Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mr Wray -Bookseller and Stationer

I have blogged on the Fileyparish Blog on the death of Mr Richard Wray.
I am just looking at the Sunday Times books page and fancy reading 'The red velvet turnshoe' by Cassandra Clarke, thinking I will go into Wrays and order it tomorrow, which I will, as Julie or Margaret will enter it into the Computer Orderline for me. I will miss chatting to Mr Wray about what the bibliophiles of Filey might be reading. I was the very first person in Filey to own the new Harry Potter's on the day that they came out, from him, but try as I might I could not interest him in getting some Graphic Novels or Manga books on the shelves. He last got me a copy of Persuasion to replace my 40 year old one , now dropping to bits.  I will miss him and his wry humour.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Bishop Nick Baines in his excellent blog Nick Baines's Blog highlights the use, in the cyber networking world ,of the word friend. He mentions that in Japan someone runs an agency for Rent -a -friend.  I remember in Dorking 20 years ago someone started a Rent-a granny scheme and the 4th Estate has adverts for Escort Services, not all of the oldest profession in the world sort, but for working people who simply do not have a lifestyle where friends are easily made, or maintained. Nick Baines is right to question the casual use of the word friend.
Before sociology students begin to write their theses on the Social  Networking matrices,we may unpack our own reasons for using Facebook, and asking ourselves
  • What do I get out of it? and 
  • What do I put into it?
Many people started like I did to use Facebook having become confident in the use of Friends ReUnited . Now I started using this app within months of it starting, having been told of it by my boss, the Headteacher of a school in Bridlington. He needed to be aware of what might be posted there, after all it was in his interests to be sure that nothing of a derogatary nature , concerning HIM or HIS SCHOOL was posted in cyberspace.

I look now at websites about this North Yorkshire town , and see the awful comments posted by illiterate youngsters commenting on the local chip shops, pubs, landlords and other public places.

My Head was right to keep himself informed.

I joined Friends Reunited because I wanted to see if I could get into contact with my room-mate from 1966 -7, when I was at college. And no -I still have not found her. We were friends for a season, I never disagreed with her, we jogged along together as 19 years olds by necessity. This  in the days when social conventions and our behaviour at a Cof E teacher training college would be seen today as those of a  girls' boarding school in the days of Angela Brazil. Within a year or two of dipping in to F-R-U  occasionally, I had found no real friends from my college days, updated my news of acquaintances, been amazed at my memory for names, and my lack of it. In short -it gave me , and still gives me Nothing Much.

I posted all my  1965-1985 (35mm)pictures digitally updated by my self-satisfied self to the photo pages of all the school pages. I felt my responsibility to Archive my part in their social history was completed. Other visitors to F-R-U will benefit ,or not ,from pictures of naturewalks to Wandsworth Common and school Journeys to Lyme Regis and Paris. I have drawn a line under my need to be useful to the record of the past.

Having not discovered any friends , I move on to network on Facebook.

Within weeks of coming aboard a cyberworld where I tread gently, I have requests from people all over the world who share my surname to become their friends.
My son amazes me on his profile page with his hundreds of friends. A cautious approach is taken by me. At first I accept as friends only people I genuinely know and like. This seems to work for me. They are my friends. I have now acquired several cyberfriends.  My definition of a cyberfriend is  
'someone you have  met online through a mutual interest, (a facebook group) and enjoy communicating with through the electronically  written word'
I have only 2 of them on Facebook, both found through my Facebook group 'I got an Echium through the winter'

Using Facebook , I have trodden gently, and no one has trodden on my dreams. I love the benefits. Old friends are within easy reach, we keep in touch by seeing our profiles, we learn about each other by interpreting the status updates, by reading between the lines, by judging what has been written for effect, what has been written for amusement and fun, by seeing who is out to impress  and who is just themselves. The interpretation of the data known as 'status updates' is the stuff of friendship anyway. A joy has been how the friends of my children, now respond to me  as an equal, not Bens Mother, or someone last seen dishing out fish fingers. I am their friend, but remain a distant one, here if they need me, not embarrassing them with senior remarks.
I am able to find news quickly, before waiting for round-robins at Christmas, to respond, pray and support when necessary, to 'laugh with those who laugh and mourn with those who mourn'. My global family is real and special to me.

Nick Baines queries the use of the word Friend. He is right to query its use. I would like to ask him where does a friend end and an acquaintance begin? Are they interchangeable?May friends be  for a season? What is a Friend ?
I know people who I am not close to, who I rarely see, but when I do we have an immediate rapport which may be intense for a short time, and then I do not see them again for years and the cycle starts again. I call these friends and acquaintances. Maybe we need like the Inuit do for snow, more words, but for friend.
So on to Twitter.  Here is my current background  picture .
The word here is not  friend  but  follower.
I follow some people who probably have no idea that I am vicariously part of their lives! Does it matter? No , of course not. I am able to detach myself from the idea that I am important to anyone I do not know, because I know , and they know that we ARE PEOPLE WATCHING.
This is what I get out of it,-I learn things about my interests from Twitter links to blogposts, I enjoy slowly getting to know some of the people I am following, and they become my cyberfriends. I care when they are down and laugh with them when they are not, it is the Romans 12 v15again. What do I put into it-just the same as I do on Facebook, I am here to share.

So, we all wait to see whether Facebook Lite ticks all the boxes missed by Facebook and hinted at by Twitter. I'm up for it!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Here you are sister!

These photos show the platform to Liverpool used by the passengers in transit from the  Baltics  probably using Ellerman /Wilson Line-our grandfather worked as 2nd engineer on many of their ships.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hell, Hull and Halifax

Great Railway Journeys I have done (3)

I never realised that the thieves' Litany containing the famous lines 'from Hell, Hull and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us!' could have such a negative impact on the Subconscious mind until I actually left the city of my birth. Whenever people ask from whence I came ,the reply' Kingston upon Hull ' seems to provoke sympathy and commiseration rather than the plaudit I am expecting. I wonder if the rhyme itself is to blame ,and I am pleading with Hullensians to start putting around a new and positive one .I am going to start looking at the lyrics of Beautiful South but they should have stuck to the their more positive avian name.
For over 40 years my heart has warmed as it approached Hull by train. I used to like the Hull Brewery Ales hoarding which signalled the approach from all stations west, but I have for nearly 20 years appreciated a gem of a Banksy which has been there before even he was born.
So I start at the now (since 1965)North Riding beginning of my journey from Filey to Hull Paragon. Click on the 1947 map to enlarge, the places have not changed.

Filey Station hangs on by a thread to respectability. Brave and visionary volunteers and Station Buffet proprietors and rail network employees have tried to keep the station clean and bright, floral and litter free. This year they have succeeded, It is looking Great.
On a gray school holiday day the interior livery is looking good, but still only 2 carriages. Why? 2 carriages on packed August days, 2 carriages on busy school commutes, 2 carriages on icy don't take the car to work days.
Add Image Still , I enjoy the scenic ride to Bempton. All my favourite landmarks are here
  • Filey medieval field systems
  • Hunmanby-glacial valleys , steep cuttings (with primroses in spring)
  • dewpond Reighton Field
  • nearly a glimpse of Buckton Hall
  • definite glimpse of disused Bempton Methodist chapel
  • hoped for view of Newsham deserted village(winter only)
The no signal for mobile spot kicks in just after Bempton. NO phoning ahead to Brid for taxi to school -I remember that well. wait till the Maltings at Marton.
Tell what sort of a day it is going to be now, with the glimpse of the sea next to the mini golf at Bridlington. I have deleted that picture-the windows in the carriage are too dirty for you.
I do not know why Gardeners World or The One Show have not featured the Station Buffet floral display at Bridlington. Each year it manages to be , apart from David Hockney, and my friends from Hilderhorpe the best thing about the town. I have spent hours in that Buffet when on my way too early, to school, and drunk tea, waiting for ten to eight , in the days when School door opened at 8. Now they open at 7.30 am and most teachers have to stay the night anyway to get their preparation done.The Scarborough to Hull , and the Hull to Scarborough trains usually have a wait of between 2 and 10 minutes at Bridlington. This is thanks to the suit who rubber stamped the removal of one of the lines of track. Trains must pass at Bridlington or Filey.

This bridge is a dear friend. It is just south of Bridlington station, and links the path from Hilderhorpe Primary School as I suppose I must now call it , with the industrial estate famous for child car seats and the Morrisons car park featured in Hockney's Drawings in a printing machine, 'The Atelier' (in the 2009 catalogue-which is wonderful).
When I had to give up smoking, after the ban in all East Riding Schools circa 2000, the steps of this bridge were the nearest place I could get to ,from school, for a sit down and a cigarette during the lunch hour. Few children ever went home for lunch so I don't think I was spotted being a bad influence.
From Bridlington to Beverley is a rural ride of Cobbett preportions. I did not see any countrymen hanging upon the gallows, or miles and miles of turnips without fences to the fields. I saw miles and miles of field beans, dull golden stubble from the oil seed rape,more pinchbeck gold, and heavenly golden stubble from the wheat and barley . Many of the potato fields had been cropped and re ploughed , the Christmas tree plantation surprised me . I heard myself saying that I could remember when they had just been planted.
Beverley Station is still the dullest temple to bricks, lightened only by the sign to the Taxi Firm that will always be no 1 in the county as far as I am concerned. They ferry ancient parent around Beverley, to dentist , doctors, Tescos and chemist ,as if she is the Queen, carry her bags, treat her kindly, that I Thank God for them.
Beverley to Hull , via that best of all addresses, Cottingham reminds all those approaching the Humber that a vast City on the flat is no Has- been.

Smart new glasshouses serving us our Cucumbers and Tomatoes flash by in a healthy promise, vast powerlines are calling the Ordnance Survey map to 'Follow me', and the thrill of Walton street carpark (HullFair) and the new Football Stadium, KC call out YOU'RE HOME. Only the old Workshouse building next to the Hull RI reminds you that for some there was a half -life sans benefits of our times,a la Valerie Wood when there were the deserving and the undeserving poor . Or has that Changed at all?

Here is my Hull Banksy, TRIPPETTS, once the place in Hull for gloves, on the way to Thornton Varleys for a toasted tea-cake served in a charming chafing type dish.
My spouse , used to the Great railway Stations of Europe(Antwerp, Paris North, Ghent, Waterloo) used to tell me that Paragon Station was awful. Now he likes it . The interchange, the flowerstall, the new loos all tick the Baedeker box. Only the coffee is still frightful -one place where a Costas or Cafe Nero would satisfy, in the wait between connections or the arrival of Hullsister , before we hit Ask and THAT view of the marina.