The History Lesson

This week I have been asked to include a bit more history in my running blog. So here we go …. now the meet this week was at St Julian’s Club. Interestingly (or not as it happens) St Julians was built in the early nineteenth century by the Herries family, who lived in the house until after the Second World War.

In 1951 it was extremely difficult for professional mothers to continue their careers, before the advent of playgroups etc. St Julians was bought by a group of families with a view to providing nursery facilities to allow mothers to work.

More interestingly (but not much) the bar was added in 1956 (and it was made a Members’ Club). It is a bit boring really, history isn’t it -

So enough local history already I hear you saying, however bear with me a moment longer. Who the hell was St Julian anyway? Fine question, one that has been troubling historians for years or more accurately me for the last 15 minutes. St Julian, also know as Julian the Hospitaller was the patron saint in Malta – still boring I know (well he was a Belgian, what do you expect), but stay with me. Their annual festival day in the town of St Julian includes a competition to run up a slippery pole and grab a flag – see photo

I thought this could be a perfect Oaks Blokes activity – it looks like we might meet the profile of the average competitor.  Now the thing I like about history is how it can take you from a very boring fact and lead you to a sort of male form of pole dancing. Now, it really is only a short jump (excuse the pun on the picture above) to a more interesting subject mater – sadly for you that is where I leave todays history lesson for a bit and move on to running.

Actually, there is not a great deal to say about the Surprise Run except once again we had been mis-sold – there was no surprise (I don’t think ‘not getting lost’ and ‘a half way fruit pastel‘ really counts as a surprise).

Now the best part of this was that we all ran as one group ¾ of the run. This only goes to prove my point about a number of you having the ability to move up to the main group.  Great run with only 1½ hills and hardly any complaints this week – so it was all good.

Even better on return, we found not only Gerry, who has finally recognised the running part can just be an optional extra to coffee drinking. We also had the pleasure of Charlie P’s joining us for a coffee. Great to catch up with him and he is looking good, we will get him back running one day !!

 So back to the final history installment (and all true by the way, and at no extra cost to your membership fees). The night Julian was born, his father saw pagan witches secretly jinx his son into killing both his parents. So his father wanted to kill him, but his mother did not let him do so. The boy grew into a handsome young man, his mother would regularly fall into tears because of the sin her son was destined to commit. When he finally found out why he went off as far away as could be from his parents at the age of 10.  After fifty days of walking he finally reached Galicia where he married a "good woman", said to be a wealthy widow (yes the knew good then too).

Twenty years later, his parents decided to go look for their now thirty-year-old son. When they arrived his wife let them in and told them that her husband, Julian, was out hunting. She had them rest in the bed of Julian and hers". But the enemy went off seeking Julian and told him: ' While you are here, hunting, your wife is in bed embracing another man. There they are right now, still sleeping.'"

Julian rode back home, went to his bed and found a man and a woman sleeping in it. He drew his sword and killed them both. As he was leaving he saw his wife, She told him: 'There are your mother and father resting in your room'. And so Julian knew, and after seeking redemption in Rome, Julian used his fortune to build seven hospitals and twenty-five houses.

Now for those of you struggling with this story, let me put it into modern language, as I think we would all be interested to know what it takes to become a modern day Saint. So here we go … Start by having a nutty dad (sorry, a biological father with mental capacity issues). At 10 go for a 50 day long walk, meet a good-looking rich bird (I suspect the ‘good woman’ actually refers to physical looks) and marry her. (well why wouldn’t you at 10 years). Go down to Tecso’s (sorry she was rich wasn’t she – best make it M&S) come back and kill you parents in your bed. Decide to invest in real estate in a large developing city (Happy days). You can now expect to be sainted). Now I know the real estate bit some of you members have already started, but I expect you all failed to marry a rich good looking WIDOW at 10. So if your long term goal was to become a saint – I wouldn’t bother trying any more – I suspect becoming an Olympic running champion is a more realistic goal.

Sorry to break this news to you all so bluntly (it came as a big shock to me too) but I thought we could all chat about setting ourselves new goals next week over more coffee after the run !!!!

Next weeks blog ‘crochet made sexy’.

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