Saturday, 4 January 2014

Eposcopalians cannot sing - but sometimes they abandon themselves to old time Gospel Hymns.

I have been indulging in some of the old hymns from my childhood and youth on YouTube this evening

"We're Marching to Zion" is a text by Isaac Watts - "the father of English Hymnody".  The version below includes a refrain which was added later.

Believe it or not this energetic gospel hymn is sung by some staid Episcopalians, even in "liberal Boston"!  It is included in one of our Hymnals called "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing".

We sang it many times in the Diocese of Massachusetts, encouraged and enabled by our fabulous Bishop Barbara Harris.  And we clapped!   (Yeah for the Diocese of Mass!). Yeah, yeah, yeah for Bishop Harris!

Retired old fart Episcopalians in Florida have yet to discover the joy of gospel singing!

( I have no knowledge of the Church and Choir which sings it in this version, but some of the older folks are almost "letting themselves go" in the clapping!)

Friday, 3 January 2014

Hype/Ratings/panic:- SNOW is not the end of the world,

Words from my Berkshires colleague R.F, from me, and from another  Facebook friend of R.F.

Here is my code to R.F.'s  words, to my comments, and to the truth as written by another of R.F's pals..

Red -  words by R.F.
Purple -  comments by JMP
Blue - response to R.F's posting from one of R.F's Facebook friends.


I can remember when weather reporting wasn't so eschatological. “Cold and snowy in New England in January.” ( is the norm"  ) "Yeah, duh." 

  1. R.F  nails it  (jmp),

JMP continues:

Of course the norm at this time of year in New England (and other places) is cold and snowy. During my years in Massachusetts (1976-2006) I endured many a blizzard and very many bitterly cold days in wintertime. But I am alive and well; none of the storms were *the end of the world.

I did not care for the storms and blizzards, but I care even less for the reports by the Radio and T.V. "weather industry", designed as it was and is to keep us on the edge of our seats.

As one of R.F's friends commented  on Facebook.
"Hey, you have to remember that the weather industry is part of the ENTERTAINMENT industry. It's all about market share, hence it's always about hype."

You can say that again.


(* eschatological as used by R.F. (above) is a theological word that has to do with the end of  our times)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Be aware, and beware.

"No police state springs forth fully grown. It is built, piece by piece, aided by citizens who ignore the warning signs and officials who crush the warners."

(Wise and important words extracted from an article in the "Daily Kos").

With governmental spying and the militarization of many local police forces we are just about there. (jmp)

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Thank You and Deep Joy

Thank you to my friends and family members who live in so many places.

2013 has been a year in which you have loved me, blessed me, encouraged me, laughed with me, and corrected me.

 I know that my life would have been miserable without you.

I also know and rejoice in the fact that your presence in my life has blessed me immeasurably.

I am deeply grateful.

I dare to believe that the truth of the following bible verse has been lived out in my life during 2013

If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)

By God's grace I believe that I am at peace with all those who love and care for me, and with all those who I love and care.  I enter 2014 with deep joy.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Bob's your uncle, and adventures with Ben.

1.  For reasons which I do not understand, I was thinking earlier today of the expression "Bob's your uncle",  which is/was in common use in the U.K.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this idiomatic expression:

"Bob's your uncle” is an expression of unknown origin, commonly used in Britain and Commonwealth nations. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions, similar to the French expression "et voilĂ !" or the American slang expressions "...and that's that," or "...and there you go!"

What Wikipedia did not say is  that if a person says "Bob's your uncle", some other person will invariably add "and Fanny's your aunt".   Who knows why?


I say "God bless Uncle Bob and Aunt Fanny".  Are there any dissenters?



2.  My morning plan was simple.  As well as engaging in the traditional task of "Monday as washing/laundry day"'   I planned:-


First to go to the Post Office to buy stamps
Second to stop by my local supermarket to buy nothing more than some "Half and Half" and some "Scotch/Sello tape"
Third to go to the most local pet food store which stocks "Science Diet" cat food, there to buy some canned food for my felines and some poopy bags for my dog.
 The plan was working well until, when I was  wandering my local supermarket I  did not see my good friend Ben whose macular degeneration is a great source of sadness for him, and of great worry for his pals.
But Ben saw me!

He ventured that he planned to go to Staples to buy yet another "super magnifying glass".

I was a-feared at the prospect of  Ben driving the four or more miles to our nearest Staples.  So I offered to drive him there and baited him with the prospect of a stop at Total Wine, his favourite store!

 Ben drove to his home to disgorge his groceries, and I followed along. That having been done I drove him to Total Wine and to Staples.

Total Wine is a bit misnamed. It is a source of the best wines, and of  huge variety of spirits, and a grand array of beers, ales, porters and ciders etc

My dear Ben purchased a shipping order at Total Wine, so much so that I ventured that we needed a  Pantechnicon to take his goods home!

Then we went to Staples so that Ben could buy his magnifier. He did so (even though I "have me doubts" that any magnifier is effective against macular degeneration).

It was at that point that I realised that I had not yet gotten the cat food.

So, with Ben's cooperation we back-tracked  to Pet Smart to purchase the delicacies for my cats.

I drove Ben to his home and helped him to unload his goods, and  drove home  to disgorge my stuff.

Guess what?

 In my great adventure with Ben I had forgotten to buy any dog poop bags,



Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Sunday with my English family.

It does not get much better than this!

My good niece Anne (daughter of my oldest sister Maureen and her husband Bernard) is on holiday at Disney with her excellent husband Stuart and their daughter Olivia (13)

I assisted at the wedding service for Stuart and Anne at St. Philip and St.Jacob Church in Bristol, U.K. back in Nineteen ninety ?? something.

So Stuart, Anne and Olivia came over to SRQ from Orlando today. (They have been here before),

First they came to my home where Anne fell in love (again) with my dog Penne; and the cats Ada and Adelaide decided that a simultaneous "sitting on Olivia's lap" was just the best thing. (Sorry no pics).

Then we went off to Marina Jack's restaurant for lunch.


It has been unusually rainy for this time of year, so we ate inside.  It was wonderful to be together.

On our way home we drove through SRQ's Pinecraft area, home to many Mennonites and Amish.  Few people know that SRQ has this Anabaptist community, fewer in summer and  more in winter.  See

Anne and Stuart had many questions about the Mennonites and  Amish.  I told them as much as I knew, even as Olivia "drank this all in" from the back seat of the car where she sat with her mother

Pinecraft is the home of the Famous Big Olaf's Ice-Cream stand, well known to my brother Martyn and his son Sam  (but closed on Sundays)

Back at home Penne sang for joy when she saw Anne again. (Yes Penne sings).  That greatly pleased Anne  (and me!)

Stuart, Anne and Olivia

Anne, "Livy" and me (I am trying to be goofy)

Penne in all her glory.