Changing Cycles

An ongoing project exploring the use of the arts as a form of action to ensure the sustainability of the planet. and stuff.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


For anyone not proficient in portugese, this word doesn't have a direct translation in english but it perfectly describes the mixture of nostalgic sadness and warm fondness I'm feeling at the moment...
I've just arrived in Penrith having taken a day out of my itinerary to attend the leaving party of my dear friend Laura Myers in Hebden Bridge, at the house of one of my other dear friends, Leah Whitaker (who we are also currently congratulating on her acceptance to RADA - well done Leah!).
It meant being a bit naughty and jumping on a train to get there, not to mention the additional burden on my credit card bill, but it was the sort of gathering you can't put a price on. It's a big time of change for a lot of us personally; Laura's off to Canada indefinitely, others are moving to London, or preparing to travel to far off destinations; and in the context of the rapidly shifting world around us to be able to get together and mark these moments in the ever changing flux of our lives with dancing and drinking and camping and barbecues and big fires seems all the more precious...
And I know I'm getting a bit gushing now but I feel really blessed to have the support of so many beautiful people and next time I'm feeling miserable and tired and hungry and wondering why the hell I'm putting myself through it all I'll think back to last night, and all my other fond memories of friends and family, past and present, and draw strength from having such excellent companions in my little journey through life. So to all who've been reading this blog, and particularly leaving comments, thank you. Knowing you're out there makes every gruelling inch worthwhile. Ok, gush over, please dispose of your sick bags responsibly and return your seats to the upright position...
I'm staying tonight in the beautiful Bluebell Bookshop, which would be well worth a visit to Penrith alone. We stayed here on the G8 bike ride and the owner Derek has very kindly put me up again. It's a very progressive minded, lefty, socially/ecologically oriented place, and to top it off they do a great range of organic, fair-trade teas and coffees, and bookshop-made food, including freshly baked bread. Screw Waterstones, the world needs more Bluebells!
Tommorrow I cycle across the Lake District National Park to reach the Cumbrian coast where I will be visiting Sellafield before heading south to see a co-operatively owned wind farm, drop in to speak to the artistic director of Welfare State International and meet some anti nuclear activists. By the end of next week I will be back in Manchester for a little pit stop and to finalise the details of the last leg of my journey...
Although I'm doing a lot of head-work on the outcome of this project as the end of my journey draws ever closer, I'm trying not to worry too much about what will happen when I get back. As the scribble on the desk I'm sitting at says: 'Anticipation of the result stifles the process'.

Monday, July 18, 2005

photo fest

At long last! A splurge of photos of the last month of my journey... Not sure when I'll be able to post more so these'll have to do for now, they're not in much of an order but you can figure it out I'm sure...
Tomorrow I reluctantly leave Findhorn after spending nearly a week here having a much needed rest and reflection on all I've taken on-board over the last few weeks. The G8 experience has really re-framed things in my head and may have set me on a different course, but now I need to work out where that new direction might end up ultimately... Part of me just wants to leave theatre aside and go and be an activist, whilst part of me is aware that theatre can be direct action in itself and I've seen the effectiveness of increasingly creative responses to injustice, and even the use of traditional theatre forms as part of this such as clowning... (check out C.I.R.C.A). I've got a lot to think about... so it's just as well I've got a lot of hours in the saddle ahead of me to do just that!

On top of the Cairngorms! Have just worked out I can use the self timer button on my camera and my tripod so expect many more cheesy photos like this... And don't be fooled by the smile, it hides a world of pain!  Posted by Picasa

Oh flower of Scotland... Posted by Picasa

My last night in Stirling. I wanted to get a picture of the American flag being burnt but it was a cheap plastic job and went up too quickly... probably made in ...? Posted by Picasa

My lunch spot half way across the Cairngorms where I had a wee dip. Worth it. Just. Posted by Picasa

Coming back from Glasgow the day after the end of the summit, musing about where Tony Blair's Africa/Climate Change agenda had ended up... and this sort of spoke to me! Posted by Picasa

The red on my face is paint courtesy of my make up artist here, the red on my chest is unfortunately courtesy of the sun. When will I learn?!  Posted by Picasa

Day 2 of the summit. We hold a kid's party in response to the sombre mood around the camp and have a great day in spite of the horrors around us... Posted by Picasa

The first day of the summit. Don't know who these crazy characters are but the police look amused don't they? Don't they just. Posted by Picasa

The artwork adorning the entrance to the convergence space in Stirling... how many plays on the number 8 can you cre8? Posted by Picasa

Rinky Dink Sound System at the Make Poverty History rally... Aren't they a colourful bunch?! Posted by Picasa

Grangemouth oil refinery. Another glowing image of the future of fossil fuel economies... Posted by Picasa

Tired bunny rabbits Posted by Picasa

'We'd better be going the right way cos I'm not going back down that hill!' Posted by Picasa

Knackered cyclists celebrate their arrival in Lanark by making percussion instruments out of bikes, beer cans and wheelbarrows. Crazy. Posted by Picasa

The official finish line at Talamh community in Lanark, from there on it was uncharted G8 territory... who knew what was in store?! Posted by Picasa

Cracking open a bottle of Scotch to celebrate my 1000th mile... one of the highlights I previously forgot to mention, but one of the best! The monument is one of 1000 milestones erected around Scotland, so rather convenient it was there really... Posted by Picasa

Gettin all blued up to cross the Scottish border! Posted by Picasa

Local people just don't like wind farms! Posted by Picasa

The ancient stone circle at 9 ladies where we stayed with a bunch of about 30 activists who've been living in tree houses for the last 5 years to stop the reactivation of quarries in that area, not road building as I previously mentioned. Still means big diggers ripping up the countryside though don't it?! Posted by Picasa

Critical Mass hits Manchester's Canal St. Posted by Picasa

James argues with the life guard about why he should be allowed to swim in a public lake... This was shortly before we stormed the water in an impromptu critical splash action. Posted by Picasa

The insides of Pedals, our mobile sound system... she might not look like much but she sure packs a punch! Posted by Picasa

One of the lads from Coventry Peace House, and Dillon, the youngest (and probably cutest) member of our contingent... Posted by Picasa

Closing down Coventry Airport, and having a few words about its illegal expansion... Posted by Picasa

Redfield Community and Low Impact Living Initiative where we stopped for the first night... outside, not in unfortunately! Posted by Picasa