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Richard Downes - disability arts online
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I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

About Our Special Powers

10 February 2012

Blog

 Richard Downes has a grouse at Tempo House and wonders what your powers are. "Winston Churchill had a speech imp-p-p-pediment And look what he did He razed half of London" Currently my favourite lyric. I've caught it every time its come round on the The Fall's 'Perverted By Language' LP. I've actually got it on CD, but if i say LP you'll get more of an understanding about how ancient i remain. The small i too - that's a dead give away. Let us talk more of the small i one day....

Comments: 6

More Yoko No. 4 - Votive Offering

28 June 2012

Blog

I have an instinctive love and understanding of wish trees. I am drawn to them. They make me think. According to my old mate Wiki; “A wish tree is an individual tree, usually distinguished by species, position or appearance, which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. By tradition, believers make votive offerings in order to gain from that nature spirit, saint or goddess fulfillment of a wish”....

Comments: 5

Raising A Glass To The Next 50 Years of Jimmying

13 October 2012

Blog

On October 13th 2012 I read that Penny Pepper was appearing at StorySLAM:Live on the south bank. It's theme "your five-minute story around the theme of '50', as WE celebrate the 50th Koestler Trust Award anniversary". I imagined myself a slammer and this came out. 50 years of jimmy in the kids home 50 years more in special school 50 years again detained at her majesties pleasure 50 years pleasuring the unpleasant A further 50 adding to all the 50's in all the world Until old, battered...

Comments: 5

One Lovely Blog Award

27 October 2012

Blog

I've just revisited an old blog entry Raising A Glass To The next 50 Years Of Jimmying, a poem reflecting on the SaVILE scandal. I visit old blogs to make sure I'm listening to the people who are responding to me. And blow me down, Melissa Mostyn Thomas  said she liked it so much she's nominated me for The One Lovely Blog Award. For a moment I dream't of other people reading Raising A Glass, liking it and coughing up lots of lovely spondies to me, its creator. Then the pale penny dropped....

Comments: 0

DPAC meet the Mother's Union

14 June 2013

Blog

A funny thing happened the day we rested 20 or so disabled activists camped in Deans Yard, Westminster, to hear statements about the abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) on the occasion of its 25th birthday. Then we made our way to the Department of Work and Pensions to sing Happy Birthday to the ILF, chant 'Free Our People', share cake and watch socialist magician, Ian Saville, make the letters ILF disappear in front of our very eyes. According to Ian, I is for Independence...

Comments: 0

A Lesson Learned

11 November 2015

Blog

Fans of this particular blog-o-sphere - and there are thousands - will know I spend quite some time bashing the tragegy model as often as I am able to. Someone has to do it. ANd here's another opportunity. I never watch children in need. I prefer to attend Burn Pudsey Friday. But there's no avoiding this really is there. A creature of habit my tele viewing usually goes from the news to the local news to the awful one show and the one show represents one of the pudsey peddlars....

Comments: 2

Memories Surface Very Slowly

31 July 2014

Blog

Advocacy awareness class. Something is missing from everyone's learning. I could save them. Tell them how the circle of oppression goes on and what it does to you but its not my call so I spend time with memories of special school surfacing.... Mrs Mack She’s on smack She is very nasty Childhood peeps by in rhyme attacking teachers. I am alone here. Undefeated. Thank U Very Much for Mrs Cheetham Thank U Very Much Thank U very very much One more day to go One more day in sorrow Skool...

Comments: 2

Berghaus. Karrimor. North Face.

18 January 2016

Blog

Berghaus. Karrimor. North Face. A rambling Forecast Lumiere will leave you cold Poor. Variable. There is something special about London's new Lumiere Festival, imported from County Durham. But it’s not in the art work, the reason to be walking. Its elsewhere. London doesn't need Lumiere. It’s always alight anyhow. Road signs, street lights, late revellers and the tat on the local trattoria. But it does need that which is special and this is best seen at Kings Cross. Wide...

Comments: 2

A Special Residential School Experience

25 February 2016

Blog

Illustration by Paolo Veronese of Jesus healing a woman with a flow of blood

Independence is an attitude If Jesus don't want ya Fuck im And your parents too You don't want no one That don't want you Well, that's what I think anyway. it all came back to me today. Independence ain't got nothing to do with life skills. Life skills they can teach you in schools and centres. It's how they tie you up. Life lessons happen outside the classroom. They come to you in the dark, day or night, like blinding flashes of light. You don't need to go to school...

Comments: 5

Signs: Truth

20 March 2016

Blog

The sun goes down in the west I walk towards it The sun shines long on the Debden I walk along it The sun goes down darkness in time I walk amongst it The sun has gone It was 2014. There is a river walk in suffolk I like to do. Not too long, not so hard. There is a good time to do it. Late or early when the sun is low and the tide is likewise. Little riverlets form strange shapes in the mud. I love to photo into the sun. I like it because it works well. I like it because they say don't do...

Comments: 1

Signs: Discrepancy

22 May 2016

Blog

Standing by your locked gate My inner core is iron My outer shell is tin Hit me with a hammer To let my past times in I turn to drink As I try zinc To get my red corpuscles moving For being here Beside you As left me totally still I return to the institution. It's different. Still for kids. Kids lost in activity. It feels right and pleases me as much as anything ever will. The gate is iron. Visitors press 0 for reception. Code words are not needed, no special numbers, no secret signs. Just...

Comments: 0

On folkie Spiers & Boden’s and their current Back Yard Tour.

29 May 2013

Blog

I am interested in community gigs and caught up with Spiers & Boden in my own back yard at Cecil Sharpe House in Camden Town - hoping to learn about making connections. 

Spiers and Boden, long established folk duo, founder members of great festival band Bellowhead, are in town. They will play twice today in the same but changing venue of Cecil Sharp House – the home of English folk music. First a ceilidh. Then a concert.
 
The floor is cleared for the dancers. These people...

Comments: 0