Saturday, May 31, 2008
See these two photos, I took them whilst visting Soweto recently. This is called an informal settlement, there are 400,000 people living in this one. The houses are made from scrap anything that can be found. They are not element proof and run the serious risk of being rife with all sorts of illness and diesese due to poor hygiene. But the most distressing of all is the toilets provided by the government. The eight porter loos in the photo above are for all 400,000 residents of the area! There are 16 loos in total, eight on this side and eight along the other boundary. For 400,000 people! This is disgraceful, humiliating and down right cruel. Shame on the South African government for not providing proper housing for these people, for not taking care of their basic hygiene and for failing to deliver on their promises!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I was walking past the cheese counter in Whole Foods the other day when a man stopped me to ask if I would like to sample some of the cheddar on display.
I was already seduced by the pungent air, so I did and it was mouth wateringly good. It was mature, crumbling and addictive. The man told me it was the Original Cheddar from Cheddar in Somerset, the only cheddar cheese still made there. I nodded and took another piece.
He then went on to say that it was hand churned. I took another piece. Then he said it was wrapped up with love and care. I nodded, savoring the blissful intoxication. Then he said it is stored in a cave to mature for years. Well the cave did it, sold to the women on the left!
Cheddar should have the same status as Parmesan and Champagne. They just have been a little slow in registering it.
Talking of slow food, I was reading about the Slow Food Movement and I encourage you all to do the same. It is what life should be about; good, fair and clean food. Taking pleasure in life by rewarding the earth and those that prepare food with appreciation. A meal from organic, tasteful and local produce shared slowly with friends is hard to beat. Click the link to find out more - it gets my 100% support.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
When something can absorb something else without being changed at all by what it has absorbed, it proves itself.
That is what I read today written on the wall about colour. I went to the Blood on Paper exhibition at the V&A. Richard Tuttle wrote it. This got me thinking about the causes of change and how we should embrace personal change by understanding the effect it has on ourselves. Just when you think you know yourself, a little ebb and flow happens and you have to change. I think to some people change just happens; to others, like myself, we have to allow it to happen.
Colour is about letting the light through. Black exists because there is no light.
A friend told me on Sunday night that my life is all about observing the interactions between people. She said, I was always watching and studying how people react to conversations, situations and events. She said particularly my interest was seeing how people react to the outrageous. She might be right.
Sunday night proved to be quite an interesting anthropological study all round. After the above discussion took place we went out for a drink to a local cocktail bar. The place was awash with the liquored up. The colour of loneliness. An old and beautiful friend of mine was there; let’s call him the The Beautiful One. With my new found understanding of myself I put ‘reaction observation’ to the test. Mistake! I realised when talking to him, and presenting some interesting stimulus, my past assessment of him was wrong. He was just a regular to that bar not the truly deep man I wished him to be, my illusion was shattered. With that my study came to an end, being too keen an observer will not always deliver you what you want.
So, you see, something can’t absorb something else without changing!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
What the fuck have I been doing all this time? That's not metaphorical. What have I been doing? I’ve been sleeping, eating, running, practicing yoga, talking, writing (but not on here), listening, smiling (not enough), searching, working, waiting, I’ve been doing all that and more so why do I feel I’m treading water? What if this is as good as it gets? It might not be and it also might just be.
Actually I am waiting for something. I’m waiting for my fight with the Yanks to be over. After next week I will decide when that will be, but for the moment a certain part of me is I’m waiting.
The other part is planning and thinking. I’m planning what is going to happen after the fight. I’m planning my next adventure. I’m planning various business ideas. I’m actually planning to stop planning at some stage and just be. Just being is titanically hard for me. I start to feel I’m not achieving anything, I’m not doing anything and I’m wasting time. But the true question is, am I, are we, doing something that is worth it? What is worth really? Worth to you, worth to a community, worth to the world, all these questions are very worthy. Who gets to decide what you are doing is worth it? Only you. Are you making a difference in your life? Are you making a difference in the lives of the people around you? Are you choosing your worth and living up to it every day. These are very hard questions and easy to avoid, I know. But the first stage comes with asking questions. The second comes from having the strength to want to change. The third comes when making change a matter of your personal responsibility. The realisation that no one else who is more capable than you.
“It is the realisation that the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”
Steve Biko, speaking about black consciousness and the restoration of pride and dignity of black people after centuries of racism