Sunday, December 1, 2013

Being Childish

Which is what I am, sadly have a 'wicked' tongue as well, as I pull to bits the world I live in..... But today, Sunday, a day of peace in my mind and relaxation, the first thing I hear on the radio is the hymn 'O Come Emmanuel',  and immediately I know Xmas is on its way.  You can bombard me TV wise on endless adverts telling me that christmas is coming and I take no notice, but the long drawn out Emmanuel brings me back to childhood and boarding school at Brewood Convent.  Cold mornings, crocodiling down to the cold village church to endlessly, repetitively singing this hymn because we could not get it right has scarred my soul forever;).
It brings back the rather lovely buildings and grounds of the convent, so that I see the great staircase, the cold dormitory and the refectory where we ate cabbages liberally laced with caterpillars.  I could not have eaten much of these meals and would 'fill up' at the tuck shop, which sold chocolate bars, etc.  The best meal once a week was supper, cocoa and a bacon sandwich.  We would sit in a warm hall supervised by a teacher, sewing or reading, homework had been done before tea, as we were left sadly by the day pupils who went home.  I think I did not believe in God from the age of 7, having worked out that the one god was in actual fact many gods, but my time at the convent was well spent, even though I had to learn the catechism by heart, the nuns were kind and nursed me through a serious illness at one stage. Such a close association with religion, early morning visits to the chapel to pray, does make you think and strive for some kind of spiritual truth but that has always alluded me, it may have given me this interest in churches and saints, always trying to understand the peace and calm to be found in a church.
To the childish things, yesterday we invited some neighbours with their two young girls for a cup of tea, they have the same house as us but had never lit the fire in their sitting room.  So the two girls were allowed to light our fire and one sat entranced in front of the jumping flames.  They all explored the house with enthusiasm, no one seems to know round here what LS did for a living, so the studio was a great surprise for them.  The children played with the dolls house even more intrigued by a box of mostly broken miniature furniture so I gave them a roombox which they can make stuff to go in.  The father, who is a deputy head at a school was fascinated by my spinning wheel, so he knelt on the floor watching the action of the wheel as I spun some wool, with me trying to remember the technical names for all the bits and pieces that makes up a wheel, the action of spinning is like driving a car, automatic and unconscious, the fingers reacting to the 'feel' of the wool.  In all it was a pleasant afternoon.


  1. I was listening to the Daily Service on Radio 4 this morning as I got dressed and did my teeth, and getting irritated by the modern version of the Lord's Prayer. 'The Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours' they said.......yuck! I an a devout atheist but the power of those words and the sound of the hymns from childhood is unbelievably strong and I can easily be reduced to tears. 'For all the Saints' is a sure thing! I loved reading your story of the convent and I totally agree about the hymns and carols. The King's College Christmas eve service is the best bit for me but God? I'm afraid not. So strange isn't it? Perhaps I'm just a little addicted to the opium of the people.

  2. I love the King's College service in the afternoon as dusk draws near, it becomes a fixed point at Xmas. The Boars Head carol which is a favourite comes about, only learnt this recently, is that the boar is the last creature killed, after his progeny have been killed in Autumn, to fatten for winter the humans to tide them over the cold period.We forget that up to the 19th century food had to be stored and eked out.

  3. I was brought up in the Christian faith - at school, and going to Sunday School, and it is hard to completely turn your back on it, I agree. I couldn't really say what faith I am, having had some experiences which are definitely not to do with Christianity as I know it. Hmmm. I think I am of the faith of nature, and the wildwoods.

    I agree about the modern version of the Lord's Prayer, and any messing about with the traditional anything. Christmas starts for me when I play Maddy Prior's Christmas Carols, and my Celtic Christmas CDs.

    1. I suspect Jennie a deep love of the countryside makes us all a bit pagan, it is a place of sanctuary and rest in something that is not our own humdrum thoughts. Maddy Prior does quite a good version of the 'Old Boar's head' on You tube as well.