Thursday, 29 July 2010


I've been following Heal Mail on Gadget Vicar. This rather humbling account from Alan Erving as he goes through a course of chemotherapy has the power to reduce me to tears at one point, and raise my spirits and make me more determined and more grateful at another.

Thank you Alan for sharing your pain, hope and faith with us. I may not share your theological perspective at times, but I'm 100% with you on your journey!

Little Sins - and Bigger ones!

Examination of conscience can be a tricky business, especially since we can easily delude ourselves that our faults and failings aren't too bad, especially compared to others, like folk who bug us greatly! (If only they could change, then the world would be a better place, for me anyway!) We can spend a lot of time trying to change other folk, when in reality it's us who needs a-changin'!

Where to start, though? How do we begin this examination of conscience that is imperative if we are to grow as people and reform our, almost spotless, selves? Some start at the Seven Deadly Sins, wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. See if you find yourself in that lot! I only manage four out of seven, but that's me, probably, being greatly deluded!

I mention this after reading some stuff lately which required a great deal of self-examination. (Oh! It's easy to shove it aside when it gets too painful!) However, before I did, it hit me over the head with my major, favourite sin, and that would be my propensity for procrastination.

I'm sure this is what is alluded to in general confessions, when they talk about forgiving us those things we have done, but also those things we have failed to do! In reality my life is not so much littered with sins I have done which might cripple me inside, but with those myriad things I have failed to do.

It is argued by some that sloth covers this stuff, but I have other ideas! Sure, I can be a lazy "so-and-so" at times, but many of the things I fail to do are due to other factors rather than sloth!

Sometimes fear holds me back... fear that I will be found wanting, fear of what others might say or how they will react, but sometimes a lack of faith in my own ability will hold me back, too. If only I could have a bit more faith in the fact that God usually gives us the tools to do the things that ought to be done but which I haven't done for that reason!

Many people ask me why I don't play golf, and the reason for that is that I tried it once, as a lad, was totally unable to hit a ball, never mind hitting it straight, and so I gave up, never to try again. It's a personality defect, I guess, that I'll leave things alone in which I may open myself to ridicule! Pride maybe? No, another little sin..... that of perfectionism! I realised a long time ago that I only really do things, unless I definitely have to,  that I know will be done well and perhaps even admired by others!

So with procrastination and perfectionism ready to be tackled, starting with the public confession to Blogland, I now have to tackle these things that I ought to have done, and continue to thank God that I'm not as bad as other folk.

Really..............?!? I've just added the other three deadly sins as distinct possibilities!

Thanks to Aman for this.....

Ebay Rules!

Monday, 26 July 2010

From The Herald Diary....

ON Saturday the Lochearnhead Highland Games were held with events, perhaps evoking an earlier era, including the Married Ladies Race followed by the Spinsters Race.

We hear organisers might update next year’s event with the Bidie-Ins Race, the Civil Partners Race or even the Confirmed Bachelor Race.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Back Off Guys!

I'm getting more than a little annoyed about the continuing saga of an American Senate wanting Scottish Ministers to come to the USA to "explain themselves"! Who do these guys think they are? However, a few things need to be made clear.

1) The decision to release Magrahi was made under Scots Law which allows a prisoner an early release under compassionate grounds. American law does not understand compassion, and attending a Senate meeting will not help them to appreciate what this means.

2) We have a Scottish Parliament which dealt with this issue, and any deals that were made, were made independently with the UK Government under Tony Blair. This touched on Prisoner Transfer, and had nothing to do with our Justice Minister's decision.

3) We do not have to answer to anyone or explain how Scots Law works.

4) Most people in Scotland don't believe that Megrahi was anything else other than a "fall guy" anyway. Evidence has been with-held by the USA because it may affect national security. I think it's the USA that need to do some explaining here!

Of course the real problem is that Megrahi is not dead yet. He certainly would be if he'd been tried in America! And the second problem is this. Until we get a full enquiry, and Americans with others are made to provide the info they have, the truth will never be known. The conviction of Megrahi was extremely unsafe anyway.

Actually, Scotland has come out well in all of this. Now, leave us in peace!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Stolen from MadPriest

Dog eats God Scandal!

St. Peter’s Anglican Church, in downtown Toronto, has long been known as an open and inclusive place. So open, it seems, they won’t turn anyone away. Not even a dog. That’s how a blessed canine ended up receiving communion from interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea during a morning service the last Sunday in June.

According to those in attendance it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner – a first timer at the church — feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident – and has since left the church.

“I wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals,” said Bishop Patrick Yu, the area bishop of York-Scarborough responsible for St. Peter’s, who received the complaint in early July. “I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before. I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.”

But congregants of the church say the act wasn’t meant to be controversial. It was the first time the man and his dog had been in church. He had been invited to the service after an incident where police heckled him as he sat peacefully on the steps of the church early one morning during the G20 weekend. Angry over the experience, he called the church to vent. They invited him to come to church, and he did, bringing his dog with him.

When it was time for communion, the man went up to receive the bread and the wine, with the dog. “I am sure for Marguerite that was a surprise, like it was for all of us,” said Needham. “But nobody felt like it was a big deal, because it wasn’t a big deal.”

Rev. Rea instinctively leaned over and placed a wafer on the dog’s wagging tongue.

“I think it was this natural reaction: here’s this dog, and he’s just looking up, and she’s giving the wafers to people and she just gave one to him,” said Peggy Needham, the deputy people’s warden. “Anybody might have done that. It’s not like she’s trying to create a revolution. In his email, the man’s argument was that Christ wouldn’t have liked it. “But in my opinion, Christ would have thought it was neat. It was just being human. And it made everyone smile.”

Bishop Yu said when he spoke to Rev. Rea, she apologized for what she had done and said she would not do it again.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


The RW has shot off for the weekend to Wales and has left me alone. I'm basking in my solitude!

On my lap is one dog head attached to a body attached to another dog head, attached to a body that's attached to a cat. On the floor is  another dog who wants to be attached to my lap, by his head.

There is no human to save me! Help! Am I missing the RW? You bet I am!


It really has been a hard time for dear Peanut. She lost her "big brother", Toastie, then was hurriedly taken off for neutering, followed by a fortnight on her own, for the first time, with Auntie Maggie, while her owners swanned off to the Greek Islands.

Things couldn't get worse, could they? Poor Peanut was obviously suffering some sort of grief over Toastie, and Archie definitely moved into Top Dog position now that Toastie had gone.

Archie, The Special One, is proving to be a typical Golden Retriever. Keen on mud and water, and needing so much exercise and care. I wonder at times if he would not be better on his own! He certainly seems to resent the fact that there are other dogs in the house, although he likes the cat, as he constantly tries to eat the same. The cat, in its turn, prefers not to be on the lunch menu.

The whole makeup of the house has been overturned this week again by the arrival of Poppy. Poppy is my son's Cavalier puppy and is nine-months-old. The psycho-dynamics have changed considerably. Watch this space, but gunfight at the OK Corral has nothing on this little scene!


I worry about my brothers and sisters of the C of E. A priest is a priest, whether male or female. A priest can be elected bishop. What's the problem?

Returning Again...

It seems like an age since I blogged,  and lots has happened. Sometimes, things like holidays give bloggers a natural break, and it's difficult to get back in the saddle, and maybe that's because a fortnight is not quite enough of a blogging break. It has certainly made me think again about what I blog and what I choose not to comment on. I know I've been a big scardey-cat at times, lately, and hampered by bad experiences, it has been more comfortable to slip into the inane at times.

The inane will be always with me, though, and I guess reporting on the holiday to Kefalonia falls into that category. The island is famous for the making of Captain Correli's Mandolin and is indeed the most beautiful, if sleepiest, Greek Island I've visited. Decimated by an earthquake in 1953, don't expect traditional old fashioned Greek here, in your face, but a delightful people who have coped with conquests and earthquakes since time began, and still retain their culture in the face of adversity.

I loved the beauty, and the smallness of Aghia Effimia, although the multi-million pound yachts which were constant visitors made my little soul uncomfortable at times. However, the people were wonderful, and the RW and I would recommend the place to any of our friends.

Hire a car and get about! The roads are better than in most of the Greek Islands, being fairly modern, and the delights of Assos and Fiscardo need to be experienced.

We came back to rain, and apart from one day, it has rained every day for almost three weeks. Welcome to a West of Scotland summer!