Monthly Archives: December 2015
BC : AD
This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future’s
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.
This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.
This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.
And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect.
Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens
A number of years ago, the Gorbals district of Glasgow was one of the most deprived areas in Western Europe
This is a photograph from as recently as 1958:
Glasgow Corporation decided to demolish most of the slum dwellings and to rehouse some of the tenants in three multi-storey tower blocks which were designed by the most famous architect of the day, Sir Basil Spence.
When they were completed, they looked drab and dreary (Sir Basil is alleged to have said “To reflect the Glasgow skyline”).
Three rather dull grey high rise rising up to dwarf the remaining tenements below them.
With great imagination and ingenuity, the City Fathers decided to name them:
- “A Block”
- “B Block
- “C Block
But with the characteristic spirit and wit of the Glaswegian, the new tenants renamed them:
There’s something robust about the human spirit – the ability to rise above even the most…
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Extract from “Cider with Rosie” by Laurie Lee
Mile after mile we went, fighting against the wind, falling into snowdrifts, and navigating by the lights of the houses. And yet we never saw our audience. We called at house after house; we sang in courtyards and porches, outside windows, or in the damp gloom of hallways; we heard voices from hidden rooms; we smelt rich clothes and strange hot food; we saw maids bearing in dishes or carrying away coffee cups; we received nuts, cakes, figs, preserved ginger, dates, cough-drops and money; but we never once saw our patrons.
Eventually we approached our last house high up on the hill, the place of Joseph the farmer. For him we had chosen a special carol, which was about the other Joseph, so that we always felt that singing it added a spicy cheek to the night.
We grouped ourselves round the…
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I heard of a very strange auction that was held back in the 1920s in America.
Not the usual items that you find on all these daytime TV antique shows that I watch if Jeremy Kyle isn’t on (what an admission! – well, I am retired….and one’s got to watch something before “Pointless” comes on at 5.15!)
The items in this particular auction consisted of 150,000 patented models of old inventions which hadn’t really worked nor caught the imagination of the buying public.
There was, for example, a “bed-bug buster” and an “illuminated cat” that was designed to scare away mice.
Then there was a device to prevent snoring: a trumpet that reached from the mouth to the ear; and was designed to awaken the snorer and not the neighbours.
And then there was the adjustable pulpit that could be raised or lowered according to the height of the preacher…
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