Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I'll be away for a couple of weeks, visiting folks in the U.K.

My good friend B. will be here to enjoy (and take care of) my pets. She is an ardent animal lover.

This blog will take a vacation with me.

Watch this space on May 31st.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Episcopal Church in chaos

Now that I have your attention!

Of course my beloved Church is not in the chaos which its detractors allege (and try to cause).

Despite what some evangelicals, and the fundamentalists in our midst would say we are not preaching a new gospel or inventing a new religion.

We are faithful to the creeds, to the sacraments, and to the scriptures, and it is that very faithfulness which constrains us to be inclusive of those whom the world would deem to be worthless or rubbish.

We are a Church which in parish after parish, diocese after diocese asks "what would Jesus do?" And then, by the grace of God, tries to do it!

We speak peace to those who differ with us. We ask that they should speak peace to us.

We do this is in the tradition of many wise christian leaders of the past; not least that of the Puritan John Robinson (Pastor to the "Pilgrims" who left England for these shores).

Read these words from a Puritan!

Quotes from John Robinson's writings

"That which is commonly called schism ariseth from the conceit of faith or want of love." "We seek enlightenment from others who see further into the matter, for we are always prepared to give way modestly to those who teach better things." (Admonitio ad Lectorem, preface to Robert Parker, De Politeia)

"Disputations in religion are sometimes necessary, but always dangerous."

"But we should affect strife with none, but study, as far as we can to accord with all; accounting it a benefit, when we can so do with any. We ought to be firmly persuaded in our hearts of the truth, and goodness of the religion, which we embrace in all things; yet as knowing ourselves to be men, whose property it is to err and to be deceived in many things; and accordingly both to converse with men in that modesty of mind, as always to desire to learn something better, or further by them, if it may be." (Works, I, 37-39)

"If in anything we err, advertise us brotherly, with desire of our information, and not, as our countrymen's manner for the most part is, with a mind of reproaching us, or gratifying of others; and whom thou findest in error, thou shalt not leave in obstinacy, nor as having a mind prone to schism. Err we may, alas! Too easily: but heretics, by the grace of God, we will not be." (Works, III, 77-78)

"I profess myself always one of them who still desire to learn something better and further what the good will of God is." (Works, III, 102)

"As for men, how uncharitable they are. How injurious in relating their own misinformed collections for their opinions! As if the Word of God came out of them or to them alone." (Works, III, 239)

Sunday, 10 May 2009


O.K. - so it’s 7:18 p.m. and it's 82F/28C in Sarasota, FL. I am not complaining.


Three St. Boniface Church friends came to my home for lunch today. It was a jolly time. “Entertaining” is one of the delights of my retirement.

They each agreed (without prompting!) that Penny is the most handsome of dogs; and that Ada and Adelaide are the prettiest of cats.


Penny was resting in my bedroom later in the afternoon. I did no more than look at her, when she began to wag her tail. I liked that!


I awaken most morning with some song or tune racing through my mind.

This morning it was a silly song which, as children, we sang to the tune “The Ashgrove”.

We sang:

“Old Hexworth’s a funny ‘un
with a face like a pickled onion
with a nose like a squashed tomato
and feet like flat-fish”

I “Googled” this song, and found that it had many variations in the various regions of England,
so please do not “correct” me if you remember it differently!

As I walked Penny my mind went on to another silly song of my childhood, this one sung to the Toreador song from Bizet’s “Carmen”.

“Oh Eliza look at your uncle Jim
He’s in the bath-tub, learning the way to swim.
First he tries the breast stroke, then he tries the crawl.
And now he’s under the water, and he can’t swim at all”

My “Google” search led me to many other silly songs from the British Isles. Here’s another one of Scottish origin, which I’d not seen before this morning.

Fiona Hawke came up with this one from her father, Stuart Wotherspoon

You canna shove your granny off a bus,

You canna shove your granny off a bus

You canna shove your granny,

Because she's your mammies mammy,

You canna shove your granny off a bus.

Michael McLaren found another verse ..

You canna shove your granny off a bus,

You canna shove your granny off a bus

You canna shove your granny,

Cause she makes your mince n tatties,

Oh, you cannae shove your granny off the bus.

and Charlotte Bleh provided the second verse

Oh, ye can shove your OTHER Granny aff a bus,

Ye can shove your OTHER Granny aff a bus.

Ye can shove your other Granny,

Cause she's yer DADDY'S mammy,

Ye can shove yer other Granny aff a bus.


I began to giggle later in the morning when I read an article in the Daily Telegraph (London).

The article was about double-barrelled surnames, but went on to discuss multi-barrelled names.

One of the best known in England is “Twisleton-Wickham-Fiennes”, but the following (from the Telegraph article) takes the biscuit!

"Multi-barrelled identity has not died out in Britain. While Windsor remains the formal royal name, the present Queen has created a new double-barrelled surname - Mountbatten-Windsor - for her direct descendants.

Elsewhere among Britain's elite, the armed forces have always deployed multi-barrelled names in large numbers.

Unforgettable in this tradition was Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurley Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, sent in 1939 as a special envoy to Moscow.

It sounds more like an elaborate and sinister code than a name.

And the Admiral was conspicuously unsuccessful as the Soviets opted for an alliance with Nazi Germany rather than the Britain of Admiral Drax (etc etc.)"

The good Admiral is second from left in this archived pic.