Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Living Walls – Vertical Gardens – Happier People

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

living wall

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every building had living walls? Here is a short video of the world’s tallest vertical garden with some information about the construction and benefits of these beautiful structures.

The Spiritual Diplomat

Monday, August 18th, 2014

One of the responsibilities of an ancient Druid was that of peacemaker. Modern Druids also aim to incorporate this role into their spiritual practice. In this short film, the Canadian diplomat James George, now 94, speaks about how his own spiritual path informed his work. I feel sure many Druids will feel a kinship with James’ approach.

North Kent’s Answer to Stonehenge

Friday, August 15th, 2014

SWAT Archaeology Iwade project from Skyspider A.I on Vimeo.

From the Canterbury Times:

REMAINS of a prehistoric monument similar to Stonehenge are being excavated by Faversham experts.

SWAT Archaeology made the discovery while making a preparatory dig ahead of a planned housing development at Iwade Meadows, in Sittingbourne.

They have discovered evidence of two monuments dating back about 6,000 years to the Neolithic period and are being excavated and recorded before building the houses.

The largest monument is 30 metres in diameter and is formed of a pair of ring ditches.

According to SWAT Archaeology’s Dr Paul Wilkinson, the evidence suggests the outer ditch may have originated in the Neolithic period, but was later transformed into a funeral monument with the addition of an inner ring…Read more.


Thursday, August 14th, 2014

2CELLOS Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser playing their arrangement of Thunderstruck by AC/DC!



Merlin’s Diary

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

I had an interesting time talking the other day to two guys who run a podcast: ‘Merlin’s Diary’.merlinyn11
Our conversation is up now and you can find it, along with lots of  interviews with other speakers – and Merlin’s Diary – here!

Lancashire Grandmas and Mums Occupy Proposed Fracking Field

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

BREAKING : PRESS RELEASE 7 August 2014 – 5:05am:

At 5am a team of around 25 grandmothers, mothers and others from the Blackpool area set up a protection camp in a field earmarked for development by shale gas industry operators Cuadrilla. Stating that they had over the past three years, tried all lawful methods available to them to stop ‘fracking’ and it was now a matter of necessity. Cuadrilla has applied for planning permission for access roads on the field off Preston New Road to enable the building of the drilling rig; if Lancashire County Council (LCC) grants permission.

A few hours later some 5000 objection letters to the planning application were handed into the council offices in Preston by others from the Frack Free Lancashire coalition of local anti-fracking groups. A spokesperson said a further 10,000 would be delivered over the coming weeks.

Today’s action comes exactly one week before another event by national group ‘Reclaim the Power’ who plan to bring over 1000 people to camp somewhere (not yet confirmed) in the Blackpool area in order to support local groups. The Reclaim the Power camp will run 14-20 August, holding workshops and training as well as a day of direct action targeting Cuadrilla and its partners.

A spokesperson from the group said: “There has been massive growth in resistance here in Lancashire as well as across the UK and despite this, our government continues to push for fracking. We have done our research, spoken to those living in places across the world where fracking has already caused untold harm and come to the conclusion that this is an industry we will not have near our families. We don’t do this lightly, it is an awful thing to have to do but it is now a matter of self-defence.”

When asked how long they intended to stay, the spokesperson said: “We wanted to be sure that whilst LCC considers the Cuadrilla request, that they consider what we want too, as mothers and grandmothers who worry for the safety of the next generations as well as our own. We will have a week to further raise awareness and will be offering tea and cake to visitors as well as a wealth of important and honest information about what living in a shale gas area would be like. Then we will join with the Reclaim the Power camp in their actions. We have no defined end-date and are using a ‘Section 6’ to hold the space we have taken (as security guards have done on behalf of Cuadrilla just a few fields away – setting the precedent) as well as a ‘144 Disclaimer’ to ensure we continue to act within the law.”

Others in the group include those from Garstang Against Fracking, Frack Free Fylde, Fleetwood Folk Say No To Fracking, Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking, Longridge Against Fracking, Keep East Lancashire Frack Free, Thornton Unites against Fylde Fracking, Frack Free Blackpool, Frack Free Creators – Knitting Nannas Lancashire as well as residents from nearby the proposed site.

Some of those participating had this to say when asked what led them to being a part of this action:

Karen a Fylde resident:

“I was excited by the thought of jobs and prosperity coming to Blackpool until I learned about the short-term nature of shale gas and I came to see we were being sold a con about “lower energy prices”, “energy security”, “long-term employment”. We are being sold a brief boom and bust, with nasty long-term consequences. We need permanent solutions to our energy supply and use, not this get-rich-quick then get-the-hell-out industry.”

Tina of Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking:

“The shale gas industry and Cuadrilla in particular have not acted honestly in their dealings with our community and are not to be trusted with the health and well-being of our children. We do not want them here and so are gathering to make sure we are heard and we are calling others to help us amplify this. As air and water do not recognize county boundaries, the defence is for everybody in the UK.”

Anjie of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“This isn’t the wide open planes of anywhere, it’s heavily populated Lancashire; this industry has been banned in many places across the world including Europe – what do they know that our government isn’t listening to?”

Ros of Fleetwood Folk Say No to Fracking:

“I feel very strongly about the health impacts and that they’re wanting to pump toxic chemicals into the earth and bring up radioactive matter. I do not want to live in an industrial wasteland where air and water are at risk.”

Ginette of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“I vividly remember the earthquake of 2011 that I thought was an explosion. Since then I have found out the real reason it happened and it needs to be stopped.”

Hilary of Keep East Lancashire Frack Free:

“There’s a lot of reasons to be here and do this. Basically we’ve taken this situation for too long and enough is enough. We need to protect our communities and they are being misled by this industry and the government.”

Janice of Longridge Against Fracking:

“I’d like to quote Socrates: ‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the user’ – we’ve seen that happen in the media, from the authorities, from the government and the industry; now our backs are against the wall and we’re claiming self defence.”

Becky of Frack Free Creators – Knitting Nannas Lancashire:

“My family alerted me to the proposed shale industry coming to Blackpool. Having done my own research and attending some public meetings, I feel there are better alternatives for our future.”

Julie of Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking:

“I learned that 1 well in every 6 fails on installation and that 50% fail in 5 years and over time, all wells fail so I get the distinct feeling that we could be sitting on a time bomb.”

Gayzer of Frack Free Fylde:

“I’ll do what it takes to protect our kids. Ask yourself this question: Can something that turns fresh water into toxic waste be a good thing?”

Cheryl of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“I want to see my children and future grandchildren enjoying a safe and clean environment. I feel even more strongly about it as my daughter Mica is also actively involved in researching and opposing this; I am proud of her.”

Mica (Cheryl’s daughter) from Fleetwood:

“I teach English in China and have first-hand experience of industrialization and the devastating effects it has. I don’t want England to get like China is where you can’t get water from the tap and have to buy bottled water.”

Bex of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“I grew up here on the Fylde Coast, my children grew up here and no-one is listening – I need my grandchildren to now be able to grow up in a clean, safe environment. This is my obligation as a grandmother.”

Mark of Garstang Against Fracking:

“Nobody asked our opinion on this industry. Councillors and Government are acting without the consensus of the groundswell of public opinion here Lancashire.”

Venera Gimadieva – A Soprano with an Exquisite Voice

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I’ve only ever made one prediction on this blog and if anyone had put money on it they would now be seriously wealthy. I heard a local Brighton band called Rizzle Kicks and predicted they would make it big and within a few months they had shot into the stratosphere. This video of one of their songs has had 15 million downloads:

Venera Gimadieva

Venera Gimadieva

Here’s the second prediction! Stephanie and I saw a production of La Traviata at Glyndebourne last night and were entranced by the voice of Venera Gimadieva. The most beautiful, powerful song flowed from her effortlessly it seemed. Listening to her was like bathing in crystal clear water. You don’t have to be psychic to predict she will achieve incredible success! Here she is:


The Peace of Wild Things

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Sunset on Lake Heron - Outdoor Exposure by Denise

Sunset on Lake Heron – Outdoor Exposure by Denise


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water, 
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. 
~ Wendell Berry


Goodbye Old Blog, Hello New Blog!

Monday, August 4th, 2014

My blog is about to be exported into my new website

All should go smoothly, but in case you are a subscriber, if you stop getting posts, do please re-subscribe!

Fingers, toes and legs are now firmly crossed!


Aristotle by Howard Campbell

Thursday, July 31st, 2014


The OBOD Retreat at Cae Mabon Snowdonia May 2014. Howard is in the centre of the picture by the cello case.

The OBOD Retreat at Cae Mabon Snowdonia May 2014. Howard is in the centre of the picture by the cello case.

A splendid piece from Howard Campbell which he read out to the assembled company on the OBOD Cae Mabon retreat in May:


Aristotle – Howardean Ethics of the Mean after Nicomachus

            with thanks to Cormac McArt


choose to do that which brings you towards the virtue of your being

do not seek what you cannot know

do not dwell in what cannot change


if your nature be as rock

move down – go deep


if your nature be as fire

move up – flame with sparks


if your nature be as water

move around – meander


if your nature be as air

expand fill every corner – unseen


stir your cauldron full with




and joy


learn the difficult craft of choice

make your way of being a work of art

not too much nor too little of any one tint

a finished work of art needs nothing

taken away nor added


search for the excellence of your being

so easy to have feelings

given out too much or too little

so difficult to find the centre of a circle

so difficult to change a habit to virtue

to sraighten a bent willow wand

curve beyond the mean


anyone can be angry – this is easy – so difficult

with the right person

to the right extent

at the right time

with the right motive

in the right way

this is not easy


choose to do what brings you towards the virtue of your being

do not seek what you cannot know

do not dwell on what cannot change

seek to be not too little nor too much

climb the steep path

stoop to the wind

navigate the mists towards

the virtue of your being


Notes – Nichomachus was Aristotle’s son. He edited his father’s notes which may have been lecture notes as they were repetitious and confusing. I have taken the liberty of condensing about 100 pages into the above piece hence Howardean. Brendan Myers led me to virtue ethics – the best way we can be – and on to Cormac McAairt 3rd century King of Tara who had an Aristotlean view of virtue ethics in his instructions to his son, Cairbre.

I have added two elements as Aristotle only referred to two. I have also added a few poetic twists.      

Howard Campbell