look out on such a peaceful setting. Freedom is something many of us take for granted here in the so called first world countries- we all have 'rights', and complain if we don't get them. Roads gritted, bins emptied etc, not to mention clean drinking water, free education and health care. Haiti shows how a random, natural event can devastate an already impoverished nation. The bad weather of the past few weeks here in Britain shows how a random, natural event can piss off an already over precious, spoilt nation.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Hi There everyone, and welcome to my blog!! Who knows where this will lead but I hope it provokes and stimulates free thought.
I hope to hear from you soon.