About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Sunday 19 August 2012


Oh heck and crikey.  I'm only simple Yorkshire lay reader and cub reporter for the Church of England Times and yet here I am, about to interview the Archbishop of the Northern Hemisphere, Pagan Purple, in his sumptuous palace!  

Flippin' heck, I think, as the lilac limo sweeps me in though the grand wrought iron gates.  We pass through acres of deer park until we come to a bridge over a moat, where swans glide serenely. You've gone and done it this time, lass.  I clutch the ever so nice mauve suede seats as the chauffeur (an attractive young blond  chap) in his peaked violet chauffeur's cap, swings round a final corner and parks the Bentley in front of the poshest place I've ever seen. It looks like something out of House Beautiful

I get out of the car, knees trembling, suddenly worried that my blue lay reader's robes look shabby in the context of this overwhelmingly cool and wealthy ambience.  I grip my Sainsbury's bag-for-life containing my dictaphone and list of questions the editor has primed me with. I should have borrowed the curate's hand-tooled leather robes carry-case from Wippell's of London, with its gold detailing.  And I should have Googled the archbishop, I realise.  How old is Pagan Purple?  I assume he's really old, in his 60s with untamed wild eyebrows like every other bishop in the church.  

I mount the steps, my wild wayward curls framing my elphin yet somehow saucy face.  Well, Analgesia Boron, I say to myself, let's get it over with.  I ring the bell.  Another extremely good-looking young blond chap answers the door.  He's wearing a fine suede cassock of a divine heather hue.  Like Ilkley moor in August, I think irrelevantly. 

'Good morning, my name's Analgesia Boron, here to interview the Right Reverend Pagan Purple.  From the Church of England Times,' I add.

'Wait here,' he says, and goes off down the long corridor with its acres of purple carpet.  He trails some lovely expensive-smelling aftershave after him as his bespoke shoes sink into the carpet.  That's top quality Axminster, that is, sixty quid a square metre, or I'm a monkey's uncle, I think.  Where does Pagan get his money from, I wonder.  The source of his unbelievable wealth is shrouded in mystery.  It is one of the things I'm here to ask him about.

Hot criminy and hecky damn, it's all so swanky!  I'm just an insignificant little Yorkshire trainee reporter.  I'm here to interview Pagan Purple, for heck's flipping sake.  I don't even look the part!  I start to wish I'd borrowed the curate's hand-tailored black double breasted cassock with the princess seams.

But at that moment the door at the end of the long Jacobean oak-pannelled corridor opens and the chap in the heather leather cassock re-appears and beckons me with an inclination of his sleek blond head.  I stumble a bit on the ultra-deep pile carpet and head towards the distant door.  All along the walls I see short leather crosiers.  What on earth can they be for, I wonder?



  1. Waiting with baited breath for the next installment! Will Pagan Purple have big bushy eyebrows and an impenetrable Yorkshire accent? Will our intrepid reporter sink into the axminster carpet, as into quick sand, and have to be rescued by a man in a purple cassock?? Will the short leather crosiers prove to be weapons of mass destruction - and will our lady in blue escape unharmed???

  2. Will the cub reporter manage to hang on to her Sainsbury's bag-for-life or will it be snatched from her grasp by Rt.Revd. Pagan Purple's secretary and used for who knows what?