So long Scott, thank you for the music…

Scott Weiland, the former frontman of the band Stone Temple Pilots, passed away on the 3rd of December 2015, while touring with his current band “Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts“.

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This is a picture of singer Scott Weiland. Brazil, Dec, 2010. Credits – Humberto Bueno

As part of Stone Temple Pilots, and also the super group Velvet Revolver (which featured formers members of Guns n’ Roses), he had a formative influence on what music I grew up listening to and playing over my teenage and early twenties.

Songs like:

And the albums they came from, all made a lasting impression on my musical preferences and directions.  Memories like playing along on my guitar to Plush and Interstate Love Song, are still fresh.

As is seeing Velvet Revolver play live, their stage presence, and energy even in a vast arena stadium was immense. Scott Weiland as a frontman was awesome, to line up and share the stage with someone like Slash, takes both character and charisma.

Thank you Scott for the music, you will be missed.

 

 

 

The Trepidation of the Untouched Page

It’s a blank canvas, in an unspoiled, unblemished pristine state. But sterile and devoid of life, meaning, value, suspended in limbo, waiting to become something. Needing an idea, a creative force, an inspired touch to make it into something.

We all have those moments, when there’s a blank moment, a pause, perhaps we’re uncertain about what to do next, or our turn has come and something makes us freeze. We have phrases to describe this state, “Writer’s Block”, “Stage Fright”, “Like a rabbit in the headlights”. Sometimes these are quite public moments, accompanied by a blush of embarrassment, sometimes these are private fears, gripping us in a state of inaction that seem to colour or blemish our lives as long as we remain beholden to them.

And so it was with me when I got an invitation to post something to Medium.

I wondered… What do I write, and what about?

And should I write here at all (what can I add)?

To me Medium seemed to positioning itself as a more prose focused and more literary elite content service. Sure I’ve blogged before and will continue to do so, but I don’t think of myself as a real writer-type. I minimised my exposure to essays and other extended prose’s (English and History) as soon as I could exercise choice over my subjects at school. Why would I think I could reverse at situation now?

Well I’m going to give it a go, not sure how often, or on what topics. Most probably in line with the type of topics I had post to my TORCH WordPress blog. Certainly I’m not after another separate silo of work or content, I played about with Posterous while it lasted, but it never replaced what I did on WordPress and I don’t think Medium will either. Heck, I may even find I enjoy writing more for the creative outlet that others enjoy from it.

Only time will tell — and in meantime the moments drift by, waiting and wondering…

[This post published on Medium >> The Trepidation of the Untouched Page]

Scotland said it’s “Better Together”

In the historic referendum on the question of whether Scotland should be an independent country. 

The people of Scotland, voted against secession from the United Kingdom.

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My hope is that in the aftermath of the two campaigns, a stronger and more unified Scotland emerges.

Scotland deserves that much at least.

HopeforJustice– Goes Global

HopeforJustice announced its unification with Abolition International and Transitions Global to become one organisation to fight human trafficking.

Check out the video introducing the new global organisation and their roots.

It’s great to see HopeforJustice expand its vision, its reach and its impact!

LifeKids– “Dish Out The Money” – The Charity Single

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“Dish Out The Money”  – is a charity single done by +LifeKids Manchester  (children and children’s groups leaders) from LifeChurch Manchester – supporting 3 great charities which all have a connection with LifeChurch Manchester , involved in various communities and projects.

All well worth supporting!

Read more about what they do below.

LifeKids Manchester–Dish Out The Money

The Charities supported are:

City Centre Ministries (CCM)

The aim of CCM is to reach out to the marginalized in our city with the love and compassion of Christ. We believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that is the message we take out on a Wednesday and Saturday night.

City Centre Ministries

 

Hope For Justice

Hope for Justice is an anti-human trafficking organisation working to uncover and abolish the hidden crime of modern-day slavery.

Hope For Justice–Every Good Father

 

PepAids

PEPAIDS’ mission is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and to raise awareness, both within the affected communities and internationally, of the issues surrounding poverty and HIV/AIDS.

PepAids

BigChurchNightIn – Manchester

The BigChurchNightIn event (1st of 2) in Manchester tonight! (22nd Nov 2013)  (Looking forward to it loads!)

 

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It’s taking place at !Audacious Church Manchester, and will feature the !Audacious Church Band, and headline acts from Martin Smith and Leeland.

Here’s a video preview of the event:

BigChurchNightIn 2013–Martin Smith & Leeland

 

Martin Smith is of course well known as the lead singer from the group Delirious?

Leeland are a Christian rock band from Baytown, Texas

Here are a couple of my favourite tracks from Leeland:

Leeland – I Wonder

 

Leeland – Carry me on your back

There’s also the 2nd BigChurchNightIn event on the 5th of December – which features Stuart Townend and Philippa Hanna – so there’s another opportunity to catch some great music!

HopeforJustice– Happy 5th Birthday!

Happy Birthday and Congratulations to HopeforJustice for another great year!

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Here is their “Hope News” celebratory video:

Hope News–Nov 2013

From HopeforJustice

This month we’re celebrating 5 years of rescues and lives restored! We’ve changed the lives of over 200 modern day slaves and started to build a rescue network that will leave perpetrators nowhere to hide!

Here’s to many more rescues!

Link to last years note

On Restrictions

There have been a couple of campaigns that I’ve supported recently:

The Gagging Law:

The Campaign to prevent the “Gagging Law” (Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill) going through Parliament in its current state – which would seriously restrict and curb the ability of a large variety of organisations and bodies to lobby and campaign in a period preceding an election by imposing strict funding and activity criteria.

because it threatens to stifle public debate on policies that affect people’s lives in the year of an election. This is because the Bill includes a very wide definition of campaigning for “electoral purposes”. It means that, in the year before an election, if Oxfam campaigned on a policy that impacted on the lives of poor people – on the impacts of climate change, or on tax avoidance – and one political party supported our policies but another didn’t we could be seen as campaigning “for electoral purposes” and be breaking the law.

Despite serious concerns being raised by charities, think tanks, unions, civil society organisations and the Electoral Commission, the Bill has passed through the House of Commons and is moving to the House of Lords next week without changes Oxfam sees as critical in allowing us to run campaigns on crucial policies in election years.

See Oxfam >> link

Complete the survey for “The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement” >> here

Education & Term Time Holiday Rules:

Secondly one that imposes strict conditions and limitations of term absence (holiday) that can taken while a child is in education (term time family holiday rules under The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006)).

Ok there is the cost based aspect – the general holiday period are accompanied by inflated travel prices.  But as the campaign note says:

Doesn’t the government think that holidays can be a source of education? Two years ago I took my 6 year old to Rome on holiday and he loved it. Soon he will be doing a project on Romans at school. He can say that he has been there and to Pompeii. If this isn’t education then what is ? The government are so narrow minded.

This petition is being handed in to the Department of Education next Wednesday 30th of October 2013 in London at 12.00 pm and everyone that would to be there would be very welcome.

Support and Sign the Petition >> here

My Thoughts:

There seems to be too much effort from the government to remove the ability to think independently from the public.  Aided and abetted by not enough thorough thinking on the whole spectrum of implication on the results of these bills by the government itself.  This is far from the free-thinking democracy and reasonable and “lawful” self-determination that voting electorate should be receiving from the elected representatives and civil service.

Update on Gagging Law:

The UK Government has postponed the bill to re-think aspects of the bill further.

Here are newspaper articles reflecting on this decision:

Apart from all the prose about the implications and politics – I find these statistics pretty interesting:

A few statistics have been plaguing MPs for some time. The National Trust has four million paying members; 38 Degrees has 1.9 million (we don’t have to pay subs but sometimes do anyway); many animal or wildlife charities boast 500,000 members. Membership of political parties, meanwhile, has fallen to 1%, or under 500,000 (in the three main parties combined). This means there are more people who care about birds than who can get meaningfully exercised about the victory of any particular candidate.

It really shows how and what people are engaging in, or not as the case may be, and politics – by membership of a party isn’t one of them.

 

Highlights from Big IF London – June 2013

On Saturday 8 June 2013, tens of thousands of people gathered in Hyde Park for the Big IF London rally. They were there to make a massive noise in demanding that G8 leaders – meeting in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June 2013 – take action to tackle global hunger and save the lives of millions.

Speakers on the day included Bill Gates and Danny Boyle amongst others…

Here are some video and photo highlights of the event.

Big IF London: Tearfund
Big IF London: thank you
Big IF London–installation timelapse

A video of why this action is needed and should be supported:

Big IF Belfast–15th June 2013

 

The next event took place on the 15th June in Belfast, where the G8 leaders meeting was held. Lets pray and hope that the clear message sent to the G8, from people of all ages and from all parts of society, is taken on board in word and action.

The IF response summary to G8 session was:

Sally Copley, Enough Food For Everyone IF spokesperson, said:

“Today’s G8 tax deal is a step in the right direction, but it also leaves major unfinished business.” 

See more at: IF G8 Response