Monday, 17 March 2008

From back to front

Time to ponder and turn over those photographs and post cards; the major tasks are done though I find myself looking for more. I was thinking yesterday, if I was to set out and write a book would I first consider the characters or the plot. would a story unfold given the right ingredients? Finding time to switch off I recently enjoyed a video (dvd), the basic story was simple but how things unwound were fascinating. How did the writer conceive it? My only conclusion was - he must have started at the end and worked backwards or flitting from one scene to another adding detail necessary for the next. I do wonder also whether God is working backwards with us; perhaps that would make more sense. Looking back I see better now, what had to happen to make the story fit.

One room of the friary has been transformed to accommodate the furniture and It is pleasant as the sun comes in clear and bright, Sitting at the desk (the old man) seems strange. It is many years since I sat there to do my homework. We call it the old man because my grand father made it; beginning in 1909 and taking a week off work to complete it before going to France in WW1. He served his time as a joiner at Harrison's of Grosmont (being related) he lived there a number of years eventually married and stayed at Grosmont before moving to Middlesbrough. The old man consists of a chest of drawers, drop own leaf desk with drawers and pigeon holes and on top of this is a tall glass cabinet. The dovetails and joints are perfect (granddad was fussy and particular in all things - sounds familiar)! Though he died when I was very young I remember sharing his toast; he did make a fuss of me and mum said I was difficult to console when he passed away. However, the old man was left to me all those years ago - now here it is. I found in the drawer a couple of postcards sent by granddad to his little daughter Barbara while he was in France.

There is a family resemblance of my gt granddad, granddad, father and myself; this is not unusual - but I do also look very much like my mother (still not unusual). However, I was recently at 60th party and people there I didn't know were glancing across and as the night went on someone said I looked a lot like a football manager who had recently been in the news. No I said, I am a Yorkshire man not an Italian. They insisted and went on to congratulate me on good work and followed with suggestions of who should play the next match. This feeling of fame stayed with me a while, as I walked through the town I imagined people giving me a second look and felt I was walking a little taller. Now I know nothing of the background of this guy, his family or his habits - but others were pleased to accept him as a potential champion. I can't change the way I look, and what happens if this manager goes the same way many others have done with bad news in the press of results on and off the pitch.

Note to evening office: Lord help me to reflect you; that others may see the detail in your kingdom necessary for our story.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Closing doors

1918 - 2008

Mum passed away last month on Valentines day, 35 years after my dad; I like to think they got a long awaited valentine cuddle. My sister and I have been busy sorting out all that needed to be done and supported by family and friends found that all came together as it should. Mum was very good to us, she had notes and envelopes in the desk and all was very tidy; she had been preparing us and and the house for such a day as this. It has been something I have dreaded for sometime and as mum has cared for so many people through her life; we knew it would be difficult for her when she had done all she could.
Apocolypse 14 says...

Happy indeed, the spirit says; now they can rest forever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.

Indeed she has taken many good deeds with her.

Christened Hannah Elizabeth, her father called her Lizzy and at the age of 12 she was helping to deliver milk in the next small village as the milkmans wife was ill (no milk bottles in those days). Making butter on the farm to sell at market and all the baking and chores. Her father encouraged the children to run and held a stop watch; on their village day out (bank holiday) they would take horse and cart to the near by beach. Races were held and I am told mum did very well.

Mum became known as Bette, Aunty Bette to many, Grandma to more than just her own grand children. I knew there would be many at her funeral and I guessed there would be many I would not even know; her caring and love went far and wide (a challenge for us to try and continue). It has been a time of closing doors, not just the rented house where she lived. Finding treasures as we packed boxes, photos and post cards - her address books (invaluable) and the button tin.....

Now this button tin must hide many small treasures from days when I was but a small boy, often when I called in to see mum at home I might pick up a jug or open a drawer, expecting to find something I had forgotten; these and the button tin are currently packed in boxes either here or at my sisters. We plan to take our time and sort through together, the brass - fat old policeman corkscrew and a piece of Spitfre propeller. I must tell you about the furniture too (the Old Man) but that will be another day.
Note to evening office - slow down a little and let things settle.