I was born on November 10th 1938 just in time to be around when the Second World War began (the next year). I was not aware of that dreadful beginning to several years of international violence and bloodshed, but I can remember the sights and sounds of bombing over Birmingham in the early 1940s, the Anderson shelters in our gardens, collecting shrapnel, VE day and the Japanese surrender. After which we had a street party. This left the 'horse road' - as we still called it in those days - pitted with potholes where the tarmac had melted .......... The trees, which had been planted by the roadside when our estate began to be built in 1937 had reached more or less the same height as I had by that time. They were to grow to become such a nuisance that eventually they had to be cut down. I am still here, I'm glad to say. 27.04.2018
I think I must have been a difficult child! I remember being very strong willed and ready to argue with anyone who didn't see things as I did. This included my Mum and Dad who were often caught up in my questioning approach to life, since they didn't seem to realise how illogical they were in many of their responses. They were, of course, being lovingly parental in their approach to me, and throughout my childhood wanted me to be a lovable child. Unfortunately for them - and perhaps for me, too - I was never uninhibitedly a child, lovable and yielding . By which I mean that from the earliest of times I have never been able simply to relax and just enjoy life without finding it unfairly difficult - for others, mainly, but also for myself. I cannot recall ever being free from a sense of injustice, which will always find me politically on the side of society's underdogs, as was Jesus, I believe. But let me say at once that this does not make me an 'extremist' ready to use any means available to impose my views on the rest of the world. Had I been so, perhaps I would have gone into politics with a view to becoming Prime Minister instead of responding to the call to become a parish priest.