October 2019 Supporting the 'fight', not being in it
In early September, with the help of friends who listened, I realised something. I discovered that whilst I still feel the passion for working for and in a decent civil society, as I have done since I was a teenager, I have landed in a new chapter.
This is a chapter when I am more drawn to supporting those who are strongly in the 'fight' rather than being in it. This is not a 'fight' in the sense of a pub brawl, but 'fight' in the sense of bouncing around in the middle of the struggle for decency and sustainability. Out there pushing and driving, with all the bruising and disappointments which go with it. Those who are up for that are younger than me and they have a robust energy. I still have lots of energy and I am taking care of it in way which befits the age, and my age.
XR Arrestee Support
Extinction Rebellion is sure out there - trying to focus attention on the global 'Climate and Ecological Emergency'. In April and again in October in 60 cities worldwide, 'rebels' have been taking action. That means some get arrested. I'm right there with them and started attending my local group, but hadn't found a way to be involved which felt right for me.
Then I heard about supporting arrestees. Imagine, you've been arrested for sitting in the street and trying to get the work to sit up and rake notice and for your trouble you've been in a police cell for 8 hours. You are charged and released. It may be 8 am, 5pm or 2am. Your happy to see there's someone there outside the police station to greet you, to offer food and drink and help you get to where you need to get to next.
The support arrangements across London were well organised in a WhatsApp bottom up sort of way, so that there were volunteers at each 'active' police station, 24 hours a day. I did a couple of six hour shifts at Charing Cross.
I think I helped some people and played my tiny part in bringing attention to the self destructive way we are living. And it was a practical way for me support, not being in, the 'fight'
Seaford or (Bantam) bust
In fact it was both. My 1968 BSA Bantam D14 motorbike has not been the most reliable of steeds. It has been off the road more than on. Nevertheless for a couple years I have been dreaming of making it all the way to Seaford (south coast of UK) and back, a round trip of some 120 miles.
Well in the fading days of summer, I made it and celebrated by jumping in the sea (yes mad Englishman!) followed by a mug of tea and angel cake. But on the way back the engine's spluttering, not helped by the rain, got worse and worse. I pretty much ground to a halt and gave up and then travelled the last 15 miles in a breakdown truck. I made it to Seaford - and bust
Now I'm planning on cleaning out the tank (with lashings of vinegar) and getting the carburettor professionally set up (over rich mixture was the problem). So next next time I head off to the south coast, it'll be ... Seaford and not bust.
Build a wall and chatting with neighbours
When we got back from holiday four years ago we found a bit of brick wall at the end of our narrow garden had fallen down. Being an old house, there were no documents to determine who owned it.
The somewhat complex positioning of the wall together with the situation of our various neighbours conspired to make the rebuilding of the wall well short of a straightforward matter.
But I decided to take a positive view of it and found that others slowly became somewhat inclined to do the same. So now, four years and some amount of money lighter, we have a fine rebuilt wall at the end of our garden together with strengthened relationships with folks living around us.
Posted on 25-10-2019 at 17:07