Friday, 15 July 2011

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Yesterday afternoon we visited 'Mature Matters' in Four Acre, St Helens. Participants joined in conversations with topics including cleanliness, societal problems, the birth of the estate of Four Acre, gardening etc. As we talked members of the group drew onto napkins and tablecloths and embellished them with stitch. Phil gathered a couple of comments about the project...

Mary K

I love history, the older you get the more you look back. It happens to everyone, even the younger ones will remember in the future. It's important to us all to know: where you come from, gives you roots, stability. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. You pass things on - baking with gran, walks in the country, planting seeds. We recently went to where my granddaughter planted some saplings, now it's a wood. She remembers. It's important, all these things you do. Your dialect: 'O'er yonder', 'Tha knows' it's the way you are.

Let's face it, things have improved physically, but we've lost community. Labour-saving devices took alot of physical activity away - and left us with obesity. Communities have never been the same since we got TV. Years ago, mums sat outside talking, following the sun. Now they're separated, stuck inside four walls.

If you behave in this way, showing them everything you do, it passes on community. You are making memories for the younger ones. It does work, it has been planted. It does matter. I see such waifs and strays round here and just a word with them helps. Deprived kids - but they come over and talk to me. They just want someone to talk to, to show them another way. Otherwise how do they escape? If their mum's dealing drugs out the back window, what are they learning?

Ann and her embroidery

Mary G and Mary K

Mary G

It's a circle of life. If you don't keep the circle going that's when the trouble starts. If you can't pass on to your children and grandchildren what's right then you're in trouble. Aspects of life, your life. This art is useful, but it needs to be given a modern context - put it on the internet, texts. The old ideas are fine, the grassroots as I call them. But it needs to be in the new idiom.

Dot, Ann, Mary G and Mary K

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