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?