Renee

From the palace to a revolution, via a Jewish girl’s story of hope and survival

Having had a very Christian time recently, what with my Madonna poetry exhibition and falling in love with Jesus Christ Superstar (which has been playing on a loop most bedtimes), I’ve returned to my Jewish roots in time to celebrate the New Year.

pianistLast week, we attended one of the most touching and poignant performances I can remember witnessing.  Mona Golabek is the daughter of a young Viennese refugee who travelled to London on the Kindertransport – a train that saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust.  Mona’s mother, Lisa Jura, was a 14-year-old musical prodigy. She settled in a hostel in Willesden Lane where her piano concertos became a beacon of hope for the many displaced children sharing the home.

Mona tells Lisa’s story so beautifully in this heart wrenching one-woman show that I bought the DVD and book before we left the theatre. I don’t usually recommend books on this blog, but this time I’m making an exception: The Children of Willesden Lane.  Fast forward 80 years and the tales of refugee children are little different…

The horrors of the Holocaust and the lessons the world should have learnt from its destruction of societies stand in stark contrast to the majesty of London’s historic buildings that survived the onslaught of war.  Buckingham Palace was one such building, struck by bombs 16 times yet luckily sustaining no major damage and no serious casualties. It endured as the beautiful landmark we know today.  I read about these bombs on-line, there was no mention of them during our recent visit to see the grandeur of the State Rooms.

It’s such a wonderful building!  That’s all I can say. If you love history, architecture or London, you must visit.  The tour has closed now for the winter, so put it in your diary for next summer.  The opulence is breath-taking, as you can imagine.  On my first visit we got told off for taking photos; not sure why. I wouldn’t mind if you came to my home and snapped my ornaments and ceilings to share on Facebook. (Or would I? Actually never really gave it much thought. It surely wouldn’t count as an invasion of privacy if I charged you to come in.  And I’d bake you a blueberry muffin…)

War and opulence are two of the themes at the V&A’s new exhibition on Revolution, 1966-1970. I was a baby then, but it’s a period in which I’d have happily floated around as an adult in swirling chiffon skirts with flowers in my hair.  It’s amazing, as the V&A exhibitions usually are: feminist, sexual, cultural, musical, scientific, fashion, political activism… all the revolutions that defined that brief period and laid the foundations for today’s British society.

I went along with Brian, who was very revolutionary in a Half Man Half Biscuit kind of way when we were dating, but is now an upstanding member of the Green Party.  The explosive exhibition could have kept us riveted all afternoon, but the lure of the William Morris café was too great and pulled us away after a couple of hours. I’m going back there soon though, with Martyn the artist, so I’ll be able to read all the things I missed the first time around.  That’s the beauty of a gallery membership – I can keep popping back. Exhibition, culture, cakes…

But this week will be less about artistic culture and more about tradition. I’m making chicken soup with kneidlach to feed my family, and honey cakes to feed my friends. Wishing a very happy, sweet and healthy new year to everyone who’s celebrating, and a happy sweet and healthy week also to everyone who’s not.

As John Lennon wrote (but I prefer Tom Bailey to sing), “You say you want a revolution; well, you know – we all want to change the world. You tell me that it’s evolution; well, you know – we all want to change the world.” Yes, the world is dynamic and ever-changing and many of those changes occur today through social media.  Let’s hope that for the coming months the changes are all positive.

If you’re looking for change within your business and hope to see a brighter future for your balance sheet, call me for a chat about social media marketing. Or ask me here.

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