Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Boss gets a keyboard and Frankie gets to sing

Frankie here - The Boss, egged on by his piano teacher Rebbecca, has brought a second hand keyboard for his office! It is all a grand and fiendish plan to get rid rid of the Professor next door who already finds the Boss' choice of music 'infernal'. Truly though the Boss wants to get more music practice in. He says I can do vocals - Yes! Can you imagine it me draped over a grand piano singing 'These Foolish Things' or 'West End girls'? Len has offered to blow his didgerdoo, even Q has offered to sing a madrigal or too, and Stacey well Stacey fancies herself (pause)(well we all know that! 'Watch it Frankie all I'll sort you out good time'. Only joking Stacey, honest) fancies herself on Pop idol ('Why not? A girl's gotta dream!). Our colleague Terry of course is a accomplished guitarist he even played at a conference in Edinburgh 2 years ago at which the Boss sang. God it was so so embarrassing. Where was I? Oh Yes Terry on guitar and Clare used to teach music so she could play almost any instrument and then there's Jackie and Shelley on back up vocals and I think Neil could deliver a mean blues number he certainly looks the part...

Monday, 12 January 2009

Kenyan Days

I am just back from a week in Kenya and rather dazed, jet lagged and sleep deprived but a ride to work on my bike in the rain has raised curiously my spirits! Now for a tale from Kenyan.

I met up with an extraordinary Aussie called Jodie who has been living in Kenya for nearly 3 years. She does some work via a link with a local Christian church with orphans. Recently she had visited a village I think it was somewhere up the Rift Valley where some of the worst post election violence occurred just over a year ago.

She found a pastor in the village who had taken in 100 orphans whose parents had been killed. The villagers had rallied round, those who were teachers had freely given their time after work to set up a rudimentary school, others had helped with the care of the children and so on. Not noticing a dormitory she asked the pastor where the children slept. 'In the church' he replied. Now think about it, don't think grand English church think dirt poor Kenyan church probably with a corrigated iron roof, think of a 100 children bedded down.

It is a different culture. Kenyan are often in extended families with strong tribal loyalties and support. There is not a strong well resourced infrastructure that we in the West are used to, but nor do they wait around for the 'authorities' or the government to do something.

I have always avoided teaching in Kenya beyond a few workshops on spirituality. I certain have been very wary of teaching people to counsel there. (I am wary of doing the same in England but that is another story, another blog entry). This last week I have been teaching trained counsellors to do research. Or rather working with trained counsellors who already have some research experience. It still begs a lot of questions some of them related to culture, including both the nature of their proposed research compared to my UK students and the value or otherwise of my rather post modern approach! However they ran with much of what I gave them with an enthusiasm, engagement and a respect for me. All of which is rather less with my UK students. Some of the changes in my teaching that I did in working in Kneya will I think change my teaching in Britain. So I am learning and my British students will benefit too.

Best to all,


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Q and the Boss and Stacey in Nairobi

Fortunately I have got Q and Stacey with me - the full team. So if - if! Frankie goes off message or rather on Nightclubs etc as I am sure he will I can rely on them.

Q: Boss is it not rather extravagant taking me with you to Nairobi?
Maybe Q but vitally necessary.
You mean it can't wait?
OK tell me about it.
Well Q I can't come to rest about this mortality business.
Yes Ah. What happens when we dies, where will I go, why was I born...
Slow down a bit Boss. What brought this on?
Well Christmas, my birthday yesterday, remembering the dead...
Q, all this Ahing is getting kind of annoying.
OK Boss it sounds like you want some answers.
Creation is good.
Creation is purposeful
You are thankful and experience gratitude. Rest in that Boss.
Thaat's a bit thin Q.
I know but I also know you are not able to surrender to the Nicean creed for example
Then hold fast to what you do know and what you tell others
That's tough Q
Remember the timelessness of your mystical experiences
OK Q I throw up my hands if not my dinner :)

Now Sracey please deal with immigration, passport control, hotel reecption, my Kenyan hosts whilst I-
Whilst you what Boss?
Whilst I commune with the spirits in the bar
Would that be the spirits of brandy and rum, Boss?
That would be the spirits Stacey!

'Well a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do,' said Stacey archly.

Frankie (and the Boss) goes to Nairobi

Yes! The Boss has taken me to Kenya. Oh Wow! Land of Safaris, Masai warriors and gridlock traffic jams!

Of course Franke like all true PAs is deeply conservative and protective of the Boss' persona. Seeing him snog an elderly woman was way too much for him! To see the Boss snog a youbng woman would have caused Frankie to (mock) vomit but at least that would have been understandable. Indeed Frankie would have got some perverse secondary pleasure from that but an old women 'Way no".

Frankie of course totally misses the Boss' profound emptahy and his life of things eternal - the soul/spirit and its own beauty.