Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

This I believe. The squares marked A and B are the same shade of grey.

Thanks to:

No I don’t. Yes I do. No I don’t. Yes I do. Anyway, Beth having written this: I love talking to my Dad about anarcho-syndicalism, socialism, communism, capitalism, feminism, religion, anarchy, protest, work, profit, everything. He knows so much, explains how the world works so clearly, and usually has an answer/explanation for everything… on Twitter has prompted someone to guess (in a kindly way, I’m sure) that I might be a Deconstructionist and helpfully to provide a link to an article purporting to explain what that means together with a ‘critique’ of some other approaches to sociology, philosophy and politics that he labels as leftist. It is indeed an interesting article but I ain’t one of them – deconstructionist, that is. Can’t think what kind of an -ist I am really. There’s probably an -ist label for that disability though!

The twitter-guesser then moved on to wonder if I was actually a social constructionist then? after Beth ventured to suggest that Marxist, i.e. materialist would do for the moment. Turns out the guesser ( who seems determined (desperate?) to attach -ists here and there ) is a Christian Socialist and practising Catholic and the article writer, Robert Locke, admired by the twitter-guesser, has also suggested that if all Palestinians were forcibly “removed” from all of Israel, that would help to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  After the initial discomfort of wondering what I was being described as and not liking Locke’s style too much, I can feel a sense of comfort returning.

England are playing cricket against the West Indies and are described as being in a strong position on the first day because their opponents have scored 243 runs while losing 9 batsmen. England have yet to bat and so languish at 0 for 0. How can that be a strong position yet? If you are reading this and don’t understand cricket, forget it, it’s not a matter of life or death, it’s much more important than that, as Bill Shankly once described soccer.

Bill Shankly.

If you don’t know what soccer is, never mind.

Feeling a bit stir crazy yesterday so went off to Hem Heath Woods, part of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s complement of reserves.

Leaving behind the infernal race of modern life in the car park on Trentham Road, between a railway track and an electricity sub-station, I took the leaf-covered path, all orange, brown, yellow and black. To the left, or East, is an industrial estate, just discernible through the undergrowth, but audible with hums and rattles from time to time but soon left behind.

Two discreet information boards helped to nurture the growing sense of history such, sometimes ancient, places evoke after a few minutes walking. For example Wedgwoods and all their doings are involved, as the Reserve is leased from the Wedgwood “estate”.  I wish that I could have not noticed the rogue apostrophe or ‘Crewe Comma’ on one board though, where whose had become who’s.  Too much proofreading over the years for that to slip through, unfortunately.

Anyway, the path between the trees suddenly reached a beautiful place aptly called The Glade, just occupying its time there, getting on with being naturally attractive to any human eye that cared to visit.  So far the only others enjoying the woods had been a couple ‘walking’ a very energetic, bouncy and obviously happy dog. Then further on into deeper darker parts was a woman on her own apart from her small dog. She had walked these woods for 45 years but had come in from the southern end and had never been up as far as where I explained my car was, all of half a mile or so. We parted after a short chat, as it was getting late into the afternoon and we both needed to find our ways out in the twilight.

Such an experience of peace clears the mind and spirit. That’s what it felt like.

[photos from the website]

Just about to talk about our Christmas shopping exploits already (life in the fast lane) when the announcer on BBC Radio3 plugs a forthcoming programme of carols from St John’s College Cambridge, confirming that we’re not by any means ridiculously early with such things.
Spent far too long in The Body Shop today sampling smelly stuff for family and two of our female friends. The latter and Barbara have set a mutual spending limit of £3-5 so that limits the field a bit thank goodness.
I don’t really enthuse too much about the whole Christmas period and some of its hypocritical aspects, but I do like coal fires and cosy days and evenings with visiting offspring and friends. Funny how time passes and our “duty” trips to our parents over the years have turned into happily preparing for and then playing hosts to our own kids.

We went to our local library in Alsager for an hour this morning, on National Poetry Day in the UK, to see and listen to W Terry Fox read some poetry. I consider it well worth visiting that link to some YouTube performances. It was a fine way to spend time and Barbara also enjoyed it. He talked quite a bit about Mow Cop where he lived for a time and still lives “down bank” a bit at Whitehill.  The event attracted an audience of about a dozen, two of whom had travelled from Crewe. It was a free occasion, funded by the Friends of Alsager Library.

Poetry has always been a minor interest of mine, humming quietly along in the background to a life, ever since that A Level course in Eng. Lit. at school with good old “Gabby” Hayes where he introduced us to the beauty of John Keats’ work. Alongside many of his own fine poems, W Terry Fox read Keats’ Ode to Autumn today, (read and hear here) which took me right back to those days in that particular seat in that particular classroom, as clear as if  I were there now.

I remember those times with Gabby (middle row, second from the right) as a bejewelled island in a murky sea of dark drudgery and suffering from the rest of my schooldays. There were only four of us in the class, as I remember, which added to the privilege and sheer pleasure of coming from a bookless and often cheerless home to that highly skilled introduction to classic literature over two years that probably helped to nurture whatever semblance of sanity I ever had. Thanks Gabby and Thanks Terry.

Poetry in Chicago? Well, here’s a poem by








Robert Pinsky featured on the excellent website of The Poetry Foundation based there; from such a simple thing like the next time you put on a shirt or skirt, he has fashioned simple but resonant words.

We’re just back yesterday from a greatly enjoyable week staying in Beth’s flat in Brighton while she was in Greece with her boyfriend Sam and his family. Here they are:
After one day early on spent traversing the length and breadth of one of the “trendy” Brighton streets of shops – St. James’s Street – we found we were exhausted and kind of ‘frazzled’ from all the hustle and bustle of what seemed to us like a crazy level of overcrowded narrow pavements and barely accessible shops.
We reverted to strolling along the promenade in Hove and ending up at an excellent Italian Restaurant two days running. A much more pleasant way of enjoying the constant sunshine and sea breeze. Made us realise why ‘old folks’ retire to such quieter places and avoid the rat race of city life if they/we can.
We were glad to get back to what seemed like an enormous house after Beth’s (delightful) one room, one bedroom flat and Barbara has finally abandoned once and for all all thoughts of moving to Brighton or Hove. Great for a visit, but no property to compare with ours, which is now adapted in so many ways to Barbara’s needs and affords us so much choice of which room to use!
I think it’s called ‘counting your blessings’ and seeing that the grass is only sometimes greener elsewhere.
We’re harvesting runner beans like mad and tomatoes are ripening at a very consumable rate.
I’m having a ‘fasting blood test’ tomorrow morning (the GP /Health Centre nurse persuaded me, without mentioning how it helps their targets/budget account) to measure my cholesterol levels. Again. I ignored any advice the last time, when I was told the level was too high. All a very controversial subject, it seems.

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