A personal pause

It amazes me when I look at the statistics to see how widely this blog is read. I even had a visitor from Syria in the last few months – which bought the current Civil War there a little closer to home. If, my Syrian visitor, you read this post – be assured of my prayers (and it made a good theme for a school assembly on “It’s a small world”).

DSC06764Two pieces of news. My dad, Dr Jeffrey Barham, died on 3 December 2013. This photo was taken in a tea shop in Corbridge in June 2011 – we didn’t actually do Corbridge church … . I remember many childhood visits to excavations, Roman sites, etc. where dad would disappear for what seemed like hours. I have recently read Charlotte Higgins’ book “Under another sky” which traces her journeys in Roman Britain. Many of these places I visited with dad. I had bought him a copy of Ed Geldard’s wonderful book of photos “Hadrian’s Wall: edge of an Empire” for his Christmas present (reduced from £25 to £10 in a bargain bookshop in Carlisle) – I’ll keep it myself. Mum (Jane, died 2010) and dad have been part of church congregations in around Cambridge for all their lives – Arbury Road Baptist Church Cambridge, Barton Baptist Church, Emmanuel URC and St Columba’s URC – and St Peter’s church, Barton. May they both rest in peace, and rise in glory.

DSC04053My son Gareth (23) had a heart transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London 9 years ago after dilated cardiomyopathy damaged his own heart beyond repair. He has had his ups and downs over the last few years, but back in June (2013) he was well enough to walk up to Housesteads Roman fort. (If you have visited Northumberland, you will know it is quite a walk from the car park to the fort). After a spell in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle he has been told that this heart is failing, and another transplant will be necessary. I am writing this on 11 December. Since 1 April 2013 906 people have donated organs, 2,375 have received transplants, and 7,098 people are waiting for transplants. If you have not signed the Organ Donor Register please go to NHS Organ Donor website and do so. There are 7,097 + Gareth who are waiting.

We would all value your prayers please.

The third piece of news – Ray, if you read this, I have found your black folder on the Wannie Line (yes really – but now I’ve lost your phone number). For the rest of you, the Wannie Line ran from Morpeth to Reedsmouth Junction along the Wansbeck Valley. Here are some videos to enjoy:

Finally – don’t forget, a Christmas welcome at Ponteland St Mary.

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