Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his soj
ourn in Northern Ireland'

Summer comes to 'paradise
in County Antrim'

Jon Kennedy  

JONAL ENTRY 1293 | JUNE 9 2013

". . . one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see."

— from John 9, from today's
Orthodox lectionary readings

Diary: June brought summer to Belfast, after everyone had been dreading another "year without a summer," which they are saying happened here last year. With a spring of week after week of windy, cold, rainy weather after two, even three, weeks of snow-covered ground in April, summery days were never more welcome. That's my excuse for not doing anything here since May 30; the weather has been too good most of these days to do anything other than go out taking pictures and generally enjoying nature's wonders. The past week has been like San Francisco dropped down into County Antrim, which is my answer to C.S. Lewis's oft-quoted "my idea of paradise is Oxford dropped down in the middle of County Down." (Counties Antrim and Down occupy opposite sides of the River Lagan, for non-Ulster readers.) And from what my smart phone has been telling me, thus far this may be shaping up as a year with no summer for my Allegheny Mountains homeland in Western Pennsylvania, as it has been rain, rain, rain there this month thus far, and more of the same is forecast for days yet to come. On the other hand, my summer there last year couldn't have been more beautiful.

My housemates are off in England on a retreat on the storied Lindisfarne, I have the house to myself and can't afford yet another dayticket on the metro (having done that for the past three days), so I've run out of excuses not to write here (not to mention my feet are too sore to take a walking tour today . . . my knee pain, described here on May 29, finally subsided almost entirely, but the pain in my right foot has been harder to shake and in fact seems to have migrated up to my ankle).

Meanwhile, my friend Jack Lamb has returned from his six-week sabbatical in Mumbai, India, so I'm easing back into some of our usual meetings and other pursuits (busy-busy). Meanwhile, I've also met with a literary agent who's offered to take my book on Lewis's spiritual biography to some of the publishers who refuse direct contact from authors. Halleluia (or, as Siri, the constant companion-assistant on my iPad translates that, Honolulu Ya!). Meanwhile, my housemates and I are planning a week in County Donegal at the end of this month, and on attending Ireland's major writing event in Armagh in July. Meanwhile, friends keep asking, "why Northern Ireland?" Well, duh, it's San Francisco plopped down on the coast of County Antrim! Where else?

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying making videos and taking stills more than ever with my Galaxy S4 14-megapixel camera (which also explains the continued sore feet). Here are a few samples, taken in Belfast's Waterworks park last week. These and more like them are available on my Google+ page.

Feedback: You can comment on today's topic on the page linked here:


I've had only one comment thus far since starting the comments page. Maybe I'm not doing something right? Feedback always welcome.

Scripture: Today's Gospel reading is the longest one of the whole year, but that's no proper topic for homiletical reflection. It's fascinating how the man born blind but healed by Jesus is prodded to tell more about it, and finally to face the main question of his life, what is he to do with Him? Have you faced that same question?

§     §     §

Please support my mission to Northern Ireland in your prayers. You can read my overview of this undertaking here. My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

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Always have tea, not coffee, in England: coffee, not tea, in France, wine not beer in all Southern Europe: porridge nowhere except in Scotland and Ireland!

— C.S. Lewis

Editor's note: "porridge" seems to be their word for "oatmeal."


. . . all loose usages of words are like inflation and lower the value of the currency.

— C.S. Lewis

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