From Guadalajara to Glastonbury, Old Comrade, New Friends
SOMEBODY has sent a comment to my posting on Spanish civil war veteran, retired hospital worker and centenarian Howard Andrews. It's actually an extract from the programme for the Glastonbury Festival:
"Last minute announcement for the Left Field stage - we've just confirmed that a veteran of the Spanish Civil War will be opening the Love Music Hate Racism night on Saturday. Howard Andrews, known as Andy is 100 years old, and worked as a medic in field hospitals as a member of international brigades.He'll be opening the Love Music Hate Racism night with a few words about his experiences of fighting fascism in Spain, and why he supports the campaign against the BNP.
So all those of us who have slowed down a little since passing 50 had better sit up and pay attention. Not content with showing up on picket lines in his buggy, Andy, at twice that age, is taking the stage at an open air rock festival. Born in Kilburn, he has lived in Somerset for half a century. Must be the air down there. Koech (Strength) and Long Life, Andy! And let's hope people pay attention to your message.
(original posting - http://randompottins.blogspot.com/2007/01/howard-andrews-century.html
Thanks by the way to whoever sent the information. It came anonymously, and about four times so maybe that's four different people, unless someone's computer is playing up! This might be good a time as any to catch up on some correspondence, and mention a few new bloggers on the blog and one not quite so new.
First, as the agony and chaos in Gaza shaped into civil war last week, and there was little that you could call good news, this message from a Palestinian woman reached me:
I have decided to start a blog: http://margo-bouba.blogspot.com/
It is nothing elaborate or as politically controversial as some of the others.
The reason why I started it is to show a different side of Palestine and Palestinians. Some of you might think it's not the time, that while battles rage in Gaza I should write about that and what's happening there and the state of affairs on Palestinian political life. But everyone else is already doing that, everyone is so consumed by it...
I wanted to write something different; just things about mundane life. I feel that because of the opportunities that I've had that it makes me all the more responsible to show that life here is not just about the conflict. That some aspects are surprisingly ordinary, even if the violence overshadows everything else. Yet, I always insist that there is more to Palestinians than just the conflict and I think more people need to realize that! So, I hope that this helps in some small way. We'll see how it develops and whether I will keep it up... So check it and if you feel so inclined, leave comments, I would love to hear what you think.
I think, having visited the blog, that If you can keep your head while others, so-called leaders, around you are losing theirs, then you might be part of the answer that people need, my sister.
BTW, the message from Margo was passed on to me by Julia Bard, of the Jewish Socialists' Group, who says Margo was one of her students on a journalism course at Goldsmiths, and has just returned to Palestine after four months in the United States.
Then there's Mick Hall, with whom I've sometimes agreed and sometimes argued on the Labour Briefing Readers List. It was Mick who introduced us via that list to 'The Blanket' , an online magazine started by former Irish Republican POWs. http://lark.phoblacht.net/ Now Mick has started a blog called Organised Rage at http://organizedrage.blogspot.com/ and so far it has been taking a particular interest in Irish politics. His blog is subtitled "The View from The Tower Block", but his is no Ivory Tower viewpoint.
Next, I don't think I mentioned when reporting the Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) meeting in London last month that among the people who spoke from the floor was a young guy from Down Under who happened to be passing through. He told us how a group of them in Australia had got more attention than they expected when they started something similar to IJV out there.
I meanwhile had recognised his name as a fellow-blogger, Anthony Loewenstein, and having only previously met in cyberspace (or on the blogosphere, was pleased to go up afterwards and introduce myself and shake hands. His website/blog address is worth a visit, at
Last, but by no means of least interest, I was pleased to welcome a communication yesterday concerning a Manchester personage, about whom I'd previously written, from someone who calls themselves Meursalt, who I see has started a blog called Nothing to Put Here at http://whataboutasongtitle.blogspot.com/
Beyond seeing that he is a shopworker in Manchester, I know nothing about Meursalt except that his politics are left-wing, but from looking at his links, hard to pigeonhole, which makes them more interesting, nu?