The Salty Sea

Posted in Autobiography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2019 by kathydasilva

Why is the sea ‘salty’…. … so why is the water from a mountain ‘fresh water’…. there is a lot of mystery to our planet. And, too, the sea is blue or a blue-green. And our sky is blue, and navy blue at night. And the sand on our shores is a shade of brown or beige, or sometimes a little blacker. Earth. Still turning around and spinning to give a sense of passing of a day into night. There is no accident. There is no accident in a radiant sun and a reflective moon, that sheds light onto an Earth populated with human life. I am not an accident. I was in fact a planned arrival. I was also created so my sister, would not grow up like an only child. And my mother also explained this to me, she was a careful mother, who thought about children and how they may grow in a healthy manner, with the sense of social skills that siblings of similar youth create quite naturally. If you have a brother or a sister, you at some point share. And become aware of responsibility. I was as far back as I remember, a curious creature who loved learning about the world. Everything that flew, hopped, and buzzed. From a fluttering butterfly to ants swarming. I should have been a naturalist. I found myself trying with my heavy camera to capture a Painted Lady this morning. I am now heading into my maturity what I call the last third portion of life..I have lost that dear sister, whom I grew beside to a disease called Motor Neurons, and my mother passed back in 2011 of old age. I went to visit my one remaining aunt today too. And I learned about one of my cousins recent new position of work, in a pilgrimage site in Israel. Here an octogenarian with laptop! Showing me a garden, where it is thought Jesus’s body may have been laid. And there will be sceptics, I too, wondered how could we ever know? But, as my eyes dwelt on the picture of the tomb built into the rock, at the end of a garden, I started to feel an immense sense of Godly presence in the place in the picture. The feeling was very momentary, a few seconds, but a wonderful recognition, however, that a person can be God guided in life. It is my cousin’s husband who had taken a position in the ministry of the church of England. And now he is there in Israel. I found the most amazing thing happening. I will renew my passport, and I guess it will now be a British Passport (but outside European Union). I think I may just make that journey and surprise, them! I have always had a fascination with the story of Jesus Christ the Nazarene. I wrote a story once called ‘The Full Stop Story’ .. it was really a small synopsis of a story.. or idea.. it all started with the subject of ‘sand’ and how it became used to create ‘glass’. And on my way to my aunt’s place I noticed some large what looked like container ships, but, I thought hard they seemed stationary, and I thought again, perhaps these were dredgers, or more still the type of ship that draws sand for building materials from the sea bed. And all things do have a knock on effect. If we remove sand from the sea bed it might alter the weight distribution and physics of the environment?..Now … I will have to pursue this thought to find and answer. So why is the sea salty?…

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London This Week Assange in the Dock

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2019 by kathydasilva

Hi everyone, I could not sit still after watching the law of our country somehow become the next manipulated thing of our time. I went along to the sentencing hearing of Julian Assange the famous creator of Wikileaks Publications, that brought the world many news items, Collateral Damage, and leaks concerning the status of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. I was there mainly to take some photographs and to hear the summing up of the judge, Judge Deborah Taylor, at the Southwark Crown Court. The sitting was over one hour long, and the court was packed full I had not managed to get there earlier. Fragile looking Jen Robinson, came out with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor of Wikileaks currently, with the story that all though the defense had made a plea for leniency, due to the extended detention of Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy, she the judge had put the blame for his isolation on his own choice of action of skipping bail conditions seven years ago. The case had collapsed over the sexual allegations from the prosecution service of Sweden. There was no longer a case to answer and the formality of charging Julian Assange with a form of broken law, was really the only goal of the day. Most cases of skipped bail have only half this sentence if a sentence at all, and mostly a fine or a small amount of prison time. Kristinn, quotes the recent case of the man who had allowed his girlfriend the controls of a speed boat, which caused the accident they were both involved in, and the girlfriend’s death, so he stood accused of manslaughter. The boyfriend had tried to run from a sentence, but, was given six months jail for skipping bail. So Julian Assange is now confronted with the whole ordeal of yet one more year of detention  or so famously a period of 50 weeks, but this time behind bars. I have never seen a more persecuted person before and  in our country this is happening. The crowd that had managed to get seats in the court, all yelled  ‘Shame on you!’ To the Judge for making such a long sentence. The whole ordeal over, Julian was back in the van and going back to spend the night at Belmarsh a high security facility usually for the most dangerous criminals and ‘terrorists’ .. we can guess some of who influenced this treatment. America had its secrets widely published and was out for some retribution it would seem.  However, most of what was published is now declassified, and the leaks were about human rights abuses of power like torture and extraordinary rendition..this means allowing your prisoner to be taken to a foreign land for torture as our own laws do not allow it. You just need to read Craig Murray’s book on his time as an Ambassador to see what the torture sometimes entailed, and confessions under torture are generally unreliable. Some of the nations did do waterboarding, some however, also put a person into boiling water, where they either died instantly or were badly scolded. It is in my opinion the right of the people to know how their governments are using their taxes and how they behave in these times of trial. Julian Assange has been a totally selfless individual who has put his whole life on the line to let the world know TRUTH. It does not take a genius to see that locking him up is a means of both torture and impact to the whistle blow site. The extradition case that was also raised when Julian Assange was arrested, from America of conspiracy to help Manning commit computer fraud is very flimsy. Manning served her time, and was pardoned by Barrack Obama, but, under Trump she is back in jail for not being willing to testify against Wikileaks Julian Assange. Where is the justice, because the perpetrators of the torture roam free, while the whistle blowers they are given jail time. 

Katherine Da Silva copyright 2019

Moving Furniture…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2019 by kathydasilva

There is a plethora of dramas appearing on television, with the theme of time travel or deja vu, some of which I myself have had the experience of, well at least in a sort of dream state. Even, now, just now, I was so wholly concentrated on the computer screen, that I had imagined myself where the desk was last set, as if I was facing the wall opposite, to where I actually am. For one whole moment it felt like a time jump. I looked up and quickly realized that some part of my brain actually liked the position of the other wall, perhaps a tad more. Some people will liken this to the need to apply Feng Shui But, given that, for one second, I felt I had ‘jaunted’ across a metaphysical/psychological previous moment or placement. Well perhaps today I did feel a bit tired too and my powers of concentration a little weaker. I cannot help myself sometimes, because of the need for asserting a different look to the lounge to make it less familiar, and experience a type of newness, like when you discard old furniture for new design. I sometimes do it to tidy or try to declutter in general. Sometimes I think the oblong of a lounge I have is never going to be harmonious. When I first moved here, the previous tenants curtains were still up, and they were heavy lined poly-cotton style made-to-fit. The pinkish floral design, only flawed by the age, and mildew. After a while the curtains looked too heavy to wash, and too old really to spend the £25 at the dry cleaners. I replaced them with something a little lighter. But, the problem now is the current curtains, have been ripped by a climbing cat, and they never looked as weighted and heavy, and therefore lacked quality. Harmony I think comes with good design. But, there is a secondary problem. Noise, and intrusion. I say this while stating I am quite a tolerant person, I do not mind the odd party even if there is a bit of noise, but, the sense of intrusion on occasions, or risk of it. Well, now in Newhaven, where I lived, it was a much more relaxed place of dwelling, and I remember by accident leaving my back door open one summer night, and I had drifted into a deep sleep, right through until dawn, but, no one intruded, or even thought to enter my back garden. It was halcyon. The big problem with living in the capital is the number of relative strangers in any neighborhood. The temporary nature of some of London’s residents for example the heavy student population and itinerant workers. A person finds themselves subconsciously watching ‘their’ own back, nearly every day if not every day. Communal ..living .. even a garden, can be quite a place of contention.. a little yard or fenced partitioned part of a garden, is much more relaxing. I am a creature of habit. And the wonderful habit of reading, well, that comes more easily if there is a little sunshine and some time to sit in a sun drenched corner soaking in the warm. I end up reaching a point where if I don’t read I start to miss it, but, so many things today distract us from activities that create calm. Time spent browsing on the internet is something that has to be watched in my opinion it is such an addictive toy. It is the same with television, that the flickering warmth of an object projecting some of its own luminous glow perhaps imitates the warmth of the hearth fire. I almost could quote Susan Hiller at that point! Rather spookily she did mention alien intervention of our media networks, and telescreens. Watching too many ‘action’ movies and thrillers, well all of them projecting the need for survival, is bound to stay somewhere inside of ourselves.

I use to love going for walks when I did the odd field trip at sixth form, many years ago.. it left me feeling intouch with the planet and that was something very unique to the study of geography. But, at the end of each day after much rambling, and discussion, there were moments of solitude and time to fill in a diary or do some writing. I had also gained some reputation for my ability to draw pictures, and this is a handy tool if you are having to replicate certain features of rock or land and what is happening before you. Though most young people now would flick out their iphones instead and just snap the scene up with their internet connected ‘toy’ of the modern age. Susan Hiller died this year January 28. She was probably in her forties when she first came to Winchester School of Art Foundation course to do a workshop. She was the first significant female artist, who had work in at least Tate Britain, that I had the good fortune to meet. I also met with Charlie Hooker too, at my art foundation level. It is true you have to be strong in your desire to get somewhere if you choose art or writing as your career goal. It is also the problem with being way out front of the art scene, with almost no hope of a fortune unless some gallery manages to open their eyes. I realize, for women that this is almost doubly so. (…to be continued…)

January 2019 – New Year

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2019 by kathydasilva

I have had quite a quiet Christmas this year, and quietude makes me contemplative. I am glad for a gift of imagination. If I really want to enjoy winter, I dream of mountain lodges, with snow, and log fires, and brandy. The whole contrast of coping with the circumstance of battling weather changes, makes for conversation sometimes. You sit in a cafe, and the old dear, who sits there daily, a local, says ‘Hello!’ …Maybe, the first one of the day sometimes. But, people small talk about the weather, and sometimes, it seems, that it connects us as a whole, as a group. It is good to be human, our frailty over weather, the cold, snow, whether, it is wet and windy. The seasoned Londoners wear their long dark heavy coats, and this is not without thought, for the long canyons of office buildings do little to protect an individual waiting for a bus, waiting for a train. The black umbrellas, the heavy winter boots, and soles of shoes treading into the wet. And the venture to the shop when it is dark when you have run out of milk. I scurry to the nearest shop if the weather is bad, like a mouse worried about a dark hand of fate. The local shops have a familiar pattern to them. The chemist, the dry cleaners, the florist. The grocery store, is just about all that I need in one go. And that is that. And like an animal in hibernation, it is so easy to just sit still. I prefer to see sunshine, and seem to loath those grey uninteresting skies, where the entirety of the heavens is obscured by a flat almost opaque whitish- grey ‘something’. We cannot call it cloud in the ordinary sense. If you dream of grayness in the skies above, of an almost interminable nature, it can feel oppressive. Perhaps something is happening to our planet. I think I miss the sound of waves. The electric sunshine, of man made design sheds rays of white LED light. The modified temperatures have no control thermostat. To be continued…..

I’ll Be Home

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2018 by kathydasilva

Poems are where I start to understand some of what life throws at me…and this is a completely off the cuff moment when I had an invite to my old art teacher friend’s funeral she was indeed someone who made such an impression on me in life, because she was a career woman and eventually a woman of means.

And I’ll be home

 ‘I’ll be home someday soon!’

I left one summer late August

Taking a road to another town

Something had drawn my attention

Away from the bobbing flowers and grasses

Our forest scene.

The life road of wild, and happy, and furious

But, who knows, what art and culture can bring

I was happy for a while or so I thought,

And only when I found a country field,  did I really

Begin to hear again, so I celebrate

Whenever I come to a place of calm

Often I have worried myself into quite a stupor

Often, for no reason, other than loneliness

And it is in the company of others,

That we gain that ability to see

What nonsense the world is.

But, lest you think all is failure

Today I celebrate that which I truly discovered

The works of art amuse and deepen us,

The works of literature, give us heart and sense

The exchanges of all that is creative make us see worth

Education is the greatest endeavor.

What is the adventure worth?

I make art, and now write whatever I feel, and share it

I am in the life that surrounds me,

Daily there is something to wake for, and do

Daily I guess, there will be people who miss me

But, when I have endeavored to look back every now & then

I start treasuring nostalgically the truth of goodness.

A single act of kindness is something to note

All the good in people, all the brave in people

And we who gather every now and then to

Celebrate what is brave, I will not forget

For every friend who lent a hand,

And gave me their time

For every person who remembered me every

Now and then with a card a Big Thank you.

You paved my road and took away my fear.

For Anne

 (Poem from K Da Silva alumni student at

Hill College & Winchester School of Art)

The poem is three voices, my own, Anne’s and Jesus.. His call to us I guess in finding our way home eventually through life’s pathways and experience… it kind of reminds me of some of those classical references to walks through the woods..because in truth all of us are apt to take a walk through a wood every now and then and some of us can feel quite lost at times.. there are some wonderful memories I hold inside from people who helped me along the way to understanding art and it’s history…Anne taught me art and history of art at sixth form many years ago…but it is something I have continued to research and develop through… the medium of art.. for ever. There is an eternal principle in these things… art is glorifying to God too…..

Anne Howarth designed for a TV series The Avengers, and had her name in the credits. She also later ran a sixth form art department, and retired early at 55 to continue in Norfolk her pursuance of art, as a water-colorist and studied a second bachelor degree in history of art at East Anglia. She was born in London around I think 1933 Catford, near to Blackheath. The Reverend Elizabeth Jolly took the service in the Greenacres Woodland burial grounds which are housed inside Colney Woods ancient  forest in Norfolk.  The service took place on the 16th November 2018.

 

 

Green Acres Burial Site Colney Wood, Norfolk Credit: Katherine Da Silva

The Whole Julian Assange Debacle

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2018 by kathydasilva

 

IMG_2556.JPGI have followed the whole story of Julian Assange from the moment he sought asylum(2012). I could not understand that an Australian in London, UK, would have to make a bid for asylum to Ecuador, in a country such as ours where we presumably are still considered a democracy. That was the first reason for showing an interest. I had caught the tail end of the news on the Saturday, when at first a crowd was drawn to the balcony appearance of an Australian publicist who had created a site on the world wide web for anonymous whistle blowing. It was a new concept, and new kind of drop box where people could experience a freedom to say things that perhaps might have endangered them if they had put their name to the information.  On the Sunday I had listened to the Andrew Marr show, and by the following week, my curiosity took me physically down to Knightsbridge. I met with some of the close nit vigil supporters including Ciaron O’Reilly and, was told the whole story, not just the one in the press about some sex scandal involving two Swedish women, both whom I understand had invited Julian Assange to stay over with them in the first place. When I read something, I always listen to everything that is said. I am not a quick judge. I can say that on the day I made the trip to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, I had also brought a gift card with some well wishing message, it was the day I woke up. I had found too, through subsequent research that the news as we thought we had received it is not necessarily so. It was a big wake up moment. I saw a few videos on YouTube.com about the people who had questioned 9/11 and it had a dramatic effect to my whole sense of what was real and perhaps what was fake. It was like  a penny dropped inside. I really felt something significant was happening, and had happened. It was like the mist of the deception had been lifted. I now know I have not been imagining things.

Julian’s interviews with people are many on YouTube.com and listening to his general talks and conversations, it led me to wonder even more, why he had ended up shut away in this place.  There has been a lot of talk with other historic persons involved with the whistle blow experience, but, too, they did something out of conscience not out of greed. Daniel Ellsberg often talks about his work to help stop the war with Vietnam, a war most of the American troops, had such a hard time with.  It was a sort of endless war, and who is to say what is right and wrong. Some sons of America died, in number, but too, some sons of the Vietnamese north too had died. What is the result after all the debate. There is still a divide. The weapons cause pollution wherever they are dropped. There are people in Vietnam still crippled with the effects of bombs and chemical weapons that were used, I think there is mention of agent orange for example. After a while countries that have been involved in conflict start to mend, and yet, there is devastation to overcome. Anyone who has lost someone they care for will know the anger and resentment that might fill a person left behind to pick up the pieces.

The whistle blow of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, exists like the work of Ellsberg, it was a moment of conscience for Manning. It must have been hard watching your fellow countrymen doing something quite disastrous in front of your eyes. The world we are living in is getting very glib. If laughter ensues at the sight of people falling to the ground after a round of ammunition, then we as humans are in a strange place. I remember talking with an English veteran of the Korean/Vietnam era. He talked to me because of needing to tell me his story. I was living in a  bedsit in Penge, I was 25 years old, it is some time ago. I am retelling this because this man had been affected by his job as a marine/soldier. He was someone who had maintained his sanity by simple routine, and keeping his house albeit a single room clean and tidy, he had trophies on his wall, he was in the past a keen sports person. He told me, he had been involved in war, and that the memory never left him. He said there were times when the men had ‘dug’ in in some sort of bunker hole and that the enemy, perhaps the Viet Con had come toward where they were, and that the rounds of ammunition had not stopped until the hundreds of bodies brave as they were in their own terms had piled up high in front of the bunker. The sight of which was something shocking. They had had to fire until everyone of them was dead.  He had grief over this episode in his past, I was glad to listen and perhaps take some of the pain away. I could not judge him it was his job at the time. But, this man was a divorcee, and living alone, but also having to pay for his children from a distance. The war had destroyed his marriage, his post traumatic stress too much of a burden.

I have never seen Julian Assange as a single human involved in the anti-war effort, I think he has tried to create a new media outlet. I think there was nothing technically wrong with it at all. Even if people go to the press, as Edward Snowden did, there will always be these moments in time when something unusual comes to light. The surveillance state, is something people should become aware of, if for no other reason but to question it. Is it the kind of reality that is necessary for solving crimes?

I think, that nothing comes from nothing… the whistle blows come about when things go wrong. I too also now look at all the people who hope to be a leader to their own population, because there is so little that is known about even for example Theresa May or David Cameron.  May in particular was seen visiting the Saudi Arabian leaders, and we are told, there have been exports of weapons to the Saudis from our country. Nothing is said about the war that has been nonstop for more than three years with Yemen. Saudi bombs Yemen, and somehow aid is  not allowed inside the country. What do bombs teach anyone? Buildings, houses, schools, bombed. A school bus bombed with children on it. Scarred lives, the images of blood shed, and the whole conflict will take many years to put right. And it has not stopped.  Germany’s prime minister Angela Merkel has stopped weapon export to Saudis in the last month, and also so has Denmark’s leader.

The isolation of Julian Assange, and intended incrimination  of his organization Wikileaks, is something both American politicians and indeed our English government has been involved in. This is something certain, because of the continued heavy policing of the building in Knightsbridge. I think the whole thing is so heavy handed, and unusual. There is nothing wrong in training to be an ethical hacker for the industry. It is a technology, the computing technology that is a fast paced industry, moving forward daily. Julian Assange is an expert in his field. He taught at colleges of higher education and was a respected educationist. He is a very friendly guy. His pursuit  of the development of a drop box website to help people feel bold enough to come forward with whistle blows, is not an evil concept. He is being set up for an accusation of spying, simply on the basis of the information that was sent to his website. It has been said that for example the ‘leaked’ emails of Hilary Clinton, were given to Wikileaks from an insider of the Democrat Party, using the Wikileak drop box. All of the news from Wikileaks has been proven genuine.

On Tuesday last an Italian journalist Stephania Maurizi, challenged the Metropolitan Police commissioner through our legal court system, to reveal the information held about three journalists involved in the work of Wikileaks. The access to the information initially had been denied to Ms Maurizi, but she has appealed on the basis that all three journalists had conceded to needing her to help them and had signed consent forms to the effect. J Farrel, Sarah Harrison and  Kristinn Hrafnsson all wanted to see what information was held against their names, and what had been shared to the USA. The Freedom of Information Act, allows a person to examine this information, and the court judge was determined to enforce the view that subject of the information meaning either Sarah Harrison, J Farrell or Kristinn Hrafnsson, should have filed for their own information. However, the outcome, might turn in Ms Maurizi’s favor in the end, as they spent the good part of a morning and afternoon session fleshing out the content of the applications. The result will be made known in a few weeks time, but, suspiciously this seems a very protracted decision for the judge to make. Considering the pressure now placed on Julian Assange and his tenancy at the Ecuadorian Embassy, the real defense of Assange may yet be the fact that certain agencies deliberately withheld information from his legal team, and that Britain had a hand in some of the Swedish fiasco of accusations. One thing too that could so easily be ignored, is public interest. The judge at Stephania Maurizi’s appeal court, made mention of the fact the police commissioner had stated that there was insufficient pubic interest. I am not saying she might only be thinking of government politicians, when saying this, but for my part, there are over a million Wikileaks subscribers who might very well disagree with her statement and would indeed be very concerned that Julian Assange would be allowed to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy without arrest and charge. The future of our world is in our own hands to stand up for what is right. Every journalist worth their salt should join in this debate.

Murder in Istanbul

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2018 by kathydasilva

About a week or so back a news story hit the headlines about a journalist who had written for the Washington Post, had gone missing and had possibly been a victim of murder or assassination. And the world news focus opened up the story of a Saudi Arabian dissident called Jamal Khashoggi, who had been a journalist for most of his life. He was now working for an American paper, and had moved from his home country. The worst part of the report, was the tale from Turkish authorities of a killer team of assassins capturing Mr Khashoggi, whilst he entered the embassy in Istanbul, and the audio captured of what seemed like some beating and killing. And then there was the whole problem of where was the body? His beautiful fiancee stood outside for three hours waiting for her beloved husband to be, without anyone coming to tell her of what was going on. She had to leave and go home, and ask other people the Turkish authorities about investigating his whereabouts. The world had been told first that Mr Khashoggi had left the embassy. And it was questioned as the CCTV photography showed a cut and paste job of the man from footage of his entrance through the front porch. What a terrible end, what a terrible story. And embarrassing for even President Trump, for he regards the friendship with the Saudis as important for sales of weapons and munitions. The world and its news, briefly mentions the disaster of a war in Yemen. The pictures are there of famine stricken country. And as I understand it the boarder to Yemen is closed to aid. The question is still a big WHY? I look twenty years back, and boldly when events were this bad you could expect a blue hatted army of the United Nations troops to go in and oversee such a situation, keep fighting factions apart, and let the populations even though briefly have a moment or two when they could have their wounds dealt with and begin to get nourishment and food parcels. Is there not one leader worth their salt out there in all the earth? The charities try to get aid to the people. The main issue as most people are aware, that children are now daily dying of malnutrition, and wounds that also need bandages, anesthesia and skilled medical aid staff. So why? Why has the boarder been closed? And why no help?

A small group of protesters stood outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy this week on Thursday night, enough people to quote at least a hundred or so supporters. ‘Justice for Jamal’, and ‘Stop bombing Yemen’, on placards and posters. Costumed people dressed as the Saudi princes, one with blood in the form of red paint smudged onto his white robes. One with a small hand saw. Jamal is supposed to have been cut into pieces, and the parts of his body put into bin bags, and suitcases. Will anyone really know the truth? Everyone everywhere should be concerned.  More so the public should sign petitions to stop the bombing of Yemen and the sales of arms to Saudis until a better time in the future exists to show that the world does not need to be made into a cemetery. It is not clear, why both our government and the USA have continued to sell arms abroad to the Saudis, in spite of the weeks news. It has made me more critical of our leadership on both sides of the political spectrum, but, this week Jeremy Corbyn began to talk about cessation of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The horrid wars in the Middle East have left whole populations homeless, and vulnerable. I will never be able to see the Mediterranean as before as a beautiful place to holiday in. With such tragedy, arriving on beaches, and to be truthful, how can anyone ignore all of this.

More protest pictures available:

https://t.co/dZEzfx9kJU

Shutterstock.com look for Katherine Da Silva photos.

Also on alamy.com