#r2bcheerful42 – Bantu Stephen Biko

Today is the memorial of Stephen Biko’s death in custody of the South African police, back in 1977. He was founder of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and I first became aware of him though Ian’s reference in Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) in July 1979, ahead of Peter Gabriel’s iconic tribute to him in the song “Biko” the following year. Bizarrely, “Biko’s” was also the name of the burger bar at my Student Union in University in the UK in the 1980’s. It is odd how the SU chose to memorialize people, but hey, that was the 80’s for you.  I am sad to see that it is no longer the case.

Now, obviously I do not have any photographs of Steve Biko that I have taken myself and in some ways it’s odd to include him in a list as a “Reason to Be Cheerful.” I can only assume that Ian was eluding to the fact that heroes like Steve Biko are a real reason to be cheerful. For that reason it seems appropriate for me to not post a simple photo but rather his likeness in the style of the famous Obama “Hope” imagery.



#r2bcheerful21 – Yellow Socks

In a week of bizarre and depressing political/showbiz news and spin I needed a #r2bcheerful so I was glad to be able to take a picture of my daughter’s wonderful yellow (and black) socks as she walked down the stairs yesterday morning.


Truly a reason to bee cheerful!


#r2bcheerful1 – Summer

Yesterday I wrote about the Reasons to be Cheerful photography challenge and explained that I have started it now as I wanted to kick off with the word “Summer.” Well, apparently our summer officially ends this Thursday in Pennsylvania so here’s my image:

Summer to me is associated with days the beach, both as a kid and an adult. This image was taken in the summer at Cape May, New Jersey with my little Recesky plastic camera, a fun device I described in a prior post. I am not a sailor by any means, being the sort of guy that gets seasick when crossing a bridge, but I still loved the look of this beautiful little wooden sailing skiff pulled up on the sand.

A Reason to be Cheerful, for sure!


#r2bcheerful #r2bcheerful1

Are you up for the #r2bcheerful photo challenge?

This is going to be a long post, and is definitely my most ambitious communications with the world wide web to date!

By source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46754912 

This is a difficult Photographic Challenge. It is based on the lyrics of the 1979 song, “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3” by Ian Dury and The Blockheads, and was the last single released by the original band line-up. I still love this song and I unearthed the 12” translucent green vinyl copy that I purchased 37 years ago for my daughter to play on her “new” record player very recently. What goes around comes around, I guess, sometimes literally!

Anyway, I wanted to launch this challenge for myself (and to anyone else who wants to participate) before the summer is over where I live. This is simply because that word is the first “reason” challenge of the song.

So, here we go:


  1. Be creative and have FUN.
  2. Images can be taken in any order.
  3. There are no more rules.

It would be nice if you would use hashtag #r2bcheerful and/or #r2bcheerful followed by the number to help people find your images. For example, if you have a picture of yellow socks use hashtag #r2bcheerful21 to help find images. Remember, cheerful has only one letter l.

At some point, assuming that others take this up, I will feature some of the entries on this blog, and on my current twitter, facebook, and pinterest accounts, as well as anything else I set up.

It will be really interesting to see if anyone can actually finish this challenge, as I think it is extremely tough. For that reason there is no order to the list – so go at it as you see fit. Also, I am quite happy to allow interpretation. For example, I realise most of us are never going to get an image of the Bolshoi Ballet, so get creative, play around with the words, create a pun, use your mind, just please explain it if it’s too existential…

Here’s the list in it’s full glory:

Why don’t you get back into bed? Why don’t you get back into bed?

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3...

  1. Summer (Some of*)
  2. Buddy Holly
  3. The working folly
  4. Good golly, Miss Molly
  5. Boats
  6. Hammersmith Palais
  7. The Bolshoi Ballet
  8. Jump back in the alley
  9. Nanny goats
  10. 18 wheeler Scammels,
  11. Dominecker camels
  12. All other mammals
  13. Equal votes
  14. Seeing Piccadilly,
  15. Fanny Smith and Willie
  16. Being rather silly
  17. Porridge oats
  18. A bit of grin and bear it
  19. A bit of come and share it
  20. Your welcome we can spare it
  21. Yellow socks
  22. Too short to be haughty,
  23. Too nutty to be naughty
  24. Going on forty
  25. No electric shocks
  26. The juice of a carrot
  27. The smile of a parrot
  28. A little drop of claret
  29. Anything that rocks
  30. Elvis
  31. Scotty
  32. The days when I ain’t spotty
  33. Sitting on a potty
  34. Curing smallpox
  35. Health service glasses
  36. Gigolos
  37. Brasses
  38. Round or skinny bottoms
  39. Take your mum to Paris (*Taking mum to Paris)
  40. Lighting up the chalice
  41. Wee Willie Harris
  42. Bantu Steven Biko
  43. Listening to Rico
  44. Harpo, Groucho, Chico
  45. Cheddar cheese and pickle
  46. A Vincent motorcycle
  47. Slap and tickle
  48. Woody Allen,
  49. Dali,
  50. Dimitri and Pasquale
  51. Balla, balla, balla
  52. Volare
  53. Something nice to study
  54. Phoning up a buddy
  55. Being in my nuddy
  56. Saying okey-dokey,
  57. Sing-a-long a Smokey
  58. Coming out of chokey
  59. John Coltrane’s soprano
  60. Adi Celentano
  61. Bonar Colleano
  62. Yes, yes, dear, dear
  63. Perhaps next year
  64. Or maybe even never
  65. In which case
  66. Reasons to be cheerful, part 3

Have fun and don’t forget to tag your work as #r2bcheerful and #r2bcheerful with item number added and pop back here once in a while!

Update (22-Jan-2017): since discovering the book Hallo Sausages: The Lyrics of Ian Dury,” edited by his daughter Jemima Dury, I have had to make a couple of corrections – as noted by the * above. The most surprising one to me was “Some of Buddy Holly” rather than “Summer, Buddy Holly.” Personally, I still think that Summer is a good reason to be cheerful so I’m keeping it in as an editorial error on my part – call it artistic interpretation is you like!


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