Saturday, March 27, 2010

History Maker or Earthhour

 I am 63 years old. I felt at home when I went in to the Newsagents to get the Times this morning and recognized the  song playing on Yorkshire Coast Radio. So I said to Julie behind the counter' 
'I know this one, this is where I came in!'  She gave me a dutiful smile. I was in Halls of Residence in 1965. I know every single one of every Beatles song . We all do . All the young people in college from 65 -68. In those days we had to show our Radio Licence to the Vice Principal before we were allowed to use our Transistor Radios. Mine cost 25 s and was a bright red Fidelity. I had never spent so much money on something not shoes before.

During 'O' levels and 'A' levels I had to do my homework in our Dining room, sitting around the table with my sisters doing theirs. We had to sit there. We were not allowed to be anywhere else, even in the summer when it was not cold and we could sit in our bedrooms. The Dining room was a prison of heat, from the Coalite, and fear ,of scratching the ancient mahogany table. We lightened the confinement with judicial use of the Wireless. The Home service was allowed, and the Third Programme, and Alan Keith  of the Light Programme. Not for us though . We had Radio Luxenbourg on low- 208 the Station of the stars.When we heard the sitting room door open announcing Mother on her way to see we were OK we quickly turned the dial to Allowable air waves.

I was looking after Reuben recently, 3 years old, whose favourite phrase is '..puter Grandma?'. It was after lunch, I was exhausted. By 10 o'clock I had done Playdough, Crayoning, the Ladybird game, walked round all the Filey shops and been to the budgies. By 12 .30 , (we had had lunch at 11.45), I suggested books and a story and must have dropped off. Reuben meanwhile had sneaked off the sofa, opened the laptop, booted up , logged on and found Poisson Rouge .

My point is that no one seems to  mind these days if their offspring use the available media. Cbeebies, CBBC, Milkshake are available all day for small  children. I know blue stockinged mothers whose babes have CD players strapped to their cots so the little ones can access a Story CD at bedtime.
I however at 18 had to learn the latest POP songs by Stealth. It is a wonder I ever got through my adolescence without being ridiculed, so strict were  my parents. My grandchildren by contrast are fully media-ed up at 3 years old. 
So dear babes I am DOING THIS FOR YOU, I am showing you that I am in touch, and media-ed up.
I am not going to take it too far, my mobile is of the one piece variety. I do predictive text. I have just realised that the Digital Camera will do videos. I think I know what an ipod is. I certainly know what an iphone 3G S is because @Simon Rudiger has one, and I want one but realise I cant really afford the monthly tariff.

So in the next few days I am going to buy my very first Download. I don't have an MP3 player, at least I don't think I do, unless this PC is one. Anyway I am going to save History Maker to my hardrive, having paid for it properly, and then burn it to a CD as explained to me by @James Belshaw. Then I am going to give it to my young people who will love it and store it in their ipods or MP3 players   (I dont know the difference).
I haven't taken advantage of the generous offer/idea  of some Twitter friends to switch off my lights for an hour to save money /the planet because I needed the light to process this blog.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St Pauls Onslow Square

Imagine going into a church like St Johns, Filey.We are met outside by 2 young men ,could be angels, who say Hi Guys.  People are getting coffee , tea and cake (paying for it). Church is just an open space with cushion pads on the floor. Few settees around periphery (going to the wall!) for the olds. Loud young peoples music playing.Ten mins later the whole place is full of people on floor, chatting and drinking  and reading Sunday papers. 20 mins later the vicar-wearing jeans and shirt says 30 secs to go folks.
A band plays in the middle of the floor(3 guitars-LOUD) worship for 10 mins, then sit down and on settee at front where altar rail once was Nicky Gumbel interviews Andrew White-for 15 mins or so-all seen on huge screen as well. Lots of gentle evoking of HS. Then more worship, prayer-all together praying for Middle east out loud, then all close eyes as call to ministry time and a call for anyone not a Christian yet-then music -people prayed for but not in out front way, Time to leave -90 mins felt like 5.
No I didn't take any pictures, I did , but then it came up on the screen about no pictures and switch off mobile phones so I erased the ones I had taken . I leave you with a picture of a Peter Jones  window display. I also worship here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Railway Journeys. Sheffield to Leeds

Great Railway Journeys I have done (6)
I had intended to make this a Great Railway Journey ,after all, this lover of train rides, this discerner of the track side had never been to Sheffield before. I was not disappointed only enlightened, enraged,amused and informed.
  • Now I know why Filey is the goal for the retired of Rotherham
  • Now I know how Geography should be taught
  • Now I know what Urban Distressed means
  • Now I know what Regeneration means
  • Now I know how Japanese Knotweed spread
So then. The approach to Sheffield Station is very upbeat.It is Known as Sheaf Square, and was an obvious regeneration project, water, steel, light,easy  perambulation, like part of an installation at the Saatchi. I haven't taken a picture of it. I need to see it on a gorgeous sunny day, when I have an hour to wait for a train, or like the Blinking Eye in Newcastle when coloured lights are playing. It will be a treat to look forward to.
My train to  Leeds was of the Metro variety. Empty until Meadowhall , it filled with shoppers who disgorged in dribbles until Wakefield, then filled with young people, and single Dads on their day for Access, with small children with hand held computer games, whilst Dads did Facebook on their iphones.  I felt I was in a different world . Even the older people were all texting and talking to their Christmas list , whilst I thanked God for the family playing football Top Trumps with their 2 boys . I was the only person with nothing to do but look out of the window on this 60 minutes amongst Everyman of South Yorkshire.
I have never seen so much for  ticking  in multiple choice Geography GCSE boxes.
  1. Signs of an industrial past ,present , or future?
Answer all three in this recycling plant CP Booth , buyers of all types of scrap metal.

2.  What signs of Regeneration of the area can you see from the train? 
a)Leisure facilities  b)Housing  c)Agriculture d)Economic Growth e) Art and Design
Answer all five
a)Leisure Facilities-Track for exercising your 4 wheel drives


c)Agriculture-Mushrooms or Chickens?

d)Economic Growth-New Retail Park

e)Art and Design -New office block and  Great Graffiti

Now I know it is cold March, no leaves on the trees, and all the bushes and herbage is as bare as it could be BUT the litter, rubbish, dumped fridges, bikes and old plastic items nestling at the side of the track was seriously PLENTIFUL. If it thought it would be unobserved  , or is just loitering for the arrival of the Refuse Services it is going to be depressed. I have NEVER  seen such TRASH since Slumdog millionaire.

The 2 highlights of the journey were

1.the Salt Depot. I have wondered for years what the use of these dome shaped constructions is? I have thought Planetaria, Nuclear Laboratories, Wheels of Death. The one on the Carnaby  Industrial Estate  has truly fascinated me. (See Hull to Filey  blog). How simple the answer. A salt depot. I feel I've found a pearl of great price.
2.The neat Allotments near Wakefield-and not a hint of Chris Beardshaw.

And so to Leeds.

 Leeds to Scarborough -no rubbish, just rabbits, pheasants, and fertiliser bags tied to sticks waving away the pigeons and crows.
And the Japanese Knotweed. That's another post!