Transition Town Tooting
We learned how it is a big proportion of our carbon footprint and how it tends to increase in line with our total household income. There is a relationship between what we buy, why we buy it and our identity. Our first exercise was to relate a purchase we were pleased with: Kew membership, solar PV, a battery to go with PV, second hand clothing, bikes, evening courses. Then we discussed why we buy using the exercise on p29. Our next exercise was to design a poster exploring the differences between personal needs and wants.
One group drew three concentric circles with basic needs in the centre, then a middle ring for things like special food, entertainment, enrichment, studying etc and an outer area for purchases that we felt were extravagant and not needed like weekend breaks by air, art collections, extravagant jewelry, watches etc, private heated swimming pools and so on. The other group’s poster was a collection of drawings: community giving companionship and friendship which didn’t require expenditure, a mastercard advert for a festival, choices and thoughts when making purchases, children’s expectations. Our penultimate exercise was to think about five ‘ways to well-being’ published by the New Economics Foundation which explored the ideas of give, connect, keep learning, be active and take notice. We all thought about whether we do these in our lives and could we make more time in our lives to do them. Generally we thought these were good principles but sometimes it can be hard to keep a balance.
Another is how education can give us a double bonus of spending time with others of different age groups and life experiences. Finally we thought about the things we didn’t get a chance to say during the evening – being too busy in our lives, remembering to be compassionate to ourselves, working towards the NEF Five ways, paying attention, new ideas for home improvements, the carbon significance of un-deleted emails, unsubscribing to unread emails.
A TERRIFIC LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! AT ZEITGEIST STAGE
There’s no getting around the fact that Love! Valour! Compassion! Terrence McNally’s 1994 Tony-winning dramedy, is beginning to show its age. Had already made waves, it was still a relatively taboo thing for such an overtly gay play to become both a critical smash and a hit at the box office.
Even if the play no longer feels like it crackles with modern urgency and that it doesn’t totally speak to-forgive me-the zeitgeist of this very moment the way that it did 24 years ago, Love! Valour! Compassion! remains a treasured contemporary work that is being given a worthy and totally absorbing revival at Zeitgeist Stage. Set in 1994 at a semi-upstate New York country home, each act of the play takes place over three consecutive holiday weekends: Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Labor Day.
His boyfriend of four years, Bobby, played with great gentility by Cody Sloan, is blind and is significantly younger than Gregory. A notorious Broadway flop that marked Lucille Ball’s only Broadway appearance. Seeming to not quite gel with the rest of the group is John, a pompous Brit still bitter from his failed musical, and his new lover, Ramon, whose lasciviousness becomes a problem over the course of the summer. John’s brother, James, arrives later in the summer and quickly forms a bond with Buzz. Brooks Reeves, giving one of the best performances of the year, plays both John and James.
The play unfolds with the nonchalance of a long summer weekend and is a rich study not only of friendship and love but of the cruelty of time and how-sickness or not-time rarely leaves any fruit on the tree. Love! Valour! Compassion! suffers a bit from too much sentimentality-sentimentality that Miller’s production does not completely mitigate, though it can hardly be faulted for it.
There is a great deal of heart that radiates from Miller’s affectionate revival and from the terrific ensemble of actors that make Love! Valour! Compassion! one of my favorite productions of the year.
Most hospitals were founded for specific purposes such as leper hospitals, or as refuges for the poor and it was not until later did hospitals become multi-functional. Not all hospitals cared for the sick and there were establishments to house the dying or infirm but the purpose was not cure or even care but to keep the ill poor off the streets. Almshouses were religious institutions in existence from the 10th century – in the middle ages the majority of hospitals functioned as almshouses. Nine hospitals were established throughout the country but the word ‘hospital’ was also used for institutions concerned with people and their families who were poor or destitute, as part of the Poor Law provisions. In London, for example, the only medical hospitals in the 1700s were the Royal Hospitals of St Bartholomew and St Thomas.
There were other hospitals for special categories, such as Greenwich for injured sailors and refugees, the Magdalen Hospital founded to rescue ‘penitent prostitutes’ and the Marine Society for Educating Poor Destitute Boys. Between 1719 and 1750 five new general hospitals were founded in London and one of these was Guy’s Hospital, founded in 1724, from a bequest by a wealthy merchant Thomas Guy. Local authorities of large towns provided municipal hospitals, maternity hospitals, hospitals for infectious diseases like smallpox and tuberculosis, as well as hospitals for the elderly. By 1844 his premises, now called the Royal Free Hospital, was treating 30,000 patients a year. The Bethlem Royal Hospital was the world’s oldest psychiatric hospital, established in 1330.
The Act introduced a compulsory apprenticeship and a formal qualification and required individuals to have instruction in a range of subjects including anatomy, botany, chemistry and physics – in addition to six months’ practical hospital experience. Hospitals charged for services, though sometimes poorer people would be reimbursed.