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The Other News From England

Week beginning 27 July 1998.

Third irresponsible edition

Welcome to the third irresponsible edition of The Other News, this time only irresponsible in that it is a couple of days late. The reason is still the pressing need of holidays.

The Other News is made up as a single document, so that you can scroll your way through it.

List of subjects

Because a subject is listed does not necessarily mean there is an article. It has been listed because there probably is an article that week, and because the list is a good prompt for writing purposes.

Biwater Consumers crystal Palace Ecology Education Freemasons Lawyers LETSSwing Miscellaneous Music Planning Politics Science and Invention Unions and work Woodworking Small ads Stop Press

Last week`s edition.

Index of earlier issues.

Click here for Blackspot`s twenty articles on assorted subjects - mostly to do with transport, safety, engineering, etc

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Gabriele has been on holiday (gosh), but will be back soon.

For conditions see end of document.


I have moved all the items that don`t change significantly to the end of the document. They do still exist.

If you haven`t looked at the other News From England before, read this in case it may save you some time.

The Other News has grown somewhat over the past months, and Josephine is gradually building a subject index for us. When it is completed, you will be able to log straight into the current edition and then look for the subjects that interest you in the subject index - these will often be in earlier editions. We are hoping this will help you find articles in your particular area of interest more easily than at present.

The Other News consists of a selection of articles written when we have the occasional `write-in` - on whatever subjects find their way to the top of the mental pile that week. Whilst some of it is intended to be serious, quite a lot is just a bit of light reading (or heavy, if you are a certain type of person), and intended to keep you amused, and cause people to question things.

Most of the material here is written by the editor, but no single article necessarily reflects the views of the editor or anyone else who writes here. They only might, except inasfaras the heretofore mentioned article in the first part affects those items covered by the Hot Air (Elimination) Acts as referred to in earlier editions (schedule 14, a, c, d et al but including those items not mentioned under) where they may be so far applicable as to deem them to be of interest to parties whose financial and other circumstances are such that they might need to make use of them, but who will nevertheless be bound by the terms and conditions contained herein and heretofore mentioned under certain headings that shall be chosen as and when required either by law or otherwise to be used as reference..........etc.

Is that clear?

Various articles about lawyers in most editions.


MEMBURY SERVICES on the M4 motorway have a bit of a monopoly - particularly in the middle of the night.

I stopped in there and tried to find something to eat. In the entrance was a notice saying `working to offer more` or something equally ludicrous.

Inside, there is a `restaurant` with seats screwed to the floor, and a wide range of choice. I asked the lady behind the counter what the choice was and she pointed to half a dozen or so garish photographs of heavy meals and said nothing. It was late, and I could`t get any real idea of what these might be like in real life, so I didn`t press my query. I just accepted that all I could stomach out of what appeared to be on offer was a scone and a cafetiere of coffee.

The scone was served without a plate, straight onto the tray by the lady`s own fair hand, and the coffee pot lost most of it`s contents onto the tray and table during the pouring. (God, even when I was student we had to design jugs that could pour properly).

The bill for this banquet was over two pounds and not more than four.

On the way back on a sunday I went into the other Membury services in the opposite carriageway. Filled demi-baguettes entirely lacking in crispness with a leathery-feeling texture were on offer at prices starting around two pounds, whilst it was not possible to identify the hot meals, and no help was offered with this task - in fact, although there seemed to be people doing something behind the counter none of them appeared to want to serve. I don`t blame them if they are paid like I believe they are.

I continued hungry, and my three passengers glanced at the array, looked a bit ill and got back in the car.


I HAVE OWNED UP TO having been camping, so I can now tell you of a very successful and easy educational activity that I got involved in.

The teacher of this `workshop` was the extreme of far-out hippy wow man kaftan-wearing barefooted almost guitar-playing young raver.

We sat on the ground in a teepee in a circle and he instructed us to pick up any instrument we fancied a go on, and to play one note just to hear how it sounded, and to experience the various subtle diffierences in tone one might get from that one note (it could also, incidentally, have been a drum).

We then started playing our one note rhythmically and all ensemble, making gradual and very slight changes as the mood took us, whilst he played one chord over and over. This we did for about five or ten minutes (it becomes so hypnotic you lose track of time), and when we were playing something quite passable we moved on to a pair of notes with two chords. This became equally hypnotic, and we continued like this, never adding any notes or chords until we felt quite happy with what we had achieved so far.

At the end (after an hour or so) we had managed to play a passable `South American` piece and some Arabic-sounding stuff.

The reason I call this excercise successful is that most English music teaching takes the form of trying to teach the reading first, and the listening after - a much slower route, I suspect.

Furthermore, after only one hour everybody had played some `real music`.


IN THE 1950`s you could walk into a fallow field in early July and as soon as your foot touched the ground clouds of butterflies of hundreds of different species would rise. The main colours of these huge number of species were brown, red, bright blue, yellow, slate grey, extremely dark red verging on black, and white.

They really did come up in clouds.

Early this July I took a walk in Gloucestershire, and losing my way found myself crossing a fallow field.

The clouds of butterflies were somewhat reduced - to about a dozen for the whole field in fact, and the species where three as far as I remember, the colours being only brown and chalk blue.

It occured to me that the probable explanation for this was that the whole district had been chemically farmed for so long that most species had been wiped out.

Doesn`t matter, many people would say, but I suspect that when the biodiversity is reduced this much we are on the edge of a situation where the remaining species cannot survive, and neither can we.

Perhaps it serves us right for being so stupid and greedy - even if we didn`t realise at the time.

But it was entirely without the permission of th rest of the living world, who should not be asked to bear the effects of our stupidity, that we did it.


Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Lawyers and law.

Nothing this week, except to say that I am still finding the current solicitor excellent. He has done something already that the previous one could have done a few years ago.


LETSSwing and others.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris playing at the Bonnington Cafe on Saturday evening (see below in `long-term articles` for address)

Some of LETSSwing expected to appear at Bromley Lawn Tennis Club, where Bromley are hving their monthly meeting on Tues 4 Aug 7 onwards - Sandford Rd., Bromley, Kent, UK.

Click here for sheet music.

If you are in a LETS somewhere and would like LETSSwing to play to you, please contact

LETSSwing and others here also do gigs for world currencies - a variety of types of music.


Bernard Shaw was fond of pointing out how desperately governments search for means of providing their unhappy populations with work. The reason he gave for this was that although people are normally only paid a subsistence sum, the work itself is sufficient diversion to stop them rebelling and allow capitalism to continue unabated.

It might also be argued that the provision of work for people helps capitalists to continue to expand their profits at the expense of the people who work for them - although it is rather unclear on close scrutiny what constitutes wealth, given that money can only buy some things.

We have a great many people unemployed, and probably an even greater number of people working who are being paid so little they would be better off drawing social security. The employers and parasitical rich would probably call the first category `scroungers` and the second category fools.

There are also people who without any doubt do not want to work, and it is these people I am interested in because probably they also do not want to rebel. Just give them their pittance and they will leave everything to go on as it always has, and get on with fixing their bike, sitting in cafes chatting, gardening, playing music, and so on.

They are, in fact, probably quite useful in that by staying unemployed they leave employment for those who want it.

But the government doesn`t seem to care about that. They would rather take the chance of a rebellion, and after these people have been receiving `job-seeker`s allowance` for a month or two they are cut off with nothing, thereby increasing the intensity of competition for jobs, and strengthening the employers` capacity to ill-use the unemployed.

It is said that these people and the lower-paid employed generally were the backbone of the Labour vote last election. I`m sure they weren`t thinking in terms of another Thatcher operation.

Rainbow Circle Camps

A BUNCH OF HIPPIES raving about with ridiculous clothing on, saying `yea man`, and indulging in a collection of ridiculous rituals that could easily be mistaken for `satanic` but turn out to be a bit of innocent phantasising would not be the kind of thing I would go out of my way to get involved with.

But, unaware that this was how it might be, I enrolled for a music, dance and craft camp thinking I would be able to get in a great deal of music playing, making things and dancing.

From the first day I ignored the ritualistic bits, expecting at any moment to be criticised for not partaking, but nobody said anything. By the third day, I had found myself a job helping with the children`s play area, where my ingenuity with my hands, trained over a whole lifetime, gave me ample scope to help people and feel like I was something of significance.

On the sixth day I got out my saxophone, and found myself joining keili bands and being asked complicated musical questions, and in the evening entertained the camp with some old-fashioned jazz accompanied by an extremely ill-sounding guitar - which nevertheless was sufficient to hear what chord was being played.

By the eighth day I had been booked by two or three bands to play as a `session-player` in the Friday cabaret, and by the last day I was in a small jazz ensemble, with an impromptu guest trumpeter.

There is an obsession with drumming at these camps, and so the neighbours - a pretty conventional lot, I imagine - seemed to have assumed we were a field full of dangerous eccentrics performing an endless series of satanic rituals. This led to a curfew on drumming at ten o`clock - a time that I doubt any of those neighbours would have observed if they were doing something that worried us.

Dangerous? A collection of ordinary working-class and middle-class individuals playing at dressing up and being Gipsies and American Indians dangerous? Well, no, not as far as I know. They even left the field spotless.

I want to go on another camp now, and I might even join some of the circle-dancing rituals - but most of all, I want to form my own all-acoustic band - possibly the Rainbow Massed Tin Whistles!

Next two camps are Astrology (good grief!) 6 August and Healing (everything except the doctor, I reckon) later in August.

Rainbow Circle is non-profit-making, and has as big a mix of different social categories as possible. Camps are cheap to go on (nine pounds a day, I think), and there are also sometimes jobs available in exchange for your site fees.

Contact Rainbow circle, 16 Savill House, Rodenhurst Rd., Clapham, London SW4 8AG Phone 0181 674 1473.

Long term articles

(These are articles that either don`t change at all or as good as don`t change from one week to the next).


This item has not changed this week.

If you want to know about Biwater, visit the following site:

And here are a couple more sites of interest in this field:

Barefoot Boogie and Others.

(no change to this article)

Barefoot Boogie are at The International Students` House next to Great Portland St. Tube on the corner of Great Portland St. and Marylebone Road London UK on the following dates at 8.15 to 11.15 pm.

June 12, 19, 26, July 17, 24, 31, August 14, 21, September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9 23, November 13, 20, December 4, 11, 18. Alcohol- and smoke-free disco playing a wide range of music inc. classical! Biodanza says `vibrant Latin/African Rhythms; ambient, trance, classical and rock...... in London every Wednesday 7.30-9.30 No 7 Wakefield St WC1 (5 minutes Russell Square tube 9 pounds or 6 pounds, students half price, advance and block booking discounts` phone enquiries (0044 for UK from most other countries) 0181 295 1588`

Another - a bit vague - hand-written on a postcard: `Mary`s Wednesday Biodanza class continues at St Lukes Church Hillmartin Rd N7 - Caledonian Rd tube.

Bonnington Cafe.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris sometimes play at the Bonnington cafe.

Bonnington Cafe is: 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap but good vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth.

Bonnington Square, London SE8 UK (Vauxhall BR and Underground stn nearby, plus buses).


No change this week.

To see earlier articles about freemasons look in the last twelve or thirteen issues. To find them just click below:

Index of earlier issues.

To see stuff about Biwater, go to

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Small ads


(no new ads)

I want some stuff for getting data off Amstrad PCW`s onto ordinary PC`s.

Cheap laptop for writing the Other News when away from base. Contact

For sale or barter

(Will take LETS currencies): Industrial quality roofrack about 7 feet X 3.5 feet, made to measure for ford Sierra estate. I used it for woodwork contracting. It is the best I`ve ever seen. Contact

Same again, about 48" by 96", but lesser quality, for Ford Granada estate or Volvo 7 series - free owing to poor condition - but it works.


LETSSwing (the London all-LETS-members band) need a percussionist. Suit someone who thinks of playing and writing music as a creative, co-operative, gentle activity, who likes out-of-date pop and jazz, and who doesn`t like making a noise. We play so quiet you could have it in your livingroom without bothering the neighbours most of the time, and are looking at the possibilities for involvement in `the community` (playing in hospitals and so on). Contact

stop press

What, no stop press?

notes re publication.

Publication for non-profit and most educational purposes free, but must carry the sentence:

Copyright The Other News From England -

In a significant position.

All other uses are chargeable.

Editing must not be done in such a way as to misrepresent.

If you decide to print any of this copyright material in your periodical for profit, please (a)acknowledge by writing "" in a noticeable position(b) send some money to Editor, othernews co, 25 SE5 8BN, UK, and tell me what and where it is published.

Readers are invited to help prosecute illegal use of this material in exchange for receiving 70% of any financial gain resulting (after all overheads).

I sincerely hope no such event will occur.