Share Your World – October 23, 2017

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?

I was born in 1946 when the men had returned from being soldiers in the second world war and caught up with life. They were naturally busy producing children and we were the baby boom years. There were 47 children in my class at the primary school, and yes, it was the survival of the fittest. I had no brothers and sisters, so perhaps it meant that mum and dad had more time for me. We had no money, and my parents never had a chance in their school life. Mum went to work at the age of 13 and dad was about the same. Dad might have made it to a better school, but that was only for those with money and a working class boy did not have chances.

So that was the background, but I was the one that made it. I was not a genius, definitely not, but I managed to pass the right examinations at the right time and eventually arrived in high school. We were still the baby boomers, but the fittest had now been filtered out. It was not easy, but I just did it, no big problems. The only subject I really hated was physcial exercise, although quite enjoyed land hockey and was even chose for a match in the school team. I could have perhaps tried for university, but I stayed in my comfortable little world and joined the commecial class to learn typing and shorthand and all the little office jobs that were necessary. If I had been 30 years later I might have become a computer expert – who knows.

List some of your favorite types of animals.

Cats, Dogs, Birds, Duck billed Platypus, Apes, Gorillas, and even humans. Yes I am an animal friend.

What is your favorite large city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most?

Peterhof Palace Leningrad

There are many: Paris, Vienna, New York, my home town London, but the longest impression that remained was Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg, on a visit in 1966. It was my last year at school. I never returned to school after the visit as it was the end of my school days. We had the chance of a Baltic Sea Cruise and included was a two day visit to Leningrad. Do not forget this was 1966, the days of 100% communism in Russia, and it was an experience for me. The photo shows the fountains of the Winter Palace just outside of Leningrad and it was breathtaking. The photo is black and white, it was mum’s Brownie box camera, but if it were colour you would see the fountains in black and gold colours.

I was surprised to see how women had equal jobs as the men. We were used to see male road workers with pneumatic drills on the streets in our country, but in Leningrad the women worked with the men – equality for all.

We saw uniforms everywhere and the local beer seemed to be sold in a tank wagon parked at the side of the road. The people queued and had their glasses filled from the tank. We were forbidden to take photos when entering Leningrad harbour because the naval base was next to it – perhaps too many secrets. I would go again if I had the chance. It seems that after communism collapsed the fountains and many other installations were suffering from negligence, although I am sure Mr. Putin has now put things back to how they were.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Road to Langendorf 23.10 (10)

Autumn is an inspiration for all of us, particularly if you have a camera with you. Even a simple drive home from the supermarket this morning was inspiring. The colours are changing on the trees, so take a photo as long as the leaves are still there.

Share Your World – October 23, 2017

JNW’s Halloween Challenge: Graveyard

Woodgrange Park Cemetery

Where did they all go? It was once a flourishing graveyard, welcoming all to their last resting place, as long as you paid for the privilege.

When I was a kid I would go and visit the family grave with mum once a month. It was a fun graveyard, because there were no paths, but just an overgrown wilderness amongst the gravestones. Sometimes you were walking on a gravestone embedded in the ground. I remember one was a young man than had drowned in the river at the age of 23. I am probably the only person that spared him a thought. Eventually mum and I visited grandad, as there was only room for one person more in the family grave and he eventually joined his family.

The funny thing was I never met anyone in grandad’s family. When I researched the family tree I discovered that he had brothers and sisters. They were mum’s aunts and uncles, but I do not think she ever met them. And so time went on and one day the graveyard was sold. It was full up, no room left and no-one really bothered. Mum told me that some appartment blocks had been built on the land but there were a few remainders left from the graveyard days as in the photo. Half of the cemetery had now been taken over by muslims.

Many years later I was in England and visited it what was left of the cemetery. I found the ruins of the gravestones in the photos, as this small part of the cemetery had not been demolished, so I assume there were a few coffins with the remains below. The muslims were also there, and we saw some groups gathered on graves and having a good conversation. Funny isn’t it, christians and muslims have their problems on this side, but on the other side it makes no big difference. There were complaints that when they removed the old graves, they just ran over the ground with a bulldozer churning up a mixture of bones and coffins. There were complaints, but no big deal.

Our family grave has disappeared somehow, although there have been a few remarks made by people living in the appartment building now built over what used to be Woodgrange Park Cemetery in the Eastern Side of London. They say that sometimes objects move with no reason in their home and strange noises can be heard. I think they are perhaps searching for publicity or reading too many Neil Gaimann books.

JNW’s Halloween Challenge: Graveyard

Daily Prompt: The Day The Scaffolding Went Down

Scaffolding Removal

I have a feeling that I am sometimes being watched by WordPress. Of course not, but their suggestions for a prompt often cover my present state of affairs. It began this morning when I was greeted by a troop of workers heading for my appartment block. Yes, it was the day of the scaffolding removal. It is now 4 o’clock in the afternoon and peace reigns. There was a clank of metal against metal, but the builders worked silently. They had no need for communication, because each of them knew his part in the play.

Over the past 7 months we had lived in noise, it became part of our life. The worst was the removal of the outside walls and insulation. This could not be done by hand, but machines were needed. After lunch you settled for a midday sleep and it was a signal. At first just a little hammering noise to say “hello, time to work” and this developed into a crescendo when there were 2 or 3 pneumatic chisels all working in accord with each other. I slept on and the noise amalgamated itself in my dreams, it became part of the sleep. Nino, the chief of sorts told me constantly, “only this week and then it will be quiet”, but Nino’s idea of time measurement was a little different to mine.

Scaffolding Removal

The weeks became months and we greeted the insulation experts with their welding machines. The regular bangs and chiselling noises became flame throwing effects. There was also background noise. Eventually the balconies above were given the new tiles, but the sizes were not exactly as they should be. This was no problem. There was even a machine to deal with this, a size grinder. It was equipped with a circular stone cutter and each individual tile (there were at least 2-300) was ground to shape. The cutter was placed near enough to be heard during the working time, and it seemed that the person involved in this work had an 8 hour day, although we were all glad when he had his lunch break. This repetitive grinding noise did improve when one of the neighbours noticed that the grinding saw was no longer as sharp as it should be. We still had the annoyance of the screeching of the saw, but the job went quicker.

When the painters arrived, it was almost a recuperation, a lull: their paint brushes made no noise. It was the interlude to the symphony, something like the William Tell Ouverture. The middle part represents the lulling of the waves on the lake.

And oday was the grand finale, the storm on the lake: the crescendo with nuts and bolts being thrown from the second floor and pieces of now unwanted scaffolding being removed, leaving a space where they once were. Even Mr. Swiss joined in with the broom sweeping the small bits and pieces away. At the end of day silence reigned. I clapped as the last worker left us and took a walk around our block to admire the unscaffolded building.

The day the scaffolding went down

Behold our new freedom without bars in front of the porch. See our newly painted light green walls, very light green and our clean windows which will no longer have to be cared for almost daily. We can breathe again, we now only have the sound of silence. I think I will have to play some music, perhaps the 1812 Ouverture, to liven the place up.

The Day the Scaffolding Went Down

Good Morning

Scaffolding removal

They’re here in the famous words of the Poltergeist film from Steven Spielberg, but these have not arrived from the dark side, although who knows. May the trumpets sound and heavently choirs sing, the demolitian men have arrived. After seven months of living behind a steel construction, known as scaffolding, today is the big day. It is being removed.

Scaffolding

It can only get better. We now have one of the scaffolding removal men standing in our garden, yes in our garden and he is catching the various poles and metal parts  being thrown froim above. Can this be true, is it really disappearing for ever. When I saw the worker my exclamation was “Wow” and he found that quite amusing. Perhaps because I was smiling, it is unbelievable. And they are doing the job quickly. The guy on the top floor is throwing poles to the guy below, one after the other.

To be quite honest we never actually believed it would happen today, just another story to keep us happy, but they are fast workers. I am sure, hoping, almost convinced, that the oppressive metal cage will be no more at the end of the day. But there will be no more photos at the end of the day. I will have to visit other buildings sites perhaps, or back to nature.

Autumn Leaves 22.10 (9)

Talking of nature, I took a short walk on the path of my surroundings yesterday to document the fallen leaves. Yes, they were there covering every space available. Yesterday was the last sunny, dry day as today the rains have arrived. I noticed that my garden was also full of these leaves, and they do not go away on their own unfortunately. It looks like it is sweeping time again and I really have better things to do.

Scaffolding

In the meanwhile we are surrounded by the noise of falling metal and calls from the builders. The removal is progressing and the top floor is almost completed within just an hour. It is raining, but they battle on. If this continues we will be back to almost normal in the evening. What a shame I have other things to do. I would love to stay here today and just watch and take photos.

Today is a shopping day, and I have other duties, although in between there will be photos I am sure. I even recognise the scaffolding builders, they are the guys that appeared 7 months ago to build the scaffolding. They are the guys I am please to see again.

Enjoy your day and celebrate with me, “The Day the Scaffolding disappeared”.

Clouds 21.10 (6)

Can you see it, the finger reaching through the cloud, it is an omen, a promise that life goes on, despate the invasion of the building oppressors.