Tuesday, April 28, 2020

GREAT #RugbyLeague article in the Guardian today

This is going to sound like the setup to a surreal joke, but nevertheless: last week, a young man from St Helens called Harry Roberts was lying in bed when he looked up and saw the comedian Johnny Vegas standing at his bedroom window, bearing a box of face masks.

As it turned out, Roberts – a 19-year-old St Helens fan who suffers from cerebral palsy and quadriplegia – had been the unwitting beneficiary of a visit from the Steve Prescott Foundation, the charity set up by the 1990s and 2000s Saints full-back who died in 2013 of a rare form of stomach cancer. Over the last decade the foundation has become one of rugby league’s best known philanthropic enterprises. During the coronavirus crisis it has been delivering food and protective equipment to households in St Helens and, as a proud Saints fan at a temporary loose end, Vegas has been cheerfully mucking in.

Just a single snapshot of how a sport, even in the absence of sport, can still make itself useful. Leeds Rhinos have been identifying elderly and vulnerable fans via their ticketing database and getting club stalwarts such as Stevie Ward and Kevin Sinfield to ring them and check if they’re OK. Castleford and Keighley are among the clubs to have designed special charity jerseys. The former England forward Ben Westwood has been turning up at Warrington hospital with hundreds of bacon sandwiches for the staff. The Swinton prop Lewis Hatton has fast-tracked the last six months of his nursing studies in order to help out on the front line. While athletes in other sports wrangle over wages and kick their heels, rugby league mucks in first and asks questions later.

There’s nothing new or faddish about any of this, of course. The vast majority of rugby league clubs have always been deeply embedded in their communities, often some of the most deprived and forgotten in the country. But perhaps it’s only at times like this that their true value becomes apparent. When towns are relying on the powerful cohesive force of their local club more than ever. And when those very same clubs are fighting for their own lives.

Rugby league is hanging on by a thread. Never a fantastically profitable enterprise even in the good years, the onset of Covid-19 and the ensuing economic downturn have driven a sport overwhelmingly reliant on match-day revenue to the very brink. According to the Wakefield chief executive, Michael Carter, just a single postponed home fixture costs his club about £60,000 in lost income. Project that over an entire season, which now looks like the likeliest scenario, and for clubs that count their revenue in the thousands rather than the millions, the effect could be disastrous.

In a way, the sport’s smallness offers it a certain protection. Furloughing of players and staff, the vast majority of whom are on modest wages (even in Super League the average annual salary is £60,000), has helped relieve the burden. But with no broadcast revenue – Sky’s last payment was on 1 April, with another due in July – and without access to the substantial credit lines available to Premier League football clubs, the margins are small and vanishing fast.

The owner of Hull Kingston Rovers, Neil Hudgell, has warned that rugby league could cease to exist as a full-time sport by this time next year without some sort of government funding. And if you’re not a rugby league fan and that doesn’t overly bother you, then it’s worth considering that when a town loses its rugby league club, it doesn’t just lose a sliver of its local economy and some residual income for pubs and taxi drivers. It loses a part of itself.

This goes beyond tries and trophies, beyond nostalgia and tradition and pride. For example, every single school in Warrington gets six weeks of free coaching sessions from Wolves players and staff. Wath Brow, a small amateur club in Cumbria, run a community gym that is open for all to use. St Helens run a veterans’ cafe and support groups for those with autism and dementia. For so many of these places, the club is the town. The town is the club. As Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary and Wigan MP, puts it: “Few sports encapsulate a place like rugby league does. The survival and success of rugby league is a symbolic test for the government’s commitment to our towns.”

Over recent weeks, rugby league’s administrators have been in talks with the government over a potential rescue package. Political geography is a factor here, of course: for successive Conservative administrations, rugby league territory was Labour territory, industrial towns populated almost exclusively by the sort of people who would never vote for them, and who thus could be safely ignored. No longer: northern towns are the new frontier of British politics, as unthinkable as it might have seemed a generation ago, and, though few in the sport would be impolite enough to say so explicitly, the fact that rugby league’s heartlands are now electorally live may just ensure them a proper hearing.

But the fate of rugby league is a bellwether for wider concerns, too. There has been plenty of talk since the start of the crisis about the role the state can or should play in supporting small business. Rugby league clubs aren’t charities, but neither are they run entirely on profit. They’re the community cafe, the small independent bookshop up the road, the record store, the tech start-up, the neighbourhood restaurant. Perhaps their demise won’t make the evening news. But if they go, something quiet and devastating will be lost, and probably for good.

She was as vulnerable as hell......................

Lisa I love you.
It is her birthday tomorrow ::

A few years ago today Lisa dropped off my screen.
She had been ever present on Facebook.
Then silence.

She was as vulnerable as hell.
Like all of us - 
but she was so fragile 
she could not pretend - 
Like I do
Like we do ……..

She always used to carry around 
a screw top coca-cola bottle - 
she carried it everywhere. 
It didn't only have coca-cola inside.
Vodka was always present.

I led regular group work sessions 
in a London hostel where she lived.
Lunch time
with free tea and sandwiches.
Also late night ones starting 10pm.

We used to sit around.
Starting with donuts
dipped in a chocolate fondu.

Individuals all with untold stories
untold feelings.
Some regulars
Some nervous new residents.

I facilitated participation
using Blob Tree tools & more.

All aimed at affirmation
triggering a climate of trust
and humans opening up
like flowers to the sun.

Lisa came to every one.
Unless she was on a bender.

She supported me in lots of ways.
She knew that I hoped someone would 'open up' first.
Someone to 'kick off' sharing honestly = L5.
The kind of vulnerability that gives others permission 
to take that road of vulnerability for themselves.

This sharing of vulnerability
and says 'I am not alone - there are others like me'

She helped me
She helped others
by sharing, often slurring, herself in the group.

She was truly a beautiful human.
I could tell you many stories
which would trigger my weeping.
I am emotional now as I click keys.

I have many Lisa photographs. 
I would love to share a few
but I won't - with deep respect for her.

It wasn't just alcohol - as normal
there was other addictions 
other damage.

Her birthday - I will always remember
some years ago -  but never forgotten 
She left the world of pain.

I only discovered some weeks later 
that she had died
from a heroin overdose.

A few years ago on her birthday - 29th April.
I clicked into her Facebook page.
I posted a birthday message & love.
I then scrolled down her page to view previous messages.
The last birthday greeting was from myself a year before.
I sobbed my heart out.
Still do - in remembering now……………….
Tears now flow mingled down .......

I remember your beauty.
Your journey of pain
which you shared with me.

You are beautiful
Not a bad bone in your body - 
but many fragile ones.

you live on in my memory.
You live on with eternal videos in my head.
Precious one.
Beautiful Human.

May the Divine Taxi driver give you a good ride ……

L⃣o⃣v⃣i⃣n⃣g⃣y⃣o⃣u⃣ ………….

Monday, April 27, 2020

I was 15 when it all started.

I have worked with young beautiful humans 
since I was one - a teenager that is!
I was 15 when it all started.
I didn't know I was a beautiful human then !
It was later when I discovered -  until I was 40 before I discovered I was a BHP.
Thats when I started to say 'you are beautiful' - 
to you ..........

From factory industrial work and voluntary work in the evening and week-ends 
I went to work residentially FULL TIME 
with young offenders BHP's.
It was a 'we' decision.
MrsBeautiful & me.
WE had only been married for one year and 
we sold up and took a big step of faith
burning bridges (only non-people bridges)

And then we lived worked loved tried failed along the way as we moved to different mission callings by the wag of a little finger and ............
.......... and inner stirrings of he soul.

I could write a book about these things ...........



Sunday, April 26, 2020

This is about the best description of THE ROLLING MAGAZINE ever - by a Norwegian journalist.

Mr. Beautiful 
and the teenagers

Saturday night had something special to offer for the teenagers at the «vintertreff» at Hareid, Norway.
British Pip Wilson got the youth to participate in all kinds of activities, dances and conversations, and gave them a show filled with warmth and love.
In the hall just outside the «stage room» at Hareidhallen, members of TenSing Norway were lined up behind a table, getting the kids to stamp their fingerprint onto a sheet of paper on their way in. 
Inside, the room was starting to fill up. 
The title «Rolling Magazine» lit the large canvas at the stage.

- Hellicopter!
As Pip himself entered the stage, and the music started, a loud roar was heard amongst the audience. 
He opened the night with a heartfelt 
«You are beautiful!», 
and explained that during the night, 
he would shout «Hellicopter!» several times. 
The kids in the audience were then to stretch their arms out to the sides, and spin around, just like a hellicopter. After this, he gave a demonstration along with TenSing Norway. 
TenSing Norway functioned as examples for the audience during the entire rolling magazine – 
instructed by Pip Wilson. DJ Torgrim Grimstad complemented the activity - in the audience and on stage - with catchy pop music.

- Hello beautiful person!
After getting warmed up by TenSing Norway and their wild rhythms  audience members were selected by them to come up on stage. 
It was «game nr. 1-time».
Having gotten the first little group of nervous audience members up on stage, Pip got each and everyone of them by turn, to come up to the microphone with him. 
He then asked them their name, and where they were from.
- Hello beautiful Ulrik! 
Roared the audience as one of them said his name. 
He was applauded by screaming kids from his own TenSing choir, as he told the audience where he came from. 
This went on until all the audience members on stage were well introduced, and TenSing Norway helped them back into the sea of kids on the floor. 
They then went back stage, to fetch the game 1- equipment. - Water balloons.
- Watch out, so that you don't get eggs all over you or something, one of the TenSing-members warned the journalist. 
This somehow told us that perhaps some might not be leaving in the exact same state of which they arrived.
Water balloons, custard and blue oatmeal
During one of the games, the audience members on stage, had to put on very big knickers from London. 
These were to be stuffed full of balloons, until the knickers were completely bloated and ready to burst. 
Pip would then casually stroll around, needle in hand, and pop the balloons as the audience counted. 
The one with the most balloons in their undergarments, were declared winners of game nr. 1. 
A bittersweet victory perhaps, as some of the balloons turned out to be filled with water.
Most of the games included equipment like vanilla custard, water, balloons, chairs and unknown amounts of liquid goo, all in strong colours. 
A lot of the kids showed certain signs of this by the time the rolling magazine was over.
Rolling magazine
The rolling magazine can be explained as a «rolling» show, filled with games, dancing, and conversation, all to help the kids get closer to one another and to their feelings. 
It sends a message that it is OK to be vulnerable. 
And this is exactly what Pip showed us. 
He communicated enormous amounts of warmth onto the audience, and allowed them to get in touch with both each other and themselves. 
He managed to make this incredibly fun for everyone. For example, he asked them what type of colour each and everyone of them thought they were.
- I am a bright, fluorescent red, he explained, - 
With cracks of yellow where all the vulnerable bits are.

Pip Wilson – humanitarian.
Mid show, Pip sat down on stage, asking the entire audience do exactly the same, spread out on the floor. He then told us about his work, what he does and loves to do.

I meet with young offenders with a challenging lives and we have a chat about them and what they do. 
Others will tell me that they've stolen something. 
I ask them heaps of questions, 
but I never point my finger at them. 
I always speak with open palms, Pip told us.
- I love you. 
Even if you stab me, 
I love you! 
He insisted. 
He believes that one should look past bad behaviour and see people for who they really are. 
Respect them for who they are, 
not what they do, 
and understand that «their behaviour» and «them» are two different things..

Hugs and kisses, bumps and bruises
Many of the games and dances promoted closer contact amongst the kids in the audience. Hugs and hand-shakes were shared enthusiastically, but also miniature bumps and bruises, as some of the kids fell or tumbled over on each other.
- Form circles, sit down on the lap belonging to the person behind you, and dance! Pip announced, and about a third of the entire audience tumbled over on the floor. Then the night continued, with games dancing and talking, as the energy amongst the audience grew larger and larger.

Colorful showers, and an incredibly loud ending
The Rolling magazine ”rolled” towards the ending, and the last game was announced. Something that looked like a giant shower was hauled up on stage. The last group of volunteers from the audience were given balloons, and an order to blow until it burst. The volunteer that burst his or her balloon last, had to step into the ”shower”. 
The first ”loser” was a girl, and she got a bucket of water poured over her. 
The next one – a boy this time - had a seemingly refreshing custard - shower, whereas the third and last volunteer to lose, was honoured by a bucket of red paint, followed by a big bag of feathers.
The audience both laughed and empathized with the losers all at the same time. 
Pip himself bounced around the stage, 
full of energy. 
He never seemed to run out.
As the Rolling Magazine finally came to an end, 
Pip was given a pair of knit mittens. Red, white and blue - the colours of the Norwegian flag. 
The mittens were enthusiastically appreciated, followed by an applause that made people have to cover their ears.

This article in the local press Beautifully composed by a then trainee journalist who is now a great friend 

Thank you Mone
A GREAT great friend.

¥☯☋ @☈☰ @ ♭☰@☋☨ί∱☋ᒪ  


Saturday, April 25, 2020

I write to tell me where I am. ........ this is about AWARENESS & SKILLS.

We all live in a Bubble.

I do
You do

It's not possible for me to burst your Bubble
I have spent  a life time trying to burst my Bubble

But now I have stopped trying burst your
I have a different strategy = it is
Helping others to 
* see * feel * know * 
their own Bubble
Helping humans to burst their own

I need to be in a 'helping relationship' to do that.
I need to first, and continuously, to accept the BHP's with whatever Bubble they are in.

"Everyone we meet is fighting a battle ('bubble') 
we know nothing about"

Otherwise I am no use to anyone.

I never give advice.
I do tell stories about my own 
Bubble bursting journey.
My Failures........ my awareness of some of my weaknesses.
The attempted ones and ones I have managed.

Stories include the journey into awareness
which can lead me to the place where I am.

Awareness always has to precede SKILL. 
Life Skills. 
Emotional awareness, 
spiritual awareness 
ALL helping in signposting life-skills.

I write to tell me where I am.
My 'Pip incomplete' list.
From that 'position statement', 
so to speak, 
I can decide where to make adjustments.

Very soon I will be one year old.
(I have decided to cancel 
the other 8 0 years) - so I will start again
Becoming ................
Refreshing my irritation at who I am
to step forward
BECOMING all I can become .....

To be in a helping relationship
with myself
others !



YES YOU ARE ..................

Friday, April 24, 2020

TRY - keep on trying ............... a list for consideration.

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.
Exercise by a different route.
Say yes when you mean no.
Wear your watch on the other hand.

Leave the comfort zone.


Are you a Palm Person?

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Become a WINNER.

Don't know about you but .. My feelings are changing during the lockdown days/weeks.

Don't know about you but ..
My feelings are changing during the lockdown days/weeks.

It's important to share them with your nearest.
MrsBeautiful and me do that.
Not only in lockdown but in all-time 

NOT suggesting an outburst
Not suggesting to letting them build up - 
until there is a regrettable outburst.
Feelings need to be shared not exploded.
We need to feel them
Dig it to them
strive to understand them
and especially to share them
ideally with some dialogue exchange which helps
in these acts of self disclosure.

"We become fully conscious only of what 
we 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’

That is my favourite Group-work quote
which also applies to relationships
and our own emotional well-being
If we don't have a human close,
Emotionally / relationally close,
we need to set up a little 'Level Five' gathering.
A 121 will be good - maybe the easiest for some people.
But it is vital we have a least on person who we can L5 with.
(Level Five = L5 is often explained in my website
www.pipwilson.com - just do a search there)

It maybe that you are feeling a bit 'off'!
Different than the normal you.
We need to dig into these feelings
the best way is to 'word' them = talk about them.
Usually we don't know what to say
but the act of sharing helps the articulating.

You will have examples of your inner churning within you.
Usually not clear.
Just a jumble of mixed thoughts and emotions!

SPILL my friend - put the effort in - it will be 
special in the long run - not just a 'today'  issue!!

The next best thing to talking stuff out is::
To write it out.
Even if no-one ever reads it
Even if you don't read it
It is a great method of BECOMING 
all that you want to become.