There was another procession into Jerusalem that Spring, one that escaped the pen, but certainly not the notice, of the Gospel writers and their early readers. As the city geared up for the festival season, its population swelling five-fold until every spare room, every nook and cranny, was filled with valuable rent-paying, weary and contented … Continue reading Lampoon
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
Were they kings, the men who followed the star from the East to honour the child with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? Or were they merely a rabble of starry-eyed astrologers? The Gospel of Matthew marks them down as 'magi' or 'wise men'; obscure, yes, but with status or exotic qualities enough to win … Continue reading Of Brexit, Trump and Kings of Old
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” From time to time, if we are able to see through the aura of accumulated holiness hanging thick around the … Continue reading Gaudete in Domino semper
The year, I'm guessing, was 1973. And it must have been late in the year because I remember the threat of rain throughout the day; Brasilia's dry season had come and gone. At the Summer Olympics the year before, the USA men's basketball team had suffered a controversial and ignominious defeat at the hands of … Continue reading When the Commies Came to Play
Do you believe in an afterlife? Heaven? Paradise? Something like that? A place where you will live with your loved ones in happiness? Tell me about that afterlife you imagine. Does it include violence? War? Weapons? Abuse of women and children? A society where some have far too much and others not enough? Destruction and … Continue reading Really? Thy kingdom come?
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