Monthly Archives: February 2005

A strange thing happened this weekend…….

Actually, if I’m honest, there were a couple of strange things, some related to the BUSA trip on which I was on, and the rest with the church I visited while in Leicester.

The trip for BUSA had the usual interesting twists. Wrong address for hotel, different targets, unable to find anywhere to eat. On the other hand, there was fun, nice pubs, very nice pubs, good driving with nice scenery, amazing showers in the hotel, a good game of Scrabble, great company, that sort of thing.

All in all, it was a good weekend (I finished 10th in the end, with a slightly disapointing score of 558/600).

But what got me (to quote the vicar) disorientated was the church service that I went to on the Sunday morning. Nothing unusal, a Sung Mass in a nice modern looking church. It was a bit cold and as the kneelers were so close to the pews it was impossible to stand up with out the pew in the back of your knees, unless you stand with your feet like a penguin (as my mother would say). So the fact that all the prayers were done standing up and not using the kneelers just made it that bit more uncomfortable. Though the pews themselves were lush!!!

Now this church does describe itself on the Diocese of Leicester webpage as being ‘Mordern Catholic’ but there were time when I was wondering if I was in an Anglican Church or not. Maybe it’s cause I’m so used to more liberal preachers that you get here but I’ve never seen anyone who (in the sermon) managed to talk about everyone helping out in the running of the church and services, with examples, and yet still make out his position on the ordination of women, and that it was a very big mistake for that to have happened!!! When he asked us to pray to God to ‘have mercy on their souls’ on those in the Synod discussing whether we should have women bishiops I was slightly thrown.

Now I know that at the time there had been great disagreements over whether women should have been ordained, I will admit that I didn’t think that it was really that much of an issue anymore. Most people seem to think that (and accept) that women can do just a good as job as a man (and I’m sure there are a few of you muttering that they can do better as well!!!).

I was so thrown by the sermon that I very nearly missed during the Eucharistic prayer that we prayed for the Queen, Pope John Paul, the ministers, our Bishiop and Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Cantabury….. sorry, was that the Pope….?? Oh yes, it was……

While I do hope that he has a speedy recovery, I just wasn’t expecting to hear him mentioned at that point.

What made it that much stranger was that I did get to have a few words with the vicar at the end of the service and he did seem like a really nice man. Apart from the fact that he feels that half the world’s population shouldn’t be ordained……

A marked man

There are many types of stress in this world, the one I think is nastiest is self-imposed stress.

Yesterday I took the Women’s 3rd Hockey team to Southampton. You will not find a lovelier bunch of girls around (thanks goes to Katie for making me a packed lunch). They were playing Wessex who are a much better team and they were expecting to lose, heavilly. In the end, they lost 9-0 and were glad not to have gone into double figures.

Now in my personal sport of choice I have the great problem of being classed differently from most people. What this mean is that when we go to competitions there is usually no-one for me to actually compete against, so I’m very used to just shooting for myself. Twice every year we have BUSA (British Universities Sport Association) Championships where I normally try to come in the top 15 of my class (I’d like the top 10, but I’m realistic).

However, in the last few months I’ve come into some form. At last summer’s outdoor championship I managed to come third and win the bronze medal (at much surprise) and my current indoor form has left me looking at a top five postition. And when I say top five, I mean anywhere in the top five. Depending on how well I (and other’s shoot) anywhere between 5th to 1st…….. which isn’t a postition I’ve ever found myself in before. And it’s scary.

I am an outdoor sportsman by heart and skill. For some unknown reason where some people are put off by bad weather I thrive on it. If this had been the outdoor championships I wouldn’t be worried in the slightest. But we’re indoors. For some unknown reason this is seen as being "bigger" than the outdoors…. I’m worried. Not to mention the fact that tomorrow I have to drive us all to Loughborough where I believe it’s been a bit snowy……

An interesting proposition, but one I look forward to!!! Apart from the rush hour traffic round Birmingham!!! But I shall try to set it up so only the people I want in the front two rows are there…… so that’ll be Rex, Rab and McCloud to take up the front two rows. If I can arrange it!!! I have my ways and powers!!!!

Among other thigs I’ve noticed is that it really is possible to tell if girls have older siblings or not. When I say siblings, what I mean is brothers. For instance, both Doc and Rab have older brothers, both happilly hit me. No-one else has older brothers, no-one else does….. And I say hit, in Rab’s case I’m lucky I’m probably not going to scar on my wrists and forearm where she dug her nails (Nails??? Talons more like!!) in. Just cause I wouldn’t give her my Bunny of Death…… note that word…. MY Bunny of Death…… Her excuse.. I was slightly drunk…. Hah!!!!

Hence the "marked man" comment……. my little dig at her. Though I’m nearly healed up!!!

Quizzes and job aplications

Where to start?? I wonder if I’m being predantic. Here’s a question for you to answer. I have a quiz, it’s a small passage, in which there are thirty books of the Bible mentioned and you have to find them all. I say find, like Ruth appears in the word ‘Truthfully’ or Malach was there through, ‘normal. A chipper’. Very clever I’m sure you’ll agree. My problem comes from the fact that I can find only twenty-nine. Or not so much that I can find only twenty-nine, but I refuse to accept the thirtieth one to be right. see if you get what I mean….

‘the Alpha Beta Phil-lemonade stand’

The book being Phillemon…… only thing is, Phillemon is Philemon… one "L". If they’d spelt Mark with two "R’s" would we have accepted that?? So why should we accept Phillemon, or is that a red herring and there’s still one more to find….. that’s what I’m hoping for!!! I shall have to remember to write down the website address and check the answers!!!

Now, for those of you who don’t know what a great procrastinator I am, I have finally gotten round to sending a job application form off for a job after Uni. I say after Uni, it’s in another Uni, but not as a student!!! So it’s a job!! Hopefully (touch wood) I’ll have an interview and will get it, otherwise I may have to try and hang round here for another year…. though if that is the case, shall have to start thinking about houses and housemates. Though there’s always Rex and maybe Rab. So that’ll make three of us. Bob’ll be around next year, though I do think Rex would kill me if I made that suggestion….. tempting as it is!!!! We shall just have to wait and see, eh??

And now I’m off to see if I can find out what was (if anything) decided at last week’s General Synod…… I’m betting on nothing!!!!

Heresy Trials and the 39 Articles of Faith

Wow…. has it been month……?? It appears so!!!

Now two things in the news about the Church of England today. The first is that you lucky people with access to BBC Parliament would have been able to watch a debate, in full from the General Synod today. It should be interesting as they are debating the Windsor Report.

The other interesting story is about plans to reintroduce heresy trials for CoE vicars who don’t believe key doctrines from the 39 Articles of Faith. Now I had read through the Articles a few weeks ago and on the whole, had no problem with them……. but then I wonder, did I understand them correctly……??

There are some things, such as the Virgin Birth, Resurection that I have no problem with. In the case of Purgatory and transubstaniation I again have no problem (though this disagrees with R.Catholic teachings and what Anglo-Catholics might believe). However, we come to Predestination…….

Now I will always speak out against predestination, because it is anti-Biblical and goes against the teachings of Christ. The majority of Anglicans would agree with me on this, and yet it is in the Articles of Faith. I think….. it makes little sense in all fairness.

There are times, I wonder, as to whether the Articles should be re-written, not changed, but put into a language in which we can understand. Of course, the danger with such a thing is that by updating the language of the Articles you end up changing what they say.

The same can be said about the Bible itself.

The Bible, as originally given contains no chapters nor verses. They have since been added. When I sit here with a King James, a RSV or a NIV and they may all suggest slightly different things…. which to trust??

Just a few random thoughts for a Thursday afternoon.

Day 31 – Words

Earlier this week I aws telling someone off for complaining about Shakespeare’s spelling, what with the fact that most of his work was done over 100 years before Dr Johnson was even born!! But while looking at the history of the dictionary for a bit I discovered that the people who write Chambers Dictionary have a sense of humour…. not all of their definations are staight forward….. a few have a humourous twist!!

I thought I’d share them with you…….

éclair – a cake, long in shape but short in duration
Japanese cedar – a very tall Japanese conifer (Cryptomeria japonica) often dwarfed by Japanese gardeners
jaywalker – a careless pedestrian whom motorists are expected to avoid running down
middle-aged – between youth and old age, variously reckoned to suit the reckoner
mullet³ – a hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round

other words that, apparently, have these definitions include;

bachelor’s wife, bikini, boy band, charity begins at home, combover, go-faster stripes, grammaticaster, he-man, lady-killer, leprechaun, lint, massage someone’s ego, old girl, Oxford English, repent², restoration, road hog, Santa Claus, sea serpent, shiver my timbers, squillion, table-turning, tweenager, waistline.

I think I shall have to look some of these up…. I don’t know why, but I do suspect that under waistline the words ‘ever increasing’ will be mentioned…..

Day 30 – A wee bit more……..

Having been told that I’ve picked depressing sonnets (though I disagree) I have another to suggest…….

Sonnet 130;

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

This is for Duracell…….. I hope that this makes you pleased!!!!

Day 30 – Survived and chirpy!!!

Yet again have gotten through St Val’s day, and yet again finish thinking "that wasn’t too bad…." of course, the rather damaged pink paper heart might have something to do with that…….. *whistle*

But while on the topic I was sitting here wondering about Shakespeare’s sonnets…… A very popular one, at this time, is Sonnet 18;
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
however, Sonnets 1-126 are written to, or about a young man….. (as the next line suggests) and so I wonder if the intention that the poet writes the poem should effect how we use it??

Now, while I’d admit that I wouldn’t be as cheesy to use such a commonly used sonnet, but there are those that aren’t used as much. Sonnet 145, for instance;
Those lips that Love’s own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said ‘I hate’
To me that languish’d for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
‘I hate’ she alter’d with an end,
That follow’d it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away;
‘I hate’ from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying ‘not you.’
which for some reason I quite like……

Now I should point out that I hate poetry….. I hate it almost as much as I hate the ‘self-service’ checklouts in Tesco, but for GCSE’s I was so poor at poetry that I had to have a tutor to get me through (I got my C) which means that I do have a fairly good understanding of it. Not my fault that I don’t like it as much!!

If I was honest, I would have to add that I was torn between the above sonnet and that of 137;
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
That they behold, and see not what they see?
They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
Yet what the best is take the worst to be.
it’s a tough choice, but someone has to make it!!!

And while looking at Shakespeare, it follows that we think about language a bit…. I mean, Dr Johnson’s dictionary didn’t come out for over 100 years after the Sonnets had been published. I was looking at some of the definitions in my Chambers Dictionary. I’ll share a few of them with you tomorrow (as an example that possibly they had too much time on their hands……)

Day 29 – The dreaded day is here……..

Ignoring the day that it is, I’m going to instead concentrate on the great weekend that I had!!!

On Friday night I went down the pub with a few mates and (despite Matty’s suggestions that I shouldn’t be allowed more than one pint) had a lot of fun!! I also had my first "Wiblog" experience where someone introduced themselves to me as their Wiblog and visa-versa!!! So a big hello goes to "The Last Burnt Sienna Crayon"

[if I ever work out how to put links, or basic editing like italics, into these posts that would have been a link to her site….. as it is you’ll just have to find it yourself!!!]

But all in all that was very much a fun evening. I got to bump into some old friends (who just happened to come into the pub) and generally have a good time!!! So yay all round!!!

Now I am a bit of a social person, I like to see people through-out the day, so this being a very quiet weekend it had the possibility of not being that nice, but Ithink that Friday night had set me up to see the bright side of most things. I had a most enjoyable afternoon, with good news (though I was slightly sore that McCloud hadn’t told me before hand so I had to wait till after to do my "Jig of Joy") and despite that work was as boring as I’ve ever known it, it was nice to get home and find that MrG, Kat and Matty were round. Always nice to have company at the end of the day!!

Sunday was a lazy day, whence I sat watched the rugby and pottered round the house, till later on I went and visited Doc and Duracell. Then when I got home ate pancakes….. cause they are nice!!!!

So after a great weekend I have arrived here, on this most stupid of days and it is twinged with saddness. While listening to Radio2 this lunchtime Vine mentioned someone who’d called in last summer and has since died.

On Monday afternoons they do a ‘Health and Wellbeing’ hour on Radio2 in which people call-in, sometimes it’s an "open surgery" other times it’s on a certain topic. Last summer they looked at ‘losing a child’ and the suffering thereof. They had one caller, a Vicki Moore, who as a fourteen year old girl was calling up for advice on how to help her mum as she, herself, was suffering from terminal bone cancer. I don’t know why, but when they re-played the call this afternoon, I was struggling just not to cry. I can’t remember if I did last time (I do remember hearing this call last summer), but there was just something about the way she seemed to have accepted that she was going to die and that she wanted to make the best of it.

Last October she took a turn for the worse and last November she passed away.

Day 26 – Like a croc’s jaw……

One of those interesting things about a crocodile’s jaw is that while it can close down on something and have to be prized open with a crow-bar, they can be held shut with your bare hands (if you can get like another 12 big, burly men to hold the croc down!!!). My arm is like that.

I love to play racket sports (that’s a lie, I like to play all sports) but simply haven’t had the opertunity to do so in recent years. Well, I managed to hit the squash court last week and what I discovered was mildly disturbing. I have no power in my forehand, but I still do in my backhand….. So I shall have to either get it back, or learn to serve backhands, cause it’s nasty to see your serve retuned to you at speed!!!

And now I shall leave you, as I ponder the greater meanings of – What shall I have for dinner……???

Day 25 – A few days to go……..

In eighty one hours from now, the clocks will turn midnight and it will be Febuary 14th, St Valentine’s Day. With it shall come forth the guilt of those who aren’t single that they need to push the boat out and "do" something especially romantic and for those who are single the stigma that comes from being single on the "most romantic day of the year".

So as I sit here, comtemplating, I try to think "is it such a special day??"

I mean, take St Valentine himself…… there are three of them, a bishop in Rome during the reign of Emperor Cladius, another the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) and a third who seemed to of had a bad time in Africa.

The Saint of our tale is the first and was beheaded by Emperor Claudius in 270AD. Claudius had decided that married soliders weren’t very good, so issued a decree that banned soliders from marrying. Our brave Bishop Valentine, on the other hand, believed that marriage was an important part of Christian life and so continued to marry people, in secret. He was, of course, found out and arrested. Valentine refused to give up God and convert to paganism to save his life and was put to death. While in jail he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, whom he left a note saying "your Valentine".

For this reason we send cards and chocolates (oh wait, have given them up for Lent (along with sweets)) and flowers and go out for meals…….. I realize that I have to be very carefull or I shall end up being far too cynical for my own good over this weekend, which would be a shame as being overly cynical is a terrible way to spoil what should be fun for all…..

I wish to share with you some Valentine Day facts, from the lovely people at BBC Berkshire;
* In Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future husband,
* Elaborate handmade messages, cards and gifts became popular during the 17th century,
* In the Middle Ages they belived that the first unmarried person of the opposite sex you met on the morning of St Valentine’s Day would become your spouse,
so I shall try to curb my cynicism…… I promise that I shall. I may even send a card…….. 😉

In other news, I thought I’d send my best wishes to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles on the announcment of their marriage!!! Yay them!!!