Family Tree

Recent events have rekindled interest in the family tree my mother and paternal grandfather started and pretty much completed, the hard way, by visiting libraries and record offices and searching graveyards and parish records. Now there are online websites, which take you down rabbit holes, but can also take you further. My aim is to log what we have and create a map of significant places.

Dark Angels Tuesdays

Dark Angels is a wonderful organisation, They run courses and help people find their writting voice and develop a writing habit.  There's an unformal gatherig on Tuesday evenings.  "Join us for a lovely hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us,  click here on the night.  There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on." Old friends - from a prompt 'Old Friends' by Freya Manfred Aftertaste - from a prompt 'Everybody made soups' by Lisa Coffman Old Friends I have never disappointed a dog,  perhaps it's that they can't speak, and spoil it all When I try to think of those who I could call old friends  it's more better than sweet  Those I've let go or withdrawn from  an intensity gone in a flash of neglect Much easier to recall the dogs I loved as a child who loved

In praise of parents in response to Philip Larkin, "This Be the Verse" - (they fuck you up your mum and dad )

in response to Philip Larkin, "This Be the Verse" - (they fuck you up your mum and dad) If we choose not to heed the words of wiser folks than us and knowing of the bees and birds had children without fuss  have we doomed them in their turn to be fucked up for life? or as they grow, will they too learn of give and take through strife? Get out, detach, leave home one day judgemental thoughts may go or live alone to keep at bay the blame the pains you so we fuck them up and cause them grief or piss them off for sure our mums and dads had no advice from those who came before and so the circle carries on but one thing comes to mind as now we know of therapy which makes us wise and kind so if you find your mum and dad drive you almost insane know this, that in their turn to come your kids will feel the same

Dark angels tuesday

Two pieces about memory, prompted by  Notes From A Non-Existent Himalayan Expedition by Wislawa Szymborska  and Dark Pines under water by Gwendolyn McEwan … My memories are subtly different each time I recall The trick, if you want to forget, is to rewrite history  can you imagine the ending you want or even better a new beginning Can you invite hope in?  Can you dare to tell a different tale and not get stuck in the rut of the past? ... Dipping into the water that is so clear  yet distorts when touched Delving with a stick that bends  and never quite reaches the bright stone  There's something down there  if only you could grasp it in your hand  and either toss it back  or hold it deep in your pocket at last


Spring How can we fight when Winter turns to Spring? The Sun like a searchlight should stop War in its tracks Shaming us to drop our weapons. How, when the snow thaws and the birdsong fills the trees can we strike and shoot  and blow up the land and its people? Hate and Fear should melt away and Love for everything should poke up its head in the secret belief that it will grow true and strong once more.

Lviv National Academy of Arts

I gave a brief address in an event on Campus last week as part of a solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues - here's what I said: We’ve been working with LNAA, the Lviv National Academy of Arts and PPV Networks (also in Lviv) for 4 years on a British Council Creative Spark project. The project has been about embedding entrepreneurial skills in the curriculum and latterly about developing their strategic plan. The Ukrainian people are naturally entrepreneurial and we are seeing the strength of their innovation and resilience right now.  The project has included their staff visiting Cardiff Met on two or three occasions, and their new Rector, Vasyl Kosiv attending the Enterprise Educators UK conference in Oxford with us, and staff and student trips from CSAD to Lviv. Our staff tell of the welcome they got in Ukraine – we are treated like family. They have been in continuous contact with us on what’s app and email keeping us informed of how they’re doing and reassuring us that they’re al

celebrating a life

It was quite a task organising and orchestrating a celebration of a challenging and interesting life journey. I knew that I'd need help and had been to a couple of Humanist led celebrations, which felt right.  Lynn was a Quaker, and the Friends wanted to have a memorial meeting at another time as she held office at UK and nationally in Wales. I searched the Humanist UK website for a celebrant and found Tim timothyleyshon/   Here's the review I wrote about him. I knew when I first contacted Tim that I wanted a very specific, unconventional memorial for my parent. He/she had had a remarkable unconventional life and I wanted to tell the story in a sensitive but honest way. It was a bonus that he spoke welsh, although the event was mostly in english. I'm not sure that a celebrant would usually expect so particular and ask and so controlling a client! It could all have gone horribly wrong. From the beginning, Tim was a joy to work with, he was a rock, pr