Sajeda & Ashiq

I reblog this piece, by Injeanious, on Gogwit’s Blog because I enjoyed reading it and I was intrigued by it.
So many threads and so many layers.
Our lives are like baskets woven from sticks rooted in our many experiences; some touch directly, some tangentially and others connect but tenuously. All contribute to the integrity of the basket.
Perhaps we could all bear closer analysis of our motivations.
Or, perhaps not.

Injeanious

It’s Saturday morning.  Sajeda and I are lying on our backs in the front room.    I’m demonstrating some simple exercises to strengthen her core.   These had been given to me by my trusty physiotherapist just four weeks ago, when my back was so sore I could hardly move.    I’m sharing them with Sajeda this morning – hoping that by modelling the process with her it will help.   So I’m  demonstrating the leg slide and trying to explain the importance of tightening up her core muscles as I’m doing it.   So to explain further I kneel up beside her and feel her either side of her pelvis, deep into her muscle.  This isn’t too easy because Sajeda is rather on the large side.  Small and round.  I explain that she has to tighten her muscles and keep feeling until she does this.   Good, I praise her – she smiles.  I place…

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Meatless Lunch Recipe

Meatless Lunch Recipe

https://letlerfit.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/meatless-lunch-recipe/
— Read on letlerfit.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/meatless-lunch-recipe/

I LIKE this post, and for two reasons. First, there are obvious benefits accruing from awareness of nutrition, diet and bioenergetics. Consideration of what constitutes your own best mix of foods within your energy economy is an exercise in making informed lifestyle choices.

The second reason is to do with the value of the appropriate application of routine in a person’s life – not too little, not too much, not overarching nor too lax – which is considered to be beneficial to psychological and psychiatric well being.

Primary Phase Baselining and SATS.

Let Our Kids Be Kids: Y6 SATS 2018 Withdrawal Letter

“…do what you think is right for your child, and all children, in a broken system.”

This is a telling quotation and a damning phrase. So many parents feel it necessary to go against what has been status quo because they believe, as those best placed to understand, that this system of testing does more harm than good to their children and to children in general. Sadly, “baselining” is set to be rolled out to nursery children which has prompted the “More Than A Score” protest (https://morethanascore.co.uk/‬)  (@MoreThanScore, #4tooyoung).

Just imagine; a snapshot at 4 and your child’s future is mapped out – “flight planned.”
So, once again, I am happy to publicise your information on Gogwit’s Blog.

gogwit.

New Verse for Easter

A visit to an East Kent churchyard on Easter Sunday rewarded me with a surprising sight, one which sparked ideas which are set out on this page. I have never before seen a thick, healthy, leafy rosemary bush growing upon a grave.

It made quite an impression on me and suggested the theme of my second piece of verse in this current creative spell.

Rosemary Adorns My Grave.

Rosemary adorns my grave.

Profuse cut flowers by many hands marked
My final resting place; fewer and less frequently
As time passed on and by.
Hues pure and funerary fade, vanish into earth,

Even as have I.

And left behind is mottled stone and the green
Of the thriving bush, which grew from the sprig
That struck and took so many years ago.
Plucked in sorrow from my own back garden
Planted, in love, by a solitary hand.

Whether, by chance, you visit me or your presence
Here is by design, run your fingers through
My leaves, rub one and sense
The earthy herb, this shrub, my bower,

Relict, in memoriam.

Rosemary adorns my grave.

Ben A Harvey
Easter 2018

(c) 2018, All Rights Reserved.

St Paul’s Square, B3.

This is the first sustained creative work I have delivered since 2015, I believe.

It came to life on the X14 bus on my way to visit my dentist, Dr Jalif, and was finalised on my return journey, by train, from Selly Oak to Sutton Coldfield.

I hope that you enjoy reading this work. I enjoyed writing it.

St Paul’s Square, B3.

Open field hemmed in by buildings
Workshops, forges, manufactories.
Parts of these turned into houses
For the owners wealth and riches,
For the craftsmen leather breeches,
Tools and ale and most of all
A bed and roof over their head.

Simple people with religion
Men and women all of God.
They raised a splendid place of worship
Visible from house and workshop,
Visible from home and tavern,
Reminding them of place and duty
By then the open field was gone.

Wooden box pews, songs of praise
Hymns ancient and modern.
Blight and blitz and times of plenty
Baptise, confirm, marry, bury,
Offices of life and death,
The churchyard is a garden now
To take the place of field and heath.

Ben A Harvey
24 March 2018

(C) 2018, All rights reserved.

Thoughts from a retired headteacher…

I reblog this with sadness. Sadness that a headteacher should feel motivated to write in this vein; sadness that the argument of this piece is essentially true. The keyword here is, I think, sadness.

Let Our Kids Be Kids

Teachers, headteachers, parents… use your power!

“I daily thank god that I am a retired teacher and headteacher. I simply could not ask my staff to persecute children with never ending ‘tests’ that do nothing to further any child’s education or ability to make sense of the world. I simply would have refused to cooperate with the idiots charged with designing our so-called education system.

Teaching used to be a joyous profession. Happy children, staff who didn’t dread walking daily through the school gates and heads who were left to manage their schools without the constant interference of people who couldn’t do the job themselves.

I used to be described as formidable by LEA officers, advisors alike. Yes I was. Formidable in my determination to do the very best I could for the young people in my charge.

Schools used to be about opportunities for social mobility- a chance…

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“Tired? A young man like you…?”

“I stopped explaining myself when I realised other people only understand from their level of perception.”

This is a very valid take on the quandary we face whenever someone who is not an acquaintance, relative or friend sees fit to pass comment on us.
In my case the condition is not M.E. – that is my little brother’s burden – but equally difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced my illness. Do we heed the call to arms; and risk appearing defensive, aggressive, apologetic, malingering or just plain pathetic? Or do we say nothing, slink away or tell ourselves that the better part of valour is discretion?
In my experience and life, for what it’s worth, it depends on the situation.

Choice, free will and the better part of valour are wonderful things: exercise yours, here, today, by reading the excellent piece I share today.
Please consider following the author, and please appreciate their work by liking it.

Me and M.E...

by Jonathan Fitzgerald

The pay machine in the car park is on the go-slow and I’m making small talk with the two pensioner ladies waiting in the queue behind me. “It’s a bit like me in a morning,” I quip. “A young man like you?” they chuckle back, unaware.

Now I’m not about to correct and start lecturing two octogenarian ladies in the middle of a car park. In fact initially I feel a little guilty – why am I moaning when they are the old people with the aches and creaking bones

And why would they know any different anyway? I’m having an OK-ish day and they can’t tell I have something like M.E based on our 30-second interaction. And I’ll never see them again, so does it matter? Should it really get to me?

Rewind two weeks and I’m in an exercise class, trying out different things to help my…

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We need to talk about Diane Abbott. Now. (EXPLICIT CONTENT)

Diane Abbott has been a topic of talk, chatter, discussion, criticism – mostly unfair – and, most recently, speculation.
I am very pleased to share this excellent, thoughtful perspective on the subject of Ms Abbott, her story and why she is deserving of respect.

gogwit.

Jack Monroe

This is not a recipe. I wrote this as a series of tweets today and readers asked for it as a blog post, so here it is. Our politics may differ, so feel free to skip straight back to the recipes if that’s what you’re here for.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DIANE ABBOTT.

Right one of us political writer people needs to do this and it looks like it’s me. Grab a seat. I wanna talk about Diane.
Diane was first elected as an MP in 1987, the year before I was born. She has been dedicated to serving the British public for longer than I have even been alive. Hold that thought. Understand it.
Diane was the first black woman to have a seat in the House of Commons. She MADE HISTORY. Her father was welder, her mother a nurse. How many working class kids do we have…

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Eight-Ten-Ten

I.

I fell in love.
It was a Friday evening,
October, two thousand and ten.
I fell in love.
There were no fireworks
No angels blowing trumpets
Just a moment when
Everything seemed changed from
The instant just before
I looked across the table
And suddenly I saw you,
Anew, as if seeing for
The first time, looking through
Brand new prescription lenses
Across the same shared cocktails,
Same sleeveless little black dress,
Same slender, tall, diffident woman
Who had been my friend
Until the moment just before
I fell in love.

II.

I fell in love.
As I told you then
That Friday evening in October.
I fell in love.
How did I know?
How could I tell?
It just made sense
At least it seemed
To make sense then.
If I had known what
I know now, would I
Have still declared my love
To you? Yes I would
As we walked, and talked,
Hand in hand across town
I little thought that this
Would be the last time
You would hold my hand.
I had to tell you
I fell in love.

Ben A Harvey
11 April 2014

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved.

20140414-190008.jpg

Verse for Ôstara, 2014.

(The Vernal Equinox (northern Hemisphere): 20 March 2014/ 1657UTC)


So when the Sun rises

In the East today
You will know that the
Hours that follow dawn
To dusk will equal those
From dusk to dawning
One single day’s length hence;
And that an egg placed
Round end down will
Stand erect and neither topple
One way nor the other.
Equinox. Equilux. Balance in time
And space. In this place.

Spring sunshine paints a pretty
Picture picking out the
Golden trumpets, the fresh purples,
Whites, yellows, blues of
Spring bulbs burst into completion
Announcing Spring is here.
With the winter lost and
Once more banished new
Green shoots, buds and leaves
Evidence Ôstara and her Handiwork.
Dawn, new light, new life,
New beginnings at this
Point in time and space.

In the city giant cranes
Come back to life.
Trucks, diggers, hoists and mixers
Serviced by the host
Who, ant-like, this and
That way move to
Build and raise the citadel.
Machines, men, sand and water
Steel, wood, fire, glass
Do Ôstara’s work and bidding.
New from naught, or worn,
Or old. In creation: man
And nature, hand-in-hand.

Crocus, bluebells, violets, Honey,
Lilac, mallow, mead and Nectar.
New choice, lifestyle and direction,
Goddess: Blessed be all creation!

Ben A Harvey
March 2014.

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved.