PG's Humour



PG on Red Nose day
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'I was born at an early age; my mother was there at the time.'

Let's forget the wise cracks, PLEASE!! 
I'm a born optimist, always able to smile at the face of adversity (and, to the horror of those who know me, at the misfortunes of others!) I laugh at most things, and most people, but especially at the Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese and Charlie Chaplin's of the world.

So that is something of my character - what of my jobs? Having trained at Durham as a teacher (and also met my now former-wife), I then taught Religious Education and Games. I suppose a form of 'muscular Christianity'. Hemel Hempstead survived my teaching for four years. Then it was a case of 'Constant change is here to stay'. 

Then I became Warden of a youth hostel attached to Coventry Cathedral. That was an experience and a half. By that I mean I was put in at the deep end, liturgically speaking. Having been used to a nondenominational, charismatic, evangelical free church-style of worship, I couldn't at first cope with all the ritual. I came to appreciate this more! One of the more memorable occasions was the birth of my daughter Anna in 1981.

"The time had come, "the Walrus said, "to think of many things "... like where do we go from here? What could be a more natural step than to train for the ministry in the Church of England? I did this for two great years in Nottingham. My son Tom was born there in 1984. Dear little Tom was 1 when we moved to Kingston-on-Thames, where I was the curate of a low-evangelical church (excuse all the terminology. but it will mean something to somebody! 'Onest guv'). 

I was a curate for just six months when I had my asthma attack. This led to cerebral anoxia (starvation of oxygen to the brain) which left me very much as I am today i.e. not able to do much for myself, and can only talk quietly.
I prefer to say that I'm 'wheelchair-bound but mentally sound.'
So I haven't lost my 'marbles' (though some would question this! How dare they?)

What are, and were my interests? These ranged from sport to music. I used to play all the racquet sports quite well, even if I say so myself! I'd try my hand at anything, and loved skiing too, though I only went a handful of times! On the music front, I used to play the guitar (ragtime style). I especially enjoyed the music of Ralph McTell, Tom Paxton and of course Simon and Garfunkel (well that definitely dates me). I also taught myself to play the flute, the piano and my uncle taught me to play the saw - definitely my party piece!

I moved to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, in Putney (SW London) after my initial stay in Kingston Hospital, in 1986. Since then, I've benefited from the various therapies i.e. speech, physio, occupational and also hydrotherapy.

I had my own regular column, called 'PG's Tips for Survival at the RHN' in a Hospital's quarterly magazine, which are the 'Sidney sagas.

'What has happened to my Christian faith?, I hear you cry!'

I was never angry with God, though of course I was occasionally jealous of other's activity!
However these moments never lasted.

I was kept afloat by the Lord - and by the thoughts of my late school friend Robin. It was said of him that 'he focussed not on the "What if?" nor the "Why me?" but rather "What am I going to do today?"'

My peace, given by God (Philippians 4:7 "the peace of God, which transcends (is beyond the grasp of) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.") is best summarized by Bob Gass, in one of his 'Word for Today' from

"Only in acceptance lies peace...not in resignation. There's a big difference!

Creath Davis points out that:

Resignation is surrender to fate.             
Acceptance is surrender to God.

Resignation lies down quietly in an empty universe.
Acceptance rises up to meet the God who fills that universe with purpose and destiny.

Resignation says 'I can't'.
Acceptance says 'God can'.

Resignation says 'It's all over for me'.
Acceptance says 'Now that I'm here, what's next Lord?'

Resignation says 'What a waste'.
Acceptance says 'In what redemptive way will you use this mess, Lord?'

Resignation says, 'I'm alone'.
Acceptance says, 'I belong to you Lord'.

My interest in computers developed while I was at theological college, where I started with a Sinclair Spectrum - you remember, the one with rubber keypad. Anyhow, I saw the potential for the computer in ministry but never really got the opportunity to put it into practice. 

However, I can use a keyboard, even if with one finger at a time, using the remarkable EZ Keys software. This has largely been overtaken by being hooked up to a switch / button which scans a grid system of new software.
I also use a trackball.

Being on the Internet, and using e-mail has opened up the world. It's amazing to have access to so much information, and be able to correspond so easily to so many. Through my disability came the chance to communicate, via the computer, using the written word.

"And thus the yarn began...."

Introducing Peter Gow by Josh Gifford


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