Let’s hear it for his twin sister, St Scholastica too!
Benedict I had heard of, but I was touched that there was
also St Scholastica, his twin sister. Surely she
must be a patron saint of female teachers?
Apparently not. She did ally herself with convulsive children and
thunderstorms, however. Hope she holds off the storm for Djokovic
Whether St Scholastica was buried at Fleury, or at Le Mans is a moot
point, but one on which I haven’t decided. I’d prefer if she had been
laid to rest in the crypt with her brother.
It is a pity that the name of the sanctified lass seems to have connotations
with a surgical stocking which might prevent DVTs. Maybe it resonated
with an educational publisher’s title. Or was it more coolly channelling a
For starters, she had been rewarded with a meteorological miracle which
put her brother’s signs and wonders in the shade. She had been given a
divine imprimatur on her heartfelt desire to be sociable and her brother
had learned that rigidly sticking to his timetable was not that better part.
Her tears had brought down a hailstorm which prevented him from returning to
Montecasino and his cell. She reproved him for not listening to her when God
had heard her. So much for the usual portrayal of Benedict with his
finger over his lips and his injunction to pin back one’s inner ears.
Practise what you preach might have been dinned into him by a loud
However, since it is his Feast Day today, let’s celebrate the sainted
Their Last Supper – did she know?
(Benedict had prophesied his demise.)
A twin, she dreaded separation,
so she begged him to delay departure.
He resolved to adhere to his own Rule:
to return to his cell before sundown.
An adept at resisting temptation,
he’d shooed a blackbird; mortified his flesh
and could spot a poisoned chalice; restore
broken vessels, but worshipped his routine.
Whereas Scholastica, in sincere love,
pleaded with him to delay a little.
When tears did not avail, she cried in prayer –
the clear sky darkened and a storm arose.
Benedict, rooted to the very spot –
coldly angry, began to lecture her,
but her petition had prevailed with God.
Three days on he witnessed a dove ascend.
Her soul took flight, leaving her corpse below,
illuminated by a beam of light.
Benedict placed her body in his tomb.
Their celestial converse carries on,
their bones together, or apart, at peace,
transcending the rules, united in love.
Banjo Paterson, billabong, Bluntschli, bogan, Djokovic, hoon, Kim Sears, Mcdonalds, Melbourne Park, Norman Brookes, NSW, Orange, Paul Hogan, poms, Pretty Beach NSW, quokka soccer, Rod Laver, roo, rutting stags, Sergius, swagman, terpsichorean, The Briars Homestead, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tony Wilding, Woy Woy
Woy Woy- not an exophoric reference to a Chinese conceptual artist, but
a heartfelt expression of anguish as to the reason you not been reading my
posts, possums. A girl just has to swan off to Pretty Beach etc and suddenly
all her readers droine away.
Well, I have been amassing verbal deloights for your delectation. I am now
attuned to the twangs of the Aussie lingo. A two year old approached me in
a play park in Orange, in a perfectly innocent, trusting way, not noted in
British kids since the Sixties, and proffered his Thomas the Tank Engine
toi, before revoking his intention and pronouncing very definitely, That’s
I was then privy to an eavesdropping from a sheila who was
discussing her boyfriend as she walked down the street in Mornington, Victoria:
It’s not that koind of relationship.
Everyone is moaning about the unusually bad summer here, with all the roine.
They should read the weather reported for the UK in The Doily Moil. Even the
commentary from Melbourne Park was punctuated with strangulated
phonological approval when players hit it on a doime.
As well as the accentual points, the idiomatic phrases are ripper too. Goodness
knows what That was right in the honey hole for him! means literally, though
the sentiment is not lost in translation. It would sit well in Kim Sears’ ‘potty’
Even Mcdonalds has an advertising slogan here which doesn’t sound remotely
American: More bang for your buck. It sounds like something Banjo Paterson’s
terpsichorean swagman could have uttered by a billabong, or an ejaculation
by Paul Hogan, who might brandish a roo in a bap and pronounce emphatically:
Now that’s a burger!
No, Candia didn’t enter the hallowed grounds in Melbourne, but watched
Andy’s defeat on television, like the rest of you poms, whingeing or otherwise.
And, by the sound of the current meteorological reports, you have plenty to
He and Djokovic went at it like rutting stags, but the control of language by
the Serb reflected his greater mental restraint and focus.
(Now who does this remind me of?)
On this occasion, Sergius conquered Bluntschli.
How interesting was it for Candia today to stand on ground which reputedly
was once the tennis courts on which the first non-Briton to win Wimbledon
practised. Norman Brookes even won The Davis Cup in the USA, with Tony
Wilding and yet he warmed up on what was once a cattle station on this
Today the sacred spot is struggling lawn in front of The Briars Homestead,
whose grounds are now a Nature Conservancy Centre. I expect the expletive
was unheard of in this gracious residence, once upon a colonial toime. I doubt
Sir Norman was a cashed up bogan in pocket, or personal behaviour. Some of
the latter day sporting, or unsporting, hoons need to cease vocalising in the
parlance of those who indulge in activities such as quokka soccer. Return to
the days of Rod Laver and his self-disciplined behaviour and all will be foine.
Gisela Boothroyd-Smythe was becoming desperate. It was only the first week
of the holidays and she had been unable to persuade her pre-pubescent son,
John, to get up in the morning. She had called through the door of his
bedroom: Don’t be so monosyllabic! She had just about heard the reply:
Today she had heard nothing and was becoming concerned.
She had come across an article which stated that a million young people-
and some not so young- remained holed up in their bedrooms, sometimes
for decades at a time. They slept by day and stayed up all night, in a
withdrawn state known as HIKIKOMORI.
Gisela was afraid that John might be lapsing into such a condition. She
checked the article again. It commented that the youngsters often
exhibited infantile behaviour and could have violent outbursts. But, as
the French would say, for teenagers: C’est normal!
Was she worrying inordinately?
The Japanese feared loss of face, she’d read. Maybe if the children didn’t
do well in their exams, they and their parents, would experience SEKENTEI.
This might lead to AMAE, a kind of extreme dependence. In bad cases,
sufferers would have to be re-introduced to society through a halfway house,
or IBASHO. But when she had tried to discuss her worries with her soon-to-
be ex-husband, he had only scoffed: I’m already sekentei of you and the
children. Why do you think I left?
She hadn’t known that he took an interest in global culture.
It would be all too easy to become an over-pushy parent, like so many others
who sent their offspring to St Birinus’. It was just that she didn’t want John to
end up a NEET-(Not in Education, Training or Employment.)
It was so difficult as a virtually single parent and she was trying to be both
mother and father to her children, during the divorce period. They, of course,
were running rings round them both.
She returned to the article. Goodness, in Japan some parents approached an
agency which sent round hired, not assassins exactly, but strong persuaders,
who basically broke down the doors and hauled the hermits out, gave them a
severe dressing down and then took them away to a dormitory.
Well, she had already done something similar by sending him to boarding
school. But what was she to do in the holidays?
Maybe she should phone the mother of those twin boys who were in John’s
class- the ones with the ridiculously over-pretentious names. They seemed
quite nice and couldn’t help their parents’ labelling choices. A rose by any
other name would smell as sweet.
But they might not want to come round as John often teased his peers. This
verb was a euphemism and she knew it.
Just at that moment, with Gisela’s hand hovering over her mobile, her daughter,
Juniper sauntered into the kitchen, opened the fridge door and proceeded to
drink pure orange juice straight from the carton.
Gisela refrained from expressing her outrage and casually asked: When did
you last see John? She felt a role reversal, as if she was a blue satin-suited,
ringleted child being asked by a committee of Roundheads for information as
to the whereabouts of his Cavalier father. Wasn’t there a famous painting
of this subject? Her mind began to wander through Art History. Wasn’t it in
The Walker Art Gallery?
Ha! I was wondering when you would notice that little darling was missing,
sneered the evil Juniper. I yarn-bombed his door handle and connected it to
his window catch, so he can’t get out of his room. I’m writing it up for my
Street Art Project and it can go into my portfolio for A2. I’m calling it
‘Prisoners For Art.’
Mum! groaned a shaky voice from behind the door. Let me out! I’m hungry!
Clearly he had finished all the food stashes under his bed.
Juniper! You’re grounded!
But Juniper was already halfway down the street, having performed a Djokovic
slide on the kitchen tiles which continued down the laminated hallway, until she
laughed and ran out of the front door.