Our clever website thinks you're visiting from United States To shop in your local currency, click here. Close

Do has grown up

  • Posted by howies
  • 5 March 2009

the Do lectures is taking its first steps into adulthood.

it has a bank account.

its a ltd company.

it's purpose is to build a world class resource for doers to make a positive change.

it has to pay its way in the world but it is not here for profit.

it's here to make people think, to inspire us to go do good things.

It has its own blog so if you want to know what is happening, go visit.

you can donate on the website to help make this years talks happen. (every pound helps)

it's a moment, as they say.

and we got some amazing speakers lined up.

the speakers will be announced on May 1st. 

the 40 tickets that are going to be sold, will go on sale May 1st.

The 40 tickets that will be given to students will be awarded to those who write the best letters to the do lectures and tell us what they want to do.

So all good stuff.

But it does need your donations to keep on Do-ing, so if you can, please Do.

www.thedolectures.co.uk  twitter.com/dolectures

Kev Grey book

  • Posted by pete
  • 18 February 2009


Kev Grey is an artist and illustrator from Liverpool, and he's got a new book out.

Crispy clean lines, mostly based on traditional tattoo flash, low-brow art and
skeletons. You might recognise his work for East Skateboards and Mackeys Lost Art
store in Liverpool. Sick. You should probably buy a copy.

He's doing a little bit of something for us at the moment (but that's top secret).

Check him out. 


Buy this book -One track mind

  • Posted by howies
  • 10 December 2008

it's done by a good friend of mine - tony davidson.

he was one of our biggest shareholders in the old days.

but it wasn't his money that kept clare and me going but his belief.

no matter how much bad news we delivered to his doorstep, he just kept saying keep going - i believe.

Then he would laugh out loud and we would get back to work.

yup, he's as mad as they come. but as smart as they come too.

he only trusts his instincts.

he only listens to his heart, not an accountant or a spreadsheet.

so please buy his book.

it's for a good cause -breast cancer research.

and if you do buy the book, please add your comments to the comments page on amazon.

I promised I would blog it, here's the website.

The Warrior - Deena Metzger

  • Posted by tim
  • 8 December 2008


Prior to this ground breaking image the only photographs of mastectomies were tucked away in medical textbooks with the womens head discreetly cut off for the sake of propriety. "The Warrior" changed all that. Deena Metzger, arms wide and face beaming, realized the image of a spirit unconquered. A sensual photo with a feminine beauty very much intact. "The Warrior" is resolute and celebratory. A poster of the image became something of a cult object during the 1980's, ubiquitous in feminist bookstores and tattoo parlours alike, and in this way the censored scar was finally revealed. 

When the novelist and poet Deena Metzger was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977 she underwent a mastectomy within two weeks and her life was changed forever. After her recovery she became aware that the sight of a one breasted woman aroused as much curiosity even as it disturbed women. Metzger having written a book Tree on her experience with cancer wanted to create an image that would accompany the book. After a lengthy search she found the photographer Hella Hammid, who's photo is below this text. Their collaboration produced "The Warrior."

In a twisted irony , Hella Hammid died of cancer in 1992. The two women had become deep friends and Metzger was able to accompany Hammid on her journey with the disease before her death. According to Deena, when she developed cancer it was expected that one in five women would develop breast cancer during their lifetimes, and these statistics have not changed since. In Tree, she speaks of the ways in which we use use nuclear war (radiation), biological and chemical warfare (chemo and other therapies) and the sword (surgery) in order to treat disease. She believes that the same genius that that contributed to to the development of moderm medicine can discover treatments that do not agres against the body or the land, but which are healing for the individual and the community.

Deena's unbridled bravery would influence a coterie of women artists and photographers who had undergone mastectomies. A series of passionate self portraits emerged. A self portrait by the artist Matushka appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in 1993 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Today Deena Metzger is a well known writer, teacher, story teller and healer. She is the author of many books, fiction and non fiction, and almost all of her work is concerned with creativity, community, healing and peacemaking. Her website is here.

This text above was written by Rick Cusick in Feb 2004. 

What's great about Deena can be tapped into on her website, there are some great features on line about all sorts of subjects that are very interesting and thought provoking. They are more than worthy of a read. Here's few lines she wrote. 


     There are those who are trying to set fire to the world
     We are in danger 
     There is time only to work slowly 
     There is no time not to love.

book of the year

  • Posted by howies
  • 4 December 2008

some great books came out this year.

I have my fave.

what's yours?

Hope Bourne

  • Posted by tim
  • 3 December 2008

Last week i blogged about Hannah Hauxwell who lived on a solitary hill farm in the Pennines on her own with no running water gas or electricity. A fella by the name of Neil kindly replied to my blog and mentioned a lady of similar ilk living in Exmoor by the name of Hope Bourne. I managed to get my hands on a book by Hope called Wild Harvest which i have yet to read. I Have also found some great audio clips that makes for great listening, over two and a half hours worth here. 


Here is a summary about Hope taken from the Exmoor National Park website. 



Hope Bourne was born at Hartland in North Devon. She claims to have lost her birth certificate and not to know her age but one can guess that her birth was in 1920. Her mother was headmistress at the village school in Elmscott. Hope left school at the age of 14 and, as an asthmatic and the only child of a widowed mother, she was expected to stay at home. She was in her 30s when her mother died. All income then stopped and the house had to be sold to pay off debts. Hope was left with no home, little money, no income, no qualifications and no training. She decided to become as self sufficient as possible.

Hope moved to Exmoor, to a succession of remote and primitive cottages, including one near Nutscale Reservoir. She lived off the land, growing her own vegetables, gathering wood for fuel and shooting for the pot. She earned a small income through helping farming friends by tending stock. In the 1950s and 1960s she claimed to live on £5 per month. She earned about £100 per annum and saved nearly half. Hope relied heavily on friendships. She would call in at farms when she was out and about, and people would call in and see her. Neighbours, even if they were ten miles away, would always come and help out if there was any trouble. She spent 30 Christmases at Broomstreet Farm, owned in those days by Mary Richards, who was her oldest and best Exmoor friend. In the 1950s she spent a year on a sheep station in New South Wales; in the 1970s she spent three months in Canada with friends.

click on view to read more

She taught herself to paint and draw and kept a diary from which she wrote and published articles. She sent her first book, written in pencil, to Anthony Dent. He returned it neatly typed and visited in person shortly afterwards. The book, Living on Exmoor, published in 1963, is a month by month diary of her activities and is illustrated by her pen and ink drawings. Her next book, A Little History of Exmoor (1968), was also published by Dent. This is a good account of Exmoor from prehistoric times to the 20th century and concentrates on the history of farming. It is brought to life by her imaginative drawings of farmsteads through the ages. Her third and fourth books, Wild Harvest (1978) and My Moorland Year (1993), have a similar style to her first, being a collection of experiences of farming, local lore, encounters with neighbours and vivid descriptions of the seasons. It is perhaps in the latter that she has her finest, almost poetic writing.

From 1970 until the early 1990s she occupied a tiny, old and leaky touring caravan in the burnt out ruins of Ferny Ball Farm above Sherdon Water. There she kept her bantams in the ruins and helped out on neighbouring farms at busy times such as lambing and winter feeding. Getting up at 5am she'd do the farmer's stock, write her journal, and then go for a 20 mile walk with her sketch pad, mapless, guided by an inner compass. She followed the hunt on foot, shot and fished, never washed up, ate 1lb of meat a day, some of which was none too fresh, and drank from a stream. She believes that hunting and farming are the backbone of Exmoor. She wrote a weekly, thousand word column for the local paper, the West Somerset Free Press, which she picked up every Friday, when she went into Withypool to collect her mail and bread. At the same time she would post her next article, handwritten in pencil. The column was always popular and generated considerable correspondence. She also contributed articles and drawings to the Exmoor Review, with an emphasis on local farms and their history.

In the 1970s Hope became famous through newspaper articles, then two television documentaries about her and her lifestyle: About Britain: Hope Bourne Alone on Exmoor (1978) and Hope Bourne – Woman of Exmoor (1981). In 1979 Daniel Farson interviewed her for a feature in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine. She told him:

“I have never taken a penny from public money. Friends tell me I could live better on National Assistance, or whatever they call it now. Over my dead body! Anyway, I’ve never been able to afford the stamps. I’ve told them this would be more than my entire income! It’s a good life but it’s a tough life. You’ve got to be 100% physically fit to live as I do. You’ve got to be tough, body and soul. Whatever happens at Ferny Ball, I’ve got to cope with it alone.”

In the Exmoor Oral History Archive she gives a vivid account of how she dealt with accidents and extreme weather at Ferny Ball. In the late 1980s she was eventually persuaded to have a telephone put in for emergencies. Her asthma became worse and concerned friends managed to find her a new house at a community housing scheme in Withypool. Although on the edge of Withypool Common, she finds this like living in a city. She has all modern conveniences but rarely uses the electricity, sleeps on the living room floor in front of the open fire and leaves the rest of the house to her bantams. She is not able to go shooting now and, having sold her guns, gets her meat from the butchers.

Hope’s last publication was a booklet about former weights and measures and had no Exmoor connection. She is very concerned about the future of Exmoor, its farming and wildlife. She thinks there is too much 'taming down' of Exmoor by both the National Park Authority and the National Trust, even though both have done good work by preserving large chunks of moorland that otherwise might have gone under the plough. She believes that the wildness of Exmoor teaches self-reliance and that there are too many paths, signs and interpretation boards. People can learn better by finding things out for themselves.


The picture above is of Hope at the Withypool Tearoom and was taken by Arkwright

Hannah Hauxwell

  • Posted by tim
  • 27 November 2008

Hannah Hauxwell.

Some time ago I stumbled across a lady who came into the publics eye in whilst living a solitary existence in the harsh elemental territory of North Yorkshire. Her residence was without running water, electricity or gas and was known to the few inhabitants of the are as Low Birk Hatt Farm.

Hannah who was born in 1926 had her first appearance in the media with a commisioned feature in the April  6th 1970 Yorkshire Post entitled “how to be happy on £170 a year.”
Her second came three years later when she appeared on the Yorkshire TV funded ITV Documentary entitled “Too Long a Winter” which was produced by Barry Cockroft. The program chronicled the almost unendurable conditions of farmers in the High Pennines in winter where Hannah was resident.

At this time the 46 year old spinster lived and toiled alone in the dilapidated 80 acre farm which she had run by herself since she was 35 following the deaths of her parents and uncle.

With no electricity or running water and struggling to survive on £280 a year, life was a constant battle against poverty and hardship, especially in the harsh Pennine winters where she had to work outside tending her few cattle in ragged clothes in temperatures well below freezing.

It was Hannah’s spirit, her gentleness and humility, that gripped not only a nation but, as the documentary was syndicated, parts of Europe too. So much so that after the documentary was first screened Yorkshire TV's phone line was jammed for three days with viewers wanting to find out more and help her.

Over the next twenty years her life was transformed. A local factory raised money to fund getting electricity to Low Birk Hatt Farm and she continued to receive thousands of letters and generous donations from well-wishers around the world.

Almost two decades after Too Long a Winter, the same TV crew returned to her farm to catch up with Hannah. The second documentary, A Winter Too Many, saw that Hannah had a little more money, which she had invested in a few more cows. The crew followed her to London where she was guest of honour at the 'Women of the Year' Gala.

Out of the spotlight her back-breaking work on the farm continued and each winter became harder for her to endure. With her health and strength slowly failing she had to make a heart-rending decision: to sell her family farm and the animals she adored and move into a warm cottage in a nearby village.

Both programmes about this extraordinary Daleswoman have been put on a single DVD, Hannah Hauxwell's Winter Tales. Barry Cockcroft also took her around Europe and to New York for further documentaries.

In January 2008 she was still living in the village of Cotherstone, less than five miles (8 km) from Low Birk Hatt Farm.

A new book 'Hannah Hauxwell - 80 Years in the Dales' (W.R. Mitchell) is due for publication soon.

A new DVD 'Hannah Hauxwell - An Extraordinary Life' featuring 'Too Long A Winter', 'A Winter Too Many' and 'Innocent Abroad' has been published.

please click below to read the rest of the article

In March 2007 Paul Jeeves in the Yorkshire Post got this interview with Hannah

EXCLUSIVE: Hannah Hauxwell at 80 talks of her life in village and admits a return visit to isolated farm would be too painful
Her simple life running an isolated Dales farm on her own provided a glimpse into a world that many thought had long past.

With no electricity or gas and the only source of water from a stream, Hannah Hauxwell was the country woman in gumboots and a Harris tweed jacket who found a special place in the hearts of millions.

Almost 35 years since a television documentary gave the world an insight into her life in the Pennines, Hannah Hauxwell has made her home in a village less than five miles away from Low Birk Hat farm.

But for the last 18 years since she moved out of the farmhouse on the edge of the Blackton reservoir in Teesdale her time there remains nothing more than a memory.

Sitting on a rickety chair in the kitchen of her modest semi-detached cottage where she now lives in Cotherstone, Miss Hauxwell admits a return to Low Birk Hat farm would prove too painful.

She said: "I do not ask about it; I do not want to know. It is understandable that some people would want to know what has happened up there and might not be able to keep away.

"They say never is a long time, but I have no plans on going back. The memories and ties are strong, too strong."

As she approaches her 81st birthday, which will fall on Yorkshire Day on August 1, Miss Hauxwell remains unfazed by the fame that came with the documentary, Too Long a Winter, after it was first screened in 1973.

The Yorkshire Television series proved such an inspiration that fans have travelled from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand to meet Miss Hauxwell over the intervening years.

However, she first came to prominence following a Yorkshire Post article on April 6, 1970, which detailed her humble existence under the headline, "How to be happy on £170 a year".

Miss Hauxwell took over the running of the farm at 35 after her parents and then her uncle passed away.

For almost 30 years she worked the farm, which sits 1,000ft above sea level, with a small herd of cattle, enduring harsh winters and relying on the promise of the stunning views across Teesdale to see her through until spring.

She said: "I existed during winter and truly lived during the summer. People always think that I was happy there, but it was not always the best of times. I was not always the happiest person in the world.

"I muddled on and I didn't rely too much on possess-ions; I cut my cloth accord-ing to my needs. But I think I showed a different slant on life, and that's what captured people's imaginations. These days there seems to be such a reliance on material things; it's all about keeping up with Joneses. I do not blame or begrudge people if they want nice things, but these things are not always what they really want."

A fall six years ago when she tripped on flagstones left her with a broken hip, but she continues to live on her own and is able to walk with the aid of two sticks when she ventures outside.

A radio, which was one of her few luxuries up at Low Birk Hat, remains a constant in Miss Hauxwell's life, although she now favours Classic FM instead of the BBC's revamped Radio 2.

She passes her days sewing, listening to the radio and playing the organ, although she admits having to halt her love of reading to preserve her eyesight for embroidery work.

She has a group of close friends, many of whom came to meet her after the docum-entary was screened, and is planning her annual trip to Sedbergh in Cumbria to see the Appleby horse fair.

Miss Hauxwell, who has never married, admits her time in Cotherstone – in County Durham since Yorkshire's boundaries were redrawn in 1974 – has given her a new lease of life. She was only too aware that she could not run Low Birk Hat forever, but she cannot disguise her love of the place almost 20 years after leaving.

She said: "There are advantages now; I have got some good neighbours and the shops are nearer. This is my home and where my body and possessions are, but my heart and soul will always be up on the Dales.

"I have often said I was, still am and always will be a plain country woman, and proud to be a plain country woman."

Una Woodruff

  • Posted by tim
  • 14 November 2008

I have recently fallen in love again with the paintings of Una Woodruff. You may know some of her work but not know you know it, she did all of the illustrations that accompanied the hugely popular childrens book book "Catwitch." 

Under her own name she has several published books. One delightful one is the "Flora and Fauna of Atlantis," a book full of delights and ports of entry in her most special of worlds. I don't know much about Una but her touch with the nature of spirit seems to me from some kid of fairy land that effortlessly manage to evoke strong atavistic memories that lie latent in the soul.

We are reminded if lucky enough of another glorious world within our current perception that lays hidden to all until re awakened by another who can access these states of consciousness at will. 

Check out any of Una's books, your kids will thank you and if they don't,  or you've got no kids then the Kid and nature lover inside you will.

Items 10 to 17 of 17 total

per page
  1. 1
  2. 2