Archive for March, 2017

Another Reminder

When I go on the internet there are certain places I gravitate to, I call it ‘making the rounds’. I’m sure many others do the the same thing visiting their favourite places to see what’s happening or what’s new and interesting. One of those places I go almost daily is The Presurfer and was very saddened to learn about his passing on February 25th. Apparently Gerard Vlemmings, who made and ran ‘The Presurfer’ blogged for over 16 years was 67 when he passed away. There now will be always be something missing from my daily rounds as I reminded again of my own mortality. Belated cheers to you Gerald, I and many other thoroughly enjoyed your blog, but like others maybe, I regret never saying or doing anything to let you know that your blog was our daily treat. Condolences to the family.

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The Weather

While thinking about what to write about next I thought I would write about that old standby the weather. Talking about the weather is a very English thing apparently and usually the topic of conversation when people meet up as a breaking the ice type of thing. It’s also the fall back topic when one runs out of things to say. I haven’t run out of things to say, far from it, I was having trouble deciding that’s all.

The forecast for my neck of the woods shows another possible chinook which naturally would be most welcome. It looks a little longer than the previous ones and hopefully it’s the precursor to spring.

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One of the interesting tales concerning our family is the story handed down of the apparent favourite book of my Grandfathers, ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell’. It unfortunately wasn’t among the possessions left behind in Canada went he returned to England and when he passed away whatever he had for possessions over there went to the family of his third wife we assume. A few inquiries were made but nothing came of it. So when I spotted the 100 year celebration reprint and special edition for sale on Hastings Online I decided to get two copies, one for my Uncle who is my Grandfathers son and one for myself.

The question has always been why would it be his favourite book? Having read it now it seems to be quite clear and provides some insight that we’ve never had about his life and thinking around those early years of the 20th century. The book is clearly a socialist treatise on the plight of the common lowly worker and was written at an interesting time in British history too. I was first published in 1914 I believe and my Grandfather would have come into possession of it in the 1920’s perhaps. One of the interesting historical events that happened in the 1920’s was the general strike of 1926 and I remember my Grandmother telling me that it was a very scary time, people filled the streets and they stayed inside for the most part. My Grandfather would have been around 23 years old at that time and just starting his working life. The turbulent times for workers and how they were treated would have been on a lot of peoples mind back then and quite likely the catalyst for my Grandfather having this type of book. Because of that we can perhaps infer he was a bit of a socialist perhaps?

The last little twist of this tale is when I came to Rycroft and joined the library. I discovered in they had an old copy of this very same book, what are the chances of that*smile*.


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