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Limping Towards the Sunrise

A Journey into the Unknown Life

Remembering Mum

It’s been two years to this very day since Mum left us prematurely, suddenly and unexpectedly.

Today of all days it is somewhat easier than others to take time to acknowledge that she has gone from us but is certainly not nor will be forgotten.

This morning I was reading from the works of Patrick Kavanagh, one of the greatest Irish poets and novelists of the last century. He penned his words on the passing of his own Mum and there was something in his writing which inspired my thoughts and kindled my own memories of Margaret Campbell, an exceptionally fine woman and the best of mothers.

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily

Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday –
You meet me and you say:
‘Don’t forget to see about the cattle -‘
Among your earthiest words the angels stray.

And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life –
And I see us meeting at the end of a town

On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.

O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is a harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us – eternally.

May she rest in peace.

 Je suis prêtre

As far as I am concerned there are just some things, even in this supposedly sophisticated day and age, which should be precious. 

To my way of thinking one of them is length of days; another is the celebration of the sacred rites of one’s religion. 

For these reasons alone I feel profound shock and horror at the barbarous killing of Fr Jacques Hamel (may he rest in peace) and often in these times am left wondering if there are any depths to which members of the human race will not sink? 

Holy martyr of God, ora pro nobis. 

A New Bishop 

Wonderful news came in from Downing Street yesterday that Robert Springett has been appointed to be the next Bishop of Tewkesbury in the Diocese of Gloucester. 

The Red Arrows

Fortunately after some late afternoon rain and low cloud the sky cleared sufficiently in order to afford us an excellent view of the Red Arrows as they displayed over Lyme Bay tonight. 

Even if I say so myself, we had a fine vantage point, not among the 25,000 or so who were in Lyme Regis, but on the hillsides of nearby Charmouth. 

It was a tremendous display, lasting nearly 25 minutes and full of the usual thrills and spills. 

Great fun! 

The Painters

Given that summer has finally arrived in these here parts (and how) our fine duo of Terry and Shannon, painters and decorators to the rich and penurious alike, have landed in considerable force this morning in order to severely tart up the outside woodwork of the house.

To say that the windows and doors were in need of it would be a gross understatement and I am certainly thrilled with the work that is going on so far – this high level of remedial action will probably have saved me a lot of money in the short to medium term.

Monty on the other hand is somewhat perturbed by all the scraping and sanding of the old wood that is going on, unaccustomed as he is to the sweet sounds of manual labour

Florence’s Christening

The last work thing in my calendar for a while, apart from rest, relaxation and not to forget (how could I?) the on-going intellectual struggle to come to a sufficient understanding of Islam ahead of the great return to work in September, is the baptism today of Florence.

It promises to be one of those singularly important occasions in the life of a family, in which gratitude for the life which has been entrusted to them may be freely expressed to a God – however shallowly understood or believed in, in the company of friends in this life and surrounded with the memories, affection and prayers of those who have already gone ahead to the next.

 

Not just churches…

It’s not just been churches and the rapidly disappearing remnants of the Second World War in Wiltshire that I’ve been spotting this week.

The other day I happened upon the great Shire horses Max and Monty of the Wadworth Brewery out making their daily deliveries in Devizes.

Happily there was a camera on hand to record this antique but nonetheless charming scene.

Walking

One of the grand things about our Summer School is the opportunity, twice a week, to go walking as part of a small group in the surrounding countryside.

These walks, usually leisurely affairs, take us high above the villages and towns in the early evenings and afford excellent views, not to mention excellent company of the other participants.

Yesterday was no different on either front and here is a photograph I took over the Vale of Pewsey from just west of Knap Hill. The skyscape was even more dramatic than the photo suggests, but miraculously not a single drop of rain fell on our heads the whole way.

Highway to the Sun

For someone who is trying to cut down the number of books he has in advance of any future putative move, I am sure I am not quite going about things in the right way, ie. by buying more of them.

However, when I saw the cover of Tom Fort’s description of the A303 (probably the most unlikely title for a book ever) I simply could not resist and once again thanked my lucky stars for the “free” postage offered with my Amazon Prime account.

And so I am thoroughly enjoying getting in to the facts, stories and myths around and about that iconic road on which I will be spending a fair amount of time this summer.

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