The Graceful Hippo

 A devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the savannah in Africa. Three weeks later, a Hippopotamus walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn’t believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the Hippo’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” “Not really,” said the Hippo. “Your name is written inside the cover.”  So why is my opener a joke about a hippo? Well, the chap who’s thoughts I’ve been looking at today is from a place called Hippo. Or at least that … Continue reading The Graceful Hippo

All you need is love

It’s a great song by The Beatles, “All you need is love” but is it true? The song seems to be saying that the sum total of all that can be known about ourselves, others, the world, can be summed up by love. Is this just 60s hippy stuff or is there a deep truth here?   It reflects the teaching of many of the early Christian teachers. Origen of Alexandria said that life is about love. Specifically about seeking God, about knowing His love. It’s become a bit cliched these days, but he said almost 2000 years ago that life … Continue reading All you need is love

Ambition, Capacity and Calling

I have so many ideas for how to reach Folkestone. Great plans that, at the moment, I can do nothing about. I am hoping to return to work soon. I’m seeing the GP this morning and we will see… But then friends who have heart problems have talked about six months off. Others have talked about going back on light duties being 1 hour per day. I’m half way through series Six of the West Wing and, to be honest, I’m itching to get back & involved in my work. But I may not be able to just yet. See … Continue reading Ambition, Capacity and Calling

The Promise

While several of our church folk went off on an idyllic ramble to Canterbury today, Katy and I were a bit stuck for health reasons. So we went to the cinema instead. We saw a great film called The Promise.  It’s all about the Armenian minority in Turkey in 1914-16 and the genocide that happened in that country. The film tells the story of a young Armenian man who leaves his village to go to the capital city, Constantinople, to train to be a doctor. While there he falls in love with a beautiful and talented young teacher. It is … Continue reading The Promise

It’s an Argentine Tango, not a Viennese Waltz

One of the advantages of living in a house full of ladies has been Strictly Come Dancing. Over the years of watching the show, right from the first series in 2004, our little girl would jump up and down in excitement. Now she is 17, and I’ve a growing appreciation for the art form. The Foxtrot, the Lindy Hop & the American Smooth. Who can forget Austin Healey’s Pasa Doble or Chris & Ola’s Charleston?  Until today I had a few days when I felt progressively better each day. In my mind I felt like I was in a Viennese … Continue reading It’s an Argentine Tango, not a Viennese Waltz

I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…

I’m starting to feel a good deal better, though I’m far from 100% yet. It’s kinda three steps forward, one step back. I’m amazed by the number of folk who have been helping Katy and I over the last six weeks.  I’m going to name them all because they’re all troopers, every single one. Alan Dinnie, Seyan Tills, Arthur Glynn, Paul Kerley, Rob Sylvester, Alison Boddington, Tom & Emma Brunton, Wilf Ashburn, Ken Tee, Phillip Luscombe, Mung Hatzaw, Diane Stenning, Mel, Carol Smart, Belinda Walker, Gareth & Jackie House, David & Glynis Coombes, Paul Lanza, Margaret Brunsdon, Anne Tolputt, Rob … Continue reading I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…

How long? Must I wait forever? 

I’ve been out on a gentle stroll today, and no signs of angina yet. I love the spring flowers and take great delight in forget-me-nots especially. They are beautiful and delicate and lift my mood.  The flower forget-me-not is named “Vergissmeinnicht” in German and “Незабудка” in Russian. The meaning is the same in all three languages.  Wikipedia offers two sources for the naming of the flower. In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.” In English, the flower has had its name … Continue reading How long? Must I wait forever? 

To boldly go…

One of the upsides of being off sick is that I’ve watched a bit of Star Trek. In fact I have viewed all 695 episodes of the Original Series, Next Generation, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I’ve just finished this Easter weekend. All I haven’t seen are the films, as they’re not on Netflix.  I love the Star Trek ethos, the universe and philosophy developed by the makers. There are many sci-fi dystopian visions of the future.  Over population (as in Logan’s Run or Soylent Green) or aliens out to eat you (as in the Alien films) or technology gone wrong … Continue reading To boldly go…

Holy Hospital Week: Freedom

Free at last! I have just been discharged from hospital after my final procedure yesterday afternoon.  Before I went down for surgery they placed a cross on each foot. Apparently it’s so that the doctors can take my pulse quickly in the middle of the surgery, should my heart do something unexpected.  But I’m lying in my hospital bed thinking about the Cross of Christ and all it means. And then they come and put two crosses on my feet. We often consider the stigmata to be a physical sensation of pain in the hands and feet, a spiritual/emotional response … Continue reading Holy Hospital Week: Freedom