Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The L.5. ers having a cheap Greek in West London over the week-end ..... loveitloveitloveit ......

It is fantastic ... .... .... .... .... ....

.... to work with these wondrous humans doing such great work ......

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thanx for your 5 WORDS to describe your life at this moment .....



Prayerful – if that’s a word?
Wobbly inside

I was in Armenia .....

.... working with a group of young humans from Armenia Georgia Russia Bulgaria .......... and at the end of the week they gave me this sorta key ring.
It is always in my bathroom.
I scan it.

This event changed my life because it was a large trigger to stimulate me to consider moving from Community Leadership to become a full time Group Worker and Trainer.
There was about fifty young humans together for the best part of a week. Because I had not really been briefed well I did not take my big bag of fun-n-games bag.
I had to busk it.

I said to them all the time - 'you are beautiful'.
By the end of the days together they started to believe.
With thirsty eyes - they looked at their friends and told them that they were beautiful.
The climate became one of acceptance.
We touched finger tips in a large circle.
A circle of uniqueness.
We lifted, as a group, each one of us - to the tune of U2's 'one'.
We laughed.
We danced.
We built human towers.
We took risks.
We hugged.
We all placed our finger prints on paper - and then burned it on a wooden cross until it shrivelled to an ugly shape and then dropped to form a pile of dust - in silence.
We wept together as, for the first time, they talked about their family members who died in the Armenian earthquake.
They left their fingerprints on my soul .................. and a key-sorta-ring .........


See it like it is ... ... ... ... ... ...

See life through the eyes of young people.
Not prejudiced by opinion.
Not filtered by spin.
Not distorted by the media.

There is no respect agenda, just young people – raw, honest, angry, happy, bored, beautiful, lazy, active, concerned, vulnerable, empowered...

‘I photographed my hopes and dreams and aspirations… emotions I’ve felt… places I’ve been and enjoyed… things that scare me… things I have to abide by…’
– Simon, Kingston and Wimbledon YMCA

One day in 15 locations around 200 young people took more than 4,000 photographs of things that are important to them. On the same day photography students from Central St Martins College were on hand to use their skills to capture the real lives of young people.

Young people shunned by society, who have found a home at the YMCA after being homeless, who have battled with addiction or rejection, who want to give something back, enjoy having a laugh, hanging out with their mates or playing football. Life is a mess of contradictions, uncertainty, disappointments, dream, hopes, and ambitions. And young people’s lives are no different.

‘One day we will be the ones making the decisions.
Listen to us, find out what’s important to us.
And then we can build a future together.’
– Mark, St Helens YMCA

Don’t turn away: See it like it is

See it like it is is a national photography exhibition which gives a voice to young people who are part of the YMCA. We are a leading Christian charity committed to supporting all young people, particularly in times of need. Our work always starts with the needs of an individual, and supports and helps them to develop in body, mind and spirit. We focus especially on encouraging young people to fulfil their potential and participate actively in their communities.

‘I hope people like my pictures and it makes them happy.’
- Jack, Sutton Coldfield YMCA

Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, SE1
9 to 12th March 2006......... 11am to 6 pm
Bargehouse is an exciting atmospheric space in the heart of London's fast moving South Bank and Bankside areas. An untouched four-storey building, in its raw state Bargehouse is a blank canvas with tremendous scope for exhibitions and events. Bargehouse is owned and managed by Coin Street Community Builders.


"People do not care how much you know
until they know how much you care"

John Powell


... these are some beautiful humans who have placed a finger on my soul and helped me to believe that the future is ............
..... walking books - they are ........

Extract ............... from ::

Gutter Feelings

..... my first book ::

The police were abusing young people by using drunk charges unjustly, it seems to me.

A drink charge was a minor offence and didn’t warrant legal aid, so the young person had to handle the court and his defence himself! You can imagine what a mess an inarticulate, nervous seventeen-year-old would make of this. The police however, trained in court procedures, had their patter ready, and the teenager had no chance unrepresented.

Through the case of McKensie (1970), I discovered a way to provide ‘lay assistance’ to a young person. It seems that when a certain case in history creates a precedent it then becomes law. The precedent was set in 1970 that, ‘any person, whether he be professional or not, may attend as a friend of either party, may take notes, may quietly make suggestions and give advice.’

It often happened that I, as a ‘McKensie friend’, would stand in the dock with my notes, whispering ideas and questions to the youngster as he cross-examined the policeman. Usually the young men began nervously but, with assistance, encouragement and the close proximity of a supportive friend, they always grew in confidence. It was in itself excellent social education and social skills training – but we never won a case.

New methods had to be found to fight injustice.

more click here

Have we the right to fulfilment to the detriment of others?

Education, degree, articulate,confident, well off ............. feel they have nothing to learn from Vicky Pollard and her friends.

I remember, many times in my life, when I have seen such beautiful humans, from such backgrounds, shaking and sweating because they were due to come into contact with Vicky Pollard and her male and female friends. They were part of the team I was leading - commitment of faith and volunteer time. Yet - all their experience and education was coming to nothing as their body language became totally inadequate because they were entering a different culture. The body stopped functioning and also their emotions. They maybe holding down a responsible job in the City of London but - yesbutnobut ..........

I believe it is good for us to spend time with Vicky and her peers.
See - feel - sense the crowded homes - noisy living - tension and broken relationships = wisdom .............. yes broken differently than the shaking and sweating I described above.

Isn't it true that we all find it tough to 'love like we have never been hurt'?

I remember visiting a home where the family horse was lead through the front door to enable it to live in the back yard of the terraced house. The same house had most of it's floorboards missing because they needed to feed the fire in a harsh winter. " I remember one of the family - a young man - he wanted advice regarding a letter from the court.
"I can't read real writing Pip" he said.

There is a different kind of learning when you are brought up in such an environment - in such streets. A certain kind of wisdom is nurtured to help the beautiful humans to survive and more than that.

Money can buy comfort and a home in a community to enable us to retreat from such places.
Escape from violence - noise and Vicky Pollard.
Money takes us away from the rawness of life.
Incarnation is about being eye to eye with Vicky - close enough to feel her spittle on your face - smell her breath and seeing the depth of her................ beyond behaviour .........

Why do I begin to weep when I get to this line of words?
It stops me thinking.
It blurs my vision.............. the tears .......


Sunday, February 26, 2006

...... have you heard of ...


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Away with the 'LEVEL FIVE' group ... ..... ..... .... we have been meeting since 1980 ....... you work it out .....

... we sit down after a dose of coffee and just talk - each of us share for an hour each, usually, ....... and we all ask questions and the idea is asking - not telling - not saying 'you should' .......... it is a chance to be open with those you trust in total confidence and I love it ...... loveitloveit ..........

see L5 ... on the Greenbelt web-site where you can download an MP3 of the seminar at GB 2005 about the story of ou 'Level Five' group.


Friday, February 24, 2006

I want to Quote ::
Quotes are inspirational for me.
They scratch the surface of my soul, jerk the mind - and give me thirsty ears..
They seem to drill a well into my awareness and prise open my blinkers.
Thanx for reading this - look forward to hearing from you ……...

People tend to think of nonviolence as a choice between using force and doing nothing.
But the real choice takes place at another level.
Nonviolence is less a matter of "not killing" and more a matter of showing compassion,
of saving and redeeming,
of being a healing community.
One can only choose between doing good to the person placed in one's path,
or to do him evil.
To do good is to love a person; but not to do that is as good as killing him.
To love someone is to restore that person physically, socially, and spiritually.
To neglect and postpone this restoration is already to kill.

André Trocmé

I lurve Norway

..... and moreso Norwegians ........ and I have such great friends ....
.... du ar et vokkart manaska ........
( non Norwegian speakers
= You are a beautiful human person)

.... but come to think of it ..... i have not been invited to do any work with you recently and I loveitlove ........

............. but I am going to Finland hey hey ......


Pip Cam

............... whenever ...... I click and usually - no always - I snap humans.

Usually - always - I get beautiful humans smiling and hating me but loving me and ......... I lurve publishing here on my beautiful imperfection blog ..... hey hey

Thanx Judy and Shamsx .......


D Saints are on TV tonight with the biggest game so far this season ....... against Leeds ........ I will be screaming ........ in delight I hope ...... come ON

loveitloveitloveit ......

A Poem for

YOU ........

by Laurie Culley

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Big Book of Blobs

....... a great review .......

Youthwork review

‘One of the most dynamic, flexible and innovative resources the youth work world has ever seen.’ There you go, stick that on the back cover because we mean every word. Pip and Ian’s ‘Blob Tree’ resource has been around for nearly twenty years now, making a great name for itself over that time. An A4 monochrome image, bereft of writing, it displays a large tree filled with sexless, shapeless, ageless ‘blob people’. Like stick men who’ve chomped one Big Mac too many, their simple yet animated forms are used to represent emotions, decisions, personality types and social situations. A person can point to the blob whose stance, expression or activity they most identify with, and perhaps explain why. And that’s it. Essentially, it’s just a tree full of conversation-starting blobs.
But that, of course, is the brilliance of it. Because of its simplicity, the tree becomes the perfect resource when attempting to get people to talk about themselves and their social interactions. Children enjoy the visual focus, and can discuss important issues; adults identify with the emotions presented in these abstract characters. And there’s no language involved, so the image can be used to the same effect anywhere in the world.
Pip and Ian return here with a whole book of variations on the theme, as their army of cartoons populate more than 50 new scenes. Spread throughout four themed categories, they place the blobs in a range of tree-substitutes – a playground, a protest march, a football match, a community and so on – each designed to spark a different kind of conversation and interaction.
Some examples: on looking at the book now (after all, which blob you are today doesn’t always define which blob you’ll be tomorrow), I define myself as the blob at the back of the cinema; and the blob walking through one of the ‘blob doors’. Simple and silly as they seemed at first, these little people have had a profound effect on my thoughts today.
That’s why this book is so vitally important to youth work in the broadest sense. These illustrations, though almost text free, are deceptively complex and engaging. The potential for both getting people to talk and releasing them to think, is awesome.
The acid test: I’ve tried this with young people already, and had stunning conversations off the back of it. If Youthwork ran the resource Oscars, Pip and Ian’s Big Book of Blobs would have just walked away with the award for Best Picture(s).

Martin Saunders
Editor of Youthwork


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Belfast Airport calling and some clicks from me as I wait a few hours for my aircraft.
I asked Mr Easy Jet if he could lay a special flight on for me but I didn't figure in his priorities.
He smiled.
I await.
Mixing with the poor again.
Poor sad-o me!!!

Thinking about life ...
I have never had a grade or an upgrade
Usually I get a downgrade - but after all
'He who was rich became poor .......... "
....... so I am stepping in the right footprints eh?

Have been leading a training day for some beautiful humans who do wondrous work in this culture/climate/environment. I could not do what they do but they have blessed me by asking me to facilitate their training and development over the next five months.
So -I facilitate in cultivating a climate of trust.
Helping to define reality.
And openness.
A level of sharing which exhilarates me and us all.
We learn together.
I loveitloveitloveit.

At the start of the training I shared something of the work I have led over the years and the experiences - hmmm the experiences. And how, on one hand, I could easily make it all sound so great ............... but I also shared how I have felt deeply as the scars have been made on my soul over the years and how I still feel them - YES - still do.
And how these have left me vulnerable.
And that I consider ::
vulnerability as a strength - not a weakness.

At the end of the training I asked all those present to share what they would take away. The single most useful tool or idea or thought or experience - the one thing they could cup in the palm of their hand and 'take away'.
About four or five of those humans present mentioned the word 'vulnerability'.
How sharing their authentic self - was an experience of growth ................

Discovering our vulnerability - and telling it to others - is a massive step.
A step towards self understanding and self acceptance - it is.
Being naked like this strange at first.
But not as tiring and painful as drawing the blinds, pulling down the shutter, peeping through the mask .. ... .........

I am still pumping - all because of these beautiful humans ......... but I leave you with a quote which kicks my darkness until it bleeds daylight ::

"We become fully conscious only
of what are able to express to someone else.

We may already have had a certain inner intuition about it,
but it must remain vague so long as it is unformulated"

Paul Tournier
from "The Meaning of Persons"


Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Five Words to describe my life right here right now ..........


I am aware that I have been short with my clicks of recent days - so I pause to do an analysis of where I am and the best place to start is with feelings.

My daily review of life, and that one day - today ....... always has feelings at the top. This is followed by asking myself why those positive or negative vibes are in my interior self.
How much it shows on the outside.
What is my strategy.
What is 'beautiful imperfection' and what I need to do about them as I journey.
Builing on the positives and how to kick the darkness - as I journey.

I am Ok.
Just have to neglect some things so I can do the right things well.
I will fill you in come the end of the week.

My mind jumps to this ::
If we are in a life position of
I'm not OK - You're not ok
(clarity :: I don't feel good about myself - and I don't feel good about this other person/s)
Feelings in this life position are usually feelings of ::

These are not OK feelings to come in touch with - but it is best to clock them because they can tear our guts out even if we don't put words to our feelings - always best in my view.

Beautiful Imperfection Analysis is vital for growth ........

then a visit to the Life Doctor is needed .............

back to work .................

Monday, February 20, 2006

Rest in Peace

J Dilla aka Jay Dee

......... he died on 10 February aged 32.

A massive talent. A man laying down grooves which are ahead of the times.

I love his stuff and delighted to see Gilles Peterson do a tribute to him on his Radio One programme - and BenjB on his programme o 1Xtra - both Radio Shows are available to hear on the BBC Listen again feature ....... some great music too ......


The Said ......

..... TV Programme, Produced and Directed by Ann Wilson, is on 4 - tomorrow - Tuesday.

Last week her programme got great viewing figures so ....... thanx

And remember ...........

..... you are beautiful


Thank you

...... for the five words that describe your life at the moment ....

Mary ::
Longing....(but what for??)
In wonder

Volker ::

Paul ::

Jude ::

........... and yours .......... ?


Sunday, February 19, 2006

..... often come wrapped differently.

delicately wrapped,
in plain brown paper,
tied in ribbons.

You are precious
Special - in extreme
A GIFT from God to this World Community

The worst thing anyone can do is to get a gift
and leave it unwrapped –
-not revealing the gift inside.

You are a gift from God and
the worst thing is for you to


You have so much to offer –
and that is your
uniqueness –
than every other person
on the planet.

If we unwrap – feel a bit naked,
we grow
If we stay unwrapped,
un - revealed to others
we do not share our uniqueness,
we take no risks.

In a couple of my books I talk about
'Level 5 communication'
and I want to walk you through the levels ::
Level 1
Cliché ::
is when we communicate in cliché –
“lovely weather we are having” -
so natural to say to strangers
so boring with intimate friends
those we wish to relate too better.

Level 2
Facts ::
This level is when we
communicate facts only.
Retelling what we have done,
What we saw on TV,
viewed at the football match.
Interesting, maybe, but only for a little while.

Level 3
Opinions ::
This level we start to unwrap a little –
it is when we give opinions
we give something of ourselves away
(maybe about the TV programme or football).
Watch out here – others could disagree.

Level 4
Feelings ::
This is the big start of real communication – unwrapping.
Level 4 is all about feelings.
When we are honest to another about our
feelings which are active - here and now - right there in our interior self.
How we are feeling within – emotional stuff.
When, are are willing to take that step, we reveal/unwrap these –
we are taking risks
but wonderfully so.
People begin to understand our human beautifulness.
We become more alive to them.
The relationship becomes alive.

Level 5
Total Openness ::
This is the target.
Maybe never achieved.
It is total openness,
honesty –
fully unwrapped.
This, I believe,
is beautiful.
This is how all people best open up,
grow, develop, change.
And I believe that the better we become at this –
the warmer,
the more beautiful
we can become - in our 'becoming'.

We can ‘Level 5’ with our partners.
With our friends.
Work mates.
God too!

It all begins with taking the risk
taking off wrappings
share the gift we are
with others
not waiting for others.

or we can stay
a gift unwrapped
a beautiful human
a beautiful human

You are much more than I can see.
.......... will you take a peek?

© Pip Wilson

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Met Ian today in the New Piccadilly Restaurant in London Town ........ to talk about all things blobs.
Wonder - full
Level Five

Last night my team won and piled on the points to ensure we are remain on top of the Super League.
I relax with a good movie and watching my game.
Tonight I could not relax with the game.
I picked up my pad and doodled ::

My mind is so stimulated I am thinking more about
my new pen
Blog potentials
the book I want to read about training
music I want to listen to
my diary
To do's
....... and then I wrote
'I will relax'

I bought 'Pride and Prejudice' on DVD for Joan and it plopped on the mat today all the way from play dot com. After a meal and the rugby we watched it. It is about Pride and it is about Prejudice.

I am a man with pride coming at me and.........and yet - I guess I am not aware of any pride.
If you don't mind me saying - you too.
Same with prejudice ......... we have it and are not aware of all we have to learn - and become aware about.
There is so much to become sensitive about ......... we are so unaware.
Three areas ......... it seems to me .........

Awareness - this must be about being in touch with reality - the here and the now. This must include recognising our sensations and feelings in response to what is happening around us.
THEN - from this base ::
Spontaneity - the ability to chose from options when it comes to behaviour. Being free to chose.
Intimacy - which is about open, level five,trusting interaction with other humans. A place where we can share our true and honest feelings with another.

Pause :: I always want to listen to music - I yearn .............. music always comes in to my thought process ....... hmmm

Church in the morning.
I will be still
I will drink from the well
I will get in touch with my soul
I will become ..............


Friday, February 17, 2006


The Sledgehammer weighed 10 kilos and we were planning to use it on the door of a young persons room in our 150 bed YMCA Hostel.

John had barricaded his room and it had all gone quiet for some time. We were worried because of his threatened suicide.

“John we are worried about you – just make a noise – turn on the radio – anything to tell us you are O.K.”. We left it for a short while.

John doesn’t communicate. He can speak but life has damaged him in such a way that he does not relate.
It has taken six months of saying “Hello John” and raising my thumbs with a smile to get him to produce a slight waving of his thumb. At nineteen he walks slowly around as if in desperate fear.

Time was up – “John we have to break down the door so do not be afraid of the noise,” said Dave, our youngest Professional, who works closely and affirmingly with him. The door was then smashed out of its frame –a painful noise permeating all eleven floors of the YMCA. It had to be knocked downwards, being held by a bed at the bottom. Eventually I lifted the splintered door out of the horrible gap with a range of fearful expectations in my heart. The room was in darkness – smashed up - thrashed - every item.
John was standing in the farthest corner – crying – shaking with his sobs. “Don’t worry John, you are O.K. now” said Dave “it’s you we are concerned about”.

Dave sat on the floor,
John sat on the end of his bed and the real work began, while I went for cups of tea and biscuits – John likes biscuits.

John is one of over 3,000 members and residents and an extreme example of someone in need. A number of others display behaviour, which is not submissive but aggressive and more painful to deal with. However difficult it is, I believe that: -

There are no difficult people
Only difficult behaviour

John is unfit in a different way than others of us – yet he needs ‘development’ not ‘control’. He is being worked with by Dave and others and a regular thumbs up smile from me.

“Dave sat on the floor and John sat on the bed”

I have never yet mentioned this to Dave, my colleague, - but I delight in the picture stamped in my mind. Dave sat below John, in the rubble of a smashed room, taking the position of vulnerability…………..

I weep as I conclude – joy and sadness.

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.

This was written some years ago and has just come to light.
I have never blogged it before.

my friend ..

Imagine ......

A beautiful young woman stands
in the doorway of the room
you are sitting in.
Her name is Olga from
Novosibirsk, Russia.

To you and me she is a nice, attractive and we wouldn’t know where she came from, her attitudes, nastiness, accent, nationality, background - until she speaks and we meet in some way.
Believe me, Olga is living in a project and volunteering on holiday programme, - she is great!
Another young woman stands in the door and immediately there is a different reading in our eyes, brain, feelings, awareness and guardingness.
Before this person meets us, relates, shares accent or attitude, we see the young woman is black. As a white person, and most in this community are white - we can be prejudiced before we even give a person a chance.

When I was a kid in St. Helens, Lancashire, my dad always called me a nignog!
When Joan and I went working in an Approved School (Joan 22/me 26) we met black kids/families for the first time and I was shocked to discover that ‘nignog’ was not a friendly, superficial, jokey insult - it was an abbreviation of nigger/golliwog!

I learned so much in that context. I learned so much in The London Borough of Newham for 10 years. I need to learn so much more here and now because it is so easy to be prejudiced - even racist. (I hate it, I hate it!)
When I lived in Canning Town my front door was sprayed with the letters 'N.F'.
Shortly after, I came to run a Project in Romford 20 years ago, my car was sprayed with big letters,

I feel disturbed writing this because I truly hate racism and I feel uncomfortable hating anything!
I was interviewed some time ago by a young Asian woman doing research into racism. I talked about this stuff - and more.
It also made me think! Feel! Determined! Committed!

Reason for writing this?

I feel we have to watch it!
We can display attitudes to others of a different skin colour without knowing it. So I write and ask us all to consider being sensitive to this issue whatever our skin colour.
Feel our feelings.
Check how we feel when we see someone.
When we talk - to someone.
Then ask - self - am I using the right attitude?
You may or may not put your hand up to the Christian faith. (Would you?)
The YMCA, who I still do a lot of work for, does - in small projects and worldwide.
We need to be striving for growth in this racist/prejudiced world - as in all the things we do!

PS I have a friend called Harry Cumberbatch. His surname is not his family name passed down generations.
The surname was forced on him and his fore-fathers by a plantation owner whose name was ‘Cumberbatch’ - when they were bought into slavery.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

>>>>> 3 >>> LP's

.... bought in 2006

Jose Gonzalez 'Veneer'
.... beautiful - lyrical and so beautiful are the songs ..... I cannot guess anyone in the world would not like this.
Joy had it on her iPod when we flew through France recently - in the Primera!

'A supreme talent' said the Guardian - not my car of course!

King Britt 'This is ... King Britt'
..... a dj mix of artistes which move my soul. Also an extra cd in the pack with great grooves.

My third was a download from iTunes ::
'King Britt presents Sister Gertrude Morgan'
..... with such songs as 'live my Jesus' and 'Precious Lord lead me On'

Just passing on my news ........ loveitloveit


..... I have been asking humans out there in the wide www world to tell us five words to describe your life at the moment ......... and I publish on my blospot ........ with your first name only.

They are coming in.

I feel this is a good question because,
when we do it for real,
we enter our own interior -
get intouch with those, often, untouched feelings.
Self revelation
- and if you click this way - they are also an opportunity to reveal to others - and that is beautiful ..........
........... other beautiful humans read you know ........
....... they yearn to see others who are, maybe, just about in the same place and that is a beautiful thing to know.

Here are the collected recent ::

Paul ::
stressed, at-peace, nervous, tired, ready.

katie :: revitalised, excited, trusting, open and loved

Derek ::
not sleepy

............. seen on a big screen at a U2 concert ::


Five things you didn't know about Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

One of the most anticipated fall films is the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," It stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Man in Black and Reese Witherspoon as his soul mate, the feisty June Carter Cash. Don't expect the movie to reveal all the following facts:

1. When Cash was born in 1932, his parents, who couldn't decide what to name their child, settled on J.R. In 1950, when the Air Force demanded that Cash supply something more than the initials, he named himself "John Ray."

2. Cash was jealous of the attention given to his Sun Records label-mate Elvis Presley. So when he was asked to deliver some Presley records to a promoter, he tossed them off a cliff, one at a time, "like Frisbees."

3. The legendary "Million Dollar Quartet" session, which united Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Cash at the Sun Studios in Memphis in 1956, was actually a trio, as Cash left the studio before the tape started rolling.

4. Cash's first movie role was as a creepy psycho-killer in 1961's "Door-to-Door Maniac" (aka "Five Minutes to Live"). It also featured Opie himself, Ronnie Howard, and Pamela Mason, wife of British actor James Mason.

5. "Ring of Fire," one of Cash's biggest hits, was once considered as a theme for a hemorrhoid-relief commercial. The Cash estate declined.

Henry Cabot Beck

"NEVER be afraid to tell the world who you are"

...... remember you are beautiful
remember that loving and being loved
means we can better cope with fringe hassle
as long as we keep the love

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

... it is one of those evenings when I feel tired and sapped ........
....... only stepped on the welcome mat at the Wilson Mansions at 9 pm ......
........ so not much of an evening.
I don't feel unhappy.
I don't feel low.
Just a bit drained - more than the normal 'end of the day'.

Regulars, if that is you - thanx, will know that I have a comitment to telling you who I am
- the focus of that must be 'feelings'.
If I don't tell you, and myself, how I feel - it is the mask job.
Not reality.
Activities of mine do not tell you how I feel as a human.
L5 is about the journey to openess
I am committed to 'Level five' communication.
So I want to do that here.


It is tired for me.
Drained - and the sleep deficit thing too.

I know I need to rest and also sleep. Usually I need to relax before I sleep.

I breath deep
Try it with me.
Slow deep inhale
Slow deep exhale
A few times before you scroll down
........... and you will feel
If you are doing this with me
You can feel your nostrils cooler as you breath in
Warmer as you breath out
New life being breathed in
Feeding the

Cool and fresh on intake
Warm as we expel the waste

..... and if you wish .....
say - say silently -
Breath on me breath of God
Fill me with life brand-new

........... I continue to breath the breath of life ........
........... and you? .........


Valentines Day ....

...... for Joan and me was a surprise birthday and Valentines lunch for Jules ......... special big day ............. so me had a glorious lunch with her and Big John in our favourite Italian in Covent Garden - 'Da Mario'.

We had a fab time and talked and talked and loved it loved it

Now I am up too late to face a long 8 hour day which turns into 12/13 with the commute .............. I love my iPod .............. and the reading too.

I have some exciting and stretching stuff ahead .......... I have a week-end to lead with a group of beautiful human women from a tough housing estate ...... I don't know what to do so i will just do it ....... design it and keep plenty of options in the toolbox hey hey.

I also have a conflict course coming up. How to deal with aggro and abuse and ............. it is so easy to the see the behaviour of the abusive human in front of us instead of looking beyond the behaviour.
To communicate to the core of the human is vital and not be distracted by the obnoxious.

And then I have a series of 'The Road Less Travelled' courses to run ........
I have been doing these for 15 years ............ about
'Life Mangement -Assertiveness - Managing Emotions'
- having skills in the toolbox to help self and others to work through this life.

.................. M. Scott Peck, Author of The Road Less Travelled', started his book off with these three words ::

'Life is difficult'

Also exciting is to be flying to Belfast one day monthly to conduct team training and I loveitloveit ..........

Love is been on my mind due to the Valentine thing ..............
.......... and I am aware that you come into contact with Vicky Pollard and her friends .........
......... and there is a need to love her and acknowledge her and ............
............ smile .......
...........so that a human is not left without love and has to experience this sort of thing alone ::

"My father always made me know I was fat.
I could never make him love me.
I decided nobody would love me unless I was perfect.
I felt ugly, as if I was falling down a dark hole."

Jane Fonda

How do we do it ........
..............I don't know ........
........ we just do it ....................

but here is a clue ::

"We must not think that our love has to be extraordinary.
But we do need to love without getting tired.
How does a lamp burn?
Through the continuous input of small drops of oil.
These drops are the small things of daily life:
small words of kindness,
a thought for others,
our way of being quiet,
of looking, of speaking,
and of acting.
They are the true drops of love
that keep our lives and relationships burning
like a lively flame."

- Mother Teresa
Skip this ....

.... if you are not interested in the interior life of U2 and the Crew on the road which will lead us into Mexico - down under - Japan ......

This is the Diary of Willie Williams from U2
- Set and Stage - and Lighting and show concept designer .....
This diary can be found on U2 dot com but I think only for members of the community ..... you can join too .....

Thursday February 9th, 2006. Los Angeles - Monterey

I joined the crew party to fly down to Mexico today. The band are going to stay in L.A. for a couple more days, but I really need to get to see the staging system as soon as possible as its been a while. We flew on Air Aviacsa, which was a first for me. Its been a very long time since I flew an airline I’d never used before to a city I’d never visited before, so the experience was vaguely exhilarating. It was an early start this morning and I was exhausted anyway having hit the ground running in L.A. Sadly though, I found I couldn’t sleep - once again my body was flat out but the little guy in my head was bouncing off the walls. It was really most peculiar to experience jet lag whilst on an aeroplane, blasting through time zones in reverse direction.

With the time change we didn’t get to Monterrey till after night fall. It was going to be a while till the system in the stadium was ready so Bruce and I headed out to find some nosh. This looks like a nice part of town. We found good food then headed back to the hotel, discovering other members of our touring party propping up the bar. More reunions.

Word came through that we weren’t going to be able to get at the show system tonight, so I counted my blessings and hit the sack.

Friday February 10th, 2006. Production Rehearsals, Monterey

Down to the venue bright and early to get a jump on everything which needed doing towards rebuilding the outdoor show. Clearly we are taking the European show as the starting point, but are customising it for each of the countries we are visiting. Also there are quite a few visual things which appeared during the last indoor leg which need to be reformatted to work in the great outdoors.

It was a scorching hot day, so it was bare legs all round. Everything came together in good time and the early dusk allowed us to start programming by 7ish. A very weird curfew rule here states that there can’t be any loud noise in the stadium before 9pm, which is refreshingly counter-intuitive. Consequently we were trying to get as much done as we could before the backline guys arrived to unleash the fury.

It was fabulous to see the outdoor stage again. Its a magnificent looking thing, even if I do say so myself. Even nicer when it gets turned on. Word came down the wire that the backline guys weren’t going to come in after all which produced much rejoicing in our front of house oxygen tent. Its so much easier to get work done when you’re not listening to random music noise and 120 decibels.

We were the usual crew of suspects inside the mix position, Bruce programming lighting, Smasher programming video, Bob at the video engineering, Luke & Sam on the video sequences. As ever, it can become oddly quiet out there for long periods of time as we all beaver away on our separate pieces of the puzzle, occasionally coming together to run a song, or see how lighting and video fit together.

The temperature dropped like a stone after dark and we were largely unprepared, sartorially speaking. We dug out all of the clothing we had, but it was still woefully inadequate. Luke improvised some sarong-like garments out of large sheets of plastic and we started jumping up and down a good deal. Eventually Bruce cracked open the ‘sporting goods’ drawer of his workbox adding more clothing to the mix, though largely shirts and shorts. I ended up wearing six shirts and three pairs of trousers but was still bloody freezing. You should have seen us, bundled up to an absurd degree - “Tellytubbies go mad in the Arctic”.

At about 4am I was thinking perhaps we should knock it on the head and carry on tomorrow night. However, it was only then I realised that there is no tomorrow night - I have lost a day somehow in my jet lag blur, as I imagined we had another night’s programming before the band arrived, but no, they’ll be here, on stage tomorrow evening. I guess we’d better carry on then…...

Saturday February 11th, 2006. Production Rehearsals, Monterey

To bed at 7am and up at 3pm, a bunch of dazed roadies were picked up from the crew hotel. I had all my bags piled up on the sidewalk as the band party arrives today, so I am transferring to their hotel.

The cold of last night seems to have stayed on and it was pretty chilly all day. At the gig all was noise and activity with sound checks and preparations for the run through. The band came in around 5 and we had a quick huddle to figure out the set list. We’re getting into a situation now where we have so many great songs worked up that the show is potentially too long. The Edge always laughs and says “ah, its great value for money!”, but the truth is that if even a great show is too long it throws out the dynamics of the whole event. For U2 something in the region of two hours ten minutes seems to work the best. We’ve touched two and a half hours on occasion and even though the crowd is delighted, you can feel them getting tired. That said, I have been pretty determined to get “Bad” into the main set for this leg, so we decided to add it in, even though we couldn’t find another song to drop to make way for it.

Regular readers will know that playing without an audience has never been U2’s strongest suit, so imagine our surprise when the four of them got up there and played the entire set from start to finish without stopping. We were stunned and the crowd outside the stadium were loving it. (Hearing the far off chant of “EL-E-VA-TION” was hilarious from inside the deserted venue.)

We had a brief catch up afterwards but agreed to meet at noon tomorrow to make a final plan. It had got really quite cold again by this time, to we sent to crew for cups of tea before settling in to another night’s programming. Most of what we did last night was pretty good, but the new visuals for “End of the World” needed some tidying up and the visuals for “One” didn’t work - it was all too big and distracting. Both of these we worked on and made a big improvement. “End of the World” uses footage of fall out from atomic bomb tests (taken from a U.S. government archive film reel which en masse and in isolation makes for incredibly depressing viewing). By way of redeeming it in the name of art, we abstracted it, chopped it up and put it through an interference blender, so it now has the look of the band coming through your TV during a nuclear war. Its just charming. I also took another run at “One” and nailed it. Much simpler, less busy, fewer words and more buffalo. How could I have been so blind?

By 4.30am we were seeing double so bailed. We’re in great shape given how quickly everybody had to get back into this. Dropped all the lads off at the crew hotel, then I’m glad the runner knew where my hotel was as I didn’t have a clue. Its gone 5am, meeting with Bono at noon, so I’d better get off line and get some sleep.

Sunday February 12th, 2006. Show Day, Monterey

Was woken by the phone at 11am, with a friendly voice telling me that my meeting with Bono had been pushed back from noon till 3pm. Result!

Rolled over for another hour, but found myself awake so staggered up. One of the many extraordinary things about road life is that its possible to exist in a state of almost complete ignorance of your surroundings or domestic arrangements. Being the start of a new leg and having been so intensely busy at the venue, I hadn’t a clue about what hotel I was in or any travel arrangements. Usually you look for a piece of paper shoved under your door which tells you what to do. and today’s piece of paper informed me that I’m going to Mexico City tonight (fancy that!) but more crucially that the hotel was serving “complimentary brunch till 1pm”. Result!!

It was about 12.30 so I pulled on some clothes and went to find the food. This I did, along with a couple of other members of our party, in a large, smart, busy, dining room laid out with a huge spread of food. It was perfect, so we piled our plates high and made the most of it. Have gorged ourselves, another member of our party arrived and looked puzzled. “Aren’t you coming for breakfast in the bar with everyone else?”. Yes folks, we had just sat down and helped ourselves to a complete stranger’s wedding reception.

Later down at the venue everything seemed to be in order, pretty much like we’d never been away. There was, however, one surprise which took the evening into unexpected territory. It was cold. In fact it was nearly freezing out there which made it very hard for the audience to produce any kind of party atmosphere. When I walked out the the mix position before the show I was really taken aback by the complete lack of noise or vibe from the crowd. This is Mexico after all, home of the Mexican Wave, home to some of the greatest gig audiences on the planet, but tonight it was clearly going to be a struggle.

A struggle it was. From the minute the band hit the stage it was clear that, even though the audience was loving it, the chances of us achieving elevation were slim indeed. The gig had its moments (Elevation being one of them) but for the most part the crowd would cheer at the beginning and end of songs, but huddle together for warmth in between. Another “problem” (though in many ways encouraging) is that here it seems the newer U2 material is far more well known than the older. The ‘Boy’ songs didn’t get anything like the usual recognition and my visionary insistence that we put ‘Bad’ into the set created without doubt the low point of the evening. It was uphill work all round.

My one smile came from seeing Selma Hayek in the audience. The encore section of the show begins with a set of “one arm bandit” reels which spin around revealing the symbols from Achtung Baby with a mixture of political and cultural icons. For each of the shows on this part of the tour we have made a custom version of this piece, including famous faces from that country and the one for Mexico contains….Selma Hayek. She must have been surprised.

After the show we did a runner to Mexico City, where hopefully it might be at least a little warmer.

Monday February 13th, 2006. Monterey - Mexico CIty

I was so tired when we arrived last night that I fell asleep in the van. Got to my hotel room, walked in the door, got straight into bed and passed out without waiting for luggage, showering or anything.

Slept well and woke feeling more human. I spent a couple of hours working on the show, devising a new set list which might be more suitable for this part of the world. Given the cold and the dark, I think the European show is too slow to get to the spectacular bits. When we were opening in daylight and there was more of a football crowd spirit we could get away with holding back, but here it seems wiser to go in all guns blazing.

Went up to Bono’s room and had an hour or two with just the two of us which was fantastically productive. Its hard to get that kind of focussed time, but it pays off enormously. We’re going to try the “City of Blinding Lights” opening and focus on newer material. More spectacle, more upbeat, more rock and roll.

This was followed by another meeting to sort out some forthcoming film shoots which will be happening during the rest of this South American leg. Again this was productive, so time well spent.

Finally made it out of the hotel for some dinner with Sam and Luke my video content team. We went out looking for trouble, but on a cold Monday night in February, trouble was not to be found. Instead we strolled the Zona Rosa looking into entirely empty bars and clubs, rode in one of Mexico City’s fantastic VW Beetle cabs (three of us in the back as there’s no front seat) before settling into the hotel bar. Ah well, an early night won’t do us any harm.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My Desktop

..... just for today ....

I believe you are loved ...

.... and love is always 100%

..... love can only be 100% and you are .......... loved

Have a great -
Valentines Day

"We who are rich are often demanding and difficult.
We shut ourselves up in our apartments and may even use a watchdog to defend our property.

Poor people, of course, have nothing to defend and often share the little they have.
When people have all the material things they need, they seem not to need each other.
They are self-sufficient.
There is no interdependence.
There is no love.
In a poor community, however,
there is often a lot of mutual help and sharing of goods,
as well as help from outside.
Poverty can even become a cement of unity."

Jean Vanier

.... and the peak of the day is a special human ....

.... it is her special day on Valentines Day Hey Hey

..... so it was great to have the afters ...... after the Greenbelt Meeting tonight and to say hello and Happy Birthday to Julie ........... an the big kisser here is BIG JOHN .......

greenbelt meeting tonight and we have such beautiful humans who make the Festival tick ....

..... and vibrate and rock and shake and move and groove ...... ...... if you have never been to Greenbelt .......... consider drinking at the well ......

Greenbelt meeting tonight and the Childrens Festival needs a beautiful human in charge ......

Greenbelt Meeting tonight ....... pulling the fab programme together ......

greenbelt meeting tonight ........

.... our beautiful human Chief Executive ........

Monday, February 13, 2006

My mother used to say, "God has his hand on you. Never ignore "the gift."

'My mother used to say,

"God has his hand on you.
Never ignore 
"the gift."

I never knew what she meant by the gift,
until I felt the gift leave me.
When the gift comes back, it's so sweet.

I think sometimes we make
if we leave our spiritual ears open.

An employee and faithful friend of mine, Armando Bisceglia,
was dying of a terminal disease while I was having these sessions.
We knew the end was very close for him.
We recorded a song, then I sang it one more time.
Just as I finished, June came in the studio and told me,
"Armando just died."
The song I was singing was "Unchained."
Take this weight from me.
Let my spirit be.

Johnny Cash, 1996