An angel poking the three kings, don’t you just love this concept? To say nothing of the three Kings as bedfellows. Perhaps travelling together meant they had to rough it a bit. I wish an angel would poke the conscience of Theresa May and her bed fellows and open their eyes. ‘Oy you, leave it out!’

The Angel Muriel


Angels have such beatific faces, however they are depicted,  and all  with the same look. I begin to wonder if they are related; one big happy family; some pugnacious, some fallen, some a bit wishy washy. Catching sight of an angel – even in stone – having a damn good time is rare, not wishing to offend aficionados,  I do believe, some days, especially when things go well, but usually think to call on them only when things do not.

The name Muriel derives from Myrrh. Courtesy of Angel Reach, (everything you ever wanted to know about angels) , here is an explanation for Angel  Muriel

‘Muriel’s name means “God’s perfume.” Her angelic responsibilities are said to include tending the plants and animals of Earth. She is often shown with a crown of flowers, which she lovingly places into the river of life. It’s said that when she is around, you may smell the subtle scent of your favourite flower.

Muriel brings messages of peace and harmony, reminding us that every selfless good deed never goes unrewarded. Muriel is said to teach you how to love unconditionally.

As you invite Muriel into your life, it’s suggested that you will become more aware of  how you can help others and actively look for opportunities to be of service i.e. You may find yourself suddenly find yourself thinking about how you can help the homeless or other charitable acts. Muriel is said to teach that helping others is the path to true happiness. ‘

The title of the book, Murielle’s Angel, is complete coincidence, although I was thinking of angels in human form:  people who are uncommonly kind, generous, brave, or have any or all of the virtues in spades and whose kindness, generosity, bravery etc. has an effect on others.  Perhaps the point of angels, in human form at least, is to foster the practice of virtues.  It always seems if one person sets an example other try to follow.  Perhaps we are back with random acts of kindness.

The Camino del Norte started in Irun

It felt  an enormous journey just to get here: Wales to Manchester to Bilbao to Irun.

In  Bilbao, we caught sight of the Guggenheim in its burnished splendour but did not go in.  Sunny boy and the crowds were far more interested in the dismantling of the football stadium not far off.  The crowd , some in full strip, photographed the slow progress of cranes and diggers dismantling concrete and metal bars edging closer to the iconic arch of their old stadium.  No one knew if the arch would be  taken down that day or the next but they wanted to be there when it happened.  Nostalgia was palpable, the end of an era, of  their childhood football dreams.  The new stadium was well underway.  A man we spoke to thought capacity would be 50,000 or so.  Just before I could say it looked God awful, he told me it was muy bonito. Very pretty? No way.

The first  pilgrim we met in the Albergue in Irun, Alison from Namibia,  had broken her foot. She talked of angels so I told her of my book.  She made a note of the publishers, Cinnamon Press,  as she too wanted to write.

The second pilgrim, Paquita, a diminutive figure, carried a bright orange canary in a metal cage.  Richard.  She put the cage on a counter top and told him not to move.  He didn´t.

We saw her struggling with her burden the next day  and then lost sight of her.  By chance I saw a bright orange feather blowing in the gutter and kept it in the hope that, should we meet again and Richard had suffered some mishap, it may be of some macabre consolation.