True Worship

I went to London, this week, to be interviewed by a social worker on behalf of friends desiring to adopt a child.  Such a long way to travel and a rare opportunity to meet friends afterwards, we conspired to rendezvous at Westfield Stratford, study the Olympic Park in progress and share a meal before wending our weary ways home.  What an eye opener.

The tube, always one of the least attractive aspects of London and that day home to a suicide at Embankment, has further disintegrated into a heaving and entombing mass of sweaty, seething, censorious humanity.  Ears afflicted by tinny tones, shallow conversation and neighing guffaws (trust me that was just the businessmen), I alighted into a bottle neck of eager worshippers tortuously snaking down steps and through doors to the temple to materialism which is Westfield.

Propelled through doors, a mere panic attack away from the station entrance, Westfield is the essential experience for the 21st century.  Thousands of bodies bejewelled, bedecked and often prancing on six inch killer heels and platformed soles, writhed, seethed and simpered their way around the modern day tower of Babel.  Every class, colour, creed and nationality appeared to be represented.  Literally thousands of bodies being whisked up and down elevators, in and out of units, queuing for LSD styled thrills in artificially darkened retail outlets.  This truly is The Age of Aquarius.  Fondling coats and jackets priced at hundreds of pounds a piece whilst validating and venerating the creators, true worshippers were satiated.

Across a bridge spanning railway tracks (literally and obviously on the wrong side of the tracks) lies Stratford Broadway; the old, dishevelled, fast-becoming-redundant shopping centre – reeling in the shadow of its larger, glossier, endlessly more decadent successor – which has faithfully served its impoverished community for more than twenty years.  Surrounded by struggling, dingy and depressing independent shops whose exteriors – and interiors – are rundown, familiar, once-essential aspects of the traditional environment of East London, Stratford Broadway (where shawls cost a pound and coats, eight), appears to hear its own death knell and eulogy.

No juxtapositioning could better sum up the cause of UK rioting and dissatisfaction.  Yet the faithful pilgrims, consumed by their passion, fail to notice the plague already rooted in their midst as they blithely worship at a shrine in which not one single shop is life sustaining or prolonging.

I invite you, I encourage you – visit Westfield Stratford.  Don’t just take my word for it; stand and watch – go to hell yourself.


Thanks for the Swastika

On Wednesday morning, my carpenter alerted me (at 8am!) to the fact that someone had put ”mayonnaise or something” on my car.  He is young and was upset, so details weren’t sought.  Suffice it to say, aside from the ketchup, barbecue sauce and mayonnaise dumped on the bonnet, a swastika – etched in mayonnaise – was graffiti-ed on a passenger window.  (It was discovered by my children; a particularly nice touch.)

As utterly disgusting and appalling as the whole episode was, it was a blessing.  Firsthand, we have witnessed the amazing generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness of the folk who live in our community.

As soon as they were made aware, the police began house-to-house investigations, builders hopped into vans and began touring the area for evidence and culprits, neighbours have been popping in with gifts, encouragement and support ever since AND our heating engineers presented us with a gorgeous handcrafted candlestick.

So, instead of writing about the glorious restored stained glass windows – watch this space – the news is that incredible kindness and blessing can come from possible discouragements.  Thank you to you who proved that.

Welcome to the Journey

Central to the heart of every home and every age is the mothering spirit. It is gentle, yet firm; nurturing, yet challenging; loving, wise and simple. Many birth mothers do not possess it; folk of either gender may display it. Life is lost without it.

Central to the heart of every home and every age is the mothering spirit.  It is gentle, yet firm; nurturing, yet challenging; loving, wise and simple.  Many birth mothers do not possess it; folk of either gender may display it.  Life is lost without it.

The mothering spirit, in each of us, seeks to protect the innocent and vulnerable whilst precisely identifying and punishing the guilty.  It seeks the good in each person and even lovingly tolerates the dull, the daft and the great unwashed!

The mothering spirit is simultaneously ethereal and easily recognisable – even by the youngest child.

Called the “mothering” spirit, it derives its name from mothers who have – since the beginning of time – held an opinion about every topic under the sun!  Their quasi-omnipotence and success has hinged on the pin-point accuracy of their decisions whether, where and when to share knowledge.

Welcome – a true welcome – to all those who have or seek the mothering spirit in our time.  Let us journey together.

True to the mothering spirit of standard bearing, I begin by mentioning the current number 1 on my list of things “people simply should not do”: spitting in public.  Revolting and unhygienic beyond belief, in some quarters it appears to have become a national past-time.  Interestingly, the same individuals merrily manage to desist from expectorating on the train, tram or tube.  They don’t spit arbitrarily, so why do it at all?  Inexplicable!

I’m off to resurrect the wreath for the front door.

Happy Christmas!  Peace, joy and hope to you.