Monday, 18 January 2021

pages from the Book of Kells : 8th Century MSS of the Gospels on exhibition at Dublin University...the Monks copying this manuscript must have had a good sense of humour along with incredible patience, judging by all the detail of their designs and the cartoons of cats or dogs in between the lines of Latin text...

Saturday, 16 January 2021

This morning I woke up to see snow blowing around outside our window and immediately imagined deep snow everywhere... though in fact it hardly settled at all before melting away... I still remember snow piling up in deep drifts... about 60+ years ago on the very day my sister was due to take her 11+ exam, we opened the back door to the shock of discovering the snow was a good three or four feet deep...suddenly our cat jumped out onto the snow and immediately dissappeared, sinking down into the snow, which of course couldnt hold his weight...can you imagine the scene yet? ... the complete chaos and panic...and yet, we had to do something...my father pulled on his wellies whilst mum handed out our warm jumpers, macs and smaller wellies :) ... fortunately the radio weather forcast had been for snow & so our parents had searched the garage for spades and shovels, bringing them indoors the day before, just in case...but they had never thought of drifts this deep... this was quite unusual...well, we did manage to rescue the cat...but my sister's dilemma took hours to solve...our nearest neighbours lived in the farmhouse next door,so we began to slowly dig our way out to them, making a deep trench through the snow, carrying a thermos flask of hot water in case their electricity had been cut off...they were surprised to see us, but immediately took us through to their warm kitchen to warm up with hot chocolate... "oooh I doubt any buses willbe running today, and trains are bound to be stopped... how will anyone be able to get into Colchester for that test on a day like this...and if hardly anyone turns up they willhave to cancel it... why not phone up and see... well, if the phone lines arent down, that is...lets try and see..." "O good, its ringing..."...well, to cut a long story short :) transport was completely disrupted & no-one from villages outside Colchester, & even some people living in Colchester could not get to that exam...so they had to arrange another testing day later in the springtime... On a completely different tack, I have also been delving into a recent book by Pope Francis: Let Us Dream... basically asking us to imagine what future we would like to see before us when the pandemic is over...and what are the realistic first steps we need to take...?