You know it's often only when one is separated from those things that one holds dear that you really appreciate them. Certainly in all the times I spent at sea it was then that I reallly appreciated my family and home. When the children were small and I was away for months on end, one not only missed them like crazy but regretted all the stages of their growing-up that one had missed. When a child is small and one doesn't see them for six months or so, there's a big difference. It certainly teaches one to value the things that matter most.

The nice thing about my new job in London is that I am able to be home for at least three and usually four nights a week, that's far more acceptable - and of course as I no longer have any Sunday priestly duties it also means my weekends are entirely free. Marvellous!

"The one who tires of London, tires of life...."wasn't it Johnson who said that? It is fabulous being back in Town for a few days a week. The range of things to see and do is just world-shatteringly enormous - theatre, cinema, concerts, exhibitions and those marvelous conducted walks that one can for as little as a fiver! I'm certainly planning on taking in the latest exhibition at the British Museum - "Babylon" - and I am definitely having Shakespeare withdrawal symptoms as I've seen nothing on stage by The Bard for over a year...time to put that right sooner rather than later.

Bu then there's always glorious Somerset at the weekends. From the fantastic views over the Levels to the marvels of the Blackdown Hills with all those smashing villages hidden away off the main roads with equally smashing pubs selling local cider and Cheddar cheese - ooh heaven, that not even the finest du vin du pain du Boursain can beat!!!