Ashes Guide

by duncanr

yesterday, lots of folk around the world marked the start of Lent and had a sooty smudge dabbed on their foreheads

generally, it is in the shape of a cross but haste and doddery old hands can lead to other shapes or styles

a day late I know (I was busy yesterday) but here is a useful guide to the variety of smudges often seen on Ash Wednesday . . .


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10 Responses to “Ashes Guide”

  1. When I was a kid, it was the equivalent of the cloth top-knot cover that sikh boys are made to wear; the red dot on the forehead (no, not the laser dot . . . ) denoting hindhuism; the jewish scull cap; the muslim cap, etc.

    A branding, to expose the wearer to ridicule, abuse, and possibly violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reminds me of when I was younger, and at college. I was back home during the holidays, and met up with a mate who was doing various things such as supply teaching, singing in clubs, and doing bit parts on tv and in ads.

    He had to sign on one particular morning, so we went along to the ‘dole office’. We were the only customers in there, surprisingly. In those days, you had a card with the days of the week, and when you had satisfied them that you were, indeed, unemployed, they used to stamp this word alongside each day. The person had gone off to check something, and Geoff picked up the rubber stamp and impressed ‘Unemployed’ on his forehead.

    We then went to the Conservative club (Geoff’s late father had been a Tory counsellor) for a pint. It was during the rule of Thatcher, so I guessed he was making a political statement.


    • Er, that should have been *councillor*.

      I think it’s the tories who need the counselling.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My mate and some friends once got chucked out of a Tory club in Manchester when he was a student there.

      I’m not quite sure what they’d done to upset them, but my mate’s friend drop-kicking a framed photo of Winston Churchill over the snooker table may have had something to do with it.

      On the subject of badges – another mate of mine (now sadly deceased . . . ) met Prince Charles when he visited our home town of Warrington.

      Ian – who was a big bloke with long hair – was proudly sporting a ‘Coal not Dole’ badge, and must have caught Charlie’s eye during his walkabout, as he stopped to speak to him.

      “Like the badge!” commented his princeship, as he shook Ian’s hand.

      He went up in all our estimations, when Ian recounted his tale in the pub that night.


      • never been a supporter of the monarchy – regard them as a historical irrelevance and would gladly see the back of them, but have to confess, I’ve always had a sneaky regard for Charles, and his sister, Anne


        • I’ve actually met, and held a conversation, with HRH Prince Charles.

          It occurred at a British Embassy garden party. He said “excuse me” as he tried to negotiate his way past me.

          I stepped back and said, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

          No doubt, he’ll remember that occasion.


      • I didn’t know that you’re from Warrington, Nobs.

        I remember when, a few years ago, local vodka distiller Vladivar upset the local folks when it ran a promotional competition.

        The first prize was a week’s stay in Warrington.

        And the second prize was two weeks‘ stay in Warrington!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Vladivar was the trade name for Greenalls watery attempt at Vodka.

          They produced some car stickers in the shape of a GB badge with the letters VSSR – Varrington Soviet Socialist Republic. I managed to get one before the council objected to Warrington being portrayed as a bunch of soviets.



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