Pilgrimpace's Blog

Anna Akhmatova
January 18, 2018, 3:31 pm
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There is an excellent In Our Time BBC Radio programme on the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova that you can listen to here.  By coincidence, I am slowly reading her Collected Poems at the moment.  Strongly recommended.



advent calendar 8
December 15, 2016, 8:11 pm
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If you can listen to Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra this week, there are some gems:

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey

Richard Holmes’ The Long Pursuit (which reminded me of the fantastic chapter in Footsteps where he follows RLS and Modestine)

and Babette’s Feast.

Apart from The Box of Delights, what more could you want in the third week of Advent?

good things
August 29, 2016, 3:48 pm
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I hadn’t intended to post again for a while, but I have stumbled upon this excellent programme on Pilgrimage from BBC Radio 3’s Words and Music.  Well worth listening to if you can.  Got me even more in the mood.  Tara a bit.



the pilgrim industry
August 6, 2015, 10:00 am
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There’s an excellent repeat of the BBC Radio comedy The Leopard in Autumn which you can listen again to here.  While it doesn’t feature the Head of John the Baptist as a boy, it tells us a great deal that rings true about the medieval pilgrim industry.

That all said, I am a pilgrim.  I am happy finding holiness in places like those three coffins in the Crypt of Santiago Cathedral.


the man of the mani
June 23, 2015, 1:20 pm
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There was a very good radio programme about Patrick Leigh Fermor and the Mani on Radio 4 yesterday.  You can listen to it here.  Definitely worth it.  It’s made me want to pick his books off the shelf again.



nature writing – 3
April 21, 2015, 1:00 pm
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I am very grateful to Margaret for suggesting I listen to James Rebanks’ The Shepherd’s Life on Radio 4. (You can Listen Again here)

Rumanian Shepherd, photo from Wikipedia Commons

Rumanian Shepherd, photo from Wikipedia Commons

I am taken by this sentence near the beginning:

“How come the story of our landscape wasn’t about us?”


advent journey – a christmas carol
December 21, 2014, 9:51 am
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There was a real treat on the radio yesterday afternoon with an excellent adaptation of A Christmas Carol.  If you can get BBC Radio Player you can listen to it here for the next month.


Dickens is one of my favourite authors and this wonderful short tale of the conversion of Ebenezer Scrooge – by supernatural means (or is it undigested mustard or gravy?) – from Malthusian miserableness to happy generosity is a Christmas classic.  He realises how connected he actually is to other people.

It was of course a biting critique of many of those with power in 1840’s Britain.  Bernadette Meaden writes about how A Christmas Carol speaks to contemporary Britain on Ekklesia here.  The challenge for us is to allow our hearts to be expanded in love so that we make a practical difference in terms of solidarity with those in most need.  This obviously needs to go beyond the actions of individuals to a change in the priorities and structures of our society.

Once the busy-ness of this week is over, I think it will be time to read or re-read another Dickens novel.  Any recommendations?