Friday 21 February 2014

21st February, 1919...

While taking JRT out for a stroll in the stone orchard, in a village near here, Scrobs wandered past a broken tree which had been felled during the recent storms.

One of the branches had fallen across a gravestone, which turned out to be the same identifiable version of all grave markers for men and women killed during the wars.

JRT was happy sniffing around, and I just pulled away the branches, and saw that it was indeed the gravestone of a soldier from 'The Buffs', (East Kent Regiment), who was asleep there. Sad to say, that I had to take a gulp, as he'd died this very day - 21st February, 1919.

It only took a few key strokes to find the exact house where Tom Smith had lived, and also to see the front door where his wife would have stood to receive the sad news, and the main bedroom window above, where she would have spent her first sleepless nights as a widow.

Sometimes there's just a bit too much information around, when a little poignant, suspended memory would suffice...

Tuesday 11 February 2014

RVI - (Reevers to me), has an amazing story here, well worth a long ponder...

Over the weekend we received a visit from some friends from Japan. He is Anglo/Chinese and she is Japanese. They have 2 children, a girl aged 5 and a boy aged 2 and a bit. Mum is an accomplished pianist and has been teaching her daughter to play since she was old enough to sit on a piano stool. Every time they come to the house the lass makes a beeline for the Yamaha in the corner. This time she was entertaining us with something by Mozart. Bearing in mind she is still only 5, she is going to be quite amazing to watch and listen to when she grows up!

The son was born with Downs Syndrome but it is still unknown whether he is also autistic. He has mastered the art of balancing and walking, but not as yet speech. While the adults were chatting, he was looking at his reflection in the blank tv screen on the sideboard. Suddenly something caught his eye and he moved along the carpet a step or two to check it out. He realized it was a reflection and turned and looked over his shoulder. What he had seen was our very old brass table lamp. This lamp was hand-made in Thailand in the late 1800s and belonged originally to my wife’s grandmother, but we have had it with us for over 25 years. It is about 18 inches high with a bulging waistline and the entire surface is decorated with shapes and symbols which were beaten out of the original brass panel. It really is quite a masterpiece of craftsmanship. It sits on a round 3ft high table alongside my armchair and is in effect my reading lamp. There is a small inlaid side table in front of it which is covered by a souvenir t-towel we bought somewhere or other years ago. 

When Junior saw the lamp he came towards it with a huge smile on his face and an outstretched arm with his index finger pointing at it. His arm remained in position as he studied the lamp. Then he began to roll up the front edge of the t-towel. After couple of twists, he cupped his hands and appeared to offer something to the lamp. He then began pointing again and his lips began moving – although no sound came out – as though he was in deep conversation with ‘something’. Occasionally he nodded in agreement with whatever was being said. He stopped and went to the coffee table where the tea and cakes were spread, carefully took 3 coasters from their holder and returned to the lamp. He placed the coasters very carefully in a perfectly straight line along the top of the small table and then repeated the offering gestures. He sat down on the floor, cupped his hands again and appeared to be scooping water(?) from the carpet. Each scoop was placed carefully on one the coasters and the contents then offered to the lamp. His arm was outstretched again and the conversation resumed. He stopped, went to the sofa and removed a cushion which he brought back and carefully placed on the floor by the small table; then he went back for a second one which was placed alongside the first one. He knelt on the cushions and resumed the scooping movement from the carpet, each time offering something to the lamp. Again his arm was stretched out and pointing at the lamp and a conversation was being held, all the while with a huge happy smile on his face.

After about 5 minutes it ended. One more point and smile at the lamp and he stood up and carefully replaced the cushions back on the sofa and the coasters back in their holder. He returned one more time for a quick twist of the t-towel, cupped his hands and offered the contents to the lamp. As he was finishing he pointed his outstretched arm at me with his huge grin and then at the lamp as though he was trying to tell me something. Then he went off to see what his sister was doing.

As he was lost in his own world, none of us disturbed him throughout this ritual although his mum was kneeling alongside him to make sure he did not fall into a sharp edge. She could not understand what had happened and said that he had never before behaved like that.

So what happened? Who or what did he see in the lamp? Who was he communicating with? How did he know to make those offertory gestures? How did he know about the cupping and scooping? What made him go and get the coasters and cushions? Why did he deliberately smile and point at me (and nobody else) as he completed his ritual? Bear in mind that he is only just over 2 years old and has spent the major part of his young life in a Tokyo apartment. It is a complete mystery and had I not seen it with my own eyes, in my own house, unfolding right by my armchair I would be hard pressed to believe such a story. Is there something in the lamp that only specially gifted people can see? He was clearly very happy with what/whoever it was he was communicating with. 

As a by-the-by, the lamp was one of a pair and many years ago somebody broke into granny’s house and stole one of them. It is reputed that the thief was then subjected to some years of ill health and other misfortunes. The village bomoh told him that the lamp was the cause of his misery and he should get rid of it. So he sold it and his luck changed for the better. However, the same problems then befell the man who had bought it. He too eventually had had enough and returned the lamp to granny’s house. I do not know where the other one is now, but it is almost certainly somewhere within the extended family.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Countryfile blagged by BBC...

Great prog this evening, by Ellie and the rest, but sadly the bit about the Environment Agency's failings was diverted to make them seem like they understand the best option.

No doubt the big fat beached whale Milord Smith will be smugly satisfied.

Meanwhile, our dear countryside is demolished by the last labour governments' political inadequacies in making the UK a great place to live in.

Monday 3 February 2014

A trip to the grocer...

Senor and Mrs O'Blene arrive back in Dover, after a short trip to obtain some foreign comestibles...