Something for the Weekend Highlights & Links

Here you can view films, photographs and artwork and read poems showcased on Something for the Weekend, and find links to websites and online events mentioned on the show. (You can watch the whole shows here including with captions on all videos). The content is usually listed in the order it appears on the show. This page is updated on Friday afternoons and should be complete by 6pm.  We’d love to see any poems, arts and crafts you have created at home using the same themes or activities: info@together2012.org.uk

Click on any photo to see a larger version.


30 July 2021

Screenshot of hosts plus a tabby cat is sitting on Julie's kneeDressing Up to Go Out to Stay In: Everyone dressed up to stay in to support Team GB and all of the athletes at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics who are competing without a live audience. View on BBC and BBCiPlayer.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: TV Sport. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is ‘Space travel’. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Paizah Malek: TV Sports  

In sports you move your body
To keep your mind active and healthy
Movement is my form of sport
Doing it at home or at the resort
To keep my limbs light and flexible
My back and hips from feeling terrible
I go to the Gym for practice
To ensure all parts stay in one piece
I join the salsa, zumba and exercises
The accompanying music is simply gorgeous
We have it in the hall
Free from wind and rainfall
Also at the open Park
Full of fresh air and never dark
I do many forms of Sport
So that my mind and body never rot.

Dwain Bryan: TV Sport

My favourite sports channel is Question Of Sport
Where I sit down and resort
It is very entertaining
and it focus’s my brain in
They will make you laugh
They will make you smile
They will entertain you for a while
They will ask you questions that you may not know
They will ask you questions
They will make you smile
They will entertain you
They run the show
They will ask you questions
You may not know
They will goggle your mind

Dawn Barber: The Strongest Man

They lift and pull the strongest men
They sweat and shout
To let us know
What it’s all about
It’s exciting to watch them on T.V
They are so brave
I don’t know how they do it
Pulling cars and lorries along
Lifting weights and great big stones
What a show
Give praise to them all
You’re doing a great job.

Ellen Goodey: Jump High

Jump high
I like swimming
Swimming away
Like the Olympics
I like football
My favourite sport
Goal
In the net
Jump up high
On the trampoline

Taylor Henville: Sports on TV

In the sprint going for gold
Got to be fast, got to be bold
Now the diving board
Up the ladder
jump and splash
The audience chatters
Long jump, high jump, racing cars
Gymnasts balance on the bar
And viewers in awe of what they’ve seen
Cheer from home at their TV screens.

Crystal Peasy: Olympics

If I was in the Olympics
I would go swimming every day
Then I would be active
In sport
and flexible
I would do things that I have never done before
And maybe getting fitter
I would not be relying on
An oxygen machine
And my wheelchair
And all the equipment that I use now
I can have air
And butterfly wings

Glory Sengo: Rugby

When I was watching Rugby Union
I was watching Sale and Leicester
And Martin Johnson was scoring ten points
And they were scoring more – 24 points
They were passing to each other
And they were running
And they scored a hundred points.

Alison Marchant: The Long Distance Runner

On TV I watched an old monochrome film
From 1959
About a rebellious youth at a reform home
Who finds that he has a talent for Long Distance Running
It was a way to cope
With his troubles
During his solitary runs
He finds a sense of freedom
Memories of his life and times flood before him
Which led him to evaluate
His status as the institution Governor’s prize runner
In the final run for a prestigious prize
Against a pupil of a public school
Despite the roars of the crowd
He deliberately stops
Just before the finish line
And lets the other win.

Julie Newman: Day Five Tokyo 2020

The rich warmth of other peoples’ efforts
Unfold as weeks of variety are promised.
Tickets are free, no queues. Parking is easy
The house allows a choice of seats.
Snacks available as needed.
So we settle down and prepare to watch the fates
Of others, not in the hands of Gods but judges.

By Day Five our lives have been enriched
With the marvels of team sports
Opening the mysteries of rules and penalties.
The clash of sticks, the flash of a speeding ball,
The splash of churning water
Create a riveting theatre in which to view
The dramas of human endeavour.

The arenas are varied.
Waters boiling with human fish.
Leaping out, running for two wheels
Then pedalling through landscapes new
To finish, making their ways
Through the clash of wheels and ambition
Ending with surprised faces and broken dreams.

Fields with brightly coloured players
Running back and forth in pursuit
Of success, measured by the placement
Of a flying ball into a net, over a line.
How rich this feast, restricted only by the impact
Of sleepless nights and attention
Distracted from the demands of daily life.

Then come the tears, mixed with waters
Dripping from the shoulders of heroic
Embattled swimmers. Rejoicing with
Families separated by the miles,
But solidly supporting, loving their local heroes.
Much talk of journeys, troubled bodies
Carrying the toll of years of pain.

New understanding comes of sports freshly
Viewed. Kicks and falls become the norm
Through days of careful explanation
Given freely by softly spoken experts.
Medals fly past open hands then settle
Around the necks of the worthy,
Who poise proudly bearing their fruits.

Apparatus fills the screen as crocodiles
Of fit young people are herded
Between fresh opportunities to shine.
Full turns, summersaults, combination
Cartwheels, and double pikes become
The language of the day. As is the talk of
The hands of the judges and broken ambition.

Dancing horses enraptured viewers with
Shining coats and rippling muscles.
Controlled and held in check as forearms
Raised, while stepping hooves twinkle
And shine in the light. Against the
Background of majestic music this
Partnership ends with pride if not medals.

This first taste, full of energy and endeavour
Brings a flavour of more to come.
The celebration of athletics and sport
Flourishes even in the face of adversity.
There is a constant uncertainty which is
Reflected the sudden absences but then
The joy of those who triumph overcomes.

Duncan Bridgstock: Exciting Modern Jazz

I’m not in a hurry
For Andy Murray
Sport scores
Nought
In my estimation
I don’t want to vent my spleen
But Bebop is more my scene.

Together! 2012 Art Club The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning: click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club. We’d love to see your pictures: send them to info@together2012.org.uk

Still life image: a grey purse-shaped handbag with grey ribbon-like carry handles has a multicoloured felt flower embroidered on it. In front and to the left is an artificial orange lily flower.

Join in with Tracy: Make a greetings card from paper and recycled card.

Join in with Sterre: Make a fountain.

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Anyone can write: Introduction to Writing Bootcamp for novice and intermediate writers. Free. Monday 2 August 6-7.30pm. Led by an Olivier Award-nominated writer and funded by Arts Council England, this online workshop covers structure, character development, dialogue, finding your own voice, funding and programming. Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-introduction-to-writing-bootcamp-for-novice-and-intermediate-writers-tickets-161545187003

Fire and Dust: an online Open Mic poetry event. Thursday 5 August. Free. Opens at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. Also featuring a headline set from Belfast poet Elizabeth McGeown. Organised monthly by Coventry’s Big Comfy Bookshop, there is a ‘lucky dip’ for 3-minute Open Mic spots at the start of the evening. Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fire-and-dust-online-5th-august-2021-tickets-163734266599

Colour Theory and how you should use it. Free. Thursday 5 August. 6-7pm. Presented by Sabrina Matheson, this is a useful introduction to colour theory, the meaning of colours and choosing colours for your brand. Book here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/color-theory-tickets-158924959833

Julie recommends…

Perennials and Pollinators. Saturday 31 July  6-7.30pm (also available to watch afterwards as it will be recorded). Free. This is an international offering so features hummingbirds and other beautiful pollinators, but will be of interest to all budding gardeners and naturalists: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/perennials-and-pollinators-tickets-156305601261?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&keep_tld=1

Milap presents tabla player Rimpa Siva live as part of their Music for the Mind and Soul concert series. Saturday 31 July at 1pm. Free. Milap is the UK leading organisation for Indian Arts and Culture: https://www.list.co.uk/event/1689063-milap-presents-music-for-the-mind-and-soul/

Tracy recommends…

The Rap Game UK. BBC 3 Thursday at 10:35pm or BBC iPlayer anytime. Series 3 has just started and six more of the UK’s aspiring rappers begin the challenge for the £20,000 prize to help launch their careers into the big time. With writing and performing challenges, this exciting show will tests these rappers’ skills and nerves as they compete to survive into the final round and battle for future success.

Relaxation through Art with Artist Brenda Coyle. 21 July – 21 August 10am – 6pm online via YouTube. Free. Have fun learning some ways to meditate through art.  Each week Brenda will look at different areas of creativity, and how to build them into a building a creative schedule.  Suitable for all abilities, with easy step by step instructions: https://www.artrabbit.com/events/relaxation-through-art-with-artist-brenda-coyle

Robin recommends…

Virtual Grand Canyon Tours. Online anytime. Free. The Grand Canyon is one of the most truly breath-taking natural phenomena the world has to offer, from the incredible river trips, to 6000 feet high jaw-dropping cliffs, the canyon cut by the Colorado River over millions of years is available to visit online.  Prepare to be wowed: https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtour.htm

And of course the Tokyo Olympics Continue on BBC iPlayer. Choose your favourite sports to watch, or try a new one, and support Team GB and all of the international athletes who are competing for the first time without a live audience.

And finally… Robin interviews Liverpool-based emerging songwriter John Cotham aka Sandstone Silver.


23 July 2021

Screenshot of hostsDressing Up to Go Out to Stay In: Everyone dressed up to stay in to support Team GB and all of the athletes at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics who are competing without a live audience. View on BBC and BBCiPlayer for the next two weeks.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: A film I like. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is ‘TV Sport’. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Crystal Peasey: A Film That Makes Me Happy

I like to talk about the films I like
Especially musicals
Music makes me happy
I like musical films
They make me happy
And excited
I also like to sing along with the music
When the music is over it is very hard to leave
I love to dance
The dancing makes me happy
The musical is part of my life
Life is not easy without musicals
And if the musical is not around life is harder
And my life will be very quiet
And my life is never the same again.

Glory Sengo: The Little Mermaid

Isn’t it neat?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl
The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove
who cares
I’ve got more
You want anything in the box
I’ve got twenty!

Dwain Bryan:  A Film I Like

There are many films I like
Heat, and Pulp Fiction
Watched again and again
It’s like addiction
Some are science fiction
Go to the cinema
And you pay for your ticket
You get your pop-corn
And maybe a drink
You sit in your seat
I get quite excited
And I shuffle in my seat
Sometimes to me
The cinema is quite loud
But that does not bother me
I’m here to see it out

Ellen Goodey: Trap Me

Trap, trap,
Lots of traps
Trap me
You will keep me
Home Alone
Falling down the stairs
Glow sticks
Glow up in the dark
Trap me
Keep me forever

Dawn Barber: The Secret Garden

This was such a magical calming film
With all the lovely flowers and animals
The sweet little robin
You felt like you wanted to be there
Lovely children playing happy and free
Putting their heart and soul into making the garden nice
Finding something to love
And I loved it when the little girl opened the secret door with the key
It was so exciting
They found the secret garden
And it found them and gave them love too

Taylor Henville : The Witches

Mice running through the kitchen
They know what they need to do
Gotta stop the witches
Gotta pour the potion in the soup.

With a flick of a tail
The potions in, now it’s time to scurry.
Gotta dodge the kitchen knives
Gotta get back to grandma, hurry!

The witches eat the soup
No clue what’s ahead, and just like that
With puffs of green and purple smoke
The witches twist and melt
Into little rodents
Scurrying from the hotel folk.

Duncan Bridgstock : Listing to Port

The martians are coming
look out
beware
the wombles are coming
look out
caution
the clangers are coming
look out
attention
the cyber men are coming
look out
hey
wurzell gummage is coming
look out
baby
bungle and zippy are coming
look out
oh yeah daddy
bill and ben the flowerpot men are coming
lookout
i’m telling ya
catweazle is coming
lookout
i mean
zippy the bush kangaroo is coming
lookout
when I say
lookout
boom boom.

Julie Newman: Films I Like

Today I see the stars but not in the sky.
They shine on a screen, once silver
And behind velvet curtains,
With enthusiastic fingers hitting the keys
Of plonky pianos or soaring organs.

No voices were heard from open mouths,
Just boards flashing across the screens,
With words of entreaty writ large.
Pleading for mercy, or chasing after villains,
The action fast, the movements jerky.

But now, they shine within my home.
The screen lights up, the music starts.
Credits role and the stories begin to
Wend their inevitable way, drawing us
Into their magical worlds.

The box of delights opens up so much
And brings the lives of bygone years
Faithfully drawn, they now become
Like old friends. So familiar, their stories
Told so often they blend into our lives.

Regency worlds, rich in colours and passion.
Others drawn in the relentless heat of
poverty, echo songs of loss and struggle.
So many stories, so many choices.
Our worlds are rich with films.

Together! 2012 Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

A pair of leopardskin printed canvas women's shoes with rubber soles are sitting on a white surface surrounded by polished semi-precious stones.

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Collages from recycled card by Duncan Bridgstock:

Crystal Peasy’s pom-poms:

Make your own percussion pan drums – see www.kitchencarnival.org for more activities.

Join in with Sterre: Make a hedgehog.

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Ju recommends…

Instagram for Artists by Triple C. Tuesday 27 July 1.30-2.30pm. Free. BSL interpretation and automatic captions. With Jennifer Gilbert from the Jennifer Lauren Gallery and Adam Koszary, the social media and content manager from the Royal Academy of Arts, this sessions explains how to promote your work and network successfully on Instagram: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/instagram-for-artists-tickets-162705459409

Voices from Prison by Clean Break. Wednesday 28 July 6-7.15pm. Free. Celebrating creative writing by women from 12 prisons – many of whom have mental health and/or learning difficulties – about life during Covid, life in prison and hope. With readings and a panel discussion: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/voices-from-prison-tickets-151178540083

Julie recommends…

The List has links to a range of free arts online activities: https://www.list.co.uk/events/visual-art/online-events/price:free/#results

Google Virtual Tours of Arts and Culture, especially this one of Paris roof tops: 
https://artsandculture.google.com/story/walk-around-5-iconic-parisian-rooftops/nwISWA6wXt3HKA

UK Film Channel has a wide range of free films available online including documentaries:  https://www.ukfilmchannel.co.uk/free-documentaries

Robin recommends…

The Watch. BBC iPlayer. Free anytime. In a world where crime is legal, a group of chaotic misfit cops rise up to save their city from catastrophe. A punk rock comedy thriller inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.  If sport isn’t your thing, or you need s break from the Olympics, watch The Watch.  A very funny adult comedy crime series set in a fictitious world floating somewhere in space…

David Hockney Online – Drawing People & Interiors. 31 July 5-6.30pm. Online. Free with suggested £10 donation via Eventbrite. David Hockney.  Hockney created some incredible portraits of people and their relationship to inside spaces, and this live or recorded class will give you some great tips and ideas with a live model too. Follow the link below to find out more about this great opportunity, including a list of materials that you will need to take part: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/david-hockney-online-drawing-people-and-interiors-tickets-159146006991?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

And finally… Robin Surgeoner interviews Disabled dancer Linda Fearon about her life and work. Linda’s film Armour Off is being screened on Sunday 25 July as part of the Galway Film Festival: Armour Off’ by Linda Fearon, Disabled Dancer from Armagh Northern Ireland: https://galwayfilmfleadh.eventive.org/films/60d6659dbcbcb400a02d831f


9 July 2021

Screenshot of hostsDressing Up to Go Out to Stay In: Julie dressed up for the Wimbledon finals on the BBC; Ju dressed up for Disability Pride Month; Tracy dressed up to watch The Mighty Ducks on the Disney Channel; and Robin dressed up for the England v Italy match.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: A Song I like. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is ‘This makes me smile’. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Dawn Barber: Stormy Weather

I’m sitting in a small café
On the corner of Mark Street
The weather is terrible, rain and wind
Even some lightning
I’m drinking my cup of tea
I cannot go home just yet
So, I order another one
The rain banging heavy on the windows
A man comes in dressed in a mac
Soaking wet with his umbrella
‘What weather’ he says
‘Yes, terrible isn’t it’ I say
‘But let’s brave it out
Because tomorrow the sun may come through and shine
All we can do is hope.’

Dwain Bryan: Stormy Weather

It rains
It snows
And at times the sun doesn’t show
British weather is so unpredictable
The weather can be dull
You look outside
And it could be raining
You look outside
And your heart could be draining
Why is the weather so bad?
Why is the weather so sad?
Why doesn’t the sun shine?
I guess it’s because its winter time
Bad weather can lay heavy on your mind
Bad weather can make you miserable all the tine
Ok it’s winter time
And I guess the sun won’t shine
It may be full of snow
It may be full of rain
But I know one thing, winter still remains.

Glory Sengo: Stormy Day

When it was a snowy day
I was playing snowball fights in the garden
With my next door neighbour Louise
We were having a cup of tea and biscuits
The rain and wind were pouring badly.

Crystal Peasey: Stormy Weather

I’m talking about stormy weather
Today there is thunder and lightning
When the rain hits you very hard
It can knock you out
The lightning flashes faster
And can be over very quickly
Stormy weather is very dangerous
And you can slip over and break your legs and neck
We can see the lightning before we hear thunder.

Taylor Henville: Stormy Weather

Stormy weather beating down
Rain pouring, hits the ground
Stormy weather, stormy weather
Streets are empty
Thunder aplenty
Stormy weather, stormy weather
Lightning flashes
Wind crashes
Stormy weather, stormy weather
Skies grumbling
Grey clouds hovering
Stormy weather, stormy weather.

Alison Marchant: Storm

Louder and louder
the wind sweeps across the trees
Cracking branches
Leaves unlock and drift
Amongst thick black clouds
Thunder rolls
A snake of lightning
Threatening purple
Dull thunder rumbles along
And loudly claps
Wind blows sheets of heavy rain
Bowing trees
Wind unrolls
Crashing
And long howling
Carnival of storm
Unrested and glorious.

Julie Newman: Stormy weather

A gull sits on the chimney.
The storm’s coming in from the sea.
The breaking sun struggles while
Clouds sit heavy, thick, and dark.
For an instant the world is still.
Paused, waiting for crashing of the waves
To break hard against the shore,
Flinging stones and foam against the cliffs,
Waiting, paused until the moment is lost.
Forgotten in the sudden onslaught of noise.

The sea boils and rears it’s head.
No longer the calm sands, gentle waves
Flowing in eddies with the tides.
Foam flung in force against the walls,
Makes shapes of fearful splendour.
Waves reach high breaking with force
Against the lonely lighthouse glass.
That beacon dims in the contest
To shine while the storm rages
In its quest returning Neptune to life.

The rain lashes with menace
Against the sea and shore, relentless
In its destructive sweep of whatever
Lies in its path. No respecter of life
Other than it’s own. Created in protest
As pressures fought against each other.
Wind blowing hard, smashes the branches
That snap in the onslaught, whirling through
The beaten front. Cliffs poised ready to fall.
Time becomes meaningless as the storm rages on.

Together! 2012 Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

The Kitchen Carnival is taking place throughout July and August as part of our Summer Together! programme. Find out more here about how to make instruments and costumes from kitchen recycling and how to contribute to our film for Hackney Carnival Online.

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Julie recommends….

Virtual tours of the British Museum Galleries. There are a range of collections including drawings and paintings.

To celebrate the Euros, a virtual tour of a city in Italy, including a walking tour of Venice: https://nextstop-italy.com/virtual-tours/

Ju recommends…

WORKING CLASS GIRLS ON SCREEN: Gender, Class & Stereotyping in British Film. Monday 12 July 6.30-8.30pm. Donation if you can afford it. Join academic and film buff Shelby Cooke and the London Drawing Group to discuss class, gender and stereotyping in British Film Culture! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-class-girls-on-screen-gender-class-stereotyping-in-british-film-tickets-152246578615

Virtual Reality Storytelling Workshop. Thursday 15 July 7pm – 10pm Sunday 18 July. Free. Discuss some of the innovative storytelling techniques being used in virtual reality with Venice VR’s Liz Rosenthal: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-reality-storytelling-workshop-with-liz-rosenthal-tickets-154553380321

Robin recommends….

European Cup Football Final Free on both BBC One and ITV. The Euro 2020 final will be played on Sunday 11 July. Kick-off time is 8pm, but coverage and pre-match chat will be on beforehand.  Try both sides and decide for yourselves which presenters you prefer.

The Best Virtual Art Exhibitions 2021 Online anytime – Free. Hosted by the Country and Town House website, along with lots of other culture and lifestyle information, the website has links to a host of fantastic online versions of current art exhibitions.  From Still Life photography to A Digital Landscape inhabited by Lobsters, the exhibitions hold something for just about everybody.  Explore and enjoy: https://www.countryandtownhouse.co.uk/culture/current-art-exhibitions-london/

And finally…

Trevor Krueger talks to Robin about the international Equal Ability Radio project. 

Robin sings his song Electricity, about the inspiration that the English football team has provided in the Euros.


2 July 2021 We weren’t able to broadcast the show due to problems with Google, but here are our Highlights and Links as usual.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: A Song I like. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Stormy Weather. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Ellen Goodey: A Song I Like

A song I like
a spoon full of sugar
it helps my medicine go down
a song I like
birds are singing
singing in the blossom trees
while the sun is shining

Dawn Barber: My favourite song by Rick Astley

When I first heard this song
I was with a friend in a club
It makes me feel so happy inside
It makes you feel you want to dance
It is full of joy
And it moves you to a place
Where you are on such a high
Like a mountain and beyond
Never gonna give you up
I won’t be doing that
That’s for sure

Dwain Bryan: A Song I Like

I have many songs I like
From Michael Jackson to Madonna
Which I will always cherish and honour
When I hear their music
I feel really good
Whether I’m in a rich area
Or in the hood
I also like rap music
Hip-hop you can say
When I hear their music
I’m happy all day
Garage, soul and dance music
Is in my mind a I cant refuse it
They say Michael Jackson was the King of Pop
But believe me he will never be forgot

Alison Marchant: River – After Waterloo Sunset

River
Rolling
Flowing
Busy
Dizzy
Bright
Sunset
From my window
Chilly
Evening time
Meeting
Every Friday night
Lazy
Wander
At night
I don’t feel afraid
I gaze
In paradise
People
Swarming like flies
Cross over the river
Safe and sound
They don’t need no friends
As long as they gaze
At the sunset
They are in paradise.

Julie Newman: The Pearl Fishers Duet

In the quiet of the afternoon,
A song came through the closed door.
The harmony of tenor and baritone
Captured my heart and taught it to soar.

In that moment angels were singing,
Breaking through the gloom of the day.
Not knowing the music that was ringing
Through the door, it continued to play.

I found the song, but never the source.
And loved to play it in my home.
An aria that still can impact with force.
My soul will soar as I hear that song.

Together! 2012 Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Duncan Bridgstock

Join in with Tracy: Pom-poms from recycled card and wool (you can also use string, ribbon, or strips of plastic or fabric). Pom-pom making is a favourite activity of ours and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Join in with Sterre: Make a Bear.

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Srebrenica Memorial Week will be taking place from Sunday 4 July. Newham will be joining communities across the UK to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the genocide, where over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim Men and Boys were murdered simply because of their faith.

Ju recommends…

Join Disability Arts Online to celebrate the official launch of Electric Bodies: Travels in Life History. Thursday 8 July 3.30-4.30pm. Through extensive life history interviews transcribed into poetry cycles, Electric Bodies reveals unique insights and epiphanies about disability, identity, art and the society in which we live. This celebration will feature a live reading from Electric Bodies by Allan Sutherland (see Allan’s interview with Robin Surgeoner below from 25 June); a panel discussion on what we learned about recording our history with Colin Hambrook, Vici Wreford-Sinnott and Allan Sutherland; and speeches and networking to showcase and celebrate the book and the artists involved. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/electric-bodies-launch-celebration-tickets-159114153717?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

Julie recommends…

The British Museum virtual tours: https://blog.britishmuseum.org/how-to-explore-the-british-museum-from-home/

San Diego Zoo live cams. There are a massive range of animals to observe from your living room, including a burrowing owl! https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

Watching tennis at Wimbledon on the BBC iPlayer, either online or on your TV streaming service.

Tracy recommends…

The Mighty Ducks – Game Changers. Disney Plus. Back in the 90s the Mighty Ducks were massive – fast forward to present day, and the Mighty Ducks are about to be re-born.  Their former coach, now Ice rink manager, makes a reluctant return to Ice Hockey, as Coach Mum and her rag tag team of adolescent ‘Skaters’ create a situation he can’t ignore.  Full of silly jokes, slap stick fun and moments of real emotional growth, the Mighty Ducks return to change the game. A great watch.

Robin recommends…

Extinct (online) from Stratford East Theatre. 13 – 18 July at various times, with prices from £10 based on what you can afford. A new play by April De Angelis’ that tackles the current climate change issues head on, including testimonials from environmental activists.  This one-woman show brings a thrilling tale of her single handed fight to avoid a climate catastrophe: https://www.stratfordeast.com/whats-on/all-shows/extinct-online?utm_campaign=1958386_Newsletter%20-%20Thu%2024%20Jun%202021&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Theatreroyalstratfordeast&dm_i=355W,15Z3M,563XDF,4HZCG,1

Carousel TV 3 July 7pm and then throughout July on demand. Free. Looking for an alternative to the football – Why not settle down for some great entertainment from Carousel TV.  Filmed out and about in  Brighton, plus news, reviews and old favourites, Carousel TV utilises the on screen and behind the scene talents of People with Learning Difficulties.  A great evening of fun which will be repeated throughout the month: https://disabilityarts.online/events/caorusel-presents-carousel-tv-online/

And finally… A song to celebrate England’s appearance in the quarter-finals of the European Cup.


25 June 2021

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In: Julie dressed up for Dublin Pride Online; Ju dressed up for the Guerrilla Girls’ launch of The Male Graze; Tracy dressed up for a home spa day; and Robin dressed up to play the new Olympic Games video game (see The Week Ahead below).

Screen shot of hostsPoems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: Summer. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is A Song I Like. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Julie Newman: Summer Solstice

On the longest day,
The stones stand tall
Against a marbled sky.

The light of the first rays
Come through the clouds,
As the henge starts to hum

With bird song echoing
The calls of their
Forebears in days gone by.

Skylarks sing their last
for the year, with
Blackbirds and song thrushes,

They welcome the day
And greet the
Wakening joy of dawn.

Now we shall gather
The fern seeds at
Midnight, while lovers dream,

And walk through the gates
Between the worlds?
Invisible as we

Capture the magic
Of centuries
Calling the sun to rise.

Taylor Henville: Summer Dreaming

Summer days, a hazy dream,
Blue skies, burning light,
Pavement sizzling, birds singing,
Children cheering, holidays nearing,
Ice cream dripping, seagulls swooping,
The crowds, sweaty, blurring, moving,
Looking for shade, sipping lemonade,
Waiting for day to fade
Into evening, summer dreaming.

Crystal Peasy: Summer

In the summertime I like going to feed the birds
The sun is shining bright
So, I go to the trees for shade
It is so hot I eat ice cream
And I put on sun cream and my sunglasses on
We go outside to see the sun and get fresh air
All the leaves that come off the trees
And fall on the floor
The days become longer and brighter
I go and visit my mum in the summer
And I have ice cream with her
At night time it is still very bright outside
And I go to sleep very happy

Dawn Barber:  Summer

The sun is out
Everyone on a high
The flowers are in bloom
The butterflies are flying
Birds singing in the trees
People beaming with joy
And feeling happy
I love the summer
I never want it to end
It is my special friend
My vitamin D that makes me feel happy
Sun keep doing your special work
And make us beam even more.

Glory Sengo: Summer

Summer is when you wear your sunglasses
And you sit down in the garden
And see the sun
The sun beams on your face
And you go and swim in the sea
And you put sun cream on your back

Alison Marchant: It was late June

It was late June
And there was a rise in heat in the afternoon
Willowherb, meadowsweet and grass
The blackbird sang over rich cowslips
And chestnut flowers
At Summers pace
Swallow’s chatter
Brightness burns
dandelion clocks
and the busy bee
ponderous with summer scents
poppies flicker
from an open French window
in the air of other summers.

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: A British Summer

Longer daylight hours. In the towns and cities every inch of green space is being used, children running around in the playgrounds, while others are just lay attempting to tan. As time ticks by night life starts brewing, still in summer outlandish clothes from bright colours of shirts and shorts to patterns and designs on dresses, summer clothes out, skin tanned from the day time, fake tan not required this time of year, parties start up. Want a tan all year round? Increase your iron intake.

The buskers are out, parties on the street corners and pubs and restaurants full of life. Away from this and out into nature. As temperatures rise, warm enough to be able to go and sit by the coast, better still go for a swim in the sea. Feel that beautiful breeze, the crashing of the waves so nice. Big holes and sand castles all around. Rock pools being explored, caves being visited while daylight shines in.

Away from the sea and into the woods we go. Waking up hearing the birds singing, the sun beaming down from the highpoint way up in the sky. Surrounded by forests with a river flowing through, a waterfall in the distance,that water reflecting the sun’s light beaming like a humongous mirror. Do I go upstream or downstream to get out the woodland,what’s around me now, fields, some have been ploughed some still full of grass and flowers.

Oh look a sign to a local brewery. Some food, fresh juice, maybe a fresh cider if I fancy alcohol. Along with this beautiful sunlight and warmth I can’t complain. Maybe a day up in the highlands of the hills or down in a valley, all the nature surrounding, people taking in the views.

Got to have a rainy day too. Walking in the rain, while the temperature is still high, such a nice experience. If you’ve not done it before, try it, you’ll be surprised. The refreshing feeling, now time to dry up. Maybe the odd thunder and lightning.

Forget the TV, come on, come and enjoy the summer, if you’ve got to watch something watch nature. If I get the chance I will visit the coast this year, does anyone have some 2p coins please, off to the pub you go off to arcades I go. See you in the sunlight soon, that’s if you don’t catch me under summer nights sky dancing in the moonlight under a starlit sky.

Duncan Bridgstock: Escalator to Heaven

If i don’t have wings
will i still go to Heaven ?
But i would much prefer
a double cheeseburger
bacon and gherkin
with fries and side salad
But my idea of Heaven is
a whole street of jazz clubs
like New York’s 52nd Street
in the 1940s
populated by jazz greats
If you don’t behave
you’re going to get
such a snack
what would you prefer
crisps or a Mars bar ?
my favourite sweets are
Ravel’s Boleros
Is it time for my nap?

Together! 2012 Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Still life image by Alison Marchant

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. The Club is currently experimenting with different paper techniques including folding and collaging. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Collages from recycled card by Duncan Bridgstock

Join in with Sterre: Painting with my fingers and arms.

Join in with Tracy: Pouring paint to make a picture

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Tracy recommends…

The Great British Photography Challenge on BBC iPlayer. Six photographers took part in this 4-part series, which contains lots of useful tips for any photographer. The final two winners have an online exhibition which can be view here for free: https://www.public-offerings.com/gbpc

Julie recommends …

Online exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands. There are several categories of Vincent Van Gogh’s art work and his letters: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/art-and-stories/art/vincent-van-gogh

The List has online and free events from all over the UK, including a festival of boats and a weekend of jazz from Scotland: https://www.list.co.uk/events/online-events/when:this%20weekend/

Dublin Pride Online from 12 noon on Saturday 26 June: https://dublinpride.ie/

The Wikipedia page on the Stonewall Riots gives a sense of the history and the emergence of Pride Monthhttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

Ju recommends…

Virtual Poetry Reading: Remembering Lucille Clifton Sunday 27 June 7pm Lucille Clifton was an award-winning poet from her first book onwards, and was also the author of Generations: A Memoir and more than sixteen books for children, written expressly for an African-American audience. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84532069956?pwd=c2VzQWMrWnN6a3oxR3ZvaVVEWS93UT09 Meeting ID: 845 3206 9956 Passcode: 704102

Talking Dance: Improving Racial Equity Tuesday 29 June 10am-12.45pm. This industry-wide online symposium, held in partnership with The TIRED Movement (Trying to Improve Racial Equality in Dance), and world-leading dance teaching organisations bbodance , Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) and Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) explores how to improve racial diversity in the independent dance sector. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talking-dance-improving-racial-equity-registration-154536461717

You can book tickets for Act Up! Newham’s performance on Monday 28 June at 7pm here: https://www.newhamwordfestival.org/events/act-up-newham-a-doodle-journey-inside-lucys-mind/

Robin recommends…

Booking early for the Glasgow Festival of Burlesque – The Midweek Fling 7 July and 22 July 8pm, Online via Zoom £3-£5. Online evenings featuring some of the best in Burlesque live performance. Bringing dance, comedy, music and more into your homes, The Midweek Fling will let you let your hair down or dress up to take part in these fun events while marvelling at the stage skills and fantastic costumes all from the comfort of your own boudoir, or lounge of course: http://www.glasgowfestivalofburlesque.com/online-shows.html

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Video Game Available for Play Station, Nintendo Switch, X Box One, PC and Stadia from £29.99. Celebrate the greatest sporting event, on your own with family with friends and even online, with the great games featuring all of the sports being played at the Tokyo Olympics.  Choose from a host of characters, dress in a wide range of costumes, and engage in some real fun from tennis to athletics in a space suit: https://www.olympicvideogames.com/tokyo2020/uk/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw_dWGBhDAARIsAMcYuJyaK6JYOPgaTLI8ugp5BX-xVAOvJMz3T0k0g2uKGjlm-He5xDv4JRsaAgi3EALw_wcB

And finally…

Allan Sutherland talks to Robin Surgeoner about his new poetry publication Electric Bodies: http://d4d.org.uk/workstreams/electric-bodies/.


18 June 2021

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie dressed up to watch the solstice at Stonehenge; Ju dressed up to watch Brownton Abbey; and Robin and Tracy dressed up to join in Juneteenth’s Move for Equality.  Details of all these events and more are below in The Week Ahead.Screenshot of hosts

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: The Night Sky. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Summer time. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Dawn Barber: The Dark Sky

Hello moon up in the dark sky
Shining shining bright
I look at you carefully
And study you well
It’s dark but here you are
Giving us some wonderful light
To let us know
You are here
Even in darkness you appear.

Crystal Peasy: The Stars in the Sky

The stars in the sky are all different colours
The stars are glittering
They are very shiny
They are also different colours
They can be
blue
Green
Black
Brown
Silver
Gold
And you can’t see the stars in the daytime
You can see the stars in the dark at night time
You can see the stars in the countryside
In London I never see stars in the sky myself
Because in the city there are too many lights everywhere
That’s why I can’t see the stars in the sky
And I love to see stars in the sky.

Glory Sengo:  Starlight

Hello how are you
It’s night
Let’s fly
Wa-hoo we can see the clouds
Yee-ha we saw the clouds
We saw the houses
We saw the buses
We saw the trains
We saw the lorry
Lit by star lights
The star is shining bright
And then we were fast asleep
The sky is dark.

Alison Marchant: Snapshot of the Nights Sky in Early June

In a clear night sky
is an ever-changing display of fascinating objects
stars, constellations, and bright planets, often the moon
and sometimes special events like meteor showers.

By the second day in June the Moon
has completed three quarters of its orbit around Earth
At third quarter a satellite always appears half-illuminated,
on its western side — toward the predawn sun.
It rises in the middle of the night and remains visible
in the southern sky all morning.

In a week of moonless evening skies
observing deep sky targets.
On the fifth day in June
in the eastern predawn sky
small round black shadows are cast by Jupiter’s four Galilean moons
All this looks like a grainy black and white film visible in
amateur telescopes as they cross the planet’s disk.

 Blake Jarrette Gibbons: Oh what a night sky!

I lie here, patiently waiting to see you at night. The daylight dims and dims, sun setting a dark orange glow with pinks and purple outlets. As we darken into the night the sky, dark blue this night is the colour of choice, in the distance the moon starts shining bright. Above us, many stars shine.

Asteroids with their cold ice whizz pass a hot patch of sky and leave a flash of light behind, yes the asteroid is a shooting star. Some may even fall to earth. Flashing by with lights many satellites, you might be lucky and see the international space station.

I have lay here patiently waiting to see your magic. Even the sky’s get rough, I give you all I got, still looking up, still looking up.

I have myself set up in the field, tent included ready to be dancing in the moonlight, I need some night life, but to hell with bars and clubs. Peace and Tranquility, dancing in the moonlight, a light display going on above, I have somewhere to sleep.

Even the sky it can teach us things. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. The darker the colour at night, the further you are from our artificial light. The moonlight shines down, in the distance I can hear water. Is it a waterfall, is it the sea? I see owls in the trees, foxes run by, all under the dark sky of night while we have a live performance from the stars and the moon.

The natural light leaves patches of brighter colours in the sky above. You know what, even on a cloudy night the night sky is still amazing. The patterns that show through the shine of the moonlight. The different shapes that come as the clouds gently blown by.

The rain, yeah it’s a pain but we need it, the pitter patter sounds as it lands on the ground below, the splash of the water in the distance with the plop plop plop of the rain. Somewhere over there is the town, I can tell by that distant light. Moonlight please guide me there,I need to clean my camera and my binoculars to be cleared so I can star gaze again on another clear night.

As the night eases, the dark blue starts to change, eventually into the light blue of the daily light sky as the sun rises. Now while you all go and recover from your night out in the artificial light, I’m going to be relaxing after a night with nature and the wonders of the night sky and nature’s night life.

Thank you to you who work at night, keeping us safe. And on that note I’m going to enjoy both the daylight bright sky and then night light later. Thank you Mother Nature giving us your beauty day and night.

Julie Newman: Celestial Homesickness

My eyes closed, my mind drifted
As I listened to the song of the shipping forecast…
Familiar names of unknown places…
Carrying me away to dreams within dreams…

I swam with the stars and danced on the moon,
My feet not heavy, my spirit light enough
To carry me up and over
The brightness of countless constellations…
Diving in and out of meteor tails,
Delighting in the sparks that light the endless night.
And then I played with asteroids,
Relentless in their pursuit of the path that leads Nowhere.
Looking for partners in their timeless flight
Around the planets…

And as I awoke from the dream…within the dream,
I reached back to the stars and the endless dance…
Longing again to feel the joy of the light
And the wonderful belonging in the night of endless dreams…
To join in the dance and play with the stars,
Forever part of the harmonics that form
Calling to all, but unheard by many…
The glorious song of the universe.

Taylor Henville: Night Sky in the City

Night sky in the city,
a murky blurring swirl
of colour-black, purple, midnight blue
and that ever-present amber glow,
the reflection of the city lights below.
Night sky in the city,
it’s like a heavy curtain
pulled over the stars,
sometimes you see them poke through and sparkle
then retreat behind the curtain for the evening
to get some privacy from the busy city.

Together! 2012 Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Lee Brooker

Safiyya

Crystal Peasey

Evelyn

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. The Club is currently experimenting with different paper rolling techniques including folding and ‘quilling’ (see more examples below from previous weeks). Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Example of how to make a flower with rolled paper

Safiyya

Ellen Goodey

Glory Sengo – part way through quilling

Duncan Bridgstock – collage with recycled card

Duncan Bridgstock – collage with recycled card

Join in with Sterre: Using the Sun to make leaf prints.

Join in with Tracy: Make a picture frame out of recycled card.

Find some card from your recycling – old cereal packets, boxes or junk mail – and select a picture to frame. You will also need scissors and a glue stick.

Cut some strips of card.

Cut out a piece of card slightly bigger than your picture for the backing – and then cut out a groove in the top so you have space to put your picture in.

Create the front of the frame by placing pieces of card around the picture – experiment until you are happy.

Now glue them together.

Glue the backing card to the frame with the groove at the the top open ready to put your picture in.

Go back to your recycling and find a stiff piece of card that you can bend over and glue to the back, so your frame can stand up.

Just add your picture to finish.

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Ju recommends…

Brownton Abbey: Talk Show. 7.30pm on Friday 18 June then on demand until 20 June. Take a cosmic journey at an evening of Afro-futuristic performances and radically inclusive artist conversations from Brownton Abbey, the intersectional collective created by and celebrating Disabled Queer People of Colour. Tickets are Pay What You Can and available at bac.org.uk

Curating Institutional Change: Care and Compassion. Wednesday 23 June 1.30-2.30pm. Free. Curating Institutional Change is a series of three panel discussions about how the visual arts sector can become more inclusive and accessible. Part of the Future Curators programme organised by Disability Arts in Shropshire (DASH), which supports Deaf and Disabled curators to develop their skills and expertise through residencies within arts organisations and change the culture of the visual arts sector: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/curating-institutional-change-care-and-compassion-tickets-154244981893

Boisterous Ravens. Thursday 24 June 7-9pm. Free. An evening of live Spoken Word performance for and featuring strong Black women and Black non-binary voices for Pride Month: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/boisterous-ravens-lgbt-pride-2021-tickets-158896564903

Sound & Vision Drawing Club: Life at Sea. Thursday 24 June 7-8.30pm. Free. Celebrating the International Day of the Seafarer with curator Simon Stephens, photographer Cezar Gabriel and music producer George Shilling. See the latest contemporary art from Rise Art and the rich archive of Royal Museums Greenwich alongside a broad variety of music from experimental jazz to folk and classical to electronica: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sound-vision-drawing-club-life-at-sea-tickets-158555659245

Julie recommends…

Watch the sun set over Stonehenge on Sunday 20 June and rise again on Monday morning the English Heritage social media channels. Includes interviews and music. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/things-to-do/solstice/.

To celebrate 125 years of Tower Bridge, artist Di Mainstone was commissioned to create a film exploring a make-believe world caught between dream and reality. Making the Bridge Sing also includes creative activities to enjoy at home. https://www.towerbridge.org.uk/discover/making-the-bridge-sing

Robin recommends…

Swan Lake Digital Stream 18 June 7:30pm – 20 June 10:30pm Free or with a donation. The Ballet Theatre UK and their Ballet School present a full scale production of Swan Lake, with stunning costumes, fascinating sets, and incredible dance.  The show features the whole Ballet School and the principal dancers from the company, in an enchanting version of this most famous ballet:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/swan-lake-digital-streaming-tickets-143563830281

Gentle Dance Online Every Friday from 2pm on hourly slots until 5am next day. Enjoy relaxing on Friday with Gentle Dance sessions for all ages 19+. Working with a range of dance styles  and music.  These classes aim to be fun and inclusive: https://parasport.org.uk/oaopportunity/opensessions2020-EventSeries-6944

Tracy recommends…

Celebrate Juneteenth with 8CRE and the NIH: Move for equality at 11am on Saturday 19 June 2021. Juneteenth is now a national holiday in America to celebrate the end of slavery This is an online event that gets your body moving by exercise, breathing and meditation or dance. Take a selfie and share on social media  to show your support for racial equality and enslaved people. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/juneteenth-virtual-celebration-tickets-156600459189?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&keep_tld=1

And finally…

Tanya Motie is interviewed by Robin Surgeoner about her long career as a television executive, and offers advice to anyone seeking a career in the media.


11 June 2021

Screenshot of hostsDressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie dressed up to go to Cornwall and remind the G7 Summit not to forget about Disabled people; Ju dressed up for a school story collectors’ meeting; and Robin dressed up to watch the football.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: Nature. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is The Night Sky. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Julie Newman: I Remember the Wind

I remember the smell of the wind
Blowing air, fresh from the ocean.
The memory of open water
The sails snatching at the breeze.
Catching my heart.
Pushing us forward.

I remember the smell of the wind
Blowing air, fresh from the forest.
The memory of the leaves and trees
Rustling and moving in the breeze.
The scent of pine.
The sound of freedom.

I remember the smell of the wind.
Blowing air fresh from the heathland.
The memory of insects buzzing
As they hover then fly away.
Bracken pungent
Birds calling from high.

I remember the smell of the wind
Blowing air ahead of the storm.
The memory of the rain falling,
Softly at first, hitting the ground.
Then petrichor
The clean smell of earth.

I remember the smell of the wind
Blowing memories, smells still fresh
As I watch through the window pane.
The leaves moving with the breeze.
Gentle zephyrs
Capture my memories.

Dawn Barber:  Nature

Beautiful coloured flowers and their smells
The sound of the birds whistling in the trees
Butterflies flying everywhere
The sound of running water
I wish I could keep this scene in a book
And look at it each day
Nature is a wonderful thing.

Crystal Peasy: Nature

Nature is everywhere
Nature is everywhere you go
Everything that lives and grows
Is nature
Animals big and small
Nature is plants that grow so tall
Nature is beautiful in every way
Beautiful and exciting and needs our care
So listen and learn and do your bit
To keep nature beautiful forever
You can buy plants and grow for yourself
Many different coloured plants
are beautiful and you can look after them
They can live so long
I like to grow different coloured flowers.

Glory Sengo: Nature

You see the squirrels, birds and the pigeons in the park
They’re picking up their food on the ground
And beg for more
The birds are flying on the peoples’ toes
And sit on the peoples’ lap
And fly on their heads and go away
The squirrel are eating the food
And they run up the trees.

Dwain Bryan: Nature

Nature is all around us
From the trees to the leaves
To the humming of the bees
We have land, sea and air
Which we all should care
When the sun shines
It can be really hot
When the moon shines
The darkness is what we’ve got
You can see the stars at night
You can see a rainbow when its bright.

Alison Marchant: Nature and the Seasons

Flowers fresh and fragrant
Inside in bleak mid-winter
The wind blows from the sea to the hills and wood
By lakes and sandy shores
Beneath the clouds
Frost hangs up in icicles
Quietly shining to the moon

Winter nights enlarge the number of hours
A perfect weight of snow on tree-boughs
Red-ploughed fields where larks nest in hedge rows
The blackbird flits from tree to tree

Pink wild roses and the bubbling sound of a brook
On the sweep of curving hills
Sucked up from the sea

The rain blasts a simple passage of weak notes
From the black branches
webbed and weaved by tiny spiders
In the flat blue mist of the sun

Dragon flies and spotted butterflies fly around the forest pond
in threads of crimson hue across the sun peppered meadow
Of dandelion clocks and cow parsley where birds are singing
And herds stand in field ponds

And ivy flowers where the busy bee ponders on summer scents
Of unquiet days.

Paizah Malek-Neave: Nature

One morning I woke up late
Just had cup of tea and Moroccan date
It is my natural habit
To take some more rest and sit
Keep gazing through the window
After making the bed and spreading the throw
I heard my neighbour begin gardening
With pail of water pouring
Over the rose plants next to the jasmine.
“Typical of roses, always running
Away from others and stay alone
Like dogs who always prefer bone
Instead of meat before the walk
Similar to us when eating, never talk.
It is the nature or character of Ivy
Loves to crawl along the wall looking prett
Heavy pumpkins stays down among its leaves
As skylarks enjoy the breeze
It is human nature to go with emotion
Get frustrated when cannot find solution.
Stay in solitude and brood
Stop smiling when in bad mood
Just as dark heavy clouds stopped moving
and soon it was raining.
Eyes full of clear tears
If you feel the fears
For being alone and gloomy
Start singing and be merry
These are characters of nature”
Murmured my neighbour.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Ellen Goodey

Crystal Peasey

Crystal Veasey

Safiyya

Glory Sengo

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Ellen Goodey: Learning to ‘quill’ by folding paper

Safiyya: Completed ‘quilled’ heart

Crystal Peasey: using toilet rolls and paper to make owls.

Duncan Bridgstock: collage from recycled card

Duncan Bridgstock: collage from recycled card

Duncan Bridgstock: collage from recycled card

Duncan Bridgstock: collage from recycled card

You can find the instructions for making a Kitchen Carnival percussion shaker here.

Join in with Sterre: Making a word picture with tape and paint

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

You can book tickets for Act Up! Newham’s performance on Monday 28 June at 7pm here: https://www.newhamwordfestival.org/events/act-up-newham-a-doodle-journey-inside-lucys-mind/

Robin recommends…

Squidz Club Online 7pm – 9pm 11 June 2021. Free. Squidz Club welcomes you to the House of Do Your Own Thing! Squidz Club is an evening for young people (aged 10-25) with learning disabilities and autistic people plus their families and friends.  Join young people from Do Your Own Thing for a house party like no other!  Show the DJs your best dance moves to DJs in the Disco Room, hear your favourite songs in the Radio Request Room or chill out in the Draw and Relax Room. There will be something for everyone!  Plus look out for a special performance from Danielle, who will be celebrating the release of her second EP ‘D.M.S. Lovesheart’. https://disabilityarts.online/events/heart-n-soul-presents-squidz-club-online-2/

and, of course, the football!

Julie recommends…

A virtual tour of the Great Exhibition of 1851: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/whats-on/the-great-exhibition-virtual-tour

A virtual tour of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/video-virtual-tour-summer-exhibition-2020

Ju recommends….

The deadline for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2021 is 5pm on Thursday 17 June. There are five cash prizes including one for students (entry fees apply). https://tbwdrawingprize.artopps.co.uk

Brighton Fringe Festival is on now and has a great selection of free online events: https://www.brightonfringe.org

It’s also the Architecture Fringe Festival and on Wednesday 16 June from 8-10pm Hans Klammer presents Crinkle Crankle. Using a sustainable, 90% recycled brick as the generative element for a musical score, installation, and film piece, the installation will be an interpretation of a crinkle crankle wall, built using K-briqs, that will be documented through video and sound. This event will be introduced online by two of the designers followed by the installation performance film and then concluded with a live Q&A with the artists. https://www.list.co.uk/event/1672264-crinkle-crankle-by-hans-klammer/

Coming out as a girls’ school story fan? Make new friends at the Elsie J. Oxenham Appreciation Society, the New Chalet Club and Friends of the Chalet School.

And finally… A chat with and song from Dennis Queen


4 June 2021

Screenshot of hosts

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie and Ju dressed up for Pride Month (see The Week Ahead below for Pride Month activities); Tracy dressed up for Australian Fashion Week; and Robin dressed up to watch the Euros.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: Kindness. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Nature. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Crystal Peasey: Kindness

Kindness is being friendly
Respecting and loving one another
I like people being kind to me
It makes me feel happy and gives me a warm feeling inside my tummy
It’s important to be kind to people
They may be having a bad day and your kindness makes them happy
Kindness is respecting people
Without kindness the world would be sad.

Dwain Bryan: Kindness

Kindness is when you give and take
Kindness is the friend you make
Kindness is when you show Love
Kindness is when you get a hug
Kindness is an important thing
Kindness is the love you bring.

Dawn Barber: Kindness

Being kind is one of the best
To help someone who is in distress
If someone falls down
Being there for them
Being by their side no matter what problem
You are their rock
You are the sun that shines down on them
Kindness is great you open up the gate
To give your heart and soul
So kindness fills that great big hole.

Julie Newman: Kindness

Like a thief in the night
Sneaking in on silent kitten paws
Comes that hidden act of kindness.

Rarely seen, but often present.
No shouting from the rooftops.
No arrogant thinking about self.

This virtue hides shyly away.
Until needed, then without thought
Of cost, the action readily given

Opens a door, steps aside, smiles.
Remembers the oft forgotten.
Seeing the worth in the most humble.

A friendly hand held out to those
Who may have stumbled and fallen.
Hard times come in many guises.

Kindness demands no payment.
Requires nothing back. An act of
Compassion, from the heart.

Kindness is caring, and noticing
The need in others. Giving gently,
Freely without thought.

Then quietly stealing back
Away from the light, ready
To emerge again when needed.

Paizah Malek: Kindness 

It is one of the abstract words
Often said randomly or purposely blurred
It comes out of habits or upbringing
Comfortably uttered with full of feelings
Sympathy, sorry and wishing to help
Getting up and and taking off your cap
Lending your ears, giving your time and putting your effort
To one in danger, distress, difficulty and hurt
By saying soothing words, providing loving care and attention
Suggesting something possible and trying the action
It is the kindness which is making and pushing
To divert the feeling of torture and depressing
A little sweet word and small phrase of sympathy
Means a lot to someone with problems mentally
Those signs of kindness tendered is always welcome
As they help to clear all worries of being harm
Kindness would bring the person back to reality
To start better life style is possible but not easy
Kindness helps them to see the ways
To enjoy moonlight and sun rays
Unconsciously we too feel great to be kind
As we managed not to leave them behind
To suffer emotionally, physically or financially
Thus make ourselves too feel proud and happy.
This kind behaviour, habits and feelings
Could be practised as our daily greetings.

Duncan Bridgstock: Kindness

The kindest kind
are
the Together
kind
Kind people
of the Together
kind
Together
of the
much appreciated
kind.

Alison Marchant: Acts of Kindness

Sending a positive messages by text and email
Sending gratitude to participants and co-workers
Coming together by telephone and Zoom and supporting each others work
Writing a list of things you like about a co-worker, friend or family member
Watering garden flowers
Making hot chocolate on a cold day
Recommending your favourite film, poem, or artist
Appreciating the sunny weather and the sun setting
Saying Thanks.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Safiyya

Lee Brooker

Glory Sengo

Crystal Peasey

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Over the past two weeks the Club has been folding paper and cutting out leaf shapes before learning to ‘Quill’ or roll paper – watch the show for more details about how to do this. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Ellen Goodey

Crystal Peasey

Safiyya

Quilling example

Crystal Peasey

Safiyya

Join in with Sterre: Paint with the rain.

Join in with Tracy: Make a mini Top Hat from card (you can make a full-size hat using a bigger piece of card).

To make this you need a piece of A4+ card (recycled works well); scissors; a glue stick; a pencil; and something to help you draw a straight line.

Turn the card sideways and rule a line across the card about a third of the way up.

Take the larger piece of card and cut into it along the long edges at about 1cm intervals. Then start at one edge and alternately cut off the card or bend it up at the edges.

Glue one end of the straight edges and join it together with the other straight edge.

Fold the flaps in at one end and out at the other end.

Draw around the end of the hat (use the end with the flaps folded underneath) on the card that’s left. Cut out the circle and glue it round the edges, then stick it over the end of the hat that has the flaps folded underneath.

To make the brim, find a saucer, mug or plate to draw round – it needs to be bigger than the circle you have just cut out.

Cut the circle out, then cut out the centre – it’s easiest to do this by folding it over and cutting a half-moon shape. Start by cutting out a small circle, then test it (see the next picture) and if it’s too small to fit over the hat, make the circle bigger.

Slide the circle over the hat and glue it to the flaps that are sticking out.

You can decorate the hat with ribbon, stickers, fabric or anything else you have available, or paint it.

You can sellotape the hat to a hairband, or use hair clips to keep it in place.

The Clockwork Paralimpics To join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Ju recommends…

The Oban Online Sea Shanty Festival, Saturday 5 June from 2pm. The Together! Music Club often sings sea shanties together and we have worked with a variety of shanty artists and crews. The festival includes free afternoon workshops – there is a £5 charge for the evening performance. http://www.obanshanty.org.uk

Dis-Section: Disabling Stereotypes in the Media and LGBT+ Society. Wednesday 9 June 6-7pm. Free but booking is required: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dis-section-disabling-stereotypes-in-the-media-and-in-lgbtq-society-tickets-155527449789.

The Great British Photography Challenge, BBC iPlayer series with Rankin. A group of photographers are brought together to learn from the famous photographer Rankin. Great tips whether or not you just use a phone to take pictures.

Julie recommends…

Channel 4 is celebrating Pride Month with a collection of films and programs that reflect the LGBTQI+ experience: https://www.channel4.com/collection/the-pride-collection

Gay Times has a review of LGBTQI+ films, a lot of them older but iconic in their way. While there is no information on how to view them, it is useful to have the list of films to refer to:
https://www.gaytimes.co.uk/culture/incredible-lgbtq-films-to-watch-this-pride-month/

BBC Springwatch has news and updates from the Live feeds on YouTube: https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e5fn5v/live/crwzp6

Robin recommends…

Teenage fiction for Pride Month: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. Published by Holder ISBN 9781444951387. Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met… until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realise. Cloaked In Shadows by Ben Alderson.  Published by Oftomes Publishing ISBN 97819997068-6-9. Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things I his life: hunting and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart.  Heartbreak becomes a distant concern when Zacriah is taken to the Elven capital of Thessolina, where he is forced into King Dalior’s New Legion of shape shifters, but Zacriah isn’t a shape shifter.  In truth he doesn’t know what he is.  Follow Zacriah on a fantastic adventure of ‘forbidden’ love and war.

Society X Therapeutic Arts Workshops Online via Eventbrite – mostly free or by donation or small fee – different days. A collection of therapeutic arts workshops, including spoken-word, drawing, painting and photography.  A great list of things to do, many with mindfulness as part of the sessions: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/societyx-therapeutic-art-workshop-tickets-131366202849?aff=ebdssbcitybrowse

European Football Championships – Euros 2021 Friday 11 June – Sunday 11 July 2021. Rescheduled from what should have been Euros 2020, Euros 2021 sees the best national football teams in Europe competing for the coveted Euros Trophy.  With Wales, Scotland and England all having qualified.  Wales have their first match on the opening day with Scotland and England both playing next weekend on the 13th. The link takes you to all you need to know about the competition as it progresses, and will enable you to plan you around any matched that you are interested in: https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=euros+2021&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#sie=lg;/m/0p3p7v6;2;/m/01l10v;mt;fp;1;;

Writer and poet Penny Pepper is interviewed by Robin Surgeoner about her international success, and reads us a short story.


21 May 2021

Screenshot of hostsDressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Ju and Julie dressed up to perform in Eurovision; Tracy dressed up for Bromley Disability Pride; Robin dressed up for Euro Disability Pop; and everyone dressed up for #HatsforHeadway Day. For more information about these events, see The Week Ahead below.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: Birds. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Clouds. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Glory Sengo: White Bird

When I saw the white bird in the street
I went to another pavement and turned right
and went straight to the zebra crossing
I went to church to pray.

Dwain Bryan: My pigeon

Do you want to fly?
I want to fly
birds want to fly like humans
we both fly high in the sky when we’re in the air
we might feel a little afraid
but when we reach our destiny we feel made
we fly over land and sea and sky
but we always feel high
we feel free and powerful that’s why we fly.

Crystal Peasey: Bird

The birds are many different colours
every bird flies up to the trees
and they sing in the trees
every bird has their own feelings
the birds sing different sounds
and the birds also make their own nests
and the birds make their nests from natural materials
such as grass leaves and mud
birds keep their babies in their nests.

Dawn Barber: The Robin

Hello little Robin sitting on my tree
thank you for coming to see me
days are better when you’re here
you sit all cute and fluffy
you seem to know when I feel sad
you give a lovely whistle it brightens my day
in every way
when you sip your water from the bird bath
it is a dream come true
Hello little Robin I do love you.

Julie Newman: The Magpie

This morning I heard a magpie shout
Raucous and loud, chattering in rhythms of eight
And thought of my Mother.

Her eyes narrowed as she looked about
Seeking the solitary bird
Checking none others were hiding.

Spying it out.

As she searched for the source of troubles untold
But about to unfold
On her unsuspecting family.

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: Bird or Human?

A bird, are you talking about the animal, or are you talking about a lady?

I can’t fly, yes it would be convenient at times, less waiting around for people to get out the way on the escalators, or behind those who are just slow.  Cheaper holidays, easier to escape, ‘Oh hang you forgot the lunch? let me fly back and get it.’

What colours would I have, white like a swan, greys and greens like a Mallard?

Or what about a non-water-based bird like a robin. Robin are you there?

Polly Parrot where are you now? Screech out I can’t hear you.

Maybe time to turn to a bit of cockney slang, ‘Yeah I’m looking for a bird, but she got’s to be right, ya know what I mean. Come on Del boy be honest you know.’

‘Well she seems a nice bird.’

‘Don’t take this serious, or anything you get me, but I think she better than Cassandra.’

Well Dell, you’re the one running up as Batman. Dressed as a cross between a man and type of flying animal.

Give me a break, the chance to fly away, or maybe float away down steam, when I know if I would like to be a bird, and which would I be. Being a bird, flying in flocks, I might actually have a social life. Might even go slightly quackers at times.

I’m going to fly away now, and will bring you more next time I come back from flying high in sky amongst the clouds, more sky high, or maybe I will appear from having dived down to the  deep low seas below. Or I may be resting on top of a cliff or on the soft sands of the beach below, just listening to the waves rolling in while the sun rises into the sky above, or dropping down below sea level and out comes the star-full night sky, some late night flyers going by. 

Oh you can hear the human birds on their way out to hit the pub, ya know where I mean. How long till they get back, is your relationship status still the same? Unlike the bird, I have to go and get changed to get ready for bed, alright for them being able to just settle down, lucky birds.

Can’t wait for you to read the next poem, for now though Ta Da.

PS actually I already know my answer whether to be a bird or be a human. Be a bloke or a bird, I will stay a bloke either way animal or human. No you’re not going to find out the rest of the answer now, that will happen another time if I ever decide to share, did you enjoy your time reading this? Speaking of time, time for me to go. Ta Da.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Dwain Bryan

Lee Brooker

Saffiya

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. This week the Club made animals out of toilet roll inners –  just pinch the top together to create the head and ears and decorate. You can use other pieces of card to make wings and tails. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Crystal Peasey

Crystal Peasey

Saffiya

Saffiya

Glory Sengo

Join in with Sterre: Make a card from pressed flowers and send it digitally.

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

Introducing emerging artist Jessica Tania Bishop

The Week Ahead

Friday 21 May is Hats for Headway Day: https://www.headway.org.uk/about-headway/events-and-conferences/hats-for-headway-day/

Ju recommends…

6.30-8pm Friday 21st May 2021 Sisters of Friday launch their ground-breaking research into the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Disabled women live on YouTube with brilliant panellists Manishta Sunnia, Rachel O’Brien, Tumu Johnson and Martha Folds. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik8PhVF2sDGYs70Bz0ZEEA. This research (supported by the Smallwood Trust and National Lottery Community Fund) collects together a wide variety of intersectional Disabled women’s experiences and concerns, most of which are made invisible in policy-making and society. For more information and to access the report visit Sisters of Frida’s website https://www.sisofrida.org

Tracy recommends…

Bromley Disability Pride 22 May 13:30-15:30 Free online event. After the cancellation of last year’s event due to COVID Bromley Disability  Pride has this year gone online.  The event features performances and material encouraging positivity in who we are as Disabled People, especially younger Disabled People, with acts from local artists through to well-known Disabled Artists such as Sign Kid, Laurence Clark, Magpie Dance, Richard Downes and Jamie Hale: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/disability-pride-2021-tickets-145297202845 or email barry@xbyxbromley.com or projectsupport@xbyxbromley.com or  phone 02086502102.

Robin recommends….

Peter The Wild Boy 2pm & 7pm 24 May online via Eventbrite. £10 per device. Peter the Wild Boy is a true story that is even more relevant today during the pandemic and as the world recovers, but a world that still hasn’t learned to adapt to all of its citizens. The story of Peter the Wild Boy is enhanced by the lived experiences of the tellers themselves.   The tale takes the audience  though the life experiences of an 18th Century man with learning difficulties who forged an incredible journey: from the forests of Germany to the palaces of the Royal Court; from farmhand to prisoner; from feral child to respected elder: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peter-the-wild-boy-tickets-145243129109?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

30 Animals That Made Us Smarter Available anytime on BBC iPlayer. Amazing things humans have learnt from the animal kingdom. Incredible animal facts and abilities that are being used to enhance human life, from automatic camouflaging properties discovered from studying Octopi, to how understanding mosquito lances are helping design painless injection needles. Inspiring, fascinating, bingeable: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xttw7/episodes/downloads

Julie recommends…

Eurovision Song Contest Saturday 22 May from 8pm on BBC One, hosted in the UK by Graham Norton: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0070hvg BBC iPlayer has additional items. This year’s Eurovision is ‘Open Up’, with an invitation for countries/contestants to put their own interpretations onto it: https://eurovision.tv/event/rotterdam-2021

The British Library online, including a range of old maps, and painting from the late eighteenth century: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/viewmostviewed/index.html


14 May 2021

Screen shot of hosts

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie dressed up for International Day Against Homophobia, Bi-phobia and Trans-phobia (IDAHOBIT) – see more below. Ju dressed up for Mental Health Awareness Week. Tracy dressed up for a virtual tour of St Petersburg. Robin dressed up to lead his junior swimming team to success.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: A Sunny Day. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Birds. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Dawn Barber: Sunny Afternoon

As I walk along the bridge on a sunny day I look down at the water
I can hear the birds singing in the trees a man on a bike waves at me as he goes by
and I wave back it’s a lovely quiet time to think of all my lovely memories
some ducks swim along the water and I watch and smile for a while
I hear church bells ring and as I look up to the sun I hold out my arms and give thanks to this lovely sunny afternoon.

Dwain Bryan: A Sunny Day     

When I woke up the sun was shining
You can tell that spring and summer are near
And you feel wonderful you haven’t got a care
The trees start to blossom and produce wonderful plants
You might catch a sweat and feel a bit hot and bothered
But with just spring water or a fan I’ll be a happier man.

Glory Sengo: Sunny Day

When I was out in the sun I was swimming at the beach
I was looking at the sun with my sunglasses on
and I went to dry myself, dress up and go to lunch
I went to have fish and chips and I had a drink too.

Alison Marchant: Sunny Day

Sunny or clear means there are no clouds in the sky
Sunlight refers to the electromagnetic radiation of the sun
that reaches the earth
visible light
and ultraviolet light
Most of the sun’s radiation does not reach the earth’s surface
Some of it is absorbed in the atmosphere while others are scattered to space

The colour of the sun is white
The sun emits all colours of the rainbow
this combination is white light
That is why we can see so many different colours in the natural world under the illumination of sunlight 

Today is a sunny day
And the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin on sunny days than on darker days

Taylor Henville: Sunny Day

Sunny day, the month of May,
Chasing all the grey away.
Blue skies ahead, no more dread,
Bees buzzing in the flowerbed.
Sunny day, shining bright,
Warm yellow golden light,
That slowly fades out of sight,
Into lazy hazy purple night.

Julie Newman: Sunshine

Breaking through the grey clouds
A ray of sun does shine.
A gift on this cold, cold day.
And then the sight of bees in crowds
Gathering at the flowers on the vine.
Gives us hope of June in May.

Looking out onto the waking world,
The sky starts to lighten.
Little flashes of colour in the pots
Show promises of flowers as petals unfurl.
Birds are singing louder as skies brighten
And flocks start to gather, sitting on the roof tops.

A little glimpse of sunshine opens the day ahead.
It warms the hardest of hearts,
And calms the rampaging breast.
The colours form and glow, pinks among the reds,
Lavender blue and honeysuckle starts
To bud, as the birds create their nests.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Crystal Peasey

Eve Smith

Glory Sengo

Safiyya

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. This week the Club began to experiment with paper folding. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Safiyya

Crystal Peasey

Join in with Tracy: Make a set of 3 ‘Russian dolls’ that fit inside each other from folding paper. (Dolls like this can also be used by directors to ‘block out’ stage moves, in which case make the dolls all the same size and store them flat. Add photos of the performers’ faces if they have already been cast instead of drawing identical faces.) You can find more of Tracy’s accessible inclusive craft activities to join in with here.

You need three square pieces of paper in different sizes, a pair of scissors and a glue stick, plus something to draw or decorate them with.

You can create a square piece of paper from a rectangular piece by folding over one corner to meet the other side and trimming off what is left over.

Begin each doll by folding the paper so that the opposite corners join to make a triangle

Take the right side point and fold it over toward toward the opposite side.

Take the left side point and fold it over to meet the fold on the right.

Take the 2 open triangles at the top and fold down flat.

Use a glue stick and stick 1 triangle onto the folds.

Then tuck the final triangle into the opening. This will give the shape stability and also a space to slide the smaller dolls in.

Your first doll is now ready to decorate.

Be creative and have fun decorating your dolls using pens, paint, pencils, stickers or anything else you have available. You can also use photos for the faces.

Our regular guest presenter Sterre Ploeger returns next week with her Join in with Sterre series of inclusive accessible arts activities. In this new film from Act Up! Newham we find out more about Sterre and her stage work before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Monday 17 May is International Day Against Homophobia, Bi-phobia and Trans-phobia: IDAHOBIT. IDAHOBIT was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQI people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions and sex characteristics. IDAHOBIT is now celebrated in more than 130 countries. https://may17.org/
This link has further resources: https://globaldimension.org.uk/events/international-day-against-homophobia/2021-05-17/

Julie recommends….

The UN Free and Equal Campaign website has additional IDAHOBIT resources, including a Bollywood style promotional video endorsing LGBTQI equality: https://www.unfe.org/the-welcome-new/

The Royal Academy of Arts has some virtual tours on their website, including a tour of the 2020 Summer Show: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/ Their annual Summer Shows are open to any artist to submit their work.

Robin recommends…

Has The Dial Moved – Stories of IDAHOBIT Free Webinar from ‘Inclusive Companies’ 17 May 2021 10:30am – 12pm. This free webinar brings together stories of real-life experiences of people affected by discrimination, oppression and hate crime with a discussion about various aspects of IDAHOBIT and whether the dial has moved since its inception 17 years ago. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions as the webinar explores how positive actions can be delivered.  https://www.inclusivecompanies.co.uk/event/has-the-dial-moved-stories-of-idaho/

Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me Written and Performed by Amy Trigg. Kiln Theatre 21 May – 12 June 2021. £15-£32.50. Age Restrictions 14+. We don’t usually promote real-life activities, but we hope that there will be a film of this available later on and we wanted you to know about Amy’s success. Winner of The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020, Amy Trigg’s remarkable debut play Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me is a hilarious, heart-warming tale about how rubbish our wonderful lives can be. This coming-of-age play, told, from the voice of experienced, is a tale of the impact that form moving from childhood into adolescence and adulthood as a Disabled Person. Juno was born with spina bifida and is now clumsily navigating her twenties amidst street healers, love, loneliness – and the feeling of being an unfinished project.  https://kilntheatre.com/whats-on/reasons-you-shouldnt-love-me/

Tracy recommends…

St Petersburg virtual Walking Tours. YouTube anytime. Free. This link takes you to a series of YouTube films that take you around the beautiful city of St Petersburg in Russia.  Tour at your own pace and discover some of the fascinating places that St Petersburg has to offer, including going to places with no wheelchair access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QerG0MFdYag

A Conversation with Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen Free event with booking via Eventbrite on Friday 21 May from 5.30-7pm. This is a rare opportunity to listen to the acclaimed and inspiring children’s authors, Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen, in conversation about children’s literature. Philip Pullman will be talking about his writing and some of the stories and ideas behind his influential and much loved books: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/philip-pullman-in-conversation-with-michael-rosen-tickets-148347283719?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

Ju recommends…

Surrey Poetry Festival takes place this weekend 15 & 16 May online and is free: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/surrey-poetry-festival-2021-tickets-146642992137

On 20 May from 6-7pm join acclaimed writer Wendy Moore to learn about the story of the suffragette doctors who ran Endell Street Military Hospital in the heart of London in World War One. Free. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/suffragette-surgeons-of-endell-street-tickets-148331665003

Tour the McMichael Canadian Art Collection‘s Early Days: Indigenous Art with a selection of dates: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/virtual-tour-of-early-days-indigenous-art-at-the-mcmichael-registration-132582964215

Artists’ paint manufacturers Winsor and Newton are sponsoring a free step-by-step Watercolour Painting Zoom demo on Saturday 22 May from 5-7pm. Book now to secure a place: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-step-by-step-wn-watercolor-painting-zoom-demo-registration-152384071861


7 May 2021

Screen shot of co-hosts

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie and Ju dressed up to fly to Neverland for a swashbuckling adventure with Peter Pan. Tracy dressed up ready to use the Balance app, and Robin dressed up for a virtual tour of the NASA space centre (see The Week Ahead)

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: The Moon. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is A Sunny Day. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Julie Newman: The Moon Sings

As day leaves us, Helios dipping down
Drives her chariot into the ocean,
The light fades and colours no longer
Shout their happy cacophony of
Demands for our attention.

Selene rides forth into the darkening sky,
A crescent on her long flowing hair,
A veil embracing the air above her,
And driving two white horses, her chariot
Shining bright. White against the sky.

As the Moon rises, listen to hear her song.
She sings to those who sit alone, gazing upwards
Longing for peace. She sings for those who dance
In fields, their feet beating the rhythm of her tune.
The dreamers find solace, the world sleeps on.

Glory Sengo: The Moon

When I was outside flying to the moon in my silver spaceship it was night time
I saw an aeroplane and a helicopter and I flew back again
I went outside to take my outfit off then put my clothes on to have dinner
I had some fish and chips and beans.

Dwain Bryan: The Moon

The moon shines at night with a lazy glow  and you can watch it during the night
They say the moon covers the sun and it gives you night
I believe man first landed on the moon in the sixties and it was an amazing achievement
People were happy and everybody was in agreement
You land on the moon and you stamp your flag
You land on the moon and you feel so glad
Stars shine around the moon
And you know the sun will shine soon.

Dawn Barber: The Moonbeam

You are not in the sky tonight but I hope you will be tomorrow
Shining your light on us to give us more meaning in the world
I heard on the TV weather that you were turning more pink
What a clever thing you are Moon, when you are not in the sky I miss you
Darkness, nothing to see, Moon will you come back to see me
And beam your light tonight.

Crystal Peasey: The Moon

The moon is quarter-high, the moon can be seen so easily at night time and daytime
Usually the sun’s light is so bright that it makes the moon invisible
When we use a telescope you can see more clearly and closer
Although the moon is only half and far away I love so much the moon
I would love to see a full moon but unfortunately I never see a full moon.

Alison Marchant: The Moon

The moon is earth’s only natural satellite
Four times smaller than the earth
But the same size as the sun
It can cover the sun in a solar eclipse
It orbits the earth
Its main driver is pulling the ebb and flow of the tides
Classified as a planetary-mass object
And a differentiated rocky body
Lacking in atmosphere
Hydrosphere
Or magnetic field
The moons orbit around the earth is just less than twenty-eight days
It reflects sunlight
Contrasted in the night sky
After the sun the moon is the brightest celestial object

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: The shine from the moonlight

The Moon, the mirror for the sun, that shines day and night but better seen at night.

The moonlight, along with the stars, so lovely, Mother Nature thank you. Sitting out in the dark just looking up at the moon, no city lights, Oi do me a favour and turn your torch off.

You may catch people dancing in the moonlight, you will see others with a tent camping under the moonlight, only going in when they start to drift off. You even get those like me crazy enough to go, if it’s not raining let’s sleep out while the moon is shining with all the stars, enjoy the fresh air. Could I do it in a city? Sadly not, too much noise, not enough tranquility.

The moonlight is so relaxing, it’s that light not only through the physical darkness of the night, but also the mental darkness from within you.

It’s a natural delight, no wonder so many people are spotted dancing in the moonlight.

The moonlight even in the hardest times can shine hope, please keep shining, shine for our key workers, shine for our emergency services as we say thank you to them and thank you to you, oh wonderful Moon.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Glory Sengo

Dwain Bryan

Crystal Peasey

Lee Brooker

Eve Smith

Safiyya

The Art Club also runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. This week the Club began to make paper rosettes, as demonstrated by Tracy in March. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.

Sadiquet

Safiyya

Join in with Sterre: Making an eco-art bicycle. You can find more of Sterre’s films here.

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

You can read about Disabled artists, Disability Arts and relevant issues at Disability Arts Online: https://disabilityarts.online 

It’s Newham Heritage Month with lots of free online activities including embroidery workshops inspired by the artist Madge Gill: https://www.newhamheritagemonth.org

Robin recommends…

Can Do Musos Festival 21 Online from 11pm 10 May and remaining on YouTube. Join Can Do Musos for a celebration of music and Disability Arts from all over the world. This is their first ever online music festival which has been designed to inspire all who watch it.  Hosted by drumming’s global ambassador Dom Famularo, this 2.5 hour show features 60 artists from 20 countries.  Premiering on YouTube on 10 May in the US and beyond, (11 May in Australia): https://youtu.be/45JwB7Io6oI

Can Do Musos (online any time). This is a web site for Disabled musicians from all over the world.  A Can-Do Muso is a musician with challenges who is very passionate about their music.  We use the word “challenges” with Can-Do Musos because, quite often disability gets mis-interpreted as inability. People with challenges can overcome them and be empowered and successful.  Can Do Musos was established to promote and support musicians who face “challenges” in their lives from all over the world:  https://www.candomusos.com/  https://fb.me/e/54btqPhcz

National Share A Story Month 1-31 May. This annual celebration has proved to be an excellent way to celebrate storytelling and how powerful it can be. Children and stories are brought together with a variety of different events that take place across the UK – but you’re never too old for a good story. A different theme is used for each year and this year’s theme is “Myths, Magic and Mayhem”: http://www.fcbg.org.uk/national-share-a-story-month/

NASA Kennedy Space Centre (online any time). If you like space travel and science fiction, then the real world base for beginning to explore these topics is The Kennedy Space Centre.  Of course for many of us travelling to Florida and visiting in person is very unlikely, so instead try a virtual tour.  There are a number of these available and here is just one for starters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_6terwDDWU

Tracy recommends…

Balance. Free for the first year: This is an App (available for Android and Apple devices) for self care and offers a comprehensive menu of self-help activities to provide support across such issues as anxiety, pain management, concentration, energy levels, creativity etc. Improve your stress, sleep, and more with the world’s first personalized meditation programmehttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elevatelabs.geonosis&gl=GB
Julie recommends…

A virtual tour of the The National Gallery, looking at paintings from the Romantics: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/search-the-collection

There is a selection of online events to be found in Visit London, including tours, both indoors and out: https://www.visitlondon.com/virtually-london

The List also has free events and tours for this weekend and the week ahead: https://www.list.co.uk/events/online-events/price:free/#results


30 April 2021

Screenshot of hostsDressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie and Ju dressed up for Lesbian Visibility Week – or rather, Disabled Lesbian Invisibility Week.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: Rainbows. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is The Moon. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Julie Newman: The Rainbow. Reflections on refractions

The dark of the storm has moved to the horizon
And the sun shines through the clouds in rays.
As the trees sit heavy, with branches hanging low
The birds become busy in the puddles.
Captive pools for them to perform their cleansing dance.
Simply celebrating the cycle of sun and rain
Collectively the world stops, draws a breath, now free
Of dust and pollen. Clear air, clear air, fresh air.

Water and light are the alchemists, mixing like magic
The colours that come together. The rainbow is formed
As the world has paused, and there for all to see.
The promise of a new tomorrow, long held dear
In the hearts of humanity. Peace, love, and comfort
Given freely through the kindness of those who care.
Coming together of groups, outsiders wanting to call
The rainbow their own, those inside calling it theirs.

The rainbow lifts the hearts of those trusting
That the world will be a better place than before the rain.
The promise is there for all to see. The bow between
Heaven and earth carries a significance now ancient.
The birds pay no heed, their flight irreverent
In its disregard for human values as they wing their way
Towards a colourful sky. While the rainbow fades,
As it always will, the birds remain in flight.

Alison Marchant :  A Spectrum of Colours

A rainbow is a meteorologic phenomenon
Caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets
A spectrum of light appearing in the sky
A multicoloured circular arc
Rainbows are caused by sunlight
And always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the Sun
Rainbows can be full circles
The observer normally sees only an arc formed by illuminated droplets above the ground centred on a line from the sun to the observer’s eye
A rainbow is not located at a specific distance from the observer
But comes from an optical illusion
Rainbows span a continuous spectrum of colours.

Crystal Peasey: Rainbow

I have rainbow trainers they are all different colours everybody likes my shoes,
Everyone likes my shoes,
Everyone of my carers want my shoes,
Rainbows are bright colours purple, red, green, blue, orange and yellow,
Also I have rainbow stamps they are very pretty and you use rainbow stamps like stickers,
The rainbow stamps are very interesting they can be a work of art.

Crystal Peasey: Rainbows

Rainbows are very interesting rainbows are very colourful and it’s nice to see,
When it rains a rainbow is formed,
I like the light from the rainbow and I like the colours,
Rainbows are brilliant and clear and after a cleansing rainfall that clears the air a rainbow is formed.

Dawn Barber: The Rainbow

The rainbow up high in the sky gives us hope and joy to follow our dreams,
It colours our hearts it flows in us like a river down a stream,
When times are bad it looks after us in every way,
So when you see a rainbow look up and smile today.

Glory Sengo: Rainbow

When I was on a boat and I was looking at a rainbow in the sky it began to rain,
I got off the boat to go home and then I bought chips and I took it home and ate it.

Glory Sengo: Rainbow 2

When I was in the weather I was telling everyone that Thursday was going to be sunny and that Friday was going to be sunny,
On Saturday it’s going to be dry and cloudy on Sunday it’s going to be sunny,
Green is my favourite colour as in the district line,
Blue is my favourite colour as in my light blue shirt,
Indigo is my favourite colour as in France rugby team,
White is my favourite colour as in my favourite white jumper.

Dwain Bryan: The Rainbow

The rainbow has many colours but is very rare,
You barely see them once a year,
When it shines and glows you should know,
From orange to purple to bloody mauve,
People look at rainbows as symbols of themselves,  It makes them happy it makes them well,
I’m a rainbow too I’m a rainbow too I’m a rainbow too,
But to the rescue here I am,
With the meaning of the rainbow happiness is the meaning of the rainbow,
I rarely see a rainbow but I know it will appear,
When you see the rainbow somehow you care.

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: Rainbow Ward, Memory Lane, Thank you NHS

When I was growing up as a little lad, hospital was another home. A home which I went to when unwell more often than not because of a seizure or rather cluster of seizures.

My home besides A & E would be the Paediatric Ward aka the Rainbow ward.

On the ward was where medication could be given safely, scan and tests could be carried out, I was safe and was able to recover whether that be for a couple of days, or for over a month. Yes you had to listen to a doctor with some fancy name from off ward say things, to which would normally sound like gobbledygook to a child. But they would leave again but you still had the staff, our angels.

One memory from the ward is:

The ward was decorated in various colours, most of the walls were white but with patients’ artwork on walls in paint, why surely they should be pure white? Well long story cut short, one time the staff let some of us free with paint and brushes, all covered over with the appropriate clothing however annoying it was to wear. Me being me I wrote my name and that little area where my name was, that was my zone by the wall.

The floor had train tracks and trains decorated on, and from the windows from some sides of the ward you could see the trains pulling in and out of Paddington Station or you could see onto the canal. You could get the boring side and just be looking down from seventh floor to Praed Street bellow.

I won’t drag you down memory lane anymore, but if you do want to please just ask.

Since my time the wall have been decorated again back to that boring colour of White but the train tracks are still on the floor, and the play area is now redecorated with big cushions and even more toys and games.

What made the Rainbow Ward another home though?

It was the staff, the angels sent from the other side of the rainbow. They made you safe, helped you recover, would help in your hardest times. The bringing breakfast and dinner around on the portable kitchen disguised as Thomas the Tank Engine. The fixing your drip, doing observations, medication giving, the allowing you to recover while playing games or teaching you in the school room.

On my last visit to see another young family member I had a look at the staff notice board, there was around four members of staff still on the ward from when I was a young enough one to be treated there.

They say good things are found at the end of a Rainbow, definitely true. More than ever through hardest of times finally now, people are starting to show the love for the NHS and it’s workers with a picture of a rainbow.

The Rainbow Colours also used in many other ways including by LGBTQ+, don’t forget skittles with Touch the Rainbow Taste the Rainbow.

My Rainbow is the Rainbow Ward. Just like with a storm following with some sunlight gets a rainbow than you can chase it. My body would do that without even rain being needed outside. As a young boy I would eventually end up on the Rainbow Ward which had the best people at the end of it.

Yes this has been a journey down memory lane, not to vividly, but this is also a thank you to our NHS, you are the special ones at the end of our Rainbow.

Thank you NHS and Key Workers.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

A pair of open-backed, high-heeled women's dance slippers are sitting on peach-coloured tissue paper. They have long leather ribbons to tie them on. Behind them is a corsage made of four bronze-coloured artificial roses, with a bronze ribbon trailing from them across the shoes.

Lee Brooker

Glory Sengo

Safiyya

Dwain Bryan

Join in with Tracy: Painting without a paint brush. You can find more of Tracy’s activities to join in with here.

You need a box lid, a fork, and whatever paints you have available – the thicker the paint the better.

Squeeze some different colours of paint into the centre of the box as thickly as possible. Experiment by putting some colours straight on top of others.

Now take the fork and mix it up.

Tracy’s final picture

Tracy made her second picture using a tea spoon, a meat tenderiser and a pastry brush.

Can you see a whale rising out of the sea while birds fly past in the cloudy sky?

Join in with Sterre: painting a picture on plastic with added flowers. You can find more of Sterre’s films here.

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

Poet Kuli Kohli talks about her new book A Wonder Woman to Robin Surgeoner. You can buy the book and find out more here: www.kulikohli.co.uk if people are interested in buying a copy of A Wonder Woman.

The Week Ahead

Ju recommends….

Our Zoom Together! monthly ‘open mic’ event returns on Thursday 6 May from 7-8pm.  Email Noel@together2012.org.uk if you’d like to join us.

Friday 30 April is International Jazz Day, declared by the UN in 2011 “to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. On Sunday there is a free online concert at 7.30pm as part of Cheltenham Jazz Festival with Zoe and Idris Rahman: https://www.list.co.uk/event/1639534-cheltenham-jazz-festival-2021-zoe-and-idris-rahman/

Deaf Awareness Week runs from 3-9 May, with the focus on ‘coming through it together’.  Deaf spoken-word poet Raymond Antrobus is performing at the Hackney Libraries Lockdown Poetry Group on Thursday from 6-7.30pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lockdown-poetry-group-deaf-awareness-week-raymond-antrobus-tickets-149136925559?aff=erelexpmlt

Robin recommends…

Crip Tales Available online from BBC iPlayer BAFTA nominated series of monologues where A life-changing moment, for six Disabled People is captured in six individually presented powerful, dramatic 15-minute films. Written, directed and performed by Disabled people and curated by Mat Fraser: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000p35p NB: Disabled people with hidden conditions have expressed distress and disappointment at the script content of the film featuring the excellent Liz Carr.

Paralympic and Para-Sports News As the Tokyo Paralympics approaches and athletes, teams and countries ramp up their preparations for this incredible festival of sport, the Paralympic Games’ news site contains a great and varied selection of articles re Tokyo and indeed Beijing 2022, and other topical issues: https://www.paralympic.org/news

Tracy recommends….

Affordable Art Fair Online until 3 May 2021 (exhibitions will continue). This is a great resource to be able to look at a huge range of artistic styles, subjects and materials.  The idea is that you can click into any image and then zoom in really close to examine the piece and how it may have been constructed in close detail.  At the bottom of every image is a link to ‘more like this’ where you can explore similar creations: https://affordableartfair.com/search-products-visual?selected=43713

Julie recommends….

The List has a lot of virtual events listed, especially in the arts: https://www.list.co.uk/ There are films to stream including Stowaway, a film about a space flight, which was filmed in lockdown and presents some interesting questions, and Come as You Are, a film advertised as being about three disabled men going to Montreal for a sexual encounter: https://film.list.co.uk/article/125825-best-films-to-stream-this-week-28-apr/


23 April 2021

Today is St George’s Day, which is celebrated in England and several other countries. Find out more here.

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In Julie (left) dressed as Morgan the Magnificent to help Malecifent save the dragon from St George. Ju dressed up to create more tactile sound devices (see our Join in from Home pages), and the Surgeoners dressed up for dinner and a virtual tour of Paris (see The Week Ahead below for details of how you can visit Paris virtually.)

Screen shot of hosts

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club Theme: A Favourite Object. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Rainbows. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Julie Newman: The Hares and the Moon

Two brown hares facing each other
Sit on the downward curve of
A white waning moon
A swinging silver star
At the top edge of the crescent.

No gyrating in the moonlight.
No ears intertwined
As three dance their circle.
But peaceful repose.
Sitting in the heavens.

Listening to the song of the Universe.
The stories now part of time.
Boudicca freeing her sacred hare.
Hiding under the skirts
As Melangell found her sainthood.

Ancient heroes of ancient tales
Stay their ride as moonbeams lessen.
Pausing, resting, waiting
Til their Mistress, the Moon, charges
Them to resume their gavotte.

(Julie explains: You can read about how Boudicca used a hare to predict victory against the Romans here: https://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/celts_2.html and learn the story of Melangell here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melangell)

Alison Marchant : Remembering Past Objects

An object crystallized in memory
Something from childhood
From the archives of my young days
I remember many treasured objects
Dolls, books, models, gadgets
Entrenched in memory
Played out in our backyards
Something which connects me both
Spiritually and archeologically
To childhood artefacts of lives
Being extremely absorbent
These objects hold time
Emotions
Events
Extinct music.

Dwain Bryan: Growth

Flowers and plants always grow did you know if you held a sunflower or a daisy to your face it will blow.
Trees and flowers flourish and bear fruit you can buy flowers and plants from any shop that sells trees.
You can get what you want for a decent fee.
I have a garden myself but it’s not much to look at it’s quite plain and simple.
One day I might decide to grow something there if the landlord lets me.
If he does beauty will always be next to me.

Crystal Peasey: Pom-poms and my mobile

My mobile when I feel low I can call many people and tell them how I’m feeling and my phone is my lifeline.
Also I like making pom-poms and these pom-poms I made yesterday.
I have many different pom-poms I have mobile pom-poms on my wall and it is different colours
and I like making pom-poms and enjoy making them.
I also decorate my flat with pom-poms and give them as gifts to people.

Paizah Malek: Clock

My favourite object is a clock all daylong it goes tick tock tick tock
That rhythmic sound is a lullaby to me as it helps me to feel sleepy
Although some people are disturbed by the sound as it makes their heads go round and round
I like and treat clocks as my friends they come in different sizes, colours and designs
I hang my clocks everywhere Bedroom, toilets and hallway
So I get to appointments in time
All favours would then be mine
For being punctual and regular
Medical check ups in particular.

Dawn Barber: The Kettle

I use my kettle quite a lot through the day
it’s silver with a wooden handle and a blue light
to make my cup of tea it’s fairly new
our kettles do quite a job give us a nice cup of tea
they make the water nice and hot for us
so on a cold day it’s nice to get home and put your kettle on
to warm the insides of our bodies to make us feel really cosy
I never thank my kettle but I do now.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Dwain Bryan

Safiyya

Lee Brooker

Crystal Peasey

The Art Club runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.  Participants are currently weaving using cardboard and wool scraps and are also working on collages using recycled materials.

Duncan Bridgstock

Duncan Bridgstock

Crystal Peasey

Join in with Tracy: Make an artist’s paint palette from bottle tops and an old CD/DVD.

You will need: An old cd/dvd, some bottle lids and waterproof glue – a glue gun is ideal if you have one available.

Arrange the lids on the disc in a pattern you like.

Apply glue to the tops of your lids then stick them to the disk.

Add a different colour paint to each lid. Use the hole in the middle of the disk to hold the palette on your thumb.

Join in with Sterre: Creating art by melting crayons over canvas

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Ju recommends…
It’s National Skipping Day – a healthy fun way of exercising that you can do alone in a relatively small space or as part of a group (wheelchair users can still swing the rope).

It’s MS Awareness Week until Sunday https://www.mssociety.org.uk/get-involved/ms-awareness-week #letstalkMS

The UN World Immunisation Week starts tomorrow, so now is the time to persuade your family, friends and support workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Julie recommends…

The List always has a good selection of paid and free online events as well as outdoor activities etc: https://www.list.co.uk/

Virtually London has a lovely mix of tours and guides as well as events for the whole family: https://www.visitlondon.com/virtually-london My own favourite for the weekend has to be the virtual tour of Kew Gardens: https://www.kew.org/about-us/virtual-kew-wakehurst

Tracy recommends….

All That Glitters A BBC2 talent show to find the best contemporary jewellery maker in the UK and filmed in Birmingham’s jewellery Quarter, also available on iPlayer – this also provides a fascinating glimpse into how jewellers work: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000v4fr

Virtual Paris Online and mostly free. Why not take a trip to Paris this week over the internet? Here is a link to what is described as the 6 Best Virtual Tours of Paris.  One of the most iconic cities in the world, a hub of arts, culture, fashion, creativity and amazing architecture.  Choose your tour, or do them all!  https://blog.voicemap.me/2020/04/best-virtual-tours-paris/

Robin recommends…

14-Day Creative Challenge begins 27 April 2021. £14 but partial scholarships are available. This looks like a great opportunity for any artists and aspiring artists struggling with motivation. Sign up at the following link and each day you will receive a short email with a video providing you with a creative task.  Audio and text formats are also available, and you can spend as little as10 minutes or as long as you want on these tasks: https://disabilityarts.online/events/haley-mcgee-presents-14-day-creative-quarantine-challenge-online/

The Lazarus Heist BBC Podcast available free anytime. 10 weekly episodes. This is an incredible but true story of the attempt by North Korea to undermine Western internet and digital working through a state sponsored hacking programme. “Almost a perfect crime.” The hacking ring and an attempt to steal a billion dollars.  Investigators blame North Korea. Pyongyang denies involvement.  The story begins in Hollywood:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xtvg9/episodes/player

Winter Rime is a new poetry pamphlet from Rich Downes and Wendy Young which brings together their creative prose and poetry on Winter and how ‘winter’ thoughts are reflected as part of our thinking. Winter Rime is available from r.downes@yahoo.co.uk or wendyyoung44@yahoo.co.uk price £6 including p&p. More of Rich’s  poetry can be seen here https://disabilityarts.online/blog/richard-downes/ and Wendy’s poetry can be seen here wendyyoung.org


16 April 2021

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club
Theme: Trees. If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is A Favourite Object. Find out more here about how to join the Club, which takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am-12 noon by phone (we call you and pay the costs).

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: Trees

Trees are the tower of forests, they are what can make a dull dark depressing street into a nice street, with cleaner air. Yes they may make for uneven roads, but better that and fix it when we get clean air back and plenty of colour. Plant trees and fix the roads, not add speed humps — Brent Council are you listening?

Trees. They make the parks more beautiful with the sounds of birds flying between them, families sitting near by, dogs get the chance to smell more and leave a message for his next friend. They can be covered in lights for celebrations.

Trees can be entertaining, come on why not climb the trees, get up high while being at one with Mother Nature? Or just hide behind during a game of hide and seek.

Forests at times can seem slightly strange a place, suddenly you feel very short around nature’s towers, while water flows either nearby or underneath. But forests can be full of life and various trees, many trees that have stood through some of history’s hardest times, including world wars. The forest is the safe zone for many parts of nature, please respect that. Are trees all together in a forest, are they where we got the ideas for housing estates?

Trees provide us with shelter, they provide us with food, they are someone to hug even when no one else is wanting a hug. They are turned into materials that help us in our lives, from tables and garden fence to the frame of your sofa.

My personal favourite tree is a weeping willow. They are found by where there is lots of water, often a stream or a river, the willow has shape and many shades of brown on its body and greens on its leaves. They hang low and make lovely patches of shade where you can sit and observe Mother Nature. They are a tree that never goes bare, instead the shades of green sometimes even into yellows.

All the trees the different colours, the different heights, shapes, they are all unique. From palm trees to oaks and from your ever green to your barely trees.

Mother Nature trees are amazing, maybe they are Mother Nature’s arms. Thank you Mother Nature.

Paizah Malek: Tree

Where there is space, sunlight and water
Trees, bushes, shrubs grow forever
Smells fresh, looking green
That is where I’ve always been
Sitting on the grass under my favourite tree
Staring ahead as there is a lot to see
In the pool of clear cool and gentle ripples
Caused by the falling leafy thistles
From the beautiful weeping willow
Planted around the pool drooping below
Giving shades and comfortable place
To sit and enjoy the wide space
In the park alone or with friends happily
Under my favourite tree standing elegantly
Admiring the rows of weeping willows
Differently gentle, soothing, full of colours and shadows.

Dwain Bryan: Trees

Trees are bare in the winter in blossom in the sun
Flowers are beautiful you can give them to your mum
Fruit blossoms from apples to strawberries to berries
They can make you very merry
We need trees to give us oxygen
So they say trees need to blossom and you should be OK
We need trees to produce fruit which helps an appetite
and makes us not hungry
It’s true I have fruits all around we need trees around.

Crystal Peasy: Trees

Trees are our best friends they give out food and medication
Wood rubber and gum
Trees provide us with shade and protection
Trees keep the environment cool
Trees give us oxygen trees are green and gold
Birds make their nests in trees trees are attractive
We cannot live without trees so we must grow more trees
When it’s windy leaves blow off the trees and it makes the wind very loud
Trees are important to us in many ways trees are part of the environment
Trees give shelter to the animals birds and humans.

Glory Sengo: Apple Tree

When I went outside I went to get an apple
I went to wash it and eat it and it was very tasty
I went to my friend’s house and I was watching telly
I had chips and wings and I had cake.

Dawn Barber: Trees

The tree stands in front of me blowing softly in the wind
The leaves are lovely and green
I walk up to it and give it a cuddle
You deserve that I say
We must be kind to you for all the lovely things you show us
As you grow
Trees you are lovely to know.

Julie Newman: Hanami. A tribute to the Cherry Blossoms 2021.

Walk under the cloud
And consider the single blossom.
Pause to welcome spring.
Today the warmth of others sharing
The moment has not come.
There is no food, no laughter.
Companionship sits
In the knowledge that this too will pass.
Like the blossom.

But beauty lies in the eyes
Of those who can see the clouds
Sitting proudly on the tree.
The lights still shine,
The blossom sings in silent harmony
Soft colours shroud the harshness
Of what lies underneath.
And for a brief minute of time
It is possible to glimpse heaven.

Alison Marchant : European Trees

Ash is a common tree but ash dieback currently sweeps through the countryside destroying it
Beech is monumental, majestic and a home to rare wildlife
Silver Birch has pretty, pale silver white bark
Black Thorn is early to blossom and later has berries
Bird Cherry is a scented show stopper sending out almond perfume
Dogwood is a broadleaf shub that thrives in damp woodland edges
Elm grows to lofty heights and is common in hedgerows
Hawthorn is an explosion of pale pink blossom in May
Lime sends out a  sweet scented minty honey aroma
The majestic Oak holds a special place in culture and history
Scot Pine towers the glen
Black Poplar is imposing, elegant and rare
The White Beams fruit is a favourite of garden birds
Goat Willow is covered in white male catkins
White Willow is sweeping and romantic draped in water
Yew is ancient, morbid and toxic. It is the longest-lived native species in Europe.

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Crystal Peasey

Saffiya

Lee Brooker set up his own still life at home.

The Art Club runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.  Participants are currently weaving using cardboard and wool scraps and are also working on collages using recycled materials.

Crystal Peasy is making pom-poms and turning them into creatures.

Lee Brooker has been knitting a scarf with help from interpreter Hazel.

Duncan Blackstok is making collages from recycled card and paper.

Safiyya is stringing beads.

Join in with Sterre: Painting sheep without brushes.

Join in with Tracy: Make a drinks coaster from recycled bottle tops.

You need 7-10 plastic bottle tops, greaseproof paper and an iron and ironing board.

Spread the greaseproof paper on the ironing board first. Then place the largest bottle top (if the sizes are different) in the centre and put more bottle tops round it to create a circular/flower shape.

Place another piece of greaseproof paper over the bottle tops. Heat the iron and then push down firmly on the bottle tops.

Turn the greaseproof paper ‘sandwich’ over and iron on the other side.

Remove the greaseproof paper to reveal your new coaster.

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

Dalmatian Rex and The Eigentones Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones are an alternative rock band based around its founder member, Paul Lunn and drummer Pete Cownley. They originated in Leicester in 1997 and have moved base around the country, calling at Hebden Bridge, Holmfirth, Birmingham, Nuneaton and Huddersfield. They are now based in Leicester/Milton Keynes. The band has released six studio albums and one compilation album, and rarely play live. Paul is a Disabled musician who has a diagnosis of fibromyalgia which is a long term chronic pain condition: www.dalmatianrex.co.uk

The Week Ahead

Saturday 17 April is World Haemophilia Day.

Ju recommends…

The fourth annual Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival opened yesterday and continues until Sunday 18 April 2021. All events (except workshops) are free this year.  Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival aims to be as accessible and inclusive as possible by offering live captioning, making poems available as text, and having audio description of images. Several events will also be accompanied by sign language interpretation.

A retrospective celebrating the pioneers of arts and mental health in Scotland is now live with a new online exhibition by Mental Health Foundation Scotland. Thought to be the first exhibition of its kind in Scotland, Reclaiming Our Heritage is an oral history curated over two years by the Foundation. The online collection is an archive of the personal stories of 40 innovators in arts and mental health, spanning six decades from the 1950s to the 2000s.

Robin recommends….

Fix Your Crown – screening and discussion. Sun 18 April 6.30-8pm. Free. Explore the story of historical African queens through a filmed performance by eight community women. Coached by a team of international experts in writing and African Diaspora Performance, the women used the inspirational stories of historical African Queens to create their performances, and reflect the legacy and contemporary relevance those stories deliver: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fix-your-crown-screening-and-discussion-tickets-149791058087

Unfolding Shrines free online exhibition. Unfolding Shrines is the 2021 Adam Reynolds Award shortlist exhibition, and examines the concept of the walls that we build around ourselves and how through thought and imagination we can breakthrough those walls. Available for computer iPhone and iPad, Unfolding Shrines is an augmented reality exhibition and immersive experience featuring the incredible 3 dimensional digital imagery of Artists: Jason Wilsher-Mills, Sophie Helf, Rebekah Ubuntu and Uma Breakdown.  The walk through experience on iPhone and iPad is amazing: https://www.shapearts.org.uk/unfolding-shrines

Julie recommends…

Explore the culture and history of the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival Hanami:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanami This article explains how the festival has become international with the gifting of cherry trees from Japan as symbols of peace:
https://festival.si.edu/blog/2014/significance-of-sakura-cherry-blossom-traditions-in-japan/ The Tokyo 2020 Paralimpic mascot was chosen in 2018 by a vote of schoolchildren and the winning figure is based on cherry blossoms. It is called Someity, which translates as ‘So Mighty’, and is a superhuman hero, with many powers:
https://www.paralympic.org/tokyo-2020/mascot

Lego has released Braille Lego bricks for free distribution to schools:
https://www.legobraillebricks.com/
There is a training course available for teachers and the bricks remain the property of the schools. Currently they are not available to buy privately but can be sourced in the UK through the RNIB:
https://www.rnib.org.uk/legobraillebricks


9 April 2021

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In

Screenshot of hostsJu dressed up for Stress Awareness Month; Julie dressed up to go on the Woolwich Ferry; Robin dressed up to watch the Para-swimming (see The Week Ahead below); and Tracy dressed up to play Escape Rooms (more details on The Week Ahead).

Art Club

The Art Club runs a still-life session on Zoom from 11-12 every Friday morning. Click here to find out how to join the Club, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures: info@together2012.org.uk

Green glass vase of flowers against a white background, containing six yellow daffodils and three sprigs of white flowering twigs

Glory Sengo

Safiyya

Crystal Peasy

The Art Club runs a Make and Natter session on Zoom from 11-12 every Tuesday morning. Bring along your own work, or join in with inclusive recycled craft activities. Click here to find out how to join the Art Club.  Participants are currently weaving using cardboard and wool scraps and are also working on collages using recycled materials.

Duncan Bridgstock

Duncan Bridgstock

Safiyya

Make it with Tracy Tracy Surgeoner demonstrated how to create a framed flower picture using recycled materials.

You need: a toilet roll inner, scissors, the lid off an empty box of chocolates, and some paint.Trim the edges of one end of the toilet roll, then dip it into the paint and use it to print on the inside of the box.

Finish off the picture with pens, pencils or whatever you have available. Now think about print projects that you could create using other household objects to print with.

Poems from the Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club
Theme: Music If you’d like to join in from home, next week’s theme is Trees. Find out more here about how to join the Club by phone.

Crystal Peasy: Music

The music is the sound of happiness and the music makes me dance
The music is happy and extreme
The music can be loud or quiet
Music can be attaining and parting and you can rave all night
And you can sing all day and all night
It’s easy to sing when you know the words
When you don’t know the words it can be a disaster
The music never makes me sad even if the music’s sad
Music also boosts your immune system and can create positive emotional experience
It even helps relieve pain and music helps improve my mood.

Dawn Barber: Music

Music makes us feel good makes us feel alive
Like Dolly Parton nine to five
Music’s full of hopes and dreams and makes us feel happy
Gives us a reason to get up and have a dance or just move your body
Music fills the world with joy oh boy
What music can do for us.

Taylor Henville: A Haunting Melody 

I awoke in the middle of the night
To the sound of tinkling piano keys
Unsure of where the sound was coming from
I wandered the house to see.
The melody carried me up the stairs
To the attic space
The door was rattling with the tune
Trying to keep pace.
When the door swung open, I could see inside
A ghostly figure at the piano
Their head bobbing in time.
The ghost went on, playing the keys with flair
Then looked up at me and said
“Make yourself useful, there’s a tambourine over there.” 

The Clockwork Paralimpics – to join in at home, pick the toy on the right side or the left side of the screen to support before you start the video.

The Week Ahead

Trellis online exhibition 12 – 18 April 2021. An incredible new free exhibition bringing together artists, community groups and academic researchers, whom have created a series of exhibition works and films, plus artists conversations and a series of live events.  Trellis is a response to the negative attitudes towards Deaf language and culture, and the damaging and demoralising oppression faced by neuro-diverse citizens:  https://disabilityarts.online/events/ucl-presents-trellis-london-online/

British Para Swimming International Meet 8 – 11 April 2021. This sees the return of International Swimming Competition at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, and the premiere qualifying  event for British Paralympic Swimmers for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.  We have already seen world records on the first day of competition, and this four day gala promises to deliver truly exciting performances form those looking to make it to Tokyo.  Free to watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5GyHWsbs7O5m5LohjpKoaQ

Saturday 10 April 7pm Atlantic Institute finger knitting workshop (free): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cultural-creations-finger-knitting-with-larahna-hughes-tickets-134664915387?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&keep_tld=1

Saturday 10 April 5.30-7pm Online Black history course for children and families: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-black-history-for-children-and-families-tickets-146569951671?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

Sunday 11 April 11am-12noon World Parkinson’s Day 2021 | Parkinson’s UK with the theme ‘Start a conversation’.

It’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and on Sunday 11 April 2021 from 5-5.30pm there is a ‘Remember together’ event to commemorate lost loved ones: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/support-us/ways-to-donate/donate-in-memory/remember-together/

Interested in filmmaking? Free filmmaking workshops are running for a week beginning on Monday : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/easter-series-a-week-for-filmmakers-tickets-142228393955?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

Ramadan starts on Tuesday.

You can read about Disabled artists, Disability Arts and relevant issues at Disability Arts Online: https://disabilityarts.online 

Audio-described pictures on the Tate website: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/sargent-carnation-lily-lily-rose-n01615/audio-description-carnation-lily-lily-rose

Tate podcast on memory and art: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/pierre-bonnard-781/art-memory

Clue HQ – Online Games £15 per team play anytime. Escape rooms have become increasingly popular over the last few years and with the advent of COVID a number of these have now been created online.  Clue HQ currently offer three online versions for up to six players and can be played from different locations.  The great thing is that depending on your location, once you can visit in person, a number of these escape rooms have been designed with access in mind: https://cluehq.co.uk/