As we ring in the new year there’s good reason for us to seek with Alfred Lord Tennyson – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbnsIydaYYg – “the larger heart, the kindlier hand”. Fear that grows with pandemic warnings, climate change threats, rising inequality and all the rest of the “grief that saps the mind” can easily discourage us from reaching out for anything, settling instead for the same old, same old.
So why launch a website in the depths of a dark European winter when images of war, conflict, floods and starvation only add to our concerns for those for whom we have a closer care?
Forthzando.com, in the face of “the faithless coldness of the times”, aims to encourage each other “to ring the fuller minstrel in”. It’s here to assert, in the best traditions of dissent, that the world need not be like this – and that there is plenty in which to delight as we seek to change it.
We gladden our hearts in many ways – love, family, friendship, the appreciation of nature, beauty, art, music and the rich diversity of human achievement. Forthzando.com will be actively encouraging this relish for life. By so doing, it seeks to inspire hope and dissent, to challenge some of the orthodoxies of our times by opening ourselves to the possibilities of a brighter future.
A lifetime in journalism has taught me that there is much more to life and the world than that which Rupert Murdoch and BBC News show us. There are important events we never see and inspiring people we never hear of because they don’t pass through the narrow gate of media acceptability as “stories” or “celebrities”.
The good news is that are lots of honest journalists, courageous whistle-blowers and other right-minded citizens who want us to know more about that wider world. Forthzando.com is offering links to some of those doing this and I’ll be adding more.
One publication that has long tried to dig deeper is Lobster magazine. I’ve put some of my recent work for it on Forthzando.com for you to explore. This link – https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/index.php – will enable you to read other contributors too.
I’m lucky to have been brought up in a musical home: a father who first accompanied Handel’s Messiah on his 17th birthday and a mother who was still supporting local singers on the piano late into her eighties.
I’m fortunate too to have enjoyed the company of other gifted performers all my life, musicians who continue to open up new worlds of enjoyment. I’ve listed links some of my current delights. I’ll be adding more, along with photographs old and new.
My blog aims to steer a course between the brevity of Twitter and the footnoted detail of longer pieces. It’s part of my commitment to free speech. Whether it helps “ring in the love of truth and right” is for you to judge.
Welcome. Happy New Year.