Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

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.

Feeling a bit like a refurbishment / refreshment / renewal session myself after three greatly enjoyable days refurbishing, refreshing and renewing the condition of a bookcase-cum-display cabinet. The residential care home across the road had a sort of yard sale on Sunday and £5 seemed a small price to pay for a piece of 1930s furniture that looked quite grimly knocked about a bit and heavily varnished but oozing potential. I was unaware whilst de-dooring,


Nitromorsing, scraping, cleaning, sanding, re-assembling, polishing and filling with books how tiring it was and so I  just kept going and here it is in its new life.

I may have mentioned before or elsewhere, I like a project.

Just ten days now to the start of a week when two potentially life-changing events take place for two people in my family – one hip replacement operation and one job interview. This morning the traffic outside is very quiet as it’s some kind of national holiday in recognition of another event that could be somewhat life-changing for a couple of people getting married in Westminster Abbey. I remember the street party in Middlemarch Road, Radford, Coventry in 1953 when the current old-girl-rent-free-resident of Buckingham Palace had a fancy hat put on her head in the same church by a bloke in a nice frock. We had cakes and jelly and our own fancy hats and everything, including running races for us children, up and down around the long row of tables in the middle of the road. I wonder if there are any photographs anywhere.

A jogger has just gone by for a second time, lapping our block I guess. We used to have races back in the fifties ’round the block’ formed by Middlemarch, Villa, Grangemouth  and Lanchester Roads. That was a long way to run or skate or push a trolley our Dad made out of pram wheels and scrap wood. Haven’t seen one of those lately!

Not a leaf is stirring on the trees and bushes I look out on now since I’ve moved the desk to the window. All a bit pleasantly eerie, as if something is going to happen any minute as we dreamwalk through the still day unaware of what is going on round the corner. Mind you, that’s not particularly unusual for me on any day, let alone today. Which is not completely a problem as innocence and wonder can feel alright when they meet or discover or go along with or even arrange events.

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