Wednesday, April 30, 2014

the travellers rest .

Sometimes it simply is not your fault.You dont change, yet change still happens all around you anyway.But,as the I Ching would say :"No Blame".
On  odd occassions (since the demolition of The Rochdale Hamam) I now stop off at St Peter's swimming pool in Burnley for a sauna.Its actually part of the NHS Trust.It's a newish complex.
I cant say I care for the sauna there too much.The facilities are fine enough.Big steam room:Big Swimming Pool:Big Sauna:Big Jacuzzi.But ,typically,the  architects & designers forgot about the most important (yet most intangible ) thing.The sociability of the people who  use a building!
The experience for me there is spoiled by the lack of les Craic.
For me,the best saunas or turkish baths are those where people  sit in a communal area..face to face, and talk.Much like a good pub (minus clothes& alcohol!)
Burnley has none of that.All you get is a long horizontal row of plastic chairs outside the sauna& steam.With your back pressed against  a large glass brick wall that backs off to the swimming pool.You see nothing but a wall facing you.You dont even have  enough room to  stretch your legs.
It's like some  clinical waiting room corridor.No good at all for talking (your more likely to get whiplash than a conversation from such daft  poses......)The seats are squashed so tightly together you couldnt even move them (even if you had somewhere to move them too) .
Its strange how a building design hampers behaviour.Its almost designed to stop people staying too long......
Anyway.On Tuesday night I took this photo from the  car park there.Another example of buildings not being able to talk to one another?
The reason i took the photo is my interest in  "Ghost Signs"
Can you makeout the word  "HOTEL" ?
Yet you cannot  access this building  from the car park.The iron ladder you see runs to a deep,dark narrow canal below.......with no bridge across to it.
Who the hotel was actually meant for,I do not know.The other side of the building is now fast foods On t'other side , it  runs onto a dual carriageway .
Perhaps in the Olden Days  different roads & different buildings might have interested a person to rest their head .... sadly not any more...........

This is a sepia saturday post.
"...dancing, folk traditions or very silly poses..." is the prompt this week.Here you see one of my Aunt Brenda's Essex College photos from the 1920's.I dont recognise Brenda in it.Perhaps she was behind the camera....?
On Monday I attended the funeral of my neighbour of 28 years,Paul (pictured below).
A humanist service.Not a vicar ,priest or wreath in sight.
The service was led by Eileen O'Brien an actress who also lives on our road.
Anybody who is familiar with British telly will recognise her she's been in Coronation Street:East Enders;Brookside;Emmerdale.
The Service was very moving.Standing room only at Park Wood Crem.
No hymns or suchlike.Rather about a dozen or so of Paul's family & friend read out their favourite memories of his life.
(I must say, I would be intrigued if my funeral was like this.i dread to think what might be said!)
The music for the service included the Sandy Denny song Who Knows Where The Time Goes. And Tom Paxton You are Love.


Karen S. said...

You really do lead such an awesome life! Love your stories in life. I do see the hotel and I think it's time I begin a bit of ghost posting too, sometime! The places where they exist are my kind of spots to hang out too!

Little Nell said...

Nice to have you back - pity you bought your old mate word verification along though :) That’s a brill pic of aunt Brenda’s - perfect match for the theme. My friend had a Humanist funeral last year - I found it quite odd in some ways. Your neighbour looks as though he had a good sense of humour.

Postcardy said...

Poses are silly, but intriguing.

tony said...

I have knocked-0ff wv :)

La Nightingail said...

Your Aunt Brenda's dancing pic was great, but I really liked the picture of your passed-on neighbor, Paul, posing as a statue. Somehow he just looks like he would have been someone fun and nice to know. I'm glad you chose to use that picture.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

I too like the photo of Paul. Sounds like he had a nice send off.

Wendy said...

Aunt Brenda's photo captures all the themes in one shot! You win!

I like the sounds of Paul's funeral although for your sake I'm sorry there had to be one. It's always rather sad when the person conducting the funeral has no clue about the dearly departed. Friends ushering a friend to the other side sounds just fine.

Mike Brubaker said...

Another great multi-layered post, Tony. Ghost signs would make a challenging Sepia Saturday theme. Aunt Brenda's cavorting ensemble is a perfect choice. And you've given your friend a fine memory for the rest of us to wish we'd met him.

boundforoz said...

I don't want to stop change. But I would like to slow it down a little. The poor old Hotel now submerged in canals, fast food shops and roadways. If only it could talk, what would it tell us.Loved seeing the old style tunics too. A most interesting post.

Alex Daw said...

I'm sorry to hear about your neighbour but it sounds like he had a good send off. Love ghost signs. There's a few of those around our city and I love the link with the past that they bring. Great start to our theme this week.

Boobook said...

Aunt Brenda's group photo is fun.

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

RIP Paul..that sounds like a very moving service of farewell. The dancers photo reminded me of the old style Polish weddings. My late maternal grandpa would dance Cosack style at those in his younger days, squatting and kicking his legs about..your first part on the saunas is interesting too. Sounds like something from the past..

Kristin said...

I remember taking the bus down Grand River in Detroit back in the day. As it neared downtown,there would be residential hotels with what looked like ghost signs, but were actually still in use, saying things like "If you lived here you would be home now." and other depressing things.

On the not making things pleasant for users front - My daughter and I have been going to dance concerts for the last few years. Usually the seats are quite pleasant but the last one we went to, the seats were too close to the row in front, which was dropped down so you couldn't stretch your legs. The seats were crowded up next to the ones beside you putting me in contact with the stranger beside me. Even though the performance was worth seeing, won't be going there next year if they dance at the same spot.

luvlinens said...

Tony,I think it is my first time here.
Sorry about the unpleasant sauna. They should know better. Why is our experience not part of the picture?
Loved Aunt Brenda's college snaps. And am glad Paul decided to do it his way. I have often thought A Cocktail Party would be the way to go. My friends would be there for sure. Some good music. And lots of reminiscing.
What more could you ask for.

Tattered and Lost said...

Your friend looks quite wonderful in his statuesque pose. Too bad there aren't statues like this remembering the actual people who did the work and not just the famous ones who had good press agents.


Conversation in a steam room????
All I ever wanted in a steam room was steam, or to blow off some "steam"... Conversation was never part of the equation for me. Buck up!!! You'll surely find better accommodations elsewhere.

As for funeral services go, none for me, cremation and spreading of the ashes, discreetly alongside the river. Cocktails afterward!!! What people, if any, would say about me? Who cares!! I'd be dead!!!