Together Unlocked! Highlights & Links March 2021

Together! 2012 UNLOCKEDHere you can view films, photographs and artwork and read poems showcased on Together Unlocked! 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).

31 March 2021

It’s World Trans Visibility Day. Find out more here. Regard, the national LGBTQI+ Disabled People’s Organisation, offers free membership. Find out more here.

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

Paizah Malek: Snowdrop

Still sitting lazily on the bed
Yawning, stretching and rubbing my head
Then drawing the curtain with half open eyes
March is coming to an end how nice
April is approaching fast
Beginning of joy and must
Wait to see the first flower of the season
Be excited and happy for whatever reason
Watching it blooming at the end of winter
No more snow or rain water.
The snow is definitely dropping out
Green grass is everywhere to sprout
The ground is full of snowdrops
In a flash I stood up and hop
My eyes blink and keep looking
As snowdrop marks the beginning of spring
The first flower is appearing
Pure white, cute and looking innocent
Symbolizing sympathy and consolation
It also symbolises hope and wishes
That Covid 19 soon eases.

Paizah Malek: Back Garden

Looking through my washroom window
My garden is small and narrow
There is nothing to see in winter
As all the plants are gone forever 
Contrary to when Spring is here round the corner
I can see snowdrops shying away
Letting daffodils making its way
Bright yellow dandelion is springing up
Challenging the daffodils growing up
At every corner of my garden
Line up with tulips red and golden
Perennial plants are emerging
Inviting bees and birds to sing
Among the rows of roses
Sweet smelling fuchsias and nemesias
I can see the jasmine is still budding
Fresh green and proudly hanging
That is why I stay longer in the washroom
Gazing and feeling happy to see the flowers bloom. 

Julie Newman: Flowers

I looked out of the window in the bright spring light
And the garden had changed, transformed overnight.
Where once the shrubs huddled against the day
The leaves shone bright, and the colours were gay
In the promise of much to come.

Looking again as I gazed at the beds of dark earth
The heads of green buds peeped through with the birth
Of young plants heralding spring. The lengthening days
Bring light to break the winter gloom, the warming rays
Gives a glimpse of the summer sun.

Looking again the flowers showed with bright brave faces,
Flashes of colour where once there were spaces,
Say farewell to the long winter nights too cold to dance
In the light of the moon, now we can rejoice, prance
And welcome the songs of spring.

Angus McKenzie Davie: Daisy chains and children

The scrapyard is small
Gravestones made of wood
Props for an Artaud play
The flowers are all black
A Polish man sells orchids
Children sit on the grass
Making daisychains and drinking
Why aren’t they at school?
Garlands in their hair
Sleeping in the street
Daisychains and children
Everything weird, complete.

Dawn Barber: The Perfume

The last drop of water
Drips from the rose
Out comes the sun to dry it
The perfume lingers all around
To bring peace to the garden
What a lovely thing one flower can do.

Crystal Peasy: Flowers

There are many different colours of flowers
Which are beautiful parts of the tree or plants
Flowers are one of the natural most beautiful gifts
Flowers are the part of the plant
That provide us with seeds to make new plants
Most of the flowers will continue
Flowers protect us
Flowers make the natural garden.

Alison Marchant: Flowers & Blossoms

Camellia blossoms smudge in mild Winter
Snow Drop has pushed itself through the weight of
The snow into Spring
Daffodil is the earliest Narcissi
Witch Hazel casts a touch of yellow
Blending with the Crocus in shades of purple
The Iris stands tall in the background
The Tulip is all colours of the spectrum
Dogwood trees have breath taking white blossom
Magnolia has large fragrant exotic blooms
The Primrose burns yellow
Against the tiny white bells of Lilly of the Valley.

Dwain Bryan: Flowers

It’s Springtime now and the flowers bloom
And the trees no longer are bare
I get hay fever sometimes and sometimes my eyes water and my throat itch
But the trees are rich
All types of trees and flowers blossom
From Roses and sunflowers
The sunshine softly and there’s a slight heat in the air
Close to summer yes we are but Spring is here
and we’re enjoying it while it’s here.

Virtual Naturewatch with Merlot the assistance dog. This was filmed two weeks ago but fits in very well with today’s poetry theme of flowers.

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. Today’s competitors are clockwork Easter bunnies.


Return of the Wheelchair Basketball Challenge Cup: On Saturday it was announced that elite wheelchair basketball will return at the end of April. The Challenge Cup will take place in Germany and will consist of eight teams, playing in a straight knockout tournament over three days. The tournament will feature some of the top teams in Europe and the best players in the world, as the European Club League is considered the premier league for Wheelchair Basketball in the world. The tournament is scheduled to take place from 30 April – 2 May 2021. There will be no spectators allowed bu a live stream will be set up although details of this are yet to be released. For more information on the event see:

Impact of COVID-19 on Women’s Sport: A report was released last week showing the impact of COVID on women’s sport at the elite level, and how this compared to men’s sport. Elite women’s sport was out of action for 2,191 days compared to 982 days for men’s sport. The report also talks about how testing was started much later in women’s sport than men’s sport, in one case 199 days later. Find out more here.

Women’s Six Nations Rugby: The Women’s Six Nations is finally getting underway this weekend. England will be looking to continue their winning streak having secured Grand Slam Victories in both their 2019 and 2020 campaigns. Every game will be streamed on the BBC iPlayer and a full breakdown of the games and times can be found on the fixture and results page Find out more here.


GamesRader Future Games Spring Showcase Rundown: This article sums up the report Josh gave last week:

Top 25 Best board game mobile apps:

29 March 2021

It’s World Autism Awareness Week. Find out more here.

We talked about the importance of keeping the artwork safe that we have created during the Pandemic and passing it on to the next generation. You can find two different designs to make a portfolio for paintings from cardboard here and here.


Project Makeover (free). This app enables you to design rooms, clothes, hairstyles and make-up. Designed for fun – you can also deal with dramatic characters like egotistical fashion icons, scheming assistants, or stubborn clients in dire need of a new wardrobe – this can also be used to try out designs for performance or filming when Covid-19 or disability restricts our movement. iPhone: Android:

Art Club

There are more designs for making paper flowers from recycled materials below from 19 March and 12 March.

Sterre Ploeger demonstrates how to make flower cards from egg boxes.

Relax with Awa:

26 March 2021

Ju talked about last night’s theme launch for Holocaust Memorial Day 2022, which is ‘One Day’, and read the poem she wrote in response:

One Day

One day no one will go to sleep cold or hungry
One day everyone will sleep safely in a bed of their own
One day everyone will have access to clean water
One day access to healthcare will depend only on need
One day access to education will depend only on ability.

One day everyone will be free to practice their faith
One day everyone will be free to express themselves
One day everyone will be free to love who they like
One day everyone will respect and value each other
One day we will see one of us not one of them.

One day there will be no more hate and violence
One day generosity will become stronger than greed
One day trust will triumph over fear
One day everyone will put down their weapons
One day the planet will begin to heal.

Today we are one day closer. 

Ju Gosling aka ju90 25 March 2021

Screenshot of hosts

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In

The Guardian has requested ideas from the public about how to refloat the cargo ship currently stuck in the Suez Canal, the Ever Given. Julie dressed up in a hi-vis raincoat and green hard hat to join Bob the Builder to check out the logistics and get the ship moved.

Ju dressed up in a purple T-shirt and mauve bucket hat to celebrate Purple Day, the grassroots international awareness-raising campaign about epilepsy. Find out more about it and the online events taking place to celebrate it here.

Robin dressed formally in a light blue shirt and striped blue tie to have a meal with his wife Tracy to celebrate her birthday on Sunday. Happy Birthday Tracy!

Josh dressed in a white linen shirt to watch the Formula 1 races in the heat (see Something for the Weekend below).

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 in, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures:


Crystal Peasy

Crystal Peasy

Glory Sengo

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.  The Club has just started weaving using cardboard and wool scraps and has also been working on collages using recycled materials.

Collage by Duncan Bridgstock

Glory Sengo


Sterre Ploeger demonstrates an accessible easy way to create eco art without damaging the environment.

Something for the Weekend

Full Moon Sunday The next full moon is commonly called the Worm Moon, named for the casts on the warming earth that the worms leave, and rises on Sunday at 7.48pm. Don’t forget the clocks go forward on Sunday! This is a BBC article that explains about the moment it is at its fullest. There is also an interactive site about the moon and the night sky on the Royal Maritime Museums Greenwich.

6 Music Festival 26-28 March on BBC 6 Music, BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer. This year’s 6 Music Festival brings together series of new commissioned live performances, and a collection of highlights from previous festivals.  A must for music fans, and finally some live performance to revel in:

Women In Music – An Interview with Jane Arnison Jane Arnison is an Australian Musician/Sound Engineer extraordinaire. This interview is all about her journey as a woman in the music industry, how she went from despair to the continuing excellence and innovation in her career.

Six Nations France v Scotland BBC 1 tonight from 7.30pm. France play Scotland in a make up game from week 3 of the tournament. The outcome of this game will determine the winner of the Six Nations. Coverage starts at 7.30 pm on BBC 1 with kick off at 8pm.

Bahrain Grand Prix – Channel 4 across the weekend. The opening race of the 2021 season is taking place in Bahrain this weekend. This will be the first time teams race in there new cars and is shaping up to be a potential exciting race. Highlights of qualifying will be shown on Channel 4 on Saturday evening at 6.30pm and highlights of the race will be shown on Sunday evening at 8pm.

24 March 2021

24 March is World TB Day. This year’s theme is The Clock is Ticking.

Tomorrow 25 March 2021 at 2:30pm New Currents, Drake Music’s Online Listening Party, is taking place. New Currents is Drake Music’s annual showcase celebrating the joys of new music and the talent of Disabled artists. The Listening Party will feature feature a collaboration between Miss Jacqui and Signkid; Neo soul from emerging artist Alebdo; experimental sounds from musician R Dyer; and soulful electronic music from Elle Chante.  Find out more here.

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

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: the Spring Season

Grass is growing again, trees are starting to show leaves as the daylight hours increase again. You could say things are springing into life, mother nature is starting to show all her colours.

More daylight hours, more time to walk the dog. More friends for him, less muddy puddles, more chance to be able to swim in the lakes, just not the canals.

More time out with nature in daylight, more time to detox and calm for one’s mental health.

Does the spring season help me spring into life? It gives me more of a nice push into the next chapter. Life is rolling on and will hopefully become less gloomy and more colourful. Mother Nature, as you spring and start to shine your colours and life through, can you help me do the same with mine?

Taylor Henville:  Spring is here!

Spring is here!
Can you hear the birds singing?
It’s a signal to the world
For a new beginning.
Can you see the sun poke their head out
From behind the mist?
And tentatively shine a warm smile,
Easing the wind to a gentle breeze.
Can you see the daffodils
burst through their soil coffin?
Like arms grasping for the sky.
And can you see the animals
That hid from the cold?
They now roam freely in the green.
Spring is here!
Can you hear the birds cheering? 

Paizah Malek: Spring

Gently I draw the curtain
Which I bought from Brixton
From the middle first to the right
I see outside is clear and bright
One side is good enough to give the light
As the cold is still around
I left the other side unwound
Yes, oh yes spring is emerging
Come on, it’s time to dance and sing
I just can’t wait to go out
To walk and skip about
To sniff the sweet smell of the daffodils
White and yellow around the mills
Along the canal and waterways
With cherry blossoms dropping and sprays
All over myself from head to toe
It is full of fun like there is no tomorrow.

Julie Newman: Spring

Step softly into the morn of Spring.
Don’t rush or tread without thought.
The grass is green, and buds will bring
The flowers that follow but t’will be for naught
If the plants are trampled under foot.

The days are longer, once dark now light,
The songs of hungry sparrows wake the Dawn.
And shadows flee the shortening nights.
Now be still and listen. The harsh winds have gone
And the world awakens from the winter sleep.

Pause awhile, let the gentle hand of Mother Earth
Work her magic. The lambs will start their joyful dance
Their world is complete, warm and happy full of mirth
As they hop and skip, every step and prance
A testament to their love of life.

Don’t rush the summer heat to come so fast.
Stop awhile and relish the fresher morn,
The buds so fragile will strengthen and at last
Our world will fill with colours deep and born
From the chill cold earth below.

Crystal Peasey: The Spring

The Spring season is now it’s the most pleasant
King of all seasons in the UK
In spring time I like to wear my favourite bright colour
In Spring the bright colours brings out the colour of my face
The spring season also brings out the cuckoo birds singing
It has a sweet and melodious voice
The people start to wear bright clothes after the long period of the winter season
In spring there’s beauty all around
It makes the mind creative and gives the body energy to start new work with full confidence.

Dawn Barber: Sing to Spring

It’s Spring lets all sing
Daffodils and blossom the sun shining on us
and people smiling more on their faces
The sky is lovely and blue I love the Summer
It gives me more hope and joy to face the world
I hope our summer will be a beautiful one that gives love to everyone.

Angus McKenzie-Davie: The Spring

The season fixed, cast in stone
Cannot be changed,
written in blood and birth
The line is the same ingrained text
Lengthening every day in Spring
The odds are on you breaking down
Not escaping the door set as a trap
The abyss that waits beneath your feet
Sits grinning waiting for you to fall.

Alison Marchant: Spring

Cherry blossoms are shedding
Their petals strewing the path as if for a wedding
The hazel blooms in a thread of crimson hue,
Whitethorn leaf appears in view
The wood pigeon claps its wings
Primroses burn yellow
Under old trees are the shadows of young leaves
The budding twigs spread out like small fans.

Naturewatch: Spring has come to Ju’s ‘yarden’.

A yellow narcissus flower A red freesia flower Purple crocuses Red berries blossom on the laurel bushJu was joined in her studio just before the soundcheck by Julie’s cats, who had jumped into the lift and pressed the ‘up’ button. You can find out more about the various anarchic pets on our Animal Hosts page.

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.


No international fans at Tokyo 2020: It has now officially been announced that no international fans will be allowed, given the current situation of the pandemic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst this is a difficult decision and a blow for both fans and athletes, it is one of many precautions being taken to try and provided a COVID safe environment for the games; something which is fundamental to the games taking place. Find out more information on this story and statements from the Organising Committees here.

Perry the Birmingham 2022 Mascot: The mascot for Birmingham 2022 has been unveiled, the design was selected through a national competition and was designed by a 10-year-old from Bolton. Perry is a multi-coloured bull whose design pulls many inspirations from Birmingham. See the design of the mascot and a breakdown of different elements of the design and what they mean here


Future Games Show Spring Showcase Thursday 25 March 2021 9.45pm. The showcase will present around 40 upcoming games, with many new announcements, as well as special guests. The show will be live on Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, and the GamesRadar website. For more information about the show, including hosts and other details and links to the various streaming options here.

Press X to Continue Podcast This is a podcast from BBC Sounds which discusses games and gaming, such as which games are worth buying and more general discussions, such as video game to movie adaptations. The podcast also has celebrity guests. See the currently released episodes including topics and guests here.

22 March 2021

Today is the annual United Nations World Water Day, which has been held on 22 March since 1993. The 2021 theme is valuing what water means to you, recognising this will be different for everyone. We chatted about water as the subject of art and the use of water in art, and referred to Philip Larkin’s poem Water.

Robin talked about the film The Midnight Sky, starring George Clooney and young actor Caoilinn Springall who has already won awards for their performance. We chatted about the power of performance not depending on movement and voice — Caoilinn hardly spoke but the use of her eyes told every emotional moment. The Midnight Sky is currently available on Netflix.

Ju referred to the wheelchair folk dance company Folk in Motion. Find out more including a chair-based easy warm-up at


The Kindle app is free and available for all devices. Once you have the app installed, you can access a wide range of free books, including classics and other books that are out of copyright, as well as free books by contemporary authors.

Reading List – Book Log / Free with in-app purchases (for iPad & iPhone). Easily keep a list of books you’ve read, books you’re reading, and books you want to read. Track your reading progress by recording the start and finish dates of the books in your list (Robin didn’t need the in-app purchases to do this):

CDpedia. £18.99 (For the Mac.) CDpedia is a CD cataloguing application that  retrieves all information about your CDs from the internet by using keywords or scanning barcodes.  For the price of one or two CDs, it will help you to organise your CD collection and integrates with Apple Music /iTunes to let you know which CDs of single songs you have imported already.

Please let us know if you have found similar Android apps.

Relax with Awa:

19 March 2021

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In

Screen shot of hosts

Julie dressed up to go to Mexico for the Vernal Equinox at Chichen Itza. This is a Mayan Pyramid deigned with an astrological bias so that on the Spring Equinox the sun shines and the shadow forms a snake that moves up the steps. There are two links explaining the history and design:

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 in, and click on the photo to view a larger version and join in from home. We’d love to see your pictures:

Yellow and pink tulips are displayed in a black shiny pot

Still life by Safiyya

Still life by Safiyya

Still life by Dwain Bryan

Still life by Crystal Peasy

Still life by Crystal Peasy

Still life by Glory Sengo

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.  The Club has just started weaving using cardboard and wool scraps.

Glory Sengo shows how the weaving begins.

Safiyya shows her progress.

Crystal Peasy has added a knotting technique.

Pamela Hillyer has almost completed crocheting a child’s jacket.

Duncan Bridgstock is creating collages from scraps.

Tracy Surgeoner demonstrated how to make paper flowers using things you already have at home.

All you need to make these paper flowers is some kitchen towel (or other paper), scissors, pencil or stick, and Pritt or a similar light glue.

Begin by folding the paper like a concertina (pleating it).

Cut into the folded edge at regular intervals.

Unfold the paper and glue along one of the edges.

Glue the two sides together.

Now start to wrap the paper around the stick or pencil you are using for the stalk.

You can use a variety of different coloured papers to get different effects.

Something for the Weekend

Ju recommends: The Awkward Bastards are back! Coming to you from a bedroom/lounge/kitchen/cubby hole/Zoom room somewhere in the UK. This year DASH have commissiond five films to reflect life as a Disabled Artist during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Join us from 6pm on Friday 19 March as we premiere the third film of the series: ‘What was the Question Again?’ by Emma Plover, a short film where she shares her experiences of ADHD and Neurodiversity. Watch here and find out more about Emma here:

Stratford Circus Arts have two paid-for online events this weekend. 

The East 15 Jazz Sessions online, on Friday 9pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm & 9pm feature The Robert Mitchell Quartet with a show that brings together contemporary classical jazz and original poetry inspired by the rapid political change in the atmosphere in recent times. The concert was recorded live at the end of last year. All tickets are available via for £10 + £3 booking fee.

For families, Protean Dance have a workshop available based on the book The Little Prince, cost £2 for 48 hours. This is a playful introduction to the book and enjoyable way to keep the kids entertained, active in body and mind. Join performers Faith and Andy as they lead and present a dance and movement workshop exploring the world of the Little Prince. Find out more and book here.

Julie recommends: I have been playing a Scrabble-style game for solo players all week. It is available for free at the App Store and is called Classic Word. It is completely absorbing, and it is possible to shut the app without losing the game. There are several levels so it is possible to chose your own standard of difficulty. I have won 18 out of 18 games without losing but have had to concentrate really hard to do so. I can’t get the link to copy, but comes up easily in the search. There are other scrabble games but this is the one I found to be easiest to access.

Robin recommends:

St Patricks Festival Birmingham 2021 17– 21 March 2021. Famed as the biggest St Patricks Day Parade in the UK, this year, the to COVID restrictions, Birmingham have created a series of online events and curated a collection of performances ad memories from previous festivals.  In particular they have created an ‘In Memoriam Initiative’ where members of the community can submit details and memories of family and friends lost during the last year.  This will be projected live onto St Anne’s Church in Birmingham and streamed through the website:

March Madness – Music Comedy & Poetry Festival. Saturday 20 March 15:00 – 23:00 GMT. This looks like a fantastic event from Festival Spirit who have for this year brought together an amazing inclusive line up of artists and ‘Thought Leaders’ both disabled and non-disabled.  Taking place from 3pm on 20 March, this is a feast of entertainment from an organisation set up to bring access to live events that many Disabled People would not normally be able to enjoy:

Josh recommends:

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – Disney+, new episodes each Friday This is the second Disney+ series based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the show focuses on Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan respectively. The show is described as them teaming up for “a global adventure which will test their abilities and the patience”. From the trailer, it looks like it could be quite funny as well as exciting. The show can be watched on Disney+  with new episodes released each Friday:

For those interested in jumping in and haven’t seen the films and don’t want to watch multiple films for context or need a reminder of characters, there is a programme called Marvel Studio LEGENDS. These are short recaps (under 10 minutes) on the main characters from the new Marvel Shows, and can be watched here:

Formula 1 Drive to Survive – Netflix, all episodes released in bulk. Now in its third season, F1 Drive to survive is a ten episode docuseries which follows the previous years F1 season, with interviews with drivers and team staff. While racing is mentioned and covered mainly to give context, the show focuses on the action off the track at race weekends and talks with the drivers at home. Season three looks to be very interesting as it will provide a behind the scenes look at how the season was affected last year. The show has been released today in its entirety ahead of the 2021 racing season starting next week. To watch the show on Netflix use the following link –

NCAA March Madness:  Also known as The Big Dance, March Madness is a tournament that concludes the national collegiate basketball season in America, the top 64 teams play in a single-elimination bracket over the course of 2 weeks when a national champion is crowned. All of the games can be watched free on the NCAA website, although these are geo-locked to The US, however, a VPN can be used to access the streams; alternatively they can be watched in the UK through the ESPN player app, which offers a free trial for one week, before charging a monthly subscription. Details on the men’s tournament: Details on the women’s tournament: Watch through the NCAA Page:

17 March 2021

Screen shot of the hosts, all dressed in green.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! You can find out more about St Patrick and the history of the celebrations here. Click here for details of tonight’s virtual events in London, and here for details of other online events and activities. Julie found these instructions for crocheting a shamrock!

The University of the Atypical is Ireland’s Disability Arts organisation. Find out more here, and find out about the Disabled artists they are currently supporting in Northern Ireland here. Visit the Irish Mouth and Foot Painting Artists’ website here

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

Paizah Malek: Coat

Such a short simple word
Yet so full of meaningful strength like a flying bird
Crossing all hurdles, weather and circumstances
Protecting every users from all bounsers
Being attacked by virus or illnesses
Rain, snow, wind, human threats that damage
As coats is useful overall coverage
Lately coats are more fashionable with hoods
Very colourful to hide all swing of moods
Whether you cry or feeling upset and guilty
All hidden under the hood safely
Although coats are mostly heavy thick black
But now designed with frills and ricrac
Big flappy collar, lace and stripy materials
Suit all occasions, venues and funerals
As they are now available in different texture
That can be preserved for further use in the future
I love all my coats, hanging neatly in a row
Always dry cleaned and kept away till tomorrow
As cold winter is still around,
One light coat is used as a home gown.

Julie Newman: My Favourite Coat

My favourite coat was a very dear coat,
From many years ago.
It was made by my sister when she was young
And not long had finished her school.

She found some wool, and needles two,
Then a pattern that suited her needs.
And she knitted and knitted all the day long,
And sometimes into the night.

The wool she chose was a tasteful one,
A shade of camel, not bright.
And she mastered the skill of cable stitch
Two together, and decreasing three.

All summer she knitted, her fingers flew.
Until at last she was done.
And off she went on her first day of work,
Spruced up and dressed like a Queen.

She caught the bus, with a skip and a jump.
Delighting in her coat so smart.
As she looked out the window, the sun went in
And she noticed the rain on the glass.

At the end of the day, the doorbell rang,
And my mother cheerfully said,
Welcome home! How was your first day at work?
And a tragic sight beheld.

That wonderful coat, that tasteful new coat,
No longer held its shape.
It sank in a length, like a soggy mess
And just about touched the ground.

My mother, always kind, tried not to laugh,
Her heart caught up with the misery
Found in my poor sisters face, defiant as she dripped
And stood lost for words.

The coat disappeared, to be seen never more
In this world or the next.
My sister said nothing, and woollen coats
Were never mentioned again.

But that wonderful coat, that marvellous coat,
Made with such love and skill.
Is my favourite coat in the whole wide world
And remains in my memory still.

Blake Jarrette Gibbons: A Hat, a Coat

A coat, a jacket, you keep me warm in the winter, dry in the rain and we go many places. In the sunny but still cold times you can be my warmth, even though a bit more warmth and you could be off-duty and I could attempt to catch a suntan. In the summer you become a spread to make some shade or even a picnic blanket. Crumbs will be eaten by the dogs.

There are times you get slung over my shoulder, or even just slung into a bag or left in the boot of the car.

Sometimes the pockets are full of things from the keys to my phone or travel card. I can’t find my phone, it’s ringing. Which pocket are you in? I can hear you, this jacket it’s got more pockets that I seem to find all the time, yet how long have I had this jacket? Wait, you sure I thought it was longer than that? No!, I meant at the sleeves? You haven’t shrunk this in the wash? I hope not, this wasn’t exactly cheap. It still fits, you are forgiven.

Never mind ring my phone again please still not found it but I know it’s in this jacket, surely by now I would have found the pockets. I need my jacket now, I need to go out. Out for a walk to ease some stress, do I need any shopping, oh bugger which pocket did I put my wallet in?

Put the bag in the pocket, and remember it’s that one. Yes I will take the dog out later, probably need this jacket at that point. Where will we go?

I have a lightweight jacket — more of an anorak — too. The convenience of that anorak, lightweight and even easier to just store away or have over the shoulder, maybe even tied around the waist. Sadly things still get lost in it.

Look at this now the forecast says rain so I bring out the anorak as I’m only going to the shops and back, no rain, least the shopping’s dry. Time to go out, don’t worry you won’t need your jacket just bring yourself and your essentials. Come back, damn it I’m absolutely soaked, jacket I’m glad you are ok, but I missed you back there.

Go out another day with my normal jacket and wow it’s foggy, least with this shade of blue you can’t miss me, and I’m nice and warm inside. My jackets have been various places with me and have done so much more than just protect me from the rain.

They’ve been a storage unit for my essential items, they’ve been a cushion to sit on, less chance of getting numb while relaxing in the sun. They’ve been that head cushion used to keep my head safe after collapsing. They’ve been the place to put that sandwich and drink when you can’t find the bag I brought with me. They’ve been the protection from me getting soaked by a wet but happy golden labrador, a place to keep his ball and biscuits. Yes, biscuits — that got the dog’s attention. They’ve been a cat’s bed too. Sorry cat got to move I need my jacket. Cat move, stop groaning you’ve got loads of places to sleep and moult your fur over. I’m off out now, jacket too, have I got everything? Where am I going? Find out another time.

Dwain Bryan: My Winter Coat

My winter coat keeps me warm and it’s very comfortable when it’s cold
I put it on and I’m warm all day long
It makes me look big and it makes me look strong
It makes me happy all day long
I have a coat and it’s long and there’s fur on the hood
I put it on and it feels really good
A coat is for comfort and to keep you warm
A coat is for happiness you will never mourn.

Dawn Barber: Care For The Coats

We just put on our warm coats and out the door we go
But give it a thought next time you put on your coat
Give it a bit of a hug because it keeps you warm
Stops some of the rain getting through
You can put things in the pockets
It takes all kinds of different weathers
Lets give our coats a bit more love and care
Because they’re for us to keep us warm and cosy.

Crystal Peasy: Winter Coat

Everybody wears a coat because it’s freezing and snowing
Nobody knows what to do because it’s cold
If you don’t wrap up maybe you’ll get cold
When the cold catches you it goes to your skin and through your bones and body
You are very cold and you can’t warm up and it takes time to warm up.

Virtual Naturewatch with Merlot the assistance dog

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.

Sport and Gaming to come shortly.

15 March 2021

Find out about the diversity of today’s Oscar nominations here. Crip Camp is nominated for the Best Documentary.

Robin talked about learning how to go live on YouTube. Find out more here.

Josh recommended the Assembled: Making of Wandavision documentary about the Wandavision series currently streaming on Disney+, which is packed with useful information too. Find out more here.

Josh also recommended to find out which music is being played on popular television programmes and films.

AppDate Find out more about the personal safety apps we discussed hereWe also discussed how to make emergency calls from your iPhone. You can find out how to make emergency calls from an Android phone here.

Relax with Awa:

12 March 2021

When the hosts discussed personal safety issues, Ju recommended the clip-on type of personal alarm that is issued to Together! 2012 team members. These clip onto your clothing or bag and start automatically when you throw them off, meaning that you won’t be deafened by the sound and the attacker will need to move away from you to stop it. You can buy a similar alarm here.

Screen shot of hosts

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay In

Ju dressed up to go to the 2022 Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, which will take place as part of the celebrations of Lewisham as London Borough of Culture. £70,000 of commissions worth between £3000 and £10,000 are available for Disabled artists and arts organisations. Find out more here.

Tracy dressed up to go to a gentle exercise class. She recommends this Exercise Video for both standing and seated workouts that almost anyone can take part in.  Do as much or as little as you want, as all stretching is good for you. Enjoy here:

Why not dress up for a real or fantasy event and send us your photos?

Art Club with Alison Marchant

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

Glory Sengo


Pamela Hillyer

Crystal Peasy

Recycled Art

Make a Suffragette rosette or paper flower with Tracy Surgeoner.

You need 5 sheets of paper from an old magazine or junk mail, plus scissors, and a rubber band or piece of string.

Stack the 5 sheets of paper on top of each other with the colour you want to be dominant at the front. Then fold them like a concertina or series of pleats.

Secure the centre tightly with the rubber band or string. Use the scissors to round off the edges of the paper at each end and then start opening it up.

As you open up the paper, pull up the top 4 layers to create a rosette or flower. You can add a pin or a stick at the back.

Something for the Weekend

Josh recommends Mythbusters Season 1-8 Mythbusters is a science entertainment show that ran on the Discovery channel from 2003-2016. The show tested everything from common sayings such as “toast always lands butter side up”, scenes and ideas from movies, and other claims including you can build a boat out of duct tape, amongst many other things. The first eight seasons are currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Julie recommends …

A three-day poetry festival, Stanza, starts today in St Andrew’s Scotland. It is free except for a couple of rebound table discussions, and has a lot of content to interest lovers of poetry or poets:

A virtual science fiction convention in Scotland raises money for Children’s Hospices. The cost is £3 which gives access for the whole day:

The Visit London site includes a range of online theatre and music activities:

Robin recommends …

Creative Writing in Music ‘Vibe and… Repeat’ Sat 13 March 2pm-3:30pm £5. Featuring DAMÉLOLA, a singer-songwriter, lyricist and producer from London, who has worked with award-winning industry talents and performed at prestigious events including Senegal Urban Women Festival, Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks. Her versatile yet distinctive sound allows her freedom to express herself whilst composing unique music material:

Jack and The Bean Stalk Sat 13 March 6pm FREE. Family friendly fun – A virtual interactive panto BUT as you have never seen it before:

Robin sang his song Family at the end of the show. These are the lyrics:


We need to be one great big family
We really need to be one great big family
We should talk about things we like to do
We should share all the good things in our lives
Cause what is good we should hold on to

we should shout from roof tops broadcast our views
we should tell the world that what we’re fighting for
is to open all our minds and all the locked doors 

We need to be one great big family
We really need to be one great big family
All around the world in many different places
Different colours different genders we can see it in our faces

Hope for the future, hope for our freedom
Hope from desperation, hope for who needs feeding
Hope for our peace of mind, hope is our seedling
Hope for the strength to win the battles of the needy

We need to be one great big family
We really need to be one great big family
We should talk about things we like to do
We should share all the good things in our lives
Cause what is good we should hold on to

we should shout from roof tops broadcast our views
we should tell the world that what we’re fighting for
is to open all our minds and all the locked doors.

10 March 2021

Poems from today’s Together! 2012 Pop-Up Poetry Club
Theme: The Park. 
Find out more here about how to join the Club by phone.

Taylor Henville: The Park

Children playing
Always to extremes
Run as fast as you can
Till you can’t breathe,
Graze your knee
And scream
Until the next distraction.
Climb a tree
Scuff your shoes
Get dirt under your nails
And on your face,
Throw hula hoops in the air
And run around in circles,
With no care for the consequences.

Paizah Malek: Park

As far as the eyes can see
Colourful flowers in between bushes and tree
Ahead is a wide stretch of land full of greeneries,
Where mothers with children in buggies
Sportsmen, teenagers and elderlies
Disabled and vulnerable people go some days 
Walking slowly on the carpet-looking space
Happily admiring the park scene at own pace
Finding the place to sit and relax
By the fountain or statues made of wax
To relax the mind and comfort the body
As the park, does not charge any money
Lovers and youngsters spare their time,
to repent all their unfairness and crime
for others is the place to ease their feelings on mind
with big smile listening to the birds chirping
Drinking from the fountain, singing sweet songs while happily nesting
Lessening the confusion and restless feeling
The park is the place for relaxing and to retreat
For fresh air and less heat
At the park, we dream of the promises
To stay healthy and glorious
To be positive and happy,
In serving the community. 

Crystal Peasy: The Park

I like to go to the park
Especially in the summer time
I like to play different games
I try so hard to keep myself fit
I do a lot of things to keep myself fit
I work myself very hard
As I’m interested in keeping myself fit and healthy
Because if I don’t keep myself fit and healthy
I will become very ill
And I may need to get a different size wheelchair
And that would make me very upset
As it’s a struggle to find the right size wheelchair.

Dawn Barber: The Park

A walk in the park clears your mind from all the clutter
It is better than toast and butter
The gentle breeze upon your face
Seeing the squirrels running up and down the trees
Makes me smile and be happy
Seeing children playing and their mums watching over them
You may say ‘what a lovely day’ to someone you know
As you leave the park on a high
So now it’s time to say ‘goodbye’.

Alison Marchant: Sounds in and around the Park

A distant car
Seagulls flapping their wings and squawking
Children laughing and playing
Splashing through fountains
A squeaky swing
People chattering
Mellow murmurs
Aircraft overhead going to City Airport
A bike rolling across gravel
Panting joggers
Small sparrows tweeting in the trees
The wind rustles the leaves
Electric wheelchair
Dogs barking
Light rain gently beating on the café window.

Glory Sengo: Park

When I was in the park
I sat down quietly on the bench
I was eating a birthday cake also chicken and chips
Then I was full up
When the food went down
I decided to get on the swing.

Angus McKenzie-Davie: New Upton Park

Memorial Park to Upton Park
Upton Park to Lizzy Park
The new Boleyn
So plastic, so loud
It’s so peaceful here
‘Til the dogs see the squirrel!
Sounds of angry crowds
Now the laughter of children
Screaming babies
Break the silence
Kids for a quid?
I can’t afford one!
Come on you Irons
The travellers of Newham
Build me a ship
Or cut down my garden
No more blood
Where once was all claret
A season of stillness
Away from the chaos.

Ju read Park Maintenance and Words.

Virtual Naturewatch with Merlot the assistance dog

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.


IPC reveal winners of International Women’s Day Recognition awards On Monday the International Paralympic Committee revealed the winners of the International Women’s Day Recognition awards, in each of three categories: builder, next generation and National Paralympic Committee / International Federation. For more information on each of the categories as well as the winners of each award see:


Mario Day 10 March is also known as Mario day due to how the date can be written as MAR10. To celebrate this we talked on the show about two free games available on both iOS and Andriod through their respective app stores. Super Mario Run is a version of Super Mario in which you control Mario and other characters jumping just by tapping. Mario Kart Tour is a simplified version of Mario Kart designed to be played on a smartphone, with customisable karts and equipment.

Dirt 5 Released late last year on all platforms, Dirt 5 was recently added to the Xbox Game pass meaning it is free for those with a game pass subscription. The game is a fun-to-play, arcade-rally racing game with good visuals. I have played a small amount of the game to test it before the show, and the driving is simple to pick up and incredibly fun. For those on other platforms, the game can still be purchased.

8 March 2021 International Women’s Day

Screenshot of hostsJulie Newman has created a Spotify playlist for International Women’s Day that you can access here:

Ju Gosling read her poems Fashioned for Life, Meditation of the Middle-aged Woman on International Women’s Day, Moon Song and Still Rising. See for more poems from Ju.

Our Making History Together! 2020 Festival included Gobscure’s Hyena in Petticoats project about the life and work of pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. You can view the project here, and download a brochure with details of how to make protest t-shirts, masks and placards.

We talked about the representation of Disabled women in films including Margarita with a Straw (2014). You can find out more here and the film is available on Netflix.


Tracy Surgeoner recommended two free Mindfulness apps:

Insighttimer The number one free app for sleep, anxiety and stress:

MyLife. Let the MyLife app recommend the activities that are right for you. Whether you are anxious, sleepless, hopeful, angry or anything in between, the app is there to help you:

Technical difficulties prevented us from sharing Awa’s latest guided relaxation, but you can catch up with her whole show from Saturday here: Relax with Awa:

5 March 2021

Newham residents can find out how to book their Covid-19 vaccine here.

Dressing Up to Go Out to Stay InScreenshot of the hosts

Julie dressed as a suffragette to meet Princess Sophia Duleep Singh for poster-making and a cup of tea, ready for Monday 8 March which is International Women’s Day. Princess Sophia was a daughter of the last Maharaja of Punjab, who had been forced into exile in the England while his land was taken over by the British Raj who gave it to the East India Company. A summary of her life can be found on the Wikipedia site:

Something for the Weekend

Julie recommends

A virtual tour of the national history museums here and in the USA. All have online collections and some have really interesting family activities. The Natural History Museum in London have an extensive website including a large section on their research:

The Smithsonian National Natural History Museum in the US has an extensive online presence with an enormous range of present and past exhibitions further divided into subheadings.

The List as always has a full calendar of online events, some paid for and some free, and indicates those that are family friendly.

Robin recommends

Russell Kane  & Friends live on Zoom in aid of ReThink Mental Illness £7 per household Saturday 6 March 7:45pm. A night packed with the cream of the comedy circuit hosted by Russell Kane. Link to be sent out about 7pm on Saturday. Book here:

Unify Youth Dance Sessions on Zoom for young people with physical and/or learning disabilities aged 10-18, 4:30-5.30pm Monday 8 March for 4 weeks; £16 plus booking fee for the course. These classes are relaxed, fun and inclusive and focus on developing dancers to become more confident by experimenting with different ways of moving through imagery exploration and creative tasks.  For more information contact Book here:

Ju recommends

Book early for Flare, London’s LGBTQI+ Disabled film festival (17-28 March), here.

Remember there are still events taking place for LGBT+ History Month: and the  Outing the Past Festival of LGBT+ History:

Josh recommends

TEDx Conferences/Talks TED conferences are a series of short presentations/talks, with the slogan “Ideas worth spreading”. TED created a spin-off of local and self-organised conferences called TEDx, there are two TEDx conferences this weekend. TEDx University of Salford Saturday 10am-4pm includes ten speakers presenting a number of topics/ideas which are aligned with the main conference theme of “New World Normal”. More details about each speaker and booking a free ticket can be found on Eventbrite: TEDx Berkeley Saturday 7pm and Sunday 9pm UK time: “This year, at TEDxBerkeley 2021: Imagine If…, we invite you to explore how imagination has shaped history and offers limitless possibilities for the future. It will take our collective imagination to solve the world’s greatest challenges, from technology to climate change and medicine to human rights. Together, let’s champion creativity and consider the impossible”. For more information on the speakers at this year’s event and to watch past talks visit the TEDxBerkeley website: To book a free ticket for this year use this link –

Virtual History Tour Barcelona Take an online historical tour of Barcelona with a local tour guide on Saturday at 4 pm. Presented in English, the guide will give you an overview of the historic city centre and there will also an opportunity to ask questions after the tour. For more background information on Barcelona and to book a free ticket use the following link:

3 March 2021

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

Taylor Henville: The Red Shoes

Take off the red shoes, take off the red shoes
She whispered as she closed her eyes,
Vicky Page will not take to the stage tonight,
Nor any other night.
Vicky loved to dance, and she knew the shoes did too,
She tied the ruby ribbons round her ankles,
Ignoring their snake-like grip,
She needed to see what they could do.
On stage she did pirouettes and arabesques,
But when the show was over
The red shoes would not rest,
And so, they kept on dancing
And pushed Vicky to the edge.
Now on opening night
The red shoes are alone in the spotlight,
Waiting for someone else
To slip into the blood-stained shoes
And dance into the night.

Paizah Malek: Shoes

Amazing how our body is protected
We feel safe and excited
With the style, colours and pattern
The make, usage are all modern
We smile and walk proudly
Skip and tiptoe, showing off happily.
Caps and scarf protects our head
In the sun or in bed
But shoes is one of the body protector
We feel safe and complete with glamour
Right at the bottom touching the floor
The grass, concrete, mud outdoor
I love my shoes old and new
Brightly coloured, comfortably brew
Branded and patched in gold
I look elegant and bold.

Robin Surgeoner: Shoes

Shoes shoes shoes espadrilles and boots
A myriad of styles in which to dress your foot
Imagine the panic if they could tell stories
Exposing your lies and telling your truths
An adornment for every occasion
A medal to wear with pride
A shield to protect, a cover to hide
The secrets you keep hidden behind
Toe caps of steel or vulcanised rubber
From cut down cows or reconstituted blubber
From fold and bound leaves with piece of twine
To Crocs without teeth, and mules without eyes
Furthest from your heart yet closest to your sole
A design for every occasion, but how will you know
If your choice of footwear is correct on the day
Or whether you care what other people say
Do your shoes follow rules or defy the conventions?
Are you constantly searching for cultural re-inventions
Will you wear wellies to parties and Docs to the beach
Or play sport in high heals and slippers to teach
Whatever your choice, to rebel or conform
You will be judged by the cover of the footwear worn
So I say go naked at least in terms of your feet
Let your toes do the talking, let your soul stay discreet.

Julie Newman: Shoes

My shoes last longer now.
Sitting under the bed with only dust for company.
Blue suede shoes triumphantly bought in the sale,
But unused for long months, give rise to doubt
About the wisdom of their purchase.

That well worn pair waiting to retire,
Are patiently sitting, side by side with summer shoes.
Carefully kept safe, ready for the long hot days
That push the memory of frost and rain far back
Into the dusty attic of memory.

The dreams remain of open fields.
Mud dried into ruts pushed up by tufts of long grass.
Paths created by years of small creatures.
Finding their way to where they need to be
To eat, to sleep, to safety.

They have no need for shoes.
Their paws and little hooves keep them moving,
Treading the paths well known for generations.
Instinctively keeping safe, ready for flight,
The route home to shelter.

I travelled that way once.
My boots sturdy, well soled and fitting snuggly.
Not too tight, but supportive of vulnerable arches,
And ankles held secure. They served me well as I rode
My wonderful chariot off road.

The little dog and I would ride for miles.
Our attention held by the sounds of the forest and heath.
What bird is that? What lies behind that clump of trees?
Is the pond dry, and what is hiding in the bracken,
Deep, dark, dankly smelling.

And then pausing, I would step down,
Barely moving, quiet, causing no stick to crack, no sound
To show our intrusions into that other world.
My camera ready to capture the smallest scene,
The leaf, the insect, the bird.

I loved those boots,
Kept them clean and polished, tucked safely on the rack.
Not for everyday, but ready for the great adventures.
Ready for those special times, when they would
March along with the million women.

Pushing back the boundaries.
Striking out for freedom, no longer for the vote,
But the freedom to move, to explore the wilderness,
Or to sit by the sea, the beach stretching out so far
Waiting for the footprints to form.

No gulls shout loudly as they swoop
Nor buzzards plaintive calls echo through the woods
That my imagination paints on bedroom walls.
The smell of forests, strong only in the realms
Of memories long past.

Instead, I patiently wait.
Longing for a pair Dorothy’s ruby red slippers,
That I can steal from the witch and put on my feet.
Becoming that symbol of liberation, I can click my heels
And return to Kansas.

Dawn Barber: The Shoe

Imagining all the shoes I have got to catch a pair to put on my feet
I catch a pair jump up they are glitter ones they have a nice heel but not too big just right for me
Wham I look at them that are size 4
I try them on they look just right I walk up and down in them on the path
They make me taller and strong other shoes are flying around me
Hang on I cannot buy you all at once they settle on the path and I choose the ones I want
Isn’t this great all the shoes  I have a different pair for each day
Some are lower than others some are higher they are beautiful
Hip hip hooray as I walk down the street with my shoes on my feet.

Glory Sengo: Black Shoes

When I wore my black shoes I was about to go to the wedding and I went to see my friend Juliet who just got married
Also we had a wedding cake and we had chips with chicken
We went to dance and we went back home again for some more food to eat when it was time to go home.

Crystal Peasy: Shoes

I have many shoes,
Some of them are summer shoes,
But also many winter shoes.
All of my shoes are beautiful,
Very expensive,
And very stylish.
I have mostly designer shoes.
My shoes are also very glittery,
Some have diamonds on them
Silver diamonds and bright colours.
Silver white,
And Pink.

Virtual Naturewatch: Sterre Ploeger and Hannah Facey share their walk past spring lambs.

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.

You can read about Disabled artists, Disability Arts and relevant issues at Disability Arts Online:


International spectators at Tokyo 2020. A decision on allowing international fans at the Tokyo Games is due to be made at the end of the month, however, a Japanese newspaper has already reported that no international fans will be allowed due to the concerns of COVID-19. Find out more here:

England v India 4th Test is due to start tomorrow morning. The series is currently led by India 2-1. Coverage of the test starts on Channel 4 at 6 am and finishes at 11:55 am on both Thursday and Friday.


BAFTA Game Awards Yesterday the nominations for the BAFTA Game Awards were announced ahead of the virtual awards night on 25 March. The Last of Us Part II led the nominees, being up for 13 awards. For more information on the awards and how to watch see For more information on the specific awards and the nominees in each category for this year see

1 March 2021

Happy St David’s Day! Find out more about St David, patron saint of Wales, here.


Robin Surgeoner recommended Controlly (free for 7 days, then £3.99 if you want to use it as more than a mouse). This app allows you to add a wireless games controller to your computer and then map many functions onto it for anyone that finds a controller easier than a mouse or a touch screen, or just would want to try this as a choice. Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Josh and Robin Surgeoner recommended Strava (free, in-app purchases). This app records your exercise or walking routes as you do them, and recommends other routes that you can use close to wherever you happen to be. Your walks can be shared with friends, and Josh also talked about artwork that is created by taking particularly creative routes.

Julie Newman recommended Adobe Lightroom (free, in-app purchases) for adjusting lighting, particularly if you are trying to photograph black animals.

Hazel Brill recommended Stop Animator for creating animations on iPhones (free, in-app purchases).

Find out more about Glasgow Film Festival (online) and buy tickets here.

Read more about the controversy over Sia’s film Music here.

Relax with Awa:

Click here to view Highlights & Links from previous months