EASTER HOLIDAYS, I suppose rather obviously, occasion a procession of thoughts about resurrection, about new life and the way it arises and surprises – leaping out of roundedness and edginess and colour. Holidays become holy days and the art and craft of Life come much more clearly – and frequently – into focus. As the lovely hymn has it: “Colours of day dawn into the mind, the sun has come up, the night is behind.”

Easter’s wonderful, and it’s great that Easter Sunday stretches onwards into Eastertide. Resurrection shapes and moulds me, calling me both inwards and upwards, downwards, outwards and sideways, beckoning me into fuller, freer use of the great gift of imagination, and into the times and places of rich and iridescent colour, in contemplation and in meditation, in people and in prayer, in books and in art, in hymnody and psalmody, in human creativity, in food and drink, in love and laughter, in freshly laundered soft cotton clothes, in divinely fashioned lakes and trees and sky and flowers. Easter reaches me, touches me, heals me; the Risen Jesus models for me a person possessed of both roundedness and edge, a person who loves enough and is quietened often enough to make of every day a holy day. I’ll try to be a more observant disciple.



IT FEELS only proper to admit that life seems absolutely crazy in a vicarage some days. Trying to get on top of the work in hand – all of which seems to spring up on the hour, every hour, the second one arrives back from even the briefest holiday – is like trying to stay upright in an avalanche. No matter how many hours go by it’s a case of one step forward, thirty-seven back. I’m going to have to “call it a day” within the next half hour though. Matchsticks aren’t up to the job these days and I’m feeling plain dazed. And somehow, though I don’t know how, experience reminds me that everything seems to get sorted in the end.  A friend sent me this text from the psalms yesterday (thanks!). Something to quieten the mind as I seek to drop off to sleep. Night …

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.

Psalm 127 verse 2


YEARS AFTER WATCHING MARY POPPINS at the pictures I’ve become disillusioned with her. She just snapped her fingers and the nursery was tidied instantly. One tap of her foot and her carpet bag was packed. I hate to say it but I think there was a bit of kiddology going on in that film cos I’ve looked high and low, in just about every store in the land, for a suitcase that packs itself – for years. And I’ve come to think that there simply can’t be one. So instead of “let’s go fly a kite” – there’s apparently no alternative – I’ve gotta get packing. Bit miffed, Mary Poppins. But heck. Holidays. So let the dark clouds fly away 🙂 …


THANKS TO 3 WALKER BROTHERS and their wives I’ve had one of those delightful afternoons that planning for funerals – strange as that may seem – can afford. Winnie would have enjoyed our trip down memory lane.

The Walker brothers’ mum had left a rich legacy of memories. Happy family life, baking, holidays, homecoming and laughter. Less cash to hand, but also less anxiety. Fairly “simple English food” but, in other areas of life, more variety.

Tandem bicycling, far beyond the boundaries of home in Old Trafford, and wobbly legs in school next day. Memories of holidays in North Wales,  for a family of five. Suitcases, pans of cooked food, bedding, with a motorbike and sidecar bulging at the sides.

The record player was still being wound up. Records weighed half a ton. Eggs were kept in X boxes! Families listened to each other and to radio: News, Views and Jimmy Clitheroe. Family memories: all have a story to tell. Today’s were told and enjoyed well.



FROM TIME TO TIME WE CHASTISE OURSELVES about our devotion to summer holidays in Brittany. Until we sit down to breakfast, when, with absolutely nothing “petit” about it, we feast like kings and remember one of the many reasons we keep on coming back!