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OCA wellbeing: Volunteering

When I drop shopping off some people like to have a distant chat, just general stuff about the weather and how they are coping, while others are very regimented and want their shopping leaving at the end of the drive and they come and collect, everyone is dealing with this pandemic in their own way and has to do what they feel is right, I completely respect that.

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OCA Wellbeing: A trip to the bibliotherapist

Imagine going to the doctor’s and coming out with a prescription – for a good book. It’s really not as daft as it may sound. And what’s more, the notion that our mental wellbeing can be improved by something other than pills is far from new.

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Virtual study event: Masterclass with composer Laura Rossi

On Saturday 4 July, acclaimed composer Laura Rossi (http://www.laurarossi.com) will be holding an online masterclass exclusively for OCA students on composing for the screen. This is an exciting opportunity to speak to a professional composer and get an insight into the film music industry.

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A musical collaboration for World Oceans Day

I’ve just completed a short collaborative piece with Music Programme Leader Carla Rees in celebration of World Oceans Day, which occurs every year on June 8. Across the world there are close to 3000 events in 150 countries designed to celebrate and focus our attention onto the value of the world’s oceans and what we can do to conserve and protect them and allow them to flourish.

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OCA wellbeing: Gardening for mental health

Lockdown in mid-March prompted two responses. First was a recognition that getting outside for parts of the day without bumping into other humans would become a very valuable thing. Second, I had some new time, that used to be spent travelling and trolling the train companies about their poor service, and I could put this to good use by sorting out my embarrassing back garden.

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Spellspheres: Part 2

Due to COVID-19, and the necessary lockdown, I have had a large number of concerts postponed or cancelled. I decided it was important (for my career and my sanity!) to stay as creative as possible, and so I begun looking for opportunities to have my music played by others.

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Victory in Europe Day – 8 May 1945 – 75th Anniversary 2020

This Friday Bank Holiday, 8 May 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), the end of fighting in Europe in 1945. Fighting in the Far East against Japan would continue for a further three months, costing the lives of many more servicemen and women, and civilian deaths in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before the final surrender on August 15 1945.

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Unmasking the everyday: part one

Queues outside supermarkets have become strange symbols of this, epitomising how one of life’s most everyday activities has come to feel risky and dangerous. The usually unnoticed has become unsettlingly conspicuous. 

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