Tag Archives: Autobiography

Church and State, Skirt and Flag

For the benefit of new readers who did not follow me in my Dabbler days, this is the first in a series of favorite posts from the Dabbler Archives.  This piece first appeared in The Dabbler on August 31st 2011. … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf – Slant Manifesto

Subtitled Catholics and the Left this worn little paperback sits on my bookshelf like a relic of another age. It was a time when English Catholics looked to Marxist thought to inspire a full expression of their faith. Released in … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf – A Flap of Nuns

A Flap of Nuns isn’t  the title of a book on my bookshelf. The term is one of the collective nouns in James Lipton’s classic An Exaltation of Larks. I use it here as a means of confession that I … Continue reading

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That Was The Year That Was

Long ago and far away in the England of the 1960’s television political satire was born. I was fourteen years old, precociously interested in current events, and allowed to stay up late to watch That Was The Week That Was. … Continue reading

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On Learning I’m English

I learned some shocking information this fall. It was a simple matter of spitting in a tube for one test and swabbing my cheek for another, but the results were complicated and confounding. I learned that the majority of my … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf – Swallows and Amazons

My favorite childhood book was never on my own childhood bookshelf. I borrowed Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome from my local library and enjoyed it so much that in subsequent weeks I checked out all the other books in … Continue reading

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The Night I Met Mick Jagger

Bubbling with the exited anticipation of teenagers, my friend and I rode the number 66 red double-decker bus into Romford. It was February 25th 1964 and we were headed to the Odeon Theatre to try to catch a glimpse of … Continue reading

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How St. Nicholas Became Santa

When I was a small child growing up in England we didn’t have Santa Claus and we didn’t hang up stockings or set out cookies on Christmas Eve. Instead, following the tradition of my mother’s Flemish homeland, my sister and … Continue reading

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Surprised by Patriotism

  To celebrate July 4th I dig into The Dabbler archives for a piece I wrote some years ago recording my gradual acceptance of the American holiday and some memorable celebrations over the years. One July 4th I was surprised … Continue reading

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The Dagenham Idol

                    A few years ago I received a mysterious Christmas gift from my San Francisco brother. I opened the long, narrow box to find a crudely formed human figure made of … Continue reading

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