Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - No interest in clothes

By guest blogger Pete.

As my family will confirm, I've never been over concerned about clothes. Now don't take that statement to mean that I'm either a naturalist or uncoventional in the clothing idea. It's just that I can't understand this obsession some folk have for clothes. As long as clothes are clean, decent and warm, when you need them to be warm, then I can't see what all the fuss is about. It certainly doesn't matter how old they may be. I wear shoes until, quite literally, they fall apart. By then they have become so comfortable that they are like old friends and I don't want to lose them. My latest "old friend" now nearing retirement lives in my car and exists under the euphemism of being "my driving shoes".

Pam, my wife, is, however, somewhat interested in clothes. Something I have found to be quite common with members of the female gender! When we are in town - ANY town - she loves nothing better than wandering around clothes shops looking for some bargain or other. When we visit any town we usually, by mutual agreement, decide to part for about 1 1/2 hours whilst she indulges herself visiting clothes shops and I turn my attention to book shops and,that other good supplier of 2nd hand books, charity shops.

However, that interest of mine in the traditional books store has waned of late and during next week's 7 day break in Suffolk I'm not sure what I will be doing whilst Pam raises the hopes of clothes shop proprietors throughout the county. The reason for the decline in my bookshop interest is the Sony ebook reader that I was given for my recent birthday. I confess to liking gadgets but this is NO gadget. In fact it comes into a category all of its own. If you're interested in books then have a look at the ebook reader. Basically it enables you to carry around a whole library of books in your pocket. No dedicated reader should fail to consider the possibility.

IN the 1950s I worked, for some considerable time, in the east end of London - a very deprived area indeed. Custom House, Plaistow, Canning Town, Poplar, Limehouse, Whitechapel, etc, were all places that I got to know quite well. The other day I found an ebook about life in the 1950s east end - centred on Poplar and the work of the Nonnatus nuns, whose ministry was one of nursing and midwifery. I knew a priest who lived and worked in Cable Street - surname was Corbin and I think his Christian name was Robert but I can't be sure of that. Cable Street in the East End was notorious for its "all night cafes". I could never understand why the police didn't close them down. I have my suspicions but I've no intention of commiting them to print. If you're really interested in London's east end of the 50s then look up a real live character who spent decades in that area. His name is Joe Williamson. I've never googled him but chances are that he'll be somewhere on the internet. I have no photos of London's east end but I hope you'll enjoy these unconnected offerings anyway.

Don't knock the ebook reader until you've given it a real test!

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