17 December, 2014

The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot

Little boy Santa Claus forgot

With Christmas fast approaching, as with many people, this makes me remember days from when I was a child.

Christmas was an important event for us. By us, I mean my Mum, Dad and me. Just the three of us, but it was always something to look forward to with great excitement. Looking back I don't know how mum and dad always managed to persuade Father Christmas to bring me what I wished for, He must have received the letter I sent up the chimney each year.

One of my memories is of Dad singing to me, especially the song 'The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot'. It always made me cry but I would still ask him to sing it one more time.

I felt so sorry for that 'laddie who hadn't got a daddy' and how the boy had to 'wander home to last years broken toys.'

Today, of course, there is a profusion of presents and gifts, and many of them very expensive. I feel disappointed that in Britain we have now imported things like Black Friday from the USA (thanks initially to Amazon). It's crazy, profit is king and we rush about like mad people having to grab the latest bargain, Is that really the spirit of Christmas?

And yet there is terrible poverty in parts of the world with many children wandering home to what? Not even last years broken toys.

I don't want to put a downer on Christmas. I love the event and can't wait to see the look on my grandchildren's faces as they open their presents. But perhaps we should also try to remember those who aren't so lucky.- and fully appreciate all that we have,


He's the little boy that Santa Claus forgot
And goodness knows, he didn't want a lot

He sent a note to Santa
For some soldiers and a drum
It broke his little heart
When he found Santa hadn't come

In the street, he envies all those lucky boys
Then wanders home to last year's broken toys
I'm so sorry for that laddie, he hasn't got a daddy
The little boy that Santa Claus forgot

You know, Christmas comes
But once a year for every girl and boy
The laughter and the joy they find in each brand new toy

I'll tell you of a little boy that lives across the way
This little fella's Christmas is just another day
He's the little boy that Santa Claus forgot
And goodness knows, he didn't want a lot

In the street, he envies all those lucky boys
Then wanders home to last year's broken toys
I'm so sorry for that laddie, he hasn't got a daddy
The little boy that Santa Claus forgot

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16 December, 2014

A Star Is Born Synchronicity

School Navity Play

Nothing too dramatic today, must be getting the Christmas feeling. Well I should be as we went to see our 4 year old grandson in his school Nativity Play last week. That's the scene above before the start.

There is a sort of synchronicity to this, but perhaps I'm pushing it a bit.

When my son and daughter-in-law chose our grandson's names they chose Oscar as a middle name. I remember Karin wondering why, and I said, "Because he's a little star."

And in his first school play he was a star - as were all of his class - the youngest pupils. Thus the star in the photo below. They all sang and did various movements.

Sammy on stage

Also at the school, for the young ones, there is a symbol next to each pupil's name where they have to keep their coats and other bits. Each child has a different symbol and Sammy's is a star! And that's my synchro for today.

My grandson on stage

Just remembered from a dusty corner of my brain. When Sammy's dad went to Uni I kept wishing and hoping that his room - he was staying on campus - would be first class. When we helped to move him in, for the first time, I realised his room number was A1 - which means 'first class' or 'top quality'. So my wish for him came true.

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15 December, 2014

The True Story Of The Fanny Scratching Ghost Of Cock Lane

1800s Illustration of where 'Scratching Fanny' was heard in Cock Lane
The story of the Cock Lane Ghost began back in 1760, in a house near to London's famous Smithfield market and just along from St Paul's Cathedral. Cock Lane still exists today.

Map showing Cock Lane, London

William Kent, a stockbroker, rented a house from the parish clerk, Richard Parsons. The arrangement was fine until 1762 when Kent's wife died and he began to court her sister, Fanny, who soon became his 'housekeeper'.

Miss Fanny and Mr Kent sealed their love by making wills and naming each other as beneficiaries. Shortly following this Kent and Parsons fell out following a disagreement over money, so Kent moved out of the property and began legal proceedings against Parsons. As this turmoil was happening Fanny fell sick and died of smallpox.

With Fanny dead Parsons hatched a cunning plan. He concocted a story saying that Kent had murdered Fanny to get his hands on the inheritance.

Now comes the ghostly bit, which became known as Scratching Fanny.

Parsons made claims that Fanny was now haunting the house in Cock Lane. He alleged that Fanny had come back as a ghost. What's more he said that she had contacted his 12 year old daughter, Elizabeth. Fanny told her that Kent had poisoned her.

The room where the scratching fanny ghost was heard
The room where Scratching Fanny was heard
The story spread like wildfire and seance's were held in the house. At one time Parsons invited a committee of 20 men to witness Fanny's ghost possessing his young daughter. Elizabeth, under the influence of Fanny, declared once again that she had been poisoned and that the only way she could rest would be if Kent were hanged.

This got the house more publicity and curious people wanted to hear Fanny Scratching. So much so, that Parsons began charging people to come inside to hear the ghostly sounds of knocking and scratching.

Cock Lane, London sign
Cock Lane sign today
Of course there are always doubters about anything psychic, even back in the 1760s, so an investigation was started. One member of the investigative team being none other than Dr Samuel Johnson. He wrote the following about his experience of a seance held in the Cock Lane house (it's quite long and in the language of the time.)

Dr Samuel Johnson
Dr.Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
"On the night of the 1st of February many gentlemen, eminent for their rank and character were, by the invitation of the Reverend Mr. Aldrich, of Clerkenwell, assembled at his house, for the examination of the noises supposed to be made by a departed spirit, for the detection of some enormous crime.

About ten at night the gentlemen met in the chamber in which the girl, supposed to be disturbed by a spirit, had, with proper caution, been put to bed by several ladies. They sat rather more than an hour, and hearing nothing, went down stairs, when they interrogated the father of the girl, who denied, in the strongest terms, any knowledge or belief of fraud.

The supposed spirit had before publicly promised, by an affirmative knock, that it would attend one of the gentlemen into the vault under the Church of St. John, Clerkenwell, where the body is deposited, and give a token of her presence there, by a knock upon her coffin; it was therefore determined to make this trial of the existence or veracity of the supposed spirit.

While they were enquiring and deliberating, they were summoned into the girl's chamber by some ladies who were near her bed, and who had heard knocks and scratches. When the gentlemen entered, the girl declared that she felt the spirit like a mouse upon her back, and was required to hold her hands out of bed. From that time, though the spirit was very solemnly required to manifest its existence by appearance, by impression on the hand or body of any present, by scratches, knocks, or any other agency, no evidence of any preter-natural power was exhibited.

The spirit was then very seriously advertised that the person to whom the promise was made of striking the coffin, was then about to visit the vault, and that the performance of the promise was then claimed. The company at one o'clock went into the church, and the gentleman to whom the promise was made, went with another into the vault. The spirit was solemnly required to perform its promise, but nothing more than silence ensued: the person supposed to be accused by the spirit, then went down with several others, but no effect was perceived.

Upon their return they examined the girl, but could draw no confession from her. Between two and three she desired and was permitted to go home with her father. It is, therefore, the opinion of the whole assembly, that the child has some art of making or counterfeiting a particular noise, and that there is no agency of any higher cause."

~ Samuel Johnson (1762)

The findings of the investigation meant that Parsons was put on trial for fraud - remember he had been charging people to visit the house and attend seances there. He was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison.

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The Faceless Female Ghosts Who Have Travelled The World
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14 December, 2014

Vintage Photos Taken From My Google Plus Page

As it's Sunday, just a few vintage photos and images from my Google Plus Page from the past week.

1950s London Motor Bus
The illustration above is from a British children's 'Nursery Picture Book' from the early 1950s. Within the pages are suggestions about what to do 'When I Grow Up'. In  this instance it's becoming a bus driver or conductor. 

Vintage toy advertisement from late 1800s
Vintage advert for toys circa 1895
Coffee shop from 1800s
Coffee Shop 1800s
The picture above is titled "Tom and Jerry at a Coffee Shop near the Olympic." and is from the early 1800s. Coffee establishments were very different back then! This one was in London.

1913 Cartoon
1913 Cartoon: Where are the English?
Vintage photo of boys clothing
Vintage photo
How uncomfortable the boy above must have been while having his photo taken in those vintage clothes,

Vintage Fry's Cocoa Advert
Vintage Fry's Cocoa Advert

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Vintage Photos And Images Taken From My Google+ Page Over The Past Week
1920s to 1950s Images From My Google+ Page

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13 December, 2014

Coincidence Story: They Were Meant To Meet Again


A coincidence story, that seems to show how some relationships never end.

"When I was 15 I met my first boyfriend, Paul. We parted four years later while both at different universities.

I moved to London in 1969, knowing nothing of Paul since 1962. I married, he married and that was that until 1979 when I got a call out of the blue from Paul.

Now he didn't know my married name and didn't know where I was in the UK. But when he became CEO of a company in Zug, Switzerland, he often came to meetings in the UK. On the off-chance, during one visit he looked up my maiden name, V. Valentine, in the telephone directory. He called the only one listed and got Virginia Valentine who, unbelievably, was a copywriter as was I, working for the same ad agency as I was, with the same art director and in the same office as me - Valerie Valentine. Wow.

A few years later I began working for an agency in Gloucester on the Kraft business. Kraft's headquarters then were in Cheltenham, practically next door. I went to a meeting, Paul who's business was buying coffee and cocoa for Kraft, went to the same meeting, and we met up again in 1987. Doubly coincidental.

He's now retired in Florida, I'm working in Thame and we keep in touch by email. Who'd have thought it ???"


This story was previously published on Understanding Uncertainly

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An Ode To Coincidence Via The Lord of The Rings
Married Couple Were Unknowingly Photographed Together As Children
Married Couple In The Same Photo As Children

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12 December, 2014

Look Out! Look Out! Karma Is Coming to To Get You!


Not sure where I'm going with this post but I have been thinking a lot about karma recently. At the present time it's something I believe in, as it answers so many questions. Things such as: Why are some people lucky and others unlucky? Why do some people have hardship and others are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth? And so on.

There appears to be a lot of injustices in the world, but what if there is a reason for this rather than it simply being God's will - or the luck of the draw, if you don't believe in any supreme power.

A lot of people write off karma but then go on to use expressions like: what comes around goes around; it's what he/she deserved; tit for tat: an eye for an eye, measure for measure ... and so on.

'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' comes from the Bible, but it doesn't - in my opinion - suggest that we seek revenge in a similar fashion to what has been done to us. It's a reference to karma. It can never be right to seek revenge because we would surely be creating more bad karma for ourselves. The Bible clarifies this in Matthew 5:38-39 (if you are a Bible believer, that is):

"Ye have heard that that it hath been said: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosovever shall smite thee on they right cheek, turn to him the other also."

So what is Karma? Here's Wikipedia's version:

"Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in some schools of Asian religions. In these schools, karma in the present affects one's future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives."

smiley face
As a humour break here's what Mahatma Gandhi said about karma:
"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."

Martin Luther King, Jr said something similar:
"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing."

While on the theme of what others have said I'll move on to other quotes from various religions.

Now as a man is like this or like that,
according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad;
he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;

And here they say that a person consists of desires,

and as is his desire, so is his will;
and as is his will, so is his deed;
and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.

~ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th Century BC

Happiness comes due to good actions, suffering results from evil actions.
By actions, all things are obtained, by inaction, nothing whatsoever is enjoyed.
If one's action bore no fruit, then everything would be of no avail,
If the world worked from fate alone, it would be neutralized.

~ Mahabharata (Hinduism)

As a man himself sows, so he himself reaps; no man inherits the good or evil act of another man. The fruit is of the same quality as the action.

~ Mahabharata

And so it goes on, even in Wicca they have the Rule of Three, which states that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times.

Okay, I've rambled on long enough for one post, but if you want some good karma try what the Dalai Lama suggests on   20 Ways to Get Good Karma

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11 December, 2014

He Glimpsed Heaven And No Longer Fears Death

An experience today about how Roy Goff believes he glimpsed the life that awaits us all after death.

"I'm not prone to fanciful ideas and I'm not particularly religious. Yet and experience I had on New Year's Day 1995 left me in no doubt that life on Earth is only the beginning of existence.

I'd been in ill health for some time, and, after taking a walk to see in the New Year, I started to experience pains in my chest.

At the time I lived alone, so once I'd returned home I rang the doctor's surgery and talked to the receptionist. I told her I would go to bed but leave the front door open for the doctor to come in.

By the time the doctor arrived I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember being driven to hospital. All the while I was feeling sick with fear about what was happening to me.

Slowly that feeling of fear left me, and I saw myself in a field full of long grass under a blazing sun. Stretching ahead was a ill where, looking up, I could see the figure of a young woman.

She was wearing a voluminous black dress, which reached the ground, and a tight fitting white bonnet - just like the clothes my grandmother used to wear.

Peeping out from behind the woman's skirts were two little girls,similarly dressed. They were all beckoning me to join them.

Although I didn't recognise them, I did want to be with them. Immediately, in a flash like a bright star exploding, I was back in my body and full of pain again.

I had, they later told me, suffered two heart attacks and 'died' twice, but fortunately they brought me back to life each time.

Nothing like tat vision had happened to me before, or has happened since. I believe I did catch a glimpse of the life that finally awaits us all. I firmly believe that after our death we continue in another place. And my experience has certainly taken away my fear of death."

~ Roy Goff

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