“It’s going to be a bright, bright sun-shiny day”

What a start to the Bank Holiday sunshine: jumping off the bus the other evening, listening to ChérieFM, the French “pop love music” station, via Bluetooth headset, when my face totally lit up as I heard Johnny Nash singing “I can see clearly now the rain has gone” (1972). I was 15 back then. The early May…

“Don’t you look at ME like that!!!”

On talking to Paul on the phone, yesterday, aka my boyfriend when we were both 17, we shared some stories about a young man we both knew.  I think he was slightly older than us at the time, and he re-named himself “Nap”, short for Naparolla (Some Polari-speak lingo, not doubt).  From what I recall,…

Tales of my Investiture

Fidelibus et dilectis nostris What a week to be ill!  Two days before the Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace and I come down with sinusitis.  Lucky I was well enough for the great day itself (Thursday 7th December 2017), because by Friday night, on top of asthma, I started the most horrendous bronchitis that I have…

Do you speak Yugoslavian?

A very well-to-do woman came up to me and asked “Govorite li Jugoslavija?” …  I replied “Ne govorim hrvatski” 

Where were YOU when Diana died?

I remember a constant flow of funereal music playing on the car radio, interspersed with the National Anthem, repeated every quarter of an hour. 

Love is …

There’s a time for living, and a time for dying.

[Not] The angel of death!

    This is one of two stories I’ll tell you about a hospice I used to visit as a priest.  I used to visit the hospice every couple of days or so.  The staff new I was a registered nurse, as well as a local Catholic priest.  Some days I’d go in early in…

Imagine having your bum pinched … by Rupert Everett!

More tales from the Coleherne What amazing fortune that I paid heed to all those people who have told me I should write my autobiography!  Okay, well I’m not quite up for that, but it is a joy dotting down some stories, every now and again, for these memoires.  Little could I have imagined what…

Hoc est corpus … hic est sanguinis

Similar to Damian’s story, Cosmo was a patient on the same ward, in and out with every new opportunistic infection or tumour his HIV could lay its grubby hands on.  In the end he developed severe Kaposi’s sarcoma, with the classic bodily marks, from the tip of his nose, then dotted all over his body,…

The Queen is graciously pleased …

If you’ve read my blog page Buckingham Palace, then you’ll know exactly how much getting a “gong” off the Queen really fills me with profound joy.  I have visited (inside) the Palace maybe a dozen or more times, once for the Garden Party outlined in that previous blog, and the rest for these 24 years…

The Rabbi and the bean bags

For my first degree, I read Theology at what was then called the University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC or Cantaur).  It is now simply ‘the University of Kent’, as it has a campus at Medway, shared with the Universities of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church, too.  Formed in 1965, the University took the original…

Compassionate care – we’re nothing without it!

Over the past few years, nurses and midwives in the UK have been reminded of the “6 Cs” of nursing care.  I first heard my friend Joanne Bosanquet  (MBE, Queen’s Nurse, Deputy Chief Nurse, Public Health England) promote the model.  On the one hand, it’s great – especially for those new to the profession, to…

Tu es sacerdos in aeternum

The 9th of May 2017 … … marks the 30th anniversary since my ordination to the Catholic priesthood.  I’ve been teaching sexual health for 27 years now; many people may not even know about the ten years spent for the priesthood, a decade in my past life.  These days, I am more inclined to consider…

On the number 64 to the Vatican

Just after I was ordained priest in 1987, four of us friends (including one other priest) went to Rome on holiday.  The other priest and I were so amazingly happy to celebrate Mass on the altar at the tomb of St Peter.  Sadly, we couldn’t have any photos back then, but my name is etched…

“It’s you boys who know all about these things!”

On the 25th August 2016, I visited Buckingham Palace for what I’m sure must be over a dozen times in these past 23 years of summer openings.  In my more pious days as a teenager, a good little Catholic boy, whenever I would visit the outside of the palace railings, I would say the Pater,…