We got so much fun reading everyone’s entries to our little competition that we sought permission to publish the entries for all to see. To our delight, everyone agreed.
I hope I will be forgiven for exercising my right as self-appointed Editor-in Chief, to make some minor changes, and I apologise in advance for the formatting errors that will inevitably occur. WordPress remains a constant source of wonder to me. I just don’t think I’m clever enough for it!
So here goes, and I hope you enjoy the “5 Items” as much as we did.
By the way, if you are an infrequent visitor to the blog and you missed the deadline, please don’t feel inhibited about sharing your five items with us. We’d love to hear from you.
1. A recording of the Pinkies singing “Hand in Hand”, both because of the joy I have got out of singing all my life and because it encapsulates a lot about the choir as a community.
2. A wok, because of my love of cooking, but also to symbolise my love of travel and a great year spent in China.
3. The book I am currently reading on Greenham Common because, through it, I could discuss my love of history, higher education of women and also feminism.
4. A copy of Richard III, because three Richards play an important role in my life.
5. A game of “Articulate”, because of my love of language and competitive games and of getting friends and family around to play them.
1. My walking stick – symbolises the battle I have had and the achievement that I am proud of.
2. A photo collage of the family – I have several of these collages and they all mean the world to me, largely because family means more to me than anything else.
3. A tiny wooden needle case – demonstrates my love and ability of needle work and also my love of creating something from nothing.
4. A hand full of compost – I have always loved gardening and nature. Natural beauty is soothing and I am never happier than when sitting quietly in the garden on a warm summer’s evening.
5. My LAMDA Gold Medal certificate – shows a love of drama but also represents a great achievement and a life-long dream realised.
From the Gower Peninsular:
1. Olive-wood Fish key ring from Bethlehem Families’ Co-operative: The Fish is early Christian sign. My Christian faith is paramount in my life and at the centre of my ministry & calling. The place where the fish key ring was made is in the city where Jesus was born. I am reminded of the struggle Christians face in Palestine from both Muslim and Jew and I give thanks for their courage. As a child, youth, and adult, (if I’m one of those), and wherever I’ve served as a priest I have been surrounded with the love of God which passes all understanding.
2. A model of a San Francisco cable car: The reminds me that in 1972 my life was wonderfully changed for ever and in 1974 I was married to a Santa Clara lass called Leslie. We had an awesome best man – is that enough crawling to the best man? I mean! The cable car would open up my heart to my immediate family and the myriad of cousins that seems to be the lot of an Irishman.
3. A piece of Nelson’s Column (Dublin, Ireland): Nelson’s Pillar, which in spite of the London one was known in Dublin as Nelson’s Column, was blown up in 1966 by the IRA (Irish Republican Army). This was about three days before a rugby international between Ireland and Wales took place in Dublin and I was there with a group of fellow supporters of both teams. . It would remind me that rugby and all its camaraderie was integral to my life story. The country where this Nelson’s Column was located holds a treasury of memories of childhood and school holidays spent on relatives’ farms.
4. A Pantomime Dame’s mop cap: The mop cap would transport me to Youth Club days and the hours of fun experienced with a diverse group of other people trying to find their way in life. There are so many stories – some best left under the mat!! For four years, pantomimes were prepared and performed giving youngsters a chance to experience acting and build up their confidence levels. My mop cap was part of my dame’s costume (before I had grown a beard) and I was appearing with a brilliant Dick Whittington and an outstanding Buttons. I trust the judges will not hold these revelations against me!
5. A lap-top with JAWS (screen reader software): Without the amazing advances in computer technology I would not have been able to continue serving as a priest in parish life. In 1985ish I was registered blind and computers with screen readers enabled me to do the day to day office work that is involved in parish life. My incredulity continues to be awakened in that now I can have screen reader software installed into a lap-top computer. It has given me so much freedom to search the internet, read newspapers and other articles, write letters and emails, keep records and diary and so much more.
From London again:
1) My Wedding Photo:
This represents several related things: I am gay, and therefore different; that I am proud of who I am, and that I had the courage to be open about it, aged 17, to my friends and family; that my friends and family have been nothing but accepting and welcoming, which is a privilege by no means everyone like me around the world enjoys; and that I have found someone I love and who loves me.
2) A Cadbury’s Creme Egg Cupcake:
I love making things, and being creative – ‘experimental’ baking is one of my favourite things, and this represents the pinnacle, this far, of my cupcake career. They were delicious, but there are none left now, sorry.
3) a2 + b2 = c2
My degree was in Physics, because I like to know how things work. I find the applications of science the most exciting. As much as I loved hour-long theoretical cosmology lectures, I find the way microwaves work more interesting! You can’t get much more applicable than Pythagoras’ theorem – it’s two-and-a-half thousand years old, and you can test it with a ruler. And it’s useful when measuring patchwork squares (see point 2 re. making things).
4) The Iraq medal
I always knew I would be a civil servant. One of the things that motivates me in my job is that I’m doing it to make a difference in the world. Whatever you may think about the Iraq war, the UK military personnel who served there did a lot of fantastic work with local communities, building infrastructure, developing the economy and supporting the peace process. I was proud to work alongside them, spending 4 months in Basra in 2006/7.
5) The Sheet Music to ‘Mr Sandman’
Music is one of the most important things to me, and I’ve been singing and reading music since I was 5 years old. This particular song was sung in the inaugural performance of ”Gin and Harmonics”, probably the best London-based, gin-themed, all-female, 8-part, a capella group in the world. The song sounds amazing when we get it right, but we often don’t, and end up giggling instead. Perhaps because of the gin.
1. A video camera to symbolise my love of the media and all of the videos I’ve made.
2. A German dictionary to symbolise my fascination with languages, and also the immense amount of joy that German and Germany has given me.
3. A star map to represent the intrigue of the unknown.
4. A monkey wrench to represent engineering and its intricacies.
5. And finally, a joke book, which represents the fact that no matter what, I like to have fun.