After a long drive across France in a borrowed car, I arrived in Canterbury yesterday to remove my remaining possessions from the homeless hostal where I had recently been living. I found that the window had been forced and the few things I have had become fewer in my absence! Less stuff to worry about perhaps… Except the stolen items included a laptop with all my teaching resources developed over many years! Ah well: a fresh start.
A BBC television news crew turned up to film the last instalment of the long saga of my battle with the CRB. This showed me packing to leave the country and take up the teaching job I have now been offered in Spain, after the CRB had messed up my career here in England over a mix up with their criminal records system.
The programme went out on the BBC South East television news yesterday evening, also including an interview with Julian Brazier MP for Canterbury who has been supporting me in my campaign to have the CRB records put right. He said he regretted the fact that the incompetence of the CRB had forced a local teacher to emigrate and take a job in Spain.
Never mind Spain, my main concern yesterday – among all the other anxieties of these times – was whether I had enough cash for two more refuelling stops to get the borrowed car back to my friends – after I get from here to Newhaven ferry then drive halfway down France.
God never tests you further than you can bear, it is said, and so I have learned to believe. Suddenly, without asking for it (and Lord forgive my lack of faith but I did not pray for help now when I needed it again), an angel came to my help. Not only with a good meal but somewhere to stay overnight and sufficient funds to ensure I can refuel the car and get back again.
I told the BBC news interviewer that I did not want to see England again, and after all I have been through in the past months I really meant it, so it was good to be reminded – and powerfully so – that a country is not best judged by its failing secular institutions but by the strength of the continuing witness of some of its citizens to the Christian values which once inspired so much good. And if my guardian angel is reading this blog, once again thank you for your kindness and generosity. Don’t forget Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ and that room in the palazzo where it was first played! Coincidence that I saw you there? I don’t think so!
And thank you for your kind comments all who have left messages here – and since I am apparently not allowed to just close the blog – it will continue. But I warn you, there will be more donkey photos.