Thursday, 28 January 2021

We are the World Blogfest # 45 St Kilda Postcards to remember …

 

While we’re in lockdown and I’m just mopping time with thoughts – not moping … just on a very slow day-to-day travellator through the daily info-pack …


… I’d come across an article about postcards sent from an archipelago in the north Atlantic … it’s delightful to read about, while the history of St Kilda deserves to be told.

 


We are the World Blogfest … was set up to bring positiveness and light into this dark world of ours … originally before Covid, but now as the pandemic cavorts through all populations …

 

 

St Kilda's geographical
position

… this is a reminder about how much joy a posted letter or postcard can bring to the fragile, elderly, self-isolating peoples in this world today.

 

 

 

The St Kildan islanders had learnt to communicate the need for help by launching tiny waterproof boats … in the hope that they’d be picked up by passing ships or make it to the mainland (over 40 miles to the north and east) … 

A journalist, John Sands, in 1877 became stranded … carved a little boat … let it out into the seas … the currents took it, within 9 days, to the Orkneys … when a boat was sent out to rescue him and nine shipwrecked Austrian sailors. 

 

 

Please Open ... a boat launched in the 1930s
Eight years later a huge storm battered the islanders and their food stores … a young lad had known about the way of communicating … made 5 boats and sent them out … one arrived quite quickly in Lewis … they raised funds to provision the lost stores and launched a boat to bring relief. 

This practice was adopted and the tiny mailboats became famous in popular culture … 

The islands were evacuated in the 1930s … but contact was maintained through military personnel, conservation workers, volunteers and scientists …


The children, who found the little
wooden boat sent out in 2010 - here they
are in 2020:  c/o National Trust Scotland
 

The archipelago is now owned by the Scottish National Trust … but when an archaeologist in 2010 decided to send out his own boat … with seven postcards to St Kildan contacts … who knew where they would end up …

 

 

… surprise, surprise and to much joy to four little ones in Norway – the boat, cargo intact, arrived safely on a beach on Andoya, north Norway – about 180 miles inside the Arctic Circle and over 1,000 miles from St Kilda – after ten years floating in the currents …  

As the kids’ (twins aged 9, 6 and 4) grandfather says … what excitement and treasure this find has given them … 

… then the recipients too … so many memories coming back …  the lad back in 1885 … one of his ancestors, now in Norfolk, England, received a card …

 

c/o The Mail Oxford
Going back to today’s ghastly times … how about writing to relatives and friends with snippets of fun stories … or making bundles of cards, or notes … to be delivered in due course … a wonderful way to note down a few things … perhaps that just might escape the memory bank in a few months or years … 

 

My mother and uncle, in their final years, were always thrilled to receive letters, or postcards from family and friends … something we might want to consider today … 

 

We are the World Blogfest

In Darkness, Be Light

 

 


 

The full story of St Kilda mailboat's epic journey ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Treasure those Memories … part 1 …

 

Nothing like peregrinating … which I’m still doing after last week’s ‘new year’ … my brother’s card was ‘don’t count them (good thing) … just ‘Treasure those Memories’

 

… fortunately life comes to my rescue … as the G7 Summit 2020 is coming to Cornwall in June 2021 … and, of course!, they’ve chosen Carbis Bay … where I learnt the importance of enjoying life: not many clothes, with possibly a bucket and spade on that beach.

 

 


Penwith - the western end of Cornwall
(St Ives at top)
So be it … don’t get too agitated … that’s it really … but I thought I’d do a couple of (few) easy posts along treasuring memories about Cornwall and the Carbis Bay region.

 

My grandmother with her 2nd husband had a house on the road down to Carbis Bay beach … it’s about 2 miles outside St Ives – the picturesque seaside town that was my grandfather’s hometown … where his family had been a major force, before an accident killed him in the early 1920s.

 

Aged 2 1/2 perhaps?
So I have many memories of days spent in St Ives, of staying in Carbis Bay … and of seeing my father’s grandmother, (who was a Londoner) living opposite the Bed and Breakfast we stayed as kids for holidays.

 


Carbis Bay beach 21st C
 Those childhood holiday memories have been coaxed back to life … our history of where we began.  I’ll enlighten you a little in the coming posts … shortish but with some of my background … starting with today’s nakedness on Carbis Bay beach!

 


Tiny twisty lanes

I am somewhat worried about the decision to hold the Summit down there … do they know how tiny the lanes are?  Gridlock is coming … I suspect … and perhaps other things, especially if they haven’t sorted the fishing industry out by then



Idealised Great Western Railway
poster +/- 1920s


More Treasure those Memories to follow … it’s certainly bringing that era back into childhood focus … while knowing it’s where our maternal roots came from …

 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Peregrinations …

 

Nothing like entering the 14th year of blogging, and a few decades with a few extra years of birthdays …


 

Christmas Narcissi - Cornish style daffodils
Peregrinations of a snail-like life … but the main thing all is well – just desperately slow to get going … there’s no rush – so why stress myself … a decent post will follow soon!!

 

 

Some great friends sent me some cash to enhance my meal options … nothing like a trip to Marks and Sparks for one of their dine-in meals … good choices they had available for me.

 

Extra prawns for my salad lunch

I have plenty to gobble down for a few meals … and I’m looking forward to lunch, and to this evening!!

 



My choices … I love Mediterranean meals, rather than a salad: that I’ll have for lunch, I selected some green veg … some extra prawns for some time … and then the citron tart – one piece eaten last night! 

 

Paella


Tonight I’ll enjoy the above or some parts of them … and the King Prawns chargrilled, chicken and chorizo Paella … with Arborio, saffron infused rice, red peppers and peas …

 

 


Variety of green veg with a zingy sauce
I have some Prosecco and a decent bottle of wine – so I will slump and just enjoy myself … not too much alcohol … but something depending what I feel like …

 


I managed to 
eat one piece
last night!

So that’s the start to an interesting birthday year … what will this coming year hold for blogging and life … a conundrum to ponder, without getting agitated about the future …

 

 


A word has come through from a local group – but it’s via the great medium of tv quizzes … and is most definitely appropriate for now … and our future … 

 

‘Respair’ = fresh hope and recovery from despair … a word we need to hold close to our hearts …

 


 

Snowy lady - in Canada

Well from a damp south coast … better than many of the snow-bound ones I’ve experienced … I shall wander along my lonely path …

 

 

… I am lucky as I have an optimistic and positive approach to life … and just look forward to whenever some form of normality occurs … in the meantime – stay safe, look after yourselves, and all the very best –

 

 

Virus adapted tulip ...
so pretty!

Today is St Hilary’s Day … and features heavily in our culture, as too my life … I remain true to my name …

 

 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Monday, 4 January 2021

Abdul Abulbul Amir … and snowy bullfinches …

 

Bullfinch cards were on sale at the Towner Art Gallery … so I bought some … for some reason they always remind me of my father and our romping sing songs we had very early in our lives …


 

Bullfinches card by
Allen W Seaby


… one of those songs was Abdul Abulbul Amir … but I always sang abdul abul la mer (or something similar!) … while the bullfinches always take me back to those times.

 



Cartoon of Ivan and Abdul
I guess I’d never seen how the name of the song was written – hence my never being able to remember it exactly … equally having now looked I don’t think I’ll bother – other than to remember the fun lyrics and the delightful tune.


 

Record cover in the 1920s


So my first post of 2021 is a simple romping ditty … with variations galore … Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar is another major player in the lyric …

 



I give you the 1927 Youtube recording by Fred Crumit … using a real record player … not so badly scratched after all these years.

 

Stephen Fry in the advert

 While I was down south, South Africa, a beer advertappeared x 3 … if you stay watching …

 

 


As you’ll have gathered … I’ve enjoyed listening to Abdul and Ivan rather more often than is necessary recently … they’ve been enlivening my listless brain as 2021 kicks in …

 

Bullfinch - England
Here’s the link if you want to find out more about, and read the lyrics, this “music-hall song” written in 1877 by Percy French, while at Trinity College, Dublin …

 

 

While Allen W Seaby is the artist with a lot of credentials to his name … for more see here …


All of the best for this year

 

To all of you – a Gentle New Year … as each day goes forward … one hopes towards peace and relief that we can venture out freely again …

 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories