Friday, 30 May 2008

And for all you Trekkers

La laa, la la la la laa.

Another good man done gone.

Alexander Courage

A day to remember

Today I had the opportunity to be part of a Group Audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The meeting was held at Rhodes House in Oxford, and gathered together were the relatives of British officials and others, who were in Tibet during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. I was invited because my late uncle David was one of just four British representatives to attend the enthronement of His Holiness in Lhasa in 1940. My uncle's daughter and her son were also present.

The Dalai Lama spoke to us about his hopes for Tibet, and his belief that it was possible to find a "middle way" for his country, where instead of becoming independent, which the Chinese would never allow, it became an autonomous region of China. He also encouraged us to visit the country, and said that because of our family connections with it, he considered us brothers and sisters of Tibet.

No doubt I shall write more on this when I have had a chance to think and reflect on the day - I've only just got back home. It's certainly something in which I'm very pleased to have taken part.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Perfect weather

Saturday was a beautiful day, with hot sunshine and cloudless skies, all of which proved a perfect setting for the croquet matches that took place on my recently-mown lawn. The grass may have been short enough, but the ground is anything but level, making it quite a game of chance as well as skill to hit the ball through the hoops. The regular golf players certainly had an advantage, and were able to make long shots with considerable accuracy.

Here, a roquet is just about to be gained, as the white ball hammers into the black. Some of these shots sent the victim's ball hurtling into the bushes, and on a couple of occasions, out into the road, from where it had to be played!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Corpus Christi

Seven of us (and one dog) for the mid-week Eucharist this morning on this the Feast of Corpus Christi - held on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday in our Calendar, 60 days after Easter. The Feast was formally established in 1215 when the Church asserted that what occurred during the mass was the miracle of transubstantiation; that is, that the wafer of consecrated bread did not simply represent the body of Christ but actually became it. As celebrated in the fourteenth century, the Feast included a procession during which the Holy Host was generally carried through or around the town, followed by a parade of important locals.

No procession in the village today, unless you count the three of us who crossed the road back to the vicarage for coffee and toast. Were/are we "important locals"? Doubt it. We don't have an "umbrellino" either.

Oh deep joy!

It seems that the grass pollens have started flying around, as I have now started sneezing and got the nasty itch at the back top of the mouth.

One of the natural remedies tells me to eat plenty of onion, garlic, pineapple, horseradish and local honey, seasoned with turmeric. Then I have to drink plenty of lemon, orange and pineapple juice. I also have to eat local honey, and take one or two tablespoons of cider vinegar (in herbal tea of apple juice, sweetened with honey) 2 to 3 times a day.

Hmmm. I might just sneeze!

Monday, 19 May 2008

That's better

Fare Thee Well

Fellow blogger, Hamptons Ramblings, has decided to quit the blogosphere as an author. He will still be annoying us with pithy comments and observations, albeit as a reader rather than a writer.

Damn. I shall miss the reports of evening meals, visits to local restaurants, descriptions of items for sale along the roadside, and diaries of long walks along the Long Island sands.

Green grow the ...

... well, everything really.

After the warmth of last week, and then the showers of the last couple of days, nature is rapidly taking over. It's just as well that it's the day for my gardener, but I think he might need his scythe rather than mower to tackle the state of the lawn.

I'm supposed to have it ready for croquet this coming weekend! Anyone got any sheep they'd like to graze?

Friday, 16 May 2008

An early morning post

'Tis now quarter past midnight, and the proverbial oil is burning. Have had a week of travelling up and down to Norwich for various reasons, and sometimes twice in a day, and it's a round trip of 40 miles. All of which explains why it's been quiet on the Saintly blogosphere lately.

I'm off to bed.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Sorry, Vernon

I got it wrong in the last posting - it was Vernon Washington who played Otis in "The Last Starfighter", and not Morgan Freeman.

Interesting trivia on Star Trek connections with the film's other actors - Wil Wheaton, known for his portrayal of Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, had a part in the movie, but his scenes were cut. However, his name still appears in the closing credits and he can be seen as the tallest child running through the trailer park in one of the earliest scenes. Marc Alaimo, who played Gul Dukat in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, also appears as one of the assassins in human disguise sent to Earth to kill Alex Rogan by Xur (before the disguise is "detected" and erased by a nearby Last Starfighter game). Meg Wylie who played the Keeper in the Star Trek pilot The Cage appears briefly as Granny. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

A sparklin' day

As Morgan Freeman's character "Otis" in the movie "The Last Starfighter" says as he looks out on the early morning, "It's going to be a sparklin' day, a sparklin' day," and so it is, again, here in rural Suffolk. Four days in a row we've had glorious sunshine and clear blue skies, and today is no different. My window cleaners have just been, and for the first time it looks like their work will not be washed away later in the day.

Nine of us at the 9.00 a.m. Eucharist in Ilketshall St. Margaret's small church, and we marked the Lesser Festival of Julian of Norwich. A strange and wonderful woman whose insights into the all-encompassing nature of God's loving relationship with his creation are as revealing today as they ever were.

Thus I was taught that love was our Lord's meaning. And I saw quite clearly in this and in all, that before God made us, he loved us, which love was never slaked nor ever shall be. And in this love he has done all his work, and in this love he has made all things profitable to us. And in this love our life is everlasting. In our creation we had a beginning. But the love wherein he made us was in him with no beginning. And all this shall be seen in God without end ...

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Grounds for celebration?

Another monthly Coffee Morning bites the proverbial dust. A busy on ethis time, with 21 people clustered in my kitchen and hallway, plus 3 young army cadets on a long-distance training walk who called in for sugary drinks and snacks! Total profit, another £100 for our Benefice funds, and when I looked at the sales table beforehand, I didn't think there was a lot there. All the home-made cakes and biscuits sold, as well as all my marmalade (made with a slug of Calvados this time!), plus lots of other bits that arrived with each guest. Even the urn of coffee almost ran out - we used a ready-ground Rich Italian blend this time, and it was quite pleasant - no rough edges.

A fairly "normal" Sunday tomorrow, after Rogation and before Pentecost, even though it gets billed at "Sunday after the Ascension", and the Ascension theme is kept. All is ready, and I've been trying to sort out my letter trays tonight, which were crammed full. They look better now, and don't give me a feeling of pressure when I look at them.

Yesterday I ordered Bishop Gene Robinson's book "In the eye of the storm" from Church House Bookshop in London, and it arrived this lunchtime. I was fortunate to get one of their few signed copies, and I'm looking forward to reading it. It will be good to learn how he sees the situation.

Although it's only coming up to 10.00 p.m. here, I'm sitting at the computer yawning merrily, so I think I shall get an early night. Perhaps a mug of hot chocolate to take upstairs ....