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29 July 2016

NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT

When things get too familiar, too routine, too repetitious, too obsessive, too frustrating, or too whatever, I like to try something that gives me a kick but doesn't necessarily lead anywhere or mean anything except a momentary YES!

Singing is like that for me - not serious singing, not proper singing, just fun. Songs I love, done my way. Best fun of all is concocting a different musical background for a well-known song (I use Garage Band) and singing over it. I recorded a few of these 'covers' and probably uploaded some in past blog posts but I don't remember when or where.

I must thank Roderick whose recent attempts to post a sound recording of his own voice into a blog post led to my proposing variously convoluted techy options but the problem was finally solved by commenter MikeM who suggested a very straightforward solution. I've now used picosound myself to post two recordings:

1.  Nat's No Regrets  (Je Ne Regrette Rien)

2.  Nat's Cucuru  (Cucurucucu Paloma)

25 July 2016

TURNING STRANGERS INTO FRIENDS

Late last night, on my way home from a marvellous musical soirée at friends' house, I'm waiting at a bus stop. Two African women next to me are talking with great animation, their voices bubbling, swirling like amplified, orchestrated bird song. I want to speak this language! I turn to the larger, more voluble of the two:

me: where are you from?
she (smiles, gives me a hug, kisses my cheek): Nigeria.
me: which part?
she: Lagos.
me: my friend Teju Cole is from there.
she: Ibo?
me: yes, Ibo. You?
she: Yoruba.
me: oh, I think he's Yoruba too.  

(Truth is, I can't remember which of the two Teju is).
The bus arrives. The three of us get on and the large woman sits behind me.
she: how old are you?
me: I'm not going to tell you. Guess.
she: sixty-two.
me: thank you, I'm flattered (actually I'm ecstatic) but you're wrong.
she: seventy-one?
me: (smiling enigmatically) Wrong. How old are you?
she: guess.
me: thirty-five?
Her round face, firm and polished as a nectarine, breaks into a gleaming smile.
she: I'm fifty-one.


It goes on like this and by the time I get off at my stop, we have been friends forever. We hug, we wave. I love these women. I love London.

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

20 July 2016

WINNER

Uplifting news:

I'm one of the 15 winners of a film poster competition to be displayed on the hoardings of a cinema opening at the beginning of September in the old Pizza Express building in Kentish Town. I've just heard from the organisers that I'm on the winners list.

The brief was to design a poster for one's favourite film of all time. So I chose Bicycle Thieves because its brilliance is timeless and because my dear departed brother-in-law Gerardo Guerrieri worked on the memorable script. Below is my poster design and yes, I did borrow from that famous photo. Will post more when all the posters are up on the hoardings.

NdA-bicyclethieves-poster

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

18 July 2016

PABLEAU NO.1

Done it. Registered to vote in the Labour leadership election. Paid the outrageous £25 fee.

And in other news:

I've just finished the first in my new series of Pableaux (poem-tableaux) - not exactly a poem but kind of poetic?

Title: How could she know. Dimensions: W 31.5 cms X H 31 cms X D 4.5 cms. Media: wood, balsa, canvas, acrylic. It's a box inside which the cut-out shapes are arranged on different levels.

I couldn't get the photo to show its 3-dimensionality or the thin gold edges around the frame.

Pableau No.1: Hoe Could She Know.

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

8 July 2016

A WORM'S EYEVIEW

This just popped into my head and onto paper without premeditation.

A  Worm's Eyeview 1

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

6 July 2016

CHILCOT REPORT: NOT CHILLING ENOUGH

Yes it's good that it's down on paper now,  2.6 million words of it, costing ten million pounds. Ten. Million. Pounds. And seven years. All neat and official now: the Iraq war should not have happened.

Millions of us told you so. We marched all over the planet to tell you so but that didn't count because they knew best, George and Tony and their mates knew best. They said it was The Right Thing To Do and that God was on their side.

Now 2.6 million words confirm that, actually, we knew best and they, Tony and George & Co. were wrong. It was a mistake. But that's okay because Tony has apologised. He said:  " I express more sorrow regret and apology than you can ever believe."  That's life. Stuff happens. We should lighten up, eh?

No.

Around two million Iraqui civilians lost their lives, limbs, country and futures.Thousands of American and hundreds of British army personnel died and were maimed or permanently traumatised for nothing,  for a 'mistake'. Saddam was toppled but there are now 100 Saddams, if not more. The rise and rise of Isis and terrorism can, without exaggeration, be traced back to that mistaken war.

But hey, the Chilcot report is out and it explains everything and it says Tony and Co. were naughty, and lessons must be learned for the future - what more do you want?

Here's what I want:

I want Tony Blair to get down on his knees.
I want him to beg...BEG...forgiveness from the families he has bereaved (all of them, including Iraquis).
I want Blair to donate all the money he's been paid for his speaking tours after the Iraq war to all the broken lives, the refugees, the devastated homes which he and Bush are directly responsible for.
I don't want him to be sent to prison for war crimes:
I want him to be sent to Iraq, to live there for at least seven years. in the same conditions as the ordinary people now struggle to live.
I want the ten million pounds which was paid to the Chilcot report to be refunded and then donated to the care of the injured soldiers who returned from that war.

I'm being emotional, naive, unrealistic. Emotion shouldn't affect one's judgement, right?

Well, unless compassion and empathy enter politics and into decisons which will affect millions of people for generations to come, there's no hope for us humans.

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

30 June 2016

BETRAYALS

This is not a political blog but current events make it impossible not to express feelings and thoughts about what is going on right outside the door of one's little ivory (imitation ivory) tower. I'm outraged, appalled, gobsmacked.

There is not only the toxic aftermath of Brexit but now the Labour party politicians' cowardly coup against Jeremy Corbyn, turning their backs on him en masse when in this crisis they should be united in support of him and listening to the thousands of people out there who voted him in and who want him to stay in as leader of the Labour party to regenerate it and give it back its soul.

Those betrayers are behaving like stereotype politicians who want a stereotypical politician to lead them, a clone, perhaps even a Boris Johnson-type but with New Labourite credentials, someone with floppy-haired charisma...ah, charisma! That magical quality which makes people want to eat out of your hand even if your hand is filled with hot air or poison. They can't cope with an honest, principled man who doesn't talk the talk but tells it like it is, doesn't make grandiose promises, refuses to betray what he believes in and has been clearly saying and practicing what he believes in every since he entered politics. Shame shame shame on those politicians, they have lost their raison d'être.

In reality Corbyn is standing up to his attackers but in his heart, maybe this is how he feels.(With thanks to Vincent Van Gogh).

Van Gogh-Corbyn

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

29 June 2016

HUGE BREXIT PROTEST OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT

Anti-Brexit demo 28 June

26 June 2016

CAT-OLOGUE

Pushkin-26 June 2016

I asked Pushkin the Cat what he thought of Brexit.

Frankly my dear I don't give a damn, he said.
You're quoting Gone with the Wind, you never saw the film, I said.
Allright, take out frankly my dear, he said.
I like your saying my dear, I said.
It's only a quote, he said.
You have no feelings for me, I said.
I'm a cat, he said.
My beloved cat, I said.
I'm not your cat and my name isn't Pushkin, he said.
And cats don't talk to people, I said.
So what about Brexit? he said

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

26 June 2016

CURIOUSLY IGNORED INCIDENT

This is not for those who prefer the news in fast-food bites but for anyone interested in full facts in all their boring and vitally important detail, read this
and also this.

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

25 June 2016

LISTEN TO THE YOUNG

Watch this video on the link below:

The voice of the young on Brexit

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

24 June 2016

THE HORROR

It feels like a bereavement. It feels like the Donald Trumps, the Nigel Farages, the Boris Johnsons, the Michael Goves now rule the world. I stayed up until 5 am watching the blue clouds gradually creeping over the map, hiding the light, and I went to bed thinking that maybe I was asleep, having a nightmare.

Just turned on the news. It's real.

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

23 June 2016

REMAIN ON THIS PLANET

united

Am voting Remain today. Anything that unites us on this planet has to be a good thing, even if it involves difficulties to sort out. One thing we must all agree on is that we are, above all, citizens of the earth, this earth which covers this one planet. Imagine if everyone felt as patriotic about the whole planet as they do about their country: wouldn't that be a good thing?

Perhaps because ever since childhood I've lived in and been 'at home' in quite a few countries I've never really understood flag-waving. Cheering for your sports team, your school, your friends - yes, of course. But the geographical location of that bit of the planet where you happen to be born, or where some of your ancestors were born, why is that such a big deal? Sometimes you want another country's team to win the football - why not? Does that make you a traitor?

The fear of immigration is the fear that we'll all get mixed together and the lines of demarcation will gradually become fainter and fainter. Would that be such a bad thing? Eventually the mix would produce new ideas, new people, new solutions. New problems too, of course, but that's life innit?

To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

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