My aunt left the Philippines three years ago to work abroad - as most Filipinos do. Today was the first time I'd seen her since then. She was lucky enough to come and visit us here on vacation with her employers. She said that she'd 'only dreamt of ever coming to see where we live', something I hear a lot from my family in the Philippines.Three years abroad also means three years away from her husband and children. Today was also the first time she saw them on Skype. The first thing my aunt said when she saw her daughter (10) was 'Anak, ang taba mo! Mag diet ka please!' Ha. Don't you just love family reunions?
Anywho, it made me wonder how one could be away from family for that long. It's no secret that life is hard in the Philippines, and as far as my aunt is concerned she works abroad for the money, for her children and for their future. Pretty admirable in my opinion. Although the numbers make sense, it doesn't make it any easier.
On her day off, the family played tourist in taking her around the city. We saw the usual haunts: Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square etc. It was not the best day to be travelling around town. It was scorching, the kind of weather that makes public transport seem like slow cookers, makes it acceptable to be wearing flip flops, and leaves you feeling like a sticky toffee pudding (perhaps not as sweet though).
I won't bore you with how my gran interrogated a police officer, or how a girl tried to ask a member of the household cavalry out whilst he was on duty. Just scroll down and aimlessly stare at some photos.
I've always liked relics. It might be the Catholic in me or it might just be my interest in the macabre, either way, I really enjoyed the Treasures of Heaven exhibition at the British Museum. So much so in fact, I went twice.
Now, I wasn't supposed to take photos but....
Portable altar with hidden relics, including one from St Benedict
Foot reliquary of St Blaise
Reliquary of the Holy Thorn
A dead body - I thought it fit in well with the theme, and it's giving a thumbs up
I've really enjoyed writing for The Catholic Herald. People often have the preconception that journalists have no morals, are pretentious and out of touch with the readers. I found the opposite to be the case with the guys in the office. Lovely people.
I sometimes wish I graduated this year as I've missed out on a lot of job opportunities - ones that I actually thought I had a shot at. But hey-ho, I have another year to go. As sad as I am that I won't be writing articles every day anymore, I've still got things to keep me occupied. Next week Father Todd will be arriving in the UK and I've been appointed as his unofficial tour guide =]
I've been clearing my room out and came across an old journal. I used to keep a journal every year since I was in secondary school. They used to house my thoughts as well as the odd moment of creativeness.
I shouldn't be reading this one I found though. I should know better. And yet it's so compelling. It's like a test; how I react depends on whether I pass or fail.
There is some powerful stuff in here:
'Apathy is my middle name. I have no motivation, no care for anything in the world it's sad. I'm stuck in a vacuum, a time warp, a state similar to being in Purgatory where I must suffer. Suffer for being so stupid, so naive, so trusting. The pain of flagellation is like a whip to my heart. But what else can one do but suffer?'
Needless to say, I failed. That said, things are a bit different. My reaction was not a happy one, but there would have been a time in my life when I would have broken down in tears reading these words.
I'm not really sure why I've written this. Just rambling really. Best go off and finish tidying things.
It's small, but it's something - and on the front page!
I'm really enjoying my time at the paper. Getting to write, not one, not two, but quite a few articles is quite an honour. I wasn't expecting to get so much writing done, and yet, here I am! You know, I wouldn't mind doing this for a living....
Here's another link if you're interested. The story about Fr Hunwicke shutting down his blog has caused quite a stir.
Yesterday was a bizarre day. I was having a good day settling into work when out of the blue the unexpected happened. I can't really say much because I don't know who reads this blog, but it left me a bit shaken.
I've just started getting my life back on track. Long gone are the days of regret and depressive thoughts. I'm happy to say that I've set myself on the straight and narrow and things are looking up. Well they were. I guess I just wish Drama would leave me alone for a bit. I don't think it's asking much considering what's happened in the past. Ok, ok, I may have been looking for trouble back then, but now I honestly strive to do the right thing.
My theory is that if I do, then life will be better and I'll be happier. I have to say, it's worked out so far. Let's hope it continues in this fashion.