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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Prayers Never Go Unheard

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2018 by kathydasilva

I have had such a deep sense of purpose for about twenty-four hours, as a result of hearing the news and developments about the treatment of a toddler of two at the hands of medical professionals practicing in England in the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, Alfie Evans. I myself had an accident two years ago now this month, that took me into the care of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. I have noticed two things over the years the Tories have been in power, which is to my amazement, they seem such an unfriendly party, to even contemplate a vote in their direction fills me with horror, but, there has been an unprecedented building or re-building program going on. Middlesex Hospital ( a new building) had me in as a patient with a hernia operation same day surgery. Royal London is in a new building, and some parts of this building are hardly used and not staffed yet. UCH, has a new building. So that is about three major London hospitals to have absolutely new buildings, and of course they cost money. The money that might have been spent I guess on staff. The planning of the expenses of these hospitals is what needs further scrutiny. Doctors, surgeons are being asked to perform operations, for hour upon hour, all within a certain period of time, one after the other after, another. The surgeries for the ‘consultation’ period of attendance are lengthy and usually you have to wait around for an afternoon at least about two or three hours for all the checks, X-Rays, and then the meet with the surgeon to see what is going to be done in preparation mentally as well as in a practical way for the treatment. The medical staff as a whole are very good, mostly at their manner with patients, but, I did feel, on the last occasion a little bit like being on a conveyor belt, and was very glad when the surgery was all over, and I went home. I guess, there are two ways of seeing this. Either you buy medical private care, or possibly be victim of a organization, which has been stretched beyond itself, and budget.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is in a new building in a park. I wonder who managed the budget. How much pressure might have been on that individual? I also would not trust a Conservative member of parliament with the money paid for the NHS.
I fear mistakes are being made in diagnosis. I fear that the sacredness of our own humanity is at risk. A little boy of two has as much right to life as an adult. But, because of his age, and inability to speak for himself, he is at risk of being ‘talked over’, prodded, and assessed without recourse to the outcome, and how ‘he’ feels. He is no less a human being than the bus-man or train driver, but, because he is too young to be assessed on ‘usefulness’, what is happening, is a simple ignorance of how wonderful this little patient is as a whole. All life is sacred, we should never forget that.
The treatment of Alfie Evans, will stay with me for a long time. If I were in the hospital I would want my child fed, regularly, even if his life has become somewhat limited, this could be temporary. St Theresa of Avila, had a fever, which rendered her like a victim of a stroke, she barely could raise a finger, but after the worst of the fever passed, her strength returned, after much prayer, much saying of the Credo, and the Our Father, Glory Be, and prayers of faith. I am one who does believe in the phenomena of the ‘miracle’. Light over Dark. We do battle for our loved ones, it occurs daily, but, many times, over, I forget how tough this battle is, and how lazy I have got about prayer. But, I pray now for Alfie Evan’s healing. Lord let the victory be Yours. Amen.
I am writing this, knowing, every minute in the next two or three days is going to count in the saving of a life. The saving of Alfie is what the next twenty-four hours is going to be about. Both parents have tried to legally regain some control over what happens with their baby. I believe them, entirely that the little one is doing well. That Alfie knows his father and mother’s faces, and he is able to see them. His eyes it is mentioned do dilate open and close to bright light. He can hear. He experiences sensation, but the doctors were trying to progress his demise, they were trying to beckon death upon this little baby. I do not think it normal that an institution that is essentially about healing is behaving in this terrible way. I cannot believe that the state has this little baby literally ‘hostage’ style and imprisoned. There is an air ambulance standing ready to take the toddler to Rome for treatment. The Pope himself, Pope Francis has offered to help Alfie, but the stubborn and evil law institution has grown frayed around the edges with this. The Law is not protecting the common man, and this is inherently wrong. Alfie is now an Italian citizen. And still this means nothing to that institution of the Law that is a fallacy of it’s own making. When laws do not protect the innocent, then we all know we are in trouble. So we must press for a change in the law, about families and their rights, and the rights of the individual who cannot speak for themselves.
I encourage debate, and comment.

I once read about the healing mission of an American woman called Catherine Kuhlman. “The greatest power that God has given to any individual is the power of prayer.” She had the gift of healing, and amazing things happened for those who asked God to enter their lives. Sometimes it is in the tragedy of illness, and trauma, that we are literally brought to our knees. I do it, I know other people who pray, and being humble enough to admit where we ourselves have failed to be good, and in our Catholic Church, we do say to God: Look not on our sins but the faith of your church. So yes, we all need to get our church to pray for Alfie and his parents. it will be the answer in the end to the ‘dead’ silence coming from Westminster currently… ‘deafening silence’.. considering the enormity of this event.  I myself understand being Catholic, but eerily it is looking like Theresa Mays affiliation with the DUP, are an exposition of what influences institutions today. I hope that the prejudice is removed soon. Let us hope all the Catholics in Liverpool light a candle and say a prayer for Alfie.

Freedom to say what you think…..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on March 26, 2018 by kathydasilva

Listening to LBC this morning, you would think the world was about to fall apart. Jesus at the time he lived looked back at the Jewish church of the time, and called it Satanic. He as Messiah was ignored by his own people. He was stapled to a cross, and just before that he had had to drag that cross up a hill to His final death. And before that  he had been told here is your crown, King of the Jews, and the item was a woven crown of thorns which was placed on His head and a purple cloak of cloth was placed around His shoulders. ‘Save Yourself’… yelled at Him. He is the Lamb  of God the prophesied Messiah, the humble carpenter’s son. He was of the Royal House of David. He is the answer to all our problems. The bible has already shown, that by Christ there is ‘no Jew or Gentile’ meaning God sees us all as His own. That is what counts. Nothing else will count.. and the judgement of our God will be just that. Jesus is the Redeemer. Nothing in the bible is a ‘waste of time’.

A Sample of ‘Driftwood’

Posted in Biography, education, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

bookcoverimage

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1207044

A while back, I got interested in trying to get people to look at my novel Driftwood, and perhaps say what they thought about it. So at createspace.com the little company that helps new authors get their work out there, they offer, a place to put a few pages, of preview of each novel, and you can get people to rate the text without them having to make purchase, should they not have the money or inclination. It in some ways gives you more than the cover sampler, and descriptions but, hopefully, it also makes a space for comments and criticism as both are needed when you first put your thoughts into a book. I am still working on other titles, and am hoping to steer my lifestyle in the direction of committing more time and energy, and make the most of the writing gift and interest I have particularly in creating fictions. We all draw from life, and though this is there somewhere in the text, I have deliberately kept the names and places more or less fiction based in all of my novels.

Just recently I was trying to check if other people had noticed my book, for example, and found lots of independent distributors, have got my title among there collections for sale globally, and as far now as Chile! But, too, other sites, have started playing with found PDF files, that maybe have been caught in transit, on the net. Some will describe this as a hack or rip, but, I have only so far placed any of my manuscripts with the Amazon group and affiliated companies. I started with originally http://www.feedaread.com and progressed to http://www.createspace.com the latter making it possible for Amazon distribution to be free from my point of view as author.  The above link is to http://www.createspace.com’s  review space. If people want to read a page or two of the book, you can do it here or look on the Amazon pages for a preview read experience..

One of the independent domain sites  (abouthistory.info), offered an entire manuscript as a PDF file, for free (to read on their tablets), and obviously, that means most people would see this as a way of reading the book without having to pay, but, to me, it was not the way I had permitted the book to be launched, or seen in public, together with the fact some of the text was not my story, it looked a little chopped about  in places, and sentences existed that were not anything to do with the story Driftwood. At this point you see me with my mouth turned downward in sorrow. This book has a message and has been written with good intentions to create discussion. We are living in troubled times globally, with too many wars and uprisings, happening, and always the innocent suffering.

My audio book, will soon be available too.

Thank You! .. Happy Holidays and please do go have a look.