Simon Parke  
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The first and second truth

Posted by Simon Parke, 17 Jul 2019

Let us talk about the first and second truth.

The painter sets out with a vision for their picture. This is the first truth and the energy to start.

But soon the truth withers, it isn’t enough, the wheels come off the venture…

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The Nine Rooms of wellbeing

Posted by Simon Parke, 13 Jul 2019

The Dead Sea scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in caves near the Dead Sea.

In one of them, people are pictured as consisting of nine parts of light or darkness; or a mixture of the two.

The fragment which survives tells of two people. One would be considered a fairly good person, with six parts light and three parts darkness.

The other is less attractive, with eight parts darkness and only one part light…

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The mysterious case of the sleeping pharmacist

Posted by Simon Parke, 12 Jul 2019

I’m going to the pharmacy in Pefkos, on the island of Rhodes.

It’s usually a busy (and expensive) place, gorging on the English and their holiday ailments and conditions – sunstroke, mosquito bites, scorpion bites, toothache, pregnancy tests, sleep deprivation, anger management courses, blisters, heart burn, over-eating, over-drinking or simply too much exposure to other family members.

Surprisingly, however, on entering, I discover the place empty both of customers and pharmacist…

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A seagull marriage

Posted by Simon Parke, 29 Jun 2019

We have two seagulls, Peter and Mrs Peter; they’ve been together awhile.

I don’t know if they’re in love, but they work together to get things done.

They live on our roof and have lived here longer than we have.

This is their house, which they defend daily from other seagulls and rooks.

And we are regarded as staff. It’s like Upstairs, Downstairs...

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What is therapy?

Posted by Simon Parke, 24 Jun 2019

You go to a house with a friend.

You go inside the house and your friend stays outside, but in contact.

You work your way through the house, describing each room to your friend, who listens carefully.

They can’t see anything themselves…

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Cover of The Secret Testament of Julian

Julian of Norwich, contemporary of both Chaucer and Langland, was the first woman to write a book in English. Yet remarkably, she disappeared from view for 600 years, before her rediscovery in the 20th century. My new novel is Julian’s own telling of her life.

Cover of Another Bloody Retreat

In the first of my Abbot Peter mysteries, in a prequel to the Abbot’s Stormhaven adventures, Peter takes us back to the monastery of St James-the-Less. There in the shadows of Mt Sinai, Abbot Peter faces a discomforting cocktail of deception, delusion and death.


Julian of Norwich was the most remarkable of the 14th century mystics, whose Revelations of Divine Love has only grown in substance down the centuries. On this retreat, in a contemplative spirit, we sit with Julian in her cell in 14th century England, listening both to the remarkable times in which she lived; and to her life, her words and her soul.

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