Tuesday, 22 March 2011

"The emmet's inch and eagle's mile"

Jack in a rare polemic against the enveloping blight of feckless modernity - twenty six seconds just found on the web posted three years ago by Russell Davies who's no Luddite, indeed seems as fascinated as Jack always was with inventiveness and gadgetry. I asked members of the illustrious JH Committee, by email,  if they recognised the clip. Ian Wegg came back to me almost at once:
Hi Simon. That is from the video release of Out of Town - the 'Appleby Fair' edition (which is episode 1 of the DVDs*). The hook is used by gypsies to hang a cooking pot or kettle over a fire, which leads him into the Appleby Fair film. He is unusually animated isn't he! Regards, Ian.

That yard of curly iron bar is the symbol of a dying culture. One of the rich small cultures which are giving ... all the way from the Amazonian Indians to the Eskimos which are giving way before a tide of denim and plastic and microchips and sparking plugs and frozen snacks. I'm reminded over and over of the inaccuracy of the distinction made between people who welcome change and those who resist it. Far from being in either category Jack detested the lazy disposition that propagates such polarisations, vexed by the mind-set which, amid buzzing blooming confusion, sees only black and white, confuses that with 'plain speaking'; claims it as 'common-sense'. Such thinking - horridly prevalent, amplified by torrents of printed and spoken comment, examines a grain of sand and sees - what? A grain of sand; looks at a wild flower and sees what? A wild flower. Pretty. Looks at the palm of their hand and sees? "My hand. So?"  Watching a clock, notes an hour's passed. I saw a quote by Corfucius - a Corfu blogger - sharing the confidence of a mentor who said to him, while a youth, "anyone who isn't thoroughly confused is simply very badly informed." William Blake hit the mark on plastic thinking - A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. How my stepfather would have enjoyed conversations with Socrates who, in a few minutes of question and answer, could hook a plastic thought, play it for a few minutes and drop it with vexing ease into his keep-net of clichés. For dispensing bewilderment he was tried for corrupting youth! He and Jack would have shared jokes and anecdotes and laughed a lot.
* These are the commercially available VHS tapes, and now DVDs, that Jack made with Steve Wade. These episodes, included OB film from earlier broadcasts but none went out live - my stepfather's great preference. I continue to search out recordings of his original broadcasts.

Wandering along a downland slope twenty years ago Jack shows a close cropped hillside full of cowslips - product of regular sheep grazing and rabbits feeding, then an example of more recent ley grass monoculture - cocksfoot, ryegrass, white clover, and then an enclosed meadow. once commons, full of flowers and insects that live on them, now rare in the British countryside. Thirty and more varieties of herbage he knows best by their traditional country names; for instance, ox-eye, marguerite or dog daisy. 'Many of my relatives must have been conceived among the dog daisies."
...among the dog daisies
*****
Anyway I'm off to London after a meet this morning with Edmund Branch, following a meet yesterday with Cllr.Mahmood Hussain and Yvonne Wager to help agree ways of ensuring the future of Central Handsworth Practical Care Project, Qatib Ali having circulated notice of his resignation from the project 'I have taken over'.
It's going to have to be managed participatively and constructively by a like minded committe of trusted volunteers who get on with each other and can be audited for their stewardship of public money.
Hi Simon. The organisation that I thought may be able to offer some advice assistance to the Practical Care Project is: Community Network 4 Birmingham Best regards Yvonne, Birchfield Neighbourhood Manager
Tonight I'm doing a seminar with councillors at Lambeth on questioning skills for scrutiny Tomorrow I'm up to Darlington to meet Mark Taylor and borrow his old VHS video of live Old Country broadcasts which I'll pass on to the expertise of Tony Herbert for digitising. Meantime I've been sent this sweet little clip of an Italian bloke weaving through the streets of Genoa on his green folding bicycle - just as I do - including buses, trams and trains in his journey. His accompanying letter:
I am now in a position to share the videoclip we produced with Monleone Films for the presentation I gave during last Toward Carfree Cities Conference held in York. It shows how it is possible to move effortlessly by bike in a hilly city. No more climbs thanks to elevators, funiculars, buses, nor long rides thanks to metro trains. It provides a snapshot of the experience we gathered since 2004 on this mobility concept. Feel free to contact me for any further information. Cheers, Massimiliano AmirfeizGreen Mobility, Genova (Italy)

** ** **
The Regional Governor of the Ionian Islands, Spyros Spyrou and the Mayor of Corfu, John Trepeklis, and the Chairman of the Department of the Technical Chamber of Corfu, Nikos Spingos, have co-organized an event to update people on plans for wind farms on Corfu. This will be done by Evangelos Dialynas, a mechanical electrical engineer and Professor from NTUA (National Technical University of Athens). The meeting will be held next Thursday, March 31 at 17.30 in the hall of TEE, 13 Alexandras Avenue - 3rd floor - Corfu.

Ο Περιφερειάρχης Ιονίων Νήσων, Σπύρος Σπύρου, ο Δήμαρχος Κέρκυρας, Γιάννης Τρεπεκλής και ο Πρόεδρος του Τμήματος Κέρκυρας του Τεχνικού Επιμελητηρίου, Νίκος Σπίγγος, πήραν την πρωτοβουλία να συνδιοργανώσουν εκδήλωση με θέμα την ενημέρωση για τα αιολικά πάρκα.  Η ενημέρωση θα γίνει από τον Ευάγγελο Διαλυνά, καθηγητή του Ε.Μ.Π., μηχανολόγο – ηλεκτρολόγο μηχανικό, την προσεχή Πέμπτη 31 Μαρτίου, στις 17.30 στην αίθουσα εκδηλώσεων του Τ.Ε.Ε. (Λ. Αλεξάνδρας 13 – 3ος όροφος – Κέρκυρας).

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