Wednesday, 30 July 2008

No rest for the earth

Photo by Richard Calvert

In school I was taught about crop rotation, and how, in order for the earth to renew itself, land would be left to lie fallow every fourth year. The realities of modern-day farming have long dispensed with that old wisdom. Not only is the land smothered in fertiliser and pesticide, but now it is not even allowed to rest between crops, let alone one year in every four.

For the last couple of days the local farmers have been busy gathering in the harvest. The rape has been cut, the first wheat has been reaped, and massive combines have been trundling along the lanes.

Today, the air is pungent with chicken muck which has been spread on nearby fields, and despite the heat, all windows in the house are closed. It doesn't last for long, and is one of the realities of living in the countryside, as opposed to living on the cover of a chocolate box.

What is noticeable though is that the land is not allowed any time to recover. As soon as the crops have been gathered, the ploughs are out and the earth is turned over. Local farmers even pride themselves on how quickly it can be done.

For centuries the church has kept its fourfold agricultural Festivals of Plough Monday, Rogation, Lammas and Harvest. Plough Monday is the first Monday in January! Something tells me that modern farming techniques are somewhat out of step with that rhythm.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Breaking the dream

A long-standing dream was finally broken this morning. Many clerical colleagues admit to sharing a similar dream to the one that has punctuated my sleep every so often over the past 24 years since my ordination, where I am standing in front of a congregation and unable to find my place in the service book. I flip through page after page and the place I want just cannot be found, and I am aware of dozens of eyes watching and waiting for me to lead the service, and I am unable to continue.

The psychological reason for this dream is simple – our task is to lead worship, and to be in control of where we are in the liturgy and what we are saying. This doesn’t negate the actions of the Holy Spirit who “blows where he wills”, but it is our regular Sunday function. Clearly there is a deep-seated anxiety about performing such a leadership role, and a fear that we will not be able to do it, leading to the dream where we cannot find our way.

Today one of our churches celebrated its Patronal Festival – a few days late but it’s the closest Sunday to 25th July, and I’m sure St James won’t mind one way or the other. This necessitated taking several different books – a full Lectionary for the readings, a book with Intercessions for the Feast, a putting a bookmark in the Common Worship service book next to the Collect for the Day.

So – I announced the Collect and flipped open the pages of the Lectionary. Unfortunately, I then realised that my particular edition does not have the Collect prayers printed in it. So I picked up the large Gospels book which has them in the back, but turning over the pages I couldn’t find it. I looked back in the Lectionary, but no joy. A dozen or so eyes were now looking at me, and I could feel the tension mounting.

Since turning 50 I have come to the conclusion that I no longer have to worry about what people think of me. If something goes wrong, then own up to it and deal with, rather than trying to save face. So I spoke about the dream, all the while trying to find the damn Collect prayer. I eventually found the bookmark, and re-announced the Collect, and as I started to say it, I realised that I had marked the traditional language version rather than the modern language text, so it jarred a bit with the Common Worship Rite A we were using.

Hopefully, I no longer have to worry about that dream. It’s done and over.

And here’s a coincidence – last Tuesday as I attended the noonday Mass in a small church in Norwich, the new deacon had a similar experience. He couldn’t find the intercessions for the Feast of Mary Magdalene. I remember thinking, “If you will use the Missal instead of Common Worship, or even the Book of Common Prayer, then that’s your own fault.”

Serves me right, I suppose.

Coming to the boil

Darn it - the marmalade I made yesterday refused to set, and this morning I had to empty all the jars back into the pan and re-boil it. It set this time - very well. I shall sell a chisel with each pot!

Mind you, it wasn't the only thing boiling today - it's been so hot and sticky, high humidity and cloud cover and no breeze. I've showered twice so far and I still feel overheated (I was going to put "on heat" but decided that would give the wrong impression!)

Out tonight for a meal at a local hostelry, and although the food was pleasant, I wish places like this could get to grips with how to cook chips (fries for any European or American readers) properly. The ones we had this evening were only just cooked and looked quite anaemic.

Chips should be double-fried to get a crisp outer casing and soft fluffy innards. Fry them off once, let them drain and cool, and then fry them again as required. So simple, yet beyond the capabilities of so many pub/restaurants.

Also needed is an adequate supply of tomato sauce (ketchup, or that vile Americanism - catsup) and a slice or two of buttered white bread to make a decent chip butty.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Back to the stove

This afternoon was spent cooking up my latest batch of 3-fruit marmalade with a dash (or 2) of Glenfiddich malt whisky. I've had to start making one and a half times the recipe since if I just make the standard 8 jars they all sell out at the monthly Coffee morning and I have none left for myself! Another fine set this time!

Then this evening it was sliced pork fillet, pan-fried and served with carrots and new potatoes in minted butter, and several large spoonsful of apple sauce. I shouldn't really have eaten all the meat, but I did! However, there are 3 potatoes left for tomorrow.

Today was also the second and last day of the Lowestoft Air Show. In previous years a lot of the aircraft have flown over the village on their way to the coast, and I have had my own private Show from the garden. This time, though, flight-paths must have been chnaged, for very few planes have come over. However, as I was stirring the marmalade I heard a load engine roar, and went out and saw the last air-worthy Vulcan bomber at quite a low altitude, making its way across to give its display. Only just restored, this is a sight that I'm glad to have seen.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Now here's a thought ...

Perhaps I should do a series of posts on Prepared Meals and how they actually turn out, and compare my results with the image on the package.

To start the microwave turntable spinning, here's tonight's dish, "Beef in Ale with Crushed Potatoes" from Morrisons "Natural Choice" range, priced at £2.99. No package image though.

Actually, it was very tasty, and it only took 7 minutes to get it hot and steaming onto the plate. Maybe a little "wet", but it was full of flavour, had some chunks of meat in with the good selection of veg - mange-tout, broccoli, carrots, (swede?) -with the "crushed" new potatoes done with minted butter. It all had a bit of a "home-cooked" taste.

Just wasn't really enough of it .....


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Dave Walker Solidarity Post

See the initial report on Mad Priest

This is a Dave Walker Solidarity Post:
It is a load of saved posts that Dave has been bullied into taking down off his blog.
We will not be silenced by bad people;
- there are too many of us.

SPCK / SSG Bookshop Posts

July 8th, 2008
My silence

I’ve been aware that this has been a sad week for many readers of the Cartoon Blog. Many of those visiting have been mourning the death of Steve Jeynes, the Worcester bookseller, who, judging from the comments posted on this site was loved by many. In the circumstances the usual nonsense that I write on this site has not seemed appropriate, hence my silence.

The memorial service for Steve Jeynes took place yesterday. The Worcester News has a report: Tributes paid to exceptional man. Doug Chaplain was there and has written about it. See also on the SPCK/SSG blog: Steve Jeynes: A Life Remembered.

This will be one of the last former-SPCK-related posts that I expect to do until September as I am away doing one thing and another. I have one more bookshop-related thing that I need to post about which has arisen as a result of a comment (not yet visible) on this site on Sunday morning. I will hopefully do that post today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday).

The place to go for former-SPCK-related posts for the next month or two is SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info. [Aside to Phil: hopefully you will post Plans Coming Together for New Christian Bookshop in Cardiff on the SSG/SPCK site when the time is right - a post well worth sharing.]

I hope to post a bit more on this blog this week, including an announcement about my new book and plans for Lambeth.

Posted by Dave at 1:06 am on July 8, 2008 and filed under Blogging, Save the SPCK.


July 3rd, 2008
Memorial service for Steve Jeynes

The memorial service for Steve Jeynes is now to be held at Worcester Cathedral at 3.30pm on Monday 7th July, followed by refreshments at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

There is a news item in the Worcester News today, and another in the Worcester Standard. Update: Also Worcester News: Hundreds expected to bookseller’s memorial

Many tributes have been left in the comments of my previous post and on other sites linked from there.

Image: the former SPCK shop in Worcester

Posted by Dave at 7:57 am on July 3, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK.

No Comments

June 27th, 2008
SPCK / SSG: Tragic news from Worcester

There is some tragic news from the Worcester Diocese. This note was sent out today to clergy within the Diocese by the Communications department:

I am very sorry to tell you that Steve Jeynes, has been found dead, apparently having taken his own life. Many of you will know him from his work at the SSGT (ex-SPCK) shop in Worcester, from where he was made redundant two weeks ago.

Please hold (the) family in your prayers, together with the many friends whose lives have been enriched through Steve’s loving generosity in serving the Lord.

Details of the funeral arrangements will be made available in due course.

Doug Chaplain has posted here: In Worcester the SSG / SPCK saga turns to tragedy

Please remember Steve’s family, friends and all affected in your prayers.

Update: A service of Thanksgiving for Steve’s life will take place on Monday 7 July 2008 at 3:30 pm at All Saints’ Church, Deansway, Worcester. The Thanksgiving Service has been moved from All Saints’ Church to the Cathedral at 3.30pm on Monday 7th July followed by refreshments at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

Further tributes have been posted here and here.

Posted by Dave at 5:53 pm on June 27, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


SPCK / SSG bookshop news

A couple of things:

New website
Phil Groom has set up a new group blog on the subject of the former SPCK shops. It is here: SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info. If you’re interested in SPCK/ SSG updates please bookmark this site and/or subscribe to the feed. I do intend to continue writing on the subject on this blog, but during July and August in particular I will have very little (if any) time to devote to writing on the topic owing to my preparation for and participation in the Lambeth conference and being away from home for various other reasons.

If there is anyone who would like to contribute to the new site please contact Phil directly.

Staff pay
An update to my last post - some staff have now been paid. I have made an update to my last post to reflect this and will update again if it emerges that all staff have now been paid.

News reports
Bookseller: SSG tribunal claims mount
Chester Chronicle: Union action to support sacked Chester bookshop workers
Lincolnshire Echo: ‘Sacked’ shop staff in court action

Posted by Dave at 9:09 am on June 27, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 25th, 2008
SSG: Bankruptcy papers received, employees not paid

Bankruptcy papers received
Some people in the UK have been receiving papers relating to the SSG ‘bankruptcy’ from the US Bankruptcy Court of the District of Southern District of Texas. There will apparently be a ‘meeting of creditors’ on 22 July in Houston.

Having done a quick search I notice that there was, on 18 June a ’status conference’ for St Stephen the Great LLC in the bankruptcy court (this can be found on a cached Google page saved here). Information on the chapter 11 bankruptcy process can be found via this page: Chapter 11 - Bankruptcy Basics

All of this must be seen in the light of Usdaw’s statement yesterday, now available on the Usdaw website:

Usdaw firmly believes that the bankruptcy proceedings in the US have no effect in the UK, because this is a UK company with entirely UK-based assets and activities.

Also, from John Hannett, the General Secretary of Usdaw:

These loyal staff are being given misleading information about these US bankruptcy proceedings and the effects this may have on their rights to take legal action in the UK. Our fear is that the Brewers’ actions may be an attempt to move assets away from the business and out of the reach of our members with legitimate claims.

“We will carry on as before with the claims against the Brewers who are accumulating wealth whilst riding roughshod over hard working employees. We will continue to assist all our members affected by this messy situation and work to rectify it as soon as possible.”

Employees not paid
On a related note some (all?) of the people who work or worked in the shops have not been paid today (the 25th) as they would usually be. See for instance these blog comments. [Update: some employees have now been paid]

Telegraph blog post
Christopher Howse (who wrote Saturday’s comment piece) has written on his Telegraph blog about the Orthodox church in Poole: Orthodox Exodus. As others have pointed out this isn’t new information, but I thought I’d post the link anyway.

Posted by Dave at 3:05 pm on June 25, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 24th, 2008
Usdaw press release about the former SPCK shops

Usdaw fights for mistreated bookshop workers
Shopworkers’ union, Usdaw, has submitted 15 employment tribunal claims against the Brewers, US-based brothers who have taken over a chain of UK bookshops and were seeking to impose a new contract on staff, drastically reducing their contractual rights. The Union has over 50 members at the bookshops and is expecting that the number of employment tribunal claims will rise.

The Brewer brothers were gifted the St. Stephen the Great Christian bookshops in 2006 by SPCK. The chain includes 23 bookshops, many of which are historic buildings in prime retail positions.

Following the change of ownership, a new contract was drawn up increasing the working week from 37.5 to 40 hours with no additional pay, turning all part-time staff into casual staff with no guaranteed hours every week and taking away all rights to company sick pay.

Now, virtually all Usdaw members have been dismissed with no notice, some by email, and have received little or no information about what this means for their rights and their pay.

The Brewer brothers have now filed St. Stephen the Great for bankruptcy in the US. Usdaw firmly believes that the bankruptcy proceedings in the US have no effect in the UK, because this is a UK company with entirely UK-based assets and activities. Staff have been told that they can apply for jobs with ENC Management Company, which is also owned by the Brewers, but that they no longer have jobs with St. Stephen the Great.

Usdaw is also aware that the Charity Commission has been alerted to these actions because of its role in regulating the activities of the linked charity, St. Stephen the Great Charitable Trust.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary, stated:

“It is clear that staff, many of whom have been long standing loyal workers, have been mistreated and many are understandably very upset and concerned. We are very concerned at a new company (ENC Management Company) being set up in these circumstances, while our members are losing their jobs. These loyal staff are being given misleading information about these US bankruptcy proceedings and the effects this may have on their rights to take legal action in the UK. Our fear is that the Brewers’ actions may be an attempt to move assets away from the business and out of the reach of our members with legitimate claims.

“We will carry on as before with the claims against the Brewers who are accumulating wealth whilst riding roughshod over hard working employees. We will continue to assist all our members affected by this messy situation and work to rectify it as soon as possible.”


St. Stephen the Great shops at which Usdaw members are affected:

§ Cambridge
§ Carlisle
§ Chester
§ Exeter
§ Lincoln
§ Newcastle
§ Norwich
§ Sheffield
§ Worcester
§ York

Usdaw is the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

Update: This press release is now available via the Usdaw website: Usdaw fights for mistreated bookshop workers

Posted by Dave at 8:13 am on June 24, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 21st, 2008
Former SPCK bookshops in the Telegraph

Christopher Howse: The bare and desolate SPCK bookshops

Posted by Dave at 9:57 am on June 21, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 20th, 2008
Today’s former SPCK bookshop news

From the Chester Chronicle: Christian bookshop sacks staff by e-mail

From the Eastern Daily Press: Christian bookshop stripped of stock

From the comments below:

The article in the Eastern Daily Press concerning the Norwich shop mentions three potential future tenants.
One of the bids is from the Norwich Christian Resource Centre, a new Community Interest Company with six directors from various denominations, all with a wealth of business experience.
They are giving their time and talents free of charge and are all passionate to re-establish the centre that had become such an integral part of the community of Norfolk and beyond, as quoted in the article.
The company would run as a non-profit making business and strive to return the centre to it’s original ethos, offering the widest breadth of stock, knowledgable staff, a high level of customer service and the ‘best capuccino in town’.
Prayers for this venture very welcome.

Also, from the comments yesterday, this by ‘concerned dad’:

My daughter applied for holiday work via an agency in Newcastle and took up a job in the Newcastle shop - we were completely unaware of the situation. She is expected to work completely on her own for 6 hours a day several days a week, somebody else does the other days - both are temps, no permanent staff, no training or guidance. She has creditors and people chasing book orders ringing up but no information to be able to respond to them. She is employed and paid by the agency (that is the theory anyway, will be interesting to find out what happens on payday!) If we had known about the situation we would not have got into this, but the agency were not very forthcoming with details about the shop until it was virtually too late…. So Newcastle is open - after a fashion, but far from satisfactory situation.

Update (lunchtime) Phil Groom has posted: SPCK/SSG News Archives. (I’ll try to say something about the blog idea later or over the weekend.)

Posted by Dave at 8:18 am on June 20, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 19th, 2008
Website updates

The SPCKonline website is now the same as the Third Space books website. Details of most shops have been updated. Some, like Salisbury (above - thanks to ezlxq), are on very limited hours and appear to be relying on voluntary labour. I’m aware that I need to keep updating the shop roundup page - updates appreciated.

The entry for the Norwich shop says ‘You are not authorised to view this resource’. That is probably because there is no resource to view - I am informed that a removal firm packed up all the books, fixtures and fittings and was taking them to the Chichester shop today.

Meanwhile the St Stephen the Great LLC website has been updated today “Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2008 )“, but there is still no mention of the ‘bankruptcy’.

I have updated the Church Times blog with a list of news reports and letters about the former SPCK shops.

Melanie, the former manager of the SPCKonline site has written an interesting comment on Phil’s bookshop blog.

Posted by Dave at 5:43 pm on June 19, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 18th, 2008
Norwich / York


Network Norwich has the following: Norwich Christian bookshop closes its doors

Meanwhile, from the comments section of this blog:

In 2003 I was taken to a city centre deconsecrated church by Stephen Platten, then Dean of Norwich. We both thought how splendid it would be to relocate the SPCK Bookshop, it’s decrepid premises huddling in a side street, to this magnificent medieval building.
In January of the next year Bishop Graham James officially blessed the vision along with representatives from virtually every denomination.
After many trials and tribulations and delays of several months, the centre opened on 13 July 2004. I had been privileged to help plan the layout and the concept.
Over 180 people attended the rededictation of the church to it’s new use in on a Friday morning in October 2004!
Within 3 years the loyal team had doubled the turnover of the previous shop and provided access to thousands of visitors from the Christian faith or none, to be offered an exceptionally broad range of product, a place to meet and be refreshed in the cafe.
We held events on a monthly basis. Highlights included: a lecture by Bishop Tom Wright attended by 350 plus, an Advent evening with Ronald Blythe during which three Salvation Army bandsmen managed to ascend the spiral staircase complete with trombone and play from the balcony, debates between bishops and humanists; Professor Brian Thorne and Ian Gibson MP and a Fawlty Towers evening!
This morning I visited the centre with my two sons, on the last day of trading. It was in fact open after 11-00.
To describe it as semi-vandalised would not be overstating the sight of half-empty boxes relocated from the London shop several weeks ago still blocking the porch and what is left of the stock lurching across the shelves.
Visiting the church on a regular basis over the past months I have been moved from frustration, to anger, to sadness, to disbelief as to how such a thiving resource could be laid to seed.
Today is a very sad day for the ex-staff, all but one of whom have yet to find new employment and the Christian community, who are voicing that ‘their’ centre has been lost - a high compliment indeed.
I count myself blessed to have been offered an alternative position within the Christian retail environment and have thus stayed in touch with so many of my customers who had become friends.
However, it’s never over until the Canary sings as we say in Narwich, so please keep praying for an unlikely resurrection in the not too distant future.
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’


‘Richard and Gill’ on Flickr have a recent picture of the former SPCK shop in York.

Meanwhile, I found this blog post written in Chinese on June 16. It sounds as if it is by someone working in the York shop. Google translated it as follows:

I should be very fortunate, at least in this area to work, to York the second week, it began a career Part-time job. However, this is not so much a subjective initiative, I found, than to use a blind cat encountered more aptly described as dead mice. At that time, purely in the City Centre Luancuan, Okay, I admit that, in fact, I had lost. The results of the accidents that have been in SPCK work.

This is one in the entire United Kingdom has 28 Chain stores of the Christian Bookshop, a harmonious working atmosphere, have fixed the breakfast 11am and 3pm the afternoon tea time and all the break are paid. However, however, however, but, boom is not long, SPCK be acquired. A U.S. company called SSG took over the bookstore this. British indeed are born of hatred of Americans, the shop all the old staff have left, but Fortunately, the Manager of new people is pretty good. I want to go to the SSG, also by the nature of the work before the development of a simple cashier to accountant, gradually began to contact the bank’s work. Sense of accomplishment that is not an ordinary Youranersheng ah.

Boom is not really long, SSG recently went bankrupt, another bookstore was an American company take over. David and Olga have left, I left the bookstore on the people. Optimistic, I am now boss hey. Pessimistic, I really do not know Bookstore will close on this, I have on unemployment.

SPCK in the UK with my life is inseparable from, I Baijia all have come from the capital where wages. However, it also sacrificed a lot with my family Dear Amanda travel out of time. Switzerland, Rome, Prague, Barcelona, Fuluolunsa I have no time to. My dear SPCK, you can see in my youth to take all the copies to you, will not be so quick to close OK. You, and so I kept enough money to the United States, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Arctic Circle, and so I kept enough money to buy Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Prada to the temporary close it, but I travel back and so on, then opened the door for ah

This might or might not mean that the York shop is open.

Posted by Dave at 11:28 am on June 18, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK.


June 13th, 2008
Charity Commission to investigate SSG

News reports

From today’s Church Times: Ex-SPCK shops ‘bankruptcy’
The Bookseller says that the Charity Commission is to investigate SSG: St Stephen the Great files for bankruptcy
I think the Church of England Newspaper will have a report (Just opened my online copy - nothing there as far as I can see. I thought there might be as I was telephoned.)

Closures and openings

We think that the shops that have closed since the bankruptcy announcement are:
Birmingham, Canterbury, Chester, Exeter, Newcastle, Norwich (closing on June 14) Worcester, York. These may be temporary or permanent.
Salisbury is now open again.
I’m still attempting to maintain a complete list here.
New map

On the Third Space books site (Is Third Space books bankrupt or not? Not sure.) a new map of the SSG shops appeared on June 7. Bristol, Carlisle, Lincoln and London have been taken off. Cardiff remains. ‘Leichester’ (not on the old map) has been added.
Posted by Dave at 8:20 am on June 13, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


June 11th, 2008
Former SPCK bookshop closures

I have been attempting to update my SPCK bookshop roundup page. Please take a look and tell me whether I am being accurate.

In the last few days I have been told that the following shops have been closed, but some of these closures might be temporary:

Chester (Local news report: Christian bookshop closes in Chester city centre)
Exeter (Notice on door says it is due to reopen - photo above)
Salisbury Now open again
Posted by Dave at 6:11 pm on June 11, 2008 and filed under Save the SPCK, Religion.


Monday, 21 July 2008


Having bitten my tongue whilst enjoying my supper of Tesco's sweet & sour chicken on a bed of home-cooked boiled rice, I Googled (verb - to google) the web to find a picture of a bitten tongue to illustrate this blog. My advice is, don't! You'll never want to put that member back in your mouth again!

James 3: 5 ... but not when you've taken a hunk out of it and you're swallowing blood it isn't!



Now I know the week begins on Sunday, but for me that is always the culmination of the previous week's preparations, and so Monday is the time to look ahead, which means that mentally, if not theologically, I see today as the beginning of another week.

My morning has been spent writing my Sunday sermons - two of them this week as one of our churches is celebrating its Patronal of St. James, albeit a couple of days late. This means that I can't preach my St. James sermon at the next service in a church dedicated to the BVM. So it will be a BOGOF Sunday, and barring any major world crisis or developments from lambeth, the texts are done and put into the folder. The hymns were chosen some weeks back, and all I now have to do is let the organists know.

Now I can turn my attention to other parish work - mainly admin, but I shall also get out and about. I have a wedding interview this evening, A PCC meeting Wednesday afternoon and a Benefice Staff meeting in the evening, a Health & Safety Inspection by the local Council at one of the churches on Thursday morning, and another PCC in the evening, and then there's a lull on Friday before (another) parish Strawberry Tea on Saturday afternoon!

It's also the Lowestoft Air Show this coming Thursday and Friday. I'm often on the flight path as the planes head out to the coast, and so in the past I have had my own private air show as they fly over. We'll see how many go over this year.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

At the end of the day

A busy day today, with a large funeral service at one of my 11 churches, followed by a cremation north of Norwich, which entailed me being out of the house at just on 1.00 p.m. and not back until 5.40 p.m. With a PCC meeting at 7.30 p.m. at one of the far-flung villages, it meant that I missed the regular evening office at 6.00 p.m. in another of the villages as I was cooking my supper so that it would only need reheating when I got back after the meeting, which I did at 8.45 p.m.

So at 9.00 p.m. I sat down to a bowl of steak & kidney casserole containing onion and garlic, new pots, carrots, mushrooms, and a small tin of french tomato puree to enrich the gravy. It was rather nice.

Tomorrow is a "desk-day" as I compile next month's magazine.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Hot and sticky

The weather has been extremely "close" all day, with heavy cloud cover, and it feels as if it should break in a massive thunderstorm sometime soon. Having not seen the forecast, I don't know if it will or not, but it certainly feels "thundery", and the small and very annoying "thunder-flies" are out and about, crawling over the skin and irritating.

So lunch was taken in an air-conditioned Pizza Hut in Norwich, and I started off with a healthy mozzarella and tomato salad. It was cool and refreshing.

My companion had breaded mushrooms and barbecue sauce!

I then headed for the Buffet and had several slices of pizza and some salad. He had a basic tomato and cheese single-sized pizza with five extra toppings - and more barbecue sauce!

Unfortunately, we then both succumbed to the Ice-cream factory and each had two bowls of ice-cream with marshmallows, chocolate beans, choclate raisins, and various sweet topping sauces.

I'm not eating tonight!

Well ....

maybe a little snack.....

Monday, 14 July 2008

If you read nothing else ...

... then read this. Bishop Gene Robinson has his own Blog for the duration of the Lambeth Conference (to which he is not invited) - and maybe beyond?

Yum Yum

As "Stripe" says in the film "Gremlins" when he spies the Candy Store from the cinema: "Yum Yum!"

Supper was rather nice.

Butterfly turkey steak in a mushroom and creme fraiche sauce, with fresh sliced green beans, and East Anglian potatoes and carrots with mint.


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

And then there was Tuesday's supper

Mmmm - roast chicken with stuffing balls, carrots and mushrooms, in a rich gravy, with roast potatoes and parsnips!

*yum yum*

Followed by a small slice of chocolate cheesecake and cream!

So - where was I?

Ah yes - I had posted my reaction to having paid £16 to have my windows cleaned on Monday, and it hasn't stopped raining since! Bah!

Time test

Poting this on Wednesday 9th July 19.19 p.m. And it seems to be working again!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Good Night

When Grandmere Mimi recently wrote about watching the film "Good Night and Good Luck", I looked it up in the Internet Movie Database. What I read made me want to watch it, so I ordered it, and tonight I sat and watched the DVD.

A compelling telling of Ed Murrow's CBS News broadcasts questioning the 1950's campaign by Junior Senator McCarthy to root out communist members and sympathisers from all walks of life.

As I put the disc back into its case and made myself a mug of coffee, the film began to resonate with the current problems facing the Anglican Communion. Murrow comments that anyone who dared question McCarthy's actions would be labelled a communist or communist sympathiser. Elsewhere in the blogging world today is the report that Archbishop Akinola has described the Jordanian refusal to allow him entry into their country for the pre-GAFCON meeting, as "satanic". By implication therefore, anyone who challenges his version of the Anglican church, is working for the dark side.

Ed Morrow had the courage to make a stand against what he perceived to be an assault on the liberties and justice of his nation. We in the Church of England may soon be called upon to make a similar stand, to preserve our heritage of freedom to think and debate and argue about our theology, our biblical interpretation, the way in which we worship, and our openness to hold our faith in common with those with whom we disagree. When that day comes, may Ed Murrow's actions be an inspiration to us.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Menu de la maison ce soir

Turkey breast in a creme fraiche and moutarde l'ancienne sauce, with braised green pepper, boiled new potatoes and broccoli florets.


And the end of the bottle of Cahors.