City's Free 'Eggstravaganza' Happening Saturday

The department will host the City's annual free spring “Eggstravaganza” on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, located at 4901 Old Brook Road. The event was originally postponed due to rain. The annual free event includes a total of 20,000 candy and prize-filled eggs to be found in three separate egg hunts for children of different ages between 4 and

Allotment poem

In the interests of making amends,
I will trudge up this hill with rough implements
and dig into the sod. Spring creaks
with grey-greenery, stumped cabbage stalks,
and the horizon loosens into a smile
which almost hurts with its precision.

Somehow connections ache so much
amongst groundsel patches lines beg
to differentiate themselves. How else
to regard these rhubarb tips sprouting
from compost? Or the spindrift may
cresting an upsweeping breeze?

Still such care must be taken (to find
and not project). I’m staring at my shoes.
While over and above this valley’s
unambitious public transport routes
hen harriers jockey on the thermals,
poets, their words, ghost cemetery yews,
and mushrooms push between my flat feet.

Tom Phillips
Feb-Mar 2011
Or what became of parts of the earlier posting 'How to be a Poet'

The xhiro hour in Tirana

There was no telling how they knew when to start, but every evening the Tiranans took to the streets. Across the city, apartment blocks emptied and their inhabitants congregated on either side of the river Lana, spreading out through the district known as Blloku or into Rinas Park. This was the xhiro, the Albanian equivalent of the Italian passeggiata, an excitable promenade that went on until nightfall.
Blloku was at the heart of it. Formerly reserved for the exclusive use of Party officials, ‘The Block’ was now a frenetic free market. Subterranean shops at the foot of precipitous steps sold everything from newspapers to airline tickets while, at street level, every low wall was turned into a stall, laid out with rows of CDs, remote controls and secondhand books. In amongst government buildings, embassies and international agencies, cafes and bars were loud with chatter and bleating mobile phones. Families sat amongst gaggles of students and sinister men in leather coats. Dressed up to the nines, raven-haired young women teetered along the disastrous pavements on high heels or stopped to talk with boys leaning casually out of car windows. Oblivious to the throng, two balding men were sitting on folding stools at the edge of the pavement, quietly playing a game of dominos on an upturned cardboard box.
We joined the xhiro too. It was one of the reasons we were still in Albania. If DurrĂ«s had made us want to catch the earliest available plane, booking into the International, sitting on its terrace overlooking the ceaseless to-and-fro of Skanderbeg Square and then walking into the xhiro’s ad hoc street party had put that out of mind. ‘I’ve never felt so safe,’ said Kate as we tumbled out of Blloku on the first evening, only a few hours after staring into the muzzle of a Kalashnikov, and now, several days later, Anna and Jim were dragging us down streets whose names we could barely pronounce because they wanted to find a pizza place they’d noticed the night before and because there was a woman selling plastic Skanderbeg swords on one of the footpaths criss-crossing Rinas Park.
We meandered between picnics. At this time of day, Rinas was where families sprawled under trees and those who could afford it took tables around an illuminated fountain that sprayed feathery shafts of water into the air. Parents chased children across the grass until they tripped on roots and fell into a heap; grandparents gnawed charred sweetcorn cobs or bought kitsch pieces of jewellery for girls in pink dresses. The whole park smelt of grilled butter and, over our heads, a flock of starlings swooped and flexed like the illustration of a chaos theory equation, their shrill, persistent shrieks bouncing off the government ministries behind. Only Skanderbeg Square was quiet. As we walked back towards the hotel, a lone dog shambled between what little traffic there was, pausing to look at the policemen in their miniature bunkers and then sniffing around the statue of the great national hero. Over by the vast empty plinth where Hoxha’s statue had once stood, someone was packing potted lemon trees into the back of a Transit van.

From Becoming Europeans

Girls Invited to Learn Lacrosse for Free

The department will hold a free lacrosse clinic for girls ages 8 through 14 on Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Westover Community Center, located at 1301 Jahnke Road. The clinic is co-sponsored by the department and Nick Costas, whose daughter plays lacrosse at St. Catherine’s School. The Costas are eager to share their love of the sport with Richmond girls and want to introduce

Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th June
Adult - £15, Child (under 16) - £7.50
Senior Citizen - £7.50, Family (2+3 ) - £37.50 
(+ transaction fee)
Tickets: The Ticket Factory or 0844 338 0338
"This year we have more coaches, more experts, more players and greater participation and we aim to reinforce the Grass Roots Football Show as the must attend event for coach education and development in the UK.” Joanna Burns, Grass Roots Football Director 
The Grass Roots Football Show is the premier destination for the grass roots football family with leading sports brands, governing bodies, coaches and youngsters attending - click here for further information...To discuss the hottest Grass Roots Football topics, 365 days a year, head to the dedicated Facebook page or follow Grass Roots Football on twitter.

Eggstravaganza Postponed Due to Weather Forecast

Due to Saturday’s weather forecasts, the department will now host its “Eggstravganza” on Saturday, April 30, at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, located at 4901 Old Brook Road, from 10am-2pm. All aspects of the event will remain the same as planned for the original event. The event is free and will feature a total of 20,000 candy and prize-filled eggs. There will be three separate egg hunts

View the Night Sky in Bryan Park

The department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, the Friends of Bryan Park and the Richmond Astronomical Society present a night of gazing at the stars in Bryan Park tonight, Thursday, April 14, at 8 p.m. This is a free family event, featuring an expert who will be on hand to explain the view. High-powered telescopes will be set up, and Virgo, Ursa Major, the double stars in Leo, and

Department's Swim Team Wins Championship

The department's competitive youth swim team, the Richmond Racers, won the Virginia Community Swim League Championship (VCSL) held in March at the department’s Swansboro Pool. Approximately 143 swimmers on teams from Hampton, Norfolk, Poquoson and Richmond competed in the event in front of a packed house. In the end, the Richmond Racers scored a total of 705 points to win the championship title.

These Seniors Really Got Talent!

Eighty-eight-year-old Pauline Wheeler charmed the judges at the department's Seniors Got Talent Showcase held at the Westover Community Center in March. She earned the first place prize in the Spoken Word category for her recitation of the poem, “Heaven’s Grocery Store.” The poem was relevant to her own life story, since she and her husband, Sgt. Shelvie Wheeler, owned and operated a community

Dark Tourism

A new research paper has been written by Philip Stone entitled, 'Dark Tourism and the Cadaveric Carnival: Mediating Life and Death Narratives at Gunter von Hagens' Body Worlds'.  
The fulltext article is available online here...

Department to Hold Free Eggstravaganza

The department will hold a free spring “Eggstravaganza” for children age 12 and younger on Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, located at 4901 Old Brook Road. The event will feature a total of 20,000 candy and prize-filled eggs. There will be three separate egg hunts for children ages 4 to 6, ages 7 to 9, and ages 10 to 12. The fun event will also


'There once was an Island'
Thursday 14th April, 7pm (doors open at 6.45)

Tickets: £4.50 (standard) / £2.50 (members)

(Membership: £10 per year, first film is free) 

Birmingham Co-operative Film Society
Birmingham & Midlands Institue, 
Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS

April 16 Arbor Day Festival Offers Fun for the Entire Family

Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will co-sponsor Stay Co2ol With Trees, Richmond’s third annual Arbor Day celebration with fun and information for everyone in the family. Come out and enjoy the activities at the Carillon in Byrd Park on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's free to attend and will be held rain or shine. At the event, children can climb trees, hunt “treasure,”


Tue 19 April, The Eldon House, Bristol: 'Mrs Higgins Presents...': an evening of pub theatre with music, stand-up, cabaret and lots of quite implausible things, including the likes of Mark Olver, Stand & Stare, Malcolm Hamilton, Tom Wainwright, Joe Hall, Kesty Morrison, Cazal and 'Wilma'. Wed 15 June: 'Man Diving', script-in-hand performance at the Ustinov, Bath: a full-length script about an EU monitor in Mostar, Bosnia, and the aftermath of one of her on-the-ground decisions.

Lottery boost for student sport

The Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, and Olympic Gold medalist, Amy Williams, joined Sport England in Birmingham recently to announce projects benefitting from investment to get more university students playing sport. Forty-one initiatives have secured National Lottery funding through Active Universities which will give thousands of students the chance to try out a new sport, or get back into one they’ve tried before, as part of the mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Boosting student participation will have a lasting impact on grassroots sport because research shows that students who do play sport at university are far more likely to continue participating throughout their lives. It will also help tackle the issue of drop-off in sports participation that sees many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties. More...

1st April 1977 : San Serriffe

 The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic said to consist of several semi-colon-shaped islands located in the Indian Ocean. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. 

The Guardian's phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Only a few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology. The success of this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.  For more hoaxes ....