London National Park City map

Looking good and more importantly – green

This map nearly made me run in opposite direction when I first moved back to London – similar area to the above:

Poetry Competition – the human condition

To mark the 70th anniversary in July 2018 of the introduction
of the National Health Service( 1948-2013), new work is
invited for the content of a memorial book. Poems need to
be about the ‘human condition.’ Health or lack of it helps
define a person. Next to your life, is your health. Coping
with ill health, disability, comic, sad, reflective, all types of
work required.

1st prize £200
2nd prize £100
3rd prize £50
And a film made of the winning
entry tbc


Wendy Cope “Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis”
Lachlan Mackinnon “ Small Hours ”

The book will include the winners and highly commended, and is to be launched as near to 5 th July 2018 as possible.
New poems must be submitted in English, from writers living in
England only.
Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland have different laws governing
their NHS so writers living in those regions are not eligible.
Poems can be in any form.

How to enter.
Entries need to
● be about ‘The human condition’, plus medics, doctors, hospitals etc.
● be no more than 40 lines in the English language, single spaced.
Entries need to be typed
● Closing date for receipt of entries
17 March 2018: remember to leave time for the post to deliver!


Entrants need to be living in England,
Be 18 or over
Entries should be entirely the work of the entrant and must never
have been published, self published, published on any website or
online forum, broadcast, nor won or been placed in any other
Entries should have a title, but no names, address, ‘phone or
e-mail should be on the manuscript. These should be on a
separate sheet.
Name, postal address, e-mail address and title of poem/s MUST
be on an sheet accompanying the poem/s. Entry is free.

Burnsall – Grassington circular

Yorkshire’s autumn carpet rolling across the Dales:

Sacred music in Leeds

We attended a themed concert last night covering sacred music before/after Reformation and great Western schism. 

Aljosa Josh Skorja brilliantly arranged, conducted and entertained – bringing beauty to a little Methodist Church in Leeds.

I kind of reunited with listening to sacred music when I lived in Oxford. When I was campaigning most evenings, I got a bus back from some part of West Oxfordshire and to catch the next bus, I walked along a small side street by one of the colleges. It was always dark and you could see lights of chapel windows with beautiful music emerging – making the winter cold a little less biting, taking the edge off the constant journeys.

Poppies and remembrance

Red poppies sold by the British legion have been on sale and will shortly be worn. I will be wearing a red poppy as usual. I am not interested in arguments about poppy colours or poppy flowers/wristbands/pins – each to their own. 

Both my grandfathers fought for Britain (I only knew one of them) and grandmothers both active in supporting through Wrens or similar. We once found letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother but have since destroyed them.

My family on one side has Jewish roots so we never knew who existed or not, who was murdered and there is no real interest in my family to find out. None of my immediate family or grandparents or I think great grandparents practised Judaism – some relatives (not sure exactly what relation) have although we don’t see them. 

So there are family reasons for remembering. Wearing a red poppy is also solidarity with those who fought and respecting their traditions. Wearing a wristband is not the same. My niece & nephew march with police and military & families on remembrance Sunday. 

Last year we chatted about who fought in the wars, who lost many relatives. They didn’t know much beyond Britain but understand why we remember, a little bit about how some countries suffered more and why only greedy people would want another world war.

Of course some of those who want to define groups of people as enemies and kill them for being different in whatever way will also wear poppies and do fake patriotic displays. Those who fought or lived through world wars can see this for what it is.

The poppy can be a symbol of unity in spite of the different versions and opinions. If we can’t take time to remember and put aside differences then we are not remembering tragedies and their devastating impacts and not respecting the sacrifices made to build a better world. If my niece and nephew get this at their age, then it shouldn’t be hard for everyone else.

Twitter handover

Will be handing over management of mostly a twitter account & some other Web stuff for a health campaign this weekend. It’s been live for around 5 years. Mixed levels of engagement but going into better hands.

Interesting to try and represent different people with different opinions (…who would be likely to say that or share that…) but we are all and will remain friends.

Some people have built careers & businesses trying to show others what they could do with Twitter but that’s slowly coming to end now just like Facebook hiding content in six countries unless you pay.

Cancerpainres remains for a bit but no real increase in engagement because a) not a clinical professional but more b) there isn’t always that much news for something like Twitter.

Probably next spring will remove personal account as mentioned previously, will see how handover above works out and whether they still need support. 

Turner’s view of Richmond (17 mile walk Waterloo-Richmond)

Have done most of this group walk before, lovely autumn day and well designed by group leader. Waterloo – cross river to Tate Britain and look at Turner’s painted view then walk to Richmond to see actual view. Couldn’t do photographic copy due to sunlight & timing restrictions but fwiw

Approx 3 miles per hour so good pace and lots of tired feet. Inner/Outer London looking pretty: