A memorable day in Brixham

   11.05pm. A blessed day [in Brixham]. I got us a cup of tea in bed at 7am, then a second one, slept a little longer. We did a little shopping after breakfast, went to the Book Warren where last month I saw a copy of Many Mansions, which John Collins has since asked for, but it had gone. We had coffee and biscuits at the Christian Centre in Fore Street, the hall very full.

   We decided to go to Dartmouth: returned here, drove to Kingswear, parked there, took the ferry across the river, had a look round and purchased a jumper each for Julia’s birthday next week and also for Clarice. We had lunch in the little courtyard of the Spinning Wheel, advertised as a 14th century building, afterwards visiting the two bookshops we visited last time, one of them the big church. We then took the ferry back, rested before tea then walked up to the [Higher Brixham] Methodist Church for the Sankey evening.

   The church was packed, at least 70 there, extra seating had to be brought in. I introduced half-way through, the Fanny J. Crosby hymn Revive Thy work, O Lord, spoke briefly [of coming judgment on Britain and America] and read pieces of Habakkuk. The service lasted 90+ minutes. We finished after 8.30pm, had coffee and tea and biscuits in the church. Later I did the rest of the washing-up and cleaning around, so we and Andrew & Margaret were last to leave except for Pearl, who was locking up.

   We then went back to Andrew & Margaret’s where we had a happy time of fellowship. He was 4th engineer on the MV Doulos for 15 months, visiting Peru and Chile with Operation Mobilisation. In church, after the service, Andrew gave me a parcel. Inside were Stephen Jeffreys, The Beloved Evangelist, which I have wanted a copy of since I saw and perhaps read Ray Trapp’s copy around 1957-58, and also the music edition of Alexander’s Hymns No. 3, the hymnbook of my earliest years — wonderful! Thank you, Lord.

   I was asked also to give the benediction after the service. Andrew brought us back home about 10.50pm. Freda has already gone up to bed.


The towers fall

   9.08pm. A day that will live in the memory of Americans as long as that nation survives. Today they have reaped what they have sown. Thousands are dead and injured as a result of the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York and part of the Pentagon in Washington. The whole nation is reeling, the government evacuated, banks closed, flights diverted, the stock market destroyed. For over half-a-century the U.S has poured countless billions of dollars and weapons of destruction into the Israeli state, which has used them against the Arabs. Now the Moslems have hit back, hijacking four passenger jets and flying them into the centres of trade and military power and financial institutions. Camp David would also have been destroyed but for the airplane crashing prematurely. Now, as America is humiliated before all the nations of the earth, there is talk of retaliation, against whom?


   8.14pm. We learned about the almost unbelievable events in America on the way back from Brixham. We had left Moorings Reach at 9.31am and were driving up the M5 when we decided on an impulse to make a detour to Tiverton — where we had coffee, bought rolls etc. for our lunch, and got some books for £27 — and then to Knightshayes. There we had a wonderful time renewing acquaintance with the garden. In the shop afterwards, we had just paid for some [Ken just phoned from Uvalde: Sarah died on Thursday night; her funeral was on Sunday and she was buried on Monday] purchases for presents for the USA when a distraught-looking girl, one of the staff [Julia phoned: Charlotte’s friend Elizabeth’s brother worked in the World Trade Centre where many hundreds, perhaps thousands, perished] asked the girl on the till if she had heard the news. I was close enough to hear what was said. Driving away from Knightshayes we put on Classic FM, where sombre music replaced the advertised pieces, and on the way home we began hearing the gruesome details. The moment we got in, I put TV on and for the rest of the night we were transfixed by the constantly repeated images of Boeing airplanes being flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, which subsequently sank down onto their own base.

   We went shopping this morning, taking the car as there was a parcel of bulbs for us to collect, but it had been taken back to Bridgwater. I bought the Daily Mail (96 pages) and Daily Express (88) but have had no time to read them. I spent until 3.45pm answering letters, including one from Florrie, then walked into town to post them, taking one to Angie & Brian on the way. I met Alice, who told me that people had been visiting the chapel all day to pray; in the morning I met and talked with Anne Stallybrass outside the post office. I spent the final hour before tea typing into the Amstrad the material, or some of it, which I wrote at Brixham.

   We visited a bookshop in Tiverton yesterday and found a particularly fine selection of books, many of them unusual titles. We bought George Elliot: a Biography by Gordon Haight, Textures in Embroidery by Valerie Campbell-Harding, both for Freda; Isadora — Portrait of the Artist as a Woman by Fredrika Blair, The Rape of the Netherlands by E.N. van Kleffens, Benito Mussolini by Christopher Hibbert, Allenby in Egypt by Field-Marshal Viscount Wavell, and Britain at War: the Army by Major F. Yeats-Brown DFC. These eight books, no — nine! — there was also Junkers and World Aviation by Capt. F.A. Fischer von Poturzyn — cost me £27.

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30