Thursday, 27 May 2010

Alphabe-Thursday S is for Suffolk Show

Unfortunately S has come round a week too early as the Suffolk Show takes place next Wednesday and Thursday . I went for the first time last year but can't find the photos I took then so maybe I will put some up next week and direct you to them.
The Suffolk Show was, I guess, originally just an agricultural show. Most Counties in England seem to have them. There are lots of animals to see, rare breeds etc, plus cart racing and show jumping, bands, displays and you can see what I call huge tractors and what my Canadians laughingly call toy tractors. Well, our country is a lot smaller so, so are our fields.
But there is also a flower show and lots and lots of shopping and eating to be done. It's a whole day out. I am going with a friend this year so I expect to be tired but happy, well fed and a little light in the purse by the end of it.. The website is HERE if you would like to know more and you can see what other people thought of for the letter S HERE

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Alphabe-Thursday R is for Ron

Ron was born the youngest of seven children in 1925. Being the baby, he was spoilt of course, but there's not a lot of spoiling that can be done by an East End family with 9 mouths to feed on a milk roundsman's money. They gave up the "comfort" of their London home for a small holding in Essex. His mother lost her indoor cold tap and the privy and replaced it with an outside tap and "bucket and chuck it"
Ron was a bright boy and gained a scholarship to the local Grammar School but left at 16 to go into the Fire Service (World War 2 having broken out by then) until he was able to get into the RAF, which he did at 17. He was a Flight Engineer and made Sgt but didn't get any further because he burnt down the camp in Iceland. But Ron being Ron even came up smelling of roses on that one. His squadron was posted to Iceland but the men were told they would have to set up Nissan huts on the hill and would not be allowed to billet in the local town.. The cook house drain soon got bunged up with grease and Ron was told to clean it. He decided that if he put some petrol down the drain and set light to it that would shift the grease but what it did was set fire to the cook house - a fire that spread. He was sort of court-martialled and fined £20, a lot of money in 1945. But his comrades in arms were so glad that they were now going to have to be billeted after all, they had a whip round and he made a profit on the deal. But he never got past Sgt.
When the war ended he went back to his home town to find that almost all of his contemporaries had moved on, married, or, sadly, died. He went back to the church youth club and there was only one person who he remembered, a girl called Dot. They spent quite a lot of time together over the following couple of years but then decided that it really was time that they made the effort to go out separately and look for a life partner. Within a week they both found they missed each other so much that they had found their life partner and not realised it.
Ron trained as a surveyor, auctioneer and estate agent but his first love was drama and he belonged to several amateur operatic and dramatic groups. He was a founder member of a well respected amateur Shakespeare company and worked with after school drama groups at a local school. He was given an audition by the world famous D'Oyly Carte Company and, perhaps not kindly, they told him that they would have accepted him had he not been a husband and father by then, but that the life of touring and late nights was really only for those without family ties. He never really got over it. But, aged 38, he sent his wife (willingly) out to work and got a grant to train as a drama teacher.
He was a very good teacher, there being something of the little boy that understood the ways of little boys, and which appealed to the children. Then aged 49 in the space of four months he developed and died of cancer.
Ron was my dad

See what other R's have been written HERE

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Alphabe-Thursday Q is for Q

I am reading a book called "Questioning Q" at the moment. Yes, really I am!
For many years the accepted theological teaching was that the authors of the gospels of Matthew and Luke had both drawn on a common source, called Q, which was believed to have been a collection of sayings of Jesus, but for which direct evidence did not appear to be extant.
It was called Q for the German word Quelle, which means "source"
When I was studying for my theology degree (which by the way, I never finished) this was taught as being accepted and definite. We looked at the similarities and differences between the two gospels and where they were alike we were told that this probably meant that the two had drawn from a third source, (or one had copied from the other) OK, yes, I have simplified this somewhat but you didn't come here for a lecture now, did you!
The reason I am writing this now, though, is because this theory has come into question in more recent years and so what I was taught as - pardon the pun - "gospel" is now open to more and more scrutiny and the resulting discussions are, to me anyway, fascinating.
You have to bear in mind that theology is "talking about God" and does not in itself require any faith or belief. If you have read me before you know that I am a practising Christian but if theology has taught me anything it has taught me that it is healthy to Question, to re-think, to keep one's beliefs, principals, core values, alive and active and dynamic and to accept that sometimes you may change your mind about things.
Sorry, just had to get that of my chest!

Of course, we all know that Q grew up to build wonderful gadgets for James Bond and to make Jean-Luc Picard's life difficult.

And HERE'S some qawwali music, which I love

And please forgive me if I don't manage to respopnd to your comments or leave a comment on yours but blogger is giving me so much grief again today and keeps crashing

You'll find a long queue of Q's HERE

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Alphabe-Thursday P is for Paris

I am an armchair traveller. For all sorts of reasons I am no longer able to jet about (or cruise) willy nilly. In fact, not at all. And yes, I do get a little bit jealous sometimes of the people who can and do. But that is a negative thing and we don't do negative here on Just Jotting Along!
I have some very pleasant memories of Paris. I first went when I was 17. A school friend had a sister who married the gorgeous Jean-Paul and lived in a flat in Paris so I and 2 others went with her for a week's stay, sleeping, at first, on the floor of the living room. Then a friend of theirs said two of us could have his room in his college digs, which was fine until we realised that the only place to have a pee was at an open urinal at the end of the corridor. I drew the long straw and stayed with my friend and her sister, but the other two had to nip down the Metro last thing at night and then first thing in the morning. They were not meant to be there and the next night another friend of the family offered her digs in a slightly less difficult situation. And it was in that place that I first listened to Leonard Cohen, looking across the roofs of Paris from the 6th floor. I also bought my first 2 Jacques Brel LPs on that trip. I already knew of him but only from the radio. And it was the first time I had filter coffee. Those plastic cone things, and the papers, were just not available in the UK then, so we brought back supplies. And Petit Suisse cheese. We went to the Louvre and said "Ou est.... " and were pointed to the Mona Lisa before we could say any more . She's a lot smaller than I had imagined. One rainy afternoon we went to the cinema and saw Midnight Cowboy. I only half understood what was going on because my brain insisted on reading the subtitles
The second time was when I was 30; with another friend who had a cousin who lived there, but this time I had a real bed because they let their cats roam the place and I didn't like cats in the room when I was sleeping so I got the bedroom and the others slept on the floor in the next room. It was a very hot time of year and there were cicadas at night which was rather exotic. This flat was right near the Gare du Nord so I could watch trains coming in and out and going round on a turntable, and there were more roofs and windows through which you could see a little sometimes. We went to the newly opened science museum right at the end of a metro line somewhere in the wilds, and played with a computer for a while - a big deal then. We saw the weird glass pyramid that had now appeared by the Louvre. and The Geode
On both occasions, because I was staying with people in a rather off hand sort of way, we got to do ordinary shopping. You know, I think you should always go and look round a supermarket when you are on holiday, even if you don't need to. It's fascinating.
So I feel very nostalgic for Paris.
I started collecting books about the city, some are really old. and I love reading them as though I know the place, when, of course, I don't really.
Notre Dame seemed too touristy to me but Sacre Coeur was just wonderful.
Climbing those steps in Montmartre.
The self service restaurant at Motte-Piquet
The wonderful names of the stations on the Metro
Shops open in the evening
Asking for "un carnet " on the Metro, like you are a local.

More Ps HERE