Sunday, 31 May 2009


Nice having a week off, even with the constant battling of two lads.  Eight trips to the swimming pool (indoor and outdoor) must be some kind of a record for me in six days.

Odd place, Kessingland.  The village is mostly nowhere near the beach.  Nice, a bit quiet except round the caravan park, but with a big flat shingle beach.  I get the feeling the cottages on the sea front really know about it when there's a spring tide and a northerly.
Went to Pakefield Church, but the curate was off for the weekend.  Caught about 100 crabs in total at Walberswick, which seems to be the small-scale crabbing capital of Suffolk.  But the beer's very expensive at the pub there.  More reasonable (just) and a good selection of Adnam's at the Sailors Home (no spelling mistake...) Kessingland.  And a noisy parrot.  Very well restored from its disastrous (but thankfully non-fatal) fire.

I've sent a complaint to Harry Ramsdens'.  Now I know we went there because we had Tesco Vouchers, and I know they're a chain and Harry himself lies quietly in some Yorkshire graveyard.  But that still doesn't excuse them battering sprats and passing them off as cod.  Probably the smallest helping of fish that I have ever seen.  Chips were rubbish as well.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Ian Cundy, Bishop of Peterborough

Sadly I couldn't make Bishop Ian's funeral today.  I have literally run out of holiday already.
But 40-odd bishops and hundreds of others made it, for this very good man who left us far too early.
Ian was a quietly-spoken, thoughtful man, with an amazingly wide range of interests.  When I went to see him for my pre-ordination interview, we spent most of the time discussing the appropriate use of typefaces for the Web as opposed to print.  He was a good friend of my old church congregation, which might have ceased to belong to the Church of England if we hadn't been aware of his support.  In person, he was approachable, friendly and never given to airs and graces.  A real pastor.  
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.  He will be greatly missed.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Freudian Slip

The Peterborough Diocese website is advertising the following.....

Saturday 13 June
Caring for those with dementia
 (for Licensed Lay Ministers) 

or do they mean....?

Friday, 15 May 2009

For absent friends

Sad news.  Eight years ago or thereabouts, Roy, formerly a fixture at the Star, left these shores to drink himself to death. Turns out that last winter he achieved his ambition. 

I liked Roy.  In his youth he had worked and been married, but in middle age he seemed to have given up.  While still in England he divided his time between being asleep and sitting at the bar in the Public Bar in the Star.  Sometimes he combined both actitivities.  Having left for Spain he did much the same, to all accounts.  The week he left town, Charles Wells stopped making Fargo. Whenever I heard news from Spain, he was busy drinking.  When I knew him, he was frequently angry about things, more often resigned about things, but always likeable.

God bless you, Roy.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Google Garbage

Referring to his company's sharing of some of its ideas, a Google representative said

"I think we can open the kimono a little bit without talking about the computer science behind it.  

Was this 
(a) racist 
(b) sexist 
(c) gibberish or 
(d) all of the above?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


"You see it's a question of whether it's just a mood that we're in... or the world really is boring.  And to anyone who uses his eyes, who ... looks at the handiworks of nature.... it really is boring."
(from the greatest of all Last of the Summer Wine episodes,  Earnshaw strikes back)

Monday, 11 May 2009


Received the following message: 


     I have left a voicemail for you. I am a SAP specialist recruiter based in Dubai. I have a specific SAP Retail position which may be of some interest to you. I hope this would be of interest to you.

Please can you provide a number I can contact you on.




SO  - If this guy wants me to provide him with a number, where on earth did he leave me a voicemail?

Theological Reflection - Diplomacy

I'd kicked this habit for 20 years.  Really I had.  I just couldn't spend whole nights running around houses and clustering in corners planning how to launch Lepanto attacks on Turkey, carve up Germany or steam-roller Austria.  I'd lost the kick of wondering which of my so-called allies had stabbed me in the back - and whether they'd realised that I'd done it to them. 
And then my so-called best mate (and godchild, strangely) introduced me to  Well, that's my life gone again.
Diplomacy is, as Swiss Tony would not tell you, a lot like life.  You'll never get anywhere if you don't trust people.  And yet if you trust them too much, you always run the risk of getting hurt.  Stabbing them in the back (metaphorically) is of course always a last resort, but probably better advised in Diplomacy than in life.  And in life, maybe getting hurt is the right thing to do.  Whereas in Diplomacy that makes you an idiot.  Maybe it's not that much like life after all.... But it's good practice for church life.

A Nation Mourns

Peter Andre and Katie "Jordan" Price have announced their separation.  They've asked for privacy.  Maybe because they've sold the rights to the divorce to Hello magazine?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

New Service

Just back from our "new" service. We made the first, fairly formal, Eucharist service much shorter and then fittted in what could best be described as an all-age service afterwards - drama, electric guitar, sax, electronic drum-kit, kid's games... We put a coffee break in the middle. We did a moderate but not totally over the top amount of publicity - handing out/posting maybe a couple of hundred flyers on an estate with 10,000 people. And did some praying.

A couple of new families came, which was great. But the forty or fifty people who are church regulars, who either stayed to both services or came along late, were a revelation. Totally raised the roof. We'll do it again next month, when it won't be a bank holiday weekend. And if it felt like it did today, word might even get out. I'm very hopeful.