A Perfect Day – Potsford Wood and Gibbet

Today Michelle and I went to Potsford Wood to see the Potsford Gibbet.

Now, I would like to point out that we have three boys who drive me mad, make me proud and fill me with love in equal measure. Today however they we’re with Grandma and Grandad.

Today life was returned to a time before Michelle and I had responsibilities.

Today was good.

Today the weather was like this:

Lovely day for ducks
Lovely day for ducks - my Dad would be so proud of me for that statement 🙂

 

Things like a bit of rain don’t worry us though, so today we went here:

 

Potsford wood takes a little effort to get to as there’s no where to park close by, but we didn’t let that stop us and we parked on a spare patch of land about 1/2 a mile down the road and off we trekked.

Today, this is what greeted us when we got there:

Potsford Wood
The entrance to Potsford Wood

Potsford Gibbet

The main reason we came here was to see the Potsford Gibbet which is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of the last man hanged there.

Today, sadly, he was not in attendance, but if you want to know more about gibbeting click here.

Today the only creatures here were myself and Michelle, oh and there were some Tits out and about:

Tits in the trees
Tits in the trees

 

They look like Tits of some sort but hard to tell as they were quite high.

We found the Potsford Gibbet quite quickly, it’s not far up the footpath, unfortunately there really wasn’t much left as you can see:

Potsford Gibbet
Potsford Gibbet

 

The plaque on the front read as follows:

Potsford Gibbet Plaque
Potsford Gibbet Plaque

 

Apparently Mr Snell was not a pleasant chap. Having killed 2 people, he was dragged up the hill and executed here.

Today though he was not feeling sociable.

I have to say, after us both being a little geekily excited at the prospect of Potsford Wood, it was a bit of a let down. Once you got further up the track there were signs saying private property keep out so you couldn’t actually get to the majority of the woodland itself which was a real shame.

So we made our way back down the track and on root saw this very obviously Male tree:

A rather excited male tree
A rather excited male tree

 

We then walked the 1/2 mile back to the car and the rest of the afternoon was spent pottering around until it was time to get the kids.

Then back home so Michelle could make dinner.

Today dinner was this amazing stew:

Amazing Stew by Michelle
Amazing Stew by Michelle

 

As you can see it was most welcomed and incredibly delicious:

the stew is no more
The stew is no more.

 

Today one of the best things was our soundtrack. Those who know me or read this blog (yeah right) know my tastes are somewhat eclectic but today was really Michelle’s choice and I have to say it was awesome:

The soundtrack to our day
The soundtrack to our day

 

Today for me the musical highlights were:

The last of these Michelle made her own words up to…
I know a girl and Ruby is her name,
her left and her right boob don’t feel quite the same.

Inspired I think you’ll agree 🙂

So why have I shared all this with you? Simple.
Things can sometimes seem very stressful. Money worries could be getting you down, working too many hours, things seemingly always bleak and so on.
Fact is though, I for one am luckier than many, so I know to count my blessings rather than worry about the things I don’t have or can’t change.

I have my Wife and Kids and my health. Not much else that really matters.

BTW if you want to follow my gorgeous and obviously very funny wife you can: JMEsuffolk

Injustice

I wan’t to tell you about a lady from the UK called Hannah Smith.

You won’t have heard about Hannah in the news because her government would like to keep her story quiet. They prefer that others do the same and the mainstream media generally just don’t care.

Hannah has just been released from jail after a 40 day hunger strike and has been forced to leave her home, family and friends as she must spend the next three years in another country.

Why on earth was she on hunger strike you ask?

Let me explain.

Hannah was originally arrested on 14th September 2009.
She was held for 8 days, during which her lawyer claims she suffered from the following abuse:

  • She was put in solitary confinement for 8 days straight with no sunlight.
  • she was interrogated solidly between 10am and late evening everyday.
  • She was beaten on the hands and arms.
  • she was tied to her bed and photographed.

At the end of these 8 days she was then held over for another 9 days which authorities claim was for the purposes of investigation.

On 29th September 2009 a six-month administrative detention order was placed on Hannah on the premise that she posed a threat to security. The order was set to expire on 28 March 2010.

At the judicial review of the order, which took place on 5 October 2009 the 6 month detention was upheld due to secret evidence that she was planning a terrorist attack. She had also allegedly begun preparation for said attack but proof of this was never brought before the court.

Seventeen days of investigation, including eight days of consecutive interrogation did not prove the suspicions against Hannah and no evidence of the alleged “intention” was brought before the court.

At no point did the court establish Hannah’s association with a terrorist group nor did they establish whether she was supposed to be working alone or as part of a group.

All suspicions directed towards Hannah remained vague and general, leaving her without any legitimate means to defend herself.

Her Lawyers were not permitted to see the “secret information” used as a basis for the detention order, rendering any possible legal defense meaningless.

Hannah’s attorneys filed an appeal against her administrative detention order, but the appeal was refused and Hannah’s order remained set until 13 March 2010.
This was subsequently extended for six months.
On 12 September 2010, Hannah’s administrative detention order was extended for an additional six month period.
In March 2011, her order was again renewed, and in July 2011 it was renewed for a fourth time, due to expire on 9 November 2011.

Hannah was released from prison on 18 October 2011.

25 months in Jail without charge and with no real proof presented to support her detention.

She was then arrested AGAIN less than 4 months later for being a “perceived security threat”. She was again held without charge and therefore decided to protest by going on hunger strike.

She remained on hunger strike until she began to bleed from her nose and mouth.

Now having been released she must spend the next 3 years away from her family and friends in another country.

I cannot express just how sad and angry I felt when I read this woman’s story, to me it was a total injustice.

How does it make you feel?

Angry?

Sad?

Or do you think there’s nothing wrong with her treatment?

Do you think this should go unchecked?

Would it shock you to know that she is just one of many people treated this way?

Do you, like me, wonder why on earth this is not front page news!?

Well let me tell you why…

 

 

Hannah Smith from the UK is actually Hana Shalabi from Israel.

Do you feel any differently now?

If not, do some reading using the links below and find out just how much goes on that you never hear about as it’s outside the comfort zone of the media in this country.

About Hana:
BBC News report about Hana’s release
Full details of Hana’s detention

General Injustice and Mis-information:
in-need-of-protection-palestinian-female-prisoners.pdf
Injustice Needs a Voice
Iran is not the problem

Musicologicalitarianism or Music and People.

music
Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yeah I know, no such word, but maybe there should be hey!

The idea of this post is to take a light-hearted but very serious, deep and philosophical look at the different types of people in the world and what music means to them.

This may or may not be common knowledge but there are two types of people in this world.

Those who don’t get music, those that hear music and those that feel music…Three, there are three types of people in this world.

People who don’t get music

OK, so people who don’t get music are not even on my radar. I don’t know them, don’t want to know them and quite frankly am not sure why they even exist.

Harsh you may think, but to me music is a big part of my soul. Anyone who doesn’t get music is missing some of their soul and is therefore inherently evil (please hear evil as if said by Dr Evil from Austin Powers, thanks).

So lets forget about them and move onto the people that hear music.

People who hear music.

There are two types of people that hear music… Four, there are four types of people in this world.

They are split into those who like music and those who love music.

The Likers

That’s it. They like music. They have all sorts of stuff on their iPod but generally tend to stay away from anything too edgy or inventive. People like different types of music and that’s fine. Each to their own. These people could quite easily live without music and should therefore, in my honest opinion, be slightly pitied.

The Lovers

These people are more my kind of people. They most definitely cannot live without music and nor would they. You can take their TV, you can take their home but…you cannot take their MP3 player, CDs and Vinyl (Winston Churchill Voice required).

Lovers again fall into two groups… Five, there are fi… oh sod it, you get the idea.

The Safe Lover

No, it doesn’t mean they feel the need to sheath themselves every time they pick up a pair of headphones. It means they know what they like and they like to stick to it.

These people will happily listen to their music for hours on end but, try and get them to listen to something out of their comfort zone and generally they fall back on the “that’s a load of noise” defense or “my music’s good and yours isn’t” type of shenanigans.

The Wild Lover

These people will listen to pretty much anything and will enjoy it. Not necessarily just for it’s clever construction or heart felt lyrics, but quite often just because they can see through to the core of the music and say “you know what, the person that wrote this meant every note and word”.

They generally don’t like anything that doesn’t carry a certain kind of sincerity to it. That doesn’t mean they only listen to music with a conscious content or whateve,r it just means they have to believe the person is making music for the right reason: the music.

The true believers of the church of Music.

These people go beyond hearing music and actually feel it within them. Often they are dancers or musicians themselves. When they hear music of all kinds they feel the need to understand it:

  • why was it made?
  • what else has this person done?
  • where can I get a copy?

These people get it.

Music is an art form. True art can talk to your soul in ways that other things can’t.

It can bring you to tears, if can fill you with joy, it can build a feeling within you that puts you on the edge of your senses, riding along like there’s no tomorrow and the world doesn’t exists.

For some it will be the string section of an overture, for others a baseline so low and dirty it makes Katy Price look like a saint.

To give you an example of those that hear and those that feel, compare people like Justin Beiber, Chreyl Cole and Nicki Minage/Minge whatever her name is (those that hear) to Prince, Michael Jackson or Jimi Hendrix. Watch any of these three perform live and you can just see the passion and emotion on their face as the words or notes are being released from them. They are on another level.

Anyone who doesn’t feel music will not understand how you can feel music. That’s cool though I’m not discriminating (except for those evil ones I mentioned at the start), I just think it’s a shame they will never know that feeling.

Some people don’t get that a song can sound like a bunch of noise if that noise is made with feeling and has some integrity to it. You don’t have to be able to understand it, or sing along to it to know there’s something special in there. You can feel it’s there.

I count myself fairly lucky that my Dad was a musician. He played piano like a rock and roll demon in his day (which he won’t want me to tell you was quite a while ago). This meant I grew up on Rock n Roll, and the idea of Rock n Roll appealed to me. Hell it still does.

You must understand, I don’t just mean the sound, but the ethos from back then. Everything was fresh, breaking new ground and creating shock-waves around the globe. It was anti-establishment and it wasn’t afraid to point the finger, make you dance, make you think and break the rules. I liked that.

I’m going to cover this in more detail in a another post but what it made me realise is that rock n roll isn’t a sound, it’s a feeling and it’s still present if you look for it. I grew up on a mixture of Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles, Queen and (Sorry Mum, but you brought this on yourself) Cliff Richard. My own tastes then interjected and I found my own Rock n Roll in the form of Run DMC, Grand Master Flash and then later, De La Soul. I also found it in people like Altern8 and Roni Size, as well as the more traditional idea of Rock n Roll like Prince and The Who.

Mix all this up together and I like to think I hover somewhere between Wild Lover and True Believer. There are songs I listen to because I like them (LMFAO being an obvious guilty pleasure) and then there are some I listen to because they just speak to me in the right way at the right time (Cross Town Traffic by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy by De La Soul, Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles or I Need Air by Magnetic Man).

To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but let me know which type you think you are.