Cats in York

If any of the forum's cat lovers need a reason to visit this, the best of cities, have a look at the photos on this TripAdvisor website: 

There are currently said to be around 22 cat sculptures on buildings in the centre of York. I think they've been breeding; there were only a few when I first came here 46 years ago. I'm pretty sure there are more than 22, because one of my neighbours has one. 


A boy called sorrow

This is a different kind of story from all my MFU ones. It was the result of a challenge my husband and I set each other after seeing a beautiful production of Puccini's opera Madam Butterfly, by Opera North in Leeds. The opera is based on a true story of love and betrayal — a visiting American naval officer in Nagasaki (around 1900) takes a young Japanese girl as a temporary wife and then returns to America, not knowing she is expecting his child. She and their son, and her maid Suzuki, wait for him but when he does return, it is with his American bride. This is a sequel.


Cio-Cio San (Madam Butterfly) about to kill herself. (From the David Freeman production, Royal Albert Hall)


Yorkshire Day

In case anyone hasn't noticed...

The Yorkshire flag ((c) Flag Institute and Yorkshire Ridings Society)

This celebration began around 1975 when the Yorkshire Ridings (from Thirdings — there were three) were abolished and, to add insult to injury, parts of Yorkshire went into Lancashire (gasp). The two counties having been rivals for centuries, this wasn't popular. 

I'm Yorkshire by adoption, and I've never been sure what Yorkies are supposed to do to celebrate, but it's also the anniversary of the abolition of slavery — campaigned for by Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce — and that's worth raising a glass for.

Yorkshire forever!


Kommandant RIP

The wonderful Bernard Hepton died on Friday. Brilliant, brilliant actor with a lovely and very distinctive voice; versatile beyond belief. Sadly, I saw him only once on stage.  

He was a Yorkshireman, and he was 92 — it would be absurd to be heartbroken, but I nearly am.

Here he is as Kommandant of Colditz Castle, in the series in which David McCallum played prisoner of war, Simon Carter.

Bernard Hepton as the Kommandant in Colditz


Winter story for hot weather (for Threecee)

Threecee's library story (http://www.mfuarchive.net/archive/6/aquiet.html) reminded me of some of the fun that can be had in a library. This is a true story of a small episode, in December 2003, in the life of Cambridge University Library where I used to work. I wrote it originally in a letter to my parents.


The library choir held its first carol concert in the entrance hall last Friday. I always go because it's so hilarious. It is very much a test of assertiveness for unsuspecting readers trying to enter via the heavy revolving door in as unobtrusive a fashion as possible. Very few have the chutzpah to walk straight in past the singers (and mad conductor) and either down into the cloakroom or up the stairs into the library.

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