Friday, August 29, 2014
The Caravan Gallery, a diminutive mustard model (circa 1969), with white walls and beech floor on the inside (like a ‘real’ gallery), provides the perfect setting for an evolving exhibition of wry, often tragicomic, photographic observations made in response to the areas visited.
The mobile exhibition venue and visual arts project was set up to document the ordinary and extraordinary details of everyday life. Eager to examine clichés and cultural trends, the exhibition is particularly drawn to the absurd anomalies and curious juxtapositions typical of places in transition and in the process of reinventing themselves as regeneration fever spreads.
The Caravan Gallery Tour details and showcases photographs from the archives of Portsmouth-based artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale. The duo host a touring exhibition of photos from their 'Is Britain Great?' Archive accompanied by a selection of images from each area.
Since 2000 the customary mustard coloured caravan has documented the artistic insight into the photographers’ take on their own local environment.
I enjoyed the Gallery particularly because it's the type of photos I look out for and take whilst I walk. It's the humour side that really struck a chord with me.
"Our collection of photos goes back to the start of the millennium and a lot of it is humour related as well," said Jan.
"The Caravan Gallery is making a tour of localities to publicise our works and hopefully encourage the locals to get involved."
The Caravan Gallery exhibits at an eclectic range of locations, rural, urban and suburban, from small-scale community events to prestigious contemporary galleries and international art and photography festivals.
Jan and Chris' travels have inspired a growing range of merchandise which now includes 4 books, Welcome to Britain – a celebration of real life, Is Britain Great? 1, 2 and 3, subversive Visitor Guides, postcards, greetings cards and gift wrap-cum-posters that show the world from a Caravan Gallery perspective. "We also produce some limited edition prints and sometimes draw and collage too," said Jan.
Much of 2013 was devoted to Merseyside. The exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool – Merseystyle: Photographs by The Caravan Gallery, was a key part of LOOK/ 13 Liverpool International Photography Festival and was complemented by Pride of Place Projects in Liverpool and Wirral.
Posted by Number 7 at 23:03
It was a day of celebration and I dropped Enamul Haque Jr and Bellal off home before meeting Kay at Stratford. It was only the two of us and we enjoyed our catch ups with the regulars. It was good to hear from Amanda that she had missed me. She was aware that I had travelled on holiday.
The soup was fantastico and Marco, Chris, Gary, Amanda, Ali, Hannah, Keith and the rest of the gang left the pot empty and shining.
Due to not having the time to change my cricket whites I was able to engage in discussions with a few visitors who follow the game. I may even have recruited a potential new fast bowler - a gentleman who played cricket at public school. In the future I hope the senior and academy members at Scintilla will join me here.
I even had time to take a skateboard lesson with Jay - something I've been meaning to do for a while.
Here's till next time.
Posted by Number 7 at 12:50
Friday, August 22, 2014
I've invited Munchy to our soup kitchen and the Whitechapel Mission for breakfast. He said he's unwell and not fit for work after battling with physical and mental illness.
Whilst we immerse ourselves in charity abroad we forget that there is often a huge need for support and assistance on our very own doorsteps.
If you'd like to support fantastic non government funded charities like the Whitechapel Mission, One Third, Foodbank and The Pavement Magazine then do get in touch with them.
Volunteers are always required to keep services running.
Volunteer at the Whitechapel Mission...
Volunteer at Foodbank
Volunteer at The Pavement Magazine
Posted by Number 7 at 21:31
Monday, August 18, 2014
Every day you watered a seed
Your gusto nurtured motivation
Many young minds took heed
We rejoice those famed locks of hair
Blazing blonde and belting brown
Teacher's race and broken arm despair
Couldn’t stop a night out on the town
Tottering heels in that convertible motor
Off to Hanoi, Dhaka or Algiers
But the best thing about our Glenda
She gets children, her little dears
Now you've reached golden time
Let’s all rejoice and reminisce
It's now for you to enjoy your prime
And relish that hard earned bliss
© emdad rahman
Congratulations on your retirement Glenda. Wishing you the best for your new adventure, because retirement is not the end of one’s life, it is a time to fling off the chains and fly.
Posted by Number 7 at 14:00
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Scintilla Cricket Clubs second XI recorded another resolute performance to despatch Walthamstow CC with ease at London Playing Fields in the latest round of Essex County Cricket League encounters.
Scintilla won the toss and elected to bat first. Waqar Ali was again the star as the scintilla opener made mincemeat of the Walthamstow attack.
In his second game Ali notched 187 and was ably supported with an unbeaten half century from Ayaz Karim, 49 from Asheeq Ul Alam and 37 from Khizir Mohammad.
Walthamstow CC were all bowled out for 112 with captain Shaha Riadh taking 2 for 26, Syed Iftekhar 2 for 10, Andul Waheeb 2 for 17 and Asheequl Ul Alam 1 for 10.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle and Scintilla CC won by a massive 290 runs.
Shaha Riadh said: "Another excellent performance today. Ali's near 200 to follow on from last week has added an extra impetus to the squad. It has helped raise our game."
Captain and half centurion Ayaz Karim had merely hours before returned from volunteering at the Commonwealth Games 1014. He added: "It was a pleasure playing with the team. The attitude is fresh and there is a spring in our step."
Waqar Ali was reflective: "Our opponents were not as easy as the scores show. The most important thing is we won the match. It's satisfying that we did it so convincingly."
Scintilla's first XI made it 9 wins in a row as Hawks CC were all bowled out for 102.
Captain Faris Almas Lee Rosmanizam said: "We are entering a crucial period in our season and the theme is the same, to stay focused on our next opponents. There are no easy games and we must ensure we are fully prepared, both mentally and physically.
Club captain Ahmed Choudhury said: "The boys have been immense. We have taken 200 points. This is fantastic but we won't rest easy just yet."
Scintilla host Barking CC next at the Peter May Sports Centre on 9th August.
Posted by Number 7 at 17:40
Malaysian cricket star Faris Almas Lee Rosmanizam is an all rounder who bats right-handed and bowls leg breaks. His passion for cricket blossomed at the age of six as he followed in the footsteps of his brothers, who played for Malaysia's Under-13 and Under-15 teams.
Faris, a Malaysian under 19 star, has just completed his studies in England and has combined a tough learning schedule with captaining Barking & Dagenham based Scintilla Cricket Club in the Essex Cricket League. “Fazza” has captained the team to new heights and Scintilla currently sit proudly at the top of the table with three games to go.
The Kuala Lumpur born star and mid order batsman hails Ahmad Faiz Mohd Noor, the current Malaysian senior team captain as his favourite player: “As a cricketer, he is very approachable and takes self-development and producing results seriously.
“My favourite player of all time has to be Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been inspiring on and off the field. He has played as a true gentleman on the pitch for decades, whilst performing consistently in all formats of the game. A true legend indeed, and I think no one would disagree with my choice.”
Faris hopes to return to Malaysia and carry on combining his quest to forge a successful career in both the accounting profession as well as cricket: “I recently received an offer from an international auditing firm for a permanent job, but I would still like to play a competitive level of cricket. Many have questioned how I would balance work and cricket? I think I'll be able to manage since I have been living a very busy life since I was a kid!”
Faris has enjoyed a hugely successful cricketing career in his short spell as captain of the first XI at Scintilla CC. The Barking & Dagenham club has offered him a platform to shine as a player whilst honing his leadership qualities: “My one and a half year commitment with Scintilla CC has been a good eye opener for me in terms of cricket exposure. I enjoyed working along the players and academy members of the club as all of them are eager to improve their standard of the game and constantly looking for positive results on and off the cricket field.
“Some names that deserve a special mention are Ahmed Choudhury, Ayaz Karim and Bellal Hossain who have assisted me throughout the season in managing the players and their morale.
“Cricketing tactics and strategies help with everyday life. I have also been honoured to captain the truly talented 1st XI side, and hopefully we can become the league champions this year.”
Access to cricket in England is not the same as everywhere else in the world but Faris feels that there is enough investment in grassroots cricket to provide good national players for years to come: “Cricket is an expensive sport, not just in England but around the world. Nevertheless, in England I see a similarly high enthusiasm for cricket, especially amongst the young as I see in cricket-crazy nations such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“In my honest opinion, everyone should have access and opportunity to learn the game while enjoying the sport with friends and family.”
Faris takes away many golden memories: “It wasn't easy at first to balance between studies, cricket and adapting to different weather. I was soon able to cope up with the fast paced London lifestyle and culture and was lucky enough to meet wonderful friends and teammates who were very helpful during my two years stay in England.
“My favourite Scintilla CC memory I hope is in the near future, when I hope to proudly raise the league winners’ cup at the end of the current season.”
With Malaysia ever improving as a test nation the cricket board could have a battle hardened ex youth international ready to step up and be counted. The humble Faris just wants to stay fit and enjoy cricket: “It’s every cricketers dream to play for their country and I am no exception. I see myself playing competitive cricket for another 7 to 8 years and I will probably delve into coaching after retirement from serious cricket as it is important to keep in touch with the game.
“From what I saw in Malaysia, the number of children starting cricket in their primary education (considering Malaysia is not a cricket nation) is growing rapidly. This is due to the ongoing support from Malay Cricket Association of Malaysia (MCAM) and the Malaysian Cricket Association. I believe it is important to start from the roots to have a bigger formal structure of cricket development in Malaysia or anywhere around the world. If more people have an interest in cricket, there will be more competition between players to fight for a national team spot. This directly improves the overall standard of cricket for the country”.
Faris can play a massive role in the development of cricket in Malaysia. He is a thinking man’s cricket, cool, calm, composed with a laid back approach to leadership. He concentrates on setting the right example and this has inspired his team to a ten match win streak as his team have taken 200 points during a whirlwind unbeaten run. With Scintila CC unplayable at the moment we may just see the quiet man roar come the end of the season.
Posted by Number 7 at 13:52
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Friday, August 01, 2014
Today's Foodbank shift was short, sweet but tough work. Joey and I loaded the trolley with food items, took the lift down and loaded the van. I think we make a good team and we had our task at hand all completed well within my allocated time. Tough work, but a great all body work out and immensely satisfying. I hope I can be approved to become a voucher holder soon.
Foodbank helps families and individuals who have been hit hardest by issues of unemployment, ill health, bereavement and addiction in London. Most of us don't have a clue how hard some people have it in one of the world's greatest and richest cities.
To volunteer please email email@example.com and you will be sent a pack and form to complete. One can give as little or as much time (I do my lunch break) as they want.
Once you state this on the form Tower Hamlets Food Bank staff will be in touch to offer you tailored time slots.
Posted by Number 7 at 22:59
Having finished with the fun day I thought I'd pay a visit to Pete on Eid day. He was in fine fettle and was keen to hear stories of the celebrations taking place. I sat with Pete and showed him my facebook messages of well wishes from my friends, Bootle Jan, Rebecca, Michael, Choosy, Ahmed and Scintilla CC, Liz, Asma and Lyn.
Understandably, there were not many visitors but by the time visiting time was up there were four of us including Pete. I'm hoping to see Pete again before I go on holiday and might even take him a doner kebab with all the lashings. We both do like a touch of the grand stuff!
Seeing Pete is always an inspirational visit for me. I natter, share a few stories and ask for his take and perspective on stuff. He's a shrewd man and is still sharp as a tack.
Here is his video message to everyone.
Posted by Number 7 at 22:55
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Barking & Dagenham cricketers shatter score records
Waqar Ali top scored with a gargantuan 220 not out as Bow Green were pulverised by Barking & Dagenham team Scintilla CC in the latest round of matches in Division 2 of the Essex Cricket League.
The Barking & Dagenham stars scored the seasons highest score - 363 from 40 overs as Bow Green were soundly beaten by 174 runs.
Bow Green won the toss and chose to field first on a grassy wicket, drawing first blood by dismissing Rifat Mahmud for one run in only the second over.
Khizir was joined by Waqar who unleashed a tornado, devastating the Bow attack in a partnership of 140 with Khizir - dismissed after reaching 70.
Abdul Waheeb took to the crease and added a half century as Scintilla reached 245. Sensing a historic win Scintilla captain Shaha Riadh elected to continue applying the pressure as his men continued to pile on the runs. Zahid joined Ali at the crease to complete the rout.
Bow Green cane out fighting and hit a few early boundaries as they set out their intent, however Syed Iftekhar's rugged bowling shook the openers as he took 3 vital wickets for 40 runs. Scintilla co-founder Paul rounded off the match to hand Scintilla a win by 174 runs.
Man of the match Waqar who destroyed one ball after he butchered a six was humble: "I'm just glad Scintilla have given me an opportunity and I hope to put in consistent performances. I'm happy that the team came together to take the points."
Skipper Shaha Riadh said: “Another good show from the players. Nevertheless, there are worrying points that need to be taken into consideration. Our bowlers are still giving away too many extras and we will work hard on this area to produce even better results.”
Scintilla CC: 363/3 in 40 overs.
Waqar Ali 222 (not out)
Abdullah M Khizir 70
Abdul Waheeb 50
Bow Green: 189 all out
Man of the match: Waqar Ali 222 n.o (Scintilla CC)
Scintilla's first XI are still leading the Premier Division after seeing off Tennyson CC at Clayhall.
Scintilla won the toss by default and elected to bat first reaching 240-9 in 45 overs. Enamul Haque top scored with 48 runs, Ashraful Islam contributed 44, and Bellal Hossain hit a useful 35.
Scintilla won by 117 runs as Tennyson were all bowled for 123 as dynamic skipper Faris Almas-Lee took 5 for 23. Zahed Mamun also added 3 for 27.
Captain Faris Almas-Lee Rosmanizam who was joint man of the match with Enamul Haque said: "I'm fairly satisfied with our performance today. The heat was immense and I'm proud of the way my team were committed throughout.
"We are taking one game at a time. This league has some excellent teams and there will be no complacency in the run up to the end of the season as one slip up can totally change everything."
Posted by Number 7 at 21:21
Gaza has quite rightly led to unprecedented levels of condemnation, protest, activism, mobilisation and unity. It's beautiful when strangers can unite for a worthy cause.
But I've noticed there's a dark side to campaigning too. I've de friended and blocked one idiot after getting fed up of his unhelpful and soapbox diatribes.
I've concluded that this one probably lives with erectile dysfunction and is an agent provocateur. I have made it clear in no uncertain terms have made it clear that his irresponsible and frothy mouthed rants are not wanted or needed, especially as they lack intellectual depth and are designed to provoke and disunite. This in turn offers no support and adds zero value to the cause.
Call me a conspiracy theorist but I seriously doubt the motives of such people and make my distrust very clear.
Cowardly keyboard warriors also provoke heavy handed backlashes and their actions often lead to dangerous reactions against vulnerable members of the community - old people, women with head scarves and children. See, it's not they who suffer because of their selfish malpractices.
We should challenge/educate these morons and tell them to stop spewing hate on our behalf. There is a distinct difference between intelligent and co-ordinated debate, campaigning, lobbying, protesting, engagement and spewing hate.
Gaza is a humanitarian issue and people from all races have united to campaign, protest, debate, lobby and raise charity. Unfortunately there are hate mongers who walk amongst us with their own agendas and they should be rejected in no uncertain terms. They are bad apples who will upset the applecart.
It's vitally important to keep ANY campaign relentless, but just and fair. Anything less than that and we risk becoming that very monster that we so vehemently criticise and campaign against.
My name is Emdad. I am a proud Londoner, born and bred and I #supportgaza
Posted by Number 7 at 12:32
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Why do you stare?
Is it the way, or what I wear?
The same as everyone
Only life has made it harder
© Peter McGuire
The amazing Peter and his brother Steph McGuire are known as the Boccia Brothers.
They both have muscular dystrophy, an incurable degenerative condition.
Having overcome the barriers that have affected their lives since birth both brothers represented Team GB at the London Paralympic Games in 2012.
Both are still competing competitive at the highest stage.
I had the pleasure of meeting Peter, Steph, young Ciaran and Peter Junior in Glasgow on Monday. Steph and I were in the same team as we carried the Queen's Baton during it's Commonwealth Games relay in Woodlands, Glasgow and I've made a friend for life.
If you feel that life has dealt you an unfair hand then look at these two awe inspiring humans.
Let their inspiration envelope you, shake you up, and help you rise up and reach for the stars again.
Posted by Number 7 at 19:31
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
The Riverside Muslim Association, Barking organised a community Iftar to celebrate the month of Ramadan.
Residents and guests from various backgrounds came together to break bred and eat at sunset.
Barking Councillor Cameron Geddes said: "I was so privileged to have been invited. The atmosphere was so peaceful and friendly. And the thunderstorm rumbling in the distance and lighting up the night sky helped make it a memorable night!"
Imam Muhammad Imran added: "It is extra special that members of our community have joined their Muslim neighbours and shared food together.
"Thank you to the volunteers for their hard work. We will have a community funday on the day of Eid. The event is free and open to everyone."
Posted by Number 7 at 19:35
Many moons ago 4 young men shared a dream - to start a football club. They had no money, no kit - not even a ball.
Yet from such humble beginnings emerged a magnificent football club - Rangers FC. None of those four men could have foreseen the shockwaves the ripple effect of their actions were about to do when they met in 1872. At that time all they wanted was having their own little team to play for and represent. No one dared dream that over a century later the baby named Glasgow Rangers would become a venerated football goliath. Nor could they have envisaged that Glasgow Rangers would win trophies galore and have a worldwide following running into millions.
All those championships and cups would never have found their way into the Ibrox Trophy Room but for that encounter between Peter McNeil, his brother Moses, Peter Campbell and William McBeath.
Their first match was an unlikely affair against Callander FC at Flesher's Haugh on Glasgow Green.
The pitch was open to all-comers, so to claim it for your game you had to make sure you were there first. The home team played in street clothes, with the exception of four "guests" who, as they were members of other clubs, already had their own strips. The ball was second-hand.
The result was 0-0, but that didn't matter. Rangers had been born.
The famous 'RFC' Scroll crest is now instantly recognisable to football fans across the world and is steeped in history.
It is believed to have been used by the Club since its formation in 1872 although the oldest item to be found with this crest stamped on it is from 1881-82 season. The Rangers-Celtic Old Firm rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest in world football, dating back to the late 19th century when Celtic were founded in Glasgow's East End.
The teams first met at Celtic Park on May 28, 1888 in what was also the Parkhead club's first-ever match. Around 2,000 fans saw the home side win 5-2.
The nickname 'The Old Firm' originated during the early year of the 20th century when the clubs began to dominate Scottish football and the term in part referred to the financial benefits associated with their frequent meetings.
No two teams have dominated their national championship as much as Rangers and Celtic - between them they have won 96 of the 114 Scottish titles available since 1890.
And they have also contested numerous dramatic head-to-head encounters.
Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers' most successful manager, guiding the club to 14 league titles before the onset of the Second World War. On 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Year's Day Old Firm match.
Leading the club for 34 years until 1954, Struth won more trophies than any manager in Scottish Football history, amassing 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups, 2 League Cups, 7 war-time championships, 19 Glasgow Cups, 17 Glasgow Merchant Charity Cups and other war-time honours. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League.
Our tour guide was Chris and what was evident right away was his love for the club. Couple that with his knowledge and constant research into all things Rangers, and you have a fantastic Club Ambassador. A big thank you to Chris for being such a terrific host.
Whether you’re a football fan or not you too can experience the magic of this world famous stadium with your very own 'access all areas' pass!
On the Ibrox Tour you will get exclusive access to the home dressing room, climb the marble staircase and explore the illustrious Trophy Room. Plus take a virtual tour of the Club's state of the art training facility at Murray Park and run down the tunnel before taking a seat in the dugout.
Ibrox Tours run every Friday, Saturday* and Sunday* and are priced at just £8 for Adults, £5.50 for Children/OAPs - Kids 5 years & under go free and a family ticket for 2 Adults & 2 Kids is £24.50.
*Not on match days.
Posted by Number 7 at 17:47
"Sometimes it's easy to walk by because we know we can't change someone's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place."
It takes a lot of bottle to present oneself at a soup kitchen and ask to be fed. One is nervous, self conscious and the sense of pride feels particularly bruised.
There are proud people who visit our soup kitchen, educated people, individuals of good stock. However , unlucky circumstances have placed them on a level par with the 80 or so people who sleep rough in and around Westfield and the Stratford Centre, London.
Within that kingdom your accent or social status doesn't quite cut it. You're vulnerable and need help and support from the community. And this is where soup kitchens like One Third are so necessary.
I saw Maureen smiling at me from a distance but as I was in the zone, serving with the team and chatting to visitors and general members of the public it didn't click, until later. I beckoned her over and offered her a plate of food.
Maureen loved the new dishes we had on offer that evening. As a special treat our cook had laid on meat biriani and chana chick peas. We were all tempted to do a little cheeky takeaway but failed in our bid to do so as the pots were wiped clean well before the final bell. "I'm really hungry," said Maureen. "My mate has gone to McDonald's. We don't have enough for two so she's gone to eat first. She'll be out soon and will be shocked to see me. This is delicious. God bless you all."
Jay joined for a little chat and even took our group pics. He said he'd bring his dad over next time. We had a lot of new faces and some of the regulars like Amanda were missed. George came to visit us in his wheelchair. He liked the food so much he even had thirds.
At the latest One Third soup kitchen we had three new volunteers join the pack. It was great fun, great banter, great company all the way.
Kind hearted members of the public donated £22.00 for contribution towards the next pot.
My cricket team Scintilla CC had thrashed Bow Green so all in all a great day. I had to break my fast on the way back but got in to share a wholesome family meal. No food problems there - Lucky me, eh?
Posted by Number 7 at 15:10
Saturday, July 19, 2014
“When mother was a little child, she’d need two or three French grammar books which couldn’t be easily found and cost a lot of money. “You will need this in two years time from now, in high school” grandma had said. “In two years time? From now for the year after next?” “These, she had told, were far more useful and essential than a doll whose her head, arms and legs would eventually fall all! I, of course, insisted that nothing would fall off!” - Lily Tsoni
Greek writer Lily Tsoni is the writer of “Josephine, the black, the white”. It is a vivid recollection of the Author’s childhood memories. Lily says that her chronicle is a “book for all, teens, tweens, young adults, their parents and grandparents.
“I hope it will ignite happy memories within all my readers. It is a happy box of childhood innocence and blissful thoughts.”
As a young girl Lily recorded vivid and cherished details of her childhood. “I stored them in my heart,” she said. “In later years I decided to open my heart and share its contents and so have written this memoir.”
The book has been described as a charming, cute and evocative memoir by Richard Hunter, Professor of Classics, Cambridge University. Lily runs her own publishing house and is a permanent member of the Greek Literary Union. She is also a TV and radio journalist and presents shows about culture, the Arts, ecology, children’s issues, health, and of her travel experiences throughout Europe.
Lily is passionate about a wide range of community issues: “I support equality, human rights, education, the Environment, animals and criminal Justice. These matters have always shaped my thoughts and expanded my thinking.”
Lily is a volunteer for the Arts & Civilization of the Municipal Art Gallery in Lamia, Greece and also attends Classics at Cambridge. Writing though is her favourite pastime: “I have been writing for years. There are many things in my drawers waiting to be put on paper. I have a second book planned too and will continue to publish my writings.
“My intention is to complete a further two books by Christmas. One of a child’s experiences at Christmas - but when I say child I also refer to those adults who still shelter a child inside of themselves. It's a glittering celebration of a special time of the year.”
Lily has lived in London and has been visiting annually one month at a time for the last 7 years: “I visit my son in London - I think it is the most colourful and promising capital in Europe. But sometimes you have to ‘mind the gap.’ I have also made many good friendships here over the years.”
‘‘Josephine the black, the white” was published in December 2013 and in the UK in March 2014 by Perfect Publishers. It is a pleasant read that can be enjoyed reading alone, on the go, sitting shaded under a tree, on a dull and dark rainy day, with children, friends and loved ones. Lily’s crafted narratives will evoke happy memories of childhood upon those who pick up the book. I very much look forward to her future books.
“Whenever I am in Lyon, I always dash to the second floor of Musée des Beaux-Arts to stand in front of Gericault Mad Woman’s portrait. Last time, the guard of the museum looked at me strangely when he heard me calling her... Maria!” Am I to blame that she is identical to poor Maria, Aristides’ sister, of my childhood years?” - Lily Tsoni
• Paperback: 216 pages
• Publisher: Cambridge Pen (December 14, 2013)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 6188104823
• ISBN-13: 978-6188104822
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Enamul Haque Junior has had a very eventful cricketing career so far.
The Bangladeshi slow left arm orthodox bowler was a mere 18 years old when he created history by becoming the youngest ever bowler to take ten wickets in a test match. The feat was ever the more significant as it was previously held by the legendary Wasim Akram.
Haque made his senior test debut in 2003 against England in Dhaka. He impressed the board of selectors enough to be awarded a rookie contract with the Bangladesh national team in 2004.
It was early 2005 when Haque came to the attention of the cricketing fraternity. Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh and Haque took 6/45 in the second innings. The haul became Bangladesh's best test bowling figures. In the second test Haque smashed his own record by taking 7/95. At 18 years and 40 days the fledgling star had surpassed a global superstar in Wasim Akram and instantly come to the attention of the cricketing world. His progress continued and by December 2005 Haque reached the milestone of 100 first class wickets after Rafiqul Islam was caught and bowled during a match against Rajshahi.
Haque is currently taking a short break in England during the pre-season and has spent his time catching up with friends, relatives and keeping match sharp by training and playing a cricket with Scintilla Cricket Club in Barking & Dagenham and the London Tigers.
He has been maintaining a strict health regime to keep himself ‘sharp’: “It’s hard in Ramadan but the month should not be used as an excuse to indulge in excesses. I am an athlete and just like many others I have to watch what I eat and when I eat. I have also been training and playing cricket during the weekends has helped me maintain a level of sharpness.”
“I’m on a pre season tour to London during the off season in Bangladesh. I will be playing a few games for Scintilla Cricket Club and the London Tigers to keep my fitness levels up during the off season."
Haque has been impressed by the standards of grassroots cricket in England: “I’m seriously surprised by the skill and stamina level I have seen. The boys I have played against have been dogged, skilful, determined and tenacious and play a seriously a good level of cricket. It’s very good for the game in England.”
We discussed the levels of interest in the game in Bangladesh and the prospects of the national team: “Cricket is a gateway to achieving your dreams.
“Back home people are crazy about cricket. It’s the number one sport in Bangladesh and there is so much passion. A good job is being done to harness this passion and promote cricket. With our current good development, astute selectors and coaches as well as a good crop of youngsters I am confident that in the next few years we can be a good nation of cricket.
“There are some promising youngsters. In Sylhet we have three up and coming left arm spinners who are progressing and will make a big impact if they continue to stay level headed and work hard, namely, Masum who plays for Sylhet Division and Jabed, who has represented Bangladesh under 19’s and Sylhet Division. There are quite a few stars in the making and I’m confident that our cricket future is in good hands.”
Haque has a good philosophy and understands the need to promote a sustainable legacy for cricket around the world: “Whichever country you play for, domestic cricket is the most important matter for cricketers. It is very important to have a well developed and continually improving domestic game as this is the one way of ensuring you have a very strong and capable national team.
“In Bangladesh, cricket at grassroots levels are continually looked over and talented players are supported in their bid to progress professionally. There is a working structure in place and this means that the Bangladeshi national team will reap the benefits."
Haque’s favourite players are Daniel Vettori and Sakib Al Hasan: “Daniel Vettori is only the 8th player in test history to take 300 wickets and score 3000 runs. He has had an amazing and dream career.
“Shakib Al Hasan is a complete cricketer. “I love his confidence, his bowling and his cricket sense. In my opinion they are cricketers that all younger up and coming players should take as role models.”
Haque has visited Lord’s to watch England play India: “The wicket in England is slow and low which is a change from what we are used to. This is a five test series and I’m very excited as like all cricket fans. I think the lack of a top spinner for India will hand England victory.”
What next for this gifted bowler? “I have been fortunate to have role models from whom I have gained great strength throughout my career. There is Parvez who played for Sylhet Division, Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali who have been great influences on my career and outlook in life. They represented Bangladesh with heart and soul and I am a big fan who adopted their game styles and incorporated them into aspects of my own play.
“On this point I would like to point out the impact and influence of ex international players like Khaled Mahmud Sujon and Minhaj Nannu on the game back home.
“These are people with super cricket brains and with Nannu becoming a director I am very hopeful and excited at how the game in Bangladesh will progress.”
“I hope that the current group can in the next five years set a goal and take Bangladesh from 10th to 6th in the rankings.
Haque is hopeful about next season: “I’m going to continue working hard, train, play and strive to get back into the folds of the national team. Nothing beats the feeling of stepping out and playing for your country.
“It is a very short career and my advice to young people is to work hard, be committed, and be professional. Cricket is everything in Bangladesh. It has given us dreams and allowed us to soar.
“My future? I will continue to train hard and I’m hoping win a recall to the national team. I’m a proud Bangladeshi. I've fulfilled many dreams through playing cricket and I hope my hard work will earn me a recall. I’m certainly not done yet.
Posted by Number 7 at 19:48
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
"The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows."
I popped over to see Pete today. He was in very good spirits. It was a "pick me up" on many levels.
We enjoyed a few laughs and I updated him on my dad's health, asked him to make dua for my mother, who has been unwell and the family. I told him that my dad had ditched the walking stick and was performing the late night lengthy Ramadan Taraweeh prayers now with no assistance.
Lastly, I updated Pete on me running the British 10k last Sunday and how I was able to run for the first time since my Achilles injury. He nodded away with great interest and a wry smile in his face.
I also told Pete that we were doing a trek of Scafell Pike to raise funds for the orphans and stricken in Gaza. He asked me to pass his black book, fumbled around and took out a cristp £20 note. "Here's a score, I'm donating to the cause, I have plenty."
I tried to protest but ended up getting a load of the industrial verbals (bleep, bleep). Hair dryer treatment over, we were joined by another visitor. He had lost his wife last week and they had both met Pete too. Pete told me he was worried at how this this gentleman was coping with his recent loss.
We decided to saunter out to enjoy the good weather and we took Pete for a spin in the sun in his wheelchair. We were joined by two more visitors. It was nice. Because it's Ramadan we couldn't enjoy a nice cold beverage but we all sat in the shade and in no particular order, discussed life, politics and football. Bliss!
The forehead wasn't enough and he wanted a kiss on both cheeks when I had to take leave.
I hope to take our trek team to see Pete in the next few days.
Posted by Number 7 at 17:04
Monday, July 14, 2014
Scintilla CC vs Newham CC
Venue: Bobby Moore Pavilion, Flanders Playing Fields, Napier Road, E6 2SG East Ham, London
Scintillating Scintilla CC stormed to the top of the table with a no holds barred beating of Newham CC in the latest round of games in the Essex County Cricket League (ECCL). It was the Barking & Dagenham Clubs sixth win in a row.
Scintila won the toss and with a damp wicket opted for Newham to bat first. Newham’s experienced openers held their nerve during an early Scintilla barrage and coupled with some loose bowling racked up 60 runs in 9 overs.
Scintilla introduced two debutants in Sabbir al Mahmud Sany and Mobassher Ahmed. Newham proved a tough baptism as 24 runs were conceded in just two overs and 36 runs in 5 overs respectively.
Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel replaced Sany and impressed with his in-swingers. Nobel grabbed 3 wickets in his 7 overs with a maiden over for his records.
But Kashif Iqbal of Newham CC seemed unstoppable as he pierced through Scintilla CC bowling attacks and fielding with the greatest of ease. He reached his half century but that was to be the end of the line. Up stepped Enamul Haque Jr to claim Iqbal’s scalp, caught at the covers by the evergreen veteran Sajal Rahman who took a gravity defying back leap and catch. The moment conjured by Enamul Haque Junior and Sajal Rahman proved an inspirational catalyst.
Haque Jr once again showed his class as he demolished the Newham CC middle order batting line-up. He finished his 9-over spell with 4 wickets and only gave away 20 runs to the opposition.
Scintilla CC captain, Faris Almas-Lee Rosmanizam decided to take up bowling spin from the other end and managed to support Haque Jr in restricting the runs. Rosmanizam ended with 1 wicket for 37 runs in 7 overs.
Newham CC were all bowled out for 195 runs in 43 overs.
An aggressive start from Scintilla’s top order batsmen dominated the opposition bowlers until Ashraful Islam was bowled as the opener alongside Sajal Rahman fully utilised the powerplay overs by clearing Newham CC deliveries frequently over the fielders. With this brutal display Scintilla CC reached 60 runs in just 6 overs.
Nobel again flourished with the bat as he struck 58 runs in his innings. He showed patience and calmness, and was ably supported by Rosmanizam (10 runs) and Bellal Hossain (39 runs). The talented Hossain reached a quickfire 39 from 29 deliveries before a mistimed shot and was caught out.
Nerves took hold as Scintilla CC lost another 2 quick wickets - Mobassher Ahmed and Ahmed Choudhury with 9 runs left for a win. Nevertheless, Abul Hasib (4 runs) and Enamul Haque Jr stayed calm with Haque Junior hitting a boundary to to secure victory by 3 wickets in hand and with 16 overs to spare.
Scintilla captain Rosmanizam said: “More points for Scintilla CC but we should have done better in all departments. There was complacency in the field and we must improve if we want to win the championship. Further work needs to be done and I hope the players learn from the mistakes as early as possible since the season is already half-way completed.”
Enamul Haque Junior said; “It was a tough game and there were some outstanding performances from Newham CC. It was a difficult win. A lot of the boys were fasting so the victory is extra sweet.”
Man of the match Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel added; “Newham CC are always tough and rugged opponents. I’m pleased with my performance but even more pleased that the team secured the points. I’m glad we don’t play Newham CC every week.
Result: Scintilla CC won by 3 wickets
Scintilla CC won the toss and elected to field
Newham CC 195 all out in 43 overs. Enamul Haque Jr 4 for 20, Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 3 for 23
Scintilla CC 196-3 in 29 overs. Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 58, Bellal Hossain 39
Man of the match: Ashfaqur Rahman Nobel (Scintilla CC)
Posted by Number 7 at 19:47
Germany 0-0 Argentina
Germany add another shirt star
Thanks to super Mario Gotze
Extra-time winner against Argentina
History is made at the Maracana
Whilst DFB lapped up the cheers
Albiceleste just couldn't shift gears
At least the Brazilians shed no tears
Now Messi has to wait four more years
Estadio do Maracana • Rio de Janeiro
© emdad rahman
#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #germanyvargentina #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme #worldcupfinal
Posted by Number 7 at 01:01
Sunday, July 13, 2014
“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor” ~ James Baldwin
Did you know that 27% of rough sleepers have been on the streets for 2 years or more?
The Whitechapel Mission is dedicated to providing a lifeline to the men and women caught in the cycles of poverty, hopelessness and dependencies of many kinds, and to see their lives transformed to hope, joy and lasting productivity.
It was my seventh run for the Mission. Running conditions for today were perfect. As it is Ramadan I have observed the fast today. It was cool, dark and slightly drizzly. Last year it was 28 through to 32 degrees. My favourite part of the race was bumping into the legendary Tony Stevens of the Daneford Trust. We shared a quick chat and a selfie. The likes if good old Tony are what spur young whippersnappers like me into shape.
This year it was much easier and as I type this blog an hour before breaking fast I'm still not thirsty, nor have I had any headaches. In fact I've enjoyed a normal day out and about and am now getting ready to watch the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina.
The Whitechapel Mission is an amazing charity that is dedicated to offering a lifeline to the some of the most marginalised people in our community.
102,586 breakfasts have been served during this year, an average of 281 a day. 5123 different people have used the services during this year.
The Mission's goal is to help people to help themselves, giving them the confidence they need to become independent, which we do through practical support and advice and by teaching them the life skills they need to succeed.
Staff at the Mission believe everyone deserves a chance, regardless of their background, race or religion.
They are open every day of the year and expect to see as many as 300 homeless and vulnerable men and women each day. And we do this without any public funding at all.
All of us who volunteer and give a little time to the Mission know that we can, and are, making a positive and lasting difference to the homeless who ask for our help.
I will be ruining next year. It would be a pleasure if you joined me too.
Posted by Number 7 at 20:42
Brazil 0-3 Holland
RVP and Blind win the play off game
Wijnaldum cementing the shame
Brazil's back to back losses and ten goal spree
For the first time time since 1940
Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha • Brasilia
© emdad rahman
#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #brazilvholland #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme
Posted by Number 7 at 15:55
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Holland 0-0 Argentina
Argentina win 4-2 on penalties
Now this dour semi
Didn't match Brazil and Germany
Vlaar and Sneijder missing a penalty
Poor Jesper Cillessen
Couldn't match Romero in the pen
It's a repeat of eighty six and ninety
© emdad rahman
#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #brazilvgermany #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme
Posted by Number 7 at 19:10
Here's the super bunch I joined for a volunteering shift at the Tiwer Hamlets Foodbank this week.
Every day in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived areas in the UK, over half of its children are in families experiencing real poverty for reasons such as illness, unemployment and debt. With rising food and energy prices combined with low income, children are going hungry every day – with parents having to make the stark choice between heating and eating
Tower Hamlets Foodbank (part of the Trussell Trust UK wide network of Foodbanks), works to tackle hidden hunger through the provision of emergency donations of food (enough for a minimum of three days) and support to those facing real crisis.
No money + no food = crisis.
Founded by Denise Bentley, Tower Hamlets foodbank was launched in the winter of 2010 and is coordinated by the charity First Love Foundation.
Posted by Number 7 at 12:17
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Akeelah is toddling for Baranardo's
Two year old is heading for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The Barnardo’s Big Toddle is the UK’s biggest charity event for under 5s and is a short sponsored walk for toddlers that helps the UK’s most disadvantaged under 5s.
This year around 300,000 children will take part in The Big Toddle.
Two year old Akeelah attends Barnado's Bow Nursery and later this month will join other toddlers on the half mile walk around the queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This is an exclusive and fun event for children by children.
Every year there is a fancy dress theme and this year it's 'Space.' This means all toddlers (and adults) are invited to dress up as astronauts, aliens, stars or planets as they take off along the Big Toddle route. No matter which costume they choose every child taking part will be a star as all the money raised will help Barnardo's to give children the best start in life and to fulfil their potential.
Akeelah and her friends will make a difference to more children’s lives as well as having a day to remember. "I'm walking for babies," grinned Akeelah.
Akeelah's parents are very proud indeed. Her mother Hafsa said: "Tower Hamlets is a place where so much charity takes place. Akeelah is surrounded by role models and we are so happy that family and friends will join us to support her fundraising."
"Akeelah absolutely loves Baranardo's" said her father Mustafa. "She has developed so much and her happiness and positivity rub off on everyone else. It's super that she is walking to fundraise for a place that is so special to her."
"The Big Toddle will be a family walk," said Bow Nursery manager Emma Van Rooyen. "Parents, family and friends can enjoy a picnic, followed by a collective walk. We expect sunshine and great fun is guaranteed."
For information about the Big Toddle please visit www.barnardos.org.uk/bigtoddle
Barnardo's Bow Nursery is based at 95 Bromley High Street, London E3 3EN - 020 8983 7973.
Posted by Number 7 at 13:26
Brazil 7-1 Germany
It was Belo Horrorzonte for Brazil
Biggest semi win by Team DfB
Thomas Muller again nicked the till
Klose beats Ronaldo to make history
A brace from the Kroos control
Samba Kings felt the Khedira strike
Five nil and a thirty minute stroll
Schurrle's two for a seven heaven hike
Lean, mean, German machine
Neuer angry as Oscar broke bread
Bra71l gold rush unforeseen
For Big Phil it's all Fred and dread
Estadio Mineirao • Belo Horizonte
© emdad rahman
#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #brazilvgermany #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme
Thank you Mizan Chaudhury for the pic
Posted by Number 7 at 01:04
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I was fortunate to play a part in joining fellow Tour Makers and Team London Ambassadors in delivering what was described by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme as the "grandest Grand Départ."
Stage 3 saw the riders pass through Cambridge, Essex and London, finishing on the Mall.
Official estimates may say that 3.5 million fans turned out to watch the 198 riders but common consensus suggests that the figure was just a shade over 5 million.
It was an amazing end to three days which began in Leeds with a royal send off and finished with a sprint finale down the Mall in Buckingham Palace.
A jubilant Mr Prudhomme said it was not a question of “if” but “when” the greatest cycle race on the planet would return to this country.
I had a very pleasant day. Although Victoria Dock was quiet, the fan park at Trafalgar Square was buzzing. Team London Ambassadors mixed with visitors and even featured in a promotional video shoot for the FA's bid to host matches during the UEFA Euro 2020 European Championships.
Posted by Number 7 at 19:14
Enamul Haque Junior helps inspire resounding win
Match: Scintilla CC vs Ford CC
Venue: Peter May Sports Centre, 135 Wadham Road, E17 4HR
Scintilla gained revenge as the Barking & Dagenham club defied the form book to obliterate Ford by 5 wickets.
Scintilla won the toss and elected to field in the hope of exploiting the green track for their pace bowlers and several dry patches for the specialist spinners.
The decision to do so paid off.
Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel bowled a wonderful spell of 7 overs, ripping through the top order batsmen of Ford CC to finish at 3 wickets for 26 runs in his spell.
Abul Hasib continued his excellent swing bowling whilst varying his pitches with slower deliveries, making it very difficult for the opposition to play him. His 7 overs conceded 19 runs and gained one wicket in the last over.
The introduction of two Scintilla CC debutants, Enamul Haque Jr and Tanvir Priyam proved particularly momentous. Enamul Haque Jr, a current Bangladeshi national team cricketer showed his class. The international star hardly broke sweat as his spin bowling coupled with flighted deliveries caused all sorts of problems for his opponents.
Haque snatched 3 wickets, giving away only 10 runs in his 6.4 overs.
Tanvir Priyam struck gold in his first delivery and followed with his second and third wicket in his next two overs.
A notable contribution was from club captain Ahmed Choudhury who took two brilliant catches in the field.
At the close of the innings, Ford CC were bowled out cheaply for 91 runs by the home side. With 92 runs as the target, Scintilla CC decided to retain their current openers for the run chase.
It did not go as planned as youngster Rifat Mahmud bludgeoned the ball high to lose his wicket.
Sajal Rahman at the other end was not phased by the formidable Ford CC bowlers. Rahman was aggressive in his batting and launched two huge sixes and two fours before being trapped by a slower delivery from Adeel Mirza. Rahman was out caught and ended his innings with 25 runs from only 21 deliveries.
Scintilla CC captain, Faris Almas-Lee Rosmanizam (16 runs) carried on the run chase with Nobel for a stand of 20 runs before being caught out in the 13th over.
Ashraful Islam clubbed 3 towering sixes on the leg side and 2 powerful fours, ending the run chase with 7 wickets in hand. He finished not out with 28 runs.
Scintilla CC won by 7 wickets in hand.
Team Captain Rosmanizam said: “Another good performance all round from the players.
"The introduction of Enamul Haque Jr certainly boosted our spirit to win and we are really happy to have him in the squad for the rest of the season.
"We still have a long journey for the championship and consistent performances from all the players should be the key for a positive end of the season.”
Enamul Haque Jr said: "I was pleasantly surprised by the skill levels displayed by the players.
"It is obvious that there is a lot of talent within the grassroots that can be tapped into by cricket clubs. I really enjoyed playing today and hope to keep my fitness levels up by playing games during my short stay."
Club Captain Ahmed Choudhury welcomed the contributions of the two debutants: "Enamul and Tanvir galvanised the squad with their presence today. Morale is good and we are determined to continue this winning streak."
Result: Scintilla CC won by 7 wickets
Scintilla CC won the toss and elected to field
Ford CC 91 all out in 27.4 overs. Enamul Haque Jr 3 for 10, Tanvir Priyam 3 for 24, Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel 3 for 26
Scintilla CC 93-3 in 15.3 overs. Ashraful Islam 28 not out, Sajal Rahman 25
Man of the match: Enamul Haque Jr (Scintilla CC)
Posted by Number 7 at 18:21
Sunday, July 06, 2014
We might be abstaining from food and drink during the long daylight hours but the team at One Third are committed to ensuring the soup kitchen runs smoothly throughout the holy month.
After all, it's temporary, and the punters reach out and greedily devour and scoff the gutbusters as soon as the Adhan for Magrib is proclaimed. In fact we eat to such excess that many complain of heartburn and indigestion throughout the next day.
The people we serve on a Friday and Saturday are very different. They may be wedged in between Stratford and Canary Wharf but that's where the similarity ends - they have no home, no hearth, are struggling for a nutritious meal and some have no family, nor friends to call upon.
It reminds me of an image of a child who asks her mother when they will break fast as the rest of the world has broken theirs, prayed, and ate again in preparation for the next day.
These souls sleep rough and wash as and when they can. I met a proud Pole yesterday. He feigned that he couldn't understand me but it was obvious he did. He wouldn't make eye contact and I knew right away that as a proud man he was embarrassed to be reduced to be asking for food charity.
We had our regular visitors and we had a nice catch up. During lighthearted banter Amanda even said she missed it when the lads were absent from the stall. I guess it's the effect I have...
We spotted a fellow sitting across the road and a member of the team took a hot plateful over. It was well received so we sent out two of the team to seek out people who were experiencing difficulty in making their way to our kitchen. We found another gentleman in similar circumstances.
The dhal and rice was immense and very popular. A few visitors came back for seconds, thirds and even takeaways. We were able to finish duties and get home to break fast. I was able to zoom it to Tower Hamlets, pick up my nieces and get to my older nieces in Stratford to break fast.
Ramadan is a time for contemplation, self improvement and giving. One Third will continue to serve the vulnerable and the homeless throughout the month and beyond.
Holland 0-0 Costa Rica
Holland win 4-3 on penalties
When faced with penalties
Dutch courage faced the freeze
But misses from Ruiz and Umana
Tim Krul comes off the bench
Los Ticos exit is a wrench
Van Gaal's tactics are hailed a wonder
Arena Fonte Nova • Salvador
© emdad rahman
#worldcup2014 #brazil2014 #fifaworldcup #hollandvcostarica #worldscup #fifa #footballrhyme
Posted by Number 7 at 12:13