Tuesday 8 September 2015

The End

Can you enjoy driving on the M25?

I did last Sunday early in the morning. It was cold but sunny and the significant but below average traffic moved fast and skilfully in a sort of anarchic dance between the lanes. I don't know if the other drivers were enjoying themselves but I  thought it was fun interacting with them at high speed (and in full compliance with the law and the Highway Code).

The experience was all the better for listening to the morning service on Radio 4 live from Albany Road Baptist Church, Cardiff.

I dare say the religious content of the service was uplifting for Baptists and probably for other believers too but I was really only tuning in for the music.

The highlight was Cwm Rhondda with those most familiar English words -  "Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah" - but what made it memorable was that for once they sang it right, that is with just two notes not three on the word "heaven" as in in "bread of heaven".

It may not seem a big thing but for years I have been enraged by this careless weakening of a great hymn (I bet your church gets it wrong or you would find it did if you ever went to it).

Did it start because people couldn't handle the elision required in the second verse ("strong deliverer" needs to be sung "strong deliv'rer")? But then in the third verse the congregation reaps the ungainly reward for their mistake as they mumble "songs of praises" as "songs of pray-ayses" and look at each other thinking the writer of the words must have had an off day and possibly the composer too.

William Williams Pantycelyn - or perhaps the translator Peter Williams - and John Hughes must be spinning in their graves.

Musing on this it came to me (at about the point I passed the exit for the M1 in my anti-clockwise orbit) that perhaps I should say something about this on my Blog, an idea which had not occurred to me for some weeks as you can see from the record below.

And then I thought "why?".

The truth is, and I didn't realise this at first, that the purpose of this Blog ended when I vacated my office at Hafal.

Most Blogs are written for the benefit of the writer and I was honest enough to say so. The Blog was a way for me to sound off while letting those better qualified than me - users of mental health services - do most of the talking on official Hafal channels.

Of course the M25 has no end but I do not propose to drive around in circles and so I made the decision (as I took the exit onto the M4 and towards home) that the Blog should end...here.