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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, January 16, 2005
    Mild and sheltered
    "The island is battered, the Post Office now cleared out from sand, fences blown over, boats in people's gardens along the village street... but here up at the Abbey we have been OK. We've had quite a few power cuts (even today), but mine has been a health cut - I'm still recovering from total wipe out," wrote the Warden of Iona Abbey yesterday. I love visiting Iona, but at other times of the year. This news makes me feel glad to live in one of Britain's mild and sheltered places.

    Do places create characters akin to their elemental nature? Tempting to suggest so. Iona islanders, for instance - rugged, windwept folks? It's a cliche, and I'm sure Alain de Botton would dispute it. Too close to the conceit that if you travel to a place it'll change the person you are. And it wouldn't apply to my description of Liverpool. Mild and sheltered we certainly are not...