“This is a fictional country isn't it?” “No, it's real - we just don't know where it is yet." My mum, daughter and I had just arrived in Schwarzenbach to visit the Erika Fuchs Haus, named after my god mother and my mum’s aunt, Erika Fuchs, who used to send me ten Deutsche Marks annually … Continue reading Stories on W(h)alls: Erika Fuchs Haus, Museum für Comic und Sprachkunst, Schwarzenbach.
I met Tony back in 1993 when he came up to Liverpool from London to reignite his acting and directing career in the theatre. I was struck immediately by his energy and passion for his work. I hadn’t seen him in Absolute Beginners, or fully understood the iconic status he had as a result of … Continue reading Tony Hippolyte: The Black 007 – James Blonde, Licenced to Spill
I only heard about Carl's death on court third hand, after an uneventful tennis match in Warrington and after the funeral had taken place. I drove back to Liverpool Cricket Club as fast as I could that evening - something was propelling to get there although I wasn't sure what it was. It was of … Continue reading Carl Speare: one dropshot, dropped too early.
In February 1932 a young architect made a remarkable journey by boat and train from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, up through Central and Eastern Europe to a large naval port, Stettin, in Pomerania, North Germany. This journey was taken at a time prior to a period of extraordinary upheaval across the continent: the rise … Continue reading Francis Keith Aitken: A Life of Quiet and Steadfast Influence.
A raconteur, according to my online dictionary, is someone who tells anecdotes in a skilful and amusing way. Dave Kinnear was not a raconteur in the usual meaning of the word. True, he would tell stories at great length – and who knows how many weird and wonderful stories he’s related over the years – … Continue reading Dave Kinnear, Raconteur, Co-member of Everton Park and Bootle Sports Centre Squash Teams
We’ve lost a couple of giants in the last week, both of whom speak of and for creativity albeit in very different ways: Anna Craft with her little ‘c’ creativity and Robin William’s big black dog of Creativity. There can’t be many people out there who’ve not encountered Williams in his various disguises but probably … Continue reading What if Robin Williams met Anna Craft? What does losing 2 big C Creatives in a week tell us about us?
My second visit to Cape Town in 2002 was the time I understood how teachers can hunt in packs and why we can never do everything on our own and have to rely, as much as we might not like it, on the ineffable. Mandela's colleagues had led us to schools in some of the … Continue reading Tripping off the tongue: truth, reconciliation and disruptive playground politics.
I never did like The Specials' song, “Free Nelson Mandela” back in 1984. There, I've said it and a small white man's burden has lifted. You couldn’t dispute the lyrical intention - unless you’re of the Tebbit clan - but the jaunty ska trumpets always left me rooted to the dance floor back in Leeds … Continue reading Free Nelson Mandela? A confession.
I first visited South Africa in 1999 when I was working at LIPA and Lee Higgins, our community music tutor at the time, had been involved with various ISME activities and had come back enthused about what he had seen and heard and made a very persuasive case about why LIPA should be out there … Continue reading First disruptive steps in South Africa.