Go forwards

I will be taking a break from blogging. Although I may only do one a week I need to recharge my batteries. I will be back in September when unlike the country I will be going IN to Europe.

It’s been an interesting 10 months since I visited Scotland and returned to blogging. The election of Trump is a low point and that fool is making a joke of his country. The high point is the bringing down a peg or two of Teresa May and her awful government. They now fear us because without power they have no reason to exist. They will cling on to power as long as possible. And the longer they cling on the greater will be their defeat when they eventually reckon with the British public.

I would like to thank all of you for your comments, both private and public. You encourage me and in turn I hope I can encourage you.

Instead of blogging I will be sharing the blogs of others on social media. Everyone has their own style and reason for writing. My own purpose is to just pull together events occurring both in my personal life and in the wider world and hopefully make a connection between the personal and the political. In doing so I hope to demonstrate that nothing happens without their being a cause. And for every problem there is a solution. I don’t pretend progress is easy. Those in power are determined to preserve their privileges and hold on to the wealth we’ve all helped to create but which we’re denied a share of. We’re not greedy. We want a decent education. An opportunity to use our talents. To be rewarded fairly for them. And when we’re old we need dignity in retirement. And a health service that treats us regardless of our bank balance or where we were born. And I don’t just want this for me and my family. I want and demand it for everyone. I recognise no borders. Which are artificial creations which will in themselves change in the future. I describe myself as an INTERnationalist and reject all who seek to divide us into groups. These are my beliefs based upon my life experience. I reject the descent into apathy, cynicism and indifference to the suffering of others.

I will express myself and not depress myself.

I will leave you with a quote from Tony Benn

”If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.”


Getting old has it’s advantages

Good Saturday morning.  And another early one as it’s my turn to make breakfast for the four silent ones from Europe that we are hosting until Tuesday.  They say they are enjoying their stay, the weather could be better but otherwise they have no complaints.  And Yazeed our long term student has been spotted next to a local nightspot called the Brass Monkey.  He denies entering this den of iniquity where drinking and dancing goes on into the early hours but the doorman has advised us ‘he’s always here’.  I hope he’s enjoying himself whilst he’s absorbing not just English language but English culture. Continue reading “Getting old has it’s advantages”

Burning Spear – Tradition

Hello to all.  I’m very tired today after what’s been a busy week with two trips to London in the past 7 days and another to come.  On Tuesday I attended the funeral of my eniste.  There isn’t an English equivalent to this word; the closest you’d get to it is uncle.  But an eniste (pronounced e-nish-te) is the husband of your aunt, in this case my father’s sister.  I was awake at 6 that morning due to an early departure for one of our Italian girls, Marta but after dropping off the other three , I set off for south London.  I arrived at the New Peckham Mosque, opposite where I lived till 1976,


with 40 minutes to spare and there appeared to be an older man there who’d been even more punctual than I.  It was my father, who I hadn’t seen for a while and looking quite smart in his blue jacket.



Continue reading “Burning Spear – Tradition”

Finsbury Park to Highgate, Corbyn to Marx.

Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn came to Hastings & St. Leonard’s.  Our plans were uncoordinated because I went to north London where I met up with John and we took a route I often used to do when younger with my mates, from Hornsey Road to Waterlow Park.  Traffic delays meant I was half hour late and John had trouble locating the Rainbow Theatre.  Trouble is it’s been a Brazilian evangelical church since 1995.  We quickly walked passed the dead end where an idiot drove a hired van into 11 people in the early hours as they came out of a mosque.  This was round the corner from where I rented a room above a Greek restaurant in the mid 80s for a year.  A little walk down we passed Jeremy Corbyn’s house.


As I said, he was elsewhere.


Continue reading “Finsbury Park to Highgate, Corbyn to Marx.”

14 years, and still not ‘Man down’ – how to stay on your feet in public service.

Today was my last day of work at Ridgeway.


That’s my office on the middle floor to the right.  Ridgeway was once a care home for adults with learning disabilities and then changing standards of care made it unsuitable in the early 1990s.  Different children’s and adult social care teams have made it their home for the past 20 years.  It is entered through this back door;


Nothing but the best for us in public services, as you can see.

Up a flight of stairs, sign in and into our wonderful office space.


Filled with boxes full of stuff, ready for our move.  I used to sit at the desk at the back you can see on the side of the room with the window.  But then I progressed


to a shared office.

We like to meet targets in public services.


I said before that our building used to be a care home.  Well one advantage of working in such a location is that it has multiple small bedroom sized offices.


This is where I wield power, take telephone calls, reply to emails, and drink 6-7 cups of tea a day.   And mostly whilst listening to some quality material on my IPod.  Sometimes I am so enchanted by a track that I freeze and look out the window and allow a bit of audio pleasure to sink into my day.

My colleagues like to know where I am, so here is the whiteboard opposite Sam’s office where I have to write where I am if I’m out of office.


Nowadays we’re all modern and have an electronic calendar too, so even our colleagues in Eastbourne know our whereabouts.

And if I fall down or am assaulted in the line of caring for the community I have one of these bloody lovely things;


Complete with instructions on how to use, so technically adept am I.

This will alert a call centre in Yorkshire that I am horizontal.  And they will call me.  And then my manager.

I don’t know how I’d stay safe without it….

As today was our last day I nipped round to Domino’s Pizza and enjoyed a shared lunch.


And a slice of Ridgeway cake lovingly cooked by a member of the team downstairs.

I’m going to miss the building.  But mostly I’m going to miss this litle bit of Cyprus in Hastings.


Which provides me with a nice supply of fresh figs at the end of August and early September.  They are an acquired taste.  And just so I have them all to myself I have done nothing to share my love of this wonderful fruit with my colleagues.

A special guest to our last day at Ridgeway was Olivia.


And she brought her mum along too, that’s Michelle who’s currently on maternity leave.  You’re never short of female company working in social services.  And that suits me fine.  But they could improve their knowledge of the offside rule a little.

14 years is a long time.

Just ask any 13 year old.

Over a quarter of my lifetime.

As the child of an immigrant and a disrupted childhood I find moving quite a difficult process.

Monday is the start of a new adventure.



















Locked out Boogie

Good morning and on a personal level it’s been an eventful few weeks.  Kenan got a first in his degree and yesterday learnt that he’d been awarded a prize for best final year project in the Electronics and Computer Engineering field.  In a couple of weeks we’ll be heading up to London for his graduation ceremony.  Jafer, like most people in the education sector, is counting down to end of term and a nice few weeks break from 5-11 year olds in August. He’s down in Hastings for the weekend. Continue reading “Locked out Boogie”

Go, now!

For many people Kensington conjures up images of wealth.  It is paired with Chelsea in the pretentiously named ‘Royal’ Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.  Last week Kensington was the last constituency to announce its result in the General Election.  On the third count the Labour candidate was declared the winning candidate by 20 votes over the sitting Tory candidate, who lost her seat, and her job.  During the week the Conservative Party declared that all former MPs who’d lost their jobs would be looked after by their party, having lost their jobs 2 years into a possible 5 year term.

But during the week North Kensington was in the news for different reasons as the fire in a tower block devoured the lives of at least 30 people and we won’t know the full number until the emergency services have made the building safe enough to properly check all the flats.  There are 120 flats and there could have been as many as 500 people in Grenfell Tower when the fire started. Continue reading “Go, now!”

In office but not in power.

A late start and a lazy Sunday morning.  Thursday night is still having an effect on my body clock.  I’ve been taking medication to help me sleep for years but I don’t think I need them.  I just need to stay awake for 36 hours and then I have a perfect nights sleep. On Thursday night I got a call from Jafer who was watching the election in a south London pub.  It was nice that he wanted some information on what happens in the event of a hung Parliament although at the time I was cautious about whether the exit polls were accurate.  And in the morning as I was getting ready to have a bath I managed to accidentally call my cousin Ayse and have a pleasant, but short chat.  Be good to get together soon. Continue reading “In office but not in power.”

Don’t waste time and opportunity for success.

Good morning all.  I failed in my meagre efforts to sleep yesterday morning following my all nighter on election night.  I slept like a baby last night but woke at 9 am as I had to drop Penny off at the station, think I might have slept a few more hours otherwise.

The success of sleeping through the night wasn’t matched by the success of the Labour Party in becoming the government.  Close.  But second is still second even if the vote did go up by 10% (to 40%) from 2015.  But the Tories at least lost their majority and are reliant on others to get their progeramme through Parliament.  My prediction that Teresa May will be gone by 1 pm yesterday didn’t occur.  I think I got the facts correct but not the timing.  Although not defeated she was wounded by the result.  How long it is till she exits out of Downing Street will depend on what happens in the next few months.  There are Conservative MP’s who are out of work due to her.  And there are plenty of others who hung on to theirs by a small margin and will now be worried about what might happen next time.  And next time may not be so far away. Continue reading “Don’t waste time and opportunity for success.”

Fear versus hope

Yesterday Penny and I travelled to Eastbourne to meet Chris, a former colleague from a day centre in north London.  Chris lives in York but was spending the weekend down south.  It’s thanks to social media that Chris is in touch with us and yesterday morning I got a lovely message from a fellow Tolly Park student about my blogs.  A fellow called Joe who I didn’t know but who I hope to get to know a little better, and this on top of a message from Claire last week.  So I was having a good week until last night when the news from London Bridge came through.  Our beliefs and values are being tested.  Will we be strong enough to get through this period without over-reacting and succumbing to hatred and intolerance?  I aim to be. Continue reading “Fear versus hope”