Grumpy Old Man

By Maurice1948

The lost children

A rather grotty day today – but more or less as forecast. Drizzle most of the time, sometimes heavy. I stayed indoors trying to assemble my timber planters and got one more or less finished. Roll on tomorrow when it will be a repeat of today for me!
A change of Blip today – can’t have three WoodBlips in a row! A while ago I picked a copy of the DVD ‘Philomena’ in a charity shop, without paying a great deal of attention to it other than the fact that it starred Judi Dench, always a winner in my book.
I watched it for the first time the other evening and found it excellent, though the subject is pretty grim. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s the true story of a young Irish girl who ‘fell pregnant’ after a night out with a handsome young man, back in 1952. As a result, her family had her incarcerated in a convent which dealt with such wicked and sinful girls, keeping them in for the birth and then having them do menial work for three years, only allowing them out if their parents coughed up £100! Minus their children, of course, who were sold for adoption, many to the USA. I don’t want to offend any Catholics reading this – I’m sure times have changed – but the way the nuns treated these poor girls in the name of God was nothing short of inhuman and unchristian.
Although they were made to sign a statement agreeing that they would not try to find their children in later life, Philomena Lee spent fifty years doing just this, until her daughter begged journalist Martin Sixsmith to help. The result is this book. I’m only part way through, but my advice to anyone wishing to see the film is to read the book first. Martin Sixsmith goes into a great deal of detail concerning the Irish government’s subservience to the Catholic church and also the story of the two three-year-olds wrenched from the quiet of a convent in the Tipperary countryside and dumped into a noisy family in the depths of an Illinois winter.
An  absolutely astonishing story.

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