At Dedza Pottery (again)

Hence up country (with the customary measure of diffidence) again.   It is necessary to set aside the usual standards by which one marks ‘the Days on the Year’. One recalls from Oxon. with fondness the beauty of the Mass of Christmas Day at the Oratory; and the time between Christmas Day and the Epiphany…

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Eighteen Years on the Inside

The rains have failed. A burning sun has set over 2021 and the Kasungu – Lilongwe plain. The heat torturous.   Diversion must be sought where it may. I note this, by David Warren of Toronto, founding editor of The Idler, on the eighteenth anniversary of his reception into the Church. Mine is also eighteen…

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Christmas Day

For Christmas Day… White egrets perch atop the papyrus at Kamuzu Academy’s ornamental lake. They are the harbingers of rain. White lilies spread over the waters of the lake. Cyperus papyrus

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Rains at Advent

There fell today the first heavy rains: later than last year, so all the more welcome. November is an exercise in endurance: a succession of days that seem always the same under a burning sky, when that part of Malawi which is not European has the good sense to attempt as little of purposeful activity…

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The Immaculate Conception

For the Immaculate Conception… Two bead trees (Adenanthera pavonina, also called false red sandlewood) flank the entrance to Kamuzu Academy’s library. They are native to India. It is alleged that their seeds were used once to weight gold: 30 seeds = 11.5 grammes. A. pavonina

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… and Two Others

‘I’m not sure how many readers know the name of Anthony Smith’, asks Douglas Murray of the former President of Magdalen College, Oxford, in today’s edition of The Spectator. ‘But while not every reader will know him, you are lucky if you know the type: that rare person whose passion is helping other people —…

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On Wisdom

The Oxford Oratory has reprinted one of Jerome Bertram’s sermons to mark both his anniversary and St. Frideswide. It recalls the man rather well. Our Father Jerome died on 19 October, two years ago. Many of you found his sermons and talks both interesting and entertaining. His was indeed an inimitable style. Although our Weekly…

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Two Oxford Men…

Today for St. Frideswide, who is best marked, perhaps, with a Respite in memory of two Oxford men, neither of whom I knew well, but whose presence I observed around the city, and whose further acquaintance I will now no longer have.   Jerome Bertram was a father of the Oxford Oratory. I noted him…

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Our Lady’s Birthday

Today, in honour of Our Lady, a tree currently in flower at the Four Seasons Nursery in Lilongwe: Tabebuia aurea, aka. Yellow Tabebuia vel Caribbean Trumpet Tree. It is, in fact, S. American, like J. mimosifolia, aka. the Jacaranda, whose dusky purple, for this brief season, transfigures Capital City. T. aurea J. mimosifolia

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Greek in the Tropics

We have just awarded the Kamuzu Academy Lower School Certificate in Greek for the second time.   The survival of the Classics in the Malawi bush is due perhaps more to the life support of presidential mandate and institutional inertia than to any respect or understanding that they command among either colleagues or pupils. There…

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