Sunday, 11 December 2016

Pause in Advent #3

Possibly my favourite Christmas film - possibly. Dickens and Christmas, Cheese and Onion, Morecambe and Wise, red wine and a blinding headache. All these things go together perfectly for me, so the whole thing starts on a strong footing. You take A Christmas Carol and you add the Muppets, Michael Caine, songs and all this comes to its logical conclusion - Michael Caine singing Christmas songs. It is win/win on every conceivable level. 

I heard the revered film critic Peter Bradshaw name this as his favourite Christmas film, describing it as genuinely moving; which it is. 
A Christmas Carol may be Dickens' best known book - mainly because it captures something about the spirit of Christmas that people chase after. There is a warmth, a love of family and friends and a chance of redemption from whatever you have been before. This is the Christian gift of becoming who you are supposed to be that people are catching a glimpse of - even if, for the most part, they are unaware of it.
People are looking for something at Christmas. They are looking to capture that perfection that is sold to us on the telly and in magazines. They are looking for the warmth and security that they remember in Christmas childhoods - even though that memory may not even be real. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a man who found his way back.  
Having established that we have a corker of a story, we then add the hilariousness that is the Muppets. Particular attention is to be given to the awesome performances of Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. "Light the lamp! Not the rat!". Michael Caine? Well, he has never been better.
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Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Pause in Advent #2


This week's Christmas film isn't really a film at all but, as usual, I am refusing to be bound by anything as trivial as facts. It is a BBC series that was on a couple of years ago in the lead up to Christmas. As much as seems to be acceptable these days, it is as true as possible to the Biblical account. It tries to leave the door open to possible miraculous happenings without frightening the PC horses. I like it very much for lots of reasons.

It is stunningly shot with proper actors, rather than people from the Hallmark School of Christian Drama. I think you probably know what I am saying.

Joseph is actually quite hot. (Although this is obviously irrelevant)

The reality of the situation is front and centre here. Mary is betrothed to someone she really likes. Yet she is pregnant. Joseph is unimpressed by her story of angelic visitation. He stays with her, only to remove her from her local environment and thus save her life. She risks stoning if she stays. He is a man with a good heart. This proves my Sunday School teacher's point that the choice of Joseph as earthly father was as relevant as the choice of Mary. Another man may have left her to her fate. (I have never worked out why she was quite so vexed about this.) 

I love the way the wise men are looking for the star and the promise for years and years and their excitement when it eventually arrives.
I am sometimes a bit allergic to re-telling of the Nativity. It can seem a bit wishy-washy and I think Jesus' start in this life was tough. This has wonder combined with reality. It is excellent. Well done the BBC.


Image result for peter capaldi in the nativity

Can I just finish by drawing your attention to this photo of the Wise Men from the series? If you look closely, you will see the one on the left is actually Dr Who!!!! Am now a bit confused by concept of time travel. 
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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Arrival - No, not the Abba Album



Just calling in to tell you about this film. It's called Arrival and it is utterly brilliant. I would go as far as to use the word profound. It's difficult to describe it without spoilers but I can tell you that these alien pods land all over the world. So far so the same as every alien invasion film ever made - er EVER. But no! Come back! They have things to tell us and they don't want to zap us with squirty guns or suck out our eyeballs. It is a slow, sad (sometimes almost unbearably sad) story with a whip smart twist that made me gasp. It also has a power to make you re-examine your own life. I haven't found anyone that didn't love it.

Before I leave, let me share with you one of the moments when I realised that old people will always be beyond me, 

Aged Parent *in more or less one breath* "So I said to Rose, I think she died this morning and Rose said that she hadn't heard and then Diane came to the flat and she said come and sit with me Beryl because she was really upset obviously. then Charlotte came upstairs but she had a shocking cold so I made her go back down but Diane is going to the Christmas meal with me and she is coming with me to have my hearing aids fitted although- like I said to Stan I don't feel deaf."

Me *taking advantage of a gasp for breath* "Mum - would you like to have a look at the new B and M next Saturday?"

Aged Parent "That would be very nice. I often go for days in this place without seeing or speaking to anyone."

Hmmn
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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Pause In Advent #1

I have to tell you that when I saw the first Advent Candle being lit at church this Sunday morning, I nearly put my hand up and pointed out the mistake. Surely not already? It seems like we have talked about Christmas since the end of August, and I have strenuously resisted it but suddenly it really is on the way. 

I am, as usual, totally unprepared but I have never let that stop me before and I expect we shall get there without too much trauma. At least, that's the plan. To get me in the mood, I am picking out Christmas movies for each Advent pause and telling you why I love them and why they make my bottom lip a bit trembly.



First up is Nativity! This is a late entry to my Christmas favourites. A primary school teacher, organising his school's nativity, accidentally promises his pupils Hollywood interest in their play. As disaster upon disaster unfolds, the teacher spirals out of control in his efforts to dig himself out of this hole. It's all very implausible (The teacher actually has an ex-girlfriend working in Hollywood. Who would have thought it?)
However, I do love this. Firstly, it is full of excited children doing a bit of acting. Secondly, how lovely to see a Nativity with Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, as well as really sweet songs. It seems that now, in some schools, you can't call it a Nativity unless you have a life size squirrel, a solar-powered set of wind chimes and a spaceman. We have to cover all bases and make sure all the costumes in the dressing up box are used I think. 
I don't think that all Christian traditions need to be adhered to as if they are Gospel, but there is something wonderful about the combination of the Nativity story and children. Children, maybe, catch on to the joy of the whole thing. They sniff the air like tiny puppies as Christmas approaches. A lot of it is to do with the gifts - that is certain - but they also, without any cynicism enter wholeheartedly into the spirit of the time. I could probably learn a lot from them.
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Monday, 21 November 2016

Wet Autumn Thinks

Of course rain is essential - we plough the fields and scatter and all that but Devon is under a deluge at the moment - it is hardly bothering to get light today. It's easy to get all wistful about Autumn but I can live without it when it's like this. I'd even rather have a good old fashioned crisp cold snap.

Anyway, on to more edifying things. I was reading this.

17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and religion teachers were sitting around. They had come from nearly every village in Galilee and Judea, even as far away as Jerusalem, to be there. The healing power of God was on him.
18-20 Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, “Friend, I forgive your sins.”
21 That set the religion scholars and Pharisees buzzing. “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemous talk! God and only God can forgive sins.”
22-26 Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking and said, “Why all this gossipy whispering? Which is simpler: to say ‘I forgive your sins,’ or to say ‘Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: “Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.” Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it—got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way. The people rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then also gave glory to God. Awestruck, they said, “We’ve never seen anything like that!”
I have always loved this. I love the fact of a bona fide miracle in the middle of it. The man can't walk and then he can. The loving-kindness of Jesus reaching in and reassuring the sick man that his sins are forgiven. The way the posh and the high ups are confounded by the way Jesus is with people. In the light of recent events though, I had been thinking about the role of the helpers - the sick man's friends. I was thinking about the call to be kind - to one another - and ignore what the "powerful" are doing. How determined were they to get their friend to Jesus? They arrive at the house and there is no way they will get in - just no room. Yet they drag the bed on to the roof and dig through and lower the bed before Jesus. I have no evidence but I just think of Jesus looking up and smirking at the faces of the friends as they peered down through the hole to see what would happen. 

So what does it make me think?


  • It makes me think that I should be determined to hear from Jesus. To push on and do whatever it takes until I find him in my circumstances
  • It strikes me that kindness is sometimes hard work. It doesn't always fall into our laps. We have to fight for the right things to happen.
  • I think that being kind is also not judging before you help someone. I have no idea about this man but something had been going on in his head. Jesus is careful to tell him that he is forgiven before he heals him. His friends aren't bothered with all that. They just want to see him well. Jesus can deal with anything else the man needs.
Comfort thinking as the rain pours.
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Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Secret of the Journal


I would never describe myself as a completist. Once I start a series - books, box sets etc. I don't feel I MUST finish it at all costs. In fact, I don't feel that I have to finish a book if it doesn't grab me. Life is too short. It is ok to do that because CS Lewis said so. Yet sometimes you just fall in love don't you and you need to read all the books or watch all the telly. Witness Harry Potter, The West Wing, The Hawk and the Dove, the Great British Bake Off etc etc. The latest addition to my "must finish" is the series of books called "The Secret of the Journal." 
I'm not really sure how to describe these books really, they aren't like anything I have read before. So far so not very inspiring review wise. But I am having a go at telling you about them anyway. Part romance (quite hot romance as well), part historical novel, part science fiction, part thriller and with faith woven in and out of it all. That should describe it enough for you. No? 
Well, being careful about spoilers - Emma D'Eresby - a Cambridge Academic travels to Maine in search of a Seventeenth-century journal. Working at college, she comes across the lovely Dr Matthew Lynes and - well you know. Except we don't, because Dr Lynes isn't what we all suppose he is. When we discover his secret, it takes the novel to a different place completely and a sense of menace and secrecy and general spooky wooey-ooeyness takes over.
Having said that I don't hang around unless something really grabs me, I sort of made an exception for this. When I started reading the series, I didn't quite get it at first and I struggled to understand the characters. However, I wanted to stay with it and by the time Matthew's secret is discovered, I was hooked (Warning - you have to go right to the end of the first book to find out properly - although you may suspect before then)
They are a rattling good read. To enjoy them properly, you will need to suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride. There is, however, a real heart to the stories and I did really care about the characters. There is a section - sort of towards the end (trying really hard not to spoil anything) where Emma - older and wearier - fights to create a life for herself and her family. I was so worried for her at this point - it surprised me how involved I was. These books are good, chums. Enjoyed - a lot. 
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Er No Thank You


I think there has been lots of progress in the church since I first became a Christian. We no longer judge a woman's spirituality by the length of her earrings. Most of us accept that other doctrines and religions deserve, at the very least, our respect. We now very rarely think that a member of the youth group needs to be released from oppression just because they don't want to play that game where we have to pass a balloon to each other through our legs. And if we are still struggling with where we are on LGBT, at least we are less likely to chase a gay person out of church with a flaming torch.

However, I have not budged at all on Halloween. I am not convinced by its claims to be a funky, family affair. Growing up in church, I was taught that it was not a good thing. Nothing has made me think any differently.  I still can't bear it. Why? How long have you got?

It is now sold as funny and cute. It is not funny and cute. It smacks of bullying. Give me treats or you will get yours old lady. I dislike the dressing up. What is good about dressing as a blood covered zombie? Or a battered corpse? The violent undertones make me slightly queasy. That is before you get to the highly sexualised clothes that girls are wearing (It's always girls - never chaps) Sexy Zombie in stockings or ghouls etc. Often these girls have fake blood and cuts and bruises etc. Who is that playing to?
We had some kids turn up at our house the other year in Scream masks -with fake knives. Really? Turn up at Aged Parent's house like that and I'll give you something to scream about. 

I also resent the way Halloween has been allowed to usurp Bonfire Night. I grew up with Guy Fawkes being the last great national celebration before Christmas. I know that we need to be careful about being too celebraty about an event where several people were tortured to death after trying to overthrow the government. But it is a huge historical event, where democracy triumphed - part of our amazing history. We used to celebrate it by gathering together round bonfires, wearing bobby hats and scarves and eating lovely food. It's so rare to find a community bonfire now. We seem to have put all our efforts into huge expensive firework displays or dragging our kids round the streets in terrible witchy dresses.

There is one more thing about Halloween that makes me uncomfortable. I am old fashioned enough to believe that not all of it is good fun, that there are things in this world that are not good for us and should be avoided. There is an undercurrent of "bad" to the whole thing, that I could do without.

I understand that for our American friends, the whole thing is far more wholesome and family orientated - which is nice. And I am aware, of course, that without Halloween, ET would not have been able to disguise himself and go home. But I am going to let you keep this one for yourselves guys. You are Americans and that is lovely but I am a Brit and different from you. We don't have to do all the things exactly the same do we? 

So if you wouldn't mind staying away from my door next Monday because I am a bit of a party pooper. Oh and while you are at it, if in a couple of months you knock at Martha Towers to "Carol Sing" you better make sure you know more than the line "Away in a Manger...." which you then follow with an expectant stare because the likelihood is that this is another party I am going to poop.
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Monday, 24 October 2016

Age



Several worrying signs of ageing to report at the moment. I decided to treat myself to an Amplified Bible. It was only a couple of quid on Amazon but I didn't take the time to check the dimensions. When it arrived, it was nice and compact. Unfortunately, I can hardly read it! Well, that's not strictly true. We have a magnifying glass knocking about and I can read it if I use that but it's a bit embarrassing on the bus!
I have also noticed more and more that I make a noise when I sit down - a sort of oompf noise. 
Worst of all, this has been joined by the problem with my chin. A bristly type problem. This is like a Job sort of thing for me - that which I feared most has come upon me. I know in these days of migrants and Brexit and collapsing economies, this may seem a mere trifle, but I don't do hairy chins. I work with older people and I can deal with most things - I can speak up nice and loud, I can listen to the same story several times and seem interested and I can clean our ladies' loos after incidents. (This is not a frequent occurrence and not in my job description - anywhere - I checked.) I do struggle with a chin though. I work hard (too hard possibly) to fight this scourge of old age.
All these indisputable signs of the march of time can make me a bit depressed, if I let them, because I sort of feel that I haven't finished yet. However, I was reading about Zachariah and Elizabeth this week and I am quite taking to them. They were what the Kings James calls - "well stricken in years" or knocking on a bit as we say round here - maybe in their sixties - some sources say older. Yet they were faithful, true to their heritage and going on with God and still serving.

 During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old (Luke 1)

And then - she went and found herself pregnant, surprising even themselves. 
It just made me think, I might be feeling my best days are behind me, the cult of youth is strong these days young Skywalker (sorry) and it is sometimes difficult to see what you are meant to be doing with the rest of your life. But it seems that, once again, God isn't bound by what society (and many churches) say. He reaches in and does the miraculous and it seems not to matter that you or I think it may be too late. And maybe it never is for him.
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Friday, 21 October 2016

You know - he's not sick

This follows on from the thinking about how we have structured our society which I was looking at after Sally Phillips' film about Downs Syndrome. (It's a couple of blogs back) If you have time, have a watch it's only a couple of minutes. (I needed a tissue) It's a father talking about his son. His son lives with a terrible diagnosis, yet his father's radical claim says that we don't put him away - we put him first - and all the good and real things follow on afterwards.

It reminded me of this


Matthew 6:33The Message (MSG)

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Which is obviously this


Matthew 6:33King James Version (KJV)

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What does this dad feel he has missed out on when it comes to a "normal" life? I would guess nothing. I am so challenged at the moment by the radical nature of Jesus' "agenda" and how it is so rarely reflected in me. I'm woolly on this, you are probably all ahead of me. I read on Tracing Rainbows this morning that Ang said she felt she needed to show more love and have more faith. This is certainly true and for me, it maybe needs to be reflected in a completely different set of values about the value of life, getting rid of a stupid fear of missing out and seeing things and people the way that God sees them.

Here endeth the incoherent rant. 
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Birthday

Treated myself to some flowers today. Yellow roses to remember my brother because it would have been his birthday today. Spent a smiley half hour wandering home with them and remembering the weekend we decorated Aged Parent's living room. He actually fell off the stepladders and into the wallpaper paste - like Laurel and Hardy. Thought I was seriously going to make a puddle. 
No need to be troubled. Just wanted to mark the day here.
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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A bit of Hygge


The sun is lower in the sky and yesterday morning, after my usual stumble to the back door to take in a bit of air and let the dog do his ablutions, I noticed that I could see my breath. We are on the cusp of Winter Mes Braves.
I live in Devon and, apart from the occasional anomaly, It's mild. I have very little time for people who complain about the weather round here. It's sometimes very wet. (The heavens tend to open as thousands of holiday makers are pitching tents - it's a bit of a tradition) but basically we are blessed. I am not discounting the absolute horror of those in England who are flooded out year after year by the way. But, in the main, other places have "weather" - think and pray for Haiti for one.
However, the start of Winter can bring with it a kind of lowness. I don't really get SAD or anything. I don't need a lightbox but the lack of sunny days can be a bit of a drag on my senses.
I was very interested in all the hype about Hygge - which is kind of the Danish art of cosiness. A few enterprising people have brought books out about it and good luck to them. I don't think I will be bothering Amazon though - unless I am mistaken the Danish have been practising the flaming obvious. Still - like most obvious things - it still doesn't work unless you actually DO something so here are the things I thought might be useful.

  • Cosy up at home. Soon my famous hand-made door curtain will be making an appearance. The V and A have have asked to borrow it for an exhibition on craftsmanship but I have said No! because it keeps out the draughts. We have rugs and throws and stuff all over the place so when I settle down to get depressed watching "999 What's Your Emergency?" I am at least snuggly while it happens.
  • Get twinkly. We are a bit hot on the old fairly lights anyway. We use them all year round in the evening which Aged Parent thinks is a bit common. I don't care. I like a candle as well. I find them very cheering. They don't cost a lot yet in the winter walking home, the most welcoming houses are those with a candle flickering I think. 
  • Get outside. You will need a scarf and some gloves but getting out in the fresh air as often as you can will get you all tingly in your face. Also you are meant to socialise as often as you do in the summer. I suppose the Danish do their winter socialising in a sauna? (A bit racist?) I never like socialising in a sauna - especially on the night we accidentally went to "Naked if You Feel Like It" night at the Center Parcs spa. Do not talk to me when you have all your bits out. It's a good rule to live by.
  • Read. The Telly is only good if you like Strictly or the X Factor. (No one really likes the X Factor.) But tape your best programmes. (I'm sorry - I do still say tape) and spend some more time with books. If possible under a throw with big socks on. The more I look like a vagrant on Criminal Minds - the more comfy I am.
  • Skin. Look after your skin. Hand creams, facial oils, lip balms. If you are all cracky and sore you will not enjoy winter at all. Feel free to look after yourself a bit and rub things in that smell nice. Try not to be too greasy on the cushions.
  • Pastries. The Danish eat lots of special pastries at this time of year. I can't really. I can't eat one without eating ten and they make my old-lady belly a bit squeaky. You should do so though if you feel you must. Hob Nobs are certainly an acceptable alternative.
There you go. that's your basic Hygge. Saved you a few bob buying the book. You are welcome.

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wading in the Water



To the theatre to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Group. I have to confess that I have a bit of a mixed relationship with watching dance. Last time I went it was to see the critically acclaimed Swan Lake. 
When everyone ran on and did their dancy bit I was quite captivated at first. Then everyone ran off. Then everyone ran on and did what looked like the same dancy bit again. Then everyone ran off. Then they all ran on again. It seemed to go on for a very long time. Also the swan - who I assume was the one in the title, (it's never really made that obvious) seemed to take an awfully long time to die. I mean, he was looking a bit wan through most of it but when he kept swooning and then rallying I began to lose patience. I was on the verge of offering to go up and club it to death myself to put us all out of our misery but apparently that would have been unwelcome.
Alvin Ailey was much more like it as far as I was concerned. 
Point One 
Everyone in it was excessively beautiful. This is very surface of me but I like a lovely looking gang of jiggy people.
Point Two
It was very accessible, split into twenty minute segments. There were two intervals which might have invited excessive alcohol consumption at the bar if the price of a glass of wine were not the same as six bottles from Aldi.
Point Three
The music - atmospheric hip-hop through to old time gospel - was fantastic. The sight of twenty people dancing rather wonderfully to Wade in the Water makes all the tingles happen on the back of your neck. 
Highly Recommended.
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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Samaritan Muscles


Whenever we go to London, if we choose things to do that only one of us want to go to, the pact is that the other person goes and goes in a good humour even if it is something we are not that fussed about. HOH came with me to Westminster Abbey and remained patient as I wandered captivated among tombs of the great and the good and I went with him to the National Gallery to see some paintings. We went to see an exhibition of the painting collections of famous painters. So we looked at the private collections of people like Joshua Reynolds, Matisse, Freud and a few people I had never heard of but what do I know?

I thought it was fascinating actually. I am no expert but some of these paintings were breathtaking and I am always struck by seeing famous paintings in the flesh - probably because I am a bit shallow. I particularly liked this one by Jacopo Bassano (no idea). It is a painting of the Good Samaritan. If you squint, you can probably see the religious people who ignored the man who fell amongst thieves, sneaking away in the background. What struck me about this was how much the Samaritan is putting in to helping the victim. He is really having to put his back into it. It is not just an inconvenience - it's a strain. He has bound wounds, brought the donkey over and is heaving the man onto it. Everything taking effort. It's impressive I think; the way it shows kindness. Kindness is a very muscular sort of phenomenon. No wishy-washy thinking of nice thoughts and not doing anything about it here. Sometimes I find the most pathetic kindnesses difficult - I'm a bit shy of the Big Issue seller or phoning someone who is unwell is a big effort for me. Not because I don't care - just because I wonder if they will think I am interfering. Sometimes I suppose you just need to roll your sleeves up and get on with it - like this chap here. If you want to make a kindness impact you have to get over yourself a bit.
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Rediscovery


When I did A Level English (It was a long time ago - I think Moses was in my class) we read Corridors of Power by C P Snow.

In those days we would work our way through a book by taking turns to read a bit of it out loud in class. (I'm not sure how they work through books in class these days - probably by entering some kind of virtual reality portal together) Reading round the classroom was guaranteed to kill any interest a book may have had stone dead as bored, droney voices are not conducive to falling in love with a story. One particular girl, who wasn't paying attention, informed the room that the hero of the book "felt as though he had been missilled" (as in from a torpedo tube rather than misled - which was how the protagonist really felt.) This immediately entered the vocabulary of the whole class and even now sometimes something can "missile" me.

The other legacy was an immediate falling in love with the characters in the Strangers and Brothers series. I didn't just read the curriculum book, I went to the library and worked my way through the whole series. (It would probably have been more helpful to my A Level prospects to pay more attention to the book we had been assigned but there you are) Anyway, the last couple of times I was mooching in charity shops, I came across old copies of two of the books. They are a bit battered and the print is a lot smaller than I remember but reading them feels like meeting old friends and it is actually a very nice thing. 
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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Worry


"The Bible says that the Lion will lay down with the lamb but it doesn't necessarily say that the lamb will get much sleep." Woody Allen

This is a much quoted (and probably mis-quoted) Woody Allen quotation. I struggled to find the original quote and this may well not be right. In fact it is loosely based on Isaiah 11:6 This is it in the Message.

The wolf will romp with the lamb,
    the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
    and a little child will tend them.
Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,
    their calves and cubs grow up together,
    and the lion eat straw like the ox.


This bit comes just after the promise of the coming of Jesus - a Green Shoot from Jesse's stump. It's a lovely bit of the Bible - full of hope and promise. The thing that the Woody Allen quote does to me (apart from making me snigger like a two year old behind my hand because I am not sure if I should be laughing at it) is it reminds me that sometimes - even in the mist of the miraculous - when I can see God working on my behalf or I know that he is more than able to sort things - I can still choose to chew things over. I still tend to continue to worry and to fret as if God can do nothing. I have known myself so fraught about something, that even if God does sort it, I am too exhausted by worry to enjoy it. It's my choice. I can do as I am told and leave worry behind for peace that comes with believing that God does miracles - or I can carry around my personal basket of woes and keep dipping into it. As a young person (and everyone is young these days I find) said at the front of church - "God is always up to something" And I think he is, it is up to me whether or not I join in.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Special

Plymouth Herald

*Walks in dragging soapbox behind.*

You may wish to go elsewhere but I am going to sound a bit miserable.

Aren't the Paralympics amazing? It is so good to see that, after all the dire warnings about the whole thing collapsing in a heap of indifference and lack of finances, everything is going very well indeed.
Looking at the athletes, I am so impressed by them and everything that they have achieved and it is heartening how far we have come in our acceptance of the disabled into our society. The thing is, however, that these athletes are very easy to admire. The setbacks they have overcome, the dreams that have come true for them, they are marvellous. They are also very unusual - a tiny, tiny proportion of the disabled in this country. So what if you are disabled but without the charms of Ellie Simmonds or the hotness rating of Jonnie Peacock?
Last week a lady who works for us had a genius idea to increase our profile in the city. She organised a Sponsored Scoot - arranging for a group of mobility scooter users to "conga" through the city. The newspaper covered the event and all went well, except when we read the comments section below the picture above, when it appeared on the paper's website. Many of the comments were unedifying, with reference to scooters getting in the way and the obesity of the riders. You don't have to be Doctor Bob to know that there are many causes of obesity - not everyone who is overweight is eating for England. For example, one of our clients has severe Spina Bifida. Her movements are laboured and exercise is impossible. Another has a drug regime which leads to weight gain. Everything is not always as it seems at first glance.
So before we all pat ourselves on the back because of how far we have come with our acceptance of the disabled, the truth is that we still have a long way to go. Not all disabled people qualify under our definition of "Special" where we look at these fantastic athletes and are amazed by what they achieve. When we make equal amounts of room in society for those who deal with pain every morning and those for whom a trip to town takes gargantuan amounts of planning and guts - then, I think, we can talking a bit more about having sorted out this equality stuff.. 
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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Points To Note



Ed Balls is on Strictly - Hurrah! Love Ed Balls. Am trying to ignore that one of the finest minds in politics (whatever your political persuasion - this is a true thing) is spending Saturday nights putting his considerable brain to use in remembering steps to the Argentine Tango. I mean, I love a bit of dumbing down as much as the next person but really.

FOW2 returns to Exeter University tomorrow. Bit early but as she has a weekend job selling expensive face cream to Chinese students who seem to have money to burn - she is going back to make that easier. (Last week, I spent an idle thirty seconds waiting for zebra crossing lights to change, counting the designer labels on a young, beautiful Chinese student standing next to me. I got to seven before the little green man flashed.) 

For those of you feeling sorry for me because we are sprog free (or jealous, depending on how you feel about these things) do not worry for FOW1 is returning to the fold in a couple of weeks. Doing a Masters has taken it out of him and he feels some time in the bosom of his family - having his meals cooked and forgetting how to close drawers after himself, is just what the doctor ordered. 

I am possibly the only person in the United Kingdom who isn't that keen on Sunday Night Telly. Although Poldark certainly has its charms and I am sure Victoria is ably filling Downton sized holes, they just don't do it for me. I apologise - I am sure it is my fault. I am not sure why. Anyway HOH has claimed telly to watch Beck on catch up. I saw the first charred body and retired to the kitchen.

Am loving Bake Off. There is just something so lovely about it. All that smiling through gritted teeth and laughing when you want to cry as your gingerbread London skyline falls over. It is truly a great programme. Can I ask - would anyone ever really want a gingerbread structure commemorating a great event in your life? Not me I don't think. I'd just rather have that raspberry cake thing that Selasi made last week. I reckon I could get all that in my mouth in one go. 

Went to Woody Allen film Cafe Society as promised. I always expect to get heckled as I go in to Woody Allen films for obvious and perfectly understandable reasons. However, I liked the film as usual - even though, these days, you often feel you have seen him make this film twenty times before, it still makes me laugh. 

Anyway, Monday tomorrow. The leaves are falling, it's dark in the morning, HOH has his Autumn cold and Cardworld has Christmas cards in. I don't get my cards from Cardworld because I feel a bit guilty about sending cards that are so cheap that you can see through them. Also, I don't send cards. Not really. 

I leave you with Aged Parent's damming conclusion about her friend who as just had an upsetting diagnosis. It is both anatomically uncertain and upsetting in its finality but that's old people for you.

"He has three cancers - one in his prostrate, one in his lung and one in a very dodgy place indeed. So that's it if you ask me."
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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Childish

I am in the middle of a cinema fallow period. We go to the flicks a lot but there hasn't been a lot to see this summer - not the stuff I like anyway. HOH has been to see the Bourne movie and liked it very much. FOW1 has enjoyed seeing a bikini clad Blake Lively, on a rock in the sea being terrorised by a shark I have no idea if the main attraction was Blake Lively in a swimsuit or the actual film. Probably a bit of both. As FOW 2 is a film student she has not been too bothered about leaving alone for a while. I wanted to go to the pictures so I dragged various people to two children's films. There is a lot of creativity (and money) going in this direction.

First up was The BFG. Steven Spielberg's version of the beloved Roald Dahl book. And it really is beloved - in this house as well as loads of others, so the film-makers are up against that before they even start. We had a cassette tape that we used to play in the car that miraculously turned trips where children were in danger of being abandoned at motorway service stations to journeys where everyone was giggling hysterically. A real gift. Spielberg's version is very good, beautifully produced and written. Everyone is great in it and if you have no emotional attachment to the book - it is perfectly fine. For me - it wasn't my BFG so it wasn't quite the same. 


The next thing I went to see was Finding Dory - The Pixar cartoon. This was equally lovely. The tiny baby Dory is almost worth the ticket price alone. There is a very clever piece where Dory - who has short term memory loss - gets lost and her panic and bewilderment are supposedly based on the feelings of people with dementia. It was very moving. Also moving and I think a bit pinched from stories I have read about God's grace - is a bit where Dory fears her parents have forgotten her and finds out that they really REALLY haven't. It's lovely. 

There are certainly worse ways to spend a couple of hours. Me, I am on alert now for the new Woody Allen - due on Friday. I know, I know. I just love the films. What can I say?
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Monday, 29 August 2016

T'Internet Thinking



If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
1 Corinthians 13

I have, as you may have noticed been a bit taken aback by the Internet. Ah, the Internet. Where would we be without the Internet? There is a compelling argument that we would be doing very nicely thank you very much but we can’t deny that life is very different under the influence of the Internet. I love the Internet for lots of things – I love watching the telly at night and as I grope though my failing faculties and find I really can’t remember where I have seen that actress before, it really is great to be able to just slam her name into a search engine and get my sanity back. I love Social Media (mostly) I have friends and family all over the place and being able to see what they are up to is a great blessing for the vast majority of the time. (Sometimes I would rather not know to be honest but that is probably as a result of my own extensive capacity to worry and I need to get over it.)


Do you know what I hate on the Internet? All the pontificating. Do you know what I hate even more on the Internet? Christian Pontificating. Nothing makes my heart sink faster than someone I have never heard of, asking to follow me or popping up in my Inbox, and then reading on their bio “Amy/ Adam is a modern day prophet who speaks wisdom into YOUR life” Oh Good. Looking forward to it. Why are they picking on me? The Internet is full of people who have at last found the platform they were waiting for. They have a place at last to tell everyone how they think it should be done and they are going to do it. Now there is a place for wisdom and sharing of that wisdom. There is a place for those who have studied and developed their thinking to share that what they have found with us. In the olden days that used to be called preaching. I also know that some of the great minds have sat together and reasoned and come away with deep insights into the Word of God that they have passed on and these have cooled our struggling souls. That used to be called writing a book.

I can get very intimidated by the opinion formers and the wise (these are not necessarily the same people). They shout loudly, they obviously know stuff, they certainly know more than me, although that’s a low bar to be honest. Some of these people though define themselves by the fact that they can teach us. They find their security in their superiority. They forget sometimes to remind us that it isn’t about that camp or this camp. You don’t always need to choose a banner to march under. There are people out there that need someone to love them and ask questions afterwards.
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Saturday, 27 August 2016

As my old mother would say ...



I am an old person now, I will not try to deny it. But have you ever looked at something and thought "What is that?" Katie Hopkins' Tweet about the young men who lost their lives on Camber Sands has probably had too much publicity already but I just can't make it compute in my head. What was it meant to achieve? Clicks? Notoriety? There are five families and many more friends grieving for sons who won't come home after a day trip to the beach. This is a real thing - not an Internet thing, not an opinion piece. I assume Katie Price loves her children. I would have thought she would have some empathy for these people. What on earth is behind it? Then I thought about it and a phrase my often bewildered Aged Parent uses "What is it all coming to? It's wicked isn't it?" Wicked - "evil or morally bad in principle or practice". It's not a word I use very often, but here it seems to fit well. "Wicked" - wicked to poke fun at the grieving and wicked to use their sorrow to advance your own faintly dubious career. It's a strong word but it fits I think.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A Day and a Life

You never know with a book do you? If anyone had told me how much I would mourn the passing of a series if books about a 15th century monastery and the people who live in and around it, I would have struggled to believe it. Yet here it is - the last in the Hawk and the Dove series by Pen Wilcock and I for one will certainly miss it. 
The monks are not there as an excuse to talk about ideas. They are presented as fully rounded human beings - with all the faults and lovely things that humans have, examined in equal measure. Father Peregrine - initially misunderstood but eventually adored is a personal favourite.  First and foremost, these are great stories where lots of things happen to people you really care about. Then you start to see how life has shaped these people and continues to do so. Their faith in God is often tested but God is also is their bedrock. 
In this final instalment, a novice goes missing. His absence affects everyone as they worry and pray for him. However, life goes on and the various members of the monastery continue to fulfil their very necessary responsibilities in the group.
In some ways this quite a courageous way to finish a series. An awful lot of stuff happens in the previous books. In this - not so much. You get to read about disciplines and individuals and their place in the community. If you are interested in these books, I would suggest that you don't start here. (Why would you? It's the last one in the series!) I would start with the first one (unsurprisingly) and I really do recommend the life affirming people of St Alcuin to you. 
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Sunday, 21 August 2016

It's not a voice I recognise



So "Christian Voice" tweeted this. I hesitated to give this any publicity but I think I need to let anyone with a passing interest know that how stupid I think this is.

Where to start?

  • What part of that sentence can you ever, ever imagine Jesus Tweeting?
  • "Turning Gay"? Seriously? Who writes your tweets? Queen Victoria?
  • When did positioning yourself as a "Christian Lobby group" give anyone the right to become an Internet troll - because that is what this is.
  • You ain't lobbying for me mate. Not in my name. I'd be grateful if you could find another word than Christian to put in your title. You have brought the name into disrepute.
  • How is this Christian? To grubbily rejoice in someone's failure?
  • It's not even logical - apart from there being lots of gay medal winners in Team GB - why, for instance would God punish Tom Daley but reward Nicola Adams or the Richardson-Walshes in the Women's Hockey Team? It's just embarrassing.
  • Tom Daley had a bad day and the correct Christian response is that of the Samaritan who bears up and heals wounds. 
Your sir or madam are a buffoon and should be issuing a profuse apology.  *Blogger smacks Tweeter on each cheek with kid glove and turns on her heels in disgust*
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Friday, 19 August 2016

Hoots Mon!



There's a moose loose aboot this hoose!

For readers of a younger disposition - no one needs to write to Nicola Sturgeon and complain about any anti-Scottish casual racism. It's an old song by Lord Rockingham's XI and if you are that bothered you can Google it. I am getting off the subject which is that there is - a moose - loose - in this house. We have a fireplace in our bedroom. We never use it but the chimney is open and we were in bed reading when we heard a noise in the chimney. I thought it might be soot but I looked right to see something small and brown scurrying from the fireplace under the wardrobe. Arrrgh!

It had obviously fallen down the chimney. It's not so much the mouse itself - it's the unexpected skittering that does your head in. HOH was dispatched to find it while I did an excellent impression of the maid from the Tom and Jerry cartoons - refusing to move from the bed.

HOH   "What do I do if I find it?"
Me      "No idea - your problem."

I am then dispatched to kitchen to bring back something "Useful". I return with a brush, a torch and Morecambe - our Jack Russell. The torch proves to be by far the most useful. The brush only provokes "Brilliant - just what we need - something to do a little light sweeping" sarcasm. The dog is excited at being invited upstairs at night and promptly settles down on my pillow. He doesn't seem to be picking up any mouse vibes. HOH uses the torch to look at the back of the wardrobe and sees a tiny little mouse with his head down seemingly waiting for a hammer to fall. HOH is immediately in love with small creature, replaces wardrobe carefully and announces that he is going to bed. Dog is returned to his cage and is not happy about it. Only option that I am left with is to go to bed - especially as HOH has turned off the light and I am left standing on the bed in total darkness. 
So the tiny, tiny mouse is still wild and free somewhere. It looked like an outside mouse to us so I am hoping it has succumbed to the call of the wild and gone back outside. 
As for our resident humane mouse catcher. He, as you can see, remains unconcerned.
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Here

I'm not entirely sure how I have the nerve to just turn up here and start talking again. If you have all gone away to pastures new, I really would understand. It's not as if I have a terrific excuse. No deaths or sinister diseases. No great life changes. I was just exhausted. Not from blogging - it's hardly the most exacting thing in the world - at least the way I do it, it isn't. Just life seemed to catch up with me in lots of different ways and I sincerely couldn't think of one single bright or even not completely dim thing to say to you. So I didn't. Didn't say anything. So sorry about that. Now, however, I am well into a much needed staycation and am feeling much better. Just not going anywhere has done me a power of good. (Well, we went to London and I will chat about that at a later date)

I have tidied the blog up a bit and updated some photos. I really couldn't expect everyone to keep staring at that photo from my brother's civil ceremony which is now very old indeed. However, when you only take a flattering photo once every ten years - you like to stick with what you have. I have been writing a bit away from the blog and am putting some more work into that. I have lots of things on my mental plate at the moment. I don't ever want to feel that tired again and am looking at how to slow down - physically, mentally, spiritually. I am also doing some of your actual musing on my spiritual life  - who I am as a Christian, where my church fits in - indeed where I fit in, in my church. We are neither of us encumbered by needing to attend a church with a good youth group anymore and I am not sure if I need somewhere else. We have made no decisions - we are praying. Nothing exciting may happen.

I have been particularly struck by a post by Pen Wilcock about a retreat she was leading. I couldn't attend it unfortunately - work made the weekend just un-doable but the subject matter had been buzzing round my head. She talked about women of a certain age. I suppose mid-fifties or so. we may have raised our kids, have an elderly parent to er...parent but are still working and don't feel as if it is done for us at all. Yet - what is there to do? What if you get to that age and still aren't sure you have found your place? Is it too late? I'm sure it can't be. Sometimes, I am excited by endless optimism about God's plans and my possibilities. At other times I feel he has moved on to a younger model - one who is a bit more obedient and doesn't ask stupid questions. So this is where I am - a bit. I cannot possibly take up any more of your time. I shall return - probably sooner than you would prefer - but until then I leave you with the photo of a ten year old me above. That is the smile of someone who was choosing to value hope over expectation and I will be working tirelessly to return to that way of thinking ASAP
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Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Week of Life


In the absence of any life changing insights or holidays/conferences/outings with adoring friends to impress you with, I am left with just a few events (if you could call them that) to share with you. I have just finished watching the Men's Wimbledon Final and am pleased to report that Andy Murray murdered it. Some people are not so keen on Andy Murray. I am very suspicious of people who don't like Andy Murray. I have been very keen on him since I watched that documentary where he informed us all through his tears that he really wanted to give the people of Dunblane something nice after everything they had been though. This marks him out to me as someone who has his priorities sorted. I also like his wife's hair very much. Last week, I had to listen while an old person informed us all at great length that she couldn't stand him because he is so arrogant. As far as I know her interactions with Andy Murray have been limited to say the least but she still feels that she can form an opinion. Old people are weird sometimes. I have showed great forbearance and am only responding by printing up a huge poster of him with the Wimbledon trophy and pinning it to the front of my computer - rather than to an old lady's face. 
I went to a garden party which was marked by light rain, possibly the best coffee cake I have ever eaten and a the presence of a smoothie bike. This astonishing piece of technology involves a glass jug,filled with various bits of fruit and ice, on the back of a push bike. Then a willing victim pedals like mad for what seemed quite a long time which made some blades work which, in turn, made a smoothie. It was all done so enthusiastically that it seemed churlish to point out that a Nutri-Bullet could have done it in five seconds but then, I never was very good at party games.
On Thursday, I took the minutes at a church meeting. It is only mildly concerning that, at the moment, I am unable to find the note book I wrote in because we are decorating in the back room and nothing is where it should be.This is very unusual for me. I am usually extremely organised when it comes to other people's things. It is only my own life that is a complete shambles. I expect it will turn up. Oh and did I mention that a lot of stuff has gone into a confidential waste bag for shredding? How do you think they will feel about holding the meeting again?
Took aged parent to Aldi on Friday. All went well. Quite quiet actually. This may or may not have anything to do with her announcing to the world in general that "her bowels were smashing now and she can really recommend that newest laxative." We are all very pleased for you, the people seemed to say. Old people are really weird sometimes. 
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Sunday, 3 July 2016

July Reads

This is the July reading plan. As usual, only a couple are bought new because I am not made of money. Some are charity shop finds and some are gifts etc. I have started already and some are already read.

Henry Winter. 50 Years of Hurt. I love a football book and Henry Winter is one of the finest football writers. He talks a lot of sense about the the England football set up and so the FA will take no notice of him at all.

Marian Keyes. The Mystery of Mercy Close. I bought this because I have seen Marian Keyes on lots of things and I follow her on Twitter and she seems really nice and funny. This is classic Lite Lit or whatever the politically correct term is which I suspect is a lot harder to produce than it seems. She is very good at page turning stories and the stuff about depression is very vivid - I suppose because she knows what she is talking about. I raced through it.

Jenny Colgan. Little Shop of Happy Ever After. I saw this recommended on the Women Alive Book Club. It is bona-fide wish fulfillment. Bookish Girl gets made redundant from Library. Bookish Girl buys big van in Scotland and makes new and entirely plausible career selling books out of back of van. Bookish girl is suddenly wildly attractive to local brooding laird type.  Come On! You know you love it.

To read....

Elizabeth Goudge. The Scent of Water. Again recommended by Woman Alive Book Club. Bought it because I read a sample chapter and couldn't put it down. We shall see.


Eve Garnett. The Family from One End Street. This is a children's book. I love a children's book and this one is full of social conscience and love and family apparently.

Penelope Wilcock. A Day and a Life. I have loved every book in this series about a community of monks. And if you are weighing that up and thinking it will be boring - then kindly leave the blog - we have nothing to say to one another. The books are full of character and love and I have cried several times reading them. This is supposedly the last in the series but because I am a master at avoiding any kind of bad news. I am doing what I usually do and ignoring the facts. Play to your strengths - that's what I say.

Tony Collins. Taking My God for a Walk. This is written by Pen Wilcock's husband - himself a distinguished publisher and my slightly squished logic says that if he likes her writing, then I will like his writing. Also I am quite interested in the idea of a pilgrimage and even more interested in a pilgrimage by someone who appears to be a normal person rather than someone in bare feet wearing a shroud.
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Mountain bumping


It's all very well being positive. Positive is good - no-one wants to be moaned at all the time. Counting your blessings. That's good too. I'm all for it. Most of us are a lot better off than we realise and it does no-one any harm to stop and take stock and be grateful. 

Last week, I was re-reading a book that had got on my nerves a bit the first time. But, my multiple insecurities disorder always tells me that, in all circumstances, I am incorrect and everyone else is right so I tried it again. There is this bit in it where this woman realises that she is very ill - she's not dying or anything but she's definitely ill and she grasps the table whispering - with her very shallow, ailing breath. "Gratitude to God - at all times." Well she is either amazing or mentally unwell. I would be whispering "999. Please dial. Quick as you can" but I suppose I'm just self centred. 
We have to be honest I think. It is not great faith to keep saying that everything is top-notch when it quite clearly isn't. It is weird. 
In Britain at the moment lots of things are rubbish. We have no Prime Minister (well there's David Cameron but he's just thinking about retirement in Cornwall now.) There is no effective opposition party. (Unless you include a Labour leader who seems to be spending all his time with his arms and legs wrapped around the nearest chair leg shouting "I won't go and you can't make me.") All the Shadow Cabinet have resigned leaving just three people to run from room to room putting different hats on quickly depending on which department they are in charge of today. There's Nigel Farage. Lets just leave that one as it is. I just can't, to be frank. And this is all before we get to your actual Exit negotiations, casual racism, Nicola Sturgeon's steely glint and the England Football Team. And people keep standing up and saying "Don't worry. Everything is fine." Well it isn't is it? If you are a praying person - our nation could do with some now. I'm not very good at praying for England. I'm better with people I know and love. (Or people I don't love which I only tend to do because God is pestering me to.) But I love Great Britain. I am grateful to be from here. And it's not good at the moment. 
There's a bit in Matthew in the Bible where Jesus tells his disciples that with God they can tell a mountain to move and it will move. We take God seriously - amazing things happen. However, first you have to agree that there is a mountain. It's no good keep trudging forward and pretending it's not there - you will bump into it and have a nasty scrape on your nose. If life is awful. If something is wrong, we need to say so. Pretending is not exercising your faith, it's acting. It doesn't give God any credit either. Because it doesn't matter how bad it is - God can do something about it. We don't need to pretend that things are better than they are. God is not afraid of my problem. So we can admit it. Admit that it is a mess and we don't know how we can solve it. It's not just about national and international things - it's about you and me and the day to day. It's no good whistling a happy tune and getting on with it. Be honest with God - if necessary until snot comes down your nose. We should be counting our blessings by all means but we also need to say when it's rubbish, then pray when it's rubbish. That way, we get to see the mountain and get the privilege of seeing it move as well.
 “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” Matt 17 v 20
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Saturday, 25 June 2016

But in the end...


So it was Exit. We didn't see that coming at all. Even Farage changed his mind about three times on the night - defining the word "slippery". 
Anyway, time will tell I suppose. I have seen the accusations of racism and it's not really something I have some across. I just think some evil genius somewhere is congratulating him/herself on the way that people felt that the economic misery of their lives was down to the EU and not successive British Governments who have largely ignored the poor and the working class unless they were searching out people to press the demands of the austerity budget upon. 
Everything that has happened since has left me vaguely uncomfortable. I'm not very good with bad feeling. I'm not happy with people using that bad word about Boris Johnson or booing him as he got into his car. I don't really feel that this thing should be done again until we get a different result - no matter what the petitions say. So what to do? The future that people like Boris or Nigel envisage for us is not a future I am interested in. 
So maybe it is time to put our money where our mouth is. If we don't want to see refugees treated badly or even students or foreign workers - then we need to work to make sure that doesn't happen. If we want a kinder, less exclusive society, the what are we prepared to do to achieve it? And if we understand why the poor and the disabled and those who shop at food banks were so angry - how does that stir us into action?
Because in the end, it is all about the love. I watched Samantha Cameron watch her husband, going through agonies because she loves him. I thought it might be the first real positive emotion I had seen all the way through this rubbish.
I am unhappy and a bit scared. We have no idea how this will land and the people who were so keen on it haven't got the faintest idea either. But I'm a Christian in I'm asked to have faith. Not in a dodgy system or ideology but in a God who loves me. That will be my starting point I think.


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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Voting

So the Polling Day comes to an end and I think we are all glad to see the back of it. I have found the last few days quite wearying what with one thing and another. For what it's worth I came down as a remainer. I have not that enthused by the European set up but I don't like the idea of pulling up the drawbridge when it's all such a mess. Also, I just couldn't find myself voting on the same side as Nigel Farage and some of the people he attracts in the street are even more troubling. Lastly, for purely selfish reasons, I work in a charity, supported by some government money. I'm not convinced that if European money is withdrawn, national government will have little charities at the top of their lists for handouts. So there you are. I don't expect everyone to agree but let's keep it civil please. I did read on a Twitter feed that I usually like that I may well have voted in Armageddon. Well listen to me sweetheart. Stories this week have included
  • A disgusting group of people breeding fox cubs to throw to hounds to train them to kill. On top of there being no words to describe how disgusting and savage this is - fox hunting is against the law here!!! What part of that sentence do you people think doesn't apply to you. Foxes are nuisances so shoot em. Don't chase them in some perverse game to make you feel excited. Get over yourself and be a bit normal.
  • I have read of a secret meeting that Donald Trump has had with Evangelical Pastors. It was supposed to be a secret but half the people there seem to have had secret recorders on them which they have almost immediately handed over to the Internet. These are TOP Christian names. They have written books and preached and things. Donald Trump is a man who thinks racial profiling may be a viable option.
  • Er Just this bloke......


Pastor prays for Orlando Survivors to Die (Link through for full story if you feel you can take it)


  • And then this man got to take his children to their murdered mother's funeral.

Listen - never mind in or out of Europe - don't tell me you can't hear the clippy-cloppy of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse as well - a bit.
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