Sunday, March 27, 2016


He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.

Image:  ‘Noli me tangere’ by Giotto di Bondone  Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua, circa 1304-06.

Words: Edmond Budry (1854-1932)
Music: Maccabeus (adapted from the oratorio by Georg Friedrich Handel, 1685-1759)

Friday, March 25, 2016

A green hill far away

Image: Crucifixion by Edward Vardanian ( born 1953 in Artashat, Armenia and moved to the USA in 1992.)

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895)        Music: Horsley  (William Horsley, 1774-1858)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We apologise…

…for this unplanned break in transmission.  Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.  

When I first started coughing during my trip to Belgium, I could never have dreamt it would take me so long to get over the chest infection which had hit me.  But all things come to those who wait and thankfully I’m now well again at last and trying hard to catch up with all the things I should have been doing during the past few weeks.

One big task which I’ve now started to tackle is to unpack and sort the boxes of books which I accumulated during the almost thirty years of my active ministry, many of which I no longer use and for which in any case we simply don’t have space. Some I will keep, some I will offer to colleagues if they want them, and the rest will go to a charity which supplies books to theological students overseas who cannot afford to buy the books they need.

So far I’ve emptied and sorted some twenty boxes of books and am now taking a break, as DS and Grandson#3 are coming to spend the Easter weekend with us, as our poor daughter-in-law is going to be very busy at work. Once Easter is over I’ll make a start on the long-delayed posts about my trip before tackling even one more box of books – I promise.

In the meantime I’m crossing fingers and toes that the weather forecasters have got it wrong. After a nicely dry fortnight, they are promising rain for the Easter weekend - a typical British bank holiday, in other words. I think our recently-neglected stock of board games may come in handy once again…

Images via Google

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Serendipity is a wonderful thing

Forty-four years ago this summer, almost entirely by chance, DH and I made a move which would change our lives forever. He was close to completing his professional training and was looking for his first qualified post and I had finally decided that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher (my first choice of profession) and would become a librarian instead.

Our children were still very young, but it wouldn’t be too long before DS would be old enough to go to school and we wanted to be settled before this important stage was reached. So in the winter of 1972, I began to apply to library schools and DH began to apply for posts in the areas in which those library schools were located. I was lucky enough to receive several offers of places and we waited anxiously to see if and where DH would be fortunate enough to be offered a job.

Two of the library school places were in cities: Liverpool, in the north-west of England, not very far from where I was born and had grown up and Newcastle upon Tyne in the north-east, where DH had spent his childhood. The third was in Wales, just outside Aberystwyth – terra incognita for both of us. Indeed my first ever visit to Wales was for the interview for my library school place – arriving on the milk train from Shrewsbury.

Despite my tiredness and the tension of the forthcoming interview I can still remember how bowled-over I was by the beauty of the landscape through which the train travelled between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth and also how impressed I was by the brand-new college of librarianship at which I was interviewed. Now the question of where DH would be offered a job acquired a new urgency for me, as yet again I had fallen in love with a place at first sight, though this time it was a landscape, rather than a city.

To cut a long story short, DH was offered a post about 40 miles from my library school (but what a commute!) and in the summer of 1972 we moved to Wales. After a very demanding but happy year at library school, I was offered my first professional post in the same local authority area as DH and we moved across the Cambrian Mountains to put down roots in the quiet, beautiful and unspoiled part of Mid-Wales where we still live.

It may have been a lucky chance which brought us to Wales, but it will always be home to us now.  Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy Saint David’s Day to you all.