Judgement at Gurnard’s Head

Birthday lunch at the Gurnards Head after a blustery walk along parts of the cliff path,

The Picture of the pub is shamelessly nicked from their website- but there is a link to it from the picture and if you have never been I can recommend it!

We dropped in for coffee at 10:30 and then battled the freshening breeze and enjoying the patches of sunshine until lunchtime. 

Our table was in the main part of the pub rather than the restaurant by the fire and opposite us was a couple.

Now Lez and I have always been people watchers often making up stories about who they are and what they have been doing and so I noticed this pair right away. He looked a businessman perhaps in his 50s and  was pouring rather generous glasses of wine for himself and the young woman who shared his table. 

Father and daughter having a celebratory lunch perhaps or maybe a reunion. 

We ordered our drinks – ginger beer for me as I was driving (and actually wanted to be awake for the afternoon.) their meals arrived and more wine poured  As the weather was good the pub was very busy and so lunch proceeded at a very leisurely pace and by the time our orders arrived the couple had finished theirs and were deep in conversation – he was doing much of the talking- she leaning forward and stroking his fingers as they were wrapped around the stem of his glass…… it is hard not to look when its only 6 feet away and right in front of you. 

Work colleagues- the boss treating his doting personal assistant – or perhaps as it was a Friday they were on the first day of a weekend ‘conference’ …… 

While she went off to the ladies he poured the remainder of the bottle of wine into his glass and drained it and signalled to the hostess that he wanted another bottle of the same vintage to take out. “I hope he’s not driving,”  I whispered to Lez.

Their bill paid he got his car keys ready and left while we awaited our pudding.

My thoughts were several ranging from: I hope he’s breathalysed to I bet he’s the owner of the flash silver merc parked across the front of the pub -rather than in the car park. 



I reminded myself that I was being both harsh and judgemental especially because I had decided it was most definitely an illicit affair and that someone was going to get hurt and hoped he was not going to show off in his merc with the best part of two thirds of a bottle of wine in his system. 

But….. there may have been a taxi waiting….. it could still have been an innocent family reunion….. but is was easier and more satisfying to judge.

That was chastening as I had been taking the moral high ground all week on the story of the Shamima Begum which has stirred up so much controversy. A priest I know commented, “Oh I tell people she should be allowed back but collected from the airport by Prince Philip.’

A Reader queried why she should be allowed back – after all she would be on social security and given a house with our money! That she ‘had made her bed and ought to be made to lie in it’ seems to be a common opinion – an eye for an eye and all that.

So I asked some questions this week in social media and in discussion:

  • Is she a victim of sex trafficking, having been radicalised while still a child at 15?
  • Is there any wonder that she does not show remorse at some of the crimes of Islamic State when she will have  been brainwashed for the past four years or so.
  • Should she not come back and face the consequences?

In the end of course, her citizenship revoked, she remains stateless and wandering and bringing up a baby boy who eventually might prove a greater problem. Time will tell.

But I don’t know the answer- merely felt that I should ask the questions in the interests of fairness…….. and because of the Gospel. 

The Gospel not as an afterthought but because it underpins our way of life. Jesus tells us not to judge, to forgive, to give our coat, to turn the other cheek but us humans  are really good at finding ways around it……. “She shows no remorse,” “there are other folks on whom we should spend the resources that she would receive” and so on. 

And, after all is said and done we like to be affronted, to have something to complain about, to judge and find a soap opera drama in real life….

I hope that father and daughter enjoyed the taxi ride to St Ives station to meet Mum travelling down to meet daughter’s new partner and arrange the wedding.  There- that’s better….. a happy ending.

The silver merc had gone when we left for home.

Leave a Reply