Monthly Archives: March 2014

Another need, another poppy …

See why here

SONY DSC

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

 

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Poppy for peace

It has been a tough week so far. My mind is not still.

Poppies help me feel peaceful.

 

Through the dancing poppies stole A breeze most softly lulling to my soul.... John Keats - Endymion

Through the dancing poppies stole A breeze most softly lulling to my soul….
John Keats – Endymion

 

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

 

 

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Introducing my Sister Blog: Like a circle in a spiral ….

Circles in a spiral

Click on the picture for a better view

I just wanted to draw your attention to the sister blog I mentioned previously. It’s a place for me to discuss the unfortunate situation between my son and me, trying to unravel it a little, and telling our story and how we got to this point.

It won’t be the easiest of reads, but hopefully it will give a little insight about living with Conduct Disorder and open some people’s eyes to the struggles of dealing with domestic violence at the hands of your own child.

I think the title of the blog, “Like a Circle in a Spiral,” is perfect, because, as the song from which the line was plucked states, the life I’ve had with my son has been like living “on an ever-spinning reel.”

 

 

For those of you who are in the mood for a little nostalgia, here’s the original version of “Windmills of Your Mind.”

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

 

 

 

 

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Spring has sprung! WPC: Inside a snowdrop

Inside snowdrop 1

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,    Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,      And pensive monitor of fleeting years! - William Wordsworth -

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
– William Wordsworth –

I lived overseas for many years (a two-week trip that lasted 17 years …), and despite my love of the wanderlust life, there were a few things I missed about England throughout that time: one was Marmite, another was Woodpecker Cider … and telephone boxes, and double decker buses, and Coronation Street, and sarcasm.
But, more than sherbet fountains or teabags or the Arctic Monkeys, after living in the sweltering balminess of places such as Southwest Texas and Louisiana, I found myself longing for seasons!
Granted, upstate New York had seasonal change, but their winters were a bit extreme, unless trudging through 8-foot snowdrifts is your idea of fun.
No, I missed English seasons – unpredictable, often erratic, with mild winters, cold summers, and slushy autumns … And most of all, I missed the English spring and the flowers that come with it.

So when I returned to England with my son and we “settled” in our first real home, I made a point of filling every nook and cranny of our tiny back yard with bulbs that flower every spring and herald the new green of the year.

Snowdrops are my particular favourite. There’s not a lot to them – just a trio of white waxy petals with a dash of green inside …. but they are often the first flowers to nuzzle their way through the frost, and the sight of them always brings a smile to my face.

(As usual, click on the picture for a better look).

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside … Gary Tyler’s world

Waiting here the world has turned a thousand times or more   Stranded like the man who never knew they'd stopped the war   Waiting for the pardon but the pardon never comes   I'm just waiting for the bus to take me home. - Chumbawamba -

Waiting here the world has turned a thousand times or more
Stranded like the man who never knew they’d stopped the war
Waiting for the pardon but the pardon never comes
I’m just waiting for the bus to take me home.
– Chumbawamba –

Those of you who remember my blog from the days before I went off the radar may also remember that I very rarely don my political head unless it is to talk about this guy. It would be incredibly remiss of me to ignore the opportunity to use this week’s theme of “inside” to remind you once more of the plight of Gary Tyler.

(There are lots of links in this post, so hold on to your hats! I particularly recommend the songs …).

This year is Gary’s 40th year inside the notorious Angola Prison in Louisiana, having been sentenced in 1974 for a murder he did not commit, at the tender age of just 16 years old. You can read the details of the case here, as published in the NY Times, and check out a previous post of mine here.

Two songs have been written about him by UB40 – “Tyler” appeared on their first album Signing Off, released way back in 1980 and talks of Gary having “been there five years and they won’t let him go.”  A further track called “Rainbow Nation” was recorded for their album TwentyFourSeven released in 2008. It is a sombre reminder about “the futility of writing songs (referring back to Tyler)  if you want to get something done” (Robin Campbell).

Gil Scott Heron’s “Angola, Louisiana” on his album Secrets (1978) and, more recently, Chumbawamba’s haunting “Waiting for the bus to take me home” on their album The Boy Bands have Won (2008) also tried to draw attention to the injustice of Gary’s plight, as did a young rap band with close family ties to the Neville Brothers called Deff Generation, who penned a song called “Gary Tyler” for their album Medicine in 2000. 

If this has tweaked any interest amongst you (and I hope it has…) you can watch a documentary report aired by Democracy Now! in the States about the case by clicking the link below.  Be aware, it’s a long piece – almost 45 minutes in total – but very illuminating. (It includes excerpts from an interview conducted with him way back when, beginning at around 22mins 20secs if you’re impatient).

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/3/1/the_case_of_gary_tyler_despite

If you’re wondering why I’m so strongly opinionated about this particular situation, it is because I was (am?) the graduate student who interviewed Gary in Angola many moons ago in 1997. Back then, I was just an ordinary person who had an extraordinary opportunity to interview this usually very private man for a full five-and-a-half hours in the bowels of one of the most notorious prisons.
I would normally shy away from drawing any attention to the “real” me – but as I appear to have been outed anyway (see yesterday’s brief post) then what the heck?

The excerpts you hear in the documentary were taped by me during that interview, and the majority of any photos you may find if you look up Gary Tyler images on the net were taken by me during that interview.

Sadly, Juanita Tyler, Gary’s mother and staunchest supporter, seen in the video, passed away last year. Let’s hope that the forty years she devoted to fighting for her son’s release were not in vain.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Betrayal ….

Credit: The Fly movie

Credit: The Fly movie

 
I haven’t blogged for a minute, because it would seem that someone, somehow, has figured out who I really am and felt the need to pass on this information to those who could potentially use the writings I share here against me.

Those of you who have held a passing interest in the bits between the photos will be aware that I occasionally discuss the struggles I have, both with my fluctuating mental health and with the care of my son. And until now, I felt safe to do so under a cloak of anonymity. To my knowledge, only a couple of hand-picked, trusted individuals knew the link between me, “Alice,” and Wordpress.

So it was disarming to say the least, to have two separate conversations in the last couple of weeks – one with the Court-appointed Psychiatrist and one with my son’s Social Worker – during which, both parties mentioned that they have had sight of this blog, and made various comments about the content.

The sacred cat, it appears, seems to be very much out of the bag.

I don’t know how they know. I have tried to “google” my real name, and there appears to be no obvious link to this blog that I can see. But the fact that they do know is disturbing and, frankly, I’m pissed off about it. In my opinion, neither of the two abovementioned parties have my best interests at heart, and as far as the court proceedings about my son are concerned, they are both on the other side of the table from me.

So, not content with interrogating me within an inch of my life for court assessments, both the Court-appointed Psychiatrist and my son’s Social Worker also have access to my innermost thoughts.

And who else? After all, it seems there have been many conversations about me recently – conversations that I have not been privy to. So, anyone happen to get a nod in this direction? My mother? My brother? My son??

For a while, I did consider throwing in the towel and actually give them links to every post I have written that might be of some interest to them … But you know what? Bollocks to that …. you want to find dirt, you’re going to have to dig for it. I have 180+ posts on this site, and I dare you to wade through all the bugs and flowers and dewdrops and pictures of nothing-in-particular to see what you can come up with.

I hope they are paying you plenty overtime ….

Oh, and I take back what I said about the cat earlier. Nothing’s sacred anymore.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Just me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A rain poem …. (and picture)

My head is busy, noisy, struggling to find peace.
But in between bouts of madness I finally managed my own poem about rain and a photo that makes me feels reasonably calm:

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.

On second thoughts, come back and stay.
Send deluge down and wash away
The tears, the fears, the rent arrears,
The given name as it appears
On credit card and banker’s draft.
Let monsoon flood the bailiffs aft.

Bring cloudburst on and, with it, hail.
Drown out the offspring’s frightened wail
That stranded, man should understand.
Then bruise the bully’s stinging hand.
Let showers pour and flush aside
The errors, wrongs, mistakes I tried.

Oh, rain, let purer rivers rise
Spite crags’ and canyons’ compromise.
Though blind I am to future ends,
Dilute the past and present cleanse.
Sweet rain, be now my closest friend
And bring this heartache to an end.

Raindrops on pine

(Click on the photo for a clearer look).

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective OR “Fire in them thar trees!”

I like the idea of this week’s challenge. When I saw “perspective” on my email, I ignored the post for a while – thinking I had to start trying to find a picture with an obvious vanishing point, or something architectural, or a railway line fading into a blip somewhere in North Dakota …
But no. Nothing that straightforward it appears. Instead, we are given an example of a cropped photo giving a different perspective than the original.

Gotta love a bit of lateral thinking … just the way I like it.

So here’s mine. Don’t forget to click on the photo(s) for better and clearer pictures.

Here’s a plain old silver birch as you may (or may not) notice as you wander through the woods:
Birch from a distance

Look a bit closer, and you see the way the bark peels away from the tree and curls up:
Silver birch trunk

But look what magic happens when you catch one of those peely bits with the sun behind iit:
(there’s four pictures, so don’t click off after one)

Sun behind the clouds

Sun behind the clouds

Sun’s coming out to play …

Wait for it ...

Wait for it …

Tada!  Magic!

Tada!
Magic!

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Rain and me …

I tried to write a rain poem to accompany this photo, but in the end I just couldn’t say it better than Shel Silverstein did in 1974.

I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain, And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can't do a handstand-- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-- I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head. Shel Silverstein 1974

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
Shel Silverstein 1974

(Click on the picture if you want it bigger and better – I recommend it with this one!)

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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