IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR – 12 Months When Rock Music Reached Its Peak

Career peaks for Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell and Rod Stewart – in 1971 popular music reached its high water mark.

On a recent flight to Alicante from the UK I read a magazine article making the case for 1966 being the high water mark for popular music. The evidence looked watertight – Revolver, Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde, Fifth Dimension, each one a landmark album and released the same year as outstanding offerings from The Kinks, The Who, the Rolling Stones (and that was just in London), with ground-breaking music also being made in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

During the plane journey I began making a mental list of what I consider the greatest albums ever made: What’s Goin’ On, Born To Run, Blue, Plastic Ono Band, Blood On The Tracks, Who’s Next, Rubber Soul, London Calling, Tapestry, and in doing so realised how many were made in 1971. So without further here is the case for that year being the ‘annus mirabilis’ of rock music.

At first glance 1971 is a strange year for rock. The Beatles had split, there was no new material from Bob Dylan and constant personnel changes had blown The Beach Boys and The Byrds off course. But with What’s Goin’ On, Marvin Gaye gave Motown its finest hour. More social comment than sweet soul, the songs focused on inner city deprivation, brotherhood and the mess being made of the environment – marvellous Marvin proving you could have a message and make great dance music at the same time. Tapestry (Carole King) and Blue (Joni Mitchell) are albums of incredible maturity and insight into human emotions, while Every Picture Tells A Story is Rod Stewart at his most charming, funny and poignant. The title track is a wonderful mixture of eloquence and ramshackle rock with the killer second side (Maggie May, Mandolin Wind, (I Know) I’m Losing You and Reason To Believe) a match for any side of an album ever recorded.

1971 also brought Sticky Fingers, an album of such swagger and attitude it could only have been recorded by the Rolling Stones, the best recorded rock band on the planet weighed in with the sonic masterpiece that is Led Zeppelin IV, while on Muswell Hilbillies, King Kink Ray Davies presents sketches of London that 40 years before Graham Greene would have been proud of.

But the final word in this momentous year goes to the Rolling Stone magazine Record Guide which states Who’s Next by The Who ‘may well be the finest rock record ever made.’ If you agree with that statement (as I do) there is little else to add. As Del Trotter once said: ‘I don’t care what they say, you can’t whack The Who.’

By the time we landed in Alicante my mind was made up, 1971 was the golden year. But waiting to show my passport I thought of 1969 – and of Abbey Road, Tommy, Crosby Stills & Nash, Let It Bleed, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Band, Dusty in Memphis, Led Zeppelin II…

Career highs for Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart and Carole King take popular music onto a whole new level – and they all happen in the same year. Renowned rock writer Neil Sambrook takes a new look at an astonishing twelve months for rock – and reaches a startling conclusion.

Tips For Celebrating Your Silver Wedding Anniversary

Getting ready

A silver wedding anniversary occurs on the 25th year of marriage. It is an important milestone and your partner will be expecting you to treat it as such. They key to a memorable celebration is planning. Starting early is advised, advance planning will help add touches that make it personal to your partner. Fortunately after 25 years you should know your partner very well!

There are two parts to this milestone that need attention. The first is the celebration itself and the second is the gift. We look at each in turn.

1) Celebrating a 25th anniversary

Start by planning the main meal. Do you intend to have the focus on lunch or dinner? Will you cook something or will you go out? Perhaps you will be on holiday (see Gift Suggestions below)

If you are not working on the day of the anniversary you could plan a whole day of activities doing as much or as little as you like.

Overall make it a romantic occasion and celebrate your lasting love for eachother. Don’t forget to use lots of silver coloured things, for example: Silver glitter, silver table cloth, silver balloons, disposable silver plates and cutlery. If you don’t own these things and can’t get hold of them you could create your own touches with silver spray paint or silver inked pen.

The usual rules for a romantic occasion still apply! Don’t forget the flowers, chocolates and music!

2) Gift Suggestions

This milestone is traditionally celebrated with gifts containing or related to silver.

When choosing a gift for a special occasion such as this one should bear the following in mind, the gift should be 1) personal 2) meaningful and 3) memorable

A personal touch – Try to make the gift unique or as rare as possible. This adds a special feeling to the gift

Meaningful – The gift should be meaningful t the receiver. Try to make it relate to them as an individual. Think about what they like and their interests

Memorable – The best gifts are those that last forever either physically or in memory

Silver Jewellery

This is probably the most popular gift as it lasts forever and can be both personal and meaningful. For a twist consider using silver jewellery to tie another gift, for example if you want to buy a gift in the form of paper, print it on heavy, good quality (silver) paper and roll it into a scroll. Tie the scroll with a delicate silver necklace and pendant. This way you could have a non physical gift, like a printed voucher, wrapped with a piece of jewellery to remind your partner of this special occasion.

Your Ex Bad Mouths You to Your Children, What Do You Say and Do? Divorce And Co-Parenting Advice

During our online coaching session last night, Kate shared how angry she was at her ex. That morning at the breakfast table. Her daughter blurted out “Dad said you took all his Money and that is why he cannot take us on holiday anymore like he promised”. She wanted to say “Took all is money? We barely got enough to cover our basic needs. If your Dad is concerned about money then why is he spending it on a new car and on that dreadful woman”. Instead she vented about her ex in our private sessions, where we could discuss ways to de-stress and respond. Clearly that would be the wrong response for children, but what is the right response? Read suggestions at the end.

Omar had a similar situation, he found out that his former in- laws, his children’s grandparents, were bad-mouthing him. His son said to him “Grandma and Granddad said you deserted your family values and that you are a bad person”; “Mum and them also said you are killing yourself and others by smoking and smoking is evil.” Omar was more hurt than angry. He tried his best for years to make the marriage work, but it wasn’t meant to be, they just weren’t compatible. They knew he smoked before he got married and whilst he isn’t proud of it, he thought no child should hear about death. This ruined his mood for the week, as he simply couldn’t stop running it through his mind. Talking it out with me gave him the opportunity to get it off his chest and decide on his response to his ex and children. If this is happening to you right now, I encourage you to talk it through with a trusted friend, family member or coach. Below I address the 3 most frequently asked questions that come up in relation to this topic: Do I defend myself? Do I Confront My Ex? And, what do I say to my children? I hope these are helpful to you.

In high-conflict parenting relationships, you may find that you are the butt of jokes, or gossip by your ex, their partner or family. The hardest thing is not to react, when deep down you want to stand your ground, let them know that what they are saying is out of order, and more importantly hurting and confusing for the children. But if you do let it consume you, or spiral out of control into a shouting match, you will get drawn back into that abusive cycle from which you have rightly tried so hard to escape.

So what DO you say?
A good way to answer these hurtful comments is to acknowledge them, then address it without being defensive or attacking. Here are some examples I created with people on my stress-free co-parenting 6 month programs.

General lies or gossip:
“I am so sorry you had to hear that about your mother / father, it’s not true. I imagine that must have been difficult, uncomfortable and sad for you to hear bad things about me. Gossip and bad mouthing people is not a nice thing to do, so in this house we don’t say bad things about other people or talk about them when they are not here. When people at school or at other places talk badly about other people you just have to ignore it. If it is about me, you don’t have to defend me or stand up for me, as I can stand up for myself. So just let it go in one ear and out the other”
Adult Issues (money, affairs etc):

“I wish your dad / mum wouldn’t talk about adult issues with you in such a blaming and confusing way. It’s true that neither of us has as much money as we did before the divorce. For a while we won’t have as many extra treats, like holidays abroad, but we have all the things we need for you, your school and other things”
Habits or differences of opinion (smoking, eating, shopping etc):

“That must’ve been upsetting to hear. I don’t know why they said that. She and I see things differently. But I absolutely love you, and though your Mum / Dad and I are not together anymore – I will always be here for you.” This is what I suggested to Omar to say and he said it worked really well, his son gave him a big hug, then ran off to play in the park.

Do you defend yourself?
Even if you have sole custody of your children, you can’t fully protect them from what they or may not hear from your ex or their family. But should you defend yourself your Children?

It differs depending on the circumstances but generally I would say best not to. Don’t make this about you, your feelings or your ex. Best to end the conversation by acknowledging how children feel and making them have just enough of an answer to satisfy them, so they can go off and play. See examples below. The reason I say best not to, is because by doing so you are drawing in your children deeper. They may feel that they have to report back or defend you and share your comments back with your ex. Children should be playing, having fun or doing their homework instead of getting involved in parent disputes. Ideally as much as possible, children need to be shown their parents are a united front when it comes to parenting after divorce. Agreed parenting plans can be a great way to ensure that.

Do you confront your ex?
Only you can decide this, but I would really assess it on how well you get along with your ex and if they are genuinely unintentionally letting things slip or are maliciously saying things against you. Honestly, I believe in most situations it is best not to rise to the bait or confront them. If they are saying spiteful or derogatory things deliberately about you, the chances are they are trying to provoke a reaction and are clearly still bitter towards you. Perhaps your Ex wants the drama – wants the fight. Therefore showing them that they are getting to you, may be like adding fuel to their fire and it is likely that they will continue. This would be the worst possible scenario for your children, as children need to be protected from hearing bad things about their parents. Children need to know that both parents love them and are there for them.

When my parents divorced I was told that my dad didn’t love me and us children because he didn’t give enough money. I grew up with the belief that if a man spent money on you, it means they love you, and if they don’t then it means they don’t love you. This had a negative impact on my relationships in my early twenties, until a coach showed me that I was carrying this false belief. Once I realized where it came from, I could challenge and change it. This is why I find coaching so useful and still have a coach myself. Having someone that stands for you and is your thought partner throughout challenges you may face is extremely beneficial, so whether it is a coach, friend, partner or family member, do get some support.

The good news is children of divorce only need to have one parent provide a safe and supportive environment for them to flourish. One where they don’t have to get involved in arguments, conflict or take sides – according to US studies. You cannot control your ex or anyone else for that matter. But you providing this environment can make all the difference for your children and is something totally within your power. The best you can do is make your household a safe, fun, nurturing and loving place to grow. Stop the badmouthing before it has the chance to infect your home and your children will love you for it. They will love your home because they are not made to feel awkward or in the middle, instead they live in a positive happy environment.

And finally, if lies are being spread regularly about you, just trust that your children love you and will see the truth. Defending is often not necessary, because as children get older they can see the truth and can see through lies. I have seen this many times, including through my own personal experience.

Mahakavi Subrahmanya Bharathi,The Great Tamil Poet Recognised As National Poet: A Brief Introduction

Mahakavi Subhramania Bharathi (11.12.82-11.9.21)or simply Bharathi was a modern Tamil poet recognised as National poet of India. He recognised Sister Nivedita, disciple of Swami Vivekananda as his mentor. He was a contemporary to Bengali poet Rabindra Nath Tagore. He had great reverence towards Madame Annie Besant and follower of Bala Ganghadhar Thilak. He worked along with extreme group members like V.O.Chidambaram Pillai and Subramaniyam Siva. He was living alternatively in Tamilnadu and Pondicherry. His poems are broadly classified as 1. Devotional songs 2. Patriotic songs 3. Biographical songs 4.Short narrations and 5. General songs. This article is a modest attempt to introduce this great poet to the readers who wish to know more about him.

Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, as a worshipper of UNIVERSAL ENERGY.

“I saw a tiny spark and kept it safe in a tree hole in a dense forest,
LO! The entire forest was reduced to ashes.
Is there any difference in fire as a new born or old?
Thaththarikita thaththarikita thaththom”

– Thus dances poet Subhramania Bharathi, in praise of Agni (fire) one of the five elements of the Universe He has sung in praise of several Hindu Gods in a way unique to him. Nowadays in almost all the school prayers, his songs on Gods are rendered to invoke blessings of the Almighty.

Bharathi found a special awe and respect for fire in his poems even in his worship of the Almighty. Though he wrote poems on Hindu male Gods like Krishna and Muruga, his description of Goddess of Power is unique.

He visualised Goddess Shakthi as the ultimate cosmic energy. He often used to dance in mirth praising the cosmic energy as:
“Let us praise the Mahasakthi (Cosmic energy) who has created the entire Universe,
She is hidden in the great five elements which constitute the EARTH,
She is the source behind all movements, speed
And all attractive forces on Earth,
She is the force of our lives and she is the food which men take to live
“Wherever you see, merges and finally collapses into Shakthi only”
which concept resembles the concept of ‘singularity’ in Science.

In addition to Hindu deities, he sang in praise of Jesus Christ, Islam also in his usual way. He was a lover of the Universe with special reference to the motherland Bharath in which he was living. He called her Bharathamatha (mother Bharath) and sang ‘vandhe madharam’ (Praise to my motherland). The phrase Vandhe Madharam had a magical effect on Indians fighting for freedom and several freedom fighters sacrificed their lives holding tricolor, close to their chests and raising this magical slogan till their last breath while being attacked by British soldiers. Alas! modern Indian youth are to be reminded of the supreme sacrifice made by young freedom fighters of those days to get freedom from foreign rule.

Patriotic songs:

Poet Bharathi always liked to compare Indian freedom struggle to the war of Mahabharath, the great Indian epic. For him, the British rulers were Kauravas and Indian freedom fighters were Pandavas. He had liking for extreme approach whereas Gandhians preferred to go by passive non-violence. Hence we could see his forthright disapproval of non-violent struggle in his songs. He said:

“My heart Does not tolerate these baseless people who are afraid of everything” in a melancholic mood as a direct reference to moderates and those who were indifferent to the violent struggle. However his reverence to Mahatma Gandhi, the advocate of passive non-violence was unique. He equated him with God and says,

“Mahatmaji, you are the saviour of Bharath, which was under the grip of poverty, ignorance and so lying low and so was a ruined country. You came as the saviour of this country Long life to thee, Mahatma Ji!”

He was deeply in favour of armed struggle for getting freedom and his leaders were Bal Gangadhara Thilak, Guru Gobindsingh, Dadabhai naoroji, Lala Lajpath Rai, V.O.Chidambaram Pillai who were all favouring armed struggle.

Bharathi was deeply impressed by leaders from abroad too. He was taking vow to get freedom for India in the name of Mazzini, founder leader of YOUNG ITALY.

He sang an elegy on the fall of BELGIUM in the first world war.

But what brought him fame in the international arena was his song on Russian revolution.

“Mahakali (The Goddess of power and cosmic energy) put her eyesight on Russia,
The revolution had its overwhelming upraise for ages to come!
The tyrant of Russia fell down.”

He compared the tyrant to the puranic monster Hiranyan and revolution to Goddess of Power. Goddess Power conquered him and reduced him to ashes

‘Bharath’ of Bharathi’s dreams:

“We shall walk along the peaks of silvery hills
We shall send our ships to deep western seas,
We shall construct schools in all temples and
We will proudly say we are Bharathiyans (Indians).
We shall construct bridge across the sea to Srilanka (Ceylon)
We shall connect both by broad roads,
By using the flooded waters of Eastern rivers
We shall irrigate in Central plateau
We will have our own weapons, produce papers,
We shall develop Industries develop education
We shall never rest, nor bow down our head
We shall uphold Truth and show our mite.”

Poets are of various types. Some write poems for money. Some poets write poems out of their immense love for the motherland and magnificent Nature and the Almighty. Such poets who write appreciating Nature have a Natural foresight and what they write in advance will come as true in later years.

We can see whatever Bharathi wrote in the above poem hundred years ago has become reality now. India has shown progress in all fronts especially in Science and Space Technology that India has already sent its satellite which landed on moon and the second is to land on Moon in the next six months.

His views on Woman Liberation:

He has got a special place in the role of Honour for great poets while considering woman His views on conjugal fidelity is very famous and quoted everywhere when the subject matter is discussed:
“When the question of sexual morality arises let us keep it common to both the sex” he declared when women were treated like slaves. His view on woman education also are noteworthy.

Walk with upright poser, look with straight eyes,
Don’t be afraid of anybody on Earth because of Morality,
Superiority because of flawless knowledge,
All these are possession of Modern woman”

Such women are known as Bharathi’s woman of New Age.

Bharathi’s poems are like an ocean. One can not go through the entire content in a short time. At least a glassful of his poetry has been given as above. If it kindles the interest in readers’ mind to go through the entire writing, the purpose of this article is achieved.