A close friend, the tenor with whom we’ve sung in the St Maura Singers for over 50 years, sent me a postcard today. In fact, he sent two - one, with a picture of a Glasgow tram, had a note on it to the effect that he’d been tidying (putting isolation to good use) and had found the second postcard in a book. One side bore a photo - one of these old pictures that are immediately of a period - of a cross on Iona; the other this wonderful birthday greeting, signed by the then Bishop of Argyll and The Isles, Richard Wimbush, and sundry other diocesan clergy. I recognise almost all of these names, one of whom was a dear friend some 20 years later and whose signature was immediately familiar.
The birthday boy in question was Dean George Douglas, whom we met a year after this birthday and whose influence on my life remains to this day. He was in his 80s; he taught me to cook, introduced me to the beauties of liturgical worship and his funeral was the occasion of my conversion. The rest, to be completely cliche-ridden, is history...
As is this postcard . Who, after all, writes birthday cards in Latin these days?