December 14th, 2018
For the last few months I have mainly been walking to work from home and walking back home from work at least four days a week. At first this was for monetary reasons, but now it is for practical therapeutic reasons.
I live only about four miles away from the office in Cheadle Hulme, and my walking muscles adequately function for the eight-mile round trips. It takes me about twenty minutes to walk to Handforth railway station, the train journey takes less than five minutes and it costs not many pennies less than four English pounds. I think it a ridiculously high price to pay for such a short journey, especially considering how bad the services are. Arriva/Northern or whatever they are called, deserve to go bankrupt in my opinion.
The train hop to work is quite reliable.
The occasional signal failure and low mutilated, amputee trees with roots surrounded by concrete can fall on the lines on windy days, but I have little complaint.
The evening service after five o’ clock is atrocious, the less said about that the better.
I mainly enjoy the walks and feel that I attempt to narrate a work home from work in the dark.
I am thinking about very cautiously using the voice recording function on my mobile device, and just recording thoughts out loud and transcribing them in some way, see where it leads.
But I really would need to be careful, as I nearly got run over last night when attempting to cross a zebra crossing.
A few weeks ago I caused a driver of a 4×4 tank who intended to speed through a red light at a temporary crossing at a new three/four-lane bypass/roundabout that (I believe used to be woodland), to slam on the brakes, causing the speeding driver on his tail to have a minor collision into the back of the tank driver who I carefully egged on to run me down.
I can’t construct the sentences I wish to write. I have witnessed so many pile ups and selfish behaviour on the roads in recent months, it makes me quite cross, I don’t like writing under those circumstances.
Back to the book, (Micah Clarke by Arthur Conan Doyle) :-
The first of these occurred when I was so young that I can remember neither what went before nor what immediately after it. It stuck in my infant mind when other things slipped through it. We were all in the house one sultry summer evening, when there came a rattle of kettledrums and a clatter of hoofs, which brought my mother and father to the door, she with me in her arms that I might have the better view. It was a regiment of horse on their way from Chichester to Portsmouth, with colours flying and band playing, making the bravest show that ever my youthful eyes had rested upon. With what wonder and admiration did I gaze at the sleek prancing steeds, the steel morions, the plumed hats of the officers, the scarfs and bandoliers. Never, I thought, had such a gallant company assembled, and I clapped my hands and cried out in my delight. My father smiled gravely, and took me from my mother’s arms. ‘Nay, lad,’ he said, ‘thou are a soldier’s son, and should have more judgement than to commend such a rabble as this. Canst thou not, child as thou art, see that their arms are ill-found, their stirrup-irons rusted, and their ranks without order or cohesion? Neither have they thrown out a troop in advance, as should even in times of peace be done, and their rear is struggling from here to Bedhampton. Yea,’ he continued, suddenly shaking his long arm at the troopers, and calling out to them, ‘ye are corn ripe for the sickle and waiting only for the reapers!’ Several of them reined up at this sudden out-flame. ‘Hit the crop-eared rascal over the pate, Jack!’ cried one to another, wheeling his horse round; but there was that in my father’s face which caused him to fall back into the ranks again with his purpose unfulfilled. The regiment jingled on down the road, and my mother laid her thin hands upon my father’s arm, and lulled with her pretty coaxing ways the sleeping devil with had stirred within him.
On another occasion which I can remember, about my seventh or eighth year, his wrath burst out with more dangerous effect. I was playing about him as he worked in the tanning yard one spring afternoon, when in through the open doorway strutted two stately gentlemen, with gold facings to their coats and smart cockades at the side of their three-cornered hats. They were, as I afterwards understood, officers of the fleet who were passing through Havant, and seeing us at work in the yard, designed to ask us some question as to their route. The younger of the pair accosted my father and began his speech by a great clatter of words which were all High Dutch to me, though I now see that they were a string of such oaths as are common in the mouth of a sailor; though why the very men who are in most danger of appearing before the Almighty should go out of their way to insult Him, hath ever been a mystery to me. My father in a rough stern voice bade him speak with more reverence of sacred things, on which the pair of them gave tongue together, swearing tenfold worse than before, and calling my father a canting rogue and a smug-faced Presbytery Jack. What more they might have said I know not, for my father picked up the great roller wherewith he smoothed the leather and dashing at them he brought it down on the side of one of their heads with such a swashing blow, that had it not been for his stiff hat the man would never have uttered oath again. As it was, he dropped like a log upon the stones of the yard, while his companion whipped out his rapier and made a vicious thrust; but my father, who was as active as he was strong, sprung aside, and bringing his cudgel down upon the outstretched arm of the officer, cracked it like the stem of a tobacco-pip. This affair made no little stir, for it occurred at the time when those arch-liars, Oates, Bedloe and Carstairs, were disturbing the public mind by their rumours of plots, and a rising of some sort was expected throughout the country. Within a few days all Hampshire was ringing with an account of the malcontent tanner of Havant, who had broken the head and the arm of two of his Majesty’s servants. An inquiry showed, however that there was no treasonable meaning in the matter, and the officers having confessed that the first words came from them, the Justices contented themselves with imposing a fine upon my father, and binding him over to keep the peace for a period of six months.
I tell you these incidents that you may have an idea of the fierce and earnest religion which filled not only your own ancestor, but most of those men who were trained in the parliamentary armies. In many ways they were more like those fanatic Saracens, who believe in conversion by the sword, than the followers of a Christian creed. Yet they have this great merit, that their own lives were for the most part clean and commendable, for they rigidly adhered themselves to those laws which they would gladly have forced at the sword’s point upon others. It is true that among so many there were some whose piety was a shell for their ambition, and others who practised in secret what they denounced in public, but no cause however good is free from such hypocritical parasites. That the greater part of the saints, as they termed themselves, were men of sober and God-fearing lives, may be shown by the fact that, after the disbanding of the army of the Commonwealth, the old soldiers flocked into trade throughout the country, and made their mark wherever they went by industry and worth. There is many a wealthy business house now in England which can trace its rise to the thrift and honesty of some simple pikeman of Ireton or Cromwell.