- Accounts of away days - weeks, overnighters and weekend trips (before blogging)
- Family matters - stories and concerns
- Cricket stories and articles
- Almondbury Casuals CC - a history of a social cricket team.
- Draft mémoires of a cricket graduate/nothing to play for - an autobiography?
- Draft I wonder where the second team play/escape stories - away days with pals
- Some new skills in retirement
- On writing
in/outside toilet memories
We zoomed pals last Thursday eve. We are not going to see them, so why not.
Our host tells terrible jokes. He also mentioned falling off the toilet, trying to stand. From a Sheffield newsagent's family, he is never without reading material when visiting. Not sure which nerves got trapped in that awkward sitting position, but long enough to produce anaesthesia of prodigious proportions. No information on the fall, if it happened. The major unanswered question remains however ...
This prompted me to relate one of my toilet stories:
My granny lived in Hillhouse as part of a terrace that lined and defined a yard.
Twenty-five metres away, at the bottom of the yard was a long narrow single storey building with six doors, each with its own keyhole. Behind grannie's front door was a nail from which hung neat hand-sized squares of newspaper. A small sewing bobbin and a key also hung there, on a loop of string. A candle too somehow suspended.
The newspaper served two purposes. Much like fish and chip wrapping. No one was ever in that dimly lit ice box down the yard long enough to get a numb bum.
My brother and I were flummoxed by a singular fact however. Behind grannie's door there was only ever one match.
Now another one from Dave Whalley.
Em's chocolate cake
Awayday - Ramsden res
Town 1 - Forest 0
Castleford 19 - Fartown 31
It's been a slow week for gardening and curation. We were supposed to be visiting Anglesey, but that fell through. Used the time to learn how to put slides on zoom, not too successfully as yet, but more or less ready for my talk to Big Dave and Joan's rotary group in Linlithgow. Cricket and textiles during the industrial revolution. Dave's choice. End-to-end stuff.
The cricketers are shaping up. Difficult to get them to pose properly. The garden is a bit overgrown just now, but the cosmos and robinia are good. And the wall has reappeared. Haven't seen the frogs for a week. Em keeps getting in the act.
Awayday in Scarborough
Difficult to say anything constructive. Time for some rhubarb therapy - stay in the dark and expect some manure regularly.
Don’t let the covid in
It’s got some living to do
Can’t leave it up to it
It’s knocking on our door
Wise men have known all along
Rules are there for reasons
Don’t let the covid in
Many moons we have lived
Our bodies weathered and worn
It’s not just our age that concerns
Our frailty makes it so hard
Some things may have changed
Sit tight when you’re called
Rules are still there for reasons
We must all get along
When he rides up on his horse
And you feel the cold winter chill
Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the covid in
Some random stuff - Dave's Notebook
Family in the park
AwaydaysScarborough summer wet day
Summer is over - as if it never happened. Could be morose, but we did some things - even went to the pub. Clic on link and choose large screen for the last day of summer. It did get rough eventually with the wind, but I can only hang about for so long.
The tories and Boris are taking some abuse for their apparent dithering and U-turns. Sir Keir can't get a clear hit on Boris at PMQ's however because Boris punches and stammers back, rather than answer the question.
The medic (James le Fanu) in the Telegraph (31st Aug) cites a study on statins and the elderly, in The Quarterly Journal of Medicine no less. They "might have deleterious effects on the manifestations of Covid 19" by increasing the levels of inflammatory protein "that are significantly associated with increased mortality". To be fair the QMJ is not often seen in a gp's surgery. I wonder if this information will get into the wider medical world because most people over 65 are on them. Not me.
On the same page Linda Blair tells us of research into plate/cup size and eating/drinking. Ground-breaking. The smaller the tableware the less we eat and drink. Even better, buy red cups and plates. Who'd have thought it. Mind you covid mortality is associated with type 2 diabetes and independently with obesity. Every little helps.
Boris is sending everyone back to work. Work has a hunter-gatherer history since when it's not been all its cracked up to be.
To our evolutionary backstory. Energy in, babies out was all that mattered (4 Fs - feeding, fighting, fleeing and ...). So back in the day there was no work as such - collecting berries/other stuff growing, catching an animal/fish, preparation, cooking and repairing your hut. So quite a varied diet. You had around 50 in your group - the most you can keep in touch with according to Dunbar. So covid proof maybe, no raves anyway. Keep moving on, away from the latrines or wherever they did it and very little disease. Hominids were like this for millions of years (2-5 depending who you read). It came down to Sapiens alone from 13000 years ago. The first agricultural revolution occurred 10-12000 years ago. Nomadic bands then for 99% of hominid history and cooperative and cosy. Looking out for each other was part of the deal.
James Suzman has written a book about it, reviewed in the Times by James Marriot. The first agricultural revolution involved controlling plants and animals, thus providing food for much larger populations. It was a trap and no going back. 'Short disease-ridden lives of backbreaking work'. A surplus was generated and inequality began with the haves (10%) and the rest. Living in settlements, groups larger than 50, required organisation, political and social systems. Looking out for each other needed rules.
Science became our rationale 500 years ago and machines took over production 200 years ago. Everything changed.
Needing and wanting very little with relative abundant resources morphed to modern excess work driven by materialism. It's said work gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. Well it does, but other things can too.
From the archive
We have just had our AGM. Well orchestrated and brief.
Our secretary's report was interesting. We have recently discussed the Peterborough experience - several choirs developed and run by the musical director. And not just the music. He manages their various committees as well. Apparently our conclusion was the Peterborough set up was not all it was claiming and not a model New Mill wished to follow.
I didn't hear a formal strategic New Mill direction.
There were however several clear messages.
New Mill is a village choir.
Fellowship is the pivot around which the choir thrives.
Saturday was chocolate cake day. New Mill Male Voice Choir had their annual stall in Holmfirth; to raise its local profile and advertise concerts. We chose a central spot, next to the butcher, so footfall was much greater than the market where we had been before. The weather was kind.
There were plenty of passers-by who got their heads down and tried to ignore us. Either lacking social skills or not wanting to do or give anything in exchange for our piece of chocolate cake. My response was 'You don't know what you're missing.' They didn't hang around long enough to discover the cake was free.
More sociable pedestrians smiled and touched their tummies or said one or all of the following:
'I'm on a diet.'
'I'm trying to lose it.'
'Not with my weight.'
'I'm gluten free.'
'No, I'm dairy.'
'I've just had my breakfast.'
There was a smell of cooking bacon throughout the morning, to be replaced around 11.45am by notes of battered fish.
A good half of our custom had a piece of cake, laughed and said thank you. Many were from the Holme Valley, had heard of us and intended to come to a concert. Who knows? Our 100 programmes were gone by 11.30am
A dozen or more singers turned out. Some went round the shops where chocolate cake was more than welcome. The butcher was especially grateful, though we didn't get any free meat samples.
Some of our visitors wondered whether the cake was home made. Yes, thanks to Greg at the Bridge Bakery.
We still haven't worked out how to muster enough singers to perform a short set. Maybe next year.
Awaydays - Hutton-le-Hole, Bempton,
Stepney Farm, Scarborough, Bridlington
Random Rhyme Thoughts
Between my finger and my thumb
Mindfulness is a bit trendy. For us retired folk, trying to stay in the present moment might help. It seems that the prospect of any change soon is slim. Why worry? (Clic here)
From the archive
Belgium - stepping into the past
New Mill Male Voice Choir toured Flanders in May 2014. The Flanders towns Ypres, Bruges and Ghent were the principle destinations, both to take in the sites, to sing and to search for connections with the West Riding. Wool was king here long before Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford took centre stage during the industrial revolution. Sadly, many Yorkshire men lost their lives here, during WW1.
In the early middle ages, Flanders was an important trading centre. Merchants, becoming very rich in the process, bought raw wool from England and employed artisans to make highly desirable cloth for export. Canals, fine merchants’ houses and large cloth halls were impressive, though the Ypres buildings were modern reconstructions of structures razed in WW1 by the Germans. Ghent also had factory remains from a 19th century textile revival. These reminders fitted snugly with 21st century bars and bistros.
Two cathedrals, Bruges and Ghent, hosted the choir on successive days. Bruges’ Sint-Salvator, whilst built in the 10th century, obtained cathedral status after Belgium’s independence in the 1830s. The organ was massive, expanded and rebuilt three times in the 20th century. Saint Bavo of Ghent was consecrated in 942, completed in 1569, becoming a cathedral in 1559. It houses the masterpiece The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. Bruges was the more intimate space, and both had exceptional acoustics.
We spent a day with a guide, exploring Ypres and Passchendaele; the battlefield and the cemeteries. At Essex Farm, the cemetery was next to a dressing station, manned by a Canadian surgeon called Lt Col John McCrae who wrote the famous poem In Flanders Fields. One of the poignant moments here was at the graveside of a sixteen year old. At Tyne Cot we were reminded of the 100 days it took to advance 5 miles prior to the third battle of Passchendaele when over 250,000 British lives were lost. We were told about excess rain, artillery bombardment, mud and murderous machine guns. And executions for cowardice. Beyond our experience, hard to imagine. It’s a peaceful place now.
We sang Let There Be Peace On Earth and Abide With Me at the Menin Gate, which with Tyne Cot, are memorials to those who have no known grave. Adam, our chairman, read an extract from Robert Binyon’s poem. The names of soldiers from The Duke Of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) appeared regularly on the memorials.
Flanders was a great place to visit, and to sing, and to catch up on history some of us might not know a lot about, until now.
For some strange reason I rarely finish a meal without spilling something down my trousers, despite PPE. The childbride says it is because I sit too far away from the table. Mind you by Friday I have a pictorial if sketchy record/memoire of my week's menus.
Lidl and paying for my lager. "Please press enter" requested the checkout lady. My credit card bounced twice - I hadn't memorised my new pin - bless the Amazon Prime scammer and my card replacement. So to the debit card. It bounced immediately "Please insert it the right way round." Not going well and feeling like a prune. Okay right way in and pin keyed in. "Please press enter." OMG I needed a hole to appear and for me to drop into it.
"Thank you" I said quietly. "No problem, have a nice day." The next customer was already being processed.
Anyone else mix up their toiletries? Having stuff made by the same company makes you more vulnerable. Take my anti-perspirant. In a muddled moment it is possible to mix it up with the shaving cream. Not too bad if you spray your face with an aerosol. But, a minor disaster, especially for the childbride, cleaning up the bathroom carpet gooey with white cream. My right armpit was ready for a shave however.
There is no let up from covid. Lockdown looms relentlessly.
Buddleia maturing, rescue geranium and wheelbarrow thriving.
A potato has appeared. Stretching sunflowers. The childbride got them for free and planted them, not thinking they would do much. Over the weeks she has got more and more neurotic about them. In and out of the wind and obsessive watering. And, no sunflowers.