Duggies Ramblings – Dracula!

Dracula is a name that brings to mind the actors Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Not to mention a succession of blousy women filling various roles in the horror films set around the ‘life’ of Count Dracula. The success of the Dracula film output lined the pockets of those involved. This was aprt from the author, formerly journalist, theatre manager turned author, Bram Stoker. He visited Whitby in 1890. On the clifftop hill above the harbour and town of Whitby is the church of St Mary’s and the magnificent Abbey founded by Hilda in 657, a genuine historical figure. She is not the only historical figure, there is one other. In Bram Stoker’s creation of Dracula, Dracula’s boat arrives at Whitby and his first victim is William Swales. This is a name Stoker found on a headstone in the churchyard. Swales had died in 1751.

Visitors to the hilltop church and abbey will see a notice. ‘Please do not ask where Dracula’s grave is, there isn’t one! Thank you’. However, empty graves are not unknown in this fishing port. If men died at sea the families buried their loved ones in an empty grave to lay their souls to rest. Is he there?

Indigenous Americans.

A series of films widely distributed and can still  be seen on certain channels today are the Cowboy/Cavalry invaders against the ‘Red Indian’ settlers of North America. The culture of these Indigenous Americans is almost totally ignored. Yet evidence shows that there was a flourishing culture developed over centuries in which generosity, hospitality, extending relationships and respect for difference were cardinal values in their society. When the white man came they suppressed the indigenous culture and imposed their western culture on the native people. The Indigenous Americans were reported to be happier before the white man came with their own differing values.

One significant essential part of their culture was the saving and collection of seeds (without seeds, we would all starve) they were well aware of this.The Cherokee people, but other tribes as well, used heirloom and open pollinated seeds which they sowed annually to provide nutritious food and healthy living .The Cherokees kept different strains of corn seed over the years to test which would produce the best yield in the soil and climate I wonder if many 1% of people? Are they aware of open pollinated seeds and what they are? Yet they have been used for centuries and enabled our survival. Now we have F1 Hybrid and GM seeds.

One amusing story, the actors who were employed as ‘Red Indians’ in the Hollywood film production line went on strike, yes this is true, and they were fed up with being on the losing side. Indigeneity is not exclusive. Our DNA will reveal our present and past maybe with surprises.

Why not? Why?

One interesting and challenging thought has recently been aired. Instead of plans for new supermarkets being accepted, the land is used for allotments–healthy food! Healthy living and the good company of the allotment holders.  Even further why not demolish supermarkets and replace them with allotments and more local shops?

One question: why is there now ‘management’ in schools, rather than Headmaster/Mistress and deputies? Who came up with this change of title? An undersecretary in the education department with clipboard and power dressing who travels in each day by train from Rickmansworth? What are they ‘managing’ after all they are former teachers of subjects, not people who have been on a health and safety awareness course in Bromsgrove? Or perhaps they have and have their own safety to manage?

Managers can be unpopular. Ha! Ha!