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

Chicken Soup For The Soul

I have recently been watching a Netflix series called “The Good Place” and it is hilarious.  The premise is a young woman called Eleanor ends up in a form of heaven by mistake and the ramifications in the fabric of the universe cause physical disasters. Anyway, in one scene there is a perfect restaurant where [...]

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

Remember Horse Liniment is Hot!

The Old Victorian Market hall in Bilston, which was an important place in my childhood I remember my granddad, Thomas Henry Cartwright was a big man.  6ft tall, and when I remember him, quite fat.  He loved food (obviously) singing hymns, my nan and of course his four precious grand-children: Barbara, Paul, Jane [...]

By | November 3rd, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Dolly Tubs and Reckit’s Blue faded but still a memory

My mum and dad aged about 19 & 20 about a year or so before I was born I have quite a good memory of my early childhood and in contrast to what most psychologists would  say, I see the memories through my own eyes and they are not constructs.  When I was [...]

By | October 10th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Why is good but doesn’t tell the whole story

James Henry Massey aged 86 cuddling his great grand daughter, Imogen I have been a member of  ever since I had an attack of vertigo a few years’ ago and couldn’t leave the sofa without falling over.  Over the course of two days I built my family tree and found out some [...]

By | October 6th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Molly’s Story – the autobiography that got away

Molly Holdridge (nee Towse) 1913-2008 kind to everyone, but especially animals. If only we had her  autobiography. The woman in the centre of the picture  above with the wavy blond hair and glasses is Molly Holdridge ne Towse who was my mother in law. I think this photograph was taken around 1927/8 when she would have [...]

By | October 1st, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

25% off for the first person to confirm booking

  I am really busy, but not with the writing I want to do and that is your autobiography! The first person to book their autobiography  with me between now and 1/12/16 will receive 25% off the writing costs of their story AND I guarantee delivery of it for you before Christmas.  What are you [...]

By | September 29th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments