Monday, December 15, 2008

Tamila_TV_Assignment from Mammj on Vimeo.

Life behind the Wheel

Yellow bus driver from Bournemouth, Mario Annicchiarico speaks about the difficulties connected with the job of a bus driver. Is the problem with the system or his character, Tamila Varshalomidze tries to find out.

The strange thing happens straight at the beginning of our talk. I ask him whether he is a happy man and he takes a serious face answering he is a happy man if we talk about the family, but in his job he has no happiness at all. He adds: “It has been 35 years of struggling for me. They (company managers) say you are a skill-man, but they don’t treat you as a skill-man. That’s one of the contradictions to the system.

”The way they created the system is not true. They tell you exactly what you have to do. They use you as a skill and they program you on a certain level.

“When you are in trouble with the passenger or with anything else, the company does not back you. They say you are a professional, you should know how to deal with the situation.”

Mario Annicchiarico, 62, Yellow Bus driver is always the soul of the party. He is the one dancing in a funny way and the one making the saddest person laugh.

His daughter, Joanne Annicchiarico says: “He's a character. He talks a lot, but he is the sweetest man ever. He will do anything for anyone.”

His friend and brother-in-law Carl Holling says: “Mario has always been very good in making jokes and in understanding jokes of other people. This fact made his life in England a bit easier, because Italian and English people have the same sense of humor. Even if he didn’t hear the words he could understand every joke, because just the expression of the person’s face gave him the hint.”

However, his life hasn’t been always cheerful. Mario’s troubles began when he left school at the age of 12 and decided to be on the road. Times where not easy at that time in Italy because of the war, but he says he had a privilege as his father was a pottery man.

“We had lots of artists because my father owned a big oven and he was a pottery man, who used to make pots for selling. We started to see things a little bit different than you would see on the street. We started to speak with people that had some interesting art, which was very nice and plus my father started to rent some studios inside the compound and we started to have different people like painters, sculptures. I was very lucky to meet all those people. They were mostly from different countries. “

Living next to interesting for him people influenced his attitude towards life and later made him think about changing his lifestyle.

“That was the time were I started to enjoy classical music. Before I never thought about it. And I started to work with one sculptor for a few years who used to take me to a piano concert. His wife was a dancer and I have even done two or three weeks with her dancing. I was very interested in it, but I couldn’t carry on, because I was too busy with other things. And this has been very interesting. You could see that there are not just ordinary people who follow the routine every day for years.

“I saw that artists lived with their companions without marriage for years and they were happy. In Italy this was very odd. So all these things affected me and pushed me to change my lifestyle.

“He got very excited while remembering all these things, but the question about his previous jobs makes him sad and embarrassed again. He answers reluctantly that his first job was working as a butcher, which was followed by carpentry, upholstering, welding, molding and many others. But he says with pleasure that he was the happiest person ever when he was working with the Argentinean sculptor.

“The job I enjoyed was when I was in Rome with the artist (sculptor). That was a pleasure, because you were treated as a skill man. He didn’t say “do this”, he would say “can we do this?”

"And for example when it was very hot we were going all to the sea. And after that we were coming back with the artist itself and continued to work until 8 or 9 o’clock at night. There was not really a timetable or the time you have got to start or finish. With the artist there were no boundaries. We had a work to do, but it was up to us how to do it best way and just enjoy it. We were doing the work because we enjoyed it. Every time it was different. One day you use cement, but another day you use clay, metal, ceramic. There was no monotony going on like a production.”

Mario’s brother-in-law, Carl Holling says Mario has always had a clash of personality with the management of any job. He is the person, who hates boundaries and set of rules.
Mario says: “I have even been in contact with lots of priests, because the artists do things for the church. And I had another experience, which put me out of religion for what they (priests) were doing. I started to ask too many questions to myself and obviously you don’t get answers so you start to read. That was when I got interested and started to read after years of no study at all. “

The search for the truth that started from the religion led him to the books and later pushed his interests towards the direction of politics, philosophy and many others. He understood that it was a mistake to stop studying at school and advises all the young people to study well because it will change their lives for better.

His daughter says: “When I was a lot younger he owned his own coffee bar and restaurant, so I didn't see him as much as I would like. He worked really long hours, but he has always been there for me. In fact when my mum and I go through tough times he is always the one to make the peace between us. Unfortunately he never helped me much with my homework as his English is not up to scratch, but he was always telling us stories and entertaining us. I have many wonderful memories from my childhood due to the love that both my mum and dad gave me.”

Mario and his English wife Hilary have two sons and a daughter, who give sense to his life, he says. He adds: “My father was irresponsible. He wasn’t a good father for me. He died very young, 55, of alcoholism. So I never wanted my children to experience anything like that. That’s why I worked so hard as soon as Hilary got pregnant. I was doing two-three jobs a day and sleeping only about four hours a day. I had created my own family and I wanted my family to be happy.”

Mario Annicchiarico advises every young person to study and fight for their better future.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Big Retirement Home or Party Capital?

When you arrive in Bournemouth you see sandy beaches, traditional brick houses, multinational population and start thinking that this is nothing more than one more typical English town. However, looking around and reading its history reveals an exciting past and a great future to come.
The town was first inhabited by Lewis Tregonwell in 1810 and from there on people started settling down in Bournemouth. In 1880 the population was 17,000, but due to the excellent railway connections developed by 1900 this increased to 60,000 bringing numerous theatres, caf├ęs, art demo cinemas and more hotels.
In the late 20th century Bournemouth gained the name of a big retirement home and moreover British people preferred spending their holidays abroad.
‘Foundation of the Bournemouth University and numerous language schools brought with it an influx of a young and cosmopolitan population turning Bournemouth into a thriving town again’ says a 59 year-old teacher Mireille Jackson.
The number of the students (about 100,000) adds to the 160,000 resident populations and makes an exciting, lively society.
Besides, Bournemouth seems to be preparing to fight back the title of the best seaside resort of the UK. There are many projects concerning tourism and one of the major projects, scheduled for completion at the end of October 2008 is the artificial surfing reef.
‘Artificial surfing reef will make Bournemouth the best seaside resort in the UK. It’s the 1st in Europe and the 5th in the world’ says the 23 year-old surfer Matthew Guile.
Another important project is restoration of the 200 year-old Mary Shelley theatre in Boscombe. £1.3 million pounds will be spent on the restoration and it is expected to attract numerous tourists.
Bournemouth seems to be getting ready to show its best and obtain popularity among different age and nationality people.

Open Day in Winton Christadelphian Church

Christadelphians are a religious group who base their beliefs wholly on the Bible, regarding it is fully inspired by God.
The Church was founded over 150 years ago by English Doctor John Thomas. He took the decision to devote his life to learning the truth about the life and the death when he was about to die in a ship crash.
Paul Tarrant, the member of the Winton Christadelphian Church says: ‘’ whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved. When we say ‘’believe’’ we mean to say that you read the Bible and you learn about it as much as you possibly can and you believe what you have read is true.’’
The Church has many activities involving people of different age.
‘’ On Sunday mornings we have communion service that is breaking a bread where the actual Christadelphian members partake a piece of bread and a sip of wine.
‘’ On Monday evenings there is mutual improvement where young members learn how to give a talk anda how to read the Bible or how to be a chairman.
‘’On Tuesday mornings ladies give a coffee meeting where they invite people from outside.
‘’Thursday is the day for mums and toddlers and for the bible class where the speaker gives a talk about the Bible followed by a discussion.’’
The Christadelphians reject toddler baptism and Mr. Paul Tarrant explains why: ‘’ we believe that a person should first believe the Bible and then baptize. So as the toddler can’t do this, we don’t accept toddler baptism.’’
The other differentiating point of the Christadelphian Church from the other Churches is the ceremony of the baptism itself. ‘’During baptism a person buries the body totally in the water and we believe that after this the person is cleared from the sins.’’
Winton Christadelphian Church invites the people on open days to listen to the speaker talking about the Bible making the messages of the Bible clearer to them.

Running Santas Make Dreams Come True

Meyrick Park will become home of hundreds of Santas on 30th November due to the fundraising activity organized by Round Table Children’s Wish.
The Olympic athlete Derek Redmond will start a Santa Run in Meyrick Park. Hundreds of men and boys dressed in Santa suits will be sponsored to run laps of the park to raise money so some of the children with life-threatening illnesses can experience their dream of visiting Lapland to meet Father Christmas.
Fundraising manager of RTCW Helen Jeffery says: ″Among the children hoping to go to Lapland this year are eight-year-old Lewis and five-year-old Rhys who both suffer from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, four-year-old Connor who has Cystic Fibrosis, nine-year-old Ashley who has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and 12-year-old Alice who has Lymphoma.″
PR account director of RTCW Jenna Weekes says that they have helped more than 1,160 children so far – among them were Elaine, a 15-year-old dancer who fought an incredible battle against cancer of the heart and sadly passed away last year. Her dream was to swim with dolphins, RTCW was able to make that happen and it was a very special moment for her.
Bournemouth University Students’ Union Volunteer Co-ordinator Alexia Browning says Students’ Union co-operates with RTCW during this year through its own charity programme RAG (Raise and Give) by organising fundraising activities. She adds: ″Round Table Children’s Wish is a brilliant charity which brings a little bit of joy to children’s lives who are really ill or life limited.″

Barclays Community Relations Officer David Bond says: ″We were approached by several employees from the Poole and Bournemouth area who had worked previously with RTCW in fundraising to see if we could look to make a donation to help towards the costs of the event. We appreciated this would both mean a lot to our people as well as having the potential to fulfil terminally ill Children’s wish to go to Lapland this Christmas.″

Bournemouth resident Zara Mercier, 59, says: ″I am happy to live in a community where people stand by each other and let little miracles happen for ill children.″

Bournemouth Residents against Student Accommodation Project

The new student accommodation building project on Holdenhurst Road has been suspended by Bournemouth Council due to Bournemouth residents’ objection letters.

Watkins Jones building company presented to the Bournemouth Council a plan that included building of a 710 student units, 1500 seat auditorium for the East Cliff Church and a convenience store on the place of a former B&Q, but on 20th October 2008 the plan was suspended because of the 39 letters of objections received from the Bournemouth residents.

Lisa Hugh, 51, says: “There are already so many student Residence Halls in town centre, why should we add one more and increase the noise and traffic problems? Who will stop students bringing their cars in here? I think there should be more restrictions for students in Bournemouth, especially in the town centre“.

Mr Charles Elder, Bournemouth University Press and PR Officer, on the other hand thinks the companies like Watkins Jones should be encouraged to build new student homes, because at the moment the university has room in managed accommodations only for about 2000 students out of 16000 total.

“Bournemouth benefits from the students being here and there is a huge economic impact on the town... I know that the Council is very keen to raise the profile of the town and anything that would help to do that would be a good thing for them, I think“.

Mr Elder answers the scepticism of the Bournemouth residents saying: “I would hope people would see the value and work with us to make a better community rather than criticize and point fingers and say the university doesn’t care. The university does care, but it’s a big job and we need help in making things happen. “There are so many things students bring and it’s quite exciting to be in a town that has that “buzz” with all those students coming in”.