White rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit.
As I sit down to review the day, it's only 7.20pm and as I begin typing, the street light is on outside, a full two hours before it would normally come on. Bring it on August! The third test at Edgebaston (Birmingham) has been wiped out and the outfield is under water.
Time for a meditation tonight to clear the mind of the junk on the TV I've sat and watched in the vain hope the cricket would start sometime today, and I thought it was time to do some memory testing again, something meditation can help you with making it easier, for a reason I don't know, to bring back the memories you want to bring back.
We were talking the other day about kids hanging around in gangs. Well I hung around with a group of lads but we never considered ourselves a 'gang.' We played in the street, even as teenagers but never caused trouble. British Bulldog, hide and seek were just two of many games; we went into the park after it was closed to sit in the shelter and we had a few bottles of beer (Indian Pale Ale or Nut Brown Ale) , but we never got drunk, committed vandalism or any other anti social crime.
Cottingham, where I was brought up was reputed to be the biggest village in England, something I don't think was ever proven. It also boasted having almost every species of tree known to man from around Europe and beyond within its boundary, mainly thanks to Victorian benefactors and a busy botanical gardens at the local University of Hull. It was surrounded by fields, a green belt which still survives today separating it from its big city rival of Hull.
Going to each other houses in turn was a regular weekly feature playing board games: Monopoly, Totopoly and other card games. We played cricket on the school field on a night against our rivals from the other side of the village, but all organised and done with fun in mind. I can remember playing cricket so late one night it was getting darker and darker but only a few runs were needed to win. I was keeping wicket and the bowler made his run (we were using a real hard cricket ball and no-one had pads) and bowled. The problem was I never saw the ball and neither did the batsman and frankly neither did anyone else. Everyone screamed and hit the deck covering their head or other delicate bits.
The bowler was the only one still on his feet, in hysterics because he had never let go of the ball!
Evenings were long and safe. I walked by myself to my grandparents house on the other side of the railway lines (Hull to Scarborough line) from being fairly young and never worried about strangers. My mother told me in a vague unspecific way that if anyone tried to grab me I was to kick them between the legs! Something a not very confident ten year old would really think of doing! The walk over the railway was well lit and the bridge over the lines was a fun place to dwell and be on it when the steam train used to go underneath it and I was covered in a blanket of steam and smoke. Diesels were never the same - you just choked! Gas lamps were lit on the station and surrounding footpaths every evening except Sunday when no trains ran and that was a spooky time when I used to run all the way there and back along the long, shadowy and occasionally steep snickets (enclosed footpaths or some call them tenfoots) that intertwined the whole area.
The old red LNER (London and North East Railway) signs with white painted lettering stood at each of the little crossings across the line warning trespassers of being fined 10 shillings (50 pence today). The main crossing gates were still open and closed by a crossing keeper who used a huge wheel like a ship's wheel to stop traffic with the gates. Signals were still raised and lowered by hand by the crossing keeper and the oil lamps were put out on the signal every evening before dark by the station porter to light the signal so the engine driver could see if the signal was red (in a horizontal position) or green (in a raised position). Red fire buckets full of sand lined the station, bedding plants in borders brightened the place up and old wooden trolleys, probably from the Victorian age still littered the platform in the hope of the carriage of luggage to the ticket office entrance. You couldn't get on the train or off it without a ticket (no purchase on trains in those days) and there were ladies and gentleman's waiting rooms.
I can still vividly recall the smell of oil on the tracks. On Saturdays I think it was, there was a release of racing pigeons on the platform, dozens of baskets opened at the same time and hundreds of birds released doing circles in the air before disappearing on the long journey toward home - one of natures mysterious miracles.
Here's today's story (thanks to Anita)
A young couple wanted to join the church, the vicar told them, 'We have a special requirement for new member couples. You must abstain from sex for one whole month.' The couple agreed, but after two-and-a-half weeks returned to the Church. When the vicar ushered them into his office, the wife was crying and the husband was obviously very depressed.
'You are back so soon...Is there a problem?' the vicar enquired.
'We are terribly ashamed to admit that we did not manage to abstain from sex for the required month.' The young man replied sadly. The vicar asked him what happened.
'Well, the first week was difficult... However, we managed to abstain through sheer willpower. The second week was terrible, but with the use of prayer, we managed to abstain. However, the third week was unbearable. We tried cold showers, Prayer, reading from the Bible... anything to keep our minds off Carnal Thoughts.
'One afternoon my wife reached for a can of paint and dropped it. When she bent over to pick it up, I was overcome with lust and I just had my way with her right then and there. It was lustful, loud, passionate sex. It lasted for over an hour and when we were done we were both drenched in sweat,' admitted the man, shamefacedly.
The vicar lowered his head and said sternly, 'You understand this means you will not be welcome in our church.'
'We know.' said the young man, hanging his head, 'We're not welcome at Homebase either.'
Hope you are enjoying your weekend.