Who would have thought to miss them?

Poem by Elizabeth Bracken 

 

those chill church halls of two bar fires

and icy toilets with high level flush,

their kitchens full of prohibitions

and cupboards packed with Beryl Ware,

countless cups and saucers in sea green.

who misses tea urns - ancient, modern, gushing out like spouting whales, 

or hessian bags of bargain coffee jars?

 

Dark are the stage lights for the pantomime,

cheap glitterballs and temperamental strip light.

Faded the smell of celebration buffets - 

chipolatas, mini quiches, spicy chicken wings.

Silent the dusty out of tune piano, the keep fit beat,

a birthday DJs patter, meditation tapes,

loud clapping from the slimming club

and women's voices over washing up

 

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WhatsAppening?

WhatsAppening, WhatsAppening ?

Confusion, chaos reign

I try to answer Maureen but

Kath interrupts again

From Canada to custard creams

Camels, change and crocus

Such abundance of the C word

Makes it very hard to focus

Kaiser Chiefs and croquet

Covens, haircuts will be fun

Clever curtains closing

Crosswords, colouring, cajun

I’ve a finger that’s arthritic

Which slows me down somewhat

I’m always getting left behind

Slow down, you rotten lot

The typos keep on coming

With gauge tees, mooing couse

The doves seem to be coping

But groping photo’s not allowed

It was late when Antje joined us

She couldn’t find the link

Connected to another line

Talking to herself we think

You can’t have your cake and eat it

It was virtual you see

And we also lacked a hostess

To make our cups of tea

That did not seem a problem

For in reality

Our ladies, safe behind their screens

Were sipping G&T

One by one we said Goodnight

And signed off for a rest

I so enjoyed my time with you

Bedale Ladies, you’re the best !

Written by Judith Brickwood, a member of Bedale group after their first WhatsApp meeting.  

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Women of the World

Women of the World

we see your life,

in a world of conflict,

pain and strife.

 

Women being wives,

we feel your pain,

trying to build towards

a life of gain.

 

Women being mothers,

we know your cry,

aiming, for your children,

for the best of life.

 

Women being strong,

we share your loss,

humiliation, degradation,

and the heart-felt cost.

 

Women being heard,

your voice is loud,

it can also be seen

through the dark, dark cloud.

 

Women of hope,

never give away

your pride, and the effort

towards a better day.

 

Women of the future,

work through this test,

to help you all

we’re doing our best.

 

The women here

have not forgotten you

and send strong support

for all that you do.

 

Nikki Bennett. Copyright

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Diamonds Are A Girl's Best friend!

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Poetry - The Founding of NWR

A Saga in a nutshell

Lively minded ladies, that is who we are

Finding fun and frienship in the NWR.

Researching topics of many diverse kinds

Laughing at our gaffes as we're broadening our minds.

Our association was started by a few

of stay at home Mother who had the idea to

Host meetings in their houses to enjoy a lively chat

Sharing views and ideas and starting something that

Led to home group meetings that spread out wide and far

And thus became the founding of NWR.

by Rosemary Crawford (Plympton NWR)

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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Deepings Group enjoyed reading Fannie Flegg's 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe’ and some members LOVED this charming book.  We appreciated the strong characterisation:  those who have experience of nursing homes said there is a Ninny Threadgoode in every one;  Idgie, on the other hand, is a one-off - passionate, kind, enterprising, funny, brave, extreme - it was lovely to see her again at the end of the book, still telling her tall tales.  This was a strong community with warm friendships and loyalties, support for each other,  coping,  and the sadness of the loss of the village with the decline of the railway.  The vivid descriptions made us  almost smell the food and hear the music and voices of both rural and city life in this Southern US state.  The device of moving the story back and forwards using the humour and snide comments of Dot Weems’ Weekly Bulletin, worked well.

Even those cynics amongst us who cringe a little at American sweet homespun wisdom and the occasional shmaltzy sentimental tone, felt that the book was certainly saved from tweeness by the extremely dark subject matter. 
 We were shown the cruelty and violence of racism, and the subtle differences made by having different shades of skin colour, even between brothers;  the disquiet about the woman who could pass as white;  the way the Klu Klux Klan worked - “they may be niggers but they’re our niggers”.  The awful poverty and depression of The Depression and its intersection with that racism - even the hoboes, despised and beaten (perhaps to death) by some, were allowed through the front door of the cafe, the ‘coloureds’ had to quietly make their requests at the back.  We saw the comfort and optimism of the black church and the acceptance by black and white of what we would now see as lesbianism.
There was domestic violence, the lack of rights for married women, particularly over the custody of children;  then the sadness of infertility;  the bringing up of a ‘special’ child;  ageing; the dignity of people who struggled against scorn and adversity to make a better life for their children, and the grandchildren who saw that struggle as demeaning bowing and scraping. 
There was murder, even cannibalism (albeit unwitting on the part of some diners) and assisted dying.
For a slim, easy-to-read volume, Fannie Flegg’s masterpiece packs quite a punch!
 
Article supplied by Kathy Ward, L.O.
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An inspirational poet, the glorious countryside, a medieval limestone quarry and a toxic rubbish dump

An NWR EA06/07 Area day conference offers so, so much for the price of a shop-bought sandwich and a plate of food for sharing with old and new friends.  That's how I like to think of the adventure that the Area day conferences never fail to deliver.   This year it was organised by the tiny Glinton Group with the help of the ladies in Peterborough.  Squeezed into the Helpston village hall, we were delighted by the speaker for the morning Mr Richard Astle from the Langdyke Trust http://langdyke.org.uk/ he enthralled me with his breadth of knowledge of the life and poetry of John Clare  1793 - 1864, Helpston's native son.  More importantly Richard wove the modern day legacy Clare leaves through his inspriational poetry which led to the creation of some of England's earliest Nature Reserves.   It's hard to summarise how special this community organisation is to this small part of our countryside.

The toxic rubbish dump is the remant of chalk upland that Clare immortalised in his poem of over 1,200 words 'The Lament of Swordy Well'.  He was writing with passion of a beauty spot encroached by the Enclosures and damaged by the greed of landowners.  Here is one verse :

The bees flye round in feeble rings 
And find no blossom bye 
Then thrum their almost weary wings 
Upon the moss and die 
Rabbits that find my hills turned oer 
Forsake my poor abode 
They dread a workhouse like the poor 
And nibble on the road

It's remarkable that Clare's observations and concerns for the condition of nature were so acute and modern in for a self-educated poor man.

We went on to learn how the area had even worse to suffer in the 1970's until eventually its fortunes changed when the local community purchased the site and removed the rubbish and scraped the soil back over the site and miraculously the seeds in the soil flourished and now orchids are flourishing at Swordy Well.

Clare's penultimate verse errily foretells that resurgence :

And if I could find a friend 

With no deciet to sham 
Who'd send me some few sheep to tend 
And leave me as I am 
To keep my hills from cart and plough 
And strife and mongerel men 
And as spring found me find em now 
I should look up agen

 

 

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Mavis Leverington
Oh well done Julie, thank you,lovely to have your comments on our day and to know how much you appreciated our speaker, he does th... Read More
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:39
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On A Glasgow Bus by Robina Fisher

The driver slams the breaks and revs the engine
Passengers struggling to stay on their feet
He makes them pay for more than their fare
Hating them all, because of her ugly spitting mouth

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A Fowl Job by Robina Fisher

Helen makes another futile visit to the Job Centre, just as she has every weekday for the past two months. Times are hard, jobs increasingly scarce. Her one month’s pay in lieu of notice did not last long, and now the bills are piling up. Sitting on a hard plastic chair, she waits her turn to be interviewed. At last, ‘Advisor No 3 – Free for Service.’ flashes onto a screen. Helen recognizes the Advisor from previous ‘interviews’ and knows that this will be an unpleasant encounter. Through a speaker fitted into a dividing protective glass barrier the Advisor’s voice betrays the contempt she feels for Helen, and all the other ‘clients’, as job seekers are called.

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Fun and games

The purpose of Articulate

Is clearly to communicate

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Ode to an NWR ‘widower’

It came upon a midnight clear

Ooops. No. They came from far and near.

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Whose life is it anyway?

The Ladies of Bedale and District
National Double-U  R
Were to bring along three distinct items
To show who the devil they are

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"Summer Holiday" Theatre event

The daughter of one of our members in appearing in a production "Summer Holiday" at the Eastwood Theatre between 26th and 30th May 2015.  Tickets are between £10 and £15 and all funds raised from the show will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

If you are interested tickets can be purchased on line

http://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk

 

 

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First Night Nerves

Clutching the yellow post-it tightly in her hand, Jennifer walked purposefully along the sea shore towards town. Even though she had lived here for over a year, she was still disorientated because the sea wasn't due south. A lifetime on the Sussex coast had given her an awareness of the points of the compass but she didn't seem to be able to transfer that knowledge looking north across the sea......

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Recent Comments
Maggie Snape
Pacy writing which flowed well. Found the denouement contrived; the Brighton Belle moved to Whitstable too?! A bit too much of a c... Read More
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 21:06
Gill Ankers
Well written and it certainly kept my attention. The ending made me smile, even if it was a little unlikely!
Friday, 26 September 2014 15:58
Barbara Richardson
Good reading Judith. Ignore my score, it scored you before I had finished! Must admit it was a bit of a heavy coincidence - Whit... Read More
Sunday, 28 September 2014 14:43
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Kilos

'Well done you' said the Group Leader. As she always did. 'A loss is a loss however small' Yeah Yeah. I've got a wedding to be mother of the bride at. I've got an ex married to a woman five years older than his daughter. She spends a lot of time looking in mirrors and loving what she sees.....

She is a size eight, with secondary assets silicon boosted to DD,fulsomely displayed by low cut dresses. She has the skin of youth, a rippling mane of shiny hair and a real talent (she has just the one) with make-up. She will, without doubt, teeter in to Molly's big day on kitten heels, her size eight body wrapped tightly in an expensive scrap of fabric, secondary assets carried proudly before.

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North Corridor **editor's pick**

He had wanted more from life – to fly, to break free from the mundane daily existence. He left them without goodbye. Now and then a stab of guilt disturbed his consciousness.....

The years had passed quickly. He was 35 years old, married with a child of his own, and another on the way. Since becoming a father he had grown to understand the bond parents feel for their children. Memories of his mother and father kept him awake at night.

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Barbara Richardson
Short and sweet, excellent.
Sunday, 28 September 2014 14:52
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Umbrellas

Vera waited at the bottom of the stairs for the doctor. Eventually she heard the bedroom door open and then the sound of him washing his hands in the bathroom. He looked serious as he came downstairs.....

"I don't think it will be long now, Mrs Williams. He's comfortable; I've done all I can. Call district nurses if you need anything."

Vera thanked him, showed him out and then went upstairs.

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A Tale for Spring

Phoebe sat surrounded by daffodils. She had chosen a bench well away from the house to eat her sandwich and enjoy the April sunshine and now she gazed around her at the nodding golden heads covering the grass down to the lake. Casting her mind back to the morning she remembered the English essay partly written on her computer at home and wondered where it might be going,until she was suddenly jolted back to the present by an inquisitive dog who seemed interested in her rucksack.....

"Hello, gorgeous, are you after my lunch?"

She bent down to stroke the yellow bundle and looked around for its owner.

"Teddy! Teddy!" she heard in the distance.

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A Consideration of Lives

In comparing my life with that of my grandparents I find my side of the list is uncomfortably full beside theirs. My parents are no longer alive so I am unable to obtain much information or personal anecdotes about either set of grandparents both of whom are no longer with us. Not to be beaten I decided to draw on my general knowledge of the time period in which they lived and together with my personal remembrance of the type of people my own parents were I reckoned I might be able to build a picture of sorts.....

I have decided to concentrate on my maternal grandparents as I do know a few facts about them and mindful that my mother's standards and attitudes would have been influenced by her upbringing this should give me some insight into theirs.

They were working class as were my parents, but the term applied today bears little resemblance to the status of that class in the1850's. My grandfather was a painter and decorator and on this wage he supported a family of eight plus himself and my grandmother whose work it was to see to the nurturing of them all. My older sister tells me that our mother once referred to how hard he worked and to her knowledge he didn't seem to have suffered any serious periods of unemployment. Mother also gave her the impression that the family never had a holiday, never went away at all, a fact hard to digest today.

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green fingers

green fingers

Gardening is great at this time of year with flowers in full bloom the garden can bring real joy to the green fingered and dispair to those who hate weeding and mowing. Here we share some top tips

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