Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday again

I'm ignoring the election coverage is the papers. It's not that I don't want to vote, I'm aware of the price that's been paid to get it, but my heart just sinks at the choices. It's not even a case of choosing to vote for the best of the worst, I just feel completely out of sympathy for the whole process. And I'm not alone, everyone I speak to just sighs and says pretty much the same thing.

And this just when my son has got old enough to vote, he's had glossy literature from the Scottish Executive telling how important his choice is to the process - just what an ego-centric teenager needs to hear!

There have been really good things on the telly this week, the BBC 4 series on the Edwardians has been especially good. I think I was attracted to the programme as that was the era when my grandparents were young, and I can remember my grandfather and great aunts stories about being a child in the early 1900s.
The Edwardians in Colour about the Albert Kahn archive of autochromes was stunning. He was a French Jew who sent photographers all over the world to catch cultures/ways of life that were on the brink of disappearing. The series of shots by a woman photographer of Ireland was my particular favourite. They were taken in 1913, and feature a part of Galway that is long gone. The fisherwives looked and dressed much like the Newhaven women in Edinburgh. My great-aunt Effie used to tell me about seeing them selling shellfish from baskets at the top of the city's Waverly steps.

My great-grandfather was a cartwright for a dairy in the Dean and Stockbridge.
It makes me sad to think I'm probably the last generation to know something about their lives. Four sons in the trenches in the First World War, three who came home badly injured, then a daughter who died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919. I was told by the family that it was the flu that killed her, but subsequent research has shown she actually died of TB. I'm left to wonder if flu was a more acceptable form of death than TB. She was only nineteen.

I read a piece by the American writer Marilyn French in which she says her mother used to drive her over to Brooklyn to see the tenements where she'd grown up, "and once she was satisfied that we understood how lucky we were to live where we did and that we appreciated our lives were better than their's had been, she'd have my father drive us to Manhattan......."

I think in this series the Beeb is acting as the nation's mother, rather than aunt, and more power to her elbow!


Blogger PI said...

When I was a child we all knew someone who had TB and you're right flu was more acceptable.
We have local elections soon and I always remember Christine - a friend and neighbour now deceased -and local councilor who once berated me for not voting so - in her memory I'll vote.
Re TV - saw a strange film last night 'House of Sand and Fog' which rather haunted me and finally I'm going mad trying to find the phormiums you mentioned?

3:16 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

It's in the shot with picnic table, big thug of a NZ flax.

5:15 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

"Completely Out Of Sympathy For The Whole Process".
Exactly Right.

5:25 pm  
Blogger Colin Will said...

I will vote, because I'm disgusted with the corruption and deceit displayed by the Labour party locally and nationally, and I want them out on their arses. I'll even put up with an SNP administration just to see them out.

8:51 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Ah now i see it! I thought you meant the rushes in the bottom left hand corner. The thug was so big I missed it!

9:11 pm  
Blogger PI said...

'Out on their arses!'
I'll drink to that!

9:13 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Ach I don't know about the SNP, they never impressed me much when I was inside the tent. But I agree on Labour. I've voted for them all my days, but no more there are just too many bad decisions to forgive.

11:26 pm  
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12:03 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Hi Elisa -thank you -you are too kind.

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1:01 pm  

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