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Chester Arts Fair

 

November is the start of the truly busy time for craft fairs, artisan markets and most notably for myself, the Chester Arts Fair. This will be my third outing with a Deepbridge sponsored arts fair and hand on heart i have to say i just love them. You are guaranteed a very healthy footfall, fabulous art work from truly great artists who are all very friendly and you are guaranteed to find something to buy at reasonable prices. If you fancy visiting, Christmas gifts and all that, i have added a ticket to my Facebook page that you can download for free and this will give you free entrance in to the Arts Fair.

 

 

chester, arts, fair, grey, friars, tickets, complimentary, deepbridge, blackmango, spikeymouse

Bold Beasts

We met the author and illustrator to the Bold Beast books at the Summer Arts Market in St Georges Hall Liverpool at the weekend. Two lovely ladies who really love the books they produce and who work hard to gain the interest of the children who read them. Rachel Braddock writes the most wonderful stories of  everyday animals and insects. Cats, squirrels, caterpillars and fills the story with the most wonderful words in rhyme to enchant reader and listener. While the illustrations provided by Joy Rutherford are so pleasing to the eye. They are seemingly a simplistic design of animal and its environment but when you look closely they are a clever illustration of the story that encourages you to linger. Layout 1

Catullus the Caterpillar is a clever story of  a quite mean caterpillar intent on making his friends sick with his wicked concoctions who in the end gets his just deserts as his friends trick him. A tale of retribution and at the end realisation that you don’t do nasty things to your friends. Priced at £6.99 they are a great buy for parents to read at bedtime.

Over the years the Blue Bells on Grange Hill have multiplied exponentially. We now have a sea of flowers along the bottom of the hill which in the Spring is a beautiful sight. I  dont know how they got there as there never were Blue Bells on the Hill when i was a child, not that i can remember anyway. Maybe someone has planted them hoping to make a beautiful sea of Blue, it certainly worked.

 

Late one evening last week.

When I was taking my son back to his flat in Rock Ferry, I drove down Borough road and thought ‘oh that would be a great photo’. There on the opposite side of the street were a row of commercial premises with flats above. ‘So what’ I can hear you think. Well the reason I found them so interesting was because of the decay, dilapidation and forlornness of the buildings. high street, shops, closed, boarded up, vacant, empty, flats, disussed,

Where once there had been bustling shops with a myriad of different families living over them there now stood these forlorn looking buildings just waiting to be knocked down. While I was taking my photos a guy came out of the end building and started chatting to my husband. He actually lived in the flat over the, what we thought was empty, end retail space. Spray painting cars as a hobby, he was the last person in the block of old sshop, sign, old, faded, painted, high street, hops.

He told us that the shops had slowly closed over time, been bought and sold without anyone new moving in and eventually been bought by the council and left to rot. Apparently the council wants to knock all of the block down and turn it into green space. Not that we don’t need new homes of course, we all know we should be building on brown site land to save the countryside though, don’t we? Read more……….

Politics and Insights

8a26960ab68d6c169049cd0b22475a12On May 4, there was a debate in the House of Lords about discussions with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium on identifying a mobility criterion in the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment framework, which was led by Liberal Democrat Baroness Thomas.

Baroness Thomas of Winchestertabled a Motion to resolve in the House of Lords: 

“That this House calls on Her Majesty’s Government to hold urgent talks with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium to identify a mobility criterion in the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) “moving around” assessment which is fairer than the current 20 metre distance, in the light of the impact on reassessed disabled claimants and the resulting large number of successful appeals.”

She said: Tabling a Motion is an unusual course to take, but I assure the House that there is nothing fatal about it. However, if it were to…

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BeeWirral; Help in the Community

beewirral, livvy, livingstonestreet, poverty, birkenhead,BeeWirral is a not for profit Community Interest Company. Dedicated to supporting families in making positive choices so that they can improve their own life chances.  Running activities in Livingstone Street Community Center since 2014, their aim is to become a community resource. Somewhere that residents can go to take part in training, courses, activities and support services. They have a full timetable of activities which includes things like infant massage, baby groups, a quilting group, and gardening group, with something to suit everyone. Funded by Reaching Communities, The Morgan Foundation, John Moores Foundation, CFM and Your Wirral, this is a wonderful tool for the community Read more……….

high streetIn every community there is almost always a high street. From small corner shops to supermarkets, family owned shops to co-operatives. When times are good our high street flourishes the community and neighbourhood are strong and cohesive and times are good.

When you start to add things in like redundancy, unemployment, benefit cuts and sanctions then people don’t have money to spend. Every penny is spoken for so splashing out on that nice duvet cover, rug, bottle of wine or meal out stops.

Shop rent and rates go up, produce goes up because transportation costs are high and slowly the shops struggle to make enough profit to cover costs. Shops change hands, close down and the high street becomes a desolate waste land.

The effect on the community can be harsh, people spend less and less on their homes, with poor educational chances crime rates go up, ill health from poor nutrition and lack of access to basic health services affect the neighbourhood an inequality between individual’s and families becomes apparent and social segregation occurs. Those who have a job live on the nice side of the street where as those on benefit live on the wrong side of the street. It has to have an impact on peoples state of mind.

This can make for good community spirit as everyone is in the same situation or similar but often people feel displaced and on their own.

Read More…

Closing library’s Reading, one of the most useful, mischievous, secretly rebellious of acts. I can remember from an early age going to the local library with my mum to change my books and the…

Source: Do they have to close our library’s?

librarys closedClosing library’s

Reading, one of the most useful, mischievous, secretly rebellious of acts. I can remember from an early age going to the local library with my mum to change my books and then later with my friends to do homework and to hang out. They were always a quiet peaceful place to go and sit and read a book or magazine in. If you needed help the librarian could always be counted on to find what you were looking for. In the days pre internet that consisted of Encyclopedia Britannica and paper and pen!  Closing libraries is a fine way to keep the poor powerless, anyone could walk through those solid wooden doors and read quietly and learn. Our local library is the free custodian of local stories packed with drama and emotions and the history of where we live, filled with radical, stupid, exciting ideas all in one place, what more could you want. Get ride of libraries and you can wave goodbye to the type of escapism that is only found in books. Take away the library and you take away the one truly powerful thing for people who can’t afford an ipad or kindle or who have no quiet place.

There are so many other things the library gives you easy access to, the council offices re-situated there as the buildings housing them were sold off  to save money. Instead of going to the Town Hall to get help with your benefit or arrange your rent now you go to the library. Computers giving anyone access to the internet, for a fee. The Citizens Advice Bureau, trained volunteers there to help with free advice.  It is our community lifeline, sometimes our only access to the internet, take this away from the old, poor, disables and you take away our power and confidence. Every day we face the unintended consequences of our governments ill thought out and criticised moves to save money and combine benefits, thought out and implemented by those without money worries, who have no problem with paying their bills and their mortgages, is this just a way to punish the poor and balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society.

Crowdfunding

I have not heard a great deal about it and certainly no one i know has ever asked me to contribute to their crowd funding project, quite possibly that is a good thing as i spend most of my money on my photographs! But then i had an idea for a photographic project and as it developed i realised i was going to have to fund it in some way. My project is called ‘Poverty is a state of mind’ and i started it because of the things i have read in the media and experienced my self with regard to benefits and the stigma attached to people on them. I knew what i wanted to aim for and realised that as i am a landscape photographer i would actually need a new camera lens as all the ones i have are telephoto/zoom and if i am going to speak to charities and individuals it would be nice to be able to offer a donation for their time. Then i have the cost of printing my photographs to exhibit them, so there is indeed quite an expense to be covered. I looked at a few crowdfunding sites, Justgiving, Fundingtree, Kickstarter, Indigogo to name a few, there are literally loads out there and decided to go with Fotofund as it is aimed at photographers.

poverty

Crowdfunding is a way of raising your finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money. Crowdfunding uses the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders. Typically, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website (Fotofund) then they can then use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work aquaintances, to raise money. Once a donation is made you then reward the donor with something, either a photograph or set of photographs from your project down to a thank you on social media. Typically you would work an hour a day posting on your blog, up dating your website, using social media, sending emails and ringing potential donors. Its hard graft and you have to do it to see the results.

You can visit my Fotofund page at http://en.fotofund.org/campaigns/poverty-state-mind-damn-government-dictates/  pass it along on your social media if you would and look out for future posts.

 

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