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  • louise
    Suppose that Satan is your greatest fear and the devil is his instrument: what fear and trembling then?? Northern England I would define as bounded in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2004
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      'Suppose that Satan is your greatest fear and the devil is his
      instrument: what fear and trembling then??'

      Northern England I would define as bounded in the North by the
      Cheviots and in the South by a line linking Mersey with Humber. So
      we're not talking politics here, except insofar as we refer to pre-
      1974 county boundaries, ensuring that the southern line dips to take
      in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster. Accordingly we have
      Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Westmorland,and
      Cumberland. I haven't met very many Lancastrians, but at least I've
      set foot in all those six counties. My father attended university
      in Sheffield, my mother as a child attended school in Beverley, and
      took qualifications as a mature student in Hull. It takes great
      stamina to start from scratch, so far as formal accreditations are
      concerned, passing through exams normally taken at age 16 and 18 and
      then to take and pass a degree course. I suppose it is still the
      case as with my mother's generation, that the particular family
      circumstances, including sibling order, national and local
      prejudices and general economic prosperity/distribution, one is born
      into, may determine how free one is as a young person to be educated
      how one would wish and for how long. This is a very
      intense 'political issue' in this country. At the very top of
      government, the questions about private education for one's children
      or about the criteria for admission to the best universities,
      continue to rage, though may be out of the headlines for the moment.
      What is our personal territory?
      I begin with our home and yard; others may have gardens, orchards,
      even mansions. The principle is the same. Where do you feel safe?
      The fact is, many do not. There are many who 'belong', who are
      deeply loved in a community, who have lived there all their lives,
      and yet fear the stranger, in the form of the notional burglar,
      assailant/mugger, vandal, youth gang, or else of the 'escapee', so
      to speak, from the various safe houses and hostels and hospitals who
      cater for people totally different in category, yet generally feared
      as unpredictable: the paedophile, the schizophrenic, the asylum
      seeker, the drug-user, the more or less rehabilitated criminal or
      convict. I edge my way towards finding a community in which I truly
      feel a part, which is a two-way process. There has to be a bond,
      both felt and acted out, on one's own side, but also, acceptance,
      from the wider body of people. I used to find it fiendishly
      difficult to adapt to the conventions of the Community Association
      who leased out the rooms used by the chess club in Durham, simply
      because the other members, representing other groups, and also the
      fellow-officers in our own club (including my husband, the
      Secretary!), had no idea of the horrors a Stalinist mind-set
      represents for me. Most people are used to it, either happily, or
      ground into resignation. Some triumph heroically, others find
      humour in the situation. This is a beginning. To what, I don't

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