Posted by: okathleen | October 15, 2008

St Theresa’s Day

St Theresa of Avila is the paracetamol of saints. She is the patron saint of headache sufferers and today is her holy day. She was plagued by illness, and her doctrine was:

“The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love”


This mantra would go down well with freshers all over the world, as they arrive at University to get drunk/laid/educated – possibly in that order… Finding activities ‘which best stirs you to love’ is an interesting concept. For some it may be a Pot Noodle whilst watching England v Croatia, others, a petal- strewn bed in a candle lit room.

What stirs you?

Can we push an emote button or pull an evoke trigger? How empowering that would be. The antidote to apathy, a Eureka of passion and drive. In the General Election of 2005 the Labour party scored just over 9.5 million votes. Last Saturday over 10 million people watched The X Factor. Maybe the next General Election could be run along the lines of a dumbed down Talent Show. … And if you enjoyed the tap dancing shadow chancellor; press your red button now. The X Factor has been criticised for playing too many victim cards. On the previous episode 11 of the 12 acts broke down in uncontrollable sobs. They made Paul Gascoigne look restrained. Why do 10 million people want to witness this?

On Monday night, whilst still recovering from my role as Stasi at Lyme Park the day before, I sat and watched the spectacle that is The Withington Girls School Founder’s night at the Bridgewater Hall. This consists of the whole school wriggling in the Stalls whilst long suffering parents attempt to stay awake in the Circle. The headmistress addresses the hall, as does the head of governors and head girl. A guest speaker, always a Laaady chips in.

 This year, my little angel was on the stage for all to see as a member of the senior choir. The leavers totter across the stage in a wondrous assortment of costume to receive their book. It literally makes my heart ache. The platform becomes metaphor for launch pad. Off they spring with their A+++’s into the jungle where dog will eat dog. Those beautiful, clever, articulate girls boing into the night to await their fate.

 It stirred me.

 I was moved.

 My stirrings were bolstered and reinforced by the music. The finale was the School Orchestra rendition of Holst’s Jupiter. King of the Gods, rousing and glorious, ruled by the stars, a vow to your country. What eventually sent me over the edge, (not literally, I mean reaching for the Kleenex), was the percussionist. She too leaves this year, and has played the drums in all the concerts I have seen. She plays with the perfection of Glennie and the vigour of Animal. A superb musician, and always with a huge grin on her face. She was the Jupiter of the evening. A star in the making, by way of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. Emotional and evocative. She’s got the X factor all day long.



  1. Oh good god, founders’ day! Sorry to hear you had to sit through the orchestra squawk, but at least it wasn’t middle school. You really would have been over the edge…of the circle. Founders’ day makes me feel ashamed that I only got 4 A-levels!! And a book on French Linguistics. Both are proving VERY useful in day to day life. Good to know that the pompous affair continues with all its inanity 🙂

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