Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel fabulous and I have Elliot to thank for my nomination. He’s a writer and poet and has a great blog, Brainsplats so check the link. Of course I graciously accept – although I did run round whooping like a lunatic when I received it a week or two ago… but nobody saw me. So, dignified deep breath.
The seven facts about me are;
- I lived in Amsterdam for two years but I didn’t inhale
- I occasionally paint oil paintings, more of that in the near future.
- I love cats, the way they arrive in our lives with no luggage or tenancy agreement and turn us into their slaves while being unconditionally adored.
- I used to be a DJ in Manchester during the Madchester and Rave eras, but I still have incredibly sensitive hearing.
- I love gardening. Have no idea how that happened.
- All mathematical components in my brain are missing, presumed stifled by more interesting talents. I actually count on my fingers.
- There is a very strange symmetrical, geometric symbol on the back of my neck. It’s a birthmark, but it looks like a crop circle…
You weren’t expecting that last one, were you?
I’m passing this award on to the following nominees, and if you’ve already won it, then think of this as a second opinion…
The Creative Cat– Bernadette E Kazmarski – Wonderful paintings of animals and people complete with witty commentary.
Sheila Hurst – Reading, writing, dreaming – Photographer, writer and poet – transports me to the kind of places I’d like to be.
Bali-Style-Life – Tanya Paton, New Zealander living and painting in Bali, joyful, expressive and colourful.
On The Way – Bonnie Hull – Artist, photographer and writer – a great art journal.
Kiwsparks – Kathryn Sparks – Artist, designer and writer from Dallas – A lively spirited view of life in paint, prose and poetry.
Hands on Bowie – Herman and his cat Bowie. The cutest (and biggest) British Shorthair you will ever see!
Karma Sleeps on Top – Lina A Corrillo, engaging, passionate Creative Writing and Journalism student from Bogota studying in London.
Categories: Random, Vibe Monitor
Tags: announcements, Award, blog, Blogging, Kreativ Blogger Award, Life, Mark Wallis, markjwallis, miscellaneous, news, random, The Vibes
Eostre was originally a Pagan festival, with it’s roots in the Norse and Germanic ritual of the Vernal Equinox, or Spring. It’s heartening to know that ancient man had an instinctive respect for Mother Nature, thousands of years before the spread of Christianity. It’s only comparatively recently in our history that the traditions of Eostre were adapted by modern religions.
The Rites of Spring and also Harvest show an understanding of the planet which sustains us, and the Sun and the Earth were worshipped as the givers of life. As we pollute and over-populate our world and regard our own planet with cynicism, I wonder if a return to a more spiritual innocence might be the salvation our ecology needs. Organised religions become increasingly redundant as they fail to embrace the human condition. True spirituality means a respect for the planet, and for each other, and yet distracted religious figureheads still make astonishingly ill-judged comments about contraception. If that energy could be focused on our future on Earth rather than the obsessive, hand-wringing preoccupation with the sex lives of others, then we might actually be able to sustain the planet we live on.
Stephen Hawking says that if we continue to expand at our current rate, then our future lies only in the stars and our window for the colonisation of other planets is less than two hundred years. Is our tenancy on Earth due to end? Is it impossible to reverse the damage that we’re doing? In the spirit of Eostre, fertility and rebirth, we need to consider renewable clean energy, such as Solar Power, stop poisoning the bees with chemicals and seriously consider the size of our population.
I don’t want to be one of the last of the Earth-dwellers: Easter should be about the celebration of nature and awareness of our position in the ecology of Earth. Not zombies in diapers.
Categories: Random, Vibe Monitor
Tags: christianity, Earth, Easter, ecology, Environment, Eostre, faith, Fertility, Festival, god, history, Life, nature, news, Ostara, Pagan, random, Religion, ritual, spirituality, Spring, Stephen Hawking, Sun, thoughts, vernal equinox
It’s funny going back to your place of birth, secretly hoping that it still looks like the place you left behind, and your house hasn’t been replaced by a Tesco or Starbucks. I was relieved to see that nothing much had changed when I returned to Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire after more than thirty years. Give or take the odd PVC window frame, and a rash of Ground Forced gardens, it was exactly how I remembered it. I have a lot of happy, hazy memories of growing up here, and we moved away ‘up north’ when I was eight. Relocating to Cheshire was like a cold shower compared to this sleepy, sunny market town in the Home Counties. We went from Cider With Rosie to Wuthering Heights on a one-way ticket. This short film is a tour of my childhood…
Press Quality for HD and watch in fullscreen.
The video features the track Since I left You by The Avalanches, my all time favourite song, which samples old soul band The Main Attraction and Rose Royce, amongst others. It’s a burst of sunshine, and makes me happy every time I hear it.
Categories: Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor, Video
Tags: Bishop's Stortford, Castle Gardens, England, Heath Row, Hertfordshire, Hockerill, iMovie template, Life, Mark Wallis, news, People, photography, random, Since I Left You, Snowley Parade, Summercroft Primary School, The Avalanches, The Vibes, Travel, UK, video
Escape from the City!
I’m first from the starting gun when the sun comes out and we hit the nearest park, desperate for ultra-violet rays and proof that flowers are actually growing. I know I said we’d be stopping off at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (see previous post) but there’s the tiniest crease in the fabric of space and time which takes us from the kaleidoscopic colour of Park Güell in Spain to… Heaton Park in north Manchester, England.
This is yet another chance for me to wave the Union Jack – this time, while sunbathing. Culture shock, maybe, but I suggest you grab your sunglasses and get a load of this: it’s a Scottish Highland Cow. Or bull, as both male and female have horns. Also the oldest known registered breed of cattle. I wasn’t expecting to come face to face with a horned beast (not on a Wednesday afternoon and certainly not in broad daylight) and was kind of hoping for something more like an ice-cream van.
Heaton Hall has been here in one form or another since 1684, and the grounds were designed in the style of Capability Brown, England’s finest landscape architect in 1839. It’s the largest park in Europe.
The funfair was in town…
There’s a beautiful boating lake, with an island in the middle, full of ducks and geese and swans.
I tried to make this one look like an old postcard from the 70s, partly because the brightly coloured train which drives around the park is like something out of The Magic Roundabout.
If you liked this, then my previous post from Park Güell in Barcelona will completely blow your mind…Get some colour!
Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor
Tags: architecture, Capability Brown, flowers, Heaton Hall, Heaton Park, history, Landscape architecture, Life, Manchester, news, photography, random, Scottish Highland Cattle, Spring, swans, The Magic Roundabout, Union Jack
It’s that time of year again. The days grow shorter and chill winds blow through the streets of London. On the last weekend in October, Trafalgar Square is illuminated with a blanket of candle-light as people flock in their thousands to remember the victims of hate crimes. To see so many people united against violence is a spiritual experience in the truest sense. Last year, as the choir sang, flames sparked into life across the square. I stood in silence in a sea of flickering points of light, moved by the open displays of emotion around me. Standing right before me was the net result – the actual aftermath of hatred: sadness and loss. To be amongst so much catharsis was ultimately uplifting, and I felt fortified by the solidarity of the people around me. Various speakers roused us with spirited speeches, and celebrities and prominent members of the Police and Parliament publicly voiced their support. Ultimately, it became a celebration of the human spirit, of defiance and dignity.
This year the vigil takes place on Friday 28th October 2011 in Trafalgar Square. For more information check the links below.
Candle-Lit Vigils Against Hate Crime
The 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign
As a footnote, this video contains a soundtrack by The Flaming Lips, It Overtakes Me / The Stars Are So Big… I Am So Small… Do I Stand a Chance? which I remixed exclusively for this project.
Categories: Random, Vibe Monitor, Video
Tags: Candle-Lit Vigil, Community, Hate Crime, Homophobia, Human Rights, Ian Baynham, Life, London, murder, People, Politics, Trafalgar Square