It was a very moving message : she basically apologized for the way I'd been treated at that Catholic school and commented that it had been a travesty.
I couldn't recall her specifically, but did remember that class, which had some very bright pupils in it.
As I had actually been baptised a Catholic I was deemed officially of that denomination; though I'd lapsed at the age of seven when my father stopped going to Church.
So, they asked me to teach R.E., which in retrospect I should have declined.
Nearing the Easter holidays there were a series of complaints from parents of that particular class and I was duly summoned for an interview with the Head ( a full-blown alcoholic, who drank during school hours) and local priest.
Apparently, I had graphically discussed a breach birth in class!
In fact, we were studying Hemingway's story 'Indian Camp', which was on the syllabus.
Worse still, I had instigated a debate in my R.E. lesson about abortion!
In truth, I used an article from the 'Irish Independent' ( a paper from the South) about Irish girls being forced to travel to the 'mainland' for abortions because they were illegal in Ireland.
I didn't take sides on the issue, but it was patently obvious to all concerned the 'lapsed' nature of my Catholicism, because of the fact I was dealing with this at all.
On April Fool's Day, I had a letter from the Head saying that my temporary contract was being terminated.
It was gratifying to discover that someone in that class had been appalled, because I was offered no support from the teaching Union or anyone else except my wife.
During my thirty odd years as a teacher, some of my worst experiences have derived from the bigotry of fundamentalist Christians.
There have been a number of complaints , in Merthyr but not in Cardiff ; the latter containing a high proportion of agnostic and atheist pupils.
To be fair, there were only ever a small number of fundamentalists, but they were influential and vociferous and backed up by a few members of staff.
Music by The Jam was censored, the excellent novel 'Shifts' by Chris Meredith refused a place on 'A' Level coursework and in the classroom the classic novella 'Of Mice and Men' was constantly disrupted by those who , strangely, refused to read dialogue with 'Jesus Christ' in it ,yet did read out words like 'bastard'!
The most narrow-minded have been those who adhered to the Bible as a literal text ; even teachers I liked and admired in many ways, would preach their prejudices in school ( one Head of House addressing 100s of pupils , saying gay people would all go to hell!).
I'm aware that some would claim I have a similar doctrinaire approach to politics, that I am equally dogmatic about British rule in Cymru and capitalism.
Yet, I have tried to be more flexible and regarding one issue, the EU, I have changed from being completely antagonistic to this neo-liberal organisation, to taking a similar view to the novelist Irvine Welsh and advocating 'a plague on both your houses' ( though I do feel the referendum wasn't necessary anyway).
And regarding religion, I have many discussions with my Zen friend on the matter.
His own religion is the one I feel closest to and, indeed, embraced when a student.
I love the way it seeks to go beyond all language and mind-constructs, the polar opposite to the notion of 'the word of God'. Zen tries to show that no amount of theories can explain it, only a state of sudden enlightenment, which is oddly akin to the poetic epiphany.
The energy which exists within and around everything can be found through meditation. Such energy exists both in life and death, there being no duality only oneness.
I do not believe that everything can be explained logically and my own 'supernatural' experiences lead me to gather that there are different dimensions of time all running in parallel.
Does this qualify me as the next Doctor Who? Who knows!
From the narrowness and arrogance of fundamentalists, anyone involved in politics should take heed.
On social media , we can so easily become a closed community, preaching the same ideas to each other, but never reaching out.
It's important to use satire to mock or deride political enemies but, in a town which has many UKIP supporters, I think we need to meet them and try to show who is really to blame for poverty and poor housing.
As an atheist I'm as convinced as any Christian of the need for ideals and a vision of a better world.
Capitalism and imperialism thrives off the policy of 'divide and rule'.
People are turned against each other because of their religion, as Islamophobia becomes the mainstream.
Yet the Left in Britain should not see the rise of Scottish and, to a lesser extent, Welsh desires for self-determination as part of this. Rather, these are the gradual claims of identity and belonging so vital if any Empire is to fall.
These are strivings from below, not policies from above.
In loneliness or fear of death I can recognise the need for religious creed, but that has never brought us closer to changing the world.
Mormuns in pairs
an Jovies in gangs -
I love talkin to em
better 're any politicians.
With them Mormuns I d' say -
' Ow many wives yew got?
I'm livin with my missis
but we int married.
Wan a cuppa tea?
I need one coz I woz pissed
outa my ead las night.
Bin drinkin too much,
started seein thin's,
angels an stuff....
but yew'd understand.'
With-a Jovies I d' say -
' My son's in ospital
ad to ave a blood transfusion,
yew'd let im die though.
When's-a world gunnew end,
nex week, month, year?
On'y yew gunnew be saved,
not the likes o me
one o Satan's boyz!
By the way, it's my birthday
wan a piece o cake
an a cup o coffee?'
Mormuns on theyer mission
an Jovies sellin 'Watch Tower' -
they stand open-mouthed an lissen,
then rapidly do a runner.