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

A different dock walk:
tall ships in our harbor

Jon Kennedy  

JONAL ENTRY 1291 | May 29 2013

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting, who could not use his feet; he was a cripple from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking; and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he sprang up and walked.

— from Acts 14, from today's
Orthodox lectionary readings

Diary: I am in considerable pain, having been revisited last week by arthritis (that's a self-diagnosis) in my left knee. I treated it by pressing on, doing my first stationary bike workout at the leisure center (that's UK-speak for "gym" or athletic club), going to a couple more nature walks after the one reported here last week, and doing considerable walking on the dock on Sunday and Monday. While hobbling on my left side, I was compensating by using my right foot to carry most of my considerable weight. I could walk on the left leg by keeping the knee straight, but could not use it to lift myself up a stairstep or even a curb (or to use the UK spelling, kerb). This morning, though the left knee is some but not all better, most of the pain is now in my right foot . . . .

A friend has kindly brought me some pain relieving gel today, called Flexilica (which describes itself as glucosamine+silica+chondtroitin), which sems to have measurably helped the knee and made both pains less noticeable when I'm off my feet, but I can still barely put any weight on my right foot. So the lesson learned is to stop keep pressing on when arthritis flares up (as that in my knee did in the middle of last week) but take it easy. I did bring a large bottle of glucosamine tablets (taken orally) from California, which I started taking sometime during the weekend. They seemed to help the previous times I had bouts with arthritis, the worst of which occurred a week after son Kevin's wedding (where I danced more than I had in three or more decades). That time, both knees were in so much pain that I then purchased my first stash of glucosamine.

But enough of my old man's complaints; on to the business at hand. When we arrived at the Dock Cafe for this week's dock walk (see the earlier report on that ministry here) on Sunday, we were surprised by the sight of thousands of people enjoying the partly sunny afternoon on the quayside, where something of a carnival was going on. Maybe as many as ten tall ships were in dock, and visitors were going aboard to explore, others were taking to tour boats in the harbor to get different perspectives, dozens of booths were offering wares and edibles, and performers were putting on free shows. Dock Church rector Chris Bennett suspended this week's prayer walk in favor of making the cafe available to fairgoers, and after my photojournalism stint I joined other regular dock walkers as volunteer cafe workers, bussing and washing the hundreds of cups and other dishes and cleaning up for the next patrons after a previous batch moved on.

Though usually closed on Sundays, the Dock Cafe did brisk business during the past holiday weekend's Maritime Festival. The ministry cafe advertises itself as Ireland's only cafe where patrons can pay whatever they choose by contributing to the 'honesty box.'

The four-minute video below captures some of the tall ships, family activity, and colorful exhibitions going on during the Maritime Fest.

Click the > on the video above to play it. After the video launches, you can double-click the screen to enlarge it to full-screen. If your browser cannot open the video in Windows Media format, you can try it on YouTube, here.

Feedback: I have wanted for years to make it possible to get direct feedback from readers, and maybe we're on our way to a solution. The app I'm using for this is very obtuse (for example, when I posted the following, it told me "you have made two new posts," but why it thinks so I have no clue. But maybe I'll eventually master it. Meanwhile, check it out and let me know what you think, on the new feedback app or today's topics.


Scripture: Between Pascha and Passover, the church services retrace the stories in Acts of the miraculous works of the Apostles. I am struck by Luke's assertion in the passage above that Paul could tell by looking in the crippled man's face that he had faith to believe that he could be healed. Paul was not a mind reader, but was a reader of faces.

§     §     §

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. NEW Mobile: 44 7455 980890.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

Previous blog:
A roundup of last week's highlights

Report on latest NTAMHS Meeting

Glotube videos



When I got to an automobile dealership to pick up my car, I was told the keys had been locked in it. I went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "it's open!" He replied: "I know. I already got that side."


Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.

— Doug Larson

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