Monday, October 18, 2010

let the train take the strain….

Moira+I had a lovely weekend in Leyland with Alice+Dave et al. As an experiment, we decided to use the train and it proved to be pretty successful (frustrations of having to change mid-journey and having to wait nearly an hour to pick up the connection each time, but…). Somewhat crowded on the return journey, but we survived. One of the bonuses was that I virtually read an entire book (Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop”) on the journey.
It was a lovely weekend and SO good to see the Buckleys after what seemed like ages (I think Jemima was just three weeks old when we last saw them!). We had great fun – lots of laughter, rolling on the floor and no end of boisterous games (quite a few of these seemed to involve me pretending to be a camel or a snake and transporting Mikey+Dan to various destinations!). Jemima seems to take the boys’ world of drums, ball games, zingzillas and general mayhem in her stride.... but I think she might be just biding her time.
Photo: various images taken over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the amazing chile mine rescue

As usual, I’d been listening to the World Service on the radio “off and on” through the night. Just before 4am, I just had to go downstairs and switch on the television…. to watch the first of the 33 trapped miners, Florencio Avalos, being brought to the surface in the escape capsule (Phoenix One). Just amazing to watch as the capsule appeared through the tiny, stark, metal-sleeved hole in the ground to be greeted by his family and the cheering crowds on the surface and then, a little later, to watch the pictures back down the mine as the miners calmly awaited their turns in the capsule.
Almost beyond belief, the miners ARE being rescued!
PS: As I write this, the second miner has just appeared on the surface and another paramedic is sent back down the tube – perhaps it’s just me, but it does seem a little strange that there is now one more person back in the bowels of the earth than has actually been rescued!

Monday, October 11, 2010

irish golf tour countdown

Played golf at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club, near Swindon, yesterday afternoon with three of my five fellow golf tourists – Ken, Steve and Barry, who I hadn’t previously met, in beautiful October sunshine. The game was arranged on the basis that “some” of us (ie. me) needed a little practice before we departed for our golf week in Eire. We had a lovely time and the bonus was that Barry+I beat Ken+Steve on the 18th green - it’s amazing just how often our games "go to the last hole".
Photo: Just to prove that the sun did indeed shine – me, Steve, Barry+Ken at the end of our round.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

cave refectory road

It’s not very often that one of your best friends has a book published, so I’d been really looking forward to reading “Cave Refectory Road – monastic rhythms for contemporary living” by Ian Adams this week.
I wasn’t disappointed!
I’ve always been struck by his “way with words” and I found this elegant and profound book an absolute delight. Knowing him so well, I could almost hear him speaking as I read it and, of course, I was very familiar with many of the places and people he spoke about.
It’s a beautiful book and one that I know I’m going to continue to find helpful over the coming months and years in my own rather meandering spiritual journey. It’s given me much food for thought and much encouragement. I was particularly struck by his references to the Community of Bose in Italy and to some of its “rules”.
Talking to Ian a few weeks ago, I know that one of his original intentions was to use words from contemporary songs (from artists such as Radiohead, Show of Hands, Johnny Cash and the like) at the beginning of each chapter. In the event, his publishers encouraged him to use some of his own poetry instead and I found this one of the special and surprising joys of the book (and look forward to reading more of his poetry in future). John+Olive Drane (theologians/writers) described Ian’s book as being “guaranteed to open up new vistas for anyone searching for an authentic spirituality that will make sense in the context of today’s 24/7 world” and I completely agree.
A very special book by a very special man.

Monday, October 04, 2010

ryder cup

What an amazing sporting occasion the Ryder Cup is. Golf looks such an easy game on the television but (and believe me, as a player of some very indifferent golf in my time)(actually, most of the time!) the shots the players were hitting, with all the pressure they were playing under, were just stunning. Unfortunately (not having sky tv), I didn’t see a single “live” shot, but golf on the radio – or even via the BBC website live updates – strangely somehow felt even better. Of course, I’m delighted that Europe won (what an amazing day it was yesterday), but the thing that perhaps gives me the biggest “buzz” is the gentlemanly conduct (yes, I’m just an old softy!) and the generous words of all the players – both the victors and the vanquished.
Photo: I hope you’re impressed by this… it’s a silver cup from our very own sideboard cupboard at home. It’s tiny (only about 10cm in diameter) and was presented by Lady Ryder to Clara Watts (a relation of Moira’s grandmother) who was “in service” to Lady R from 1882 to 1905.
Oh yes, we are VERY well connected you know!