My Desert Island Discs

Saturday 1438 – 5th January 2013

Last week I wrote a very serious post called Power to the Women of the World if you haven’t read it I hope you will as it’s an important subject. You can read it here

I’ve spent all day cleaning all the carpets in my house with a pressurised hot water machine.. Marvellous and exhausting.. I appreciate that it might be rather boring to write anything but that one sentence about carpet cleaning so I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that!! 

So instead a bit of fun and at the end I invite you to join in.

This week I’ve been thinking about what music/book/ luxury I might bring if I found myself castaway on a Desert Island. Now for those of you in foreign climes who haven’t got the faintest idea what on earth I’m talking about here’s an except from Wikipedia

“Guests are invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and to choose eight pieces of music, originally gramophone records, to take with them; discussion of their choices permits a review of their life. Excerpts from their choices are played or, in the case of short pieces, the whole work. At the end of the programme they choose the one piece they regard most highly.

They are then asked which book they would take with them; they are automatically given the Complete Works of Shakespeare and either the Bible or another appropriate religious or philosophical work.  Guests also choose one luxury which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.” 

The radio programme was devised and originally presented by Roy Plomley with the first programme going out 29 January 1942.. yes 1942 !!  and it’s still going strong.

So I’m going to tell you what my 8 choices of music are ( VERY hard to choose) book and luxury (I wonder if you can guess what that might be? ) though I’m not going to give you my life story!

 As I’m not clever with video stuff and haven’t got a clue how to embed a video, and certainly don’t have the inclination to learn tonight, I am going to do my choices as a serious of photos. If you click on each one it will open a separate window with the song/piece of music on YouTube.  

They’re in no particular order though after doing this I noticed that a lot of my choices are inspirational in some way.. interesting that!.. and I think the choice is quite different from the everyday music I might listen to or dance to.. very, very different..

Enjoy 😀

1)  Something Inside so Strong – Labi SiffreThis inspirational song always makes me feel uplifted; the words so meaningful speaking of all men being equal. “Because there’s something inside so strong  and I know that I can make it”

end racism thru unity

2)  Imagine John Lennon – I couldn’t leave this off  the list as it had a lasting impact on me. The words have just as much resonance today as they had when John wrote the song. Sadly John’s dream of  “Someday the world will be as one” seems far away at first, however social media actually gives the opportunity for more unity which must be taken.


3)  Daisy Bell was written in 1892. No! I’m not that old, thank you! The reason why it’s in this list is because it reminds me of my daughter.  Katy didn’t like to sleep at night and for some reason, as I was pushing her in a pushchair to try to get her back off to sleep, I used to sing “Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do, I’m half crazy all for the love of you” etc. I have no idea how it started but it has a certain rhythm to it which fits with pushing a pushchair forward and pulling it back. It still acts as a great stress buster for me and for her too I think.


4)  Summer Breeze – Isley Brothers .The Isley Brother’s version was released as a single in 1974 when I was 20.. It always makes me think of happy summer days ( though I’m not at all sure I’d really need to be reminded of that on a desert island ! )  I love the guitar solo !

summer breeze

5)  At Last – Etta Jameswhat a voice, power, sensuality.. she sings like she really means it. It speaks of Love and would remind me of that wonderful feeling when I’d be all alone.


6)  You’ll never walk alone – 3 Tenors version.  This is in because it’s the Liverpool Football Club fan’s anthem and it reminds me of my son Steven who supported Liverpool through thick and thin.. though I notice his interests have waned a little recently in favour of American sports… hmmm . It’s also here because it’s the only way I could fit the 3 Tenors in and because I have so admired the love and persistence of the families of the 96 fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster in their long fight for truth and justice.  Those things so important to me.

anfield - you'll never walk alone sign on the gates

7) Don’t Worry be Happy – Bobby McFerrinjust the kind of song to have on a desert island to remind me that worrying wouldn’t help, as it also doesn’t off the desert island ! and a nice bit of reggae beat to dance to!

don't worry be happy

8) What a  Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong  – Just because it is.. a wonderful world !

what a wonderful world

There were a handful of these that were immediate choices but deciding on the others was more difficult as there were many I could have chosen and tomorrow some would be different and maybe the next day too!

The one I would have to take with me would be.. Oh dear which one !! Ummm ummmm. I think Labi Siffre’s Something Inside so Strong to give me inspiration and remind me of my inner strength.

The Book – I am going to cheat a bit and bring the Poetry trilogy by Bloodaxe books edited by Neil Astley which are called Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human. A lifetime of reading and as I like to read poetry aloud and walk while I’m reading there would be no-one to mind 😀

The Luxury – a fridge full of a lifetimes supply of Bendicks Bitter Mints.. YUM. YUM !

Addendum – Scilla reminded me with her comment below that I could have a philosophical book instead of the bible and I share her choice of the works of Thich Nhat Hahn. Thanks Scilla 😀

Now I hope you’ll join in and tell me which music/book/luxury you think you might bring with you .. all or any will do 🙂  So if you just want to say a book or a luxury or one piece of music that would be great. if you want to do a list even better.

I very much look forward to reading your comments.


Saturday Girl signing off now.  see you next week


You can find my photography blog Photomania here . I recently finished a year of posting at least one photo a day; a 366 . I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already


Power to the Women of the World

Saturday 1439 – 29th December 2012

Million women


There is a natural kind of freedom that sisterhood holds…
A unity of sisters in a common cause.
Glorious,fully self acknowledged, fabulous.
Free from Self doubt, Self hatred and Self treachery.
The collection of Sisters that honours the feminine spirit and their global contribution.
The space for Self love, authentic Self expression and creativity.
Brimming with organic,intuitive and non-linear ideas and theories.
The stand that all Sisters, everywhere, fearlessly proclaim their bold Self and lead the
Charge to healing and transforming the planet.
The freedom for all sisters is simply to be true to self.

In sisterhood and solidarity,
Million Women Rise


What is a woman’s life worth?  It seems in many parts of the world it is still not worth very much.  This is of course a complex subject and a blog post cannot do it justice so, by necessity, I am going to try to keep this as brief as I can manage

Most of you will know that 2 weeks ago in South Delhi a “young physiotherapy student, was beaten with an iron rod and repeatedly raped on a bus by six men, before her naked body  was thrown from the moving vehicle onto a road”;  her boyfriend was also savagely beaten. Sadly the woman has died from her injuries.

This has rightly caused outrage but sadly is not an isolated incident. 

On Wednesday, a 17-year-old girl from a village near Patiala, in Punjab,  killed herself  six weeks  after she was abducted, drugged and gang-raped by  three men.   In her suicide note she blamed her attackers and police hostility for  destroying her life. Police initially refused to formally register a complaint  from the woman  and only acted to arrest her attackers after she had killed  herself”

There is strong evidence too that female fetuses are being aborted in India  “In 1961, for every 1,000 boys under the age of seven, there were 976 girls. Today, the figure has dropped to a dismal 914 girls.”

Gendercide is happening in other countries too, notably China, with its one child policy ( though there are rural exceptions) , where boys are seen as an asset and girls as a drain because they marry into another family and don’t support their parents.

Honour killings too continue in many countries around the world when young girls refuse to marry who their parents want them to or are seen to disgrace the family in other ways.

It’s down not only to culture but to money. (aren’t most things? ) Having boys means someone to carry on the lineage, to work to keep you in old age and in some countries to bring in a dowry ( bride’s parents pay a dowry to the bridegrooms parents in India even though India outlawed dowries in 1961,)

But this post isn’t just about  what is happening in the developing world. Oh yes it is very easy for those with thinly hidden “racist” tendencies to develop a “them and us attitude” by saying it couldn’t possibly happen in the civilised West. Of course that isn’t true, Britain for example has a very poor record in relation to convicting rapists.

UN figures on recorded rape ( doesn’t say whether recorded means reported, brought to trial, or convicted) shows there were nearly 16000 in 2010  or 28.8 per 100,000 of the population,in England and Wales alone and as research suggests between 75 and 95% go unreported you can see this is a very big problem indeed.

For information – Figures for 2010 for USA  were 84767 or 27.3 per 100,000, India 22172  or 1.8 per 100,000 with South Africa at 277,012  or 120 per 100,000  !   I appreciate that definitions of rape are inconsistent but I’m sure you get the idea.

American Republicans recently dismissed  “reproductive rights and other women’s issues as a “distraction” from the economy” and the unbelievably stupid Todd Akin said he “understand[s] from doctors” that rape-induced pregnancies are “really rare,” and that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Give me strength!!

It’s also widely believed throughout the Western world as well as in the developing world that if women dress provocatively, drink alcohol or behave in a “certain way” that they somehow deserve to be raped or otherwise mistreated.  THEY/WE DON’T.

Following the bus rape that I mentioned above ” Dr Anita Shukla, a female scientist at a prestigious rural university, told a ”women’s  empowerment” seminar in Madhya Pradesh the rape victim’s injuries were her own  fault.” 

”Had the girl simply surrendered when surrounded by six men, she would not  have lost her intestine,” Dr Shukla said. ”Why was she out with her boyfriend  at 10pm?”

Dr Shukla said the woman should not have resisted. ”When a group of men  intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the  perpetrators to book.”   She later apologised !! or was made to maybe?  Women are sometimes as guilty for letting the prejudices go unchallenged.

don't tell your daughter

So how do we change this?  It’s in ALL our hands, each and every one of us but particularly women who must be brave and strong as only women can be.

Mothers teach your sons respect for girls/women and your daughters, respect for themselves.  Teach them all about Love and Compassion for each other.

Does this mean I blame women for what is happening. Absolutely NOT but I believe woman must take the power to determine their lives because  history shows that men will try to keep it from us.  

The quote at the very top of this page is taken from this website  “Million Women Rise is a collective of women who work autonomously as volunteers, without any corporate sponsorship or formal funding. We promote real change that is based on truth, unity and solidarity, peace and love.”

There will be a march in London on the 9th March. I will certainly be there to show solidarity with all women in the world who suffer violence and discrimination.


I am the woman

I am the woman who is unstoppable
I am the woman
Whose dreams are immeasurable
I am the woman
Of a different breed, unbelievable
I am the woman
Of all times, incredible
I am a woman
With passion and purpose, unspeakable
I am the woman
Who decides where I should fall
In this universe, unpredictable
I am the woman
Who refuse to lessen my dreams
To meet man’s expectation, inconceivable
I am a woman
Of greatness and this greatness
Should never be compromise, remarkable

Kathy Elliott


I know I have many male readers and I apologise to those I know out there who are kind and loving but I felt all this had to be said.  There is a page on Million women which gives guidance on what you can do to help and you can read it here 

Finally John Lennon wrote this beautiful song about Woman.. I wish more men would recognise they are nothing without women and indeed owe them a debt of gratitude..


(for the other half of the sky)

Woman I can hardly express
My mixed emotions at my thoughtlessness
After all I’m forever in your debt
And woman I will try to express
My inner feelings and thankfulness
For showing me the meaning of success

Woman I know you understand
The little child inside of the man
Please remember my life is in your hands
And woman hold me close to your heart
However distant don’t keep us apart
After all it is written in the stars

Woman please let me explain I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain
So let me tell you again and again and again

I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah
Now and forever
I love you, yeah, yeah

You wanna hear John Lennon sing this wonderful song click on the photo below



Some Sources or other reading –


Saturday Girl signing off now. I’ll see you next week. I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year


You can find my photography blog Photomania here . I have just finished a year of posting at least one photo a day; a 366 . I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already