Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter's majesty

In case you were curious as to the sort of company you keep, my blog has 17 official followers. An average number of 15 "friends" on facebook read the facebook links to my blog each time I post one. My blog visitor counter stats say that between 35 and 45 people visit my blog most weeks - an average of 5-7 each day. That would lead me to think that around 30 people (in the world) read each of my posts. These people may differ, from post to post, of course.

Meanwhile about 78 people/organisations follow me on Twitter. I cannot seem to break through the 80 people milestone and stay there. I pass it every few days, only to find that a day later 2 or 3 followers have de-followed me. I wonder if this is a reflection on the quality of my tweets, my politics as reflected thereby or my failing to follow them back.

It's a fickle old world.

And if those amazing stats were not enough, did you know that an estimated1 billion people around the world will watch the coverage of the Royal Wedding next Friday (superbly timed as a morning event to allow for all the Anglophiles in the far flung reaches of the Commonwealth to tune in).

Of course, if I start tweeting about the Royal Wedding things may begin to look up for me...


Instead, given today is Good Friday, I will post a few thoughts about this day.

Today is my favourite day of the year. Good Friday is a holiday here in England - from work anyway - if not shopping. The great thing about Good Friday - in most places I should think, is that the weather is good. None of the forced jollity under grey skies that is the English Christmas. Nor the stinking hot humidity of summer Christmases. April (or March) is generally mild and pleasant. But that is not why I love this holiday.

No the clincher is the reason for which we have this nice quiet long weekend - the weekend that never ends (especially when followed by the once in a generation treat of a Royal Wedding so soon after). Aside from the fact that I enjoy a holiday bereft of commercial pressure, I revel in the reminder of my humanity, the reminder that this weekend we remember that we are united in the pain and suffering of all people across the world and through the ages. Like Jesus, dying on the cross to complete his life on earth as a man, we all suffer. Today we remember the indignity, the shame, the humiliation, the self-sacrifice and the isolation that Jesus was subjected to, as a man. Most of us will face less than this, hopefully, in our lives. And yet, the fortitude and love with which Jesus faced this event, his passion and death, gives us all pause for thought - whether we believe in Him or not.

So I love this day. It is quiet, sombre, imbued with meaning. It helps me to be grateful for my good fortune. It helps me to pause and give thanks, to reflect on the suffering and hardship in the world around me. To contemplate those who suffer. To contemplate my own challenges and hardships with renewed courage and perspective.

And to look forward to a brighter day too and the triumph it will bring over evil, over pain and affliction.


That was Easter Sunday by the way - not the Royal Wedding day...

However, on a brighter note, the Royal Wedding is certainly exciting us all here in London. Union Jacks adorn the pubs walls and windows of many proprietors. The news reports tragic events abroad, smog levels that are dangerously high in the city, and great April weather that is breaking all records. Best of all is the wedding news though.

I think my next post will analyse the event, if not from a pole position on the Mall or Whitehall (where I once worked) then from a community of pleasant Londoners sharing a Kensington garden square and throwing their own Royal Wedding Garden party next Friday.

Call me an opportunist if you like. I bet my blog's popularity surges!

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