29 July 2016


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


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


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.


To comment please go to my Mirror Blog

18 July 2016


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


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


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?


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

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