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It was my grandmother (my father's mother) who gave me a love for John Baillie's Diary of Private Prayer (see posts here and here). Grandma would read these prayers aloud to us and, even more significantly, include extracts from the prayers in letters to me. Somehow - let's assume it happened honourably - I ended up with her personal copy of the prayer book. For me, it is a taonga (a beautiful Maori word, conveying the idea of a precious treasure).

After we were married, Barby acquired a taste for Baillie's book and, over the decades, she has kinda fell into the habit of fleecing New Zealand's second-hand bookshops for copies and then we give them to our friends, as the supply allows. On a recent visit home, Barby cleaned out the bookstores, as she customarily does, but it was only this week that I handled the copy she purchased. The nicest copy I've held since the one I slipped into Chris Wright's bag many years ago. A leather cover (I think it is), the t…

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