Her body suddenly pushed up against me as she took her place in the empty seat and the gentle nudge made me open my eyes. I’ve grown accustomed to spending some of my morning and afternoon commute, eyes closed, in prayerful thought about the people and tasks of the day ahead - or the day … Continue reading Despair on the Express Bus
Anyone who takes the time to survey the world of airport chaplaincy with anything more than a passing interest will soon discover that there are as many different varieties of chaplaincy as there are airports. Every airport has a unique set of characteristics: its physical location, size, the nature of local businesses, passenger & cargo … Continue reading For people of all faiths…and those of none.
Uxbridge bus station exchange: Three women animatedly speaking Polish. A young man has had enough and approaches them: "Speak f*cking English!" he says loudly. The women stop, quietly sizing him up together. Then they turn back to each other and one says to the others, but loud enough for all to hear: "F*cking English." They … Continue reading Random II
When the wind blows from the North we can hear the train. Not the thump-a-thump, thump-a-thump we heard as the carriages crossed the viaduct at the end of the street in the Czar Peter neighbourhood of Amsterdam, when the bedroom windows stood futilely open on hot summer nights; nor even the vague and distant rumble … Continue reading Travel Notes
"Excuse me!" cried a desperate voice from behind. Paul, lead chaplain for Heathrow's Terminal 2, and I both turned to see a family - mother, father, adolescent son - hurrying toward us across the concourse, dragging an assortment of hand luggage with them, the woman waving a piece of paper in the air. "We checked … Continue reading The Small Thing
Wearing a business suit and putting on a lanyard at the bottom of which dangles a security pass extending to me complete airport access gives me another privilege too, an odd and unexpected social permission: to look at people . The assumption on the part of those who see me is that I must be … Continue reading Random
"No sir, that won't be a problem," said the heavily accented Dutch voice on the other end of a dim, crackling telephone line. In the 1980's calling anywhere from Ceuta, one of the two Spanish enclaves on the North African coast, was always problematic, even if it was only to Madrid. "With our centralized computer … Continue reading To Madrid, for a stamp.