Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Letter from the Mellish Family of Bromley

Dear all,
Apologies if you have not had a card so far this year. We, or rather I, managed to lose our address book earlier in the year. You are never quite certain whose addresses you do not have until Christmas cards start arriving. So if you have not had a had from us please email me your postal address
It has been a mixed year for us - most of it was brilliant, but it has ended with a downer - the death of two cousins, one on my my mum's side of the family and one on my dad's.
The really good parts were:
1. Birth of our first grandchild on Friday 5th of April - Henry Thomas Reynard Mellish his parents being Lawrie and Emma

My ordination to the Permanent Diaconate in the RC Church - 8th June
The Litany of the Saints
With the Bishop and assembled clergy

3. Wedding of our daughter Helena to Sam on 17th August

With Julia's twin sister and her family

The Family - Barry, Julia, Sam. Helena, David. Andrew, Gaew. Lawrie, Emma and Henry

Additionally I did a Sky Dive in April- my last years birthday present from my children - do they really love me???

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and peace, prosperity and good health in 2014.

Barry and Julia

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Lost address book

We (or rather I) managed to lose our address book during our summer holiday on the Channel Islands. With the arrival of Christmas cards we are finding out whose addresses we do not have, which is quite a few!
So we would be grateful if you would email your postal address to me -

In particular we need Peter and Teresa, Gus and Pam, Barry O'G, Ann and Gerard (in Australia)

Many thanks

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Gordon Mellish RIP

My cousin Gordon died a few days ago from cancer. He was only 72 and a wonderful guy. He will be sadly missed, his mum and dad only died recently - his dad in December 2011 aged 99 and his mum Grace about a year later. His funeral is next week on December 19. Gordon was the oldest of the family on mu dad's side. I am glad that we met in September at the unveiling of the family memorial, which was a good family get together. I also saw him in hospital. We had a great two hour chat about rugby, politics, religion - all the important things in life. That was just a few days before he died, he was in fine form.
May he rest in peace.

Do I want to be a poet or an artist?

W H Auden, the famed English poet, the day started with a dose of Benzedrine; that is to say: speed. He then fuelled himself to work with coffee and cigs, before starting on the martinis at 6, following on with litres of vino, then popping a Seconal (a downer) at about 11, so he could sleep. Fitfully.
The painter Francis Bacon would have laughed at Auden’s puritan sobriety. He commenced work at the crack of dawn (and he worked hard) but by 11am he was ready to “socialise”. First a friend came over to splice a bottle of wine. Then he repaired to a Soho restaurant for a long boozy lunch, drank through the afternoon, before dining out, going to a nightclub, necking some more wine, moving onto spirits, then visiting a casino, then having another liquor-fuelled meal at a bistro, then popping some sleepers to help him snore away the grog.
It is reliably estimated Francis Bacon drank six bottles of wine a day. He also died at the age of 83, and created some of the most valuable paintings in history.

Not sure whether my constitution would stand it!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.[51] These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness. Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.

 I wonder how the Church as a whole will react to this statement? We live in interesting times.

The whole document can be found by clicking here.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Survey of Catholic Thought

Perhaps by now you have heard that the Vatican is soliciting people’s input regarding the church’s teachings on family and sexuality.  In the United Kingdom, you can take the survey online. This is great news, the only problem is that the language used is totally in comprehensible to most of the clergy that I have spoken to - never mind the laity! The questions have been "translated" into English by an American Blogger. You will still have to go the official site to submit your responses. I intend to start my answers with the US version of the questions!

For the original questionnaire follow the link:

For a US version of the survey in plainer English:

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Peter Drake RIP

In the early hours of Friday 8 November my cousin Peter Drake, died. He had been in hospital for nine weeks, his wife Nena, they had been married 59 years,  had spent two hours travelling to see him every day. Peter was a good man a devoted husband and a keen fisherman.  He had been a Church Warden at his local church for many years. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Key Ingredients for a Long and Happy Marriage

The three key ingredients in any lasting marriage are kindness, forgiveness and a bloody-minded refusal to give up.
Taken from an article in The Daily Telegraph - there is a lot of truth in them.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Interesting interview with Pope Francis

Giving his second interview in a month, Pope Francis has this morning said the Holy See was often too “Vatican-centred”, adding that he promised to “do my best” to change the Catholic Church.
In an interview with Italian daily “La Repubblica”, the pope conceded that in the past popes had been “narcissistic” as well as “flattered, and badly egged on by their courtiers”, adding: “The court is the leprosy in the Vatican. ”
Asked whether by the term “court”, he was referring to the Roman Curia, Francis replied: “No, in the Curia we sometimes have courtiers, but overall the Curia is a different thing… However, it does have a serious defect, in that it is very Vatican-centred. It sees and looks after the interests of the Vatican, which are still, in great part, temporal matters…
“This Vatican-centred vision tends to ignore the world all around us. I don’t agree with this vision and I will do my best to change it. The church is, or it has to once again become, a community for the people of God - and the priests, the bishops in caring for souls, are at the service of the people of God…”
Asked what he sees as the most urgent priorities facing the church, Francis replies: “The most serious problems afflicting the world at the moment are the unemployment of youth and the loneliness of the old. The elderly need care and company; the young need work and hope but they don’t have either, and what is worse, they don’t even look for them any more. They have been overwhelmed by the present…”
Pope Francis has made no secret of his desire to create “a church of the poor and for the poor”. In that context, he describes his early encounter at school in Argentina with a female teacher who was a fervent communist, subsequently arrested, tortured and executed under the Argentine military junta in the 1980s.
Even if never attracted by communism, he says that to have come across it via an “honest and courageous” person was “useful”, helping him when it came to understanding the Catholic Church’s teachings on social justice.
Asked whether it had been right that Popes John Paul II and Benedict had repressed Marxist-influenced, liberation theology in Latin America, Francis gives an equivocal answer: “Certainly they [liberation theologians] followed up their theology with political activism but many of them were believers with an impressive concept of humanity.”
Asked about the responsibilities of the international political community, Pope Francis first says that it is not the business of the church to become involved in politics.
Later, he does acknowledge, however, that politics has a major responsibility for creating a world in which “egoism” has grown much more than “love of others”, adding: “Personally, I think that the so-called globalisation has managed only to make the strong stronger, the weak weaker and those excluded, even more excluded.”
As for his reform plans within the church, he points to his eight-man Council of Cardinals meeting with him this week in the Vatican, describing them as “wise men motivated by the same sentiments as me”, adding: “This is the beginning of a church which has not only a vertical organisation but also a horizontal one.”
Speaking of how he himself lives his faith, Pope Francis says that he has no “vocation as a mystic” but does reveal that on the day last March when he was elected pope, he experienced a mystical moment. After having won the conclave vote, he asked his fellow cardinals if he might withdraw for a moment of solitude.
He was filled with a great anxiety, even with the idea that he might refuse to accept the papacy. In order to rid himself of this, he sat down and shut his eyes: “At a certain point, I was struck by a great light. It didn’t last long, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded and I jumped up and went back to the room where the cardinals were waiting for me…and signed the act of acceptance”, he adds.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Some of the (1000) "Official' Wedding Photos

Putting on the dress
At home before the cars arrived

Waiting for the bride (a long story)

The bride and one (very) proud father

Entering the Church

Soon to be "given away"

Proclaiming the Gospel

Being welcomed by Father Tom
Listening to the homily
Making their vows

The first married kiss

Signing the register

Receiving the Blessing

Our family

Sam with his new brothers and nephew

Helena with her nephew Henry

Cutting the cake (why is so much made of this?)

The first dance as Mr and Mrs

End of the day!

And we are off!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Gaew Mellish 
Gaew, our daughter in law, with her mum. Her mum died in her sleep Thursday morning. May God have mercy on her.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

"Official opening" of the Family Memorial

At long last we have the Family Memorial on the grave of my grandmother and grandfather. Grandma only died in 1964 so it has not taken too long to erect! It also commemorates their daughter and five sons and their spouses. It was funded by myself and four cousins who are all the grandchildren. My cousin Stuart was over from America and my cousins Gordon and Lesley came up to Hither Green Cemetery and scattered the ashes of their mum and dad at the site. After this and looking at the memorial had lunch together. It was a great day although tinged with sadness.

From left to right; cousin Stuart, his wife Andrea, Julia, cousin Lesley, Jo wife of cousin Gordon; John - husband of Lesley  

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Air strikes averted?

Well I never thought that I would praise President Putin in print. But the Russian leader seems to have come up with a solution that appears to avert the threat of a major escalation of the troubles in Syria. If the UK MPs had not voted no last week to pursuing military action then in all probability America would have launched cruise missiles and we would be in a bigger mess than we are now.
No doubt the Syrian opposition forces will do all they can to stop any handover of chemical weapons. It would rather suit them for America to bomb President Assad.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Syria Explained

I trust that all is now clear

Friday, 30 August 2013

What are we not being told?

What is interesting are the reports on what intelligence the west has on the chemical weapons attacks. One of the papers, OK it is the Daily Mail, quotes a US "official" saying that it is no slam dunk that Assad authorised the attacks. There are quotes from the JIC report given to David Cameron which asserts that there are 14 previous attacks by Assad and that in all probability this latest one was from him as well. It makes me wonder if we knew about 14 previous attacks why we did nothing then and suddenly feel the need to do something. I do not normally believe in conspiracy theories, governments are generally too incompetent to arrange anything remotely sophisticated, but I am beginning to wonder about what we are not being told.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


Sadly I have come to the conclusion that we are being governed, if that is the right word, by a coalition of deluded idiots. They somehow think that we are the world's policeman. What is taking place in Syria is awful beyond belief. Both the government and the rebels appear to have committed terrible atrocities. Our wondrous leaders solution to this killing is yet more killing.
No matter who did what and to whom in Syria we must stay out. There is enough senseless killing taking place without us joining in. The only logic for us going in is that when everybody is dead there will be no further killing!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

More Wedding Photos

We are still awaiting the official photos - here are more of the ones taken by friends and family.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Thank you presents from Helena

As a thank you present Helena gave Julia a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

And a fabulous Bob Crooks vase - Bob is one of my favourite glass artists. This is something that we will treasure.

Even the youngest joined in!

Henry had a great time!

Mr and Mrs Samuel Dugdale

After a traumatic week Helena and Sam were married on Saturday 17 August at St. Joseph's RC Church Bromley. The reception was held at the adjoining Parish Centre. The trauma was caused by the refurbishment work that was taking place to teh toilets. The builders eventually left at 6.30pm the day before the wedding - thisi was not good for the nerves to say the least.
Then there was an issue with the wedding car, the car that took Helena and I was 45 minutes late - for once being late was not Helena's fault. However despite this the day was great. Our Parish Priest, Father Tom, conducted the most marvelous service the food was great as was the music.
We are still awaiting the official photos, but here are a small selection of "amateur" ones:
A special moment

The deed is done!

Sorting out the family!