Big World Small Boat

Private Diary of A Priest. OK, so we're not all angels...Everyone needs a place to get things off their chest! And yes, I do talk to God about it all! Even He has a sense of humour! Want proof? Well, he made me, didn't He? Oh, one last thought-If you don't like what I've written, please keep in mind - it's MY diary. Go write your own!

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Location: England, United Kingdom

I've been serving children in crisis for over twenty five years. My goals are not to raise money, but to find organisations and individuals who can help change lives! What may be outdated equipment for you could change the life of a child in Eastern Europe! To learn more please visit our site at:


Usted Habla Inglés Mate?

No matter how often I travel, the greatest part of the journey is coming home. I’ve certainly travelled enough to be prepared for just about anything that should pop up and I consider myself relatively adept at switching between cultures and languages – even ones I have never studied.

But the greatest thrill for me is always in coming home. There is something comforting about returning to your native language where you no longer have to quickly translate and sometimes struggle to interpret what the person standing before you is saying.

And I suppose, just as I last experienced, the foreign scents, spicy foods, and exotic music can sometimes be a bit invasive when your body isn’t exactly psyched-up for it.

Finally, when you have made all the necessary psychological and physical adjustments to adapt to all those differences, you begin to feel as if you have a more sure footing. But then, while you’re in that foreign country, your confidence is dashed when you encounter people who purportedly speak the same language as yourself, but with a dialect that is so foreign and so mind numbing that you can’t find a single word they speak in a translation guide or dictionary! And so it is when we embark on travel to foreign lands.

Homeward bound! The proud colours of our nation's flag adorn the aircraft that is to take me home. And you can almost feel your body release a collective sigh when you hear the crew welcome you on board. Ahhh, those words of greeting are almost like a salve to the heart.

And as I wing my way back from Miami to London, words I can understand, words that I don’t have to translate, words that reflect my heritage gently envelope me, reminding me that I’m almost home:

‘Sir, your choice for dinner tonight is either the chicken tikka masala or the curried lamb, which would you prefer?’

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Taking The Easy Route

I’m heading back out to Moldova next week and, as always, I’ve agonised over the flights that I’d use. I could take an easy route and change planes in Vienna or Amsterdam, but that raises the fare substantially, or I can use one of the ‘lesser’ carriers and change in Budapest, Bucharest, Istanbul, or Kiev. And I try to visualise each airport in making weighing my decision, because some of the airports leave a less than palatable memory.

What I love most about these physical parts of the journey is the feeling of heightened senses I have when I’m forced to practice my languages, or see new sights, hear new sounds and experience new tastes and smells. They are all stimulating and enjoyable. But part of what makes it so enriching is that it’s a dislocation from the familiar.

I think about the emotions and feelings of the travellers I watch scurrying about and of their heartfelt partings at one end, and joyful reconciliations at the other; that delicious and unreal feeling that the departure lounge gives when you have already cut the umbilical cord, suspended in unreality between one life and another. And then there is the wonderful sense of uncertainty - of arriving somewhere totally unknown and on your own; having to rely for help and guidance on people whom you don't know and may never meet again.

But I’ve learned over the years to realise that it isn’t the safety of familiarity and friends I leave behind. It is the new friends I will make during my journey that will enrich my life.

And perhaps, just as has happened so many times before, my path will cross with someone. And from that chance meeting, something profound will occur that will cause me to remember the moment for the rest of my life.

It is when those moments happen that I am reminded there is no such thing as chance. Now, Lord, if You would just help me a bit with my sense of direction…

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They Told Me To!

I’m certain it’s just part of my own eccentricities, but I do find such wonderful ways to entertain myself. This weekend I went on a search for ‘anonymous plural persons.’ And however elusive the challenge may have been, ‘they’ most certainly were out there!

I’m amazed how people so easily banter about the word ‘they’ when attempting to either distance themselves from or include themselves in such anonymity.

Having spent part of my adult life in a service industry, I was always fascinated by how often people used the word ‘they’ to describe authorities-unknown, or perpetrators-unknown as tangible evidence of recollect and validation to compel people to do things for them.

‘They told me I could change this non-refundable, non-exchangeable, non-endorsable, non-edible airline ticket for another one, or get a refund,’ was one of the mantras I often heard. ‘They told me to be here at 4’, (when the plane departed at 4!) or ‘They told me that every seat was First Class on this flight.’ In that instance, it wasn’t ‘they,’ it was probably ‘I’ who said that!

So, to all those people who used ‘they’ as some magic potion to compel me to do things, and for all those people who angrily wrote down my name for the purpose of releasing invectives upon me from my bosses, or even as some swore ‘to make sure I never forgot the day I refused to follow ‘they’s’ instructions, I have this one thought of contrition to share with you.

I’m the one who made sure you were placed in the middle seat between the two Sumo wrestlers who had just enjoyed a garlic and curry meal before they boarded the 12 hour flight to Tokyo!


Airline Survey, Who Would You Fly?

My, this was a lesson well learned!

I innocently added a product called 'Bravenet' to by blog. This nifty little device allowed me to create surveys customised to my own design. So good so far...

Shame on Me...again! This little enticement was actually an open door for them to hawk their wares through a series of irritating and exasperating pop-ups! Again, it affirms the adage that nothing comes free. So I've removed the little nugget and bid it good riddance!

But the survey did have some interesting responses. Most people (67%) chose British Airways over the competition such as: American, Virgin, United, Delta, US Airways, Air India and Kuwait. I'm going to leave the survey parameters at the bottom of this page for anyone who is interested.

When organisations sell similar products, offer the same amenities, and provide the same conveniences, the formula narrows dramatically. What it boils down to is its people. Its' people are the company.

Isn't it a pity that so many companies lose track of this!
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Completely daft and useless, but this past weekend we were talking about airlines and what makes people choose them.

Answers are quite predictable when it boils down to price or loyalty programmes and convenient times run a close third. But what happens when you remove those factors? What is it that makes someone decide who they will fly?

I have my own views, but I'd love to hear yours.

Now, who would you fly?



  • All flights are from Heathrow to New York JFK*
  • Aircraft is a Boeing 777 with a 2/4/2 configuration
  • Flights depart and arrive within 10 minutes of each other
  • The airfare is the same on all carriers
  • There is no chance for upgrades
  • No frequent flier status recognised, nor points awarded

*I realise not all these carriers fly from Heathrow. It's just a 'what if?'


I'm grateful to all the airlines that have helped me over the years. Each one has its own 'personality.' And I've always known that the image of an airline is not defined by the colours on its tail. It's the people who make the difference.

The future is here: This is the new First Class cabin of the Airbus A380. (Finally! Enough room to fit my bum!)

Big World Small Boat

I've had so many journeys in my life. And I've amassed riches beyond belief. That wealth has come from experiences good, and sometimes not so good, and from private moments when that little 'twang' goes off in your head when all the pieces fall into place.

I needed a more 'private' place to stick my notes and rantings...that's what my daughter calls it when I go off on one of my loquacious tangents to save the world - a place where I can ask questions and where approriate, give myself answers.

As you grow older in life you become less afraid of what others will think, in fact you get to a point where you really don't care what others think. That can be a form of Nirvana.

In youth we fight to discover who we are. As young adults we don't realise that we've become what society wants us to be. Later on, when the pulsating flames have been replaced by glowing embers, we're able to see more clearly and with better definition who we've become.

For some, it's too much to bear. For others, it's a blessing!

Thank God!

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