Monday, 11 May 2015


I really need to make the effort to at least try and do something constructive. About a week or so ago I conceived a worthwhile project but, apart from some preliminary sketches, I have done nothing and time is waning fast. I'll be fifty to-morrow...not really but I don't want to get to fifty and realise I didn't do a blessed thing with my life. I've always wanted to influence people in a unique way. The trouble is, while I have the airs and graces of a genius, I have no talent and seem apt simply to lie on my bed in a drunken stupor while the books I had meant to read, the knitting needles, the sewing machine and the keyboard all gather dust and I slowly put on weight. Who knows, maybe I will in fact win my bet with the future and fall off the roof or something. Until that day, I am resolved to do something other than eat, drink and sleep. To that end, I am conscious that two messages to friends asking their advice in this matter have been studiously ignored so it seems that I am on my own. That is always a bad sign as I have always needed the coercion and pace set by others to produce the best work. Working at my own pace is not work, it is indolence.

Pray for me!

The photo needs some explanation. Someone said of me recently that I'm a misogynist. That is not true. In my room there are three posters of Audrey Hepburn, a lady I hold almost as much in awe as the Blessed Virgin herself. Maybe it's just hideous, domineering women I dislike? Some cynical readers might point to my being queer as the reason for my conflicted relationship with the fairer sex. After all, I can't think of anything more disgusting than certain aspects of a woman's body. But my attitude is not shallow. I am not a materialist, insofar as that is possible for a human being, and try to look beyond appearances. Audrey had a beautifully slender body, a face (a funny face!) dearer than wine and a voice as melodious and sweet as a spring in the hills. But she was also kind, loving, gentle, without guile, extraordinarily accomplished and genuinely wise. A much better person, and better Christian (she was a lifelong Calvinist...sorry Sister Luke!), than I could ever hope to be.

Of course, I hold other women in esteem too. Dame Ninette de Valois, for example, or, less famously but personally significant, Mrs Granden my Latin teacher; my Irish grandmother. And, unlike Mr McCririck, I wouldn't insist that any of them travel second class. Does that make me a misogynist, I wonder?


  1. Dear Patricius,

    Do please get over yourself. You assume that because people do not immediately respond to your requests, that they are displaying contempt for you. This may not in fact be the case. Things take time.

    I, on the other hand, have not been able to work either with or on my weblog, not because I do not wish to do so, but because I have spent the last several months trying to get help for my wife, who is suffering from metastatic cancer of the breast which has progressed into the bones of her lower spine, her upper spine, and her sternum (what I believe is called the breast bone). In fact, I was told that in the event that she should suffer a cardiac arrest, that it would be better to let her die, because the process of trying to revive her would crush her chest and kill her outright.

    I would suggest instead that you take courage from Tolkien’s plight. Most of those who served with him in the First World War died there. Go on from there, as he did. Acknowledge those who died before you. Strive to do something good. I shall attempt to do the same.

  2. Please forgive me. My last entry should have gone to your offering entitled "Update".

    1. I don't think Blogger can transfer comments to their intended place so here it must stay.

      Bernard, thank you for commenting. A cold cup of reality is always welcome, and I don't mean that facetiously. I am sorry for your wife's troubles. Beyond that I am not sure what to say without coming across as insensitive. It would be hypocritical of me to say that I shall pray for her, as I have always made it plain that I do not really pray. I might recite a few well-established prayers or a psalm with a fair intention but my relationship with the Almighty has been cold, at best, for most of my life. Suffice it to say instead that I hold you both in mind, continually, and wish you both well.

  3. "Lord, help me to pray!" also counts as prayer. You have no idea how delighted God is with the most pathetic attempt. Like any good father, He is exceedingly pleased when His children make their first attempts at crawling. He'll be there at your side constantly, helping you to crawl, walk and eventually run. Do try, my dear Patricius. And do not forget that there are those of us out there who think of you and pray for you regularly.