Welcome

Sehnsucht and Wine isn’t my first blog but that doesn’t make writing the first post any the easier. I created the blog a few days ago and have been sitting on it since, waiting for inspiration to strike.

A few minutes ago, an idea occurred to me: instead of writing about a particular subject, why not introduce myself a little by writing about things or people that mean something to me?

So that’s what I’ll do. To give the post some sort of form, I will categorise them according to what S&W will be about: the arts, religion, and politics.

The Arts
I love reading. I have many favourite authors but the two who mean most to me are J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. One of the reasons I like Tolkien so much is the heroism and nobility of characters like Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. I love reading about heroes. I also enjoy reading C. S. Lewis’ fiction but as it is his Christian apologetics that mean most to me, I’ll come back to CSL in the religion category. I am also very fond of Evelyn Waugh, Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, Ernest Hemingway’s books. I don’t read nearly enough poetry, but when I do, Anglo-Saxon poetry and Sylvia Plath are my favourites.

Religion
In my youth I was a very casual Christian – the kind who went to church at Christmas and Easter; this changed in the early 90s when I went to university. That’s when I saw Shadowlands and started reading C. S. Lewis’s apologetics. Mere Christianity, The Four Loves, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain… they were a rich feast! In my third year at university, the Holy Spirit led me into the Catholic Church. It isn’t always easy being a Catholic but whenever I read something a disagree with or find upsetting I always remember St. Peter’s ‘where would we go?’ comment.

We have our moments, but I love the Church, and, of course, God. In just under two months, I am (Him willing) going to Spain to walk the Camino from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. I’m doing it to say thank you to God for all his kindnesses to me. I’ll come back to the Camino in upcoming posts.

Politics
I am right-of-centre. For context, I am British, so this means my natural political home is the Conservative party. I used to be a member but after they won (kind of) the General Election in 2010 I didn’t like what they were doing enough to stay.

Last week, several Labour and Conservative MPs resigned from their respective parties to sit as independents in the House of Commons. In their various statements it was very clear what a hard wrench it was for them to leave. I was a very casual Conservative so it was no wrench at all for me.

All political parties have their various wings. As a conservatively minded person if not an actual party member, I align with the One Nation Tories. What do they believe? Here is a statement from Wikipedia:

One-nation conservatism (also known as one-nationism, or Tory democracy) is a paternalistic form of British political conservatism advocating preservation of established institutions and traditional principles combined with political democracy, and a social and economic programme designed to benefit the common man.

You can read the full article here. I have to admit, though, the way our politicians behave sometimes, I will happily admit to thinking that maybe we should reintroduce autocracy with added Divine Right of Kings for extra measure.

I can’t finish the section on politics without mentioning Brexit. I want Britain to leave the EU as I don’t like super states but not if it is going to profoundly damage the country. As I write these words, we are entering the final weeks before the 29th March 2019 leaving date. Will Britain leave them? Will it be called off? Delayed? We’ll soon find out and I will write about my thoughts here.

So, there you are. I hope telling you a little about myself hasn’t turned you off reading this blog. If it has, thank you for reading this far and I wish you all the best.

For those of you who are still here: There’s so much that I haven’t said! I haven’t mentioned sports, artists, and – most of all – the historical figure who has dominated my life for a decade now – Alexander the Great. I’ll come back to him in a future post. For now, though, let me draw this one to an end with a thank you for reading; I’ll see you next time.

Oh, and I said I would introduce myself: Hello, my name is Malcolm. Welcome to Sehnsucht and Wine!

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