I choose it and continued to read it for years afterwards because every Monday there was an extra supplement with jobs for the creative called “Creative and Media”. Naïve as I was I thought that one day I would find a job in there with my name on it. Little did I then know that fourteen years later it would in fact be in Tuesday’s "Educational Guardian" supplement that I would discover the job of my dreams, Conductive ,Education but that’s another story. Well not entirely another story as it was out in Budapest while training to be a conductor that I discovered the Guardian Weekly.
At that time in the 1990s, the Guardian Weekly was still printed on that wonderful crispy, white and incredibly noisy airmail paper. Later when I lived with my partner in Germany I was forbidden to read it in bed, not because of the newsprint on the sheets but because of the noise!
The paper that it was printed on was changed several years ago, to much protest from its readers. Now printed on ordinary grey old newsprint with two huge staples in the middle, it is impossible to grab just a section of it,and fold it up so small to fit in my posh opera handbag just in case I need something to read on the tram. I still miss rustling it and secreting it somewhere in my pockets but I do still read it, as I did over a pot of coffee this afternoon This was when I got to wondering why.
Because of a few surprises?
Usually I open the paper first at “Notes and Queries”, to read answers to readers' questions, such as “Why are countries spoken of as female?” (some of them aren’t with Germany, the fatherland, being one of the exceptions). I then move down that page to read Paul Evans who writes so descriptively about my green and pleasant (mother) land, then its over to the best bit,“Wordpool”. This is the place where I discover really obscure words, ones that are rarely used. I know that the lovely tassel or brass clip on the end of a shoe lace is called an aglet and those always bent and rickety brass contraptions which go over the light bulbs on standard lamps, to prevent the shade getting burnt, are called a harp.
Today my initial reading of the paper took a slightly different course. As I set it on the table I saw staring me in the eye, in the right hand column of the front page “…. women in their forties can be fabulous”. This immediately brought to mind Judit Szathmary’s latest posting about talented women. So, instead of learning some new peculiar words in English on page 38, off I went to page 24 to see what that was all about.
The last few sentences from Libby Brooks article on older women are perhaps worth quoting here to bring home the fact to us “older women” that life actually does begin, and doesn’t end, at forty, or perhaps even at fifty!
“As we continue to age, an increasing number of women will be living a sizable chunk of their lives post menopause, and could do with better public mirrors than Twiggy can provide. And more realistic ones. I doubt there are many 60-year-olds who want to be supermodels, but they may not balk at the idea of being appointed US Secretary of State.”
Now, I don’t have any aspirations to becoming a politician, but I am enjoying being a woman about town, I love my new found love of writing and I enjoy the routes my work now takes me down.
So with my coffee half-finished it was time to get to page 38, but no, I was mistaken. Something else cropped up amongst the “UK News” pages to catch my eye. My artistic eye at that. It was a colour photograph. These appear more and more often in my ever changing weekly paper, but this one was particularly bright and cheery and somewhat “Magritte” in character. A huge white horse standing in a ploughed field between pylons, industrial estate to the left, white baguette- shaped clouds floating above, and a brand new wooden fence in the foreground.
The headline beneath the photograph read “It’s just a white horse not a white elephant.”
Any reference to an angel brings a smile to my face as I always recall Dr András Petö and his angels within us.
There was precious little else in my Guardian Weekly to bring a smile to a face, apart from this week's new peculiar words on page 38. The rest of the contents, whether reporting from London, Paris or New York, was all doom and gloom with even a report on the shrinking of the mini (skirt not car!)
The Guardian -
Guardian Weekly -
US Secretary of State - Hilary Rodham Clinton
Anthony Gormley - http://www.ejr.ndo.co.uk/angel.html
A white horse