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76. Shakshouka that explodes

Several years ago I discovered the delicious North African dish, Shakshouka. I’ve been making it ever since. Lunchtime yesterday I ordered it at a restaurant.  The very first mouthful was deliciously explosive – not to damage me, but I was stunned by the level of garlic, sweet chillies and fresh tomatoes. I can’t remember theContinue reading “76. Shakshouka that explodes”

73. Joy and sorrow at a wedding– two sides of one coin

Next week the daughter of a friend of mine is getting married. It has been planned for many months, affected by Covid limitations. But this wedding has been affected by something far more significant than Covid. The bride’s father, my friend’s husband, died suddenly at the end of last year. This wedding, which was plannedContinue reading “73. Joy and sorrow at a wedding– two sides of one coin”

72. Pentecost’s inextinguishable blaze

Yesterday I shared holy communion with an elderly couple in their home – always a particularly joyous time for us all. Because of Lockdown they have hardly been out of their house for months. Every other week they recharge the batteries of their mobility scooters parked in the shed – a symbolic act. They wantContinue reading “72. Pentecost’s inextinguishable blaze”

71. What we’ve learnt about grief

I have just listened (only two hours ago as I ate my lunch) to a radio programme entitled ‘What we’ve learnt about grief’. You can find it on BBC Sounds. It was presented by Cariad Lloyd, a comedian who hosts the Griefcast Podcast. This is described as ‘a podcast that examines the human experience ofContinue reading “71. What we’ve learnt about grief”

70. Colours and cataracts

A few days ago I collected my new glasses. They look good, I think, and an improvement on the previous pair. I can see better too – which is what you would expect from a new pair of spectacles. But I cannot see quite as well as I did when I was younger. You see,Continue reading “70. Colours and cataracts”

67. All a matter of time

My three-year-old grandson cannot tell the time and doesn’t comprehend it. These days it is more complicated because only analog clocks visually show the passing of time. Digital ones don’t.     “When is it bed-time?” he asks in the middle of the morning – not because he is tired, but probably because he wants to goContinue reading “67. All a matter of time”

66. Border crossings

Eight months after Robert died, I listened to the Easter day morning service on the radio. It was led by Richard Littledale, a Baptist minister whose wife had died the previous year after a long illness. He memorably spoke of the previous Easter Sunday. He had left the house early to lead the sunrise service.Continue reading “66. Border crossings”

64. Friars’ bones

Friar crushed by cart: bone analysis hints at causes of medieval deaths… I recently read about this. In 2016 the remains of a body buried in the Augustinian friary in Cambridge was unearthed. The friary, dating from the 13th century, existed until Henry V111’s dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s. The site will eventuallyContinue reading “64. Friars’ bones”

62. Put a smile on your face in 2021

For several years, one of the joys of a Saturday has been to sit and read a weekend paper from cover to cover. It was even better if this included a leisurely latte in a café when, instead of talking, Robert and I would read our favoured sections of the weekend paper. During Lockdown 1,Continue reading “62. Put a smile on your face in 2021”

54. Michael Rosen and fragility – You can’t catch me!

I love Michael Rosen’s poetry. For over 30 years I have read his poems to my own children and to children in school. His sense of humour, his quirkiness, his reality and honesty make him one of the best contemporary poets. He ‘gets’ children. I’ve always appreciated his openness over the death of his son.Continue reading “54. Michael Rosen and fragility – You can’t catch me!”