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

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006
    Affirming the 'ordinary'

    Ace cartoonist Dave isn't sure whether he's joking or not with this one. It triggered an interesting exchange between us on- and off-line. Housing estates are our home; but they're not easy places to find inspiration. I've really struggled to do that having previously lived and worked in vibrant, edgy inner-city areas. The struggle is worthwhile, of course. Especially on days like today where I've been privileged to lend my ear to two different blokes, each loosened up by hours in the pub, unfolding their messy life stories; standing together on the pavements of this estate, aching for answers, imperfectly praying.

    It must say something positive about Essex housing estates that they provoke Dave's excellent work - work which is often about the ironies of life and contradictions in us, all very real; work which engages with, and thus affirms, the 'ordinary' ...