More memories . I am often surprised that Newsquest recycle features of mine that I wrote for The Oxford Times. They publish them online all over the country like this one in The Warrington Guardian .
It’s interesting reading it in these odd times. These giants were changing British art radically but the background was revolution . To me it feels like the world is going through a period of tremendous upheaval . The results could be creative like Constable and Turner and the inventions that connected us in a good way like the railway or it could be hate filled with racism and misogyny at the end of a gun as is happening the USA or in China with the concentration camps for Uighurs.
The review I’m most proud of was about the mind of Leonardo .
Exceptional human beings like him help me cling on to hope. Because of the 10 year Castaway series, I was privileged to meet many inspirational people . Many were famous like Peggy Seeger , Dwina Gibb , widow of Robin Gibb of the BeeGees , Colin Greenwood of Radiohead and Chris Patten , the Chancellor of Oxford University. One famous Oxtopian who stood out for me was Sir Roger Bannister who achieved far more than most people realise but remained a modest man . Others were not well known but achieved great things . Few know the name of Christopher Watson but the world owes him a great debt. I interviewed aristocracy with interesting stories like Fiona Carnarvon and Simonetta Agnello Hornby but also others who started with nothing and knew hunger as a child.
Two hearts full of love
Icolyn Smith was born of subsistence farmers in Jamaica and came to the UK in 1965. Her husband died young and she needed 3 jobs to keep her family afloat but despite having no savings, when she saw a young white lad rummaging for food in a bin she was moved to start the Cowley Road Soup Kitchen .
Nancy Mudenyo Hunt the founder of the Nasio Trust and Exit 7 the forerunner of YoCo is another person who turned adversity into opportunity I have recently had a wonderful experience writing Not so Black and White with her . It tackles difficult issues the world is facing but with a vision of hope .
In 2020 will humanity cherish the best of our nature or will racism, misogyny and greed for money and power churn up an inferno of hate?