Saturday, 6 January 2018

So long it's been good to know you

So long Izzy.

Izzy has gone back to the Humane Society.   She is a tender and affectionate dog to humans, but a terrorist when it comes to small animals.

I've had to keep my cat Adelaide under lock-down in the spare bedroom  24/7 for fear that Izzy would cause her harm.

That was not much fun for the cat.

I had an animal behaviour specialist from the Humane Society of Sarasota County here on Thursday.

 He took Izzy  (on a tight leash)  to the bedroom door.   Izzy went crazy trying (without success) to reach the cat.  The behavourist said that Izzy is so prey oriented that she can never be trained out of  this aggression.  He strongly recommended that I should surrender her back to the Shelter.

I resisted for a while but he is the expert, so my good sense prevailed -  the situation is not good for Adelaide, for Izzy or for me!  I took Izzy back to the shelter this morning.and she trotted in without so much as a wave goodbye to me. (!).  

In the meantime the Humane Society wants me to adopt "Zion"  See photo' below.

He has been cat tested with good results! 

He's recently been neutered and is being treated for heart worm, so I cannot adopt him for at least two weeks.


JANUARY 6th. Not Kings, not just three - but a wondrous thing to "see"

January 6th is the day when stiff upper lipped Anglos think about the arrival of  the three or more Wise men/Magi at the presumed dwelling place of a young child named Jesus, at  the home of his parents. We call it "The Feast of the Epiphany'.

In many Hispanic cultures the day is celebrated with colour, music and a joyous procession. See

I content myself with listening to T.S. Elliot as he reads his own marvelous  poem "The Journey of the Magi"

After you have listened to the poet you can read it for yourself

The Journey Of The Magi by T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Friday, 5 January 2018

What is this new language which professionals speak?

Our local NPR Station frequently carries commercials for

The ads invite listeners to learn a new language *** "like Spanish French and German".

I have already heard this strange language.  It is spoken by my Vascular Surgeon and by the HVAC Engineer who repaired my HVAC today.

I saw the Vascular Surgeon about ten days ago.  He told me that he wanted me to have a test, a "blubbadamuggathingy".

 I nodded knowingly but I hadn't a clue what he meant. At first I thought that he wanted me to take a weekend trip to the moon and back.  I knew that could not be right.  I thought about it and came to the conclusion that in fact he wanted me to clean his office bathrooms.

The HVAC engineer was at my home yesterday and today to fix the lack of heat.

He said that it was because of a "thingymuggablubadad" which had malfunctioned.

I nodded knowingly as I pondered his words. Was he telling me that the ghost of Marlon Brando had malfunctioned on my roof; or that peppermint schnapps is great on braised liver?


Goodness gracious - this new language like Spanish French and German which is spoken by Vascular Surgeons and HVAC Engineers alike   is so hard to understand.


I 'phoned the Surgeon's Office to find out about the test    In truth I am not to have a "blubbadamuggathingy".  

In fact  am to have an  ultra sound on Friday 5th.  Yep, a simple old fashioned ultra sound.

This seems wise in view of my peripheral arterial disease, and the insertion of a stent in my left descending artery last May.

As for the HVAC Engineer .  Phew, the problem was not a "thingymuggablubadad". Instead it was a heating coil which had died.  He replaced it. I now have heat. My home repairs savings account is depleted by more dollars that I wish to disclose


Ultra sound

Heating Coil


If only Surgeons and Engineers spoke English rather than this new language;  the one which is "like Spanish French and German"!


*** If only Babell.Com would offer,  and NPR advertise a language such as  Spanish, French or German.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Even in Sarasota Florida

Not a good day to be without heat.

The repair man came yesterday.  He gave up because the A.C./Heating Unit is on my flat roof, and he could not hold an umbrella and inspect the unit at the same time.  (Yes, it was rainy and windy).

He gave me a choice.   Pay extra to have another worker hold the umbrella, or wait until today (4th Jan) when no rain or wind is forecast.

I chose the second option.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for today.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Ben Franklin; his self written Obituary,and his religious beliefs.

The Body
B.Franklin Printer;
(Like the cover of an old Book
Its contents torn out
And stript of its Lettering and Gilding)
Lies here, Food for Worms,
but the Work  shall not be lost:
For it will, (as he believed) appear once  more,
In a new and more elegant Edition.
Revised and corrected,
By the Author.

I have recently read: "Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father".  by Thomas S. Kidd.  (Yale University Press, May 2017).  I learned so much.

Franklin rejected the Puritan/Calvinist faith of his family. He could not accept a faith which (in his opinion) was more about belief than behaviour. He decided that the teachings of Jesus were more important than beliefs about Jesus.

All the while he maintained and enjoyed his friendships with two Calvinists -  his sister Jane and the great Church of England and Calvinist  preacher George Whitfield.  

[Yes indeed there were (and probably still are)  Anglican/ Church of England/ Episcopal Priests (Ministers) whose theology is Calvinistic].

Did you know that Ben Franklin and George Whitefield were good friends?

Did you know that Franklin refused to be identified as a Christian, or as an Atheist? 

He described himself as a Deist. 

I love the honesty and wit of the gravestone marker he designed as a young man. See above.

Monday, 1 January 2018


7:40 p.m. January 1st 2018.

It's 46f  here in SRQ:  warm by many standards in many parts of the USA, Canada and the U.K. but a wee bit "parky" for residents of S,.W. Florida.

So it was that  my dog Izzy utterly refused to go outside for a pee this evening.   She dug in her haunches on the porch, and just as soon as I took her leash off she ran inside to the safety of her crate.

The very moment I got back inside she rolled over on her back so that I would tickle her belly.

(No one does that for me!)


I ordered some dog supplies from Amazon. (It's not that I like Amazon, but they have a cool business plan, so I was able to buy stuff on line,rather than having to drive to two or three stores to get the same items)

My cat Adelaide felt a bit left out of my canine supplies until I gave her the shipping box.

Chez chat.


On Sunday 31st I visited my friend Bob in the memory unit at "Discovery of Sarasota Bay".

I wore my Australia jacket  (purchased at a bargain price at Sidney Harbour on a chilly day),

My Queen Mary Transatlantic Crossing polo shirt,

and my

North Yorkshire Moors Railway hat.


It's not that I am  bragging  (say what!)

But I am totally grateful that I have had some wondrous adventures in other lands.  

1/1/18 (and even numbered years)


A day when the date is written the same way in he U.K. and the U.S.A

I like even numbered years

I was born in 1944

I left High School in 1960

I began my studies at Theological College in 1972

In 1976 I received my degree, was ordained Deacon (June) and Priest (December), and began my ordained ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Fitchburg, MA (July). That year was also our Nation's Bi-Centennial.

In 1980 I moved to St. Christopher's Church, Chicopee, MA

In 1984 I became the Rector at St. Stephen's Parish, Pittsfield, MA

In 2000 I was called to be the Rector at St. James's Church, Cambridge, MA

In 2006 I retired and moved to Sarasota, FL

Sunday, 31 December 2017

The answer to yesterday's quiz.

The answer to yesterday's quiz is "Hoppin' John"

Those of you who knew the answer "knew the answer". 

Others were befuddled or disinterested.

I am not an American Southerner and I do not believe in "good luck", or bad luck. Nevertheless I make Hoppin' John every year to eat on New Year's Day,

It's so tasty.