3 December 2021

Emmeline

 

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)

Last weekend I felt rotten. Winter had reared its head and I had an irritating cough that disturbed my sleep more than once. I felt a lot better as we rode down to London by train on Tuesday but still not 100%. Shirley had suffered something similar.

I could have done without the mile and a half long walk from Earls Court to Kensington. We were heading there at the behest of Sarah's parents for a pre-theatre meal in an upmarket Indian curry house.

It was the first time we had met Sarah's parents. After the meal, we were whisked off to the theatre in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes. 

As we waited for the show to commence, I confided in Sarah's parents that during the time of COVID, Shirley and I have not felt like travelling anywhere on an aeroplane and did they feel the same? Sarah's father said with a chuckle that he was fine about travelling on his own plane and then added, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that." I wondered why not.

Wednesday morning was nice and bright so before heading to the tube station, we had a mooch around Brompton Cemetery which was opened in the middle of the Victorian era. There are so many stories within those forty acres and so many fat squirrels, crows and pigeons. It is a green oasis.

Emmeline Pankhurst's grave

The great suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst is buried in Brompton Cemetery and we successfully located her art-deco gravestone. She died in 1928 just shy of her seventieth birthday. Look how far the status of women has progressed in her wake! There's still a long way to go but I think that she would have been quietly pleased about what has transpired on the road to full equality in less than a century.

Botanical adornment on a family mausoleum

Later, we were heading to St Pancras Station far too early. Our train back to Yorkshire was scheduled to leave at one o'clock so we alighted from the tube at Euston Square and sauntered along Euston Road. I remembered that it was here where I once met Tariq Ali - another famous radical thinker and activist, at the very  same place where Tariq Ali once met a giant Yorkshire pudding in size eleven boots.

St Pancras is undoubtedly one of the world's finest railway stations, so skilfully upgraded in recent years to accommodate the Eurostar terminus.  We were still early so we headed beneath the great vaulted roof to the Pret-A-Manger  on the upper floor for lattes with almond croissants for which we seem to be developing a worrying addiction.

The train departed bang on time and reached Sheffield exactly two hours later - just as timetabled. See - we can be Japanese too!

Ghost advertising sign on Lillie Road, West Brompton

40 comments:

  1. Did you know that Emmeline's mother was a Manx woman, and that in 1881 the Isle of Man was the first country to grant women the right to vote?
    St Pancras station is really beautiful. I like it so much that I chose to stay in the St Pancras Grand for my 60th birthday. It was a real treat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No - I did not know that about Mrs Pankhurst. Thanks for sharing that tidbit JayCee. Manx women should be proud of that.

      Delete
  2. Almond croissants, yum. I've had some excellent ones in various cafes of several countries. I'm seeing progress backward (or forward depending on your political persuasion) so I'm wondering if American suffragettes are rolling over in their graves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see what you mean. Some of those QAnon, anti-abortion, god-fearing, Trump loving Americans appear to be putting the cause of women back a hundred years.

      Delete
    2. Exactly so. My liberal and pro-choice dad is probably rolling over in his niche.

      Delete
    3. Clearly he passed some of his common sense on to his daughter.

      Delete
  3. Did you have your cough tested? Perhaps you were on the forefront of omicron. It has been over here awhile so I'm assuming it is already everywhere and try to stay clear of anyone with a cough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Ed. Lateral flow testing happened and we wore masks on the uncrowded trains and in the theatre too.

      Delete
  4. It sounds like you are moving up in the celebrity world from E- to D-list. Sorry, I shouldn't have said that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get back in yer kennel Rover! Sorry, I shouldn't have said that.

      Delete
  5. Nice tour, YP. I envy your train service. And, in London, the Tube!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How foresighted and brave were London's Victorians - to conceive of an underground rail system and to see it through.

      Delete
  6. Harumph! Is what I say about the progress of women's rights. A century! And have we come that far? Well, sure. Women can vote. And own their property without having a father or brother or husband sign with them for it. And husbands can now be arrested for rape whereas before since women (and children) were considered chattel, marital rape was considered impossible.
    And yet, here we are in the good old USA, the country of freedom and liberty with the rights of women to control their own bodies about to be taken from them.
    One step forward, a hundred steps back.
    Sorry. I'm just very unhappy about how things are going here.
    Sorry. I shouldn't have said that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pleased you did say that! Emmeline Pankhurst must be turning in her grave over the turning of the tide in relation to abortion in the USA. I subscribe to the old battle cry - "Abortion - A Woman's Right to Choose".

      Delete
  7. Well here in this completely screwed up country of mine, the conservative loaded SCOUS (they have been praying for this court for 50 years!!!) is about to (in effect) delete Roe vs. Wade. So, no equality for women here. By 2023, I suppose we will not be able to wear pants or drive a car!!! (Fuming!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and Mary Moon (above) are on the same side in this regard. For intelligence, for freedom, for a better future. Nobody should seek to control women's bodies and obstruct their right to choose. Do those reactionaries really care about human life anyway? I don't hear their voices raised when it comes to child mortality in Africa or babies' deaths through malaria, dirty water or malnutrition.

      Delete
    2. It is often famously said that pro-lifers stop caring about "life" after a baby has been born. Then they're on their own.

      Delete
  8. That ghost advertising sign is a beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently it was hidden from the world for decades with a modern hoardings board upon it.

      Delete
  9. That gaze is pure resolve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. It is steely and determined.

      Delete
  10. Emily was quite attractive. I'd never noticed before.
    No argument from me about how good St Pancras is, and after our last (sadly last maybe taken two ways) visit, Kings Cross too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely this ****ing virus isn't going to curtail our lives forever?

      Delete
  11. I used to live in Lillie Road, but we called it Fulham.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed a sign halfway along Lillie Road that said "Welcome to Fulham" but our hotel and the cemetery are both on the West Brompton side of the line.

      Delete
  12. Emmeline looks like a woman who doesn't suffer fools gladly. I don't know why the world is so afraid of women. We make up half the population, actually, slightly more than half and yet are still so often treated as second class.

    Sarah's parents sound quite wealthy, a plane and a chauffeur. Must be nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must hold my tongue with regard to your last sentence. Would you have liked Emmeline as a matron? She would have kicked some ass as they say.

      Delete
    2. I must admit that when I read about the chauffeur driven Merc (so common, darling!), up market curry house, and the reference to the private plane (showing off?) I burst out laughing! Were they trying to wind you up, or impress you? I suspect the latter, but perhaps you can borrow the plane next time you want to go on your hols?

      Delete
    3. Apart from The Queen Mother, I have never met a wealthier person than Sarah's father. However, I doubt that he is much good at writing poetry or taking photographs in Victorian cemeteries.

      Delete
    4. When you have his wealth you pay someone else to do it!

      Delete
    5. "Hey. Is that Simon Armitage? Right Simon, I'll pay you ten grand to write me a love poem for my wife's birthday...And how are you with a camera?"

      Delete
  13. Your mention of St Pancras and Pret-a-manger made me long for London - my last visit there was almost 15 years ago, times I look back upon now as a lot more innocent and light hearted.
    By the way, we were also staying in Earls Court that time, and of course walked a lot between taking the tube from one place to the other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many tube riding tourists fail to realise that sometimes it is quicker to walk. Certainly more interesting.

      Delete
  14. Love that botanical adornment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Haddock. With the sun upon it it caught my eye.

      Delete
  15. Thank goodness Emmaline did have steely determination - we owe such a huge debt to her, and her companion suffragettes. I feel that if we women don't bother to vote in elections, we belittle the battles they fought for our freedoms.
    Who would have thought that the USA would take such a huge step backwards? It's not the progressive country it claims to be - a women's right to choose, and to have control of her own body is clearly of little concern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pleased that the majority of Americans I have met through blogging are intelligent, liberal people. Those who would turn the clock back belong to a powerful minority but they are a minority.

      You are right to suggest that women should cherish the vote and use it at every opportunity.

      Delete
  16. I find myself sputtering with rage when I consider what's happening to women's rights here in the US. It's unbelievably scary to be a woman here these days. I have a feeling it's going to get a lot worse unless we can do something about this surge in domestic terrorism--and that's what it is, from the abortion decisions of SCOTUS down to the gun crazed MAGA cult shooters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump getting those three blind mice into The Supreme Court has not helped one iota and they are there for life - constantly banging the drum of conservatism.

      Delete
  17. I LOVE almond croissants! Brompton is a beautiful cemetery. Blanche Roosevelt, an opera-singing relative of the two Roosevelts who were American presidents, is also buried there. There's a pub on Lillie Road called the Lillie Langtry, and I always wondered whether the road was named for her -- but apparently it's actually a family name.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits