Late blogging today. The holidays are meandering on and before you know it, the day has run through your fingers like sand.
As far as ‘real’ politics go, things seem to be in the same state. Apparently ‘we’ (I think this is the political equivalent of the Royal ‘We’) are fully accepting of the term Brexit is Brexit, without actually knowing what that means or doing anything about it.
In the meantime, politicians (and I lose this term loosely) are still sweeping all the evil things they are doing to us under the tufted Wilton that is the EU and hoping nobody will notice that they are asset stripping the country piece by piece until we find we are actually on a flying carpet,
which can’t so much fly as plummet.
So while the wheels spin and frustrations mount at all the things we cannot do and cannot change, let me tell you about something we can do, something we can change.
At the weekend, I went with my friend David to a local festival to Leicester called Simon Says. It was at De Montfort Hall. It’s a pretty small thing in comparison to other festivals, with only four stages, and mostly local bands, but we had a blast. It was great fun pretending to be in our twenties again.
I got to see one of my favourite bands, The Wonderstuff, for the first time in over twenty years, and I pogoed for an hour, wringing with sweat, singing myself hoarse and generally forgetting that on Monday morning I would wake up feeling that I had broken both knee caps, and that by pretending to be young again, I was a fool to myself.
We saw all kinds of performers and what was brilliant was that every single one of them was great in their own way. It was so inspiring to see local talent that was truly talented.
One performer I particularly enjoyed was a performance poet called Jess Green. I bumped into Jess when I used to help in a school a few years ago, looking after the library and finding ways to encourage children to get excited about books and words. Jess came to do a few sessions with the children about poetry. At the time she was also working as a reading champion in a local high school.
Since then she’s become a full time poet, and gigs all over the country doing spoken word material with her band The Mischief Thieves. A lot of her material is political, and she is very sharp indeed. Although I’d seen her stuff on Youtube, I wanted to see her live, and I got my chance over the weekend.
If you get the chance I’d recommend it.
Now, you might think that I’m going to ask you to support your local arts scene as a political gesture, a kick in the teeth to the Nicky Morgans of this world who think that choosing the arts is a mistake, and won’t help you get on in life.
Obviously, I am doing that, but I am also doing a bit more.
During her set, Jess mentioned that Leicester’s Rape Crisis Centre has just had its funding drastically cut, and if it doesn’t get support, will have to close in the next twelve months. Jess is running the Leicester half marathon in October to raise some much needed funds to keep it going. She is also putting together a benefit gig in the Autumn with the political protest singer Grace Petrie and comedian Josie Long, to support the centre.
So here’s what you can do:
You can sponsor Jess to run the half marathon. It’s pretty impressive stuff, running. I only do it if the biscuit shop is in danger of closing, or if I am being forced to exit pursued by bears. You don’t have to give a lot to express your admiration for someone who has chosen to do it for much nobler reasons than me. Every little really does help. I’ve raised a few grand in my time, and believe me, a quid is just as valued by the person receiving it as a hundred.
Help someone who is actually running to help the country instead of the fools who think they run the country.
You can spread the word and the link if you haven’t got the funds to sponsor her. You might know someone who can and putting them in the way of doing it is a wonderful thing to do.
You can wait for me to tell you about the benefit, which sounds awesome already. Then you can book tickets and come. It’s another one of those worthy things to do which turns out to be excellent fun, so much fun you forget how worthy you’re being doing it.
Or, given that women’s refuges and rape crisis centres are being shut up and down the country, you could do something for a centre near where you live, or donate to Refuge, who also do an amazing job of protecting vulnerable women and children, and who are also having their funding cut to nothing.