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A Potter's Moll: Excuse Me There's A Tooth On Your Shoe

... We have had more than our share of dental experiences lately. I won’t go into detail because it’s gory, but Jim has a temporary front tooth that keeps coming out – most amusingly (though not to him, at our son’s wedding when it bounced off the shoe of the bride’s father)...

Liz Robison has an irrepressible sense of humour – but here also are serious thoughts on a court case which shocked the nation.

Do please visit the Web site of Liz’s potter husband Jim Robison http://www.jimrobison.co.uk/

I’ve been amused by how the media have been struggling to make big news out of the weather – and they do need something to tale readers’ and viewers’ minds off the credit crunch. The other night snow was forecast for Yorkshire and as our local Look North news update finished the announcer said: ‘We can now go live to the Highways Agency Depot and see those gritters roll.’ This was followed by a frozen looking reporter pointing as two gritting lorries drove out into the night. It had yet to start snowing.

Where I live there was more slush than snow when we woke up the next day, for which we were grateful, as we had to drive to Leeds later in the day. I commented to a dental clinic manager there that the expected big snow had not materialised, but he countered this by a tale of woe about how it had taken him two and a half hours to get to work that morning. He lives in a village near Harrogate and comes by train. This prompted us to remark how far people commute and he told us that the dentist lives ‘near Manchester airport.’

No doubt he can catch the Manchester airport- Leeds train and then walk to the clinic, but that daily journey would be my idea of a nightmare. When I was working I occasionally had to go to Leeds for the day and the crowded unpleasantness of those journeys stays in the memory. I have always been glad that my life’s path did not cause me to end up in a large city.

We have had more than our share of dental experiences lately. I won’t go into detail because it’s gory, but Jim has a temporary front tooth that keeps coming out – most amusingly (though not to him, at our son’s wedding when it bounced off the shoe of the bride’s father). I reluctantly succumbed to a session with the hygienist after a recent check up and the dentist came in with me to warn her to be gentle, as I had previously had an excruciating session with a hygienist who has now moved on – presumably to the Spanish Inquisition.

On a serious note, the Shannon Matthews case has many sad and disturbing aspects to it. When the child was first missing, a social worker I know said it was the worst family in Kirklees and that the poor child was not one anyone would want to kidnap. Social workers do come in for a lot of criticism but in the end it was the child’s mother who was responsible for the crime, as with the other tragic case of Baby P.

The chief constable of West Yorkshire was interviewed by Jeremy Vine for a Panorama programme and he made the point that some people accept no personal responsibility for their lives and that perhaps instead of making allowances in such cases, we should be prepared to judge more.

Christmas creep is upon us. I was amused to hear In the Summertime being played over the tannoy in a local supermarket, but as it moved on to Have a Rock and Roll Christmas, I thought I would actually prefer unseasonality. One of my pet hates is pop music songs at Christmas. I blame Bing Crosby. Though the Jewish Irving Berlin was, I believe, responsible for writing the two songs, which secularised Christmas and Easter, White Christmas and, I believe, In your Easter Bonnet.

The choir that I sing with does singing for charity outside a couple of supermarkets near Christmas, and folk are generally fairly generous, but I do dislike singing songs like Christmas Alphabet and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Much more to my taste are some of the Christmas songs we are to sing at our Christmas Concert in the beautiful Hall Bower Chapel here in Huddersfield. It is a non-denominational chapel run by a group of trustees, situated on a wild and windy hillside overlooking the town.

This year we have learnt a rousing new spiritual called Rise Up Shepherd, and a jazz arrangement of Good King Wenceslas that has a very fine piano accompaniment.

But, bah humbug, it’s still only 5th December, for crying out loud! More from me in a fortnight.


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