Wednesday, 5 May 2010


There's a story I semi-remember from my childhood about Pope Gregory commissioning Augustine of Canterbury. Apparently he'd seen some British slave (or captured) children in Rome in 573. When he asked where they were from - I suppose they were fair northern rather than dark southern European - he was told they were Angli, Angles i.e. English. 'Non Angli, sed angeli,' he replied. 'Not Angles, but angels.' Actually the quote finishes, 'si forent Christiani' - if they became Christians, and so began Augustine's mission to convert Britain starting at the other end from the Celtic monks. Why was I thinking about that? Oh yes, I remember. We've had our rather nice granddaughters with us over the weekend, and there's some dispute over whether they're scallywags or angels. I suspect it's a bit of both, like all of us.

They had to put up with being looked after by their grandparents on Sunday while their mum and dad went to a wedding in Gloucestershire. I was not much help, of course, but fortunately Granny was very competent - 'not had four children for nothing!' - and Auntie Rachel came to our aid. It was a good-natured day.

Bank Holiday Monday wasn't exactly balmy, but we had an expedition to the local rec, where you can see the three girls with Penny on the walkie roundabout thing. Except for one bumped head, great fun was had by all. In the end we had to tear ourselves away to put the spuds on for lunch.

Before they left for the soggy north-west, according to the new tradition Granny read them a new chapter from my next book, working title Stumpy.... You read it here first!

Meanwhile the publication date of their great uncle's new book has just been announced, June 25th. As you may remember it was provoked by Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - which is based on the old idea that the early church distorted the original simple Palestinian teacher and created a supernatural Christ. His book is unashamed fiction, which is what he's very good at, but in Did St Paul Get Jesus Right? David, who really knows what he's talking about, looks at the commonly held assumption of a made-up divine Christ and examines how much St Paul really did invent a new gospel. I won't tell you the conclusion, because that would spoil it for you (and undermine its sales!), but it's not a heavy read.

Not as many laughs as My Donkeybody, but still worth reading! (And yes, I have read it.)

1 comment:

  1. i have visited to this site and found to get the interested lovely story which is very impressive.