Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Burning Keeps Me Alive

Although I woke up at a reasonable time, I was still running late this morning. In fact, I had to do a great deal of running to prevent myself being late.

I had to get a few things together that I wanted to take to Cambridge today for the East Anglia Social Forum. It took me quite a while to find everything: notepads, copies of The Great Commotion(a free news sheet in Norwich), a book to read on the train, culture-jamming stickers, Ubuntu Linux cdroms and a map of Cambridge. Once I had got everything together I was 15 minutes behind schedule. I had to run to the train station, a 40-minute walk, just to catch my train.

Running felt very good; the burning in my body(lactic acid?), the sensation in the soles of my feet, the images in my mind of the world rushing by...

Found a seat on the train and started to do some reading. I wanted to just fall asleep but the fact that I might have woken up 6 hours later in Liverpool prevented me from doing so.

When I changed trains at Ely, I met Sam, a friendly young man who I had met several times before. We got on the train to Cambridge and, 15 minutes later, got quite concerned that we were not in Cambridge. Somehow we had taken the wrong train although I'm sure we were right and the train was wrong. We eventually got to Cambridge and found our way to the EASF, which was being held at the Friend's Meeting house.

EASF takes place every couple of months in East Anglia. The last one was held in Colchester and the one before that was in Norwich. The Next EASF will be in Ipswich. Various people attend and discuss social issues such as housing, human rights, work and food etc. The atmosphere at EASF is always wonderful and basically EASF is the best thing I'm involved in.

The first Cambridge EASF session was about the future of free healthcare in the UK. Our National Health Service is a terrible state and things are rapidly getting worse. There were several people from the NHS there who shared some of their experiences and opinions and we had a good discussion on whether community run hospitals could replace centrally run hospitals or at least alleviate some of the pressure the NHS is under.

Lunch was very light. I had 2 biscuits, 2 cups of water and an apple. I talked to a lot of lovely people and felt very good about life. Such is the power of EASF.

The people from Ipswich had brought some Swap Shop things with them to give away. I picked up a book on programming in the Macromedia Flash MX animation language. I was tempted to take the Nintendo 64 games console but I was able to resist.

The second Cambridge EASF session was about resisting globalisation. Some heated debate at points, lots of general chat about what everyone was up to and what they wanted to do in the future.

At 4 pm we all went for a walk through Cambridge, ending up a pub. It's hard to explain why English people go to pubs. They[the pubs] are generally very unpleasant. I can only imagine it's some kind of genetic memory.

Phil and I re-recorded the our radioshow, this time with one of Phil's friends in the USA. It was ok but not great. You can download it here. It's about 50 megs or something but it does stream. Hopefully next week's show will be much better.

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