Saturday, 14 July 2012

Our pond

Our pond looked so pretty yesterday morning

From outside

From inside

Friday, 13 July 2012


Pinched: from the monthly newspaper “Funny Times”.

1. “Books are fatal; they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense.  The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of the printing press” ( Benjamin Disraeli).

2. I think that it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy. (Frank Zappa)

3. I fell asleep reading a dull book, and I dreamed that I was reading on, so I awoke from sheer boredom. (Heinrich Heine)

4. The possession of  a book biomes a substitute for reading it.   (Anthony Burgess)

5. One  always tends to over praise a long book because he  has got through it. (E.M. Forster)

6. I am going to be dead before I read the books am going to read. (Tom Stoppard).

7. Whether it is fun to go to bed with a good book depends a great deal on who’s reading it. (Kenneth Patchen)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Visitors from the U.K.

My youngest brother Martyn, his son Sam (16) , and Sam’s best pal Toby (16) are coming from Bristol, U.K. to visit with me in SRQ, September.

Way to go!  Whoop-de-doo!  Cool!  Great! Brilliant!

(As you can see, this planned visit does not excite me a bit).

(My sister-in-law Wendy hates to fly, so sadly she will not be with us).

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Yesterday a Liberal Socialist/ Today a conservative curmudgeon

So, yesterday I was a liberal/socialist,

I make no apologies.  There is a fine tradition of Christian socialism in my native land (the United Kingdom), and of Christian liberalism in my adopted land (the United States). I am proud of this these heritages.

Today I am a slightly conservative curmudgeon.

You see, the governing body of the Episcopal Church has been at work in what we call our General Convention.

General Convention meets every three years.

It consists of:

(a) Bishops (in the “House of Bishops”), and

(b)  Deputies,  four elected priests and four elected lay leaders from each Diocese, (in the “House of Deputies”).

Legislation becomes effective if and only it has been approved by both “houses”.

Thus I am a member of a Church in which governance depends upon a consensus between Bishops, Priests, and Lay leaders.  That’s so cool.

This year the General Convention is meeting in Indianapolis.IN.

Convention has approved all manner of resolutions, viz:

1. Setting up a committee to restructure the Church: (funny – I thought that was the work of the Holy Spirit!).

2. Approving the full inclusion of transgendered people in the Church (all well and good).

3. Accepting and adopting liturgical Rites for the blessing of same sex relationships ( I can live with that, despite my doubts that God gives a damn about our fancy words).

.  My liberal Christianity says “O.K.”

But my conservative curmudgeon Christian side asks: does General Convention have anything to say about:

1. Repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (see  Acts 20:21)

2. The life of discipline as we strive to follow the Lord Jesus.

3. The call to pray at all times without ceasing

4. The willingness to love and support Christians with whom we disagree -  i.e. to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ”. (Galatians 6:2)

Just asking!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Life as a Liberal/Socialist in a Conservative/Capitalist society

Once a month, Kate E. comes to clean my home.  She’s done so for more than four years. Her house cleaning skills are spectacular.

As a bonus she “adores” my dog Penne, and Penne is always happy to see Kate.

Kate has never increased her pay in all these four years.

So I decided to increase her pay by 12%.

That’s the least that I can do as a Liberal/Socialist in a Conservative/Capitalist society.

And I am blessed to know Jill H. She is a pet sitter who more is than happy to stay in my home, and to take care of my dog and my cats when I have to be out of town.

Jill’s fees are extraordinarily low.  They are less than a living wage.

 So I pay her more than she asks.

It’s the least that I can do as a Liberal/Socialist in a Conservative/Capitalist society.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Mark Eddy rocks.

Thanks to Facebook I came across some photo’s from Mark Eddy.

Mark is maybe 16,17,18 years old.

I officiated at the wedding of his parents, Ken and Bette, when I was the Rector at St. Stephen’s Parish, Pittsfield, MA (1984 – 2000).

 I baptised Mark.

His photo’s were of the wonderful St. Stephen’s teenagers who have just returned from a pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, via Mull.

These teenagers were led by the fabulous Hannah Anderson who is now the Rector at St. Stephen’s, and the more than fabulous St. Stephen’s Deacon Gwen Sears who is an “expert” about Iona, having visited and lived there oh so many times.

As I looked at Mark’s photo’s I saw him with Curran Doyle, Abby Moon, Andrew McFarlane, Sarah Moon, Sadie Watford and Josh Reynolds and others.

Lord above! I officiated at some of their parents’ weddings, and/or baptised these fabulous young adults.  It gave me goose bumps to see them as young adults on a pilgrimage to Iona.

Way to go St. Stephen’s and your Rector Hannah Anderson.

Way to go Gwen Sears – whose heart is on Iona, and who shared that part of her heart with these fabulous teenagers.

Way to go Mark, Curran, Abby, Sarah, Andrew, Sadie, Josh and the others.

Mark’s photo’s have brought back so many memories!  Fabulous stuff.

P.S.  I was in Pittsfield in early 2007 for the funeral of a beloved Lawyer, George Crane, Esq, at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church.  Shortly before his death George asked me to give an Eulogy at his funeral, which I was pleased to do.

I stayed with a good St. Stephen’s parishioner (William Frazier). In the evening after the funeral he and I had dinner at a restaurant on Dalton Ave, Pittsfield.

By happenstance Andrew McFarlane (maybe aged 11) was also at the same restaurant with his sister,and with their Mom and Dad.

He spotted me and exclaimed “there’s the dude that baptised me”.

In 2012 “this dude” is so happy for Andrew, Mark. Curran, Sara, Abby, Josh, Sadie and the others.