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.
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.
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.