Baristi and stress on the caffeine front

It’s winter again and I’m back in the UK so I thought I’d give this coffee post another shot of thanks.

The Phraser

Coffee - a pleasure in life Coffee – a pleasure in life

Coffee and I are well-acquainted. We meet often, frequently in a motorway services. The setting is big, like a strange spaceship, but the point is the caffeine – especially in winter.

Winter in the UK is sock damp and everywhere, smudged beyond the windowpane into a world that hides in its own armpit – head down, surviving.

View original post 470 more words

Interview: Jem Rolls on Performance Poetry and the Fringes

So pleased to discover this in amongst the early Phraser pieces. Originally I split the interview into two parts – here I have put them together. My thanks always to Jem Rolls for allowing me the interview.

The Phraser

Jem Rolls - Performance Poet Jem Rolls – Performance Poet

Jem Rolls – a tall, intense performance poet with over two decades experience – first performed his poetry on stage at the age of 31. He began in London, took his work to Edinburgh, and has spent many summers performing on the Canadian Fringes.  

Here he explains the art of the performance poet, and touches on the life and challenges that come with it.

View original post 1,296 more words

James Bond, Skyfall and…lenses

Skyfall was released in 2012 – a Bond box office best, as dramatic as they come…and with strange side effects.

The Phraser

Skyfall smashed British box office history and set the tills ringing.

We were there. We popcorned in for bombs and bashings; for smouldering moods; for shriek-screetching music; for back-stabbing; for ‘British is best’; and for villains who should have been locked away for life.

View original post 357 more words

Madagascar 3…or Argo?

I discovered this little memory in my update of The Phraser – a film review of a sort…and very brief.

The Phraser

uHnLhm4AybDCbz6sAVkxZKNNXV3

It is an autumn evening with a few hours before my young charge has to return to his school. Can we fit in Madagascar 3? Yes…of course.

We race down the steep hill into the town. Lights flick on in the buildings around us as we park and run the square to the cinema entrance.

View original post 279 more words

The courage to save the animals – interview with Meryl Harrison

One of the early interviews on The Phraser: Meryl Harrison, the lady who drove towards the chaos on Zimbabwe’s farms to help the animals as Mugabe’s land redistribution programme gained momentum.

The Phraser

Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe's chaotic land redistribution programme Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe’s chaotic land redistribution programme (photographed in England in 2012)

Ten years ago the BBC presented Meryl Harrison with a Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare. Her ‘outstanding work‘ was done on Zimbabwe’s farms whilst Mugabe’s chaotic land redistribution programme was in full surge.

This was in the early 2000s.

View original post 1,082 more words

Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 4

This is the last of four extracts from Innocent Victims to be published on The Phraser. It is a reminder of the chaos that came with Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme, and of the courage of those who tried to help.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle.

Innocent Victims is about animal rescues in Zimbabwe during a violently enforced land redistribution programme which spilled across the country’s farms at the turn of the millennium.

Meryl Harrison and her small team from the ZNSPCA were at the heart of the rescues.

View original post 654 more words

Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 3

This is the third of four extracts from Innocent Victims, the book by Cathy Buckle about the rescue of the animals caught up in Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme. This extract shows the confusion that erupted over who got what land, and how this impacted on the animals involved.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle.

“In total, 260 Holstein cows were stuck in the middle of a bitter dispute and were losing weight and condition dramatically.”

The land the cattle were on had originally belonged to the Hughes family who had bought Bains Hope Farm in 1932. In 2003 the family were evicted and the land was caught in a tug-of-war between A1 settlers and Mr Bayisa – an A2 settler. As the arguments and intimidation continued the cattle got weaker and weaker.

View original post 474 more words