Up, my wife and I having a little anger about her woman already, she thinking that I take too much care of her at table to mind her (my wife) of cutting for her, but it soon over,… So home to dinner, my wife having put on to-day her winter new suit of moyre, which is handsome, and so after dinner I did give her 15l. to lay out in linen and necessaries for the house and to buy a suit for Pall...
This seems an era when the husband was in charge of the purse-strings. Pepys seems considerate of his wife (when he is not angry) and has allocated some money to her. In the days before cheques and credit cards the wife would have been much more reliant on her breadwinner for any luxuries.
My own wife is keen on building miniature gardens and I enclose phase one of her latest effort.There is no limitation to what can be achieved using simple materials save the limits you choose to put on your imagination.
On my way along Redfield Road I happened to glance left towards the playground of St. John’s C of E Primary School. There was a girl of about 5, smartly dressed in her new uniform, crying her eyes out. Three fellow pupils stood around her awkwardly, unsure of what to do. Not one of the three fellow pupils made any body contact never mind a cuddle. They probably have not seen their parents cuddle. The poor thing was not able to speak for her tears.
Had I been there I would have instinctively given her a cuddle or at least squatted down to try and ascertain what the matter was. In this paranoid society I as a single male would have instantly been ‘identified’ as a potential child molester. I wanted to record the incident on my camera but feared that this would be the subject of the same mind set.
My Mens’ group put on a canal trip on the Avon and Kennet Canal, a place where my wife and I go often. Spring, summer autumn or winter it always has something to offer. The canal boat was made available by the Canal Ministries. They have 10 boats and offer a listening service plus advice and Christian Outreach. They also offer food parcels , dental and medical advice.
Five of us squeezed ourselves into a car and were driven to the Dundas Aqueduct. I love the theme of this website which relates to this part of the canal system “We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape”. Our group chatted away about every subject under the sun, often interrupting each other in our desire to make our point. The reason what that the environment was conducive – puttering along at 3 mph is mildly hypnotic and succeeds in bring out all that is best in human nature namely the desire to share experiences in an atmosphere of good humour and respect.
This is what restaurants are bad at. Background music is so called because it should constitute background ambience not foreground noise. Geddit?
The Mens’ group subsidised the cost of the trip. Donations were invited. This brings up the controversial subject of whether you put pressure on people to give donations. There is a certain pressure on entrance fees for the National Trust for a ‘Gift Aid’ of say 10% and it is your choice to refuse to pay thus being made to feel mean or thrifty. I call this sneaky opportunism. I am not talking about E-mail campaigns or anything of the Internet, but about corralling money from real live people in the same room.
* If you can make an announcement then be unapologetic and clear. “We are glad to provide this free service and would appreciate a contribution towards the expenses of this event including .... (give details but don’t overwhelm people).
* Avoid the begging bowl syndrome … ‘can you give something no matter how little’ can sound cheap.
* There is no harm in having more than one contribution plate in the room or space but it must be clearly marked and supervised if possible.
* Humour by the collector can help if it is not banal.
* Passing the plate round as is sometimes done in church may be resented.
* Collecting in a hat or fairly voluminous object by the entrance (exit!) is quite tactful as the donation remains private.
* Give people eye contact and make sure to thank them even if they do not give. This will maintain the dignity of the situation.
* Don’t look at what they have given (important)
* Well dressed people will be more trusted than someone who is dressed too informally or scruffily.
* If the money is for a good cause make quite sure that people know what the cause is.
* Definitely no pressure as that produces resistance and embarrassment.
* Do not ask more than once
* If someone wants to give £5 but only has a £10 note handle this discreetly.
* giving is a private transaction and therefore no one else’s business.
In the evening we went along to Ston Easton (yes that is really a place not a hiccup) for the monthly meeting of the garden club. A botanist spoke about the flowers of the Mendips. Her content was good but her technical presentation was poor. No one had explained to her how to give a talk. Alas, she had no pointer, laser or otherwise, and was continually pointing at the image and trying to reach up with her hands. She spoke far too fast in her great enthusiasm and this combined with the echo in the room reduced our level of comprehension to about 40%. Such a pity as her knowledge and love for her subject was considerable.
I went up to her and said I had some spare laser pointers and would she like one? She stuttered and said that ‘perhaps I should buy my own’. She was not able to say ‘thank you how kind here is my address’. She also mentioned that she did botanical walks. I asked her for her web site (I don’t have one), her Twitter or Facebook account ( I don’t do that sort of thing) but she said brightly ‘you can write to my e-mail address’. I realised I was making her flustered and uneasy so I walked away. Maybe she relates better to flowers than to people. Part of me does not blame her.
We drove back through the country side on a dark and blustery evening. No moon. Dark. A fox ran across our path. This seems like the first day of autumn. Goodbye summer.
I read a shocking article on these hurricanes that are battering Puerto Rico and neighbouring countries written by one of the most reliable investigator Mike Adams, the ‘Health Ranger’. The weaponisation of weather is well known amongst those who choose to do the most elementary research. The US Government have granted 175 patents for weather control. This is irrefutable. Weather wars are far more effective than atomic wars – seen as rather crude weaponry these days. Weather systems can be steered towards intended targets. Check out Climate Viewer News for many references.
As I write, a black night with the sound of rain spattering on the windows. Sounds like BED is a safe refuge.