Sunday, May 08, 2005

Sorry

So it is exam time and I was on holiday for a long time and before that I was lazy and just couldn;t be bothered to write. Now I am just procrasting which is never good - oh well. I will try to put some pics up soon and maybe a story or two. But in teh meantime check out http://veggiepower.blogspot.com. peace - neal

Monday, March 07, 2005

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part II

First Day in Cardiff Part II

Royal Navy Ship Docked in Cardiff Bay

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

First Day in Cardiff Part I

First Day in Cardiff Part I

Cardiff Castle - Cardiff, Wales - View From Old Remains of Castle w/
Moat

Thursday, March 03, 2005

What Country Are You?

I found this really funny website that will tell you what country you are. After some manipulation since some questions don't have an answer that really works for me here are the countries I'm like.



You're
the United Nations!

Most people think you're ineffective, but you are trying to
completely save the world from itself, so there's always going to be a long
way to go.  You're always the one trying to get friends to talk to each
other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of
beating each other about the head and torso.  Sometimes it works and sometimes
it doesn't, and you get very schizophrenic as a result.  But your heart
is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.





You're Canada!

People make fun of you a lot, but they're stupid because you've
got a much better life than they do.  In fact, they're probably just jealous.
 You believe in crazy things like human rights and health care and not
dying in the streets, and you end up securing these rights for yourself and
others.  If it weren't for your weird affection for ice hockey, you'd be
the perfect person.





You're Ireland!

Mystical and rain-soaked, you remain mysterious to many people, and this
makes you intriguing.  You also like a good night at the pub, though many are just as
worried that you will blow up the pub as drink your beverage of choice.  You're good
with words, remarkably lucky, and know and enjoy at least fifteen ways of eating a potato.
 You really don't like snakes.



And the first time it thought I was Liechenstein but only the nature parts of it are correct and I do like my independence but some of the other stuff is completely wrong (at least I hope).



You're
Liechtenstein!

Most folks don't take you that seriously, but you really make
a big deal out of being independent.  You don't do a whole lot for other
people, but you make the best of the resources available to you.  You really
like snow.  And mountains.  And being independent.  And you're
probably pretty small.

Take
the Country Quiz.




I also saw a realy cool ballett/play called Giselle which was really awesome. It involved death, telephone pole sitting, line dancing, country music, blues music, a bisexual teacher, messed up families, spririts from the grave, and dancing. In short it was really awesome.

I'll have much more to add to the blog soon.

Have a good weekend (don't think I'll be writing anymore tomorrow (Friday).

peace

- neal

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Nothing Can Describe

I saw in the newspaper today an advert for Channel 4's program on Torture and Guantanamo Bay. I told one of my mates and he watched it from the start. I started watching half way through it and was uphalled and shocked at the methods and means of torture that are used in Guantanamo. It was horrifying to watch. They had 7 volunteers who volunteered themselves to undergo the kinds of torture that are used at the Naval Base there. It was disgusting. Forced nudity. Planted objects. The level of stress was so high that in under 24 hours one person had to leave. Only 4 made it through and it was only a few days long (48 hours I think only). And the methods that were used were milder than those used in Guantanamo Bay. They also used sensory deprivation where they were blindfolded placed in a room with headphones playing whit noise for hours on end. In Guantanamo it can be done for up 18 hours. They only did 2 in the show. It has been proven that after about 40 minutes people start to hallucinate. The one time the man was placed in a forced very uncomfortable looking position naked in the cell with sensory deprivation and cold air blowing on him. They was also forced shaving, forced positions that I know from doing Yoga (keeping ones legs up off the ground by several centimetres while laying down is 1 incredibly hard and becomes painful after more than 15 seconds of holding it and one man had to hold it for several minutes. He couldn't do it and got yelled at because of it. The things that were done are horrifying. Even the men who went into the simulation thinking torture should be allowed couldn't possibly imagine it working or believing in it. They couldn't imagine it even for the worst of criminals and they thought that any evidence gained by them would certainly be wrong since people would want to say things about the other people just so that they might be rewarded. People would be desperate and make up lies. It is a terribly inhuman thing that violates all morals held to be true and good of a "Western" world and breaks many international treaties. We need to tell our Congress people to do something about it. To take a stance and officially outlaw it!

may we have peace in our world

- neal

Monday, February 28, 2005

The Rest of Weekend and I Promise

I promise to include my thoughts from while I was hiking the trail in Wales on that Saturday. Basically I went for the walk walked a ways in the mud. Got to a cool spot with the bridge thats certainly in some pictures and then as I said before was going to try and eat at the Pub there but they were not serving food so I walked back as it got darker and darker (eventually very dark). And realised where the real trail was so I took it back to the M named town that I can no longer spell correctly. And I then took the train back into Cardiff went to the Hostel and talked with Gui for a little while then we went up to our room talked some more and went to bed.

So My thoughts while I was sitting on the fence post/gate thingy that somehow kept the animals in or out depending upon what side you are on and which side belongs to you and me :) (good old Woody Guthrie).

So what I wrote is:
I'm sitting by the book on a fence post thingie, thinking of writing about my time here. The gate has barbed wire by it making me think an animal might come to greet me from one side of the other son. [yes I know that makes no sense but I'm typing it word for word.] so I am on constant lookout for one. so far I'm still here and alive. Seen some ducks and birds (mallards and something on the order of a heron). I hear the birds and the water and I realize [how terrible of me to spell it American style] how beautiful life is when its cool and damp or raing [raining]. I am supposed to be on some trail but I'm not sure if I am still on it or not. I really haven't seen the structures it sounded like I might [the map showing them that is] but that is just as well because now I get to see the water. When was the last time you went outside Sat, and just wrote. This kind of reminds me of going to Springbrook a long time ago to sit by the stream. Well must get going the rain seems its starting again.

So that is my brief thoughts from sitting there.

The next day Sunday I had the same jam and toast breakfast, but I think I also had a fruit because the girl I had went up with on the train had forgotten her food. Sunday I went to Mass in the morning then met Gui at the National Museum. After looking at a lot of art and some celtic ruin things we walked to the Bay and Went in the old Norweigian Church and the Oddly Shaped Visitor Centre. When this was finished we headed back up towards the hostel. We took the river route on the way home and since the hostel was close to the river we went there talked for abit and then I got my luggage from behind the counter and headed to the bus stop to find a really crowded Double Decker Bus. I said my goodbyes to Gui and then I got on and the bus returned me to my home away from home (London). So there you go its finally finished. It is now 6 March and I went on a day trip to Cambridge which was really awesome!

Ill have to write more about it and Scotland soon.

- neal

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Scattered Thoughts (But Not Wales Yet)

I hope everyone is doing very well and that they enjoy my very long overdue finishing up of my time in Wales. (Part of this line was written 26 Feb. at 1 AM The rest is from the time the stamp shows) :)

Of course just as always I have to give you an update of the past few days to be sure that the past is put in the context of whats happening to me right now. Well yesterday I went to a conference about how to stop the BNP (British National Party). They are a very far right wing group that is fascist. They hate all immigrants and ethnic minorities. They are racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and have a dislike for Jewish People. It was very interesting to hear and read about them. I had never heard of such a party before. Well at least not in current times. The party is like an offspring of the National Front which gained popularity in some areas and there were race riots back in the past. So the conference was about how to stop them. One of the big things that was talked about was telling others and informing them that there is such things going on currently. The other big thing is to not allow them to get in power. Once they have power it is harder to remove fascist governments. One of the most important things is writing to the BBC and other newsources and expressing our outrage when they are presented on the radio or in papers as a normal and good party just as anyother. Public outcry can have a big effect in journalism. The BNP also should not be given government money for advertising. The network of people/group working on stopping the BNP is United Against Fascism http://www.uaf.org.uk/ . They were the main group at the conference yesterday. One of the seminars my friend Marie (who went with me) and I went to was a Holocaust Survivor. He was in Auschwitz and was transfered from many different camps. I will write more about him in the near future once I read the book that he wrote. Marie bought it (well I gave her one pound). Once she is done I will read it and it will get passed around I am certain. It really was amazing to hear him speak of the atrocities. The most interesting part was that he is English but in the process of everything his passport was lost and he was not allowed to contact anyone. He did have ancestors that lived in the Rotterdam where he was living at the time. For a more thorough explanation of his background and some of his life go to http://www.movinghere.org.uk/stories/story85/story85.htm or http://www.guardian.co.uk/secondworldwar/story/0,14058,1389433,00.html. His wife and 2 year old son were gassed not long after the family arrived at the first concentration camp. He ended up in a camp because he couldn't leave Rotterdam in time and because a friend who he had entrusted to keep his passport and some money in safe keeping panicked out of fear that they would discover that he was hiding it (which was helping a Jewish person I guess.) The friend burned it leaving him paperless to prove his nationality.

After he was liberated from Buchenwald on 11 April 1945. The next year he began to tell his story and has been doing so since then. What I found the most interesting was how alive nazism and fascism is still alive today. It is sickening. He has received death threats and called a liar in a fascist paper. He has had bricks thrown in through his windows by the National Front. Two years ago he received terrible "Christmas" cards (I don't know what kind of Christian sends the kinds of cards he received). There were nazi symbols drawn on them and one card said he would have made a good lampshade. He told us how he truly fears the occurrence of another Holocaust or at the least the strong rising in fascism. I was disgusted, saddened, frightened, moved, and everything else imaginable at the time.

So after the seminar in which he spoke. We went to a plenary (larger conference) and another one after that. They spoke of how to stop the BNP which I spoke of above. After the conference and after helping clean up some we went to Planet Organic which is both a vegetarian deli style café and an organic store. It was good food but the problem I have is that they give you the food (unless its soup) in plastic containers. I notice this with many "healthy" places to eat. They serve good food but the packaging is terrible for the environment. So after I had a lentil, onion, garlic soup (I think that's what it was) we looked around the store and I found chickpeas which were not canned. I was terribly excited because canned chickpeas always have added salt and such. I am now soaking them in water because they were incredibly hard and shriveled. I wonder though when chick peas/garbanzo beans and picked what are they like? Do they dehydrate them to pack them in a bag or do they cook them to put them in a can? If someone could leave a comment on what they think it is that would be excellent!

So after that we went to Teco's (Supermarket) for Marie to get her chocolate fix and then he headed to Goodge St. Tube Stop to meet up with some people to head to a Malaysian society thing.

That and I guess Wales will once again have to wait because its now 1230. I started a while ago but then went next door to talk to Carlos when I saw that the lights were on in his room. He has a friend from Spain in and I wanted to meet him. He was very cool. He only really spoke Spanish. He's a second year Physical Therapy Student. It was cool meeting more people from all over the place. Last weekend I think it was, I met Carlos's sister who was in town to visit. She was very shy but looks just like Carlos. He has taken them around the town and shown them the highlights. Just like some of you may get if you come to visit me. Right, about that sleep thing. It will happen now.

Peace all. - Neal

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Fun Times at the Pub and Pizza Before It

Fun Times at the Pub and Pizza Before It

Fun Times at the Pub and Pizza Before It

Fun Times at the Pub and Pizza Before It

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

A Day of Ice Skating with some of my Mates (Near Liverpool St. Station)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Last Day in Cardiff, Wales (Sunday)

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales

The Bus Ride to Wales