I want to join my words and thanks to those expressed by others to Jessica for the hospitality of her blog, and I would join in particular, Chalcedon, in what he says about its purpose; that it was which attracted me here, and which persuaded me to join as a contributor.

I first came across Jessica’s blog when I used to comment in the custard parlour on the Daily Telegraph. Some folk there used to mention her, and I found my way to this place, where I saw a Christian lady trying to witness to a faith which whilst being very far from childish, was certainly child-like, just as Our Lord God and Saviour says it ought to be. Barred from the hairdressing salon because I was driving the atheists who drive up the hit rate away, I could have done what others have, and adopted another ID, but what was the point? Arguing with those consumed by bitterness and steeped in the gall of their own biliousness is, after a while, to become touched by the same pitch; it isn’t as though most of them were worth arguing with, as they partook of the role of the naughty boy at the back of the class whose only contribution is negative, and whom one will meet years later stacking shelves at a supermarket.

Here, whilst there was plenty of argument, there was an openness which is rare. Our hostess was, herself, sympathetic to Roman Catholicism, but not able to take that final leap. That united us, although for me there has never been an impulse to leap. My own journey has been one of coming to understand that those whom I had always been taught were sons and daughters of perdition were, in fact, like me, children of the One God. That Grace has been given to me, but without whatever is necessary for it to translate into a desire to find a boat across the Tiber. I see much there that is good, but nothing which impels me to leave the place where The Lord set me nearly seventy five years ago.

Here, thanks to you all, I have found a home where I can have my own views challenged, my own knowledge increased, and where there is much food for spiritual nourishment. For all that, I am grateful. I have also found, as I always will, those who want to argue for the sectarian narrowness with which II was brought up, and, rescued from it myself by the Grace of God, I shall ever take my sword and strike it down; a combative Yorkshireman I was born, and I daresay I shall go to meet my Maker as one. I am glad He is all-knowing, because to know all is to understand all. At that last I can only hope that He won’t be altogether displeased with what I’ve done with the talents he gave me.

At my age, such thoughts about the last things, come naturally, but I don’t end on a gloomy note – not least with the sun shining over the dales, and with Yorkshire cricket club in fine form, and with two years of Jessica’s blog, there’s a deal to give thanks for – including your company, dear reader. Ad multis annos as they say in parts of Bradford.