When your blog writes plaintively that it’s missing you and would like to hear more, then you have to be pretty hard-hearted not to respond, and to tell the truth I did not intend the hiatus to be as long as this. The problem is that I am finding out that the old cliché is true: retirement is a full-time occupation! (My old English master back in the day used to instruct us that a cliché was only a cliche because it was both true and over-used!) And whilst I’m in confessional mode, I should say that it was early in 2015 that my blog wrote to tell me it was lonely, and I have only now got around to doing something about it.
So, there is a lot to fill in and I have some perigrinations to revisit in this blog over the next few months. I may even be able to find pictures! The only problem is that since my last entry WordPress has updated everything and I am going to have to learn how to use it again. I may even find out how to put an acute accent in the correct place in cliché! 🙂 (Found it!)
But where to begin? Chronologically? Geographically? On a whim?
For example, I spent January and February 2015 in Nicosia, Cyprus as a locum during part of the vacancy for the Dean at St Paul’s Cathedral. That was a very interesting time coinciding with the coldest, wettest winter in living memory! I even have a picture of snow falling on the Cathedral. Or last January when my wife and I and two friends spent a few days in Rome. The huge Christmas tree was still up in St Peter’s Square with a life-sized Nativity scene. Or back a couple of years when we stayed at Harrogate in the hotel where Agatha Christie was found after she had gone missing.
Most recently I have made two trips to the battlefields of the Somme. The first was in August as part of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society’s Convention where we traced some of the places associated with DLS’s husband ‘Mac’ Fleming, culminating in attending the ceremony at the Menin Gate. The second visit was with members of the Cambridgeshire Regiment Association, visiting the sites where they fought and in particular the Schwaben Redoubt where we unveiled a new memorial commemorating the action. As the Honorary Chaplain to the Association I had the immense privilege of leading the Service of Dedication. Again we ended the day at the Menin Gate for the Last Post ceremony, with Association members on parade. I was again privileged to be asked to lead the prayers at this event, where some 2,000 people had gathered.
So there we are! The end of the year may seem an odd time to start again, but it is, I think, a good time for retrospection!