Saturday, 25 September 2010

More stuff from Queen Victoria

I started this thread two days ago with a quotation from Queen Victoria which surprised me. It had to do with the plan to enlist two of her grandsons in the Royal Navy.

Here it is again:

"Will a nautical education not engender and encourage national prejudices and make them think that their own Country is superior to any other?  With the greatest love for and pride of one's own Country, a Prince, and especially one who is some day to be its Ruler, should not be imbued with the prejudices and peculiarities of his own Country...."

I found that quotation in Kenneth Rose’s biography of King George V  (published by Alfred A. Knofp in 1984).

Kenneth Rose has some other quotations from Queen Victoria which lead me to understand that she was (for her era) an enlightened Monarch.   Here is one.

First, re her representative in India (the Viceroy) Queen Victoria wrote:

“The future Vice Roy must really shake himself more and more from the red-tapist narrow-minded Council and Entourage. He must be more independent, must hear for himself what the feelings of the Natives really are, and do what he thinks right and not be guided by the snobbish and vulgar, over-bearing and offensive behaviour of our Civil and Political Agents, if we are to go on peaceably and happily in India, and to be liked and beloved by high and low – as well as respected as we ought to be – and not trying to trample on the people and continually reminding them and making them feel that they are a conquered people”.

(Victorians wrote long sentences!).

Second, in 1868 Queen Victoria wrote this:

“Danger lies not in the power given to the Lower Orders, who are daily becoming more well informed and more intelligent, and who will deservedly work themselves up to the top by their own merits, labour and good conduct, but in the conduct of the Higher Classes and of the Aristocracy.”

( Italicizations are as printed in Rose's book)

Friday, 24 September 2010

And the answer is....

Yesterday’s quotation was from Queen Victoria.

She was speaking of two of her grandsons, Albert Victor and George. They were the sons of the Prince and Princess of Wales – later to be King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Nonetheless the lads entered the Royal Navy.

Prince Albert Victor died at aged 26, just weeks before he was to have married Princess Mary of Teck.

Thus it was the younger prince - George - succeeded his father to the British throne in 1910 as King George V. He in fact had married the same Princess Mary after a decent interval of about a year after his brother’s death.

George V died in1936, but Queen Mary survived until 1953. By then she was known as the Dowager Queen Mother for her own second son, George VI died in 1952.

Queen Mary’s birthday was May 26th, the same as mine! In those days the BBC would play the National Anthem at 8:00 a.m. on the birthday of any of the major Royals. I liked to think that it was being played for me!

A wee bit more about Queen Victoria tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Who said this?

Who said this when she heard that two of her grandsons might be joining the Royal Navy?

"Will a nautical education not engender and encourage national prejudices and make them think that their own Country is superior to any other?  With the greatest love for and pride of one's own Country, a Prince, and especially one who is some day to be its Ruler, should not be imbued with the prejudices and peculiarities of his own Country...."

Please comment with your best guess.

I'll post the answer in a day or two 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Prayer at Resurrection House

Wednesday mornings see me at Resurrection House ( the day shelter for homeless people here in SRQ ) to lead a prayer service.  I keep it very simple, and I never preach. Homeless people are “preached at” all too often.

We start with a bit of scripture, usually a verse, or half a verse.  We say it out loud four times, then we have a couple of minutes of silence during which meditate on the verse.  Folks then come to the altar, and light a candle, with silent or spoken prayer.  We end with the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and a blessing.

The group was very weepy today.  There was so much sadness. Two worshipers were mourning the recent deaths of their respective parent; another had just received the news that her cancer is un-treatable.  A very wise homeless man gently hugged a young man whose mental illness was causing him, to be very restless and afraid.   

I say very little.  I smile a lot.  I utter loud “Baptist” Amens as my friends pray.  I leave always with a “cup” half filled with sadness and half-filled with joy.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


If it seems too good to be true, then it is most likely too good to be true

Monday, 20 September 2010

D.I.Y. - and unintended consequences. (Or "leave well alone).

The cooler morning temperature today led me to use a bit of necessary spackle near the threshold of my house's  Lanai.  The vinyl spackle which I used has set well. In a day or two I will paint over it.

Emboldened by this D.I.Y. success I decided to tackle another project. 

I have twin kitchen sinks, neither of which has been draining very well. I figured that there might be blockages in their “U” pipes. 

It was easy enough to unscrew the collars on the plastic pipes, and yes indeed, I found a lot of gunk at the base of the U’s, which I was able to clean out. 

I thought “so far so good”.

Then I decided to clean out the outlet pipe which leads from the two U’s into the sewer.  I discovered that this pipe was filled with greasy and gooey "gunk"  -  far more than I could extract.  ‘Twas time for a plumber! 

The plumber arrived in less than an hour after my ‘phone call, (read that again and believe it!).   

He “machined” the outlet pipe and pulled out a ton of the greasy/gooey mess.

I thought “so far so good”.  

The pipe goes through a wall into the laundry room, where it is linked with the drain pipe from the washing machine. 

There is a nice bit of copper pipe just before this link.  It was a bit corroded.

 After the machining/reaming out of the "gunk", this copper pipe started to leak out very many pints of waste water, through a hole of about ¾” in diameter.  

That hole had been effectively sealed by the greasy/gooey “gunk”.  Once that "gunk" was removed, the corroded copper pipe “let loose” (so to speak)!

The good plumber replaced that bit of corroded pipe.  I handed over a check/cheque for $ 311.

My question for you is: “would I have saved that $311 had I not started the day in a D.I.Y/ mood?”



Sunday, 19 September 2010

I am not in the least bit sentimental! (2)

1.When I left home in 1972 to go to Theological College (Seminary), my Mum gave me a lovely mug for my frequent  mugs of coffee. It's a very pretty mug and I am glad that I still have it - 38 years on.

2.  As a Seminarian, I spent nine weeks in the summer of 1975 helping to lead Vacation Church Schools in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, U.S.A. That summer ministry led to my being called to parish ministry in these United States a year later.  Back in '75, when the Vacation Church Schools ended I traveled 9,500 miles around the U.S.A. and Canada by Greyhound and Trailways 'buses. I bought a model 'bus as a keepsake, thinking that I would never again be in north America, and  little knowing that my ministry would take me away from England and to the year later. I still have that model 'bus!

3. When I came to the U.S.A. in 1976 to be Deacon (and then Priest) in charge at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Fitchburg, MA, Bishop Alexander Stewart provided me with a gold coloured V.W. "Beetle".  A few years later my Aunt Irene visited from England, and she gave me a toy V.W.  I still have it!

4. Penne decided to get in on the act when I was photographing the mug, 'bus, and car!