Sunday, 28 June 2015


Apologies for absence. So much going on. I am shot through with admiration for people who manage to blog through life circumstances or when they are just plain busy. Witness Tracing Rainbows gamely blogging on the run in to her daughter's wedding, when she was insanely busy. The advantage, of course, of blogging in this time being that this is a great way to remember great events.

I take a slightly different approach when I am overwhelmed. I pull my knees up under my chin and rock a bit until it goes away. Not so helpful in Aldi, I will give you that. 
So in the spirit of putting great events on the Internet in order to keep a record of great events, I give you, in no particular order...the week past

  • The shower broke, I couldn't find the bath plug.(Under my nose the whole time apparently) I was forced to use daughter's Pug-Plug. While I bathed and the pug in the lifebelt bobbed about by my feet, I wondered whether Grace Kelly had ever bathed like this. I decided, probably not. 
  • FOW1 got his uni results. He got a First which has made us very proud. He has decided against doing a Masters this year mainly due to lack of funding but also because he might want to do it at another university. Ah, young people. The more sharp witted amongst you will have realised that this meant driving to York to pick him up and bring him and all his possessions back to the bosom of our home. Just to let you know that everything horrific they say about student house is correct and then some. Eight young men in the same house. At least a bad as you would expect.
  • We now need to complete arrangements to go back to York again to see him get his scroll thingy. You can go off a place you know.
  • We took delivery of a huge bag of relatives from the North. Always a pleasure - never a chore. I did tea for ten on the Saturday, we got back from York. I won't win me any Delia Cook of the Year awards but , everyone seemed to enjoy it and nobody was clutching their belly overnight.
  • Went to the pictures. Nothing too deep - Jurassic World. Quite Loud. Very good though, if a bit squelchy in parts. I always feel sorry for the pig they are dangling over the dinosaur pit. Also, as an aside, I think a lot of the unpleasantness of the Jurassic films could be avoided by upping the security checks of the people working in the laboratories. There is always someone in there either selling secrets, combining the wrong genes in a forbidden experiment. Just a bit of advice for you if you are thinking of setting up any kind of genetically modified dinosaur theme park.

Thursday, 18 June 2015



Sooo, God and migrants. Any instruction from him or guidance about how we should behave? Possibly this? Ezekiel 47. Bit of a stretch I suppose but it made me think. Do I own where I live? Own it enough to deny the needy access to it? Not so sure I do to be honest.

Divide it up as your inheritance, and include in it the resident aliens who have made themselves at home among you and now have children. Treat them as if they were born there, just like yourselves. They also get an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the resident alien lives, there he gets his inheritance. Decree of God, the Master.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Example One

Daniel - dealing with Medes, Persians, lions in hungry moods, friends in fiery furnaces, being sold into slavery, eating only water and vegetables, advising kings, being visited by angels, praying with the window open, visions of various apocalypses, fearing for his life, generally not getting much sleep. God sends an angel who tells him

‘Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace. Everything is going to be all right. Take courage. Be strong.’

Example Two

Nearly Martha - dealing with running out of dog food, spending too much time on Youtube, losing plug to bath and having to bathe with Pugplug (above), cancellation of three yearly mammogram because machine is broken, getting house visitor ready, not getting Liam's dollars to him in time for his New York jolly, fat hips not responding to virtual starvation diet, dog going all Stephen King at the window. God shows her something in the Bible that says.

‘Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace. Everything is going to be all right. Take courage. Be strong.’

The Message of God to us - Timeless.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

My Twopenneth re Campolo

So Tony Campolo has come out (as it were) in favour of full acceptance of gay couples. This, I believe, has not been an overnight jumping on the bandwagon but has come after years of seeing his wife work in the gay community and much soul searching. Can I just say....(and I am going to because it is my blog and you can't stop me)

  • Tony Campolo is one of the few Christian speakers I have heard that has made me laugh until I cried and then cry properly - both in the same sermon. I don't think I have ever heard anyone speak so convincingly about how much we are loved by God. 
  • The vitriol that has come his way - by Christians - is shocking. What on earth is going on there? What about the command that people will know Christ by the way we love each other? (I am not seeing any brackets there that say as long as it is not at the expense of MY theology) I have never seen so many people writing "Open Letters" for which you should read "Public Takedown" Even his title has changed to "The Apostate Tony Campolo" 
  • Most of the leaders, that I have read would no more minister to or even recognise a gay person that they would an alien with three heads. I am not sure why they think this gives them the authority to publicly give anyone a good kicking on this subject.
  • And it is "leaders" who are having a go. People who have "followers". But where are you leading us? What are you teaching people? To be nasty, to fight in public, to humiliate? It is embarrassing for those of us who live outside the church bubble. Those of us who rub up against people who don't know God, every day of our lives . Do you know what they tell us? They don't say that they see an important theological debate being worked out. They say "Call yourselves full of the love of God?" "I have enough hassle in my own life thank you." or "Flippin heck there are some nasty pieces of work in your religion aren't there?" And yes, I think there are. 
  • While these people are on social media being "important" the vast majority of Christians are out there trying to show people the love of God and rubbing the back of people's hands when it is needed - whoever they are. You are not helping and I tell you this, you are losing this argument. The next generation is slipping from you on this - partly because they don't see Christ in this attitude. We always lose when we don't show Christ.
For myself, I am no sure where I am theologically on this and those that know me know that I have personal reasons for working it through.  To be honest, it doesn't keep me awake at night. Worrying about real people does that more. But, I tell you this, after the events of the last few days I have never been more tempted to put on a pink feather boa and dance to Village People.


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

That's Done Then

I have reached a time in my life when birthdays are something that you smile wanly at as they approach and this an age thing I think. Still, the weekend had some lovely moments to commit to memory. And I will share what I have learnt.

We have eaten out three days running, much in the manner of Henry VIII or someone in that vein. It was very nice but I will be happy to see a vegetable, I'll be honest with you. Also, first time ever I have eaten in Bella Italia without a voucher. Takes the edge off it a bit for me. For I am mean.

SPY is a funny film. No really, it is. A bit more graphic in places than I expected but a good laugh. Even Jude Law.

You may or may not know that I work for a charity providing transport for the disabled and elderly. This is not a normal occurrence but I did spend a proportion of my birthday helping an old lady climb out of her clothes after what we gritty northerners like to call "a bizzy accident" and into a fetching set of tracksuit bottoms and T shirt which I had hurriedly purchased for her at JD Sports. And as I hummed "Happy Birthday To Me" to myself and reflected on God's sense of humour while cleaning out the toilet, I wondered if this was how Kim Kardashian had spent her birthday. I decided probably not.

Mum  I bought you some flowers.
Me     Thank you - they are lovely
Mum  I have had Aldi up this morning. There was a sticker on saying two pounds but when I got to the checkout, the lady said eight pounds. So I said , well I would have never bought them if they were eight pounds but she wouldn't give in so I thought, well I suppose I might as well - so here there are.
Me (slightly squashed) Well they are lovely anyway.
Mum  Well they would have been if they were two pounds.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015


So this was us, Saturday night - going out dancing! To clarify, HOH was very keen on Northern Soul when he was younger.(Very, Very Keen) Northern Soul, for the uninitiated is dance music rooted in Motown and other, more obscure, very danceable soul music. In the early Seventies, there was a huge movement in the North of England where working class people (Including, unusually lots of men) would go and dance to this music all night. 10pm until 6am usually. The place at the epicentre of this movement was Wigan Casino - not a casino actually - a dance hall (no idea). It became a way of life for disaffected young people including my HOH. Eventually, it all collapsed under the influence of modern music, dodgy dealings by the club owners and accusations of drug taking. (Most of which were true - how else do you think people danced for eight hours straight?) However, what it did leave behind was the music and our house is a place where this music is usually playing somewhere. Consequently, although not involved with the original culture, (much too young) there is a lot of music, I really like and I do know a bit as well. 

When we lived in the North of England, we would go a couple of times a year to reunions. These were now, not the wild events of the early Seventies but rather sweet affairs where people in their fifties would get to dance to the music they loved on a good dance floor with plenty of talcum powder. (helps the feet to slip) and I would get to talk to a lot of interesting people and occasionally dance quietly in a corner.

We were really chuffed when we saw this advertised at the Guildhall. There isn't much Northern Soul round here and so off we went. This time making sure we had a bit of an old lady nap in the afternoon so we weren't too tired. Time catches up with us all you know. 

So the first thing I thought when I went in was, are there paramedics on call? People seemed a lot older and fatter than I remembered (which, of course they are) . There was much less dancing than I remembered - lots of people were standing round the edge of the dance floor just sort of doing actions for a lot of the time. In the olden days, people used to take a change of clothes because the pace was so frenetic. People were still walking in with the traditional holdalls but I'm not that sure that you need to get changed into your Union Jack T Shirt and baggy trousers after two hours of doing Semaphore. I tried to go to the ladies and ended up queueing with some nice women outside the disabled toilet because that was apparently all there was in the lady department. I was informed by a rather too chatty lady that she needed to go because she was in cream trousers and was on her P..... - mimed of course. Why would she think I would want to know that? Anyway - eventually a MAN came out of the toilet. There was some speculation that he might have been doing drugs. Really? At your age? Are you sure?

The biggest disappointment for HOH was the music. Most of it was very modern, which he is not too keen on. AND (this is very important) the turntables were too fast. This meant that Little Anthony (Of Little Anthony and the Imperials, obvs) who has a high voice at the best of times, sounded like Mickey Mouse on helium. Also, vinyl records are very precious things which need to be loved and caressed like a laydee. I thought HOH would faint when a loud scratching noise was followed by a DJ announcing "Sorry, quite a bit of fluff on the stylus there," Had to physically restrain HOH at this point.

So he danced to a few things (no talcum powder allowed, the floor was too expensive) and then suggested we go home. We went out into horizontal rain, and no taxis anywhere. I am not good at hailing cabs, it always seems a bit forward to me. 

He was disappointed of course and you do wonder if there comes a time when it is indeed all over for you. I'm not so sure. Some decent music and a bit of a rest and we will be back one day. Probably


Monday, 1 June 2015

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Is anyone else watching this? I am - a bit, sort of. I am not sure if I will stick with it. I'm not sure if I like it. It is based on the novel of the same name and is set in a world where magic is returning to England as part of everyday life. When I say magic, I wouldn't like you to think of David Copperfield floating past the Empire state or even Paul Daniels and the lovely Debbie Magee astonishing us all with card trickery. No this is a much darker sort of thing and I think I am a bit uncomfortable with it.

I am also having a bit of trouble working out what is going on, There seem to be two magicians who are sort of in competition to be accepted in society or something. This is all very well until one of them steps over the mark and brings someone back from the dead and this has "unwanted consequences" These appear to be a man with nails that could do with a severe pruning back, coming in to the resurrected lady's bedroom in the middle of the night and making her dance with a lot of people who look like they are auditioning for an Adam Ant video. Understandably she is beginning to find this a bit wearying and is getting very snappish. 

This week Strange has gone off to war to help Wellington, which seems to me to be cheating a bit. It isn't exactly a fair fight when you conjure up all sorts of stuff to give you the advantage. 

It is, as usual beautifully shot and clothed - if a bit dark but I find it a bit draggy. We discussed whether it is our Christian background that made me uncomfortable with all the magic stuff and I think there may be something in that. All in all, I think I would rather spend an hour with Peter Kay. 

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