R is for Roofer

Once again I have picked a theme for the A to Z Challenge. This time I aim to entertain rather than to educate. My theme is careers or occupations. I begin with a piece of creative writing.

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Ruth and Rufus are roofers. In the past they might have been thatchers, but there are not many thatched roofs left. Tilers are another sort of roofer. Thatcher and Tiler have continued as surnames. Ruth and Rufus specialise in stone and slate. Slater and Stone are surnames too. Stone roofs have larger, heavier stones lower on the roof and smaller lighter ones higher up.  Vertigo prevents people becoming roofers. A head for heights is required. Nowadays scaffolding and a safety harness are part of roofers’ essential equipment. After storms roofers are in demand. Early replacement of dislodged roof-tiles and slates is recommended. It would be silly to wait until water penetrated. Perhaps that is the derivation of having a tile missing or a slate loose.

Further reading: Roofer


Roof tiles

Ruth means friend (or pity with ruthless being its antonym) and Rufus means red. It is a pity that slate is grey and tiles are usually red!

A story in the Bible about building is told in the Book of Nehemiah. I wrote Nehemiah’s story for a previous A to Z Challenge.Ruth has a book all to herself. It is a heart-warming story of tragedy with a happy ending. It is only 4 chapters. Please click on the link to the first chapter and carry on reading to the end.



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During the time that the New Testament was written the Roman Empire had expanded. Jerusalem was occupied by the Romans. They brought a mixture of good and bad innovations. The roads had never been better, but there were brutal punishments including crucifixion.

The book in the New Testament usually known as Romans is a letter from St Paul – mentioned as Saul of Tarsus in my post about Gamaliel – to the Christians in Rome.

This book is the most thorough explanation of Paul’s understanding of the faith to which he had been an unlikely convert.

He expressed a desire to travel to Rome, which happened in a strange way. Because he was a Roman citizen, he was allowed privileges of status that most other Jews did not share. He travelled to Rome as a prisoner awaiting trial and spent much of the end of his life in prison or under house arrest. He wrote many letters, some of which have not survived for us to read.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My R post from 2013 mentions Romans.