As I mentioned on my last blog, after almost 20 days, phase one of my round-the-UK peace pilgrimage ended with me coming back to my starting point here into London.
I had an arrangement prior to starting this phase, to go and visit some wonderful family and friends in Birmingham who did very kindly help me when I was on my peace journey to the Middle East, so I traveled to Birmingham to see them.
I had a wonderful and a great time with them all. While there I put it to consensus “if it would be ok to go and pay a visit to Leamington Spa for Leamington Peace Festival (http://www.peacefestival.org.uk/)”. I wanted to see if they would like to come with me, after all it wasn’t very far from Birmingham, but apart from myself no one wanted to go and they were not happy to let me go; they were telling me “What? After all these months not seeing you, and now you are coming here to see us for just two days, but you want to go somewhere else?!”. So I couldn’t go to the peace festival despite getting into it was free, so I decided to spend some more time with them all, then I headed back to London on Sunday night.
When I got back to London I met a good friend of mine from the time of Occupy, who kindly invited me for a nice drink, and I arranged to meet them again at some point before I set up the second phase of my round- the-UK peace pilgrimage journey, and after being together till about midnight we said goodbye to each other and I headed back to a friend’s place near to the City of London.
For a few days I met some of my good old friends and a few more new people from London. I helped them with some of their activities in their places of living, and spent time with them and talked about my past, present and future plans for my peace
It was this week that I arranged to meet up again with my West Country brother here in London at the RFH (Royal Festival Hall) to exchange some stuff, including his laptop for his notebook, which was going to help me if I get access to wifi. That will make it easier for me to update my journeys for the blog. He did kindly wanted to livestream me talking about the next step of my peace journey, but after a few attempts we failed to do this. Later on I realised that there was going to be two Occupy meetings, and I was quite happy to be part of them, and they were live streamed by a very kind member of Occupy who kindly has provided some food and refreshment as well.
At the first part of the meeting I mentioned how I’d like to get involved in a peace conference in Austria, Vienna, which Occupy had been contacted about. It was clear to me that there wasn’t any objection for me to directly get in touch with the organiser of the conference and ask them if still there is a chance for me to travel there.
At the second part of those two meetings I thought there would be an opportunity for me to talk, and give some feedback about the J11 StopG8 event, which I mentioned my opinion on in my last blog, but it was too late for me to talk about it by the time I asked the facilitator. However, many good topics were discussed at the second part of the meeting as well and there was oppurtunity for many different people to share their thoughts with the rest of the group of 15-20 people, who were from all walks of life. Especially one of the topics caught the attention of my brother and I, this was the “Reclaim the Power” camp with No Dash for Gas, in West Burton on 17-20th of August 2013. My brother mentioned that we could go there and be part of an Occupy peace camp and provide an 8m dome place for people to come and express their point of view, as he did at the last Green Gathering festival, and I said I would be quite happy to be part of it to help as well. Later that day I said goodbye to everyone in RFH and went back to my friend’s place.
Next day I prepared myself to travel all the way to north London and visit another old friend from the time of Occupy, and stayed there for a wonderful evening meal, which has been kindly prepared by my friend, and then after some talk about the past half year or more, I had to travel to west London to catch up with another friend, who I’d arranged earlier in the week to meet; we met in the city and by the time we got to west London it was late, and we were too tired to talk, so we had to rest till next day, with another busy day ahead of us. So, the next day, after catching up with last week’s events, we made our way back to the City of London to deliver a bike to a good friend of ours from the time of Occupy, to somewhere near the old Occupy Finsbury Square camp, in Old Street. I met some old and new faces, and I told some of those who didn’t know what I was busy with for the last eight months or so, then we said
goodbye to them and headed down to our old OLSX camp. My friend wanted to help me with a new tent and a sleeping bag, but after a couple of hours of walking and looking with no luck in finding anything which might be helping me for my peace journey, instead I got
a wonderful silver cup, and two carabiners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carabiner) in silver and lime colour, so it will make it easy for me to carry my cups with me again, after the Saudis got my old one.
After that we went to Trafalgar Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafalgar_Square), where there was an event about West End music and also some movies with old cars, and we didn’t fancy any of that so we headed down from there through Downing Street (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downing_Street), and then Parliament Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Square), to our final destination, which was Westminster Hall, to meet up with some old and new friends, who managed to attend, and also to livestream the event of People’s Assembly. We met all those nice people after the event in a little park just opposite to the Westminster Hall, then we said goodbye to everyone, and my friend and I went for a drink near to an old building from the 15th Century opposite to Downing Street, and then after that we headed back to west London and found a nice place where I had the most delicious Italian food and dessert since my south Cyprus ministerial restaurant meal! Then we went back to my friend’s place of rest for the night, and I managed to find some opportunity to write this little update for the blog.
Now my next plan of action, the next part of my peace pilgrimage journey, is towards the south west of England, and it is apparently the biggest festival of all. I have to try to get in there, and talk to as many people as I can, also I hope that I can speak to Michael Eavis in his Worthy Farm in Pilton – or if not, then his daughter Emily – so I can try to convince them how my love and peace can change and give a positive energy around his farm, and the surroundings. I hope that my “master of the universe” will make it as easy and as smooth as possible for me to get there, and will connect me with them, but if not, then hopefully I will connect with many other wonderful human beings inside and outside the festival.
So, coming out of London, I have put up my peace camp with my rainbow peace flag on my famous black and red tent, right at the exit part of the Heston Services car park towards M4, which is between junctions 2 & 3 of the M4. I got there after a lift from a nice black cab taxi driver named Peter, who was going on holiday to Spain – I think he was so happy that he couldn’t ignore me and he kindly helped me and offered me a lift in his taxi, and this was the first time after being here for the last 16 years that I was offered a drive with a London black cab taxi. I had been at the Chiswick roundabout on the last exit, the one which will join M4 by the petrol station, I had stood there for more than three hours trying to hich hike towards Swindon, but with no luck, and finally at about 17.30, Peter kindly turned up and he told me that, “at the next petrol station you would be having much more chance of getting to Swindon than here, would you like to jump in and I’ll take you there?”, and I told him “Yes please that will be great even if it is just a mile as well”.
As I was putting my stuff into his black London cab, he told me “What is all this stuff? Are moving a house?”, and I said to him “Yes it is
actually this partially is all my house”, and I laughed and he laughed as well, but anyway he kindly gave me a lift for about three miles on the M4 towards Heathrrow. He kept saying “it is not a great lift, but that is all I can help with”, and I said to him (Peter) “this is
wonderful and to me it is like 30 miles, since I was there for such a long time (more than three hours) with no offers, and I couldn’t walk on M4 as well, so now this is a great offer and I’ll accept it with my open heart and arms”.
Peter kindly offered me an apple and a mandarin on our way and later on at the end of the lift some H2O as well, and I didn’t have any water with me at the time, and I am so grateful for Peter giving me this great lift, and my first black cab drive in all my time in the
UK. We did talk a bit about tolerance, which he said this country has got and I did agree with him, and also we talked about some other issues, about which we respected each others’ opinions, and then we said goodbye – but before this I told him that each time I meet up with people who kindly help me, I usually offer them a big heart to heart hug so we can transfer some good and positive energy, and he told me “no problem”, and he told me “we as British give a nice and good big handshake”, which I did that as well.
Earlier today I woke up in my wonderful friend’s place in west London, and after having a nice shower and then some breakfast and later after midday some lunch, I said goodbye to my wonderful friend who has kindly looked after me very well indeed since Friday night, and on Sunday we went to a pub by the river Thames and we had a delightful drink and later on some light and healthy evening meal in a French style restaurant, then after coming back to the place where we were staying and chatting a bit more about our situation, we said goodnight to each other, and it was here that I got a 3 network dongle, which will enable me to send emails on the go, via my wonderful brother’s notebook. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank both of them and also especially for all the help in these few days before the second phase of my round the UK peace journey, for everything that has been arranged for me to make my journey easier.
Back to the trip westwards – after just over two miles walk and three miles hitch hiking, due to my heavy home moving and M4 restrictions, I was grounded just a few miles into the mouth of M4 and went to sleep in a busy carpark at Heston services on the M4, hoping that the next day the master of the universe would provide me with some good new connections to enable me to link with my western brother (and to leave some of my mobile home at the static Cotswolds’ home), and then hopefully to head down to my main destination at Pilton/Glastonbury (Worthy Farm).
Next day: I have arrived at about 1800 hours in Cotswold area, my new home place for a night rest, after a wonderful day of peace journey from junction 2 & 3 of M4. It was about 12:30/45 that another wonderful human being called Richard (a self engaged gardener) offered me a lift from between J2 & 3 to J7 & 8 and after a nice conversation with him, he kindly dropped me in J7 into the Slough-Maidenhead roundabout on A4. I have to say he did kindly offer me his only orange, and after this we said goodbye to each other.
I stayed in this roundabout in Slough towards Swindon for about 30-45 mins, then another wonderful car driver, who was called Ben, welcomed me on board at about 1315 hours, and he and a friend were going to Swindon. Later on we found out that they were going to West Swindon as well (a place to which I was going), and Ben was telling me that he used to be at the University of Hertfordshire, and when he was driving there he used to see a lot of people trying to hitch hike, but he couldn’t give them a lift because he was alone and scared of what might happen, but as soon as he saw me he just want to help me. I told him not to worry, “I’ll be no threat or problem to you”, and Ben and his wonderful friend just laughed, in a nice and accepting way. I talked a bit about what I was doing, and I gave them my weblog address, and Facebook contact, so they could follow me and leave comments about when and how they have given me a help. Ben was worried that they didn’t have anything to give me like drink or food, and I told them “What you have done is much greater than the food and drink, and you shouldn’t feel that you haven’t helped!” Because I didn’t have any warm drink in the morning I had a bit headache, and I rested a bit in their wonderful car, then somewhere towards my next destination at the right place they kindly let me get off, and I gave them my “heart to heart hug” which I recommend as full of the love and peace in the universe, and I said goodbye to them.
It was here that somehow I felt, “I am almost home again”, and I walked for about 2-3 miles, on and off due to my heavy load, then I had to rest a bit, and I was about to start walking again another wonderful human being called “Hosam” who was born here and grew up in Syria, offered me at about 1740 a lift from a petrol station in West Swindon. He was living in Swindon and was going towards Cirencester, he kindly gave me a lift, and he took me all the way to my final destination for the day, he even kindly offered me a sugary drink, which I needed most at the time, then after our hug we said goodbye to each other.
So here I’d like to take this opportunity, and thank all those wonderful human beings who have helped me to get this much closer to my next and final destination in Pilton at Worthy Farm near Glastonbury.
My plan for tomorrow is to get to Kemble, Crudwell, Malmesbury on A429, and then Radstock, Shepton Mallet, and finally Pilton on A361.
Let me take this opportunity and do a shout out, or ask if anyone sees me on the route I’ll appreciate if they can help me to get there, obviously if they are going there themselves.
love and peace,