Tuesday 28 April 2015

Save the leftovers

It's our third night of living below the line for Save the children.  There are no 'leftovers' living on a pound a day.  As the meal ends Arthur sings 'Castle on a Cloud' - a rather depressing song about child neglect and poverty.  Freya cheers us all up with the story she's been doing at school about a Matchstick Girl who goes to live with her Grandmother.  Unfortunately Jago recognises that actually it was Han's Christian Andersen's Matchstick Girl of 1845, who joins her grandmother in death through cold & starvation.

Thursday 16 April 2015

Don't miss the hustings

There are going to be some important elections coming up soon. For the local slant, join a local 'Question Time' style event, giving you the chance to ask some of the MP candidates up for election (from both the Hall Green and Selly Oak constituencies) about what really matters to you. Whether you're a first-time voter, feeling disillusioned with politics or just curious to hear what your local MPs have to offer Kings Heath, you're welcome to join in for the afternoon. We'll post updates on facebook about the panel members and welcome messages with proposed questions you might like to ask.

When: Saturday 18th April 2.00-4.00pm
What: Public meeting for voters from the Hall
Green and Selly Oak constituencies
Where: Bishop Challoner Catholic College 6th Form Centre, B14 7EG
Full details, speakers and programme available on Facebook 

How to get there:

  • Car parks either side of Institute Road and on school playground
    (enter via Institute Road car park) 
  • Pedestrians can also enter via Kingsfield Road (opposite Village Square)
    off High Street, coming round left side of St Dunstan’s Church

Further information: Miriam Wilcher (miriamwilcher@btinternet.com)
or John Hull (j.hull@queens.ac.uk)

Sunday 12 April 2015

Spring on Swan Corner

Swan Corner's second AGM is this Tuesday (14th April).  It's been a busy year with plenty going on, and plenty planned for the coming year.  Here's a few photos from this weekend on the corner, showing some of our hard work springing back to life:

Japanese knotweed no more, but litter still to do

Three litter picking days so far this year

Litter gone!  Well, almost

Willow 'fedge' budding 

Three new damson trees join the apple and pear trees this year

Fruit bushes and trees springing back to life

New hazel leaves 

Hellebores flowering in the borders

Oz, our litter picking organiser, with apple blossom about to flower

Bulbs in with the strawberries

Quince, pear, blackcurrant, and gooseberry in front of the Billesley

Friday 3 April 2015

The peoples lottery

Short story written by Arthur for BBC 500words competition:

“And the 4 contestants are…” Anodiwa listened backstage as the names were publicly announced - she already knew of course one of them would be hers.

“Anka Burack the Polish painter,”- a tall blonde woman stepped onto the stage fake smiling.

“Brian Hurt, the man with a business plan,” - the crowd laughed as a plump man in a suit strutted on.

“Rosetta Drowningsdale, a person who wants a bit of power” - a scowling woman draped in gold was revealed.

“and finally Anodeewa Maritz a South African kid living without a mother…….” the presenter paused to allow a collective ‘aaaaaaaawwwww’ from the crowd as Anodiwa nervously stepped in to an unknown world of glaring stage lights and cheesy music.

“And now time for a private word with each of our contestants.”  After all the others were done rambling about fame, wealth and power, it was Anodiwa’s turn.

It’s 2801 and democracy is so out of fashion. Who needs it?  In the end its just an extra chore to vote. Yeah, it was a bit unpopular in the beginning, but now it’s problem solved.  We have ‘The People’s Lottery’; every year ANYONE can win.  The theory behind it is to give the people a voice. But is it just keeping people quiet?

“Ok kid,” the backstage assistant muttered “You’re on in 3, 2, 1…”

“Let’s welcome to the stage a small town girl with big dreams, Anodeewa!!!” The crowd erupted as she paced ever closer to the grinning presenter. “So, how are you feeling tonight?”

“ANODIWA!” yelled a familiar voice from the audience “IT’S NOT WHAT I TOLD YOU!”

“Y-you pronounced m-m-my n-name wrong” Anodiwa stammered, ignoring the voice.

“Wonderful!” the presenter replied. It was obvious he wasn’t listening. “Now, more importantly I want to know everything.  What is your greatest desire? Who deserves most to win? On a scale of 1 to amazing, how great is my haircut?” He winked at the crowd as they giggled obediently.

“I haven’t decided, I have no idea and urmm 3 I guess”

The presenter’s smile wasn’t as big now. Whether it was her lack of information or a score of three, he obviously wasn’t satisfied. He turned and said quickly:

“Thank you so much for your time!  Lets hear it for Anodeewa Maritz!”

“I-it’s actually pronounced Ano - ” but it was too late. The backstage assistant was already ushering her off.

Later, Anodiwa was back on stage with the others as the winner was announced.  The presenter pulled a lever. A little note popped out and he read it aloud.

“The winner is… ...Anodeewa!

The answer came to her immediately: “I choose to be with my mother. Forever.”

The presenter clicked his fingers and the light left Anodiwa’s eyes and she dropped to the floor. The crowd (and everyone else) screamed in horror and Anodiwa’s father burst onto the stage.

“Anodiwa your mother is…” his eyes moved to his daughter “...dead.”

By Arthur Belben