Saturday, October 25, 2008

blog break

I am sorry, dear reader, that I have not been blogging for a while but I am sure you are aware that this has been a difficult week in Everton following the fatal stabbing of Joseph Lappin outside the Shewsy Youth Club on Monday night. The club is attached, physically as well as practically, to St Peter's church which one of the two churches where I am a curate, and we are all struggling to make sense of what is a terrible event. As Henry said in his statement to the press on Monday:
"The whole community are shocked and saddened by these stabbings. We will be doing all we can to help the police with their inquiries but at this moment our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims."

I don't think that I will be able to to blog here for a I hope you will forgive my absence from the world of the interweb. You can contact me via the usual routes and we would all appreciate your prayers. Particular thoughts to the family of Joseph and his friends.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

london calling

There is absolutely no excuse for the Clash's London Calling to be used for the Olympics theme tune. The irony is too much to bear. I can't actually bear it. If Boris or Coe ever bother to actually listen to the lyrics they may actually fear for their lives. But sadly I suspect neither of them posses the irony required to deal with popular music. May they hang their heads in shame!

If you want to watch the video you'll have to go to this is worth it.
I will print the lyrics for Boris and Coe... and please bear this in mind when making your plans for 2012.

London Calling - the Clash

London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared, and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look to us
Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

[Chorus 1:]
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out, and draw another breath
London calling, and I don't wanna shout
But while we were talking, I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain't got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

[Chorus 2: x2]
The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

Now get this

London calling, yes, I was there, too
An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
After all this, won't you give me a smile?
London calling

I never felt so much alike [fading] alike alike alike

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

jury service

If you ever get called up for jury service here are some things I would recommend you take with you:
* chocolate - they don't have any in Liverpool Crown Court which is very silly
* if you can knit take needles and wool (though some is provided) cos many ladies are knitting for Africa
* magazines and books - lots of.
* some sort of comfy - like a blanket or pillow (it is uncomfortable)
* the in-house food is rubbish so bring supplies
* flask of tea (see above)
* many people have copies of the Daily Mail or the Mirror so there is no need for these to be brought with you (best make a not of the daily mail readers and try not to engage in conversation - I had to be very stern with a man who started off on asylum seekers and it was a bit awkward. I made my excuses and have been avoiding eye contact ever since.) you might want some other newspaper...but there is a telly so you can watch bargain hunt.
* I have found mixed nuts and dried fruit quite a comfort (and found particular solace in jelly babies yesterday which went down very well with my fellow jurors - whilst we were deciding the verdict we needed sugar and I was the only person with supplies.)
* remember also to pack compassion, patience and a fair minded approach.

I have finished one jury today - guilty! I can tell you all about it now because it is over and the judge said I could. But, I can't face going through it again just now. Just to say it wasn't very nice...

I had parish duties this evening so I am very tired indeed. Best get myself off to bed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

jury service

I have started my jury service...I am quite tired. A day of new things and loads to take in. I have tried to chill out this evening but it has been quite hard. I had a lovely time with Eva when I got home and I realized quite how much I have been caught up in stuff and haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like with her. Shame I have jury service all next week as well because it is half term and I am really not going to be around as much as I'd hoped. Hey ho.

Right, I'd better be off to bed as I have to be in court again at the crack of dawn to find out more.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

final hours

The Vision After the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel)
Paul Gauguin
currently held at the National Gallery of Scotland

I am entering my final hours at St Deiniols and feeling quite pleased with my progress. I have managed to work on every chapter and make significant improvements to a large proportion of it. Spiritually I feel I have been able to get this whole thing in perspective and regained a peace around it that had fallen away during the last year at Trinity. A great deal of wrestling - emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual has gone into these four days and I feel quite exhausted by also invigorated.

I have just over 2 hours left here - Mark and Eva are coming to get me at lunch time. So, I best make the most of these final hours. So, there will be no More playing on facebook!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

progress is slow but steady

It is 8.23pm and I have been hard at work here in the library all day. I worked until the library shut at 10pm last night and that is my plan tonight though I am finding it quite hard to keep going (hence the blog break). My cold is getting the better of me and I think I must be annoying the other readers with my sniffing and coughing...but so far no even a huff or puff from them (so polite). I am making good progress though. I am being very critical of my work and making some quite radical changes to the previous draft. However, I am going to have to be less radical and gather more pace tomorrow. I am about 1/4 of the way through it and one chapter (the one where I develop my practice as research - or what Sara refers to as the auto-ethnographic chapter!) in particular will need a great deal of attention - i.e. it is really pants.

I am loving it here though...the food is great, my room is very comfy, I have made a couple of good friends who are very interesting to chat to at meal times and over coffee. I just wish I wasn't feeling quite so rubbish...hey ho. As long as I get most of this done I will be pleased. Anyway, best get on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

st deiniols

I am at St Deiniols - home of Gladstone (it was, obviously not now because he is dead - but there is a good exhibition here) and the best library in the world. I am sitting on a very comfy chair in the library surrounded by lovely books in complete silence. It is fantastic. Though I didn't come here to mes about on facebook or write my blog it is quite the nicest place I have ever had the pleasure of messing about on the interweb.

Although I have a cold and am self-medicating variuosly on lemsip, asprin, honey lemon and ginger, chocolate biscuits and crisps I can still smell old books, oak and leather. A heady combination that makes me want to write a that's what best get on with doing. Tea is at 6.45pm so I have 1 1/2 hours of creating to do. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 6, 2008

greenbelt jazzy pants

Mark has exhibited a number of great photos from his Greenbelt Jazzy Pant collection on his blog...pure genius.

cold - retreat - music hall

I have a cold - which is very sad because I have a busy week planned and could really do with not being ill. I am off to St Deiniol's for a few days to get my head down and do some serious work on my PhD. I have been panning this for months and feel a bit peeved that I now am ill and my head hurts. Still, I have had a good chat with Sara (supervisor) about what is needed so hope that something (i.e. a new draft) will come out of the next few days hard work. I am also hoping that I get a little break and some time-out. Just being away for a few days will be nice.

I think I have access to the interweb in my room so I will be receiving mails, facebook etc but I will be disciplined about time spent away from my developing thoughts on Liverpool's music hall.

must go and pack my socks and pants...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

church nicknacks and whathaveyous

I noticed that Dave Walker has sent out an open invitation to fill this page with links. Farli has had a go so I thought I'd try too.

Having just gone into the church office to do a spot of photocopying I thought I'd list some of the more unusual church nicknacks and whathaveyous I found:
the advent candle ring - broken and 2 candles missing
a small pink fluffy pig
a bike
a complete collection of (unread) bible commentaries
a bag of sand
box of videos - of the gospels (my guess is that they are not of the actual events as they unraveled but some sort of dramatization made for video)

There are so many more things which I will list in follow-up posts. But this is just the start.


Today I have been preparing for the harvest service tomorrow at St Peters. There has been photocopying to do, tins to buy, bread to make, sermon to write (I say sermon it is more like telling two all age stories based on Luke 12. 13-21 - the Rich Fool and Isaiah 11.1-9 - A Vision of God's Universal Peace.

We are going to use some of the material from the Loaf Service - Christian Ecology Link's Food Campaign. We are going to make bread at the beginning of the service so I am preparing the dough a bit later so that all that has to happen tomorrow is some shaping at the beginning of the service, a quick rise and bake. To be honest I would quite like to be tucked up in bed with a lemsip. I have been fighting off a cold for a few weeks now and I feel like I am fighting a losing battle. I am freezing cold and Mark, Elise and Eva have all succumbed to it. Still, I am enjoying getting stuff ready and making the harvest loaf is going to be great.

I though I might be able to get out tonight to wish Dilys happy birthday but the combination of harvest prep and feeling like death warmed up probably means I am best being at home (also Eva is not that keen to go out for a curry!). I hope Mark is feeling well enough to go on all of our behalf.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


having just got the house settled and the plans for new windows nearly in place a new incident has got us in a fluster. Last night we had a bit of a storm here in Everton (and that wasn't just because Liverpool did well in the footy). Whilst I was out at the healing service and Mark was out at the Shewsy (Eva was being sat on by my new friend Penny) the flat roof over our dinning room sprang a leek and the part of the ceiling gave way. We have had to employ a number of buckets to catch the water - which has now subsided to a drip. As they say - "it never rains but it pours". Hey ho.

I am in the house writing (more like fiddling) with my PhD which is going to be discussed by Sara (my supervisor) and I over lunch today. It will be Sara's first visit to the vicarage and I am hoping that she will be gentle with me. As usual I have prepared for writing by cleaning the house a bit - mopping the kitchen floor and all the surfaces (including the toaster, kettle, bread bin and compost bin). So, after 1 hour of messing have achieved 200 words. Which believe me is good going. Having some time to work on this chapter has helped me to realise the strengths and weaknesses in the work so the mulling / cleaning process is time well spent digesting my methodology.

Later on this evening I am off to see Kathy and David - my friends and hairdressers...they are planning a bleaching session and I will be able to discuss pop music, culture and the opening of the 2nd phase of Liverpool One shopping centre which I suspect will become the Museum to Capitalism shortly. Well, we can but hope.