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Category Archives: Suffragettes

Mobile, Poem and A Calendar

Our nephew’s wife, our niece-in-law, is an artist with words, otherwise know as a poet, whose work thrills me. She has given me permission to share this one here.  In honour of her poem, Pisces Public Apology, here is a photo of a mobile that my Dad brought me from Mevagissey when I was five years old.  I have treasured them for many, many years.

Pisces in pottery

 

Pisces Public Apology

I’m not a rock, I’m water.
I will never be still, try to understand that.
There will always be a ripple beneath the surface of my clouds

There will always be a reaper in my waves.

I am the child they called Powder Puff,
crying eyes caricature
doggy paddling the riptide
squinting for a dwelling place
in the oasis of my own peace but at the moment,
that pebble
is somewhere downstream.

Try to swallow the fact that I
ingest my surroundings and
spit them out in distillate form and
that could be a shower or
hold on to your hats cos
it could just as well be a storm.

I know that you want me to stop dissecting the particles in search of a source babe,
but isn’t that the definition of
precipitate?

Can you relate to the water cycle,
from pool to vapor to ice and then bled
out by gravity over and over and over again-
Have you ever danced in the rain?
Have you ever tasted water from a glacial stream?

This is a public apology.
Don’t get too close to me.
When you see the water rising,
get to shore or I’ll pull you down.

Try to understand that I am not
an empty threat,
you will get wet.

Your nostrils will burn with the flush of salt.

The sun setting in coral tones behind me
says that the only way to make it is to float.

The moon never says anything,
a conductor in silhouette.

It’s just the way of the sea,
the rage is under the surface
and rises up like Neptune –
Is my tongue a wave or is it a blade?

The sun has seen me sleep serene
beneath his rising,
like a mirror in the dark.

He knows I will show you
the red and aubergine vessels,
I will pull on the pumps in
your own heart and you will drown
in love for the rawest remnant of yourself.

I am a teal tyrant to be sure
and yet,
in the summer months all of the earth’s children delight in my mischief.

They say you haven’t lived
if you haven’t at least dipped your feet or
turned your grinning face skyward in the rain.

I am not a rock but I’m a home for
beings too small to even see,
predatory beasts with bloody teeth,
creatures too foreign to even believe.

I’m not a rock, but
anyone will tell you,
I am the blue blanket on this
big round boulder,
the source of life for every form and
the finest refinery of every stone.

A Dear Friend from choir who knows my Suffragette history has given me a Suffragette calendar. The following are July’s picture and caption.

 

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Six on Saturday – My Suffragette Garden

Several years ago we planted a small border with a colour scheme of purple, white and green dedicated to my Great Granny who was a Suffragette, was imprisoned in Holloway, went on hunger strike  and was force fed. In the family but not in my possession, we have the Holloway brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and given to all those incredibly brave women who fought for our right to vote.  To honour her, we have our Suffragette Garden.

1.  This was the garden two years ago in Spring, a bit later than now.

purple-white-and-green-garden

2.  Now it is looking tired with just a few individual splashes of colour and it needs renovation. This is my main project for the moment. We want colour all year round. We have Clematis, one white and one purple for later in the year. We have Japanese Anemones and we had Tibouchina Urvilleana but it isn’t looking very well. I’m thinking of a couple of small Hebes, one white and one purple. If anyone has suggestions to help, especially plants that won’t demand too much attention, I’m all ears. The white Narcissi at the road end that were once lovely have almost all come up blind for the second year…..

Not enough colour, lots of clearing  work to be done

3.  There are pops of colour to be seen but fewer Crocuses than two years ago. The birds up-rooted lots of them.

Crocuses

4.  Only one Hyacinth is showing and that one a bit thin.

Lonely Hyacinth and much weeding to be done

5.  The Clematis is showing lots of growth and rather early so we hope there is no cold spell coming to knock it back, fairly unlikely here in Cornwall but by no means impossible.

Clematis growing well

6.   And just to show you – The Holloway Brooch, on which we base our colour scheme.

 

Pop over to The Propagator’s blog to see more contributions to Six on Saturday from gardeners all over the world which are fascinating to read.

 

 

 

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A Celebration of Women

What a fabulous afternoon being a part of celebrating the Centenary of some women getting the vote! We all gathered in Mawnan Smith – The Mawnan Smith W I, singers from my choirs, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows and many supporters and we marched along to Trebah Gardens, singing some of the way when we had enough breath! We finished in the amphitheatre  and sang for all the wonderful people who had joined us along the way. Such a wonderful feeling of solidarity, such a deep feeling of community and an acknowledgement that there is still some way to go and that we must carry on where our sisters have fought before. Click on any photo for a bigger view and the caption.

Votes for Women!

 

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Yellow, A Surprise and A Bee

Cornwall is very beautifully yellow at this time of year – Primroses in the hedgerows, Daffodils along the verges, Forsythia in gardens, Dandelions, Celandines and Gorse just everywhere, down every lane we travel along.

We bought the magazine Cornwall Today yesterday because there is a feature on Port Isaac where family will be staying this summer. Imagine my delight to find a short article about me and my Suffragette Great Granny! I had completely forgotten the phone call some months ago!

Article in Cornwall Today, April

Bees have arrived in our garden. They love the Rosemary flowers.

A bee on the Rosemary

 

 

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Paper Bags, Special New Stamps and Alstroemeria

We drove into town today and walked around so I managed some exercise. My ankles have lost their leaden feeling which I woke up with and I am still pain free…………  We were delighted to find that our local Greengrocer now supplies paper bags rather than plastic – brilliant!

Paper bags for produce – hooray!

There has been a new stamp issue today to commemorate the Suffragettes and the Suffragists and their success in winning the Vote for some women. Those who know me, will know that my Great Granny was a Suffragette and those who receive a Christmas card from us will have one of the special stamps on their envelope! I bought enough today for all our Christmas cards.

Suffragette stamps of all the values

Our lovely bunch of Alstroemeria have opened and are brightening the hall. We had sunshine today and it streamed through the house lightening up the blooms.

Alstroemeria

 

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Snow! Centenary and A Song

We woke to snow! What a treat for us here in Cornwall and it was all gone by lunchtime. Click on any photo for a wider view.

 

Today is the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage, 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. It was legislation that enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later. I have been publishing Suffragette Diary as my contribution to the Cause. Today has brought some special news and a song.

In my post yesterday, I shared my research which had led me to think that the anonymous Suffragette was, in fact, Gladys Roberts.  To my delight, that has been confirmed today by a researcher friend. Thank you, Lesley . And that is not all……

Lesley has also discovered information about my Great Granny, Mrs Wiseman, whom we knew had been force fed in Holloway for which she received the Holloway Brooch but we knew no more.   Now we know what Mary Wiseman did. At 53, she was an activist in Manchester and joined several other women in London in an attempt to present a petition to the Prime Minister. When the police tried to prevent the women, they ‘obstructed’ and some hit the police. For this they were arrested, taken to the Magistrate’s court and imprisoned.  One of the cuttings mentions Winston Churchill watching from behind the railings!

Cornishman 8 April 1909

Newspaper image ©The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

I had a message as I started to transcribe the Diary from a songwriter who wanted to use it in creating a song about Suffragettes. ‘Of course,’ I said  and here is the song, many phrases of which you will recognise if you have read the Diary. Thank you, Matt, it’s brilliant!  https://museumsongwriter.wordpress.com/the-songs/

 

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Tulips, Sash and Preview Performance

We found some beautiful tulips on the table when we arrived in the kitchen this morning, left by our lovely daughter to wish me the best for this evening’s Preview performance. They are purple and white with green leaves – just perfect!  Keen eyed readers may notice that I bought that beautiful Kingfisher tea-set that I was ogling in the antique shop!

In the performances of ‘Until the Day Break’ I am singing ‘March of the Women’  with nine others and it is just brilliant! I have a facsimile Suffragette sash given to me years ago by my Mum but don’t want to risk the silk in the rain so today I went to one of my favourite shops and bought ribbons and this afternoon, I stitched up a sash.

The song was written by Ethel Smyth and was sung in Holloway by the imprisoned suffragettes, conducted by Emmeline Pankhurst through the bars of her prison cell using a toothbrush as her baton. I like to think that my Great Granny, Annie Wiseman, who was also imprisoned in Holloway for her part in the movement, was there at that moment and was singing March of the Women. I am singing it in the show with the passion that she must also have had and I can feel her pride.

 

The Preview performance went very well. Everybody loved it! The first night is on Thursday.

Some actors before the show

 

 

 

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