Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Staxtes: English Wednesdays

This from - Greek Literary Review, since 2003

"As from this very day we accept English prose, poetry or essays that consist of anywhere from 50 to 2000 words (of course, word count does not apply to poetry), that will be published here*, every Wednesday (to begin with) -pictures are not accepted. A submission guide may, or may not eventually appear in the near future as art carries no certainties -You are nevertheless free to submit your writing and get a prompt response." (Stratos)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Is Brent council neglecting Roundwood Park?

The flowerbeds and borders are growing wild and overgrown with weeds this year. Compare the pictures from last summer with those taken today. Is it time to worry or will all be restored by August 2013?

22 June 2013

Flowerbed 2013

Flowerbed 2013

Looking towards the north gate, over some empty flowerbeds

Thistles and weeds in the borders

Wild grass in the borders

5 August 2012

Flowerbed 2012

Flowerbed 2012

Flowerbed 2012

Looking towards the north gate, 2012

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wasteland of the free

"We've got CEOs making 200 times the workers' pay and they'll fight like hell against raising the minimum wage. ... And if you don't like it mister, they'll ship your job to some third world country across the sea."

This lyric by Iris DeMent sounds pretty much like editorial here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Announcement: Charles Lambert to judge Willesden 2014

Charles Lambert
We are delighted and hon-oured that the acclaimed writer, Charles Lambert, has agreed to be our judge for the 2014 Willesden Herald short story competition.

“Born in England, Charles Lambert has been living in Italy since 1980. His début novel, Little Monsters, was published by Picador in March 2008 and his story The Scent of Cinnamon was selected as one of the O Henry Prize Stories 2007. … He now lives in Fondi, exactly halfway between Rome and Naples, a stone’s throw from what was once the Appian Way.” (

Charles’ second novel “Any Human Face” was published by Picador in May 2010. Just this year, his agent made the following announcement: “The Blake Friedmann Literary Agency is pleased to announce two new deals with UK publishers for Charles Lambert. Angry Robot’s crime imprint, has acquired World English Language rights to two novels by Charles Lambert. The first to be published will be THE VIEW FROM THE TOWER, a gripping psychological thriller about friendship, love and betrayal, which begins with the killing of a high-level Italian civil servant when his wife is in a Rome hotel room with her lover, not far from the scene of the assassination. She must cut through the complex web of deceit that surrounds her in order to discover who is responsible.” (Charles Lambert - Wordpress).

You can see that only the highest standard of writing will suffice to set before this writers’ writer, also very much a readers’ writer. So you’d better round up those stray stories, throw a bucket of water over them and start schooling them if they are going to get anywhere in the annual Willesden story gala. Opening 1 August 2013.

Three sided pissoir, Paddington

It has three urinals. No good for those stricken with ineluctably bashful bladder nor for more than 50% of all other people. Talk about minimalism! Does it go down into the ground to clean itself? If so, it could  be unfortunate for anyone standing there at the time.

Extraordinary events in the sky

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Study spaces this summer & library split

Electric House "community creative hub"

Library study space sign

Details: 7 May to 30 June

"Willesden Green library @ Electric House"

The library they are demolishing was always full of young people studying at the tables upstairs. This appears to be an effort to replace that facility while it is being rebuilt. However, it is only available till the end of June.

As well as part of the Willesden library being at Grange Road in George Furness House (see our pictures here), another part of it will be in the Lewinson Centre, 165-167 High Road. This Brent Council web page has the opening hours but no details of what will be in each of the two locations. I certainly couldn't find poetry in George Furness House, (perhaps only a Betjeman could have?). It also warns that the study spaces in Electric House will only be available till 25 June, which is different to what it says on the sign there (30 June).

Sign on the wall of the Lewinson Centre

Mini cab office

Station Parade, NW2

Flags out at True Buddha Temple

True Buddha Temple

Willesden High Road

Something to do with this? Geezer styles himself: "His Holiness Living Buddha Lian-Sheng".

Charity walk for G.O.S.C.H. today

Hundreds took part in the walk from the Kenton temple to Willesden Green temple to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. The walk was very well marshalled. You can contribute to the fund and help them reach their target here.

Celebrating 125 years of the British and Irish Lions

An amusing film, very well made

Sunday, June 02, 2013

What is Happening in Istanbul? | İnsanlik Hali

In case anything happens to the text or the author, here it is in full:

What is Happening in Istanbul? | İnsanlik Hali:

'via Blog this'

"To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Four days ago a group of people who did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and students.  Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least one in every neighborhood! The tearing down of the trees was supposed to begin early Thursday morning. People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees.  Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull the hundred-year-old trees out of the ground, they stood up against them to stop the operation.

They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines.

No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out.

But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray.  They chased the crowds out of the park.

In the evening the number of protesters multiplied. So did the number of police forces around the park. Meanwhile local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located. The metro was shut down, ferries were cancelled, roads were blocked.

Yet more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking.

They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park: The right to live as honorable citizens of this country.

They gathered and marched. Police chased them with pepper spray and tear gas and drove their tanks over people who offered the police food in return. Two young people were run over by the tanks and were killed. Another young woman, a friend of mine, was hit in the head by one of the incoming tear gas canisters. The police were shooting them straight into the crowd.  After a three hour operation she is still in Intensive Care Unit and in  very critical condition. As I write this we don’t know if she is going to make it. This blog is dedicated to her.

These people are my friends. They are my students, my relatives. They have no «hidden agenda» as the state likes to say. Their agenda is out there. It is very clear. The whole country is being sold to corporations by the government, for the construction of malls, luxury condominiums, freeways, dams and nuclear plants. The government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against its people’s will.

On top of all that, the government control over its people’s personal lives has become unbearable as of late. The state, under its conservative agenda passed many laws and regulations concerning abortion, cesarean birth, sale and use of alcohol and even the color of lipstick worn by the airline stewardesses.

People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.

What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. Three people lost their eyes.

Yet they still march. Hundred of thousands join them. Couple of more thousand passed the Bosporus Bridge on foot to support the people of Taksim.

No newspaper or TV channel was there to report the events. They were busy with broadcasting news about Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.

Police kept chasing people and spraying them with pepper spray to an extent that stray dogs and cats were poisoned and died by it.

Schools, hospitals and even 5 star hotels around Taksim Square opened their doors to the injured. Doctors filled the classrooms and hotel rooms to provide first aid. Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs. Around the square they placed jammers to prevent internet connection and 3g networks were blocked. Residents and businesses in the area provided free wireless network for the people on the streets. Restaurants offered food and water for free.

People in Ankara and İzmir gathered on the streets to support the resistance in Istanbul.

Mainstream media kept showing Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.


I am writing this letter so that you know what is going on in Istanbul. Mass media will not tell you any of this. Not in my country at least. Please post as many as articles as you see on the Internet and spread the word.

As I was posting articles that explained what is happening in Istanbul on my Facebook page last night someone asked me the following question:

«What are you hoping to gain by complaining about our country to foreigners?»

This blog is my answer to her.

By so called «complaining» about my country I am hoping to gain:
  • Freedom of expression and speech,
  • Respect for human rights,
  • Control over the decisions I make concerning my on my body,
  • The right to legally congregate in any part of the city without being considered a terrorist.
  • But most of all by spreading the word to you, my friends who live in other parts of the world, I am hoping to get your awareness, support and help!
Please spread the word and share this blog.

Thank you!
For futher info and things you can do for help please see Amnesty International’s Call for Urgent Help"