Priest in gay porn primary school accident says goodbye

The Catholic priest who accidently showed 16 gay porn images to a group of 30 parents at a primary school in Northern Ireland is to leave the area.

Father Martin McVeigh, the parish Priest of Pomeroy in County Tyrone, announced his decision in the parish bulletin.

St Mary's Pomeroy

The last month has been the most difficult of my life. I refer to the meeting of 26 March last with parents of P4/R4 in Saint Mary’s Primary School and my presentation prepared for the upcoming First Holy Communion.

I deeply regret my failure to check, in advance, my presentation. I had no knowledge of any offending imagery existing in it. After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop. In my shock and upset and in my concern to ensure that the images would never be shown again, I destroyed it later that evening.

I appreciate that the incident at the meeting was very serious in nature and caused much anxiety and distress, particularly to those who were present on the evening in question and I apologise unreservedly for the hurt caused. I want to assure you however that I was not responsible for the presence of the offending images and in this respect I ask you to accept my innocence.

In the hope of bringing resolution and healing to the division and pain within the parish, I have taken the decision to ask Cardinal Brady to allow me to leave the parish of Pomeroy and to take sabbatical leave. … Finally, I ask you for your forgiveness for all the hurt and turmoil caused. I remain committed to my priestly vocation and want you all to know that you will be foremost in my thoughts and prayers and I humbly ask for a remembrance in yours.
Fr Martin McVeigh
28 April 2012

Echoes of Father Ted TV comedy

This saga has been much like episode of the Father Ted TV comedy, but with real world worried parents confusing a display of gay porn with clerical child abuse, and the Cardinal in a great muddle.

flash drive and laptop

Fr McVeigh was trying to project a PowerPoint presentation to a group of about 30 parents at St Mary’s Primary School. He inserted the memory stick containing his presentation into the laptop, but instead of his PowerPoint instructions for their child’s first Holy Communion appearing, onto the screen popped 16 gay porn images. A statement issued by the parents present said Father McVeigh had been “visibly shaken and flustered” by the incident and swiftly left the room. He reappeared 20 minutes later, and the parents’ statement claimed, he neither apologised nor explained what had happened. The class was abandoned.

The incident divided the parishioners and the diocese did not suspend the Parish Priest. The diocese said the police service wasn’t concerned because there was no evidence of a crime being committed. The diocese did not take control of the computer equipment as potential evidence, so that this could be investigated. The handling of the incident by the Archdiocese of Armagh has been strongly criticised by the parents who met at the beginning of April.

In their statement, the parents were at pains to point out that the matter was dealt with correctly and efficiently by St Mary’s Primary School, and that staff of the school are “in no way involved in this nasty incident”.

Cardinal Brady acknowledged in a statement the “concern and offence [caused] to those who were present”. He added:

“Since that time the diocese has undertaken an investigation into two computers in the sacristy as well as computer equipment both in the parish office and in the Parochial House used by Father McVeigh. These have been forensically examined by an independent technical expert and no inappropriate imagery has been found… However an additional laptop, which was located in the sacristy, was stolen in the period following the March 26 meeting with parents. This stolen laptop did not form part of the technical examination and its theft was reported to the [Police Service of Northern Ireland].”

Unresolved mystery

What is not made clear by this statement is that this stolen parish laptop was normally kept in the sacristy and was the one he used for the parents class and was the only item reported stolen a few days later on April 9 from the Adoration Chapel, behind the Church of the Assumption in Pomeroy. So he destroyed the memory stick on the night of the incident (26 March) and the laptop he used has also disappeared in a timely burglary (9 April) before any computer equipment was examined by the Diocese’s “independent technical expert”. The technical examination of the other computer equipment did not find any more “inappropriate imagery”.

2 + 2 = 4, or 5?

Inevitably some people are drawing conclusions from the chain of events and the loss of both the memory stick and laptop, because these might have revealed useful evidence to show the innocence he claims. The Priest said in early April that the memory stick was used by others in the parish, so it is possible someone else had saved the gay porn images onto it. He suggested it might have become infected and this is a common way by which computer viruses are spread, but that only happens if it was plugged into a computer that had already become infected from the internet. But computer viruses don’t usually automatically launch a display of gay porn.

Last week, some of his parishioners had issued a statement to the Tyrone Times highlighting Fr McVeigh’s good works in the community, saying the priest had “helped many people through times of difficulty and sadness and many parishioners have expressed their gratitude and thanks for the help that he gave them over these times”.

The Diocese could not be reached for further information on when Fr McVeigh is likely to return to work in the Diocese.

 

Priests, celibacy and sexuality

Sex, Celibacy and Priesthood book

Fr McVeigh says “I was not responsible for the presence of the offending images and in this respect I ask you to accept my innocence.” We have no idea whether he is heterosexual, gay or bisexual. Nor do we know if he keeps the promise he made to his bishop to be celibate. Many priests, heterosexual and gay, struggle with the demands of celibacy and a life without sex or a life partner.

His own actions and the diocese’s poor handling of the incident and its aftermath, have together contributed to an air of suspicion that cannot be dispelled.

The Catholic Church’s insistence on the discipline of priestly celibacy (except for converting Anglican priests who are already married, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church), and its negative  attitude to lesbian and gay sexuality, contribute towards significant problems for the Church, its Priests and its congregations.

change ahead road sign

Let’s imagine another Catholic Church world, where priestly celibacy was a choice (as it is in the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and most other Christian Churches and world religions). Jewish Rabbis, for example, are required to marry. Let’s imagine, as many contemporary Catholic moral theologians do, that the Church brought its sexuality teaching up to date and was no longer obsessed by questions about anyone’s sexuality, or that sex always has to be procreative, but rather about the quality of people’s sexual relationships – are they loving, mutually respectful, committed, exclusive.

Optional Celibacy postcard to Vatican

In that Catholic world, a Priest being gay wouldn’t matter any more than if he was heterosexual, masturbation wouldn’t matter, and porn, while it wouldn’t be ideal in the Christian life (because it can be exploitative and doesn’t allow mutual respect in sexual expression), is no big deal. None of us is perfect.

In such a Catholic world, this incident wouldn’t have attracted any real attention, if it had happened at all.

In such a Catholic world, life in the quiet parish of St Mary’s, Pomeroy, County Tyrone, would have continued undisturbed.

In such a Catholic world, Fr Martin McVeigh would have continued serving his flock.

 

More Information

Sex, Celibacy and Priesthood book

 

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8 comments for “Priest in gay porn primary school accident says goodbye

  1. Markdvnprt12
    May 1, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Something similar to this happened in our diocese.  The images weren’t pornographic just pictures of attractive men.  The priest was sent for “re-education.”  Both cases are kind of sad.  

  2. Advocatus Diaboli
    May 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Are you attempting to suggest that this would not have happened if priests were married?  That would mean that people stop watching porn simply because they are married, or otherwise don’t watch porn when they have a regular sex partner. Both of those cases are patently false. Are you aware that pornography can actually be an addiction as serious as alcoholism? Are you aware that on average men masturbate and think about sex 3-5 time more per week than would naturally occur because of the ease of access  internet pornography? The only way this would not have occurred is if internet pornography was not allowed under the guise of “rights”. Approving of actions that lower the level of humanity, appeal to baseness because it is ‘fun’ and “natural”,  are the bane of all cultures and societies in human history. Treating sex as just another thing that has little or no moral meaning has been one of the defining socio-cultural features that has immediately preceded the decline or collapse of every single major human civilization (that we have some kind of records for). That is just a fact of history, you can believe that this fact doesnt mean anything, but that would be against a thought process inherent in all humans called “reason”, because the scientific method dictates that if something repeats itself regularly across different times places and contexts then it is a clear indication that the two are 
    Your phrase “porn would be no big deal”, says a lot about your world-view. Please explain to me how the production and viewing of pornography is at all compatible with the words that came out of Jesus’ own mouth about entertaining sexual thoughts about other people’s bodies? Pornography is unequivocally fornication (people who are not married having sex just for the fun of it) prostitution (being paid to have sex for the enjoyment of others), and above all else is the very definition of LUST. Which is a sin that Jesus Christ himself said is not acceptable to him. I detect a strain in your thoughts that views’ Christ as someone who simply affirms all action as long as it is not ‘harming someone'; that is an importation of the cultural views of the post-modern society that you live in unto Christ. No, Jesus would not have been ok with pornography, otherwise lust would not be a mortal sin in ALL forms of Christianity.   (also, dismissing Jesus’ comments about adultery and lust because women were other men’s property is pure sophistry and is making the exact same distortion of God’s law that Jesus accused the hebrews of doing – using the words of the statement to circumvent the principle of the statement).Besides, in following this story, I have picked up little if any real concern over the ‘gayness’ of the porn. The fact that there was porn at all is the main issue, this would not have been any different if it had been straight porn. Showing indecent images founded upon the embracement of lust is the problem. While sex and the nude human body should not be feared, not having and issue with sexually suggestive and explicit depictions of sexual activity is thoroughly incompatible with the teaching of Jesus Christ on the subject of desire. If I have not misinterpreted your article, I would have to suggest the possibilities that your own biases, the politicization of your sexual orientation, have caused you to interpret something that is not actually there.I myself know what it is like to be under the curse of pornography, and I can assure you that it is NOT truly compatible with the message of Jesus Christ.You might disagree, but that does not mean that you are right; all it means is that you can rationalize their compatibility (just like American protestants rationalized the compatibility of the american form of slavery with the message of Jesus). Jesus was not a relativist, he believed in absolute right and absolute wrong, and there was no “well its ‘not good’ but its really not a big deal”. Tolerance and Forgiveness do NOT mean embracing or failing to take a firm stand against something. Jesus forgave the prostitute but he did not tell her that it was ‘not a big deal’ that she was one, quite the contrary. you have a very lutherian and antimonian view, which is that God does not hold us to a moral law as long as we “have faith in him”. That is an absolute “heresy”, which means that it is completely antithetical to the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox theologies (in other words original Christianity). IT is incompatible with the God that the Hebrews worshiped and entered into a covenant with, and it is therefore incompatible with Jesus Christ because he clearly maintained the moral law.  Also, the basis of luther’s antimonianism is that there IS a moral law but we are not held to it because humans are absolutely depraved beyond repair and thus not responsible for their actions. The only way you can say that things like lust are ‘not a big deal’ is if you believe that there is no objective and absolute moral law promulgated by God (which is incompatible with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism), or that humans are simply too degenerate to be able to control their behavior, or that lust is not admonished in the law of God (which is an objectively false statement).

    Finally, it is against the entire point of Christianity to say that just becuase humans do something naturally, or that becuase people fall short of the ideal, that the theology should be “de-contented”. What is the point of Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s forgiveness if humans are capable of meeting the standards of holiness on their own? There is a NAME for the idea that humans are capable of being sanctified solely through their own actions, that humans are capable of adhering to the moral law of God without failing countless times, it is called Pelagianism. 

    The point of religion, ESPECIALLY Christianity, it to RAISE The level of humanity by always holding them to a higher standard than they can actually reach on their own. I am not in anyway free of lust in my heart, I fail every single day, sometimes I do not even bother to try to control my thoughts, and sometimes I DELIBERATELY watch pornography and lust after people and entertain sexual desires. But my faliures, and my deliberate sins, are NOT grounds for ‘lowering’ the standard. Just becuase I am not perfect, just becuase I do watch pornography sometimes, does NOT mean that it is ‘no big deal’. I may not need feel ‘guilty’ or worry over my action and faliures, but neither can I preach that such things are “ok”; just because I may like or desire it does not mean that it is what god wants or that it ‘is no big deal’.  Do you believe that “sin”, that which separates you from divinity, is only “physically or emotionally injuring someone”? If so, I would really like to see some evidence from both Church and Scriptural support. There is a difference between being a Catholic who thinks that SOME and CERTAIN aspects of Church Teaching can Change, and a Catholic who’s views are grounded in things that are objectively incompatible with the foundation of Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental theology. The difference is “heterodoxy” vs “heresy”. Orthodoxy can treat with heterodoxy, but neither orthodoxy nor heterodoxy can coexist with heresy. What is heresy? simply that which is objectively incompatable. Calling blue ‘red’ is heresy becuase objectively the wavelengths emanating off of that object fall in the blue category and it is a denial of reality to say that it is red. You can argue what type of blue it is, but it cannot be called red. 

    • Advocatus Diaboli
      May 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

      I would like to clarify that I am not trying to be condemnatory. I was cursed with a personality that often selects a very firm and dogmatic vocabulary and syntax style without noticing how it sounds, but my delivery/demeanor is generally “very playful and bashful” according to several friends and relatives (at least until I get upset).

      I know that we have very different approaches and opinions, but I hope that I you can forgive my style because I’d very much like to earn your friendship Mr. Morely. The friendships I cherish the most are the ones where the other person is very different from me and we can debate and disagree all day then go to the bar or movies after (so to speak). I feel like I can learn a lot from you, just as I have from Fr. John and Mr. Weldon. 

      • Chris Morley
        May 14, 2012 at 11:41 pm

        You are making a great many points here but the nub seems to be your concern about what I say about the use of pornography; this seems to have touched a raw nerve for you.

        I did make the point that the use of porn ‘wouldn’t be ideal in the Christian life (because it can be
        exploitative and doesn’t allow mutual respect in sexual expression)’. What seems to have concerned you is that I followed that with porn ‘is no big deal’.

        I have made it pretty clear that I don’t think the use of porn is part of a good Christian life. But I also believe that in the scale of sins, this is not especially serious. What Jesus has to say about this e.g. in Mark 7 v21 is really directed not to the thoughts themselves but to the reality of the seriously wrong actions that may follow. If there’s no wrong action, then the thoughts themselves are relatively minor. In my view Jesus was not talking about thoughts that lead to a wank, but serious wrongs like adultery.

        I am not particularly bothered whether the pornography displayed at the school was heterosexual or gay. I have no evidence, beyond the circumstantial possibility, about the direction of the priest’s sexuality, but do note that celibacy is a very particularly Catholic teaching for its priests, and this causes a whole range of challenges unique to the Catholic priesthood, not found in any other part of Christianity. I am also sure some formerly Church of England married priests, now part of the Catholic Church, and Orthodox married clergy, may also be drawn to porn, but, it is reasonable to suppose, maybe far less so because they at least have the opportunity of a loving sexual relationship with their spouse.

        This blog reports and discusses the work of a whole range of contemporary moral theologians and others who believe the Church’s restrictive and highly dogmatic approach to human sexuality needs a thoroughgoing review. Celibacy and the variety of acceptable sexual expression are part of that. The meditation in my closing paragraphs on this only tangentially touched on porn.

        You are free to take an absolutist view and condemn the use of pornography and advocate that should apply to everyone, but that’s not my view.

        • Advocatus Diaboli
          May 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

          A fair response, thank you. I suppose I did over react a bit and allow once sentence to push the needle too far to one side without taking into adequate account the other sentence that made it more neutral; which is something that I myself tend to be very hard on others about (such as distorting the remarks of some clergy and other non-prohomosexual people) – so obviously I am far from perfect  (despite what my ego tells me) as I end up making the same mistakes that I criticize others for without realizing it. I sincerely apologize. You are right about the ‘raw nerve’ part. When someone struggles with and battles against something for a while they can often become so concerned with ‘defending the ramparts’ that sometimes thoughtful comments, innocent mistakes, and/or truly open and objective discussion can come across as assaulting, sedition, or the infiltration of ‘the other’. 

          personally, I was so tormented by my inability to stop obsessing over sex and porn they I grew to hate porn and anyone who thought that it was ‘ok’. I began  to wish that porn stars and producers of such material would all be executed for enslaving people to their lusts for fun and profit – as if they were just handing out free alcohol at the entrance and exits of alcohol anonymous meetings. I began viewing such libertines, and those who “did not personally use porn but think that other people should be allowed to do it if they so desired” under the guise of ‘freedom and rights’ as fundamentally the same type of people who knew that the holocaust was going on but did not particularly care because they were not Jewish. Things changed and as early as the end of last year I had come to accept porn and think that it was no big deal. Since then however I have reverted again to a much more conservative position. The fact that over $2 billion dollars a year are spend on the porn industry in the US alone when there are so many other things and people who desperately need the help and resources that that  much money could by is just ridiculous. Sex itself is not a problem, and people will always view pornography in various forms. But sex is one of those things that has such power over the human mind that the second you start to remove the restrictions and social walls around it then it becomes overwhelming – just like a nuclear reaction is not inherently a problem and can even be a good thing (providing clean and inexpensive energy), but it has such power that if it is not contained through a combination of various restrictions and walls then it becomes a major problem. The difference between our society and so called ‘primitive’ tribal cultures that do not have all of this drama over sex is that they live in a NATURAL setting. 

          They have less restrictions and far less dogmatism over sexual issues, but they also do not have pornography to distort sexuality. They may walk around without much clothing on but they do not have unnatural beauty – they do not have breast or butt implants, they do not pluck their eyebrows, they do not have liposuction, they do not wear makeup, they do not have fabulous hair, neither men nor women generally shave their body hair, there are no anti-wrinkle creams, there are no face and body lifts, there are no braces and teeth whitening, there are no beautiful and sexually amplifying clothing, there is no contraception, there is no easy or effective way to ‘clean out’ for anal sex, and so on an so forth; and there is neither the spare time nor the resources for ‘sport-fucking’. They can live in a relatively sexually free socio-cultural environment without being corrupted by sex because they do not have the means to make the human body more attractive and “lustful” than it naturally is. There are various body oders, crooked and stained teeth, genital hair on both men and women, armpit hair on both men and women, unkempt eyebrows, pimples, no artificial lube, saggy and flabby body parts, and generally little cause for lust in the first place. That is why in primitive societies young and later teens are often sexual objects (and married off early) because ‘natural beauty’ and lust-inducing appeal l starts to fade noticeably after the teenage and very early adult years.  Sex is natural, yes, and therefore it should not be a problem; HOWEVER, while sex is natural, we have REMOVED the NATURE’S OWN restrictions and limitations on sexual appeal and lust. Futhermore, with the ease of access of reliable contraception, and the ease of being able to clean feces out of the anus with modern technology and resources, we have removed nature’s own limitations and restrictions on how much pleasurable and ‘non-reproductive’ sex that we can have. Sex may be natural, but modern sex is unnatural beucase it removes all of nature’s natural limitations and restrictions on sex that naturally prevent it from becoming a corrupting force on the human mind. Modern sexual practices are polluting to natural sex – which is why I have begun to see some of the wisdom in the ban on contraception, becuase I now realize that removing nature’s own limits on any issue is inherently corrupting to the human mind over the long term. Anyone who says “sex is natural therefore it should not be a problem” but advocates for contraception is intellectually dishonest and deeply hypocritical or otherwise deceived and blind to the Doublethink that is blatant in their argument. (yes, i am referring to the language and thought processes outline in Orwell’s 1984). Sex is natural and good, but if you remove NATURE out of it then it becomes UNNATURAL by definition. Also, the progression of this corruption of thought and doublethink is becoming more and more apparent as people are now begging to question why it is called ‘”artificial” contraception – this is bordering on schizophrenic thought patterns; I am really starting to see the wisdom in the claim that post-modernism is an inherently schizophrenic way of thinking (the main factor of schizophrenia is the subjectivization of reality to the point that what is real and unreal becomes inverted or indistinguishable to the person).

          • Chris Morley
            May 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

            Apology accepted.

            It’s erroneous to blame porn for its pervasiveness and the billions spent on it. That is is simply American capitalism meeting a human demand. Maybe such rampant free enterprise should be significantly taxed. Is the US demand for porn driven by righteous Christian condemnations and censorious attitudes towards sex that pervade and distort much of US culture? Very possibly: people often obsess over what is forbidden.

            If you check the etymology of ‘pornography’ you will find the word has ancient greek roots. Porn and erotic imagery has been around since the dawn of human creativity.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_erotic_depictions

            I refuse to buy your idealisation of ‘primitive tribal cultures’ “that do not have all of this drama over sex is that they live in a NATURAL setting”.

            You can find any number of tribal cultures where they may not have contemporary western medicine’s liposuction, breast and butt implants etc., but tribal peoples do all kinds of things to make the body sexualised and alluring in their cultures’ eyes. These include wearing complex make-up and body paint, fabulous varieties of hair styling, often body shaving and hair plucking, clothing or the lack of it deliberately directing attention to sexual parts of the body, and there is a great deal of highly inventive radical body modification among many tribal cultures – teeth removal, piercings, scarification, tattooing, etc.

            I’m challenging you on your tendency to bull-shit: having an idea, then creating a theory to justify the point you have decided to make, and then asserting as fact whatever you need to support that theory.

            I suggest checking your ideas against some web searches first. Or in the case of your idealisation of tribal societies, just look at back issues of National Geographic.

            For example try a google image search using these terms: ‘Maasai tribal gender'; then repeat the experiment with the names of other tribes from other continents. Your screen fills with images of highly decorated, sexualised and modified bodies.

            Your starting contention in the last paragraph is almost instantly disproved.

            You might adopt the methodology of checking for the later ideas in the paragraph.

            For example you make a big song and dance about anal sex as if this is modern and only followed the invention of douches: “and the ease of being able to clean feces out of the anus with modern
            technology and resources, we have removed nature’s own limitations and
            restrictions on how much pleasurable and ‘non-reproductive’ sex that we
            can have.”
            The lack of douches certainly didn’t stop people (ancient Greeks among others) having anal sex in the past.
            And sodomy has long been condemned since well before douches arrived, remember?
            I detect a personal, American obsession with cleanliness leading you to bull-shit once again.

          • Advocatus Diaboli
            May 19, 2012 at 12:59 am

            AAHAHAHAH :-) I love your intelligence and whit. Reading, “I’m challenging you on your tendency to bull-shit: having an idea, then creating a theory to justify the point you have decided to make, and then asserting as fact whatever you need to support that theory” made me smile and literally laugh out loud, as did “I detect a personal, American obsession with cleanliness leading you to bull-shit once again”, and I am in a significantly better mood now because of it Thank you :-). In response to the last bit, as the movie “Eurotrip” states “America was founded by puritanical prudes”, so I cannot fully escape the Puritian Legacy of America’s origins, lol (more seriously though I’d be interested in hearing more in regards to that comment if you were so inclined, I am rather intrigued by it).

             That being said, I do not actually bullshit nearly as much as you probably suspect – I have a greater tendency to generalize from evidence and examples that I do know of rather than simply ‘make shit up’, particularly when on internet/blog/commentary format, because I do not have the space or the ability to relay the entirety of my rather complex thought processes (one specialist call it ‘global-thinking’ rather than the much more common though style of ‘linear-thinking’) in such a limited medium. 

            You are very perceptive, and that makes it a great pleasure to dialogue and argue with you – I wish that you were one of my professors because it takes someone who is as or more intelligent than I am, thinks fundamentally different than I do, and is not afraid to politely shove me off the soapbox for me to truly learn or grow. But most of all, it takes someone who is as perceptive or more than I am for me to truly enjoy discussion and find satisfaction out of being disagreed with. The few times that I have found such people have been when conversing with two or three priests and one female professor; such people make me feel like I am NOT the master of everything, and even vulnerable – as if they can see into my soul rather than what I present to the world externally. Strange as it may seem, I actually derive more enjoyment out of being intellectually defeated, had, or ‘figured out’ than I do winning an argument; and while I often speak as if dictating the truth, I am also secretly wishing that someone will prove me wrong so that I can learn something both about myself and the world and thus grow. I really wish we could converse in person; in a few months I will be moving to Boston for grad school for the next two years so if you are ever in New England please email me,  I’d love to have lunch or something (in which case I would obviously introduce myself without a pseudonym).

            best wishes :-),
            AD

          • CHRIS MORLEY
            May 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

            You are very welcome AD and I am glad to have caused you some laugh out loud amusement.

            The American obsession with cleanliness is well documented – see this for a wry, ecological take on this
            1 in 4 US homes built in 2005 had 3 or more bathrooms.

            I am aware of the US obsession because during the 2nd World War when US forces were stationed here they got a reputation for loudly complaining about the relative lack of plumbing and facilities. My parents told me, British war films with US forces here often showed this when forces were billeted in people’s homes.

            While Hollywood films showed lavish bathrooms, I grew up poor as a child in 1950s London when we just had one cold tap in the kitchen. The toilet was outside in the back yard. There was no bath, hand basin or hot water. As young kids we were bathed in the kitchen sink with water heated in two kettles. Adults and older children went to public bathhouses which had cubicles with baths for hire. My parents did not get their first house with a plumbed in bathroom until I had already left home for university.

            I realise what you write is often like a stream of consciousness, but I do also sincerely encourage you to reflect and check yourself for accuracy before pressing send. I fear people sometimes ignore or dismiss what you have to say. I find it hard to read some of your longer reflections because they can come across to me, and I think to others, as bull-shit.

            I do wish you well for your move to graduate school in Boston shortly; we’ll have to make do with talking through here, as I can’t see the possibility of a trip to the US any time soon, enjoyable though that may be.

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