Monthly Archives: July 2009

Wrestling Like Jacob

I have decided to write one sermon to cover both chapels. There will be no crossover of congregation. I was also told that this was acceptable by our former Rev in chapel.

This was a personal hang up as I hated the idea of recycling sermons – no matter how environmentally friendly that may be. I forget that I also have a full time job to contend with and fewer hours in the day than before.

Thanks all for your help 🙂

Super Sunday

Next Sunday is Super Sunday. I’m preaching both morning & evening and leading communion at both services. All I need do now is start writing my sermon(s).

Would it be wrong to write one sermon to cover both services?


FW has had this week off. She has taken the opportunity to decontaminate the bathroom, has painted 2 coats of anti condensation paint and is just finishing the first coat of emulsion. She is indeed a very clever wife.

I have been preparing for my adventures into the world of model making. Not since my childhood have I built a plastic kit model but have decided to try my hand a making a few buildings and railway wagons. I remebered the satisfaction I had from the few models I did build. Now I have no idea what happened to them.

The aim is to start doing something that doesn’t involve work and thinking to much. It is also something that doesn’t involve the TV.

In other news. Today I have watched:

Rio Lobo

We’re both about to watch:

Kung Foo Panda

Lever Arch History

There is an article on the BBC website today regarding the current controversy in Russia regarding the way in which Western historians are manipulating Russian history. President Medvedev is incensed that there is a plot to destroy Russia’s reputation and to belittle its past. He says that this is becoming “severe, evil and agressive”.

What seems to get Eussians extremely worked up is that they feel that the West is belittling its achievement in beating the Nazis during World War II. They do not like the fact that other countries see the Soviet Union not as liberators but one oppressor replacing another. They don’t believe that this is what actually happened. Neither do they like the fact that the Eastern European and Baltic states also bring the Soviet atrocities to light.

To Russian they were heroic liberators who brought light into the darkness. They don’t mention things like the Katyn massacre, Stalin’s decision to halt the Soviet advance in 1944 and allowed the Poilsh nationalist resistance to be destroyed by the Germans in Warsaw that August. They could have helped the resistors but chose to have them eliminated instead. In addition the Soviets were quite ruthless in overthrowing non Communist governments and parties as they asserted control over post war Eastern Europe.

I remember my history teacher telling us about the Lever Arch History practised by the Stalin regime, where people were airbrushed from pictures and events retold. This is also a major theme of Otwell’s 1984 as the regime rewrite history to fit with current policy.

Russia has always been very insecure about its image, whether controlled by the Tsars, Communists or the current “democracy”. They want to been seen as a strong, confident nation that has a place at the top table of world affairs. Unfortunately they can never carry it off because of that insecurity.

Therefore any criticism by outsiders, or internal opposition, is seen as an attack on the entire nation. Even if the historical record backs up the opposing view, this is not acceptable to the people in power at the time.

Russians do not see themselves as a threat to others but as a benevolent, paternal figure. They fail to see that where they see a big cuddly bear. others see a vicious predator ready to bite.

What may have helped to focus their attention on this is that next month sees the 70th anniversary of the Nazi/Soviet Non Agression Treaty that helped to make WW II possible. Without this Hitler may have had second thoughts on invading Poland.

The Non Agression Treaty is one of those skeletons that Russians would sooner leave in the closet.


I am pleased to say that I do not have Swine Flu. It is just a temperature and a mild cold.

However our government’s attempt at setting up a Swine Flu Website has, as you would expect, collapsed in a coughing and spluttering heap on the World Wide Floor. It seems that it was getting 2600 hits per second.

Yet the amazing thing is that it offers a self diagnosis of the condition and you win a prize – answers all the questions correctly and, even if you lied and don’t have Swine Flu, you will be eligible to collect Tamiflu from the local quarantined facility (i.e. a doctor’s window).

The phoneline that they have also set up is staffed by non-medical people. This is ok says the Secretary of State because you don’t need to be a health profesional to diagnose someone; therefore it is just as effective as ringing a “chat” line but not as rewarding.

I really can’t wait for this bunch of numpties to be ousted in an election. Personally I’d make them meet every flu victim and die to save the rest of us. Mind you I doubt if any replacement would be anymore effective but they couldn’t be any worse.

In other news today is the 500th Anniversary of the end of my batchelorhood – well it sometimes feels that long!!!!

Thanks to FW for putting up with me – now where’s my tea??????

My Helicopter Would Be Full of Eels….

There was an interesting comment on the radio today regarding the controversy over whether or not our army has sufficient helicopters in Afghanistan. The commentator said that it was the fault of the Generals in theatre as they started the latest campaign without sufficient equipment and nothing to do with the government. Therefore they should stop bellyaching and get on with it.

The problem with this statement is that the Generals concerned were following a timetable dictated by the politicians and not there own. The aim of the current fighting is to make Helmand safe for the Presidential elections on August 20th.

Therefore the major decisions were made by politicians in Whitehall and Washington and not “on the ground”. People who have no idea of what combat means; men who are safe at home every night while others at putting their lives on the line.

Public Enemies

I am currently reading the book on which the film is set. It is not a novel but a factual aacount of the War on Crime in the early 1930’s. Until I read this I didn’t realise that all those gangsters I grew up watching in films and reading about were not just contemparies but many actually knew each other or robbed together.

Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Baby Faced Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and the Barker family were all robbing banks throughout the mid West at the same time. They all appeared and disappeared in the same short time period from 1932-35.

This is also the era that saw the FBI come into being and many of the stories about their victories turn out to be myths spread J Edgar Hoover. The BI (before they became Federalised) were a bunch of amateurs who made many mistakes in their pursuit of these gangsters.

These were not “gangsters” in the sense of “The Mob” or “The Outfit” but people who chose to rob banks and kidnap people. In fact the Mob or the Outfit actually helped to hunt down and kill those people who brought “the heat” onto their operations.

My favourite mythbuster was finding out that the “Man Who Got Dillinger”, Melvin Purvis, was actually an incompetent, racist prat – the last part is odd thing to say seeing as most such Southern Gentlemen would now be considered to be racist today.

The other myth that was busted was finding out that Ma Barker was not the leader of the Barker Gang but an innocent victim when the FBI killed her when they arrested her son Fred in Florida.

I can’t wait to read the other half of the book now.

*** Smudgie it wasn’t Swine Flu nor an attack of the more deadly Man Flu.


The weekend was very eventful – in that, apart from the ordination, most of it was spent tring t fight off a cold. 4 litres of fruit juice and plenty of rest later, I still felt like crap.

Today it was back to the insanity that is work. Thankfully the summer holidays mean that there was virtually no traffic on my 35 mile journey to work. Even the petrol station was quiet, almost unheard of on a Monday morning.

Sportless in Summer

Today we re off to an ordination in Swansea. I know what you are thinking – isn’t there golf and cricket on the TV? Surely T&E isn’t giving up sport for religion!!!!

However I am being subversive in my choice of attire. I may, or may not, post a picture later.