Category Archives: Childhood

This is the main reason that I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses . . .

I read this post by JWVICTIMS.org and, having looked up the scriptures myself, I had to agree with the reasoning made.

Even when I first found out about the paedophilia problem within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, world-wide, and that the governing body were using the 2-Witness rule to counter any accusations made by a child, I couldn’t understand their insistence on using the Letter of the Law as an excuse!

Jesus taught us that people should always come first, and children should be especially protected, and this is what sickened me the most, when I was told that I should ‘Leave it to Jehovah’ to sort out the problem – and, far too many months onwards, the governing body is still using this excuse to cover their own blood guilt at protecting the paedophiles, while allowing children to suffer unnecessarily!

Every week, more half-truths and obfuscations*are spouted by these so-called ‘Men of God’, in defense of the indefensable, and it’s about time they were called out on it.

They consistently tell all the Witnesses that the ‘World’ is bad, and playing politics is even worse, but they are the best Politicians I’ve ever seen – well, they can certainly lie as well as every Tory Politician I’ve been hearing for the last 7 years!

Instead of hiding away in their multi-million pound compound (paid for by every Jehovah’s Witness who has ever given money, property, jewellery and anything else of value, over the years), maybe they should be doing as Jesus did, and protect the defenseless children in their Halls, by acknowledging that it’s a rare thing indeed, for a paedophile to allow a witness to his (or, indeed, her) crime!

Please click on the link, and read the post – you should find it interesting!

via: Allow Me to Disprove Watchtower’s “Two Witness” Policy Using Jesus, Some Grain, and a Withered Hand

*(Wikipedia: Obfuscation is the obscuring of the intended meaning of communication by making the message difficult to understand, usually with confusing and ambiguous language. The obfuscation might be either unintentional or intentional (although intent usually is connoted), and is accomplished with circumlocution (talking around the subject), the use of jargon (technical language of a profession), and the use of an argot (ingroup language) of limited communicative value to outsiders.)

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Filed under Child Abuse, Childhood, Choices, Faith, Human Rights, Politics

This is a New Me . . .

. . and I really don’t know how I’m developing as yet.

 

I spent too many years listening to some men in New York, telling me that I should have nothing to do with the World, and not enough time learning about everything happening around me – and then I woke up, after learning that those men in New York were more interested in protecting paedophiles, than the children they were supposed to be protecting!

It was quite a wake up call!

Then, before I could turn around, the UK was calling for a referendum, to decide whether to stay in the EU or not and, as it happens, because of a campaign of lies and deceit (on both sides, I have to add), the votes went with the Leave party – and what a can of worms that opened!

 

Now, when we joined the EU, I was just a young child, and all I recall about that, was my Mum up in arms, because the EU had decided that cucumbers, or bananas, or something of that nature, needed to be straighter (I may have misheard this, of course, but you get the picture, I hope?) and, suddenly, my pocket-money was given in Monopoly money, and I couldn’t buy as much as I used to with it! Lol

Fast forward all those years, where the EU and I were quite comfortable with each other (well, all right, I was comfortable with the EU – I don’t suppose it knows I’m alive! Lol) and I’ve been reading a ton of words about how things should have been, how they may be and, frankly, how nobody knows anything, but it’ll work out okay, won’t it?

Through all the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to learn what I can about those characters who are considered the movers and shakers – aka, our MP’s – because I was going to be voting – something I hadn’t done since the year I turned 18, and voted for a woman as, surely, a woman couldn’t make any worse a hash of things as the men have done – can she?

😦

Anyway, I was reading, and reading, and getting seriously depressed at the dearth of choices we have for our Prime Minister, only to find that the choices have got ever smaller (please, God, don’t let it be Gove!)

Anyway, reading about the various party leaders, I was interested in what was said about Jeremy Corbyn. All I knew was that the Media, and practically every opposition MP, were having a real pop at him but, rather than putting me off the guy, the fact that he seemed to be universally hated by everyone who has had a hand in making the mess we’re in right now, decided me to try to find out what he was trying to achieve.

I was pleasantly surprised:)

After the 172 Labour MP’s tried to stage a coup against Jeremy Corbyn, I expected him to be forced into resigning, as so many politicians had done before him – but, no, he stuck around, and continued to promise the Labour Grass Roots that, if he did ever become Prime Minister, he would do his best to bring things around to the way they should be, where Labour will be about the people who voted for them.

I would love to see a Labour Party that really protects those that need it, whether through illness, disability, through age, or because jobs are presently few and far between.

We need a party that will deliver on their promises of public ownership of resources, rather than selling everything off to private companies with no accountability; we need our NHS back up to scratch, with more training places given free to local people who want to work as our future doctors and nurses; we need to be building more homes for those people who, through no fault of their own, can’t, and never will be able to, afford to buy their own and, as a consequence of that building work, they will generate more jobs! We need a party that will make taxes fair for everyone – including making the super-rich companies, presently hiding behind unfair tax laws, cough up what they owe to a country that has provided their work forces, their raw materials in a lot of cases, and the land that the buildings they occupy stand on!

We also need to put a stop to the awful xenophobia currently splashing its way around the country – and this a country that has been made up of practically every nation in Europe, from the distant past, to the present day – plus all those Commonwealth countries, that were forcibly put under the yoke of the British Empire, had all their wealth stolen away, and were forced into slavery, to help make a few Elite even wealthier than they already were!

I digress!

Anyway, if Jeremy Corbyn can get the Labour Party turned back to its original purposes, and can then help to protect us all from the idealogically-driven ideas of this present lot, then we may actually get back some of that spirit that drove the working man to better his lot in the first place – not by climbing over the bleeding backs of others to get only what we want, but standing on the shoulders of those who came before them, with the dream of making life  – maybe not easier, but certainly better than it’s been for at least the last few decades.

Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’d love to see our MP’s get away from seeing themselves as Career Politicians, or as a way to line their pockets with whatever they can squeeze out of an unaware electorate – and I mean that for every Party!

I would love to see the Politician doing the job they are paid for – protecting the rights of the people of this country, no matter what race, colour, or creed they happen to be!

I guess time will tell, but I hope that, in the meantime, someone will work out what we’re going to actually do about the pickle we’re in at the moment!

 

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Filed under Changes, Childhood, Choices, Disability Issues, Faith, Human Rights, Ideology, Politics, Reading

Shana Rae’s Challenge

I was looking at Shana Rae’s Blog earlier on: Shana Rae’s Books, and she wrote a challenge to her readers: To look at two pictures, and see what we could come up with from them.
I normally get my inspiration by just typing whatever comes into my mind – a sort-of stream-of-conscience writing, where odd ideas will pop into my mind as I write, but I have occasionally used pictures, mostly when I write poetry, so I thought I’d give it a go to write a very short story 🙂

 

Room 02

A breath of wind stirred the layers of dust as the door reluctantly opened. The squeal of  the hinges showed the years of neglect, and it seemed to Laura as if there were a miasma of gloom darkening a room that, in other circumstances, and long ago, had once been bright with lights and merriment.

As she looked around the ruins of her past, she sighed in despair, not knowing where to start first. The once loved glass-fronted cupboards, that had held the history of her family, were now gaping wide, some of them bereft of glass, and all of them covered with the neglect of ages. It seemed that people had sheltered in the house, and they had cared nothing for what the room had once been. She saw that some of the frames had been broken to use as kindling in the large stone fireplace that, in wintertime, had constantly held the warmth and light needed to chase away the cold.

Laura slowly walked into the room, and gingerly perched on a chair left abandoned in the middle of the room. It sat besides a round table, that held a few of the books that had been taken from the cupboards – at least these hadn’t been used for keeping a fire going, nor left strewn across the floor like the detritus of the ages!

Laura looked at the books, and realised that they were actually some of her favourite ones from childhood. The fairy tales written in them had been read to her by her parents at bedtime – a much-loved action that immediately brought back to her the sound of their voices, the laughter as her father deliberately changed the stories to suit them to her own wishes. She remembered those times, when her little family had spent long winter evenings  in front of the fire and, at Christmas, when the tree glittered with decorations, and piles of presents sat expectantly under it, just waiting for Christmas morning when they would all open just one present each, until her grandparents arrived for dinner. She remembered how even her grandparents would pile into the presents, excited as children themselves…….

Room 01

But those times were dead and gone, and Laura knew they would never come back again. She put down the book she had been holding while her memories played back to her, and sighed a weary sigh. She knew she had a lot to sort out if the house was to be made saleable, and sitting, thinking of a past long dead and buried, wasn’t helping it get done.

Brushing the dust from the book from her hands, Laura stood up again, and with a determined stride, she walked out of the room, ready to get the cleaning things needed to sort out those dusty old memories.

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Filed under Celebrations, Childhood, Choices, Family, History, Memories, Short Story

Nothing to declare . . .

I don’t know why, but I’m feeling terribly guilty at not writing as regularly as usual on this blog – as if I’m playing truant from school! 


I don’t think that’s something that I ever actually did as a child, as I’ve always loved learning (mind you, school itself was always a trial to me, as I was such a bookworm, and a real loner).


Thinking back, as a child living in London, one of the few occasions when Mum sent us along to a summer school (I think she’d got thoroughly fed up of having so many energetic children underfoot that year! Lol), I did play hooky for the day, with my cousin Paul, and Mum knew, almost to the moment, when we had left the building, and where we had gone for the day!


As children, we believed her when she said that she had eyes at the back of her head, but what she did actually have, was an extremely efficient network of friends. 


Mum knew absolutely anyone worth knowing in our neck of the woods in Willesden, and we always seemed to have a huge amount of aunts and uncles – those deemed close enough friends that these honorifics were apt, as they were like real family to us.


Coming from a big family (6 girls & 1 boy, plus 2 who didn’t make it past babyhood), and with a father who was the baby of 16 children, we were used to always being surrounded by hordes of people, and I learned early on to be able to read, and do my homework, despite the noise and bustle. 


If it wasn’t people talking, laughing, joking, or playing about, then there was always music being played, either from our little transistor radios, (in rather garish colours and very much prized as our latest Christmas presents in the 70’s – mine was florescent orange! {grin}), or on my parent’s Grundig Radiogram, where mum would pile on all her favourite LP’s – normally Irish or Country & Western, and she and her best friend Eileen (Oh, I do miss you, dear lady!), would sit with teacups in one hand, and cigarettes in the other, and sing along at the top of their voices, or just reminisce about the dances they’d gone to, before all the children arrived.


At times the noise would get too much for me, especially if I’d just got back from yet another hospital visit, and I’d creep upstairs to the bedroom  I shared with my 3 older sisters, and I’d get into bed, and snuggle down under the covers with whichever book was gripping my attention at the time. I think I was the only one in my family who looked forward to bedtime and, at one point, would be in bed by 6 O’Clock on a lovely summer’s evening, just for the short space of peace and quiet I got! {grin}


It’s an interesting thing, to look back on your childhood, isn’t it? 
Very often, if I mentioned a particular incident in our shared childhood, each of my family would tell it from their own viewpoint – and, more often than not, their memories would bear only a slight resemblance to my own recollections. 
I’ve always understood why the police on TV had trouble getting witness statements straightened out. If a murder was committed in a locked room, with 10 people watching, you’d get 10 different viewpoints as to what actually happened!


Memory’s a strange thing, and mine’s gone from excellent recall, to muddled memories now, due to illness and medications – but the further I look back, the clearer my memories become – is that a sign of age, do you think? {grin}





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Peter Pan – the lost boy



We are dealing with Peter Pan at this point of our module and, due to my fluctuating health, I’m way behind everyone else. This panicked me for a while, but I realised that I’ve got all this holiday break to be able to catch up. 
Yet another reason to be grateful that I stepped away from all the madness of this season! Lol


It’s been really interesting to read the critics about Peter Pan, and my eyes have been opened to a lot more aspects concerning both the play, and it’s creator, J. M. Barrie.


My whole experience of Peter Pan, had been the story read to me as a child, and then learning to read it myself, and then I saw the 2003 film after it was released. These didn’t prepare me for reading the original play script, and it amazed me how differently it was conceived by it’s author, and how the passing of time has changed the aspects of it’s viewing.


I’ve a feeling that the Disney viewpoint is a much more powerful one to children today although, as it was originally written as a pantomime, and now enjoys a repeat performance as such every winter, that is something fixable – although I suspect that there are a lot more children familiar with the film than have ever had a chance to see the play!


At the beginning of this block in the module, we dealt with a whole section on poetry, and I was reunited with quite a few of my childhood favourites, in the book needed for the module, 100 Best Poems.
One of the poems, The Fairies, written by William Allingham in 1850, is one that I need to use in my next TMA and, on reading it, I could see why it was being used for comparison and contrast with Peter Pan. I’m very much looking forward to using it, as it immediately caught my attention:


      The Fairies

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather.
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back
Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies set
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather.
        William Allingham (1850)

With the themes of fairies, magic, and abductions, it's a good poem to use, and I look forward to doing so 🙂

One poem I discovered in the book, was  Blake's 'Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright' - a poem that fascinated me as a child, and which I still love today, so it was fortunate that I had to buy the book for the module - it was so comforting to be reunited with a childhood memory! 🙂




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Filed under Childhood, Memories, Poetry, Studying

My TMA is finished, and sent! :)



I was really relieved to see the back of my TMA during the week, and I don’t think I’ve worked as hard on one as I did this – much to the bemusement of my hubby who, while used to my absentmindedness during TMA time, had it in spades this time!


Because I’ve spent the last two years dealing with Creative Writing courses, I’d got out of the habit of writing a purely literary essay, and so I was double, and triple, checking everything to make sure it was as exact as I could make it – especially the referencing at the end!


This meant more concentration, which meant more tiredness for me, with my health problems, and my hubby often came into the room to find me fast asleep in front of the laptop. Lol


But, it’s all over and done with now, so I have a week or so to wait and see how well, or not, I’ve done with it. 🙂


In the meantime, it’s on to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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Half way through the first block.

I’m amazed at how quickly these first two weeks have flown past already, and have just had my first face-to-face tutorial, which has been a huge help in getting things straight in my mind, and has got me ready to do my first TMA (Tutor-marked Assignment).
I started off, not absolutely sure of which option to choose but, now that I’ve worked further into my Block 1 activities, I’ve definitely chosen option 2 to work on: this is about the development of the fairy tale, with Little Red Riding Hood as the main subject matter.


The course has surprised me somewhat, in that we are dealing more with the history, and ideologies, of children’s literature, rather than the books themselves. 
We are investigating how, and why, children’s literature developed, and how we, as adults, view the whole subject of childhood: how childhood has been perceived throughout history, and what is considered ‘suitable’ reading for children, depending on the social ideologies prevalent at the time a book is published.
In order to do this, we need to read the books that are listed for the course and, while some of them have delighted me, others have made me quite uncomfortable in their frankness, with Junk, by Melvin Burgess being one, and Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin, which moved me deeply in a different way,  another.
I guess that this is a positive thing in it’s way, as it makes me question why I reacted to each book as I did, and so I am delving deeper into the reasons that a book is published in the first place; whether it is deliberately written for the shock factor, or whether the author wishes to address certain problems or issues that we are having to deal with as a society.
What is perceived as a ‘good’ book for children is another topic we are looking at, and how the ideologies of different groups in society influence what becomes popular with both children, and their parents.


There is a real prevalence today for stories dealing with magic, witchcraft, vampires, and various subjects around these themes, and I can’t ever imagine my mother allowing me to read these books when I was a child, mainly because I had such a vivid imagination that they would have given me nightmares but, what is unsuitable for one generation, or for individuals, becomes the norm for another, and this is where personal ideologies fit in with the choices we make in our reading matter.


I, personally, saw no problem in my daughter enjoyed the Harry Potter and Northern Lights series when they first appeared, and saw her enjoyment as a way of encouraging her to read more but, as I had always taken them more as adventure stories with moral overtones, rather than dwelling on the subject matter of magic, wizards, and alternate universes, there was no conflict for me.
I admit that I still see no problems with reading, and enjoying, the books as, to me, they are something  I always see as a ‘ripping good yarn’ – stories that, for me, deal with the fight between good and evil, and how we cope with all the many grey shades in between. 


To some, the books would be seen as having to be avoided, especially as they deal with the subject of sorcery, but I guess that, when it comes down to it, each person must examine their own heart, and conscience, as to what they consider okay to read, and it is certainly not for me to say what is, or isn’t, the ‘right’ kind of books for children to read – I leave those decisions to the people that matter – the parents, and the children themselves.



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