Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Newcastle City Council Budget Cuts



Councillor Nick Forbes speaks about how the cuts to local government are impacting on our city.
The city relies heavily on money from central government, because of its many people in old age, disability or youth, its many social problems, and its low revenue from council tax (many households not paying council tax at all, also many households in lower council tax bands like A, B and C (which mean less money coming in from local tax).

Snow


Over the last few weeks we have had lots of snow. I didn't get out in it much as it was soon compacted down and the paths became very icy. Thanks to my neighbours and dear friends for helping me get to where I needed to go, also to the drivers at the ever-reliable Fenham Taxis with their fleet of old Peugeot Diesels. However I was sent this photo taken in Jesmond Dene looking very wintry. There are people sledging on the Town Moor on You Tube, also lots more Newcastle Snow videos to look through.
Managed to get to the Library today and an elderly lady told me that she had almost run out of food because she had not been able to get out of the house and hadn't wanted to bother anyone by phoning for help.
So please, next time the weather turns bad, call on your elderly or frail neighbours and check if they need anything.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Bodhisatva Sun

Over the last few weeks I spent some time in Leazes park.
I saw the birds on the Leazes Park Lake and the pigeons lined up on the roof of the Kiosk were all expressing something wonderful. I remembered it was December 21st (Darkest Day) and soon the sun would be reborn.
A few days passed and we came out of the dark cloud of rain and greyness which seemed to have been sitting over Newcastle. I saw the sun in the East and it seemed like the first sun I had seen for some time. At that moment I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the Sun, which like a true Boddhisatva stays in the world eternally providing warmth, light and energy to all those in need, even while burning in a fire.
The concept of a boddhisatva as one who stays in samsara eternally to help all beings, was finally grasped. Hail to Brother Sun!
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