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JUMP, FLY, SOAR.

17th JULY TO SUNDAY 20th AUGUST 2017

If you do follow your bliss…. I can’t remember where I first read or saw the poem. Maybe it was the first line that I have always recalled from some encounter, or saying or a film. But it made so much sense at a point in my life where I was thinking about what next. I knew that this, the life I was leading was not all. I knew that something had to be found and to change. The first plan was to buy a bigger flat, rent a room to help pay the bills and build from there. After about 3 attempts I settled in a flat and was almost there. Almost ready to sign the papers. And then I realised this would be more of the same. More material things to fill the house. More bills to pay. New neighbours, same tea shops, same,same,same. Luckily I was building a good life – unlike some I had enough food, a warm home, clothes, good health, friends and family.  SOMETHING ELSE WAS NEEDED.

And sometimes the thing has to be repeated to us before we are able to and ready to hear and see. And it needs to be big, bold and adventurous for me to grow. There was a moment when I stopped making excuses and became the reason. I have a clear plan. On my things to do list there are continents, people, things to do and a series of places in the world to see. I am single. Have no ties. No mortgage. No pets. Just houseplants.  SO!!

 JUMP.

Sell your home.   Put the cash in the bank.   Pay up debts.   Put your belongings in store.   Or give them away. And travel – see those places. Then…….

In a way it is a simple idea. I knew where I wanted to go. I had the money to fund it. My 2016 trip to the U.S.A. meant I had most of the equipment I needed. The barriers of fear. Of, “no one else is….”  When you make “what ifs” big, positive outcomes. The world is your gateaux. 

Let’s go!!

As I stepped out into this new world I discovered there is an array of physical, mental and spiritual, journeys to navigate. Some immediate. Some later and some still to come.

It is wonderfully liberating to know there are no bills dropping through the letterbox. I don’t have to play the “money expert ” game. Where you spend money and time to chase the best service provider. And sit back exhausted. When I walk past shops I can keep going.  I don’t need “things” because I have nowhere to put them. So I rarely buy.  My 5 or 6 t-shirts are enough. And my brain has more empty space to fill. Or not fill. I can walk around with an empty head. Many successful people and world leaders do.

“Where do you live?” is a strange question to answer when you do not have a home.  I don’t have any house keys. But I’m not homeless. It is a beautiful moment and feeling to recognise. And to know that, your home is not a thing but you. Within and around you wherever you stand. You are at home.These are my choices. So, who are you if not a householder. It took weeks for my brain to get it. To realise this is my life and routine now. The pressures are now different. And I’m not concerned about the mortgage rate rising. I can take time to enjoy more moments even more than before.

And when someone says “Do you fancy joining Black Artists on the move”, you can say “yes!” 

“I know where I am going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. 

I’m free to be what I want”.

K.S.

Follow your bliss -Joseph Campbell – www.goodreads.com

I know where I am going – Muhammad Ali www.goodreads.com

LOSING CONTROL – 3RD NOVEMBER 2015

It was a good day and there was lots of control and not much in there that showed me disruption in the way the event was organised, managed and presented. I had good chats with the organisers about this but none of the presenters and speakers reflected me as a black man and a member of the audience. I was told they chose the best speakers and not by colour. Which is good. By that definition the event reinforces the staus quo. Which maintains control and does not disrupt.
I know many non-white and diverse faces that can speak well and through their work disrupt. Bert Williams, M.B.E. of the Black History Project; Mosaic – working with black and mixed parentage families; Allsorts LGBTQ Youth Group; The Black Minority and Ethnic Community Partnership(BMECP); Sussex University – all based in Brighton.
I want to see more variety next year.K

BLACK HISTORY MONTH CANCELLED

 

 

19th OCTOBER 2015 – BLACK HISTORY MONTH CANCELLED
After twenty eight years of struggle to establish an identity, presence and acceptance I was sort of surprised to learn that Black History Month doesn’t happen in Wandsworth. This was while attending an event – 2000 years of British black music (delivered by Kwaku). It was held at Battersea Library which is run by Better/Greenwich Leisure Limited.
Wandsworth has Diversity month instead to “reflect ….all individuals and cultural groups within our borough” The librarian let slip the connection to funding, or the lack of funding or the chance to save money.
So you can wipe out the struggles, achievements and existence of a whole race by renaming their day. After fifty years in the U.K. and a thirty year career contributing to the life of the NHS my mother’s (and that of many, many others) recognition is that. 
Why am I complaining? 
I should listen to David Cameron and “move on” (October 2015). 
Black History Month has been celebrating the contributions and history of black communities and individuals since 1987.
I accept the realities of funding in our supposed times of austerity. Will Holocaust Memorial Day in January, LGBT History Month in February and International Women’s Day in March be cancelled? Or renamed?
Let’s hold our breaths and see what happens once the seasonal light displays come down (formally known as Xmas lights).
It is easy to talk with cultural groups about what they want celebrated and how.
How was the black community involved in this decision?
 
Looking forward to hearing the views of the Council Leader, local press and others.

On September 25th after twenty years of sharing the home with my late mum I am moving. The house in London is sold and I am house hunting to eventually settle in Hove, East Sussex.
 
I am now on a six month sabbatical from work. I loved my role as a Conflict Resolution Trainer for Ikon Training, Ipswich. But it is now time to rest, reflect, travel and find a new home.
 
2015-08-26 11.08.11

Barrington’s coffee shop, Edinburgh.

 
I started my sabbatical with some days full of nothing – rubbish t.v. and junk food. Then had my first trip to Edinburgh for the festival. What a great city for strolling around, lots to see and a chilled out feel. I saw the comedian Stewart Lee plus a couple of other shows on the Fringe. Then I spent a few days in Doncaster with my great friends there – shopping, eating, walking, and visiting York. And had my first taste of a Jaimie Oliver’s restaurant, which was better than I expected. I managed to complete three rolls of film and am enjoying taking photos again – old school. And I invested in a new Canon digital camera – impressive. So much, in so little – new school.
 
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The Mound, Edinburgh.

 
 
Valencia, Spain this year and in 2016 a trip to Cuba and America will be my next on my travels. Cities like Canterbury, Liverpool, Berlin and Prague also sound good.
 
 
The independent investigation in to the poor treatment of my mother by wandsworth council and the care home she was in has begun.
Contact me if you would like to see a copy of the report and are willing to send feedback letters to the council.

 

Keith

BLOGGING ON THE MOVE-The Edinburgh Festival 2015

Hello, let’s give it a try. I have just eaten a lovely meal at the jollof  hub on, Chapel
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Street , Edinburgh. Great West African food. Lamb chops, plantain, and jollof of rice. Chatted to a friendly guy sitting here but the next people weren’t so cheery. I completed my second roll of film today. Great to be creative and play. I also visited two good record stores and got a Luther vandross album from the list. Lots of new dad’s to watch. And on Friday I should sign the contract on the house. And move out on the 18th September.  One era ends and a new one begins. Blogging on the move could be here.KS

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