Monday, 31 January 2011


What's Worse?

The "new cat", whose name has been subtly changed from Simba to Sushi over the past week, (well she is oriental), is beginning to take over the asylum, aka The Rectory. She's certainly a lively wee thing who is best friends with the Special One, has come to the point that she reckons the Puppy might be worth playing with, and is now able to sit on the window ledge with the Silent Assassin without them having to hiss at each other!

Sushi, has decided to be the "Disrupter"! Vases are knocked over to inspect the contents, the USB magic stick is hidden under furniture if it's not kept in my pocket, and I get the life frightened out of me when this black and white blur suddenly appears on my back and claws its way on to my shoulder.

However, I'm struggling with what's worse.......

a) A cat that leaps onto the keyboard when your typing something important which suddenly gets terribly disfigured as a result or
b) The dreadful man-cold that I'm suffering from at present.

The man-cold wins. Blocked nose, ears, cough, sore throat and sore head, worse than any of you could possibly imagine, really is the utter pits. The upside of it is that the sneezing frightens the cat, and I get peace to use my computer!


In Blogland, those of us who blog have many friends, people whose blogs we follow avidly. We perhaps meet with a few of these folk from time to time, but for me, in the most part, I know very few of those I follow personally. I guess I have a picture in my mind of what these folk are really like, and what it would be like to meet in real time, but I know from experience that I would possibly come away feeling either disappointed or extremely surprised that I had underestimated them!

My own blog is very different from when I started. I'm now much more careful about what I share and how I share it. That has come about after a couple of run-ins with organisations that were not the sort of people you take on! I was given a warning that there were some battles it was wise to avoid, and people it was be ill-advised to upset! A fairly wicked newspaper story has also had a profound effect on my life and my blogging.

However, the fairly dull and inane blog that I keep going keeps me amused and I know a fairly large number of people enjoy it enough to keep on reading! It's certainly not going to be winning many awards, that's for sure!

However, I was totally shocked at the weekend to receive some feedback from someone I'd met in "real-time", who had commented that after reading my blog they had been disappointed that I was not quite as lively or interesting as they had expected me to be! Jack, or Kenny, must be a rather dull boy indeed!

Looking at myself, then looking at the sort of stuff I'm blogging just now, I'm pretty unsure about what I need to "liven up" first! I guess it must be the "real me", so meantime let the inanity continue!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Good News Version of the Address to the Haggis!

How like a smiley-face, you
(pre-eminent among all forms of prepared meat,
though largely made of guts)
are worthy of a decent thanksgiving.
And not a short one either.

(with acknowledgement to Raspberry Rabbit) 

Mission as it Should Be.

Gambia in Bristol

Off to Bristol tonight for a very important meeting which involves many little lives in The Gambia. For nine years now we have been running, not supporting, but running a wee Nursery School in London Corner in Serrekunda, one of the most shocking areas of poverty I have had  the misfortune to witness. During that time almost 400 weans have been offered free schooling, a feeding programme and free medical care due to the generosity of people from my parish and much further beyond.

There is the opportunity to "go big" and join with an English charity in providing a more holistic educational experience in a complex some walking distance from our own rented accommodation. It all makes sense, but abandoning London Corner after so many years, and especially when things are going so well, will be a tough decision to make.

So, I ask you for your prayers tonight, for me and the ninety children who are educated daily in Serrekunda. It's going to be a tough call!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Nicked from Lesley!

Don't Blame Me - Blame Phillida!

Proposed cuts to the National Health Service.

The British Medical Association has weighed in on the new Prime Minister David Cameron's health care proposals.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it,  but the neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.

Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted..

Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the  Paediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.

The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash  their hands of the whole thing.

The ENT specialists didn't swallow it, and just wouldn’t hear of it.

The Pharmacologists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow,  and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the  matter...."

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were peed off at the whole idea.

The Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas, but the  Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in London .

Andy Gray

Sacked. For a bit of banter off-air about women not understanding the offside rule. Oh! And a couple of other things, again, off-air that have been dug up since.

The cry of "sexism" is being shouted loudly by his employers, who happen to publish the Sun and The News of the World, highly sought after reading for those with intellect, especially the Page Three girls who tittilate us all and are certainly not exploited for showing us what they have upfront! Andy is suing The News of the World at present, but that has nothing to do with his sacking, of course.

Any employer will tell you that a sexist comment deserves a warning rather than a sacking. But, there you go. Rupert Murdoch and his cronies can do what they like. Richard Keys will keep his job. Why? He's not suing the News of the World.

Banter in the workplace happens. The female in the workplace is as guilty as the male. Men are untidy, can't multi-task, leave their dirty socks, can't work the washing machine etc etc. We all laugh along. It's banter for goodness sake, and no harm is done or offence taken.

I grew up with Andy Gray. I played football with him in our BB team. He visited my family home, even after he was a professional at Dundee Utd. He was a nice guy, and totally harmless! His sense of humour and his knowledge of the beautiful game will be missed.

It's a sad day for common sense.

MadPriest pitches in with this....

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Holy Saturday

What does one do in the pit, in the desperation of hopelessness, despair, and worthlessness? Cry out with Jesus in that Godless day, Holy Saturday, in the darkness of the tomb, yet in the hope of Easter Morning.

For those in the pit today, can I assure you that Easter Day will come, just give it time!

Monday, 24 January 2011

What's Her Name?

Update on the new Rectory Cat...... not good! The Silent Assassin refuses to accept her, although the dogs are fine! An immediate cat fight seems close on the horizon.. we protect the vases!

Simba sounds so "Un-Rectory"! We've taken to call her Suki, although she responds to nothing! What's that Japanese raw fish thing? She may respond to that!

Oh Yes!

Wonderful post on Lesley's Blog today! I know of so many clergy for whom this has been the case. I reckon honesty all round is the best way to do it!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

And Lessons Learned..

So................. the local locksmith came and sorted the door. He asked me to show him the advert in Yellow Pages, which had a local number attached. He does contract work for them, so we may have gotten the same man anyway. The "local number" goes through to a call centre in Englandshire.

The difference is that the local man charged £160. The other guys would have billed me for over £400, and he would have got, yes, £160 for doing the job.

You couldn't make it up!

Friday, 21 January 2011


The Problems of Rectory Living, Part 154.

We've had big problems with the patio door lock for ages now. The darn thing's mechanism won't lock because the deadlocks won't engage, but with gentle persuasion, after about 10 or 15 minutes we have been managing to get it locked. However, last night and this morning it just will not work any longer. Archie was our burglar alarm last night, but obviously insurance companies don't accept big dogs as replacement locks!

So, off to Yellow Pages today to acquire a locksmith! After a long conversation with a very nice wee lassie from Manchester, she went off to book the job in and kept me "on hold" for the longest time.


Sorry Sir, but we can't do this job.


You are classed as a business address.

It's my home!

But you don't own it.

No, but ....

It's a Vicarage, isn't it?


So you don't own it.

No, but I'm chair of a committee that does own it, I'm one of the church trustees, and I sign the cheques.

But you don't own it, and we need authorisation from the owner.

How do you get that?

We can't, so we cannot do this job.

But why not?

Because it's a Vicarage and we can't change the locks, for legal reasons, unless we get the home-owner's approval.

But I have been given the authority to authorise this job.

But the house doesn't belong to you.

Well, it jointly belongs to me as one of three trustees...

But you don't pay the mortgage.

There is no mortgage!

So, since you didn't pay the mortgage the house doesn't belong to you. Vicarages are classed as businesses, and we don't do businesses.

But it's my hoose!

Sorry, sir, but maybe you can get a local locksmith who is prepared to take the risk.

But unless you are sending someone up from Manchester, you would be calling a local locksmith?

But we can't do that because you are a business.

Can I speak to your manager?

(Now go to the top of this conversation and repeat the explanations and questions with the same answers)

So, I phoned the local locksmith and he'll be round within the hour. Probably the same guy I'd have been getting anyway! Ah! The joys!

My problem is that I know too many guys who could get the door open in a twinkle, but not enough who can get it to lock up again!

New Addition

Always the sucker for the sad story, The Rectory acquired a new family member yesterday, who goes by the name of Simba. I know, I know, it's a dreadful name, from The Lion King I'm told, but wee Simba can't help what she was called. I'll have my own name for her when she settles in, no doubt!

Her life has not been easy, and she had to be be rescued from a house where she was being mistreated. She'd lived in a bathroom, and was going to be used simply to breed and make some money for the owners. (She's already had a litter and she's barely a year old) Enter Janet, who shares my office and spends her life trying to rescue children from dreadful situations. One day she'd rescued a cat instead. However, Janet is allergic to cats and lives on the tenth floor of a tower block. Enter Simba into The Rectory...

The dogs have taken well to her, and want to be friends, but the Silent Assassin is not so sure and has gone in the huff with everyone. I think the term "hissy fit" would perhaps be appropriate to describe her behaviour. However, it's early days, and I'm sure the wee one will find her place in the pack. And "NO!" There will be no kittens! She's off to the vet ASAP!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Work In Progress

Thanks to AT for the wonderful quotation, below from Martyn Percy.

The clerical role is one that embodies a necessary incompleteness. The idea of a full and total process of formation is central to the spirit of a calling. All clergy are ‘work in progress’; learning individuals within a learning church. The knowledge that informs the craft is not one that can be ‘banked’ and ultimately totalized. To be a clergyperson is to enter into a commitment that involves a continuous and open process of formation that involves each stage of life, each fresh encounter, each new prompting of the Spirit. There is a sense, therefore, in which the very ontology of clerical identity is a confirmation of both fulfilment and incompleteness. In the act of ordination, clergy are entering into a lifelong commitment to be transformed; not to control the trajectory of their development, but to enter into the mystery of God which may shape an individual in ways that they would prefer not to own. Unlike other professions, an entry into clerical life is not about the slow and steady construction of expertise (although this can be part of the shaping). It is rather, offering: material that is malleable in the hands of God. The heart of a vocation is being clay in the hands of the potter; surrendering to the sublime.  

Clergy: The Origin of Species.

The End of the World

I had a chuckle yesterday, reading Terry Butcher's comments in The Herald. The Inverness manager was quoted as saying, "People say relegation is Armageddon, but I think it's worse than that." Eh?

However, I was not the only whose sensibilities were shaken by that statement! A reader questions in a letter today if indeed anything could be worse than Armageddon, then muses, "on the other hand, a trip to Cowdenbeath......."

Aye! Right enough!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Partick Thistle One

Another great victory last night in the Scottish Cup over Falkirk! And I missed it - again! So while Dumbartonites glory over their own result last night, I smile inwardly! Still in the Cup and it's nearing the end of January, and with the Terrible Two facing each other in the next round, who is to say that this cannot be the Year of the Minnow! However, since Partick Thistle only win trophies every 50 years, we're not really due another one until 2021. I might even get into that final for half price, as an OAP, unless of course we'll all be working until we're 80 by that time!

How to Get Really Dog-Tired!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Just Loved This Too!!!!

Thanks to Fr Kelvin for pointing to this gem!

Another Funeral

January comes, and with it the seemingly endless news of deaths. Deaths sometimes of elderly friends, neighbours, acquaintances or even the sister/brother/mum/dad of someone we know well. Crematoria are busy places and the graveyard usually wet, windy and unwelcoming.

Today we commend Una to Our Lord, an incredibly dignified, elegant old lady who in her time was as beautiful on the outside as she was on the inside. Although the last years were blighted with dementia, the love and affection which belonged to Una amongst us all has not diminished within the St Aug's family. She will get an appropriate send-off!

In what I tend to call the "Death Month", in the midst of heavy dark grey clouds, teeming rain and inevitable darkness, I need always to remind myself that Easter is just around the corner, and the sure and certain hope of resurrection is with us at all times, even in the gloomiest of times of January!

Hit For Six

Well, it was bound to happen, eh? On Saturday the son and I had a long conversation. Well actually we were texting each other but you know what I mean! The heavens had opened and we were envisaging floods somewhat akin to Australia to be upon us soon. Whether or not to go into Glasgow to watch the beloved Partick Thistle Nil.

In the end, the son decided that he would save his dosh and attend the Scottish Cup replay against Falkirk on Tuesday. I agreed far too readily, and was punished for my lack of enthusiasm. Big time!

Partick Thistle Nil became Partick Thistle Six and I missed oot! So when my fellow fans ask in the future, "Were you at the Stirling Albion game?", I'll have to say, "Naw! It wis too wet."

What a woos! It never rains when you're scoring six!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Friday, 7 January 2011

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Monday, 3 January 2011

Caption Competition

Possibly with the help of MadPriest, we'll get some decent suggestions for a Caption Competition! The RW and me at New Year!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Why I watch SKY Sports

ESPN commentator during  Birmingham v Arsenal match on the subject
of aerial challenges on goalkeepers:
"It wouldn't have happened in his [Alex Ferguson's] day at Aberdeen
when along with Willie Miller they defended that goalkeeper with the
splendid name. Remember him? Hamish McAlpine.


Another Broadcast.....

Saturday, 1 January 2011