Helen Percy's book "Scandalous, Immoral and Improper" is so powerful that I cannot understand why it did not create more ripples in the Church of Scotland pond when it came out in 2011 ~ encouraged Lloyd and Bill (staunch churchmen, both) to get copies and sent email to Giles Fraser c/o The Guardian too ~ the story she tells is astonishingly dreadful ~ Helen a Church of Scotland Minister, having been raped by a parishioner, was tormented and persecuted by the Church Elders and eventually drummed out of their sacred portals, losing her home and her livelihood ~ her sin, HAVING BEEN RAPED ! Meanwhile the rapist himself who had confessed all, even sending confession to the media, was promoted and supported. It is akin to what goes on in some primitive societies where a woman accused of adultery is stoned to death even if she has been raped !
Absolutely astonished yesterday to receive a sales sheet from Will for our humble terraced house in North View Winchester which having been considerably tarted up was being offered at £625,000 !
From photos you can see how very humble this terrace of ten cottages were in North View, Winchester ~ Will, Kate and I moved here after the divorce ~ I believe we got about £25,000 for the large Edwardian semi in Quarry Road and very nobly Howard insisted on buying this for us before he went up North to the Headship he had just been appointed to at Willerby on the outskirts of Hull, leaving himself a very small portion of the capital with which to find another property up there ~ Georgie lived iin that area ~ first in Beverley, then in Hull, and now in Driffield, so he had one of the family near by. Eight years later I sold North view to come up here for £60,000 ~ I opted to have full rights to the house but in exchange gave up any allowance from Howard although he does now send me £100 a month which is very generous of him ~ even though our marriage didn't work out, it is only fair to record this gesture of responsibility on his part ~ thinking back, we were probably mis-matched from the start, but I believe he always did his best for us.
To think that the little house is now worth £625,000 is simply mind boggling ~ of all the different Victorian terraces in Winchester, each one with its own clearly defined position in the social order of Victorian society, North View was the humblest. Poor buggers trying to get a foot on the property ladder today ~ and even if they can raise a deposit, so many of the new houses are pokey ~ we pass loads of them on our monthly trip to Bridlington Eye Clinic ~ talk about "little boxes, little boxes all the same." Not only pokey but crammed together in order for the developer to squash in as many as possible and make himself a fortune !
How lucky I am, and indeed all the family who have pleasant houses in pleasant locations ~ Kate high up in Heptonstall, Will in St Ives Cambridgeshire, and Georgie in Driffield. How the next generation will ever get launched is a depressing mystery. I'm told Dan had to put down a £1,000 deposit on the house he is sharing with fellow students in York from next term ~ a thousand ! No idea how Kate and Alan managed to find it.
Richard Eshelby has made everything in the garden look great ~ the jasmin that romps over the far wall, having been properly pruned, is simply smothered in flowers and I can smell their sweetness from the footpath.
Alan Butterfield and his good friend Jean turned up this morning bearing two packets of Botham's biscuits, and a gorgeous crocheted rug ~ I'll take a photo of it in the morning ~ so kind ~ he is from Keighley way and I believe she lives in Selby ~ they try to have a couple of short breaks in Whitby every year ~ Jean is a scientist and mathematician, and a keen recorder player ~ she was a teacher and eventually Head Mistress of a Girls' Grammar School ~ although he didn't get the chance to go on to Higher Education, Allan is one of the ,most interesting and knowledgeable people I know, a fount of information on local history, geology, mining and just about every subject under the sun ~ we have been friends ever since he came to the door with those intriguing clay tablets to see if with my "witchcraft" and his considerable background knowledge, we could fathom out what they were and how such a large cache of them came to be deposited up on the moors ~ I wrote about this already ~ I'll see if I can track it down and give the references tomorrow ~ I had an article about Allan in the Guardian "Welfare Unfair" and before that an article about the clay tablets in Mensa Magazine "Unearthing the Past" ~ too tired to search www.joypeach.com tonight . . .
ah, here we are (Thursday morning) see number 66 and 67 in first blog
My friend Belle turned up with chocolate cakes for good old chinwag, mostly about our reading habits ~ more about her another time. I was intending to pop over and see Annie-over-the-Wall but her daughter rang to say she was not too well, so leave it till another day. Annie is 94 and amazing for her age but none of us can go on for ever.