Children are human, so are adults

It was good to work alongside a group of volunteer gardeners this week. Two were in their twenties and the rest of us were in our sixties and seventies. The age spread made no difference to the way we worked. There were, however, differences in experience. One older participant did not have a mobile phone, […]

Read More

Working together in harmony

After only three weeks of rehearsal this term, the Grand Union Community Choir performed with the Luton Concert Orchestra. We sang with them Finlandia (Sibelius), a selection from Les Miserables, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. Our own pieces were an Alleluia by Mozart and “Puttin on the Ritz”. We also performed a world premier […]

Read More

Homelessness

Jesus appears in the Gospels as an itinerant, homeless teacher. He is supported mainly by gifts from a group of women. When he sends his disciples on their mission he tells them not to take extra clothing but to seek hospitality wherever they visit. When someone says they will follow him he reportedly says, “Foxes […]

Read More

De-Cluttering the Mind

I am back to clearing stuff from the study. A few more books have gone and more paper has been shredded. Now I am working my way through diaries. The earliest are from the 1960s, covering my years at Essex University.They don’t contain much of interest. But here and there are one or two words […]

Read More

Ursula Le Guin – The Earthsea Quartet

I have been re-reading the Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin. I remember it as probably my favourite novel. What shocked me, however, was how little I actually remembered. The first story about Sparrowhawk’s discovery of himself and the terrifying ordeal of facing his shadow was what I had most clearly recollected. It moved and […]

Read More

Sleeping with Lions

Banhu, Rubi, Indi and Heidi are the Asiatic Lions with whom we shared the night in London Zoo.  It was a birthday treat which was very special. We stayed in a lodge just feet away from where Banhu, the male, was sleeping. We heard him bellowing throughout the night, proclaiming that this was his territory. […]

Read More

Earth’s traffic

When walking was the only way to cross the earth by night or day, the human scale of things was such  that nature was not hurt too much. On horseback or by camel ride the journeys now ranged far and wide; though beasts were tamed and put to use they did not always know abuse.  […]

Read More

Simplifying

To discover what is important in life, it is necessary sometimes to clear the decks, remove the distractions, declutter and simplify. So, having finished the M.A., prepared the Annual Reports and Accounts (which are now approved), and celebrated a seventieth birthday, now is the time to clear the mind and the computer, as well as […]

Read More

Urgent or important?

In the pressure of life the question often arises, “Is this urgent or important?” Or perhaps both or neither! Coming back from a week’s holiday and into a new month, new season (meteorologically it is now autumn), and new academic year the question for me is what do I have to do? One of the […]

Read More

Moments of joy

In all of life there have to be moments of joy, or life is not worth living. Thankfully, this week has been an extended time of family celebration. We are together to mark my wife’s seventieth birthday, a special occasion for all of us.  It is easy to be overwhelmed by the threats to life, […]

Read More