Thurs Jan  17
I arrived in the US on Jan 9 very tired – but have had a nice week, incl a few days in San Diego & Honolulu. I first visited Honolulu in 1986 & that started my love affair with America (never thinking I would eventually live there). Today I am off to my next adventure & another new country – Lima,, Peru.

Fri 18
I arrived in Lima at 12 midnight & got to my hotel in Miraflores by 1 am. After a good sleep I enjoyed a marvellous breakfast. Peruvian food is delicious, & it kept coming. At 11 am I set off to discover my surroundings. I walked along the cliffs which look over the Pacific. The beaches are not great, but attracted surfers & paragliders. I finished up at Huaca Pucllana. This is the remains of a temple (c 500 AD) built of mud clay bricks. It was fascinating. They had women priests who sacrificed women……..no wonder they died out! I then walked to the central park, where there is an historic church & the municipal offices. After 3 hours of walking I returned to the hotel.

Walking around Lima 18 JAN 2019
Walking around Lima 18 JAN 2019
Walking around Lima 18 JAN 2019
Walking around Lima 18 JAN 2019
Walking around Lima 18 JAN 2019

Sat 19
Today I walked into the Historic Centre. This took 2 hours & lots of people were out for Saty shopping. Eventually I got to the centre & spent 2.5 hours exploring it. I started at Plaza Mayor. This square is surrounded by beautiful old buildings: the cathedral, archbishop’s house, municipal offices & presidential palace. Unfortunately the cathedral was closed for siesta. I then walked to San Francisco. This is a Franciscan monastery still home to Franciscans. I joined a tour thru the complex (no pics allowed) but again, the magnificent church was closed.

In the evening I attended Vigil Mass at the local church. One of the fascinations with overseas travel is the music I encounter at Sunday Mass. On this occasion the Gloria was sing to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The chorus, of course, was: Gloria, Gloria, Hallelujah!

Walking in City Square of Lima 19 JAN 2019
Walking in City Square of Lima 19 JAN 2019
Walking in City Square of Lima 19 JAN 2019
Walking in City Square of Lima 19 JAN 2019
Walking in City Square of Lima 19 JAN 2019

Sun 20
This morning I walked around Barranco, the suburb a short walk south of Miraflores. It has a long history as Lima’s bohemian area – I call it the St Kilda of Lima!

Walking in Barranco 20 JAN 2019
Walking in Barranco 20 JAN 2019
Walking in Barranco 20 JAN 2019
Walking in Barranco 20 JAN 2019
Walking in Barranco 20 JAN 2019

Fri 31
I returned to the US from Lima on Mon 21 & had a relaxing week based in SD. I flew to London on Mon 28, arriving next day & checking into the Bankside Hilton, the hotel I enjoy when in London. I was welcomed back by the staff who remembered me & spent the day recovering from jet-lag. Today I went to 12.30 pm Mass at St Magnus – the church where I am to be special preacher for Holy Week & Easter in April. It was good to catch up with the Rector & 2 parishioners I know. After Mass I spent the rest of the afternoon in the Imperial War Museum. Tomorrow I go to Walsingham via train to Kings Lynn.

Sat Feb 2
I arrived in Walsingham yesterday on a very cold day, but the sun was shining. Good to be back & to see everyone again. Today is the 39th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. In Adelaide that day it was 33c – today it snowed! So I walked in snow to St Mary’s for the 11 am Mass with Candlemass ceremonies. I enjoyed concelebrating the Mass as I reflected on that day & all that has happened over the years since then. After Mass I joined the parishioners for lunch, which was an initiative from the new Vicar, Fr Harri. I enjoyed meeting him & his wife.

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of my Deaconing & I have been invited to be Deacon at the Parish Mass. Afterwards I will have lunch with my friends, Stephen & Jo. The annual priests retreat starts on Monday & I am looking forward to experiencing this for the 1st time. So 2 Walsingham firsts this visit – Candlemass & the Priests Retreat.

Mon 4
Yesterday was a lovely celebration of my anniversary. I wasn’t expecting any fuss – but I was prayed for in the intercessions & during the notices the Vicar, Fr Hari, congratulated me & presented me with a bottle of Frech champagne. Parishioners were also very kind with their congratulations. A lovely lunch with my friends followed.

This morning I said Mass in the shrine, using the propers from the missal for the anniversary of ordination. This is a very personal sort of Mass & is only the 2nd time I have used it. Now I look forward to being on retreat with 140 priests & being in silence until Friday morning.

Sun 10

The retreat was excellent. 3 talks about 20th martyrs which each had a relevance to me: the New Guinea Martyrs, Edith Stein & Oscar Romero. The worship & singing were uplifting. On Fri I returned to London for the weekend.

Yesterday I caught the train to Lingfield, Surrey, to visit my old friend, Fr Martin. We chatted & reminisced for hours, remembering good times we had in both our parishes.

Today I went to High Mass at St Magnus. It was excellent, with wonderful music & the usual superb brunch afterwards. Several people said that they were looking forward to my return to St M to be the special preacher for Holy Week & Easter. After I returned to the hotel I walked to the Imperial War Museum. I still had things to see from my visit on Jan 31 – in fact I spent another 2 hours there.

Tomorrow I catch the train to Oxford & will be there 2 nights. The purpose is to meet with the principal of Pusey House. He is in charge of the arrangements for the Peter Toon memorial sermon, which I am to give in May – like St Magnus, another great honour & challenge.

Thurs 14

I had a wonderful 2 days in Oxford. I arrived Mon a/noon & caught a bus to my hotel on the outskirts of Oxford. I was delighted to discover that it was near Littlemore, the village to where Cardinal Newman retired & preached his last sermon as an Anglican. Now a suburb of Oxford, I explored it & found Newman’s parish church. More interesting was the view from my hotel room – St Nicholas Priory, erected in AD 1111.

Tuesday I caught the bus into the city & was excited to pass St Luke’s, Cowley – the church from which I obtained the Harrison organ for St Mark’s. That was exactly 21 years ago! Returning to the railway station, I then walked to Pusey House. I knew of Pusey House, but had never been there. It is a wonderful anglocatholic establishment providing accomodation for students with the magnificent chapel as its centre. There are daily Services, lectures, seminars & a significant library. I enjoyed staying there as much as for the atmosphere as anything else.

After meeting with the principal (whom I enjoyed meeting) about my preaching in May I then explored Oxford. What a wonderful place it is, with so many old buildings & famous Colleges, with their beautiful chapels. I returned to the House for Evensong, which was beautfully sung. Next morning I attended Mass & joined the residents for breakfast. I then explored more of Oxford before catching the train at 12 noon.

I am now in Walsingham for the Partners w/e, which I have attended every year since I retired.

Mon 25

After an excellent 3 weeks in UK, I had the w/e in Frankfurt. The weather here has been brilliant sunshine, but chilly. Sunday a/noon I walked around the old town. This was completely destroyed after the war & debate raged for decades about what to do with it. Thankfully they decided to avoid modern buildings & 15 years ago started to reconstruct the original buildings. I have watched it over the years & now it is finished. A wonderful result, incl an open-air museum of the original Pfalz.

Today I fly to Madrid. I have a week in Spain, incl 3 days in Seville – a new city for me.

Fri Mar 1

The weather in Spain has been amazing, almost like Summer. I wandered around Madrid all day Tuesday, most of it still familiar from my last visit years ago. On Wednesday I caught the train to Seville. What a wonderful, relaxed city this. And so many wonderful churches & buildings. Yesterday I went to Mass in the Royal Chapel of the cathedral. A stunning chapel only open to worshippers. After that I wandered around for 3 hours, finishing at the Macarena basilica – home of the weeping virgin.

Today I went to 10 am Mass in the cathedral itself. This was before they let the tourists in & I arrived when the Canons were chanting morning prayer. Wonderful to sit there & take in the impressive sanctuary. Mass followed, accompanied by organ, choir & incense. Afterwards I wandered around the cathedral for 15 mins, having it virtually to myself – fantastic. I then explored more of the city for 3 hours. More of the same tomorrow!

Sun 3

Yesterday I explored more of the city, incl Tirana on the other side of the river. I finished up at the stunning church of El Salvador – a wonderful climax to this wonderful city. Today I catch the train back to Madrid & tomorrow fly back to the US.

Thurs 14

I arrived back in Australia yesterday after a wonderful week in Spain, followed by a week in the US. Now I have just 4 weeks in Melbourne before flying to London for Holy Week & Easter.

The flight back to Melb on Monday was a strange experience – it was the last time I will fly between Melb & San Diego with United. For future trips I will be flying with Virgin Australia from Melb to London & returning thru the US. This is due to 2 factors: It is almost impossible to get upgrades on United & it is cheaper to book Bus Class on  Virgin to London than flying United thru SD & hoping for upgrades. This is significant as I now have less income for travel since the sale of my SD condo. It means I will no longer be making SD a base for travel, & I look forward to experiencing travel on Virgin with new planes, new crews, new terminals, new lounges & new elite benefits 🙂