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Showing posts from July, 2023

National Forest Way: Overseal to Hartshorne

This section took me past Conkers outdoor activity centre, an 11th-century spring, and a herd of alpacas. I entered Leicestershire several times, and promptly left again. Although the weather forecast threatened a soaking, I escaped with only a few light showers. Walk One I parked by the village hall in Overseal. It boasts some top-notch public toilets next door, although I was confused by the sign on them. Who plays golf in a public convenience? Setting off down the road, I passed the village school, with an old winding wheel outside. A right hand turn took me along a cycle path which led to Conkers. This area used to be a coal mine and railway tracks. It has been enthusiastically re-greened, with the obligatory sculptures, nature trails, and historical signage. The effect veers slightly towards nature-as-commodity; there's a sense of smugness that we, as humans, can destroy a landscape utterly and then put it back together again. Then again, it undoubtedly is  better than just le

The Scandal of Redemption: Spiritual Formation Book 9

"I do indeed fear God, and so I try to say only what he wants me to say, even if people don't want me to say what I'm saying." Oscar Romero was archbishop of San Salvador, capital of El Salvador, at a time when murder and torture were widespread in the country. After his friend and fellow priest Father Grande was killed by the government, Romero took a stand against the violence. Week after week, he used his pulpit and radio broadcasts to report the murders and disappearances; to call for the church to work for peace and justice; and to preach repentance and forgiveness even for the killers. He did this knowing that it would certainly lead to his death. In March 1980 he was shot as he celebrated Mass in the cathedral. The Scandal of Redemption collects together extracts from Romero's sermons and diaries. The chapter headings are short - The Church, The Call, Redemption, Liberation - and each chapter gives a flavour of Romero's thinking on the topic. A remarka

National Forest Way: Rosliston to Overseal

This section followed some very pleasant footpaths through woods and fields, down in the southern tip of Derbyshire. Toby and Theo joined me for the first, shorter, walk; I did the second larger loop by myself. Stage 8 of the NFW actually runs from Rosliston to Conkers, but I stopped a couple of kilometres short, in Overseal. Walk One It was a sunny Saturday. Perfect walking weather, I thought, but I hadn't realised it was also the day of the FA Cup Final. Toby was keen to make it back by 3pm for kick-off, which gave us quite a tight deadline to complete our hike. I certainly had no complaints about the boys dawdling! Coalmining sculpture at Rosliston We walked past some familiar landmarks at Rosliston Forestry Centre, then followed a path in a large curve around the edge of a wood. The route then crossed a classic summer wheatfield - green stalks and baked brown earth - to reach Penguin Wood . Sadly there were no native penguins; the trees were apparently planted in partnership w