Monday, August 23, 2010

Back On My Feet Again ???

I've been off track for some considerable time now. Some of you will know that my little brother took his life getting on for a couple of years ago. On top of this my mother, who was destitute in Spain suffering from dementia lived out her life in a spanish Care Home and eventually passed on last December. My more immediate nuclear family has been dogged with illness - my daughter has ME and Fibromyalgaea while my partner has a chronic form of leukaemia. All this has added up to me not coping so well. I certainly have neglected my blogging and record reviewing.
After 8 months grief counselling with a Jane, a lovely lady from Cruse, and some therapeutic art at a mental health drop in unit in brighton, I am feeling like I want to get back to writing etc. So her I am.
I''ll start gently by just showing you a few of my drawings. I've found the process intriguing - although I have occasionally drawn before, I have never really quite found it so absorbing and comforting. Please let me know if you like it.

The materials used are pencil crayons and wax crayons - I especially like the chunky varieties that are sold for toddlers to use with their pudgy little hands. They seem to suit my clumsy style!

There are plenty more where these came from. If anyone likes them enough to comment favourably, I'll put up a few more. Thanks for visitng and come back soon.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Next Saturday 31st October 2009 is Hallowe’en.

As usual, Blaker’s Park in Brighton is the venue for a great Halloween party hosted by Dishy’s Café.

The event runs from 4pm until 9pm and activities include…

Fancy Dress
Apple Bobbing
Doughnut Dangling
Pumpkin lantern Competition
Mulled Wine free with every large coffee
Seasonal foods

Creepy music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile Disco

Be there to be scared!

Brighton Urban Rangers in attendance – OOO-OOO-OOO


Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Halloween 2009 @ Blaker’s Park

Next Saturday 31st October 2009 is Hallowe’en.

As usual, Blaker’s Park in Brighton is the venue for a great Halloween party hosted by Dishy’s Café.

The event runs from 4pm until 9pm and activities include…

Fancy Dress
Apple Bobbing
Doughnut Dangling
Pumpkin lantern Competition
Mulled Wine free with every large coffee
Seasonal foods

Creepy music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile Disco

Be there to be scared!

Brighton Urban Rangers in attendance – OOO-OOO-OOO

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fiveways Networking Group

The Fiveways Networking Group ha been meeting at Birdcage Walk now for a number of months and a good number of local businesses have attended and contributed to the structure of the evening meetings.

The pattern that is emerging is to hold a monthly Monday meeting upstairs at Birdcage Walk, Fiveways at 7.30pm. All the details can be found on page 11 of the June edition of The Fiveways Directory.

The meeting dates for the rest of the year are:-

Monday July 13, 2009

Monday August 17, 2009

Monday September 14, 2009

Monday October 12th, 2009

Monday November 16th, 2009

Monday December 14th, 2009

The entrance fee for each meeting is £5 with tea and coffee provided. By booking 3 meetings at once, the fee is reduced to £12.

The meetings include a period of informal networking and then each attending business gets the opportunity to present their business to the rest of the Group for 60 seconds. Attendees will be able to pass out their business cards and will be encouraged to support local business by passing these cards on to prospective clients they may meet during the course of their working week.

A copy of each person's card will go into a bowl and, at the end of the evening, a draw will be taken with the winner receiving a prize.

Members of the Group will also be able to post descriptions of the services they offer on this web page.

The organisation of meetings and running of the Group has now been taken over by Fiveways resident Jennie Lawes, who runs the Inner Leaf business promoting Forever Living Aloe Vera products. You can contact her with enqiries about the Group on 01273 270501.


Friday, May 08, 2009

This Sunday - Art Show & Picnic Planning

SUNDAY 10th MAY 2009

The Friends of Blaker’s Park are organising their first ever open air display of local art at the Tennis Courts on Sunday 10 May next from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It will be opened officially at 12 noon by Open House Art Show inventor Ned Hoskins.

Are you artistic in any way? Do you or any of your family create paintings, drawings, photographs, collages or even clothes and jewellery. If so, bring them along to show other local people. There are no prizes, just an opportunity to display what you have made. Remember that this art display is open to all, of any age, from toddlers to pensioners.

This first Blaker’s Park Art Display will be on the second Sunday of the Brighton Festival and we hope it will form the largest gallery wall in the city. The Park is surrounded by the Fiveways Artists’ Trail and the show will be opened by local artist, Ned Hoskins, who pioneered the first Open Houses back in the 1980s.

This display is not only for people who describe themselves as artists, but for anybody who has something which they have made and of which they are proud.

All are welcome.

1. Fix a hook or string to attach your entry to the tennis court fence.

2. Bring it to the desk by the Café between 11 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. on Sunday
10th May.

3. Pay a donation of 20p. to the Friends.

4. Give 30 minutes of your time during the day to act as an attendant at the site.

5. Take down your art between 5 p.m. and 5.45 p.m. that same day.

We hope for good weather on the 10th May and look forward to a lovely display.

Address queries to: Philip Smith, Chairman, Friends of Blaker’s Park, 109 Havelock Road, Brighton. Tel: 553330. e-mail:
Music planning meeting for picnic

The first planning meeting for the musical arrangements for this year's picnic will take place on Sunday 10th May in/around the Cleveland Pub directly after the official opening of the Blaker's Park Art Display which happens at 12 noon.

If you'd like to be involved in the running of the musical part of the picnic please feel free to turn up and make your mark.

We have arranged twice the stage area we had last year so we can plan for one act to be setting up while another is playing. We will need helpers in setting up stages and turning round acts. There may be opportunities for budding sound engineers to help our team headed by Roy Weard and Cliff Dowding. We will also need people to act as security in the back stage area and possibly to help performers with tuning up etc. A number of other tasks will no doubt be identified at the meeting.

Please come along if you'd like to help this great event which is fast becoming an annual festival that people talk about for the rest of the year!

for more details of the picnic go to


Monday, April 27, 2009

Fab Poster for Blaker's Park Community Picnic

Fab Poster for Blaker's Park Community Picnic

Designed by Susan Sly of the Rockheart band. Thank you Susan!

The Woodstock theme is to celebrate 40 years since that momentous event took place.

We hope to ask each act appearing at BPCP2009 to consider inserting something into their performance in memory of that occasion. And we'd like to end the event with a monster jam/singalong on the Woodstock Theme. so put on your thinking caps and suggest songs to sing/play.

Please feel free to print off, duplicate, distribute and display the poster.

Thanks you

Abi Rhodes/Ian Lawes

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 19, 2009




SUNDAY 10th MAY 2009

The Friends of Blaker’s Park are organising their first ever open air display of local art at the Tennis Courts on Sunday 10 May next from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Are you artistic in any way? Do you or any of your family create paintings, drawings, photographs, collages or even clothes and jewellery. If so, bring them along to show other local people. There are no prizes, just an opportunity to display what you have made. Remember that this art display is open to all, of any age, from toddlers to pensioners.

This first Blaker’s Park Art Display will be on the second Sunday of the Brighton Festival and we hope it will form the largest gallery wall in the city. The Park is surrounded by the Fiveways Artists’ Trail and the show will be opened by local artist, Ned Hoskins, who pioneered the first Open Houses back in the 1980s.

This display is not only for people who describe themselves as artists, but for anybody who has something which they have made and of which they are proud.

All are welcome.

1. Fix a hook or string to attach your entry to the tennis court fence.

2. Bring it to the desk by the Café between 11 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. on Sunday
10th May.

3. Pay a donation of 20p. to the Friends.

4. Give 30 minutes of your time during the day to act as an attendant at the site.

5. Take down your art between 5 p.m. and 5.45 p.m. that same day.

We hope for good weather on the 10th May and look forward to a lovely display.

Address queries to: Philip Smith, Chairman, Friends of Blaker’s Park, 109 Havelock Road, Brighton. Tel: 553330. e-mail:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Blaker's Park Community Picnic

This year's Blaker's Park Community Picnic is on Saturday 20th June from 11am till 6pm. So far we have Saravian, Dave Woozely, Caitlin Stubbs, Paradise9, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Jules Franks, Jack Psychosis and Xanthus lined up. We hope to present a number of new acts from the local area. Rising Star Pippa Drysdale has expressed an interest in performing but this will depend on her being able to timetable us before going off to Bramfest for her set later in the day.

We will have to be careful not to overbook what is really quite a short day but we may be able to fit in a few more acts provided we can build a big enough stage are which enables us to be setting up one band while another is performing. This will mean that performers will have to be not-too-precious in sound-checking etc

We will be pleased to accept offers of help backstage - as well as offers of equipment loans - mikes, stands, cables, stools, drumkit, etc

please get in touch:-

Abi Rhodes/Ian Lawes

35 Waldegrave Road, Brighton BN1 6GR

01273 270501


Monday, March 30, 2009

147 - Maximum Break


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Blaker's Park Community Picnic 2009

We are getting together a list of names of potential helpers for this year's picnic. Although the date has not yet been fixed we'd like to ask you to consider volunteering as early as possible.

Jobs on the day will include preparing and decorating park, stalls, setting up stage etc, marshalling bouncy castle, litter collection, general dogsbodying etc, etc, etc

Also anyone wishing to take on tasks prior to the event such as publicity, printing, liaison etc would be welcome to step forward too

please get in contact by emailing or ringing 01273 270501

In anticipation of your generosity - "Thanks"


Monday, October 20, 2008








SCARY SOUNDS FROM Spin Doctors Mobile Disco


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings

Abi Rhodes' Zigzag Wanderings
Twenty Thousand Lemmings Can't be WrongBlaker’s Park Community Picnic 2008
Blaker’s Park Community Picnic 2008

If you’ve been in the Fiveways area for some time now, you will probably know that every year The Friends of Blaker’s Park hold a Community Picnic in the Park every year, in conjunction with the Stanford Avenue Spring Fair. The Picnic is essentially meant to be a break-even affair aimed at giving the local community chance to get together in a spirit of neighbourliness and enjoy some simple entertainment whilst sharing a bite and a beverage.

This year’s event is due to be staged on Saturday June 28th running from 11am till 6pm. So far, a number of plans have been hatched and preparations are being made as you read this. Besides the traditional attractions which occur as the Spring Fair, there will hopefully be a Bouncy Castle and a variety of fun and games. Entertainment will be provided by local bands – about 15 booked so far – linked together with music from Spin Doctors Mobile Disco. Any performer wishing to appear should contact Ian on 270501. Besides stage acts, we would welcome jugglers, acrobats and other entertainers who might like to busk it around the site, showing off to small groups of picnickers etc.

Food and drink will be available at Dishy’s wonderful Blaker’s Park Café and the Cleveland Public House for those who wish to supplement there own picnic and anyone who forgets to bring sustenance.

Any local group, society, business or individual wishing to run a side-show or a stall selling art and crafts, or workshops displaying activities and skills or demonstrating services such as therapies etc are welcomed – there is a charge of £10 for most of these – money which goes towards covering costs. Prior booking is advised and can be arranged by phoning Philip Smith on 553330.

We would be pleased also to hear from any person or group willing to help out with preparations and on the day itself. As well as the above-mentioned organisational stuff, there is distribution of publicity newsletters, tidying of the Park and Garden Beds, stage building and technical jobs associated with the music, decoration of the site, various stewarding tasks and litter clearance afterwards. The main burden of the work is usually shouldered by a few trusty stalwarts, but they will not always be available. New blood is always welcome both to lessen their load and to ensure continuity from one year till the next. So please consider offering your services – ring Philip on 553330 or Ian on 270501.

We look forward to welcoming you at Blaker’s Park for our 2008 Community Picnic. Please come with your hamper and a cheery smile. If we’re lucky we’ll all be blessed with a warm sunny day which will see us through till next year’s event!

Visit to keep up to date on progress and news.

Abi Rhodes


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blaker's Park Community Picnic 2008

... will be held on Saturday 28th June. Go to to read full details.

If you wish to have a stall, perform or help out on the day please contact us at 01273 270501 and ask for Ian or email


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Xmas at Blakers Park

This Saturday 22nd December 2008 - Blaker's Park

Sally of Dishy's Cafe has organised an afternoon of Christmas Joy

Santa will be there as well as Festive Food and Drink

Music provided by Spin Doctors Disco


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Last Saturday morning I was walking my dog in the region of Upper Lodges, Stanmer park when I heard an exotic bird call. It's origin seemed to be in a large Beech tree and i approached in order to identify the caller. Unfortunately a Crow arrived in the tree with the same idea and frightened the stranger away - it flew off in the direction of Stanmer village. And that was that...

...until this moerning when I was there again. And so was the bird. This time it flew across a gap in the canopy and I managed to see it in silhouette only and partially identify it as a parakeet of some sort. It then disappeared from both sight and sound. So I was not able to pursue it.

Hopefully I will come across it next time I visit the area.

There is a history of such exotics in the area. Hollingbury Woods was once [1970s-90s] as the home of upto 20 breeding ring-necked parakeets which made text books on the subject. These gradually dwindles and disappeared after the nesting tree which stood on a slope by the children's playground fell over one windy night.
Last winter, there was a bit of excitement in Waldegrave Road near Fiveways when a pair of green parrots with yellow faces arrived in the street regularly feeding on fruit of a particulalry abundant crab apple and the seed etc put out by residents. They stayed several weeks and were reported and photographed in local magazine 'The Fiveways Directory'. After disappearing for a few weeks they reappeared with a third bird in tow. Whether they had bred or not remains uncertain, but their residency this time was shrt-lived. As far as I know their present location or fate remains a mystery - as does their origin.

If you have any information on any of these matters I would be pleased to hear them. Meanwhile I shall try to keep you up to date on the Stanmer parakeet.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fiveways Hosts Double World Film Premiere

Fiveways Hosts Double World Film Premiere

On a balmy early autumn evening in October, The Red Carpet was rolled out across the yard of Balfour Junior School as not one, but two, hard-hitting new documentary films were released upon an unsuspecting public. The Shoot It For Yourself production company in association with BJS had pulled out all the stops been working overtime to make sure that “The Amazing Adventures Of A Plastic Bag” and “Revenge Of The Rubbish” were rushed through all the stages of post-production in time for this glamourous and prestigious event.

And what a glitzy affair it turned out to be. The Paparazzi were out in force led by representatives from ITV Local and the inimitable press-pack from Balfour Junior TV. Former Mayor and Mayoress of our city Mr Bob & Mrs Merle Carden were in attendance but their limelight was somewhat upstaged by the antics of Brighton & Hove Albion FC mascot and superstar Mr C Gulley, who entertained the expectant hoards of fans with demonstrations of his Prowess without the Ball.

The crowd was so vast and eager to see the blockbusting double-bill that, in the interests of Public Safety, it was decided to quickly organise 2 showings. So while the first audience was admitted to the auditorium, the remaining fans waere allowed to extend the pre-cinematic revelry by spending extra time and cash at the bar so professionally provided and run by The Friends of Balfour Association.

Once in at the main event, MC Mark eloquently introduced Head Teacher Mr Jones, replete in penguin suit and startling red dickie bow. The Head welcomed the assembled multitude and acknowledged the hard work of all the children, staff and helpers who had made these films and reality. He then called forward The Director Ms Fiona Adams who was presented with 2 dozen magnificent pink roses, and she in turn made the traditional acceptance on behalf of all concerned….

Once the formalities were over, the hall settled down to watch the movies they had all come to see.

“The Adventures Of A Plastic Bag,” much as expected, chronicled the ups and downs in the life of just one of the millions of bags consumed in the city each year. It concentrated on the dangers it presented to wildlife and the environment as it progressed through its seemingly endless existence. Particular emphasis was placed on the effect on marine ecology which seemed especially relevant to a City By The Sea. “Revenge Of The Rubbish” featured two vicious little items of litter – a plastic drinks bottle and a beer can who continually conspired to do their worst to spoil things for the planet and the population at large. Guest appearances by the ubiquitous Fat Boy Slim and artist Lou McCurdy, who spoke about the effects the rubbish has on city life, among many interviewees including students from Balfour provided some food for thought to the audience who went home with plenty to think about. A selection of Ms McCurdy’s sculptures made from beach-combed litter were on hand for all to appreciate.

Asked for his comments on the films, Mayor Carden described the work of the film-makers as both “Fantastic” and “Educational.” And he recalled days gone by when he’d been sent to the corner shop for two pounds of potatoes and a pat of butter armed only with a few pennies and a string bag – never a plastic bag or packaging other than a sheet of greasproof in sight. And the response to the same question from Gulley?? Merely, “Kaaaargh!”

**** DVDs of both films are available in a single package from WigWam at Fiveways


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Halloween Party @ Blaker's Park

Halloween Party in Blaker's Park 2007



It's time to get out your scary cossies and get down to Blaker's park for the annual Halloween bash. Sally at the Cafe has organised all sorts of goodies to eat and join in with. Special scary food, lantern competition, apple bobbing etc etc etc.
Music supplied by Spin Doctors Mobile disco.

Witching Hours 4pm- 9pm. Wednesday October 31st - of course!

Come for a trick or Treat


Monday, July 23, 2007


This is a fairly quiet time of year for birdwatching. The breeding season is more or less complete for many species – although certain residents will have several broods over a good summer – and many birds are concentrating on feeding up before their return migration - often in places where they are less easily seen. The deciduous trees are fully clothed with leaf-cover and much of the feeding goes on high up in the canopy. The countryside is loaded with bounty so many town birds have escaped to feed in quieter areas.
Birdwatchers have to rely on their summer vacations to bring interest to their activity. Its well worth finding out what species you can expect to see when you go abroad in advance as English Language field-guides are often hard to find when you’re actually there. If you can’t find what you need in the library or local bookshop, then go on the Net to get a good choice of material. It’s also useful to look with titles such as ‘Where to Watch Birds in Rubovia’ As these will point you to the best locations near your holiday destination. A day or two’s birding can make a foreign visit that much more interesting once you’ve exhausted the beach, the shops and the local tourist haunts.
Much the same applies if you’re holidaying in the UK. Different parts of the country can offer quite differing types of birding. Mountain and Moorland, Marsh and Fen, North and West, Coast and Country all present varied habitats and a whole new list of possibilities. What’s common here may be a rarity there and vice versa. Again, find out before you go and plan a birding excursion into your trip. Of course, RSPB reserves are always a good bet for seeing something unusual but be aware that summer is also quieter there in many cases.

When you come home again, perhaps you could be thinking about making or updating your provision for birds in your garden. Do your feeders need cleaning or replacing? The sooner you start providing food, the bigger your contingent of garden regulars will be by the time autumn and winter start diminishing the natural food sources. But you must keep the feeders replenished once you start feeding or else the birds that come to rely on you will go hungry. You may care to obtain a book like Robert Burton’s ‘Birdfeeder Garden’. This is an excellent guide to things you can do to attract and nurture birdlife in your own habitat. Besides notes on feeders, bird-tables and so forth, it has plenty of ideas about planting to attract birds – shrubs with suitable berries, plants to encourage insects which birds feed on. There’s advice on ponds and other habitat ideas, plans for a variety of standard and specialist nesting boxes, which you might like to construct on otherwise dull and dingy autumn weekends.
We have heard a lot, in recent years, about the decline in the numbers of common bird species such as the House Sparrow. By making quite simple provision in your garden you can contribute to the task of supporting declining birdlife, which has to be a positive outcome of what often starts out as the quite innocent pastime of birdwatching. With many of us doing this, there is a cumulative effect and in no time a species can recover from virtual extinction. Not only that, for quite a modest investment, you can gain hours of enjoyment and entertainment from the amusement generated by a handful of little brown jobs squabbling over food in your garden!

Ian Lawes


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blaker's park Community Picnic 2007


Well, Blaker's Park Community Picnic 2007 has come and gone

I think it was pretty much a successful event. The weather was kind to us - a bit gloomy at times and draughty too but in some ways that was better than blazin' hot sun which we've had some years when it got like wading through treacle or the terrific thunder starm we had a couple of years ago just after we'd started. It only started drizzling just as we were packing up this year so no major problems were caused.

There seemed to be a few more stalls and activities this year and people apparently enjoyed most of what was on offer. The numbers attending were somewhat down but I think this can be put down to two things. One might have been the uncertainty in weather prospects putting people off risking picnicing. The main thing though was the absence of Rock's Kool - I think a large part of previous crowds have been frinds and families of the kids playing in the bands.

However the difference in atmosphere was quite remarkable. Previously everything seemed to centre around the music, which impinged on everyone else's enjoyment or otherwisw of the event. this year it was altogether more relaxed with music from the disco for the most part just providing a pleasant backdrop to the partiicipation in the various activities on offer. There were a small number of performances which punctuated the day, but I think these enhanced this relaxed atmosphere rather than interfered with it.

Last Orders, a newly formed troubadour rock band were the first to entertain us with their pleasant mix of covers and self-penned ditties. The present 2-piece line up of drummer & singer/guitarist came over as confident and very much at home as performers despite this being only their 2nd public appearance. They want to expand into a quartet including a fiddler, so anyone whose interested should contact them.

Fiveways Quartet was next up - impressive as their combined ages probably only just exceeded that of the deejay - they wowed us with their renditions of their own jazz originals and standards such as Dave Brubeck's Take Five. the line-up - sax, keyboard, bass & drums - worked well together and perhaps with a few more gigs under their belts they could become contenders for National recognition. thanks go to last Orders for leaving their mike-stand for their use.

Saravian arrived by bike, entertained us in her very gentle and inimitable way with songs ranging from one in the style of a less morose Nick Drake to a fabulous arrangement of Joanie Mitchell's Woodstock and then turned out to be worth her weight in gold as she generously loaned all her equipment to following artistes.

Jazmine Ava was scheduled as our last act and she enchanted us with her humour and very professional singer/songwriter style of folk-pop. she oozed confidence and enchanted us all.

Just as we thought all the excitement was over, a lady calling herself, simply, Al stepped up and using borrowed equipment, enthralled the kids in particular with her sublimely funny singalong and act-out children's song, covering subjects from dinosaurs to food. They were hilarious and had little budding stars queuing up to sing into the mike and hopefully not make it too soggy!

If we do it all again next year, I think it would be good to keep the same sort of atmosphere so even if Rockskool can return perhaps they could be encouraged to bring performers who can perform in this vain.

Anyway - thanks to all those who gave their services so freely and willingly.

A great day was had by all.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Up A Gumtree???

Brighton Gumtree is a brilliant site for info and ads about Community Events and Small Ads of all kinds.

I have directed you to the Brighon section but press the link anyway if you're somewhere else and you can navigate to your locality.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Every year The Friends of Blaker's Parkhold a Community Picnic in the

Traditionally we have always been able to provide live music as the
main entertainment at the event and it has usually been presented by
the brilliant Rock's Kool organisation which enables local youngsters
to develop their musical skills and form bands to perform to their
families, friends and the public

This year our Picnic will take place on Saturday 16th June between
11am and 5pm but sadly Rock's Kool is not available to perform.

So we are looking for performers and bands who would like to perform
short sets (about 15 minutes) through the day

We have got a couple of bands lined up at present but need several

Sadly we are unable to provide any offer of payment but performers
welcome to pass the hat should they be so inclined

There will be an electrical supply available but acts will need to
bring their own amps, mikes etc or go acoustic

If anyone is interested they should contact me, Abi Rhodes via

01273 270501


Saturday, February 10, 2007

1984 is here again

Big brother is watching us....please consider signing this petition, or perhaps you already did? name will be there right now! Happy motoring

If you drive a car, please read - Sarah Kennedy was talking about this proposed car tax scheme on Radio 2. Apparently there is only one month left to register your objection to the 'Pay As You Go' road tax.

The petition is on the 10 Downing St website but they didn't tell anybody about it. Therefore at the time of Sarah's comments only 250,000 people had signed it and 750,000 signatures are required for the government to at least take any notice.

Once you've given your details (you don't have to give your full address, just house number and postcode will do), they will send you an email with a link in it. Once you click on that link, you'll have signed the petition.
The government's proposal to introduce road pricing will mean you having to purchase a tracking device for your car and paying a monthly bill to use it. The tracking device will cost about £200 and in a recent study by the BBC, the lowest monthly bill was £28 for a rural florist and £194 for a delivery driver. A non working mother who used the car to take the kids to school paid £86 in one month.

On top of this massive increase in tax, you will be tracked. Somebody will know where you are at all times. They will also know how fast you have been going, so even if you accidentally creep over a speed limit in time you can probably expect a Notice of Intended Prosecution with your monthly

If you are concerned about this Orwellian plan and want to stop the constant bashing of the car driver, please sign the petition on No 10's new website (link below) and pass this on to as many people as possible.

Sign up if you value your freedom and democratic rights -


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Crying Shame

It is almost impossible to pick up a leaflet issued by B&H City Council without being struck by the PC virtues it apparently espouses. Whether it be their consideration for the environment, the concern they lavish on minority and disadvantaged groups or the lip-service they pay in encouraging community initiatives, they impress by the commitment they seem to give to every section of our very diverse society.

The Fiveways area is noted for a lack of facilities for the youth in its community and The Children's Musical Playhouse, currently operating from Beaconsfield Road, has been struggling to fill a gap in the culture of the area for several years now. Apart from the classes in music and dance provided to the children of local families, there have been successful projects working with handicapped and mental health groups - the very sections of the community the Council is so keen to support.

I was therefore saddened and somewhat surprised to hear that the Environmental Health Department has just refused to allow the music workshop to carry on its normal activities from the present address. This is about the sixth time this popular and worthwhile organisation has had to seek new accommodation. It must be very frustrating indeed for the folk who have put so much effort into developing each venue as they have moved from place to place. It is a mark of the importance and commitment they have in the community that supporters have not allowed them to become totally discouraged to the point of giving up. This is not to mention the amount of expense incurred and the time wasted in finding new funding at each relocation.

Is the Council incapable of putting its money where its mouth is by finding this excellent community initiative a permanent home from where it can get on with the job it has striven so hard to do for so many years without having to worry just how much longer it has to wait before it is forced to move on yet again?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Embassy Court

Thanks to Fred's Blog I came across this site giving a virtual tour of the recently refurbished Embassy Court on the seafront

Although the site doesn't seem to operate perfectly, I thought it might prove to be of interest to local residents who don't yet know about it

Christmas Dishy

Well, the event in Blaker's park on Sunday was, I think, an unqualified success.

Despite traffic problems in Bournemouth Santa arrived just a few minutes late and dished out prezzies to lots of good little girls and boys who came to see him in his grotto and he only managed to make one or two of them cry

The music played all afternnon while folk strolled in the park, played in the playground or just sat and sipped tea and read the Sunday papers

The cafe did its usual roaring trade in coffee & cake and supplemented these with hot toddies and seasonal fayre and the occasional hot dog

Then at 6 o'clock, their mummies and daddies all took them home to...

No that's wrong...

At six o'clock crowds gathered carrying torches and lanterns to sing carols and imbibe good cheer

A thoroughly good time was had by all

Thank you once again Dishy for all you've done for the Park and the local community throughout 2005

We look forward to more of the same in 2006

Thursday, December 15, 2005



Had a great night out at the Komedia on Monday

As I told you last week I was going to see my friend Sam Walker aka The Muel performing both on his todd and as the backing band for John Watts - ex-Fischer-Z

It was a storming night out

They played a zonking set of the first order and confirmed that the fashion in recent years for duos (White Stripes) etc is fully justified in economic terms

There's just no need for the full orchestra when you've got a good singer and a totally empathetic multi-instrumentalist sidesperson

John is an absolute hoot - his sense of humour is right off the scale and his songs are funny, pithy, pathetic and everything else you could wish them to be
His style varies from Neil Young heavy grungy Country Rock (particularly good on the Rust Never Sleeps and Freedom type sounds) to 70s punk and all stops in between
He jumps about like a slow-motion Pete Townshend - someone once said every teenager's fantasy is to be in the Who - John is living this fantasy at 50!

Sam's drumming and melodica playing (!) was shit hot - very funky but tight to the extent of anal retention and was able to follow John's every wayward twist and turn

The photo is a bit out of date - they didn't look 1/4 as studious as that but I forgot to take my camera - sorry!

About 100 were in the audience and although many were clearly existing fans of one or the other musician it was clear that those who'd just come along for the ride had a stonking good time too

REALLIFEISGOODENOUGH is the title of the current CD album release is Watt's website - visit it to try the sample track and then buy it!

The outfit deserves much wider recognition & appreciation than it currently has in the UK - they're huge in Germany apparently - but it's nice to feel part of a very well kept secret

Monday, December 12, 2005

Turning Green this Chrissie?

Hello Abi

Two dates - one mission:

To dance, drink have a stonking great time with as many of you as possible before Christmas. Our present to you is our new show which we like to call 'The Wind Free Opera Show'. It contains the cream of our old favourites mixed up with our freshest new tunes - all naturally stuffed full with dirty grooves for your pleasure.

First off we'll be at the Landsdown on Station Street in Lewes (near Brighton) this Saturday the 17th.

Then it's to the Lion on Church Street in Stoke Newington (London N16) on Thursday the 22nd.

We hope you can join us on one of these dates - if not we'll take this opportunity to wish you a very fine Christmas!




Sunday, December 11, 2005

ITV Local Brighton

Copied from GavPOLITICS

ITV is piloting a local TV station for Brighton and another for Hastings.

This is the start of a new era in television - use of the internet to reach an audience smaller than is economical or logistically possible using traditional transmission methods. And the omnipresent BBC is planning to do something similar soon.

A brief watch this afternoon has convinced me that this is the future. In the connected home where this can be streamed onto TVs in living rooms and where internet TV and Freeview/satellite can be switched between seamlessly, the very local focus of the channel will have many, many viewers.

The weather forecast is focused on the Brighton area with attention directed from Worthing to Newhaven along the coast and not as far north as Crawley. There are separate, concurrent channels showing News and Sport, Weather, What’s On, Classified Ads, locally-produced films and a couple of others I haven’t watched yet.

The channel’s not completely finished yet - you cannot upload content or classified ads yet - but the power to communicate via the televisual medium to a very local audience will be very, very useful.

ITV Local

I do believe it is long past the time we should have been able to watch BBC television on the internet - but I can see the licence fee problem for this availability… But commercial television (Channel Four and ITV) - they’ve got nothing to lose by having a new audience consuming their adverts! I look forward to further exploitation of the internet’s potential!

Montreal Summit

I'd just like to say how pleased I am that the summit came to such a positive end. The Americans will be damned whatever they choose to do and there is some evidence that they have achieved as much not having subscribed to Kyoto as most of those who did.

Before we get bogged down by the avalanche of cynicism that will now start in the the wake of the summit, I just want to say well done to all those concerned for this magnificent achievement.

Many of us have who have 'light green' credentials will see this as real and genuine progress - I know there are plenty of deep green fascists and anti-globalisationists who will pour on plenty of scorn - I hope they choke on it!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dishy's Christmas Celebrations - Blaker's Park

Sunday 18th December

Santa's Grotto open from 3pm till 6pm

Seasonal Music and Popular Tunes of the Day from Spin Doctors Mobile Disco

Then Carol Singing led bySam Whiting and her group. Song sheets provided. Bring a lantern or torch to Light up the Park

Mince Pies, Hot Toddies, Dishy's Special Hot Dogs

Bring the Family to a great afternon of Festive Fun

Last year some 200 folk came along to make a great event - let's make it even bigger this year.

???Why not come in Fancy Dress???

Let me have digitised photos of the event and I will put them up for the World to See

Dispersal Notice for Fiveways Area

I should have posted on this matter before.

It seems to me that although the problems of teenage behaviour around the area at night seems to have grown recently, the response to issue a dispersal order is a particularly heavy handed and negative way of responding to the issue.

Firstly I dislike intensely the fact that the authorities think it's OK to communicate with the local community by sticking up notices on lamposts as if they were planning applications. It smacks of distain for the intelligence of the population at large. The notice includes an invitation to direct comments to Chief Inspector Kerry Cox on 0845 607999. It has proved almost impossible to get through to this person directly and promises of a response to comments have not been kept. Has anyone managed to speak to her?

Where was the public consultation before this draconian action was taken? No-one I have spoken to was aware of any.
Why didn't the Council or the Police call a Public Meeting to discuss this issue and see whether any positive steps could be taken to occupy the kids more constructively in the evenings.

I have commented many times before that in so-called affluent middle class areas such as this the Young are very poorly catered for and are the most easily ignored until they find themselves in trouble. Those facilities which are available cater to an agenda - sport, church, anti-drugs etc - but there is essentially nothing for kids to do that allow them to set their own agendas. It's a great shame that the scheme for a Community Centre on the St Augustine's site came to nothing. So much for the C of E showing an interest in community needs.

Can we not utilise all those playing fields and school buildings which stand idle evenings, weekends and holiday times? There is an excellent resource for a wide variety of community led opportunites for our youngsters and others.

It would appear the only way to get things done around here is to make a big noise about it. No-one wants sensible discussion on the subjects of the recycling scheme or wheelie bins, it seems. They just cause a holler - whether it gets them anywhere I'm not sure. But if you feel passionately about the welfare of our kids - the next generation of responsible (or otherwise) citizens and future leaders of our community, perhaps it's time to start kicking up a fuss!

News from Blaker's Park

Issue 43 of the Friends of Blaker's Park Newsletter is being distributed at the moment. It contains a variety of news and views relevant to local residents including...

Details of the visit of a Very Important Person to the Park on 18th December
Notes from the AGM and synopsis of the illustrated talk on the history of Brighton Station
Teenagers & Dispersal Order
The Blaker Family
Update on Toilets for the Park - due next Spring hopefully
An idea for a new picnic table
The Community Composting Scheme
Midland bank refurbishment
Fire at St augustine's Church
New Pub Licensing arrangements

If you are not within the usual distribution area and would like to find out about any of this or how to join the Friends please call Philip Smith on 553330

Friday, December 09, 2005

Cover of "Rough in the Bedroom"

The Muel

Doin' anything Monday evening?

Doin' anything Monday evening?

I am

I'm going down to the Komedia in Sydney Street.

A great friend of mine is appearing Live from 7pm

The Show stars John Watts - poet/musician who made his name back in the 70s as Fisher Z - better known in Germany than here in Blighty

He is supported by Sam Walker aka The Muel, who will also be performing music from his home grown album 'Rough in the Bedroom'

Go to the website

Rough in the Bedroom to find out more about this. I will be reviewing the album very soon on my other blog
Spin Doctors Disco
very soon - so watch out for that

Anyway back to the gig .... entrance is a mere £7, concessions (whatever they are) £5

Hope to see you there

Thanks to The Fiveways Directory

Once again I must thank Tim Clark for mentioning this blog in the December edition of The Fiveways Directory.

You can contact Tim on 01273 562691 or email

Here are a few up-and-coming highlights stolen from the Calendar pages....

Mobile Library in Sandgate Road 11-12.30 Wednesday 14th & 21st December

Learn African Body Percussion - St Augustines Church 5.45pm Thursdays 8th, 15th & 22nd December

Fathers Who Football - Saturdays 10th,17th & 24th December - Preston Park
contact Mal by email -

Once again I ask for your news of events or information concerning the Fiveways area so that this site can grow into a useful service to the Local Community.

Any local club & society organisers or even traders are welcome to submit articles about their activities, offers etc - it'll cost you nothing - but a pint wouldn't go amiss!

contact me at

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What's Happening

Please let us know of any events you are organising or you are aware of coming soon in the Fiveways area
email me at

or list details in the comments section below

and i will put them up for all to see!

Christmas Celebration in Blaker's Park

Advance Warning

Sunday 18th December will see Dishy's Cafe stage some fun for all the family

Last Year we had Santa's Grotto, Carol Singing, and music from Spin Doctors Mobile Disco

What will be on the menu this year?

Check back here for news soon

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sorry Folks

I've been getting so many spam comments, I've had to turn on word verification for comments. Sorry for the inconvenience this causes but please do leave legitimate comments even if it takes those few extra seconds