Patriae domus decorem

The last few days have been rather fun, even if much of it spent sitting in front of a Laptop. Some will know I have been posting a number of old back Blips to my childhood days and this has involved digging through shoeboxes and old albums.

Some of the photos are of my school days from 8 to 17 (1962-1972) in two Somerset, boys-only, Catholic-run, boarding institutions. A lay junior school, All Hallows School and the senior Downside School, run by the monks of the attached Benedictine Monastery & Abbey.

I had been on their various web pages from time to time but last week seeing something on the Downside old pupils Facebook page, I posted a few photos I had. After a bit of initial chat with the administrator, I suddenly got a message from a GIRL! We weren't taught back then how to deal with such problems.

"Are you the George who .......?". I won't fill in the gaps.
"Yes, I am the George and my lawyer's address is ......"

The question was from the daughter of one of the lay teachers at the school, I think quite popular but he taught the fully packed, Spanish classes in the modern wing while I was in the three-pupil German class banned to a broom cupboard and without even a blackboard.

I didn't know Mo back in those days but through a far too complicated connection to explain, my wife to be, five years later, did know Mo. And so it came that Mo visited us in the late 70's, we introduced her to a single man in the village, they married and had children. Mo is my daughter's godmother but as these things happen, they moved to other parts and the contact dwindled. I did visit them for dinner in Spalding in 1992 when doing a short contract for Geest the banana people but again the contact got lost.

So that was a fabulous result as Mo is such a wonderful person, sadly accompanying her partner through the hell of Myeloma, He starts another series of treatment tomorrow at Addenbrookes and I do so pray it goes well. Some will know I have been a bit involved with Myeloma sufferers in the last few years. A really nasty monster that seems so close to having a cure found.

As if that bit of contact-making wasn't enough, the Facebook notifications bell kept ringing and suddenly all manner of names from the past popped up. Fantastic and some lovely tales of our old times.

One of these is also a keen photo(grapher)blogger but has experienced the difficulties of discipline and contact that many of us once knew. He looked at Blip today, said he liked the look of it and before I could blink had signed up for paid membership and posted his first entry.

And strangely, just today, Redflash posted on her Facebook page the link to "what Blip is all about"  and suggesting to her non-Bliper friends that they should join up.

So what a day - lots of results for me and for Blip as well as indirectly for  RedFlash.

Why not take a peek at "cbimages" and say Hi. I know it was a sort of "emergency Blip" for today but you can see from his photo blog that his photos are fabulous and from the Facebook chat, he is a charming good storyteller. I am sure, if he survives the first 100 posts, that he will be another great asset to our community.

Ah-  today's Blip is of the modern 1953 built rectory in our village, replacing the 1730 built one which is now the village kindergarden. Our village was until 1803 part of the Benedictine Monastery at Ottobeuren and served as a summer retreat. Napolean kindly gave all the church bricks & mortar to the State but he didn't otherwise try to remove the Catholic church from its dominant role in the lives of the Bavarians. The influence is still dominant today. There are over 20 well known Benedictine monasteries in Bavaria many with breweries, some with schools.

And the Latin text is the first line of our old School Song. In case there are any Finnish readers, it means "The glory of a Father’s house"

N.B. for the Latin Lovers amongst us:


Patriae domus decorem
Diligamus filii
Eque vivis comparata
Moenia lapidibus.
Hanc senectutis quietem

Veneremur in dies
Prata amemus iuvenili
Flore viridantia

The glory of a Father’s house

is for the children to love
and these its walls, made and built
from living stones.
This haven of age we are to revere
More every day
and love the meadows blossoming
with flowers of youth.

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