Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sonnesyn Mansions here ....

.... I am at the home of the Sonnesyn Family ........ in Norway ...

..... nine hours journey and welcomed with warmth as toast. hmmm

Here the pic 1
Here is a pile of stuff in our kitchen last night.
What is it?
What is it for?

Will tell you soon.

Here pic 2
Flying in and viewing the snow over Oslo hey hey.

pic 3
Anna and Guro
wondrous to see them in their base camp.

pic 4
Oyvin and Gunn-Randi at home.

pic 5
Guro showing me her room ..... we could not speak each others language last time we met - now we can communicate in English ..... how beautiful she is.
The last time we met, in London some 2/3 years ago, I did a little note and gave it to her. She has kept it in her bedroom.
It says::
"Do ar et vakkart maneska"
= "you are a beautiful human person"
in Norwegian!!


.... bags packed
.....and the last UK click until Monday ....

..... got to get to stinking Heathrow tomorrow with a massive suitcase on d train tube and tube ..... but I will sleep on the plane and be welcomed real good ......

I dug the item below out of an old file when I was searching ....

..... with you I share ..... Blessed always ...

... because if you are ....... others will feel it too ....

England -Living in Communities

In March 1994, Pip Wilson, YMCA, England, recorded the following
'Words of Faith' for the BBC World Service.

"My life has been spent working mainly amongst young people 'at odds' with society.
Young offenders, violent, aggressive and those who can't cope with life - inadequacy reigns in their lives. In fact, I found the most agressive, the most inadequate.
They have few life skills - they're only skilled in theft, drugs, street life.
They don't have skills which contribute to the community.

As a Christian I believe it is clear that God sent Jesus to die for that person -
that beautiful human person.
It's my job - my mission - to facilitate their development, to see them become more beautiful persons for the community, the world of God.
I believe there are no difficult people; only difficult behaviour!

I've just been talking to three unemployed young residents in a YMCA Hostel.
All of them keen to talk, willing to touch real life issues, but they have so little money each week to see them through their life.
When they get their money they have to buy washing powder. soap, all the necessities of life, leaving them very little to spend because of the high cost of living in the UK. I asked what they would do if they had £50 to spend on themselves.
What would they spend it on?

The first said, "I would buy a pair of boots, because I have no shoes, my shoes are cracking up and I'm desperate for a pair of boots, but that would cost at least two weeks of my living allowance."

The second one said, "I would save it, so I could buy my family presents. I've got no money at all, I have nothing to buy presents with and I would love to buy the family presents."

The third one, after a long pause and the question being asked one again, said,
"I wouldn't know what to do with £50 because I've never had £50 in my life and I couldn't handle it.
I'd rather stay on what I've got."

Mahatma Gandhi was asked towards the end of his life,
"Of all the difficult things you've experienced in your life, what had been the most difficult?"
Gandhi replied,
"The hard heartedness of the educated".

I believe in a God who is into 'heart operations'.
Unless we allow 'heart change' we are community takers, not community makers.
If we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem!

I believe that people who experience real community can grow into more beautiful human persons. Some people need community to be able to survive.
I believe all of us need to contribute to a community to help us to grow.
Perhaps 'growing' is more about 'a softening of heart', rather than growing academically and intellectually.
The YMCA around the world is a collection of a people 'in community', drawing in all ages - women, men. girls, boys - people with great skills, and people with limited skills.
The YMCA is about comforting the disturbed and also disturbing the comfortable.

Living 'in communities' for 25 years had also damaged me in some ways, but I believe 'damage' is part of life.
If we go through life seeking only happiness and fulfillment for the fullness of life.
That is 'not ok' - it seems to me.

We cannot have a beautiful rose without the thorns.
But then the symbol of the Christian faith is a cross, not a cushion."

Pip Wilson


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

.... the last time I was in Oslo I was at a U2 Concert with my 'Level Five' friends Torgrim(L) and Oyvin ......

..... tomorrow I will be flying into Oslo and out again to 8 below H A R E I D
.....and doing a gig a bit like U2 did (I did say 'a bit'!) ....

There will be 400 young humans there who will all look at my blog next week I hope - to see lots of pictures of the gig.

I have been working on it for weeks in wee pockets but full time today ..... and there will be wild music and games and meaningful stuff which will roll out for two hours.
The Objective is to create an experience of fun, participation, stretch, shalom, kissing, making love (one of my famous games!!) ALL in a climate of trust where all can feel safe so they will take risks for their own development ......

There will be other smaller gigs too. I hope to be online and blogging, in a Norwegian accent, and giving you a peek into some lurve ........

you are beautiful ...........


Peppermint Tea all gone ...

Joan back home ......

Been a long day ......

Zig gone to Zedzzz ......

Feel I'm 'OK-You're OK' ....

One day into Norway prepp tomorrow ......

Norway here we come on Wednesday .....

Life is exciting ........ no buts because I am not in the groove of thinking 'buts' .......

you are OK
to the core
from the core
beautiful .....


Monday, January 29, 2007

This is a great sound-blog-voice-blog from my mate Big John ......... I love this beautiful human


.... in the course of my work I sent this out to all staff ....



I have been watching CBB and find it fascinating and great that the two humans in the final were::

Voted by the British voting population - and they hugged each other!
I vote for more hugs
I vote for the majority who voted against Racism and Bullying ……………..

Refresher Course::
The next 2 hour refresher is on
TUESDAY 27th February 2007
2 to 4 pm

The Skills of a People Person.
A refresher mini-course in Awareness and Skills for all Staff.
It will be all about us sharing together, we all have lots to offer.
It will be relaxing and stimulating.
Please let Chris know in HR ……. That you are coming - please?

Further Mini-Courses - One every Month::
February 27th 'Skills of a People Worker'
March 14th 'Participation and Involvement' ////////////// Note this is a changed date from my last email./////////
April 26th 'Managing Emotions'
May 16th 'Reaching the Hard to Reach'
June 5th 'Faith to Face' ….. Xxxxxxxxxxxxx NEW NEW NEW xxxxxxxxxxxxxx ….

This is the last in the series and will be led by Larry, our Chaplain, and myself.
It is aimed at humans of faith, all faiths and no faith.
It will be about a group from different cultures and experiences,
Talking about our childhood memories of religion, good or bad, and the rest of our life until now.

We will all - give us all - a Good Listening To!

One last thing:: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...


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

Paul Tournier 'The Meaning of Persons'

See ya

Pip bhp


Du er et vakkert menneske!*

The Blob Tree
The Blob Tree

I always try to use activity
always getting humans to move
"motion changes emotion"

One way of using The Blob Tree::
In the middle of whatever you are doing with a group
Ask them to think of an issue
one which is up there
up there in terms of
on your mind
the big one

Everybody writes the issue on a 'post it'
One issue - one human - one 'post it'
Then go and stick it on the Blob Tree
on the Blob which describes what you feel about the issue

So motion takes place
all think
all feel
all just don't think
all just don't feel
all walk
they make a decision too
a public decision
Motion Changes Emotion ...........

The we can talk in the group about,
not only the issues,
(stuff coming out of the head)
but also
(the stuff which comes out of the gut)


* "you are a beautiful human person"
.......................... in Norwegian

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Reset Yourself
We are creatures of habit.
Of routine.
We are all in our own groove.
So try new. Try different.
Try crazy.

Try unexpected.
Like punk? Try opera.
Wear black? Try white.
Love bubbles? Try still.
Speak Spanish? Learn Chinese.
Love to ride? Try running.
Always grumpy? Try happy.
Like science fiction? Try romance.
Never cook? Bake some bread.
Forever cynical? Try love. Try Trust. Try hope.
Take a different route to work.
Say yes when you mean no.
Wear your watch on the other hand.

Leave the comfort zone.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

............ delivered today but I need an 'A'

This beautiful work of art was made by hand by two beautiful human young women model makers.
They lived at the YMCA where I used to work - for 18 years+.

These beautiful humans rescued it for me from the side of a skip.

It was being thrown out!

It is a 'one off'.
It says YMCA but the 'A' has been knocked off hmmmm.

I think it is beautiful and personal to me.
It is personal because hours of work and thought were placed into it.
Can you believe it is made from wood?

An extra treat was the rescue by these beautiful humans who lifted it for me ....... thank you Bernie Rick and Richard ....

you are beautiful

Friday, January 26, 2007

Knackered at the moment .......

.... Joan is away caring for her Mother.
I am drinking heavily
Peppermint tea - knocking them back well and good.

Here at the end of the week I am relaxing watching the tottering to an end Big Brother and other non demanding TV mental showers.

Tomorrow I have a day out at a Greenbelt Trustees meeting. It is always 'another day of commitment' but AWAYS so madly stimulating that I loveitloveit. I will be among humans becoming - not just being. Humans doing wondrous things in their own worlds - but gather together to give of their beauty tomorrow .......... rightly so - it could be called a beauty room.

Just about relaxing now ....... a small cigar is part of that.
First of the day - in two days actually.
Maybe Sunday I will have time to grip a large Churchillian Cigar from Cuba?

I love the music on my piPod ......... I place it there for you - you know?
I have some wondrous grooves lined up to stimulate your ear drums ........
..... and via those - to your soul.

Today I was working a group and something special happened.
A question I asked, such a great question to get everyone digging into their souls, was:- " Who has been a most significant, non-family, human person in your life"?
It was great in terms of sharing .......... and one person said it was Pip Wilson!
A surprise - an honour - slightly embarrassing - but warmly received by me .......

And this one day week-end .............. I need to crack my tax returns and Norway Norway - beautiful humans of Norway. I go on Wednesday.

I feel not so tired now.
Therapeutic blogging.
I feel .......................5 Words to describe them right now::

....... and you?

.... I sip from the mint cup and remind myself that you are beautiful .......

..... thank you for your PASSION ...

..... and for clicking this way ....... are beautiful.


The river Rom flows through the Wilson Mansions Estate.
I permitted a 'ford' to be made through the river and some of the Staff have been calling it the 'Rom Ford' ....... and it makes sense to me.

The other side of the river a new hospital has been built on the Wilson Mansions Estate. It cost £200 million pounds and opened in November last year.

I travelled to it today for the first time in the Wilson Mansions multi-seat limo which has two floors ........ it is red and stops lots of times to give the Staff a help on their way. Sometimes -I hardly see a single one of them for a long time and then - two of them seem to come along at once.

Needle in the Eye.
I went to the hospital today to see my eye surgeon. I confessed to him that I think the operation I had in October was not successful. .......... and in went the yellow eye drops ........ numbing the eye ball and surrounding parts.

I didn't look but the needles went in several times in different angles. Then a fluid was pumped in and I was pleased to feel it and taste it at the back of my throat.
"hmmm" he says
"It has worked after all" he says
(and then he repeats the needle exercise to prove it)

It seems that the new channel he had made, through the bone in my nose, and through to my nasal channel, has worked but I need some small operation on my lower eye-lid......... only a local anaesthetic I am pleased to say ................

.............. a bit of a 'nip and tuck' ........:-)


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sheila was back from Cuba (now I am Churchillian!) and it has been 28 days since we have seen her ....... so I planned I had a day off and went shopping and hanging out ...........

....... and lunch at Carluccios ........ and she didn't buy a thing (not bad - seeing she spent £3,500 on clothes the day before*)

....... but she did advise me on the best sty-lie spex to suit my mush ........ I intend to buy some after I have seen the eye surgeon tomorrow - faced the music - and when I have saved up ...... then I will look like Roy Orbison and Superman rolled into one - a big blob PipDaddy!

Then we ended the day at Sheilas with the other Sheila coming from work to hang out and eat some fish ....... all the four of us ...... hmmmmmm

Wilson Mansions is now a large humidor ..........

*Not for herself ....... just for her work.


It is great to see a twinkling star in the sky
A rare treat to see a shooting star in the sky
But nothing better
To bump into real beautiful human stars in the New Piccadilly today .........

Gordon a great human friend and Greenbelter
Justine - Lead Singer 'Hey Gravity' - we did Level Five at Greenbelt ............

Today I ............. loveitloveit


will keep it forever .....

...... bt sad to say I have lost 100 eMails out of my inbox ..... and I cannot recall who I need to reply to ....... so sorry if I have not got back to you ......

Snow! ..... on the Wilson Mansions Estate this morning .....

.... Zig is in and out and his paws are sooooo cold ......

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

.... it s cold here in the UK ...... and
-5 in Oslo ..........brrrrrrrr

ps - my favourite non-human here ......

We Humans ....

..... have two floors in our life
Ground Floor where we invite our friends, the gas man, the milk man, the neighbour ....
Attic where we dump stuff.
Upstairs and Downstairs.

When things are worn out, eyesores, unsightly - they are understandably placed out of sight in the attic.
We don't have to see it up there.
Others won't see it there.

When we don't like certain parts of ourselves
some ugly events
a spoiled relationship
an uncomfortable emotion
or an error of judgement .......... we put them in the attic
out of site
out of mind
buried alive ........... in the attic.

The attic will eventually become full
we will become scared of it all falling in on us
will it collapse on us?

The attic - we all have an attic
The attic is our subconscious
The attic is sometimes called 'suppression'.

If we live our lives with the aim of being authentic
we will be willing and able to
display and reveal
some of our
and then
we will not be overloaded upstairs.

Emotional energy will be then available for others and ourselves.
Emotional energy will then not be wasted keeping all that stuff hiding away
Emotional energy will not be wasted on unease about an imminent collapse.

Level Five communication is all about living on one floor
One life

Level Five
L5 communication is all about being open and honest.
It is about revealing ourselves.
It is about self revelation.

"What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret
than our willingness to choose life."

Monday, January 22, 2007


I was the youngest of four boys and was a mistake.
I fought my way through childhood and that was just with my brothers!
Also my education was poor.

I had no interest in school only messing about.
But at 15 some thing happened (I will tell you if you ask).
I then started work in a factory at 15 and trained to be a fitter/engineer building winches for ships followed by another factory building engines for trains
- and playing rugby all the time.

Then at 21 some thing happened to change my whole purpose and direction?..
At 40ish ........ I became an adult.

I note that all significant changes/steps/landmarks in my life - have been when I have stepped out of my comfort zones ............... and you?

When did you become an adult?
..... and why?

This .......

..... triggered the Blob TreeTool below .... .... ..... ...... .... ......

I saw India Arie earlier this year
and it was one of her most powerful performances I have ever seen.

She came out wearing all this jewelry, sunglasses and a big fur like coat and long braided hair.
She looked like Lil' Kim.

Everyone was taken back thinking, wow, she has changed!!

Well, she stopped just as she was about to sing and started laughing and as she stripped her layers of 'costume' off she explained how easy it would be to put up a front and hide behind it all.
She was speaking about being true to herself and not being affected.

It was great.
Then she took off the wig and she was her beautiful bald self and she belted out the song
"I am not my hair"

From my beautiful human friend Julie Benson Julie Benson out in CHICAGO.
The mini review sounds like one of my blogs
and I love India Arie albums ...............
Click piPod:: 'Interlude: Living' to hear her sing .....


Sunday, January 21, 2007

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.




If you live outside the UK, or outside UK popular culture, you will not be aware of the beautiful human who has just been evicted from the TV Reality Show - Big Brother.
Rightly so.

After some great thought and consideration - I believe that her behaviour has been racist.
I also believe, as do 82% of the voting population, that she has been the gang leader in power driven Bullying.

This is a goody example - having working with gangs, racists, bully boys and girls, that we need to see beyond behaviour.
The main thing is a journey into learning/wholeness ........ for us all.
Not write off a human because of behaviour.
Not to use her as a scapegoat just because she is 'beautiful imperfection'
alongside our 'beautiful imperfection'.
It is easy to forget our contribution to the dark side of life - and just see the negative in another human.

Jade Goody - beautiful human person
you are beautiful .....................


Saturday, January 20, 2007

I bought this album in 1993 when it was first released.
It is unique

Gavin Bryars, a classical composer had produced this and tells the powerful story of how it came .....

Please consider reading this word for word
Please don't scan and skip.

On my piPod there is a song called 'Tramp .......'
it starts so quiet
it is the longest track I have ever posted
drinking at the well
lie down
eyes closed
lights out
experiences can be much bigger than words
take a slice of 'big' ............

..... here is the story from Gavin ............

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

"In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station.
In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song - sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads - and one,
who in fact did not drink,
sang a religious song
"Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet".
This was not ultimately used in the film
and I was given all the unused sections of tape,
including this one.

When I played it at home,
I found that his singing was in tune with my piano,
and I improvised a simple accompaniment.
I noticed, too, that the first section of the song
- 13 bars in length - formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way.
I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department,
and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this.
The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying,
with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee.
When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued.
People were moving about much more slowly than usual
and a few were sitting alone,
quietly weeping.

I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing
and that they had been overcome by the old man's singing.

This convinced me of the emotional power of the music
and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple,
though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the tramp's nobility and simple faith.

Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing,
the piece remains as an eloquent,
but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism."


Friday, January 19, 2007

Bits and Blogs

Gilles Peterson: favourite DJ
..... what a programme to listen to for the next week - free.

The washing machine in my head keeps spinning .......... and you?

Good to see Paul back blogging.

Good to read BigJohn and his 'devotion' using a fine tune.

Beef on the Bone is back soon

Read this by Martin Wroe - if you have a window in your soul for inspiration ....

Joy is back from Cuba today
I am back in my old routine - tired in a morning/alive at night
"The Revolution will be Televised in Channel YOU"
I have managed to get an appointment with my eye surgeon next week.
........ and ONE DAY
.......... One day.....
youngsters will learn words they will not understand.
Children from India will ask:
What is hunger?
Children from Alabama will ask:
What is racial segregation?
Children from Hiroshima will ask:
What is the atomic bomb?
Children in schools will ask:
What is war?
You will answer them.
You will tell them
Those words are not used anymore,
Like crucifixions, galleys or slavery
Words no longer meaningful.
That is why they have been removed from dictionaries.

Martin Luther King,
preacher, civil rights activist

J Dilla

..... featured on my Favourites of 2006.
He died aged 32 on February 10th 2006.
I intend to do a feature on him - remarkable music
I just love the grooves he made

Here on the piPod you can hear his Mother speaking about him

Blessed J Dilla
you are beautiful

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big Br*ther Again .......

Home: Essex
Age: 25
Height: 5’ 6”
Weight: Lost two stone thanks to her lucrative diet video… but it turned out she’d had liposuction.
Bust: Boob job took her from a 36C to a 36DD
Reach: Famous in UK
Professional record: Came fourth on Big Brother.
Languages: English. Kind of.
She says: “Go back to the slums, Shilpa”
What they say about her: “"Oh please, learn some manners. You know what you need? You need elocution classes, Jade” – Shilpa.
Eviction odds: 1/50

Home: Mumbai, India
Age: 31
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 130 lbs
Bust: 32D
Reach: Famous worldwide
Professional record: Has made over 50 movies, is an AIDS activist and PETA spokesperson
Languages: Speaks English, Tulu, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil and some French.
She says: “It is racist, I’m telling you”
What they say about her: Has been dubbed “the Indian Angelina Jolie”.
Eviction odds: 10/1

Thought I would catch you up with the latest details - and the full range of publications ........ can you pass on all this to all your contacts PLEASE?

The Blob Tree came out of my work in the East End of London working with young people who could not or would not read. I led a large Team of People Workers as we worked with street gangs including lots of group work.The Blob Tree is about 20 years old now and is used all over the world.
Now I am employed as a Trainer/Group Worker and also freelance Facilitator and Group Worker. These tools have been developed as I work with different kinds of beautiful humans week on week. There are Blob Tools with differing purposes because they are flexible for your use! All about helping people to open up and develop and grow ........ I use many of them in my work every week with humans who struggle with life.
I love Group Work and find that creating the right climate of trust and easing humans into self revelation is the most beautiful experience in development terms. I also use these tools, and other tools in the range of books, in Facilitation and Training Staff who work with special needs humans in the Voluntary and Corporate Sector.

Full List of Publications available ::

1 Blob Tree CD-Rom
This is 'The Big Book of Blobs' with no clothes on!
It is the book in CDR format with 'The Blob Tree' and a collection of 50 of the currently most popular images for use with data projectors, computers, whiteboards etc..
Contains Blob Iceberg, Blob Emotions, Blob Sleep, Blob Needs, Blob Christmas, Blob Doors and many more.
This CDR, for personal use - with groups led by yourself etc., costs £20.00 + p&p = £21.00

'The Big Book of Blobs' was published in August 2005 and has over 50 x A4 size 'Blob Tree' type tools.
You have permission to photocopy for your own use in a face to face context.
There are many beautiful and powerful new tools here with permission to photocopy for personal use.
All Books NOW Sold.
It is NOW re-published in a upgraded format by a Specialist publisher in February 2007.
It will cost £30-ish and is available only from::

3 'You Are a Beautiful Human Person' BOOK.
This was new in September 2006, a 'Mr Men' size book which has a few affirmative words alongside Blobs illustrations.
It is affirmative to the hilt with also a gentle/simple Christian emphasis.
Available from me ONLY.
The book costs £6.00 + p&p = £7.00

4 A3 Blob Tree Posters - 2 sets of Posters - Top Sellers.
Four A3 size posters have been published too.
They are in colour and the pack has four different blob trees.
A booklet is part of the pack with ideas for use.
Not available from me.
Order online from::

These were new product in May 2006. There is four different Blob Trees x A5 size, in each set, produced in colour and on good quality/thick paper. Ideal to use in small group work.
Available from::

6 The Very Stinking Rolling Magazine Book .
This 250 page Book, published in 1991 by Harper Collins, has several 'Blob Tree' type images and 100+ Games and Exercises.
The are many unique tested Group Work ideas and tools plus a specialist guide indicating sensitivity when working those with with Humans with Special Needs - we all have abilities and disabilities!
This Book costs £10.00* which includes p&p.

7 The Little Book of Blob Questions
This was new in June 2006. Not only does it have The Blob Tree and 14 other Blob Tools, it has some ideas of how to use in a group context and several questions to trigger you own preparation for use.
AND this you can buy on line ::
Printed version or as a Download. (Not available from me.)

8 Blob Feelings - a New Book in February 2007
Full of Blob Tools which are much in demand by Counsellors, Educational Psychologists and Mediation Workers etc..
Includes the Blob Tree, Blob Feelings, Blob Depression, Blob Families,and many more.
Only available from

9 Blob Spirituality - ONLY available online.
Blob Spirituality is a book of visual tools designed to enable deep conversations about issues which matter to people.
Using the primary languages common to all people - body language and feelings - it provides the user with a means to explore issues as wide as bullying and change, through to Christmas and weddings.
Take a look at the contents page to see the full range of visuals.
Available as a download or to buy as a book ONLY from::

10 Downloads or Books online::
These items are being added to regularly - feel free to take a peep .....
See also these to download or order online::

If you would like any of the ones available - please send me your address and I will post to you with an invoice.
Hope this is helpful - please get back to me if you have questions.

Pip Wilson bhp
*Note - the postage quoted is for UK only.
I will post anywhere!.

EXTRA READING if you wish - two great reviews ::
Read what the Times Educational Supplement said in January 2006
Enlist the power of the Blob

Jerome Monahan
Published: 20 January 2006

The Big Book of Blobs By Pip Wilson and Ian Long £12 (including p&p); the A3 posters are £19 (including p&p)
Here are two new words that could well enter the lexicon in 2006.

The verb "to blob"and its associated noun "blobster" meaning a convinced user of Blobs in training and education work with adults and young people.

The roots of both are the endlessly adaptable "Blob" people (born of a collaboration between artist Ian Long and group worker and trainer Pip Wilson) and now gathered into a collection of over 50 fresh illustrations designed to promote communication and emotional literacy.

The book begins with the original "BlobTree" that has been doing the rounds of schools and counselling settings for many years and features a population of jelly baby-like figures climbing, hanging and falling from trunk and branches and demonstrating behaviour ranging from mutual support to out-and-out opposition or complete isolation. "This picture is over 25 years old," says Pip Wilson. "It emerged from my youth work in East London with young people unwilling or unable to read and has circulated since among teachers and other professionals often in the shape of photocopies of photocopies. Now we have greatly extended the range of Blob situations and scenarios - though all offer the same multiplicity of interpretation that made the original so useful a tool."

The new illustrations are gathered into four themed sections: places, such as playground and disco settings; issues, including bullying; families and death; occasions, including a Blob Christmas; and, finally, a set of personal development scenarios. "Most of the situations are open to symbolic interpretation," suggests Ian Long. "They can be used to help children and young people make the leap to some highly sophisticated thinking. They have proved an ideal prompt, helping people to open up about themselves in ways that more direct cross-examining often fails to do."

"The great thing about Blob pictures is the way they provide an entirely non-threatening way into young people's thinking," suggests Norwich-based sex and relationship educational development worker Molly Potter. "I have used them in a variety of circumstances and they are great for drawing out views without the need for any reading whatsoever. They have proved extremely useful helping both secondary and primary pupils. In addition, they have worked as a great ice-breaker for the PSHE sessions I lead with primary teachers." Included in The Big Book of Blobs is guidance about the importance of subtle questioning as the key to the successful use of the images. "The quality of the questions that young people are asked makes all the difference," says Ian Long.

"In co-ordination with the images, effective questions can move young people on from everyday communication to discussing their beliefs and feelings, and eventually reaching the kind of openness from which real progress can flow." Ian Long cites a powerful example involving a distraught Year 4 child he witnessed being able to use a Blobbing session to identify the figure in one image he most felt like at the time. "It was the necessary launch pad he needed to express his current emotions," says Ian. "He took the risk of opening himself up and it produced the extraordinary result of another pupil pointing to a friendly Blob embracing another to articulate how he would like to help his classmate."

For Jill Aitkin, assistant head at Canons High School in Harrow, the moment when Blobs proved their worth was in her work with a young boy whose mother was seriously ill. "His worry was being manifested in aggression," she recalls. "Using the Blob Tree picture with him gave him the chance to point to the figure in mid-air having fallen off a branch - this was how he felt and he immediately burst into tears. It enabled him to express his underlying sadness and anxiety." She adds: "Blobs are deceptively simple figures, recognisably human and manifesting an extraordinary range of emotions and relationships. They are a very direct and yet unobtrusive way to help adolescents explore their feelings."

Sarah Davidson of Slough Borough Council's Educational Psychology Service adds: "The Blob Playground and Bullying pages have proved particularly helpful. But intrinsic to all Blobs is their lack of specific identity.

They are sexless, ageless and without racial characteristics. Even the youngest children can come to own the images, finding in them Blobs that reflect their past and present circumstances and how they would like to be in the future."

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
Oct 2005
.......... I love this photograph
Interacting humans
who I respect

and love



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

.... over here in the UK - there is considerable National publicity about a TV Programme::
Big Brother.

All around the world - this programme is watched by millions.
I watch it because I like to see humans interacting.

At the moment there is accusations of bullying and racism. Certainly there has been some ugly words and behaviour which has spilled out on the visual waves ...... it has been reported that there has been 20,000 complaints.

One young woman by the name of Danielle has been using some extreme words. All in a very close contact with her friend, the leader of this bully group, it seems to me.

Interesting tonight. She was called out of her bed late last night, I was watching it at the end of the day.
Tonight the nightly programme showed the diary room with Danielle being asked questions by Big Brother.
BB used questions!
The sort which stimulated reflections from her.
She was alone - away from the core group of offenders.
Through questions only, she realised that she had conducted herself in a way that EVEN herself disliked. Me too!
I think BB used a script from a psychologist.

There is directive intervention
There is non-directive intervention

There is Parent ego state
There is Adult ego state

The 'non-directive' and the 'Adult' is a great development tool because the decisions are made by humans themselves.
As ugly as it is in the house - it is good to see such intervention.
Sad it has took so long.
Sorry the rest of the house-mates did so little.
The story continues .......... real life ....... in full colour .......

...... we can learn from the ugly as well as the beautiful .........