Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Chicken-Little gets an education

One morning, Chicken-Little said to Mother-Hen, "Can I play in the garden?" But Mother-Hen said, "No, I want you to practise your counting." So Chicken-Little counted all day. By bedtime he had got to 42 and he was very tired.

The next morning Chicken-Little said to Mother-Hen, "Can I play in the garden today?" "No", said Mother-Hen, "we are going for a walk". And they walked and walked and got to the end of the garden. And Chicken-Little was very tired.

The next morning Chicken-Little said to Mother-Hen, "Will you teach me to read?" But Mother-Hen was too busy. So Chicken-Little went to Goosey-Gander and said, "Will you teach me to read?" And Goosey-Gander sat down and taught Chicken-Little the alphabet. And Chicken-Little was very tired.

The next day Chicken-Little went to stay with Busy-Badger and Daffy-Duck.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Angela's Joke

So we stopped at a service station in Germany on the way home and it's got its own little chapel. (Locked, mind you.) Is driving in Germany that scary? Why does the song Radar Love come into my mind? (Yeah all right maybe that's just every time I go on the autobahn - and then I think of Kraftwerk ...)

Anyway, Angela's joke: "It's a service station with its own service station!" Please yourself.

Perhaps we should have some in England. Like on the M1. Please God let the lunatics be going up the M6 today.

Friday, August 25, 2006

When is a tourist not a tourist?

When they become an attraction themselves.

We went for a "historic tram ride" in Prague to see the city by dusk. The wine flowed and the accordionist played. People looked to see where the music came from - that old thing? They were curious, astonished, puzzled, enraptured, hilarified (is that a word? It is now). Some took pictures of us!

The worshippers became the worshipped? Bit fanciful? Makes you think, though.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

So Good to Be Back Home Again (The Tourists)

Seems an appropriate title.

12 days.
2512 miles (from Calais to Calais).
7 countries.
4 currencies.
Much beer.

Languages? ah.
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual
What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual.
What do you call someone who only speaks one language? English.
What a relief to be back in a place where everyone speaks the same number as you. With magnificent memories, pictures, images. (which will appear eventually)

So we tried (in no particular order): gulasch soup, nurnberg sausages, chicken with ham and cheese Slovakian style, fried goose liver (delicacy - yum) and lots of stuff that we don't really know what it was but it slipped down all the same.

Explore new places. Whatever it costs.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Travels Far Afield

When I go to different places I like to eat the local speciality (most of the time).

In France I have had snails and frogs' legs and I drank French wine.
In Spain I ate black paella and drank red wine. Tapas and cerveza at midnight.
In Portugal, lobster and red wine. Tomatoes.
Belgium, mussels in white wine and Stella.

Italy! Pasta, pizza, ice cream and beer (Italian lunch - one ice-cream, one beer.)
Germany, sausages, white wine, beer (not all together). Not keen on sauerkraut.
Norway, smoked fish, smoked cheese and, er, beer.
Austria, strudel, germ-knudel (not sure about spelling), beer (hey).
Switzerland, fondue.

America, steak and potatoes separately. Eggs sunny side up.
Scotland, haggis and chips with sal'n'sos (couldn't find a deepfried Mars bar). Iron Brew (and beer). Drambuie. Decided against a white wine spritzer.
Oz - the barby and the tinnies!
Uganda fried green bananas and stew. ("meat")

So, goulash, Czech beer, strudel - what's the national dish of Slovakia?

Moving on is exciting. New ways, new friends.

Bits I didn't cut from my essays

[The Church of South India] accepted the historic episcopate as necessary for the shepherding of the Church.

(about the CSI) "What began as a genuine union ... has become ... an Anglican church. There is little of Methodism, Presbyterianism, or Congregationalism left in the CSI except in memory.

Another view: episcopacy was not scriptural and therefore unacceptable.

... unity talks are certainly no longer a priority, probably unnecessary and even counter-productive. The evidence is that they distract from mission and take energy away from real ecumenical initiatives

.... there existed an order of Jewish priests in the Old Testament ... [but] no-one is advocating a hereditary order of Methodist presbyters ...

... there is no priestly caste, ( first published in Clause 4 of the Deed of Union, 1932: " ... no priesthood differing in kind from that which is common to all people ...")

Let us celebrate the past, without feeling that it must be recreated in the present or the future.

Friday, August 11, 2006

My New Hero

Alexander Kilham

Bits I cut from my essays

Traditions; any large organisation has an inertia, the result of which is to discourage change until a strong weakness is seen.

(of the unity scheme in the 1960s) If the reconciliation service was not in fact a re-ordination then it achieved nothing and was therefore pointless.

"They protest against submitting ... to the unlimited authority of the preachers ... there has been no instance in the history of the Christian church in which spiritual tyranny has not been fatal to the interests of religion, the character of its ministers and privileges of the people." (Wesleyan Protestant Methodists, Tenth Point, c.1828)

There was also a quote which I can't find again amounting to: "How can you take a twentysomething young man, give him three or four years' ministerial training and expect that to last him through his career?" (written before there were female ministers).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The love that dare not speak its name

In musical terms this is progressive rock (prog). Prog hasn't been cool since 1967. John Peel said ELP were "a waste of electricity". He was (as quite often) wrong. (I'm not a fan of Genesis, Yes, Marillion, though.)

But since Q has this month a feature on "guilty pleasures" (things that you like, that are good even though they aren't cool) I admit to buying the greatest hits of Focus. Double CD. No vocals (apart from the yodelling). Eight minute keyboard solos. Intricate guitar work. Fantastic. So you don't want it all the time, but sometimes it's great.

Sometimes you like simplicity as well. Also acquired this weekend The Bravery (self-titled album). Like The Strokes with keyboards, Keane with a backbeat (and better obviously). An Honest Mistake is obviously the best track but the rest grows on you.

Where was I?

Guilty pleasures in worship?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Pedantry rules, is that all right with you?

Thanks to Lynne Truss and others more attention is being given to punctuation and spelling. Syntax even gets a look in. So this is for the forgotten triplet, semantics.

So many times have I seen the wrong one from "principal" and "principle" selected that I have to check myself every time. The most amusing (?) example was on a letter from the General Teachers' Council (great was the rejoicing when the NASUWT finally got the apostrophe in the right place in that one, forgive the tangent) to a principal, with the wrong word used in the address line. Wish I'd kept a copy.

More usually though it's a word or phrase with the wrong meaning. "Catch-22" is not the same as a "no-win situation" but you'd certainly think so from its usual usage. "Enormity" - even on the BBC news - where the word is "magnitude" or even "enormousness" (yes you can create words in a living language). A tsunami is not an enormity as it is not an evil act. And others have spoken about that flipping woman and her "ironic" song so we won't go on about it here. Actually I guess you can sing it ironically.

There is however one TV detective who attempts to use language correctly. Sadly it is not Inspector Linley who completely gratuitously and totally erroneously just said "beg the question".

Bring back Mayo!

Chain of Circumstance

Funny how things turn out. When we moved down here I wasn't getting my gaming fix anymore. So I saw a small listing in an irregular small-circulation magazine about a "Hobbymeet". The phone number didn't work so I worked out what day it should be on and just turned up on the far side of Bristol not knowing anyone there. Which was a bit of a surprise to an established group who'd forgotten all about the listing - since they hadn't heard of the mag it was in, because it had just taken the listing from another one.

Anyway the gaming community made me welcome, even though I barely knew what a fanzine was.

Years later and I am a stalwart of the group, to the extent that Bill and I were this month's group - the tradition being maintained by a game of Mykenos (excellent).

Of such chances and chains are communities built. There's a sermon here somewhere. Go and write it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Born Too Late

They Don't Write Them Like That Anymore:

You don't hear many songs these days about a girl's love for an older man. In fact I wondered again what the reaction would be if it came out today?

From the other side:

When You Ask About Love - The Crickets.

An oldie but goodie

I am reminded of the old joke, "What's the difference between a minister and a Local Preacher?"

A minister is paid to be good and a Local Preacher is good for nothing.

Many a true word spoken in jest.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another day, another thousand words

I just hope that they say something sensible and acceptable. And just what do you put in a bibliography anyway?