Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bridteacher was always Fileygardener really

One of the first graphics I ever used in the cyberworld, Alices sketch of a Cardoon
I started my Bridteacher blog in 2006 as an outlet for my rants. This was before the days of built in stats , and the platform was not as easy as it is now. For one thing I didn't have broadband   or a digital camera. I had no idea how to insert images or even understand those magical 640x380 numbers. It has come full circle.  I dont bother always to scale down my huge files in Gimp, I fully understand what copyright and file sharing mean, and yet am best friends with Google images. I certainly never read the blogs of anyone else in those days. So Bridteacher it was .
I had dabbled with Frontpage in 2001, and what remains of my first efforts are still there to behold. Lycos has long gone . My first efforts would not pass the last module at Yorkshire Coast Colleges web-building course ; All that going right across the screen , and dubious links. Simon Rudiger my mentor on Filey Parish Blog had a real aversion to broken links. I think they show the human side. My first efforts were styled Fileygardener. I have decided to go back to that defining title. The bridteacher url will stay. I am doing this for me. You will find me if you want to truly look.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Who wants to be a millionaire

I haven't seen anything new yet. 
We are warm and cosy in our sitting room .  We are alone with Kiaora Cat and our television set.  Samson  is still sporting his festive red ribbon, and though not watching TV is listening to the Cole Porter songs with us, his back arched against the radiator.
 We have not had the car out for 5 days.I have used 5  drums of salt clearing a path to the dustbin. Scarborough Borough Council do not usually bother to grit our Filey roads and paths. This year has been an exception. A week ago a slight sling of grit on the footpaths was applied. 
We have registered -1 to -14 for a week. It has not been above.  I have dripped clothes dry on the shower rail, removing my Thermal long johns quickly when the a crunch on the ice outside the  back door announces callers.
The ground is definitely hard as iron so the carol words have been ringing true this year.I realise that most of the carols lyrics bear absolutely no  resemblance to real life conditions for most of my Christ masses, but this year never a truer word and all that...

Filey has been true to 'In the bleak midwinter', We have never sung it so many times. I looked thro all the lyrics on my Bethlehem  Carol Sheet and have been reviewing the words. I have been remembering 2 wonderful trips to Israel, and the heat of Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  We decided that the Nativity on BBC 1 must have been filmed somewhere with a moorish background, as the windows were islamic looking. Canon Edward suggested this first.  He was right.  It was filmed in Morocco (BBC iplayer)
I am so used to singing all those familiar carol lyrics without thinking . I so agree with Ruth Gledhills comment last week in the Times
 'After half a century of sitting through church nativities, I am bored to tears with Mary and Joseph and plastic baby Jesus . My heart sinks at the thought of those eternal carols  yet again........It (the BBC nativity) turns out to be one of the best written, cinematically magical tragi-comic religious dramas ever broadcast on television.'

So whilst I sit here unable to get anywhere , with family plans on hold, watching evergreen wholesome films, my highlight of the season* so far has been the BBC offering. I will be happy to watch it every year.

*Not for purists , but Christmas for me starts with 9 lessons and Carols .

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Insomnia Blog 3

Once again.
I have prayed through an alphabet of names. I did Kate Middleton for K, could not do anything for U so did Ursula Andress. I hope she is alive, as I dont pray for dead people.
I have been downstairs and made Horlicks and eaten Cashew nuts which were to go with Christmas drinks.
I have perused a map Of Bradford Buses incase @nickbaines  wants to know anything , but realised he will have a limo and does not have a bus pass to get to Bombay Stores or Saltaire, my 2 favourite places around Bradford.
I have finished my James Patterson novel. It was awfully good. The truest words I have ever written.
I have looked at the Mac Box Set sent me as a gift to update this old thing, but think its beyond me at 2 in the morning, although Time Machine sounds so alluring.
I have my warmest gilet over my dressing gown.
Ill have a quick look at Facebook and see if @garryrutters awake. No , but my sister has put the date wrong on her wall post.
Shall I put the slow cooker on  and  do a stew. The thought of waking up , hopefully at 7ish to the smell of beef is more than I can bear.
I will look through my Redwall novels . No I want something funnier. Sweet Thursday or Just William then, or maybe Cold Comfort farm again. Ive just remembered A Marcus Didius Falco on the shelf, heavy to hold in bed, but funny from page 1 with a map.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miniature marinated Figs-dynamite at dinner parties

Who could be without a jar of these delicacies? 
We have been pondering the jar. We have been enjoying the implications, intended or otherwise of the dynamite in the jar. 
Longtime Readers of Bridteacher will know that we do not give presents at Christmas , except to the school age children in the family. We do not give cards either except to friends far away. 

So  we have had so much enjoyment and hilarity opening the the unchristmas present from Rachel and Robert. A thank-you for the use of our beach hut .

We have enjoyed the unchristmas present so much I am sharing it with all my friends. Firstly R and R had no idea that Figs are a long standing joke  in our family. If we see them , green in the greengrocers, we always buy one for  Colin.  More than that, when he was told to eat  for health after his Heart Attack, and then Diabetes diagnosis, he cut out cakes and biscuits, puddings etc and stuck to Sister  Rose's diet sheet very carefully.  Apart from the fruit that is. He took it into his head to eat lots and lots of fruit. The sideboard would groan with it, fresh and dried. Our children would indulge him with medjool dates from Waitrose, and packs of figs. So much so that Sister Rose had to explain that there was too much sugar in his now healthy diet . So the figs are going to be a real feast for him. More than that , the size of them belies indulgence, unless he eats them all in a sitting.

R and R did not stop there in their inspired generosity. Every base has been covered . 
  • Ginger sauce for me and great grandma
  • Stilton and walnut biscuits beloved of Imogen
  • A musical tin box filled with biscuits that the small boys will adore
  • Mulled wine spices for Homegroup Candlemas Party
  • Dave Walkers hilarious 'The exciting world of Churchgoing' for everyone ( NB most of my family read The Church Times)
  • A box of after dinner Trivia Questions. (How could R and R know that my family are games nerds?)

The unchristmas present was accompanied by a Christmas Card of MY FAVOURITE SORT a Burne Jones pre-raphaelite Angel, and all this in a week when I don't know whether I'm coming or going. Who says God has not got a sense of humour. 

See you all at the Beach Hut  !

Friday, December 10, 2010

Changing the template

Filey Samson
I changed the Template on Samsons Blog about 3 months ago. The new template is almost the same as the old one,Black has muted down to Charcoal gray  but otherwise its much the same.  Ive been looking at my daily blog dose, and realised that I dont actually choose a blog to elevate to Google Reader Status by its 
design. I only go by the content. 

Google Reader

You get to spot the Blogger Template after a while  and that makes one feel comfortable . Not everyone can mess around with the html and make a work of art  from a design page. Works of art too might be fantastic for some people and not for others. Recently I have been bowled over by the beautiful photography on the Visual Theology blog.
The man is a brilliant practitioner , graphics, and word content.  I have been round galleries for 50 years looking at Photographs, from those of Julia Margaret Cameron to Judah Passow, and his touch me . I dont have to be trawling Time Out for exhibitions as long as someone blogrolls good visual blogs for me. 
Conversely I have followed the blog of a methodist local preacher in Harrogate for years. She has as far as I know, never made any blogrolls except for mine , but I love her day to day banality. She talks so very Dear Diary, and I love her very normality. She could be me in other words. She has not posted for ages. I hope her husband is not ill again. I care so much that I will probably have to ask my friend Alison at Kairos church  Harrogate to see if she can find out.
So the question I am asking today is this-Is a fantastic template important for my Blog?
This question has hidden questions
  • Do I want to be blogrolled , and as popular as Rev Lesley , (who is now being overtaken by the Vernacular Curate)?
  • Will any more people read my blog if the template is a design miracle?
  • Are personal  blogs the future or will the Johnny Laird Daily be the new black?(Why is his copy of the Message not right way up on his profile of Twitter)
  • Am I jealous of all of them?
The answers are Yes, No, Don't Know , and Yes.

The answer to todays big question , Is a fantastic template important for my blog, No. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I love it!!

I wonder if being a child of 1947 makes a difference. I was born during March of that year,one of the worst winters up until now. I have just started the faithful Volvo, idle after our week away in the metropolis.It is chugging away on the drive . Tomorrows trip to hospital with aged parent might not happen, but it could as I am ready. I know that if they cancel she will want a trip to the Beverley Tesco store. She ,and all of us can get cabin fever if stuck indoors too long. They have just started to grit the Filey roads, and  men are clearing the pavements as write, 12 days after the first snow and ice When I say I love it, I don't mean the ice on the pavements and the danger on the roads. I love the clouds, the sky, the snow itself, the warmth of my home, the excuse to talk to strangers, the way the light is different and the common bond which wraps around each of us.

The gritter above has a snowplough at the front. Being behind it in the National Express Coach on Garrowby Hill was as good as Hull Fair . It was out of my control, the bus, the gritter and the decision making. It is the dilemmas which make inclement weather stressful. I love the phonecall which says 'your meeting has been cancelled'. I do not have to agonize and ponder,cogitate and plan.  It is all done for me.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Advent 2010 and being a Sloane

Pete has done a great job . He has fixed the Parish up with another online Advent calendar.
 I am in London  staying near Sloane Square, and for the last time in what has been for Colin and I a wonderful retreat pad. The flat is to be sold now, so we will be back to Youth Hostels. We left Filey in thick snow and it has finally come to Chelsea. As you know I am a great fan of public Libraries, and my ticket for this one in Westminster is a treasured possession. So I am here amongst the brave and well shod seeing what todays offering on the Advent calendar is like.  Pam has done her first one-and I love it.Thanks Pam.  Thanks Google Docs too-you make everything easy and we can all look and see when to sign in for a slot, and the carol that others have chosen so that we do not repeat it.
The shops in the Kings Road and Pimlico and Sloane Squares flagship Peter Jones are all decorated in the best and worst of taste for Christmas.  No expense has been spared. I cant get the memory stick to work here in the Library so will have to post my pictures later.  But believe me, there is definitely a return to Christmas involving the Christian Story. As crib sets fly off the shelves in John Lewis(Oxford Street) and Peter Jones and the window displays everywhere astound the visual senses I am thinking of the helter skelter in Sterchis of Filey, and the comatose Santa in Katy Malones and thinking Advent is my favourite thinking time.

So tell all your friends to look at the Parish Online Advent Calendar and encourage them to start their thinking times too.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Westminster Central Library again

The system works brilliantly.  The librarians are trained  to deal caringly with the likes of me. I sort of remembered how to log on and book a space for  time on a pc. I have my laptop at the flat but cant pick up any wifi spouse walks on quickly when I spot a Starbucks and remarks that coffee is not good for him, so I dont bother carry the heavy thing around, the Toshiba I mean.  I have dropped so many hints about Macbooks and Iphone4s.
This system working brilliantly involves just membership of this library, and remembering to bring my card with me at all London times, so it is next to my bus pass which is next to my heart in my Paramo. Spouse is sitting right next to me  but at the other side of a glass panel inthe Reference section.  He is lovely and warm. It is cold by town standards.
I have checked my Google Doc which tells me of the progress of our Parish Online Advent calendar on the Filey Parish Blog. I now know that I dont have to agonize over the postings for the first week , as my co-workers have updated the Doc and we are ready to go on December 1st.

Spouse is happy now , we have got out a DVD. It is called Legion. We were able to get it out on  My ticket as well for £2.50-much cheaper than Harry Potter at the Chelsea Cineworld. So he, spouse of course can follow up his love of the book The Fall by Wendy Alec, which he thought was a brilliant book, and I feel happy as I have caught up with my online  life. All happy then, I just have to check the twitter traffic, and my e mails, He is happy, I am happy and we are on with the rest of the day with our bus passes and free maps.

So please DO NOT SHUT LIBRARIES -they are helping in keeping my life running efficently , and adding to my WELLBEING.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I got an Echium through the winter

This years Echium Pininana seedlings about to brave the Filey winter.
The newish  Facebook Platform for groups has defeated me. For 3 years now I have enjoyed interacting with people all over Europe with my group 'We got an Echium through the winter'. I just cant work out how to access it or add my latest pictures to it , even though I have filled in all the relevant 'this is my group ' dialogue boxes. So I am just going to have to post my pictures here on Bridteacher, and send a message to everyone  . 

I will try again to find it next time I am upstairs on the Mac. At the moment I should be getting food cooked for Parish Sundae, but  got sidetracked on to Twitter in the sitting  room . It was only the work of a moment on the laptop to upload a few pictures of my Echiums  before the frosts take them out.  This year I have not weeded any seedlings out , in the hope that I will indeed get one through the winter.

Note to self
E.Lusitanicum , E. pininana x wildpretii , E.fastuosum  All in garden

E.russicum in flower,E. fastuosum 

In Greenhouse

E.pininana x wildpretii
E.Boissieri-Ist Year
E.Pininana x wildpretii

Yet to flower-E.Boissieri,(yr1) E. fastuosum(yr3) E.italicum (yr1)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I have just done a Quiz---

To see what sort of Theology influences me h/t  Lesley's Blog

You are neo-orthodox. You reject the human-centredness and scepticism of liberal theology, but neither do you go to the other extreme and make the Bible the central issue for faith. You believe that Christ is God's most important revelation to humanity, and the Trinity is hugely important in your theology. The Bible is also important because it points us to the revelation of Christ. You are influenced by Karl Barth and P T Forsyth.

Neo orthodox
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
Classical Liberal
Reformed Evangelical
Roman Catholic
Modern Liberal

I am happy with that! A bit of everything! If you want to do it -you will find the link on Lesleys Blog.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Reply to concerned progeny

Dear Children,
I am perfectly OK Thanks. My middle of the night rant was only that-A Middle Of The Night Rant. When Insomnia breaks in on the night, creep on with the night  or surprises the night your mother has strategies in place to overcome and defeat the nuisance. 

Sometimes , as you may find for yourselves,  thoughts running around ones head, in the small hours, may be seen with the dawn to be both a dawn of realisation ,and then  a full sunny day of confirmation follows. In the middle of the night everything may  seem doom laden and ones thoughts may be irrational. I have no idea why this is. When a very dear friend of mine was depressed, getting out of bed was the hardest task . But when , and as she followed simple routine tasks she began to 'feel' more able to cope. By lunchtime she was able to face the day. 
I appreciate your need to see if I was OK. I am thrilled that you are reading  my weblog. I will try to remember too that you have  no idea of what I am speaking when I mention the Anglican Church.  I will condense my thoughts here for you.
Your father and I go to an Anglican Church in Filey. We are not always happy with the way it functions as a Body  but do not want to drive 10 miles away to worship at Christ Church Bridlington or even 3 miles to All Saints Hunmanby.  We feel that we should go to our local Anglican Church. Dad and I would go to any other church in Filey where we felt comfortable and are not hidebound even by Denominations. To us a church is a place to keep out the rain, with somewhere to sit down, so that we may get together with others who want to worship. 

My rant , and what had been keeping me awake , was the state of the Anglican Church  as corporate and global  organization. Things are going on at the moment which are not only very upsetting and confusing but also nothing at all to do with God.  We belong , children ,to what is known as a broad Church.  This in my mind has always been a STRENGTH.
St James, Sutton in Holderness, Ripon Cathedral,  St Michaels Southfields (where we worshipped with William Fittall, who is now  top man organizing the Anglican Parliament -called General Synod ), St Martins Dorking were all places where I have worshipped  for seasons in my life. They were as different as Primark is from Peter Jones, and yet I remember only my growth as a person on my Life Journey, and the fellow pilgrims who made me welcome, and/or helped me make sense of it. 

Children, at the moment we need a REFORMATION in the Church of England, ie another mighty shake  up. Nothing to do with Henry VIII, but more to do with Martin Luther. My spiritual Leaders just need to be thoroughly in love with God, to be soaked in the Bible, to be full of the Holy Spirit who will lead them in to all all truth, and to believe all that Jesus did. He believed in the devil- and never said anything about gays or women , but just lots about holiness and devotion , simplicity and the essential 'I am the way, the truth, and the Life'. 

So , Children , I know you hate it when your mother goes on about God, but that is why I couldnt sleep. That and because in the middle of my insomnia I actually forgot to pray.

God Help us!
With love Mum

Friday, November 05, 2010

Insomnia Blog 2

My mind is still swimming with the brain activity of the day.  The social stimulating spiritual  event of the week is over. I may put my sad life back in its boring box and wait until the day dawns and I remember it is the day of my next reading group. 
 Is that it?
Is Tweetdeck my best friend?
 I am waiting around in the hope of sleep and some sunshine remembering a day where a PCC meeting was the highlight? 
 If I name drop people like William Fittall will I suddenly become vicariously famous ?
 Are we having Kedgeree for supper  this evening ? 
Will Rev Dr Lesley Fellows become a bishop? 
Does  Archdruid Eileen like Parkin? 
Why do my children think I am a bit down? 
Why can't Filey have some decent classes on Archaeology or Art Appreciation?
Will a bowl of Rice Crispies Help?

Will anyone notice if all the Anglican Christians in the world start worshipping God for a change and reading their bibles?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A forward tone

A woman sat on a buff coloured cushion under a bush in the shrubbery,
Around her grew hundreds of dutch bulbs.
Up at the house Mrs Munday gave her a plate full of custard, 
and a book for her young brother Cuthburt, 
who had cut his foot on a piece of wire which he had tied round and pulled too roughly.

Aged parent and I had such a laugh in Tesco's in Beverley  this week. We had reached the checkout, when a garble came over the tannoy about someone going somewhere and doing something. We commented that the speaker needed some lessons in projecting her voice, with a clearer pronunciation of her vowels. Mother then reminded me of the times she tried to teach us(children) to speak correctly when we (three girls) were small. We started to recite together, in the queue ,the woman sat  on a buff coloured cushion exercise. This was to get us to speak with a forward tone, and was one of the exercises from her own Elocution Lessons which started in 1932.  All the poems she had to learn, and all her notes are in an exercise book which I now have.

I too of course know most of the poems as well too. Little Wun Lee and the butterfly wings was always our favourite in 1950's. I still hear some of the words-snow leopards, peacocks and palanquins, and dijn and I am back in the dining room in Saltshouse Road,  listening to mother reading poetry to us, all from her book. Abou Ben Adam, The Donkey, The Listeners, Forget me not and Silver all still remembered.
As we laughed at the absurdity of the woman sitting on the buff coloured cushion,Mother told me about her Elocution Teacher.
'She was called Miss Winifred Parr, she had an Eton Crop, and was very tall and thin, and always wore a velvet ribbon choker'

Mother and I carried on talking about Winifred Parr as we stood waiting at the Cashout. We wondered just how many other people talk about her after 80 yrs . I Googled 
winifred parr birkenhead
But got nowhere.

I wonder if she made up the exercise for the Forward Tone? I wonder how many other people recited it to their children, and grandchildren, and had a good laugh.

When I got home to Filey another unknown but much appreciated  lady from  the 1930s stormed my consciousness. I have Googled her too for years to find out about her. She is a Gladys Waller, who lived in Surbiton in 1936. That is what it says on the back of a drawing in pencil, chalks and crayon I bought in 1968 in a junk shop in Webbs Road Battersea with my first salary.  It was 30s . I am taking it as my luxury to my Desert Island. 
Beeches nr Reigate by Gladys Waller

Friday, October 15, 2010

Living Water

No , not this stuff or any other in a bottle. Infact why do people in the UK buy bottled water at all when they can turn on a tap and get pure drinking water?  And  now in restaurants no one gives a care if one orders a jug of aqua tap. Happy customers go on to have desserts and coffee, where the money is to be made, and come back again.
Masada a Herodian fortress, dating from 31 BC
I never understood what the term Living Water really meant until I had been to Masada  near the Dead Sea on a trip to Israel last year. The fortress is1300 feet high , and it is really , really hot when walking around and learning about it. It is the most visited site for all Jews to Israel, and all Israeli soldiers take an oath there 'Masada shall not fall again', a reference to its horrible history.

Over 2000 years ago when Masada was one of  the luxurious palaces of Herod, lack of water was a bit of a problem, brilliantly overcome by the engineers of the time.It was stored in vast cisterns , and ingeniously collected in the time of rains ,  enough for ritual baths, swimming pools and all the drinking and utility water. 
The stored water then , in Israel, was a necessity for the dry seasons, sometimes going on for years and giving famine. (Moses,Elijah, Elisha, Joseph, Ruth and Naomi etc the stories of drought are all there in the Bible).
When it rained the fresh  water was welcomed and praised as LIVING WATER. It was no wonder that Jesus kept referring to water all through his ministry. We do not have the lack of it so  it wasn't until I visited a HOT and arid place that I got the meaning for my self. 

Living Water is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In Jerusalem when Christ returns there will be a river flowing through the place of the Temple.In NT times  the joyous  feast of Tabernacles,  the pouring out of water by the priests was the happy highlight. No wonder Jesus caused a few heads to turn when he said 
'If anyone thirsts let him come to me' 
on the very day of the ceremony. 

So as I think about water today, I also think of how the bible passages make so much more sense to those who know what it is to consider it such a precious and life giving commodity. Lest we take it for granted , today is a day to think about those for whom the daily supply of clean water is the single most important NEED . 

I have been looking at the facts on  the Water Aid website.

And for my grandchildren Have some fun Here. Yorkshire Water's own website is here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

19 Princelet Street. Spitalfields

I have been thinking much about 19 Princelet Street recently. Its open so rarely to the public that I realized I was priviledged to have actually got in to see it  a few years ago.
If anyone says
'What is the the most memorable visit you have have ever made to a place?'
I would have to say,
 'after Israel, 19 Princelet Street, Spitalfields London'

I'm not even going to describe it , other than to say that in a dilapidated and fragile building, not a short walk from Hawksmoor's beautifully restored Christchurch, is a synagogue in a house that has been a home for Huguenots fleeing persecution, Jews fleeing persecution, Artists, craftspeople, and recluses. It now is a statement of the need for all of us to recognize the beauty of Diversity.

Thanks Simon

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blogging and Stress

I'm up early today as we are going to Grandparents lunch at St Martins School in Scarborough. We're quite stressed at the whole thing. We want to support our 5yr old grandson, but the stress is not to do with the actual lunch but to do with the parking in Holbeck. Spouse and I have been told to be there for 11.30, (pre-dinner drinks you might think), but a note in Book Bag of small child informs that grandparents of younger children need to arrive early. It is already pouring with rain.  The car -parking on the road near the school holds few cars, the public car park on the cliff top is delightful but not only exposed but at the foot of a hill which troubles those who have had heart attacks. Last Friday evening the walk to get small boy in Pouring rain , Too High Wind, No car-parking near school, resulted in me being so soaked that I had to have a bath when I got home to Filey. So we are stressed again today. BUT its not windy, so maybe umbrellas may be used. I will drop Grandpa at the top of the hill first, then go back and park. 

Now that narrative stressed me out just writing it, and yet on a scale of what stresses most people on a scale of 1-10 , (10 being lots of stress ) the journey for most would only have a stress factor of 2. It is 10 for us. You don't know all the contributing factors, or variables that would add into the maths.
  • I am a reluctant driver when accompanied by spouse
  • I hate spouse telling me where there,s an easy spot
  • the weather
  • the timing for arrival (Time has become of  Stroke inflicted importance  with us) 
  • I am sole driver since spouse had his stroke
  • Scarborough is very hilly if you are us
  • there is nowhere to hang wet coats for grandparents at St Ms
We are not total Dorks , we manage the great cities of Europe quite easily, and even managed the security at Ben Gurion Airport with relish and enjoyment.

Writing a Post  for me is 2 on a stress scale. I worry that I have spelled the words correctly, and that my children will not be cross.I am always editing the spelling, the punctuation and the Grammar. I don't want any child that I have ever taught to realise that I am not a perfect technician when it comes to the English Language.

For me the stress in Blogging is when one  realises that interacting in the Cyberworld is as difficult as interacting in the Real World.  For the first  3 years of writing this blog I never read the blogs of anyone else. No one read my blog, as far as I knew, no one commented much , apart from my sister .I had no idea that the blogsphere existed.

When I joined our Parish Website Team, and the Filey Parish Blog was born I suddenly became part of a networking  cyberworld. We in our Parish Blog team were so delighted when Rev Tim Norwood became our first follower.His blog had been our inspiration for the Parish Blog, as Simon Rudiger knew him from Milton Keynes. Now Tim is so busy being a Priest and Father he doesn't do his wonderful blog any more. I see what he is doing from Facebook and Twitter, and thank God for him. No stress here at all. He continues as a follower of the Parish Blog. (Thanks Tim). And here comes the STRESS. In the Cyberworld of Blogging some people are so keen to get their blogs read by the world and their wives that the object of blogging appears to be TO GET KNOWN.I was so upset when Bishop Alan removed us from his blogroll.

My ego was raised so much when I was blogrolled that I was in danger of CROWD PLEASING to get read. 
I have noticed in the last few months that the STRESS of blogging has removed the will to blog from some of the best ones out there in my Google Reader selection. I am questioning my Blogging Practice. Blogging every day, even if done using the Scheduling Facility brings ones blogs to the top of a Blogroll more often. Am I jealous of those people who have their blogs read by lots and lots of people?  Are the popular bloggists wanting to be famous, or  Bishops or are they wanting affirmation. I sat up in bed this morning and read my daily bit from St Thomas a Kempis. It was all about people pleasing. So am am having a serious think.

  •  I dont  want to be famous
  • I think my blog is great
  • I think Samsons blog is even better
  • I dont want to be a Women anything, I want to be me
  • I want lots of followers
  • I want my children to let me write about them
  • I want to be rich enough to buy fillet steak once a week
  • I want an easy parking space very close to St Martins, and not to have to sit on a baby chair

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Not the Children of men

    No colour in this film!

    Spouse has just suggested we watch The Children of Men  at 9pm. I have  soundly refused. Its a great film, Ive seen it before.  Its an even better book by PD James, infact one of her very best. I've always loved Science Fiction , and this dystopian story , where the youngest person in the world is 18 years old, and the elderly are taken off in trips round the harbour to death  has a completely believable story line. I even think that all the milk we drink these days must be so  full of hormones that I cannot see why Organic milk isn't more popular. No Children are born in the world of this story, and I worry now that barrenness is a part of our  true world today.  Are we slowly poisoning our Human Race to infertility today in the west?
    I would have watched the film again, but I am really not in the mood for the darkness , gloom and misery before the happy ending. The music is great, lots of Taverner and Mahler and Handel  but I' ve had enough of cult  films for a while. I am ready for a re -run of 'The African Queen' or Sleepless in Seattle,or maybe even 'Pretty Woman'.
    We have seen 2 films this weekend you see. The first one was  Soylent Green. Why had I never heard about this film before? Where have I been hiding my curiosity and film search mind.  After all I managed to persuade spouse to buy other unlikely DVD's . Soylent Green managed to pass me by in the 70s. I had not even heard of it until someone in our homegroup lent it to us with Topsy Turvy, the story of G and S.(when our daughter was doing Broadway Pirates. This film sure puts the Day of the Triffids in the shade, and believe me you will never eat Lasagne Verdi ever again. Second film of the weekend was Gran Torino, another tale of misery , woe and darkness  but hope and light overcome.
    There is only so much wretchedness I can watch at one go. So I will go back to my Redwall book, a tale of murder and villainy , where mice and hedgehogs and badgers are the good guys, and weasels, stoats and rats are the vermin evil do-ers. So thats all right then.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Harold Gower Bruce (22.09.1910-27.11.75) Born a 100 years ago Today

    This picture of my father was taken in August 1970. 
    He spent a few days with me in London, staying at my flat. He didn't know London well, and I had the privilege of showing him around. 
    We took the River boat to Greenwich and walked around The Royal Naval College, seeing all the Marine pictures he so loved. The view from where he stands in this picture , high above the River Thames and not far from the Royal Observatory and the Greenwich Meridian  is spectacular for London , matched only by the view of the River from the Star and Garter at Richmond or the downstream view from Westminster bridge. You see, my father loved views and Ships. Every morning ,from his bedroom window, in our Sutton on Hull home, on a hill called Riseholme,  he would get out the Telescope and look across with it to the docks. He would call to us what he could see, spotting the marks and icons on funnels as we spot logos on trainers. The Hull Daily Mail would confirm or inform his viewing. He always turned first to the the Sailings and What's in Dock page of the paper first. 
    Our childhood Saturdays or Sundays would often include a drive to Paull  or King Georges Dock to watch the ships in and out .In 1953 we all waited by the riverside in Paull  to  wave to Great Aunty Julia ,  sailing  into Hull from New York.  The ship was the Wilson Lines  Rialto.(5000tons). Aunty Julia came for a visit , but stayed for 7 years until her death.
    We were all disappointed when a barrier was erected at Paull, as it meant one could no longer sit in the car and watch the river traffic, as the view was gone. Ship watching involves often hours of expectant waiting.  My father knew all the vessels, from the Humber Pilot  launches to his favourite (Ellerman)  Wilson liners, plying trade across to Scandinavia, Rollo, Volo, Bravo, Borodino, etc . My grandfather had sailed as engineer with Wilson Lines in its golden days. I have all his Ships Papers still.

    We followed all the development of King Georges Dock. Father would explain all the changes to us, we learned about Lockpits and the Plimsoll line, welcomed the new Roll-on Roll-off ferries , and marvelled at the danger of the dockside, the machinery and smells of churned up oil slicks, and the water  which Father always called muddy umber. These dockside visits would not be allowed now, in the interests of Health and Safety, but they were jewels in a childhood, remembered , taken out , looked at and put quietly back.
    Here is one of my fathers own paintings, he did it especially for me, and it is my treasure -the view from Drypool Bridge in 1970.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    King of Clouds

    It doesn't really matter if I've got the name wrong. I have looked in my Cloud Collectors handbook and decided that whatever its name might be , Cumulonimbus or not ,this cloud was part of my life for 5 minutes as the train from York to Kings Cross gave me chance. I marvelled at its natural Beauty.
    I don't really care how the planet came into being, or how the Earth fits into the scheme of things. There might not even be a scheme of things. There might be a chaos of things. I know what I believe, and that it is that the  infinity of time and  space is too big for me to even think about . I now think I know that we are not living on a flatworld held up by four elephants, that we will not be offered the choice of a red or blue pill to the Matrix, that the world was not created in 6 days of the 24 hours we have now, but I might be wrong. I could think about these things for years, but no amount of equations, discussions and Hadron converters will ever convince me that these are going to add value to my life .
    My teflon frying pan was a useful by -product of Space exploration, but I have gone back to a Wok. Richard Dawkins is providing people with something to talk about. 
    Even if we are forced to become an underground Church I believe that nothing is more powerful that an Omniopotent, Almighty and Omnipresent YHWH For the first time in my life those long words of Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471) resonate.

    Laud and honor to the Father,
    laud and honor to the Son,
    laud and honor to the Spirit,
    ever Three and ever One,
    consubstantial, co-eternal,
    while unending ages run.

    I cannot make any argument for or against my beliefs. I am not clever enough to weigh things up ,and present lucid and logical statements backed up by facts, or  theories of facts. My only certainties are supernatural answers, occurrences and interventions in my life ,not explained by rational. I know what I believe.

    This church of St Andrews, Woodwalton  which is only an Adlesdrop glance from the same train as the King  of Clouds puts my whole belief into perspective. This friendless Church whose website invites one to become a friend of a Friendless Church, seems to typify the waste of time in keeping and maintaining an idea that a church is bricks and mortar, when to me a church is a place to keep out the rain as one gives Glory to God. Yes , it is a charming landmark, nearly at Peterborough. That is all it is. It might as well be a Travelodge or a Train Spotting  centre.

    So here is the King of Clouds before I passed it by. It Beckoned. I Responded.

    Monday, September 06, 2010


    I've had a couple of reading weeks.Sounds as if I'm on study leave, but no, I'm on strike!Therefore I have time to read.
    I used to hear my mother and aunt say they were not enjoying cooking. They had been feeding the hordes for so long that they had actually run out of enthusiasm and ideas. I never thought I would get to that stage in domestic life myself.
    • I have always enjoyed making curries , taking all day roasting the spices, making naans, chopping the herbs, stirring, and savouring.
    • I have always enjoyed pouring over my Be-ro cookbook 1930 and producing Melting Moments, Rock buns and Shrewsbury biscuits.
    • I have always enjoyed making the Sunday Lunch, sitting through Morning service and wondering if the oven was high enough or too high.
    • I have always enjoyed getting out the Mouli and blending the soup, and adding the last minute lovage.
    Well I've had enough.    I have been reading  this summer. A salad has been flung together for dinner, but now I have reached my Crisis. It is time to start back on cooking. The long summer of family and friends have all gone back to work or school. I am about to start the rest of my year where housework has to restart, after garden meals, chalet meals, no mess except on rainy days, and spouse happy with the carpet sweeper.  The cat is now trailing garden debris into the warm house after months under the acanthus, the garden chairs are losing their afternoon reading appeal as the shadows lengthen and I hear the call of stews, casseroles and spinach and rice pies. So I have thrown down the gauntlet. I do not want to cook. I do not want to shop. I do not want to do house work. I WANT TO READ. I want to sit quietly and be enthralled. 
    I want to carry on reading as I have done all summer. It has  been good for me, I have not been stressed. I have slept well all summer. I have not had any  flashing light migraines. I have  dozed in the greenhouse with the gentle business of hoverflies and  spiders and woken in time to spring into action as family return from beach or bus. I have caught up with my Reading groups list. My brain has benefited from a mind stretch.
    I have read some very good books. The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels comes top for all round joy of the written word. I always do a few quick read Jane Austens, as Mills and Boon to me, girl gets the man in the end with good grammar. I would never have read Old Filth but for my Reading group, read it in a day, oblivious to visitors and calls to kitchen. Kate Atkinsons new Jackson Brodie novel with the forgettable name is the best of them yet.

    But I have rediscovered Redwall. 
    As I searched for my collection of the Kate Atkinson novels next to my Lindsey Davis  novels I found my Redwalls. I realised that I had not even opened Eulalia, bought in 2007 and still have Loamhedge to read.

    So I am on  strike! I do not want to cook , I want to read.

    Spouse can do beans on toast and I can fling together salads, even winter salads.

    Either its because I haven't actually read any Brian Jacques for 4 years, or Eulalia was a splendid contrast to the reads of the last 6 weeks,but I am hooked again. Its Loamhedge next, and then there are 2 more to buy.