Wednesday, 27 May 2009


One of those days when I seem to have got a lot done. June magazines arrived back from the printers first thing this morning, so printed off distribution list, printed the concert flyers to go in them (x300) and sorted them into their respective parish piles. Then taking one stack I drove over to one of the churches where the east window is being taken out for repair. Removed the old rusty lock from church gates. Home to start work on Sunday sermon number 1. Then to village Coffee Morning where I handed Memorial fees for another church to the Benefice Treasurer and passed on three more piles of magazines. Caught up on news/gossip. Back home to finish sermon number 1 and work on number 2 (for Sunday evening Pentecost Praise service). Watched lunchtime news to catch up with the world. Dealt with the post. Finished sermon number 2. Out to dentist to have my fangs scraped. Shopped for tonight's Archdeacon's Visitation where we are taking "a plate" to share afterwards. Home, picked up new gates lock from doormat and over to that church again to fit the lock. Scraped out gate bolt hole so that the bolt will drop full travel. Back home, made a loaf of salmon and creamcheese and cucumber sandwiches. A swift afternoon tea of spare sandwiches (2) and a yoghurt drink. Scanned the blog list, updated this, and then changed into "clericals" to leave for the Archdeacon's service in about half-hour's time. Taking rest of magazines to pass on to the parish distributors.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Lunch update

The morning rains cleared by just after 11.00 a.m. and the barbecue was held in a hot sunny garden in Peacehaven. The naked chef did the cooking. Yes, really. No, not that one. Another one. And there was an apron ....

Then about 4.00 p.m. the skies clouded over and several small thunderstorms moved over with light rain. All now cleared again and it's a fine evening.

I ate too much at lunch! Need to punish myself at the gym later this week to compensate. Never mind - just think of the weight I would have put on if I wasn't exercising!

Update from a very wet Sussex coast

Bank Holiday Monday morning, and the Sussex coastline is extremely wet, and that's not just the sea! After a glorious Sunday, it's now raining heavily. The lunch with friends was planned to be a barbecue, and we still might send the unlucky chef out into the garden to cook under a large umbrella.

Drive down yesterday afternoon was straightforward. The M25 was at a standstill going northward as I joined, due to a 7-car accident further up, but southbound as was running smoothly. I arrived at my usual hostelry, the Old Ship just north of Lewes at about 6.50 p.m. and enjoyed one of their "Sunday Roasts". I chose the beef, and had four slices, a large Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, carrots and cabbage with bacon. I was then offered a warm bread roll and butter. All for under £10, which I think is very good value - certainly for this part of the UK.

I then called in to St Andrew's church at Bedingham, and was pleased to find it open to visitors at 8.00 p.m. Nothing special inside, just a pretty examplke of a Sussex country church, and it gave me a peaceful stop.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

I have a new friend

At least, I would have if I knew who she was! Thankfully I have a program that allows me to preview e-mail contents without downloading and opening them. I just love the attempt at English .... here are some extracts (my comments in brackets).

Hello!!! How are you? Thanks for your letter! I expected it!!!
(I haven't written one.)

I really have not enough time to speak on a site. Well Let's begin ours e-mail acquaintance?!!!
(No thank you.)

As you already know, that mine Name Tasha. But it not my true name, it my nickname in The Internet. My name Tany. Certainly, I love more, when me Name Tasha because so I name close people.

I want, that you sent me also some photos you.
(Get lost.)

Agree, what it is more interesting to communicate and receive a photo?
I will try To thicket to please to you with new photos.

(Sounds interesting, but probably illegal.)

I will tell to you not much about me.
(Okay, don't then.)

Sometimes when it turns out, I happen on picnics to my girlfriends on the nature.

I hope, what it was interesting to you with me?
I wish the good and sated day!

I can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Hail the day that sees him rise

The east window at St. Margaret South Elmham. Lighter now that we've cut down some self-sown trees that were close-by outside.

It was good to welcome fourteen people to the Eucharist this morning, plus the usual dog.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Now this one I enjoyed

Permit me to apologize for communicating with you through this medium as it is the only secured way I feel I can at this very crucial moment to reach you. Following the directives received from the office of the president, federal republic of Nigeria, as a result of petitions and counter petitions by foreign contractors over non-payment of their contract claims and fraudulent activities being perpetuated by imposters as well as people who claim to be officials of the apex bank (CBN).

Under my recent investigation your name is among the list of beneficiaries released for verification and transfer. Be informed that there are different accounts submitted for your payment by your local representatives to the effect of your payment notification. As a result of these irregularities and subsequent to investigation,the Bank does not know into which account to effect your payment. Based on my recent findings, please, you are hereby required to verify the following immediately:

-Did you broker your debt to Mr. Lee Chong of indo-china group ltd, Hong Kong,to claim and receive the payment on your behalf? Did you sign any deed of assignment in his favor? thereby making him the current beneficiary with the following account details: account name: Indo-china group ltd, account no:114-102-5567-8,bank name: standard chattered bank,138-141 1st floor,Edinburgh tower, the landmark,15 queens road, central Hong Kong, swift code:Scbl 11k111.

You are required as a matter of urgency to confirm the legitimacy of the above claim and kindly give us reason why you decided to affect the above change of account. If you are not aware of this claim, please confirm to me immediately.

Note that the Bank is bound to recognize Mr. Lee Chongs claim, if you fail to promptly response to this inquiry following the deed of assignment he submitted to the bank to claim this payment. So do get back tome with a confirmation to this effect immediately.I await your earnest response,

Best regards,
Garlp Philips.

Thank you Garlp, (what sort of name is that?!) you started my day with a chuckle.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Maybe shorter than you think ...

... could be the answer to the previous post. Somedays it just gets to me, and later I wonder why I allowed it to annoy me. I should be better at dealing with those feelings than this. I did not do very well with my self-awareness of the Transactional Analysis method which I try and follow. I'm not into Myers-Briggs at all, but the TA system of looking at human interaction as P-A-C has, since I learned it, been invaluable.

Parent - Adult - Child. In any interaction with another, how am I acting? Am I being the parent, demanding that they follow my advice/lead/interpretation? Am I being the child refusing to budge and crying that it's not fair and I don't want to and I'll scream and scream 'til I'm sick? Or am I being the adult who looks rationally at the situation and engages with the differences?

Then, how are they acting? The aim is for both to come to the point of being the Adult, and it's there that learning and dialogue takes place.

Today was a childlike day.

Time that I grew up.

How long, O Lord?

What is it about the way some people write replies that makes me want to scream "Stop patronising me, you s***!" They also manage to evade the question and turn it round so that the problem lies this end of things. And what really gets under my skin is that this is communication with the church "centre".

Rant over. I shall go and microwave some chips.

I'll regret it tomorrow when I'm in the gym!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Damn and blast

I have just bitten my tongue for the third time in five days .... now sitting with a reddening tissue clamped to it ....

Friday, 15 May 2009

Mrs Beamish

This was linked on a friend's Facebook page. I'd not heard it before. 'Tis a truly wonderful song by Richard Stilgoe & Peter Skellern. If anyone claiming copyright ownership has objections to their material being used in this tribute, please message me and I'll remove the link.

Feeding frenzy

Every MP whose expense claims have been revealed have said that they were all within the rules and approved by Commons authorities. However, many of them have also said that the Rules are wrong and need to be replaced.

Question: If that is what they believe, and may have believed for some time, why then did they continue to make claims within those "wrong" rules for so long?

I can appreciate that mistakes happen, and there are some instances where errors have been spotted and money repaid long before this row broke, but in many other cases there seems to be no comprehension from those involved that they have done anything that is ethically questionable.

And it is this lack of understanding and integrity that is deeply concerning.

This BBC News site carries a list of MP's and their expenses claims. It is worth remembering that such expenses are supposed to be for things that allow the elected official to carry out their Parliamentary duties.

er ... Bedding? Television set? Decorating?

Shahid Malik, the Justice minister who today "resigned" over the expenses row has called for the media "bloodfest" to stop.

Well, Mr. Malik, uncomfortable as it may be for you and many others, maybe it is time that our elected politicians relearnt that they are servants of the people, and answerable to them.

But with the new morning came ...

... a clearer head, the ability to breathe through the nose, and only the occasional explosion!

It's on its way out!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

This is how I feel this morning ....

... and I've the mid-week Eucharist to take in 35 minutes! I will try not to sneeze into the chalice.

Feel the Force

I think I've just had an e-mail from Yoda, the Jedi Master. At least, it sounds very much like him ...

From: "Freeman Bautista"
Subject: Greeting, forgive what to distract, you not against to wish to do=knowledge with the girl?
Size: 56620

Is this an offer I can resist?
Thinking I am to do so, yes.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Political dust-up

Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, has moved swiftly to force his Shadow Cabinet and other Tory MPs to repay excessive and questionable expenses claims paid out of the Public Purse. They were faced with the choice of writing out a cheque or being dismissed from the Party, so no surprises that all who have so far been asked have agreed. Before the announcement by Mr. Cameron, Douglas Hogg, the former agriculture secretary, (who had claimed more than £2,000 for the moat around his country estate to be cleared, plus the cost of his piano to be tuned), stoutly defended his claim for £14,000 to employ a full-time housekeeper. Stating that his work demanded that he have a second home, he said in a broadcast interview, "Someone needs to clean it."

Well, Mr. Hogg, let me educate you.

THIS ...

is a duster.
You can buy them in many places including corner shops and supermarkets.
You pick them up, unfold them, hold them loosely in your hand and move them over surfaces.
They collect dust, which is why they are called a duster.
They can cost no more than £1 for 3.

A bit cheaper than £14,000.
Might I suggest you pick one up sometimes and do a bit of housework yourself?

Most of us have to do just that.

Coward by name but not by nature

An important story here from Colin Coward ("Changing Attitude") for anyone who wants to see behind the reasonable christian facade of the conservative African church .....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

It's not my fault ...

News today that Cabinet minister Hazel Blears faces fresh scrutiny over her Paliamentary expenses claims.

Ms Blears sold a flat in Kennington, London, in August 2004 for £200,000, making £45,000 profit. Because the flat had been designated as her “second home” under Commons rules, she was able to claim back thousands of pounds in mortgage interest and running costs, and avoid paying £18,000 in tax.

Ms. Blears said she had not broken any rules but that the system was "wrong". “I have complied with the rules of the House," she said, "and the rules of the Inland Revenue and that’s the situation as it is." However, she acknowledged that the public “hate” the current expenses regime and said a group of “ordinary people” should be involved in drawing up the new system. “I understand entirely why the public hates this. The system is wrong, it needs to be changed. Personally, what I would do is get a group of ordinary people together with the independent body and I would work out a fair system and then everybody sticks to it. I think that’s where we need to be.”

No, Ms Blears, we, the public, do not hate the system - What ticks us off is the fact that the same people who voted the rules in are now claiming that the rules are at fault. What gets up our collective nostrils is that they saw nothing wrong in getting as much personal advantage as they possibly could from the public funds, and now that they've been caught at it, are trying to blame the system rather than their own lack of judgement and integrity.

Friday, 8 May 2009

MPs expenses

The Parliamentary expenses system is "wrong" says Gordon Brown ... however, that hasn't stopped him and other MP's from putting in their claims.

It's a bit like a thief who gets caught with their hand in the till, who then turns round and blames the till for being there in the first place.

If the system is wrong, and our PM claims he's known it was wrong for some time and is taking steps to change it, then why do our representatives continue to gain benefit from it? And if they've been doing nothing wrong, why try to prevent the people they represent from seeing the details? After all, my expenses of office as a clergyman are open for any in the parishes to see, for they are contained in the church accounts pinned to the notice board.

Maybe what is needed is not a better/fairer system of expense reimbursement for MPs, but more evidence of personal integrity.

Yes it's No.

The future Bishops of the Anglican Communion practice for their debate about the full inclusion of gay people in the church.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Swedish couple continue fight for right to name their son Q

“The Local” 5 May 09 12:27 CET

A Swedish couple from Åre in northern Sweden have taken their fight to name their son Q to the Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten).
The court will rule if current legislation permits the use of a single letter as a first name.

The parents insist that the boy was not named after the popular figure from the James Bond films and that the decision was instead a last minute one when "Q" was born.

They argue that he answers to the name which they have used since birth.

"He is quite simply Q with half of the inhabitants of the Åre area. There are stranger names in the valley," the couple claim in their appeal of a ruling by the administrative court of appeal (Kammarrätten).

The Supreme Administrative Court on April 21st granted the couple leave to appeal and will consider whether the 1982 names law allows the use of a single letter as a first name.

The couple write that as an alternative they could consider the use of the name "Q: u".

It could have been worse. It could have been “F : u”, with a second child being called “F : u : 2”.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Monday, 4 May 2009

No worries here then

I took the opportunity at last week's Joint Benefice Council meeting to tell the parish representatives what would be the likely impact on our church worship if Swine flu reaches pandemic status and sweeps across our rural area - initially the cessation of using a common communion cup and intincting the wafers with the wine instead, and then later the ending of Sunday services for the duration, though the church buildings would stay open.

A churchwarden made the comment that the news reports were saying that the main people at risk are those under the age of 45, and taking a look round our congregations, he didn't think it likely that we would be affected at all!

I'm glad I didn't suggest that!