Thursday 27 June 2013


I just heard the craziest story yet about NHS savings under privatisation - my mum who has Altzeimers was taken to the memory clinic - they can't tell us if she's deteriorated further or if medication has stabilised her - BECAUSE THE MEMORY TESTS ARE DONE ON A COMPUTER PROGRAMME UNDER LICENCE AND THE PROVIDERS WERE UNDERCUT BY ANOTHER BIDDER  - so now the whole PCT has no records whatsoever of any of it's dementia patients - as they've all got to start again with a new system. What that will mean in terms of additional expensive staff time and in failed care and inappropriate medication is anybody's guess - but the privatised NHS thinks it saved money by switching to another software provider! This seems like we are living in a stand up comedy show or fantasy film - but it's the NHS here and now with this crazy crazy short sighted government !

Wednesday 26 June 2013


Dear Sirs

I am writing in response to the consultation about the mobility component of PIP.


The PIP/DLA component for getting around needs to be what it says - a MOBILITY component not a WALKING component. 

What is lacking in the current criteria is a category for people who can stand and walk but are immobilised by medical conditions and cannot walk to the shops or use public transport without putting themselves in severe danger. Without mobility payments they are effectively housebound and unemployable.

My own teenage daughter is a case in point.

She has neurological and cardiovascular conditions including Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and dysautonomia (as a result of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) which make it dangerously unsafe and therefore impossible for her to travel by tube or bus or to walk long distances. A 24 hour heart rate monitor produced what her Consultant described as a 'scary' reading when she attempted to walk a couple of hundred yards. 

She currently has a Statement of Special Educational Need which includes transport - the Local Authority take her to, from & between classes - without which she could not attend. They wouldn't do this if it was non essential. 

When the Statement of Special Educational Need ends she will be housebound as I'm an OAP on council tax benefit and in failing health - I am not able practically or financially to provide for her transport needs. Her only way of going to university would be if she was awarded the higher rate mobility component so that she could get a Motability car or use taxis. Without this award her education will end when the Statement of Special Educational Need ends - and her many undoubted talents will be wasted. She will be housebound and unemployable and will become  dangerously depressed and an increasing benefits drain on the public purse.

To provide her with the higher rate mobility component of DLA/PIP would mean that she could continue her studies and make herself employable. She will only ever be able to do work which requires minimal physical exertion and that means using brain power not physical ability - this requires a university education. 

It would cost the country far far less to provide her with a mobility payment and therefore make her educable and employable than for her to stay at home and spend the rest of her life on invalidity / incapacity benefits.

Please look again at the question of MOBILITY payments for people with ME / CFS and cardiovascular problems and dysautonomia who would be unsafe on public transport and who therefore need an enhanced MOBILITY payment if they are to be facilitated to make themselves independent and/or educable / employable.


Jan Loxley Blount 
TCert., Dip Child Development. 

The primary symptoms present in patients with dysautonomia are:

Monday 24 June 2013

Children taken wrongfully into care

Date: 25 June 2013 00:00:38 GMT+01:00
To: ""
Subject: Kids wrongfully in care - following your programme 
Dear Panorama

I run a Facebook page Parents Protecting Children UK (link below) which succeeded a website of the same name (still exists - somewhat out if date but with useful archives in the documents section).

You might like to look in the Parents Protecting Children UK website docs section and in Hansard for speeches by Earl Howe.

I'm the 'educated north London woman' referred to by Lord Howe on several occasions and by Baroness Shirley Williams (Portcullis House speech) whose 1999 case of social services intrusion opened their minds to a parallel world of false accusations. Howe and several of his colleagues including Spellman, Greive, Fox and others were well versed in the issues of wrongful child abuse accusations - and yet like the 'good men who do nothing' to which I remember Howe referring in opposition, they've stood by and let Cameron, Gove & Neary make everything a thousand times worse! 

Recently I'm horrified by some of the cases reaching me at Parents Protecting Children UK or which I hear about through Parents Against Injustice Network, False Allegations Support Organisation or Education Equality.

Families, especially those with autism or with a variety of hard to diagnose complaints which may fall within the umbrella of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and related conditions or may be caused by vitamin D deficiency or vaccine damage are routinely pillaged by social services who take away their dignity and their social standing and frequently their children.

I could arrange to put you in contact with others from the various support agencies or directly with selected parents.

This is a scandal leading to kids wrongfully in care and to wrongful forced adoptions.

Many cases start with misunderstanding over school placements and resources. Gove's new GCSE proposals will make things worse, as kids who are different won't be offered the school places they need for fear of their lack of exam passing skills will reflect badly on the schools league tables - so there will be more fights with the authorites over school places and invariably a significant percentage of these fights become child protection cases as social workers imagine that fighting for a school place is symptomatic of MSBP.

I'd love to talk to you further

Very Best Wishes Jan Loxley Blount 


Proud mum!

Despite a raging sore throat and a lot of recent illness my daughter wowed them in the big theatre at Arts Depot tonight with an exciting solo rendition of Gershwin's 'I Got Rhythm' accompanied by the wonderful Ros Savourin. Part of Barnet Educational Arts Trust Music Festival. The sore throat gave her normally very pure voice, a slightly smoky edge which went well with jazz! lovely! On the way down in the lift one of the little girls from a primary school choir looked up at her with awe and said 'you're a very good singer!'
There were some good performances by some of the schools and the massed choir, innovative arrangements with lots of percussion, a truly wonderful evening. Congratulations to all!

Saturday 22 June 2013

Friends passing

The saddest thing about getting older is when friends start dying. This week I've heard of two. Both funerals missed. Both not seen in 18 months because of the pressures of family illness.

RIP RUTH REES of Barnet Carers, a lady who in her 80s coped with email and smart phones, she loved helping others and most of all loved her beautiful garden which she opened to the public each year as part of the National Gardens scheme to raise money for charity.

RIP JOHN DOWNING of St Phillip's & St Mary's but most of all of the theatre: actor, director and friend of the great jazz divas - I was going to buy him a coffee for him to tell me more about it - he said 'you won't I said 'I will' and it's been on my to do list and I never did! I had print outs of theatre bits about him from the Internet which I wanted to give him - now I can't.

And to add to all of it the 95 year old who I'm helping with a book spent yesterday being monitored in Barnet General - she's home but it's a warning that I need to get on with it fast - very fast - but in present circumstance that ain't easy.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Pompeii Live

I saw the video cast from the British Museum of POMPEII LIVE at the Phoenix in East Finchley last night. Very mixed feelings. Lovely to see the artefacts but the presentation was extremely disappointing. The sound was cacophonous, I'm not sure if the Phoenix could have improved this but they didn't! 

On TV Mary Beard & Bettany Hughes come over as strong intelligent women, respecting themselves, their knowledge and the intelligence of their audience. Last night was dumbed down and seriously misjudged. They gushed, they wasted precious live time with silly affectations, they (especially Mary Beard) had seemingly been told to flirt with Peter Snow, it came over badly. As I came out I overhead a member of the audience, saying that the one she liked best was the exhibition curator, 'because he was the only one who talked to the audience as if we were intelligent human beings'. This video cast wasn't being relayed to a football stadium of people who had never been in a museum before - it was to cinemas full of intelligent arts and history aware people who couldn't get exhibition tickets, couldn't travel so far or stand so long. Also to those like me with exhibition tickets, who wanted to know more. I think this was a first for the BM - I hope they'll learn before trying again! 

That said, the artefacts were glorious and we were left wondering how some of them were transported and indeed if such risks should have been taken? I guess the monies raised through the exhibition and the video casts and the associated interest and increase in tourist visits will fund much needed conservation and that therefore risking some items to preserve others is justifiable. They know that (especially in Herculaneum) there are vast un-excavated areas and therefore many more treasures still to be found. There was discussion, especially with a Professor who was busily and fruitfully excavating the sewers (he was the other one who besides the curator was true to himself on camera), about the ethics of further excavation when they are failing to conserve what is already exposed. 

The stuff from the sewers was fascinating. You could imagine the horror of a beautiful young woman as she washed her hands and knocked her precious jewelled gold ring (bigger than the sapphire worn by Princesses Diana & Kate) down the drain, never to be seen again, or at least not for 2000 years. There was a bracelet too and a perfect little statue of a household god, who must have been watching over the toilet until accidentally knocked down it - maybe by one of the earth tremors signalling the unhappiness in the belly of Vesuvius. Kitchen implements, large fragments of pottery and whole cooking pots were obviously thrown or washed away with waste foodstuffs. Faecal remains have enabled the diet of ordinary people to be analysed and found to be extraordinarily varied, including imported as well as local foodstuffs and with something like 50 varieties of fish.

The ordinariness of the lives of the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum (if they hadn't been preserved in ash we'd never have given them a second thought) meant that at several points i found myself thinking back to Grayson Perry's 2012 BM exhibition, at the 'Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman'. The craftsmen and women of Pompeii and Herculaneum were presumably local and remain unknown. Mary Beard & Bettany Hughes were intent on giggling about the lewd and contentious. They showed phallic objects which would have fitted well in the Perry exhibition, but Perry presented that section in a much more satisfyingly matter of fact way. They found a multi phallus with bells on, which Perry's bear, Alan Measles, would have enjoyed. Beard showed murals from the pub or drinking house with cartoons and Latin inscriptions of vociferous arguments prompted by games won or lost. Her ease at reading the Latin inscriptions demonstrated her academic prowess, sadly not evident in much of this 'performance'. Hughes feigned shock and warned sensitive audience members to look away from a statue of Pan (who was himself half goat) copulating with another goat, but when you think about it, Pan didn't have the equipment to copulate with anyone of human build. If he wanted to pleasure himself it had to be with another goat. Would she have reacted in the same way to a similar stature of two goats?

The most fragile objects were those carbonised by the heat of the ash. These included a wooden chest and a babies cot. We found ourselves wondering how on earth these had been stabilised for travel? The chest had contained carbonised clothing; and the cot the remains of its tiny occupant. Bodies in Herculaneum were burned up by the 400 degree heat of the ash with only skeletal remains. Pompeii was hit many hours later at 300 degrees so bodies were cooked and remained encased in ash until they rotted away. Conservationists have poured molten plaster into the cavities and thus produced casts of the bodies. There was a chained up dog, a small child on a couch, an even smaller child on her mothers knee concealed under the supposed safety of the stairs with the rest of her family. Apparently many fled, the fleet and quick thinking got away, the infirm or slow moving died in the surrounding fields where many bodies await excavation. Those who stayed put and hid themselves away, died instantly.

There were beautiful frescoes from the garden room of the house with a gold bracelet. The BM has spread them out so more people can see them simultaneously, I'd have loved the more atmospheric presentation of showing them together as intended and found. I guess all exhibitions involve compromise. I look forward to visiting the exhibition in July and would love to visit Naples, Pompeii & Herculaneum to see the artefacts where they belong and the rest of the excavated sites. I had a plane booked to do so last year but my daughter had an accident so I couldn't go. One day maybe?!?!

Monday 17 June 2013


Last night I ended up in Rotherham A&E as my daughter had yet another angioedema attack and being away from home, local doctors were cautious. It made a change from the Royal Free and the seats are more comfortable!
Rotherham A&E was way overloaded and not so much understaffed as short of space. Full of young people with alcohol on their breath and lower limb injuries!
I can't help the feeling that part of the reported NHS A&E difficulty is that in so many ways a culture of celebrity has led to a kind of meaninglessness, where alcohol is overused because there isn't enough to think about or do.
It reminded me  of visiting Crete in 2011.
The road from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaus passes through the ancient coastal town of Malia with extensive preserved remains of a ruined  palace of many years BC where incredible fine gold jewellry was found, which is now in museums in Heraklion. When we went to the palace there was hardly anybody there. When we went to the mountains or towards Agios Nikolaus, driving through Malia in a morning was easy as all the young English, Irish, German & Dutch youngsters were sleeping off their previous nights revelries. Driving back through Malia in an evening was a nightmare of trying to avoid meandering quad bikes or people stepping out into the road, oblivious of road  traffic. Everybody goes to Malia to get wasted!
My daughter rode horseback on the shore, her companion got kicked by a horse and they found themselves in the minor injuries unit in Malia, teeming with teenagers plastered with both alcohol & white bandages - many not even remembering how they came to be there. They started drinking on the flight to Heraklion and never stopped until arriving back at their home airport. They saw nothing of the rest of the beautiful island of Crete or even the most incredible ancient palace a mile away! Wasted! 

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Biographical notes : Jan Loxley Blount

Biography. Jan Loxley Blount (draft)

Janet Christine Loxley (Jan) was born in 1950 in suburban Sheffield. Her father was a PhD student and lecturer at Sheffield University, applying aircraft metals technology, developed whilst on wartime secondment, to the design of roof bars for coal mines. Her sisters were born in 1954 and 1956 by which time her father *(01) was working for Safety in Mines Research Establishment *(02) and the family had moved outwards to Orchard Cottage, built c1600, where her mother still lives. Her father died during pioneering open heart surgery in early 1964 when the girls were 13, 9 and 7. Only at his death did the family fully realise the importance of his work when telegrams arrived from Whitehall and abroad. Hundreds or maybe thousands of lives were saved in the UK, South Africa and elsewhere.

After their fathers death their mother went out to work and Jan became to some extent a surrogate parent or carer. Thankfully,  All Saints Church, Aston,*(03) influenced both by the Founding Fathers of Kelham Theological College *(04) and by inspirational theologian and Communist Vicar of nearby Darnall, the Revd Alan Ecclestone*(05), provided groups and projects which nurtured Jan and her peers and challenged them to think politically and beyond village horizons.

Jan trained to be a teacher at Kingston upon Hull College of Education during which time she was active within the University of Hull and nationally in the Student Christian Movement *(06). Through SCM's Europe Africa Project, she met many exiled South African and Zimbabwean journalists *(07) and future political leaders.

Whilst studying in Hull she attended a lecture about children's play *(08) by Drummond Abernethy OBE *(09) which changed the course of her life. After qualifying as a teacher she worked on Tentown Adventure Playground Sheffield during which time she was able to participate in parish meetings at Alan Ecclestone's Holy Trinity, Darnall - although he was now retired. For economic reasons she moved to London for a terms supply teaching in Hackney, became involved in exciting projects and never returned. For several years she worked on Saturdays for I.L.E.A. at the Cockpit Theatre *(10) as part of their innovative Outreach team with children and young people. Jan loved using drama and art in this way. It was her first attempt to integrate children with disabilities into groups alongside their able bodied peers. She was especially fond of Joanna, who had Downs Syndrome and was the youngest daughter of cricket commentator Brian Johnston*(11).

She worked a couple of evenings a week at Archway Methodist Central Hall Youth Club, Mondays with the biggest, noisiest, most vibrant gathering of Afro Caribbean youth for miles around and Thursdays with a fragile small group of local and disabled white kids, what a contrast! Jan taught, ran holiday play schemes and did youth work in Islington until moving in 1974 to London Adventure Playground Association*(12,13) as Arts Worker, quickly being promoted to Training Officer where she spearheaded a much replicated play leaders training course. Drummond Abernethy worked downstairs for N.P.F.A. Jan met and adored Marjory, Lady Allen of Hurtwood*(14,15), pioneer of Adventure Playgrounds, especially for those with disabilities. Regular visitors  at the L.A.P.A. & N.P.F.A. offices included Elton John*(16), Jimmy Hill and Prince Philip*(17).

As L.A.P.A. Training Officer she invited Margaret J Roberts, World President of O.M.E.P. and at that time head of Susan Isaacs' prestigious Post Graduate Diploma Course in Child Development at London University Institute of Education, to lecture to her trainee play leaders - only the best would do! Miss Roberts was due to retire shortly and invited Jan to apply to join the course in 1978 for her final year. Jan's research and dissertation concerned the after school and school holiday activities and interests of primary age children in a very mixed area of central London. She discovered to her horror that many of these children were letting themselves into empty houses at the end of the school day, or hiding quietly in the holidays, so the neighbours didn't realise that they were home alone.

Whilst studying and for the next few years, Jan supplemented her income by three fostering teenagers (in succession) for London Borough of Barnet.

Jan competed her Diploma course but still had to write up her research, however she spent the summer working for the pioneering museums education officer Angela Cox at the National Portrait Gallery, encouraging children to bring the paintings of John Singer Sergeant to life through masks, costumes and drama. Jan was very tempted to join the world of arts education. However 1979 was the UN International Year of the Child. One of the priorities identified by the great and the good who, headed by Churchill's daughter Lady Mary Soames, were running the UK operation, was Latchkey Children. They advertised for someone to research the extent of the hidden latchkey problem and identify possible solutions. Jan couldn't resist applying as this brought together her work in children's play with her research for her Diploma in Child Development. She was duly appointed and for almost a year had an office at 85 Whitehall, close to the Cenotaph - she had to pinch herself to see if the view was real, as she was so far from her village roots.

Together with Gerald Conyngham of Save the Children Fund and a finance officer from UK I.Y.C., Jan  toured the UK, visiting projects aiming to cater for children's out of school and school holiday needs. They fell in love with a group of English and Asian mums in a mainly Gujarati area of out-workers for the shoe and clothing trades, living in tiny houses in inner city Leicester. Everything revolved around sewing to keep the bills paid, so children were left to their own devices or told to keep quietly out of the way. Sue Ranger had a vision of turning a disused coal merchants shop, compete with stables, into a safe, warm and welcoming Playhouse! Sue persuaded Leicester City Council to buy the premises and Jan proposed that UK I.Y.C. provide start up monies from publicly donated funds. Belgrave Playhouse has recently celebrated its first thirty glorious years and goes from strength to strength although government cuts imposed on Leicester may threaten its future. Other publicly donated I.Y.C. funds supported less ambitious projects in Bristol and Thamesmead and provided equipment grants to dozens of other groups.

UK I.Y.C. wound up in the summer of 1980 and Jan headed off to the Commonwealth Institute where she worked alongside Zandra Rhodes and others on the groundbreaking interactive exhibition MASK!  There were tentative, tantalisingly tempting offers of freelance work in theatre and arts education, but Clive Jordan of the British Association of Settlements and Social Action Centres was determined that the work started by the UK I.Y.C. Latchkey Project wouldn't die. He obtained  core funds from the Baring Foundation and project monies from Marks and Spencer's. Jan moved to Exton Street to head the B.A.S.S.A.C. Out of School Project.

Woman's Own magazine got involved and put Jan on the front page as 'The Girl Who Cares for Latchkey Kids'. Jointly with the Baring Foundation, they funded a conference in London on Saturday 3rd April 1982 which was attended by women from all over the UK who'd never previously been to London or a conference. This was the day Parliament was recalled to launch the Falklands Armada, so unusually the Government's intentions were announced by an opposition MP - Alf Dubs. Core funding was obtained to launch the National Out of School Alliance for a minimum three year term. Offices were set up at Oxford House in Bethnal Green. Jan worked for N.O.O.S.A. until 1986 by which time she was tired of travelling to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Bristol and elsewhere, she longed for a local base to her life. After she left N.O.O.S.A. became Kids Club Network and has now become 4Children, although Jan fears that it may have abandoned much of the vision and ideology on which it was founded.

Jan worked briefly for various children's and disability arts projects in and around the London Borough of Barnet until economic necessity sent her back to primary teaching in Islington where she ended up working to integrate deaf children into a mainstream primary school. The Methodist Church in the UK advertised for a Connexional Secretary for Children's Work and Jan was appointed, but this coincided with her unexpected decision to marry Malcolm Blount. Their ages meant that having children was an urgent priority and this wasn't practical in a job which required extensive travelling and weekend work. Jan left to marry and rehab an Edwardian house. They exchanged contracts not knowing she was pregnant.

The rest of Jan's biography is intended to be detailed in her book IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANY OF US, Reflections on a Child Protection System in Crisis.  (c) Jan Loxley

Her children David (1989) and Helen (1994) are both highly intelligent, gifted and talented but both have complex debilitating health concerns and neurological differences / learning disabilities including: ME / CFS, Aspergers Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADD/ADHD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Hypermobile Joint Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Asthma, Eczema and multiple allergies.

The late Consultant Paediatrician Dr Alan Franklin suggested that the children were able to function so well despite their problems, because their mother managed their conditions 'so close to the envelope'. A recent GP has made similar comments. However in 1999 assorted medics, educators and social workers misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented the family situation. Jan was victimised and came close to losing both children to state care.

Her story has been told on radio 4 twice (Home Truths & Face the Facts) and spoken of by Earl Howe (who said that this case opened for him the parallel world of the falsely accused) Baroness Shirley Williams and others. It has been reported in the Sunday Times,  the Church Times, the London Evening Standard and various local newspapers in Barnet, Newcastle and elsewhere.

Jan launched and coordinates Parents Protecting Children UK online via its own website and on Facebook.  It has helped many many families, directly or indirectly. On behalf of Parents Protecting Children UK, Jan attends and speaks at various meetings and conferences concerning Autism Spectrum Differences & Difficulties and False Accusation of Child Abuse. She provides limited  telephone and email advice to families in difficulty and has submitted various papers to government and other enquiries etc - some of these have been published. Jan works closely with colleagues in Parents Against Injustice Network, False Accusations Support Organisation and other relevant agencies.

Jan is active in various local parent Carer networks and campaigns eg to save Friern Barnet Library. With Keith Martin of Chaville Press she is hoping to help Margaret J Roberts, now 95, to publish a book on child development which will show some of where UK primary education and child care.  has lost it's vision and direction in the last 30 or 40 years. Jan attends church regularly, writes and does a bit of art, but primarily she is a hands on parent Carer for David & Helen. David is an undergraduate music composition student, writing primarily for SATB choir with Church Organ, but also for woodwind and flute. He plays Sax and sings in several choirs. His compositions are beginning to win prizes and be noticed. Helen is an A level student with a classically trained voice and a massive political / social conscience - Jan teases that she could end up as anything from the new star of Covent Garden to UN Secretary General.

(C)JLB 02:01:2013 & 12:06:2013

*(01) Loxley, E. M. [],%20e%20m
*(02) A Century of Science - HSL -
*(03) All Saints Aston-cum-Aughton » History
*(04)  Society of the Sacred Mission
*(05) The Rev Alan Ecclestone -
*(06) History of SCM | Student Christian Movement
*(07) Chenhanho Chimutengwende -
*(08) Welcome to the Home of British Adventure Play:
*(09) Welcome to the Home of British Adventure Play:
*(10) Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone -,_Marylebone
*(11) Brian Johnston

*(12) Sunday Times 1977 - AP text reformatted.doc
*(13) London Adventure Playground Association -
*(14) Welcome to the Home of British Adventure Play:
*(15) The history of adventure playgrounds -
*(16) Elton John Song Lyrics: The Goaldigger Song
*(17) NPFA 1998dec8.pdf

Monday 10 June 2013

Jan Loxley Blount & Parents Protecting Children UK

Mainly me - Jan Loxley Blount - I'm an OAP, a Carer for two children (now young adults) with additional needs mainly because of health difficulties. In 1999 we were wrongfully placed on the Child Protection Register for 6 months because of misrepresentation by schools, GP & social services of Autism Spectrum Difficulties & Differences & ME / CFS.
Our case was the main trigger for the 2001 House of Lords Debate on false & misleading accusation of child abuse. Earl Howe said that our story introduced him to a 'parrallel world'.
Parents Protecting Children UK was formed by Charles Pragnell, myself & others with the support and encouragement of others including the dramatist Arnold Wesker, the then Bishop of Bradwell Rt Rev Laurie Green, the Countess of Mar, Earl Howe & others.
I'm a former teacher and children's work trainer & advocate. In 1979 International Year of the Child I headed the national initiative on Latchkey Children which laid down the basis of most of the current after school & holiday provision.
Parents Protecting Children UK ALSO HAS A WEBSITE - sadly out of date but with some gems of info in the documents section.
Our family story moves on - when my daughter reached 18 in 2012, medical professionals woke up and realised that she had a number of potentially serious ongoing health problems which began c 2001 but remained undiagnosed and untreated, because nobody was willing to investigate her brother's younger sister in case their mum really might have MSBP / FII as per the 1999 false accusations. She is the most serious victim of social services wrongful intrusion into our lives based on her brother's difficulties. It may be that with appropriate medication she could have had a much more normal school and social life through her teenage years! We are still amidst investigations and increasingly angry!

Sunday 9 June 2013


Had a short time in Hyde Park in the sun on the way home from the A&GF Show. Couldn't park then realised that the car in front was about to move, then realised that the person getting in was the wonderful Maria Nash, who had a paper flower / windmill from the IF garden - from the media event about food poverty and tax evasion earlier in the day. She updated me about the politics of care in Barnet. So after we'd used her parking space we too found the vast IF garden - so vibrant! We came home with 6 flowers - there were thousands of them seemingly being pulled up and binned. Several children were having the time of their lives running about amongst them and jumping over them. IF IF IF only there was more sharing and less tax evasion and inequality so that everyone could have what they needed.

Mary, Mrs Humphrey Ward

Mary, Mrs Humphrey Ward Radio 4 has just been discussing her opposition to women's suffrage. She was a well connected, accomplished Victorian Novelist, who used her family and social links, with their associated access to philanthropic wealth, to provide for the poor, especially women & children in central London.   She was actively involved in community education and in childcare / children's play.  It's a pity that all this has been forgotten because of her opposition to the vote.   One of the best adult education colleges near Holborn still bears her name. Its nearby original site is now a conference venue known as Mary Ward House.  One fascinating anecdote is that quite coincidentally both her London family home and her country pile near Tring (where she dug up the formal gardens to grow  veggies in the war) were later owned by the guy who ran the Playboy bunny club!