Monday, 1 April 2013
AT last we have moved into British Summertime and spring is under way. It's a time for fresh beginnings - and hope!
On a personal level, my latest novel A Brush With Murder is now published.
I was pleased with the proof copy received. In seconds of it arriving at Edmonds Towers in Great Marton, She Who Knows was casting an eye over its design.
"I'll read that," she announced, "it looks interesting." What's more, she has kept at it - and declared: "It's really very good - gripping!"
You can sample it on our Chapter side page and find more details on the Books page.
Meanwhile, our Memoir page has moved on from Hong Kong to the curious culture of Japan.
We are looking forward to the tennis season and playing on the Fylde's outdoor courts again; while my Saturday strolls beside Stanley Park to Blackpool Cricket Club promise relaxing, sociable afternoons.
But all this apart, what has occupied my mind in quieter moments is the real Easter Message - the one our nearby church St Paul's and others proclaim.
I am not a regular church-goer, being far better known - I'm afraid - in the neighbouring Saddle Inn.
Neither have I been devout in my Church of England faith or fully convinced of its veracity. There are many beliefs with strong claims and fulfilling ways of looking at the world. My simple, easy-going faith is for reassurance, support and, well, cultural convenience. It was what I was brought up to follow - with a healthy dose of tolerance.
I pray when inclined to, then try to look on the bright side.
However, at this time, the Christian faith instills humility and a sense of wonder - both good traits for life.
Retirement allowed me to polish then publish novels written as a hobby over years. But I also started reading the Bible, for the first time since school. It seemed sensible for an adult - whether a believer or not - to examine the basis of established faith.
Reporting the news never satisfied as much as writing fiction - where a reader is more engaged by the story. Similarly, reading the Bible only conveys men's revelations of their times - not the essence of spiritual feeling.
To put it another way: chroniclers' accounts are shaped by their period and capabilities; our imagination and prayers need not be.
Much of our world today still lives in an Old Testament culture while, among so-called advanced nations, few are ready for the revolutionary teaching of Jesus that would make life better for all.
Sadly, then, we are still a long way from enlightenment.
Still, at least life is easier for most now: safer, healthier and more diverse.
Our path to joy is there to tread, I believe, if humble and of trusting heart.
At least, let's pray so.