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I’m Lovin’ Angels Instead

Most people who know me are aware that I am a person of faith, but one who struggles with the concept of Heaven. As a biologist and a committed Darwinist, I have read up and tried to get a better understanding of what this means for me.  Michael Ruse book on this topic was very [...]

By | November 20th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

For Imogen

You, our firstborn are getting married in a little under two weeks. As is the tradition, my husband as father of the bride will get to give the wedding speech whilst I look on silently, as you know this isn’t a usual habit of mine. We never had speeches at our wedding so my experience [...]

By | August 14th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Thankfully, safe!

Last night I was woken from my sleep by my son Tom yelling at me that the house was on fire. The memory, still like a “flashbulb” moment was terrifying. We rushed downstairs in our nightclothes and after shutting the door to the integrated garage (the seat of the fire),  I picked up the phone [...]

By | August 9th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Keeping volunteers gruntled

I spend a lot of my increased leisure time indulging my twin passions of animals and heritage. The former makes me travel all the way to Plankendael, Belgium to see their wombat. The latter brings me into contact with many people who give their time and skills to make the world a better place and in return gain [...]

By | July 26th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscar, Mindfulness in Action

  Robin Hood’s Bay is less of a bay in the sense of English seaside resort and more of a crack in the edge of the smooth rolling Yorkshire Moors landscape down which the old town has slid into place. The arrangement of homes and shops at first glance, appear to be more in the [...]

By | July 18th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Advice to anyone suffering stalking or harassment

      Well this current period of creepy stalking has gone on for 11 months now. It started with an email asking me to write his mum’s biography and then when I refused a whole torrent of abuse came my way and it was linked to everything you could find about me on the [...]

By | July 2nd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Hull 10k a day for all sorts of heroes

Today I watched something remarkable yet commonplace. 5000 people took to the streets of Hull in the 9th Jane Tomlinson memorial 10k road race. There is nothing unusual about 10k races. They are everywhere, and if you are that way inclined you can run one practically every weekend from April to October, wherever you [...]

By | June 10th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Being stalked hurts

Years ago, whilst I was a student I attended a Quaker meeting in Birmingham. Like most religious gatherings there was a social element to it. They were nice people and sometimes we used to share a meal on Sundays. My first husband and I would go to the Barrow family’s home for lunch. Corbyn, who [...]

By | April 27th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Atonement is good for me.

I love Easter more than Christmas, probably because it coincides with the bursting to life of buds and flowers; birds making nests and singing loudly; beautiful little animals and more sun! But for me there is a spiritual connection and that is hope for new life and not just baby animals. I know that my God loves me and understands the whole of me, good and bad. I am not big on dogma and I have always struggled with the concept of the angry God needing to be avenged on the human race, demanding a living sacrifice for being the way we were created – curious, intelligent, with a somewhat warped sense of survival which can sometimes be turned to cruelty, violence, selfishness and hate. As a biologist, palaoecologist and a lover of fossils the stories at the beginning of Genesis to me are just that – our search for meaning and answers to the big questions.  So when people tried to explain Easter to me in terms of repayment of a debt created by stealing of a symbolic apple, it just doesn’t make sense and insults my intelligence, which I believe was given to me by the grace of God. Like all humans, I have tried to answer the big questions and whilst I acknowledge the massive influence of culture, my grandparents, mum and growing up living next door to the vicar, I have developed a way of making meaning of my faith. If you are an eternal, omnipotent, being who like any parent loves the little ones they care for, the ability to understand them in the weakness of their tiny, brief lives, never having been human must have been a tall order and nigh on impossible. By becoming human and living with them, helping them to become the best they can be and, in the end, suffering the loneliness of a painful and humiliating death means that God is humbled and can empathise with the human condition even the loneliness of death- that sad height which we face alone. This is what atonement means for me: at-one-ment becoming one together. The gap between humans and God removed. Then comes Easter. A new beginning if we want it. Where all the stupidity, ambiguous morality and badness is washed away, a fresh new start and a sign that perhaps death is not the end. I still don’t know in my honest heart about the resurrection of ordinary people like me from the death. As a biologist I wonder at the pragmatic aspects such as when did we become “human” enough to be resurrected? what about babies born with anencephaly? What makes us so special when cetaceans exist intelligently without destroying God’s creation as we do? I am content for there to be mystery. But the Easter story is a powerful one and versions of it exist in so many religions and cultures of God coming down, sharing our lives and wanting to connect with humans to demonstrate love and care. The stories we tell are culture bound but to be sure, Atonement isn’t just a Christian theme. For me bought up with Christian stories and worship it is a powerful touchstone to renew my life; to work and hope for better things in the world. I wish you a happy Easter and whether you have faith or not, I hope that this Easter will refresh you and bring you joy and a sense of at-one-ment with your spiritual self.  He is Risen Indeed, Allelujah! […]

By | April 1st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Inspirational Love

A trilobite from Wren's Nest known as the "Dudley Bug" When I read the autobiographies of famous people I am struck by the vivid language they use to describe childhood experiences which have stayed with them into their adult life.  Some recount intellectual arguments around a dinner table, meeting the clever friends of [...]

By | October 27th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments