Sunday, 29 August 2010




On my 12th birthday my parents gave me a Ukulele banjo; I was so excited. Within the day I could play “Little brown jug”, I loved the banjo but school friends were not impressed, guitars were more the fashion; the banjo laid idle in the wardrobe. Years later I sold it to a guy who could really play and it seemed better in his hands than mine; this was after my father had died.

Many more years later I regretted the sale and contacted the guy who was then retired; I explained the sentimental value of the banjo and he agreed to sell it back to me. I was more surprised by the price for he insisted on the same £15 that I sold it to him. I was so pleased to have it back and once again it went into the wardrobe. The old banjo came out from time to time and again I would play “Little brown jug”.

Recently, again talking about the old banjo, I heard of a banjo workshop at the local pub and turned up with my banjo under my arm. I was told that my old banjo is actually a banjolin and should have steel strings to get the best sound; now after 45 years I have the chance to really play the old banjo.

Note to morning office: Its all about using the things you have and not leaving them to gather dust; you might as well not have them. Letting go of things not used is an ongoing challenge – first identify them.

Sunday, 15 August 2010



Harvesting has already begun, probably due to the lack of rain; this photo was taken on an early morning walk just a few weeks ago.

I try not to get caught up in discussion about Mary, Theotokos (Mother of God) but I feel uplifted by the words of the Magnificat, used by Teams of Our Lady.

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour

I feel as if I want to shout  - WOW! right after that part……

Sunday, 8 August 2010



The feast of the Transfiguration and today's Eucharist  seemed extra special, experiencing that thin place between heaven and earth – complexity and simplicity.

This is not something that can be prescribed, manufactured or reserved. Something that happens without announcement and finds us holding our breath and wondering just what is happening.


Walking along the river Tees at Preston Park last week, I captured the delicate shades of this flower against the flowing river and above, the spiral staircase; more simplicity – complexity.




Note to evening office: Remember I am not just earthly bound.