Monthly Archives: October 2011

Surprised by Joy

Chronicles of Narnia

via Wikipedia

“I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”
 C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

I have been a fan of C S Lewis for as long as I can remember.  We were introduced to his tales by our father.  And even though I was 11 or 12 when the stories were published I was captivated by the Chronicles of Narnia, beginning with the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

In 1947 Time magazine featured Lewis as a writer of international renown, on its cover.  It listed the first of his Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, as one of the top 100 English language novels written in the twentieth century.

As I grew up I became fascinated with C S Lewis the man.  I learned that he was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, and both authors were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University and in the informal Oxford literary group known as the “Inklings“.

Lewis published his memoir  “Surprised by Joy” in 1955.  This  details his conversion to Christianity and his ongoing search for joy ( I think as expounded by Christians).    This was one year before his unexpected marriage to the American writer Joy Gresham.  They apparently continued a correspondence on many things including Christianity.  She was 17 years his junior, and died of cancer only four years after the marriage at the age of 45.

He was quick to point out that “Surprised by Joy” had been written in 1955 before he married Joy Gresham but he conceded that he was indeed surprised by joy!  The title of the book is thought to be an allusion to Wordsworth’s “Surprised by Joy – Impatient as the Wind”

Surprised by joy — impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport — Oh! with whom
But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind —
But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss? — That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

Lewis died one week before his 65th birthday.  He died on the same day as President John Kennedy and also Alduous Huxley, so his death didn’t generate much media coverage.  Lewis’ work has been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio and cinema.

Of course I have a copy of Surprised by Joy in my bookcase along with the Chronicles of Narnia.  I haven’t seen the movie adaptations as I prefer to picture the characters and the happenings for myself.  I have lived with them in my mind for so many years and think that they may be somehow diminished (and definitely altered) by watching somebody else’s take on the action.

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
C.S. Lewis,
The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays

Taken for Granted

Those of us lucky to have been born and raised in first world countries accept that education is a given.  But imagine what it is like in some other countries where people are not offered education in any form and where some have to fight to obtain even the most basic education.

Yesterday I went to the Wellington premier of the movie The First Grader.  as a fund raiser for my favourite charity The Mary Potter Hospice.

The movie tells the story of a Kikuyu man who had been a soldier during the Mau Mau Uprising against British Rule in Kenya.  This was a bloody period between 1952 and 1960.   The movie showed flash backs to the time when he was captured and tortured by the British.

The story centres around this old man – 84-year-old Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge.  The Kenyan Government announced free education for all in 2003 and this old man decided to take up the offer.  But hundreds of children were jostling for a few places in the school nearest to his  village and his application was rejected.  He was desperate to learn to read at this late stage in his life and  felt he must have the chance at the education so long denied to him and his generation—even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-old children.   As he said he fought for freedom and now he feels entitled.

Moved by his pleas (he attended and tried to apply several times after walking from  his even more remote village) the Head Teacher takes on the establishment and the parents of some of the children to allow him to attend the school.  Maruge is eventually enrolled and proved to be an apt pupil, so much so that in 2005 he became Head Boy of the school.

Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge made headlines in media around the world and still holds the Guinness Book of Records record  as the world’s oldest primary school pupil. He said he thought that he was born in 1920 but of course, there were no records kept.

In 2006 he was invited to attend and address the United Nations on the importance of free primary education for all.

This is an inspiring movie, but also a challenging and thought provoking one.  I remember as a teenager and a young wife and mother, hearing about the Mau Mau uprising but of course, only from the British point of view.  In this movie we see that the British were not strangers to the use of  torture to gain their way.  I need to do some more research on this period to gain a better understanding of what actually went on.

But back to education.  Our young people, and I speak particularly of the young in New Zealand here, take the fact that the education is there,  free and available to everybody.  Many leave school with only a very rudimentary knowledge of even the basic reading and writing skills. Some people do go back to complete their studies as adult pupils, taking advantage of evening classes and there are a few schools that offer adult education where adults learn alongside the other pupils.  But not many.

How shaming then is it, that this elderly man wanted so much to be educated even just enough to read, that he was prepared to sit in class with babies?

When Maruge died in 2009 there were many tributes paid to him.  Click here for one from another wordpress blogger.

PM John Key and children

PM John Key and children

Here in New Zealand (and I think in the US too), September was National Literacy month.  This picture shows a meeting in the Beehive*  between our Prime Minister and a group of young school children.

In an interview at the time, he said:

“I am simply not prepared to tolerate up to one in five New Zealand children leaving our schools without the literacy and numeracy skills they need to succeed”  Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

* Note – The Beehive is the name we use for the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings.  It does rather resemble a beehive doesn’t it?

The Beehive

Via Wikipedia

So what do we have to do to get this desire to learn ingrained into our young people.  Oh I know that many learn and do well.  My grandchildren are lucky in that they live in homes surrounded by books; hear adult conversation about things other than what’s on TV today and are generally encouraged to do well.  But what of the others?  These are the children and young people we should be concentrating on.  It’s no longer enough to say they must go to school every day.  In some areas the classes are large (some 30 or 35 children) and so undoubtedly some will fall off the edge.  I feel that there should be more help for the learning challenged kids.  Education of our young should/must be a bigger priority than it has been up to now.

read write think

“The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.”
Bill Beattie
, American manager and coach

Walking on Alligators

So many things buzzing around my head that the scorpions have moved aside for the alligators.

American Alligator

An American Alligator in captivity at the Columbus Zoo, Powell, Ohio. via Wikipedia

  • Of course, the number one concern for those of us who live in this beautiful country is the fate of the Rena.  This is the container ship that is lodged on a reef outside the Tauranga Harbour.
Rena

17102011.Photo:Craig Simcox copyright Dominion Post/Fairfax News

As you can see the ship is in real danger of breaking up and the rest of the oil being discharged into the sea.  It is reported today that  “Last night nine men aboard the wreck were frantically working to remove thousands of tonnes of oil from the ship before it breaks apart.
However heavy swells of between 2.5 – 4m forced crews to stop pumping last night at 11.25pm, Svitzer spokesman Matthew Watson told Radio New Zealand.”

Some good news is that the beaches may be reopened to the public today but for how long if the rest of the oil discharges into the sea?   Some 1700 tonnes of oil were on board when the ship foundered and very little has been removed so far.

  • New Zealand is hosting the Rugby World Cup.  The NZ team (the All Blacks) beat Australia in the semi finalslast weekend and so NZ will now meet France in the finals.

I have no great interest in the game.  As I said when my husband died one good thing was that I NEVER have to watch another rugby match.  However, one can’t help being swept up in the euphoria of our team beating our arch rivals Australia.  Next Monday is Labour Day here and the final will be played on Sunday night in Auckland, so there will be a lot of celebrating if our team wins, or much drowning of sorrows if it loses.

  • On a personal note I have a problem and would like some advice from my knowledgeable and helpful blogging friends.  Maybe I should write to Dear Abby!

I have a couple of  male friends with whom I go out to dinner or the movies from time to time.  Recently I have been seeing one almost to the exclusion of the others and now have to tell one other in particular about the change and the budding relationship.

Question – should I send him a Dear John letter/email; should I phone him or should I arrange to meet him and tell him face to face?   My gut feeling is that anything other than face to face, while being easier is the cowards way out.

As I married at 19 this is a problem that hasn’t occurredin my life for more than half a century.   Help please!

  • I have been thinking a lot about technology recently.  How dependent we are on it these days.   We all have our laptops, i-Pads and phones.

When did you last go out without your cellphone?  I have been known to return home to pick mine up.  My father often used the comment “like a one-armed paper-hanger’ and that’s how I feel without my phone.

The first thing I do in the morning is turn on the PC and it stays on almost all day.  I no longer purchase the daily newspaper, I read the news on line.  I then sit down with my breakfast tea and toast to read about my blogging friends’ activities.  As I subscribe to many blogs, this can take a long time.

The PC also keeps me in touch with other friends around the world.  And particularly my sisters.  However, one day last week I absolutely hated it and wordpress.  I typed my blog and then lost it in the blogosphere.  So I retyped it and it happened again.  Where do all the lost posts and blogs go?  Is there a returned mail office in the blogosphere as there used to be for posted mail?

My late husband was a gadget freak.  How he would have been in his element at all the things available now.  When he died in 1998 the internet was pretty much in its infancy and cell phones were not nearly as sophisticated as they are now.

  • I am despairing over the use of texts and the way in which they are affecting the use of the English language.

I received a text from a friend – my age and education – that had no punctuation at all and ended with ‘thankx”.  What are we teaching our young (and old) if this is acceptable to us?  I should say here that I dislike texts and hated the word “texted” with a vengeance.  Text is a noun not a verb.

  • I am compiling quite a long list of pet hates at the moment – a sign of the advancing years perhaps?
  • Another vexing matter is that the younger generation don’t seem able to add simple numbers and have to resort to the calculator.

I recently had a light lunch with a couple of friends.  I ‘owed’ one for recommending me as a life coach to a woman and so I was taking her. When we were leaving we went to the desk to pay.  I told the girl that I would pay 2/3rds and my other friend would pay 1/3rd of the bill.  After we were told that the bill came to $45 and I proffered $30 to the clerk, imagine my surprise to be asked how I worked that out.  She then took out a calculator to check.

And this was not an isolated instance.  I know that much headway is made in teaching today with the use of computers, i-pads etc, but surely young people should be taught to count as we were.

Oops perhaps that is to be added to another list of things to rant about.

  • On a lighter note we learn that an unknown actress is suing Amazon for revealing her age on a website.  Apparently she is  “alleging fraud, breach of contract and violation of her private life, as well as her consumer rights.” Read more about this frivolous action here.

And now it’s time to walk Lotte before the rain that is forecast sets in.

I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.
Lewis Carrol from Alice in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland

Riding the Bus

 

“He thought he saw a banker’s clerk
descending from the bus
He looked again and found it was
A hippopotamus.” Lewis Carroll
from the Mad Gardener’s Song

I recently read two blogs about buses and they both revived memories of riding the buses when I lived in London many aeons ago.  Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation wrote about riding the London bus to Cheapside.  And Hallysan at Photographic Memories wrote about riding the Oxford bus.

London_Buses_-_Route_253-Wikimedia-Commons-820x550

We had no car when I was growing up in London, so if somewhere was more than walking distance away, we took the bus.  And even if we were to take the tube (aka London Underground) we had to take a bus to get there.

Of course, as children, we always wanted to go upstairs and sit at the front of the bus.

When I was small the area in which I lived was mainly served by trolleybuses.  These were powered by overhead electric lines and regularly they were stopped because the poles would fall off the line and become entangled.  This entailed the conductor (yes we had both driver and conductor on buses then) manhandling the poles back into place and then the bus would continue.

There were no doors and the buses were boarded via an open platform.  I guess we were not as security conscious then as now.

Bus stops were at regular intervals along the route.  There were compulsory stops which were depicted by a white sign and request stops had red signs.  Perhaps they are unchanged to this day.

To request a bus to stop one had merely to wave one’s left arm out and the driver would comply.

The trolleybuses were eventually superseded by motor buses and I am sure that the conductors were pleased not to have to manhandle the poles any more.

My first job was at the Westminster Bank in Liverpool Street.  To get there I took a No 9 bus which took about 35 minutes.

I changed jobs and then I used to travel on the No 22 bus each day to and from Knightsbridge.  This was a journey of almost 1 hour and in the morning I would read the paper or a book but in the evening I would go to sleep.  I used to hold my ticket in my hand for the conductor to check and sleep all through the journey waking only just before my bus reached its stop.  I don’t remember ever sleeping past my stop.

Yet another job had me travelling on the tube.  But first I had to get the bus to the underground station.  This was a journey of about 20 minutes.

And then another 20 or 25 minutes on the tube.  But we took the waiting, getting on and off buses, changing lines on the underground in our stride.  Several million other people were doing the same thing on a daily basis.

In parts of New Zealand, public transport is almost non-existent.  I am lucky in that Wellington has a good transport system and we have a regular bus service that takes me into the city centre in about 20 minutes.

Wellington city bus

Note we still have trolleybuses on some routes here in Wellington.

So thanks to my two blogging friends for reviving some more memories and remember:-

“Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions,
they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your precious memories.
So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities
to make memories everyday.

Judith Baxter, Blogger, mother,  grandmother and friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Lurks in Your Garden?

Coffee.  Garden.  Coffee.
Does a good morning need anything else?
~Betsy Cañas Garmon, www.wildthymecreative.com

The rain had stopped and the sun was trying really hard to shine.  So I put on my gumboots and went out to look at what damage the hail and rain had done to my patio  garden.

Garden

I was amazed to see just what lurks in my tiny patio garden.

Fly on ranunculas

The fly was just having a rest in the sunshine. 

LotteLotte was checking things out

Statue sistersThis statue always reminds me of the closeness of my sisters
and has moved with me many times over the years

Mexican thingIt’s sad that this thing has lost it’s tail and has to rely
on the pot to hold it up

GnomeThis was the most hideous thing you have ever seen
given to me as part of a joke by 2 grandsons last Christmas.
Fortunately Unfortunately, it has lost all its colours

DuckThe duck lurks in amongst the planting

MexicanThe Mexican sleeps among the plants and weeds

StatueMy daughter bought this at a charity auction and it has
now been in four different gardens

Most of these things that lurk in my garden have been bought for me by the family.  Some as jokes such as the gnome and the Mexican but all have special memories attached.

So what lurks in your garden today?

Flat Packs

One of the bloggers that I follow is Hallysan at Photographic Memories.  In a recent blog acknowledging an award, she had to give us seven things about herself.  One was that she was good with her hands and that caused me to comment that I was not and flat packs send me into a spin.

I remember one particular time when a flat pack was in order.  I had arrived in London in time for Christmas and was staying with my sister.  A few days before Christmas Day a flat-pack arrived by courier.  My sister had ordered a toy kitchen for one of her grand-daughters.

We opened the package and saw how many pieces needed to be put together, so in the hope that her son would turn up in the next few days, we closed the box and put it aside.

The days passed and Christmas Eve arrived but her son didn’t, so we were faced with putting this toy together.  The first warning read “Not to be assembled by anyone under 10 years” (or words to that effect).  Then there were the usual warnings about small items and small children but hey – we were two adult, grown-up Grandmothers.  We could do this!

My sister is much better with her hands than am I – in fact both sisters are and it would be hard to find anyone who wasn’t.  So she would put the pieces together ie build the kitchen and I would read the instructions and pass the requisite screws, screwdriver, stickers, parts etc.  We were doing very well until I turned over two pages in the instruction book.  Yes, there was a book and it had been translated into English from Chinese, we think by Goofy and his pals.  It made hilarious reading.  I wish I had known the Good Greatsby then and his command of Chinglish it would have been very useful.

Imagine this.  Two adult women surrounded by pieces of a toy kitchen, screws, stickers etc and having no idea how to put it all together.  Hours passed in discussion on how to do this, interspersed with shrieks of laughter when first one thing and then another either didn’t fit or hallelujah it did fit!

Then telephone calls to nieces and nephews in London, to family and friends in New Zealand and to elder sister in Los Angeles.  They all shared in the hilarity and passed comment and advice while we tried to put this danged thing together.

My mobile phone bill reached an all-time high and we did too.  Eventually, a rather wobbly kitchen was put together but my nephew commented the next day that one of the panels was in upside down or round the wrong way, but the four-year-old for whom it was intended loved it anyway.

So no more flat packs for me.  I enjoyed the exercise of putting it together but oh dear me, at the end of it we were left with about thirty extra screws.  I wonder where they were meant to go?  And I never enquired as to how long the kitchen stayed upright.  I left shortly after Christmas and it never came up in conversation again.

 

As I have said before sisters are the best friends and they are also the best people with whom to share such an experience.


“A hug is a great gift – one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.”
Author Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day With the Boys

Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends – and hardly ever our own grown children.
Ruth Goode, author 1902-1997

The boys are on holiday from school at present and we decided to have a day together.

After picking up two boys from their house and then meeting the other two at the railway station, we went to Mary Potter Hospice.

A call went out the other day for volunteers to do some gardening.  The Hospice had been given a flat of black and white pansies and wanted to plant them urgently to make an  “All Blacks” Garden.  They needed help in moving plants from one garden bed, removing them to another and planting the new plants.

The boys entered into this wholeheartedly and were officially crowned the Youngest volunteers at MPH.  The Hospice grounds rang with the laughter of four cousins enjoying themselves.  James, the eldest commented that if he ever has a house of his own, the grounds will be all concreted.  He thinks his Granma’s patio is just about right.  Little planting, many pots and exposed aggregate.

There was a husband and wife team already there when we arrived and it took hardly any time (approx 1.5 hours) to do all the planting, removing and weeding necessary to make the beds look great again.

Unfortunately, somebody had carried the mulch/blood and bone through the complex instead of taking it around the outside.  The smell that greeted us was truly awful  It smelt like a bad case of diarrhoea but the smell dispersed in a short time.  dreadful while it lasted and of course, each of the boys made a comment as you can imagine.

Cold drinks for the boys, coffee for Granma and we were off to the food court at the mall for lunch.  I tend to forget that growing boys need constant feeding.  The food court is great because they can each choose what they want to eat from whichever concession they like.

The next stop was Hang Dog, an indoor rock climbing arena where the boys showed their prowess at scaling walls.  More laughter as they worked out how to manage the harnesses, belaying etc.

 

 

 

After two hours they decided they had ‘done’ Hang Dog and so we went to my daughter’s house where they spent a further couple of hours playing ‘Black Ops’ on the PS3.

Two teams.  The oldest and youngest vs the other two.  A very serious undertaking quite different from the other things they did today.

More memories to keep and take out later when they have grown up and maybe won’t want to spend a whole day with their Granma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on the disaster

Rubbish on beach

Picture Via Dompost - rubbish on beach from container ship

The best update I can give you today is to direct you to the local paper and suggest you look at the photos there and read all about it.  Click on the main photo to see the rest.

I am too shaken up to post any more today.  Birds are dying, fish are dying, the coastline is being fouled with this detritus and what is being done?

When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?

More Scorpions

Scorpion

Via Wikipedia

Those danged scorpions are certainly buzzing around my brain today.  I am on a rant about the oil spill in the Tauranga Harbour.  I wrote about this a few days ago and this disaster is unfolding as we speak read.

The ship ran aground last Wednesday.  It was a clear, calm, sunny spring day in the beautiful harbour.  Astrolabe, the reef on which the boat foundered, is apparently well documented in all charts available for these waters.  We are told the auto pilot was on at the time of the grounding.  So, where was the crew?  Questions are being asked about this and also whether the master had been drinking and where he was at the time.

We hear that the master has been arrested overnight and charged under Section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act.  This covers “Dangerous activity involving ships or maritime products.”  According to the Dominion Post (our local newspaper) he has been charged with “operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk” under the Act.

Rena

Photo - Dominion Post showing containers sliding into the ocean.

And now today we hear that some seventy containers have slipped into the sea; some are floating and some are sinking.  These containers will certainly cause shipping hazards and no doubt the wreckage of these (and any other) containers will wash up onto the pristine beaches of Mount Manganui and Papamoa.  These two beaches are already covered with oil and the wild life is greatly affected by the spill.

Attempts to remove the oil from the ship have been hampered because of the bad weather.  And the weather forecast for the next few days isn’t good.  Swells of up to 5metres are expected, with rain and high winds.

The crew was taken off the ship yesterday because of safety concerns.

So this disaster is unfolding in front of us.  The Environment Minister, Nick Smith, has said that this was New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster.  The ramifications of the master’s actions will resound around our country for many months and years.

The residents of Mount Maunganui where the oil has reached land, are taking matters into their own hands and cleaning up the beach, even though authorities have asked them not to.  They are not prepared to wait for the official cleanup.  A public health notice has been posted warning that the oil is toxic and should not come  in contact with the skin. From the video it is clear that people are not heeding this warning and are removing the oil globules with their unprotected hands.

Massey University’s wildlife centre in Palmerston North is being temporarily shut down as all of its staff are helping the animals affected by the Tauranga oil spill.   Speaking from the spill response centre in Mt Maunganui, wildlife centre director Dr Brett Gartrell said the centre would be closed from Friday, though two staff would stay until then to release animals there back to their homes.

Dr Gattrell said “Only common species had come in so far, but there were grave concerns for the endangered New Zealand dotterel. There were 60 pairs of the birds in the area, which made up a substantial part of their total population of 1700.  He added that “They’re the most endangered birds that are in this area.”

The wildlife centre was working with the Department of Conservation to establish if there was any need to pre-emptively capture the birds to avoid oiling.

I understand from my blogging friends that not much has been reported about this around the world.  Yesterday on BBC News there was a clip (from Sydney, Australia) about it.  But it is a major disaster and I shall continue to keep you updated on it as it unfolds.

Cider House Rules

Dr Larch and Homer Wells

Dr Larch and Homer Wells

Filling in a couple of hours on a cold, spring day, I turned the television on and watched Cider House Rules.  This was shown on a channel that regularly screens older movies.

It’s a 1999 movie starring (Sir) Michael Caine and  Tobey Maguire.  Maguire plays Homer Wells an orphan who was adopted and returned twice to the orphanage that is directed by Dr Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine).

Dr Larch is a secret abortionist and is also addicted to ether which he applies to himself on a regular nightly basis. Homer Wells has no formal education but Dr Larch trains him in obstetrics and abortions and he becomes Larch’s assistant.

The story follows Homer Wells growing up in the orphanage and becoming unsettled, wanting to see the world.  The opportunity arises when an airman arrives with his lady friend who will have an abortion.  The airman agrees to take Homer with him and arranges a job on his family’s apple orchard.  The apples are picked by a team of itinerant pickers and then they are turned into cider.  Homer bunks with these pickers and as they can’t read, reads them the Cider House Rules.

I don’t want to give away any more of this movie.  But would say that if you haven’t seen it, it is well worth a trip to the movies or to get on video.

Having seen this movie I remembered seeing photos of a Cider House in a book that my father gave me years ago.

Book cover

The book is entitled Rural London and was published way back in 1951.  It contains fantastic photos of parts of London way back then.  There is a chapter on East and South-east London and I remember some of scenes as they were when I was growing up in the east end of London.

But the cider house.

At the time the book was published there were three “hostelries” in London that differed from all other pubs in that they sold only cider.

Cider house

The Goat Tavern in Stafford Street

The Goat Tavern still stands in Stafford Street, off Old Bond Street.  The building probably dates back to the end of the seventeenth century.

goat tavern

The Goat Tavern today

We are told that the Goat Tavern is ‘female friendly’ and ‘gay friendly’.  Well, that’s a relief!

Men in cider house

Men drinking in cider house

The “hostelry” pictured above was in the Harrow Road and was formerly a carpenter’s shop that held a  licence that allowed only the workmen to drink on the premises.

This book is one of three that I am delving into at present.  Reading is not the correct word because I read something in one and then remember seeing something of a similar nature in one of the others.

3 books

And I am grateful that I have these books only one of which is relatively new. The other two Rural London and Mayhew’s London are both now tattered and well worn but are great to reread and learn about my home town in years gone by.


“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink.  When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”
Frank Sinatra