Side splitting tomato

A while back, I wrote about the artworks dotted around Farnham Heath. They are meant to convey something of the landscape around them, melding into the natural or highlighting the different. I don’t think there’s been many additions since Lockdown until now. Today we went to the Heath for a walk and there were heaps.

…though none in that photo. And, actually, we didn’t get to see all of the new ones because, by the time we returned to Max, the sun had completely gone and the woods were way too dark.

We were later than usual because today was a bit exciting in our house.

One of Mirinda’s examiners (for her Doctoral Thesis) had suggested she enter the Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards for 2020. These are global awards jointly held by Emerald Publishing and EFMD. The judges are looking for four key criteria:

  1. Significance/implications for theory and practice
  2. Originality and innovation
  3. Appropriateness and application of the methodology
  4. Quality of data/research

And my incredibly clever wife obviously met all of them, because SHE WON!

Mirinda, of course, was very surprise she won. She was also surprised that I wasn’t surprised. Mind you, she’s pleased as Punch and even managed to weave it into this week’s Town Hall. And I couldn’t be more proud of her.

In somewhat sadder news, one of the Shirley tomatoes has split her skin. This, I discovered, is because of over watering which makes the inside ripen quicker than the outside, forcing the skin to break. How ridiculously inconsiderate is that?

I also discovered that if this happens to one, it may happen to the rest so any red tomatoes that may not be quite ripe should be picked and put on a window sill. They will ripen safely with no risk of Dr Banner-like tearing apart.

I very carefully put them on a small plate, under a net shelter, on the kitchen counter in the sun. Hopefully they’ll make it.

But, back to the Heath Art.

I rather liked all of them but, if I had to choose a favourite, it would be Putting Down Roots by Pratibha Mistry.

Encased in glass, this is “…a celebration of the unseen root architecture fundamental to the key plants in this heath.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the art in Farnham Heath can visit the Heathland Artworks website.

Today, this happened

On October 1, 1960 Nigeria became independent. And, since then, today has marked Nigerian Independence Day. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe (or Zik to his friends), was the first President. Nigerian composer and musician, Olufela Obafunmilayo “Fela” Sowande, returned to Nigeria from the UK shortly after independence. Both men are internationally renowned for various amazing things.

Another, not so famous Nigerian, was a leper.

Ikoli Harcourt Whyte composed hymns. He wrote around 200 in his lifetime. It has to be said, composing hymns when your leprosy is slowly eating away your fingers, is not that easy. He would painstakingly write the music, sometimes taking an entire day for one page of musical notation.

Having been diagnosed with leprosy in 1919, he eventually found himself an inmate at Uzuakoli Leprosy Colony in south-eastern Nigeria from 1932. He never left, even after his leprosy was cured in 1945. I guess it was his home. His wife, who also suffered from and was cured of, leprosy, left him and their kids behind after her cure.

He set up a choir which was made up of people living with leprosy. It would tour Nigeria, bringing his hymns to the country as well as the message that, although they were generally shunned by the family and friends and locked away in out of the way places, lepers were still people. His choir even sang for British colonial dignitaries who visited Nigeria before it was independent.

Ikoli Harcourt Whyte did get to see independence, though I’m not sure if independence included the people in leper colonies.

He died in a motor accident in 1977.

Nigerian Independence Day should not just celebrate the great men and women of state and politics. It should also celebrate the ordinary people, the lepers, the poor, the unknown majority.

I hope it does because real people, like Ikoli Harcourt Whyte, should never be forgotten.

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