Sad Music, Dark Literature and Positive Thoughts 2

The new blog hang out for Harry…the Man.

Monthly Archives: February 2016

So was the letter writing worth it?

You may remember that I took part in the Amnesty International Write For Rights campaign at the end of last year.  Well, do these letters ever help achieve anything you may well ask?

Previous Write for Rights campaigns have helped achieve freedoms in the past and it would appear that they still do even in 2016.

I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing an email that I received this week from Amnesty International.  This email is in regards to one of the ten cases that I wrote letters for.

In this particular instance, I wrote a handwritten letter to both the Attorney General of Louisiana and also to Albert Woodfox himself to give him courage as he sat in solitary confinement.

I want to add that none of this makes me proud of myself.  I was one of many, many people who done the same as me.  In fact, almost countless people done more than me.  All I did was wrote two letters.  Other people were daily standing outside of the prison or negotiating with the authorities.

But it was a humbling feeling to think that my letter was perhaps like the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The sheer weight of international public feeling may have just tipped the balance and helped those fighting on Albert Woodfox’s behalf to successfully secure his release.

This letter writing was the least that I could do.  This man was imprisoned before I was even born.

Below is also a link to the BBC Website about it which was one of the top three read stories that day:

Dear Harry,

Today, Louisiana prisoner Albert Woodfox walked free, 44 years after he was first put into solitary confinement.

He was the United States’ longest serving prisoner held in isolation. Nearly every day for more than half of his life, Albert Woodfox woke up in a cell the size of a parking space, surrounded by concrete and steel.

Tomorrow morning, for the first time in more than four decades, he will be able to walk outside and look up into the sky.

Over the course of nearly five years working on Albert Woodfox’s case at Amnesty, I heard many times that the odds were insurmountable.

But I always knew that Albert Woodfox would go home.

I have seen the incredible power of our movement when we work together.

I have seen the courage humility, and determination of so many of you who have played big and small roles to help this historic human rights victory come to fruition.

I have seen the unbelievable strength of the Angola 3: Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox himself—all three of whom endured nightmares but persevered with humor, dignity, and resolve to wage a relentless fight against the cruel, inhuman and degrading practice of prolonged solitary confinement in the United States.

With the knowledge of his release, Albert had this message for those who have helped him secure his freedom:

I want to thank my brother Michael for sticking with me all these years, and Robert King, who wrongly spent nearly 30 years in solitary. I could not have survived without their courageous support, along with the support of my dear friend Herman Wallace, who passed away in 2013. I also wish to thank the many members of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3, Amnesty International, and the Roddick Foundation, all of whom supported me through this long struggle. Lastly, I thank William Sothern, Rob McDuff and my lawyers at Squire Patton Boggs and Sanford Heisler Kimpel for never giving up. Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges. I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.

I’m carrying those words with me today as we celebrate this victory.

Today Albert Woodfox walks free—February 19, 2016, his 69th Birthday.

BBC link – Albert Woodfox freed after 43 years in US solitary prison

Una taza de café, por favor

Okay, enough Spanish for now – the title is as far as the Spanish goes for this blog post.

I thought I’d share this with you all on WordPress with you this week.  I’ve already bored everyone about this on Google+ so I thought that I’d spread the joy far and wide 😉

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My imitation Moka Pot in action

Inspired by one of my Google+ friends, I purchased an imitation Moka Pot to make some espresso coffee at home without having to pay a big price in a café for some.  So, I also grabbed some Fair Trade coffee and home I went.

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Some Fair Trade coffee

The instructions that came with the pot were very scant and so it was a good job that the internet could provide me with the finer points of using such a coffee pot.

It was good but Gloria is not too keen on espresso.  She loves cappuccino though and I determined to get a coffee frother.

Coffee frothers are hard to come by in Britain unless you are buying one of those mini handheld whisk type things.  The shops that do stock the nice frothers also charge a big price.

Eventually, I found one at a reasonable price.  That night I frothed up some milk and made some hot chocolate.  It was good for a quick frothy drink.

the frother 1

The milk frother – it can froth and heat milk or just froth cold milk

This week I combined the two.  My stove coffee pot and the milk frother to make myself a cappuccino in the comfort of my own home.  I prefer cinnamon on top rather than chocolate and so I was able to make a cappuccino how I like it.  Few coffee shops seem to have cinnamon.

The mug was bought for me a few years ago by Yasmin.  She was eighteen years old at the time and it was a reference to a place where she worked at weekends.  It was called Cheeky Monkeez and she dressed up as a monkey during children’s parties.

cappuccino 2

The cappuccino in all its glory

Yasmin’s birthday…Valentine’s Day…

I have been flitting briefly onto social media in February thus far.  I type this in explanation of the erratic days that I am posting and visiting everyone’s blogs.

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Yasmin’s outfit for her 24th birthday outing

And why these odd habits these two weeks?  Well, you can blame the two ladies who refer to me as ‘my husband’ or ‘my Dad’ for this.

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Chocolate fudge cake and lager shandy…a good afternoon out!

Yasmin has celebrated her 24th birthday this month.  I’d given Yasmin some money to buy a birthday outfit and it happened that the money was enough for two dresses, perfume and even a little something else.

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With lashings of ginger beer

I also booked her the actual day of her birthday off work to go and help her buy her outfit.  The photo shows one of the two dresses just before I took Yasmin and three of her friends to their night out on the town last Saturday.  In the early hours of Sunday morning, I picked them all back up and drove them back to Yasmin’s place to sleep.

Gloria and I spread our Valentine’s Day celebrations over both yesterday and today.  Yesterday, I took Gloria out for a meal and today she returned the favour.  After today’s food (a Sunday roast followed by chocolate fudge cake) we went to Church with my Mum.

I ended up explaining my earring to a few people at Church this evening by describing myself in terms of being a pirate.  I said that the earring would be used to pay for my burial if I fatally lost a cutlass fight on a small island.

No-one seemed to believe that I really am a pirate.  I don’t know why.

One Lovely Blog Award

The classy and charming Ebely who blogs at Alluring n Young has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.

LovelyBlogAward

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you, Eby.  It is always a pleasure to interact with her.  Do read her blog, I can’t imagine that anyone would be disappointed with a visit to her site.

Okay, so the rules of this award:

*Thank the person/people who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
– yes, done that
*List the rules and display the award.
– check!
*Add 7 facts about yourself.
– this will come next
*Nominate other bloggers.
– I’d like to nominate all of my blog friends as all of you are special
*Let them know they have been nominated.
– If you’re reading this and you are one of my blog friends, then you have been nominated!

Okay, so seven facts about me.  Seven facts I have yet to reveal…

  1. I currently live 1.1 miles from the building in which I was born.  Not a hospital, I will add – my mother gave birth to me at home
  2. My favourite book is ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles
  3. For a short while at school, I had lessons learning to play the cornet
  4. Although I can’t swim, I have been white water rafting in Austria
  5. If I encounter a spider, I usually speak to them.  The big spiders are all female and speaking nicely to them calms them down – or so I find.  Although, it should be said that British spiders are moderately sized compared to those in other countries.
  6. My favourite television programme is not what you would call high brow viewing being as it is The Professionals
  7. When I leave the house I often walk back up the path two or three times to double check that I have locked the front door.  I suffer a little obsessive compulsive disorder but won’t fight it if it means that the house is always locked up.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed those little facts about me.

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