Sunday, 31 October 2010


I always start my writing on a Tuesday to meet Sunday’s deadline. On that same day, today, Janet my wife has gone to town to teach her ageing students the art and science of portrait painting in the town hall annexe. Her work adorns the house. Prior to the refurbishment of our Victorian home, the brilliance of the acrylic paintings would have clashed considerably, with the traditional flock wallpaper. The white-washed walls are a blank canvas for her vivid colours that stain what otherwise would have been a sanitised house.

I’m sat at the kitchen table with its matching green and white gingham tablecloth and seat pads. Opposite is a large black hole. Well that’s what the fireplace looks like against the white, giving the illusion of being sucked in. It houses the gas range with chrome and stainless steel products and utensils hanging above like ivories on a piano. The toaster pops up two terracotta tile-like slices that I smother in Lurpak and homemade strawberry conserve that I bought at the WI fund raiser this summer.

I am about to take a bite when the mobile grandly sounds the first four notes of Beethoven’s fifth symphony. It’s a text message from Andrea, instructing me to tune my radio to Talksport and to tell her what I think. I walk to the fridge and pick up the DAB radio remote and spot a note from Janet, held in place by a red heart-shaped magnet, telling me to get inspired. Every Tuesday she leaves me messages to find, usually in the kitchen, knowing that I’m never far from my food.

I use the arrow buttons to change from my usual Radio Two to Talksport. I just caught the backend of the news; something about the end of the world. Luckily I don’t have to wait for the next bulletin as I can rewind programmes minute by minute with the DAB. Unbelievable as it seems, American cosmologists researching into quantum theory are stating categorically, that stargazing is causing the end of the world, and that we are changing things by merely looking at them.

Let me tell you a story.

For Christmas an eight year old boy receives a telescope and never stops looking at the black well with its shimmering lucky coins that is our universe. He imagines travelling in his mind to all the known galaxies and discovering new forms of existence. At university he still searches until the death of his steadfast mother. His universe implodes but the barren well becomes satisfied by his discovery of God. Is this really what he has been looking for?

The irony is I’m a vicar. Can you see how messed up this all seems? I thought I knew about these things. Have I misguidedly, contributed to the collapse of mankind?  I can read the headlines now: Avert your eyes from God to save humanity.

Grim stuff I know.

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