we r going 2 AMERICA!!!!!!!

We are all going to America for 3 weeks from the 6th of July. i’ts all very excit­ing but.… we’re fly­ing :( :( :( :( :(

any­way, we will be writ­ing about what we r doing on this blog so look out for some new posts com­ing up soon!!!

Porty sings for water

A big mass sing to raise money for Wateraid, ‘Scotland sings for Water’ is tak­ing place in Edinburgh on Saturday 2nd July. This involves singing 6 great songs in har­mony with about 299 other folk  — it should be a great sound!

If you like singing and are inter­ested in tak­ing part, Penny Stone and Jane Lewis from Protest in Harmony will be teach­ing the songs at 3 ses­sions in Portobello Community Centre in May and June.

Tuesday 17th May                 7.30 — 9.30pm
Wednesday 1st June             7.30 — 9.30pm
Wednesday 22nd June        7.30 — 9.30pm

We will need to ask for a small dona­tion from every­one to cover the cost of the room (it only costs £10 for the 2 hours so is very reasonable)

As you can see from the info below, every­one is wel­come to join in, and no, you don’t need to be able to read music! — or to live in Portobello.

If you want to take part you need to register and this costs £5 and includes a learn­ing pack and a CD with parts for all the songs (cheques pay­able to Band of Song).  You can do this by let­ting me know by email to <jane@gn.apc.org> by 24th April and send­ing a cheque to me at 252 (1F2) Portobello High Street, EH15 2AT.  I can then obtain the packs from the organ­isers and hope­fully get them to you before 17th May.  Please be sure to include your name, address and con­tact details.

See below for more info. The request is for every­one who is  tak­ing part to raise at least £40 for Wateraid. Download the spon­sor­ship form.

Scotland Sings for Water


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Exciting event for singers!

What, Where and When?

Three hun­dred sing­ers in Scotland will gather in Parliament Square, in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh on 2nd July to Sing for Water.

What is Sing for Water?

Sing for Water raises funds for WaterAid, an inter­na­tional non-governmental organ­isa­tion whose mis­sion is to trans­form lives by improv­ing access to safe water, hygiene and san­it­a­tion in the world’s poorest communities.

Is my singing good enough?

If you can sing in the bath you can sing!  You don’t need to be able to read music. Everyone is wel­come to join in.

How do I participate?

The regis­tra­tion fee is £5 per singer.  When you register you will be sent a pack with a learn­ing CD and word sheets for the songs you will sing on 2nd July (along with 299 others!).


Singers tak­ing part will each receive a spon­sor­ship form, because of course its not just about singing! The aim of Scotland Sings for Water is to raise as much money as we can for WaterAid.  Each par­ti­cipant will be asked to raise around £40 in spon­sor­ship — more if you can.

You will also receive inform­a­tion about where to go on the day, how to get there, what to bring and everything else you need to know.

Why Wateraid?

Raising money for WaterAid is a great way to give some­thing back to coun­tries whose songs we sing but who have no sys­tem of col­lect­ing roy­al­ties.  WaterAid is a hugely effect­ive and effi­cient char­ity giv­ing a massive per­cent­age of the money raised back into pro­jects where com­munity involve­ment is val­ued and expec­ted.  The Sing for Water pro­ject was star­ted by com­poser Helen Chadwick in 2002.  Since then almost £500,000 has been raised by sing­ers all over Britain.

What hap­pens on the big day, 2nd July?

All sing­ers will gather from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for a rehearsal at Old St Paul’s Church, Market Street, Edinburgh, loc­ated across from the Market Street exit from Waverley Station.  After a lunch break we will gather in Parliament Square by St Giles Cathedral in the Royal Mile  to sing from 1 pm to about 3.30.

Great fun and good music in a good cause!

Want to know more about WaterAid?


Just Saving

Sara, who we know as the Powerpod Worker for the Woodcraft Folk, is doing a sponsored cycle trip to Morocco. At 2,400 miles by pedal power alone it makes our train trip seem a very cushy num­ber! She’s ask­ing every­one to spon­sor her, but not in the usual, bor­ing way of giv­ing money to some worthy cause. Instead, she’s ask­ing people to make pledge to make carbon-emission-reducing life­style changes. The web­site has sug­ges­tions of prac­tical actions you can take.

What are you wait­ing for? Visit the Just Saving web­site and sign up now. They’ve already saved 5 tonnes of CO2 and they haven’t even star­ted yet!

Just Saving logo

More translations

Graham Stone kindly informs me that in Papua New Guinea pidgin, ‘My hov­er­craft is full of eels’ becomes the epic:

Balus em i no goupim bilong me em i pul­lup long lik­lik pela snek bilong solwarra

(Literally: My aero­plane (balus)  that can’t fly (no go up) is ful­lup of little salt­water snakes.)

Aeroplane main­ten­ance is quite a mouth­ful too. Propellor becomes ‘tingt­ing bilong balus em i go raun­raun’. If dam­aged, this becomes ‘tingt­ing bilong balus em i go raun­raun em i bug­gerup tru’.

All of which is just and excuse to say that we will be adding more to the blog soon, hav­ing just about recovered from the jour­ney home. And the pho­tos will be up on Flickr very soon, with a link pos­ted here of course.

Sound clips

  • Paris Gare du Nord: flip flap­flap­flap of the train indic­ator board — a “lost sound” accord­ing to the BBC sound archive.
  • “Passaporte! Passaporte!” at 2:30am on the Bulgarian border.
  • Cicadas every­where we went in Greece.
  • Through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary: the bell clang of the wheel tap­pers’ ham­mers going down the train.

How do you reserve 3 beds from Thessaloniki to Bucharesti?

9.00am Greek train book­ing office, Athens:

“No, I can’t give you reser­va­tions on the train  Bucharest.  I have only 3 beds and I must sell them.  But you can buy in Thessaloniki.  The Romanians have more — it’s easy”

1.30pm Larissa train sta­tion, Athens.  Inernational book­ing office opens:

“No train to Bucharest”


“I don’t know!” Continue read­ing