|Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland|
Friday, 18 March 2011
An "e", not an "a"!
No need to go into details, but confusion between these letters has been the reason why it took so long for this blog to get off the ground! -Yet "on the ground" is where i've been for nearly 2 months, and, thanks be to God, this afternoon i've reached a village called Naglowice, in the Swietokrzyskie region of Poland - i belive this means "Holy Cross". A few days ago it was marvelous to reach Czestochowa, the famous Shrine to Our Lady which is the heart of Poland's extraordinary Catholic faith.
On Wednesday 26th January, just before crossing the river Stour which marks the frontier between Suffolk and Essex, i noticed a scallop shell lodged in the foliage of a bush. I nearly didn't pick it up(!), but now i'm very glad to have it, the traditional symbol of pilgrimage, long associated with the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela. I did one of these walks last year, to Jerusalem, also with the aim of raising money for Mary's Meals, whose focus on providing a single nourishing meal each day at school enables some of the very poorest chidren in the world to get an education; their only long-term hope for escape from poverty. A difference between this pilgrimage and the last one, besides the fact that i've brought a camera this time (tho' only 'film' pictures - not sure how to post them on here), is that the toggles on my great 1975 vintage army sleeping bag which someone gave me actually work, which they never seemed to before! Incidentally i remain intrigued by the possibility that this sleeping bag has some of the oldest still-in-active-use Velcro anywhere in Europe, if not the world! I won't make this a very long post - some words about the phenomenal kindness and friendliness of so many people in Germany can wait for another time - but suffice to say; Bristol Rovers' win against Tranmere shows there's still some fight in 'em! It's a case of "All hands on decks" for the Pirates if we are to avoid the drop! No team is too good to go down!