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2009 Our future ~ World Environment Day Time Capsule Ness Gardens Fifteen years ago today, this time capsule was 'planted' in Ness Gardens on the Wirral; and now we see sitting by it a little person who will be 35 years old when the capsule is opened. What will her world be like? Will we have made it a good and safe place for her and her own children to live in? And are we moving in the right direction, now, to ensure this will happen? Do we now understand what 'sustainable' living entails? Can we ensure that future generations - not the ones who felt obliged to 'apologise' in the time capsule letters - will manage to live sustainably and well?

Sustainability As If People Mattered

1994.06.05 World Environment Day Time Capsule Ness Gardens

Here's the text on this time capsule plaque:

Ness Botanic Gardens
World Environment Day
TIME CAPSULE

The Time Capsule placed near this plaque in June 1994 contains letters and objects linked to the many environmental concerns felt by the children of today.

Letters from the adults apologise for the overcrowding, pollution and resource scarcity we fear we will leave behind. They also state our commitment to overcome these problems through individual and concerted action, so that all species may share life together on a safe and sustainable planet.

Our goal is to make the apology unnecessary by the time the capsule is opened on 5 June 2044.

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.


And so, indeed, it is.....


Read more about Sustainability As If People Mattered and Wirral's Ness Gardens, and see more photographs at Locations & Events

09.06.01  Kniphofia (Torch Lily)  West Highlands  Scotland Ardnamurchan, the most westerly point of mainland Britain, is not the first place most of us would look to find the dramatic Shenandoah 'Red Hot Poker' or 'Torch Lily' in bloom; after all, the Kniphofia group of plants to which Torch Lilies belong originated in Africa. But the remote north-west UK location around Loch Sunart has been showing these spectacular flowers off in profusion during the amazingly hot (up to 24 degrees C) first weekend of June this year.

09.06.01   Kniphofia Ardnamurchan  Scotland  early June


09.06.02   Ardnamurchan Loch Sunart  Scotland Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) Torch Lilies


See more photographs at Camera & Calendar and at Locations & Events.

Sefton Park Liverpool Daffodils The past few days have convinced us that Spring is finally on its way. The daffodils in Sefton Park are a glory all of their own - the focus of hope in so many ways, at the equinox when people begin once more to populate our park's wonderful space, strolling by in chatty groups, with prams, on bicylces, running to raise funds for charity or simply stopping to enjoy. And then as the daffodils begin to fade, we see the promise of the next great gift of nature, the delicate blossoms of almond and cherry to delight us yet a while....

Sefton Park Liverpool Daffodils (29 March 2009)

Sefton Park Liverpool - first blossoms of Spring (30 March 2008)


See more photographs of Liverpool & Merseyside and read more about Sefton Park.

Wigan Pier canal historic statue of woman miller It's International Women's Day, an occasion for looking both back and forward. We have here some photos and text reminding us gently how grim life was for working class women and children in the mills (and often for their mining menfolk too) a mere century ago. Happily, Wigan Pier and the canals are now a tourist destination alongside a modern Investment Centre; but around 1910 a different story - not least about the uses of water - was being told. The challenge remains to secure the same progress as we've seen here, in ensuring healthy and constructive lives for women and their families everywhere, in the UK and across the globe.

Gender & Women, Sustainability As If People Mattered and Water.

Wigan Pier canal Trencherfield Mill historic notice

Here's the text of this notice, displayed by the towpath at Wigan Pier:

TRENCHERFIELD MILL
When cotton was king
as told by a cotton worker circa 1910

It's hot int' mill wi' lots o' noise. On a nice day, we'll take our lunch ont' towpath an' eat snaps* from't snaps tins.
It's a 5-and-a-half day week for us cotton workers, that's 12 hours a day and half a day on Saturday.
We've all got nimble fingers , especially the Piecers'. They're mainly children, who nip under the spinning machines to tie the broken cotton back together again.
Some of us work on the spinning machines and some on the carding machines. The mill takes a raw bale of cotton, cleans it, twists it and spins it into fine yarn.
The humidity in the mill keeps the cotton damp so it's easier to spin without snapping.
There are five floors of machinery - all powered by the Trencherfield Mill Engine.
The noise is deafening - we stuff cotton from the floor in our ears to protect them. We communicate using 'Me-Mawing' - a mixture of sign language and lip reading.
We work in our bare feet because our clogs could spark on the concrete floor and set the cotton bales alight.
We wake early doors to the sound of the Trencherfield steam whistle summonin' us t'mill for another day. But as they say - England's bread hangs on Lancashire's thread.

[* a snack favoured also by the men of Wigan, many of them miners, usually bread-and-dripping, with cold tea, carried in a flat tin called a snap-can - see George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier]

And here is the towpath which a century ago provided fresh air and respite for those mill workers as they ate their lunch-time snaps:

09.03.06 Wigan Pier canal & towpath

Wigan Pier Quarter & canals notice
[Public display boards by Wigan Heritage Services]

The power of water
And so, strangely, we come full-circle.

Water - the canals, the steam - was the power behind the early production of textiles, employing many women and children in horrendous conditions, as the full logic of the Industrial Revolution took its vice-like grip on the emerging economies of what we have come to know as the 'developed world'; but even now in other parts of the globe water remains both a critical force potentially for good, and often an almost unattainable resource.

Women as water workers
Vast numbers of women and children in the developing world continue to toil many hours a day just to obtain water to sustain their very existence.

Life in places like Wigan was harsh and short for women and men, alike, a century ago. It remains, as Oxfam tells us in the topical context of International Women's Day, particularly harsh even now for women in places such as Iraq, where water continues to be inaccessible for many.

The gendered meanings of sustainability
This is where we begin to understand what 'sustainability' is really about.... the just and equitable distribution of basic physical resources and accessible socio-economic opportunities, for everyone, women as much as men, the world over.

In terms of future global sustainability and equity, as the Gender and Water Alliance also reminds us, water remains a critically gendered issue.


Read more about Gender & Women and about Sustainability As If People Mattered and Water; and see more photographs of around Liverpool & Merseyside.

The Daily Miracle

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baby mitts It happens every day, and each time it is the greatest and most wonderful gift: the miracle of the birth of a baby.
Nothing compares with the arrival of a new child, every one of them the most beautiful and precious blessing it's possible to receive.
Here is the loveliness which the parents of this tiny, serene new miniature person will now awake to every morning.

new baby, sleeping blissfully

09.01.10 Liverpool European Capital of Culture ends Pierhead clock illuminated So it's all over, for now. Liverpool has handed on the European Capital of Culture title to Linz and Vilnius, after a rollercoaster year on Merseyside. There have been highlights and muddle, fun, exasperation and exhaustion. The debates and analysis will start soon enough - and we need them, to learn what worked and what didn't - but tonight the thing everyone, people in their thousands and from many communities, came into town for, was a party....

09.01.10 Liverpool European Capital of Culture ends Lanterns on the new Pierhead canal

09.01.10 Liverpool European Capital of Culture ends The Liverpool Orrery at Pierhead

09.01.10 Liverpool European Capital of Culture ends Pierhead buildings illuminated with projections of La Princesse ('The Spider')

09.01.10 Liverpool European Capital of Culture ends Fireworks over the Mersey (The Albert Dock) seen from  Liverpool 1 retail park

Read more about Liverpool, European Capital of Culture and see more photographs of Liverpool & Merseyside.

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Xmas 2008 Liverpool's great St George's Hall offered a splendid setting for the event at which Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Media and Culture, offered thanks and encouragement to the people who had made such an effort to deliver the 2008 European Capital of Culture programme. Volunteers and officers alike congregated to hear the Culture Secretary say well done, and to muse on the challenges of 2009. This he opined, as do many of us, is only the beginning...

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Andy Burnham  at the Thank You Reception 08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Thank You Reception

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Thank You Reception

So, after the celebrations, the thank yous and, no doubt, the elaborate analyses of all that's comprised Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008, what, we wonder, will happen next...?

08.12.18 Liverpool St George's Hall & Capital of Culture Christmas lights for 2008 (09)

Read more about Liverpool European Capital Of Culture 2008 and The Future Of Liverpool

08.11.03 Heron pic @ JoelBird viewing, Calderstones Park, Liverpool  011aaaa 135x124.jpg We were delighted this evening to attend the Private View of Joel Phelan's JoelBird paintings (acrylic on canvas) in the Coach House of Calderstones Park, Liverpool. Joel, a locally-born artist, is also a talented musician (JubJub / Eto The Band). He has created wonderfully life-like yet 'designed' impressions of birds which we see in our local parks. It would be great if these works inspired other younger people in the city to observe more closely the natural world around them.

08.11.03 Joel Phelan & Minako Ueda-Jackson @ JoelBird Private View, Calderstones Park, Liverpool

08.11.03 Hilary & Tony Burrage @ JoelBird Private View, Calderstones Park, Liverpool

Read more web reports on Liverpool, European Capital Of Culture and see more photographs of Locations & Events.

More information on Joel Phelan's work: JoelBird

08.10.06 Monday Women @ Heart & Soul, Liverpool Monday Women (Liverpool) has been going for more than five years now, so it was really encouraging to see such a good turn out for the first meeting of Autumn '08. There's clearly a continuing enthusiasm for a (free, open access) 'space' for women in our city to meet friends old and new, and just to catch up on the news. It's fun; so come! Please note: future meetings venue now changed, see below.

Please note: Sadly, subsequent to this great meeting, circumstances at Heart & Soul have changed. We are however really pleased that we have found a new 'home' for future meetings, in Starbucks on Bold Street in Liverpool city centre; same times (5.30 - 7.30 pm), same dates (first Monday of the month), same lovely MW people....

08.10.06 Monday Women @ Heart & Soul, Liverpool

These Monday Women are amongst those who arrived earlier on for this friendly, lively meeting at Heart & Soul bistro in Liverpool, after work this evening (6 October '08). Monday Women meet between 5.30 and 7.30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month. All women, from Liverpool or just visiting, are welcome to join us. There's no joining fee or any other membership process; if you turn up you're a 'member'.

There are also two completely free email goups * which women in Liverpool and further afield can join, for the exchange of news and views and to chat with everyone about events, business opportunities, courses, arts activities, good causes and anything else with which people may be involved.

Monday Women is free and it's fun
The sole reason for the group, whether the actual meetings or the e-groups, is to give us all a no-cost avenue to keep in touch and to make friends and find other women with similar interests! If you like, it's a sort-of zero cost social enterprise. The only 'capital' in this 'enterprise' is social capital - the friendliness and fascinating interests of Monday Women themselves.

Our very special and warm thanks to Monday Women member Chumki Banerjee of Heart & Soul, who has been our kind host for meetings over the Summer of 2008.


Read more about Monday Women
and see more photograhs of Liverpool & Merseyside.

* The egroups are on Facebook and at Yahoo. For either, just log in and search 'Monday Women Liverpool', then click to say you'd like to join. We only ask that people 'apply' to be on these e-groups in order to avoid spam, so as a real woman you'll be warmly welcomed.

HOTFOOT 2005 Tayo Aluko (baritone soloist) wears his T-shirt Every year from 1996 HOPES has produced a limited edition T-shirt for everyone involved to wear for the Hope Street Festival; and only in that first year was there no special performance at the Philharmonic Hall. So 1997 marked the first of the subsequently annual HOPES HOTFOOT concerts which celebrate the exciting and diverse communities in Liverpool's Hope Street Quarter. That's a lot of people - orchestra musicians, singers, helpers and supporters - and, as we see below, a lot of editions of the T-shirts...

1977 Original Hope Street Festival T-shirt logo 1996 Hope Street Festival T-shirt logo 1997 Hope Street Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'Hotfoot on Hope Street'


1998 Hope Street Midsummer Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 1999 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 2000 Hope Street Midsummer Millennium Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo

2001 Hope Street Midsummer Festival & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 2002 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'KOOL STREET' 2003 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo


2004 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 2005 HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'Tradewinds' 2006 'Hotfoot on Hope Street 1997-2006' HOTFOOT T-shirt logo


2007 'Celebrating 30 Years of the Midsummer Festival ' & HOTFOOT T-shirt logo 'Liverpool First & Last' 2008 HOTFOOT 08 T-shirt 'Cafe Europe'



And 2009? Who is to say?...


HOTFOOT 2007 T-shirts & helpers
HOTFOOT 2007 T-shirts modelled enthusiastically!


HOTFOOT 2006 T-shirts & helpers


HOTFOOT T-shirts 2005 Choir 'Trade Winds'


The original 1996 Hope Street Festival HOPES T-shirt modelled by Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage, who commissioned the original T-shirts and is Leader / Director of the HOPES Festival Orchestra
Martin Anthony (Tony) Burrage


See also:
HOTFOOT on Hope Street (The Concert)

Hope Street Festival, 1997 -

HOPES: The Hope Street Association

and more photographs in Camera & Calendar

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