Friday, 29 January 2010

Here we go again!

In my mail today

I have a note from Mrs Cynthia .J. Ruud regarding her "Last Wish".
I hope she's left me something valuable!

Zaid Ibrahim wishes to consult me over a "Serious Issue"
Wait a moment - I'll fetch my purple stole.

Dr Ruth Hilton" also has a "Serious Issue..!"
Maybe it's contagious! Perhaps I'd better wash my hands.

Consuelo Terrell in Pakistan has a "New vacancy"
For what, I wonder?

Trevor Simms is offering me "new information about your current position."
Listen, matey, you can't tell me anything I don't already know!

But then again, maybe he can, for in the very next mail he tells me to "have a new one."

In the words of the late lamented Kenneth Williams, "Oo-er, Matron!"

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

More financial matters

This morning an e-mail from the INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENT DEPARTMENT of the OCEANIC BANK INFORMS ME THAT my loan was approved two days ago.
Another loan approved? I AM popular!

The Hon. Ndudi Elumelu says "Thanks again".
My pleasure. What?

Awah Damaru tells me to read my "URGENT NOTIFICATION"
Naff off.

and my Online Bank Account with ABBEY NATIONAL PLC is about to expire.
Oh dear - I'll contact the Funeral Director.

I don't open these mails, but they do start the morning with a smile.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I'm saying nothing .....

From ITN News

The floor of a weight watchers clinic in Sweden collapsed beneath a group of people taking part in a weight loss programme. According to a report in Swedish English-language newspaper, The Local, the dieters were queueing up to see how many pounds they had lost in the past week. One person reportedly told another newspaper that "there was a huge thud, before the floor collapsed along the walls in one corner of the room." A Weight Watchers consultant told The Smalandsposten newspaper: "We're going to have to find replacement premises." The cause of the collapse is still being investigated by local authorities, and none of the people involved were injured.

(I'm going to the gym today ....)

High Finance

This morning in my e-mails I received:

Must be a mistake though, as I don’t have an account with them.

2) a mail from Ocean Bank telling me that my FUND was approved two days ago.
Oh good, I can go and spend some money!

3) a communication from the INTERCONTINENTAL BANK OF NIGERIA saying that they had received my ATTORNEY.
Which is odd as I don’t recall sending him.

4) and a note from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs regarding a tax refund that simply says that “The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential a=nd as applicable.” (sic)
Fine. Thanks for telling me.

And by the way ... I was born yesterday as well.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Never mind the Conversion of St Paul ...

.... falling off his horse on the road to Damascus .... (Where was the man from the Personal Accident Claims Company there?) .....

Tonight is

And I've had my haggis and a wee dram ....

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

Be Prepared

The British NHS comes in for a lot of criticism over waiting times not only for operations but also for appointments. However, things appear to be improving. In the post today was a letter from the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital telling me that an appointment has been booked for me to have an eye check-up at the Glaucoma Clinic on Tuesday 22nd February ...... 2011.

At least I don't have to wait to make the appointment - I just have to remember to keep it - it only gives me 13 months to get ready.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I know, I know ...

... it's time I posted something else on his Blog. But it's all been quiet and there's not much to write about.

That is, until this morning, when the BBC tells me that the Church of England bishops are lobbying the House of Lords to amend the Equality legislation that is presently making its way through the House, so that the Church of England continues to enjoy exemption. At present the Church if able to insist that homosexual candidates for its ministerial posts and its support posts are celibate. If the legislation goes through, all support posts will have to be open to people regardless of non-celibate sexual orientation. The cry is going up that this will mean that there may well be practising homosexuals appointed as teachers in CofE schools or as Youth Workers in Dioceses.

So what? Why does being a homosexual in an active relationship mean that they make a sub-standard teacher? Why are they thus unsuited to Youth Work? A real splinter and plank moment. For Christ's sake, Bishops, have some understanding of the Gospel. You seem to have lost the plot.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

It's that time of the month ..

... when my time is taken up with compiling the next issue of the Benefice magazine - trying to fill column inches when no news has been passed on to me by the villages (with a few notable and regular exceptions!)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The 13th, and more light snow

I was told this morning, as the snow started, that country-lore says that if the snow's on the ground, there's more to come. In other words, if it's not been warm enough to create a thaw, then it's cold enough for more snow to fall. Logical when you consider it. And true today as I look out of the study window, taking a break from choosing the Sunday service hymns through to Palm Sunday. Light, and not really settling, but cold and murky as well. I must get the washing done - the thermals are in the laundry basket!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

It's all on as planned

The forecast from the Met.Office at 5.00 p.m. Saturday was for heavy snow overnight. The forecast just one hour later said no snow overnight, but heavy showers Sunday afternoon. It would help to have some consistency here.

This morning there has been no overnight fall, and with only light showers this morning the Sunday rota is going ahead as planned.

Damn. No lie in.

It's a privilege and pleasure to serve .....

Saturday, 9 January 2010

The village

Decisions, decisions ...

Another two inches of snow overnight, and the Met Office is warning of further heavy snowfall tonight. I'm starting to wonder about possibly cancelling tomorrow's services. The rota is for a 9.45 Eucharist at Ilketshall St Lawrence, (where everyone has to travel to get to the church as it sits a mile or more outside it's community), and an 11.15 Holy Communion at Homersfield where, whilst some of the regular congregation are from the village (3?) the rest also travel, as do I to both.

In this Benefice area it's not as if it's the local residents who make up our Sunday attendance. It is drawn from right across our 13 communities, meaning most drive to the churches. If what is predicted actually arrives, the roads tomorrow will not be good. Although the gritting lorry has made its way down our particular road, other small roads in "The Saints" have not been touched.

It's really a question of "wait and see", unlike my colleague in Long Island, NY, where he could look at the snow warnings and act with confidence some 24 hours in advance of the blizzards. This part of East Anglia often escapes the worst of the forecasts, but this stuff is slamming into us straight across the North Sea from the Russian Steppes!

Watch this space!

Friday, 8 January 2010

F... F.... F ...

Fog, Frost and Freezing. The harsh winter weather continues, but it really does look beautiful at times.

Hundreds join Global Warming protest

(sent to me by e-mail this morning from someone who should know better!)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Like wot I remember

At last, a proper winter such as I recall from my childhood. Snow on the ground for days on end, low temperatures with ice on the inside of the bedroom windows, warming oneself in front of a fire, hot drinks and food to heat the inner-self. Such a change from the mild, warm, and somewhat unhealthy miasma we've had for the last decade or so. Whilst it's a challenge to keep warm in a large 4-bedroomed vicarage, and I'm occasionally losing sight of the church opposite, I'm loving it!

I am of course well aware that for many, the cold is a real problem, especially for those on low incomes who cannot afford to heat their homes properly, and also for those without any homes to heat. But whilst I pray for them, I am not going to allow a feeling of guilt affect my appreciation of the natural cycle of seasons.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sunday, 3 January 2010

More of the white stuff

Last night (January 2nd) it started snowing again at about 6.00 p.m., and went on right through the evening. Early morning (7.30 a.m.) it looked like this, (and that's not the sun in the sky but the moon), and there's more predicted for Wednesday through to Friday of this week.

And over at St Margaret South Elmham for the 11.15 a.m. Holy Communion (BCP let the congregation understand - with local variations!!) I took a shot that might well be their 2010 Christmas card!