Friday, 18 July 2014

Writing - A writing and reading journey

Corresponding Writers blog by Bert Carson has featured a blog I produced on the subject of letter writing. The link is below:-

My Photo
Bert Carson

Read the blog and you will see some of the benefits of taking up a fountain pen.

As I'm on the subject of what may be considered an old-fashioned subject I think it appropriate to consider some aspects of life in the UK a few hundred years ago. There was one word that caught my attention - scavengers.
Meaning - 

1. a person who collects things discarded by others
2. (Zoology) any animal that feeds on decaying organic matter, esp on refuse
3. (Chemistry) a substance added to a chemical reaction or mixture to counteract the effect of   impurities
4. a person employed to clean the streets
In Tudor England when your cesspit was full you would send for the scavengers who would remove the effluent and sell it on for use as fertiliser.

Not only did society in those times have problems to overcome in regards of getting rid of waste but they also had an enforced social conscience. In Germany and other European countries, when there is a fall of snow, householders are responsible for cleaning up your part of the road on which you live. In Tudor England you were required to clean your part of the street twice a week.
I remember travelling in the Netherlands a number of years ago and seeing the shop owners cleaning the outside of their premises before the business day began. I can't help feeling that we have lost something by ceding this relatively minor responsibility to council workers who have no feeling for the areas they are cleaning up.

Finally, the source of many baby boomers' first eperiences in independent reading.

Comic books

Comic books or as Michael Corleone called them in the Godfather, funny papers were so very popular in my generation. Quite often children, boys in particular, began with the above or the Beano and then graduated to Hotspur, Victor or the Eagle which had fewer pictures and more reading.

I have little experience of what children do these days once they are deemed too old to be read to at home. I feel that they are looking at screens, playing games but not reading as much as we did fifty plus years ago. Perhaps I'm wrong but one thing for certain the necessity to be able to read will not go away. While that is the case we should keep writing.
God Bless