This weekend Johny and I doubled up as bloggers for this year’s Threshold Festival. Now in its third year, Threshold is a grass roots celebration of emerging talent in the fields of art and music. Johny and I joined the massive team of hard working and dedicated volunteers without whom there would be no Festival.
We dashed from venue to venue and even the horrible endless rain couldn’t dampen our spirits or those of the Festival goers around the Baltic Triangle and the Albert Dock.
We saw some brilliant live music, some fantastic art and great discussion panels. Read all about it on the Thresholds official blog. Links below.
For some brilliant photos from the Festival, check out Threshold’s official Facebook page
Right now, I am sweltering in the heat, reading book after book, while outside temperatures barely move above -20 degrees. …..it is freezing outside….. looks like a winter wonderland with deep, crisp and even snow and it was -32 degrees last week. My home is in what’s called, a ‘blok’- a Communist built block of flats. It has every home amenity. You can find identically built ‘bloki’ in Siberia, Slovakia, Moscow, or Vladivostok, infact anywhere in the old USSR. The heating system in these ‘bloki’ was the best thing that ever came out of the era. They never turn the heat off!
A children’s communal play area was always built in the middle of these buildings but sadly, some were neglected in the past and never fully utilised by the children. Now, a majority of them are used as carparks.
Natalia had nowhere to play as a child.
Natalia, had an impoverished Russian childhood, a sister with cerebral palsy, single parent mother and couldn’t go to school normally because often she had to babysit…she struggled.
This lifestyle affected her so much that when she came into a bit of money, she started up a charity called ‘The Naked Heart Foundation’ in 2004. Like Natalia, we share the same goals having had a childhood giving resilience, with little that can surprise in life. Equipped with learn’t and inherited life skills-tools that other people don’t necessarily have-such as the will to push that bit further, to make things happen, to succeed and get what you want, within reason.
She is someone I know, and believe in. She is so passionate about her goals in life.
The Naked Heart Foundation developed in Russia because Natalia wanted to do something purposeful with her life. She had nowhere to play as a child and her Charity Fund has created hundreds of new playgrounds in Russia.
The ONLY playground being funded outside Russia by her charity will be in Northumberland Street, Dingle, Liverpool. L8, an area I grew up in as a child.
This is an important venture as it puts eyes on our city and is reported on Russian TV and media in general.
The facility is a much needed one in the area.
It includes a sports arena, 5 a-side football and netball pitches and mini allotments for the children to grow vegetables. Deigned by local children.
The cost £100K.
Ready by Easter 2013.
If you want to know more about Natalia, then checkout the name and website and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find. No matter how money and lifestyle may influence ones life, some people still have the gift to ‘give back’.
Comparing this year of mine to a film with the Movie industry constituting my life thus far then I’d say Ive had an ‘ Avatar ‘ on my hands or for those with whom I’ve now became aquainted ‘ Mr Bean.’ Having this Romantic affair with Lady Liverpool and her talented family has made me determined to contribute and introduce myself to elements within the Arts that are a long haul flight away from my comfort zone. I can’t very well urge you all in my previous blog to roll the dice and try something new if I wasn’t at all prepared to run alongside or even a little further on.
So with this in mind I set myself a challenge . To try something where the chances are I’m much more likely to fail than succeed . This may seem ridiculous but to be honest the pay off in attempting this alone will be enough . The challenge set is STAND UP COMEDY. This isn’t because I think I’m particularly funny (I know I make my children laugh but this is usually unintended and at my own expense) but more about not having it on the list of ‘ Oh I wish I’d tried……’ That very list I know you’ll have yourself and that which I feel on a mission to help all who read this eradicate. You see there is really nothing at stake for me here. Nothing to prove to myself and certainly no credibility to lose and it’s in knowing this that I’ve avoided cradling my head in my hands and squatting Basil Fawlty style in the corner of my living room muttering ” What the Hell have you done you receding Ginger Idiot. He’s from Faifield you know! “
So the wheels are now set in motion.
Emails to various open mic venues sent and replies both eagerly and nervously awaited and I have to admit, stand or fall I couldn’t recommend taking the trip to discomfort city enough.There’s every chance that next year may well be a ‘ Police Academy II ‘ year for me as far as sequels go but as luck would have it , I looked at the label on my new coat and it does state ‘ tomato resistant ‘
For all thats going on click http://culture.org.uk/