Showing posts from April 1, 2018

We went to College today.

Zion the wonder dog and I went to the Ringling College of Art and design in SRQ this morning, April 7th 2018

The occasion was Ringling's Accepted Students Day at which potential Ringling Students (for August 2018) make their final decision.
As you can see Zion made new friends --

So many thanks to Dr. Erin Robinson (Director of Health Services) and Counselor Natalie Lawry both of whom made us so welcome at Ringling College of Art and Design this morning.

The best in their fields of skill and expertise

Roger Federer

Zion (the) Shederer

Furminator every day.  Dry mop every day. Vacuum clean every other day.

I wouldn't have it any other way!

Another good read "This Orient Isle"

"This Orient Isle", Jerry Brotton, (pub Allen Lane 2016). ( A fine book thanks to Mr. Brotton's superb scholarship and skilled writing)

An intriguing and detailed telling of some of the history we don't know.  English rascals, adventurers, explorers and brilliant diplomats all in the service of Gloriana  (Queen Elizabeth I).  They set out to establish trade and diplomatic relationships with the "Moors" * of North West Africa (Morocco/Marrakesh); with the Ottoman (Turkish **) Empire in Constantinople; and with Persia.

There was something in it for all.  Islamic/English Christian trade and diplomatic ties could have been a mighty deterrent to the domination of the western Mediterranean by the all might Spain.

That the endeavour ultimately failed has more to do with the decline of Spanish power and the accession of James I and VI to the English throne,  than to the wiles, treachery, courage, brilliance, wisdom, skill and stupidity of the English explorers and the…

Easter Tuesday; Busy doing (almost) nothing.

"Does your dog shed?" they ask.

Does he shed?

An Easter Feast with food to spare

(When my brother Andy and his wife Izzy were here from England last November I ordered a Fresh Market Thanksgiving Dinner.  We found it to be superb.)

So acting on a whim about four weeks ago  I ordered a Fresh Market  Easter Meal for eight.

(Spiral ham, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, bread rolls and dessert cake all for about fifty five bucks for eight people. I could not cook it from scratch for less).

I ordered the meal for eight, but what do do with it?   A chance conversation (was it "chance"?) resulted in eight of us gathering at the home for G and J for this Easter Feast.

I provided the food, G and J set the table.

One of the guests, my friend R dropped a hint about Lamb for Easter.  I took the hint, bought a leg of lamb, and asked him to cook it  (which he did -  very well!).

I insisted that we should eat the lamb with mint sauce rather that with that ghastly fluorescent coloured super sweet American mint jelly  (ugh!)

I made some mint sauce from scratch.

The Bible is a tool, but it is not a cudgel.

Like many Christians I love the Bible, but mine is not an unconditional love. Some parts are impossible to understand, some passages are horribly cruel, some books are highly confusing.

But I love it because there are places in the Bible which seem to breathe with the breath of God: the God who is just, merciful, and full of compassion and forgiveness; the God who respects humanity so much that she/he calls me to accountability.

The Bible is a tool which helps to bring me to deeper and more faithful trust in God.

It is a tool, not a cudgel.


The following tells of a recent experience of mine. Names and places have been changed.

On Saturday 31st March, together with Zion the therapy dog, I visited a friend "Fred" in a local nursing home.

I had heard that an acquaintance "Charlie" was in the same nursing home for some physical therapy.

I first visited Charlie and his life partner "Peter&q…