A Word In Your Ear - March 9, 2017

Last Sunday saw one of my rare appearances at church. 'Thought I heard a thunder clap!' joked a warden, spotting me.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 9:53 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:56 am
Roy Edmonds

Still, it was uplifting and, in this lean time of Lent, also sustaining.

As I was leaving, the cheery minister told me, “I enjoy those columns of yours.”

She even read them to her father (who must be short of amusements).

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But when she also said which was her favourite recent piece, I couldn’t remember it. “I suppose you write so much,” she sympathised.

Well, perhaps, but to be honest I don’t give it too much thought; it just comes naturally somehow.

My uncertainty at her remark reminded me of once being interviewed – a rarity for a journalist – by the Newspaper for the Blind, which still carries these columns.

How did I start preparing columns and what was I trying to achieve, asked the smooth but earnest interviewer.

He had kindly put me at ease to start with but soon I was bumbling helplessly, trying to find intelligent answers to such probing questions.

Long ago, when first asked to write a newspaper column (for the South China Morning Post when working in Hong Kong), I was flattered and tried to be suitably topical and amusing.

Later, while working on a night shift, I spotted a circulated copy of my efforts on the editor’s desk – with comments by various executives attached at his request.

“Promising,” wrote one cynical hack, “but can he keep it up?” Well, that was 35 years ago.

“It’s a gift!” someone graciously said of my missives. It may be so and I’m deeply grateful, but am still sticking to those basics – being topical, well-humoured and always optimistic, because there’s enough bad news on other pages.

As I see it, what we need most, just as spring and Easter promise, is fresh hope.

* See royedmonds-blackpool.com, Amazon or stores for books.