Gitanjali and mind without fear

A friend mentioned last night that his grandfather had given him Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry book – Gitanjali, but he had not read it yet.

We read Mind without Fear which seems very appropriate:

WHERE THE mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action-
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Glutes stretches

I’m running senior tkd session next Saturday.  We will do some gluteus maximus, minimus stretches which attempted to show in the video below. I forgot to say, once stretch is too comfortable, move the band above knees. We can use partners to hold legs for the resistance. There should be a good squeeze in/out. Slightly dodgy positioning but gives the basic idea. The squats one could be done in pairs with bands to try and do a basic dodge of opponent. I’ve been recommended both glute ‘cheeks’ in and out depending on types of squats. To see proper ones, I’d recommend Eric Cressey Performance videos and astanga yoga videos for the bridge positions.

For a piriformis stretch, currently attempting astanga pigeon 

Russian tonight – projects updates

Due to unforeseen circumstances I will not be seeing niece and nephew tomorrow so we decided to leave Arabic for another time and we did Russian instead.

They picked up the characters quicker than I did and mostly remembered yes, no, I /my name is and thank you. We watched some Cossack dancing (they had not heard of it) and listened to some beautiful Orthodox then folk music.

Thanks to Russian friend, I managed to get some vellum paper (albeit lined but my nephew liked the smell), no birch bark:

Great summary in this IJOR article (En)

They used fountain pens today. Proud of them both, no prejudices just interest and willingness to learn. They may forget everything for a while but we’re hoping to visit Chinatown, a Russian cafe in Westminster and tbc re Arabic, Hindi and Urdu so they can see characters again etc

Yesterday Chinese today Arabic – projects update 

I’m staying with my niece and nephew for 3 days. Yesterday was Chinese. I bought Chinese paintbrushes and rice paper and their writing was very beautiful:

We tried to find a video with sounds to match the script but the basic alphabet ones use roman characters.

We are using an app to get ideas though so getting there. We can now say hello and they also wrote their names. 

Tonight is Arabic – no brushes but have some papyrus.

Inoreader – organising subscriptions

I’ve started using

I have several folders into which I have gathered all feeds that I am currently or used to be subscribed to that I find interesting to read. There are also some random extra ones I’ve added. For example in a folder called News, there are about 20 or so different alternative news sites – the kind of ones Google is trying to stop people looking at. I may not recommend them but trialling for a little while just to see.

Other folders are

  • Eco
  • Environment 2 (I can’t make subfolders and this is a general mix of mostly different mainstream media environmental articles)
  • Martial (arts)  don’t know if all these people still writing blogs but have finally got back in one folder
  • Russia / Eurasia (which is not a political statement just a Russia and some others folder)
  • Hum / IR / Legal / Other – humanitarian, law/policy and some other stuff
  • Design / Tech / Ed
  • Health
  • NHS (as above re subfolders – more specific to NHS campaigning)

All subscriptions:


Sutton Police vs Sutton Muslim team cricket match 2017

The weather was lovely, great atmosphere and competition. It was 20/20 overs and went to the final over when the police just won 149-141. The Sutton Mosque/Muslim (they couldn’t decide on official name) team won last year so all square. 

This is brilliant idea by both sides to hold the match and our new hate crime manager for Sutton did a great job assisting everything. 

Police batting – first half

Mosque/Muslim batting second half

Police team captain being presented with the cup

End of social media finally coming 

Twitter shows its Google influence by marketing crap at every opportunity and Facebook has very little space to grow. As Silicon Valley and it’s alternatives in other countries keep churning out meaningless technologies in exchange for selling personal data that was never agreed to, their market will continue to decline.

Hopefully that will also bring an end to commercialising politicians and the appallingly large amounts of money that is spent on them.

lavender final final update

It’s been a really busy weekend, busiest they have had since the project started. We ran out of lavender bread, meringues, biscuits, soap (not edible) which hasn’t happened before.

Earliest visitors on Saturday:

So lovely to see people of all ages coming in, bringing picnics and sitting amongst the flowers and bees. Some children rolling around on the uneven slopes of the field, others really pleased to be allowed to roam around with a pair of little scissors and choose then cut their own lavender.

The scent of cut lavender was wafting around everywhere, people all seemed really relaxed. 

Price guide – this worked this year:

Quite a few people never picked lavender before so we do little demos – depending on what they want to do with it. One girl who had never done before was picking for her wedding next weekend, she loved the scent.

Our volunteers were great, one guy turned up, wrote a sign for a bucket that said field replanting fund (which is correct) and took lots of donations. Another person came to pick lavender but said they wanted to volunteer and jumped in immediately. At one point we had a little queue for the bundle tying (it can take a while to sort and some people want smaller bundles out a large bundle they picked) and having never volunteered, she picked up some string and scissors, went tying bundles along the queue which sped everything up.

Another volunteer was a great guy from LA who was in London for a wedding and saw publicity for the weekend, he also just jumped straight in. Another couple from near South Africa got stuck into the harvesting and they had a huge amount for distilling in no time.

I had a US friend and young daughter from Belgium visit today and she had a grand tour with a bonus lavender distillery special where they distilled and filtered the first oil from today. She really liked Mayfield (who doesn’t) but preferred our field – there’s something about being able to wander in the sun and pick your own that’s different – even in a what is a large shared allotment! 

Found this in the back of one of the sheds which tells the story briefly including great rehabilitation for some local prisoners: