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Showing posts from August, 2023

Supercars and Selfies on the South Coast

We drove south on a wet, wet Saturday in August. The windscreen wipers swished endlessly back and forth, as we debated whether it was worth stopping anywhere except for the overcrowded motorway services. By the time we reached Winchester, the wipers had subsided to an occasional flick across the screen. We decided to stop. Of course, as soon as we left the car park there was a brief shower, but we ducked into the City Mill, now a National Trust property. There was a large room full of the usual kind of displays about flour milling; a recently renovated garden; and downstairs, the mill race running at full tilt. The mill is built right across the River Itchen. Winchester City Mill garden The mill race Water wheel (awaiting renovation) We stayed dry as we explored further into Winchester. There was even some blue sky for our selfie by the cathedral! But as we walked back to the car the rain hit us like a hose on full blast. An overhanging building provided some slight shelter, but the wa

Reading for Spiritual Formation 2023-24

I wasn't sure whether to read another set of theology books this year. Could the time I spend on it be better spent on something else? At what point does it become reading for the sake of it, without having much impact on my wider life? It's difficult to tell. However, as usual, I had a growing list of books I wanted to read. I do need to think about what I'm doing as well as what I'm reading, and I don't expect to continue this specific discipline indefinitely. But I decided there was space for at least one more year of Reading for Spiritual Formation. So, without further soul-searching: The Books. Three Mile an Hour God Kosuke Koyama Japanese theologians are few and far between; Christianity is still very much a niche religion in Japan. Kosuke Koyama was Japanese and appears to be both influential and accessible. Not every theologian is both! So I'm excited to read his recently republished book Three Mile an Hour God. It was originally written in 1979, and is

National Forest Way: Hartshorne, Foremark, Calke Abbey

At Blackfordby the National Forest Way is barely two miles from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, but it then takes a big loop northwards to take in the area around Ticknall village. This is somewhat unnecessary for me, since Foremark Reservoir and Calke Abbey are my local territory. That's where we go when we just want a quick family outing. It's a pretty part of the world though - rolling fields and occasional sweeping views. Always worth another visit. view near Ticknall Walk 1 I parked in Hartshorne with a big black cloud lurking ominously in the west. Sure enough, just as I reached an open field, the rain came hammering down. This was my first proper soaking of the entire Way. I squelched through the woods in Carvers Rocks nature reserve, which are still nice even in the rain, and followed the path next to Foremark Reservoir. Just as I reached the car park and cafe, the sun came out.  Sailing dinghies went merrily to and fro on the lake. All was right with the world. wet woods Carvers Ro