Sunday, January 13, 2008

The People Of Lewes

The view from the kitchen window this morning
Today was so beautiful I couldn’t be bothered with the world . We went for a walk on the Downs but over our preparatory porridge and yoghurt we looked at the local Paper. Our lovely English Town has a fizzy little journal which, like many of its type , is chiefly interesting for the letters column. This week , there was plentiful crop and I thought it might be nice ,in an admittedly twee way , to put one or two here as a flavour . This involves a heroic acts of typing on my part but in compensation , little thinking. The first is a exquisitely barbed put down of local busy bodies . Paul Leader of Framfield is still sticking it to the man with rare panache … ( and at his age :)

Being officially one of the elderly and vulnerable , I was alarmed to read the recent dire warning s from Diana Grice Director of Public health., …(etc.) Her advice to my ‘at risk’ sector is that when Winter sets in we crumblies should ‘heat the room’…’wear a good coat , hat, scarf and gloves’ …wear flat soled non slip shoes’ and eat and drink hot meals and drinks throughout the day .So , no more wandering around Tescos in my underpants then or throwing open my windows ant the first sign of frost, or supping ice cube soup.
This advice comes , of course, from the burgeoning Ministry Of The Bleeding Obvious and is an affront to anyone with an IQ higher than a pigeon’s. Though meant to be helpful, ( to interplanetary visitors perhaps ? ) and possibly translated, at the tax payers expense, into Urdu Polish Bengali , Mandarin and Braille - this drivel verges on ageism, hinting that anyone who has survived over six decades and is not in a locked ward for their own protection must be approaching vegetable bed wetting status and has forgotten how to keep warm
Bill Bentley , East Sussex County Councillor , clearly a black belt in patronising , also warns that ‘living in a cold house can have an effect on your health’ There goes my dream of igloo life in 2008. Who on earth do these twits think they are talking to ? Moreover infantile council-speak obfuscates advice on warming and insulating homes which needs repetition and publicity. Idiotic proclamations from the office in the clouds of nanny Grice only serve to infuriate and alienate many of those she aims to assist. Where’s me thong and sandals , Sainsburys here I come…..

Genius .Peter Messer a local artist recently made the news by saying that newcomers were destroying the character of Lewes. This provoked a storm of debate and the letter I like best was this thoughtful effort by Kathleen Seymour . Along the way she gives a politely acidic description of the class and types of people that mingle in our English Eden to be cherished.….
Peter Messer is scathing about what he sees as the wrong kind of newcomers to the town. He is appalled by its gentrification , Lewes , he says, ‘is losing its identity ‘.
He may be a respected local painter but he`s not so hot on local history.. Lewes has changed and changed again throughout the centuries , from bustling prosperity to rural backwater and back. The arrival of the railways made it accessible and by the early 20th century both grand houses and ugly council estate s were being built on the town’s boundaries for newcomers, who began to outnumber the townsfolk, and then became the townsfolk. The arrival of Sussex University (and later Brighton University) staff from the 1960s onwards changed Lewes again . They favoured back street artisan’s houses , preferably two , three or more which they could knock together to form stylish ‘Town Houses’. Since then Lewes has taken in an arty crowd( including Mr. Messer), the vegan sandal wearing lentil eaters , and a substantial literati element .
The towns identity is further influenced by the huge numbers of people who come into Lewes each day to work in the Local Authority headquarters , the ambulance headquarters and the prison etc. This has been going on for lost of Mr. Messer’s life . Their presence contributes to the success of local businesses, thus benefiting those who live here; That they are also the cause of out traffic problems is also relevant to the nature of the town.
So what identity is Lewes losing Mr. Messer.? The Lewes you remember is not the older one I remember and mine is no the Lewes of the previous generation. My daughter’s Lewes is again
different to your and mine

I`m afraid as I was already in this week`s , abusing Ms. Marple ( Norman Baker) , my effort was not included but I just love Kathleen Seymour’s style .
I wore an a sort of walking garment all day today , when for years I have inhabited the a Johnny Boy (out of Mean Streets) Leather Coat and Jeans . The spell of the place is falling on me . Church tomorrow , and a local pantomime . Bliss.


Anonymous said...

Soon be wearing sandals and beard ala Liberal, eh? :)

Sounds wonderful, your Lewes.

Which church is yours - St Castros, the pretty, wee Presbie or one of the small ancient churches in the villages around Lewes?

If you get to go up the church tower, please take some pictures...indeed, even if you don't...please take some pictures.

Auntie Flo'

tory boys never grow up said...

Looks like Paul Leader may need som advice on his blood pressure in the near future. However, if he is the norm down there I can see you fitting in really well - even if it does mean that time is frozen in Lewes for a generation or two.

Anonymous said...

Beware, n. Happiness is a dangerous condition in nulabia - it attracts the attention of greedy government spoilers, developers and land snatchers - as we in Old Harlow found to our horror.

And on the subject of nulab's snatch and grabs....

Stalin Broon, finding simply stealing our money doesn't give him as much of a power buzz as he needs, now intends to take control of our bodies.

Broon's call for a bogus national debate' about moving towards a system of organ donation in which everyone is a potential donor unless they opt-out - well we know what that means, govt and quango focus groups (all exempt) get to force this (and euthanasia?) down our throats.

What might seem a reasonable policy under normal circumstances can only be mightily abused under nulab.

What next, Chinese style organ harvesting hospitals selling organs next door to prisons? Social miscreants - political offenders, smokers, drinkers, obese people, the elderly - all to be culled in the name of the common good.

Just a coincidence that one of Broon's children will need a heart and lung transplant?

This gives a sinister new meaning to Broon's desire to have our hearts and minds, doesn't it?

Over my dead body, Broon!

Auntie Flo'

initiative four hearts and

Anonymous said...

Woops, last bit was supposed to state:

You are cordially invited to four transplant weddings and a funeral at Wormwood Scrubs.

Auntie Flo'

Ed said...

We get similar patronising nonsense round here too, with things like "lock your doors and windows when you go out" and "crime is down".

Newmania said...

We haven’t decided which one Flo we would really like a Sunday school or a creche at least , I `m afraid Master N did little for the sermon this morning

TB there is indeed a spirit of independence , this was the Town where they blew up the Parking meters and in many ways will not be pushed around by your beloved state hirelings .There is a strong traditional working class element here but the Labour Party is cordially loathed by the majority ( although they do have an active presence). The arty potters wheel types are all Liberals as are most of the gentrifies. The Conservative are rural and working-class nationalists. it’s a interesting place

I think we all get that Ed , what i like about that letter as that he was so keen to get his gags in he almost forgot the point ...Know the feeling

Daisy said...

that was an absolutely gorgeous picture...i am very fond of graveyard pictures as well...don't know why have always liked the detail in the older stones, if you so happen to be around any :)

Anonymous said...

Paul Leader's spot on. Nothing to add to his caustic appraisal of municipal madness.

Mrs Smallprint said...

Sound's like the Somerset County Council preachers all over again. Just think how much they could cut off our council tax is they stopped paying people to think up, write, print, deliver and take away this mindless drival.

Newmania said...

Daisy we have numerous ancient graveyards in the area I will look one out fior you , I find them interesting places myself

Newmania said...

Ranter How do ...yes , there are always a few great letters arounf

Newmania said...

I think Councils are the same everywhere Mrs SP. Some mean well but mostly they just love bossing people around, ( when they are`t reuiningh beautiful English towns )

Anonymous said...

In our mountain greenery
Where God paints the scenery
Just three crazy people together.

Ooo, while you love your lover
Let blue skies be your coverlet
When it rains we'll laugh at the weather.

And if you're good
I'll search for wood
So you can cook
While I stand a-looking.

Ooo, beans could get no keener reception in a beanery
Bless our mountain greenery home.

In the mountain greenery
Where God paints the scenery
Just three crazy people together

How we love sequestering
Where no pests are pestering
No man holds us in a tether.

Mosquitoes here
won't bite your ear
I'll let them sting
Me on my finger

We could find no cleaner retreat from life's machinery
Than our mountain greenery
with its mountain scenery
Bless our mountain greenery home

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

I don`t recognise that Flo ?

Anonymous said...

Surprised you haven't heard it, even the Supremes made a version of it.

Great little tune goes with the lyrics. Walk into your local and ask someone to sing it for you, bet they'll all know it.

From the Broadway musical "Garrick Gaieties" (1926)
(Richard Rogers / Lorenz Hart)

Roger Wolf Kahn & His Orch. - 1926
Perry Como & Allyn Ann McLerie
(featured in the film "Words And Music) - 1948
Sylvia Syms - 1952
Lee Wiley - 1954
Mel Tormé - 1955
Bing Crosby - 1956
Patti Page - 1956
Ella Fitzgerald - 1956
Barbara Lea - 1957
The Supremes - 1967

Also recorded by: Larry Adler; Tony Bennett; Barbara King;
Ruby Braff; Barbara Carroll; Rosemary Clooney; Hal Mooney;
Anson Weeks; Matt Dennis; Dave Pell; The Village Stompers;
Larry Elgart; Frank Crumit; Eileen Farrell; Betty Johnson;
Jerry Gray & His Band Of The Day; Morgana King; Ted Heath;
Jackie & Roy; Jane Jarvis; Barney Kessel; Rebecca Kilgore;
King & Moore; Bobby Troup; Charles Tichenor; Milton Berle;
Red Norvo; Peter Nero: .................. and many others.

Lyrics vary with some versions - and I missed the first bit

On the first of May
it is moving day
Spring is here
so blow your job
Throw your job away!

Now's the time to trust
To your wanderlust
In the city's dust you wait
must you wait, just you wait.......!

In a mountain greenery,
Where God paints the scenery
Just three crazy people together
While you love your lover
Let blue skies, be your coverlet,
When it rains we'll laugh at the weather....

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

I will pick it up for the Ipod Flo.

Anonymous said...

Ella Fitzgerald singing Mountain Greenery - on YouTube

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Be good with the link too :)

Auntie Flo'

Newmania said...

Aint you sweet

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