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Back Again

11 July 2013

At last I am connected to my blog again! As I totter into my dotage I am finding it harder and harder to maintain regular  individual correspondence, so a blog is a great way to stay in touch and to let everyone know what we’ve been up to.

We’ll be up at Bowenfels again later, doing some locum work for the parish there, renewing friendships from past times in that delightful area. Great people, those mountain folk!

The only slight problem of course is the fact that we will be exchanging the mild winter enjoyed by us Lake Macquarie-ites for the harsher mountain clime, with ice and snow not uncommon. All the same, it’s a very healthy place to live.

From September, while Rev David Campbell is on LSL, I’ll be looking after St Andrew’s Newcastle, (always qualifying that of course, with the understanding that there are no hiccups, such as my unexpected demise, or occasional attacks of galloping consumption or creeping paralysis). All things being equal, it means that the rest of the year is taken up with some part-time ministry in parishes.

Anyway, Janet and I thought that we should let you know something of our doings since last I wrote.

We have had a busy sort of a year to date in many ways. It’s mainly been to do with the book-writing of course.

As I write, the latest book: The Ness Fireside Book of God Ghosts Ghouls and other true stories has been out a week, and so far the demand for it has been encouraging. I was amazed to find that writing it, and getting all the information, was quite draining – either that, or I’m getting old.

I’ve been able to get this one done for a slightly cheaper rate, although it’s slightly larger than the other books. It’s on the market for  a trifling $15, plus postage which is $5 for one book, or $10 for two books. (Those are the PO prices, not mine).

Three cost $13.40, I think it is, sent in a PO bag. By  the way, I am speaking of within Australia prices, not overseas prices. As the books are available on Kindle, and Amazon, that would be the least expensive way to go for overseas buyers.

If you are on the internet, my brother has made me a new website: Type in to get you there.

In regard to that last book, mentioned above, I was having a look at an original photo today that was sent to me by friends, who took the photo about 25 years ago. The original is in colour, but the one in the book is black and white, for cost reasons. (And what picture is that; I hear you ask. It’s the photo with the story, “The ghost in the mausoleum.” It’s an amazing colour photo. The apparition is as plain as day – much plainer than the photo in the book. I wish I could have put it in the book in colour. If you get the hard copy of the book, you will be intrigued by that photo. I have complete confidence of the genuineness of the photo. It was taken by close friends of mine who are not given to silly practical jokes. It’s the best true photo of a ghost you’ll ever see, I suspect.

Chaplaincy took us to sea aboard Pacific Jewel in April and the ship’s passengers and crew commemorated Anzac Day with a service off the Isle of Pines, which belongs to Noumea. We held the service early in the day to allow the passengers to enjoy that loveliest of tropical islands. Hundreds attended the service.

Sadness was to follow however, for one of the passengers died on the island, standing knee deep in the tropical waters, so it wasn’t a bad way to go. It’s the first time someone has died on a ship on which I have been the chaplain. That occupied my time for the rest of the trip home, and some time afterwards.

There has been nothing major happening of late, although yesterday I heard Janet complaining bitterly. She’d just drawn up a shopping list on a sheet of paper and left it for a time. When she returned, it was missing, but teeth marks on a remnant suggest that Tonkie ate it. Yes, our eccentric, glue-sniffing, cardboard, rubber-band and shopping list-eating Tonkinese cat had casually devoured it. (Glue sniffing? Well, he likes to lick the glue off envelopes, if we don’t catch him at it).

I heard Janet mumbling as she wrote out another shopping list. Things can’t get much worse than that… can they?

Keep well and God bless. I’ll be in touch again soon.