Monday, 29 December 2008

killing on our doorstep

As you will have gathered by now I go to conflict zones and those countries emerging from conflict as part of my job. I am off to Congo in January, where literally millions have died in the last 5 years in a conflict that turns children into soldiers. And rapists. And eventually casualties.

But this post is about the shooting that took place on Loftus Road a few days ago. Carried out on a 20 year old by suspects reported to be younger. By what warped route have we arrived at the situation in this country, where by comparison we want for nothing , and where our own children take each others lives?

Charlton v QPR

some pics (and even a video or two) from the recent game at the Valley. QPR really are the most frustrating team to watch. If they really think they can make the play offs they had better rediscover how to defend. Charlton, a team fighting relegation, avoided defeat fro the first time in months by coming back from behind. Twice.

I didnt bother going to Loftus Road for the Watford game after seeing this, and looking at the eventual scoreline (0-0) I am very glad not to have parted with my cash. Must do better.[gallery]

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Skating on slush

Could we not do better than this?!

My favourite friends, the rats of the Green, will be thanking their lucky stars at this hand out from the gods. Fast food left overs by the bag load littering the green and getting them through those cold winter months. All of which wouldnt be so bad if the Green was made some kind of winter wonderland for ushumans.

But instead we have something that reminds me of this Lapland place that was closed down recently[gallery]

after the parents of weeping children threatened to kill the proprietors!

The key attraction has to be this "ice rink" - covered in at least a cm of water. Do you need water skis to use it?!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Back from the Bush to the Bush

some highlights from Liberia west africa where I was involved in organising a peace festival in the capital Monrovia before spending a week in the bush gathering personal testimonies from conflict survivors, women and peacebuilders

More detail on my experiences here


Thursday, 11 December 2008


Idyllic views as I sit here tapping from my balcony - well of the sunset silhouetting a palm tree anyway. Apart from that its pretty ugly looking out on a dirt street in central Monrovia, with grinding poverty all around. We are surrounded by razor wire, a wall and guards while the house next to us is a shattered building destroyed by the war - and yet even in that shell on every floor there are families living in squalor.

And what have I been complaining about all day? our air conditioning is broken and we’re all sweating like pigs. it shows even here we rich types still struggle to get a sense of perspective sometimes.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Hello from Africa!

that was close.

Having almost been turned away from the gate in Brussels where the flight had already boarded and the shuttle bus had gone I am now tapping in the early hours from our flat in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

You immediately see the impact of conflict. Our flat is surrounded by a walled compound, topped by razor wire. We also have heavy iron doors that we lock and bolt behind our front door.

Armed men are a very normal sight here but despite all that we’re quite safe. I was picked up in the jeep we’ll be using which is a 4X4 donated by the UN to us and basically we drive everywhere with a local driver. Even just to the shops

Weather here is very hot but with insanely violent thunderstorms the like of which I dont think you can imagine until you see them. The sky gets lit up and stays lit up, the thunder is immense and the short bursts of rain are extreme!

And then the sun comes out!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Culture of peace

Can't sleep. Its the morning of the flight and this always happens! Anyway here is a look at what I'm going to be up to for at least some of my time away in Africa.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Radio silence?

I am shortly off to spend most of December in a different Bush - rural Africa in a war torn country that has experienced the worst humanity has to offer.

I'll miss our Bush but of course the real reason for that is the people I leave behind. Not the weather mind, its very hot & humid where I'm going.

So for now dear reader goodbye - be back in W12 just before Xmas. Have a good one.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Wormwood Scrubs Up


I should have been a tabloid editor with my pemchant for bad headlines.

Anyway pics this time from a bike ride I was recently on across Wormwood Scrubs, from the back of Queen Charlotte's Hospital to the other side of East Acton (far end of Wulfstan Road). Its really peaceful, there are some great views across NW London and even a nature reserve for local birds! All for free!

Well recommended for some thinking space. Enjoy.