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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell


Thoughts of Hope -


In 2017, an exhibition celebrating three men who led extraordinary lives and shared one common goal came to Nottingham. The exhibition was titled Gandi King Ikeda, a commemoration to the lives and work of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr and Daisaku Ikeda. Despite having different religious and cultural traditions, these three remarkable individuals shared the belief that through the process of inner transformation, an individual has the power to change society, the environment, and the planet itself.


The exhibition inspired the community initiative Nottingham Peacebuilders to be established. Using the exhibition as the central focus and core event, Nottingham Peacebuilders created a celebration around it and held a range of activities and events from closed, intimate gatherings to food sharing events, candlelight procession, theatre, music and dancing.

Nottingham Peacebuilders is built on the foundation of recognizing the power of the individual to make a difference. It’s a celebration of everything that is done to build a good world, acknowledging the work of caring, teaching, healing, feeding, communicating, sharing and building, carried out by millions across the world.



One legacy of the 2017 event was an anthology of Poetry and Flash Fiction written by local writers. It grew from dialogues between writers and an invitation to consider 'Small Acts of Kindness change the world', the book is described by Nottingham Peacebuilders as a monument to a journey animated by conversations, dreams and aspirations.

Here are a couple of pieces we thought we'd share:

In Common By River Wolton

"We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us." Jo Cox

In common - first breath, last, a pulse - put your fingers here on my throat where each beat's felt. Strangers or enemies we breathe each other's air and then the trees will keep on breathing when we've left.

Four billion years since that first chemical reaction in the mud, and still we share some DNA

with all that moves, is sensitive, takes in, gives out.

So un-unique our flinch or flight from threat, the restless mix of wanting and not wanting to arrive, to sit in peace. In common - stomach's churn, the pull of dread,

hate's easy reflex, the urge to say 'Them. Us'

And yet our fierce capacity to break at children's deaths, to fling ourselves at life, raise millions in an hour, to run, to run, to give up everything we have for what we love.

A Catching Smile By S A Leavesley

Imagine your smile is a scrap

of part - written paper blown

petal-wet through splattered streets,

somersaulted across gardens,

dodging white washing,

hurdling a valerian pink froth,

past phone-plugged teenagers,

a slow-paced woman in bouffant hair,

the suited man with garlic face...

brought to rest by a twig-snatch,

slapped to stillness against glass

or trapped in a harried crowd.

Catching it, a down-hearted stranger

drowning in a sea of frowns,

smooths out tired creases

and uses it to make a boat.

What are your messages of hope and peace?

This week's quiz - (Answers will be revealed tomorrow)

1. In the 60s Queen Elizabeth II dedicated an acre of ground in memory of which American President?

2. Tom Whittaker was the first man to climb Everest in what circumstances?

3. Picasso moved to Paris in 1901 but where was he born?

4. Who became the first woman Prime Minister of an Islamic nation?

5. Who described his paintings as "hand-painted dream photographs?

6. What was the name of the first animal to be launched into space and in which year?

7. What is Aphra Behn famous for?

8. Where was Germaine Greer born and in which year?

9. When was Mikhail Gorbachev leader of the Soviet Union?

10. In which country was Mother Teresa born?

11. What was the name of a young illiterate pheasant girl who lead an army?

12. Who won a Nobel Prize for both Chemistry and Physics?

13. What was William Wilberforce most famous for?

14. What has Tim Berners-Lee invented?

15. Which female heroine has hospitals named after her?

Star studded skies -

With transport networks all over the world grounding to a halt due to lockdown measures, there has been a significant drop in carbon emissions triggering some positive changes to the environment. Waters in Venice canals and skies over air polluted cities such as China and India have cleared. Photographers have been taking advantage of these new night skies and have been enjoying capturing star trails due to there being no interruption from air traffic.

Star trails are the streaks of light left by stars as the earth rotates, and the results are stunning. Here are some images shared by the Independent Newspaper yesterday. Both images were taken in Hampshire; the second was taken before lockdown and highlights how air traffic can cause a visual distraction.

Today's events -

For another heart-warming tribute to our healthcare heroes working on the frontline, clap for carers returns tonight at 8pm.

Lean from your window, stand on your doorstep, go out into the street, your garden or balcony and join the nation to celebrate and thank our key workers.

National Theatre Live -

Don't forget, National Theatre are streaming their first free production on YouTube tonight. One Man, Two Guvnors premieres at 7pm.

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