Friday, 25 September 2009

An ode to joy

Pleasant reception

Mad priest has posted this, but I just had to steal it, especially since last Saturday I've been having problems with wax in my right ear (ugh! TMI) and each morning it feels as if I've got a cork stuck in it!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

This could be useful ...

... in the current oink-flu outbreak. Anyone got a spare copy? (Undated, but published by Newron, Chambers & Co. Ltd, nr. Sheffield)

Image from the wonderful little book "Scouts in Bondage - and other curious works from bygone times with titles that might cause vulgar minds to misapprehend their content" by Michael Ball, Aurum Press MMVI. ISBN 1845131967. £9.99).

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sydney dust storm

I was sent these shots of the dust storm engulfing Sydney today ....

I think there's more than just dust blowing in from the Outback ....

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Open to the world

I am somewhat thankful that it's a dry morning, and not blowing a gale. The 1970's wooden frame had rotted, so it's out with the old and in with the new.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Blue streak

Been a very grey and cool day today .... but yesterday it was so different!

Another good man done gone

So, we've lost Keith Floyd, and cooking will never be quite as anarchic again. What he didn't drink ended up in the pan, or was it the other way round? His chatty relationship with his cameraman ("Follow me over here") as he gathered together his ingredients, or showed us them cooking in the pan, and the occasions when it all went wrong and he chucked it away and started again....

He cooked in deserts, on beaches, on a trawler in the North Sea, in a howling gale, for young and old, for armed forces personnel, and for us, the viewers.

Damn it. He was entertaining and we learnt something each time.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

In the eye of the beholder

A comment on my last post makes the point that what may seem fairly new to us here in the UK will seem ancient to those in the New World. There's truth in this, and in this Benefice of 11 churches where 10 of them have roots that go back 1000 years, the Victorian re-build at Flixton seems positively recent.

Yet I stand by my comments about the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds feeling like an overgrown parish church. Compare these two photos, the top one is of one the nave of Bury and the bottom one of the nave at Norwich and you'll see where I'm coming from.

Bury simply isn't on the same scale, and for me, doesn't come close to my mental image of a cathedral. That's not to say others won't prefer it or find it more homely, warm and welcoming than the huge echoing vaults of history. And of course the reality is that it was built as a parish church and was only upgraded when the Diocese was formed.

A small question

A day spent in our Diocesan cathedral yesterday - a clergy study day as a preliminary to the Conference Days next year. The speaker was of some interest, but the building always disappoints me. I like my cathedrals to be old, echoing, with numerous side chapels and uneven flagstone floors. Bury St Edmunds is relatively new, and just feels like a large parish church, despite the new and impressive tower that has recently been completed. Still, there's one interesting memorial to a judge which makes me wonder if he would still be on the bench in these days of over-protection of children. Would he have got his Criminal Records Bureau clearence certificate?

Monday, 7 September 2009

Do my eyes deceive me?

The answer is YES.

"Seven Whole Days" put this up on his blog, and it's a fascinating snapshot of the development of special effects in the movies.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Hustle and bustle ...

... of Liverpool Street main line station as I left on Thursday evening. The pulse of the city's life was palpable.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A visit to the big city

I ventured into central London last Thursday in order to attend the Annual Postcard Exhibition and Fair at the Royal Horticultural Halls. My last visit was in 2002, and every year since then my Diary has conspired against me getting there. This year I set aside the day and saved up some spending money, coming back with around 50 cards to add to my collection.

The Fair aside, being in the city was quite exhilerating - tourists, different ethnic groups, the familiar sights - the Monument, St. Paul's, Westminster Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Boudicca's statue, the RAF memorial, Cleopatra's Needle, the London Eye. No chance to visit any galleries or Museums this time, but I did get an unplanned opportunity to attend Evensong in Westminster Abbey, which has given me several things to think about in relation to how our Church of England daily offices are presented.

The weather was fair, bright and breezy, and I was indoors for the duration of the heavy rain shower in the afternoon. None of the three journeys I took on the Underground were packed, and walking back along the Embankment during the evening rush hour, the main traffic seemed to be runners doing their training session. In all, quite enjoyable.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Late summer weather

Breezy, cool, and with heavy showers. Just right for ripening off the autumn fruits. Not as many apples on my trees this year as last, but that was an exceptional bounty. Forecast is for high winds and rain tomorrow and Thursday, but we'll see. Quite often East Anglia misses the worst, but the farming forecast suggested there might be some tree damage due to them still being in leaf. Que sera, sera.