Love your emoji as yourself

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

It turns out that in the world of emojis there are winners and losers.  Of the nearly 3,000 to choose from, amongst the winners are those that feature hearts or faces, accounting for nine out of ten most regularly used.  Amongst the losers are ‘Input symbol for Latin capital letters’ and ‘Aerial tramway.’   The good news for neglected emojis, … Read More

Strange Symbols of Freedom

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

On 26thJuly 2018 pioneering aviator Mary Ellis passed away at her home on the Isle of Wight at the age of 101.  Speaking on her 100thbirthday she declared that of the many different types of planes she had flown during the Second World War, the Spitfire was her favourite.  She said, ‘I love it, I think it’s a symbol of … Read More

Hope in times of despair

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

In moments of despair and desperation words of hope can make the difference between life and death.  Recognising this simple truth led teenager Paige Hunter to attach messages of hope to Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland – a place where tragically some of those in the deepest despair end their lives.  Amongst the messages she left were, ‘You are not alone’ … Read More

Now That’s What I Call Music!

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

It’s a curious thing but the most successful music compilation album in the world, now in its 35thyear, took its name from a 1930’s advert for Danish eggs and bacon.  Preparing for its launch in 1983 studio executives were struggling to think of a name when one of them noticed a poster on the wall behind his desk.  A birthday … Read More

The Father’s Heart

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

For Novak Djokovic yesterday’s win at the Wimbledon Men’s Singles final was the sweetest of victories.  But that wasn’t because he’d earned himself another £2.25m in prize money, nor because it marked a triumphant return from two years battling injury and self-doubt, nor because it clocked up his 13th Grand Slam title.  Asked what it felt like to have won … Read More

Loving our neighbours

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

Given everything else going on the world the rise of a new President of Ethiopia in January 2018 went largely unnoticed.  But under his leadership a country, once synonymous with Biblical famine, has continued on a path of positive transformation. Amongst many changes has been the ending of a long-running border war with neighbouring Eritrea, simply achieved by giving up the … Read More

What Would Southgate Do?

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

With the England football team through to the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, it seems that their manager can do no wrong.  In fact, his character as a thoroughly kind and decent bloke is shining through, and the hashtag GarethSouthgateWould is trending on social media. My personal favourite is that Gareth Southgate Would … Read More

Happy Birthday National Health Service!

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

I’m not sure that the National Health Service has a strapline, but if it did it might well be, ‘We Welcome Strangers’, because while we think of ourselves as ‘patients’ when we visit a ‘hospital’ the Latin word from which that word derives means ‘stranger.’   In a famous passage about sheep and goats in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus teaches his … Read More

Love that will not let go

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

On the 23rdMay 2014 the Glasgow School of Art was devasted by a fire started by a small canister of expanding foam.  Opened in 1909 and regarded as the masterwork of designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, those who knew the building were devastated. Despite extensive damage there was no question of the building being pulled down, and work towards its restoration began … Read More