What fount of inspiration & wisdom is found in senior citizen stories from living through World War 2. Our Lockdown Shoes Brothers’ Show is a bit like panning for gold, but patient wading through awful waffle rewards you with some golden nuggets. Special guests David & Margaret Hodge and Neville Ramsay wonderfully compared & contrasted Covid-19 lockdown with the hardships, heroism determined community spirit of the war effort.


Michael Ball’s ‘You’ll never walk alone’ & Captain Tom Moore’s 100th garden lap are raising millions for our beloved NHS. The Hodges’ Shoes Show songs were Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’ & ‘When the lights go on again’, reminding us of the frontline soldiers who served far from home and the essential ‘black-outs’ when enemy bombers flew overhead targeting the nearby ICI munitions factory. Our super guests were full of it: an unexploded bomb at the foot of their garden, rationing, restricted travel, prisoners of war camps, & being amazed the first time they saw someone peel a banana in their classroom. Forthright they told us straight to do what we’re told by the government to help the war-effort and save lives. They remined us how fortunate we are to have a national health service for back in their day there was no such thing, having to pay for your own health care!

While NHS & other frontline workers sacrifice their lives for our sake and many of our pensioners succumb to Coronavirus’s curse it’s inspirational to have people like 106year old Connie Titchen walk out of hospital after overcoming the vile virus.


My own 90year old mum continues to self-isolate, grateful to get a daily walk, and aren’t we thankful for sunny days. Journeying through these difficult days during a cold dark winter would be much harder. Dorothy & I have ‘2 metre chin-wagged’ (can’t say ‘bumped into’ someone!) with many on our walks and noticed things unseen before. Like the spread of blooming white/purply Shepherds Purse (?) on grass land which would normally be cut.


My green fingered better half tells me these beauties (weeds?) are Shepherd’s Purse,  reminding us of Good Shepherd Jesus. Here are snippets from my good friend Dave Hopwood’s version of Psalm 23 for Today:


‘The Lord is my shepherd, my guide, my personal trainer, my therapist. My Twitter feed, my source of real news, my true friend. He has the resources to help me through today. To strengthen, inspire and comfort me.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he lets me breathe, allows me downtime when it’s all getting too much, when I want to give up and throw in the towel; he offers me solace in the day’s storms, gives me perspective, calls me to look beyond the madness and misinformation.

He restores my soul. Washes the graffiti from my heart, declutters my mind, helps me to think differently, to act differently… Life is strewn with those dark valleys, the places that so readily ambush us, cloud our thinking, load us down with fear and despair. Fretting and worry are inevitabilities, but your words, your ways can lift our spirits. Put hope back into our day. The world is full of trouble, but you have overcome the world. And you are here, right here, with me, on my side. Helping me, helping us, with our fear…

… You won’t give up on us, even though we often want to give up on you. Even though I am often confused and regretful, my head full of doubts and questions. Your kindness, your crucified and resurrected love are with me always. Kept safe. Cherished.

Thank you for your patience and kindness. Thank you my Lord that you know and understand.”