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Perceptions

View from the tram stop

When you are out and about among strangers, do you ever wonder who they are, what they do and how they see their surroundings?

On a journey this week I was amazed by the friendliness and helpfulness of people, who were perhaps on their way to work. I caught a tram, having been helped by another passenger, when the ticket machine suddenly decided to display the menu in Spanish. As I boarded I asked someone whether all the trams went to Manchester Piccadilly. I thought he said, “This one does.” However the doors were closing noisily and he probably said, “This one doesn’t.”

I recognised most of the stops on the route from a train journey a couple of days before. Places I had known decades before had really changed. When I used to take a train it entered a tunnel at the station. Now the Metro goes above street level in many places. I felt like a time-traveller!

Suddenly a young lady came to me and said, “If you’re going to Manchester Piccadilly, you need to change here.” I thanked her and stood up. Two other people made sure I caught the correct tram, one of them sitting with me on it and chatting. He was a young man, who asked if it was my first visit to Manchester. I told him I had known the city a long time ago, before there were trams.

His reply surprised me, “I thought there had always been trams!”

That brings me to perceptions. Do you see below the surface? Would it surprise you to know that the beautiful stone or brick of many of the older buildings in Manchester used to be blackened with soot from factory chimneys? I can recall seeing the cleaning work in progress using dilute acid (as far as I remember) to remove the soot and grime, exposing light coloured stone.

You may not know Manchester (UK), but what about the places you do know? Have they changed much? Can you trace how they have developed from the changes in architectural style of the buildings?

And what about the people? How many of them have always lived there as Mr Popper had in Stillwater in the excellent production of Mr Popper’s Penguins, which I saw in the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale? (It is on until 31 December 2019 and is great fun.) The young man I was speaking to had only been in Manchester a few weeks. I was just passing through the city centre on a beautiful, sunny morning. Being too lazy to walk to the other side of a post supporting the overhead wires in the hope of better photo, I snapped the Central Library from the tram stop. The tram arrived in less than 5 minutes. I was almost sorry not to be spending more time in the city.

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What will the New Year bring?

The numerous posts on social media at the beginning of 2019 setting out people’s goals left me feeling unfocused. This was partly because my health and fitness were low. After an outing in beautiful countryside on a sunny day, I feel more like getting to grips with the New Year. I took far too many photographs and have the material for a number of posts on Sue’s Words and Pictures. I had been considering abandoning that blog, but for the time being it will continue to have a new post each Saturday. I am posting a taster picture here.

Derwentwater

Sue’s Trifles has new material on Thursdays.

The category cloud for this blog indicates the main topics, which I have blogged about. The ones I return to are blogging, books, craft, faith, seasons and travel – and blogging from A to Z in April. Many of the others are projects, which have been completed (such as #psalmtweets) or prompts, which are no longer available or which I have tried and found to be too demanding. (I do have things to do away from my computer!)

In the last year books have been the main focus of Sue’s Trifles. There have been some craft posts and very little about faith. As there is a link to this blog on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid, perhaps I should bear that in mind when writing my posts. The hashtag for the blogger grid is #bgbg2. That will appear as a tag rather than a category.

One project I have in mind for this year is to do a deeper study than the Ladies’ Bible study group is doing. This will require discipline. I do not intend to publish it online. The books we have been using recently featured in another post.

It was Epiphany on Sunday. I still had the aches and pains I had been struggling with for a few weeks. I moaned to a few friends after the morning service. I hope I didn’t make them feel miserable. There is a time for being honest about one’s struggles. I don’t want to make a habit of being miserable and moaning, but saying, “I’m OK”, when it isn’t true prevents others from knowing how to give prayer support. Galations 6:2 

To conclude, in 2019 I am going to try to

  • be more focused on my writing
  • communicate better with the people around me
  • listen more
  • be less irritable
  • improve my fitness by spending less time sitting down
  • use my skills to help other people
  • remember to trust God and not to rely on myself
  • rejoice in the Lord always Philippians 4:4

A visit to The Lost Words exhibition

As the date for The Lost Words exhibition to close was approaching I realised that it would be possible to visit it in a single day travelling by train and bus. The internet is a wonderful tool for discovering and planning. I booked advance tickets including plusbus, collected them from a machine, set my alarm for an early start and off we went.

My research fell down a little over the location of bus stops, but we still managed to arrive at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in the morning. There were other people travelling on the same bus to the gardens. Fortunately one of them knew the way!

Inverleith House

Inverleith House

Entry to the gardens is free, as for The Lost Words exhibition. We found Inverleith House with the help of maps in the gardens and arrived there at the same time as a group of primary school children. (The summer holidays start and end earlier in Scotland than in England for reasons connected with the Scottish potato harvest in earlier times.)

We followed the youngsters in and were impressed by their enthusiasm. However we chose a different route around the exhibition so that we could enjoy it more quietly! In fact we went round some of it twice.

The rooms were empty apart from the exhibition on the walls. Jackie Morris’s beautiful artwork was displayed alongside Robert Macfarlane’s acrostic poems. There were other items of interest, such as an enclosed nature table a bird’s nest and egg, another representing the artist’s workspace and yet another with the writer’s notebook showing his work in progress. Relevant items from the Royal Botanic Garden’s archive were also on display.

There were families and individuals visiting the exhibition. The artwork was presumably the originals from which the book was made. The paintings of the absences did not have the scattered letters across them, which are in the book. I didn’t realise the difference until the following day, when I was describing the exhibition to someone, who hadn’t heard about it. (Yes, there still are people, who have not heard of The Lost Words!)

The book is beautiful, but some of the paintings are interrupted by the fold between facing pages. It was lovely to see them as complete pictures in frames and to be able to admire them from a distance or have a closer look.

I am amazed that many of my friends and acquaintances do not seem to have heard of The Lost Words.

One who has, alerted me to other spin-offs from the dictionary, which replaced nature words with technical ones. Malcolm Guite wrote a sonnet. He also has a list of all the old words omitted from the dictionary in order to make room for modern ones.

Many but not all of the missing words are included in The Lost Words. My post about the book may be found here.