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Wednesday 25 June 2014


I am forced to blog very late at night your time. Sorry....hope this will change soon.

Meet Some of The Latin Mass Priests

of the Davenport Diocese.

Father Chris Young and STM.

Father David Brownfield and Father Scott Lemaster and you know who... and below, Father Young again, with Father Michael Phillips, whose Latin is beautifully prayed. There are two more in the dioceses, but they were not present at this do. And STM with the wonderful Fr. Phillips.

I sincerely hope that those

..who have not read the Cardinal Manning series do so.  His writings on the Holy Spirit are dynamite.

No Fear!

A priest told me yesterday that the only thing keeping Catholics from becoming saints is fear. Now, I believe this as fear stops the growth of trust in Divine Providence and robs persons of joy. He had been on a priests' retreat and this was the theme. 

Fear, simply, is not believing in the love of God.  If one truly knows that God loves one, there is no fear in the soul or mind or heart. Purity of heart, mind and soul means that one has realized that God loves one despite one’s horrible failings and inadequacies.

One does not have to “prove” love to God, but merely rest in His Love.

Fear causes denial of grace and denial of death. Those who fear cannot face their intended end-to be with God forever.

Fear drives out love. One cannot trust anyone or anything when one lives in fear.

Love does drive out fear, bit by bit, one’s heart is cleared of sin and sadness.

Sadly, many older people fall into fear as they grow elderly. The media plays upon the fears of those who no longer can control their own destinies. Fear keeps them from community and created new suspicions where none are necessary.

Fear causes people to pull in, not to reach out. to be mistrustful and cynical.

We can trust through Christ Himself, and in Christ Himself.

To fear is to destroy the gifts and fruits of the Spirit.

The flowers of the field grow and flourish under the care of God. Should we fear that we shall not be cared for and tended like these little, humble creatures, His flowers?

Meditate on God's Divine Providence today. He has won the war. We only have to sweep up the battles.

to be continued..

A Small Reminder

Please do not forget your guardian angels. They so much want to be acknowledged and asked for help. That is why they exist-to watch over and serve us, to help us get to heaven. Do you think of your angel? Your angel thinks of you.

The Two Brothers of Malta Part Eight

The day Frederico disbanded his temporary camp in order to take his men to the defense of Mdina, a solitary horse slowly walked into the camp, dirty, blood-stained, head down. This was Paulo’s Arabian. Frederico easily read the signs of death and mourned his good servant. Not only was the rider gone, but the leather satchel which contained messages from Frederico to Vallette about the plans of the western flank was gone. Now, the enemy knew of the plans to defend Mdina. Perhaps the Turks would change their minds about the attacks.

The beautiful horse gently taken away and from that day, treated as the god of the horses by the troops, which adopted it in the name of the brave and faithful Paulo. For ten years, this horse accompanied the troops in war and in peace, lovingly cared for in turns by most of the men.

Today, Frederico had to decide whether to stick with this plan, now known to the enemy, or rebuild the tent camp. He chose to move on, as planned. It was highly possible that the enemy would change their own plans, knowing that up to 1,000 men would be crammed into Mdina and the surrounding area. His own small unit was made up primarily by Spanish and soldiers from the general Maltese people, whom he had trained himself. The Spaniards were connected to the Order, either by religion or by family ties. Frederico’s men proved to be the most loyal in the field, and the most deadly, as the farmers, tradesmen, fishermen, and merchants fought for their own land, wives, children and their beloved Catholic Faith.

What he did not know, because Paulo did not reach the promontory for news, was that the great Turkish general, Turgut, once the scourge of Gozo, had been shot by friendly fire, and lay dying. He would not see the shallow yet costly victory at St. Elmo’s. Turgut died the same day as the fort fell.

Frederico did know that Vallette did not know all the changes in the west. The nobleman made a bold decision to carry on without sending another messenger at this time. From Mdina, he would send someone by a more northern route to the eastern war.

He stood in the middle of the camp, now mostly packed in the few wagons and on the horses. “We shall commence to Mdina, and immediately, I shall ask the Bishop to pray a Mass for Paulo. Let us stop and remember his now.” The men stood silently, each praying in his own way. They, most likely, thought of their own possible deaths. Paulo’s body was never found, which grieved many more so.

As Frederico and his men hurriedly moved north, Tomas intended to visit both his regiments at St. Michaels’ and near the harbor at Marsamxett,  hoping to fight alongside his men in either, or both places. To date, he had been robbed of glory and honor. Again, he wondered how his lookouts did not see the Turkish fleet coming south. Were there spies, or paid mercenaries among his own men who had sided with the enemy? Had his men been betrayed by false reports, false sightings of nothing? Tomas prided himself in knowing his men and could not imagine quislings. Still, the entire success and ease of the landing of the Turkish fleet in Marsaxlokk baffled his experienced sense. What he did not sense, was that he would be involved in an extraordinary meeting in the camp. But, first, he would visit St. Michaels’ Fort, partially built with his own money and guarded by 500 of his own men, all from his relatives and the Order in Italy.  The fort was held by about 800 men at this point, soon to be joined by 400 more from the far northern estates.

Tomas raced his horse east, avoiding anyone he saw on the way, and soon was on the road to Fort St. Michael. It was Midsummer in the northern countries, June 23rd and Tomas could hear the bombardment of Fort Elmo even from this distance. His shock as a soldier of the ferocity of the cannons mixed with fear for the men at the fort. However, his mind was on his two errands to encourage his own troops in two places and he forced his heavy horse to go faster. What he had yet to learn was that the Turks had decided to smash St. Elmo’s and wait on the attack on Mdina. His men at the bay of Masaxlokk had all died for a cause, a plan which would be changed. His men died in vain, as the leaders of the Turks fought over their own strategies.

Tomas could see smoke in the air towards the east and his heart grew angry at the cruelty of the enemy.  On this very day, the Turks captured St. Elmo’s and Kızılahmedli Mustafa responded to the great, overwhelming loss of his men with added cruelty.

1,200 Maltese had stood against a much larger army, an army which lost 6,000 Turks and up to 6,000 Janissaries from the beginning of June to this day. Only 1500 Janissaries, his best troops, remained. He had other plans for them and had held them back from this fray.

Mustafa stood above the crumbled ramparts. His men picked through the rubble for treasure, but could find none. Thankfully, some of the priests among the Knights had taken the altar ware away secretly with the help of the people of the area.

The Pasha kicked stones in irritation. He had lost his bravest men, and realized that this battle was too, too costly.

“Take the dead men’s bodies, cut off their heads and make crucifixes. Then nail their headless, infidel bodies to the crosses and send them the bay. If we cannot win through arms, we shall win through fear.” His army carpenters got to work with this grim task. Within the day, hundreds of crucifixes on which were impaled the bodies of the mostly Knights of Malta forces were thrown into the sea, where the waves took them up and sent them to the opposite shore, on the promontory. Some women from the countryside were on the shores, far into the Harbour and Mustafa could see them running to the corpses. A wail, like the storms of the harsher seas, rose from the promontory, as mothers and sisters knelt on the rocks and received the bodies of sons and brothers. Then, there was a great silence.

Mustafa turned to look across the Harbour. There, in the midst of the crucified dead, a priest walked under a canopy with the Holy Eucharist in a glorious monstrance. A small procession of Knights and acolytes followed. Another priest moved from crucifix to crucifix, blessing the bodies of those who in death resembled Christ.

The Pasha sneered. “These infidels adore bread. How I hate this show. But, today, I shall not waste any shot on this puppetry. We shall have our way in the future on this superstitious island.” He turned and moved down the fallen battlements. Walking across the ruins, his thoughts were on the possible error of the decision to take this pile of rubble.

He would have to change the strategic plans of taking over places, as now, he knew his opponents were as brave and as fierce as his own men. Suddenly, he heard cannons, and saw the cannon balls heading towards the rubble. What was Vallette doing? He saw a ball land next to the feet of his body guard. Gruesome as it was, a head of one of his own soldiers, one of those who had attacked the mountain and the promontory, lay on the harsh stone pieces of fort. Another, then another landed here, there, all over the ruined fort and into the camps of the Turks.. Pasha smiled ruefully. de Vallette had a heart like his own, full of steel and anger. The heads of the Janissaries who had been prisoners flew into the fort, reminders that two could play the game of fear mongering. Pasha walked away and disappeared from St. Elmo’s forever.

To be continued….

The Two Brothers of Malta Part Seven

Tomas rode north to the Harbour from Marsaxlokk, having secured his men there with enough arms to withstand at least a quarter of the supposed 192 ships.  About 700 men were in base, in tents, with some rock and stone battlements. He also had men at Marsamxett which was a real harbour and not merely a bay, in case the ships of the Suleiman moved north. This was highly expected by Vallette, as noted, and he was prepared as far north as St. Paul’s Bay, without endangering his army at Fort St. Elmo, so he thought. The southern bay seemed an unlikely place for a landing, but the avoidance of the winds and sandstorms could mean that no ships would come around the western or far northern side of Gozo, as the Sahara storms blew fiercely up through Sicily and even into Italy, where many in Rome took sick this year because of the unusual length of the siroccos.

The winds circled around like dervishes, confusing those who were caught up in the desert storms. Tomas, like his son fifty miles away, covered his face with a loose, white collar around his tunic. His horses had been trained to move as quickly as possible in the siroccos, and this horse, a large black stallion, had no trouble withstanding the coming storms. The horse was large and stocky, capable of holding a man in full armor, and a prize on the island. Both Frederico and Tomas had brought horses from England, trained in the warfare of knights, at their own expense. These hefty animals were unlike the smaller, faster stallions of the East, the famous Arabians, which could run like the wind accosting Tomas’ face.

His own steed, called St. Tomas for its stubbornness and strength, was one of twelve, all named after the apostles, except for Judas. The twelfth was named Matthias. Today, Tomas rode St. Tomas, and he has given one of his few, rare Arabians to Immanuel, who did not need to wear armor.

Immanuel’s horse, named St. Dimitri, was a sleek, white beauty, the fastest on the island. It could race over the rocky terrain as if it were a light breeze. Tomas loved this horse and gave it to his son for good luck.

The armies of the Maltese would need more than luck. Their numbers counted far short of those of the Turks. Tomas could see the ships moving now into range of the forts. He could count at least seventy from his view on a small hill close to the promontory. The ships had good wind and were moving into range of Fort St. Elmo and the mountain, Sciberras. So, the men in that Fort will be hit with the big guns from the mount, once it was taken, and with the invading armies. Tomas spurred his horse. He had left the south bay to ask Vallette in person what the plan was to defend Mdina, as well as keep the enemy from landing anyway on the far northern coasts. A handful of farmers had been armed, but most of the Knights had their men on the eastern coast. Tomas feared that the landing parties in the south and west would find little resistance.

From his small hill, Tomas then saw ships split from those going into the Harbour to the north-Vallette was right, either in his instincts, or through his spies on the continent and in the ancient capital of Constantinople. Marsamxett could be hit. However, what he did not know was the confusion among the leaders of the enemy.  Piyale Pasha had fought with Kızılahmedli Mustafa Pasha as to where to anchor the fleet. Piyale wanted to go to Marsamxett, which Vallette anticipated. But, Kizilahmedli insisted on both taking Fort Elmo first as well as going south in order to invade Mdina. The ships at Marsaxlokk were intended to destroy the holy city.

Tomas changed his own plans and pulled his horse back towards the interior. He would go to the north and stand with his men there. Half of his orders contained that duty, and now, he could see that a battle would strike this quiet harbour. He grieved at the ready loss of his other men at Marsaxlokk.

As he rode, Tomas saw a horseman approaching him from the west. He recognized a servant of Frederico, Paulo. The man was Arabian himself, a convert, and a brilliant horseman. He rode one of Frederico’s Arabian’s, a coal black, small animal, with fire in its nostrils, Tomas thought.

“Sir Tomas, stop. A message from your brother. Here, in this scroll.”

Tomas rode alongside Paulo, pulled up his horse and took the scroll.

“Tomas, we see ships as far as off in the sea as Hagar Qim, near the ruins. How they passed your men in Marsaxlokk, we do not know. But, there is a fleet now settled in the bay which I hear you were to leave.  At least one-third of the ships seem to be in Marsaxlokk.  We should have received word from the watchers on the bay. They may be dead. Send some of your troops from your reserve to us near Rabat. We may be attacked there and I shall take my men into Mdina as soon as I can.”

Tomas mused on this information. How did his men not see the ships move around to Marsaxlokk? One has a clear view of the sea from there. Would the Suleiman have sent ships farther south in the sandy winds? He had only left his men and the bay a few hours before. How could the ships have landed so quickly? Was God on the side of the Knights?

He spoke quickly to Paulo. “Do you have a quill and ink? I shall not give a verbal order.”

“Yes, Sir Tomas, I carry these and sheets always in this pouch. Dictate and I shall write down what you desire.”

Tomas spoke hastily. “To Captain Filip of France at Fort Michael, my brother in arms, take my 500 men to Mdina. Marsaxlokk has been taken behind my back. Act with haste. Ships have been seen on the western side. Tomas of St. John.”

Paulo wrapped up the sheets in leather and raced away, after saluting Tomas. He rode so quickly that Tomas had to watch him disappear like a ghost. Now, he decided to not to turn to the southern bay and perhaps face a useless death, but felt in his gut he should go north. He desperately wanted to be with Frederico, for some reason, as Tomas was not a sentimental man. He sensed in his high sixth-sense, real danger for his brother. But, he had to go north to help organize any attack either at Birgu or Marsamxett, so he spurred St. Tomas on. He had to reach his men in the north. But, he hesitated. He wanted to help Frederico, who he knew would move into Mdina.

Frederico had men stretched out at various high points on the western shores. His tent city edged the cliffs on the western shores. He had sent some of his men to Marsaxlokk. They watched the seventy ships, not highly armed with large guns, but full of troops, as those on the hills could see. So, a landing party was scheduled for this side. Perhaps Rabat and Mdina, the holy city, were to be targets, most likely having to face land troops from Marsaxlokk. Frederico sat in his tent looking at two maps, one of the terrain and one, a secret map with codes, of his own army’s movements. Suddenly, a huge wind moved the tapestry over his tent and in raced a person he did not expect to see, Immanuel.

“They have landed, Uncle, I have seen Turks creeping up the rocky hills south of the ruins. They have guns. I was on my way to Father, but raced back to you. I do not know where Father is.”

Frederico stared at the sunburnt face of Immanuel. He seemed older, more confident than his years. “Have something to drink, Immanuel. I have a letter from your Father that he is sending reinforcements from St. Michael’s Fort. This tactic surprises all. And, we have word from Vallette that St. Elmo’s is even now under fire.”

“Yes, the large guns are on the galleons in the Harbour. The Turks do not even have to land, but merely sail up and use their artillery. However, I expect landings beneath the fort as well. I they take the mountain, they can use heavy guns from there. I think this will happen”

“So do I. God help those men. There cannot be more than 3,000 on the mountain, the promontory and in the Fort, all together. Immanuel, can you do one more thing for me?”

The young man sat down, “Yes, of course. Anything.”

“Run like the wind, the wind which moves your stallion, and warn Rabat and Mdina. The people must be warned.”

“Of course, Uncle.” Frederico took a weapon from a carved case behind him. “Take my best gun. You know how to use this, I know. You were always my best pupil.”

“Thank you., Uncle, but I hope I do not have to use it. God bless you. “ And, like the young man he was, Immanuel was on his horse and gone before Frederico reached the opening of his tent.

“God be with you, Immanuel.”

The sunset in Malta fell quickly, as usual, forcing the land into darkness without the long twilights of more northern countries. Immanuel travelled in the night, the stars above his head guiding him to the heights of Rabat and Mdina. He raced up the hills and onto the bridge into the city of monks and the Cathedral. The guard at the gate recognized him.

“You come here with fire in your eyes, Immanuel. Trouble?”

“We have Turks on this side, land troops, armed, about 2,000 at least, as there are many ships in Marsaxlokk, already anchored.” The guard blanched hearing the number, but his white face was hidden in the darkness. “This is, indeed, serious. Come in. We must warn all the inhabitants and the surrounding farms.”

Mdina had two signs of warning for those in the countryside. One was a flag, which could not be seen at night, with a Maltese Cross marked with a raven. The other sign involved the ringing of the great bells of the Cathedral.  The time now demanded the use of the bells. Within minutes, the peel rose out of the walls of Mdina and was hurled across the lands surrounding the Cathedral, like a death shroud. Fires could be seen being lit across the land, fires like a long dragon, winding its way through the now-harvested fields and fruitless orchards. The soldiers within the walls moved into position of warfare and the siege began in the west.

Immanuel notified, Mathurin Romegas, who was temporarily in Mdina before going back to Fort Elmo, but the famous Knight wanted Immanuel to stay. However, the young man insisted on moving farther east, across country, to Marsamxett. He wanted to survey the entire scene of the battle for Malta, and spread the word of an attack from the west as well as the east.  As Immanuel was not a Knight under orders, Romegas could let his go his own way, within reason. Leaving at once, Immanuel spurred his horse onward, after giving it water and only a few oats. He would stop in a small farmhouse with which he was familiar on the way to the harbour.  This small, humble house of two rooms sat half-way between Mdina and Marsamxett, and in it dwelt his own mother, Isabella, a woman long forgotten by Tomas. Years ago, Immanuel had discovered this woman and identified himself as her son. The two secretly saw each other at least twice a year. Immanuel grew to love the quiet lady of a strange northern race, once, obviously, a great beauty, but now a woman bedridden with a wasting sickness. She looked older than her forty years and her blond hair hung limp and fading.

Immanuel would rest his horse in her garden and wait for pre-dawn. Both he and his Arabian needed rest and food. A woman who tended Isabella met him at the door, and escorted both man and horse into a very small walled garden in the back of the house. The house was surrounded by trees and a short wall made of ancient stones. The house rested on a crest of a hill, from where one could just see the sea, like a blue line, far away.

Isabella’s maid, paid for by Immanuel, as was all her keep, took him into the kitchen for some late dinner, and then she took oats out to the horse, mixed with a strange grass. Immanuel understood that the maid knew the way of the Arabs with their horses.

Interesting. Immanuel wondered where Rebecca had learned the art of caring for horses. But, he could not think of this now.

Isabella’s voice, weak and soft, called from the back room. One window faced the northeast and the moon shown into the small bedroom. Isabella held out her hands for Immanuel. “There is danger. I can feel it. I heard the bells from Mdina and now, with you here at this hour, I know it is the Turks. We have begged Our Lady for protection.”

“Mother, do not be afraid. If necessary, I shall carry you away from here into Fort Angelo. But, for now, stay, as I cannot believe that the land troops will come this far immediately. I can send for you and Rebecca as soon as I finished my journey.”

Isabella looked at her son with her large, blue eyes. “Immanuel, I do not fear death, or even suffering. But, Rebecca, being young and comely, must leave. They may take her.”

Immanuel stood up. “No Maltese woman will be taken. None. We men shall all die first.”

Isabella smiled in the darkness. She was so proud of her beautiful son. She was grateful to God that he resembled her, and, indeed, that he looked like her father so long dead and gone in a far away country in northern Europe. She had been a rebellious child and run away from her parents when asked to marry someone she did not love. She ran and ran and ran until she found a way to a boat from France to Sicily and then to Malta. Then, she stopped running, and became a lace-maker for a living, learning the trade from a kind woman who took her in and taught her not only lace, but the language of Malta. Isabella grew to be a great beauty, unusual with her blond hair, tall frame, and sea blue eyes. Tomas found her and kept her until the son was born, when he took Immanuel and left Isabella forever. But, unlike the father, the son had a heart, the heart of a Christian son, and he searched for her until he found her. Immanuel supported her since he was thirteen years of age. At that time, she was only 28, and still lovely, but illness came like a thief in the night and stole her health and beauty all at once. Isabella accepted the wasting sickness willingly, believing it was punishment for her former life of sin. She had been forced to be in bed for twelve years.

“I shall send a servant and perhaps another will come within the day. Rebecca and you shall be taken into the fort, and there stay until the danger is over.”

Isabella nodded weakly. She did not want to tell her son that she would never survive such a journey. She knew in her heart that her time for travelling even with help, was over.

“Wait for the servant. Goodbye, Mother.” Then, as if he, too, sensed they would never meet again, Immanuel bent down and kissed his mother. “I bless you, dear son. Now, go.”

Horse and youth, rested and fed a little, sped on to the coastal fortifications, hastily built, and marked by a tent city. About 1,000 Maltese troops now resided at Marsamxett, more could not yet be spared. Immanuel needed to seek out the commander, get a servant or two to return for Rebecca and Isabella.

He pushed his horse through the crowds of men, making his way to the main tent. Light was coming out of the Middle Sea, an eerie light, as if the sea itself was on fire, only with a green fire. Several men were pointing to the mysterious light, shimmering in the darkness. Some were speaking as if it were a good omen, some as if it were a bad one.

Immanuel stared at the light, and then, proceeded to the commander’s tent. The famous Jean de la Cassière was here, ordering the units of Knights into strategic positions overlooking the harbor, preparing for a large invasion here, perhaps only second to the one at the Harbour. de la Cassiere met Immanuel, and answered his first plea to send two men to take Isabella and Rebecca into Fort Angelo near Birgu. de la Cassiere asked no questions. He was a man of reflection, as well as action, born with a sensitive, romantic nature. His tall, fair frame inspired not only confidence, but trust. And he gave trust as well as demanded it. Like Isabella, de la Cassiere was from a handsome northern family, the proud bearers of a long line of a noble name.

“Immanuel, I think your ladies should not go to St. Angelo’s but be brought here to this camp. I think this is a safer place for them. I sincerely hope your honorable father is aware of the three actions about to commence. We have had word of the ships in the Harbour beginning to attack Fort Elmo, and if you stand by the cliffs, you can hear the guns even now, in the early morning light.”

As de la Cassiere said, the booming of artillery grew more persistent, indicating the siege had begun in earnest. Immanuel feared for the men at Fort Elmo.

“I agree for the women to be brought here. There was disagreement among the commanders as to the attack on Mdina.” Immanuel was not blaming anyone, but he needed to remind the commander of the immediate danger to the west.

“Yes, yes, I know, and now we have the three prongs of the triton of satan at our necks. Thank God for Vallette’s far-sighted plans to the building of the forts.

Look, you can see this strange light in the sea. What do you make of this? One wants to write a ballad and place this light at the center of some great mystery which will lead to our victory. Perhaps, I shall call this light the hem of Mary, as she leads us, does she not, our Queen?”

Immanuel bowed as the commander referred to the Lady of Malta, Mary, the Mother of God.

“But, we do not see the entire fleet here. And word from St. Elmo’s indicates that the Ottomans have split into three. This is a mistake, mark my words.”

Immanuel agreed with a nod.

 Only God was in charge, neither lights nor demons. Immanuel’s faith transcended superstition and fear. And, his faith and love for the Madonna reassured him as he sat down, finally exhausted with his full twenty-four hours of riding. He was sure St. Dimitri had earned its extra oats, grasses, fresh water and rest as well. Now, he could sleep for a while, and as soon as de la Cassiere gave him his own tent, Immanuel fell onto the blankets on the ground and immediately fell asleep, as if he were an experienced Knight of Malta. But, before he lay on the soft coverlets from de la Cassiere’s own tent, he laid the gun of Frederico on the side of his bed. The young man had the instincts of a Knight, but perhaps, because of Tomas and Isabella, not the rights. His sleep was dreamless.

To be continued…

The Two Brothers Part Six

Immanuel did not want to poison the wells. But, he was under orders from Vallette. The local farmers filled hundreds of old crockery jars with water and hid these in their small houses and even underground in the few caves they could find. Some farmers put dried food stock in the ancient ruined temples, as the Turks thought these were the haunts of demons. The farmers knew better. They knew the island belonged to Mary, the Mother of God, and felt completely protected under her mantle.

Immanuel worked with the local farmers and helped them dry fruits and vegetables, store what grain was ripe, and burn the unripe grain. The farmers also got pigs from Sicily, knowing the Turks would not touch pork and made rashers, hams and other variations of dried ham.

These were kept in secret places, but in the end, many Maltese died of hunger and thirst, but that come later in this story.

In the meantime, the ships of the Turks came into the Harbour and began to shot the large cannons at St. Elmos and at the smaller fortifications on the promontory.  Tomas, down in Marsaxlokk, trained unskilled men and worked with those of his Order who were eager for battle, but wondering why they had been stuck so far away from the action.

Tomas only had to wait a few weeks before it was clear why the Grand Master had sent him and his troops
up the coast. Too soon, ships were landing in the north and in the south, in a three-fold attacke. And, the few men there would have to fight the greater number pouring off these sailing fortresses.

But, something odd was happening, and Tomas felt uneasy. If he were either occultic, or religious, he superstitiously or discerningly would look for a spiritual answer. The siroccos started late and were going on 
longer and harder than usual. 

To be continued...

Blogging Blues Two

Well, I am in a different cafe, which seems friendly and with good food. However, public blogging lacks the serenity of private blogging.

It is harder to concentrate in a room with five sports televisions and weird music...oh, well.

I am having an Iowa beef burger with a fried egg and ham on it, which is absolutely over-the-top.

There is nothing small in Iowa.

In the meantime, I am thinking of Immanuel in Malta, poisoning the wells....get back to you soon.