You may have noted that there's a bit of a sporting tournament going on in Brazil. The World Cup is a celebration of what's been called, "the beautiful game". I might call it, "football." You you might call it, "soccer."
Folks who aren't that much into football or soccer, find themselves watching this spectacle with a mildly curious fascination. I suppose it's somewhat like people who don't really follow baseball will watch the World Series.
Living in Britain has given me full appreciation of just how much football means to them. Football could be considered bordering on a tribal obsession. It even seems to be to the point of irrational hatred for a certain team. For instance, if you were to meet a Liverpool fan and told them you supported Manchester United, this can cause a heated debate as to which team is better. I'm very careful in my discussions about football.
Football has all sorts of strange terms to describe the game. Here are a few things I have noted from listening to football commentary. The goalie is commanding in the box and the opposition are having trouble penetrating his box due to the fact that the sweeper is dribbling the ball off the line. From there, the sweeper dummies his opponent and back heels the ball to the goalie who lobs it out to the attacking midfielder who nutmegs the other team's right back and makes a slide rule pass to the striker who thinks of taking a chip shot but decides to dink the goalie who ends up letting in a howler. The referee disallows the goal because the winger was in an offside position.
Yes indeed, I've heard the commentators talk about man-to man marking and zonal marking. They talk about yellow cards and red cards. Heck, they even mention free kicks, bicycle kicks and scissor kicks. So I sit there very confused listening to all this weird and puzzling football terminology. Here are a couple of often used observations made by the commentators. "They played them off the park!" Oh really? So they played them off the park, proceeded to go down the back streets outside the stadium with the eventual outcome, a rip-roaring time and a sing-along with a group of wandering minstrels at The White Lion pub. "They're scoring goals for fun!" What?! Like they would be scoring goals for sadness.
It seems like just about everybody is caught up in World Cup 'fever'. The wee folks even wanted to have their own football event, The Wee Cup, 2014. One of the wee folks had heard that there was someone called a "sweeper'"on the football field and took the meaning quite literally. You may note that in the top photograph.
Penny, our beautiful Jack Russell, fancied a go at football, the beautiful game. Of course, she would call it 'pawsball'. Maybe she can get one of her doggy friends to play in goal and let in a howler.
Saturday, 21 June 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014, marks the fourth anniversary of the Wee Folks Wedding. A wedding that demonstrated a kind, caring, compassionate world where no stigma is attached, no judgements made. A world that teaches lessons to us big folks. If only we would listen to the lessons.
Below are the photos of the wedding of Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess and Geoffrey the garden gnome. The wedding of wonder, photographed exclusively by me in the enchanted garden. A garden of hopeful symbolism A playground of positive possibilities.
Can you hear those sounds? Open your heart and listen. The wee folks are singing to you, to me. Sweet songs of their understanding of harmony within nature's balance.
Four years on, I'm delighted to tell you their love is as strong, as poignant, as powerful as ever. Here's that story in words and the pictures, retold.
Here is a picture of the beautiful fairy princess bride, Fidelina, posing with her bridesmaid sister, Venetia.
Just one hour before the wedding. Venetia and Fidelina take a few moments to think about the enchanting day ahead of them.
"Scarecat" is ready to watch over the wedding proceeding
A few of the wee folks and friends, waiting for the magical ceremony to begin.
All united in joy. There is much excitement as the magical wedding draws ever closer.
on and excitement is gathering momentum.
Off in the distance..
.they see a vision of great beauty.
Teagan, Walden and Geoffrey, look on in awe, as Fidelina and her bridesmaid sister, Venetia, stroll towards the ceremony.
Fidelina and Venetia move closer.
The gathered wee folks and friends fall into a hushed silence.
The magic of the moment grows stronger.
It's nearly time.
Geoffrey looks on with great joy, great expectation as Fidelina gets ever closer.
Teagan and Walden share in the joy of this very special moment.
Venetia and Fidelina stand before Teagan, Walden and Geoffrey.
Venetia and Teagan step off to one side as the ceremony is about to commence. The wedding rings have been passed to Walden.
Note the look of love on their faces.
Fidelina and Geoffrey exchange their solemn vows.
They exchange rings.
The rings of magic, symbolic of their undying love.
Venetia and Teagan went for a walk amongst the greenery. Who knows? This may be another tale of love in the magical world of the wee folks.
Thus, this magical and wondrous tale of, The Wee Folks Wedding, is nearly over. They've demonstrat
ed that in their world and our world, true love knows no boundaries . They thank you and I thank you, for taking the time to feel the magic of the Wee Folks Wedding.
Thus, this magical and wondrous tale of, The Wee Folks Wedding, is nearly over. They've demonstrat
Four years on. The message of love knowing no boundaries is just as profound.
Saturday, 14 June 2014
I deliberately haven't posted since Monday, June 9. Wanted to see if the petition to remove the anti-homeless spikes in London would see them removed.
The outrage, worldwide, was clear demonstration that there are still plenty of people who do care. Who understand that becoming homeless, a rough sleeper, can happen to any of us.
The petition has reached in excess of 130,000 supporters. The reaction to the cruel, callous situation of placing spikes to ward off the homeless at an apartment block and a Tesco supermarket in London, has been nothing short of overwhelming. I'm heartened. The thoughtful interaction via the comments in my previous post has made me believe that peaceful protest can make things happen.
I'm thrilled to report that the petition has worked! The offending spikes have been removed from the entrance to the London apartment building. The spikes you see below in the photo have gone.
If you want to find out further information about this triumph, here is an informative link : 'Anti-Homeless spikes' removed.
The offending London Tesco supermarket before.
And the results of the petition.
Monday, 9 June 2014
I'm saddened. I'm angry and I wonder what happened to a semblance of humanity. I like to think that assumptions and the convenient stereotypes of the homeless, the rough sleepers, was starting to diminish. It seems I'm very wrong.
Inch-high studs have been placed outside the main entrance of deluxe flats located on Southwark Bridge Road, London. A deterrent to ward of the inconvenience of some of the most vulnerable people in society. We cannot have the sight of some poor soul blighting the environment of the fortunate. We cannot have such poor souls causing those living the life of luxury be subjected to the grim reality of a fellow human.
Here are the spikes outside the luxury block of apartments.
Here is another example of such spikes outside a Tesco supermarket, Regent Street, London.
Let's talk some facts about the homeless, the rough sleepers. Having worked with such people, I know the real facts, not the unfair stigmas. It's a fact that many of them had jobs, careers, families. It's a fact that many of them, through traumatic circumstances, lost everything. It's a fact that many lost everything but never lost their dignity. It's a fact that the person lying in that darkened doorway on a cold, rainy night, may well be a veteran who served their country. It's a fact that they came back to a life of no support from a government that showed callous indifference. It's a fact that the horrors of war they survived left them with the scars of vivid mental anguish. It's a fact that such a life can happen to any of us. Perhaps those too quick to put down spikes and treat these noble people like vermin might try to understand it could one day be their brutal reality.
What we really need is a network of support. Do our utmost to provide a warm, safe place for our homeless friends to live. Homeless charities can only do so much. A more compassionate society can help make a difference. The government, too busy demonising the vulnerable, must bear some responsibility for the homeless crisis that has turned this once green and pleasant land, into a not so pleasant land.
If you wish to read further about this, here is a link : Use of spikes to deter homeless.
If you wish to sign the petition that I've been helping to circulate, it can be found here : Petition to remove the anti-homeless spikes.
Saturday, 7 June 2014
I am the island of dreams, of hope, of reaching out and embracing the sea of humanity that terrifies yet challenges me. I am that lonely man beyond your computer screen. I am the lonely man who has braved the world beyond my front door. Each time I went out I began to flourish. Each time I went out my enthusiasm was met with resentment. The flourish faded. I faded back into my other world of the uncomfortable comfort zone.
Soon, I will try again. I cannot let the raw emotional wounds of the positive energy saboteurs continue to scupper my right to a peaceful, positive life.
I know that those who would bully consider me a vulnerable, easy target. A target to mask the reality that they are insecure about who they really are.
Yes, my friend, I'm scared. Yet beyond the fear, beyond the front door, I shall seek out the sincere adventure that has eluded me. I know it's there.