Tuesday 31 May 2011

Tory Peer Jalied

I may be in a club of 1 here but I don't agree with the jailing of MPs /Peers charged with expenses fraud.

I think they should be made to pay the money back yes but Jail?? that seems too harsh and extreme a punishment to me.

Some of you may be thinking ..'oh well some people have been jailed over benefits fraud etc... well I'm not sure that's the best course of action there either - but then each case is different.

Anyway - It appears to me that 'fiddling' expenses was very much part of the culture of Westminster .. others may have even encouraged that behaviour in colleagues viewing it as the norm.. perk of the job if you like...and who knows.. if this practice hadn't been leaked it may have continued Yes minister style.. business as usual..

To therefore single out the few who have been caught and punish them seems unfair.
Community payback would have sufficed..
I don't condone it. I - like everyone else read the story as it unfolded and shook my head.. wondering why anyone earning good money couldn't pay for things like the rest of us. But as the list grew longer and longer it became apparent to me that it was a cultural - and perhaps a belief system that needed to be changed ...more than a case of pure individual greed .

You can read the story here

Gramps Morgan - file under Morgan Heritage...

I just love the line - For 1 night...let's share love...like this is the end!!..
Can you image if we went through life like that - how wonderful..if perhaps a bit reckless at times..( ahem!)we would be!!

So onto you I say... For 1 day - let's live life - like this is the end.. singalong peeps!!..and re-live - this memory over and over again... take it away Gramps...
Having said all that I have to study all day today.. an all week... 'fardagod' help me :).. god know me haffi fit in likkle playtime ;-)

Monday 30 May 2011

Randy Crawford to Janet Kay..the sun's out - today's a lovers day!! let love reign..Happy Bank Holiday !!

Syl Johnson 60's musical history also ft Ken Boothe

Description from Wikipedia
Born Sylvester Thompson in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf in the 1950s, before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal, a subsidiary of King Records of Cincinnati, backed by Freddie King on guitar.

He then began recording for Twinight Records of Chicago in the mid 1960s. Beginning with his first hit, Come On Sock It to Me in 1967, Johnson dominated the label as both a hitmaker and producer. His song Different Strokes, also from 1967, featured recently on the Ultimate Breaks and Beats breakbeat compilation.

Like other black songwriters of the period, several of his records at this time explored themes of African-American identity and social problems in songs including Is It Because I'm Black (ft below) which reached Number 11 in the R&B charts in 1969.

I was 1. Proving that in a relatively short space of time great changes can occur. Humanity has come a long way since then.. thanks to the fearless the faithful - and love.

And the one I'm more familiar with
Can I just say it'll be hard to find a more solid riddim track anywhere in my opinion - quality!

What upset presenter Ben at 'upmarket' Awards Show?!?

This article features in the mail online today.

Passed my way in Twitterville and I had a quick glance.

It's a weird article.. took all I had not to think awww didums what with all the odd references to musical theatre and ballet??..and the desperate need to justify ones self

Even the title is odd - 'I'm from Surrey not Harlem' ... so would it have been okay if he was from Harlem?!?

One wonders if Bens real upset was at being called the N word at all - or whether it was the realisation that others noticed that - and to his horror he was reminded that - he is in fact..'coffee coloured' as he puts it...

(that'll be milk coffee I presume.. ;-)

Sunday 29 May 2011

Do we choose love?

Or does love choose us?
I think possibly the latter - as there have been times when I've thought how much easier my life would have been if I'd loved someone as they 'claimed' to love me. But no. I couldn't. Yet I've loved people and thought .. why??.. please stop already.. but alas.. the feeling would still be there.

It almost doesn't make sense. You could end up loving someone perhaps so different to yourself in many ways - or someone you really would never have seen yourself with - but there it is..
So I guess what I'm saying is - in order for love to choose us we need be open to love .
Yet such is it's power that even if your not open to love - if love decides .. that it's what you need right now - it will find you..

No wonder sometimes when it comes along you almost don't know what to do with yourself

Only kidding... enjoy it!!
and... never take it for granted..
Happy SMSx

Cadburys Race Row?

Term of endearment?

Whilst some may consider being refereed to as yummy chocolate a term of endearment - others may consider it to be an insult.
To refer to the 1st lady in terms of chocolate is a definite reference to her colour - and to say move over Naomi also implies that Naomi's the only other black female worth being compared to.

How about the term exotic - I've been referred to as that before and it's a bit... well...weird. Exotic to me means foreign - dark - unusual ... god knows...
I'm actually perhaps as exotic as Hackney Marshes truth be known but clearly I live a dual life. ( need to trace my lineage )

The Diva thing? That implies a person who's a bit stroppy - pushy - spoiled - pouty... and whilst I'll admit that I... like most women can be all of those things any month of Sunday... it's a term usually reserved for Black females... oddly enough .. singers or actresses.

Tyra Banks..yummy hot chocolate?

You can read Lee Jaspers take on it in my blog list below - or you can read it here...

Fact is though.. some women do refer to themselves as chocolate - sometimes refer to men it that way also India Aires Brown Skin is an example of that...

Perhaps Cadburys would have kept it on point and relevant if they had said move over Diane (Abbott) there's a new .. political.blah blah.. Nah.. plus our Diane would have possibly had a political field day with that one...;-)

What's clear is... Naomi Campbell still reigns supreme in the eyes of many - but how long are we 'gonna' work that for - when there are so many other black female models out there waiting to be recognised and perhaps given the same level of profile and exposure.

Jourdan Dunn - Londoner

Saturday 28 May 2011

Bitty Mclean - walk away from love.. love this tune!!

Nerious Joseph - Happy Birthday Celebrations ;-)..

Gil Scott-Heron R.I.P

Looking at responsibility...

Who is responsibible?

When a football team loses

I’ve always wondered why when teams lose - calls to sack the manager come thick and fast. Happened with Capello after the world cup – happened to the ex Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti quite recently. Why? I’ve always thought that if a team loses it’s down to the players... as they’re the ones out on the field. .. they’re the ones playing... not the manager. They need the determination - skills and stamina to out class the other team. (Bit of luck doesn’t hurt)

However. If you are paid a handsome sum to impart the knowledge - develop skills - a strategy - to train a group of highly skilled footballers to play together almost seamlessly - develop good strong team spirit - then... if they fail to deliver – if they lose – are you not responsible? When judged according to your remit… I guess you could be found wanting.

When a young person leaves school struggling to read or write or do math

A parent really is child’s first educator in my opinion. Yet - If the parent themselves were never taught or struggled with education - it can be difficult for them to pass on those skills to their child. What they can do though is pass on the desire – the hunger to learn – the recognition that an education is life changing/ life enhancing - with amazing and wonderful possibilities for the future.

However. If your business is educating. If you are provided with the resources to educate and you exist to educate – if then a child leaves an educational establishment unable to do so - then the responsibility must sit with that establishment .. should it not? That establishment / and those who dwell in it I guess - could be found wanting.

When a child dies at the hands of a parent/guardian due to neglect or ill treatment

The responsibility in my opinion must sit with the parent/guardian. It almost implies mental illness … but that’s almost too easy to say these people are mentally ill - and it's possibly unfair to those who are - to imply that every mentally ill person could potentially be capable of such a thing. – No.

It does scream pure wickedness though without a doubt.

However. If you are paid a handsome sum to direct and improve services targeted at children for example - with a view to eradicating these terrible crimes -teaching parents - and most importantly perhaps … protecting children - and a series of systematic failures occur - which with the benefit of hindsight could have been avoided. If bureaucracy gets in the way of common sense - and if staff underperform due to a possible management culture that fails to offer the necessary support and moral boost that may be necessary. Then one could say the responsibility for any failures that result in the death of a child (at worst ) sits with that individual -and if judged according to that remit - that person/s could be found wanting.

Responsibly - an online definition

A duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one's own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure.

When things don't go according to plan - responsibility is often shared as we are all interconnected in some way - but when in a position of power or influence your level of accountability naturally increases.

Friday 27 May 2011

TGIFridayyyyyyy!!!!: -)

If you're reading this like me - then you made it through another week. I'm thankful... as things could always be very different.

Well...what did I learn today?

Well today I learnt that I have the ability to throw a complete 'strop' then shake it off almost immediately - with virtually no ill feeling towards whoever or whatever may have triggered it in the first place!

I also learnt that I actually enjoy throwing a little 'strop' every so often - and may even seek out a cause in order to do so lolx

Yep... it gets the blood flowing.. warrms me up a bit!

No seriously... as we bring this week to a close I think one of the main things I've learnt ( or have been reminded of!) is that I care a great deal about people... as even when they get on my nerves... the love still remains..;-)
Ah yes.. feeling centred ...I'm liking this!!
Happy Friday everyone..x

Thursday 26 May 2011

Government spending cuts ...a difficult choice!!..

This Guardian article was brought to my attention via Twitter and it makes an interesting read. If the government really did put the needs of people first - what would that look like?

If you were faced with the choice of cutting services for the elderly against services to children and young people - which would you choose?

What about services for the disabled against the mentally ill? again... difficult choice.

How about services for the homeless vs those living in poverty?
Those affected by alcoholism vs drugs?

How do you decide?

Is it sinful to make cuts in certain areas?

What would you cut if you were in power?

What's your weather personality?

It's been a rainy day today and as usual for me it tends to impact on my mood a bit.

As a result.. as I begin to wind down for the evening I thought I'd think about the weather - as if it were a person ... aka what weather we as people may represent
So.. as you perhaps sit down to enjoy your evening also ( depending on where in the world you are of course) here's my guide to ..

Weather personalities

Hot – Energetic – magnetic and engaging - can wear you out

Sunny and warm - Cheerful and engaging. – Likes to attract others, and is supportive of their needs

Sunny but chilly – A bubbly person but is prone to easy upset and vengeance

Breezy - Difficult to pin down - a bit flighty and prone to mood changes

Windy – Forceful person - tends to act regardless of consequences to others

Cold – Unfeeling towards others - prone to inflexibility

Rainy - Reknown for bouts of winging

Drizzly – Prone to wimpish behavior - bit of a misery guts

Snowy – beautiful to look at but distant - will ether melt in your hands or become completely hard and difficult to manage

Cloudy – Very miserable – capable of spreading the misery among all they come into contact with

Foggy – Attention seeker. Bit of a talker. Hard to get a word in edge ways, difficult to understand what they are trying to say. Both confused and confusing at times

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Obama puts the 'Great' back in 'Great Britain' - speaking in Westminister today..

John Bercows introduction included..Want to see the character of a man? Give him power!..nice intro

Obama spoke of a future that is 'Peaceful - prosperous - and Just'
Great speech today in Westminster.. did Obama almost put the Great back in Great Britain?.. you decide.. here it is in full
*you may want to grab some cookies and tea.. it's quite long..

Obamas speech to UK parliament

The lovely 1st Lady was in Oxford today speaking to students

Monday 23 May 2011

Chelsea Flower Show...

Seems like you have to put the dates of the Chelsea Flower Show in your diary well in advance if you want tickets. Looks so beautiful ahhww.. maybe next year I'll get to go.. fingers crossed

Plants and flowers I've never seen before - to suit every garden and every type of soil.

The classic white rose.. nature has a way of soothing our weary souls - relieving stress and tension. Ok I'll be putting a date in my diary - I've convinced myself

Are there unspoken rules when taking the tube..bus or train..??

Has tube etiquette changed?
Travelling today I noticed that men will now race women to a free seat without apology.

One man actually puled the newspaper out from under me to read - without asking if it was mine or if it was okay to take it. Granted I perhaps shouldn't have been sitting on it but I hadn't noticed...until he began yanking at it that is. How about dogs on train seats? or smelly food eaten in the carriages.

One of the weirdest things I've seen is a pile of Orange peel in the middle of a seat! Who does that?

I wonder if we need to have a London Transport good etiquette guide. Quite happy to oblige Boris - or whoever else takes the reigns of governing London. Could be distributed freely - paid for out of current transport revenue.

Diddy Dirty Money ..tune to get you going this fine Monday all

Sunday 22 May 2011

Chilling on an early Sunday Evening with Luther Vandros.. amazing voice he had..

I just wanna say thank you...

Funny - I was never really that into lovers rock.. more of a roots culture reality revival pop kinda chick I guess ( the list is longer!!) - but some songs have earned a place in my heart and this is one of them. Does anyone remember this tune from the film Babylon with Aswads Brinsley Forde? Such a classic clip.. anyway - hope you enjoy
Ps.. sure someone's bunnin' somethin' in that room ;-)

Managing expectations in a relationship..

Hi all - well this weekend has been nice - not quite the heatwave I was expecting but I'm not too dissapointed!! I have things to do indoors to keep me busy - and if the sun does come out I'll be ready to enjoy it.. which leads me on to todays Soulmate Sunday post which is all about.. managing expectations...

On any given week - how often does your other half annoy you. Think back to past relationships.. did your partners failure to meet your expectations upset you?

Hopefully - it's not too often - or even better not at all - but at some point.. it may happen.. you may feel let down

One sure way of upsetting yourself is to have an expectation that either the other person knows nothing of – or for any number of reasons - may be unable to fulfill.

When I talk about managing expectations I’m not implying for one moment that you should lower your standards (if that’s important to you) what I’m referring to is the importance and emotional attachment we place on our other half doing something - or being something – so much so that if they fail to reach our expectation it could mean the demise of the relationship (at worst) or a very frosty and argumentative time (at best)

So here are a few tips to get you thinking...

1. Make sure the other person is aware of what you are expecting in the 1st place. If it’s that you expect them to do the shopping then don’t just imply it by saying things like... ‘oohh we’ve got no food in the house!’... You may actually have to say – ‘Will you do the shopping’ – or ‘We can do the shopping together if you like - then take it from there.

2. Baby steps – sometimes people want to meet your expectations but it’s so far out of what they usually do that it may take awhile for them to get there. Recognise the efforts they are making to make you happy - and appreciate that they're trying

3. *It's been said that to have a great relationship you should throw expectations out of the window and love unconditionally – but it’s difficult. What I would say is give it a try. For one week – just love that person. Don’t expect anything from them and live in the certainty that the only person you can control (if you’re lucky) is you. I have a feeling the other person may have an overwhelming desire to be with you. Tell me how you get on.

4. Remember they won’t get it right every time – it’s okay to be disappointed for a while but you’ll feel much better much quicker if you just let it go

5. Work with what you’ve got. You chose your other half for a reason. Why then would you ever want them to be someone else? If you expect them to act in a way that would mean a total personality/character overhaul that’s not fair - and may mean they’re just not right for you.

6. Focus less on what they can't do – make them feel a million dollars for having a special ability ( whatever it is)

7. Stop expecting them to make you happy. Only you can do that.

8. Managing expectations can be really difficult – but it’s okay to talk about that. If you find yourself entering the nagging zone (women and men) that is an opportunity for self growth.

9. To be fair - you may want to say something like – is there anything you expect – or would like more of from me?.. anything you would like me to do?

10. If the other person is always letting you down you may need to refocus your energy elsewhere. Minimize its importance – unless it becomes clear that it’s because they no longer care for you. If so - it may be time to call time on the relationship

Happy SMSx
* If memory serves me correct I think I read this years back in a book called Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch - Great read. I recommend it. In fact I may read again for fresh insight.

Saturday 21 May 2011

Rising out of the ghetto - stinking rich - thoughts become things...

Making your talent work for you - without compromising who you are - your values - your beliefs - and without harm to yourself or anyone else - can be most satisfying...and trigger the personal happiness and contentment that you may have searched long and hard for. For something that seems so simple - why is it so hard? And why do most people never quite get there?

To all of you this fine Saturday afternoon - dream your dreams - make them as big as you like and keep the faith. They say words without action serves no purpose - but every word serves a purpose. Write that word - say that word and let them propel you into action. Everything we see created by man began with a thought.

What are you thinking today?
Stinking rich anybody?

Remember - you can be rich in love too! - it's not always about the money!
Call a friend - enjoy the family - enjoy your solitude.. whatever you fancy doing today... stay safe.. and...

Have a nice day..x

Are Black Women Beautiful? ..asks the Doc...

So…Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa (Reader in Management at the LSE
(London school of economics and political science ) allegedly wrote and article in Psychology today mag stating that black women are the least physically attractive.

When I first heard that - part of me thought – is he crazy?? Black women are as sexy as f*** but in a heart beat – alas - the thought was gone – as I really couldn’t give two hoots.

But I thought I’d post my thoughts on it anyway… put it out there!

I look at women a lot ( no particular reason they just interest me ) and from my own personal point of view - I’ve seen attractive black women – I’ve seen unattractive black women - I’ve seen attractive white women – and I’ve seen unattractive white women - same goes for men – and same goes for every nationality out there. Which takes us to the real crux of the matter in my opinion. Beauty... really is – in the eye of the beholder. Don’t need a Dr to work that one out! – but every so often even they may need reminding.

Broken down - that simply means that we all see beauty from our own perspective. It’s very unique to us. Having said that - over time the European ‘standard’ of beauty has become the ‘norm’ and some countries that were colonized by Europeans back in the day still live with the legacy of that idea – which again - over time can become internalized - then played out etc.. ( it’s called white supremacy)

Yet even amidst all that – you have places in Africa and the Caribbean ( just for example/ there are other places!) where the most beautiful women are those who are considered to be very tall – slim - dark... or light - then you have places where the preference is for a lighter complexion – short and round - petite ...whatever.

Some women are fed incessantly to become fat so as to attract a husband. Others may rub red clay in their hair and skin and adorn themselves with jewelry – others starve themselves - others scar themselves. All over the world standards change.

Queen Elizabeth was so pale she looked as though she may be in need of a transfusion but I suspect she was no less attractive to her male courtiers - some love pale.

That’s another thing – what is considered beauty may also change as time passes. If a woman didn’t bath in those days it wouldn’t have been seen as an unattractive quality but now… ??

When we see someone who looks beautiful to us that can change once we get to know them – in that they may become very unattractive - and the most physically unattractive person can in contrast become very attractive once we get to know them.
The character /personality becomes what we find desirable.

So – it really isn’t an argument worth having. There is no argument...is there?

If Doc had taken a walk around Dalston Kingsland or any part of Hackney/ Brent/Brixton on a summers day I don’t think he would have even considered that research for a moment!. Who knows – speaking about revenge the other day – maybe this was his way of getting his own back on a hot black lover who dumped him!.. oooh.. juicy... is this how academics fight?.. wow - now that's cold!.

Tell you what – the worlds so messed up at times I half expected the Black African security guard to agree with Dr Kanazawa when he was being interviewed by the BBC!..but he didn’t – and he was very sweet… ‘ Black women are beautiful’ he said as he screwed up his face from the glare of the sun..’All women beautiful! Amen to that brother! .. phew.. knowing what you know you do get nervous sometimes…!!

So LSE students were up in arms and calls have been made for the Doc in the dock to resign. He wont. They may have pulled the article from Psychology today but my guess is - it will be back. It fuels debate and that’s what they want.
So – is it true ? are black woman least attractive. Nar!! Of course not

So there you have it folks – calm down. Nothing to see here. .. next

ps How you gonna ask a man anyway????...left to them we'd probably be swinging naked from an outside TV ariel - ensuring clarity of the flat screen as we recount the football scores...whist cracking open a can of stella with our thighs - all this after rustling up dinner while pleasuring them none stop simulatiously... I'm joking.. don't start on me!..

after all..me.. only.. woman.. me .. brain.. size of pea.. me ..dizzy from nail varnish!! need do more chores!!x

Thursday 19 May 2011

Question time from HMP Wormwood Scrubs..

Possible question David..

'ere - when you gonna let me outa dis place?

Other more likely questions could be.. If the aim of prison is to punish and rehabilitate - If I'm rehabilitated - why am I still in prison?.. e.g 'I knew from night one i'd never wanna return - job done.. can I go now?'

Can a sentence be so long that it cancels out the actual rehabilitation part and languishes solely in the punishment zone - causing anger and anguish - and breaks family ties?
Do we need to invest more in prison education?
Should all prison education and access to education be standardised?
Is prison necessary for non violent offenders?
Should we jail mothers who have been coerced to become drug mules?

The Wailers...anyone miss the feel of old vinyl records?

Slim Smith.. revival

Malcom X birthday - Happy B'Day to all May born men..

Today would have been the 85th birthday of Malcolm x
Yesterday (18th) would have been the 83rd birthday of my own Dad.

In many ways they seemed to have shared some similar qualities - reminded me of each other. Perhaps it was a visual thing who knows. Both tall - strong men minded with a sense of purpose and no lack of - nor ill advised pride. Always there for others - a voice for the voiceless - and prepared to support a just cause
Kinda cool really

Gone but never forgotten
Happy Birthday to both

In fact Happy Birthday to all May born men - you're all great!.

Marcia Griffith.. Reggae veteran.. Busy Signal

Love Doctor.. Romain Virgo

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Revenge.. Is it really worth it?/

Word has it that revenge is a dish best served cold.. I always wondered if it meant in order to serve it up you would have to be a pretty cold and ruthless person. Either way - is it worth getting back at an ex after a relationship has gone bad?
MP Chris Huhne it's been implied - is somehow a victim of some kind of smear campaign for having cheated on his wife... years ago!.. I suspect it's just a bit of gossip to fill column inches.. who knows

But it got me thinking..if someone hurts you - and you hurt them back how will that ever make you feel better? Wont you still hurt?.
If someone hurts you and you still love them - will hurting them make them suddenly fall in love with you?.. will that 'win them over?'
I think revenge is a floored strategy... seriously.
At it's mildest it can be very funny - at it's worst it can be quite sinister.

Tell you what though.. when it comes to affairs of the heart it doesn't matter how much money you have - or how famous you may be - heartbreak is no less painful - and emotional relationships no less tricky.

1st Loves... 1st crushes

A Friend of mine bumped into his 1st crush today. He had a crush on this girl all throughout secondary school - but was too shy to tell her. I watched him transform from the grown man he is today back into that young school boy - blushes included. It was quite sweet.
Made me think about my 1st crush.
I think.. in fact I know I had a few... but possibly the absolute 1st crush was a boy who lived a few blocks away. He never actually went to the same school as me and my memory of how he looked is a little vague now but I remember his name was Andrew and his family moved to America - so that was that.

The most defining memory of him though was the fact that he would knock for me almost every day to take me for a spin around the block on his red chopper bike. Now a chopper bike was the coolest bike ever. So if you had one you got instant cool cred. I remember he was really confident and was able to manage the bike - and passenger very skillfully. i thought I was so special - getting all this wonderful attention from the coolest boy in the area as he never picked up anyone else

I would never recognise him now - but the bike - absolutely. It makes me wonder if I had a crush on him or the bike! I can't really separate the two!
He was cool - the bike was cool.. nuff said

I wonder if elements of that still exist even when we become grown women. Do we attach things to men in much the same way and struggle to separate the two? The job -the house - the car?
It doesn't have to be something expensive - it could be a very minor thing which just triggers something in you

Is it wrong to do so?... or are the purchases/choices we make just aspects of our personality? something that sets us apart from others - showcases who we are as people..

Freddie Mcgregor ..

With the multitude of songs and albums available by F.M this album to me is his best!! my fav..! - a must have for any Freddie Mcgregor fan
Things seemed simpler then. Whether they were or not people seemed happier... More content within themselves - grounded in something. Music spoke of hope and not hate -love and less war..even dancehall.. Then I was fairly young when this came out so maybe I have attached it to a more innocent and carefree time. There's a word for that in NLP - ( can't remember what it is) where you hear something and it can trigger a good feeling or image or whatever. Yeah.. maybe I've NLP'd myself!

I wonder ... does music influence our behaviour or does our behaviour influence our music
Can music sum up a nations mood? Does it tell our story?

Vybes Kartel & Busy Signal.. dancehall

I don't think these two will be writing for the Jamaican Tourist board anytime soon...
Having said that music does appear to be Jamaicas biggest export - that and maybe white rum - and coffee - anything else?..
So what does lure people to JA nowadays? - hedonism? - sandy beaches? - the Marley legacy/Wailers?
The hardcore dancehall antics of Kartel? ..

Sunday 15 May 2011

Jimmy Cliff..many rivers to cross.

What makes a beautiful city aka... are the 'French' Racists?

The reason I ask this is not only because of recent incidents that have been reported in the news - but also because of a conversation I had with a friend ( who is French ) who - after telling me how terribly racist French people are towards black people – Paris being the worst offender – then ended her point by saying what a beautiful city it was!.
I felt the need to disagree with her in that in my opinion any city which is as racist as that could never be described as a beautiful city… in fact... quite the opposite.
It made me think though about what really does constitute a beautiful city. Is it the architecture? is it the people?...what? I tend to lean towards the view that people are what make places great – however – people can also make places very ugly –look at the Middle East.

If we say it’s people who make a city beautiful – and we accept that attitudes among the majority of the French are extremely racist then what does that say exactly... and why then do we still 'oo la la' about France?

Personally I’ve felt the ‘*French’ are racist ever since I was about nine…ish. I went to France as part of a student exchange trip and it was awful... The best part of the trip was the first morning after arrival where I woke up opened the shutters and was welcomed by the most wonderful sounds of nature. That was idyllic. Nothing else was! I couldn't have a bath as it was packed with junk so I had to use the sink – there was no alternative – I was given the worst tasting pizza I’ve ever had in my life which I’m sure was topped with **snails ( the best I’ve ever tasted was in Italy!!) and when they took me out 'sightseeing'...it was at night! and... we never left the car! not-once. Need I say more?
Sure some places look stunning at night - like London for example - but let's be real.. that's not why they did it!

Did I say it was an exchange trip – oh well forget that. The parents decided their son would not be taking part - the most plausible reason as far as I was concerned (even at nine) was that they didn’t want him to stay with a black family. 30 odd years later my view on that hasn’t changed. Good luck to them.

We did have another student come to stay though. So clearly there are some French people who are not racist. A really fun boy called Lawrence. Or' La-ron' as we called him. My parents treated him as they would their own child (minus the 'licks'!!) i'm kidding!.. there were no 'licks'... he was treated extremely well – and he had a great time...we even took him around London... in the day! Wished he could stay - but alas he had to leave..

Now - the way the ‘French’ are treating black people in France is appalling. Immigrants... and tourists alike apparently...I’ve not been for a while – but I have no reason to doubt the firsthand accounts I’ve been given... I also can’t understand why so many... especially our Black Caribbean elders seem to think a shopping trip to the port of Calais is going to France!! I asked my mum once ...why??– ' Oh well I like certain things!!'... I wanted to say 'try change your taste!! – either you see France or save yourself the hasstle and go Tesco’s - but that’s another story!)
The city of love and romance??... really.. well..maybe for some

In short I think it’s time we redefined what constitutes a beautiful city. If it’s the people - then can Paris really still be honored with that title?

*there are always exceptions
**they could have bloody asked first;-)!!
humph..don't put that shite on my plate I'm from London!!! :-)

Is it okay to be in a relationship yet still act single? should you maintain your single life even if your partner doesn't like it? ..

Hi all...I hope your weekend has been an enjoyable one! My Soulmate Sunday post today is on including your partner in your life.

Is it okay to still act as though you’re single even if you’re in a relationship?

Maybe I should define ‘acting like your single’... well... it’s difficult but I guess I mean spending lots of time on your own – never really mentioning your other half in conversation or even acknowledging they exist! Being a social butterfly when it suits and doing your own carefree thing.

It’s an odd one because I believe it's important to give the other person space – yet on the other hand - too much and it could seem as though you don’t care! – or you rather they went their own way...permanently.
If your other half doesn't like it and you continue nonetheless that really would be quite selfish don't you think?

I think problems sometimes arise when people act – not in a way they want to act but.. they act according to relationship ‘rules’ such as not appearing too eager - or whatever else they may have been told by friends or read in a book. Although advice can be useful it can also mess you up a bit in that what should be the most natural thing in the world suddenly feels like work and becomes stressful - and insincere.
Relationships in many ways tend to let you know their own unique needs/journey/tempo – and to be honest it's often quite normal for one person to feel a bit put out if their other half is not always on the same page.

It tends to be women who say things like ‘you’re not spending enough time with me’ or 'we don’t spend enough time together’ Men quite often tend not to ‘hear’ until it’s too late. Or - maybe - the feelings they have just aren’t strong enough. After all...when a man loves football he watches football right? When a man loves his friends he spends time with them right? When he loves his car he spends time with his car!
I guess what I’m saying today is – if you do have feelings for someone – let them know. If you want to spend time with them - do so. If you don’t feel that way – then maybe they’re just not the one… who knows?
I believe there’s someone for everyone – and you get more than one chance at love – to find that special person.
It’s always fun finding out – however - take care not to go breaking hearts recklessly

Happy SMSx

Saturday 14 May 2011

Gappy Ranks - 'put the stereo on!!...

Thought Gappy was great on Jools Holland last night.. woke up at an odd hour to him singing... sweet...

Happy Saturday all...

Friday 13 May 2011

Life in the Carribean...

I wonder - when you live in an environment like this what your stresses could be. I guess there are the usual things like maybe needing a doctor or finding work - but I rarely hear Caribbean islanders fret about things like that until they come to the UK.

I guess one downside is that you may feel as though you live in a goldfish bowl where everyone wants to know - or feel they have a right to know everything about you - limiting your privacy somewhat - but then an upside could be you never get lonely..

There are many beautiful places in the Caribbean and it's great to know that even after the devastation of the volcanic eruption in Montserrat that destroyed the town centre - rebuilding has begun.

Hmmm.. I feel less stressed just looking at it
Knowing me I'd miss those darn red London buses - and dreamy walks around Hackney Central..
Hackney looks kinda cool in the summertime though - brighter - whiter- bluer - greener - cleaner...Holiday home anyone?

The great Bob Andy ...

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Does authority impact on our ability to show compassion..

Can institutions cause people to lose their humanity?. Can obedience to authority cause people to treat others overly harshly? - even at times going against their own values?. The reason I ask is because I've met a few people over the past few days who have had their benefits stopped for not applying for work/or at least having evidence of it. The removal of someones only source of income will mean they are unable to buy food - electricity or any of the other necessities that are needed - this increases for women. It also affects housing benefit which means they will incur rent arrears - and potentially face the threat of eviction.

There must be room for an individual /case by case approach when dealing with job seekers no? - more understanding? This made me think of the Milgram Experiment

Take a look..

We are all people - we can still have compassion

Monday 9 May 2011

Age aint nothing but a number??

I will admit - I get to talk to men of all ages - and although sometimes you can't tell a mans age - sometimes you can have a rough idea. Now although men regularly date women half their age or more I was wondering does it really work the same for women? Now you meet some 'nice' looking men - but it's not until they start talking do you realise.. o-k.. think we've got a young one here!.

And that .. is the problem. Life experience. When a man has limited or not very varied life experience - there's not much you can really talk about before you start to feel bored. And after you've ravished each other a few times - some talking gonna have to gwarn.. don't cha think?

They say men take longer to mature than women - so although he might be built to last...emotionally - he may be a little 'fresh' ( bit of an 'ankle nibbler')which sucks really for ladies when you think about it - because if that's true.. by the time they're ready for us.. they'd be way up in their 70's - by which time.. I doubt the desire will still be the same... not if you've still got fire in you!

So - do you pretend that you're a bit ditsy? roll your eyes behind his back a lot - and keep stum - or hold out for an oldy - that may struggle with the delights of all that is woman..

Hmmmm Sophie's choice

So - question...Is there an upper and lower age limit for grown women. 5yrs younger/5yrs older... 10 yrs older/10yrs younger/20 yrs older/20yrs younger??

Is conversation overrated anyway??
Maybe we should all just talk less......

The Garbageman can??... it's the Army for Naples!!..

Sometimes it's not until they haven't turned up that we're reminded just how important our garbage men and women are - and how much we need them!
Naples is a mess!

So they've had to draft in the army to take of things - drastic times - call for drastic measures I guess.. I wouldn't want to wake up to that!!

It reminds me of an episode of the Simpson's where they end up living in their own filth because Homer tries to bury everything underground!
Hmmm..will it be life imitating art or art imitating life?

By the way - how does Silvio Berlusconi manage to stay looking so young?

Sunday 8 May 2011

Overcoming fear!

My Soul mate Sunday post is on fear today.

Fear in relationships mainly. But fear is fear however it manifests and can be vey destructive in your life. Just to be clear I’m mainly talking about emotional fears not the fear of physical danger e.g. walking alone on a dark street or the fear of falling overhead power lines :-)
It was after we lost our dad... in fact it was a few minutes after when I said to myself that I would not allow fear to stop me from doing anything I really want to do ever again. Somehow – my aim was to transfer my grief into courage – so... any time I think back to my dad I feel stronger.

What that means in reality is that even if something makes me really nervous or the thought of it terrifies me – I’ll do it anyway. I think of the worst case scenario briefly (hide my head in my hands :-)...and it’s usually something silly like embarrassment !! Or something equally minor – and then I think of the best. Then… all I would really care about is the best...I’d focus on the best … the reason I’m putting myself through whatever it may be.

Does that make sense to you?

Fear - can block your chances of finding happiness - fear of the unknown – what others may say – fear of things not working out. Yet - that sense of trepidation needs to be balanced - or replaced by a sense of unbridled joy that things will be just as you hope!
Fear can ruin communication - in that it may prevent you from really hearing what the other person is saying – or prevent you from being honest about your own feelings.
Most people will feel a sense of fear/panic at some point – but once you’ve acknowledged it - you are then more able to put it into context and share with the other person exactly how you feel. They will not only appreciate your ability to connect with them emotionally but you will probably become closer as a result..x

Joe - back to back.. I've highlighted a few for you to enjoy!...Happy SMS

It's a rainy Sunday morning here in London.. what better excuse for a lazy day of indulgence and fine music??
Have a lovely day!

Saturday 7 May 2011

Ne-yo ..1 in a million.. who dosen't want to be that!!.ooh nice..

Ray Charles..

Justin Timberlake..Senorita..

Staying hopeful..

Have you ever noticed whenever you’re able to let go of something how relieved you feel?

You feel physically lighter – and your mind - less cluttered
Of course it helps if you're ready to let go - and you're not being forced to..

Yes..letting go – can be difficult – mainly because of the emotional attachment we place on things. As we allow things to become a part of our identity - letting go can feel as though we are losing a part of ourselves. Which is why it’s even more important to be discerning when inviting things or people into our lives – into our space. However – if we want to continue to grow as people – emotionally – spiritually – if we want to receive new things into our lives and pursue our life’s purpose and secure happiness - we may need to recognize when that time has come.
It can feel scary – but we will know.

I think that things come into our lives for a reason- a purpose – and it may be temporary - it may be forever… at least until the intended purpose has been fulfilled.
Much of life is about making the right connections... people - places - objects.
Have you ever noticed how you can be around someone and feel like you could stay with them forever yet with another person you may want to get away ASAP?
I think we all have a spiritual aura and sometimes they connect.. and sometimes clash...
Then there are times when you’re just completely at odds – as people!

If we cling on to what we have because we fear the future – we may never really know or experience the wonderful things that could be our reality.
That does not mean you should not value what you have. Value it yes – but sometimes to cling on to something is to destroy it – the tighter you cling the more energy you use – and the weaker you feel

Do not despair

Some things do last ‘forever’
Once you have found what you're looking for – you will no longer be compelled to search. You would not need to cling to it because its purpose in your life was always set to be long term – permanent - it's end destination was always - you

It's said that 'What is for you.. wont go by you!'
You will never fear losing it – and will be able to relax in the knowledge that you have made the right connection
You will feel it

'Stary stary night'' Vincent. For me..one of the most beautiful songs..the beauty of sorrow ..pain and being misunderstood..

Friday 6 May 2011

Days of significance..

Well readers..another week is over!.

We’re a week older and hopefully a week wiser.
Despite a few chilly days - the week was pleasant enough - as I again had the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people… two writers back to back at one point.. one who said 'Never try and fight a battle using your enemies tools!... you have all you need!' It was quite a random conversation.. as we were not even on any subject relating to what he said..

With this beautiful weather we experienced today it’s fair to say the week has ended on a nice note.

Sometimes I think we go through life looking for answers...some we find – others we don’t..sometimes we may just drift - unsure of which road to take for the best - but mostly many of us live in anticipation of… days of significance.
By that I mean – a day that changes the way we think – feel – or act. A day that offers us clarity – confirms something - teaches us patience or compassion…shows us love...anything! These days of significance can sometimes pass us by without much fanfare or recognition – yet they are what makes us... us.

They are the glue that binds us – or divides us.

There are the obvious ones such as getting or starting a new job – or clearing a debt. Getting married – or having children. …and then you have the not so obvious ones. .. Things you don’t necessarily see but feel...
Days of significance rarely show up on demand – but the more open you are to life’s experiences - the more often they seem to appear.

Maybe someone or something is trying to tell us something… send us a message - and we just need to learn the language
If we listen with our hearts – to our hearts we will know!

Whenever I say ‘oh thank god the week is over ‘I usually end up saying something afterwards like… ‘Hey D..don’t wish your life away!’ – but I’m really not.. honest…I’m just looking forward to a new day!..hopeful of the joy it may bring!

I'll be there..

Thursday 5 May 2011

The Apprentice...

The Apprentice is back on our screens Tuesday 10th May @ 9pm
On 1st impressions and soundbites.. I'll go with these three as future winners..

1. Melody
2. Susan Ma
3. Natasha

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out..
Let the fun comence!

Inside the human body...

Inside the human body ( BBC1 21.00) was great viewing. The contrast of the woman in Rwanda who went into labour compared to mothers here ( UK) and in America was a stark reminder of how fortunate we are. This lady had a 2 hr walk to the clinic - with no idea how close she was to giving birth. She was in agony with no pain relief other than her own body. She was then able to get a ride... on a motorbike!.

In the end she delivered a healthy baby boy!.

The human body is remarkable
That woman was remarkable

Ordinary people...

I don’t always understand you
You don’t always understand me
So we argue

Sometimes I miss you
Sometime you miss me
So we agree

We need to be close
We need to be apart
We need each other desperately
Every beat of the heart
A reminder
That without each other
We’re incomplete
Perfectly imperfect
One soul in search of another
To share of life’s complexities
Make sense of nonsense
Create peace amidst war
Laugh awhile
Kiss longer
And make up
After we fight

See it through...

If you want to get beyond something
You have got to see it through
Understand where you are
Know where you want to be
Gain wisdom from the situation
Battle on through the storm
Through the mist
A new perspective will arise
And a hopeless situation
Shall become hopeful
Choose your destination
Be propelled with new energy
Be a light in the dark
If you want to get beyond something
You have got to see it through

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Music on 'lockdown' SOS Save our sounds!!

Seriously. I've got to get me a new music system!! My proper house set blew a few months ago.. 'ok' - I thought - 'don't panic'...'just wire up my PC...no bass but it'll do!' hmmm. Well - now the wire of the little toy speakers that were giving my tunes a little extra umph.. a little extra volume.. and me a reason to dance - has fallen apart..

What am I gonna do? When I'm in the zone I need to hear some music!!.. A trip to Comet is imminent!! or Curry's - one of those stores must be able to accommodate me!!
Don't get me wrong.. silence - I can do. Hmm yeah love it!!.. But - when I put down my books....
Oh nooooooo!! not the music...!!

Fantasia..2004 American Idol - even Angels.. I luv each one.. songs from the heart!!..

Time goes quickly when you're busy..

There’s an old saying
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today…
and whilst that may be sound advice have you ever noticed how quickly time goes when you’re meaningfully occupied. Before you know it - the day is over and you still have much to do. Well .. don’t worry - take stock of what you have achieved and recognise the achievements made. If every day you take small steps in the direction you want to go in – before you know it – you will have arrived at your destination and enjoyed the steps along the way.

Two things that may make the journey even more interesting could be to ask yourself at the end of the day – what nice thing did I do for myself today? ( It could be as simple as just taking a walk – or having an extra long - extra bubbly bath) and perhaps even more importantly - you could also ask – who did I help today? Or - What nice thing did I do for someone else today?
At the end of some days you may not feel as though you helped anyone. But - you can always make it your mission for the following day!
A nice thought to carry over
And remember to be kind to yourself also!!
Rest is equally important

Monday 2 May 2011

Good Girl vs Bad Girl..

You have a sixth sense at times that if others knew about they may call you a witch - bitch – or just plum crazy.

You possess both sinner and saint and pray they don’t appear in the wrong setting

You would dump your bloke if he didn’t measure up - but may blame it on something else

You once secretly fancied your blokes mate

You cook well but tend to stick a few well used dishes because… you can’t be bothered

Your boyfriend annoys you

Your life would make a great novel

You become more beautiful with age

You have an odd obsession with your butt

You are a great listener

You can talk for England

You like to wear your boyfriends t shirts in bed

You love call screener

You want your boyfriend to talk more

Sometimes talk less

You want to be swept off your feet

Beginning with a kiss

Are daughter
Do any of these ring true
That’s okay

Are woman

*It's great being a woman right??.. I waver the right to not confess to any of these;-) I'm a good girl - really I am!!

Antz..so like life..

One of my favourite Dreamworks Animations. Depicting life and love in all it's political - romantic and creative glory
Enjoyable afternoon viewing
Yep - with the not so subtle 'subtle' message even for us grown ups!

For the ladies..

Just what is it about mean and moody looking men that some of us ladies can't get enough of..
That hot.. 'don't mess with me look'..
You like??

Ahh yes.. top of the hot list;-)

AV anyone??

Is anyone even interested in this AV debate?
or is it AV as in ... 'AVin' a laugh?

Is there anything more boring in UK politics right now?
Some could argue that the problem with UK politics is...
1. Half the population can't be bothered to vote
2. Many of our 'career' politicians no longer seem driven by any strong sense of ideology other than capitalism/neo-liberalism
3. They're all beginning to blend into one - like a very large political 'metropolitan flavoured' milkshake

What would happen if absolutely no one voted?
Would we still be deemed a democratic society
Are we democratic now?
Were people disillusioned with politics because of the voting system or because government apparently fail to listen to the people?

AV!! AV a clue!