April 2018


1st April


Gather gladness from the skies;

Take lesson from the ground:

Flowers do open their Heavenward eyes

And a spring-time joy is found;

Earth throws winter’s robes away,

Decks herself for Easter Day.


Seek God’s house in happy throng;

Crowded let his table be;

Mingle praises, prayer and song,

Singing to the Trinity.

Henceforth let your souls alway

Make each morn an Easter day.


Gerard Manley Hopkins


It has been raining periodically

during the last few days and our garden is flooded.


 The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400,

begins his poem with these words:

“When April with his showers sweet with fruit

The drought of  March has pierced unto the root

And bathed each vein with liquor that has power

To generate therein and sire the flower ...

Quickened again, in every holt and heath,

The tender shoots .....”


In our garden it has not been so.

Much of the ground is sodden and the bread,

which I carefully break up for the larger birds,

lands in puddles.

Fortunately the gulls,

now wearing black caps are less in evidence.


 Sunday 8th April

The Welsh hills are shrouded with mist.

Pigeons are pecking at the soft bread

I have just broken for them.

Cat Brunie is awaiting a second breakfast,

whilst I hope for inspiration

as I attempt to resume these monthly jottings !


Lacking inspiration I suddenly remembered

our prayer at supper time:

“As this bread was once

scattered upon the mountains,

and was gathered together

and became one,

so let your Church be gathered together

from the ends of the earth

into your kingdom.”

 Written by Bishop  Serapion of Antioch

c 190 -211


I had never really understood this prayer

but  today I suddenly realised that it was

a prayer for Christian unity .....

“ so let your Church be gathered together

from the ends of the earth

into your kingdom.” Amen

 We need to pray like this in a world

which is becoming more and more disrupted,

and seemingly broken, like

 the bread I scatter for the birds.



Some of the flowers given to us for Easter

by kind friends.


Monday 9th April

The Feast of the Annunciation

was celebrated today....

the actual day for this feast

was  24th of March but that was during Lent.

I have fond memories of my years in Florence,

and the artistic treasures to be found there,

including many paintings

by Fra Angelico.


 Fra Angelico: The Annunciation


Thursday 12th April

The day is dull, with the Welsh hills obscured.

The herring gulls wait on the chimney pots

for the bread broken for them.

Did the artists of old give the angels wings

so that they could fly down from heaven

to be among us ?


The following quotation from comes from

ISAIAH 6: 1-3

“In the year of  King Uzziah’s death

I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne...

Above him stood  seraphs, each with six wings:

two to cover its face,

two to cover its feet and two for flying;

and they were shouting these words to each other

Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh Sabaoth.

His glory fills the whole earth.”


The word ‘Angel’ is derived  from the

Greek word for messenger and the halo

represents virtue and innocence.

The wings represent an Angel’s role as

messenger travelling between

Heaven and Earth.

Originally Angels were not depicted with wings

and the earliest example of a

winged Angel in art is in a 5th century mosaic....


 Having written these words down

I realised that verbal imagery can be understood

by the writer but not necessarily by the reader.

In the same way mosaics can be understood by the artist

but can be  interpreted

 quite differently by those who look at them.


  We are now in mid April.


Herring Gull


The seagulls, having grown their black caps,

have left us.

It is now the season of the herring gull,

those majestic birds which wait

on the top of chimney pots

looking for the scattering of food.

They appear to be more timid than the black-capped gulls.

Today a duck and  drake emerged from the bushes

 somewhat anxiously looking for bread.


19th April

We had a mini heat-wave yesterday

which will probably last for a few days.


Sister Christopher took cat Cornflake

on a visit to our vet yesterday -

Cornflake had been fighting with another cat -

and  Ben drove them both home.

I had been told that Ben would like to see our garden.

We walked around together and I gave a him

a mini commentary on how the garden

 had been changed since 1989,

the year in which our now small Talacre Abbey

community arrived here.

(For some years it had been the residence

of an Ursuline community,

some of whom I had met at University several years earlier.)

Ben enjoyed seeing it, and mentioned that

the houses on Curzon Park North -

where his father lives - do not have

such lovely spacious gardens.


The tulips are filling parts of the garden

with radiant colour,

taking over from the daffodils.

Small trees are in bloom,

and the first daisies are flowering.


Wishing you every blessing

now and always