Friday, 23 September 2016


I have taken to standing outside the back door of my house on the hill after it has gone dark. From there I can see the lights of towns up and down the north Lancashire coast. Lancaster, Morecambe, Heysham, Fleetwood and Blackpool. Amongst them are many different lights, yellow, red, white, small, large and, in the case of Blackpool Tower, flashing and glowing in all sorts of colours. Some of them are in steady rows, some alone in the blackness, others scattered randomly across the expanse. It is a beautiful sight.

Be a light in a dark place. Be beautiful. Be attractive. Be genuine. Be warm, but not lukewarm. Be concerned for the right things, but not worried for yourself. Be significant. Be sure. Hold fast and do not waver. Shine.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

My House is Burning

350 years since the Great Fire of London

The night is cold but the air is hot. The water is black but the flames are reflected red, yellow, orange, on the surface. Boat bound I watch my city burn, the smoke rising to the heavens. There are no more stars.
     Before, there were screams and shouts, now there is only the crackling and crashing of falling, burning timber and the distant wailing of women. The men are silent, they can only watch as everything they had is slowly taken from them. The sun will rise three times or more before this blaze goes out, but what can rise from so many ashes.
     My house is burning. Why? But there are some questions that can’t be answered. Sometimes the only thing to do is cry together, or stand together, or watch and wonder together, and talking can come later, or not at all. My house is burning, but my land remains, and we will raise yet greater wonders.

Pic. from the 1666 commemoration in London this month

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Moment the World Stood Still

The sun had passed the peak of its arc but still hung high, waiting to dip towards the distant horizon, while white clouds lazily crossed an ocean of blue sky. The people who hurried by slowed in their stride until they stopped altogether and the sound of chatter died to nothing.
     I stood up from my grassy bed, where I had lain all afternoon, and left my body behind. My spirit wandered amongst the people and I asked them, "where are you going?" but no one replied. "The sun may rise and fall and rise again, but what will you gain by rushing on through busy streets. There is not so much to be done. Just one thing is important now. Wash your clothes white and go through the city gates. In there is peace and the sun shines forever."
     I returned to my place on the grass but time did not pass on. Light filled the earth, glinting and making little shadows. A butterfly danced by and landed lightly, wings spread, unconcerned and there it stayed contented for hours, until finally the sun dipped once more and the people moved on.
     "Don't wait for another day," my spirit told them silently, "there will never be a better time than now."

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Western View

The rain has obscured my view. My view to the west from the top of the hill, over the plain to the Lune river and the embankment that runs from Heysham to Morecambe. A grey mist has descended on the trees and all I can see now is the football pitch below my vantage point where soggy players are departing after their Saturday afternoon match. Only dimly can I make out the nearest wind turbine, spinning clockwise in its regular, mesmerising way.
               Peering north there is absolutely no view of Morecambe Bay or the southern hills of the Lake District beyond. On a sunny day the fells show tantalisingly on the horizon. Being able to see them but not actually be there is like the few days before Christmas, excitement building inside.
               Today though there are only grey clouds, and not shades of grey, just one plain, pale silver, without the sparkle; stretching across the sky to the horizon and even down into the trees and reflecting off the damp roof tiles.
               It’s dark, too dark for the first weekend in September, (the wind turbine has now disappeared) but then autumn is coming. The view will soon change as the trees reveal their colours. And we, coming out of our summer haze, will think, ‘what’s next?’