Children's Books & Writing Stories Once upon a time...  Children's Books & Writing Stories Once upon a time...


Things to make you think

POST 138




Lionel Blue taught me so much over the years I used to listen to him on Thought for the Day on the car radio going to work. Also with his books and we actually saw him speaking at the Playhouse, Nottingham. He helped me so much, humorously giving tips for dealing with life.


Sadly he died this week Here is his obituary from the BBC site.


Obituary: Rabbi Lionel Blue  Died  19 December 2016


Rabbi Lionel Blue's combination of wit, humility and compassion appealed to and entertained those of all beliefs and of none.


For nearly 30 years, he was a regular on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, always ending his homily with a humorous story, often gleaned from experiences in his own Jewish community.


Lionel Blue was born in London's East End on 6 January 1930, the son of a master tailor of Russian descent.


He was evacuated to a variety of places during the war and later went to grammar school in north London and then to Balliol College, Oxford, where he gained a degree in history.


He abandoned an early interest in theology for communism after hearing horrific stories from fellow Jews who had fled Hitler's persecution.


While at university, the realisation that he was homosexual drove him to a nervous breakdown, during which he tried to take his own life. He became attached to the idea of becoming an Anglican monk but rediscovered his own faith at a service in 1950.


After much agonising, he decided to become a rabbi, prompting his mother to remark that she had spend all her time trying to get him out of the ghetto and now he was jumping back in.


He managed to appeal to those of all religions and of none


He became the European director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and, for many years, lectured at a rabbinical college in London.


Often distrusted by the Jewish establishment, Lionel Blue always described himself as a very reformed Rabbi. He had, in his own words, "jumped over the wall of my ghetto".


He liked meeting Christians, Muslims and people of other religions. Indeed, he went regularly into retreat at a Roman Catholic monastery, and he wrote for a Roman Catholic newspaper. This ecumenical approach enabled him to cross the barriers between those of different faiths.


He began openly discussing his sexuality with friends in the late 1960s and came out in 1980, the first rabbi to do so. He had several long-term relationships and, in his later years, therapy helped him to overcome the remains of his guilt.


Making sense of life, both his own and those of listeners, was a constant theme. He mixed his opinions on politics, usually the Middle East conflict, with homely advice on succeeding in exams, the loneliness of the new year, making up after rows and airport fatigue. It was this essential humanity that touched the hearts of listeners.


In his early seventies he suffered a series of small heart attacks, epileptic seizures and had surgery for cancer. But he dealt with his physical problems in typical style, taking a one-man show to the Edinburgh fringe and making light of them on Thought for the Day.

POST 129





In a brilliant article in the Daily Telegraph, today, about Victoria Coren (Broadcaster), who is the host of Only Connect on  BBC TV, she is quoted as saying “Growing up, I learnt that Dad would listen more to me if I was funny”


I find this to be a brilliant philosophy of life that every father should adapt. Imagine if every father in every family throughout the world worked on this basis. The world would be an even more fun place than it is. Children would have to be even more sharp, and more funny. I think it goes on in our family without us realising it.


She says more people should be taught it. She adds ”There’s a terrible danger at the moment that – not just children – people are being encouraged (to believe) that everyone wants to hear their opinion.”


Is it because social media has made us all feel we’re terribly important?


“Partly” she agrees.


“We’d be a lot happier,” she says “if everyone focussed less on sharing their thoughts and more on how to make them sound funny.


A former boyfriend once accused her of saying things she did not mean just to get a laugh.Doesn’t everyone?


I would imagine her father was a tough cookie to impress humour wise too, he was ( he has died)  journalist and humorist, Alan Coren , reputedly the funniest man on Radio 4’s News Quiz. Her older brother is Giles Coren, an hilarious restaurant critic.


Victoria Coren got a first-class degree in English from Oxford. She also became the first person to win the European Poker Tour twice bringing her lifetime winnings to £1.5 millions. She married David Mitchell four years ago and now has a child and finds herself “in a certain state of physical and mental collapse”.


She says, “It’s really weird. Two years ago I was a record-breaking world-class, mental sportswoman. The most brilliant19-year old minds coming out of Swedish maths academies couldn’t beat me at the poker table. Now, I stand in the kitchen going “What is it that you put on Weetabix to make it wet?”


She has a new weekly programme to be broadcast on Radio 4 starting on Thursday 30th November at 6.30pm titled Women Talk About Cars.

POST 073

                JUST THINK…


1              If it weren't for the last minute, a lot of things wouldn't get done. – Anon

2              “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” _ Oscar Wilde

3              Experience is a good teacher, but her fees are very high. - W R Inge

4              At 50 everyone has the face he deserves. - George Orwell

5              Someone else is happy with less than you have

6              You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream - Aristotle

7              When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. - Corrie ten Boom

8              The trouble is you think you have time - Buddha

9              The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead. Marjorie Pay Hinckley

10           If we are not a little bit uncomfortable every day, we're not growing. All the goodstuffis outside our comfort zone. - Jack Canfield

11           The greatest wealth is to live content with little - Plato

12           If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain

When I was a lad at school around 13 years old, our Maths teacher used to call me Wol. At the end of the year as we were moving up a class I plucked up courage to ask why he called me Wol. He told meit was thename of the deslexic owl in Winnie the Pooh. With my Harry Potter glasses he said I looked like the Wise Old Owl in the Winnie the Pooh stories.


Being the vain person I am I took it as a compliment

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