A book for Christmas? Perhaps not, but…
In 2009 I was honoured by being invited to present a paper as part of the Rencontre du Droit Normand held in the Royal Court Chamber, Guernsey. My paper explored the role of the Jurats in the Channel Islands who (many will know) perform such an important part in adjudicating in our Courts.
Judges, academics, lawyers, as well as members of the public attended the Rencontre which took place over two days in November. It was a wonderful event that was very informative, and where we were treated to a warm welcome and a fair amount of pomp and ceremony.
The papers have now been published by the Guernsey Bar in a book entitled Paris 1259 and edited by Advocate Gordon Dawes. Although the title of the book reflects its core focus, it contains an eclectic mix of papers that are unified in exploring our Anglo-Norman ancestry.
I doubt the book will be a bestseller for Christmas but it has been long awaited, and does represent a lovely curio of elements that give an impression as to why the Channel Islands are rather special, and deservedly so.
How about a Poem or two instead, Sir?
While on a literary theme, but taking more of a risk in exposing one’s personal reflections, here are two very short poems that I hope that you might enjoy. The first attempts to capture a wonderful early summer morning walk on the beach with my daughters. In contrast, the second was written shortly after the death of my father but in the sadness of that event, comfort is found in the thought of renewal. Don’t get in contact if you don’t like them (!) but it just seemed a shame if they remained hidden on a computer word document.
A New Day
The slow pendulum of the sea
Soothes in the morning.
Weak sunlight glints across the surface,
As small jewels of white and brown are
Squeezed between my toes.
The air is crisp, the nearby village quite still.
Distant birds find comfort in songs
Reflected back between the trees,
As my two little ones, giggle out to me.
How I love this moment.
A new day; endless possibilities.
Soft Drops of Rain
Soft drops of rain smooth away the summer dust,
Cleansing and comforting all that they bless.
And I think of you; a life captured now in fragments,
Shared amongst others, in photos and in print.
Your strong presence has yielded to time and an illness.
Your book is unfinished and so much is unsaid.
And I think of my children, your kindness and strength,
Accepting the rain now, but loving you yet more.