Sunday, 6 April 2014

Rusland Valley - Another world

A visit to Rusland Spring Show this morning, more than lived up to my expectations.

This is a community where people take a pride in doing things for themselves.

A marquee  had been erected for the event on the church's car park in front of the church hall. It was full of flower arrangements. The standard was high with lots of first, second and third prizes. Inside where a variety of cakes, scones, rum butter, bread loaves all cooked to a high standard - very tempting but not for sale. Children had done a series of art projects, again with many first second and third prizes. Then skillful crafts were displayed and I enjoyed talking to someone who not only made beautiful walking sticks with carved handles but had created art work from what would otherwise would have been discarded as something of value: sheep's horns. It was fascinating to be able to see how a horn is constructed and learn what could be done by someone with creative determination.

The whole atmosphere was very positive.

The thing that caught my eye was a book of poetry written and illustrated by local Jean Sly. I learnt from another person, her neighbour, Susan King that Jean had not only written the poems but done all the illustrations which led me to ask whether she played a musical instrument - she: did a piano.

Here's one of her poems that caught my eye:

No Rush

When I grow up I am going to be -
Well there's no rush now
Whilst I'm young and free.
For there's plenty of - gee
Am I forty three?
Oh another time -
And another day -
Oh I meant to call -
And I meant to say.
Oh, the churchyard's grey
What a beautiful tombstone!
- Let me see,
It says R.I.P
Who's lying there?
Oh God! It's me!

Susan went on to tell me that one of the poems had only been written last week. Yet here it was published in an attractive book. Her daughter had published it. Taking wild guesses is one of my favourite amusements so this I did. How old is the poet? I asked. I'll guess ... 37 based on the freshness and originality of the idea and expressions in the poem. How wrong could I be? The answer was 95 and this was her first anthology.

This book can be obtained from 'none other ' than her agent (!) Susan King , 2, Colton Cottages, Colton, Ulverston. LA12 8HF for £4:50 - all of which will go to the Rusland Parish Church for badly needed roof repairs. (Which reminds me that they have crates of old blue slates for sale - enquire via the church and not Susan.)

There's a lovely 'can do' feel about this community - unlike Ulverston- there's a great feeling of belonging and friendly self sufficiency that emanates from what this community actually does.

No comments: