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

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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

The Music Drive

Posted in music, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2018 by kathydasilva

I have been rounding up old song sheets of mine this last week. The stray and straggling words that rhymed or did not, according to the song, and whether it had been worked on or finished adequately. It seems an endless task to keep up with social media pages, and looking for work, but also realizing, daily, the work could be what I can do already, but, then, there is still the need to practice and perfect and make a choice for change. I was mindful that I had let my MySpace account drift into non-activity. And to be truthful a few events over a five year period held me in a stasis of sorts, not able to explore or move on. Songs for the asking. I think that was an old Art Garfunkel number.

How clever, and talented and timeless. I was so keen to see Snow Patrol recently, in London, there was a private event, which was I suppose the only time this side of Christmas to see them live, but, for an error on my part, over ticketing and entering with the grand masses the tombola of chance freebies. I had as it turns out signed up for their newsletter, but had not seen, that I needed to go out and then back into the web address again and submit my details for the competition. Oh me oh my, how my heart suffered on Tuesday night. Very pleased, to see Gary Lightbody back on tour with his band, with a completely new set of songs.

I watched a video once at a college, teaching the Btech in Music technology. And the video showed American song writers at their own homes in Beverley Hills. The writers of Madonna’s song ‘Like a Virgin’, were two humble, I think gay looking guys. It shot her to fame. And there you have, the main problematical relationship between, all factions, writers, composers, artists, producers. Marketing has changed so much since Apple kind of stole the market on the internet. But, there is always room for more, and the experiment to create something new and original. It is a wonder that these brave artists who spend a vast amount of their lives and freedom touring, and traveling to sell the latest offering of songs, are not given more time out.

Steeleye Span always fascinated me, because of their take on old folk songs of a few centuries back, adding the electric sound of newer rock sounds. Maidens, knights, and highway men. They even fit the subject of religion more graciously than any modern pop, (I saw his blood upon the rose). Lyrics for the song come from Irish poet Joseph Plunkett.

Snow Patrol have outdone anything they produced before with their latest offering. I am a hard person to please, but this album was an easy purchase, and will last I think for some time ahead. I think I love every song on it.

I use to love as a teen, bands like 10cc, or thereabouts, but, even then, most of the ‘bands’ that were worth listening to, were at least a decade ahead of my own years. Billy Joel, was a favorite, and Elton John, and many soloists who of course would sing ballads.

My guitar tutor, who originally was supposed to be teaching me finger-style picking rhythms, use to pick out all the songs with my name in them, even starting me with ‘Kathy’s Song’. But, hey, new songs for old rags.

Savage Garden, meet with a lot of respect from me.

 

I remember posting up some songs/lyrics on a poetry board in Brighton, one National Poetry Day. I did it to show off, my latest scrawling. I did not explain on the sheet they were lyrics, and rather strangely, I may not have even signed the sheet! Some people will call that a naive move, but, I was after all taken up in the spirit of ‘community’, not world market competitiveness. And how strange now it feels, the same goal there in all the work, but, more of a mellowing ascendance.

The Verve came to light in Brighton one day too, when I was living down there, I saw them play live at a promo event. But, even for them, the ‘chart’ had been split between Dance Rave music and Pop. I still feel frustrated that, the Beeb, stopped doing Top of the Pops, and cannot understand, how, anything now gets to be heard, other than through specialist channels, and Television interviews. And to the finer endeavor. I was feeling fierce, about a decade ago, over song rights. But, because of YouTube.com and a few other sites, there is every chance of protecting a song just by recording it. I hope to see some more bands some time this summer.

My own lyrics from a decade or so back, were about me trying to put together some semblance of who and what I believed in in life. They were supposed to be about romance and faith.

(Following lyrics by Kathy Da Silva)

Into the dark night slip away like a tide at the touch of your hand, And the hand of a clock ticks away to the sound of the beat of my heart.

In the blink of an eye turn around to see someone but no one was there, taste of salt on the breath of a love put to death on a cross,

Wood broken skin and the splinters within, The pained cry of a child living on in the memory of a woman, and the stain that’s within is your love growing dim as you move like the wheels of a car rolling swiftly away for a day.

Take a train from your mind and the spider inside weaves a web in your head like an intake of breath or the sweat on your brow when you’re tired.

Repeat ..

Wood broken skin, splinters within…

There, there a song stood, it explained something in my future. The more strange a thing is, the more I find I have to listen. Yes, it probably is not in its finest moment either the poem/song above. But, it is where I wanted the ‘feel’ of something I wrote to be.  My songs need other sounds than me and a guitar. Music is a bit more like a ensemble of percussive and other instruments.

 

 

 

 

 

Swansong

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

Many times over in the past, the question about use of nuclear energy has been raised. The element of safety particularly catching the attention of those in our communities globally with regard to environment and the future safety of generations to come. Nuclear energy in Britain began with the opening of a plant, in Cumbria, Calder Hall at Windscale, in 1956. From Hunterston to Dungerness, Britain still has about eight or nine open and operating plants. And more recently, the Tory Government has decided to increase this number

(https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/03/mini-nuclear-power-stations-uk-government-funding)

, and created the portal for doing so with funding being made available from tax payers. It is something to heavily debate with regard to what happened in Japan at Fukashima. Even during the first months of this year, new earth movements have been recorded, big enough to be of concern and reported in news items on television networks and papers.

(https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/28/cumbria-hit-32-magnitude-earthquake-residents-describe-shaking/)

Notably France has developed and used nuclear energy to supply electricity for its population. There is little mention of how waste is dealt with, but, I do suspect like the USA, they bury it probably deep in a mountainous area, supposedly away from heavily populated zones. How sad if something then might disturb these safe areas or sealed safe areas, say by way of an earth quake for example. I am so glad and grateful to all those who have campaigned for safe renewable energy and for all the provocative and thoughtful protest against dangerous fuel types of energy. Thankfully Greenpeace and anti-nuclear groups did enough work to make people aware of what the world might look like if we were to pursue this type of fuel. Additionally, it is notable, that whenever any kind of unusual event occurs, perhaps a change to the magnetic polar positioning of the planet, that governments stay still tongued and I would have to say ‘scared’ at the prospects of what might happen.  I kept thinking of the information I read about Fukashima and the radioactive plume effect that resulted from the leaks coming from the plant after the Tsunami hit the island of Japan. Some reports are saying the Pacific is ‘dead’ of animal life. There was mention of the China syndrome, which is the result of the melt of highly active particles supposedly burning a hole right the way through the planet. Well, with mentions of the mid-Pacific floor being on the move, (material from the upper mantle rises through the faults between oceanic plates to form new crust ocean floor spreading) and further earthquake and volcano activity, it leads me to think, that, we just may have gone  too far with the development and reliance on nuclear fuel. Fukashima is still in a dangerous state. The whole of at least the north east side of Japan will feel the effects of the radioactive material for many years to come. The pollution from the Fukashima plant is still entering the ground water system of the island and also thus flowing too out into the Pacific. There is an abundance of silence. I wonder where politicians spend their free time. It clearly does not reflect in their plans, the absolute tragedy of Fukashima, or possible equivalent happening our side of the globe. All seas meet. The radioactive isotopes, the particles, these have free flow in water. There is no magic switch to undo the radioactive element.

Our supermarkets are selling fish caught in Pacific waters, including Alaska, cheaply as fish fingers, or white fish in the freezer cabinets. I am terrified for people who are unaware. It horrifies me that fish is seen as a healthy option, and parents with little time to research these issues, will find their loved ones succumbing to cancers. Cancer anomalies will begin to show again around any nuclear plant zone, as this was also the public outcry before around the Sellafield plant. Are we going to sit idle waiting for this horrendous plan to be carried out? Or will people address these issues through their local MP’s and finally government? Comments  welcome.

(https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/jul/14/greenpolitics.science)

 

The Literary Machine…..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2018 by kathydasilva

It has taken me a bit of time, to come around to what interests me in the nature of writing challenges. Just the other day, by chance I picked up Ali Smith’s Hotel World, and that has sat as a second hand purchase upon my bookshelves since the day I picked the item up at some second hand store probably in the Charing Cross Road. Since the era of my initial move to London, I have been collecting books, and every time I now move home, the boxes increase by about one or two more. I will probably never stop collecting books. The paperbacks have a certain shelf life however, and though I have not moved my copy of Ulysses by James Joyce much over the years, it fell to pieces, like the books in the Time Machine, the glue had dried, the pages had turned dark yellow. I can read by e-kindle anything if I choose, but, too, it is economic and you do not need a battery  with the old fashioned paperback. Every now and then, I will have a tray of tea at Foyles, and believe, my world can be set back to a time, when, I felt at ease with life. Politics, were not as intrusive in my undergraduate years, I never paid much attention to what was being done albeit on my behalf, as supposedly, that is the job of the politicians who now seem an alternate elite on par with the bourgeoisie and equally unapproachable.

I have decided about a few things recently, that essay writing about factual things has its own merits and there is need for a more approachable sense of critique and study of important works. It seems a long time since I listened to a lecture with Hermione Lee at the lectern, but, yes, that was indeed a delight that other souls do exist who appreciate the fine art of the written word. I felt new at the art of review or critique. The problem with the era of ‘genre’ writing, and reading, is that now the bookshop shelves have become a sea of indiscriminate nonsense. It took a trip to Foyles, and a browse through the poetry section to discover George Barker’s poems, a man from Essex, where I now live. Barker was given encouragement from T. S. Elliot and W. B. Yeats, and also loved by Harold Pinter.  I the newly bereaved honed in on the Thurgarton Church poem, choosing to read it and read it aloud, and then record it, in order to  listen back to the words. And there too was some innate wisdom offered, of a Christian nature. That by death the physical experience of it, we receive judgement. ‘We die in the clay we dread, desired and deserved…’ There are too many speculations about the soul. It was useful to hear such a succinct and yet full explanation, or is it summation. Perhaps that is the job of the poet, to make the meaning clear.

Today, and yet, this is probably the element which creates a divide, where academics supply explanation, and analysis, but, by the bindweed of something complex, also sow a kind of repulsion against learning. On reading Will Self’s Shark, I remembered the complexity of novels written by the Irish author James Joyce, and my own entanglement with Joyce’s work happened around my first year of art school and mainly because the publishers had rehoused Joyce’s works in new covers, as a result of a centenary celebration of the author’s birth. I had read The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Stephen Hero, and for a personal project and extension of my thesis, I had read Ulysses. Even at the time of my final year, I had only read a few books by authors who had either known James Joyce, or made studies of his works e.g. S. L . Goldberg. The Extra-Murals Study Department of London University had also given a  series of six lectures or so, that I attended. Seamus Heaney had also given one of those lectures. It seems a strange world now that we all do live in, where goals of authors seem little to do with the advancement of the material, either artistically or with reference to the demand where poetic abstraction is concerned. If indeed there is  some satisfaction of detail required, the demand for the new modern classic. Will Self has not been nominated this year for the Booker Prize, and that is a bit of a shame, as the conclusion of his trilogy, came about last year with the writing and completion of Phone. I remember asking in Foyles were there any books about the writing of Will Self, and there was only one book, due out, the first book  I think to be created by way of reference, but even then, it was not yet on the shelf. Only smaller articles are available from interviews, but, this is a bit remarkable. So for the year ahead, though late for New Year resolutions, I will be looking at the kind of essay that might just transform, and pull along the ‘common horde’, toward greater heights. To be continued….

The Cost of a Life

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by kathydasilva

alfie evans

It does not matter, to me, the complexity of someone’s illness, or ailment. It does not matter to me, how long it might take for someone to get well. It does not matter to me, if it might take a lot of adaptions, if someone is disabled. If it is a relative or son or daughter of mine, they have the life God gave to them, and I would love them no matter what happened. Our NHS has been under attack for so long, that now it is coming to this, who lives, and who dies. It is appalling that a specialist children’s hospital should end up, with a choice of ending care, in the way that the little toddler Alfie Evans long term care came to an abrupt final week, at Alder Hey, in Liverpool, England. Expected to die after the life support system was removed, and yet he breathed, and even opened his eyes. And he did so the whole of five days from the Monday to the Friday, apparently only succumbing to death due to no fluids or food being administered to him. He would have I am sure lived a little longer with the right amount of nutrition and food. It is impossible, to see why the hospital behaved as it did once the babe had actually survived the removal of the ventilator. Additionally the doctors would not release the baby to the care of a Vatican Hospital, where the entire family would have benefited from the prayer of a Christian community. Whether Alfie was destined to live, is not down to the bureaucrats who organize funding. The offer from the Vatican was for ‘free’, including transportation. So there is no excuse for the hospital staff to not have a heart. It would not have cost Alder Hey a penny to allow the parents to take up the offer from Pope Francis himself. I find myself angry, but, yet I am not the one hurt, or punished. I am not the baby allowed to starve. I am not the parent who had to watch, and hope someone would come with a passport out of the hospital. They had arranged it that Saturday would be the home going day, but the parents had thought it would be with a live baby. So what went wrong? And was that the gruesome (sea change) that doctors expected both Kate and Thomas to accept, that a baby could only go home once he had passed?  There is something dreadfully wrong with this story. There is something dreadfully wrong with the law. I do think that parents faced with these dreadful decisions, have to have a lot of empathy from hospital staff, and more, the possibilities, need to be broader and freer. I spent my entire week thinking and worrying  about Alfie, and the fact he might not be being fed, or nurtured as a toddler would need energy to do all that breathing, even if he was unable to walk, breathing does take some energy. I hope, Alder Hey, change their policies. Not another child or parent should suffer. Parents and particularly mothers are given so much attention when pregnant. Pregnant mothers attend ante natal classes and literature is passed to the family for free. All so babies can live. I would hate to see the problem that occurred in Germany of selection of only healthy babies, being introduced to society. The problem with not enough ‘reaction’ to this death, will be, that it will happen again, the same doctor will assume it was alright. I could not believe his appearance on Morning Television, amidst the whole sufferance of the parents, the same week. May the whole of Liverpool get behind Kate James and her partner Thomas Evans with how they proceed from here.