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After almost ten years of supervising and examining doctoral candidates, and a lot more for bachelor and masters degree students, I’ve recently completed the UKCGE’s recognition scheme for research supervisors. To all those young academic doctors ‘out there’, starting on this journey nice and early in your careers, I envy and admire you! This has all come rather late in my own life, but it is SUCH a rewarding academic endeavour.
Check out the blog page, to learn more about the benefits of undertaking this programme yourselves!
I might be very PC (“post Catholic”) these days, but 9th May 1987 is always a day I will treasure in my life, as was the 30th anniversary, in 2017 – for some other right Royal reason!
That special date: 9th May, both of 1987 and 30 years later: 2017. Forever in my memory!
The 9th of May 2017 …
… marked the 30th anniversary since my ordination to the Catholic priesthood. I’ve been teaching sexual health for 27 years now; many people may not even know about the ten years spent for the priesthood, a decade in my past life. These days, I am more inclined to consider myself ‘post-Catholic’, but there’s always a tug on the heart strings when I see “Sister Act” or Zeffirelli’s “Brother Sun and Sister Moon” or some other Hollywood epic with a Catholic theme.
Deacon David lying prostrate for the Litany of the Saints
That 30th anniversary was truly special for a right Royal reason, too!
Quite often, when people find out I was ordained and then left the active ministry, they blurt out “Oh, so you didn’t have a vocation!?” Just like when I was actually working in parish life…
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Today is the 39th anniversary of the first recorded announcement of what was to be called AIDS – with a virus eventually discovered and, by 1985, named HIV. Some similarities between the early days of AIDS and the current COVID19 pandemic, but obviously huge dissimilarities too.
Gosh, seven years have passed since poor Lee Rigby was murdered, brutally and savagely. This was the first blog page I ever wrote. Still occasionally pass the site of his killing and you wouldn’t know anything had happened there now. RIP Lee Rigby. Your memory lives on.
The traffic signs that warn road users passing Woolwich Barracks that there are “soldiers marching” tell us lies today, well for the moment at least. Main roads around Woolwich Barracks are Sunday-afternoon-style quiet and what traffic does pass bye is as slow as a funeral cortege over road humps.
For the moment, gone are the soldiers in uniform busily cycling past, or the friends from different regiments laughing, joking and chatting together as they walk across campus. The totally unprovoked and barbaric murder of Drummer Lee Rigby tightly casts a melancholic pall across this part of town.
When soldiers are grievously injured or killed in action, in the “theatre of war”, it is a tragedy; many make the “ultimate sacrifice” which politicians tell us is so that the rest of us can sleep safer in our beds at night. The loved ones left behind trying to make sense of…
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And this was 30 years ago this very day! The world of HIV was very different back then. Thanks to people like Princess Diana, she managed to take a massive swipe at the whole social disease of stigma, especially as affecting people living with both HIV infection and AIDS defining illnesses.
In an unprecedented move, as of summer 2016, the British Royal Family website carries a number of stories about people living with HIV. HRH The Prince Harry recently delivered an inspirational speech at the Worlds AIDS Conference, in Durban, South Africa, in which he said:
“We cannot lose a sense of urgency, because despite all the progress we have made, HIV remains among the most pressing and urgent of global challenges.”
It is great to see Harry carrying on a cause that his late Mother championed so well. Of course, Diana wasn’t the only Royal to visit and get involved with people living with HIV, but she was the most visible, the most iconic, and therefore the one with the greatest international ‘clout’ for raising HIV awareness, and challenging both HIV and AIDS-related stigmas.
I recount a trilogy of fond memories that I have, of seeing Her Late Royal…
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As children, we would get some old clothes, stuff them with newspapers, and make them into a “Guy”. “Penny for the Guy, please, Mister!”
With so many of the epoch-changing events that might happen during a person’s lifetime, the fall of the Berlin Wall (Berlin Mauerfall) must rank as one such major world event to have happened in my own life, as for all of us who lived through those days.
For the full blog, click here: This is the year!