Thursday, 31 July 2008

A Good Day at Work

After today's staff meeting we had a really good Racial Justice Meeting. It was great to be with friends who care about what they do. Some of them have a faith: all of them have values.

I'm really looking forward to Racial Justice Sunday in September after all the activity of the summer. But, first, there is the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff. That is really worth looking forward to. I like that sort of thing.

My diary for next week is just really full. I'm also being teased a lot about becoming a bard but that's OK!

My All Wales Convention Facebook page is really going well. We have acquired almost a 100 friends. That's brilliant!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Gwynedd, Quilts and Castles

On the way back from Ireland on Sunday I preached twice in Llandudno and briefly visited Blaenau Ffestiniog. I went to get a quilt that my cousin Nancy had put together with great skill for our newlyweds: Seimon and Margaret.

The weather was brilliant and it was great to look once again at the solid Welsh castle in Dolwyddelan built by Llewelyn the Great. It is one of my favourite places in the old kingdom of Gwynedd.

Today, however, was all about being back to work. It was OK really and it was good to see friends and colleagues once again. I also did a couple of interviews for the BBC. That was fun!

The really big news is that I only put on 7oz last week. That's OK I think for a really fantastic week in Ireland. It was good to get back to the gym once again.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

All Alone in Dublin

I am all alone in Dublin waiting for my ferry to Holyhead after having one of the most fantastic weeks of my whole life around my eldest son's wedding.

Everything about it was just brilliant: church; family; friends; jokes (some) and I went to see the new Batman film while everyone else in my family was fast asleep. That was brilliant to.

Ireland is just great - sadly, Holyhead awaits!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Second Day - Home Alone

I got a bit worried earlier on. I thought that one of the fish wasn't very well. But, I decided that it just looked that way anyway. Never mind, it soon piked up after I had fed it. The dog is also OK and enjoyed the walk as well as the feeding. Today, I enjoyed their company.

This morning I got up very late and decided that God had a hand in it and wanted me to go to the 11.00 a.m. service in Saint Catherine's in Pontypridd instead of the early morning service. I am really pleased I went when I did. Marcus, the Vicar, was on form about the Christian family (especially the Lambeth Conference sort of family). It said a lot of things to me as an Anglican and as a father about family and getting on. It was a real blessing.

Going to church also made me feel better about cutting the grass. I found the grace to do the grass. I also did lots of washing. All the clothes are OK and are still the colours they used to be. I didn't feed any of the coloured items to the whites - or the other way around.

I didn't get round to going to the gym after all. So I had to resort to having a go on Kirsty the cross trainer at home. That was also OK as well but I'm going to the gym for a big last minute session tomorrow. I don't care what needs doing in the garden. Life is all about giving and taking and getting on with differences.

Home Alone on the Wedding Weekend

I'm all alone with the dog and the fish tonight after taking my son and almost a daughter in law to Bristol airport. On Thursday - I'll stop being almost a father in law. I'm really, really, really looking forward to the next few days.

We have made the journey to Bristol Airport often over the past few months and talked a lot on the way. The talking has been good but it's not helped me with my problem with casual driving. I drift and dawdle apparently. It's just other people who notice.

On the way back to Pontypridd tonight I thought about the wedding homily and must have dawdled some more.

Tonight, I'm home alone looking forward to spending all week on family things. It will be good and I am feeling that warm tingle of excitement as everyone else has already gone over to Ireland. For the time being, the dog and I and the fish are OK.

My longstanding daughter just sent me a text to remind me about feeding the dog and the fish. She presumed that I would be Ok with the feeding bit for me. I have to do some really important things over the next few days like feed the dog, the fish and me. I did wonder for a little while tonight if I left them alone for long enough if the fish and the dog would eat each other. They wouldn't.

I shouldn't I know, but after reaching my target weight this week - and bragging about it before the whole Welsh speaking nation on Radio Cymru's Sian Thomas programme with an old friend Catrin Manel from London - I over indulged myself tonight and shared a pizza with the dog. She liked it. I'm not so sure about the fish though...

Tomorrow, if it's fine, I'll cut the grass and go to the gym and to church. I like going to the gym and I readily rejoice for those who - for a set of reasons I can't begin to understand why - will know what a good day in the garden looks like.

In the background, lots of things are happening. I'm still plotting around my intention to go over to the US for the Fall elections and enjoy observing the Obama campaign. I haven't got there yet but I will. Obama is doing well in the polls. He's even just in the lead in Virginia by 1%. That's good - unless you are McCain of course. Overall he has a 4.2% lead.

A good politician and promoter of the Welsh language, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, lost his job as a Welsh Assembly Government minister this week for - amongst other things - taking a lit cigar into a pub. Welsh politics are weird. Today, the leader of the opposition said that it wasn't a resigning issue. That was kind. I also wish Rhodri well for the future and thank him for his hard work.

It's a time to be kind around family celebrations, the dog and the fish, Barack Obama and resigning politicians. I'm home alone on my wedding weekend plotting what to do next.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Croeso Animation

The EHRC's Croeso project launched an animation designed by Coryton Primary School today. I was invited to speak at the launch in the Odeon in Cardiff Bay. The animation, designed to promote equality and acceptance is just brilliant. The children who developed the core idea were also brilliant. Well done! Keep your eyes open for the clip at a cinema near you.

Keep voting in my poll folks!

Monday, 14 July 2008

"Don't let them get into your head"

Today I enjoyed a really good morning session in the gym where I didn't think at all for a while running all those calories off and watching six TVs at the same time. I don't quite remember now what or who made me think about Hannibal Lecter and Silence of the Lambs but he did come to mind. Generally, it's better not to think about eating in the gym.

The American election thing in The Guardian pleased me a lot as someone reviewed the newspapers on Sky News. It was good to read that Britain is backing Obama by a margin of 5:1 over McCain. That's good news for me as an Obama supporter but the poll may have little impact on American voters. I don't know whether Americans will appreciate Brits telling them how to think or vote. Perhaps we Brits shouldn't try getting into their American heads either.

Here in Wales, a little later, my mind was set on thinking about another possible vote. I joined colleagues for the first meeting of the executive committee of the All Wales Convention in Cardiff. It takes my breath away to think that I am one of those charged with the responsibility of testing the political waters concerning holding a referendum on granting the National Assembly for Wales full law making powers.

I was reminded this afternoon of something Tony Blair said to a whole gaggle of faith leaders a few years ago at a major faith event in London. I was there. He said at the time that one of the things he found most difficult about the press was reading - through the pen of others - what he was supposed to be thinking. That's scary! He objected to people claiming to have got into his head.

To help me make my mind up about the referendum thing, please don't try to get into my head just yet. I would invite you instead to register your vote on my little personal and very unscientific blog opinion poll. I'll keep it up there for a while. At least that way I'll know what people who read my blog are thinking. I would find an Obama style 5:1 margin convincing - one way or another - but very surprising. Go on - indulge me!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Special Visitors

I had to stop and think today in the Senedd building as I enjoyed the fellowship of Anglican bishops from California, Australia and Latin America. A couple of bishops' wives also added to the fun and joy of the day. Their fellowship blessed the day greatly.

Today reminded me of why I enjoy my work so much sometimes and continue to talk for Wales whenever anyone visits the home of modern Welsh democracy. Our vulnerable and sometimes reluctant act of nation building still fills me with joy. I was reminded that its very vulnerability may be a means of giving it the breath of life.

Young Welsh people were rehearsing a piece on the theme of war in the Senedd as we were leaving. It was a strange experience standing next to a bishop from California listening to the acquired American accent of a young Welsh actor from Barry.

It went well and I could translate the Welsh parts of the piece to Bishop Marc of California. I think he got the message that George Bush wasn't liked a great deal in the Barry presentation - whatever the quality of the accent. I don't think he was troubled by the sentiment.

It was like being in my own little heaven today talking about Welsh politics, the West Wing, the Obama campaign and recent political developments in Australia. I'd just like to say at the end of a busy afternoon "Thank you God for a really great day."

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Yesterday, I had a long journey back from Bangor to Cardiff but it was good to be with some Equalities and Human Rights Commission friends during the evening. After the sadness of remembering the Bishop of Bangor, who died recently, it was good to be with friends at the close of the day.

We laughed a lot and reminisced about the old days of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Today, it was one of those memorable days when Meleri had her graduation in Saint David's Hall, Cardiff. It was a happy but a long day. It's difficult to believe but graduation ceremonies can even be longer than church services. That takes some beating.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Half a Day

This morning I had a really good session in the gym but not at an unearthly hour. It was good to get there as my mates were going off for work. I slept well last night.

My half a day's work was spent in the company of friends from the Presbyterian Church of Korea. They really did encourage me.

Life is now much better. I have had a replacement for my phone.