Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thought For The Moment


“I wish the church knew that having questions, experiencing doubts and being uncertain about things that the church is teaching does not necessarily equal spiritual immaturity.”


On stumbling across this post my first thought was that those who have no doubts or questions may well be the spiritually immature. Perhaps they mistake their own spiritual ego with the divine spark itself! 


Monday, September 29, 2008

Reluctantly Staying Put

After considerable soul destroying hassle with our ISP, Virgin Media, we have now agreed to a new 12 month contract giving us the same broadband & phone package as we’ve had for a few years at £7.00 less per month. Of course, had we not been existing customers, it would have been a further £4.50 less for these 12 months.

Although we had threatened to move to another ISP, I doubt whether I could have coped with the upheaval that would cause. As it is, I’m in a physical and emotionally lower state than I was before these “negotiations” began. Oh, how I longed for the stamina and resilience I knew several years ago.

Although we’re staying put for the time being, I could not honestly recommend our service(!) supplier to anyone that I respected! And that’s despite the profuse apology, passed onto me by my beloved, proffered by the helpful lady who finally sorted things out.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Yet again, on this Sunday, we once more are blessed with glorious sunshine, accompanied on this occasion by a gently refreshing breeze, a day for true thanksgiving.


Needless to say, although I still persist in saying it, the love seat beside the garden pond became my abode for most of the afternoon. As we sat there, the cheerful chattering of the house sparrows in a nearby shrub proved a real uplifting balm to the spirit; I seemed to be transported away from the sharp shooting pains emanating from the sciatic nerve, my constant companion over recent days (and nights).


My beloved (that’s Helen, not the sciatica) soon felt the urge to do a bit of gardening, with me in the role of passive observer. Obviously her stamina levels had been refreshed by the Harvest Service at her chapel this morning.




I suppose that this posting is a natural sequel to yesterday’s posting, Flutterby Visions, on ‘Mal’s Murmurings’.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A lesson in objectivity!


Are they really reporting on the same debate?


“From the economy to foreign affairs to the way they carried themselves on stage, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama offered a dramatic contrast to the nation in their first presidential debate on Friday night, mixing disdain and often caustic remarks as they set out sharply different views of how they would manage the country and confront America’s adversaries abroad.”


JOHN McCAIN and Barack Obama entered last night's debate with fewer differences on foreign policy than their rhetoric usually suggests. Some nuances excepted, the two candidates basically have the same ideas for containing the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, responding to Russia's aggressiveness toward its neighbors, fighting the war in Afghanistan and advancing the Middle East peace process. On many of those issues they wouldn't stray far from the policies they would inherit from President Bush.”


Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting Down To Business

The 6.00pm news on BBC Radio 4 is a regular accompaniment to meal preparation chez nous. Not exactly a barrel of laughs but, tonight they excelled themselves.

The news headlines, which top and tail the bulletin, were a cause for mirth and merriment:

(initially referring to Gordon Brown’s speech at the UN) "Gordon Brown said it’s time to end the age of irresponsibility. He will be meeting George Bush this evening”

This evening's encounter should be quite something : An awesome vision of the British PM toting an AK47 flashed across my mind, as if to show that he meant business.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

London priest is jailed after anti-war protest | Ekklesia

Stories like this help to restore my faith in the ordained ministry. Must admit that even in my more politically radical, and anti-clerical, days I maintained a healthy respect for the Catholic Worker movement!

London priest is jailed after anti-war protest | Ekklesia

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

still grinding on


My friend, M (see posting ‘Playing by the Rules’ – ‘Mal’s Murmurings’ 6 January 2008), after many delays involving appeals, renewal of passports and identity cards, returned to Iran towards the end of August. The understanding was that he could then apply to return to this country. His son, meantime, is allowed to remain in the UK to continue his education.


Earlier this month M had an appointment at the British Embassy in Tehran and, was requested to return to the embassy yesterday. The embassy duly informed him that they were unable to make a decision (regarding his application) and, the matter is now being referred back to the Home Office. The Home Office is of course the very department that demanded he return home to apply for permission to return and work in the UK.


It seems like the monkey has no option but to remain in servitude to the organ grinder!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

'Tis better to arrive ... than having journeyed

After all the apprehension regarding a forthcoming journey, the whole experience is now behind me but, not without having once more vowed that I’ll never embark on such a venture again. Truth be told, the outward journey went reasonably smoothly as we journeyed via A1, M1, M42, M40, M25 & A24 from our abode to that of my brother on the South coast. The only little panic attack I suffered was during a break at Oxford Services; it was just so bustling with other travellers that it caused a bit of sensory overload on my part. Breathing exercises duly performed, I was soon ready to move on.

Shortly after we arrived, at our hosts, a delicious lasagne was appreciatively devoured by hosts and visitors alike. Food and wine throughout the visit was much appreciated. Both Helen and I were ready to retire au lit, during our stay, at an earlier hour than is our norm; the sea air seemed to be laced with knockout drops.

Of necessity, for me, life and the events / activities therein has always to be taken at a leisurely pace; I am far too well aware of the deleterious effects of overdoing it. Although I managed to do more during our weeks stay than would normally be my monthly quota, I found it impossible not to feel guilty when I couldn’t readily jump at the opportunity for further outings or activities. At times like that a sense of helplessness / hopelessness becomes overwhelming, until my beloved reminds me that a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have even been able to contemplate taking a trip anywhere; even routine visits to the hospital proved daunting at that time!

Visits to Littlehampton, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Arundel, and the Istanbul restaurant in Worthing were all experiences to be savoured but, the real highlight of our stay was a visit, on the Saturday, from my (nearly) four year old great-niece, with her Mum and Dad in tow. Apart from the delightful antics of Ruby herself, it was a real pleasure to see Dave and Jan in action as the doting grandparents.

The first panic attack of the return journey home occurred before I’d even got into the car and then, three loo stops were required before we’d even arrived at the M25. To my surprise, the journey went smoothly as soon as the major motorway part of our route was underway. No matter how much one may have enjoyed their stay away, there’s nothing quite matches that feeling of exhilaration at arriving home. I appreciate home at any time but, each return there (from whatever locale) is just the greatest feeling imaginable. For me, familiarity breeds content!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


The heron takes ponderous flight, drudges its way over the garden, a sideways glance at the pond discloses a surfeit of vegetation; I imagine the birds disappointment that it has no easy access to the piscine residents. It’s quite some time since our fish suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, following a heron’s intrusion on our pond in its earlier manifestation.


The glorious realization that heavily overgrown pond margins serve as a deterrent, to this type of predator, brings a huge smile to my face. That thought alone serves to brighten yet another sodden grey day!