Monday, December 24, 2012

Pygmies in Yorkshire - a Christmas Story

At this time of year one tends to talk about family. The other day my sister said "Granny was a great storyteller." She was. Her name was Majorie and the Christmas before she died she told me an amazing story.
In the first decade of the 20th Century there was a small group of Pygmies from Central Africa living in the grounds of an estate in Yorkshire. My Grandmother was one of six children (as I am). Her family was invited to meet the Pygmies.My Grandmother  told me that the Pygmies were living just as they did in the Congo - in mud huts, dressed in grass skirts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vicky Soto

The raw brutality of the World
is best met with the wordless gesture of symbol.

This morning I light a candle for the Soul of a stranger.
Myself grief-weary in the dark days of the year:
its brief flame bold and steady
as she was as she awaited Death
in the Springtime of her life.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Poplar Coroner's Court

An early start so we drove east into the sunrise.

The building is cute, in Arts & Crafts style with panelling and green glazed tiles. There are archaic features here and there. A sign outside the toilet warning that the penalty for spitting is 40/- (that's forty shillings or two pounds, a large sum when the sign was originally erected, perhaps a week's wages or more). Boxes of paper tissues are everywhere.

The Coroner, very dignified, but also kind and humane.

While we were waiting for a cab afterwards we saw this little boy in his buggy. He made us all feel better.