Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keep Awake!

Advent Sunday is a great day in the calendar we have stepped into the season of anticipation. Today has been especially so.

It's been bitterly cold with snow falling outside it was good to be cosily enclosed in St Mary's on the Harbour. A few had braved the elements and slippery roads to celebrate the beginning of the season.

Each year I am thankful for living quite a long way north in the Northern Hemisphere as its dark nights and shorter days seem to add to the season. Castletown is Latitude N 54° 07' 24" Longitude W 04° 06' 14" so the days are short and will get shorter as we approach the Christmas day. This mornings alarm clock was a rude awakening and served as a stark reminder of what Advent is about - we must not be tempted to press the snooze button! We do not know when He will return. Will we be ready?

In preparation for today I stumbled across this site. It's well worth a look ...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big Silence

Our recent visit to the Borders, of Scotland allowed us to do the touristy bit. The ruins of abbeys are treasures waiting to be discovered. The monks of Melrose have left many traces to explore and savour. Here generations of faithful lived out their calling and left their marks. There are traces of a lively community and many little side chapels with their separate piscines - each a place for particular prayer. I was reminded that silence is a treasured part of monastic life.

Perhaps in an effort to seal out the rush and puff of everyday activity a wall was built between the religious enclosure and that of the lay people. I wondered what it would have been like living near the monastry in another age.

In the wall there is a doorway through which you would have had to pass get to the monks 'enclosure' - overhead as you cross the threshold there is this image ofChrist's face - reminding me of St Patrick's Breaastplate.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Recent mini series entitled 'The Big Silence' saw a handful of people, whose very busy lives meant they had little or no time to discover peace and quiet, introduced to silence first of Worth Abbey and then to the Retreat House of St Buenos. Each found refreshment and encounter.

The above average temperature, superb seasonal colours and glorious autumn sun were all combined to refresh and encourage this pilgrim.


Have just deleted accidently the post I was working on!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


On our recent visit across I lost my little wallet! We had stopped off in Knutsford Services for a cuppa, comfort break and a short walk,
around the perimeter for Wizzy to investigate the smells. Juggling paper cups, car keys and dog, I put the wallet on the roof of the car.

Two hours later, in the Cotswolds, I realised what I'd done - phoned the police and services - and then cancelled the cards.

On our return I found a padded envelope which included the wallet and this note:
Found your wallet in the carpark of a service station on the M6 but unfortunately I couldn't find you or an Isle of Man car.
I realise that you have probably cancelled them but here they are and you can at least be sure that they are safe and unused.
Kind regards,
Am so delighted to have it back, and to be on the receiving end of the kindness of 'Paul' - He did not address his note so am unable to contact him. Nevertheless - Thank you Paul.

Worth remembering that there as some truly thoughtful people around.

Friday, October 22, 2010


This years' season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has been delightful. The colours so deep, rich and warm. It has always puzzled me that some don't like this time of year. It can be cold and windy ... but the scenery makes up for so much.

The first verse of Keats poem to Autumn, which my husband loves and often quotes at this time of year:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

The tranquility of Dryburgh Abbey managed to reach deeply into my heart - refreshing those neglected corners. It's easy to understand why the monks of old, saints from earlier centuries, chose this place for contemplation and prayer. Though the ravages of the reformation and conflict have left ruins, the timelessness marks of the Creator remain. In our very busy lives - some might say too busy lives it is good to take time aside for restoration. Here is a place to which I will return.

Even Wizzy was delighted with her outing - we were furnished with a special biodegradable doggie poo bag!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Ivor's Lawley Tender

She sits neatly on the water, and has a grace that arises from both craftsmanship and design.
Her owners have named her Zephyr - a light Easterly wind. Appropriate name for a tiny vessel that glides almost effortlessly over the water.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bless this Boat

Two years of training at the IYRS in Newport RI has finally come to fruition. Patience in abundance, hours of fun and loads of new skills have been honed. Today this pretty Lawley Tender has been blessed and launched. Ivor and his current workmate Beattie have put in four or five hundred hours from March to today.

Her intricate design has been augmented with beautiful finishing touches - inset brass fittings, hand made screws and layers and layers of varnish add to the overall beauty.

A good day to launch with some family - to celebrate good friends around along with a bottle of champagne and a laurel wreath courtesy of the owners! Bless this boat and all her journeying.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Still Here

It's been a while since the last posting. I assure you I am still here.

They say this has been the coldest winter for 30 years. It HAS been perishing. Even today a walk out with Wizzy and hubby meant putting on layers upon layers of clothing to keep from getting cold. I had so much on I think I must have looked like the michelin man!

It's been quite a contrast to last winter. Then we were battered almost constantly with storms and this year it's been loads of snow. I haven't got a close up photo of the recent snow, but here's one taken during a foray 'north' when the Mountain Road was open.

There's still much snow on the mountains, and I don't think the road has reopened.

The prolonged winter-wonderland has delayed many spring flowers. Although there are snow drops to be seen, these brave souls are by the river in Ballasalla, our daffodils have only managed to push their leaves through into the open air and we still await those buds which hold springs' promise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Favourite Hymn

Which would you chose? Over the years there have been many favourites. Each special markers along the pathway of faith. One particularly is - O Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end. The first line characterises the response to The Call.

As I moved to my last post I chose the terrific 21st century one - In Christ Alone - the words resonate with the ministry I was called to exercise in that place, as well as the move to this place.
In Christ Alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

It's taken time to see clearly the Hand of God in all that took place, and to be thankful for the experience. Yesterday we sang this song again in St Mary's on the Harbour. Minutes later I was greeted by a lovely manxwoman, visiting her sister here, who now lives close to our last Vicarage. New to that area, she has become very active in one of the prayer groups there. Jean brought greetings and encouragement from my many sisters there.

New Computer - New Comprehension Required!

After 5 years my laptop has finally had to be consigned to the games corner.

This new one has the up-to-date programmes which seem to be rather baffling. How do save a document that has been changed without losing the original? It must be a simple process.

Eeekkkk have prematurely posted this too.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fog and No Papers - Saturday

The papers did not arrive on the island today. The reason given - the fog across. It seems the Ben My Chree was turned back from Heysham last night, having approached the harbour, and waited for the fog to lift. Instead of lifting the fog worsened, so the Ben returned to her home port, Douglas (without papers, I guess).

We've had a truly beautiful day here, with clouds hovering along the horizon and over the mountains. Without the papers to distract, it has been lovely to be able to potter, get on with things and to think and pray.

Update ~ Sunday arrived and so did two lots of papers. Hubby almost swamped by newsprint!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


As I settled into my morning quiet time, I found myself turning to, and pondering on, Psalm 21. As I read, and reread, I became aware of the awesome majesty and splendour of the Lord and how his purposes do not return empty, but full. There have been miracles in abundance.

I have, indeed, been granted the desire of my heart ... to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. I am not physically in an ancient church, my spirit rejoices as I know, in my heart, I am there.

Although the pathway I have been set upon has been extremely difficult at times, and occasionally seemed impassable, there have been some exceptional moments. These have served as signposts along the way, without which I would not have survived.

All this, and more, was a part of my morning's preparation. When I turned to the readings set for this morning, I discovered the set Psalm was 21! I laughed aloud in celebration ~ reminded, once again, of His glorious power, am humbled.

Go before us, Lord Christ,
with blessings of your goodness
and guide all those you call to authority
in the way of your justice
the knowledge of your liberty
and wisdom of your gentleness
for your Name's sake. Amen
This is the prayer below this psalm in Celebrating Common Prayer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snow Time

Happy New Year - Belatedly

Really didn't expect to be away from the internet for quite so long. We became snow bound, like so many across Britain, and repeatedly took refuge away from the cold and ice, by the fire.

The wintry weather created all kinds of chaos, while at the same time there were some terrific sights. Flocks of garden visitors arrived, each busy trying to find food. The snow allows us to see the marks of all kinds of the wildlife we rarely see. I was particularly taken by the tiny footprints of one foraging bird who had taken refuge in the lee of a wall away from the wind. Wizzy loved pushing her nose in the snow exploring the curious white fluff, and then went charging around in her 'nutty-dog' manner.

Life has to be lived slowly but surely in icy conditions and the blanket of snow muffles all sounds. Thoroughly enjoyed the snow-time, away from the frenetic activities that mark our 21st century culture, it was accompanied by many little epiphanies as well as great connections with family and friends.