A little bit of Dad

In my final Lundi limerick yesterday I used the hamlet of Acton and linked it to the fact that it played a large part in my Dad’s life.

In the process of digging out a bit of real life background, rather than the normal wikipedia, or google sources, I rummaged through the suitcase that I brought away from Dad’s house after he died at the grand age of 96.

Mum had died nearly 11 years before and everyone expected Dad to follow fairly swiftly after. He was, after all, a hard working farm labourer, who had relied on Mum for meals, clean clothes, and a welcoming home. We had all, of course, forgotten his hard upbringing, his determination, and his adaptability.

Within a couple of weeks he had bought himself a microwave. “I’ve always wanted one of these but your Mother would never have one”, he said.

He went on to cook his own meals, wash, dry, and iron his clothes, vacuum the house, and thoroughly enjoy the whole new leaf that he’d turned over. My little sister (three years older than me), who lived a few miles away, kept an eye on him, had him over for Sunday lunch and, over the coming years, gradually helped him more, according to his needs.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a definitive history of Dad, purely an extension of the information about his link to Acton.

The suitcase I mentioned earlier has quite a few Bibles, and other books, in it, each one has a story to tell. Dad was a Methodist Local Preacher from the age of 20 until failing hearing, and health, caused him to retire, although he remained ‘on the books’ until his death, and received several certificates of Long Service, even up to 75 years service! It just could not be done nowadays!

Dad was a marvellous preacher. Inspiring, knowledgeable, plain speaking, always linking to everyday life, articulate but never verbose. In everyday life you would never dream that he was a gifted and effective preacher. He was a quiet, mild mannered man whose goodness shone out for all to see, always willing to help, support, and encourage all that he encountered.

First out of the case is a School photograph from 1922 when Dad was 12
How smart they all are, and I love the bicycle parked around the corner! Dad would have done a couple of hours work before going to school and would have many jobs to complete when he got home.
Sunday School prize that Dad received from Acton
Note the Superintendent was John Matthews, an uncle
and a 19th birthday present from an Auntie
A present from the Local Preachers Association on his recognition service as a preacher (Oct 14th 1929)
21st birthday gift to Mum
An article that appeared in the Local Preachers Newsletter after Dad died

Lundi limerick #105

Thinking of Acton I’m glad

so special to Mum and to Dad

It’s where they first met

and their future was set

Such a wondrous life they both had.

 

There is not a lot to be said about Acton,  a small hamlet in Staffordshire. You could so easily drive through it without knowing and yet, without its existence, I may well not have existed!

The one building that is there, an old Wesleyan Methodist Church that closed in 2003, is where my father, Charles Matthews, went to Sunday School, then to Chapel. Where he met my mother Irene Lily Matthews, née Talbot. Where they first started courting,  all very prim and proper in those days. Where Dad first qualified for his  75 years as a Methodist Local Preacher.

I will add some photographs to a later post, and give a little more detail. I thought it appropriate that for the last of my two years worth of Lundi limericks (Lundi being french for Monday, for those who hadn’t noticed!!) I should write about somewhere extra special.

Thank you Acton. Thank you Mum and Dad.

 

 

 

Rapid rhyme #31

Owen, Beleaguered Servant, with No Talent For Certainty is a poet whose prodigious output simply amazes me.    His post, yesterday,  I’m Really Glad You’re Happy inspired me to write the following Rapid rhyme.  Do check out his poetry.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

A Rapid rhyme is one that comes to mind straight away and is not edited or amended. By their very nature they can be rough at the edges, a little unfinished, but I like them!

Incidentally, trE, of A Cornered Gurl, has taken a liking to my idea and has started to produce her own Rapid rhymes, going one better by adding an audio file to them (I’m not ready to share my squeaky voice yet!). They are great, and an example can be found here.

Here is mine, inspired by Owen.

I’m really glad you’re really glad that I am glad you’re happy

I’ll help you now in helping me to help you change your nappy*

I think you think I think you’re cute but I think you are cuter

Especially now that you have let me see your great big hooter**

I like the fact you like the fact that I like facts of fiction

I say that you will say I do and I will say good diction

I’ll state the state that you are in is really rather snappy

I’m really glad you’re really glad that I am glad you’re happy

*Nappy = Diaper

**hooter = Nose

Song Lyric Sunday – 6 September 2020 – Yanamamo

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Musical/Opera this week rather than a choice of words to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

I’m opting for a not so familiar song this week, from a musical that is normally performed by schoolchildren. I was lucky enough to attend a performance, probably 25 years ago now. It was very moving. The children had obviously spent a huge amount of time in learning, rehearsing, and performing the 90 minute work. Afterwards I bought a cassette tape (remember those) of the performance and played it often in the car whilst travelling to and from work.

Peter Anthony Rose MBE (music) and Anne Conlon MBE (words) are British writers best known for their environmental musicals for children. They were both teachers in Lancashire, England, for the majority of their creative achievements and most of their works have been written specially for St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington. At the time Peter Rose was their head of music. They wrote with a view to expanding the children’s knowledge of the world and the environment, perhaps hoping that their seeds would fall on fertile minds and help to make the world a better place.

In 1988 the US-based World Wildlife Fund (WWF) funded the musical Yanomamo, by Rose and Conlon, to convey what is happening to the people and their natural environment in the Amazon rainforest. It tells of Yanomami tribesmen/ tribeswomen living in the Amazon and has been performed by many drama groups around the world. Sadly, lessons were not learned and the Yanomami continue to endure massacres, disease, and a loss of more and more of their environment. What appeared to be a positive awakening of their plight was very short lived. The rest of the world calls it progress!

Yanomamo is a 90-minute work for chorus, soloists, narrator and stage band, and the original production, performed by the choir and musicians of St Augustine’s RC High School, was narrated by Sir David Attenborough and premiered at the Royal Institute, London, before appearing at the Edinburgh Festival. They later performed Yanomamo in America, narrated by Sting, which production was recorded for television and later broadcast (on Easter Sunday, 1989) on Channel 4 under the title of Song of the Forest. The TV version was commercially released by WWF. Since its publication the musical has seen performances by thousands of children throughout the world.

The lyrics are on the video which, unfortunately, is not very good quality. I hope you enjoy “Song of the Forest”

I Know A Predator When I See One — Life in the Boomer Lane

Renee has hit the nail smack bang on the head with her assessment of the man pretending to be POTUS!

A predator in the animal kingdom is defined as an animal that kills or eats other animals for food. The most successful predators are not necessarily the biggest and the strongest. They are the ones with the sharpest predatory instincts. They are fast. They have heightened senses. They have good camoflage. They can attack without their prey ever sensing […]

I Know A Predator When I See One — Life in the Boomer Lane

How my home movie became a MAGA hit — Living in the future present

For a glimpse of mid 1970’s America, especially California, you will find this a fascinating read. There is the benefit of seeing  a good old fashioned “home movie”, although a very highly sophisticated one, if you follow the link:

The spirit of 77 in Los Angeles

In the mid 1970s, I worked as an exchange teacher in a California high school. It was an exciting and formative year for me and my family. 1976 was the bicentenary of American independence, and signs and flags everywhere announced “Spirit of ’76”. There was a palpable feeling of optimism. The Vietnam war was over, […]

via How my home movie became a MAGA hit — Living in the future present

Song Lyric Sunday – April 19 2020 – Home Town

song-lyric-sundayJim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week Jim has asked us to find a song linked to our Home Town or City where we were born, or once lived.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

Well, I left home at the age of 16 and have lived in my current home for 27 years. In the intervening 29 years I lived in 42 different places and that is not counting the various tents, barns, woods, hedgerows, vehicles, factories, boats, ships, and ditches where I have laid my head, nor any holiday homes. I guess that Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home.

Live Rockpalast 1985

 

Wherever I Lay My Hat

Paul Young

By the look in your eye I can tell you’re gonna cry
Is it over me?
If it is, save your tears
For I’m not worth it, you see

For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam
Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
I’m telling you that’s my home
You had romance, did you break it by chance

Over me?
If it’s so I’d like for you to know
That I’m not worth it, you see
For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam, mm

Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
Mm, that’s my home
Oh, you keep telling me, you keep telling me I’m your man
What do I have to do to make you understand?

For I’m the type of guy who gives girl the eye
Everybody knows.
But I love them and I leave them
Break their hearts and deceive them everywhere I go

Don’t you know that I’m the type of man who is always on the roam
Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
Wherever I lay my hat, oh oh, that’s my home, mm yeh
That’s my home

And I like it that way
You know I can’t make it all alone sometimes that’s the way, that’s the way
I’m not saying
I’m not saying I don’t love you
Just got to do what I want to do

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Barrett Strong / Marvin Gaye / Marvin P Gaye / Norman Whitfield / Norman J. Whitfield

Wherever I Lay My Hat lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Of course, living near to Nottingham I could have chosen:

 

Rapid rhyme #22

Easter Sunday, boiler’s broke

phone the gas, they send a bloke

social distance makes it hard

shout to him across the yard

 

Cat goes crazy, races round

scratches bloke then goes to ground

launches right across his head

goodness me I think he’s dead

 

Thank the Lord he’s coming round

the cat once more has gone to ground

the boiler well and truly broken

the bloke at least has now awoken!

 

No cats, or blokes, were hurt in the writing of this poem! The boiler, however, is crying – all over the once dry bedding and towels. Happy Easter everyone.

Song Lyric Sunday – March 22 2020 – Promised Land

song-lyric-sundayJim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week we’re asked to go with Promise, Vow, or Oath and I’ve chosen to link to the word Promise.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

The song I’ve chosen is Promised Land originally recorded by  Chuck Berry to the melody of “Wabash Cannonball“, an American folk song.

In the lyrics, the singer (who refers to himself as “the poor boy”) tells of his journey from Norfolk, Virginia, to the “Promised Land”, Los Angeles, California, mentioning various cities in Southern states that he passes through on his journey. It has subsequently been performed by numerous other artists, including the Grateful Dead which should please Jim!!!

However, I reckon that the best cover of this song was provided by Johnnie Allan

He was Born in Rayne, Louisiana, and grew up in a musical family. At age six he obtained his first guitar and  by age thirteen he was playing with Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys, a traditional Cajun music band. About two years later he switched to Lawrence Walker and the Wandering Aces, another traditional Cajun band.

Throughout the 1960s he pursued his music career while developing a distinguished career in education and would often use the school PA system to advertise his latest records!

He combined his love and expertise in music and education as the author of two books on Cajun culture.

Just look at this album cover. What a fantastic head of hair!

CDCHD-380_1200_1200

I’m including two versions of the song. The original recording and a later supposedly live performance where they were miming!

Now that is accordion playing at its best!

Promised Land
I left my home in Norfolk Virginia
California on my mind
I straddled that Greyhound
And rode into Raleigh
And on across Caroline
We had motor trouble that turn into a struggle
Halfway across Alabam’
And that hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham
Right away I brought me a through train ticket
Ridin’ across Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans
Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just to help me get to Houston Town
There are people there who care a little about me
And they won’t let the poor boy down
Sure as you’re born brought me a silk suit
Put luggage in my hand
And I woke up high over Alburquerque
On a jet to the promised land
Working on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the golden state
Ah when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
He would set us at the terminal gate
Swing low chariot come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone
Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line
Working on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the golden state
Ah when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
He would set us at the terminal gate
Swing low chariot come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone
Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Andreas Behle / Christian Kundschaft / Mike Rejchel
Promised Land lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

 

A view from across the pond, and back

“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)