Saturday, March 15, 2008

Palm Crosses

It took us a while to remember what we were doing.

The diagram we had saved from last year and printed out proved to be of little use.

On the other hand, the story about the bunny going twice around the tree and the other bunny going round the back, up and down into the rabbit hole was more to the point and provided much better results.

Friday, March 14, 2008

MCMLVIII - a very very long time ago

There - it's just gone midnight. Today (friday) is my 50th birthday. It's just starting to hit me. I'm 50 today. 50 is extremely old. Life is pretty well half over!

I do occasionally wake up in the morning and ask myself whether I'm really as old as all that. I shake my head for a moment and wonder is there's been a mistake. I know where the years have gone - I was there when they went, but it seemed like it was just yesterday that I was turning 30 (and feeling old then)

Other people born in 1958

Andie MacDowell
Holly Hunter
Jamie Lee Curtis
Kate Bush (yeah, okay - she's old!)
Michelle Pfeiffer
Sharon Stone
Tim Burton
Viggo Mortensen

Looking at it this way, of course, 50 is not that old. These folks aren't old. These people are more or less just like me - plus botox and regular time in the gym, singing lessons, agents to get them gigs and - therapy.

I guess turning 50 is better than the alternative.

Now I'll head off. It's past my bedtime.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This morning's Thought for the Day on BBC Scotland. A couple of spoonerisms - 'Oath of Loyalty' became 'Loath of Oyalty' but hey, it's early in the morning. The hedgehogs were just going to bed.

The whole idea of young people taking an Oath of Loyalty is not even the flavour of the month - it's the flavour of the second half of this week.

From the morning's papers: Simon Jenkins writing in the Guardian and Daniel Hannan in the Torygraph on more or less the same subject. This will all have gone away by the end of the week and will be replaced by yet another silly quick fix cooked up by a Focus Group.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Greek tailor bumps into
his client in the Agora

First man: Euripides?
Second man: Yes, Eumenides?

Tavener's Requiem available on BBC 3

The premiere of Sir John Tavener's Requiem is available on the Radio 3 site only for another day or two. The programme begins with selections from Rachmaninov's Vespers and finishes with Tavener's work.

Tavener is, apparently, seriously ill at the moment and was unable to attend on the evening the piece was recorded. The orchestra was set up in the form of a crucifix with the cello soloist at the very centre of the cross. The last ten minutes of the Requiem will stay with me for a long time.

Steve Tilley over at Mustard Seed Shavings has been stripping away lot of excess language as part of his Lenten observance and posting mostly in haiku form. This has led to such spine-chilling little nuggets as

Visit Christ Church
Sort out the Alpha course food
Not many takers

I guess a lot of haiku experts have passed by his website. Some have clearly made comments, provoking the following outburst:

"Look you bunch of pedants. Brummies make two syllables where one is written. Japanese make the punctuation count as a syllable. Haiku is more an intention than a form. It is just oh I can't be bothered the rest is a quote from a web-site explaining stuff like this:"

Crack on Steve! Square your shoulders. They're all Philistines! They will not be numbered among the Just.

NB. The outburst could have been written thus:

Frankly, can't be arsed.
Further explanation here
Lighten up, won't you?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Commonwealth Day 2008

Today is Commonwealth Day. The day you give thanks for, among other things, Canadians.

You'll know who we are. We're the ones lining up at the Garlicky Little Foreign People with Dodgy Passports queue at Immigration while the Finns and Lithuanians breeze through with EU passports.

A tradition designed to compensate for all those years of ignoring and overlooking us is the giving of quite splendid gifts to Commonwealth citizens on the second Monday in March. Best wishes to Canadians and other Commonwealth citizens can be left here in the comments box. Monetary gifts or gifts in bottles with consonant-heavy Scottish names printed on them can be sent via the post.

An article in the Telegraph bemoaning recent attempts to restrict Commonwealth immigration can be found here.

Teach your children to cherish their nearest Canadian vicar (and not to bang their hard church shoes on the pew during his children's talk) by going to the Young Commonwealth site.

Lying in bed covered in bandages with tubes hanging out of you? The Commonwealth Nursing Federation has some ideas for celebrating Commonwealth Day.

My 'Commonwealth moment' came about ten years ago standing under the Menin Gate in Ieper (Ypres) Belgium. A bugler from the Ypres Fire Department plays the Last Post every night at 8:00 pm. School children from around the world visit the site. Not infrequently one of them is asked to read the usual fragment of McCrae's poem - "they shall not grow old.....". This particular evening it was a little girl visiting from New Zealand with her family who took her job very seriously - solemn little Kiwi dipthongs echoing throughout the chamber. Her dad was visibly chuffed and clearly proud of her.

On the wall were the large number of names (among others from around the Empire) of members of my regiment - the Canadian Grenadier Guards - who were killed in battle and whose bodies were never recovered and identified.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Palm Crosses

It's coming up to that time of year again. This Saturday morning at 10:00 we're gathering in the Hall with the children and anyone else who feels 'young at heart' to make the Palm Crosses for Sunday. There are several ways of making them and everybody swears by their own method. Each year we gather and the first thing we have to do is remember how we did them last year. Some of the methods involve a single piece of palm. We don't do it that way - we use two.

We use two because, erm, of the two natures of Christ - the divine and the human.

We use two pieces of palm because *thinking.....* of the two Gospel Sacraments - Baptism and Holy Communion.

No? Okay, we use two because that's how we were taught us a few years back and we're Anglicans and when we find something that works we stick with it like tar to an old boot.

So, in anticipation of Saturday's get-together to make palm crosses, I post here the a pictorial guide on the web which illustrated the way we do it. I post it simply as an aide-memoire for myself so I don't look like an utter pillock on Saturday morning.

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Joe Walker (Diocese of Edmonton in Canada) has published his sermon notes for next Sunday. Worth a read!

Frequently wrong but never in doubt

Glad to see that there's somebody out there who's as grumpy and opinionated as I am. Well done, Fr Heron!

De Mille is De Man

via Scott Gunn via Bishop Alan