Friday, 13 November 2015

Nearing au revoir time for family. Filled with gratitude

My family members (sisters Maureen and Jean, brother-in-laws Bernard and John) will return to the U.K. tomorrow.

Their time here has been simply wonderful.  It's been so much better than I expected, and it exceeded their expectations far beyond their hopes.

They have enjoyed SRQ to the full. They have a deeper understanding of why this has become my home.

We have enjoyed each other very, very much -   with some useful serious conversations; with an enormous amount of humour; and with fond and funny recollections of family memories.

(Maureen, Jean and I are part of a family with ten children, so we have many memories).

*Jack and Donna Chrisman were gracious hosts as we enjoyed a splendid dinner at their home. 'Twas such a sweet and joyful evening.

*Fred and Diana Emrich "treated" us to a lovely lunch at the Dry Dock on Longboat Key.  I arranged the seating so that the men were at one end of the table and the women at the other end.  This enabled two discrete lunch time conversations.  My family members were utterly enchanted to meet and converse with Fred and Diana.  It was a memorable lunch.

*We were all tickled pink to meet up with our first cousin  Janet at the Fort DeSoto County Park.

* Maureen, Bern, Jean and John were entirely impressed with  St. Boniface Church,  and my two "big sisters" got teary eyed when they heard me preach.

*All this plus Myakka River State Park (twice), the Ringling Art Museum, a train ride in Parrish, a tour of downtown SRQ - including our lovely Bayfront Park, a condo right on Crescent Beach  -----  and the list goes on!


At 4:30 p.m we celebrated our joy with an "early bird" dinner at Turtles on the Bay, ("early birds"  eat from a simplified menu with lower prices) - The food was excellent (three of us had rib-eye steak, two had baby back pork ribs.)  Each of us was well pleased with the food and we so much enjoyed eating outside,  with a lovely view of the Intra-Coastal Waterway.


At 8:00 a.m.on Saturday 14th the five of us will gather for a valedictory breakfast at my favourite local Cafe "Alma's Kouzine"

At 9:15 a.m. Maureen, Jean, John and Jean will board a mini-bus taxi from my home for their journey to TPA,  from there to fly via ATL to AMS, and from thence to BRS.

At about 9:45 .a.m. I will take myself to SRQ for a 24 hour visit to ATL.  The timing for my ATL trip is not perfect, coming as it does at the end of a busy and joy filled visit by my family members.

However there are excellent reasons for my trip,  about which I will tell you on Monday.


In the meantime I will indulge in some teary eyed sadness as I contemplate the farewells to my family members tomorrow,

An Eagle  (perhaps nesting) on the roof of a building next door to my folks' condo on Crescent Beach

Bern, Maureen, Jean and John on the Lanai at their condo. (1)

Bern, Maureen, Jean and John on the Lanai at their condo. (2)

After our "early bird" dinner at Turtles on the bay.

Maureen, Bern. jmp,, John, Jean outside Turtles.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Half -inches reunion

Our mother's birth name was Evelyn Maud FINCH

One of her brothers, Walter Charles FINCH, was the father of my first cousin Janet who visits south west Florida every year.'

Janet lives in Bristol U.K.  as do my sisters Maureen and Jean who are currently visiting me (with their husbands Bern and John respectively).

Of course, since Janet is a one of my first cousins, she is also first cousin to my sisters.

Although they live in the same City, they rarely see each other, the most recent time being in 2009 at a celebration of my 65th birthday in Bristol.

That was the case until today.   Janet traveled from her time share at Treasure Island, FL.

We traveled from SRQ.  

We met at the wonderful Fort DeSoto County Park.  There we enjoyed a picnic lunch,

Janet, my brother-in-law John,  and I had a swim in the warm November waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

It tickles me pink that the first cousins Janet, Maureen and Jean got to see each other for the first time in six years, not in Bristol U.K., but in a County Park in S.W. Florida.

My wacky sense of humour noted that since we each are half Finch descendants (via Janet's Dad and our Mum) -   we are in fact  half inches.

Half inches (1) at Fort DeSoto County Beach

Half Finch cousins all.  L - R Maureen, jmp, Jean and Janet 

( P.S. I see Janet and her partner Steve every year when they visit their time shares, one in Treasure Island, the other on Longboat Key).

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

History? Ben Carson needs to go back to school.

Via my Facebook friend Peter C.


Jamelle Bouie is the person who posted the comment.  I do not know him/her  but I like her/his comment.   jmp

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My 8th Nov Sermon (and our family SRQ day)

I was afforded the privilege of preaching at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL on Nov 8th.

That gave me especial joy 'cause my sisters Maureen and Jean and their husbands  (visiting from the U.K.)  were in the congregation.

The entire service is now available for viewing at:

or if that link does not work, go to:

Click on Worship, Scroll down to Weekly Services. Scroll down to Sermons. View the service and sermon for Nov 8th.

FAMILY MEMBERS -  at the very beginning when the camera is focused on the Altar and the organ is playing,  you will see the rear view of the upper torsos of Bern (yellow shirt) and John (blue shirt).

FOR ALL The sermon itself begins at 20:04 minutes.


TODAY WAS AN SRQ DAY for the folks (the following references may well not be clear for non-SRQ readers).

I drive them through "The Meadows" so that they could see a well designed and landscaped "community"  with its various "villages".

We viewed the Nathan Benderson Park  (soon to be the venue for World Championship rowing.

We went down to Pinecraft, Sarasota's Amish/Mennonite  enclave and drove the side streets to view the simple and modest Amish/Mennonite homes.  see

We drove to our wonderful Bayfront Park and took a pleasant stroll on a warmish day, with a lovely cooling breeze.

As we looked across to the Marina Jack's complex I remembered that I had taken Bern and Maureen's daughter Anne (with her husband Stuart and their daughter Olivia to Marina Jack's for lunch a few years ago)

Then it was a quick trip via Palm Ave to see the pleasant west end of Main St with its "human scaled"  one or two storied buildings, then back via 2nd street to see our lovely Selby Library, and or gorgeous Opera House.

Back on the Tamiami Trail we took a wee detour to see the architecturally wonderful Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

A world class 1,761 seat performing arts theater. The facility was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son-in-law. The lavender and purple color scheme was selected by Wright's widow Olgivanna Lloyd Wright

Then it was up to Captain Brian's Restaurant (near the airport) where we each enjoyed a delicious lunch and I introduced my sisters to "Grouper" (a super local fish).  We were there at about 1:30 p,m,, so Captain Brian's was un-crowded , and not a bit noisy.

I drove them back to my place via the Indian Shores neighbourhood, an older "upscale" area with lots of lovely bungalows, and not very many McMansions.  I will move there when my ship comes home.

Then, purposefully and deliberately I drove back home via Martin Luther King Way, an east/west road which goes through SRQ's "majority black" neighbourhood called Newtown.

I did so because it friggin' well pisses me off"  that many of my white "so called liberal" friends will not use MLK Way  because they believe  it is "dangerous",

That's bull-shitting white liberal nonsense. In truth many of them refuse to use MLK way not because it is supposedly dangerous, but because it's a road through a majority black community.

So much for liberal hypocrisy.


That aside, (and before steam comes out of my ears)  I end by saying that it was fun to give my folks a guided tour during which they could enjoy a bit of the real SRQ

Monday, 9 November 2015

Party time with family continues........

My sisters Maureen and Jean, with their husbands Bern and John went  to the Myakka River State Park this morning and took the air-boat ride.  They saw a score or so alligators, and  eagles, ospreys, and so many other gorgeous birds.


After a quiet afternoon they came to my home for dinner.  At first we chatted for a while about British Political History in our era.

Bern and I have good memories, so we led the talk about some of the currents in British political life before and during our lifetimes, e.g.

1. Why Churchill suffered a great political defeat in 1945 (Bern remembers that the women of Knowle West, Bristol chased  Churchill out  of their neighbourhood);

* American readers might want to learn why Churchill was so unpopular after WW II

2. the reforming 1945-1951 government led by Clement Atlee;

3. the end of the Churchill era  (1955),

4, the Suez debacle (1956) ,

5. the fabulous working class leaders such as Aneurin (NY) Bevan, his wife Jennie Lee, and the great Bristol area boy Ernie Bevin, who as a kid sold firewood to support his family and became a leader in Churchill's war time cabinet:  See  this from the "web":

In 1940 Bevin was appointed minister of labour by Winston Churchill in the wartime coalition government, and he shortly afterwards became member of parliament for Central Wandsworth. This appointment proved to be one of Churchill's most imaginative and effective actions as premier. Bevin succeeded in transforming Britain into a total war economy, in which all human and material resources were focused on the war effort.

N.B.  Don't tell a soul that Bevin was a Socialist.

Sister Maureen was fascinated by our conversation which matched her own memories. 

Brother-in-law John learned a lot  - he admitted that he knew very little about this era in U.K. political history. 

Brother-in-law Bern and I were tickled pink as we reminisced about the political events which shaped our lives.  What fun it was for he and I to re-enforce or correct each others' memories.


Then  ---  at last --- I cooked dinner.

We ate:

Roasted baby potatoes,

Steamed green beans (with the crunchy factor intact)

Corn (off the cob), simmered with Fava beans (known as Broad beans in the U.K).

and poached wild salmon (with a roasted chicken thigh for Bern, who not a great fan of salmon).

As the "chef"  I was less than pleased with my cooking.

As guests, M, B, J and J uttered flattering comments!


AFTER DINNER Maureen, Jean and I prattled on about our memories of growing up as Povey kids in east Bristol, U.K.

This was family "chat" at its best.  We remembered the hard times. We laughed about the silly times.


Brother in law Bern in in his 80's.

Maureen, Jean, brother in law John,  and I are in our 70's.

We are each at the age when we know that to "shuff off our mortal coil(s)"  is not a vague theory. 

Indeed it is an utter certainty.  

Therefore this is indeed  the time for us to remember the hard times, to laugh about the silly times, to be grateful for all that is good in our family history -  and most of all to be so very thankful for our Dad and Mum -  Henry John Povey and Evelyn Maud Finch.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Church and friends

The Bristol folks came to St. Boniface Church this morning.  They received a warm welcome and they liked the service.

I was privileged to preach.   My sermon (video) will be on line in a day or two -  I'll ldt you know when it is posted.

This evening we had a lovely dinner with St. Boniface folks, Jack (the Revd) and Donna Chrisman, and Andi (the Revd) Taylor

Jack, Donna and Andi were in Bristol this summer, (Jack and DFonna for a family wedding, Andi on her sabbatical leave. and got to spend time then with my bro. Martyn, his wife Wendy, together with Maureen and Bernard.  So our dinner this evening was a Bristol reunion of sorts.

Bristol reunion.  Bern, Maureen, Andi, Donna, Jack
Jean and John met Andi, Donna and Jack for the first time.

Donna with her summer wedding hat.  She and Wendy bought this at Debenhams Store in Bristol.