Jill Sparrow

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Everything posted by Jill Sparrow

  1. Still no takers, Chulla? Thought they'd be queuing up by now.
  2. There was a whole ethos of snobbery around washdays when I was a child. For instance, the moral standards of a family would be judged on how clean their washing was and the fashion in which it was pegged out! Woe betide anyone who had the temerity to wash on a Good Friday or New Year's Day! That was an indication of a dubious character indeed! Much the same went for the state of people's doorsteps. If it was a widower, left to do his own washing after the demise of his wife, there would be expressions of sympathy. "Ah, look at the way he's pegged that shirt out!" Or "Those towels aren't fit t
  3. What a memory, Benjamin 1945! Talking of Sunlight soap, my mother had a miscarriage in 1953 and was rushed off to Peel Street Women's Hospital in the early hours of the morning. She never forgot the way in which she was barked at by the snotty female obstetrician for getting her out of bed at some unsociable hour to carry out the required surgical procedure. She never forgot, either, the callous way in which a young, unmarried woman who had dared to carry out a do it yourself termination was left to writhe around in agony, berated by a starchy ward sister whilst mum was given the best of atte
  4. Dolly tubs and ponches! Brings back childhood memories. Monday washday, Sunlight soap, the kitchen copper boiling away and my mother doing the washing. Gosh, did she love that old mangle? In later years, she was forever bemoaning the loss of the copper, mangle and dollytub. No washing machine in existence could produce anything to rival the old way of doing things. When my older sister was born in 1950, terry nappies were...like most other things... still rationed. No more than a dozen were permitted. Not that mum was any good at nappies. When she picked her babies up, they usually fell off!
  5. Poor Crystal doesn't understand the concept of birds. Obviously, she can't hear the sounds they make but she still likes to sit on the windowsill chattering at them! Being a mutton Jeff moggie, she is only allowed out on a lead and harness but it's obvious from her facial expression that she finds the world a confusing place. Deaf and with a meow of foghorn proportions, everyone adores her but in the brains department she's a few crunchies short of a full packet unlike the moggie who lived near to me when I resided in Brinsley for a number of years. He gloried in the name of Einstein! His owne
  6. I reckon Tarquin fancies his chance as a postman. Since he arrived, I discover items of mail all over the house, hidden away and sometimes torn up. The same applies to Avon CATalogues, Bettaware brochures and anything else the two legged brigade are daft enough to post through the door when I'm out. For months, I couldn't understand what was going on and then, one Saturday morning, I caught him, half way up the stairs with a Christmas card in his mouth! I've got a tabby and white cat with a mania for carrying mail. All I need now is Postman Pat!
  7. A friend of mine recently gave me a longcase clock. I have always wanted one and readily agreed to give it a home. It strikes on the hour and, a few seconds prior to doing so, you can hear the works inside gearing up for the hammer to strike the bell. My youngest moggie, Tarquin, is mortally terrified of this process and literally flies out of the room and upstairs until it's over! No amount of reassurance will placate him. On one occasion, he was unable to vacate the room as the door was shut, and did irreparable damage to the wallpaper near the door in his frantic scrabbling to escape. All t
  8. I'm convinced that cats regard us mere humans as an embryonic life form, suitable only for catering to their every need and whim. They don't require that we understand the more complex questions of existence, just that we open tins and packets when required and mind our own business as to the more highly evolved feline species. I know my place...or should that be plaice?
  9. I too will have to wash the kitchen floor because Sparrow's cats have knocked over the mealworm tub again during the night. They were obviously unable to sleep due to the complexities of cogitating expanding universes and other dimensions...where IAMS grow on trees and it rains cat treats, no doubt! I'll bet good old Schroedinger didn't have this sort of problem!
  10. In my experience, cats always get their revenge. Mine tend to do it by breaking into bags of cat biscuits in the early hours of the morning or upending large tubs of dried mealworms (hedgehog food) all over the kitchen floor! Then they look at you with that innocent, angelic, wide-eyed expression. "It wasn't me, mum. Honest!"
  11. Each to his or her own. I was thinking that, to me, if I found myself in a place where there was no silence, no Bach, no cats, no garden and nothing but constant rap music, football and reality tv shows, I'd consider myself in Hell. However, I quite accept that many people, finding themselves in such a place, would consider it Heaven! As John Milton wrote: "The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven". It's sometimes said that adherents of different religious beliefs can't all be right...but they could all be wrong! Perhaps we each create our own hea
  12. There was an episode of the original Star Trek series entitled, I believe, Spectre (Specter) of the Gun. In it, Kirk, Spock, Scottie, McCoy and Chekov find themselves living through the gunfight at the OK Corral. Except it isn't real. It's only an illusion. However, Spock points out that any doubt about the illusory bullets will kill those who don't possess his certainty about the unreality of the situation. As you might guess, it's my favourite episode! Spock has always been my hero but, sadly, he isn't real either. I went through teacher training college with a girl who was a Jehovah's Witn
  13. Sorry Loppylugs, this tablet has a mind of its own. It's an illusion that can't write what it's told to write!
  14. I think the term "god-fearing" originally meant God-respecting but our use and understanding of language has changed over time. There's also the thorny issue of what may have been given a bias in translation! Going to hell for being a blood donor? I wouldn't worry about it. Hell, in my book, is a state of mind. If you don't believe in it, it doesn't exist!
  15. You're not wrong, Loopylugs. There is a huge difference between religion and spirituality. I like to think the Dalai Llama was somewhere near the truth when he said that it matters not which religion you follow, if any at all. It's the person inside that matters. But then...we're back to the subject of illusion again! Or am I being cynical?
  16. Well, loopylugs, I really see it more as a scientific dilemma. Religion is fine provided people don't try to impose their beliefs on others. I never try to do that because, as my sister turned to me and said when were watching the clouds that hot day in the early 1960s, "The problem with you is you're nuts!" So who would take any notice anyway? I'm afraid I see religion as a method of imposing control upon the way people behave and think. Sadly, it has been a very successful means of controlling the way women behave, think and the opportunities that are open to them. I've always, like Margi
  17. As a small child, I apparently confidently told my parents and anyone else who would listen that this world is just an illusion. I can remember lying outside on the lawn, next to my older sister, looking up at the clouds and stating that what I saw would not be the same as what she saw because it wasn't really there anyway! Not surprisingly, my relatives thought I was a bit odd and at least one of them told my mother she would be requiring the services of a child psychiatrist! I distinctly remember aunties and uncles saying "Why don't you go outside and play with the other children instead o
  18. I was chatting to my older sister recently and she reminded me of an incident that happened to a friend of hers when they were at Peveril School together in the 1960s. The friend, we'll call her Mary, lived with her parents and older sister in a house on the Bells Lane Estate in Nottingham. They had occupied the place for some years and never had any problems. One morning in the early 1960s, Mary's father got up for work as usual. The rest of the family was still in bed but his job required an early start. After going downstairs, he attempted to enter the living room only to discover that th
  19. Wearing my Freudian hat today, I think we should encourage Benjamin to talk about it. It could be therapeutic for him!
  20. Last summer, I had a multi fuel stove installed which meant ordering coal for the first time in many years. This started me thinking about the coal fires in my childhood home and the coal man who brought our fuel. His name was Mr Bill Young and he lived in Thames Street, Bulwell. Mr Young seemed endlessly tall to me as a child as he dashed between his cream coloured lorry with sacks of coal on his leather waistcoated back which he tipped effortlessly into our cellar through the wooden hatch in the wall. Once all the coal had been tipped, he would come into the kitchen for a cup of tea and m
  21. When you consider what Victorian women and children wore, the liberty bodice was precisely that...freedom from whalebone or metal stays! My grandmother wore a Spirella corset and she was a suffragette in her younger days! Perhaps I got off lightly with a liberty bodice, although my family would tell you I've inherited grandma's feminist leanings. There's no reason why you can't denigrate male chauvinism and be warm at the same time! Is there?
  22. Benjamin 1945, they don't make liberty bodices any more. I know this for a fact because to my everlasting shame, I made enquiries with a view to keeping warm in winter! It's all Damart these days! Most people have never heard of the liberty bodice! When I've described one, they think I'm making it up!
  23. A classmate of mine at Berridge, Alison Smith, lived in one of the Victorian houses a few doors up from Merriman's shop on Berridge Road. She was always fashionably turned out and was the object of my envy due to her perfectly straight, chic-bobbed hair. Well, just look at the unruly riot of tresses on my head! Of course I was jealous. Alison turned up one day in a pair of shiny patent, kitten-heeled shoes with a petersham bow on the front. I was livid, covetous, GREEN with envy! Told my mother all about it at lunchtime and begged for a pair of my own. All I got was an old fashioned look.
  24. You too, eh? I have to admit, you're the only male I've ever encountered who wore a liberty bodice! Thought they were an all female preserve! I voiced my dissatisfaction loudly every time we emerged from Ford's with new ones but mum would say I should think myself lucky as the one she had worn at my age was stuffed with cotton wool in the winter months...mum had pneumonia as a child and the insulated liberty bodice was my grandmother's response! Apparently, as the spring and summer advanced, the cotton wadding was removed by degrees until just the garment itself was left. So we should conside