Thursday, 28 January 2010

Lost for Words

Haiti needs help now but will the aid keep flowing long enough to build a new country. Can the press suspend their cynicism and the politicians their battle for votes long enough to sustain the huge effort needed to instate an enhanced working infrastructure. Would the people of the first world nations put third world aid before their own healthcare, education and high living standards? If there is a moment for Obama to show the world that US foreign policy has changed for the 21st century, that moment is now. Supporting Haitians to rebuild their country might be a fine line to tread politically but if anyone can lead from the front he can. Individuals and agencies from across the globe have already demonstrated great bravery and compassion, now their countries' leaders should commit to follow up for the long term. A disaster but an opportunity for change not to be missed.

Having been lost for words watching the news unfold I finally decided to use the best words and pictures I could find on the web - from The Los Angeles Times. (report) and The Times Online (photographs)

  " The first e-mail went out within hours of the Jan. 12 earthquake, calling together some of Haiti's most prominent architects, engineers and urban planners. The next day, 50 people showed up at a house in the hillside suburb of Petionville and went to work. They have been meeting every day since, gathering around a table in a courtyard under the shade of a spreading almond tree. Their goal is simple. It is also audacious. They want to plan a new Haiti......" read the rest of the story via this link . 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Thunder only happens when it's raining.....

Most days I forget where I started, like tracks in the sand. It only takes a name to catch my attention; sometimes a name won't leave me be - it follows me around from one blog to another until I just have to check it out.
Today I started at What Would Katherine Hepburn Do?  It was the second time I had visited (she has some nice road trip pics up at the mo) and after a short browse I moved on to her recommend That's Not My Age.
If I like the look of a blog I save it to my favourites list for later, which I did because I could feel a journey coming on, but I will go back sometime soon.
 I was straightaway sucked in by her Nat Finkelstein photos and link with heavy references to Velvet Underground. Now I was a big fan when I was fifteen or so but I really didn't know a lot about what I was listening to sat up all night in my friend's brother's bedroom. Now I can check out Wikipedia and allmusic and find out a bit more about who I was listening to. As with the McGarrigles on my previous post I really had no idea how well known these artists are. I honestly thought it was just me and a few friends who listened to this stuff, it was not at all mainstream out west of Watford in the 70s.
For me books, films, music all have a time and a place in my personal history. I don't often revisit. Jack Kerouac belongs to the hitchhiking years of my late teens, Sylvia Plath too painfully close to post natal depression, and Fleetwood Mac to a few crazy years in my mid twenties when I truly loved and lost. So tonight's journey was one of poignant nostalgia and illumination ending in Dreams.....

Friday, 22 January 2010

Stormy Weather

Sometimes sadness brings a fullness to life. An old friend mailed me to say that Kate McGarrigle died recently and to thank me for tickets to a concert the sisters played at more than twenty years ago. I had forgotten......
On the radio today,  her sister, daughter and friends reminisced  and I heard some songs I had not listened to in a long while. There is a lovely recording of her final concert on You tube and many moving obituaries on the web: an overwhelming feeling of a life well lived. My heart went out to her daughter who was separated from Kate over the past months nursing her premature baby in London, .

We have had snow, Spring weather, more snow and more snow since my last post. I couldn't bear to get rid of my winter seaside banner altogether so I edited it in here and have replaced with this beautiful view from my window, the last snow margins defining the field edges. Today the snow is all melted but for the odd, solitary heap and the rain has not stopped.

Latest recommend: Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne. Fatalistic and irridescent.