A TERRIBLE REPORT

On Tuesday evening we had some terrible breaking news come through. We had already heard of the appalling report concerning the Metropolitan Police but the terrible news was that our own local police force was as bad as the Met. It was said to be misogynistic and that women in the force suffered the most awful sexual harrassment and bullying. Some had been raped by male police officers and some had ended up needing treatment for their mental health. The force was referred to as a “monster.”

Additionally, male police officers had written detrimental comments on reports of women who had been the victims of domestic or sexual violence such that they were seen to be the aggressors. Therefore their cases were swept aside.

It comes as quite a shock to read such a damining report of your own local police force.

THE LAST THING I EVER SAW

As I gradually went blind, things disappeared and I never saw them again. The very last thing that I ever saw were the trunks of the silver birch trees in the forest. What a beautiful memory. The sun would be shining on them and lighting them up, and they stood out against the brown and dark green of the rest of the forest. The glistened in the sun, with their white bark with bits of silver on them. They were like gems. How beautiful that they were the last things that I ever saw.

GARDEN FOR THE BLIND

This is the interior of St Edith’s church mentioned below

Many years ago, when we were in our twenties, we went on a lovely holiday to Scarborough, which is a seaside town on the east coast of England. It sits on two cliffs and is an amazing place in my view. Whilst there, we found a Garden for the Blind. It was set on the cliff top and when we went in there it felt so peaceful and wonderful. We spent a bit of time there, and I felt transformed by it. There truly was something wonderful in there. Of course, it was made of flowers and plants that had a scent to them, and also many of them were tactile. When we left there and returned home, it was that garden that got me through a very dark patch that came upon me in the form of a very serious illness whereby I had to be hospitalised and barrier nursed for three months. The memory of that garden came to me and I was so thankful that I had been there.

In latter years, after going blind myself, I wanted to set up a garden for the blind, and I decided to try and do it at the little ancient church that I have written about in my blog. I approached the church warden and was told that yes, I could do it. So I began to plan. One or two things were done, and then some bad things happened at the church and then the pandemic came, and it was dumped. It cannot be resurrected now, but how sad. It would have been an ideal place for the garden, as it is already what is known as a Quiet Garden that people can visit for peace and quiet. Though the place is isolated, people do visit it and enjoy the solitude that they find there. The garden is not cultivated but is quite wild and there are lots of ancient trees too. What a great place it would have been for a Garden for the Blind.

GARDEN CENTRE

I want to go to Kirton Garden Centre.lol. It is not too far awy and in there at the moment will be beautiful flowering indoor plants and also some for the garden. It will be a riot of colour. There will be young tress and shrubs. I long to go and see them as I used to and feel and touch them. Maybe buy a tree for the garden. Then I want to go into the restaurant and have scampi and chips or fries if you call them fries. But even if I could go there, it is 2 o’ clock in the morning lol

#RDP MONDAY – Golden. A ghost and a walled up monk

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2023/03/20/rdp-monday-golden/


I am going to take you to another wild place where the wind blows and a ghost walks. It is a place called Thornton Abbey and it is about 14 miles from where I live. I hope the ghost does not get blown off course.

The gatehouse to the Abbey was the first structure to be built in brick in England. It was built in the 1200’s. The Abbey itself was built in the mid 1100’s. It was one of the few monasteries to survive the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Its founder was William le Gros, originally as a priory for the Augustinian or Black Canons. It was raised to the status of an Abbey by Pope Eugene III in 1148. It became the most weathy and prestigious house in the country.

In 1538 the abbot took part in the Pilgrimage of Grace that started at Louth in Lincolnshire and then spread to many other parts of the country, and disappeared. No one knows what happened to him.

In the 1800’s builders found a walled up room within the gatehouse with a skeleton seated at a desk with a book and a candlestick on the desk. It is believed that these were the remains of a twelfth century abbot who was walled up as punishment for licentious behaviour and practising witchcraft. It is his ghost that is said to walk the grounds.

A plague pit was discovered in 2016 with 48 adults interred together with lots of children.

The gatehouse itself was constructed in the GOLDEN era of monastic buildings. It is one of the finest examples of medieval brickwork. It is approached by a colonnaded causeway leading straight to the main gate. I must say that the first time I visited that place and walked up that causeway I had the most strange and eerie feeling. I truly did feel taken up into the past. I did not meet the ghost however.

PARALYSIS

How can a soul sustain so much loss?
Grief too deep to bear
A world torn apart
By so many Goodbyes
Pain too deep even for tears
Paralysis
Sets me like stone
Yet even stones can cry
Or so they say
I become mute
As if even one tiny movement would break me
Afraid almost to breathe
Knocked to my knees
Silence
How long can I stay here?
I never want to get up again
Just be silent with my God
Without words
Asking nothing
Giving nothing
Saying nothing
Just paralysed
Stunned
Keep me in this cocoon for ever
So I don’t have to venture out
Oh God
Take my silent paralysis

DIARY ENTRY AFTER A DIFFICULT WEEKEND

Yesterday was Mothers Day here and there were other things happening for us. I have to say that I am glad the weekend is over. I am a one for routine and normality, whatever normality is. Mothers Day is always a poignant reminder of things for those who had mothers who killed their spirits and attempted to crush them utterly. Whatever we may have done with our lives despite all of that, Mothers Day can be painful and one that we would rather forget. Especially when our own mothers murdered out own babies and thus caused unbearable grief. There are bad mothers and there are horribly abusive mothers. One can walk away from the abuse and make one’s own life, putting behind them the hate that they had dealt out to them by their mothers, but always, on such days, the pain is going to be exposed again. It. Is lovely to hear of all the wonderful mothers in the world. It is good that there are so many. I share joy with those who have experienced good things with their mothers. But also I grieve with those who have experience appalling abuse.

The one thing I will never give in to, though, is hate. I have never hated, having seen and experienced what hate can do. I can never feel angry either and often it is expected that we feel anger. I don’t. Since finding a differnet kind of love at the age of thirteen, I chose that way rather than the way walked by my mother. It does not mean that I will not feel pain on days such as yesterday, and Christmas etc but it means that that does not come into my life. Abuse is one of the most horirible things in the world and is like a slimy creeping finger that we have to repel. It does not mean that we cast aside love for the perpetrator because that is making ourselves just like them. For some, that love is not a possibility but it is the only way to peace. It is what I call true grit. One day I will talk about the character who showed me and taught me that.

DUH.

I am replying to comments and keep on not being about to find the Send button after I have typed out the reply. Also I think I sometmes still send the wrong comment to the wrong person. Please bear with me as I do not think this is going to be cured any time soon lol.

THE CONCEPT OF HEALING

People often talk about healing in regard to all sorts of things. I believe that it can be used to bash people over the head who do not comply with what others want and expect healing to be. I had a friend who lost her husband quite young, and she often said that you do not heal from it and that the pain never goes. She was expected to start dating again very soon after he died, when in reality she still felt married to her husband and never wanted to narry or have a partner again. I understood her completely. She was expected to heal in the way others wanted her to heal.

I remember when I was much younger being in a church where healing was pedalled. It was a church where you were expected to be healed from all sorts of things, including physical as well. People were deprived of their wheelchairs and other such cruel things and I saw things that made my blood boil.

I have heard healing talked about a lot and I often wonder just what people mean by it and I wonder if they even know what they mean themselves. I think it is a concept often pedalled to make the person not suffering feel better.

In Christian circles there is also the concept of resurrection that is often used to bash people over the head with. For myself I get very angry about this and simply cut off from all of this.

There are various things in life that people often feel that others should heal from. But what does that mean? I often think it means that they want those suffering not to feel anything any more. This is preposterous.

I hate using the word healing, but I think if it exists it exists in ways which may be hidden and private. It exists in the way in which people continue tp walk the path of love even when they have been badly injured themselves. Love can be costly. It is not a sentimental slushy thing but it is made of true grit.

For myself, I will never bend to what anyone may expect of me. For myself I will walk the path of suffering with those who suffer, without expecting anything from them. I will feel their pain with them, and hold their hands as they walk their own path. I may be tied to a bed most of the time, but that is one thing I will still do.

What is healing? Ah, thereby hangs a big question. It is not word we should use lightly.

MOTHERS DAY

The ache in my heart was unbearable. I sat on my bed in the darkness, hearing only two words. “Mother’s Day.” I could not get away from it. It was everywhere. The darkness consumed me. Mine had gone. To God knows where. And I expect He does. But I am not allowed to know. What happens beyond death is a mystery. All that I know is that she lived a life on this earth that caused me untold suffering. Yes, I knew exactly where she was then. I knew her well. I could feel her feelings as if they were my own. And when she gave out those three loud cries as she died, I gave out loud cries too. And the crying has never stopped.

“She was a bad mother,” I am told. “Forget her,” I am told. “Live your life now.” And inside, when I hear those words, I cringe. Was she really that bad? The answer comes that yes, she was. She murdered my babies in the womb. So that makes her a murderess. I cannot quite take that in. Yet it is true.

She was pretty you know. My mother. In fact she was a beauty. As a very young child I saw only her beauty. She had the most wonderful face in the world. But it changed. As I grew, so did her face, into one filled with hatred and anger. She didn’t want me, but I wanted her. I wanted a mother. And on this day of days, Mothering Sunday, I want a mother. My body aches. It craves. It longs to be held. But nothing in this world can make me hate her. Nothing at all. I am insane, you might say, but I love her with all of my heart. But it is too late now. Nothing could make her accept my love whilst she was alive. She stiffened if I put my arms around her. Nothing would melt her. I tried. I really did. I think inside, she knew. But something inside her stopped her from melting. A massive pain maybe. It was too dangerous to her to feel and whow and even accept love.

“I wish I could cry,” she said one day, at the end of her life. And oh how I wished she could too. Now, I am the one left crying on this Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day Mum.

THE CHIP SHOP MURDERS Part 9

Betty’s phone was ringing.

“Hello, it’s Lucy,” said the voice at the other end.

“Hello Lucy. What do you want at this time in the morning?”

“Oh, I never slept all night long. There is so much going on in my head. I know I was never really part of that set up at The Resurrection but I had enough to do with them to know some of the things that were going on. It was awful. I’ve just got a nasty feeling about poor Cedric. Did they have something to do with his murder?”

“I don’t know,” said Betty. “But they sounded a real bad lot to me. And from what you say, he could quite easily have seen something he shouldn’t have, and so then they had to get rid of him.”

“Yes,” said Lucy. “There’s more to this than meets the eye.”

“Maybe we should both tell the police what we know,” said Betty.

“Shall we go to the police station together?” said Lucy.

“Well it can’t do any harm,” said Betty. “We’ll not feel right until we’ve got this lot off our chests.”

“It was horrible when Eddie tried to put his arm around me yesterday,” said Lucy. “He was a real weird one.”

“Strikes me there were or are a lot of weird ones there,” said Betty.

“Let’s meet up at about eleven o’ clock and we’ll get the bus into town together and go and have a word with the police.”

“Okay,” said Lucy. “At least if there’s nothing in what we tell them, they’ll just eliminate it.”

“See you at eleven then,” said Betty.

At ten o’ clock Betty’s phone rang again.

“Oh my God,” cried the voice at the other end. It was Lucy.

“What on earth is the matter?” asked Betty.

“There’s been another murder,” screamed Lucy.

“What on earth do you mean?” asked Betty.

“It’s Ruth,” cried Lucy. She was found dead inside the vet’s early this morning. She cleans there and she was found when the vet appeared for work.”

“Do you mean Ruth, that real nice lady who was married to a police Inspector?” said Betty.

“Yes,” saod Lucy. “She’d been to the Resurrection a few times as well, but she didn’t really like it and stopped going in the end.”

“Oh my goodness,” said Betty. “We’re doing right in going to the police to tell them what we know.”

“Yes,” said Lucy. “I don’t like this at all. Oh poor Ruth. I knew her well. We used to natter quite a lot. Her husband wasn’t religious but she was, but not in a bad way. She did have a lot of nervous trouble though. I think she might have been in a mental hospital for a while at one time. But she was okay. As long as she took her drugs she was okay.”

“I’ll see you at eleven o’ clock then,” said Betty.

Betty sat down and put her head in her hands. Where was all this going to end? It used to be such a nice, quiet area.

THE CHIP SHOP MURDERS Part 8

#RDP SUNDAY – Memorial

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2023/03/19/rdp-sunday-memorial/


Early photograph 1860

Have you ever been to a mausoleum? I haven’t but it conjures up all sorts of images. We normally think of a memorial as perhaps a plaque in the grounds of a crematorium or a war memorial or something like that. But a mausoleum is a memorial grandiose. There is one near to where I live.

As we travelled along the road to Cleethorpes from my hometown we went through a place called Great Limber. As we passed through we saw a sign outside a big house that was hidden by trees, saying “Mausoleum.” I always wondered what it was and if we could go in to see it. It conjured up for me pictures of lots of graves or something and lots of memorials to the dead.

In fact it turned out to be a memorial erected by the Earl of Yarborough to his wife who died young, from a malignant fever of the brain in the late 1700’s aged only 35. It was completed in 1794 and its design is based upon the Temple of Sybl in Tivoli. It is 52 feet in diameter and is set in woodland famous for their shows of daffodils and bluebells in the Springtime. The memorial then became the burial place for all members of the family until recent years. It is not now open to the public at all, although it used to be open twice a year. This is due, sadly, to the modern plague of vandalism.

I think that this must be a very beautiful place.

LOVEBOMBING

Have you ever been lovebombed? I mean in a manipulative and bad way.

Lovebombing is a coomon tactic in those who seek to control us for their own gain. It is insidious and may appear at first as genuine caring and friendship. Eventually, however, it reveals itself to be something else. Sometimes it is too late for the person being manipulated to extricate themselves. It can happen in intimate relationships and in ordinary friendships and also in cults.

I was very interested to learn of it regarding cults from a friend of mine who was a Gestalt counsellor. Not that I know wnything about that brand of counselling. But she explained it to me, and a cult may consist only of two people. There will be others in that person’s cult but they may not be known to each other. Or maybe a person will be gradually drawn into the cult.

Lovebombing consists of being overly friendly and maybe affectionate and may involve flattery and sometimes the giving of presents. It is not always easy to notice that this is what is happening. A person may attempt to gain our trust in this way and then take it where they want to take it.

We need to be wary of those who shower us with love as soon as they meet us. Sad but true.

#SOCS SATURDAY – Tape

https://lindaghill.com/2023/03/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-18-2023/

The word tape conjures up images for me of imprisonment and control. The picture that immediately came to mind was of a mouth being taped over. This would obviously silence someone such that they could no longer communicate or call for help. Silencing is a common procedure in the world and invisible tapes are put over peoples’ mouths, hearts and souls. It is done surreptitiously and in a covert way. I think of the silencing of the people of Latin America and the suffering that went on there. Poverty such that a woman appeared at a Mass in one of the cities there with her baby in her arms. She could no longer feed her baby from her breasts and all that the baby could draw was blood. She told of how she went to that Mass so that she could have the Host to eat for her physical sustenence. She was so poverty stricken that she and her baby could no longer eat.

So often the indigenous peoples of the world have been silenced. There are always those who wish to take power over and control others. Often this becomes extreme cruelty and often terrible violence. When I think of tapes I also think of chains. Chains that bind people and keep them imprisoned in their suffering.

I remember once, when the pandemic was in its earlier stages and my little church had finally been allowed to open again for people to just sit and pray or think or meditate in, there were chaines everywhere. Despite it only being a very tiny church, there were tapes or chains everywher, leaving only a very small space to sit in. That place that was once a place of freedom and light even in the darkness now felt only dark and oppressive. I felt as if I myself was in chains and my mouth taped down. There was no sense of freedom at all. All of this came from fear. Fear of a virus. And isn’t that what is behind all silencings, and tapings and chainings? Fear.

Tape of course can be used to hold things together. And maybe even things that can be bad can also be transformed and used for the good. Maybe our world is in deep need of transformation.

#RDP SATURDAY – Oak

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/rdp-saturday-oak/


Artists Sketch 1879

About 40 miles away from where I live is Sherwood Forest and the Major OAK, which is one thousand years old. It is an incredible sight, and though nowadays it has a supporting structure all around it, when I was a child, you used to be able to stand inside it, which I have done.

I remember going there on a coach trip when I was about eight years old and it was my birthday. We never made much of birthdays in my family, but on this occasion my mother had bought me a lovely necklace that I really wanted. I wore this necklace to Sherwood Forest and when we got there I was so excited that I ran towards the Major Oak, and then discovered that I had lost my necklace. It had fallen off somewhere en route. We searched and searched for it but we did not find it. I was very sad, but still went and stood inside the Great Oak. I suppose that made up for it a bit.

I am very sad that no longer will I be able to travel to Sherwood Forest and see the Great Oak. We often used to take our dogs there on a Sunday afternoon and have a good walk. But there you go. That is life.

The Major Oak is a large English oak and is reputed to have been Robin Hood’s shelterin the time of Kind Richard I. This was in around 1300. For those who do not know, Robin Hood was and outlaw who fought the tyranny of King John while Kind Richard was away, fighting in the Crusades.

The tree itself weighs an estimated 23 tons and has a girth of 33 feet. It has a canopy of 92 feet.

#SAMMICOX WEEKEND WRITING CHALLENGE – Enterprise

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2023/03/18/weekend-writing-prompt-303-enterprise/

Life is the greatest enterprise that we will ever be asked to enter upon. Filled with all sorts of challenges it is a bit like climbing a mountain. Many joys and sorrows will be ours on the way, but eventually the course will be run. No one truly knows what is beyond that and some may wish for complete oblivion and rest whilst others may wish for a land flowing with milk and honey.

MY LAST POST, WHAT DO I FEEL NOW?

I just made a post entitled “Last Rites.” It was my actual experience of receiving the Last Rites in 2013. It is an experience that I will never forget. I did not expect still to be here ten years later. But here I am.

Since then, the path has become even harder than it was then. It has drained me and left me so exhausted that some days I do not know how to go on. So many difficulties that seem un resolvable. So so hard just to do basic things and to get through the day. So many feelings and emotions involved. And so much loneliness.

I ask, why was my life spared at that point ten years ago? It sometimes feels as though I have been stripped of all that is human. And as I look back, painful though this jorney has been, there have been some wonderful things happen. Additionally I have learned so much. I have grown. Spiritually I have changed. I have questioned so much. But that is nothing new for me. I have always been a questioner. I have had much more time to think about death and what it really means. I have tried to come to terms with it. I want to go to that place in peace and with grace. Whether I can achieve that or not is another matter, but it is what I want. I would hate to have a death like my mother’s. There was no peace in it at all. It was traumatic.

None of us knows for sure what, if anything, is beyond the grave. We are told certain things, but no one really knows. For me, that is the scary part as I am the sort of person to need to know what to expect so that I can prepare and adapt.

Death is a subject that most people do not like talking about and if you are young, then that is understandable. But as we approach it we think about it more. At least I do anyway.

I know that there are people who are very fixed in their views regarding the after life or not, faith, god and the like. I am not. I have an open mind. I have learned, in life, that there are no certainties, but even more questions. The one thing I do know though, is that something or other has helped me and enabled me to get through this life which, for me, has been traumatic and at times very very dark. Yes, we all have our own will within us, but also we are human and we fail and at times are frail. In my times of fragility I have got through somehow. Was that my own strong will, or something else?

There is so much that I could say, but I will cut it short. I remain open but hopeful.

LAST RITES

Never had I thought that it would be like this. The Last Rites I mean. In the past the very idea put the fear of God up me. Preparing for that last moment. That last breath. Intonations and gloom. The end of everything. The thought made me shudder. No, I definitely would never have that.

So there I was, having the Last Rites. In a bed in my living room.

“I’m going home,” I said gently yet excitedly.

The person in the beautiful green and gold robes nodded and smiled.

“Yes.”

There was joy in the person’s eyes. And there was joy in mine.

I heard the twenty third Psalm being read, and already I felt myself to be in the green pastures beside still waters. The beautiful green and gold of the priest’s robes matched the beaytiful green and gold of the summer pastures. Then I was anointed with oil. On my forehead. I couldn’t quite take it in. I was going home. At last. All my life I had been preparing for this. It was going to be beautiful. A beautiful journet with a beautiful ending. No tears. Only smiles.

It did not take long. The priest left but I was in heaven already. I wanted to sing. To shout shouts of joy. But I was too weak. I just rested. In peace. Then I slept.

That was ten years ago, and I will never forget that experience. My life was spared. It has become harder. Much harder. The journey has been long. I am tired. And I want to go home.

YOUR VERY OWN GALLOWS

Would you like to have your very own gallows? Yes? No? Dunno? Well, two families round here did. I say round here but actually they lived 17 miles away from my hometown of Scunthorpe. They were the de Ros family and the Tyrwhitt families. Well they didn’t own them exactly, but they were erected by James I, in around 1610, especially to hang any of them who continued to fight and kill someone. They had been feuding for 300 years and James I was a bit fed up. In fact none of them were hung in the end as the gallows did their trick and stopped them feuding. It seems to have been about land that they were feuding. The gallows were actually in a wood at the side of what is now the A18 from Scunthorpe to Cleethorpes. The gallows were set on a hill with a pit below so all that they had to do was string them up and then push them into the pit. James also decreed that local estate owner, the Earl of Yarborough, should maintain the gallows in good order.

The place is now called Gallows Wood and it is really wild and eerie. I don’t think I would like to be out there on a dark and windy night.

DIARY ENTRY. Feeling shit

It seems to me that I am lurching from day to day. One day not feeling absolute shit and the next feeling absolute shit. I get scared. Today I feel like shit and have done for a few days lately. It really does scare me. Some people call me brave but I am not. I really am not. Today I am in a lot of pain and was all night too. I feel so weak and emotionally I am wrung out. As always I try to still post ordinary stuff and funny stuff. But really I am struggling. I will never give in to just posting miserable stufff. I just wonder where this is all going.

WORDS

Do you want
Squishy squashy words
Malleable
First one shape then another
Flattened
Raised up
Sideways on
Slithering around like jelly
Wobbling
Glistening
Enticing
Or do you want words
That stand up straight
Firm and solid
That stand the test of time
Words can be anything
Mean anything
Words can defy
Interpretation
But solid words
Stand for ever
Hear now
The truth

I WISH

I wish that I had not been made as I am, with huge sensitivity and feelings. I was speaking to someone the other day and he said to me, about himself and showing and even feeling emotions,

“I am a Lancashire man,”, meaning that he is unemotional.

I wish that I was like him. It is much easier although many would say that it is good to be blessed with sensitivity and emotions. To me, it means that you feel hurts keenly, and at the same time you feel other peoples’ pain keenly too. Of course there is also the deep joy which can be almost ecstasy as well.

Is it true to say that we, here in England, display the “stiff upper lip?” Is this learned, or is it part of our genes? I do not know.

I for one am not stiff upper lipped and often feel that I should be. I was not brought up to show emotion. In fact just the opposite. My mother hated crying and she never cried herself. She hated shows of love and affection too. But she could express anger and hatred.

I am not a bit like my mother. I am just the opposite.

Sometimes this feels like a bind upon me.

What do you think about being either blessed with emotion or blessed with being unemotional?

#FOWC – Observe Roman Temple Site and Watchtower

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/16/fowc-with-fandango-observe/

About ten miles from my town and two miles from Julian’s Bower is a village called Whitton. Again, it is very wild there, positioned as it is on almost an island jutting out into the River Humber. The river is very dangerous at that point and there have been many ships that have sunk and many people drowned, especially in the 1800’s. There are many newspaper accounts of the drownings and the sunken ships, but also they record the many rescues from the 1800’s.

I was always drawn to that place even before I knew all the history of it.I seem to get a sense of things even though I have told nothing previously. The proximity of the huge river and the fact that the centre of the village is on hill, with the church and the church tower overlooking the river. It just seemed to act as a magnet to me. I suppose you would call this a “thin apace place”. I felt in touch with the past and the wildness without even knowing why.

The church tower must be one of the tallest, for a small country church ,in the country. From when the church was built in the 1100’s it was used to OBSERVE the activity on the river. They would be looking out for incoming attackers and marauders and also for boats and people in trouble. They would also be watching out for the Germans in World War II. It is a really good vantage point and there, at the top of the hill where it sits, it really does feel very wild. I love it there, especially the churchyard where there are the graves of those who drowned in the river.

The site of the church was originally a Roman Temple and there have been many Roman finds in the fields around the village. There has also been found a Roman burial ground.

Not only have there been Roman finds, but Viking ones too. They found a Viking brooch one time, and of course the usual pottery and coins.


Viking brooch – Whitton

The first habitation recorded at Whitton is in the time of Claudius and later Constantine 1. Constantine was in Whitton and York around 300 AD and was recalled to Rome, in about 305, to become Emperor.

Nowadays the village is very small and has the same number of inhabitants as it did when it was recorded in the Doomsday Book.

For me, it is a wonderful place and I often like to sit there and just let my imagination run wild. It is not difficult to do that. I wish I could take you there.

DON’T WALK OVER ME

Don’t walk over me
Take your boots off at my door
Don’t assume
Do not think
That because I am old
That I am an imbecile
My mind could outwit yours
Any day
Your power
Is an illusion
Though you believe in it
You don’t fool me
I am sharp as a razor
Cool as a cucumber
I am wild
I am wily
I know which way the wind blows
You do not fool me
But do you know what
I was born free
And free I will die
My soul soars
Whilst yours is bogged down
With tick boxes
And rules
And regulations
Take your tick boxes
Stick them where no light shines
For you do not bring light
Only a gloomy darkness
And lies
Leave your boots at my door
Oh and by the way
Those boots don’t become you

WHY?

Why is it that once you become physically disabled the powers that be start asking the question as to whether you are mentally competent or not?

Today, we finally had the Independent Living woman from the council, was here to look at what equipment might be useful to us in the house. The question was asked in the woman’s mind as to whether I was mentally competent or not because I am so much more disabled than my husband and blind. I knew that this was going on without her even saying, so I took control of the situation and told her that no one was going to control me. I said this very strongly and clearly. She had made a disparaging comment about me, completely misinterpreting a word that I used. I took her straight up on it. She knew who the boss was. She was in my home and she had to treat me respectfully. It was hard though. I was in a great deal of pain having got myself downstairs to sit on a chair that was none too comfortable for me. There is not a chair downstairs that is comfortable. I had had to rush to get ready. I found it a very demanding meeting and iI had to have my wits about me. Thing is, we were not asking them for money, but just some advice on any equipment that we might be able to purchase for our home. She took over completely as if I was an infant. But I fought back and by the end she knew without a doubt that I was mentally competent.

I am heartily tired of this attitude towards us and it comes from the authorities and not from ordinary people. They will never take power over me. Not unless in later life I am not compos mentis.

All of this is like when they gave me a bib at church when we went for a quiz and a fish and chip supper. I published a book of poems entitled “Poems without Sugar,” drawing attention to this attitude. It is not available now but I hope it found its mark when I did sell it.

I am still the same person I was before I got cancer and went blind.

IN THIS DAY

In
This day
I will know
The waves of pain
A time long ago
That lives again today
And once again I stand here
An abomination raw
My blood upon the ground again
I see the stars in my eyes that shine
Eternal life looks at me from the ground

FRAGILITY

It was a long time ago now, but I had just been beaten again. Only a person who has gone through this can know the feelings. I was not a child, but an adult. A person close to me had done it again. In tatters I walked out into the front garden on my way to the shop. I did not know how to endure this any more. I could feel no comfort anywhere at all. I did not want to be there any more but I had nowhere to go. A family who did not care and never had. No friends close enough to share this with. I was alone and bereft. The words “the abomination of desolation” come to me to describe this. The pain was never going to go away. There was no such thing as Women’s Aid. Or if there was, it was not publicised and I did not know about it. In this unbearable pain, as I walked along the path through the garden, my eyes frll upon a blue poppy. It was my favourite flower, and remains so today. I stopped, and looked at the poppy for a while, letting the sorrow flood over me. The helplessness, the feeling of betrayal, the disbelief, the sheer aloneness. I looked at those heavenly blue petals, wafer thing. So fragile. I was taken up into their blueness, and I felt their fragility, just like my own. Fragile. That was what I was. Broken once again. Yet somehow or other I had to keep surviving. There was no other way.

Eventually I continued on to the shop. But when I got home I wrote. I still have what I wrote. And today, I am feeling the same feelings, only I cannot see the blue poppy. There is not one growing in our garden now. I can see no flowers at all now. The abomination of desolation stands in our garden once again. In all its rawness.

GEESE FLEW OVERHEAD

Geese flew overhead one day,
Forming a ‘V’ in the sky,
Chattering loudly as they went,
Each knowing what the other meant.

Forming a ‘V’ in the sky,
The leader honking loudest,
Each knowing what the other meant,
Giving help to the weakest.

The leader honking loudest,
Cacophony of sound,
Giving help to the weakest,
Journeying towards their destination.

Cacophony of sound,
A clear message from the sky,
Journeying towards their destination,
To help our weaker brothers.

A clear message from the sky,
“How to reach our destination”,”
To help our weaker brothers,
Outpouring of God’s love.

“How to reach our destination”,
Nature reveals the secret,
Outpouring of God’s love,
Geese flew overhead one day.

FATE

The path I found was level that day
I had not been for such a long time
And now I was waiting to hear my fate
Would I survive or would I die?
I determined to walk once again on the path
Even through death I would survive

What does it really mean to survive?
Have we eternity or have we a day?
If we knew how hard would be our path
How would we spend this our time?
One day we all are going to die
None of us know our fate

Can we leave all in our lives to fate?
Or can we control things so we will survive?
If we survive will we still die?
Will we survive this very day?
There is such mystery entwined in time
That draws us ever down the path

Sometimes we may not like the path
But here we walk for it is our fate
Will we walk it just for a time?
When we fall on rocks will we still survive?
When we come to the end of the day
Will we live or will we die?

The sun goes down and this day will die
I see it setting while walking the path
It always goes down at the end of the day
To go down for ever, will this be my fate?
What dies one day will always survive
Soon we will reach the end of time

I know that now there is little time
It will not be long before I die
What of me will still survive?
What will still live of me on life’s path?
I can only now leave all to fate
Nothing can change at the end of the day

How much time is left on the path?
One day all are going to die
Will fate win or will we survive?

WOMAN WHY DO YOU WEEP

Woman
Why do you weep?
Because they have taken
All that I am and ever was
Casting
Lots for
My clothes that lie dormant and dead
As if to cast away
My very life
Go now

My clothes
Were colourful
Chosen especially, bright
Like the person I truly am
But now
You dress
Me in black and grey and brown, kill
The spirit within me
The life that lived
I weep

Woman
I am but who
Would ever know it? Wrapped
In these deathly shrouds that you choose
Inside
I live
And breathe and glow and know that I
Make love to the world, feel
My gracious curves
Heal me!

#FOWC – HISTORIC JULIAN’S BOWER

https://fivedotoh.com/2023/03/13/fowc-with-fandango-historic/

About eight miles from where I live is an ancient and historic turf maze. It sits in the village of Alkborough and is on the escarpment that overlooks the confluence of the rivers Trent and Ouse. It is a most amazing place. You can go there and feel the wind blowing in your hair and look right out over the plain below to the city of York which is 45 miles away as the crow flies. On a good day you can see the tower of York Minster. You can also see the white horse which is carved into one of the Yorkshire hillsides. When you stand there by the maze you feel as though you are in touch with something other worldly. Maybe it is the Vikings who came to our country way back and established Danelaw here. Still, today, we find their pottery and also sometimes a longboat of theirs.

It is not known for sure who cut the turf maze but many think it was the monks who had a cell there in the 1000’s. The cell was given to Spalding Priory by Thorald the Viking and it had three Benedictine monks, a Chaplain and a Prior. It was a common practice in those days to walk the labyrinth as a spiritual practice. Some other turf mazes still exist in England but they are all in poor condition except for this one, which is well maintained. It seems to have established itself well into the heart of the village and many tourists come to see it. Until the 19th century games were played there on May Day and no doubt there was dancing round the Maypole too.

I love to go to that pllace for it is very wild and I love wild places. My grandmother was brought up right next door to the maze as her parents farmed on a farm right there. The farm has gone now, but I often imagine what it must have been like living in a place like that. I would have loved it.

BACK IN TIME

Back in time
Those ancient warriors came
From far lands to conquer
Our fair country
And still today
Their souls roam the earth
Their boats surfacing
In the river
Their pots unearthed in the fields
We tell their tales
And silently
They listen
Almost
We can touch them
No time barrier can erase them

TURMOIL

I woke in turmoil this morning. As I woke I heard the wind blowing very stronly. It seemed to be shaking the very house. It echoes how I felt.
Just lately I have been assaulted by peoples’ words and some actions. People here where I live. I have been shocked yet again at how heartless people can be, especially those who proclaim peace and love. I remember some words from my past. It was some words that jesus said, and they said something like ‘if you ask for fish will I give you a stone”. I am not sure if I have quoted that correctly or not but you get the gist of it. Well in fact, those who claim to support peace and love DO give a stone. Not that that is a new experience for me. But right now it hurts. As I attempt to put my affairs in order and to walk the next part of the road with grace and acceptance, attempting to let go of everything, I did not expect this. It seems that we are a safeguarding issue. As vulnerable people, defined so by the powers that be, we are dangerous. We might do or say something to destroy the reputation of anyone who comes to this house. We have been assessed as a risk, even though both of us are in wheelchairs and I am blind. We might do something to harm them.

And so, at the end we are left alone yet again. Why did I think it would be any different?

In the end, I will stand tall, but it does not stop the hurt as we are human. Yes, the wind blows cold. There is a gale out there. But I look within to find my peace.

CROSSING THE RIVER HUMBER


Humber Bridge at low tide

Bungie jumps, paragliding, suicide jumps, charity walks, and all sorts of things happen at the Humber Bridge which is very near to where I live. It was not until 1981 that you could go by bridge over the River Humber and you had to travel by ferry if you wanted to get to the city of Hull. Believe it or not I went across to Hull on the ferry and got sea sick lol. I remember we went across with two friends and I dreaded the trip back. I was quite pleased when the Humber Bridge was built as it meant that I could go to Hull and Beverley quite easily. It also meant the lots of exciting if dangerous things took place there. My husband worked for Hull City Council at one time and the daughter of a work colleague did a bumgie jump from the tall tower of the bridge. She landed find onto a soft mattress.

I used to love driving over the bridge. You feel as if you really are out at sea. It is very close to the estuary there and the view as you go across the bridge is magnificent. On a sunny day it is absolutely amazing. On a very windy day though, you can feel the bridge moving in the wind. It is a suspension bridge and when it was first built it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It had been thought about since 1927 but nothing was done because it could not be decided who would fund it. In the end it was privately funded and after the bridge was completed it was a toll bridge in order that it might be paid for. The tolls were high however and still it is not paid for. It is now a very busy bridge and many people now travel to work in the city of Hull, which was not so possible prior to the bridge being built.

I have a very funny story to tell you about the time when the bridge was being built. I used to go to a writing group in my town and there was a lady there whom I will call Anne. They were showing pictures on the local television news of the men building the bridge. She really fancied one of them and she decided, “I’m having him.” So she went down to where they were building the bridge one day and found the man. She started talking to him and eventually married him. They had a very happy marriage. That’s one way to do it I suppose.

I don’t think I will be travelling across the Humber Bridge again now, although there is now no chemo ward in our town and you have to go to Hull for chemo so who knows. I hope that does not become necessary.

ONLY BELIEVE

When I was a very young person I was in a place where so called belief was forced upon us. Before I start my story I want to say that I hated it and was never taken in by it. However, we used to sing, over and over again, “only believe, only believe, all things are possible, only believe.”

I have come into contact with many cults like that in my lifetime but sadly, this exists not only in religious circles. So many people seem to want to believe that the impossible is possible. I call this delusion. I believe that we have to look life squarely in the eye and face what is the real reality of it, whatever that reality might be. If we do not do that then we are going to get hit in the eye at some point and we will find that our whole world crumbles.

When I had cancer, a clinical psychologist who specialised in helping those who were facing severe illness and possible death came to see me. She was here to nake an assessment as to how I was coping. She actually wrote down that I was coping very well and that I did not need her help. However, she attempted to change my reality in the couple of hours that she was with me. She attempted to make me replace one thing with another. Like turning a snow flake into a ray of sunshine. It actually made me angry. Ny life was in the balance and here she was, playing around with my mind. It did not work of course. I had to face what I had to face and at around that time I had had the Last Rites. Obviously I lived. But my reality was that I may die. That was what I had to face. And I wanted to face it in my own way. It was my death and no one else’s.

When I was in that place when I was very young, a group of these people used to hold meetings and they had them in a Hall and they had people in wheelchairs go. They forced these people out of their wheelchairs telling them that they could walk. They only had to believe. They only had to have faith. And those words were sung. “Only believe, all things are possible only believe.” Of course, if the person fell to the floor and was not healed, then they got blamed for not having faith.

So much of what people pedal is a delusion. Sometimes I think that people really do want to delude themselves. It is less painful. But in the long run it does no good. A shock is in store.

I face this situation now. I am facing my body’s fast deterioration and I need to face and accept this and plan for what will happen. There is no miracle cure. I just have to learn the best way in which to deal with what I am facing. I am not looking for a cure, for there is none. It is not a matter of believing or not believing all things are possible. It is a matter of facing reality. Not many want to walk that road with me. I guess I can understand.

What is possible is possible and what is a reality is a reality.

THE LINE

A REPOST

And now a line is drawn
Immoveable, stubborn
Keeping the past intact
The future uncertain
A blank page upon which to write my life
Once I could see, now I am blind
So how will I see the marks I make?
Will I feel them in my heart?
Can I create a new song?
Or is there nothing new under the sun?
And is the line really so stubborn
Or does it have a weak part
Where the past peeps through
Squiggles through a tiny hole
Making its appearance unexpectedly
Shocking
Challenging
Do its notes become part of the new song
Rising up to the sky
Like the lark in the morning

#SAMMI COX’S WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – Breathtaking

https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2023/03/11/weekend-writing-prompt-302-breathtaking/

I had not been prepared for this BREATHTAKING and unexpected moment. It had started out as quite an ordinary day. Just a drive round the countryside and a walk with my dogs. I had found myself in this place quite by accident. It was to change my life for ever. I pushed on the heavy wooden door and peered round it. I did not expect what I found. It was almost complete darkness. Tiny shafts of light came through the little windows illuminating the dark oak wooden pews. Everywhere seemed dark. The wooden rood loft dominated the tiny building and the feel was almost oppressive. I entered into this darkness which, unbeknown to me was a portent of the deep darkness that was about to enter my life. Little did I know, but I was to return to this place again and again. Something in there had hit me so strongly that I could not ever forget it, and have not, to this day. High up on the tympanum at the back of the ancient rood loft was a ghostly figure. Hardly perceptible. But there. It was the faint but ethereal figure of the Virgin Mary, with her halo still totally visible, seeming to shine light out into the darkness of the building. This light I was never to forget as the darkness of cancer swallowed me up. It was not that I was a particular believer but there was something about this figure that drew me. She was not meant to be there. Way back in time the monarch had issued an order that all such figures should be destroyed. It seemed like a miracle therefore that this figure remained. She had survived all attempts to erase or destroy her. If such light could survive even in that terrible dark time, then so could the light survive during my cancer and ensuing blindness. I knew that indeed light could shine even into the most impossible situations. When my cancer was diagnosed it was very advanced and I was expected to die. But whether I believed in the Virgin Mary or not, I knew that that figure had remained despite all. All things were therefore possible. Yes, that place changed my life for ever.

APOLOGIES

Just a word if apology if I leave anyone out when I an responding to your very appreciated comments. I always love to receive your comments and value them so much. I tend, as you know, to get a bit behind but I always endeavour to answer everyone, not just out of good manners but because I really want to. Thankyou for all your understanding and patience once again. I hope I never miss anyone out. Xx