Neighbourhood – part 1b

Having ventured out to visit existing neighbours in my previous post, I thought I’d also take on the challenge of finding five new-to-me Blogging101 neighbours.

Hallo again Blogging101 !

(N.B. I am skipping class this month and reviewing past material… tagging along – or gate-crashing, if you prefer… but at least I’m walking the walk … and that’s definitely not ‘crash-tagging’!)

Along the way of ‘Meet the Neighbours’ task for today, I bumped into ‘on and off’ blogger Gerry Wilson’s introduction post and look forward to reading more there, soon – and being seen as a ‘veteran’ blogger by some, there appears plenty to dig into in the archives, as Gerry started blogging in 2009.

Thanks to intrigue and curiosity generated by IgneousIdol’s latest post I now am familiar with the term ‘boondocking’ and what it means! I also empathised with the title of that post – exactly how I felt during November’s Blogging101 when I attempted the task as given and was completely overwhelmed with new-to-me reading.

A.L.A.S. at Lifetime of gratitude shares five linked blogs which look appealing – and I do enjoy these kind of posts for finding blogs I’d probably miss otherwise.

I really like Jansenphoto’s blog title and tagline and this post offers five recommended blogs found in their search of reader tags – I’d never thought of searching that tag and look forward to checking out those blogs too.

Finally, my fifth target for this post became Rants and Ramblings exploration of today’s assignment activity. I empathised a lot during reading, although he won’t have heard, because similarly, I tend to avoid commenting – or rather put it off for a return visit I might not get round making.

That’s another good reason for writing these little link-up posts, the handy reminders of must-go-back-to …

So, from checking out the blogging101 tag in the Reader today, there are five latest new-to-me choice reads. Happily away now to elsewhere, real-life awaits. I enjoyed my visiting spree and will have to do it again sometime sooner! Bye for now…





Neighbourhood – part 1b

Neighbourhood – part 1A

[N.B: If you’re looking for my poetry101rehab entry it’s in pre-formatted text box way down the page – but isn’t yet my entry proper…]

Today’s Blogging101 task focusses on reading and engaging with the blogging community and encourages seeing the blogosphere as ‘neighbourhood’… I’m currently refreshing on the November2015 Blogging101 class and so, like many others, am ‘tagging along’ without actually signing up for the class this time round.

The first wordpress class I joined was Blogging201, almost a year ago, just after starting this blog – I should have waited and taken Blogging101 first, but didn’t get around to that one for a few months, having taken a couple of the writing and poetry classes in between.

I encountered lots of fantastic bloggers with already admirable blogs during last February’s Blogging201 class – and plenty more since during other classes and generally around the blogosphere. Unfortunately, I’ve not had time to keep up with reading in recent weeks / months, so I’ve been catching up quite a lot while at home for a few days.


So, rather than seeking out only new blog’s today, for my blogging101 refresher, I’m revisiting existing ‘neighbours’ that I already follow and having a good catch up with some of those. (Some of my fave blogs are already linked up in my 3days,3quotes challenge posts as nominees for the challenge, otherwise they would have featured here too!)

I’m always fascinated by a visit to Suzi’s blog, even though it seems written for women and even though I don’t stitch. I know plenty of females who do and perhaps that’s the original hook – but I suspect it’s more to do with the surprise in (thrift) store with her posts and Suzi’s originality and inspiring creativity. Happy recent first bloggiversary at too Suzi!

from Suzi’s latest post at bluecarpaintedgreen:

“If we all planned our days around core desired feelings, how might our lives improve?

And so I ask: How do you want to feel this year? Pick a word. Then choose three more. What actions can you take to feel this way, at least more of the time? Consider how you can arrange your time to make it happen.”

In answer to the first part of these questions, this year I want to feel enlivened, enthused, enabled and enriched (I don’t mean financially, although that would be a bonus!) … and I’ll maybe spend some time thinking about this in finding some answers to those other questions.

New Year seems a prime time for starting new challenges and / or continuing existing ones:

KittyKat-BitsandBobs Word for Wednesday response really struck a chord with me. I also found interesting the 28 prompts for the ‘Love Yourself’ challenge she’s currently doing – now wondering if they’ll help me achieve those feelings outlined in the paragraph above… although I’d maybe do them privately than on my blog…

I enjoyed this response from Rose and found this not-too-late to join in with JustJotItJanuary challenge

… but I’m also having to admit – again! –  that I’ve let past challenge commitments go and am hoping to catch up with those before taking on any new ones. RonovanWrites is the home of the weekly haiku challenge (I must get re-started with this!), among others such as #BeWOW. There are so many great posts and articles, it’s a reliable venue for blogging tips and a vibrant community routinely return for more – although I don’t manage to keep up regularly it’s one of my favourite flit-off-to-destinations.

Although she describes her humour as bleak, I always find myself smiling through reading Mara Eastern’s posts – Mara originally hosted the Poetry101rehab challenge, now homed with Andy Townsend, another fab place to visit. (I must resume entering this weekly challenge too) – and as I’ve created a pingback to this week’s poetry challenge I should really write some! 🙂

'fem' in me, you're kidding - 
i'm an all-in male you see -
yet I'm following all these women, 
(cos they make good things to read...)
I should be careful with that statement
or some might get the wrong the idea
so I'll write my rehab later
and in the meantime wish you Happy New Year!


Usually it’s Ann at GrubbsnCritters making me hungry with foodie posts, but today it’s visiting another good neigbour, Kim L. Hine (and I remind myself I have a long-lingering-liebster post to make at Snailzpace Daily – with apologies for the lengthy delay!)

My Life as Brittney‘s blog often brings me smiles and this weekly topic is such a nice idea…

Last, but by no means least, I usually have no complaints after reading at Zen and Pi and this latest post introduced me to an intriguing thirty day Minamilism challenge… I might not take it up this month, but bearing it in mind…

So, that’s the whole afternoon reading blogs – and I’m much happier with myself for the catch-up visiting, it’s been on my mind for a while, all these places I love to go read but fail to make enough regular time. Of course there are more, but I’ve ventured far enough for one day – and there is a part 2 to this post to write up yet! …






Neighbourhood – part 1A

Rights of Nature 01 (conf-lab)

I was inspired to attempt a short piece of writing introducing this topic from a personal perspective for practice in formal writing and by the informative and inspiring keynote speakers presenting the Rights of Nature Conference programme yesterday. Brief details provided in excerpt,. I would have like to attend, but unable, so online access via You Tube was excellent. I’ve not tried the live streaming service before and didn’t think I’d manage to pay attention – I did glimpse in and out between multi-tasking and chores but caught some of all speakers and all of some – notably the artists platform and panel discussions.

I particularly enjoyed the photography – of both nature and artefact, architecture and societal. The historical and contemporary images used were visually stunning and the informational slides relating to statistics weren’t over-bearing but snappy and simple.

I know I missed a lot of the factual information and I acknowledge the impacts are of serious natures. I would have liked to be able to ask questions, I suppose I could have emailed any questions to the gallery! Hearing the various voices from far across the globe was a pleasure and I’m listening to it again to make better use of my minimal notes as soon as I have spare time. At least once by March I will get a lift (bus!) to the city to see the exhibition and will be glad of the supporting knowledge having seen and heard some of the Conference.

Nature doesn’t seem taught in schools anymore as it was when I was in primary school. Art neither. Art and Nature were key players in everyday delivery of fundamental knowledge, understanding and skill. We were engaged in understanding the world around us from a natural and holistic perspective and everything was taught in a well-rounded way.

Things were very different in so many ways, but not so many that affinity with Nature should be usurped by automating and desensitising our children and grand-children to the fundamental principles of (m)Other Earth and all E’s inhabitants and co-habitants. Much of such affinity is bound in myth and fable, folklore, old (w)ives tales, spirituality, but fundamentally still connected with and by Science. Essential and profound. Proofs exist in the languages, the arts, in literature and religion. They are not concrete. Rites and rituals are denied, diluted, distorted and demonised. Rights are expendable, dismissed, denied.

In a technologically “advanced” age,  collectively, we have as a wider westernised society at large, become and been very backward thinking. Disrefuting centuries of wisdoms and beliefs, hierarchial societies ignore such evidence as defies concrete measure and verified in sterile systematic formats to be accepted as proven. Human resource needs outweighing common sense and sustainable management failing at the turn of every street corner and every highway junction deprives peoples in developing nations of the essential commodities and resources they produce. (I use the term “developing” in a non-derrogative sense, my personal view being that our westernised societies are the under-developed and non-developing, stagnate and leeching – and we have much to take on board and learn from those societies encouraged to look to our standards of life and our views of aspiration and worth.)

I’m not an activist or an environmentalist and I’m not well learned in most things, but I’m interested. That interest was generated and remained by solid schooling where just one teacher managed the needs of every child at individual needs level. There were no classroom assistants, no parent volunteers, no time out of class for planning or marking. (I know it’s a difficult job, for quite a lot of pay and quite an easy work-life balance the majority time – is how it seems. I’ve been a school parent governor and also home-educated for some phases of my eldest’s education when he was too ill to attend school and it’s a lot of work for just one child, so I shouldn’t knock it.)

It’s twenty five years since I bought my first book on such matters as global consumerism, population densities (politics and business! I mean “social demographics” I think…). Agricultural crises were long forecast and implementations of coping mechanisms have been hindered by capitalist ideals, industrialised nations and life on the never never…

Our local communities seem insular and less community-spirited.  Where I live, there used to be a small but very popular close-by weekly market selling food,meat, fish, fresh groceries, second-hand clothing, bric-a-brac etc. It was an essential meeting point for local people.  You’d see your neighbours and further neighbours and had neighbours for half a mile radius even as an outsider resettled. The market was shut down to make way for car-parking for an expanded training centre that no longer provided support and business units for small local start-up businesses, promotes services to targeted user groups, can’t cater for all and doesn’t advertise well. The church training facility ceased and the community centre seems mostly closed other than elections. Rents have increased and local residents now are often from other parts of the country escaping higher rents or other problems.

Many people drive, even to the nearest shops and schools and no-one seems to have much time for enjoying even the sky or a few moments – being interested in the sky is viewed as being somewhat strange – as if there’s nothing to see there! I get a similar response if I ask people about the gallery and if they’ve been – as if it’s an oddity, a quirkism. So British education hasn’t really been working for quite a long time, however well they squeeze the statistical data.

Are our children switching off as part of the social wave of always switching on? Or are they armouring in defense of reductionist teaching strategies, encouraged to greed and want and to aspire above all else. Gain good results= Successful school status sold to kids as landing best possible job, highest posible pay, nice house and car. All that matters is ticking the box, making the mark and pressing the right buttons – and keeping the cash tills ringing, for statutory public services also, not just private sector.

Whilst I parented my two children, born a decade apart, topics such as nature seemed to be dealt tokenistically – a day trip on a coach, or a special session here and there more locally but irregular and detached – of course I didn’t take those classes so that’s just how it seemed as an outsider. I was particularly worried by lack of safety awareness taught in city schools for existing in countryside and coastal areas – evident amongst adult behaviours as much as the young. Holiday deaths and accidents are a quite regular news item and alongside, displays of disrespect for the natural world can be alarming. Things I’d grown up taking for granted as being “common sense” seem to some people to be my foolish fear and over-concern, rather than local knowledge and understanding.

Though my opinion’s out of date now, as a young-ish grandparent, my feeling regarding  contemporary schooling was, and is, that although there’s an awful lot for children to learn, it boils down to what is needed to be taught. The needs of the restricive tangible pedagogical system, the service strategies, developmental directives and aims, marketing objectives – getting employees and managers to meet those directives and achieve targets all take priority over all else.

Public art provision, at an organisational level, seems not dissimilar to an extent at times. “I am valued most for my convenience to your need to tick boxes” – if I am valued at an organisational level at all for I am only one – and don’t have much money to spend in the cafe or shop.

I downloaded some IPCC briefings when I fell into them at the news website (cheers, bbc!). They’re not a light read (and of course not for printing for environmental reasons unless it’s your job to have that information on a chunk of tree on your lap). I might allow myself a page … but I revel in the unseen virtual paper space of my disc-drive and it’s a lot easier to file and find things and a lot less dusty.

The future is impossible to predict, so we all carry on running the hamster wheels and the rat-runs, oblivious. It’s in our human conditioning to just use all things up quick, because if we don’t, some one else will instead, so enjoy it while it lasts and never mind tomorrow. I might, if I can spare the research time, compare some old book-based information to current data and statistics and check it out better – if online data and statistics can be relied upon, it’s difficult to be sure or to trust.  I’ll definitely come back and set some links for a challenge- and for a change.

Thanks for reading this far, feel free to suggest anything you think I’ve missed, or errors or just for exchange if you like (you might even find me on twitter…). Writing for practice. Article / series in progress…