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Thought for the Day

We should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend.

Cardinal Newman



I wasn’t going to do any more purely Catholic posts but I just read something that made me feel like sharing the following quote.

“There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church….As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.”

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – in preface to Radio Replies

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen 1956

I used to hate the Catholic Church.  Well, maybe dislike would be a better word because I didn’t really pay the matter enough attention to get really worked up about it.  I believed all the anti-Catholic propaganda that I had absorbed through everyday life.  I didn’t care enough to question whether it was true.  Many, many people live like that.  I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to begin to care enough to discover my mistake.  I pray that all of you that think badly of the Church get the same sort of opportunity.

Calligraphy Practice

I was going to do another doodle around this quote but there is too much writing.  I decided to practice my calligraphy instead.

calligraphypracticeAs with doodling, if you make a mistake it’s permanent.  Unlike doodling, you can’t cover up your mistake.  Here is today’s final version (click to enlarge).  The first verse is deliberately squished together but it does make it harder to read (see below for the typed words).  It is my attempt at the kind of copperplate font that my nanna used to use.Calligraphy2

It is a quote by D. H. Lawrence, and it says:

When we get out of the glass bottles of our egos

and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality

and get into the forests again,

we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us,

so that we don’t know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in, and passion will make our bodies taut with power,

we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down,

we shall laugh,

and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.


Final Entries from Nanna’s Autograph Book

Here’s the final batch:

More from Nanna’s Autograph Book

I’ve decided not to post the more personal autographs from my nanna’s autograph album.  I don’t think she would have wanted them to go public.  Anyway, here are a few more less personal ones, including quite a saucy one:

Duplicate Autographs

I have updated the following posts with entries from my nanna’s autograph album that duplicate verses used in my own album:

First autograph post

Grandad’s autograph

Mum’s autograph

Auntie Alice’s autograph

I think these entries are interesting because they show how long-lived some of these verses are.  It’s also nice to see each person’s different handwriting in this digital age.

Nanna’s Autograph Book

In my first autograph post I mentioned that my nanna also had an autograph book when she was young.  Well, my dad has now sent me photos of the book so that I can share them here.  There are quite a lot of entries so I’m going to split them over a few posts.  I’m going to start with the silly ones.  These were written in 1928 and 1929 when my nanna was 14 or 15 years old.  The pages are a little worn so the writing can be hard to read in places.  If you click on the first photo you’ll be able to see them all enlarged in a slideshow.  I’ve written out the text in the captions, except for one that I couldn’t entirely decipher.

Auntie Alice’s Autograph

Well, I’m going back to my dad’s side of the family again.  Auntie Alice was his aunt not mine, one of nanna’s wonderful siblings.


May your feet go ever lightly,

Time all gently touch your head,

May the flowers blossom brightly,

As along life’s way you tread.

And may love and friendship true,

Sweeten all life’s way for you.

Isn’t that so sweet?  It tells you all you need to know about Auntie Alice. 😀

[Update: 26/02/14]

And here is the same verse that she wrote for her sister decades earlier:


Auntie Jean’s Autograph

My mother’s sister wrote this in my autograph book when I was nine:


For every evil under the sun

There is a remedy or there is none.

If there be one, try and find it –

If there be none, never mind it!

This has a similar message to the “Serenity prayer” that I quoted in my first autograph post.

Auntie Jean has lived in London for most of her adult life so I’ve had some wonderful holidays there.  People, including Auntie Jean, think I’m odd when I say this but I really like the London Underground.  And yes, I have used it during rush hour.  I have had my face stuck next to someone’s sweaty armpit on a tube train for longer than seems humanly possible.  I have repeatedly faced the worry of not being able to squeeze myself off the train before the doors closed.  I have been knocked to the ground by a businessman in a hurry (it was in a tube station in The City, and he didn’t look back).  Maybe it’s because I don’t have to face that every working day but I like it.  I like everything about it; the tiles, the art, the posters, people watching, the feeling of the wind caused by the movement of the trains, the sounds they make (well, not the high-pitched squealing – I could do without that),…  I could go on but you get the idea.

Dad’s Autograph

Dad reads this blog so I’d better not say too much. 😉


String is a very important thing

Rope is thicker

But string is quicker

This is a poem by Spike Milligan.  Dad is a Spike Milligan fan.  Actually, I’m a bit of a fan too.  Spike wrote the first book that ever transported me to another world – “Badjelly the Witch“.  I remember reading it while my dad drove us somewhere in the car.  I was so engrossed in the book that I forgot we were in the car, and when I looked up I got a terrible shock from the mental dislocation.  It was amazing!

Here is my favourite Milligan poem:

There are holes in the sky
Where the rain gets in
But they’re ever so small
That’s why the rain is thin.

By the way, Spike’s own epitaph is written on his headstone in Gaelic.  It translates to “I told you I was ill.”