Thursday, September 30, 2021

30th September 2021

The small world I live in does not have any shortages.  Lidl for instance has every shelf full and plenty of vegetables to buy.  But I am aware further afield people are experiencing difficulty in getting some items - not a great problem of course, just think of Syria, Afghanistan, Libya or any country shorn of good government and starving.

But reading the runes and there will be problems over the next couple of years, the 'standard of living' we are living with, when we can have anything we want at the click of a mouse is fading.  Given that we are going through  climate change such fall back is welcome.

I am not sobbing my heart out at no turkeys, never eat them to begin with and the ceaseless slaughter of creatures to whet our appetites always leaves me with a bleak feeling.  The young are turning more to vegetarianism and veganism, and the old habit of meat and two veg will die a good death ;)

Here is a BBC business summary of shortages.  I have only just realised that the good price I got from the garage for my car was due to a shortage of secondhand cars, well I never!

I look for positive news every morning, its there happening, the rescue of moon bears by Animal Asia, a large undertaking in China is happening and if you watch the following video of 15 minutes, you will be glad that there are people out there working to protect animals.  These poor bears live solitary cramped lives in small cages just so they can be milked of their bile.  A bear can live 30 years though these don't of course, such cruelty expressed at the hands of man is unjustifiable, redress comes late but the cruelty is recognised.

Rats and mice, could you tell the difference when they poked their heads up from the loo seat? The rat has round ears.......

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

29th September 2021

Covid in my granddaughter's school has in three days gone from 40 positive cases to 80 cases.  The NHS have set up a PCR testing, though Lateral rapid tests are gone through in this household every day. If anything it just shows how the Covid can spread so quickly. 

No I am not in the business of spreading bad news it is only a note of caution.  When it stops raining I shall go for a walk up to the church, I noticed it has a very steep lane to it yesterday when I went to the TodAlmighty (organic shop)yesterday.

The rain has mizzled, drizzled and fretted its way through the last three days but I expect the rivers and reservoirs need topping up.  Tomorrow the testing of the flood alarm is going off at 1 o clock.  Getting people ready for winter.

I am not sure if the Guardian is winding us all up, but there is an article about 'toilet mice' yes they come up through the pipes.  I think it is only in offices that have not been used over the pandemic era but what a thought! These intelligent little creatures can hold their breath for three minutes and swim around for three days much worse than the occasional Autumn spider.

Yesterday the trains to Hebden Bridge were delayed due to trouble on the line and a tree that had fallen across.  There was a lot of people catching the trains, students going back, people using the train instead of the car but she said the station people were so calm and patient answering the same question over and over again.

I read a story this morning about a cyclist leaving his bike at a station in London, coming back in the evening to find that it had been stolen.  He phoned up the 'stolen bicycle number' and then suddenly a station worker appeared with it.  He had surprised the thief cutting through the padlock and taken it off him, but not only that he had waited four hours for someone to collect the bike.  You have to love people for their kindness.

edit; rats not mice ;)

Monday, September 27, 2021


 Who has not played this game with little ones, I always remember that I could never make it to the cave where the bear/lion lived without collapsing into giggles.  Idiot people make the world go round.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

25th September 2021

Moss the most sensible of companions

Rehashing old blogs, this is about Porthgain mostly though Aberiddi also features.  A holiday I took alone but with the companionship of my old dog Moss, always steadfast and eager for the adventure.  It came to mind when I saw friends had gone there and I suddenly realised I shall probably never travel that way again.    

I spent many a happy week in Pembrokeshire, wandering along the cliff top, finding the cromlechs, all with their different stories. The 'sense of place' in Wales is so defined.  The thin green layer that covers the landscape sits on a variety of rocks that poke through and greet you with their colour and their longevity.  Their roughness tells of exposure to climatic changes and the bubbling of heat.  My first encounter with how the Earth first came into being was of a fire bound illustration of H. G. Wells book of 'Outline of History'.  And when you walk along the cliffs and see the rocks folded horizontally or vertically you become aware of the great forces that made this place called Earth.

The blue lagoon

These two small hamlets are to be found on the Pembrokeshire coast within a mile of each other, Porthgain has the industrial remains of old buildings built to support the quarrying of slate and granite. Slate was originally quarried at Abereiddi for roofing tiles, it was not of particularly good quality, the slate from North Wales was superior, and Abereiddi slate was thought to last only 40 years or so. The quarry itself is in the area of the blue lagoon, originally it was just a large hole but when the quarry had finished the rock that lay between the sea and the disused quarry was blown up and it became a rather beautiful blue lagoon.

                   The Street, Abereiddi labourer's cottages

These housed the labourers and their families plus also itinerant Irish labourers.
It is sometimes difficult to understand today how these small welsh villages worked, especially as they are all but deserted of welsh people and what houses are left are more often or not holiday homes. But look at any 19th century photograph and you will see a flourishing population of maybe a 100 people with plenty of children. Life would have been hard, sanitary conditions non-existent and water probably fetched from a well but the quarries provided a livelihood for the families.
Porthgain was developed on a greater scale over the century, its quarry was owned by several different companies, all English, and based in Bristol. It changed hands quite a few times mostly due to the fact that profits were low and money had to be spent on machinery and new buildings. Speculators came with high hopes but the cards were stacked against them, mainly because transport was difficult, there was no railway line nearby, and everything had to be carried out by ship, either to various ports in Wales itself or down to the Severn Estuary and Bristol.
There was also a slate quarry in Porthgain, but it was decided to open a granite quarry for supplying gravel for roadbuilding.

It was still the period of macadam road building, this was simply different grades of gravel laid on top of each layer, which in turn was rollered down, eventually culminating in a fine layer of gravel. For this operation to be successful, the granite had to be crushed into the various sizes. The quarry was a quarter of a mile from the village itself, and tramways were built to and from, one tramway also going to Abereiddi.

In the beginning the trams were pulled by horses, but over time two small engines were acquired.
A new harbour was also built for the ships to come in and be loaded by crane, so there was a lot of capital expenditure.
In Porthgain itself what remains of the industrial buildings are dramatic, the great brick hoppers built against the cliff face are still there, here the different sized gravels would be loaded from the top and taken from the bottom of the chute, also a large shed still remains on the quay, this is now used as a restaurant.

Its an eerie place, and walking over the cliffs to the ruined buildings facing out to sea is a savage reminder of all the people who laboured with heavy materials during this period.

For them it paid a good wage, but old photographs show thin men their faces lined and tired, work that hauls rock and slate from the ground was tough and backbreaking, and one has only to remember the hard lives of the welsh miners to realise this.

Porthgain also has a 'street' of five labourers cottage, and these are still in use today, there was also a larger house for the manager, and of course the old Sloop Inn still remains.
At one stage bricks were made of the slate dust, they were much heavier than ordinary bricks and there wasn't much of a market for them.

Abereiddi slate quarry had opened around 1838, and mining of slate continued on and off, Porthgain's quarry opened in the 1850s, and mining continued right up to the 1930s but again the present company owners landed up in the hands of the receivers', and this time there was no rescue, final closure for the workers must have come as a shock and an eyrie silence would have descended on the place. The dust that would have shrouded the place and the small cottages would now disappear; some of the workers were offered work in Bristol but for the rest, they must have moved away to find jobs elsewhere.

All the historic information I got from an author who lived in Solva, the book sadly departed to a charity shop.

Friday, September 24, 2021

24th September 2021

Devil's Arch Bridge in Germany. A moment of perfect serenity

The Spasm of Fear;  Or I am trying to cheer you up;)

Something to talk about as the days grow shorter and night stealthily slips in.  Well the general pessimistic tone of the media as we find ourselves in trouble, not only because of Brexit but Covid which stalks the world with an evil face.  I read yesterday it is as if the four horses of the Apocalypse had taken flight with a vengeance, but reading this article and another angle appeared.

The word ‘apocalypse’ comes from the Greek apokalypsis which means to ‘uncover’, ‘unveil’ or ‘reveal’. Rather than fire and destruction, apocalypse was understood by some ancients as a ‘revelation’ of things as they really were.

I expect when all the drama ceases, life will be a little more expensive but still chuntering on. 

Yesterday my daughter came home, keep your distance mum she said, someone who works for her had tested positive.  My granddaughter is furious because as a 15 year old she has not been vaccinated, and came home in a cross mood because 20 of the pupils in the school had tested positive.  I pointed out to her that as the school has about a thousand inmates that wasn't too bad.  Anyway this morning an 'all clear' after testing.

I started this with the thought of a 'spasm of fear'.  Two incidents that frighten many women.  The murder of that teacher in London, Sabina Nessa and of course the killing of three young children and a mother.  Can it be that women must always go in fear when they step out at night? Or when a relationship goes wrong?  Empty questions for there will always be bad as well as good.  But it brought back the memory of arguing with Matilda about catching a taxi from Kings Cross and not walking back to her flat.  Which she did of course.  

But to even the mood up, I watched my favourite knitting vlog, no knitting in it but a drive along German motorways ending in Yorkshire and Sheffield being described as 'pretty'!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Spiders and grandchildren

Children.  For though she maybe 20 years old Matilda is still a child.  She went back to London yesterday, caught the 6 o clock train, and whilst her mother and I worried about her getting off at Kings Cross and walking to her flat in Camden, the troubles only started later.

It was a large spider (from hell) in her bedroom, she was inconsolable for a couple of hours and so her mum had to deal with the outcome.  Refusing to get a train down to London though;)  Matilda eventually barricaded herself in her friend's bedroom, who was absent. Spraying round the door with peppermint oil and stuffing a towel at the bottom.

Apparently they do have a spider catcher but it is broken, unfortunately someone threw it at the spider....

She has just finished her chocolate cake,

Her younger sister, Lillie, scout supremo would not have gone into meltdown of course, having to deal with little cubs on camping trips, tears and vomit just being a couple of the hazards.

You will note the two coloured hair, yes I am blessed with two striking granddaughters, you can pick them out in the crowd a mile away!  We all have fine blow away hair, which curls naturally but is hell to do anything with.

Life will be quieter now the two sisters are separated but it was sad to see Matilda go.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

If I had kept on walking.....

Wayside sign

 I might have reached Manchester, but following this part of the canal I was out to snap the 'Great Wall of Todmorden.  Built to retain the bank in the 19th century under the railway station and goods yard, it took over four million bricks to construct.  The silver birch trees at the top make a pretty contrast against the sky.

Walking along public paths and particularly this stretch of the canal means you encounter a variety of people, such as cyclists, hikers, people going shopping, dog walkers, and runners as well.  But in the sun it is an attractive walk.

How many times in my life have I captured the unperfect circle a bridge will mirror in the water I wonder

The deep murkiness of the canal

I love the way nature makes everything beautiful

18th September 2021

 Brief summary of the news as I see it ;)

Bring back imperial measurements - no way.  As someone said on Twitter when they resort too bringing something back from the past you can be sure they have no plans for the future.  Distraction, distraction, distraction!

Reshuffling is fine, you are only moving the same chess pieces on the board, the end result is still the same.  As for Andrew Neil (a former sinister apprentice to the dark lord of News Corpleaving GB news he is hauling himself out of the pit before it gets too nasty.

I leave it to Marina Hyde on reshuffles, she has such a wicked mouth ;)

But in all my pottering around I came across Rebekah Brooks the CEO of News UK, an off spur of Murdoch's empire.  Rebekah always reminds me of one of my stepmothers - Red hair, palest of skins and probably freckles.  My stepmother brought havoc into our household having affairs or marriages both to my grandfather and half brother.  I have a feeling Rebekah has the same inclination towards life and running newspapers. Anyway it was fascinating reading up about her.

The sun is shining, the winter 'bad news' is beginning to pile in and I shall return to softer subjects soon.  Teddy is starting to yowl downstairs all his females have disappeared.  He treats my daughter as head of house but I come in as a favourite for feeding him tidbits.  We were discussing this morning if he thinks the Aga is a third person, as he always comes between our legs and the Aga....

This also:  Lamorna Birch a prolific painter in Cornwall......

From the Cairn - Lamorna Birch

Thursday, September 16, 2021


 Finding something to write every day gets difficult, my conversations have become a question of keeping up with my grandchildren.  Matilda at uni on a fashion journalistic course.  Ben at the moment, doing a very successful internee on styling corporate videos and many more different types, three yesterday. Then Tom my eldest grandchild came yesterday evening to see his sister and the talk was all  social media.  He by the way is also in public relations (or whatever it is called) and has to follow the latest trends for his clients.

Names get bandied around that I know little of, luckily I knew Anna Wintour yesterday, because Matilda has to write something about Conti Nast which is the group of holdings? that own Vogue.  Great excitement in the family as their mum's charity shop featured in Vogue as the best charity shop in Manchester.  Makes of clothes completely foreign to me, but the 'vintage' and that doesn't mean going back a 100 years, just to the 70s/80s of the last century.

Yesterday I sewed up a polythene flowered dress, with much disapproval moaning about crimplene at the same time ;).  Checked the Met Gala, have to keep up with the times without being scornful of the lightness of today's society.  The dresses are there to shock you into submission was my thought, Anna Wintour over flowered, Emma Raduncanu sweet and pretty.  But who covers themselves all over in black, including the face, what does it signify? Ball gowns that included acres of taffeta, how does one justify this splurge of nonsensical fashion ;) ;) Family please read quietly.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

15th September 2021 - Canals

 Last Things Last - Paul Klee

In the heart's centre

The only prayers

are steps 


I found this yesterday on Bensozia's blog, its simplicity of words catches the attention. It seems Klee only wrote two small poems, at least on the internet.  All I can remember was an exhibition of his work years ago which we visited in Switzerland.  My love of modern paintings is somewhat limited sadly.

Yesterday the weather drizzled, fretted if you must, and I walked along the canal snapping what I saw.  Firstly yellow daisies which provide a blaze of colour against the grey of the walls.  Even managed a bee.  On my F/B I have some brilliant photos from others on the Marlborough Downs, birds so clear you could stroke a feather.  Envy has left my soul, I now look at people's fabulous photos on the blogs here and am content;)

The canal was grey and damp, enlivened by ducks swimming with small wakes behind them, and a whole row fast asleep on the opposite bank.

Called Carpe Diem.  I like the frivolous side to this boat, the monkey on the front and when I walked back there was a dog hanging out of the stern sleeping.

Do canal boats give you freedom I wonder, it seems to me there is a lot of work to do but I like the idea of owning one.

The mob, on the lookout for food

It is lovely to have my grandchildren around, they find my stick when we go out, though I don't really need one and take my arm on the tricky bits, which include cobbles and slopes.  I sometimes feel that maybe I am getting old too quickly but the concern is touching and I am grateful.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

14th September 2021

 Testing for colour.  The new cheap camera has arrived and once I had bought a memory card, the whole thing was set up.  The sunflower looks good as does the coloured three items on the Aga.  Now all I want is the sun which has been hiding away the last few days.  
We went to Honest John for cake and tea in the end on Sunday, two had delicious puddings rather than cake.  As my going out has been somewhat limited the last year the interior of the restaurant was a pleasant sophisticated surprise.  Guess what, it was the gutted remains of a bank, The National Westminster to be precise.  The world changes, is that bank even going now I wonder?
Tom Stephenson is worrying about the terrible choice of our voting, well as the tories reshuffle the boundaries of our counties - how DARE they - can we not see a little uprising please? 
Luckily the false comfort of selling one's house for exorbitant prices thereby pushing out the young is beginning to meet resistance in Cornwall, where the small seaside cottages bought up by wealthy Londoners is experiencing the hostility of the locals.  The first restraint has come into existence, now 'new built' can no longer be bought as second homes, they have to be permanently lived in, which was the prime hope for all homes - wasn't it?  Hopefully greed will be fought with commonsense. 
And, isn't the stock market going to fall if we all play around with bitcoins, or Monopoly money, which doesn't exist after all?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

12th September 2021

Three generations in the household, gentle bitching going on, what are we going to do today?  Hebden Bridge and tea and cakes have been dismissed there is a Pride festival going on.  Chicken roast and everything else under the sun has been decided for lunch and then a walk around Tod and try and find a decent cafĂ© for cake and tea.

I have been toying with writing about Stanton Drew stone circle, visited many a time in the bleak months of winter, why I don't know.  Such places appeal to the soul, the steadfastness of the stones in their landscape.

The 'jumble'


It was like the photo of the stone in Switzerland, unless the farmer could move it, or worse, blow it up, these stones remain forever dotting the landscape.

My favourite stone which I nicknamed the Lion Stone

Things I remember about the stone circle is the two young men standing in the lee of a stone out of the wind, one playing a harmonica, the thin piercing noise seeming so light against the weight of the stones.  Once in summer with Paul we came across a 'dowser' called Paul Daws someone who believed in magnetic forces under the earth, mostly to do with water.  In leyline terminology you could join up churches with stones many miles distant.  Try doing it with a ruler, it is easy, too easy some might say.  Both skills are decried by woo-woo people, but then plain fact can be boring.

The remains of the avenue

Stanton Drew largest circle of the three, is the second largest in the country, and yet it stands outside the mainstream of importance, Stonehenge and Avebury dominating.

See how the church tries to dominate the stones. These three stones are in the local pub and called 'The Cove' though now they are seen as part of a Neolithic barrow.

There was a small road of stones leading down to the river, messed up by  the farmers of old, and now an intriguing jumble..  Did visiting chiefs or dignitaries come by boat and walk in stately pomp up this avenue?

Intriguingly, the stones are on top of an earlier wooden circle, nineteen concentric circles.

Whilst looking for Paul Daws, I came across the 'Solstice Operation'.  It was the time of the stand off between police and travellers at the Stonehenge Festival.  A time in history that marked change in how we viewed the police in 1985.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Missing familiar faces - Lucy and Green Eyes

Lucy;  You would think butter would not melt in her mouth.  You would be so wrong, when she had a psychotic moment I would be up all night with her.  Most rescue dogs have a story in their background as to what pushed them so far, hers was being locked up in a shed every night with two male spaniels.  But she was pretty and loving, and when she arrived in the household we made a vow to keep her forever.  I miss her every day.

Can you see her?

Chasing the sun on her mat, it gave Lucy a good three way visual of the comings and goings of the household.

The next creature is my little black and white feral cat, Green Eyes, who arrived in the garden and fell in love with my two bantams.  She would peer over the church wall and then moved in permanently into the garden, only coming into the house after Lucy had gone.

Today the 'Princess' or Matilda is coming, and there is a great hustle and bustle in the household getting it into shape.  Large spider - in bedroom - is not helping.


Thursday, September 9, 2021

9th September 2021 - still waiting for the storms

The old plant trees knowing they will never live in their shade.

"for example, baby boomers are all selfish, unreflective, hedonistic beneficiaries of the postwar boom, while millennials are all snowflake narcissists living in social media bubbles obsessed by identity and seeking safe space, with the two locked in mutual dislike and incomprehension. The industry that has grown up detailing such all-encompassing generational differences is phoney."

Taken from Comment is free in the Guardian, and written by Will Hutton

It says it all doesn't it?  reduced to the meaningless words of how we are supposed to see ourselves.  Remember old 'boomer' boy, I miss him;).  It is a shorthand of how to view a very complex larger picture of us.

Are you at war with the young in your family? of course not but we are as old people growing up different, we no longer feel old, or even think 'old'.  Listening to the Abba video and I notice I fall into the same age bracket, we have been born with a metaphorical silver spoon of growing old without too much trouble, all thanks probably to a skimpy childhood of less food and the ability to physically explore the outside world.  Our world was not reduced to a computer screen and the constant pressure of news.

I am not a 'boomer' by the way, basically because I do not have a large pension or a house to call my own, I did not accumulate wealth through circumstance and also probably a belief in equality for all. I am also happy where I am, though a tad nervous on getting older!  But what I did like from this article was an idea broached on the back of the National Insurance scheme......

"If enough people bequeathed at least 10% on their deaths the fund could quickly be worth £200bn, a kind of voluntary sovereign social wealth fund to help heal British society. It could disburse funds under major headings. Support for babies and children in disadvantaged homes; funds to allow anyone to pay for justice in the courts; funds for the disadvantaged to train and then retrain in mid-career; funds for social housing; funds for those ready to repair relationships with the continent of which we are part. Such a trust fund would invest in great companies to help protect them from the ravages of private equity."

It is a sort of compensation to the young from the old for all the good times we have had and for a generous economy which sadly got exploited in furthering our own gains and sadly destroying the world in which we lived.  Whether you believe it or not climate chaos is down to us not reading the runes right, fess up and pay up!

And a favourite photo at the moment - Grindelward, a Swiss Village, and a name in Harry Potter as well.  It is funny as I get older how I recognise familiar words from the landscape used by authors such as Tolkien and Rowling.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

8th September 2021

 Nothing much to say.  Lillie has just flown up the stairs in a paddy ;).  She had been trying on her new school uniform and had come down to show me.  The blouse was too big, the skirt too long - I LOOK LIKE A NUN she said.  I had replied well even nuns have a life for goodness sake.  

As a schoolgirl I wore the most horrible uniforms, our social lives restricted beyond anything school children today would have experienced.  Her friend and herself coloured their hair in the marketplace yesterday and then came home to shower the resultant staining off.  Had they crocodiled pair by pair as we did, all in the confines of a convent, as I was, made to pray at unearthly hours in the morning.  Well 7.0. clock, I had special dispensation to have a cup of tea and biscuits to stop me fainting from hunger!  By the way I have nothing to say against the nuns at Brewood Convent, they nursed me through months of convalescing after Asian flu as my family broke up once more.

So the sun shines, it is absolutely beautiful and still outside, I shall take a walk soon, and finding another video of my favourite song once more sung at a slower pace.  And rejoice in  teenagers growing up and look forward to Matilda coming down from London next week.

Also this morning, ordered a cheap camera, which should come tomorrow - happy days.......

Monday, September 6, 2021

2011 - Some things I miss

Funnily enough this morning I decided to take a year out of my blogging and read about it and I turned to 2011 but as always got sad along the way.  I did notice how rivers meandered in and out of my blogs, the gentle stillness of Essex rivers mostly.  But then in my emails an update came through of another blog, Deborah Harvey - The Red Dress of poetry.

She had just visited Wightwick Manor, a glorious muddle of dark richly furnished materials and paintings of the William Morris clan.  There was a time when I loved their way of life, the art spreading out to everything they touched, like golden fingered Midas.  But then realised it was over the top and I could only admire it for the workmanship that had gone into it. Their mooning women with lush tresses failed to appeal.  But here it is - enjoy.

Also when mooching through the blogs I came across this, the exact opposite to Wightwick Manor opulent interior...

"So what I had decided on writing back there at the top of the page before I deviated, was the problem that I have began to acquire 'stuff', if you put a carpet down you need a vacuum cleaner, beds need sheets, kitchen china and pans, so there I was complaining and then learnt of a 9th century Chinese monk called Layman Pang getting rid of his worldly goods. The book was found in the study, and the story goes that this monk decided to turn his house into a temple, he filled his boat with all his worldly goods (and his wife and daughter but I learnt later they survived this clear out) rowed out into the middle of the lake and threw everything overboard. And then with his daughter wandered round the countryside, all his sayings and poetry collected into a book. I must say mostly the sayings are too cryptic and of its time in history but he was instrumental for being a Zen 'ancestor'."

In 2011 I had just bought the Whitby cottage, and it had to be renovated, new bathroom, the walls stripped and painted, and of course all the stuff needed to furnish the place, though it was so tiny it did not need much. I still miss the cottage, tucked away in its alleyway off Flowergate, though a garden and less cranky neighbours would have been good.  Also the sea of course, in all its many moods and colours.

The Cottage

Saturday, September 4, 2021

4th September 2021

 What do you listen to in the middle of the night?  First I switched on philosophy in my podcasts and got an American duo telling me about subjectivity and objectivity dropping from the lips of Simone de Beauvoir.  The one things I admire about American writers and talkers is their clear analytical minds, so I quite enjoyed the subject though at the end my mind wondered if I had learnt anything.  The next thing I listened to was which is the better way of washing up? Dishwasher versus  washing by hand.  Such nitty gritty in the middle of the night - love it.  You will be pleased to learn that the dishwasher won on account of less usage of power and water.  Paul and I did have a dishwasher but very rarely used it as we both enjoyed each others company washing up.

More often or not I go on a virtual dog walk with 'Max in the Lake District'.  Three beautiful springer spaniels,  Max himself is getting old and plods behind but is the pride and joy of his owner.  For a few years back he helped him recover from an illness.  The walks are glorious and normally free of people for he starts early in the morning.

I am alone for tonight, though just received the news from my daughter that there is someone going round attacking women the last week or so.  Something that happens in towns but not out in the sticks. So with my trusty hound Teddy, who is howling his head off at the moment because he hates people leaving the house, which his mistress has just done, we face the night alone;)

Thursday, September 2, 2021

2nd September 2021

Alfred Walter Bayes - A Chartist Meeting at Basin Rocks

Plastic in the 19th century meant pliable and easily shaped. I say this because of the following verse in which the word appears.  Which I came across, and is a song written for the turbulent times when working class people 'up North' tried to bring about change. It happened, slowly though and probably not in the lives of these people.  We are what we are today because some people challenged the conventional view of the day. We need this today that our present government also needs to be challenged, maybe the issues are different, but some might ask are we going to bring back workhouses and poor houses, no of course not but the deep divisions still lie at the base of our society.

We're low we're low we're rabble we know

 Yet at our plastic power 

The mould at the lordling's feet will grow 

Into palace and church and tower 

Then prostrate fall in the rich man's hall

 Cringe at the rich man's door 

We're not too low to build the wall 

Too low to tread the floor 

I have been listening to music this morning, loved this track that 'Lovely Grey Day' featured, rather appropriate as we wait to rid ourselves of the pandemic that hangs over us. 'It looks Like a Beautiful Day'

It will not answer the terrible problems in the world but it is  uplifting. A sea of faces, how can that be? 2017.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The well made plans of mice and men


Dobroyd Castle

Human fairy tales hardly ever work out but if I was to start telling the tale of John Fielden (born 1822) and his first wife Ruth, it would have some magic in it.  John one of the sons of a wealthy mill owner, another John Fielden.  His father was a member of parliament and brought about important measures for the workers in the mills, but our John fell in love with a local mill girl called Ruth Stansfield.  She said she would only marry him if he built her a castle.  They married after five years and he commenced with the building of Dobroyd Castle, which took a time.  Ruth was unsure of herself in the society she now lived in, dinner parties and social functions were hard for her.  She took to the drink sadly and became an alcoholic in later life. She died at the age of 50 years old.  And apparently lies in an unmarked grave at the Unitarian Church.

A closer view

John went on to marry another woman, the exact opposite of Ruth, a socially ambitious woman and he built another house down South, where he was buried.

All of this I read about yesterday after searching for that building I had seen on the other side of the valley.  What had happened over its short history was different ownership.  Firstly sold by John and becoming a school for emotionally disturbed young boys and then a Buddhist sanctuary.  The roof had become rather unstable and it was then sold on to an Adventure centre, where a fire had occurred a few years ago. 

Today I should receive a map of the district from Ordnance Survey.  Always loved maps the contours of the hills, the history carefully annotated.  But according to my granddaughter, it is a 'vertical' half mile walk through the woods to the castle.  That comes of living in a valley!

ref; Roots Web