Concrete coasts…

Our world’s coastlines are turning into concrete at a huge cost to wildlife, the climate. Hong Kong’s Zhuhai-Macau bridge used 1 million tonnes of concrete, critically endangering Pink Dolphins. Their population plummeted by 60%. Dolphins aren’t the only victims when large volumes of concrete is poured into our oceans.

 3 tonnes of concrete is used per year for every person in the world. Production of concrete is a huge emitter of CO2. 8% of carbon footprint comes from the concrete industry, production of cement. Generates 2.8 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. More than any country other than the US, China. Concrete accounts for 70% of coastal & marine infrastructure – ports, defence structures, water-fronts. 60% of China’s coast is effectively concrete. 14,000 miles of US coastline is concrete.

Scientists say over 1 metre of sea level will rise in 80 years. Hope we can find timely, creative, sustainable solutions to balance development with impact on our environment. Eco-shorelines.


Sufi music…

Email: Grandma’s birthday. Loves Sufi music, flowers. (Pakistan)

Happy Birthday!

Sufism is defined as Islamic mysticism, devotion to the divine, an esoteric dimension of Islam to feel closer to God. There is not in horizons, beyond the horizons or below the horizons anyone more elegant, more noble, more knowing, more just, more fearless, more compassionate. He’s the leader of all created beings – The One.

From 13-16th centuries, Sufism produced a flourishing intellectual, musical culture, a ‘Golden Age‘. Turkey, Persia were the main musical centres. Qawwali, devotional music of the Sufis was inspired by beautiful works of Sufi poets – Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah, Amir KhusrowKhwaja Ghulam Farid

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khana legendary Pakistani vocalist, protagonist of sufi music. Passionate, profound.



Email: Dad’s working 3 jobs. No time for sister & me. We hide & cry. (US)

Hey D, S,

Really touched by your sweet, heartfelt note. Empathetic. Very brave of you to reach out, just 15. Great to know both of you love animals & the NBA, as well. As you’re aware, we’re facing unprecedented times, tough challenges both personally, professionally due to Covid-19. Right now, just trust, support dad’s decisions, go with the flow. Think, he’s trying his best to protect, provide for the family.

Communicate with parents, share thoughts whichever way possible – talk, text, scribble, sing, paint, draw, make a video, write an old-fashioned letter! Alternatively, speak with family members like grand-parents, teachers, school counsellors. Ensures you’re well understood for a joyous outcome. Usually, parents are happy to make simple re-adjustments, re-prioritisations.

Sometimes, it’s absolutely OK to cry, to feel sad. Perfectly natural. I do exactly the same when feeling unhappy! But, when it rains, we look for the rainbows, when it’s dark, we look for the stars! Keep smiling…


Paintings that inspired music…

Great Wave Off Kanagawa – Katsushika Hokusai 

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

One of the most recognisable pieces of Japanese art, Great Wave Off Kanagawa is part of a series of paintings focused on Japan’s Mt. Fuji. Inspiration for Claude Debussy’s iconic La Mer.

De sterrennacht (The Starry Night) – Vincent Van Gogh


Cafe Terrace At Night & Starry Night Over The Rhone are most famous Van Gogh paintings. Henri Dutilleux’s orchestral work Timbres, Espace, Movement is subtitled La Nuit Etoile (The Starry Night). Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote an opera on Van Gogh’s life – Vincent. Symphony No. 6, 1st movement is titled Starry Night.

Illustrations – Viktor Hartmann

 Illustrations of Viktor Hartmann

Inspired modest Mussorgsky’s magnificent Pictures At An Exhibition. Later, orchestrated by Maurice Ravel.



Email: Keen to start a blog. What kind of initial emotions do bloggers feel? (US)

OMG. OK. It’s such a deeply personal experience, quite difficult to put into words or generalise. Usually, the range of sensitive emotions vary from feeling ‘not good enough’, ‘risk of creative criticism, parallel comparisons, failure to measure up to expectations’.

However, with a blend of passion, purpose, playfulness we can mostly manage critical self-talk, practice positivity & self-compassion. It’s important to believe we write because we just can’t not write! A clear ethos for the blog helps. Realistically, it’s essential to find inherent joy, balance, gratitude, inspiration in writing. Worth keeping expectations of content validation as low as possible. Good writing is simple, natural. An intuitive, infinite, incredible way of creative self-expression. All the best.