“Cor! Gran has arrived in the 21st century” I heard my Grandson say to his Father. This remark was not disrespectful in the least, it was his exclamation when I told him that I had bought a portable DVD player.
I fancy sitting in my garden during the summer months watching some of my favourite films. One of my DVDs has caught my attention. Songs of Praise from Oakham All Saints Church way back in 1997. This was to celebrate the dawn of a Unitary Authority and the people of Rutland celebrated in the way they always do …with a ‘Community Weekend’. The Songs of Praise programme included Morris Men, Town Criers and hot air balloons. Notable characters were Bryan Waites, Carl Love, the local market traders Anthony Whey Uppingham School Chorister and the Rev Michael Covington….but there was Richard Adams on a tandem with Diane Louise Jordan! They cycled around Rutland Water, Ketton, Lyndon and Oakham. The scenery was breath-taking. For me it was the hymn singing which drew my attention. Let all the World in every Corner Sing, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, My Faith it is an Oaken Staff and Be still, in the Presence of the Lord. These hymns are not sung often enough for me, the only one missing was Cwm Rhondda. But then I would say that wouldn’t I?
On Bank Holiday Monday I ventured to Exton Street Market. The village was packed but to me it was very noticeable that this was a whole community event. Everyone was so friendly and with wide smiles on their faces. It was obvious that a lot of hard work had gone on behind the scenes and I met up with Ann Bell M.B.E and her husband Mike. There was a fun dog show and Rutland Morris Men and a great time was had by all. Thank you to Judith and Kit Swinfin I came away with some wonderful homemade marmalade.
The day before the Exton Street market I spent weeding the streets of Oakham and met up with Oakham in Bloom volunteers. They are preparing for their big ‘switch over’ of winter to summer bedding. I think everyone should say a huge thank you for all their hard work and I know they are always on the lookout for more people to join them. Go on give it a go you never know who you might meet.
Thursdays is usually our day off but last week we took a tour around our own town of Oakham. I stopped to talk to workers weeding our streets. They are such jolly people and do a wonderful (and sometime thankless) job. After our walk we ended up at The Buttercross Pub. Now that was an eye-opener! We were greeted with eye contact and smiles from Ryan. The service was good and the food was excellent although far too much. I found myself eating out of a plastic bag…..no not really, it was Sea Bass served in a papillote and for once we ate off round plates, a pleasant change from the modern square crockery. I met four young people from Oakham who are all employed full time as waiters and waitresses. They are a good testimony to the education system in Rutland, they were very knowledgeable and very polite…a real credit to their parents. One told me quote ‘ there is work out there if you are prepared to work’ which set me thinking.
Our granddaughter has just finished her degree in media studies and already has a job. She has worked hard and is on the bottom rung of the ladder but it is at least a start. Could a young person be encouraged to write a monthly column in the local newspapers? Would they be able to give some positive leads on ‘life in Rutland’? Could they show us what it is like being a teenager? Come on Ryan---you used to be on the Youth Council so give it a go.
Now back to my portable DVD player….no! I won’t be wasting my time watching old movies. If anyone could read my diary June looks a very busy month….Whoops there is another weed that needs to be eliminated.