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Showing posts from June, 2018


Through the window I watch the waxeyes flock around the ball of fat hanging in a mesh bag. I open the door wide enough to take some photos. A few moments in the short lives of these little, conscious beings are caught, and become something else: pictures; compositions; trophies. And all for purposes way beyond the understanding of the hungry little birds. **** Looking for my camera's wireless control, I serendipitously find a notebook that hasn't been opened in years. This, the last volume of my journal is a beautiful book but old. I stopped regular journaling when I became serious about meditation, a decade ago. The book is bound in suede, and contains photographs, drawings, poems, little mementos from almost remembered events. Thirty of its two hundred or so pages are the daily reflections I made when doing the Ignatian Exercises. The hand is clearer, more careful than my usual scrawl, and written with the fountain pen I used only for journaling.  I read a few ent

Talkin' About My Generation

There's three of them across the table from me, young women in their distinctive Woodford House blazers, lapels twinkling with the multicoloured metallic souvenirs of busy and varied lives. They check that their phones are set to silent - these are Millennials and polite ones - and look at me with a kind of open and expectant curiosity. I don't think they have had a conversation with a bishop before, but they aren't particularly fazed. They share their names and a little of where they're from and a little more about where they hope to be next year. The ambition is impressive. "Tell me," I ask the one nearest me, "what exactly is a Service Prefect?" She looks at me steadily and smiles. "Excellent question," she replies. "I asked myself that exact same thing at the end of last year when Mrs Peterson invited me to do the job." And then she tells me what she has decided. About the working out of the school's Christian foun


Over the last couple of months Clemency and I read all the Harry Potter books. Well, she listened, I read, except for the sizable chunks, on car journeys, where Stephen Fry helped out via Audible. Clemency had never read them before, but I had, once. Back in the late 90's and early years of the century I joined the queues, elbowing teeny boppers out of the way to get my copy of each book as it fell hot off the press, devouring each of them whole in a few hours flat, then waiting years for the next fix. We also, courtesy of Netflix and Google Play, watched all the films, but more of that later. This time, reading, the pace was more sedate. And measured. And thoughtful. After 15-20 years I had forgotten so much of the plot that,  although I knew what was going to happen in the end, I could savour, like it was new, the ingenuity and wit and erudition of this great, convoluted, clever story. J. K. Rowling is the one you'd want on your team in a pub quiz. Given that her alter