I have been reading again in the past few days peoples comments about how people responded to the terrorist attack in Manchester. It was again a stark reminder of the way that some people use this atrocious incident for their own political gain.
“We didn’t light candles and put on pop concerts” is the summing up of some. But we DID back then. It was carried out with the same dignity and decency, as we have seen in our towns and cities, in the churches and cathedrals around the country. The difference is now is we have brought grief to the streets. Primarily because this is not a nation (whether we like it or not) that does not adhere to Christianity as it once did.
Church attendance in the UK at the moment stands around 750k each week. A huge decline since the Second World War. This decline isn’t unique to the Church of England but to all established Christian denominations.
The above graph is taken from The Church Society’s website. Further information is available on it.
A decline in church attendance doesn’t mean though that some people aren’t spiritual. When harrowing life events take place, a majority will still hold onto the belief in an afterlife. Some won’t necessarily equate it to Christianity or any other religious belief but a spiritual understanding of the world. Lighting candles and laying flowers is part of this.
When mum died I sat and talked to her in the care home. I sat for at least an hour telling her how much I thought of her and loved her. I told her that despite ‘her leaving’ that she would forever be in my heart. This is for me a non-religious way of coping with her death. A way of me acknowledging her passing.
People naturally will want a way of coping with such a shock. It isn’t wrong for some to lay flowers or light candles for people that they have never known or met. It is a way of showing solidarity and love for a nation in mourning.
When I was growing up I was always derided for listening to the wrong music or wearing the wrong clothes. If it wasn’t from Topman you were the odd one out. Looking like the guys from Miami Vice was essential. I was an oddity. I wore the jumpers that my mother had knitted for me and wore jeans that were purchased at the COOP. I didn’t have any spending power at that time.
I always wanted a real fire in my house and despite some making their views known, I have gone ahead and having it fitted next week. People telling what to do or how I should be living my life.
Being gay has me face up to the fact that other people might not accept the “lifestyle”. My day isn’t exactly filled with sex with multiple partners or hardcore drug abuse. In fact, it’s probably dull compared to some heterosexual people.
I have said that if I like a song doesn’t matter who brought it out or who sang it. Just because it might be a little left-field and a bit uncool I really don’t care. Life is too short to be caring about whether the music I listen to finds approval in people.
One of the things that I have always wanted in my house is a real fire. I know that from being at my grandparents house it always lent a cosy atmosphere to the place. Very homely. I was always put off by people say it will take a lot to clean and all that. But I have decent central heating to the point that I don’t use the gas fire currently in my house.
I am thinking of possibly an open fire like this or a contained fire in a stove and the technical name ‘inglenook’. There are three chimneys in my house and I know that there are fireplaces in each of the bedrooms. I might explore the possibility of opening them up again and using them on and off. Local council says that you have to use smokeless fuel and this is easily bought from firms in the north east.
Last year my gas bill which includes the boiler for the central heating and a gas hob was approximately £800. I find this extortionate. I am being charged a fixed amount even if I don’t use the gas. What a total rip off. I know that once the fire(s) are cleaned and ready for use that I will look to see what the lowest possible tariff there is for gas. I could use it for times when the house becomes very cold. The amount solid fuel I could get for half of that amount would last beyond a few months during winter months.
I adore the 40s. I admire it so much over the next few years I am going to slowly turn back the time on my house. I currently own a lot of furniture inherited from two generations of family members. First being my grandparents who’s dark earthy furniture was always seen by mother who insisted her house contain items that were fashionable in the late 50s and 60s. So the next progress is the furniture of parents from a time just before my arrival on earth.
I am not a fan of some furniture of this time. It’s a minimalist, thin and to me bleak appearance. Bear hallmarks of science fiction and cheaper materials it leaves me feel cold and physically uncomfortable. Give me old huge sofas with bouncy cushions and floral design that wouldn’t be out of place in a Miss Marple living room.
I really like the 1940s. I have a passion for this era. I am extremely interested in the Second World War. This for me was one of the most interesting periods of British History. So much happened in this decade and it was certainly a turning point for Britain and how it is shaped today.
One of the things for me that defined this era was the spirit that pulled people together. The bombings of London and other cities in Britain during 1940 worried the government of the time. They thought that there would be a total collapse of morale and they thought that there would be mass panic and disorder. But the people of the time worked together to look after each other and carried on as normal.
When I see how people talk to each other now I am shocked. When someone is trying to do their job or someone is getting on with their daily life and they are treated badly it astounds me that people thinking this is acceptable. Politeness costs nothing. There is nothing wrong with arguing your case you just don’t need to resort to rudeness.
I am lucky to live in a street where my neighbours look out for each other. We speak and say hello. We wave at each other when we are driving past. I just hope that some time others can look at their behaviour and think about the freedom that we have and the sacrifice that others made for us to keep it.
I thought it would be a good idea to have some old Christmas cards around the house when decorating in December. I bought these cheaply from eBay and it’s better than buying new expensive decorations.