Category Archives: Love and friendship

Woman’s strength

Watching our daughter and her husband bring up our first grandchild, now a year old, fills me with awe.  So this is where women’s strength and grasp of the essential comes from.  They are the qualities in any mother most … Continue reading

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Village obligations

I’m still rejoicing, a month after moving our home to a village where we have always wanted to live.  Every day, it seems, discloses some interesting alley or tucked-away square, offers new social opportunities, brings a new friend.  People hail … Continue reading

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Poems by Rumi

Until last month, I confess, I had never even heard of the Persian poet and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Dïn Muhammad Rumi, ‘Mawlana‘ (1207-1273).  I am indebted to Estelle Gillingham for her recently quoting the great philosopher online.  From Rumi’s extensive … Continue reading

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In praise of French women

An Englishman visiting Paris in 1801 pauses in his description of people and places to insert a prose aria on the intelligence and feeling he has observed in French women.

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Paulo Coelho on love

For St Valentine’s Day, a bitter-sweet meditation on love by the Brazilian writer and philosopher Paulo Coelho: “But love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a … Continue reading

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Lost love

When we are offered the chance of love, we don’t always take it.  There are various reasons we fool ourselves with, chiefly pride and a want of generosity and response. It’s all there in one of my favourite poems, Brian … Continue reading

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Royal wedding

Over the past few years I’ve chopped and changed my views about the monarchy.  Surely a republic would be more suitable now, especially if it brought in with it a clearer statement of our democratic rights?  But then, I love … Continue reading

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Beauty at the court of Louis XV

The Duc de Saint-Simon (1675 – 1755), the greatest gossip of the age, pauses in his voluminous memoirs of the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV to describe his friend the Regent, Philippe II d’Orléans, and to praise a … Continue reading

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Roger Thacker, priest, 1947 – 2010

The life and work of an exceptional Anglican pastor in West London, Roger Thacker, will be remembered by many people with gratitude at and after the memorial service for him in Hammersmith. Continue reading

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Lord, it’s time

A favourite Rilke poem for September, with a free translation by Rimboval: Autumn day Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß. Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren, und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los. Befiehl den letzten … Continue reading

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