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Hot work for some apostles

Bonjours! Phew, what a scorcher! It’s been 35, 36 even 37°C. That’s not far short of 100°F. But I guess that’s the reason we are here in the Vendée, for the summer sun. In such weather air-conditioning becomes a necessity. The only place I can go for a jog without collapsing from dehydration is along the aisles of the vast Leclerc hypermarket just down the road in La Roche-sur-Yon. For us Brits, such hot weather is exceptional. We certainly enjoy it when it is hot enough fo us to complain how hot it is! But for the people of the Bible, such heat is simply a fact of life, unexceptional. There is the occasional reference to the heat of the day, of course. So the writer of Genesis gives a

Where I am now on a foreign shore I stand every week.

So a riddle for you: “Where I am now on a foreign shore, I stand every week.” Incidentally, the ancient Hebrews loved riddles, such as the one which appears on Lyle’s Golden Syrup when Samson gets the better of the Philistines and wins thirty sets of clothes. That’s about as many as Jacqui has packed in our car. And Jesus himself enjoyed using riddles, to puzzle us with paradoxes. “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39) “So those who are last will be first. And those who are first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16). It gets you thinking. And now the answer you’ve all been waiting for: CAEN. We are spending one night at this splendid Ibis before heading

Shortcuts make long delays

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” Helen Keller clearly hasn’t travelled with my good friend, Alan – with whom I am presently walking the Ribble Way. In fact, this blog comes to you from Waddow Hall, which we are about to leave for the final stage of our walk from Clitheroe to Preston. Even today I still go into a mild panic attack when I hear Alan say, OS map in hand, “I think I have found a shortcut.” In fact, in a just 5 miles time we join the Tolkien Trial, commemorating the great man’s stay at Stonyhurst College, Here he wrote the drafts of some of his books. At this point in our walk I plan to share with Alan a quote from “the Lo

When you need your father to finish.

“If you're the Olympic champion,” mused Usain Bolt, “then they have to wait four more years to get you again.” True – but Usian’s time is up. On Sunday, 14 August, we will see if American Justin Gatlin is able to maintain his form to beat Bolt for the 100m gold medal. Except we won’t. Like most of my compatriots I’ll be in bed when the final is broadcast on BBC1 at 2.25 am. As I will be for the opening ceremony to be shown late tonight. So it’s difficult to get excited about the Rio Olympics, now overshadowed by several controversies – the Russian state-led drug cheating, the cost of staging the Games at the expense of the very poor in the favelas and the political crisis engulfing

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