Toot toot!

Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection... Monday, October 26th, 2020 Letting off steam on the North York Moors Railway I remember standing on the station at Barry Dock, waiting for a train to Cardiff, when I was a boy. What I hadn't expected was to see a diesel train arriving on the platform. I was unsure whether I was supposed to get on when the doors slid open, but as everyone else got on I decided to join them. Farewell to steam. Except that so many engines from the Great Western Railway ended up in the 'graveyard' further down the line near Barry Island. Only to be resurrected years later on various steam trust lines across the country. Three cheers for those enthusiasts. Ba

You're Making That Up!

Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection... Sunday, October 25th, 2020 Viper's Bugloss on a coast path near Folkestone I am frequently being accused of making up the names of wild plants by someone very close to me! I will admit that I am good at making up fake facts which sound convincing - it's the way I tell them! But when it comes to flowers and birds in the countryside, I am usually correct if I do know them. I think I get it from my mother, who used to talk to her plants to encourage them to grow and often came out with the latin names for those in her garden. I don't usually offer the latin names of species, but I must admit some names, like the Viper's Bugloss above, take

Where are we?

Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection... Saturday, October 24th, 2020 On the Rhudd Ddu Path with the Ranger Path and Llyn Cwellyn in the middle distance, the coast south of Carnarfon beyond. I love maps. Always have. My daughters don't get it. If, like me, you like to pour over an OS map, you will be able to see exactly where I am standing in this photograph by referring to the grid reference conveniently attached to the gate post. If I'm feeling lazy, I could just open the Ordnance Survey App on my phone and press the symbol which will take me to the spot on the map of Britain where I am in a split second. But that's no use if you don't do maps. It strikes me that we are all u

Rock On!

Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection... Friday, October 23rd, 2020 Cuillins under cloud - from Elgol, Skye Rocks vary so much in colour, texture, shape. I found this honeycomb surface in the rock at Elgol so fascinating. Living in Sheffield, we are nearest to the Dark Peak which gets its name from the colour of the gritstone prevalent in the northernmost part of the Peak District. It is a walk back in time to walk under Stanage Edge and see the millstones left half-formed as progress abandoned their use in cutlery processes. It's as though somebody came along and shouted, 'stop work now!' I'm no geologist, but looking at the shapes of rock formations which have either been cre

Watch the Birdie!

Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection... Parent and Child on Bempton Cliffs, near Flamborough Head An annual visit to Bempton Cliffs is a must for bird lovers. Because of the ability to walk on top of the cliffs, you can be so close to these magnificent birds. The sight of adults swooping in to bring food to their chicks is a sight to see when they come in at eye-level and alight on their ledges. The dedication of the parents to fly and dive for fish all day long is admirable and the actual streamlined dive into the sea is something else. Another favourite place for me is Farad Head, near Durness, in the top left hand corner of Scotland. Apart from the fact that that is where y

One Man's Treasure

Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection... In the sand dunes at Newborough, Anglesey This 'installation' was constructed from all the debris washed up on the shore - wood, fishing net, crates etc. I thought it was a great way of sorting some of the unsightly litter around this beauty spot and making it into something creative and interesting. Llanddwyn Island is in the near distance and the Lleyn Peninsula beyond. It reminds me of a memorable visit to a permanent collection of Picasso's work in the Musée Picasso at the Hôtel de Salé in Paris. Several of his sculpture pieces were created out of 'junk' he arranged into fascinating works of art. Old handlebars and saddle or bull's h

The Eyes Have it!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 Looking forward: Spring in our church grounds Looks can deceive. But looking someone in the eye is a different matter. There is a saying: 'the eyes are the window to the soul'. Whether or not that is true, I have always found Jesus' dealings with people to be intriguing. Take the man in Mark, chapter 10, for example. He had a conversation with Jesus about deep matters of concern about his own faith and destiny. In verse 21, we have an unusual moment when we hear that Jesus looked at him - and loved him. Was Jesus looking into the very soul of this man, because he seems to identify a stumbling block to this rich man's desire to embrace the Kingdom of God? 'One thin

The Sky Is Falling Down!

Thursday, October 8th, 2020 - Thoughts in the Rivelin Valley, Sheffield Early yesterday morning, we set off on our dog walk along the Rivelin Valley from the Fire Station to Rails Road and back again. Shortly into the walk I picked up a WhatsApp message from one of our Gwens, reflecting on an article about Mark's Gospel which our other Gwen had sent her. What struck me about her comment was ....... an acorn! It bounced off my unprotected head from such a height that I thought it must have been a conker if not half a house brick. My immediate reaction, of course, was to run and tell the King that the sky was falling down. Or not. What I really thought was, 'do I blame Gwen for making me stop

A Touching Place

Thursday, October 1st, 2020 It's not natural, is it? Our church WhatsApp group are deeply concerned about the health of one of our number who has chronic kidney problems and has been taken into hospital to help him with his breathing. His wife, one of our elders, can only see him for one hour in the day. We can't do what comes naturally, either, and call on Elaine, give her a hug and sit with her for a while. One of the worst features of this pandemic has been the distancing, the lack of touch and physical presence in each other's homes. The agonising pictures of people who cannot visit their elderly parents in Care Homes, comfort each other in bereavement, give a new grandchild a cuddle hau

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