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UnivPennsylvania, youtube.com

James Bond eat your heart out!

Yes please

Let me introduce you to Mr David Ryan Harris. He’s a member a John Mayer’s touring band but also a very established artist in his own right so thought he deserved some recognition on my prestigious blog! John himself has announced that his album release has been delayed until next year due to illness, which is sad news but we’ve at least got DRH on fine form to keep our ears occupied until then…

Sexual Healing

400,000

So I was watching BBC news earlier today and there was a report on the famine in East Africa. You may have forgotten about it as we’ve had the tragic events in Norway, a collapsing economy and Britain rioting, since it first hit our screens. Anyway it was back in the news because Andrew Mitchell the Uk’s International Development Secretary went to Mogadishu, the capital of war-torn and famine stricken Somalia. Mogadishu is currently the most dangerous city in the world and at least 500,000 people are in refuge camps around the capital. 

The figure that truly struck me though was that unless more aid is given (the UK has currently given £100m in aid) then 400,000 children will die of starvation. I had to stop what I was doing. Nearly half a million children, dying because they don’t have enough food and water. That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Malta, or the entire population of Dorset. Oh in other news it’s wet in Dorset. Seriously though, 400,000 children. If you want to give; Tearfund are a great charity and have raised £1m of aid thus far.

The next news piece was on our economy here in the UK, and apparently we need to spend more money on consumer products for ourselves to fuel our economy. Spending money on ourselves to keep ourselves rich. Hmm. 400,000. One girl being interviewed on the street said that she could only now afford small luxuries: “I’m now buying sweets, not televisions.” 400,000.

Want to hear the story of Afghanistan’s first skate park? No, well me neither but upon watching this beautifully shot film I found myself strangely moved. It’s great to here how people are being empowered and resourced to make a change and develop as leaders. What really struck me was how empowering it was to those on the fringes of society, especially women and girls. Have a watch. Maybe donate if you think that is something you’re moved to do. 

Fazilla is the twelve year old girl that is in the video and something she said reminded me that we should be engaged in work that emancipates and unshackles, and also not take for granted the liberties to which we are so accustomed. Here’s her quote ”When I’m skating on the streets, I can feel people questioning my right to skate. Their opinions are meaningless to me”. 

I felt hope rising up in me again as I watched this video, especially as I’ve spent quite a bit of time in countries around Afghanistan and recognised the scenes almost immediately. There is something truly startling about young people being liberated through something as seemingly simple as skating.

I recently bought a new toy…well it’s not really a toy, more of a professional keyboard but either way I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. The only slight problem that I’ve found is that I’m not actually a pianist and so thought I should really do something to remedy that.

This week has been exceptional, musically speaking, with Bon Iver’s new self-titled album coming out on Monday and it having been my birthday recently I decided to go full whack and buy it on vinyl, as well as on cd.

I’ve found myself a couple of night’s this week sat at my new keyboard playing along to some of his new tracks and am particularly enjoying the final track, Beth/Rest and the 80s electronic keyboard that lies therein. In fact I’ve been enjoying the new album so much that I decided to google Mr Justin Vernon and found that he’d recently been on the Jimmy Fallon show in the US and had covered an old Bonnie Raitt classic "I can’t make you love me". I was moved by the emotional depth of the song and the incredible piano melody and decided it’d be a good one to hone my skills on. I’ve since learned that perhaps I’m slightly out of my depth, but being a stubborn musician and it being my day off tomorrow, I find myself at church playing on the grand piano at 1am, determined to have it mastered by morning! This is what I’m up against!

Is there anything that this man cannot do?!? Taking arrogance to a whole new level…