Blog - People In Mind

San Rocco

Five centuries or more ago in Christians would be fervently praying to San Rocco, the patron saint of plague. He is usually painted as a scantily dressed pilgrim with a staff and sores more or less prominently painted over his body, and he is particularly popular in...

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Outlook

Confined inside a roomy house with a small garden and splendid view of Beverley Minster to the east and one of trees and rooftops to the west beyond the small back garden, we are immensely fortunate. Before the coronavirus lockdown, we had been mourning the felling of...

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The Decameron

Historians expound many themes and often disagree, but none can deny that a plague devastated Christendom in the first half of the 1300s. It was just when literature in the language of the people - – the ‘vulgar tongue’ emerged at the same time as the new...

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The Alcove

After Easter Britain’s country houses or ‘stately homes’ will open their doors to curious visitors intrigued by the scale of the rooms and the treasures on display, but they rarely look into the alcoves. They could be small, once cherished retreats from the grander...

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Gretel and Zita

Gretel and Zita It is a strange coincidence that a book about a mayor and a bear in a north Italian mountain town is published, just when young people worldwide are questioning the human species’ relationship to and role in climate change and the floods that devastate...

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Height

When one reaches the ‘height’ of one’s ambition, it is presumed – or hoped – that one will stay up there for a while. When there is a ‘peak’ in one’s fortunes, a fall is predicated. The only way to continue along the relentless tread of time is downhill. Better,...

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Aura

Aura - a breath of golden hue around a special person. We can all feel it at a particular place or in unusual circumstances, when the intensity of the lived moment thrills one almost into a momentary state of extasy close to fainting. The mind blanks out for a...

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Doors

Doors - division or welcome. Storms were rightly forecast for Sunday when we set off on our weekly adventure after an early visit on Saturday to Beverley market, already crowded with all who are convinced that early pickings are the best. I prefer calmer afternoon...

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Timeworn

  On a chilly Sunday, we went out to celebrate a birthday, all three generations of us. We chose a restaurant in the remains of a Jacobean gatehouse set in a wide lawn with space for children to play. We parked near the large gnarled trunk of an ancient tree,...

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Remembrance

My earliest memory is uncannily relevant to the events remembered this week. I was sitting with my elder sister in our ‘tree house’ intrigued by the pulley with a basket at its end. We could lower it to be filled with sandwiches and, if we ate them, down again for a...

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Meandering

On most Sundays, we set out in the car on a ‘magical mystery tour’ to explore places we haven’t been to before. Not many are left within a day’s reach, so we returned to another part of the ‘ings’ or flooded water meadows by the Derwent, now a vast silent mirror of...

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Custom

Does it matter how one looks when one is being interviewed for a position of responsibility? Should a woman wear a smart suit in a sombre colour – trousers or skirt immaterial – or what one liked and felt comfortable in?  A Labour Party leader in the past was...

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A Discovery

After living in Yorkshire for so many years I assume there is nowhere that can be reached on a day’s drive that I haven’t discovered. I was wrong. Preferring hilly country, we have usually avoided lowland and that can also mean wide, open valleys. Last Sunday, still...

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Stopping by woods

In the northern hemisphere days begin to lengthen on my birthday, 29 December, giving a few extra moments that light up the darkest period of the year just time passes the double-headed Janus, to enter a new one. Yesterday evening we turned off the electric light and...

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The Year that Almost Was

  A few thoughts before Christmas Are all – or most – happy memories bathed in sunshine outside? Or inside? Or does remembrance make them so? Now, in a dark moment as 2019 slides away, shards shine through impending darkness in no particular order, thrown up...

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Magic, Mischief and Madness

It feels as if some unseen force is stirring a cauldron of emotions that would burst into conflict were it not controlled by the convention of the ballot box. Perhaps the frostiness of the winter world outside acts as a constraint. A stone’s throw away from here is a...

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A Petto Nudo

Political commentators inform us that Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both enjoy a faithful horde of unqualified supporters to vote them back to power. The US system has the slightly reassuring limit of the maximum of two terms for their president. That can, however,...

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Loft

The loft – a child’s paradise. The place where parents put whatever they did not quite know what to do with but feared to throw away. Occasionally there is a sad moment when you silently watch bulging bin liners bumped down the stairs to a temporary store at the back...

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Ignorance

The sun filters through golden leaves in the early afternoon. The grass in front lawns and the meadows further out in the countryside is bright green. No frosts to freeze it brown – yet. The leaves make a pleasing pattern on a green background. Dogs are out in even...

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Scorn

Inner thoughts reveal a disturbing landscape when inadvertently released into public view. So it was with that crack in Jacob Rees Mogg’s impeccable public image of a man like a walking poker with a matching face. Would he have followed his own advice if trapped in...

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