Saturday, 20 April 2019


Fourteen days since the public declaration of our diamond wedding. We’ve become hermits, anchorites, even. Well, anti-social plague bearers. Joyce arrived home after our celebrations and declared a state of cold. Coughs, splutters, and sneezes. Oddly, Val was also afflicted. Me? I don’t get colds, I just minister, saint-like, to the sufferers. Val went home. Women. Men don’t get colds; a belief I fostered for another week.
J seemed a little recovered by the following Sunday so we went for a drive and a coffee. By the time we were home I had a slight scratchy feeling at the back of my throat. By next morning I had a streaming, steaming, cold. We boarded up the doors and windows, took to our bed, ordered groceries and medication – well done Ocado and Brown’s Chemist. We lived on just coconuts and fish from the sea (via the freezer), and paracetamols. We planned adventures in weak, rattling voices. We escaped once to post a letter, then stumbled back to bed.
A good neighbour, believing we had gone abroad, cut the grass and put the bins out. The boy delivered the papers and the milk and orange juice. We sneezed on one another but never, not even once, did we sneeze on another human being.
We hope to venture out next week into a better, cleaner, germ and Brexit free world.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

I believe ...

I originally posted this about four years ago. It still represents my beliefs.

 All religions/faiths/beliefs have their share of extremists/fanatics/thugs looking for an excuse to behave violently.
All religions/faiths/beliefs have their share of wonderful, loving, caring people who seek only to help their fellow human beings in any way they can.
Fortunately, the good people outnumber the evil ones ten million to one, or more.
Sadly, the good people rarely appear in the headlines.
I was born into a Christian family and attended a Christian school and college. I was amazed and dismayed when I encountered people who called themselves Christians but were intolerant of people who did not share their extremist views.
Rarely, if ever, is violence prescribed in Sacred Writings. Feed the poor, care for the sick and elderly, help the stranger - respect one another. We can only continue to set an example in our own lives: it can be very difficult. Sadly, it seems impossible to reason with the blinkered folk who believe that they are right, and are willing to murder men, women and children who disagree with them.
Our gentle friends in West Africa have fed us, shared their last cup of rice with us, trusted us with their children, cared for us when we have been sick, chatted to us about their beliefs and questioned us about ours. Never once have we felt threatened. They have earned our love and respect: I hope we have earned theirs.
Je suis Charlie?