Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Heroes

 Do we all have heroes?   Someone we admire?  Maybe some one we would like to have been given a different set of circumstances or someone we desire to emulate in some for m or another?   I hope so.   I am sure we do as children when we begin to read about people - I have mentioned before my love as a young person of Maurice le Toumelin who wrote 'Kurun around the world' after sailing single handed round the world.   Of course I would never do it - I have never ever been on a sailling boat on the sea and would be scared stiff before we left harbour - but how I admired that man for his daring.

One of my all-time Heroes popped up in today's Times.   Betty Boothroyd.  She is now 91 so has been around for the whole of my life.   My father was a strong Labour Party supporter and her name cropped up regularly in our house - for one thing she had been born into a very working class background, which to our family made her special as we too were working class in the days when it really mattered (well to my Dad at any rate).

She was a Labour MP for almost   thirty years and for the last few of those also Speaker of the House of Commons - the only woman ever to have held that post (and never one to be afraid of speaking her mind!)  

I see in today's Times that she has decided to move out of London into a cottage in the countryside (at 91 a brave move - the thought of moving again is unthinkable to me - the rave to start with apart from the effort involved.)   Because the cottage is smaller she is having to part with some of her treasures and has found it so hard to decided which ones to keep and which to sell.   (she has decided and a sale is coming up shortly).   Each one has a memory - many were gifts - one from Boris Yeltsin for instance.

I sat here over my coffee and thought what I would do if I ever have to move again.   What would I do with all my treasures (not in the same league as Betty's financially but treasures to me because of the memories they hold).   Many things I have brought back from my travels abroad - to Russia in the days when it was the Soviet Union so including Khazakstan, Uzbekistan - the Silk Route, the Trans Siberian Railway.   And things from the US and a paper weight from Malta.   None of them precious in terms of money but the memories they hold are precious.   But those memories will die with me anyway.

Ah such food thought.   Over your coffee have a think.   Have you any heroes?  And what about 'treasures'?  How would you sort them out if it came to moving on?


34 comments:

The Feminine Energy said...

One of my heroes passed away yesterday...my godmother, Aunt Charlotte. My heart is broken into a million pieces. Thank you for asking this question and for allowing me to type my aunt's name. It brought comfort to me this morning. ~Andrea xoxo

The Weaver of Grass said...

Synpathies to you Andrea - Ihope you have many happy memories of her.

Rachel Phillips said...

Betty Boothroyd was the best Speaker of the House of Commons in my living memory.

JayCee said...

I don't think I have a particular hero, although I have often wished that I were a stronger, braver version of myself.
I am currently in the process of sorting through all my treasures in anticipation of our house move. I am not quite as upset about getting rid of them as I first thought. I just hope that I don't regret it later!

Ellen D. said...

I have done a bit of decluttering during COVID time and I have the same doubts as you. Who will want these things I have saved? Not really treasures at all, just memories from my life. Too many little things that my children probably will not want. I have started giving some of these items to them if they want them. I am glad to clean out but, mostly,I am glad my old memory items are wanted.

the veg artist said...

Not heroes as such, but there were several role models in my childhood, elderly women who either had failed to marry after WWI or, in my great aunt's case, widowed weeks after marrying, when her husband was killed in Jerusalem during that war. These women were not the least bit self-pitying. They had worked, supported themselves, run their own homes, and still remained kind and cheerful. They were, of course, all childless.
I also had two younger aunts whose unhappy marriages were obvious even to me. They were the examples of what to not settle for, that life was too short to be that unhappy.

A Smaller Life said...

One of my heroes is a woman called Lucy Irvine, who in the 80's answered an advert in a newspaper to be a 'wife' of a guy wanting to live as a castaway on a desert island. Anyone with a streak of adventure gets my mind turning and my admiration flowing. Life is meant to be experienced not just waded through and an adventurous streak is brilliant. She just sprang to mind immediately when I read your question.

Traveller said...

When did you take the Transiberian Weave?

Tasker Dunham said...

I wonder how many children of factory workers could reasonably aspire to Speaker now. Just looked at her Wikipedia page. I didn't know she was a Tiller Girl.
I call mine heroes influences rather than heroes, but it's the same thing. I even have an 'influences' category in my blog.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Traveller - my first husband and I went on the Trans Siberian in 1989-we didn't go all the way - we got off at Irkutsk after travelling the length of Lake Baikal. Wonderful holiday.

Connie said...

This is my first visit to your lovely blog and I feel very much at home, enough to become your newest follower. Hard to think of myself as "new" anything, at 75 years of age new as passed me by, LOL. Heroes, there are many . . . but my favorite will always be my husband Steve, Steve recused me from a life of hopelessness into a life of encouragement and a positive outlook on life. He was strong and made me stronger. He is gone now but will always live in my heart and somehow still encourages me each day.
My heritage is from the Yorkshire area and I have always wanted to visit the farm country and the villages. Now, with the world as it is and my age, I will only be able to do it through things like visiting blogs such as yours.
Well, I happy to meet you and look forward to a warm blogging friendship.
Have a sweet day my new friend.
Connie :)

Bonnie said...

I have a home full of items special to me but not to anyone else. None are of much monetary value and most are passed down from loved family members. I need to start clearing out many of these items now but I freeze at the thought of it. I have two sons and they are not that interested in the kinds of items I have saved. It also seems most of the young today are interested in minimalism which can be good, but what is one to do with precious items passed down through generations?

Joan (Devon) said...

My heroines are Helen Keller and her friend Ann Sullivan and have been since I read about them in a comic when I was 13 or so. In fact with them in mind I support a charity called Sense for blind/deaf children.

I have a lot of inherited things from my parents and older ancestors which I would never get rid of and a few things of my own which hold memories. My daughter already has a kitchen rocking chair which belonged to her twice great aunt and uncle and I know she would want the old books her great-grandparents received for attending church. She has already told me that she would like things from the older members of the family for her daughters, so I have no worries about what to do with them.






Traveller said...

Weave, we took the train from Beijing to Moscow in 1990, one year after you. We had travelled overland from Singapore to Beijing so we’re quite glad of the slower pace of travel on the train. The train food, however, was awful. We bought food from the ladies with prams at the various stations. A great time.

Country Cottage said...

My dad was (and all ways will be) my hero. My treasures are items made for me by my family, including a name plate by brother made for me 40 years ago by using a magnifying glass and the sun on a spare bit of wood!

Heather said...

I always hoped I would be made of the same stuff as my maternal grandmother. She was my hero and I believed she could do anything. I admired and adored her in equal measure, but sadly fell short of her homely achievements.
Not being made of hero material myself I think that anyone who contributes to the lives of others at the expense of their own should be regarded as a hero. Nurses and doctors working incredibly long shifts day after day, servicemen horrifically injured yet who somehow manage to rebuild their lives and go on contributing. Then there is the ordinary man or woman 'in the street' who does something courageous. There must be thousands of unsung heroes.
Betty Boothroyd was a wonderful Speaker of the House of Commons and certainly new how to keep order. Remarkable lady.

The bike shed said...

So many heroes - from mountaineering and kayaking (sadly many dead now) to philosophy, books, the arts... I often play an imaginary game of who I might invite to dinner, but as it's a post in waiting I'll keep you guessing.

As for treasures - well yes, but I'm conscious that treasures to me are just 'stuff' to others - I like a good clear out.

Susan said...

I do not have any heroes per say. I do have a few role models from corporate American and my career in the computer industry. These people emulated strong leadership skills as well as brilliance in the field. I seem to have taken on the role of heirloom keeper in my family. I love these pieces and have integrated them into my contemporary home. Family antiques with wonderful history make me smile.

The Furry Gnome said...

We have lots of treasures and I haven't the foggiest idea what to do with them!

Anonymous said...

Those who quietly go about their business with as Heather says, contributing to the lives of others at the expense of their own, are my heroes. For the majority of my working life I did substitute teaching work with children with severe disabilities, both physical and intellectual. The parents of these children often had intense challenges, their lives altered forever. Particularly with severe behaviour issues, the patience exhibited is beyond heroic, particularly when you throw lack of sleep into the mix. Pam - Australia.

Brenda said...

My heroes...Mother who died at 60...my daughter and son and their dad
I have gotten rid of everything on this 31st move...don’t want kids to have to do it...love your blog

Brenda said...

Connie I love your blog too

Joanne Noragon said...

I've downsized three or four times. Someone else can throw away the rest, but not until I'm not here to look at them anymore.

Cro Magnon said...

I only remember BB as speaker; not so much as an MP. One of my childhood heroes was Thor Heyerdahl (sp?); he of Kon Tiki fame. I read the book several times, but often I would take the book down just to look at the photos.

Librarian said...

My parents have had a large part in me becoming who I am. They were (and still are) great parents, never afraid to show their love for each other and for us, never mind that money was so tight at some stage in their lives that they could not have offered a surprise visitor a meal without going hungry themselves.
They were hard working but never too busy to spend time with my sister and me, and they instilled in us the love for nature and walking, a love that lasts a lifetime. Also, they taught us to look out for each other.
Now that they are 79 and 77 years old, and still together unlike many other couples who barely manage a few years of marriage before breaking up, I admire them all the more.

CharlotteP said...

My husband die last year and I have been resolutely decluttering, mindful that someone will have to clear up after I am gone (hopefully many years from now!) and with the half though that someday I may wish to move. It has been easier parting with my treasures than Dave's, I'm not much of a keeper of stuff, but he was. Slowly getting the balance between over 'stuffed' and empty!

thelma said...

Two treasures: My young son made a pottery bridge with various lumps. It was the story of Billy Goat Gruff that was his favourite story and which I had to read over and over again. The second, which is treasured for its age and beauty is a silk embroidered Chinese piano cloth I think. My MIL gave it to me, the great embroidered dragon's stitches have lost their colour but it represents a great deal of work.

Derek Faulkner said...

Pat, to find out who your readers consider to be heroes, could I suggest that you look in the mirror. As a daily reader of your blog for a few years now, it is clear that the majority of your readers see you as someone of a heroic nature.
I can't say as I have "heroes", I have people that I respect greatly for what they say and do but that's about the limit of it.

Jean said...

My hero would be my mum, the youngest and smallest of eight children, born in 1928. She had a hard life as a child, not least for being left handed which was "not allowed" when she was at school. Money was tight when she married and she had two jobs to help make ends meet for all of my childhood.
As for treasures, my SIL and her husband decided the way to hang on to some of them when they down sized was to take a photo of each item to keep in a folder, along with a few words about how they came to be so special. They always have the photos to refer to if they want and don't miss all the dusting!

Beverley said...

I have a few heroes, Betty Boothroyd and Vera Brittain included. A younger hero is Annie Lennox, due to her fantastic musical ability, and her social and political activism and her charity work.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lots of lovely answers here and all so inspirational. It is so good to have heroes. As for treasures - good in moderation but the suggestion that if we die we leave them all for somene else to clear out is a sensible one. Thanks eeryone.

jinxxxygirl said...

I'm late to the party Pat... I don't know about heroes... but i have people i admire and even wish to emulate ... My treasures... and i have alot... i will keep until i die.. I never understood this idea of getting rid of treasures BEFORE you die.. Just so my kids don't have to do it.. I guess i'am just not that 'kind'... If they still bring me joy why shouldn't i keep them and see them every day..? Now if i had to move and there was no way to bring them thats a different story.. I do like the idea of taking photographs of them and writing something about them to help remember.. Hugs! Debs

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