Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Pig of Tilling

I have just read, and am now re-reading, "Miss Mapp" by E.F.Benson.  It is as funny as all the Mapp & Lucia books.  And EFB is so good on the charm of Tilling (Rye) and its marshy setting.

"There is not a town in all England so blatantly picturesque as Tilling, nor one, for the lover of level marsh land, of tall reedy dykes, of enormous sunsets and rims of blue sea on the horizon, with so fortunate an environment."

Yes, although I am a child of the Yorkshire moors and Derbyshire Dales, I love it all.  And that "blatantly" is very well deployed.   

There is a wonderful passage in Proverbs where Jesus, personified as wisdom, speaks to us of how he worked beside his Father:
“Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago.  From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth.  When there were no watery deeps I was brought forth as with labour pains, when there were no springs heavily charged with water.  Before the mountains themselves had been settled down, ahead of the hills, I was brought forth as with labour pains,  when as yet he had not made the earth and the open spaces and the first part of the dust masses of the productive land.  When he prepared the heavens I was there; when he decreed a circle upon the face of the watery deep,  when he made firm the cloud masses above, when he caused the fountains of the watery deep to be strong,  when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order, when he decreed the foundations of the earth,  then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time,  being glad at the productive land of his earth, and the things I was fond of were with the sons of men."

Jesus loved the earth and everything on it - especially us.  It is a damaged creation at the moment - the serpent is still in the garden - but we can see its beauty everywhere, and we can know that by the end of the Thousand years it will all be perfect again, as it was when it was created.

Then E.F.Benson is very funny about the Tilling tourist industry - obviously in full swing back then.   Of the
Tilling tourist he says:

"Few if any of them left without purchasing one of the famous Tilling money-boxes, made in the shape of a pottery pig, who bore on his back that remarkable legend of his authenticity which ran:
                                             I won't be druv
                                             Though I am willing,
                                             Good-morning, my love,
                                             Said the Pig of Tilling."

Brilliant!  I'd have bought one too.  And our own little seaside town could do with a Pig of Tilling.

Audrey and I were out for an hour yesterday - it started raining heavily just as we finished.  I did little else - so tired, can't sleep, steroids (whinge, whinge), did my study and some emails and got us dinner.

Jackie is back.  Hurray!   We will invite her round to test fly the Abel & Cole Steak and Ale pie at the weekend.  Talked to her on the phone today and caught up.  And made a tray of marmalade muffins for Captain B's portable lunches.

One of the ladies on my magazine route has died.  She has been very ill for a long time.  I hope she is sleeping safe in "the everlasting arms" and will wake up once again in the Paradise earth.  And she can continue to learn - as we all will - IF we are there.

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