Thursday, May 21, 2009


Hello everyone! It's been a while since I last posted in this blog. People close to me know that I did a 'stint' at Mater Dei. I won't go into details but suffice to say that although the experience was a bit traumatic, I cannot but thank the Divine Mercy, first of all, for seeing me through this critical period of my life, and secondly for making me conscious of the love and the respect of family and friends.
My second Thank You goes to my wife who did not leave my side for a minute. Her total dedication to keeping me comfortable and in good spirits impressed even the nurses and doctors who tended me in my every need; to my children, who stood by me every step of the way, visiting me on every available moment.
A special Thank You goes to all the family members and friends alike who sent me their best wishes and visited on every opportunity. I will not mention any names for fear of leaving anyone out, but I would mention only The Sisters of the Poor Clares, whose continuous prayers and spiritual support helped me no end in understanding God's mysterious ways and gave me the support that I truly needed at such a point in my life.
Last but not least, a big Thank You to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff whose dedication and commitment to the welfare and well-being of the patients left its indelible mark on me and my family.
To all the above, a big heartfelt THANK YOU! The Good Lord will surely reward your merciful hearts and your compassionate dispositions. God Bless You All.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Week

Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Eastbourne....and jellied eels!

Next Thursday, my wife and I, together with our eldest and his effervescent wife, our daughter and her still rather reserved boyfriend, are off to visit our second son in Eastbourne, where he has decided to settle down. This is our first family holiday in 9 years. The last time we had such an opportunity to go anywhere together was when we decided to visit relatives in Paris. That was in 2000…! Looks much farther back!

We have visited Eastbourne before and I never fail to enjoy my visits there. It is typically English with very mild weather compared to other parts of the UK, and is blessed with ‘fantastic country views, miles of fabulous beaches, world-class marina, restored Victorian pier and excellent sunshine record’.

Like everywhere else I guess, they have their own little customs and strange eating habits. On the way to Hastings, there is a small, very quaint seaside village resting under the shadows of a very high cliff. Over here, there are various small shops and restaurants serving what are locally known as ‘jellied eels’.

Last year, trying to look macho in front of my daughter’s boyfriend, who was travelling with us for the first time, I said I would take a cupful of these jellied eels. I’m not going to bother describing them…take a look at the picture instead. They are not exactly appetizing to look at and all that jelly or aspic wasn’t very inviting either. My son was obviously used to them because he had already devoured a cupful while I was still contemplating which part of the eel I was putting in my mouth first!

My daughter’s boyfriend was not exactly comfortable with them either. He was still gazing at his bowl and probably thinking of ways to get out to eating them. But just like me, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place…and there was no going back.

I closed my eyes and gulped two or three times....and just on the point of putting a spoonful of the stuff into my mouth, I spied the Tabasco sauce. Elated that I could at least dilute the taste of the jellied eels with the sauce, I grabbed the bottle, shook it a few times and let the sauce ooze down to cover the eels as if I was using ketchup!

If ever you decide to take jellied eels with an overdose of Tabasco…please don’t! The closest thing I can come to describing the moment that followed is recorded on a film by Fantozzi, when he put a sizzling meatball or something, in his mouth and his tongue was so burnt that it rolled down to his chest and had to dip it into a fountain close by to cool it…in the meantime, turning the fountain water into steam!!

In between bouts of laughter by my sympathising family, my daughter’s boyfriend was digging into his bowl and eating mouthful after mouthful. My daughter encouraged him by giving him her share too. One spoonful and it was enough for her!!

My eldest, who is visiting Eastbourne for the first time is determined to have a go at the jellied eels. I propose to have a lot of fun!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Yesterday, being the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, I made it a point, as I do year after year, to allow time to follow the procession in our area.

Our town is practically new, only some 22 years old, initially being home to a handful of families, but which now houses some 1000 families in all kinds of dwellings, not least of which are housing estates.

Over the years, I have seen the Our Lady of Sorrows procession develop from a small group of people walking behind a statue not more than 2 feet high to yesterday's procession which numbered, possibly, hundreds. We also have a new statue now...which was inaugurated yesterday.

People who attend the Our Lady of Sorrows procession do so for various reasons...the main one being to give homage to the Mother of all humanity, who personifies all the sufferings that a mother can ever endure. This thought is beautifully captured if you follow my friend's blog at

While some do so in deep reflection, others of course, trudge along, literally indifferent to the prayers being recited and hymns being sung. I will not judge anyone's intention behind each one's participation at the procession, but I strongly belief that the lack of sufficient audio reaching to the back of the crowd walking slowly behind the statue, is a main factor in the distractions suffered by some of the attendees.

Ideally, speakers would be lined along the way of the procession, but in practice, this is not feasable. I have seen various parish priests battle with this problem. We have had cars with roof-top speakers driving slowly behing the statue, sometimes in the middle of the procession and at other times, at the end of it. Trolleys with large speakers being pushed along the roads, we have had as well. Nothing seems to work out.
In this day of instant communication, I would think that something would exist that would send a cordless signal from a speaker in front to another one at the back! Or maybe the microphone could do the trick. I really don't know, but I'm sure that something like this could very well solve the problem for those who are at the back of the procession. Not everyone can be up front, so a solution would help no end those people who want the Our Lady of Sorrows procession to be a prayerful experience.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A peaceful moment at Bewl Waters, East Sussex in January 2009

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A Little Prayer

I woke up during the night. It was rather warm and the blanket was killing me! No wonder…I noticed that my wife had already thrown her share onto mine and I was having a double dose of it.

As soon as I opened my eyes, I said a little prayer…unconsciously…and without thinking. A little prayer, not more than two lines…a simple thank you Jesus. And then I thought how lucky we, those who profess some faith in a higher being…how lucky we, who have faith in Jesus Christ…how lucky we are, and what a blessing, that we could offer all our problems, all our pre-occupations and all our joys and sorrows, to Him so He can lighten our burden. What a blessing that we could talk to Our Lord and put our complete faith in Him, to lead us through good and bad times, through difficult moments in our lives.

How I pity those who haven’t discovered Jesus in their lives yet. Those who are god-less! Those who have no one to turn to when everything around them is despair and they need a shoulder to lean on.

Come unto me all who are weary and burdened, I shall give you rest (Matt: 11:28).

Thursday, April 2, 2009


My wife and I had to visit Mater Dei this morning. It wasn't a matter of choice..sometimes in life, one has to do what one has to do. And so this morning we did! I've been there about 4 times now since its' opening. Well, one time actually doesn't count. That's when my PDA informed me that I had an appointment on a particular day, only to find out that my appointment was actually on the following day!! It didn't dawn on me immediately either. I must have been there for nearly an hour before I realised the error. I never mentioned this to anyone before; my PDA is practically new and is liable to making such trivial mistakes. But in consolation, I did enjoy the coffee that two ladies were serving to the waiting patients!
So, this morning we were back there. This time on the date and time allocated to us. The place fascinates me. It is so huge, with corridors extending beyond one's vision. At one point, I remarked to my wife, who was running-in a new pair of shoes by the way, that the place resembled an airport rather than a hospital. So far, it is extremely well kept and we couldn't find anything to complain about, even if we wanted too, which of course we didn't.
All the nurses, doctors and personnel we met were admirably helpful, well mannered and help no end in making one feel very much at ease. But one particular thing kept surfacing every time we asked for directions. The personnel working at Mater Dei are either not familiar with the different departments or are too familiar and expect the patients to be too. At one time we asked for a particular room. Walk along the corridor, we were told, and turn right. We walk along the corridor and come against 6 doors, at least, on the right!! So we try them all...and then spend 15 minutes reversing our steps. On another occasion, we asked for another room and this time, the young nurse tells us to go through that door and turn left. We go through the door, turn left and we come up against a blank wall! Gee...we missed again!
But the classic one came from another helper who, when asked to show us to another room we needed to visit, told us to...again...walk along the corridor and at the end of it, take the door on the right. He gestured with his right hand, emulating a corner towards the right and this time, we felt confident that we were on the right track....literally! At the end of the never-ending corridor, we came across two doors in front, one to the left and another door back-tracking in line with the corridor we had just shuffled along! Nothing on the right! I know some people confuse their rights with their lefts, but when they say right and point to the right, then I do expect it to be right, not left!! Right?
This will not, in any way, minimise the good impression I have of the hospital staff. Having to cope with hundreds of people, all with different temperaments and attitudes, it is amazing how they still manage to keep a smile on their faces.
By the way, in case you are wondering, my wife's new pair of shoes were smoking by the time we got home!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


....and here we very first attempt at creating a blog and, well, trying my hand at most people I know, do! Not being a spring chicken anymore, things do not come as easily as they used to when my wife and I had our very first ZX81, followed by the BBC. That was the time when I used to spend hours playing 'Snapper'...when I would break record after record and my fingers used to work miracles on the keyboard. There were no mice then....nor rats or anything else with a tail! Our computer games were simple...primitive, according to today's standards! But we had good fun notwithstanding. But I digress.....! And if you follow this blog, you will notice that I digress quite easily!

I do not have clear plans for this blog yet as I had never got involved in anything similar before. But I was gently nudged to visit a good friend's blog this morning and I was intrigued! Hmmm...there must be something to this after all. Even if I can simply manage to share my ideas or vent my frustrations, this is probably a good way to do it. Nobody gets hurt this way!

So, I am first going to explore all the nooks and crannies that are connected to this blog...feel my way around, in other words, then start embellishing the site. I am rearing to go and I just hope there is enough going on in my life to make interesting reading. At the moment, there is a MAJOR THING going on but is more of interest to me and my close family. God willing, more of that some other time.

Thank you for coming in. Please pass by any time.