Saturday, 31 October 2009

Hellish Hallowe'en

There are good days in football and there are bad days in football. This afternoon it was very much the case of the latter for Partick Thistle Nil. Defending an unbeaten home record without a goal conceded Thistle went down to a 2-1 defeat against Raith Rovers.
It was terrible to watch, but yet again we had a team coming to Firhill with ten men constantly behind the ball punting it up to a lone striker in the hope of getting a break. Atrocious defending meant they got a couple of breaks today!
 The Jags manager had this to say.... "Over the piece this season the players have done well and there have been very few occasions when we would say that they have let the supporters down. I thought though that today was a day when we let the supporters down."
You sure did guys!!
He went on to say.....  "Raith Rovers had a clear game plan and they stuck to it and did really well. The thing that troubled me the most was the fact that they were more up for the game than we were." They were, they were, Iain, but why was that? He goes on....
"If we have perhaps learnt one lesson from today is that it's not all about playing attractive football to win games. Sometimes you have to battle to win a game of football and that is something that we didn't manage to do this afternoon. If you want to compete at the top end of the league and win titles then you need to win when you don't play well. Dundee by all accounts haven't been playing that well but they have been grinding out wins and draws."  So they have. Why don't we do that?
Raith Rovers certainly had a game plan, a la Walter Smith in Europe, which was called anti-football. I guess it's hard to break down and why Rovers have won so many points this season. I wondered, though, why their gates were so low? Now I know.
This is not a bitter and twisted response to a home defeat..... well maybe it is.... a little bit!

November Magazine 2009

This can be accessed here at present.

New Toy

There comes a time in everyone's life, I suppose, when they just know that they're getting old. I'm at that point tonight having got delivery of a new Blackberry today.

Maybe I've just got to the point of technology overload and there's no more can be taken in? Maybe this is just a step too far for me? I look at the instructions and I think they may as well be in Double Dutch. The RW frightens me by suggesting that I may be constantly switched to the internet and we'll get a bill for about a thousand pounds next month if I'm not careful. She knows people who have these things!

I know people, too, like the Primus of the SEC who gaily flicks through his Blackberry putting in appointments, reading out emails and even phoning and texting too. I believe he has a technological wizard back at the Diocesan Office who sets these things up for him! I don't!!

Will this technological leap be a step too far for me, or will I manage to connect to Facebook and Twitter? Will I give up and crawl back to my trusty Motorola? Watch this space!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Cursillo Evening

Off to the wilds of East Kilbride tonight, leaving the soggy-doggies behind, for a Cursillo Ultreya. It was good to see Bishop Idris and Alison again, with Idris looking very relaxed in his retirement. It obviously is taking time to adjust after so many years in active priesthood, and as bishop and latterly primus, but he will grow into it, I'm sure. Alison expressed the hope of one day seeing Arran from their home in Largs!

Good to get home, though. It's been a busy day, with another death in the parish, and moving the kitchen stuff from the church into our new accommodation!

Altar Pic of St Aug's This Week

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Stolen From Big Rab....


Gee! Dumbarton going to Greenock Morton in the 3rd Round of the Scottish Cup. How easy is that? Might as well get a bye!

Joy of Joys!!!

The Local Cooncil have had a look around the New Hall (at last) and passed us fit for human habitation! So we're up and running!

Just What I Need

Every Partick Thistle Nil supporter should have one of these!
Tears are our first words. The first way we have of communicating is through tears. Is there anything that gets a baby more attention than tears? Is there anything that can command complete, immediate devotion more than a torrent of tears. 
In earlier cultures, before PTNFC,  the tears of mourners were gathered into something called a lachrymatory, or “tear-catcher,” a specially created container for human tears of grief or sometimes of joy. In fact, a company is now bringing them back and selling them online. Tear Catcher

Jesus Comes to Glasgow - Shock

It's not often that I believe The Sun, but today I want to! And here's some more evidence that The Rapture will soon be upon us in the West of Scotland!

Choosing Hymns & Music

Oh No! That dreadful time again when I sit down with the Music Group and work out music up until Christmas. As the evening wears on, in true St Auggie's style, wine is consumed, and the suggestions become more and more erratic. That's why I go! Not for the vino, of course, but to lend a balance when "Jesus wants me as a Sunbeam" is suggested for Advent 3.

Actually, it's a great laugh, and everyone enjoys themselves, knowing that, in the end, you can please some of the congregation some of the time.......

Don't Blame Me - I only pass it on!

Boy's Confession

'Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl'.
 The priest asks, 'Is that you, Dicky?'
 'Yes, Father, it is.'
 'And who was the girl you were with?'
 'I can't tell you, Father, I don't want to ruin her reputation.'
 'Well, Dicky, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Mary Walsh?'
 'I cannot say.' 'Was it Teresa Brown?'
 'I'll never tell.'
 'Was it Margaret Doyle?'
 'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'
 'Was it Anne O' Neil?'
 'My lips are sealed.'
 Was it Catherine O' Tool, then?'
 'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'
 The priest sighs in frustration. 'You're very tight lipped Dicky, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.'
 Dicky walks back to his pew, and his friend Tommy slides over and whispers,  'What'd you get?'
 '4 Months holiday and five good leads'.

So confession is not just good for the soul!!!!

Monday, 26 October 2009

C'mon The Jags!

As part of our community engagement programme, Partick Thistle and the Jags Trust were represented at Sunday’s “The Andrew Watson Homecoming Day” football event at the Toryglen Football Centre.
The tournament organised by Afroscots United Football Club and the African and Caribbean Network formed part of the 2009 Show Racism the Red card fortnight of action and the UK’s Black History Month celebrations. The event was staged over a five hour period and took the form of a five a side tournament with teams drawn form a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
The aim of the tournament was to raise awareness of Andrew Watson, the world's first black association footballer to play at international level, and his achievements as Scotland captain in the 1890’s. Watson was the first black player ever to win a major competition winning several Scottish Cups with Queens Park. He also won three international caps for Scotland: his first cap was a 6 - 1 victory against England, his second a 5 - 1 triumph over Wales and his third was another win over England, the score this time an equally emphatic 5 - 1.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Aftermath

Police seek murder bid witnesses

A 38-year-old man has been seriously injured in a fight outside Dumbarton's Masonic Hall, prompting police to treat the incident as attempted murder.

Detectives said at least four men were involved in the incident in Church Street at 2115 BST on Saturday. The man was taken to Paisley's Royal Alexandria hospital and transferred to Glasgow's Southern General where his condition is described as "serious".

Police have appealed for any witnesses to get in touch. Detective Inspector Stevie Primrose said: "The incident happened in a busy area and I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed a disturbance or who can help us identify the men responsible to come forward."

I would ask your prayers for this man. The last thing we need in all this is someone to have died as a result of sectarian madness.

Here I was thinking that the day of the Orange Walk had passed peaceably in Dumbarton and I was hoping we would get back to normal.

Alas, someone was close to being murdered last night, it seems, and the result of some "people" throwing fireworks into the pub area of the Hall itself, where the "Protestant" people are known to drink. There are some really good people who socialise there.

A night of shame for this lovely town, and my heart goes out to those sitting beside a hospital bed today, praying fervently.

Partick Thistle Two - The Others Two Too!

The last meeting between these two teams was a sterile 0-0 draw. This was everything but sterile. Four goals, some of the highest quality, one sending off and bags of goalmouth action made for a highly entertaining 2-2 draw.

The first half belonged to Thistle but it was the home side that led at the interval thanks to Michael Gardyne’s 40th minute strike from the edge of the box that went in off the inside of the post.

County were enjoying a rare period on top in the early stages of the second half when they were reduced to ten men in the 57th minute. Martin Scott, who had been lucky not to have been booked in the first half, picking up two yellow cards inside 9 minutes.

When sub Jim Hamilton set up other sub Chris Erskine to tie the scores in the 62nd minute the game looked to be turning Thistle’s way.

It was Ross County though that would score the game’s next goal when Paul Lawson sent a magnificent shot past Tuffey and into the net.

This time Thistle were level inside 3 minutes when Liam Buchanan collected the ball inside the box before firing powerfully past McGovern in the County goal.

There was little doubt that Thistle were looking to win this match in the closing stages and plenty of men were pushed forward in the search of what proved to be an elusive winning goal.

Partick Thistle Nil Win an Award!

The 1971 Hall of Fame inauguration dinner dance was well under way at the Thistle Hotel last night, when a cheer rang out from the crowd. Chairman Allan Cowan had just announced Partick Thistle and Greaves Sports have received the silver award, in the best use of media relations category, at the CIPR Awards 2009 held at the Radisson Hotel on the same evening for the publicity generated during the 2008/2009 "Think Pink" away strip press launch. With around 400 of the best PR people in Scotland at the awards, Ami Small and BIGs Brian Welsh were over the moon the accept the award.

The media campaign generated significant coverage in UK regional and national press and was coordinated by Ami Small, the club Press Officer and the Greaves PR Team.
Although The club and Greaves Sports are delighted to pick up the silver award, we are aiming to win Gold next year.

Saturday, 24 October 2009


Today's latest Orange Walk passed without incident this morning, although, again, there was a massive police presence. I am grateful. Grateful, too, that one band struck up with "The Sash" right outside St Augustine's, and another assured me they were still guarding Derry's walls.

I appreciate, very much, that there seems to have been little trouble, although I felt for those playing in the heavy rain. Someone even gave us £3 for the use of our toilet!

Friday, 23 October 2009

A Reminder......

Christians and the BNP

Really good stuff to be found HERE.

Don't Blame Me - Blame MadPriest!

On the eve of another big Orange Walk in Dumbarton, I cosy up to those who will share the streets of my town with me tomorrow!

On the Road

Partick Thistle Nil take the long hike up to Dingwall tomorrow to face a Ross County team which have punched above their weight in the first quarter of the season. It could well be that an away vistory will see us top the league tomorrow, but with the current standard of Scottish Football that's not saying much! (Celtic were beaten in Europe last night as I predicted)

However, The Nil have produced some very attractive and entertaining stuff this season! See for yourself, ye doubters!

Managing Meetings Effectively - On Reflection

A CMD Day for Stipendiary Clergy (19th October 2009)

It has to be admitted that I attended this day at St John’s Greenock reluctantly, and only through the gentle cajoling of Anne Tomlinson! After all, what would a busy clergyperson whose diary is backed up by a plethora of meetings, want to go to another meeting to talk about.... meetings!

I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised, and indeed stimulated and encouraged by what was on offer! Some really helpful suggestions, tips, and plenty of affirmation was on offer to clergy who probably considered themselves fairly expert in running meetings effectively anyway!

In Alison Clark, from the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, we had a tremendous facilitator, and I would hope that the Diocese uses her skills more often in the future. She pulled the group together expertly, and created an atmosphere where people were open to new ways of thinking, and felt secure enough to share in a deep, honest and constructive manner. It was wonderful to share some important and stimulating material with brother and sister clergy, pool our experience, and express our frustrations and successes.

We covered areas such as preparation, setting ground rules, and the theory and practice in the art of chairing. We looked in depth at the handling of tension and conflict, and explored tools and techniques in that area as well as understanding the “double agenda”. Traps that we can constantly fall into are the inappropriate use of “matters arising and AOCB! Meetings have a tendency to run out of control if we aren’t firm in handling these two items in any agenda.

There is certainly an art of keeping time, affirming contributions, guiding the discussion and the decision making process, and plenty of practical tips were shared and offered. We even looked at the bad practice of simply having meetings for the sake of having a meeting! Time was spent on our listening skills as well as our ability of including everyone in discussions and dealing with individuals, often bullies really, who constantly hog the agenda to themselves or have a tendency to interrupt when someone needs the space to say something which is important to them.

Servant leadership was explored as an option, having the capacity to display ministerial leadership as founded on Christ-like servanthood, enabling the skills of all.

This was my first CMD (Continuing Ministerial Development) event, and it certainly encouraged me to attend others in the future. I came away feeling affirmed, my head swimming with new insights, reminded of my need to listen more effectively, and becoming more aware of the individual in a Vestry situation!

Will my meetings be run more effectively in future? Probably, but if nothing else, they will be run more sensitively!

From Ekklesia - Nick Griffin and our "Christian Country"

Whatever their views about the rights and wrongs of Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time last night, church leaders will now have to think long and hard about some of the arguments they employ.

Last night, the leader of BNP used the words “Christian country” three times in setting out what he believed about what it means to be British - which many in the churches should find a little close for comfort.

To their credit, some churches seemed to anticipate that this is what the racist leader of the Far Right party would do. Joint statements were issued by a number of church leaders distancing themselves from the BNP, and the Evangelical Alliance pre-empted Griffin's appearance on Question Time with a press release saying that the BNP 'does not speak for British Christians.'

But the fact that they felt the need to do this suggests that churches should also now think long and hard about the language they use and the arguments that they mount with regard to national identity. In particular, it is time to drop the ideology of ‘Christian Britain’ which so many employ.

This does not mean that the churches have to deny the huge historic religious influence of Christianity on this country. (And nor does it mean that we should forget the huge mistakes that Christianity has made). What it does mean, is relinquishing the desire to describe what it means to be British in the terms of one religion.

The churches have long found themselves in a strange situation. When they want to appear important and influential, they tend to draw attention to the 72 per cent of the population who identified themselves as 'Christian' at the last census. But when they want to plead they are a minority and need special protections, they will usually focus more on the 5-10 per cent of the population who regularly attend church services.

The BNP has employed a strategy which fits a little too neatly with such an approach. Over the last five years it has been making a play for the Christian vote, and seeking to portray itself as a ‘Christian’ party, particularly when playing on fears over Islam.

Like many in the churches, on the one hand it appeals to the majority of the population who see their cultural identity in religious terms. On the other, it also seeks to win support from those who feel that they are now a persecuted minority, facing threats from ‘the Muslims’ to ‘secularists’ and the ‘politically correct’ to name just a few of the groups which some Christians and the BNP have caricatured as the 'enemy'.

And those who might be tempted to think that this is all pretty inconsequential should take a long hard look at what has been going on over the last few years. In the run up to the European Elections, the BNP produced posters featuring a picture of Jesus Christ on the cross and quoted part of a verse from John's Gospel (John 15:20) in which Jesus says: "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you". A few years earlier, they also facilitated the establishment of a body called the Christian Council of Britain.

Ekklesia’s analysis of the leaked BNP membership list showed that such tactics seemed to be having an effect. Some BNP members were listed as a Pentecostal Christians attending an Assemblies of God church. Another was called a Quaker. Still another a "practising Catholic". Others are said to be Cathedral tour guides, members of the Anglican Society, and supporters of the Evangelical Open Doors charity which works with persecuted Christians around the world - many in predominantly Muslim countries. Another was listed as someone who preaches regularly in Baptist, United Reformed and Presbyterian churches. One was described as a "committed Evangelical Christian" who attended bible studies and prayer meetings, others as "born again" Christians. Another had an email address linked to a Christian bookshop.

The overwhelming majority of the records had no comments on them. The number of self-identifying 'Christians' in the BNP's ranks is therefore likely to be still higher.

It is also likely that these problems will cause further discomfort for the churches. The BNP now has several dozen councillors in the UK and church schools could face BNP representatives appointed to their governing bodies. Local authorities, after all, have a duty to nominate some governors from different local political parties. If this happens, they may find BNP governors advancing a strategy of social division by vigorously endorsing the admissions policy - run by many church schools - of favouring Christians over others in the local community.

This is tough news for a Church that wants to rely on 'cultural capital'. The churches can pass all the bans that they like on BNP membership, but this will not tackle the underlying problem of the shared rhetoric and, for some, the shared perspective on preserving a Christian identity for Britain.
But there is another way. Instead of adopting a defensive stance which pleases those seeking to make political capital out of civic 'de-Christianisation', the Church has an opportunity to refocus its message. In an increasingly plural society, it will be the quality of contemporary political witness, not appeals to a bygone age, which will sort the sheep from the old goats. The churches are in a prime position to do this. They are the main providers of election hustings and have a presence in communities up and down the country. They work in some of the most deprived areas, as well as some of the most middle class ones. And they have a long track record of advocacy for migrants and refugees.

It is time for the churches to ditch the rhetoric of 'Christian Britain' and religious identity and to replace it with a new discourse based on a Christian vision of justice and equality, rather the hankering after a bygone age which will do nothing but fuel the BNP’s racist ideology.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


The wooden handrails on the entrance ramp to the New Hall is almost all finished. Do we dare to dream of a Completion Certificate tomorrow?

Pleasant Surprise

The old heart, which had been racing away for the last few weeks suddenly kicked itself back into a normal rhythm yesterday! Not that I'm terribly aware of it when it's beating at 135bpm, but to suddenly pop down to 60 again is just wonderful. What am I doing differently? Nothing in particular, except refusing to be stressed out by my dad's situation, the New Hall, or anything else which would normally bother me, oops, and deciding, on a daily basis, to be happy!

I know that sounds simple, but we alcoholics have to sometimes make simple decisions like this which come naturally to others!

Scottish Football Hits New Low

I'm despairing for my beloved Scottish Football. Not only has the performance and the commitment of the National Team taken a huge dip of late, but our clubs have been shown up in European Matches as being second rate. This was not always the case. Rangers and Celtic, at least, and Aberdeen and Dundee Utd have all achieved on the European stage, and there was once a time when European clubs feared Scottish opposition.

This season we are being shown up as the "tiddlers" of  European competition. I'm sure nobody fears Rangers and Celtic, far less any of the other clubs. I guess it's all to do with money, and our inability to compete financially with the very best, or even the slightly better, but Rangers were taken to the cleaners on Tuesday by minnows from Romania who possibly have as big a turnover as the Saracen Head public house in Glasgow.

I was ashamed of the standard of football on offer from one of the two clubs I love to hate, although I will always want them to do well when they are representing Scottish Football. It will be Celtic's turn to humiliate us more this evening at Celtic Park, I'm sure.

To add to the misery, one of the Rangers players, an Afro american called Maurice Edu, was racially abused by Rangers fans, even although he wasn't even playing on Tuesday! A shameful incident for Scottish Football to say the least, but what does one expect from the (admittedly minority) of thugs and bigots who follow the Old Firm. Sectarianism is our problem here in the West of Scotland. Let's not humiliate ourselves more by adding racism to our dreadful track record.

I'm affirmed on a daily basis for supporting the Great Glasgow Alternative! My beloved Partick Thistle!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

PantoDine Pics

The Pantodine pics can be seen HERE!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Roman Catholic Option - More From MadPriest

To the Bishops of the Church of England, and the members of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion - from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

20 October 2009

The Vatican has announced today that Pope Benedict XVI has approved an ‘Apostolic Constitution’ (a formal papal decree) which will make some provision for groups of Anglicans (whether strictly members of continuing Anglican bodies or currently members of the Communion) who wish to be received into communion with the See of Rome in such a way that they can retain aspects of Anglican liturgical and spiritual tradition.

I am sorry that there has been no opportunity to alert you earlier to this; I was informed of the planned announcement at a very late stage, and we await the text of the Apostolic Constitution itself and its code of practice in the coming weeks. But I thought I should let you know the main points of the response I am making in our local English context – in full consultation with Roman Catholic bishops in England and Wales – in the hope of avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation. I attach a copy of the Joint Statement that I agreed to make alongside the Archbishop of Westminster, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It can also be found on my website.

It remains to be seen what use will be made of this provision, since it is now up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution; but, in the light of recent discussions with senior officials in the Vatican, I can say that this new possibility is in no sense at all intended to undermine existing relations between our two communions or to be an act of proselytism or aggression. It is described as simply a response to specific enquiries from certain Anglican groups and individuals wishing to find their future within the Roman Catholic Church.

The common heritage of the achievement of the ARCIC agreed statements, and the IARCCUM principles for shared work and witness (in Growing Together in Unity and Mission, 2007), remain the solid ground both for our future co-operation as global communions, and our regional and local growth in common faith and witness. For those who wish to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in the near future, this announcement will clarify possible options, and we wish them God’s strength and guidance in their discernment. Meanwhile our ecumenical relationships continue on their current cordial basis, regionally and internationally.

+ Rowan Cantuar:

COMMENT: Meanwhile our ecumenical relationships continue on their current cordial basis, regionally and internationally.

Oh, why bother? It just makes us look like complete fools (and some of us aren't).

Partick Thistle Nil - Away Top

For those of you seeking a clearer view of the Nil's new "Away Top" ..... Here it is!

Now We Can All Go To Rome!

We are indebted to MadPriest for articulating and reporting on the following...

"Pope Benedict XVI has has created a new church structure for Anglicans who want to join the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Joseph Levada, the Vatican's chief doctrinal official, said Tuesday the new legal entity will allow Anglicans to join the Catholic Church while maintaining their Anglican identity and many of their liturgical traditions.
Levada said the new structure is a response to the many requests that have come to the Vatican over the years from Anglicans who want to join. Many Anglicans have become disillusioned by the ordination of women, the election of openly gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions in the 77-million strong Anglican Communion."

The following spin appeared on ACNS this morning in response to this news that we can all become Roman Catholics but retain our Anglican ethos. Married priests will be able to be transfer quite easily, and, I presume, take their congregations with them.

Anglican Communion News Service

Joint Statement by
The Archbishop of Westminster
and The Archbishop of Canterbury

Posted On : October 20, 2009 11:37 AM

Today's announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

With God's grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England's House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.

+ Vincent + Rowan

As MP comments:

At a separate news conference the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain announced that it will now allow meat-eaters to become full members. The meat-eaters will still be allowed to eat dead animals, refer to themselves as carnivores and worship at McDonald's as they always have done. A Spokeswoman for the Society stated that the exact beliefs of the new members were not important. What was important was the big boost to the society's membership list and, subsequently, its finances.

There may be trouble ahead...........

Partick Thistle Nil in Charity Campaign

Partick Thistle players and management are putting their best feet forward to help Cancer research UK kick off it's latest campaign, "Join the Fight for Women's Survival" today.
The club is hoping to encourage supporters, and anyone else who fancies kicking cancer into touch, to join Cancer Research UK's fundraising cause.
Captain Alan Archibald and manager Ian McCall joined the charity's Linda Hamilton, each wearing the unique pink "camouflage" ribbons, designed to draw attention to the role the charity's scientists play on the front line in the battle against breast cancer - a disease which affects more than 4,000 Scots each year.
Players Ricky Little, Paul Cairney, Kris Doolan and Chris Erskine are pictured herewith Linda, sporting the new away shirts - which happens to mirror the new Cancer Research UK design!
Alan Archibald said, "Cancer Research UK is a charity close to the hearts of many people involved with the Jags, and when we saw the design for their campaign was so similar to our new away shirts, we knew it was the right one for us to get behind." Manager McCall added, "So many people are touched by cancer, and we want to do something positive to help them by supporting Cancer Research UK's life saving work. Jags fans are a big hearted lot and I'm sure they'll help make this campaign a success".
As well as helping get the campaign under way, Partick Thistle will help Cancer Research UK with collections at matches.
Cancer Research UK's Linda Hamilton said, "It's great that Partick Thistle have decided to "join the fight for women's survival", and we hope lots of their supporters will help us out with some fundraising. Here in Glasgow alone, we support the fight against cancer with more than £18 million of scientific funding each year. Our doctors, nurses and scientists play a crucial role in finding new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease. Our reasearch is beating breast cancer, but we still need people to help us fight harder. Every penny saved will help save more lives in the future".
Cancer Research UK is the largest single funder of breast cancer research in the UK, spending nearly £44 million on groundbreaking work into the disease last year.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Superb Day Conference

Despite feeling rather negative yesterday, the Conference on "Managing Meetings Effectively" for stipendiary clergy was an unexpected nugget. Although I spoke too much, a common complaint, there was some really deep, honest and wonderful sharing taking place, and some really helpful stuff about getting the best out of so many of the meetings clergy are expected to chair.

In Alison Clark, we had a tremendous facilitator, and I would hope that the Pisckie Church uses her skills more often in the future.

This was my first CMD (Continuing Ministerial Development) do, and it certainly encouraged me to attend others in the future.

Will my meetings be run more effectively in future? Probably, but if nothing else, they will be run more sensitively! Much to mull over and think about. Wonderful to share some deep stuff with brother and sister clergy!

More Scary Stuff

Muslim organisations have condemned a planned demonstration by extremists who are calling for sharia law in Britain. Parts of the media have also come under fire for implying that the extremists are representative of British Muslims generally.

The demonstration, involving a march from Parliament to Trafalgar Square on 31 October, is organised by the fringe group Islam4UK, who support "the full implementation of sharia law in the UK" and say that they "have had enough of freedom".

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Diocesan Training Day

Off to Greenock tomorrow for a training day, titled "Running Meetings More Effectively". It is to be hoped that those running the day will be so good that we'll get home by lunchtime!

There is Nothing Like a ... Pair of Ugly Sisters!


David Rowatt and I are the Ugly Sisters in The PantoDine, and the cast are just wonderful!

All the photos will appear on the Church Site this week, when I get the chance!

Posted on my Old Blog Today

  • tel1342 Pro


  • 18/10/2009 @ 09:11:38 am

  • Why has religion indeed the Holy Bible been the cause so much trouble in the world. If I count the trouble caused by Man’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures throughout history; I would need a super computer to record the results.

    Holy Books are the bane of human kind, mix their vague and cryptic messages with the manipulative, power hungry and vain "Holy Men" and you have trouble which spans the course of history. These people who interpret Holy Scriptures to their own slants are the worse types of human beings.

    After sixty years of listening to the inane prattle of holy men and women, I have grown to hate the word of god and all its trappings. Seriously, I have not in the course of my life ever heard anything of good come from the preaching of the "Word of God."

    The fact of the matter is; I only hear separatism and bigotry defined in the interpretation of "God's Word." I hear the condemnation of the physical world; I hear the condemnation of the other religions of the world and its peoples as; ‘godless, pagan and heathen. The followers of Allah say; "I am a Muslim so you are an infidel because you are not." What is the matter with the people of the world, you are not solving problems with religion, you are making the world worse because of your interpretations, and misunderstanding of what the prophets wrote thousands of years ago.

    Here on one hand you have the "Pope" telling his people to super populate the world and on the other hand you have a Religious Zealot from the Mullah telling their people that they must fight a Jihad, the average person who knows not, takes these religious personalities to heart.

    I must call religion insane, no religion is good for mankind, not a one, they contradict one another, and they cause a riff between peoples. Brainwashing, in its purest form is what religion is, pure and simple; brainwashing.

    Throughout history all religions have given to the poor and down trodden, but with a price, you must listen to the tract and recognize that Christ is your saviour and that you must give up your soul to this god to be at peace. Then there are the other religions, which only help only their own people, no matter what the god is it is not altruistic in fact far from it all these religions are power-based organizations with an agenda.

    Here is another thing about religion; it promises a life after death, how vain, no one has ever come back from the dead to say hey there is another world on the other side. This is another form of brain washing. Here you have a man who is poor and old; he takes religion and uses it as a crutch to ease the pains of life. This promise of an afterlife is a way of pushing a man or woman aside so they can feel content with the absence of material wealth in this world. " ... the opiate of the masses ... " how accurate and insightful was that statement?

    We need a revolution by the little people who are being led around by the nose. They need to shake off the religious power brokers and politicians who know that they are using religion to dictate the lives and histories of the unsuspecting and illiterate. We need to say good-bye to religion and its mythologies. We need to take our destinies in our own hands and say good-bye to God and the ancient and outdated writings, which hold back the progress of the world.

    Back during the Renaissance period, religion, especially the Christian Religion, made horrible mistakes and tried to keep the world ignorant, have we forgotten their manipulation and destruction, the setbacks to science, art and philosophy? Have we not developed a logic now, which sees through the same old rhetoric, which is being spoon-fed to the masses? I can understand why some of the world's great revolutions had banned religion from its politics religion is the Great Lie.

    Look, I know that this blog article is not going to make me a popular person in the world, but no one seems to want to state the obvious when it comes to this problem, lets face it; religion is not helping to make the world a better place. I cannot keep my mouth shut when it comes to the strife, which is boiling around the world, and at the middle of the strife is religion and its leaders stirring up trouble amongst the peoples.

    Now this brings me back to the original problem, religion is trying to influence the fields of battle by controlling the money behind the scenes and by influencing the power brokers as well.

    Remove the religious zealots from the equation and the strife will vanish, these fanatics keep the trouble brewing here in America and around the world as well, especially in the Middle East. The peoples of Palestine and Israel, along with all other parties who are fighting must set aside their religious and philosophical differences and talk from their own logic and use their feelings to find their way in the quelling this conflict. Tell all of those insane religious leaders to shut up and let those who think logically do the negotiating for peace.

    It is time for religion to be cast from our societies and for the world to be brave and stretch its wings and fly. Do away with the crutch of religion and walk up right, stand tall against all forms of tyranny including the tyranny of one’s soul.

    Time to Buy!

    Have a look at this new clock that a couple of German guys have designed. It's not cheap, but very, very cool. One of these will set you back £900!

    Partick Thistle Two

    After last week's undeserved defeat against Dundee it was important that Partick Thistle Nil got back to winning ways yesterday against Ayr United. Thanks to first half goals from Mark Corcoran and Liam Buchanan, his ninth of the season, The Nil did just that. Some excellent football played by both sides, and not for the first time this season, the entertainment was well worth the gate money.

    The only fly in the ointment was a referee who decided that he wanted attention too and was trying to vie for Man of the Match I think! There are some right egomaniacs in Scottish refereeing circles. Oh yes there are!

    I'm still in panto mode and looking forward to harvesting all the photos from Friday and showing them to the world!

    Saturday, 17 October 2009

    Recovering - Oh! Yes We Are!

    Last night saw the St Augustine's PantoDine being rolled out, and what a magnificent evening. Top notch, first class food including beef filet and black forest gâteaux with cream was followed by some wonderful dancing and the world premier of Cinderella, St Auggie's style!

    Lots of photos were taken and I hope they will appear somewhere soon, but a taster can be found here.

    Meanwhile, I'm off to Diocesan Council today in Lanark, but hope to catch Partick Thistle Nil on my way home!

    Breathing space? Tomorrow afternoon!

    Friday, 16 October 2009

    Let the Pantomime Begin.

    Tomorrow is a nightmare day when everything has to be fitted in! Firstly, off to Glasgow in the morning for an all-day meeting of the Diocesan/Provincial Preparatory Committee. It is our task to seek nominations for the post of Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, sift through these nominations, and after due process to present the Electoral Synod of the Diocese with three to five candidates to consider. Not everyone who is nominated will become a candidate, so there is a particular onus on us to get things right. Certainly, your prayers for this Committee are gratefully received, and my own prayer is that we will always be open to the promptings and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our deliberations.

    In the evening, there is some light relief! Friends of St Augustine's are putting on a PANTODINE, as our big fundraiser of the year. It will be done in the setting of a very posh sit-down dinner, served by outside caterers, so it's fillet steak for me tomorrow! Everyone is encouraged to come dressed as a panto character, and the after dinner entertainment is our very own pantomime, served up by members of the Friends Exec.

    I am, as usual, typecast as one of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella, and I'm fair warming to the task in hand. My green wig is to die for, and I've got a frock that Cinderella herself will probably covet!

    It is a testament to the level of talent and creativity in this congregation that new ideas and concepts are forever emerging, and so there's always something new and adventurous on the social calender! Around 70 folk from far and wide will have a great time tomorrow evening, laugh until they're sore, and raise some much needed money in the process. Whisper it, too, but it's mission at its rawest, introducing "outsiders" to the possibility that Church Folk can actually have tremendous fun, and that we are a closely knit family who care for each other and work well together. At least we are when we are at our best, and tomorrow we will be at our best!

    At least the RW is off work tomorrow afternoon, so the Special One, Toastie and Peanut SHALL go to the park, as surely as Cinders SHALL go to the Ball!

    Crazy? You bet we are!

    The Care Home meeting about dad was fairly reasonable, but he is still very unhappy there, and the staff acknowledge that the home is not meeting his needs, simply because it's the wrong place for him. Damned if we can come up with an alternative though. My sister and I left him sitting on the steps in floods of tears, but there was no consoling him and eventually we had to detach and come away. I wish I had a magic wand for him which would make him happy or find the perfect place for him to find some happiness in his latter years. The bottom line is that he will always choose to be unhappy, and there is no place on earth which is going to change the way he feels about himself or others who happen to live alongside him.

    The scary thing is that Social Work are talking of bringing in Advocacy for him, who, following the recommendation of the psychiatric lot, may well decide that he has a right to choose to live by himself in the community again. This is despite the fact that it has been proven over and over again that he CANNOT look after himself in the community, and always ends up extremely ill in hospital whenever he is left to live in this fashion. We don't know if there is a solution, but I'll be stealing the RW's magic wand, (she's the Fairy Godmother), after tomorrow's pantodine, in the hope it may actually work!

    Wednesday, 14 October 2009

    Busy Times

    It's Wednesday, and I've still to catch my breath this week. It's been back to back meetings and visits and folk wanting to see me or discuss stuff, and the never-ending new hall saga/new boilers saga taking up lots of time too. With no opportunity for a "day off" next week either, it's my intention to grab 24 hours to myself from now!

    It's about family business too. I need to spend some time trying to work out options, if there are any, for dad. He is so unhappy in his Care Home, and if truth be told, they are not overly enthusiastic about keeping him. He really needs to find somewhere else, and my sister and I have been summoned for a meeting with the Care Home staff tomorrow.

    Something needs to give, and we are hoping that we can begin to resolve a plethora of issues at that meeting.

    Wee prayers would not go amiss!

    Tuesday, 13 October 2009

    See the Pope Naked!

    It has been brought to our attention that this Telegraph article raises all sorts of issues at our airports in future. Would you be comfortable with someone, even in a remote room seeing you "naked"? Or more to the point, how will the Pontiff react when asked to go through this scanner after his Papal Visit to these shores?

    Perhaps a couple of Cardinals, who are frequent flyers to Rome might be able to assure His Holiness that the images are deleted shortly after appearing on someone's screen? Perhaps we need to train a couple of disinterested nuns to be able to do the business when that day comes? Maybe not.

    God Save Us From These People!

    Again from Ekklesia today comes this story:

    In the aftermath of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2009, Amnesty International has highlighted several cases of people facing execution - including one in the USA which is being distorted by religious fundamentalism.

    A Texas man who faces execution after jurors at his trial consulted the Bible when deliberating his fate, should have his death sentence commuted, the global human rights group reports.

    Khristian Oliver, aged 32, is set to be killed on 5 November after jurors used Biblical passages supporting the death penalty to help them decide whether he should live or die.

    From what has been reported, it does not appear that Jesus Christ's injunctions to set prisoners free, love enemies and set aside the sword was their prime reading focus, but other passages that appear to justify blood and vengeance.

    Amnesty International is calling on the Texas authorities to commute Khristian Oliver's death sentence. The organization considers that the jurors' use of the Bible during their sentencing deliberations "raises serious questions about their impartiality."

    A US federal appeals court acknowledged last year that the jurors' use of the Bible amounted to an "external influence" prohibited under the US Constitution, but nonetheless upheld the death sentence.

    Khristian Oliver was sentenced to death in 1999 for a murder committed during a burglary. According to accomplice testimony at the trial, 20-year-old Oliver shot the victim before striking him on the head with a rifle butt.

    After the trial, evidence emerged that jurors had consulted the Bible during their sentencing deliberations. At a hearing in June 1999, four of the jurors recalled that several Bibles had been present and highlighted passages had been passed around.

    One juror had read aloud from the Bible to a group of fellow jurors, including the passage, "And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death".

    The judge ruled that the jury had not acted improperly and this was upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

    In 2002, a Danish journalist interviewed a fifth juror. The latter said that "about 80 per cent" of the jurors had "brought scripture into the deliberation", and that the jurors had consulted the Bible "long before we ever reached a verdict".

    He told the journalist he believed "the Bible is truth from page one to the last page", and that if civil law and biblical law were in conflict, the latter should prevail. He said that if he had been told he could not consult the Bible, "I would have left the courtroom". He described himself as a death penalty supporter, saying life imprisonment was a "burden" on the taxpayer.

    In 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the jurors had "crossed an important line" by consulting specific passages in the Bible that described the very facts at issue in the case. This amounted to an "external influence" on the jury prohibited under the US Constitution.

    However, it concluded that under the "highly deferential standard" by which federal courts should review state court decisions, Oliver had failed to prove that he had been prejudiced by this unconstitutional juror conduct. In April 2009, the US Supreme Court refused to take the case, despite being urged to take it by nearly 50 former US federal and state prosecutors.

    From Ekklesia

    Parliament will be the venue today for a ground-breaking event on forgiveness, 25 years after the Provisional IRA bombed a Brighton hotel during the Conservative Party conference.
    People on both sides of the incident will come together, including Patrick Magee, a former IRA member jailed for planting the bomb, who will speak alongside Jo Berry, whose father, Tory MP Anthony Berry, was killed in the blast.

    The event is being run by the Forgiveness Project and hosted by the All Party Group on Conflict Issues.

    It aims “to open up a dialogue about forgiveness and promote understanding through awareness, education and inspiration”.

    Magee was released from jail in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement. He met Berry the following year and they have since worked together on issues of peace and forgiveness, speaking at meetings in Britain, Ireland and beyond.

    This is the first time they will speak together in Parliament.

    “For both of us, it's not always easy” explained Magee, "But the spur to continue comes from the feedback we get.”

    Magee's invitation was criticised by Norman Tebbit, whose wife was severely injured in the bombing. “I really cannot see why he should be invited to talk in the House of Commons” he said.

    However, the event's organisers emphasise that they understand that forgiveness is a difficult and challenging process.

    “If it were easy to forgive, we would all do it” explained Conservative MP Gary Streeter, chair of the All-Party Group on Conflict Issues, “It is not easy. That is why we are hosting this event”.

    Railing Against the Inevitable

    There are times when frustration can get the better of me, and now is one of these times! The new parish/community hall has been completed for weeks, we have officially "opened" it and blessed it, with temporary handrails on the entrance ramp, but we can't have full access until the permanent rails are on and a Completion Certificate granted. Now, one would think that putting up handrails would be easy enough, and certainly something that would be high on someone's agenda, but seemingly not.

    The firm subcontracted to do this work don't seem to be too bothered. They have been "on site", mostly with just one young lad for over a week now, and today I'm told that they are waiting for tubes to be delivered. Meanwhile, we're admiring the supports that have been secured to the base of the entrance ramp. The fact that the hall was supposed to be complete by the end of August, and actually was, internally, doesn't seem to be phasing anyone except me.

    I'm beginning to feel embarrassed by the fact that I've been punting a community hall that the community can have no access to. Time rolls on and I'm getting to a position where I've promised much but am unable to deliver. That's cos I've been promised much and others have failed to deliver, but it's still me who is left looking and feeling like a twit!

    The hall is by all intents and purposes completed, although a few odds and ends, snagging etc, have still to get done. That has been the case for several weeks now. Why have the railings suddenly become unimportant, especially when we need them for our completion certificate?

    Then there is the small matter of the church boilers. We ordered the new boilers in mid August, and were promised heat in the church building by the end of August. Same sort of story, and in mid-October we were still frreezing last Sunday. I'm assured, today, that the heating will be on tomorrow. I wait with bated breath!

    Monday, 12 October 2009

    BT Delivers - At Last!

    For those of you following the story, it's been a long time coming! It really started off in August when we asked BT to transfer our line, broadband enabled line, from the church building into the offices of our new hall. We are now in mid-October and I've received confirmation this morning that we have broadband back again. Meanwhile we reflect that we've been cut off completely in the intervening period, had our number changed twice, waited countless hours for engineers, spoken to a plethora of folk from India and other foreign climes like Englandshire, and danced a jig when we got a dialling tone in mid September!

    Are we mad for opting into BT Total Broadband? Probably. It was the easiest way, in the end, to get our internet connection back. Perhaps that's how they planned it in the first place!

    From Cathedral Choir

    Of course, this does NOT apply to the St Auggie's Music Group! Thanks to Lay Clerk for this!

    To the tune: Repton

    Dear Lord and Father of mankind
    forgive our foolish ways;
    For most of us, when asked our mind,
    admit we still most pleasure find
    in hymns of ancient days,
    in hymns of ancient days.

    The simple lyrics, for a start,
    of many a modern song
    are far too trite to touch the heart;
    enshrine no poetry, no art;
    and go on much too long,
    and go on much too long.

    O, for a rest from jollity
    and syncopated praise!
    What happened to tranquillity?
    The silence of eternity
    is hard to hear these days,
    is hard to hear these days.

    Send Thy deep hush, subduing all
    those happy claps that drown
    the tender whisper of Thy call;
    triumphalism is not all,
    for sometimes we feel down,
    for sometimes we feel down.

    Drop Thy still dews of quietness
    till all our strummings cease;
    Take from our souls the strain and stress
    of always having to be blessed;
    Give us a bit of peace,
    give us a bit of peace.

    Breathe through the beats of praise-guitar
    Thy coolness and Thy balm;
    Let drum be dumb, bring back the lyre,
    enough of earthquake, wind and fire,
    let’s hear it for some calm,
    let’s hear it for some calm.

    From Unthinking Anglicans

    As a visual aid, there's nothing more effective than a fire-eating Vicar. Father Edward Martin is a real fire and brimstone preacher, giving demonstrations of fire-eating to his newly-enlightened congregations. Concerned churchgoers need look no further than the New Testament, which proclaims "One who is more powerful than I will baptise with the Holy Ghost and fire." Fr Martin's fire-eating act is reserved for baptisms at his church. Rev. Colin Davis (right) also terrifies his congregation by giving them a foretaste of what is to come. The threat of Hell has always been a sure fire way of forcing people to behave. More Anglican clergy should start eating fire during their sermons.

    From Two Friars and a Fool

    President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No one thinks he actually deserves it - even the White House speech writers. The Peace Prize Committee itself says they are awarding it more on his future potential than based on his peacemaking accomplishments thus far. They hope the award will spur him into living up to some of his promises. I hope they are right - I really do, but it seems like an epic fail at the moment.

    We are only 9months into his presidency so I continue to hold out hope that he has some kind of long-game which will turn everything for the better but thus far Obama has been a disaster for the cause of peace. He has extended and expanded the war in Afghanistan. He has not pulled out of Iraq. Gitmo is still open and it looks increasingly likely that he will miss his own 1year deadline. Worse - he has aggressively fought in the courts for the continuation of all of the horrific Bush/Cheney policies including indefinite detention, extraordinary rendition, the legal blackhole at Bagram. He has tried to evade or demolish the Freedom of Information Act, he is pushing warrant-less wiretapping, he has continued embargoes on Cuba, and he made no progress on major peace promises from his campaign like nuclear disarmament. In fact, on issues related to war and terrorism his policies are virtually indistinguishable from the Bush administration.

    Granted his rhetoric is very different from Cheney and friends, and I am not one who believes words are worthless. He has changed the climate already in foreign relations. America is much less reviled than it was a year ago. His diplomacy with Iran has already yielded tangible results. His negative stance on Israeli settlements in Palestine is a courageous shift from previous administrations. He continues to promise much and if he comes through with it then he may actually deserve this award, but he is nowhere even close at the present time.

    Even if he were to end all our current wars and usher in the era of transparency he promised however, could he really be a credible dove? Could any president of the United States? We are the country that continues to spend almost as much on our military as the rest of the world combined. We sell about 70% of all arms worldwide. We are a perpetual warmongering state. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st we have moved continuously from war to war to war without break, all of them wars of aggression. We invade, we destabilize, we reconstruct, and we abandon country after country with undetonated mines, clusterbombs, and depleted uranium left behind in our wake to terrorize for decades. What would it take for the commander in chief of our military to actually qualify as any kind of peacemaker?

    Saturday, 10 October 2009

    Partick Thistle Nil

    Well, the Nil scored nil again at Dundee and I experience a second 2-0 defeat in an afternoon having watched Scotland lose two goals in Japan without reply. The updates from the Nil website seemed to suggest that there were plenty of chances, and the BBC report simply stated that Dundee had a little bit more in the striking department! No kidding? Like they scored two and we didn't?

    I'll Have a Pint of That!

    The Tartan Army foot-soldiers are to be commended for travelling all the way to Japan for what ended up another glorious failure. Isn't it amazing how so many Scotland fans travel to these matches? They are obviously overpaid! However, a massive cave-in in the last six minutes so us go down 2-0.

    What more can the foot-soldiers do other than get torn in to the local beverage! However, someone needs to tell them not to order this in pint glasses. On the other hand, it may well take the edge off the disappointment!

    Friday, 9 October 2009

    Heather our Heroine!

    We have been greatly blessed by having the best wee woman joiner in Dumbarton during the building of the hall. Heather has just been fantastic! Not only is she a wonderful craftsperson, but also a joy to work with. Nothing has been any trouble for her, and she has helped us above and beyond the call of duty whenever she has been asked.

    So, Heather wins the “Brick of the Year Award”, and we got to present her with some flowers at our opening party, much to her embarrassment!!

    One of Those Weeks!

    It' been one of those weeks when time flies in, you know you have been incredibly busy, but seem to have little to show for the morning noon and nightly efforts! The old blogging is the first to go, and it's something I miss terribly. If I'm not blogging it means that I'm missing other blogs I follow too, and I miss the daily chuckles and the deeper thought provoking comments too.

    Not that I've not been creative, as the Parish Magazine had to be finished by today for printing, and various other bits and bobs had to be written up including a short obituary on someone I loved dearly but lost recently. However, it's been a week of meetings, a funeral, and time spent in the new office beginning to get all my stuff together again. My office internet connection should be back on Monday, and I look forward to the opportunities that will give to stay on top of things, internet-wise at least.

    It's weekend time already, and Sunday's sermon has still to be looked at, the magazine has still to be printed, and there's the little matter of a football match to cover too. Not that I'm traveling to Dundee to watch Partick Thistle Nil tomorrow, (did I tell you that PTN are top of the League at the moment?), but the Japan v Scotland international match to be seen on BBC 2 Scotland in the morning. The Scotland Squad is a pale shadow of what it ought to be, and there have been so many call-offs through injury that the Tartan Army members in Japan will probably be in with a chance of a game just by virtue of them being there and being Scottish! It all bodes well for another embarrassment for our national team, but I'll watch through my fingers anyway!

    Saturday, 3 October 2009

    Hall Together Now...

    Well, what a day of activity. The builders in their droves were working like wee ants, and the new hall is all ready to house tomorrow evening's celebration Centre of the World Party. There was almost a glitch, but temporary handrails on the new walkway make it all safe, and the inside is just crying out for our stuff which should be moving in tomorrow morning/afternoon. I even get a set of keys tomorrow!

    There is going to be a fair bit of snagging, so I expect the workers to be around for a week or two yet, but they will not be in my way. Community Groups may have to wait for a week or so yet for occupancy, but it will be worth the wait!

    It really is a big weekend, and Thistle spanking Airdrie tomorrow will just be the icing on the cake!

    Friday, 2 October 2009

    Catching Up

    Well, it was a successful trip to The Gambia, and long meetings had favourable outcomes. I think they all felt sorry for me! In effect, I could have been home in three days if I'd known that things were going to go so well, but flights are hard to change without massive financial penalties. The Gambian School is secure for another three years at least, and everyone is happy about that..... even the landlord!

    Left with a few days on my own, I realised for the first time that The Gambia is not the most hospitable place to be in September. (November until April is beautiful and much cooler) The rainy season has not quite spluttered out yet, temperatures are muggy and OTT, and mosquito laden puddles are still in evidence, some blocking roads that I needed access to, (I don't know all the alternatives yet), and of course most tourist establishments still closed because the season doesn't start until the end of October. Mother Nature put a couple of incredible thunder storms together for my amusement and entertainment, but it wasn't quite up to the standard of the local drumming and singing which usually keeps me entertained.

    So, home! An agreement in my hand which makes me feel a bit like Neville Chamberlain, and the headache of 10 days of email and correspondence to catch up with. I really should have spent more time in the internet cafe when I was over there!

    I had expected the new hall to be totally completed, but alas there are still things to be done. This isn't going to stop us having our Centre of the World Party tomorrow night. John McFall, our MP, is all set to cut the ribbon with Hannah, (Dumbarton's revered community member), and then it's down to good food and entertainment, served in the best new hall in the world!

    Snagging will begin on Monday!