It’s been a while!

In between working a part time job (which I have now left), dealing with a flat that can only be described as “maximum dinge”, finishing my degree and starting a new band – it’s been quite a rollercoaster as of late. I’m set to move out of Brighton, for how long I don’t know, and my sights are set on one thing – music.

Caught in a Storm has received better-than-expected results, not just in terms of how much money it’s raised for Mind – but also how far it’s gone. Now understandably, when you’re not gigging it’s somewhat of a hindrance because obviously it’s a great way to increase your exposure as an artist. But the fact remains that during my final assessments it was something that needed to be sacrificed otherwise the three years spent studying in Brighton would’ve gone to waste.

However, because my Mac had effectively died and I had very little money to get a new one or get the necessary parts to repair it – I had be practical. Now at the time (this was about March), I worked with an incredible guitarist,  Ash Purchese, at my part time job and I had a thought one week as I was fighting the flu “what am I waiting around for?” so I called him up and we decided to get to work on finding the necessary folks to start our quest for music. Indeed we did, in our (now) ex-supervisor, Tom Wilton as our bass player. Things have been in the works with this band which we named “Classic Tactic” and we hope to get some songs recorded very soon though as I write this we are still looking for a singer and drummer.

As of this moment in time, I am gearing up ready to move back to the home nest –  unlike other moves I don’t know when I’m going to move back to Brighton, if at all, but one thing is certain in that I’ve got some other musical shenanigans in the work. A new album maybe while CT comes together? It very well may be a certainty.

Photo credit: May Suliemani 

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Brighton Life

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog and there’s a good reason for that! I’ve since moved to Brighton and have been settling in very well within my course and have been keeping links with groups and residents in Fareham. In order to accommodate this move, I’ve had to resign my position as Chair of the Warsash Residents’ Association and have had to reduce my involvement from a physical basis to a virtual one, although if Fareham needs me – I will be there.

My move does not mean that I have stopped caring about the important issues that effect my home. I will still be able to campaign via social media as I have done since 2013 and I will make appearances should residents request it. I will be returning on the 18th to attend the Warsash Residents’ Association’s AGM to see who is my successor.

I will be returning to Fareham and I will stand again, however my campaign will be much more limited till at least I finish my course – so to the Tories I say, don’t get too comfortable! The experience I will gain from the Brighton and Hove Green Party will be beneficial to the people of Fareham. If we pull together, we can see better public transport links, proactive consultation on planning applications. We don’t want another Welborne, what we do want is better democracy in Fareham.

So this won’t be a long post, but just to let you know that I am still around (in a way) and still have the energy to campaign on the issues that affect our lives.

Thanks for reading,

Miles

The Itchen Chapter has finished, let the next one begin…

On the 18th of June I finished my final exam at Itchen College, I can’t believe it’s been two years already! When I first started at Itchen, I had no idea what to expect. For me, the choice to go to Itchen was just to go to the nearest college in order to finally finish my A level exams to go off to University. I did not expect the intense and life-changing experience that I had received.

I always joined my teachers on the front lines... often bringing them a little something for their hard work!

I always joined my teachers on the front lines… often bringing them a little something for their hard work! (L-R, Me, Allison Burns, Sadie Garner)

There were many struggles that were overcome. The most prominent one was that of the students union. On my induction day in 2013, I was approached to join it. I thought it would be that, the likes of which are common at university. I was wrong. It was nothing more than a lunchtime club (run by teachers) to sort out charity events, is there anything wrong with that? No. But there were other functions the student union had to do in order to actually be a proper “students union”. After many battles, I finally became Vice-Chair for 2014/15 with Gregory Smith as the Chair. Greg is probably one of the best people to work with in situations like these, so I’d like to thank him for his hard work and his good humour when times were tough. Last year, to ensure the students union was just that – we created the 2014/15 Strategy, multiple committees (and “job” descriptions for potential officers), a whole structure for the election for the next chair (we worked with Fareham Borough Council for ballot boxes, creating a notice of poll, nomination papers, finance sheets for spending) and even a constitution.  After the Itchen Student Union (ISU) election, the winning candidate Reet Chen became Chair and the runner-up, George Presdee became Vice-Chair. I wish them both every success for next year’s student union. I’d also like to thank every member of the ISU for their hard work in everything we’ve accomplished. We were the most successful students’ union in recent times and you all deserve congratulations for that.

For a short time I was on the Itchen Governing Body as a Student Governor, a role in which I had enjoyed but had to resign after I soon realised that I couldn’t do everything. In order to be able to do your A Levels, run a general election campaign and be the chair of your local residents’ association there are some sacrifices you must make, and for me it was a hard decision but I had to call it a day. I’d like to thank Trevor Little, the clerk of the Itchen Governing Body, for his help and support while I was on there.

But overall I’d like to thank my teachers David Bown, Sadie Garner, Allison Burns, Mel Lockheart, Caroline Counsell, Lucy Scovell, Bridget Jones, Marcus Whitney, Chris Bluemel, Dawn Hitchcock, Adrian Blakey, Tim Dennis and whoever else I’ve (sorry) forgotten to add! You’ve all been tremendously inspirational to me and thank you all for giving me hope. I certainly enjoyed being on the front line with you every time there was a strike… it seems the battle is far from over there!

To finish, I’d like to finally thank the principal, Barry Hicks. We’ve disagreed pretty vocally about many things, often matters with the ISU, however I can’t say goodbye without saying thank you for keeping the college afloat in these times of austerity to allow me and many people to get an education at Itchen.

Now what next? Well we won’t know for certain until the 13th of August which is results day. Should I get into University, I will resign my post as Chair of the Warsash Residents Association and I am determined to continue on the committee to help promote them on social media. If I don’t get in, then I shall continue on and look for work. Regardless of the outcome I will stand again for Warsash in next year’s local election, I am determined to represent the people who have given me so much growing up in Warsash.

But until then, I’m still taking a bit of a break…

Thanks for reading.

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Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

Autumn Conference 2014

Well I came back Sunday, so I feel this to be a bit late. I’ve spent last weekend up in Birmingham for the Green Party’s Autumn Conference, it was held at Aston University – the hotel was lovely and so were the staff there, a truly welcoming atmosphere. I met some lovely people as well and got some very important business done!

This was “my spot” at the conference, right at the back in the middle.

Others from South East Hampshire joined me up there, which was quite nice! When I arrived on Friday I sat through one of the best speeches I have ever heard, from Natalie Bennett – an absolutely fantastic speech was given, I could tell I was right in choosing the Green Party to support. We then followed a rather unnecessarily heated plenary about the Standing Order’s report, however it did pass.

In the evening I spent some time in the bar chatting to a few friends of mine from other parties, got chatting to a few Young Greens – it was very nice! Then the welcoming event by the World Animal Protection group, of which Natalie was there so I kinda had to take…

 

a selfie!

 So then the next day, as I was having my breakfast – Natalie then joined me for breakfast, we had a lovely chat about all the things I was doing and what was going on in general, it was rather nice and it was a truly humble experience. I did have to kind of call my mum and let her know what had just happened, her reply? “NO way! That’s so cool!”. Amazing.

Caroline Lucas about to give a speech on Saturday 6th Sep

Saturday had the Plenary from hell, I kid – it was quite fun and well done, so a brilliant congrats to the chair of that. We had a good and healthy debate about Nuclear Energy, a couple of Young Greens voted for it but the majority (including myself) voted against it and in the brief pause between absorbing what just happened and getting on with the plenary I just went “HA!” at the back of the hall. 

In the evening I flocked back to the Bar and was joined by the rest of the South East Hampshire lot who had popped up to conference, which meant…

…another selfie!

So that was quite nice, meanwhile I had been trying to get a drink out of Keith Taylor MEP – since he tweeted back in February he’d get me one! I also had a chat with the Bristol Greens, seeing as where Bristol is the uni of choice for a certain friend of mine – Some really nice guys.

I met a lovely couple of people called Sally and “Vip”, very warm and welcoming bunch those two are – good sense of humour too! They were doing a stall about sustainable technology, so plenty of literature to give to mum when she’s talking about Apple! 

Overall I had a fantastic time, met some lovely people and I’m feeling really inspired – I wonder what interesting things might happen next year…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

miles

Miles

A Rather Busy Week

Well I can safely say that this has been one of my busy weeks, on Tuesday I attended the latest of the Western Wards Community Action Team meeting, yesterday (Wednesday) I formally joined the Warsash Resident’s Association – at the meeting I bumped into one of my old Primary School Teachers, a nice surprise – and finally today I joined my teachers in their industrial action.

Last Friday I was interviewed by Ben Fishwick of The Portsmouth News featured below is the bit he wrote (I forgive him for spelling “Grindey” wrong):

ArticlePN1013

 

Indeed it circulated around quite a bit, a few residents in the Community Action Team meeting (and indeed Cllr Trevor Cartwright) mentioned it, a very pleasant experience I thought.  The next day I went to the Warsash Resident’s Association, it was a very good meeting, the local police sergeant (who is leaving soon, wish him all the best) gave his report and we were treated to a great presentation about Bees by a Local Beekeeper.

Pre-Western Wards CAT meeting, Victory Hall

Pre-Western Wards CAT meeting, Victory Hall, Warsash

Today, despite around most of the students not showing up, I went into Itchen College – beforehand I went to my local shop and purchased two packets of biscuits I shared with the teachers.  I initially had a wonder around before finding some members of staff outside, I had a very pleasant chat  with the members of staff who were taking industrial action and one of them informed me of the rally occurring in the middle of Southampton. Soon after they packed up, I immediately started to walk (from Itchen College) to Speaker’s Corner in Southampton, I soon bumped into my Tutor and the rally began.

Itchen Bridge

View from the Woolston side of the Itchen Bridge, 17/10/2013

What Recovery?

 

The Daily Echo filmed the beginning of it, and you can spot me some point in this video here.  I made a speech after the planned speakers gave their say which had a very warm reception afterwards. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to speak and also to the teachers who thanked/congratulated/supported what I said.

After the walk to Friends Meeting House and being interviewed by a very nice BBC reporter, me and my old teachers from my time at Barton Peveril soon went to The Alex pub.  We caught up but I soon had to leave, had to get the College Bus home! So it was a rather tiring power walk back to Itchen, and I’m just taking some minor time off before I finish some of my homework.

From the BBC Article

From the BBC Article (I’m on the Right)

Tiring times indeed.

Thanks for reading,

 

Miles Grindey

Fast Times At Sarisbury Green

The other day at the Sarisbury Community Centre at Sarisbury Green was the latest meeting of the Western Wards Community Action Team (CAT), I had been to one previously in March at the Locks Heath Free Church (just down the road from me) in Hunts Pond Road. I always like to go along to these sort of meetings where I can find out what is going on in the local community and just to see what people are concerned about.

The meeting started off with Cllr Seán Woodward giving a presentation on what has happened over the last year and what is being planned for the future. Mr Woodward said that he was going to a meeting with some people from Morrisons to discuss where they wish to build the 70,000 square-foot store in the Locks Heath Centre, as he had no idea where it was to be built and was going to be told in a meeting that he said would be soon.

After his presentation, Seán Woodward then asked those who attended if they had any concerns they wished to raise. Pretty much everyone talked about road safety, pinch points, blind spots and one man in particular (whom I had the pleasure of speaking to afterwards) was talking about one very long cycle lane from Yew Tree Drive to Southampton Airport! That is a rather interesting idea indeed.

Sarisbury Community Centre

A few students from Brookfield Community School came to the meeting and spoke about blind spots along Brook Lane towards the school. The student who raised the issue of blind spots, spoke of her own personal experience of being hit by a car. She said that although she looked, she couldn’t tell if a car was coming with this blind spot. A few people in the room spoke as well of how dangerous it is when the nights get darker and it gets near to impossible to make a sound judgement whether to cross the road or not.

Down Hunts Pond Road, towards the part that comes down near the new Housing Development near Warsash Road, there is a pinch point that so many members of the community were concerned about. Since there is not only a pinch point but a turn in for a road, and the amount of times I’ve seen people swerving around that corner and nearly having a fatal accident is almost too much for me, and certainly too much for the people attending this meeting (on the 11th of January this year that little bit of it was closed off because someone had a car accident there, to my knowledge it wasn’t fatal – which is a good sign).

But at the end of it, the point came back to Speeding. Something which I’ve spoken about before is the Community Speedwatch program which allows residents who are concerned about speeding the chance to help out where the police have their hands full. Many of those who attended seemed to be indifferent to the idea of this scheme, but the figures spoke for themselves. Speeding went down during the daylight hours (when the volunteers were out tackling the problem) but during the night many residents felt that the problem just came back around.

I know that myself in my last campaign election leaflet I said that I would talk to the council about tackling the issue of speeding, and I think now is the time for me to put those words into action. In Keith Taylor‘s leaflet “Our Streets” he talks about tackling speeding as a means for quieter, less congested and less polluted roads.

As a minor side/final note I do recommend anyone who wants to know what is going on in the local area or anyone who wants to have a good read, I certainly recommend the Western Wards Gazette website.

Thank you for reading,

Miles Grindey

@MilesGrindey on Twitter

@MilesGrindey on Twitter

Extreme Makeover: Grindey’s Online Image Edition.

Well I’ve revamped the website, as you can see! I have also sorted out my Twitter for the first time in a while, so this should all lead to some exciting things happening in the future.

I’ve just been going through the “Hampshire Now” magazine that just popped through the front door, good to know what’s happening in the local community. Although, that being said, it’s nothing better than if I’d gone out for a walk. But today seems like a rather dull day, it seems that April’s random weather has hit us a month early! I’m going to definitely keep practicing my 7 string scales, they are tremendous fun!

Tomorrow should be good as tomorrow is my sister’s birthday! So Happy Birthday to her.

Thanks for reading.

Miles Grindey

I Present, The Mighty… VAN HALEN!

I must say that if you expected this point you thought this post was about Van Halen, you’re wrong. Though they are my favourite band of all time, this post isn’t about them.

NOW, I’ve got a new guitar coming! It’s the brand new Ibanez GRG7221 – basically it’s a cheapo Ibanez, it’s got 7 strings (and that’s why I got it!). Usually it’s not evident for non-guitarists (or Guitarists who just play what they’re given) to be able to tell what the difference is between guitars, but this time it’s easier for me to tell these people. It has an extra string! (Thank you Mr Steve Vai for the Ibanez Universe and all the music, naturally).

Anyway, It’s been a pretty average week so far! All I can say is that I’m suffering from my usual shyness, yes even I suffer from an occasional bout of shyness, but I won’t go into that.

Now you know I said that this wouldn’t have anything to do with Van Halen?

Well I lied. Here’s a song that really can put me in a good mood!

Have a great day.

Miles Grindey

Politics is a dirty Job, but I’m the man to do it!

or those who have just looked at the title of this post and gone “What on earth is he on about!?” I can tell you it’s a slight alteration of the song “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job” by the band Ratt.

This week has been highly political for me, on Tuesday and Thursday I campaigned with the NHAP (National Health Action Party) for their candidate Dr Iain Maclennan for the Eastleigh By-Election!

I’ll just leave THIS here in case you want to read more into that

Overall I’m doing alright, helped one of my friends through a slight rough patch, think he’s doing alright! I’ve gained a lil bit of weight but to be quite frank this happened last year – it should be fine around May-ish, that’s when I’m doing Round 4 of weight loss!

I’m starting a MOOC in 10 days, should be fun.

Sorry it’s not that interesting!

Thanks for reading.

Miles Grindey

We’re Going Through Changes

Well another chapter in my life has just ended and I’ve learned a lot from it. The thing I tend to do with all my “experiences” is to find ways to “better myself”. I mean I feel like I did back at the end of January when I found out that a group of friends has pretty much divided up, and so the huge group of friends I once knew no longer exists. I felt like I had lost a very important section of my life (though really I hadn’t. A few people were still friends, but they seem to be reluctant to include me in much… I suppose “out of sight is out of mind” is in effect here)

Anyway, the following day I had met up with an old friend and yeah… long story short – a new chapter opened up. It’s a great chapter! There’s ups and downs (mainly ups!) and stick around, I might write a book!

Thanks for reading.

Miles Grindey