Thursday, October 21, 2010

A forward tone

A woman sat on a buff coloured cushion under a bush in the shrubbery,
Around her grew hundreds of dutch bulbs.
Up at the house Mrs Munday gave her a plate full of custard, 
and a book for her young brother Cuthburt, 
who had cut his foot on a piece of wire which he had tied round and pulled too roughly.

Aged parent and I had such a laugh in Tesco's in Beverley  this week. We had reached the checkout, when a garble came over the tannoy about someone going somewhere and doing something. We commented that the speaker needed some lessons in projecting her voice, with a clearer pronunciation of her vowels. Mother then reminded me of the times she tried to teach us(children) to speak correctly when we (three girls) were small. We started to recite together, in the queue ,the woman sat  on a buff coloured cushion exercise. This was to get us to speak with a forward tone, and was one of the exercises from her own Elocution Lessons which started in 1932.  All the poems she had to learn, and all her notes are in an exercise book which I now have.

I too of course know most of the poems as well too. Little Wun Lee and the butterfly wings was always our favourite in 1950's. I still hear some of the words-snow leopards, peacocks and palanquins, and dijn and I am back in the dining room in Saltshouse Road,  listening to mother reading poetry to us, all from her book. Abou Ben Adam, The Donkey, The Listeners, Forget me not and Silver all still remembered.
As we laughed at the absurdity of the woman sitting on the buff coloured cushion,Mother told me about her Elocution Teacher.
'She was called Miss Winifred Parr, she had an Eton Crop, and was very tall and thin, and always wore a velvet ribbon choker'

Mother and I carried on talking about Winifred Parr as we stood waiting at the Cashout. We wondered just how many other people talk about her after 80 yrs . I Googled 
winifred parr birkenhead
But got nowhere.

I wonder if she made up the exercise for the Forward Tone? I wonder how many other people recited it to their children, and grandchildren, and had a good laugh.

When I got home to Filey another unknown but much appreciated  lady from  the 1930s stormed my consciousness. I have Googled her too for years to find out about her. She is a Gladys Waller, who lived in Surbiton in 1936. That is what it says on the back of a drawing in pencil, chalks and crayon I bought in 1968 in a junk shop in Webbs Road Battersea with my first salary.  It was 30s . I am taking it as my luxury to my Desert Island. 
Beeches nr Reigate by Gladys Waller

Friday, October 15, 2010

Living Water

No , not this stuff or any other in a bottle. Infact why do people in the UK buy bottled water at all when they can turn on a tap and get pure drinking water?  And  now in restaurants no one gives a care if one orders a jug of aqua tap. Happy customers go on to have desserts and coffee, where the money is to be made, and come back again.
Masada a Herodian fortress, dating from 31 BC
I never understood what the term Living Water really meant until I had been to Masada  near the Dead Sea on a trip to Israel last year. The fortress is1300 feet high , and it is really , really hot when walking around and learning about it. It is the most visited site for all Jews to Israel, and all Israeli soldiers take an oath there 'Masada shall not fall again', a reference to its horrible history.

Over 2000 years ago when Masada was one of  the luxurious palaces of Herod, lack of water was a bit of a problem, brilliantly overcome by the engineers of the time.It was stored in vast cisterns , and ingeniously collected in the time of rains ,  enough for ritual baths, swimming pools and all the drinking and utility water. 
The stored water then , in Israel, was a necessity for the dry seasons, sometimes going on for years and giving famine. (Moses,Elijah, Elisha, Joseph, Ruth and Naomi etc the stories of drought are all there in the Bible).
When it rained the fresh  water was welcomed and praised as LIVING WATER. It was no wonder that Jesus kept referring to water all through his ministry. We do not have the lack of it so  it wasn't until I visited a HOT and arid place that I got the meaning for my self. 

Living Water is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In Jerusalem when Christ returns there will be a river flowing through the place of the Temple.In NT times  the joyous  feast of Tabernacles,  the pouring out of water by the priests was the happy highlight. No wonder Jesus caused a few heads to turn when he said 
'If anyone thirsts let him come to me' 
on the very day of the ceremony. 

So as I think about water today, I also think of how the bible passages make so much more sense to those who know what it is to consider it such a precious and life giving commodity. Lest we take it for granted , today is a day to think about those for whom the daily supply of clean water is the single most important NEED . 

I have been looking at the facts on  the Water Aid website.

And for my grandchildren Have some fun Here. Yorkshire Water's own website is here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

19 Princelet Street. Spitalfields

I have been thinking much about 19 Princelet Street recently. Its open so rarely to the public that I realized I was priviledged to have actually got in to see it  a few years ago.
If anyone says
'What is the the most memorable visit you have have ever made to a place?'
I would have to say,
 'after Israel, 19 Princelet Street, Spitalfields London'

I'm not even going to describe it , other than to say that in a dilapidated and fragile building, not a short walk from Hawksmoor's beautifully restored Christchurch, is a synagogue in a house that has been a home for Huguenots fleeing persecution, Jews fleeing persecution, Artists, craftspeople, and recluses. It now is a statement of the need for all of us to recognize the beauty of Diversity.

Thanks Simon

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blogging and Stress

I'm up early today as we are going to Grandparents lunch at St Martins School in Scarborough. We're quite stressed at the whole thing. We want to support our 5yr old grandson, but the stress is not to do with the actual lunch but to do with the parking in Holbeck. Spouse and I have been told to be there for 11.30, (pre-dinner drinks you might think), but a note in Book Bag of small child informs that grandparents of younger children need to arrive early. It is already pouring with rain.  The car -parking on the road near the school holds few cars, the public car park on the cliff top is delightful but not only exposed but at the foot of a hill which troubles those who have had heart attacks. Last Friday evening the walk to get small boy in Pouring rain , Too High Wind, No car-parking near school, resulted in me being so soaked that I had to have a bath when I got home to Filey. So we are stressed again today. BUT its not windy, so maybe umbrellas may be used. I will drop Grandpa at the top of the hill first, then go back and park. 

Now that narrative stressed me out just writing it, and yet on a scale of what stresses most people on a scale of 1-10 , (10 being lots of stress ) the journey for most would only have a stress factor of 2. It is 10 for us. You don't know all the contributing factors, or variables that would add into the maths.
  • I am a reluctant driver when accompanied by spouse
  • I hate spouse telling me where there,s an easy spot
  • the weather
  • the timing for arrival (Time has become of  Stroke inflicted importance  with us) 
  • I am sole driver since spouse had his stroke
  • Scarborough is very hilly if you are us
  • there is nowhere to hang wet coats for grandparents at St Ms
We are not total Dorks , we manage the great cities of Europe quite easily, and even managed the security at Ben Gurion Airport with relish and enjoyment.

Writing a Post  for me is 2 on a stress scale. I worry that I have spelled the words correctly, and that my children will not be cross.I am always editing the spelling, the punctuation and the Grammar. I don't want any child that I have ever taught to realise that I am not a perfect technician when it comes to the English Language.

For me the stress in Blogging is when one  realises that interacting in the Cyberworld is as difficult as interacting in the Real World.  For the first  3 years of writing this blog I never read the blogs of anyone else. No one read my blog, as far as I knew, no one commented much , apart from my sister .I had no idea that the blogsphere existed.

When I joined our Parish Website Team, and the Filey Parish Blog was born I suddenly became part of a networking  cyberworld. We in our Parish Blog team were so delighted when Rev Tim Norwood became our first follower.His blog had been our inspiration for the Parish Blog, as Simon Rudiger knew him from Milton Keynes. Now Tim is so busy being a Priest and Father he doesn't do his wonderful blog any more. I see what he is doing from Facebook and Twitter, and thank God for him. No stress here at all. He continues as a follower of the Parish Blog. (Thanks Tim). And here comes the STRESS. In the Cyberworld of Blogging some people are so keen to get their blogs read by the world and their wives that the object of blogging appears to be TO GET KNOWN.I was so upset when Bishop Alan removed us from his blogroll.

My ego was raised so much when I was blogrolled that I was in danger of CROWD PLEASING to get read. 
I have noticed in the last few months that the STRESS of blogging has removed the will to blog from some of the best ones out there in my Google Reader selection. I am questioning my Blogging Practice. Blogging every day, even if done using the Scheduling Facility brings ones blogs to the top of a Blogroll more often. Am I jealous of those people who have their blogs read by lots and lots of people?  Are the popular bloggists wanting to be famous, or  Bishops or are they wanting affirmation. I sat up in bed this morning and read my daily bit from St Thomas a Kempis. It was all about people pleasing. So am am having a serious think.

  •  I dont  want to be famous
  • I think my blog is great
  • I think Samsons blog is even better
  • I dont want to be a Women anything, I want to be me
  • I want lots of followers
  • I want my children to let me write about them
  • I want to be rich enough to buy fillet steak once a week
  • I want an easy parking space very close to St Martins, and not to have to sit on a baby chair