Saturday, November 30, 2013

A note to me from the heart.

from thur hart 

i wark into thur rum for Pips sesion and 
feel that this is thur onle place to unberdin my heart 
and let uthers now how i am feling deep down inside ov mi hart. 
but ther is a problem, 
i find it hard to comunikate with utters, 
as thur pepil seem to alwaes interrupt or 
start cawling me names like shorty or 
midgit and then i cannot lok into thier faces as i want to cri. 
but i canot kri here or 
mi life wood be made unberible. 
this is thur resin that i find it hard to make frends. 
but i so depiritley want them to no how i am feling 
when thae act like thae do towards me. 
i find it hard enuf to tork let alone rite about what i am feling 
as i am dislexic and when uthers make fun ov me 
i do not fel gud about miself. 
i fel worthlis and not akseptid for hwo i riely am. 
Pip keps teling me that i am a biutifil humin persin 
but it is dificilt to c that when i have this 
in mi face each and every dae! 

Raheelah Al-Abdul-Aziz

Advent so why not be ADVENTurous

Blob Advent

Paperback, 66 Pages 
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It is common to spend the time leading up to Christmas focussing upon Jesus in order to give the season of Christmas greater substance. Advent is a time to prepare for the arrival of our Lord. Traditionally, most people think of the Christmas arrival, but this book also explores His future return. The authors have used a mixture of reflections, images, activities and prayer to help the reader focus upon the centre of this season - Jesus.

Friday, November 29, 2013

This is quirky music but IT'S GOT SOUL

I know who I am - do you?

Walked by the water today -
without feeling guilty.
Excited today about a new book in my head.

I am collecting women's tights today,
need about thirty five.
I only have eleven.
Don't get excited,
it's only for a game!

I believe I know who I am.
Do you?

I am not there yet
I am yearning
Yearning to become.

I feel that we all want to be
who we are created to be.
Some of us accept that instant coffee is not the best.
That gives us satisfaction and hope
to be all that we can be
and know that it is about becoming.
That is much more important.

I know who I am and 
that gives me security.
The trouble is, life does not stand still.
I need to become anew.
I need to change on this new roadway.
I cannot be resting securely.
I need to journey on and
become become become.

So I am not here in Smugville -
Telling you I know who I am - 
I do know but, life has moved away - 

I know I am a beautiful human person.
That is a vital stepping stone over the torrents.

I know I am
beautiful imperfection 
it gives me support because I am not alone.
I know that you too
are beautiful imperfection.

Join me on
The Road Less Travelled.

Blob Tree Training Manual including CD and a pile of tools

The Blobs Training Manual

Jul 2010
Blob Trees and Blob Characters can be used in so many ways and in so many environments. Making sure that you get the best out of the resources you have will be made easier with this inspiring book to hand. From a really detailed look at how to approach using the Blob Tree to a though-provoking theory about relationships developed by the authors, this book will ensure you make the most of your group sessions.
Contents include:
  • Introducing the Blobs
  • Blob Retention - Ways of Learning
  • Level 5 Theory
  • Session Ideas
Also included are brand new Blob scenarios, brand new individual Blobs and a whole A-Z of Emotions and Feelings. The accompanying CD contains downloadable PDFs of all new worksheets.
Ideal for anyone new to the Blob resources, this manual also provides background information and additional ideas for those familiar with this engaging series.
All Ages


122pp, A4, wire-o-bound, CD Rom

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Some wondrous music for you to play/capture

From the heart of Gilles Peterson
Here’s another Magical Mystery Mix with some autumnal selections that I’m feeling at the moment. It’s the follow up to Part 1 that I first recorded in February, and once again, if anyone can ID all the tracks in the mix in the next 7 days, we’ll send you some Brownswood Recordings goodies.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pandreas - Music from Norway - hear it here.

The moniker of 21-year-old Bergen resident Andreas Kleven Rasmussen, Pandreas’ rolling rhythms, organic textures and visually rich sounds have always felt inextricably tied to his rural Norwegian west coast home soil, but with his second EP Rås on the way, we’re pretty sure they won’t stay put for much longer. Especially if its title track is anything to go by.
Rås is a rare thing indeed. Equal parts classic house jam, pure soul groove and glistening cinematic expanse, its modern production protects a deeply nostalgic core – a core whose inescapably bittersweet euphoria touches every adorning element. Thirty seconds of scraping cymbal crashes here, a minute of hollow synth beats there and before you know it, you’ve been pulled into its insular world. Quite how Pandreas manages this is beyond us, but we’re happy to be along for the ride.


1   Self-awareness (recognising and understanding personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others); 

2   Self-regulation (controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods, and thinking before acting); 
3   Motivation (harnessing emotions to achieve goals and persevere); 
4   Empathy (sensing the emotions of others) and 
5   Social skills (managing relationships, inspiring others and getting them to respond as you would like). 

Bono & Chris Martin 'Perfect Day' video

Bono & Chris Martin Perform Perfect Day

Bono sings Bowie with Nile Rogers - let's Dance

Watch Bono + Edge perform ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk +Nile Rodgers — last night

Bono and the Edge perform ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk — with help from Nile Rodgers — last night in NYC

Last night’s Jony Ive and Marc Newson’s (RED) Auction at Sotheby’s helped raise nearly $13 million — anyone up for a half-mil on solid rose gold Apple earpods? — so clearly everyone was in a partying mood for the duration of the evening
At one point, Bono and the Edge of U2 were found on stage jamming out to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” with the song’s co-writer, Nile Rodgers, on bass duties. Note: the person who took the video, Michael Blatter, says on YouTube that the performance was during an afterparty, while U2 fan site, claims it was a pre-auction gig. We’re not sure when it was, but it happened and that’s all that matters.
The money will benefit the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa.
But let’s talk about the music stuff. Before the auction began, Bono and The Edge took part in a jam session of sorts, performing a cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” with Angelique Kidjo, Nile Rodgers and his band, Chic. (See video 1 and video 2 on Instagram.)
Then, during the auction itself, Bono and Chris Martin did a couple of songs on a piano that was being auctioned. With Martin on the piano bench and Bono standing behind, the pair sung a cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” (video) and then did U2′s “Beautiful Day.”

Monday, November 25, 2013



Gender on the agenda

recent article on the blog God Loves Women, pointed out the percentages of women speakers at Christian events in the UK.
Here are a few thoughts we’d like to contribute to the conversation …
Last summer we enjoyed headline talks from some brilliant speakers including Barbara Brown Taylor, Bidisha, Bobby Baker, Vicky Beeching, Rose Hudson Wilkin, Mary Grey, Clare Balding… and 38 other women.
But it’s true, we didn’t hit 50/50. We intend to get closer – that’s our direction of travel – but we also want to host more women in our theatre programme, our literary programme, our music programme. Greenbelt isn’t a conference, it’s a festival. We’re attempting to build a rich, multi-genre arts and ideas programme which speaks of and to diversity and a globalised society where many views, cultures and religious beliefs are in play.
So, a few of the other voices platformed at our festival this last year included poet-musician-priest Rachel Mann, Brazilian theologian Paolo Ueti, writer Melissa Benn, Muslim cultural commentator Mohammed Ansar, Palestinian campaigner and spoken work artist Rafeef Ziadah, protest singer-songwriter Grace Petrie, comedian Helen Arney, and new-folk star Thea Gilmore – to name but a few.
But we’re not just thinking about what and who we platform. It’s interesting that we read the God Loves Women blog – highlighting how our talks programme at Greenbelt didn’t achieve gender parity (equal numbers of talks by women and men) – while the Greenbelt trustees were meeting. More than half of them are women and our CEO, Beccie D’Cuhna, had taken a day out of her maternity leave to be with them at their meeting. Her leadership is about building an organisation that is vibrant and diverse and which engages justly, creatively and generously with the world where we live.
We’re trying to foster an ecology at Greenbelt where a multiplicity of voices informs our journey in the hope that these voices will, in turn, help to shape the balance, richness and diversity of the content we host. We are a work in progress. And this conversation is a good one for us take part in…

Vulnerability is an ABILITY not a weakness.

I am working at home today.
It just don't motivate me.
Working with
Being with
is always stimulating.
Feeding my soul.
This desk stuff .......

I have just had my favourite soup for lunch.
But I will enjoy my mint tea
cooling ............. at the mo

I come alive with humans.
Not just when I am facilitating
but also
all with humans
to learn from
learn with
(not debate - please)

I am yearning to become.
To be a human becoming.
AND I suppose
this desk stuff
I need to work at
becoming in this area too ......
but so zzzzzzzzzzz

I got a tablet off the doctor last week.
(not an iPad !)
It opens valves in my heart a bit
to let the blood flow better.
All part of this GOUT thing.

I don't get the big 'cannot walk'
experiences now.
BUT I do get feelings in my foot
cramps in my foot and toes and leg

I have kidneys wearing out.
My kidneys don't manage my adrenaline 
My adrenaline is over producing
(no problem with that today then !)
So acid is not processed and it goes to the extremities.
Keep it down there please!

For instance
I did a gig on Saturday.
Beautiful experience.
26 humans
many Counsellor/Youth Workers
diving into all my facilitation
fantastic reflections from my experiential stuff.
Great participation.
Wondrous self disclosure.
Beautiful mutual learning.
Great climate of trust.

I was relaxed yet always pumping.
Even when my Mac malfunctioned for first time
I handled it well with only a few deep breaths.
near the end I felt cramp in my left toe knuckles.
Not severe - felt it only.
Then again at the beginning of my drive home.
CRAMP - for a short time.

This has happened on all recent gigs.
It's my overproducing of adrenaline.
No meds taken - no pain killers needed.

4am that night
I awoke with the worst cramp ever.
In my left calf and foot.
I jumped out of bed
could not bend ankle
my below the knee had become STEEL
painful rock hard cramp
I limped around silently screaming
and it eventually eased - leaving a feeling like bruising.

I have this after ever gig - but not as bad.
Usually the calf - first time ever in the foot too!

I am learning.
Next time I need to take a pain-killer.
I have been OK since..........

Just saying ......
Just spilling .......
I believe in sharing vulnerability.
It is a strength not a weakness.

The greatest act of ART and creation = BHP's

From homelessness to beautifulness - the beautiful Karine.

I have had the privilege
of having Karine in my workshops.
A number of week-ends.
She shared her journey
with the group.
She shared her journey
with me.
I remember her with delight.

She contacted me via Facebook
to share this link to a
Evening Standard article.
I delight in her recognition.
I love that she is journeying on.

I mostly
I always
most of all
remember that day when she came to me and said
"I am beautiful"

This was in the London Newspaper for all to see


A woman who went from homelessness to managing teams on a multi-million-pound construction project today told how she wants to inspire young people to “do something with their lives”.
Karine Harris, 23, left school with few qualifications when she was 16, a year after she was diagnosed with dyslexia.
She suffered from depression and anger issues after she was forced to live on the streets and in hostels for three years having been made homeless when she was 18.
She said: “My last year of homelessness was probably the hardest, I was out in Southall. I felt the most vulnerable, the most loneliness, I felt the worst I’ve felt in my life, I felt like there was never going to be a turning point.
“At that point I had lost most hope, I wasn’t even looking for a job, I was just looking to eat, the luxuries of washing. I wasn’t living, I was surviving.”
Feeling lucky: Karine Harris has won an apprenticeship in construction

After being helped into supported housing, she was referred to the Prince’s Trust Team programme, a personal development course that helped her develop employment skills and confidence — but despite a successful work placement she later became homeless again.
With the help of mentoring by the Prince’s Trust, she found her passion in construction and now has a home in north London and a two-year apprenticeship with construction company Kier Group, where she helps to manage construction teams on a £70 million building project in central London.
She said: “I like working as a team and knowing that everyone’s doing a good job and safely and progressing. I feel like one of the lucky ones. There are so many people out there who haven’t been given help like I have.”
Ms Harris is one of nine young people from across London who have been shortlisted for The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards, supported by Evening Standard, to be held tomorrow at the Emirates Stadium.
She said: “I just want to show young people that if I can pick up and start my life again that I can inspire them to do something with their lives.”
Jasmine Heatherington-Wilkes, 24, is also in the running for an award after being named a finalist for the RBS Enterprise Award.
The film-maker overcame bullying, unemployment and major confidence issues to start her own business, video production company Boko Creative, after doing the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme.
She said: “I feel amazing. I feel like I’ve had the most incredible experiences of my life, even if they’re not all positive.”

You are

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blob Tree 'Homes' - a great easy to use communication tool.

I am posting this because I used it yesterday at the LossUK gig with a group of BHP's made up of Youth Workers and Counsellors.

It was used in such a way to get people talking about their Childhood Home.
Powerful stuff - great self disclosure tool.
Note that, on the LINK below,
there is also a free downloadable instruction pack of how to use Blob Tree Tools.

I started sleeping rough properly homeless.

A real story of homelessness, addiction…and transformation

Homelessness - Grace, Truth and TransformationGrove Books have just published this booklet called ‘Homelessness: Grace, Truth and Transformation‘ by myself and Chris Ward.
I first met Chris at a Housing Justice seminar at the Greenbelt festival where he stood up and shared his own story of rough sleeping and addiction (see this previous post ‘The best speaker at Greenbelt 2011′). Since then we have become friends and done a number of talks together.  
The booklet weaves together my reflections on working with homeless people, along with Chris’ own powerful personal story. He writes about roots of homelessness, the reality of homelessness and therecovery from homelessness.
The following excerpt written by Chris is taken from ‘The reality of homelessness’:
“As Big Ben’s chimes ran out across London to indicate the start of 2003 and people celebrated with family and friends all hoping this New Year would bring happiness, health and joy to their lives, I sat alone in someone’s flat surrounded not by friends or family but empty cans of beer and bottles of spirits.
I had been asked to leave the rehabilitation house which had been my home for seven months because I had started drinking once again over the Christmas period 2002. Within weeks, the people who had let me sofa-surf ran out of patience with my drinking and behaviour. It was not long before I found myself with nowhere to sleep and nobody wanted to associate themselves with me.
This is when I started sleeping rough. I was now properly homeless.  Like many people living on the streets today I felt all alone. I no longer saw myself as a member of society, it was like I had become de-humanised, I had no care for the world around me and I had lost the ability to love myself. I lived hour to hour, drink to drink. The one thing I did care about was the thing which was killing me and that was the drink.
When I did sleep it was never for a long period. You become so vulnerable alone at night. Many times I would be awoken by someone trying to rip my blanket or sleeping bag from me. Sometimes members of the human race (the general public I mean) thought it would be fun to urinate over me or want to kick or punch me. 
I witnessed lots of sadness during my time on the street. I would sit and listen to other rough sleepers stories of how they had become homeless. People who became friends would talk about deceased members of their families or loved one, break ups of marriage or a loss of work and other emotional break downs in their lives. Yes of course addictions to drugs or alcohol are key factors for homelessness. But then what are the reasons for addiction? Look deep into the eyes any rough sleeper and you will see the tale of sadness they hold within.
I have come to understand that living as a rough sleeper and an addict I felt dead from within. I was what I call spiritually dead or spiritually bankrupt. My soul had become separated from God – but that did not stop me questioning and blaming him. How could a caring and understanding God let me suffer so much? I would cry out to him to let me die but he didn’t seem to hear me. After three years of living life on the street I had given up hope of ever finding myself, life or love again. I decided on some drastic action.
I walked into a petrol station and poured petrol all over myself with the intention of setting myself on fire and ending my life. I did not manage it…I was sectioned for three months and was sent to Littlebrook Mental Hospital for attempted suicide.”
In the subsequent sections, Chris talks about his recovery from this extreme situation and the role that a local church a played in helping him get clean, sober and come to faith in God. As he puts it:
“I sometimes hear ex-addicts and homeless people say how they ‘found God and it changed their life.’ I don’t think we find God at all. What I do think is that he comes and pulls people like me up from a life of loneliness and sadness and heals us from within.  I did not find God, he found me.”
If you would like to buy the booklet, it is available for £3.95 from theGrove Books website.