Saturday, 22 May 2010

70 years

I have ten nephews. They are all good guys. 

My favourite is Sam.  He is the only son of my youngest brother Martyn, and Martyn’s wife Wendy.

Sam celebrated his 14th birthday today. 

Of course I called Sam to wish him “Happy Birthday”.

There are very few points of contact between a 14 years old nephew, and his (almost) 66 years old Uncle.

But this old uncle did make his young nephew giggle when I reminded him that when I was 14 years old, his Dad was just 4 years old.  That seemed to give Sam some perspective on age differences.

Ginny C. is a neighbour of mine. She lives about 7 houses away.  She is so frail.

I could imagine that the slightest breeze would blow her to the ground.

Each day, with that in mind, I take her daily newspaper from her driveway and place it on a plastic chair right next to her front door.  I do this to make life easier for her.

As I walked out with Penne this afternoon I saw this frail woman - she was just outside of her front door.  I walked up the driveway so that I could tell her that it was I who moved her paper each morning.

She was duly and genuinely thankful.

I ventured to ask Ginny her age.   She responded with alacrity, as she told me that she is 94 years old.  We chatted for a bit and Ginny told me that her biggest problem is that she is so bored,  since she is no longer able to drive.

Mine is an interesting life.  On this very day I have chatted with a 14 years old nephew, and a 94 years old neighbor.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Some good words

"The difference between a smart man and a wise man is that a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it..."

(I saw these words on Facebook today. I do not know the author [Peter Berger] but I applaud his sentiments.) jmp

Thursday, 20 May 2010


1. My next door neighbour is not a nice person. We share a driveway, so I cannot ignore her altogether. Yesterday she was outside of her home chatting with a gentleman who was washing and “detailing” her car. As I walked out to get into my car she issued a comment about me. According to her (a very white-skinned African-American), I am “a fu.ker ; a WHITE fu.ker; and an a..hole. SO NOW YOU KNOW.

2. British Petroleum (B.P) has gone on to a charm offensive with full or half page advertisements in national and local newspapers regarding the oil blow out in our Gulf of Mexico. Tell me please, why do I not believe B.P.’s propaganda?

3. The “Love Bug” (or “June Bug”) season is here in great force. These flying insects are unavoidable. Our cars are smattered with the bugs which smash into our windshields/windscreens as we drive. We have to clean them off as soon as possible because their smattered remains can do damage to the car’s paint. “Love Bugs” copulate even as they fly through the air. After copulation the poor males die.

Male “Love Bugs” thus have a very brief moment of bliss. They fly, come, and then die.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Folks such as I who live in Condo or Housing Association “developments” in these United States have to contend with a multitude of “rules”. 

(I continue to be flabbergasted that these local rules are most rigidly enforced by Republicans and Libertarians who are so opposed to “rules” i.e. “laws”, which are promulgated in the National Congress or in City or State regulations).

My own actions are circumscribed by the “Glen Oaks Ridge Condominium Association”.  This retrograde body has “strict” rules about gardens.

We are allowed to plant on the perimeters of our homes, and NO PLACE ELSE.

The perimeter of my property extends to 166 feet.   So I have planted it with flowering shrubs and plants in order to beautify my neighborhood.

Here are a few pics to illustrate my labours (U.K), labors (U.S.A.)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Memories from Ian Douglas's Consecration (2)

I downloaded some photo's today and found these. (I'd thought that I'd lost them.)

First Elaine Agard and Patricia Andrews (St. James's,Cambridge, MA), The Revd. Canon Steven Bonsey - long time colleague of Ian Douglas (and me), and Josiah Bonsey = to my brother Martyn - Josiah was the 14 year old who wept his heart out on my last Sunday at St . James's in 2006. - He has now graduated High School and later this year will be an undergrad at Harvard College.

Second  Steve, Elaine, Patricia, jmp and Bishop Ian Douglas,

Monday, 17 May 2010

When you are not on the first team

Sometimes I am a “pinch hitter” (U.S.A.) / “first reserve” (U.K. and British Commonwealth) in the lives of my friends, or in the events they plan.

‘Tis truly O.K. It’s better to be a faithful pinch hitter/first reserve than to be ignored entirely.

“Better to be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the wicked” (or so the psalm writer says).

Sunday, 16 May 2010

With a voice of singing

I first began to sing some 60 years ago as a little boy at Greenbank Infants’ School on Bristol, U.K.   

A bit later I began to enjoy singing between the ages of 9 and 11 at Eastville Junior Mixed School.

Then I learned to sing, first as a treble and then as a baritone at Fairfield Grammar School (1955-1960).

In my Priestly ministry I used my strong voice to “bring out” congregational singing in Fitchburg, Chicopee, Pittsfield and Cambridge (each town in Massachusetts).

Note that I said “my strong voice”.  Mine is not a great voice, but it is able to keep tune and have a powerful volume.

I’ve not sung in a choir on a regular basis since those FGS days (1955-1960).  

 True enough I have been a pinch hitter in each of those four congregations, but I’ve never had a sustained commitment to choral singing.  

 (I’ve always believed that my sight reading is poor, so I have shied away from joining local choral groups).

With the gracious encouragement of Seth Wertz, Director of Music at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Kay, FL, I have joined the summer choir there.

I sang with the choir this morning.  We rehearsed at 8:00 a.m. for a 9:00 a.m. service.  My sight reading was better than I’d thought, but I still have a problem with timing.

Despite this, I felt privileged and blessed to be singing again.  It felt so very wonderful to be part of a choir.

As I sang I thanked Mr. W.J. Richards, Music Master at Fairfield Grammar School for introducing me to the joys of choral music all those years ago.