Sunday, 26 February 2012

mighty reds

Carling Cup Winners 2012

Monday, 20 February 2012


 the orchestral arrangement
- a work in progress


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Sunday, 5 February 2012

action for today

deep and crisp and even

On my recent travels I was in Kings Lynn on the northern coast of Norfolk. It is a picturesque town with a long history as a port. The town center is typical of most town centers and so I could have been any where in the UK. The weather was bitterly cold and I was chilly even though well clothed and well fed. To be out in the open was challenging. In a side street a young man was shivering in the cold and mumbling to him self. He was a little younger than my own son Luke. he had a card board sign that stated he was homeless and sleeping rough. I gave him some money and he blessed me. I felt impotent. I was reminded of all the good things in my life and how any of us might lose it all due to the twists and turns and the vagaries of our lives.
A little further along the same street an old man was dancing and playing a truly battered acoustic guitar that had no strings. He strummed and swayed like a man lost in his own strange muse. He was filthy and his clothes were ragged. His eyes were dim and he seemed so isolated from the people who passed him by only feet away from where he stood. I have not seen a more desperate pair of men for a very long time.


The Busker Man

See the busker man
ragged like a fading 
shooting star
As dirty as the chimney sweep's
little boy
climbing through the dark
Dancing like St Vitus
he strums imaginary strings
on his guitar

So many reasons to walk on by
turn away - avert your eyes

See the younger man
trembling like a leaf
upon a storm
He said I'm freezing
in the sunshine
and I'm driven to the wall
She's reaching for some money
he looks at her
with eyes gone some where warm

So many reasons to walk on by
turn away - avert your eyes

copyright edgar broughton - one songs

It strikes me that we frequently make judgements about people begging which divide them into “the deserving” or “undeserving” poor.  I pondered on the criteria I sometimes use, consciously or not, prior to putting my hands in my pocket.  Is it about the possibility that they will spend my hard earned money on booze or drugs?  Could they be conning me and they have a large house in an upmarket area of town, receive a fortune in benefits, using begging as a sideline?  Will they spend the donation I give in a way that I might not approve?
Due to the extreme temperatures we have recently had I have been more aware of the people I see in the town where I live.  There are some that are regularly seen in the same place. 2 days ago I went into town and stood beside a man who I have occasionally spoken to before and have given money to.  After 5 minutes I really felt the need to move on as, despite being well dressed for the freezing temperature, it was almost unbearable to stay. If he, and others in his situation, were trying to take my money they were paying a massive price.  He said he was staying there until he could go to the night shelter at 8pm.  It was then 11am.
The local churches have set up a winter scheme where they open at night from 8pm to 8am and homeless people can go there for a hot meal, shower and change of clothes.  When they asked for volunteers to run this scheme on local radio they had more than double the numbers they needed.  I applaud this and wish them well with their endeavour. 
Act now - give what you can.