1 Dec 2009


Well, it seems a little early to be using the term 'new' as we've not yet passed Christmas, but hey, it's the first of December already and I'm planning radio shows for the new year, looking forward to building on every seed I planted this year, and so I don't know about you, but it feels so new and vital to me already.

How are we feeling as Christmas approaches? It's an interesting time because I can bet a million to one that as good as the year has treated you, as good you are feeling about Christmas coming.

For us, to be honest it's a lot of travelling between 3 sets of parents, but it beats one large family do, where we eat too much, feel caged in and squabble. Luckily I've never had one of those. Perhaps you're luckier than me and escaping to say, work with tigers in Africa this Christmas? Ive looked into it, it's a real option!

Yesterday I walked past the law courts, and I saw this man coming out. He caught my eye because we was bouyant and laughing unreservedly to himself. He was wearing a grey tracksuit and jacket and gave a few 'whoops' while muttering "free man". As he came out the gates I saw he had a sack-sized, transparent bag full of clothes and a prayer mat in his other hand, I couldn't help it I'd a huge smile on my face to mirror his. I said "What's going on?" He said "I just got out of prison today, I'm a free man". We laughed and I recalled working in a women's prison once, they wore the same grey tracksuits. I said "It feels good freedom, make the most of it and do some good things now you're out!" "Sure will" he said, then pointed to the ground "Whoo! look! Pavement!"

I thought about freedom and the fight we put up, even virtually, for others. What can more important than our freedom, what if health if you are jailed or confined in way that won't let you enjoy your health? Iran's young Iranian community and friends raised hundreds of pounds last Sunday at an event put on by my radio show Six Pillars to Persia. This was serendipity knocking again, keeping me thinking globally and outside the box of human rights in Iran, to man's freedom to live out his life, in general.

Everything suddenly felt very new, very real, and completely alive.