Aisha and the Sea

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Oh! Sea you are so powerful

I am so small

Waves rush past me,

like the fleeing

Gently receding, pulling sand over my toes

embedding me once more into this earth,

 

Innocent unpolluted air filling, cleansing my lungs

from the dark soot of pain

that clings to my soul

like limpets upon rock

for fleeting seconds

I forget that beacon of despair

it is washed from my mind,

feeling one with nature, the sea

 

Staring towards the horizon

reclaiming, restoring my hopes, my dreams

nightmares briefly extinguished

by this planet’s womb-like amniotic waters,

everything so perfect here

Mother smiling with her eyes

that sparkle again

twinkling like the sun’s glistening rays in the surf,

 

I am a child again!

No longer old before my time

Oh! Sea you are so beautiful

I am so small…

 

M.C. Bolton, September 2017

 

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The Mexican Effect: Exclusive Interview With Babe Ruth


A musical break from it all.  

A_small_cup_of_coffee

Carlos Santana, Prodigy, Grand Master FlashWhitesnake and Jellybean Benitez. What’s the connection?

 

The band Babe Ruth. 

 

 ♩ ‘Chico Fernandes, Sleepin’ on his gun’… ♪

 

I’m honoured to have been able to conduct this interview for Urban Dandy and for DJs and music lovers everywhere as it is very personal to me meeting with a group that contributed to such a joyful time in my childhood. In fact, the whole thing turned out to be more of an insightful and flowing discussion with lots of laughs and a journey down memory lane really, making sense of musical things that at the time I was too young to understand. After listening to over two hours of raw audio, time constraints forced us to edit down some of the gems we received. That, coupled with the compromised audio (my fault) made it a task to expeditiously deliver these wise and inspiring words, but luckily, in no way did this affect the essence of our interview with the legends. We hope you enjoy.

 

 

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Janita Haan is the lead singer in the band. Along with David Punshon Keyboardist, the two of them make up a significant portion of Babe Ruth. Both of them co-wrote and/or performed major parts in the composition of a host of great songs they released including the classic of 1972 ‘The Mexican’. Not that it’s all about The Mexican but that song, in particular, is a very important part of the band’s identity. If you’re not familiar with the cultural reach of the genre fluid masterpiece, it’s high time you explored it further as it is a cultural study in and of itself.  Me: the song pierced my soul through a window called Hip Hop, for some it may have been Rock, Latin or maybe even a house mix. Yet the unintended world B Boy anthem was recorded here on UK soil, which makes it even more fascinating and dissident in its form, much in accord with the band itself-Babe Ruth.

 

 

I∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞I

 

 

 

 

Babe Jan

I∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞I

 

UDL: So where are you from?

 

Janita Haan: Im from England but my formative years were in California.

 

UDL: Do you think that had a lot of influence on your music?

 

Janita Haan: Oh yeah. I mean for me it was. I think I’d just finished high school but I wanted to sing, really wanted to sing, and around that time I was in the Bay area around Santana, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis,  Sly And The Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane. It was lovely, it was just fantastic, musically for me, you’d get the feel of Candlestick Park, I used to bunk off school and go down with a frisbee to the park.

It was a magical time, especially when I came back to England the third Santana album had just come out, so all I had with me when I came back was the album to make me break my way through, (laughs)  I didn’t know anybody.

So I had to start from right at the bottom to make connections, I was only 18, it was pretty scary for me.

 

Candlestick Park – San Francisco

 

UDL: Was there a level of Intrigue about you coming from America to England? People are normally fascinated with someone being from somewhere else. Were you the American girl?

 

Janita Haan: Well, I suppose with California because I was a California hippy.  At that point, I was back with my English family and that freaked them out cos I was just this wild child. They kicked me out after a bit so I had to find my own way, that was a bit scary but I knew I wanted to sing. I came across some lovely people along the way. Once I came across this little studio I can’t remember where it was but they would allow me to come after sessions at night because I had to work to earn some money to pay my rent, but I hadn’t much left after that (laughs) I had about two quid to get food and everything which wasn’t much. Back in the day, the tubes were not like they are now, you could hop on and off. 

So this little studio place would let me go in after hours and practice with their mics, then I got enough confidence to answer ads in the Melody Maker. It was very scary I hadn’t been in a band before then. I answered an ad for a Band called March Hare, I nearly got the gig for that. I didn’t quite get it and the next one after that was for Shack lock… Babe Ruth used to be called Shack Lock. Dave Hewitt answered the phone and said ‘What are you like’? and I said I’m 5ft and I play the congas (laughs). Cos I hitched up and down California and one time I was out there with these Hells Angels and they had me play congas. So they came to… where did you come to, Finch House was it?

 

 

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Classifieds page from Melody Maker (70’s)

 

 

Dave Punshon: I think so, we turned up and all I remember is your tea set it was like really, really Mary Poppins, all quaint China and I thought ‘Wow! That’s ornate’.  Continue reading

I’m Spartacus

 

Herded into the arena

bloodied by poverty’s lash

sand soft between our toes

as we march into the stadium of despair

mentally chained by our delusion of freedom,

divided into race, faith, nation, class

then pitted against each other

For our rulers’ pleasure

 

But many refuse to fight

Us – the truly dangerous ones

instead pointing upwards to the audience

of those that truly despise and fear us

 

Yet you who plunder our homes, invade our streets,

Women who tightly clutch their handbags

staring at the pavement in terror

for surely we are all vagabonds, cutthroats and thieves!

Suited men who’s bowels loosen

when passing our urban-talking youth

who defend their postcode by the same extreme violence 

that the state metes out to them with impunity,

 

We who are crushed on every side

surrounded by avarice and greed

by disciples of the latest fad,

drinking alfresco skinny lattes on Westbourne Grove

the need to be scenes,

our wrath slowly being squeezed

accused of sour grapes, lacking aspiration,

Yet it’s our blood that makes your wine

with which you wet your lips

as you toss us your scraps,

we who slowly devour and destroy one another,

 

But Spartacus is rising

resurrected like a phoenix in the flames

our sight restored by tragedy

injustice the fire that burns brightly

inside compassionate indignant hearts,

shaking those who’s God is mammon

 

Yet it’s not your eye of the needle wealth we wish to pillage

but your fraudulent sense of privilege, entitlement, arrogance and ignorance

hiding in your bunker-like basements

whilst above, homes, communities are destroyed

 

as we stare at our Stalingrad-like monument,

united under the banner of hope and faith,

love for our children will ever be our shield,

God’s wrath will be stirred

by the death of his innocent ones

 

Millstones will be prepared,

the sea’s depth beckons

those that hide behind their cloak of guilt

for this slaughter ignited a fury in our hearts

we’ll stand against your legions

we’ve buried our dead

but we will never let you bury the truth…

 

 

LW2

M.C. Bolton, September 2017

 

Grenfell Rehousing Policy July 2017 / Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Disclaimer
Urban Dandy makes no claim to give legal representation of any kind and has no intention of giving advice in the field of law. All opinions are the author’s personal opinion and to be considered as just that, a personal opinion. No reference to anything written is to be deemed actual evidence and should be seen as a guideline to further investigate the nature and the result of the policy upon acceptance. We suggest that support or representation ,if any, should be supplied by accredited law experts. 

 

This document was recently published on the Home Connections website under the Royal Borough Of Kensington section. It attempts to clarify the councils intended mode of operation regarding rehousing the victims of the Grenfell disaster.

As odd as it seems, I fail to find a lack of integrity here. However, we feel that it’s the duty of everyone under social housing, surrounding the Lancaster West Estate in the w10/w11 area and beyond, to check this document for compliance.

 

Genfell Policy
Click on the logo above to read

 

I suggest reading this very carefully, especially first, second, and third band tenants of the Lancaster West Estate as there is much at stake with a housing obligation that may be full and final. Especially when the interested party is carrying such emotional, physical, and psychological grief sound decisions are only made with an informed and sound mind. This isn’t to say that we, the peripheral community, aren’t sharing these feelings but the direct burdensome displacement and trauma that has been suffered by those in, what the council describe as, bands 1-3 should be carefully weighed and compared. Hopefully, they can then be sufficiently compensated with full consideration. This is a historical time and an epoch in the Ladbroke Grove/Notting Hill area and its community and council relationships. (7.3. Rehousing)

‘… the Minister of State for Immigration made a written statement in Parliament concerning the introduction of a policy on leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules for former residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk’. (3. Eligibility)

This is good in theory. It would imply that this was the case but those with immigration issues, regarding their legal right to remain in the UK, should probe further into this and enquire as to the current status of this ‘gesture’ because until it is legally agreed upon this is just a really, really nice thought.

 

So it looks like the tenancy will be like for like. Good. (4. Type of accommodation to be offered)

I would also enquire about the rent charges remaining affordable because the word ‘Affordable’ has a different meaning to different brackets of earning. Not that we’re critiquing the actual word – which was not actually used – but bringing attention to the dangers of ambiguity, which is often the theme and tool that shafts those less aware of legal semantics. (4.2. Rent charges and service charges)

It’s also stated that the succession will be pre-Localism: also good. The Localism Act of 2011 gave the landlord the right to convert the succession tenancy into a lesser shorter term agreement, as we are witnessing all over the Country. The victims and affected families will be given a property with a long term agreement, which is what we were hoping for. (4.3. Succession) 

Stage 2 Temporary accommodation on occasion can be turned into Long Term Housing. It appears, in some cases, that if a temporary, stage 2 (transient) accommodation is favourable to a tenant there is a provision to, at their request, convert it into their permanent residence. Stage 2 is post stage 1 (hotel accommodation).  (Page 7. Converting Stage 2 temporary accommodation into long-term accommodation)

 

 

‘The Council will continue to monitor the effect of this policy on the above needs and in particular will review this policy after it has been in force for a period of three months. Further reviews will be carried out as necessary and appropriate.

The Council will continually monitor, review and improve the delivery of this policy with the aim of ensuring that it meets the community’s needs in the best way that it possibly can’. (10. Equality and diversity)

 

This is something to think about as there may be issues regarding favouritism that arise. If these issues had not been considered previously, there is room for them to improve their policy. Know that policies are not enforceable and are guidelines for the employees. The thing to consider is who the tenant is in regards to the policy they wish to employ to accommodate you, the injured customer.

These are just a few points from a very interesting and critical read.  Although with such organisations I will always remain suspicious, it looks to me as though the council are trying to introduce a level of honour here which has in the past contradicted their mission.

 

Summary

I refer to the tenant as a ‘customer’ because I try to view this as if I bought a product that was defective and, due to no fault of my own, has caused me to lose my abode, members of my family and a level of physical and psychological damage. Will a great replacement product or service satisfy the coming years of painful reflection, the absence of my family and peers and the reoccurring nightmare of 14/6? I think not. The company that supplied the product/service must have a major insurance policy that compensates for the massive personal loss outside of the very physical material loss, especially when dealing with structures that pose such a great potential for danger. Although human life can never be replaced, I should expect an honourable attempt to match the cost of human life by a massive financial outlay. This policy is a good gesture as far as the rehousing obligation but there’s so much more than the stated ‘intention’.

 We would be happy to receive and share comments regarding various views on the true equitability of this offer and any details we may have missed. As a community, it’s important that we serve each other in the capacity and area of our best abilities. Please share your thoughts.




Please be caring enough to view the full policy by clicking below

Grenfell_Rehousing_Policy

 

 

Rest In Peace Jessica and the other children. You will forever remain a symbol of the change we will secure. 

 

Love to our great community 

Angel Lewis