07 September, 2011
Martine, along with many other British people, celebrated the news that London had been awarded the Olympic Games for 2012. Her enthusiasm must have been excessive as the next morning, 7/7, she overslept. This meant she had to get a later train to work.
A terrorist bomb exploded on the train and this tragically caused her to lose both legs.
She now talks, however, of coincidences and is hopeful that she may be chosen to represent Great Britain in the 2012 Paralympics, in the Sitting Volleyball event.
Martine told the Daily Mail: "There are so many coincidences. Take the two places I train at in London, for example. Roehampton University is across the road from Queen Mary's Hospital where I spent eight months learning to walk.
The other place is on Commercial Road in East London which is behind the Royal London hospital (where she had physio).
My first international (at Sitting Volleyball) was last year at the World Championships and we flew out on July 7. I chose the No 7 jersey."
She believes that her path may have been mapped out for her to do something similar to what she is now doing. In her own words: "If I get to London 2012 as a competitor I will feel as if I've gone full cycle. All I remember thinking when London won the bid was, 'how am I going to get tickets, I need to get tickets!'. Now, in a weird twist of fate I might be taking part."
Martine has a full life, she trains for 25 hours a week and is married with a two year son. As to why she chose Sitting Volleyball as 'her' Paralympic sport she said, "Sitting volleyball is one of the most inclusive sports you can play. You don't need a wheelchair, just a bum, a net and a ball."
Martine will have to wait until next year to find out if she is chosen for the Paralympics - fingers crossed for her.
06 September, 2011
According to Cornwall's tin miners along with them in the mines were the Knockers who were mischievous spirits. They both helped the miners and also played tricks on them.
To keep in the Knockers good books the miners would often leave a small portion of their Cornish Pasties for these small spirits - more about Cornish Pasties later.
The Knockers were the equivalent of the Irish leprechaun and were described as being about 2 feet tall, rather strange looking and lived underground. So the tin mines were a perfect habitat for them and sometimes they would be seen wearing smaller versions of miners clothes.
According to Cornish folklore the Knockers were of help in two main ways. Firstly they would make a knocking sound to indicate where the tin ore veins were to be found and secondly they would knock to warn of any imminent danger.
On the mischievous side they would steal tools and food, play jokes on the miners but were generally good natured. Many claimed that the Knockers were the spirits of tin miners who had died in the many accidents which happened in the early days of Cornish mining.
The traditional food for Cornish miners was the Cornish pasty made from a circle of pastry filled with steak, sliced or diced potato, swede and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper. The pastry is folded in half and then baked in an oven.
Note that a true Cornish pasty, as per the photo, is crimped (joined) at the side - and never on top. There was a reason for this. The miners would take larger versions of the Cornish pasty for their meal breaks and would hold this by the crimped edge with their dirty hands. This way they could discard the soiled pastry for the Knockers to eat.
Sometimes the pasty would contain apple at one end. The miner would then have a complete meal of a first and second course.
Going back to the Knockers these spread to the USA as Cornish miners - who became knows as Cousin Jacks - joined the Gold Rush in the late 1800s. There is a story of how in 1956 a mine was closed and sealed. Generations of Cousin Jacks insisted that the mine be re-opened for all of the Knockers to escape and move to other mines. The mine owners agreed and the Knockers were set free.
The tin mines of Cornwall are, or rather were, interlinked with Knockers and pasties. Cornish pasties thrive in Cornwall and, in Europe and the UK, Cornish pasties can only be made in Cornwall.
I love pasties but, being a vegetarian, I have mine filled with vegetables or sometimes cheese, onion and potato.
There is an often heard chant in Cornwall of, "Oggy Oggy Oggy," to which the reply is, "Oi Oi Oi" - the oggy being a pasty. The word is believed to have been derived from the Cornish word hogen. At the mines, when the Cornish pasties were ready to be eaten, the bal maidens would shout down the mine shaft, "Oggy Oggy Oggy," and the miners would call back, "Oi Oi Oi."
Further Cornwall Posts
The Mystery Of Jesus Visiting Cornwall In England
The Mystery Of The Cornish Roche Rock And Hermitage
The Cornish Mystery Of The Trevethy Quoit Stones
Pasty photo: David Johnson
05 September, 2011
A short while back I wrote a post called The Mystery Of Jesus Visiting Cornwall In England. As the title suggests it raised the question as to whether Jesus ever came to Cornwall as is sometimes suggested.
I had no real proof of Jesus visiting Cornwall but thought that, if true, he may have done so to converse with Druids and the Celts. But even so, why would he visit Cornwall with Joseph of Arimathea?
As happens when we ponder a question, out of the blue, I now have an explanation.
The answer is tin.
Joseph of Arimathea was the younger brother of the Virgin Mary's father (therefore Jesus' Uncle) and it turns out that he was a wealthy man. His money appears to have come from minerals. In a Latin version of the Bible he is described as a 'Decurio'. This means that the Romans considered him to be some sort of high official in charge of mines.
At that time Cornwall produced most of the world's tin which was exported worldwide - sadly all of the mines are now closed. Joseph would have had to travel to Cornwall, in England to secure a supply of the mineral - and Jesus could well have gone with him. It's even possible that Jesus was the ship's carpenter, which was his 'earthly' father's trade.
Strangely early Cornish tin miners were known to chant 'Joseph was in the tin trade' as they worked. He is also mentioned in traditional miners' songs.
The question still arises as to why Jesus travelled with Joseph of Arimathea. It could be, as already suggested, that he worked as a carpenter - there would have been little work in his home village.
Another theory is that Joseph may have become Jesus' guardian under Roman law. This would have come about if Mary had become a widow. There is no mention of her husband after Jesus was a boy, so he may well have died.
Therefore the story of Jesus stepping ashore in Cornwall at St. Just In Roseland - as per my previous post - could well be true.
I'll probably come back to this subject at a later date after a bit more research.
The Mystery Of Jesus Visiting Cornwall In England.
04 September, 2011
03 September, 2011
Over the years she has accumulated a lot of material and equipment, most of which she decided was no longer worth keeping. One of the items was a dressmaking body, or some call it a dummy, in perfect mint condition. She could have sold this but we thought it would be nice, perhaps, to give it to a charity or something similar.
For some reason this morning I awoke with the idea of putting the body/dummy in our driveway with a sign saying 'free'. No idea why this thought came into my head.
My wife agreed so I did a sign, and placed this with the body outside - where it could be seen. I was still out front when a car pulled up just past our house and then reversed back. Two women got out and said they were from an organisation for people with Down's Syndrome, and they often put on plays. That very morning they had decided that what they needed was a dressmaking dummy. This they could use for some of the stage costumes and for making clothes.
They were off to see if they could get one anywhere for the charity! Then they saw the one in our driveway - their wishes had been met! They were lovely, genuine people and said we should come along to their next play performance.
I always get a kick when this sort of thing happens and it strengthens my belief in synchronicity, telepathy and how we are all inter-linked.
02 September, 2011
A story I saw a while back on UK television and, after doing a search, also on Australia's Sidney Morning Herald.
It goes back to World War I and the battle of Mont St Quentin in 1918. Many Australian soldiers were killed and now some of their unidentified bodies have been reburied, along with British soldiers. With the help of DNA samples some of the soldiers will now be named on their headstones.
The story I want to mention is about an old cornet musical instrument which was used in the ceremony to play the Last Post.
The reburials of the lost men of Fromelles, conducted with full military honours, unfolded to the haunting sound of the Last Post - played on a battered old cornet. This belonged to the 31st Battalion and was found and bought by a soldier's descendant on eBay.
Peter Nelson, whose grandfather survived Fromelles, had been researching the 31st Battalion when he spotted the cornet. It was clearly inscribed with the name of the company as well as the instrument's donor, a Queensland grazier.
"It was three or four months back and I saw a dealer in NSW put it up for sale. I'm a member of the 31st Battalion association … the battalion is still current in Townsville and in service," he told the Herald newspaper.
"It's battered and bent and seen quite a few years gathering dust somewhere but the dealer who saw it noticed the inscription. I had it restored, a few spare parts and it's back to working order. I got in touch with Michael Whitford, a descendant of one of the men, who put me in touch with General Mike O'Brien. They checked their musicians could play it and now it's on its way to France with the Federation Guard contingent."
More information on the reburials:
WWI war dead reburied in special service
01 September, 2011
A woman from New Castle, PA was in one of the Carolinas. On her way home, she stopped to rest. As she was going back to her car, she noticed a young serviceman sitting on a bench crying his heart out. She sat down beside him and asked him what the trouble was.
He told her that he was on leave and was trying to get back to Akron to the hospital to be with his wife who was in labor. He had just learned that the delivery was not going well and that there was a chance that mother and baby might die. His bus had been canceled and he didn't know what to do.
The woman offered to take him as far as Pittsburgh where he could catch a bus to Akron. He accepted the offer with gratitude. After they had been on the road for awhile, she decided to drive him all the way home and to go visit relatives in the Akron area. She was close to them and did not need to call them first. In fact, she even had a key to their house on her key ring.
She dropped the soldier off at the hospital and drove to the house of her relatives. No one answered the doorbell but she noticed that their car was in the garage, so she used her key and let herself in. The smell of gas in the house was overwhelming. She ran to the kitchen where she discovered that all of the gas jets were turned on as high as they could be. She turned them off, opened the windows, called 911 and went upstairs where she discovered the entire family almost unconscious in their beds. The rescue squad got everyone out of the house even though they were too weak even to walk. They were all taken to the hospital where they were treated and eventually recovered.
They discovered that the grandmother had gone into the kitchen thinking that all of the gas jets were on, and had carefully turned them "off".
The Voice Of The Fish Coincidence
JK Rowling And Harry Potter Birthday Coincidence
Bernice Finally Met The Twin She Dreamed About