brian's soapbox

JANUARY 2020

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

**Sun 12 Jan 20**
LADY MARY LAZENBY - VEGANUARIANS !!! - FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA
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OK ! Just to settle the rumours out there ... yes - in the ‘boys wearing frocks’ movement, I was ahead of you all ! This is a young Brian May as Lady Mary Lazenby in “The Admirable Crichton” by J. M. Barrie. It was the School Play at Hampton Grammar School - I was probably 14 years old. Ours was an all-boys school - which was said to have advantages at the time. In retrospect, I think it scarred me for life. But the drama was fun ! Of course, in Shakespeare’s time (a little before Barrie) the women’s parts on stage were customarily played by men. And, in other news, J. M. Barrie is best known as the creator of Peter Pan, the well-known advocate of Not Growing Up. Gotta love J. M. Barrie!

I am front centre.

Brian as Lady Mary Lazenby

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Veganuarians !!! Help is at hand ! Veganuary 2020 is making me new friends. We have our favourite Italian restaurants where we live, and will always have our loyalties to them. But looking for the perfect vegan dinner had led me to seek out new pastures. This lovely totally Italian restaurant is tucked away in a one-way street and I just happened to pop in to ask them if I could book a family meal, and by the way, could they do vegan food ?? It just so happened they had just introduced a whole new menu of vegan options this week ! And this is serious ! Amazing ! Delicious ! All the luxury of traditional Italian cooking and Vegan too. We were all blown away. I don’t usually do advertising as such but - if you’re on the trail of a more ethical and more healthy way of eating - that doesn’t hurt !!! ... and you’re in the area ... perfect ! See 3-D views of Aubergine Delight and Spaghetti Edamame Extravaganza !!! And the menu.

Veganuary - parallel
Parallel © Brian May 2020

Veganuary cross-eyed
Cross-eyed © Brian May 2020

Veganuary
Mono © Brian May 2020

Veganuary - parallel
Parallel © Brian May 2020

Veganuary - cross-eyed
Cross-eyed © Brian May 2020

Veganuary
Mono © Brian May 2020

Veganuary
© Brian May 2020

Veganuary
© Brian May 2020

Yep !! On day 12 of Veganuary I’m enjoying it more than ever !! Thanks Ronnie [seventhmoon]  for this inspirational artwork !!!

Veganuary artwork by Ronnie - seventhmoon

Look out for an announcement on Australia at 7pm today.

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Brian and Anita at an Italian restaurant


Dr And Mrs May enjoying some Classic Italian food, Vegan style. Anita has not signed up for Veganuary but has been vegetarian/pescatarian for years. She’s been enjoying my Vegan adventures with me and supporting by cooking some of them ! Of course I will be sorrowfully saying goodbye to Anita for 6 weeks on Tuesday. The Touring Life looks very glamorous from afar, and it does have wonderful moments, but it’s still a tough commitment, living without your family and friends and animals for weeks on end. It’s not a life everyone would thrive on. But ... for us ... and I know we’re lucky to be able to say it ... it’s what we do.

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Fire Fight Australia - square


YES !!! It’s official. We’re donating our stage from our QAL show the previous night in Sydney for this great line-up of talent to raise money for Bushfire Relief.

FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA will kick off from 1pm and run till late at ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday 16 February 2020.

SEE PRESS RELEASE

Bri

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**Fri 10 Jan 20**
DAILY REALITY CHECK - KING PRAWNS - THAT FIRST TAKE
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My daily reality check. Wishing you all a brave day.

Language of Letting Go - cover

Language of Letting Go - p10

Language of Letting Go - p11

Temptation, thy name is Prawn ! But I shall not give in ! I guess everyone has a Bête Noire !! But my #veganuary shall not be tainted with a marine mortality

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That first take ! Maybe we’ll try that again ! Ha ha ! On the other hand, maybe we like it !! Pushing forward the frontiers of Brit Country Rock with the disturbingly brilliant Kerry Ellis today. Last studio session in the West before my upcoming pilgrimage to the Far East. Ouch !

Brian and Kerry: That first take - https://youtu.be/RcMnVQGJtDs

Bri

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**Thu 09 Jan 20**
A BIT LIKE A MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE - PARLIAMENT SQUARE
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This is a bit like a message in a bottle.

I hope there are some dairy farmers out there who will find this message, probably pretty sure in their minds that a badger-hugger like me could have nothing to offer them. I ask just one thing - read it. And then tell me you’re not interested. This is for real. It may take a while for the message to get through, but the success we can show at Gatcombe is a story which could transform the life of every beleaguered dairy farmer in Britain.

One day soon there will be no more TB infected cattle - and no more killing of badgers. The tragedy will be over. I swear this is the beginning of that happy ending.

Brian May: A bit like a message in a bottle 09/01/2020 - https://youtu.be/-yGF_tdX9SQ

To read or order the Gatcombe Project pamphlet please go to:
www.save-me.org.uk/save-me-trust-our-work/badger/954-the-journey-and-insights-of-gatcombe-farm

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Bri with Amazing Grace - Parliament Square 8 Jan 2020
Photo credit: Associated Press

Hmmm. Thought that might catch your eye ! Not a common sight in Parliament Square ! Amazing Grace the Hedgehog and yours truly, in lobbying and interviewing mode today at the Houses of Parliament, and the lovely Tracey Crouch, MP - a woman of massive empathy and boundless energy - one of the greatest advocates in Parliament for animal welfare you could ever find. Thank you for your time and commitment, Tracey. And of course I stand with my tireless campaigning partner and magically talented CEO of Save-Me - the one and only Anne Brummer.

We were highlighting wild animal issues and managed to generate some media attention for our current hedgehog campaign. For details please visit Savemetrust.org.

SEE NEWS REPORTS and VIDEO in BRIAN NEWS

Bri with Tracey Crouch MP, Amazing Grace and Anne Brummer
Photo credit: Associated Press

Bri

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**Tue 07 Jan 19**
BEING VEGAN IS PRETTY SIMPLE IN OUR HOUSE
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Being Vegan is pretty simple in our house ! Well, so it seems, so far.

During the day we snack on fruit and nuts and rough oatcakes, and the occasional sweet treat like Turkish Delight. But, if we’re lucky enough to have an evening meal together, we like something warming. We don’t usually feel the need for imitation meats - we just love veg - and luckily for me my lovely wife loves cookin’ em ! And there are so many to choose from these days.

Here we have hot asparagus, baby carrots, sauté potatoes, sweet corn and fried sweet peppers, along with cool artichoke hearts and avocado and cherry tomatoes. Followed by some berries for desert, and a cuppa tea with almond milk ... I don’t really feel I’m missing anything ! SO ! On day 7 of my Veganuary, so far so good. Even my black Christmas Season mood seems to be lifting a little. But it’s early days, of course. Enjoying seeing your posts on how you are eating, folks. Thanks for the supportive comments.

Vegan meal - mono

Parallel:

Vegan meal - parallel

Cross-eyed:

Vegan meal - cross-eyed

As for my current view of the world, I find it incredibly depressing. I see arrogance and conceit, in bullies that have no eyes or ears. I see Nature smashing us in the face for our folly, discovered too late. I see liars, cowards and murderers striding around, posturing as if they were heroes. And we all stand by, tutting, and looking the other way. Yes, you could say there’s a reason to be depressed. One person going Vegan for a month is a very small thing. But from small seeds big peaceful Oak trees grow. Our grandchildren will need them.

Bri

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**Mon 06 Jan 20**
TRAGIC AUSTRALIAN FIRES
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Can’t stop thinking about the tragic Australian fires. And feel so helpless. I have many family members in Australia, all of whom I’m hoping to see in a month’s time on our planned Australian tour. The young generation is involved in fighting the fires on Kangaroo Island. Respects.

Thousands of good people lost their homes. 24 good folks lost their lives. And ... HALF A BILLION WILD ANIMALS burned to death in NSW alone ? Can it be true ? Almost unthinkable. And no end in sight ?

What can we do ? We can pray. And we can put pressure on our leaders to prioritise the health of our planet rather than “The Economy”. It’s already too late for these creatures. We can only pray it’s not too late for the rest of our world.

To all our Australian friends - we send love - and our prayers.

Australian animals in the fires - NYT and AP

Bri

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**Sun 05 Jan 20**
NON-HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT - AND - A LITTLE SILLINESS
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This breaks my heart. I’m reposting it because in this time of awakening, I believe the biggest wake-up call of all is to realise that Humans are not the only important species in this planet, not the only creatures that feel pleasure and pain, and NOT the only ones worthy of respect. It pains me that as a child I witnessed circuses that paraded these magnificent creatures for entertainment, and had no idea of the agonies of torture and indignity they suffered all their lives. I will pray all through 2020 for justice for all creatures, and I will work in the areas I can, to move humanity on, to a better place. Only when every creature on Earth is free will we have the right to call ourselves decent humans.

Please support this organisation - the Non-Human Rights Organisation - in their efforts to recognise these gentle giants as sentient creatures with all the rights that implies.

Nonhuman rights project - elephant

Nonhuman rights project post

nonhuman.rights.project
You were entitled to freedom and justice. We lament not only your deaths, but also your lives. We honor who you were—extraordinarily cognitively, emotionally, and socially complex beings—and who you could have been had you been released from your unlawful imprisonment or never been torn from your families and natural habitats in the first place. One day our legal systems will understand and condemn how immensely you suffered.

Join us in remembering Beulah, Karen, and the many other elephants around the world who died in captivity in 2019 by participating in today's virtual International Candlelight Vigil for Elephants and sharing this post. #Vigil4Elephants #Justice4Minnie #RumbleForRights

thegreatzone
What time is the vigil?

nonhuman.rights.project
Hi @thegreatzone! The worldwide, virtual vigil is all day. There are a few in person vigils in the US, check out the @leapforlucy page for a list of those. Thanks!

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A little silliness goes a long way. Looking back over the decade (as we are) I think finding things to giggle about is one of the best therapies. I’m laying claim (again!) to one of the Teen Decade’s silliest inventions - the Tabletop Selfie - achieved by simply turning your smartphone’s video recorder on, and laying it on its back on the table. Then the art is in the leaning in - and the timing, of course ... This one still makes me smile - recorded in my dressing room - somewhere in the USA earlier this year on tour - with some pals including Jane Sabini. Silly ? Yep. But ... smiley ?

Brian May: A little silliness - tabletop selfie - https://youtu.be/fsOE-2Bpky0

HEY ! Happy Day 4 of Veganuary, folks. I’ll report later. Here’s to the New Roaring Twenties !!!

Bri

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**Sat 04 Jan 20**
ON A DIFFERENT SUBJECT - MATT TAYLOR -
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The Language of Letting Go - cover

OK - on a different subject completely. Looking at the comments you lovely folks left on my post about Christmas Season Blues ... I was struck by how many of you find it hard to like yourselves - at times ... or maybe most of the time. Well, I’ve been through a lot of this, and I wish I had all the answers. I don’t, but I keep coming back to this magical book - because it DOES give you answers - gives you tools to deal with ... life, relationships, and your view of yourself.

I’ve never met Melody Beattie, and I have no connection with her - but it seems to me she had some kind of supernatural help with writing this book - which delivers you a paragraph of challenging yet magically supportive words for every day of the year. I have no hesitation in saying - to you, and you, and you (and, yes, even YOU !) - if one day you find you don’t like yourself, keep this book on your bedside table for a year ! No - It won’t cure all your ills, but you’ll have at least one dependable friend.

The Language Of Letting Go - sample page

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My buddy The Astro-Veganuarian !! This is Matt Taylor, legendary lynchpin of the European Space Agency (ESA), Project Instigator (PI) of the Rosetta Mission which triumphantly explored the asteroid Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P), and an accredited Kerrang Heavy Metal God. He committed to being my companion on the Veganuary journey and, as you can see, it’s already made him —- much more relaxed !!! Go Matt !!!

Matt Taylor - Astro-Veganuarian

Bri

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**Fri 03 Jan 20**
INSPIRATION FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS? - A DECADE OF...
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Brian and Hendrix picture

Inspiration for the next 10 years ? Thanks to my dear friend Joe Elliott I have this great image of my hero Jimi Hendrix on my wall to remind me to keep reaching for the stars. Ach ! A bit too glib for you ? Well, that’s my brave face. 

Most of this Christmas period I haven’t wanted to show my face because my face was grim. There’s something about this time of the year that paralyses me. Depression, hopelessness, fear ... I get engulfed. Is it logical ? No. Should I be grateful for my life and therefore NOT depressed ? Yes. But none of that makes any difference when you look up and the colours have gone out of the world. Tomorrow I am wrenching myself back into ‘normality’ - starting with some biking and stretching and hot and cold showering. 

Oh ! And the Veganuary quest ? It went OK on Day 2. Breakfast : half a grapefruit and crispbread with plant-based spread and home-made marmalade. Jasmin tea, black. Lunch : a Vegan Leggera Padana in Pizza Express with my littlest ones. That’s very easy - they do it all for you - they make it with Vegan cheese and it tastes just like ‘normal’ ! And for Dinner : some nice light veggies prepared by my amazing wife ! There are SO many great vegetables in the world - artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, roasted parsnips, new potatoes, and a rocket and tomato salad, perked up with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar from dear old Luciano Pavarotti’s home town. Plus a nice selection of nuts and raisins. Hey ! This is a doddle !! Ha ha !! Well, we shall see ! 

Happy Friday folks ... we’ll soon be out of this murky Sargasso Sea !

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A decade of .... stuff ! I suppose I’m always too busy, as you can see in this video, to look back on the path I have just trod. So I’m very grateful to Pola Mielewczyk for creating this 1 minute retrospective for me ! THANKS POLA !! And ... folks ... thanks for the support you have given me in all these escapades.

OK - back to being busy ! I have badgers to save ...

Bri

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**Wed 01 Jan 20**
FIRST DAY OF VEGANUARY
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Cyborg by @yuki_rogers_stark


Thank you Yuki - this warmed my heart. My Cyborg friend will be accompanying me to Korea and Japan soon - and thence to New Zealand and Australia. He’s in training.

Meanwhile I am reaching for a new identity as a Vegan, for a while at least. My first day of Veganuary went OK. I will be looking at your comments to see how yours went, those if you good folks who are joining me. If you’re not, don’t worry. We all have our paths to tread. I wasn’t ready to do this last year, but was so impressed by the success of almost all my SAVE-ME team that I determined to try it out this year.

What did I eat today ? Well, breakfast was okay, though already imperfect! We have to allow ourselves a few little imperfections at first, I am told. Waking up in a hotel, I ordered mushrooms on toast and a baked tomato along with some baked beans. Very good indeed. No problem there, except that they sent me two lots of spread and I had no idea which one was the dairy-free option!

Then I had a plane journey, on which I was lucky enough to be plied with lots of fruit and veg and some delicious tomato soup. Arriving home weary and worn, I indulged in my favourite Chinese takeaway, who have already been kind enough to make sure they help me in my Vegan efforts. Bean sprouts with spring onions and cashews, steamed rice, and some sweet-and-sour delicious vegetables, not forgetting some seaweed. Happy. Easy, huh ? Well, I’ll be honest - I DID feel a craving for sweet-and-sour prawns, my ancient weakness, and I missed the egg in the rice. This is definitely a new journey. But I already felt a benefit in my head.

I watched a programme on wildlife in the ocean, and noticed that my usual feelings of guilt, because of eating seafood in spite of wanting to protect these beautiful creatures, was absent. It’s perhaps the beginnings of the feeling of congruity that I’m searching for in my life. Well, it took me 72 years to get to this point !! So I ain’t gonna do any preachin’ !!

Cheers Folks !

Bri

READ MORE: https://www.save-me.org.uk/save-me-trust-our-work/badger

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