the big lunch is an idea of the eden project.  to further support this they are at the time of writing running the big lunch extras series of camps. i participated in the july 2014 camp.

the camp looks at needs of the community.

in my recovery periof after the camp i identified that one of my needs was to be able to keep a blog about what happens for me post camp.  in the absense of a blogging platform on the big lunch extras site, my next choice was here on the a n site.

through my corridor arts activitity i am involved in community building. at the camp alot of the community building focussed on those citizens in society who for unknown reasons are being left behind.  i went to the camp with a project idea that centres on the transition group in belper.  i went to the camp as i primarily do everything that i do voluntrily.

after the weekend i have a sense of being at the top of something akin to a slide. i have a sense that i need to help myself to ensure that the slope of the slide becomes more a kin to a plane, along which i can walk without fear.

part of the movement to the plane is to admit to myself that doing things voluntarily is great as i can get things done but long term has a detrimental affect to my well being and self esteem.

the weekend has shown me that sometime i need support and encouragement.

encouragement being a quickly made step on from the notion of being given permission, something that appeared within the weekend.

another key aspect of the weekend was the notion of first follower. we were shown this video :

it opened my eyes to how important the people around one are.


on the big lunch extras website i posted a list of my needs this morning. one of them was to make a blog and without days of considering i jumped in.

pausing now … i need to consider what else i need to note down …


it’s all good. the blog is begun, inner calm returns. i can expand on some of the themes i’ve mentioned in subsequent posts.


as a foot note… i’m so pleased to see another walking with cosmo blog mr turner xxx



when i began this blog i was feeling out of balance.  the experience at eden was too wonderful and too much all at the same time.  like coming to a rich banquette after living and accpeting bread and water.

during the time at eden was a walk.  a walk intended to do something to the participant.  whatever it did for me wasn;t really begun to be understood till last tuesday.


on this day i spoke on the phone with the gentleman who lead us around the walk.  we spoke intensly and calmly for 30 minutes.  in this time we examined …. i examined ….. with his help …… the experience of the walk.


profund things were said.


a wholeness


a balance



was talked about.



it’s come at a really good time for me.



the big lunch extras team are talking to us about he possibility of staging part of a regional event in belper.  i’ll say only this at this time as negotiations and arrangements are early doors still.  if it does happen it will be connected to the legacy of our go and see bursary from a n.




i began this blog while in a bit of an upset state.

as ever time has helped for the upset to unpack and reflection to occur.

the big lunch extras experience has brought home to me about how important looking after oneself is, even if that’s an unfashionable thing to do.

the big lunch extras programme is designed to help people help their community. what i see in myself now is that there was in part an element of the work i attempt to do for a wider community actually being about what i need for me.

it has been suggested that activists do what they do because of a sense of isolation in their own lives.

i recognise in myself that one of the projects i’m involved with trying to set up is as much about me recieving payment for my time as it is about bringing people together. this is exacerbated by those i’m talking with being slow to recgnise that i need to be paid for my contribution to the project as actually it is part of my work.

i need to accept that those i’m in discussion with actually might just need an excuse to go to a pub once a month an discuss somethng they know stuff about. it may not actually have to go any further.

i might have to research the succesful community projects … see if there is any pattern that emerges about those behind the success.  truth is i already have way more ideas that are physically possible to do in the time i have each day.

inevitably some ideas will remain as a sketch on a page.



so what advice am i giving myself ?


enjoy those around me, enjoy my work, enjoy talking about my work, involve people who i like close to me.  when i get down and it all seems useless and going now where … eat something ……. …….. …….. …….. ……… …….. and goto the beginning of this paragraph.

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this post is written to the following sound track.


so the good news is that i’m calmer now about the whole big lunch extras thing. there had been quite a lot of upheavel and i wrote and spoke about it and it all levelled out.

there’s been sad news today re the death of robin williams. i read a statement from his wife asking for privacy at this difficult time.

personally today i’ve been feeling under par. a totally self induced condition from actions last night.

i’ve been blogging on the corridor blog today as we prepare for our go and see bursary visit.  looking at the blog it could be easy to think that it’s all about the website. to some extent it is as this is a guage of the confidence felt witihin the group.

that particular blog is set to receive some updates in the coming weeks as i lay down a record of the process connected to the bursary. in some small part this blog is connected to the bursary. i’ll explain that in a blog post i’m yet to make ….

so today in my unsettled state it would be easy to be full of self pity and make myself feel a whole lot worse.

this would be particularly dangerous given that i’m still trying to negotiate with transition belper to create a project for them.

my approach is to get people involved. i’m doing this by various means and trying to get the some if not all of the main members to be involved in activities that they are speak most about.

between you and me i’m uncomfortable with some of the aspects of the way in which the transition movement conduct their message delivery.  without being specific at this time, i am in effect trying to find a means to move a little away from the bits i’m uncomfortable about. in doing this i look to make what i propose doing to be relevent to the time we live in now, attempt to attract members of the public who might have previously not heard of or prefer not to hear about transition movement.

time will tell if i’m succesful at getting my project idea adopted. the other interesting point is connected to payment. i’m working on the project so far as a professional artist. it’s taken a massive scare and wobble to affirm this position. in real terms my professional earnings are low to the point of being embarressing, however my approach and discipline is that of a professional artist. so at the point where me confirming that i will want some financial renumeration for the making the project to hear that this might cause a problem amoung some of the members so there will be a need to be transparent, i rather became unsettled.

time will tell if my lack of protest and lack of finger pointing approach is not extreme enough for the group.

my time at the extras camp showed me that it is possible to do positive activities in one’s community because actually getting together and doing things is one of those basic human requirements.

i hope that my percieved gap between extras and transition is not there and i’m yet again being over sensitive.

in the mean time i continue to work at being centred and relaxed, so the inner monologue does not take me to somewhere where nothing happens.


added about an hour after publishing the post:

i recognise a point in this post that needs reflecting upon.

before diving in … about 10 years ago i drove a car. i went places, i visited people. at times i became uncomfortable in the presence of people. i knew not why, i didn;t understand and i was not in the head space to find out why.

one particlar trip i got very drunk, to the point of being an embarressment to myself and my very generous hosts. i had to stay an extra day.

in that day we some how got onto the subject of the french revolution. this was something that i didn’t know much about. i knew it happened.

in our conversation it was put to me that the french revolution was about one group of people saying of another group of people that they thought they knew better than the other. they replaced the first group.

along came a third group and did the same as the second had done to the first. it struck me that this form of revolution was rather old hat now.

some time aftert his visit i was in japan. in an evening conversation my notion of intelligent revolution started to evolve.

i wonder if it’s acceptable if i were to say that i would prefer a group i’m working with to work differently. this is why i’ve come come to add this note.

on reflection i’m actually not saying it of the group. i might express a dislike of another approach and approach my own project differently …. what i am doing is accepting what i don’t like and doing my own thing. i’m not proposing an old school revolution model, it is old hat after all.

instead i’m effectively propsing ignoring the bits that don’t resonate with me and setting out to have fun.

so i might to say to a friend of something they don’t like ….
ignore it and have fun ….


this evening i’m listening to an old favourite.


the last couple of weeks have been something of a shock.


the shock is subsiding and this evening i’m feeling more relaxed and calmer than i have since being in eden.

i’ve come to add a post at this time. as i compsoe my thoughts, i wonder if i just need to feel calm and steer around the deeper insight writing that i have been doing since beginning this blog.



while in eden i tried to consider an idea i’m discussing with a group in belper.  this evening i feel the need for distance from that project to afford me time to reflect, edit and form.


(the timing of the floyd concert from ’89 is rather pleasing.)


yesterday evening i asked of myself “what am i doing”

on saturday i’ve got a chance to go and do.


oh peace !!!




i was taken by jack vettriano’s frankness in this


like a week ago, i’ve woken up on sunday feeling more rested than the last couple of days.  still in hyper sensitivity, actions around me impact and impart.  i hold onto the rails and wait for calm to return.


a week a go today i sat and listened to sue hill speak of her practice.  she had that calm air about herself, smiled freely and i cried.


she spoke of keeping it simple, it’s ok to do small things and keep going in a project even though it appears very few people are engaging with it.

i tweeted a few tweets and i’d like to record this one here :


“lets bring emotion into the conversation” sue hill #julycamp— andrew martyn sugars (@andrewsugars) July 20, 2014


post sue hill came probably the most influential session of the weekend for me.  we were given a creative exercise to do. i do have to admit that when i walked into the venue on sunday morning there was a sense of dread about what we might be asked to do.

my inhibitions and shy ness were to not be relied upon.


the exercise was to imagine a future.


we split into groups, collected a tray and were invited to use the provided materials to imagine a future …


i worked with two ladies.


as i approached the table where the tray was, my thinking towards the task centred on what i would need. something i’d not had enough of for the weekend was sleep and going forward sleep was going to be my most important thing. so my starting point was i needed somewhere to sleep.

between us the group decided that this approach was acceptable (focusing on a need) and the other two joined in with the considering a need.

fire … we all agreed that fire was defintely a need.  we’d just istened to sue hill’s presentation in which a lot of her work involved fire.

we set off to imagine our futures …


i felt relaxed and happy as i first created the base for the fire and then my bed.  the working atmosphere was happy and relaxed, we were all happy and relaxed.


the lady faciliting the session announced we had five minutes left…


the tray was looking good yet there was still a lot of space in it. we had a discussion about wether we should fill in the gaps or if we liked it as it was. we all agreed that space was good.

the facilitator invited all the groups to find a name for the piece. very quickly i used the first three letters of our names and formed something from that. there was a little confusion but the others went with it.


ours was the first to be group critted.  we spoke about what was in the future vision and why. the facilitator was really taken with the space. she commented that she felt it was a piece with depth. the three of us very very proud of what we had achieved.


in the tuesday of the week following this workshop, i drew upon the workshop experience in a project development meeting to argue that when imagining a future, one will draw on one’s own present to create that vision.  i argue that future is present and to make a better future, we conciously do better things in the present.

we can all be engineers of optimism.