Friday, August 31, 2018

POSTER - 'Which Blob do you feel like today?'



One stop shop for the complete range of Blob Tree products

Pussy Riot takes up residence at the Greenbelt Festival 2018

Pussy Riot takes up residence at Greenbelt 2018


Pussy Riot perform at Greenbelt
THIS was the Pussy Riot Greenbelt. Despite the presence of hundreds of other speakers, artists, and performers, the Pussy Riot stamp was firmly on the festival, thanks especially to the presence of one of the key members of the Russian protest collective, Maria Alyokhina.
Alyokhina was one of the two women sent to a labour camp for 21 months after five members of the collective spent 40 seconds protesting in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, in Moscow, in 2012 (News, 10 August 2012).
Her presence helped to mesh together the three strands of the festival: art, faith, and justice. The group acted as artists-in-residence at Greenbelt, now in its 45th year, and its fifth at Boughton House, Northamptonshire. There were interviews, debates, readings, and signings.
The key event was a production of Riot Days, a screen presentation of the cathedral protest and the ensuing trial and sentencing. It could have been an illustrated church talk — were it not for the driving cacophonous punk music, the shouted slogans, the knitted masks, the aggressive dancing, the water-throwing, and the simulated masturbation (only to make a political point).
Church TimesRiot Days by Pussy Riot
A calmer version was given by Alexander Cheparukin, interviewed on Monday. He is one of the top Russian festival directors, whose offers of work have begun to dry up since he co-ordinated international efforts to secure the release of Alyokhina and her fellow cathedral protester Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. (A third member of the collective was released on probation after a few weeks.)
He spoke of the part that Paul McCartney had played in securing the women’s release. An hour after Cheparukin wrote to McCartney’s press secretary, a letter from the musician arrived. Later, he hand-wrote a letter to the judges at Alyokhina’s appeal. “McCartney was bigger than all the presidents . . . loved by Putin.”
Cheparukin described a Russia that was becoming more autocratic under President Putin, but which was “right now not a totalitarian state”. Alyokhina is subject to a travel ban, but has still managed to leave Russia five times. He did not know what the authorities thought of Riot Days — “probably nothing. They only notice people who anger them.”
As a sign of the state’s wariness, or wisdom, the Pussy Riot pitch invasion during the World Cup Final in July, involving the husband of Tolokonnikova, brought sentences of only 15 days’ imprisonment.
At an outdoor festival, the weather is the most important aspect for participants, and probably the least interesting to those reading about it afterwards — unless it is particularly dramatic, like the tempest that closed down Bestival earlier in the summer.
Without dwelling on it, then, Greenbelt was mainly dry on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, bar a few short showers, and the sun shone a fair bit. It rained on Sunday. This meant that the Sunday-morning communion service, designed to address the us-and-them response to black people in the UK and globally, mirrored this division: half the congregation were in the tent, and the other half were out in the rain, worshipping under umbrellas.
jonathon watkinsjonathon watkins
For those camping, the most notable thing was the cold. Performing on the Friday evening, the country trio from the United States, I’m With Her, said that they welcomed the first sensations of autumn. Their instruments not so much. The campers sided with the instruments.
On the occasions when the sun was not obliging, there was plenty to warm Greenbelters, however. The main communion took as its theme the arrival of the Windrush immigrants, and people wondered beforehand whether this could be carried off with a congregation that was almost exclusively white.
It could — thanks largely to the energy of a mixed-race choir, the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, led by Clarence Hunte. After a Pathé newsreel of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, actors playing a 1948 immigrant, Averill Wauchope, and the former 18th-century slave captain John Newton, discussed the life of black people in the UK, who “still encounter a mountain of unconscious prejudice”. This led into the singing of the confession, “Fix me, Jesus”, a spiritual.
The prayers were led by refugees in a camp in Borno State, Nigeria, filmed the week before. The homily came from the Revd Winnie Varghese, an Episcopalian priest from Trinity, Wall Street, New York. How was it, she asked, that people missed a chief characteristic of the Early Church: its diversity?
As for the Empire Windrush, it was as if the Holy Spirit had become the name of a ship: “Like a rush of wind they came.”
She spoke gently to the congregation as beneficiaries of an empire in which her parents and grandparents in Kerala had been subjects. “When we inherit power, people might not want to stand next to us: we might not be safe.”
The mood, none the less, was carnivalesque; there was plenty of singing and dancing (or bobbing of umbrellas for the less fortunate).

AMONG the many other highlights: Michael Eavis, on lessons learnt running the Glastonbury Festival (his Methodist minister had persuaded him to accept Greenbelt’s invitation); the Revd Kate Bottley, on a large-scale kitchen set, demonstrating how to make “Salad drawer soup” while running through a stream of anecdotes about appearing on Celebrity Masterchef and sleeping with Debbie McGee; John Bell, on the entrenched racism of British immigration policies; Lynne Segal, on the possibility of joyful radicalism in a dark time in politics; a two-and-a-half-hour book-signing queue for Vicky Beeching; Anthony Reddie, on the view that God has set the British (and particularly the English) apart; and Florence Schechter, on why the world needs a vagina museum.
philip kingProfessor Anthony Reddie
Also, Lynne Segal, on how activism still ha the capacity to generate joy in a bleak political landscape; Jonathan Bartley, of the Green Party, on the evils, and futility, of tactical voting; Eve Poole, on combating insidious consumerism (Comment, 17 August); Jennie Hogan, on illness and coming out on the other side; David Carter, on all the changes needed in the education system — including the need to stop making all these changes; Anna Kessel, on the slow progress that women are making towards equality in the sporting world; John Richards, on the key component in most predatory males; and Dawn Foster, on the broken housing system — not that it could be called a system.

THE programme for children and young people gets ever more varied. Over the weekend, they could zip in and out of venues such as Make and Create and Learn and Do, next to the lawn in front of Boughton House (which hosted a programme of sports for kids, as well as circus-skills workshops).
Little ones played under the trees on sit-on cars and in Wendy houses; and the picket-fenced play-tent area had toys galore and comfy sofas for tired parents.
On Sunday, when the heavens opened, the tented venues proved a refuge for soggy families. Make and Create’s all-day crafts included art collectives Tiny Wild Fox, who invited children to create adventure-related crafts, such as telescopes; and Sew Far Sew Good, whose box of recycled haberdashery proved a trove of creative inspiration. Popular, too, was the chance to make paper from a boggy mix of grass and leaves from Boughton’s lawns.
Learn and Do hosted everything from world music workshops and beatboxing to Bollywood dancing. The ever-popular talent show for children, Family Twist (the host, Paul Cookson, gave a big thumbs up to the Church Times), as ever, saw notable young performers emerge — particularly in the shape of budding poets and a musician. . . Were they future Greenbelt stars?
The young people were also treated to a secret gig with Masha (Maria), of Pussy Riot, along with Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires. This was real punk rock. Masha, displaying a prominent crucifix, gave out stage moves like Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. It was moving when they covered two Aretha Franklin songs.

OTHER musical highlights included Ozomatli, I’m With Her, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and Grace Petrie; the deserved elevation to the main stage for Harry Baker and Chris Read; We Are Scientists; and, after the eucharist, the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. The Canopy stage hosted a collection of old Greenbelters proving that they could still make music, besides promising new talent such as Matthew David Morris. Other star performances came from Dream Nails, Zach Said, Xylaroo, Polly Gibbons, and Jake Morley.
Church TimesChalkboard dreams
There were moving readings by Carol Ann Duffy, Tyrone Lewis, Zena Kazeme, Erin Bolens, and Toby Campion; Malcolm Doney and Martin Wroe; acrobatic displays by Nikki and JD, Alula Cyr; funny and touching performances by Lucy Jane Parkinson, Yomi Sode, and Bryony Kimmings; comedy from Flo and Joan, Mae Martin, Tony Law, and Bourgeois and Maurice.

IN THE interstices of the programme, Greenbelters (not all of them, but a surprising number) found the time to take part in a 5k run; tour the park slowly being restored under the Boughton park and garden manager, David Callum (just 68 miles of avenues left to revive); attempt various handicrafts; take part in worship that ranged from an Igorot prayer vigil to the now familiar Goth eucharist; eat Goan fish curry; try acting, stand-up, circus skills, and beatboxing; pick up cooking tips from a radical lesbian, a vegan blogger, and a Suffolk cleric and his wife; stand under an interactive sound-and-light display hung between two trees; fling a partner around at a ceilidh; and, for the thousand or so people who just happened to be in the vicinity of the Jesus Arms beer tent at the right time on Monday, sing hymns while raising a pint.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Blob Tree Communication Tools via - posters cards - great resources.

Reading the Room

Most of my life working as a
Youth Worker
Team Leader
Group Worker
Mentor ...............

I believed the number one skill was
making contact::
In the street
in a cafe
in the Youth Club
in the pub

Now I believe - years later
that the most essential skill is::
Reading the room.
Reading facial expression
Reading body language ........
ALL which is the starting place
to building a helping relationship.

That is what I aim to do
to be
to become ..........


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

You choose ....

You did not choose your:
1 birthplace
2 skin colour
3 parents/family
4 birth gender
5 birth language
6 birth name
7 birth country
8 ethnicity

You can choose to be: 
1 honest 
2 generous 
3 happy 
4 thankful 
5 respectful 
6 optimistic 
7 humble 
8 helpful
9 loyal
10 determined


Monday, August 27, 2018

My life in two photos - L5 and Greenbelt

A SCAR so deep - a POEM.

Thank you Greenbelt for such a powerful life-changing - inspiring Festival.

Me at Greenbelt

Big John my friend from the 
North East of England = 'Geordie Land'
drove down to Wilson Mansions on Friday.

His mission was to offer me a lift to Greenbelt.
This is the Festival I have belonged to for 48 years .........
about 38 of the years on the Festival Board &
involved in presenting various shows throughout the years - including the 
Rolling Magazine & The Very Stinking Late Show.

I had been generously offered a VIP ticket for a day by the organisers.
I have missed the festival for the last two years & I had to turn down the offer this year too.
I don't have the energy, resilience & motivation to spend on a Festival site now-a-days-years!
I miss it so much.
Catching up on social media - I have missed some great experiences.
Art, music, speakers, challenges - powerful life changing stuff.

Big John even offered to drive me there, 3 hours drive, and back in the same day.
How about that for a generous offer!

Thank you BJ - it was great to have you visiting for a few hours
Thank you Greenbelt for such a powerful life-changing - inspiring Festival.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pussy Riot making an impact at the Greenbelt Festival "feel humbled at the cost these women have paid to stand up against Putin’s dictatorship".

Concetta Perot

Listening to Pussy Riot and feel humbled at the cost these women have paid to stand up against Putin’s dictatorship. 
Hearing them describe the situation of women’s rights in Russia is scandalous. 
Grateful for freedom we have to speak and protest in UK. 
And committed to continue standing up for people whose power has been taken from them and voices silenced - which is an everyday experience for so many affected by domestic and child abuse. 

We are free! 

Let’s use our freedom well.


WELCOME to ............................

We can SEE a persons behaviour but - we can't see their UPSTREAM .........

I just love moving images .........

Blob-Tree Boxes of Developmental CARDS

BLOB-TREE TOOLS BOOKS + Magnetic Board - move the Blobs activity

Friday, August 24, 2018

JOBS - Vacancies Nation-Wide

Educational Psychology Service re The Blob Tree Tools

"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.”

Sarah Davidson
Slough Educational Psychology Service


‘A Psalm of Lament’

Below is one titled ‘A Psalm of Lament’.  This and one other can be found on the WLM website:
A Psalm of Lament
God who seems to have two faces:
Blind and wicked spirit of heaven;
Blessing and wondrous spirit above;
Why is life a lottery?
Why is it that some have more
and others have less?
Some people have no one to love them.
How can life be balanced?
Should you reap what you sow?
What does equality mean?
We are not all the same.
People who have wealth
should share and use it.
Everyone should be able to have treats.
The poles are melting,
Greed is destroying things.
We need to live in harmony.
Does anyone care?
Send us angels of mercy.
Enable people to build themselves up.
Let us not give up
but look to the future.
May we begin where we are
in small ways,
Persevere through the new challenges,
Keep hope alive.


Bono on Trump

But if I tell you who I am and you don't like who I am ...........

Sometimes ........

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Kiss - just a kiss ...............

Youth Work in the Inner City - a story.



Youth Work 

in the Inner City - a story. 

Allow your imagination to create a picture as I paint it ......

London's East End - inner city community.
Housing = solid tower blocks and maisonettes around a 
Youth Project I am leading.
A real belonging community.
Poor community but rich in closeness in family life with 
Grandparents very much included.
Few trees, poor street lighting, lots of petty crime.
A breeding ground for more serious crime.
1980 Thatcher years.
Youth unemployment at 80%.
An almost new youth club attracting a 100 or so teenagers between 14 - 20's.
Loud music emanating the latest most popular tunes.
About 20 volunteer and professional male and female dedicated staff.

I am standing in front of the now silent Juke Box - 
turned off for this occasion,
facing a social, two level, area
packed with noise and feeling.
I say .................

Lenny writes from prison - 
"I'll definitely be staying here behind closed doors, 
no association etc etc. 
It's nothing new, I was in the same situation last Christmas in Oxford, 
it does get depressing. 
The governor at Wormwood Scrubs said it all.
'Penal Dustbin", 
that man definitely put his job on the line" 

I am reading that quote out in Senior Club to the kids
during our 'Ten O'clock News' spot.
Once a week, yes at 10pm, we shut down the pinball machine
and the Juke Box and
everyone was encouraged to listen to some news and good news too.
Many know Lennie and it stilled the usual noise and heckling
as I continued - to say 
"I have received "two letters today and I - wanted to read another to you. "

I read  
"We're glad you like our show. 
One day we would like to see you here to the TV studio . . . 
Happy custard pies to you from all of us - The TIZWAZ Team" 
It even had a little note on the bottom from the 'Phantom Flan Flinger' 
Yes: a letter from the most famous and 
very current TIZWAZ TV programme back in the day!!
(Do you remember that? - that's when TV Saturday mornings were FUN
For the people who don't know such historic academic information - 
TIZWAZ was the BIG Saturday morning children's live slapstick programme 
that was really madly outlandish and unpredictable fun - I loved it! )
The kids listened intently 
'A letter from TIZWAZ  popular TV programmeI and one from prison!
They loved it ............
Why communicate the two? 
i)   About being banged up in cell for 23 hours on Christmas Day
ii)   AND total fun TV. 
It was all about::
creating feeling with these beautiful teens.
Taking them away from their current activity
and mind-set.
Getting them to think a little about one taken from their midst - to prison!
AND that we, as a Club, were connected to the TV world.
The challenge was - 'where would they rather be?'