It’s been one of those whirlwindish periods. Yesterday ended at an education awards ceremony in St Andrews which, by coincidence, included seeing Melanie Campbell receiving her award. Regular readers of www.limpingtowardsthesunrise.blogspot.com will be familiar with her starring and executive role in that particular soap opera. We must give some thought to our version of Father Ted’s Golden Priest Awards. Today was a rapid trip to London for the 150th Anniversary AGM of the Mission to Seafarers. The Princess Royal was there – the Archbishop of Canterbury preached about storm and calm – we got to sing a verse of Eternal Father, strong to save. And then there are the noises off. In the tube, I got a ‘Hi Father’ from an American who introduced himself as an IT Manager for EBay who lives in San Jose and is on his way to Fatima. If I hadn’t had to get off at the next stop, I would have checked him out to see if he would run the Diocesan Website. He was obviously ‘sent’ but three stations too late. I was also fascinated to hear John Humphries on Today this morning interviewing the Moderator about his Public Meeting shared with the Cardinal as part of the campaign against the renewal of Trident. To the southern mind, this was obviously a piece of Scottish eccentricity – no idea that there might be many people here who feel strongly about it. And finally, today’s Independent charts another measure of the problems being experienced by the Irish tourist industry. Basically, Ireland is not Irish enough any more. The nicotine-encrusted Irish pub of old is now a sanitised international smoke-free zone with global warming patio heaters outside. Certainly the Oyster in the main street of Dunfanaghy – where one New Year’s Day one of the patrons at the bar asked me what day it was shortly before he fell senseless off the barstool onto the concrete floor – is now an ‘out of the box’ Western saloon with plasma screens. I shall check out my favourite Dublin pub – O’Neill’s of Suffolk Street – over the weekend. It is a rabbit warren of snugs and bars in which it is said that Brendan Behan used to dodge his creditors. I’ll report back.