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Life Thursday Doors Zambia

Thursday Doors Appeal

If you have been following my contributions to Thursday Doors over the years, you will know that I do voluntary work as a doctor overseas. Last year I was working at Kakumbi Rural Health Centre in Eastern Province, Zambia. It was distressing to see the lack of medical care for people with severe mental illness, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Their families would look after them as best they could; but if the patients became violent or started destroying property, this support could end. Patients would roam around the village, clearly very disturbed, behaving inappropriately (throwing stones at vehicles, wandering about naked).

Thursday’s door – torn off its hinges during a violent outburst by the man wearing white trousers. He has a long history of bipolar disorder. Neighbours managed to subdue him and chained him to the door to prevent him from doing more damage to people and property. They felt there was nothing else they could do. However, with mood stabilising medication, he is now able to lead a normal life.

Unfortunately, the Zambian Health Service has been unable to provide medication to treat this group of patients. I started treating them using very basic psychiatric medication which I bought from a local pharmacy (with some financial help). These patients need long term medication and if the supply were to stop, they are likely to relapse and become very unwell. So last year I asked my friends on Facebook if they would like to contribute and I raised over £1000. All this money has now been used up, purchasing medication locally for over 20 patients.

Drs Keith and Ginny Birrell (from North East England) are currently volunteering in Kakumbi. They have expanded the pool of patients to include people suffering from epilepsy and children with learning disabilities. Some of their anecdotes follow:

They have treated a 14 year old boy suffering from epilepsy which was so disabling that it prevented him from attending school. With medication, he is now almost seizure-free and is keen to start school (although he will be twice the age of his classmates in Year 1).

With anti-psychotic medication, a 49 year old woman, who suffers from chronic schizophrenia, is no longer having hallucinations or having violent outbursts.

Walking and bicycling are the main ways people get about in rural Zambia. Cycling can be very dangerous for people living with epilepsy, but with regular medication seizures can be well controlled (if the patient feels an epileptic attack coming on, they have been trained how to stop, dismount and lie in a safe place). Being able to ride a bike because their epilepsy is well controlled might seem trivial, but to this group of patients it is a major improvement in their quality of life.

When patients are stable, Dr Keith is trying to reduce the dose of anti-psychotic medication – to reduce side effects, not to save money!

I am hoping to raise £2,500 to buy medication for this group of vulnerable and disadvantaged patients. (I have donated £100 instead of sending Christmas cards this year.)

Every donation will make a difference: you can donate via PayPal

Kakumbi Rural Health Centre, Eastern Province, Zambia

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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors in Norfolk

Loddon is a picturesque village on the edge of the Norfolk Broads. It has expanded to the north across the River Chet to merge with another village, Chedgrave. Last weekend, I took some photographs of All Saints Church. A Christian community has been meeting in this medieval church for over a thousand years.

The porch has been added recently. Note the flint stones.
Inside the porch, there is a door to the church. The decorative surround original, but the door has been replaced.
Detail of the door: MD = 1500, CCC = 300, XIX = 29 giving a grand total of 1829
Inside the church – colourful kneelers and stained glass behind the altar
The weathered inscription on the gravestone is illegible, behind the teazels.

Walking back to the village, I noticed a tanning salon.

Leveche is a warm south-westerly wind which affects SE Spain in the summer. I wonder if clients leave the shop looking the same colour as the orange panels.

Norfolk is noted for the quirkiness of its inhabitants. “Normal for Norfolk” is a phrase sometimes used. I am not sure what to make of this picture of a man on a motorcycle wearing a rooster outfit.

But there is a bit of a door in the background…
Grasshopper in a red rose
Jaws?
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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Pun

Those of you who read the text accompanying my photographs of doors will know that I enjoy making puns. This is a brilliant name for a restaurant, unfortunately closed by covid restrictions, in Leicester Cultural Quarter.

Nineteen – gale, geddit?
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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors with Doc Martin

Not Doc Martin’s famous boots, but the TV character who practises in Port Wen (actually Port Isaac) in Cornwall. The actor, Martin Clunes, plays a surgeon who suffers from panic attacks when he sees blood. He leaves London to work as a family doctor in rural Cornwall, where there is less blood being shed. The village is swamped by tourists coming to the location which they will have seen on television.

Doc Martin’s front door

The village is very photogenic, with white houses clustered on the hillside around a small sheltered harbour. It would have been more sheltered if they had built the harbour wall in the right place.

Port Isaac, a fishing village established early in the 14th century

Nathan Outlaw is a two-star Michelin chef who has a restaurant in one of the oldest houses on the seafront, dating back to the 15th century. Only £80 for a superb tasting menu, with another £65 for the recommended bottle of wine to accompany the meal. And £3 donation for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. Sample menu

Breaded Lemon Sole, Crispy Anchovies, Tandoori Mayonnaise

Cured Monkfish, Broad Beans, Ginger & Spring Onion Dressing

Red Gurnard, Sea Buckthorn, Chilli, Apple & Mint

Grey Mullet, Courgette & Cashew Nut Salad, Coriander Yoghurt

Bass, Smoked Hollandaise Sauce

Honey Ice Cream, Peanut, Rhubarb & Raspberries

Door to the fish market, known as the Pilchard Palace

Two hundred years ago, Port Isaac was famous for pilchards – oily fish like large sardines. The fish fed on plankton in the summer and autumn and could be netted in vast shoals.

In the fish cellars, men would pack layers of fish, separated by layers of salt, into barrels. Over the next month, the fish would be compressed to extract oil which was sent to be burned in London street lights. The pilchards would then be washed and packed in new barrels for export to Europe.

A barrel, or “hogshead”, could hold 3,000 fish. In a bumper year, the fishermen could fill 40,000 hogsheads. But stocks of pilchards dried up, so the fishermen switched to herrings. These were smoked on the quayside and sold as kippers or “fairmaids” (a corruption of “fumades”, Spanish for smoked fish).

Other doors in Port Isaac include:

The parish council building, 1911
Shelter from the rain outside this door
The Gallery or The Studio
Stable door, half open, half closed
Stable door, both halves closed
I love the slab of slate at the entrance to the Anchorage

The south west coastal path winds along the cliffs – Lobber, Pinehaven, Varley Head, Scarnor, Greengarden Cove and Kellan Head, westward to Port Quin. There are a few interesting doors in this tiny hamlet.

Acknowledgement – most of the information in this blog was taken from information boards in Port Isaac.

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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors in Leicester

Snapped with my cheap smartphone in the Cultural Quarter of the city, Orton’s Brasserie is a posh restaurant, a homage to the (in)famous playwright, Joe Orton. He was born in Leicester in 1933. He wrote “Entertaining Mr Sloane” and “Loot”. A film about his life, “Prick Up Your Ears” was released in 1987, twenty years after he was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell.

He borrowed books from a public library, altered the book covers with cheeky illustrations, then replaced them on the library shelves. For this, he was arrested by the police (well, it was 1962). There are plans to erect a statue of Orton in Orton Square, outside the Curve Theatre.

In the foreground there is a rocket, part of the “Rocket Round Leicester” trail of 40 colourful spaceships in the city as part of a fundraising scheme for the local hospice (Loros).

The Curve Theatre with reflections. And a naked policeman (wearing his helmet).
There is a door somewhere along this glass wall of the Curve Theatre.
The Curve from Southampton Street. Apart from the hanging baskets on the lamp posts, check out the shrubs growing high up on the walls of Alexandra House, the yellow stone building.

Alexandra House was built at the end of the 19th Century as a warehouse to store bootlaces (you needed four storeys to store laces?). The architectural historian, Pevsner, described Alexander House as one of the finest warehouses in the country. Faire Brothers & Co supplied shoelaces worldwide, with brands like “Old England” and “Jumbo”. During World War Two, despite being damaged by German bombers, the factory produced millions of parachute cords.

During the war, rubber was a scarce commodity, so Faire Bros. invented and produced the rubber-free “Natty Grip” fitting for suspender belts and “Gripknit” flexible corsetry for servicewomen (“Women in Action”). The building was converted to 175 apartments a few years ago.

Beautiful craftsmanship on the upper floors.
You don’t get wonderful street name signs like this anymore

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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Local

Just a few interesting doors close to home for this week’s entry. They all have leaded lights, a feature of private homes from 1860 to 1930 according to Wikipedia. They look a bit more gothic than Frank Lloyd Wright.

Fine black door with leaded sections of the fanlight and brass trimmings.
An interesting door in maroon, with leaded windows. I like the snake-dragon supports holding up the shelter over the door.
Recessed door painted “duck egg blue”, again with leaded lights.
A black door with leaded lights.
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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors FA Cup

On Saturday 15th May 2021, Leicester City Football Club won the Football Association Cup for the first time since the club was founded in 1884. The club is older than Arsenal and Chelsea (whom Leicester beat in the final 1-0).

Leicester City is a relatively small football club, whose stadium only seats 32,312 fans. The club has a reputation for being the underdog and has tremendous support from the citizens of Leicester – see this small selection of doors with posters and LCFC flags.

There is even a Leicester City FC flag over the doorway to the cathedral (and there is also a hidden reference to LCFC winning the premiership title five years ago in one of its modern stained glass windows).

The top four clubs in the premier league go through to the European Championship competition. Sadly, Leicester dropped to fifth place on the final day of the season, and missed the cut. This was the first time LCFC dropped out of the top four during the entire 2020/21 season.

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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors JWH

John Woolman was a famous Quaker in the 18th Century. He lived in New Jersey and was a strong abolitionist. In 1772 Woolman sailed to Britain to speak out against slavery. Instead of taking a passenger’s cabin, he showed his egalitarian spirit by lodging with the crew. When he arrived in London, the Quakers were rather taken aback by his shabby clothing, but when he spoke condemning the injustice of slavery, he was accepted.

To spread the word, he set off to travel north to York but declined to travel by stagecoach because he felt it was cruel to drive the horses so hard. Instead, he walked, preaching against slavery en route. Sadly, he picked up smallpox along the way and died just after reaching York. He is commemorated by the establishment of John Woolman House. This is a Quaker residential home for older people, close to New Walk. The doors facing New Walk are painted in bright colours.

This door without a handle is not part of John Woolman House
And neither is this distressed door. It is on Princess Street Backways.
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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors New Walk 4

Further down New Walk, the Holy Cross Dominican Priory is also a Roman Catholic church.

Red-brick church

Opposite the church, there is a terrace of Victorian villas. Twenty years ago, this was the site of the Night Shelter, for homeless people. A new shelter for rough sleepers, the Dawn Centre, was built next to the main railway station, and the Victorian terrace was gentrified and sold.

This end terrace house is on the market for just over half a million pounds. I like the shade of blue for the front door and below the windows.

Not far away, down New Walk there is a bar called Revolution. They probably sell lots of vodka, to get you hammered and sickle the next morning.

The Dolls House is a nursery and play school on New Walk
The Little House, for little babies

King Street joins New Walk by Welford Place. King Street was the location of several factories which have now been converted into apartments. Compare the photographs below:

And 121 years later, in 2021

Just out of shot on the left hand side of the above image is the public house, the King’s Head. It has a historical blue plaque attached to the wall. Normally, blue plaques make you aware that at some time in the past, a famous person lived in the building. But this plaque commemorates the incredible achievement of Leicester City Football Club winning the Premier League in 2016, a true case of David beating a gang of Goliaths, against all odds. Well, a few lucky punters accepted odds of 5,000 to 1 on this unlikely event.

There is some student accommodation in King Street. This window in the style of Piet Mondrian allows steam to escape from the laundry room.

Shops are opening with the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The name “Mrs Brown” refers to a cup of tea, used to disguise taking a tea break, as in “I just have to go and meet Mrs Brown.”

Round the back of New Walk there are some less photogenic doors. This white door isn’t even trying, it is having a lie down. Princess Road West Backways.
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Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors on New Walk 2

Further down the walkway, there are some houses which have been converted into student accommodation and university departments.

X&Y occupying a flat-fronted, white-rendered Georgian facade

The next few doors have the same portico with fancy scrolling holding up a plain lintel

CBA? My crude interpretation of this three letter acronym is “Can’t Be Ar*ed”. But I like the stone work around the door and the fancy window above.