Thursday, 29 April 2010

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

I have a bit of a liking for this kind of thing, possibly because it sounds a bit like disco era Sparks. the new Hot Chip album is possibly the best yet and the chorus to the title track is lodged in my brain and stuck on repeat. I am too old for this by about 25 years but, hey, it's not like anyone knows. Click the link in the top right hand corner to be appalled at my taste.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Memo to self - switch off the mic

Poor old Gordon Brown - caught out by forgetting that he was wearing a microphone as he drove off from an engagement. He was heard to be complaining that the woman he was speaking to was a bigot. You can hear it here:
Some observations:
  • I must be careful to be sure that I turn off the microphone after church - there is an (apocryphal?) story of a preacher who didn't do this before he used the toilet.
  • What Gordon said was very restrained and pretty mild - I have done much worse.
  • Jesus warns us that what you have whispered in someones ear in the inner room will one day be shouted from the rooftops. (Luke 12:3) A very sobering thought. He is warning his followers not to be like the Pharisees - the top religious people of the day. They looked great in public but were pretty lousy when they were not on show.
  • The last thing I can do is point the finger here because I have been guilty of far worse - I need to watch my mouth whether there is a microphone within a ten mile radius or not.
  • I am especially grateful for forgiveness as I think about this.

Great Hospital Visits Of Our Time

Popped around the corner to visit a lady from the church who is in hospital today. She seems quite bright when I see her, announces that I am her second visitor that day; her pastor was in this morning. We then talk for maybe 90 seconds before she falls asleep. I go home.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Mind the Gap!

It's that really nervy time of the year for those who follow a football team. Exeter have had their first season in League 1 for some time and are hanging on for dear life. Three games to go and a good time to stop and take stock. Mike Blackstone has a great piece on his blog which reminds us how far the club has come ion the last few years.

In summary - administration, a corrupt board who went to prison over it, Michael Jackson and Uri Keller, conference football, Man Utd in the cup, relay on TV, financial stability, the only fan Trust owned club in the league, employment of a (genius) manager whose previous management of a team was that of a University football team, promotion back into the League two years ago followed by another promotion into League 1. There is a great book on the recent history if you are interested. Which I doubt.

Which takes us to this year. Playing Norwich, Leeds, Charlton, Southampton - all far bigger sides than us with much deeper pockets. The bulk of our side are the same players who were playing in the conference two years ago. Our playmaker was signed from Weston Super Mare for crying out loud. They have done brilliantly to get this far. It's a measure of success on and off the pitch that we paid money for a player for the first time in (I think) eight years. Troy Archibald Henville (think of the merchandising at £1-50 a letter!) then was immediately sidelined for the rest of the season with an injury sustained warming up.

Six weeks ago we looked doomed and then a nine game unbeaten run saw us looking good. Then last week we lost and EVERYONE around us won. We are now two points and one place off the drop zone. Home to Charlton, away to Hartlepool, home to Huddersfield; four and a half hours that will decide the season.

I'm excited. I'm scared. I love this game. I hate this game.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

New Word Alive

The age of miracles is not over. Last week we spent in Wales and didn't see a drop of rain. Consequently we had a lovely week of holiday in beautiful surroundings. But the main reason for being there wasn't the weather but the event itself - New Word Alive.

This is such a terrific event. 4000 plus people descend upon a Haven camp in Pwllheli for a Christian conference. That might sound weird to you but it is a fantastic time. The teaching from the Bible is good solid and sensible (you can download talks for a measley quid from the NWA Media website) and the music (lead this year by Stuart Townend) was excellent. The kids loved it too because they got to be with a large group of like-minded people and realise that they aren't the only ones in a small church.

We love bumping into old friends and catching up as well and with the great weather even managed to sit outside and eat a few times. This year my cousin and her family came for the first time and it was ace to spend time with family and pray and praise together. I also went a week with no internet and, you know, it was okay!

We have attended this conference nearly every year since it started and it never gets old, we still love it and we already plan to be there 10-15 April 2011.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Far away in time

The latest Our Friends Eclectic is one of my favourite songs, despite the fact (or perhaps because) I have never owned a copy until downloading it a few weeks ago. What with this and the Robertson Davies novels I seem to be on a Canadian vibe at the moment but I think I like this so much after spending too long in an accountancy office and dreaming of freedom. It's Martha and the Muffins everyone!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Punks not dead, it's pretty poorly though

Like thousands of middle aged men I dug out some old punk and new wave tunes to listen to after the news of Malcolm McLaren's passing. These were inflicted on the rest of the family. Upon hearing Iggy Pop's seminal Passengers a family member old enough to know better told the kids, "You know the old wrinkly man on the car insurance adverts - this is him."
By the way, anyone ever see him with a shirt on?

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Malcolm McLaren

Heard tonight the news that Malcolm McLaren has died aged 64. He was a well known as manager of the Sex Pistols and a few other things, mainly trying to stir things up and get some good publicity as a result. Wasn't the greatest fan (can you tell?) but I did have the cassette single of Waltz Darling which I played quite a lot in the car if I remember rightly. Think it should have done better than it did and still sounds fairly fresh today, though none of my passengers of the time thought anything of it. Judge for yourself by clicking the link in the top right hand corner.

On the shelf

Back along when I was only 40 a kindly soul gave me a book to mark the event. It was by a famous Canadian writer and it wasn't Douglas Coupland and so I thanked them and put it on the shelf. Where it remained for five and a half years (and indeed moved with us across the country).

Well, I've just finished Robertson Davies' The Cunning Man, his last novel before his death, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Enough indeed to go and buy another. Makes me wonder how many other gems lie undisturbed on the bookshelves here.

So thanks Sheila and Reinhard, I got there eventually.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

He has risen!

“People have not gathered for the past 2,000 years to say, "The stock market has risen. It has risen indeed." They have not gathered to say, "The [pound] has risen. It has risen indeed." Or, "the employment rate has risen." Or, "the gross domestic product has risen." Or "the value of your [pension] has risen."

Here's the one hope that has held up human beings across every continent and culture for two millennia of difficult times of poverty, disease, pain, hardship, [and] death itself: "Christ is risen. He is risen indeed." (John Ortberg)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Joe Jackson

Treated myself to two double CDs of Joe Jackson this week; after all it is Easter. One is a "Best of" giving a pretty good idea of what the man is about and the other is made up of live tracks from BBC sessions, mainly from the early 80s. Needless to say, both are excellent, always was my favourite Jackson. Ridiculously, both are less than a fiver on Amazon.

To celebrate, the latest Our Friends Eclectic (top right hand side of this blog) contains something a bit different from him. He is in concert in Switzerland in this one, two tears ago, covering one of my favourite Bowie tracks.