Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hospital Visiting

Went hospital visiting today, two ladies who are members of the church are in at the moment, aged 86 and 102! After I'd seen them I popped into the hospital cafe for a quick coffee and no word of a lie, the first two songs on in the background were "A good heart these days is hard to find" followed by Cutting Crew, "I just died in your arms tonight."

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Watching Sports I Don't Understand

There's something about the Winter Olympics, I really enjoy watching sports that I don't really understand, have not seen before or even that I never knew existed. The women's short skating was an incredible sight today, I had no idea who was skating next as four teams and a total of sixteen skaters whizzed round - but it was fun to watch. Not so fussed about some of the better known sports; skiing is okay, ice hockey is too fast to know what happens until it did and you can keep your ice-skating. But for me the absolute best is the curling. (My very significant other says it's a combination of sport and housework.) I have watched two games all the way through, all two and a half hours worth and the time flies by. Must be my age.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Back in the saddle

A lovely few days away with chums in the Cotswolds; looking good after a dusting of snow. (The Cotswolds, not the chums). Friends you have had most of your life are very precious, especially as you move around from place to place.

The whole relaxing experience is rather spoiled by Exeter City losing to bottom placed Stockport at home today. We are now in the relegation zone and things are beginning to look a little precarious. Thirteen games to go but Stockport had not won a game in 17 before now. Not looking promising.

To cheer myself up I offer Max Wall with the cover of an Ian Dury song for your entertainment. It has all the wit you'd expect of a Dury song and sounds very much like the Blockheads are backing him. It makes me smile and in a better world would be played at the end of discos when people have had a few. Soon be my 50th and it will be on the shortlist.

Back into the saddle tomorrow and looking forward to catching up with people, even though I was only away for three days.

Monday, 15 February 2010

With apologies to Alicia Keys

Caught Jay Z on Later with Jools Holland a while ago and really liked Empire State of Mind - though (obviously) nowhere near as good as the Human League's Empire State Human.

Was listening to part 2 and thinking how evocative New York is to the world with so much iconic TV and film set there. Wondered what Alicia would make of where I live and then it all got a bit silly. Could do with a bit of polishing but this is how far I've got. The real thing is linked on "Our Friends Eclectic" - top right hand corner of this blog. Enjoy?

Burnham State of Mind

Oooooooh Burnham (x2)

Living in a town,
That's closing down, so it seems
Noise is rarely loud
Charity shops all around
Prices are quite keen
If you survive it here
You could make it anywhere
That's what I say
No-one goes out at nights
They're all on, sniping away.

People leave here by any means
To pursue their dreams
They'll come back to

Burnham, we've got the shortest pier in the UK
The tides out a long way
Now you're in Burnham
The town planning's a big mess
We may lose the Princess
Hear it for Burnham, Burnham, Burnham

There is bracing air, a refurbished cinema,
Soon be mini-golf
Drink tea by the pot, there's a lady selling rock,
Wonderful ice-creams
Lighthouse on the sand
Try to dodge electric buggies on the street
'Cos some of the older residents
Aren't so steady on their feet

People get here by any means
For a change of scene
They come back to

Burnham, we've got a fantastic sea view
Wurzels serenade you
Now you're in Burnham
You can ride on a donkey
See a church that is wonky
Hear it for Burnham, Burnham, Burnham

One hand in the air for the B on Sea
Bright lights, big floats, all looking pretty,
No carnival in the world can compare
Put your glow sticks in the air
Everybody say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Burnham, we've got premier league speedway
And we've just got a Subway
Now you're in Burnham
Living here won't make you rich
At least it's not Highbridge
Hear it for Burnham, Burnham, Burnham.

£56 Million

When the lottery was first launched we all played the game, "What would you do with a million pounds?" I was of the opinion then that to win such a large amount of money could just as easily be a curse rather than a blessing. There's obviously nothing wrong with having money, surely what matters more is what you do with it. But when it's a £56 million, as the big win on the Euro millions this week is, maybe the big concern is what the money will do to you.

Whereas the news of the win would normal pretty much pass me by (even as a record win) I see the winner is from near Cirencester, my home town. Bizarre as it might sound, I hope, whoever it is, that it doesn't ruin life for them. I reckon that living in or near Ciren is pretty much a lottery win anyway, but then I would!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Burnham Beach

Bruce Dickinson today. Now an airline pilot but then on a break from Iron Maiden. Not really my cup of tea but the video was filmed here and I came across it recently. It was, apparently filmed on two beaches; one - with waves and rocks - in Dorset and here - no waves, no rocks, just seven miles of beach. Nearly wrote "golden sand" there but was getting a bit carried away.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Conference Season

There was a time when such a heading would refer to Exeter City and their brief dalliance with non-league football. But no, this past two weeks I have spent three days at two different conferences, which plays havoc on the time for leadership and preaching preparation as Sunday still rolls round regardless.

It was the first time I had attended the (or any) Pastoral Refreshment Conference and it was a conference like no other I've been to. Very relaxed, great food and accommodation, very friendly people and some very simple and yet powerful talks by Dick Dowsett, a former missionary in China and the Philippines. Boy, did he have some stories, which he interspersed with his series of expositions of Philippians. My friend John Risbridger did a great job of preaching at the communion service too and as I left I reflected that next week's conference had a lot to live up to.

I spent this week in okay accommodation, with excellent food, friendly people, and it was very nearly as relaxed. The key difference for me was that the talks, whilst theologically solid approached things quite differently. I think a lot (too much?) was assumed as read and so the main sessions were ones where the Bible was referenced but never opened. This is really odd to me with my background. It was a pleasure to open the Bible on the last session and be challenged as we read it together about speaking the truth in love to one another. At which point I resolved to change my mind and to fill in a feedback form after all!

It just seems to me that while I can get all kinds of good and valuable insight from people who are clearly far more intelligent than I am, what I really need is eternal wisdom and the book that I need to focus on in that is the Bible. To some outside the church that might seem bizarre but the more I read it the more I realise I need to read it.

Free Nelson Mandela

Today's offering is from The Special AKA. I remember reading a story that when the single came out someone rang Chrysalis records to complain that they didn't get a free Nelson Mandela with their copy. Probably not true but a good story all the same.

Still, it worked. A mere six years later the man walked free and today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of that event. There has been something on the radio asking if you remember what you were doing when it happened. I cannot remember but my wife tells me I was with her on a CU houseparty, this before we started going out. I'm a little worried that I don't remember this and that this will start the process of having to rely on my wife to remember things for me.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A theology of hoovering

We are expecting a visit from someone who we have had recommended as a cleaner tomorrow so today I cleaned the kitchen and did the hoovering in preparation. I have become the kind of person that I sometimes talk to who believe that they have to have everything in life clean and tidy before they become a Christian. Doh!