Sunday, 29 June 2003

I have isolated the cause of my achey right eye. It is, as mum suggested, a spot developing on my eyelid; how unfortunate is that? I can see this getting worse before it gets better too....
Goodness. The documentary I just saw on the BBC about St. Paul was one of the most embarassing pieces of television I've seen for some time. It was just like an R.E. program.
Not much done this morning apart from church. My right eye aches for no apparent reason by the way. James' favourite ubiquitous song was on the playlist. Dad's got a new, big, flat monitor, and a new keyboard with transparent black keys and a new mouse with a badly designed (over-sensitive) mouse wheel. Goodness; I have very litle to blog.
Hello. Just got back from church. I would have blogged yesterday, but Dad always turns the computer off when he goes to bed, and I couldn't be bothered sitting through Windoze' loading screens. Nothing much happened yesterday. I got up at the usual time, and looked in the Yellow Pages for work agencies to visit on Monday. I have brought my suit and my haircut with me, you see. Emma suggested I give myslef a typing test to prove I have fingers on my CV. I shall return after this venture, either on Monday evening if I can face it, for I don't really like to arrive somewhere midday, but otherwise on Tuesday. I was going to come back in our naff liitle red car, the Nissan Micra, but Dad had a trademark last-minute idea of lending me the Citroen Xantia for the week. That's what's happening now. Once I get over the anxiety about driving it into a wall, that'll be cool. It's got ridiculous suspension, a CD player and a pretty good ventilation system, though, as anyone who has ever driven with me will know, I prefer the window to be open.

I gave Nick a lift to work about midday. I hope he gets his license before uni. I hope his blog gets more verbose when he's there. I guess it all depends how much unadulterated computer access you get. I was toying with the idea of going into town to investigate the council offices for temporary vacancies, but the lift put a stop in that plan, and I felt lazy thereafter. So I finished The Horse and his Boy. Andy and Charlie were saying how racist the Narnia books are, and Andy said that it started with The Horse and his Boy. He "didn't like those Arabs" (ay-rabs). No I suppose they didn't come out of it too well did they. The Babylonians don't come out of it to well in the OT though. Hmm. I wonder if it gets worse... Also practised the songs for tomorrow.

I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for the first time yesterday. The old truism - bad people are cool, and good people boring. It's my primary complaint against Ocean's Eleven too. Think upon't; Who are those guys?

Saturday, 28 June 2003

This week's Guardian Guide is rather bilious methinks. Some choice selctions.

On Demi Moore:
And we remember toothsome moments of hubris, like this remark: "To me, being a movie star without being respected as an actress would be nothing." This from the star of Disclosure? GI Jane? Ghost? The Juror? Now and Then? Indecent Proposal? OK then, nothing it is.

On tennis:
Why, apart from the superhuman Williams sisters, don't black people play tennis? (Answer: because they are too cool)
Chris Bailey, Mak Cox, Andrew Castle - these are the post-Buster Mottram also-rans of British tennis; the has-beens/never-weres. Dreadful, boring players, they are now dreadful, boring commentators[.]
Henman: Nice Guy, Nearly Man and Tosser Extraordinaire. [...] Take Cliff Richard and cross him with Tony Blair and you get Tim Henman.

On Andrew Motion:
The whole sorry shambles [, a rap written by Motion to be performed by Prince William,] is as excruciatingly Cool Dad as the infamous rave episode of Inspector Morse.

On "Are you happy now?", Michelle Branch:
"No, and nor will I be until te last pouty, angstress female singer-songwriter is hung with the guts of the last gormless talent show muppet."

On Robbie Williams:
[I]n most significant human respects Robbie Williams remains as poor as a church mouse. [...] America's indifference to his charmless buffoonery. [...] Things are not currently going well for Britain's most needlessly tatooed man, something in which the cruel of heart could rejoice, did it not mean he was going to write more songs about it. This, just in case you were in any danger of forgetting, it the terrible Williams mission - to remind us, ad nauseam, how tough it is being Robbie Williams[.]

Friday, 27 June 2003

This morning I packed and prepared for Neil to arrive. I finished fairly quickly and had brief chats with people online. Neil came at about midday and we swapped places; he stays in my place for the weekend, an I use his free St. Loyes' ticket to get home and get a car to take my stuff home in. Before I left we had a brief dinner together of pasta.

The train journey was pretty okay. Nicholas and I occasionally texted each other - we were trying to get to Reading at about the same time - and I finshed The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and started on The Horse and his Boy in between. On the Exeter to Reading leg I sat opposite a couple. Occasionally there was a ratehr worrying smell of gas. Whereas most of the passenger were grining and bearing it, these covered their mouths and noses with handkerchiefs. It's not something you see very often. I got to Reading well before Nick, so I went on the next train. There was a woman on the train who was as anxious about being on the right train as I usally am. "Is this the train for Redhill?" to all and sundry. She was in this way distinguished from the usual, anonymous travellers, and relatively cheery. She had a toy boat in a bag that she was bringing for her son. It was quite fragile, but I alighted at Blackwater without having broken it. Booyah. I rushed up to the Nicoles' (Another vicar family we know) to grab the car and try and get back to the station as early as possible to pick Nick up. It had started raining. I am a brother among brothers, and I mean that in a staggeringly literal way.

We both got back and did various things, like vegetating, and then Mum and Dad showed up later with a caravan, which we manouevered on the driveway. On TotP today, I jnotice a woman who is as Tori Amos would be if she were uninteresting; I forget her name. I liked The Darkness though - rock on. Then Nick and I watched Zoolander (Dad watched some of it) and that's where we are now, see? Oh yeah, and Tania was evicted, as everyone knew she would be, but I didn't watch the 2200 show.
Hello. I am back at Camberley. I appear to be fine. I have begun my new phase of not-really-vegetarianism-at-all-actually, where I don't ever buy or cook meat again, but neither do I turn it down if someone plonks it in front of my face. One day I shall live in my own place and be a proper vegetarian once more. I was never much of a vegetarian anyway.
I left my curtains open when I went to bed to make sure that I got up at 0800. It worked rather too well. I woke at 0500, thought for a bit and then went back to sleep, to have pretty good dream. Not an especially linear one. It involved meeting Derek Burnside on the way to campus and agreeing to climb mountains with him regularly next year. Nina then came along, and I was startled to discover that they knew each other,better than I knew either of them. This somehow segued arbitrarily into my being at Lancaster University. I imagine this is a fairly typical feature of dreams, but I've never bothered to check it out - the dream Lancaster was definitely Lancaster, but it was nothing like Lancaster in real life. It was more like my secondary school, but not very. Anyway, I had dinner with some people there, mass-catering style, at a big table. I knew a lot of the people, but I can't remember who they were exactly now. What I do remember was that the only food was a big OTT cake, like the kind a person might jump out of and wish you a happy birthday. It was not served in my dream, but I recall that a bees nest must have been inside, as they buzzed out of the cracks and returned at intervals. Dreams are great.
Or I guess I could post it now, as I'm at a loose end.

Yesterday started with me checking my e-mail to see if there was any news about going to the zoo, which, as I beleive I had said, my exe-group were planning to go to. There was no such news, so expecting either that they had forgotten about me or that they hadn't managed to organize anything I let Rosie know I was free for the day. It was their last day in Exeter. On balance, not going to the zoo wasn't that perturbing, for it meant I could see some more of them, and also that I didn't spend shedloads of money. I saw the party of zoogoers pass in front of my window after this, meaning that they had forgotten about me and phoned Luke to ask what was going on. The train was leaving in about quarter of an hour. I said I might try and make it, but I didn't really put much effort in, so I didn't.

Will and Rosie dig repetition, so after a bit of sitting round wondering what we might do, we went to town again, and idly perused clothes shops. I don't usually go shopping without a purpose in mind, because I ahve this tendency to see things that I want and then buy them - this is why my bookshelf at home is about 50/50 in terms of whether or not I have actually read them. Three days of exposure to town therefore resulted in a non-essential purpose. It was at least a bargain; The Chronicles of Narnia for £7. I was a bit suspicious, but they haven't exploded or anything, so it's all good. We all grabbed a Boots meal-deal and headed back home.

I guess it must have been almost tea-time, as I don't recall doing anything exciting before the barbecue. Actually, come to think of it, I read all of The Magician's Nephew (Rosie was overawed), so they must have been off doing other things - visiting housemates from last year; that was it. Stella and Luke turned up at the door though, bearing my long-lost bag, which had been in their house after all. I had asked Cla[i?]re, but she had said it wasn't there. No harm done; spare bag. If I'd have known however, I probably would have bought a hold-all rather than a new rucksack. Luke also apologized for my not going to the zoo, which was nice of him, but there wasn't really the remotest possibility of it being his fault.

A barbecue ensued after this, under the bridge at Exwick. Which was nice. Fun with weeds, and lots of whistling, and ducks, and dogs, and smoke, and fire and forks and lettuce. Mino had said that he might show up. Gavin kept on seeing non-Mino persons and thinking that it might be him, but it wasn't. Bit daft really.

Went home, to find James returned, and (face-value) not amused by Andy's hilarious jape oftaking his PCI cards out of his PC. He said he felt more pity than anger. Mino also turned up with Christiana. After a while it was time for Will and Rosie to leave. Gavin rushed everyone to James' room to wave, but I thought I'd sit on the wall outside for that individual touch. While I was waving goodbye to them, Christiana waved to me (I have no memory of her actually attracting my attention) from Mino's window. I squinted a bit, worked out who it was, and waved back. She was quite disappointed that I didn't work out who it was more quickly. Well one can only try. I sort of vaguely read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in various locations. Mino and Christiana argued for a bit in the kitchen. Sensitivity be damned, I was pretty set on watching BB, but they seemed to have calmed down by then. More reading, 'til about 0100, and then I slept.
Well I'm packed and ready to go homefor the weekend about 3.5 hours before I need to be. I always do this. I'll post yesterday this evening.

Thursday, 26 June 2003

Ooh. Blogger's interface as become beautiful. How delightful. I think everybody should start a blog just for the new interface - oooh!

I don't think I'm going to the zoo today, how about you, you, you?

Wednesday, 25 June 2003

Graduate Careers Fair today. I had down in my diary that it was at 1100, but Gavin said it was an early start so I got ready a bit earlier. Why do I listen to Gavin? Anyone? Needless to say I got to campus far too early, but that was okay as I felt I needed to pray anyway, and so I went to the chapel and did so. About ten minutes in a chap went upstairs and started playing the organ, which was nice. I stayed in the alcove lest they should feel self-conscious; they didn't have anyone to turn the page for one thing, but it was very good. They must have been practising for a wedding, because they played the wedding march at one point - it was a bit surreal.

A short time after 1100 I met John and Jenny in the foyer of the Great Hall, and we all wandered round upstairs collecting leaflets. I did pick up some stuff, but not much. Certainly nothing worth mentioning. It seems Ishould have been an engineer, a lawyer, or a financier. Silly of me really. There were also a couple of military stands. Gavin turned up in a suit at one point. It was mostly just the vendors that were dressed up. John and Jenny mentioned about going to the beach, so I agreed to tag along on that. I met Will and Rosie chatting to someone in DH, and then went home to have lunch.

Joe, John and I were well on time for getting the train, but Jenny and her friend Ali strolled onto the train at the last minute without buying tickets. We all got to Exmouth without police intervention however. We took quite an unusual route to the beach, but ended up at the usual place by the octagon. Joe wore a sleeveless top - very peculiar - and proceeded to complain about the sand, which is an odd thing to do upon coming to a large body of sand. It would be far more logical for the sand to complain about Joes coming along and sitting on it. For the purpose of fun, Jenny, after a brief diversion with Ali to buy some drink I think, returned with a beach ball. After some instructional prompting from Jo, who for some reason I haven't mentioned yet, Joe blew it up. And it proceeded to be thrown short distances guardedly, owing to the prominent wind. We didn't do much, but John made a sand fish. John and I went off to play crazy golf, and ended up grass-putting instead. John thinks putting through crazy obstacles is not as good as putting through formed patches of grass. It certainly turned out better for him. I forget the actual score, but on average I was about a stroke behind him on ever hole. John can't imagine me being competitive apparently. I shall show him on Firday when weplay badminton. I have to remind him, says he, Thursday evening. I've just remembered that I shall be out on Thursday evening, having a barbecue at Exmouth. What are the chances eh? Anyway, it's his own fault as he hasn't got a diary. My housemates keep asking me the time, as I have a wristwatch and they don't. Odd. When we got back to the beach, Jenny and Ali had left; they had things to do. Jo and Joe were picking up stuff from the cold, windy beach and it was starting to rain
so we entered the nearest pub; always politic. I had a Newky Brown. Joe's dad doesn't think it qualifies as real beer. After a while in the pub, Jo had to go home and get ready for work. She directed us to a toy shop where John bought a BB gun. Joe says that he spent a significant part of the evening shooting things and watching Friends - reminds me of someone...

Went to mass, and John came along too, only it was not mass, as there were only four of us who weren't a priest, and John and I aren't Catholics anyway. So instead we had [a?] liturgy of the word, which is sort of like a short, speculative bible study with liturgy; Genesis 15:1-18, Psalm 104, Matthew 7:15-20.

Tuesday, 24 June 2003

ME This isn't finishing before 10 is it? (He said resignedly)
ANDY Why, what did you want to watch?
ME Big Brother
ANDY [With a look of amused contempt] Oh come on, Big Brother?
[Mark works Andy over with a baseball bat]

Well, all apart from the last bit. I really don't see where James and Andy get off deciding what I shouldn't watch. They can mock as much as they like, I don't care about that, but who crowned them king and queen of the BBFC? It really gets my goat. Especially as Andy watches and enjoys The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Friends.
Early start today. Will and Rosie had suggested doing "something" but not decided on what it was, so I figured I'd try and do some useful things until they had an idea. Went to campus to see about getting a graduate account; don't need to apply - automatic. Bonus. I had a look to see if Karen's office hours were still up, but apparently not. Met Andy shortly afterwards, which was most peculiar on two counts. Firstly that it was the morning, secondly that he was on campus. He had coursework to hand in. He was complaining about the anal retentiveness of the person he had to hand it in to. I tried to get a parking permit too, but I needed a registration number, and also insurance documents, so that didn't happen, but I did get to observe some cheery post-ball drunks trying to arrange a meeting at Northcote house via some other university member of staff. "Tell her we're naked!" "We've got absinthe!" "Our cleaner will vouch for us. She loves us!"

In town I got something to cover my bike with, an new bag and ordered a new mobile phone battery, to stop it cutting out whenever I talk to anyone. Then I headed back after Will sent a text asking if I was at home. There were more of us round to chat this time. After a bit of chin-wagging Rosie decided to go to campus, and so did Will and I. Rosie had to sign a contract and then we went into town to buy various things. Well Rosie did. I only bought some snacks and a shirt and tie. After this third trip to town in two days, I wandered back to the house.

Will and Rosie chilled for a while and then headed off to do their own thing while Andy, John, Joe and I headed Exwickwards for some chips. The girl at the counter was nicely chirpy. Then headed back and watched Sharpe. Then talked resurrection with Mino. I was going to watch Big Brother but Andy and his friends are downstairs watching more Sharpe. I have actually seen amazingly little BB. I have to pick most of it up from the website and the radio. I've probably seen no more than five actual programmes in total and James thinks I'm obsessed. He has built up a Big Brother obsessed strawman and called it Mark. Gah.
From: "KLEdward" <>

Before you disappear I'd like to sit you down and talk to you about doing postgraduate work someday!

All the best, Karen
She's reassuringly persistent. I think I will go and see her after all.

Monday, 23 June 2003

Stuff to do in town today. This is why it took me aback to discover that my bag was not to be found. Not especially convenient, as I desperately needed to do food shopping. I expect I had left it at St. James, so I went there first. It was all locked up and the office had already closed by the time I got there. It was a fairly long walk to achieve nothing, but I phoned the curate and he said he'd have a look next time he was over. I did my shopping at Tesco's for a change. Bringing it home without my own bag was approximately 1.5 times as inconvenient as usual. Never mind.

I was trying to get back for 1330, as that's when Will had guessed he and Rosie were going to arrive in her Fiat Panda. They rolled in at around 1400. The house was pretty much abandoned except for me; no James at all, Andy said he was going to arrive the day before but he wasn't, and the location of the others was mysterious. We chatted for a while,wondering where on earth Gavin would be, missing the arrival of his friends from abroad. Rosie texted him. I phoned him, knowing full well the unlikeliness of him replying in the next month. He was out shopping for a suit with Rebekah. I suggested we meet him in town. Watching Gavin try on suits under Rebekah's guidance seemed like an amusing proposition. Not wrong. Will persuaded Rebekah to let Gavin go to Moss Bros so that someone who knew about suits could help him,rather than Rebekah, who had professed boredom by this stage.

Gavin and Rebekah continued shopping while Will, Rosie and I wandered back to the house so that they could drive off somewhere to do with the Summer Ball. I went round the back way, to see if there was anyone in the kitchen to let me in. There sort of was; Simon was there. I felt a bit weird about asking him to let me in, so I took the conventional route and was therefore prepared to take the presence of an "unexpected" visitor in my stride, whereas I usually walk into a wall or something similarly stupid. He had come backwith Andy,who turned up presently. Him I informed of Will and Rosie'spresence on the opposite side of the road, and he dashed off to greet them briefly, before they drove off. We then went to the Artful, as it was by then beer o' clock. Had a couple of lagers while more of Andy's friends showed up: Dan, Des and Charlie. Dan still has a weblog, but you wouldn't know it.

It's barbecue season. Andy and his friends have already had a few, as I recall, but today, I was there,so I went too. Said barbecue's glamorous location was in the overgrown backyard of Dan's house, situated next to the prison with a convenient view of the razor-wire. Bit weird, but there you go.No-one could be bothered to buy any of the stuff, so we phoned Charlie and got him to get the bread and charcoal from the local shop.No charcoal. Andy volunteered to go and get some from town, and I said I'd come with. We jumped i over the wall onto the path, I with animal grace, Andy with a painful thump. He had got his feet caught in the rail. He was in the foetal position groaning for a period, however, he thought himself lucky to still have both his knees. For some reason he still came to town to buy charcoal. Well we barbecued a fair old amount of meat and processed protein rubbish and chatted and generally had a lazy old time. When it got too cold we went indoors for a while, and finally,the majority decided to go clubbing. Simon and I wandered off home in opposite directions. I think those are the major points of my day covered.
No-one has anything to say about my resurrection post, which either means that there are no objections, or that the sceptics don't want to engage with it. Well why not if so?
[10:21 AM]<Phil Y> i thought you had a girlfriend
[10:22 AM]<tsoapm> never
[10:22 AM]<Phil Y> oh
[10:22 AM]<tsoapm> what gave u that idea
[10:22 AM]<tsoapm> ?
[10:22 AM]<Phil Y> maybe i'm imagining things
[10:22 AM]<tsoapm> yeah, stop it - tyat's my job
[10:22 AM]<Phil Y> I just presumed you had
[10:22 AM]<tsoapm> v kind
[10:22 AM]<Phil Y> I got that impression from your blog
[10:22 AM]<tsoapm> ?!

Sunday, 22 June 2003

Well that was splendid. I just caught most of a Melvyn Bragg documentary on the ITV about the origin of standardised English, which was co-incidentally what I was chatting to Nicholas about yesterday. I believe I called him a "Norman stooge" for wanting to retain standardised spellings and abbreviations in text messages and instant messages. Mr. Bragg backed me up; Henry V it was. All TV should be like that programme, and just think - on a commercial station! Now I shall play Time Crisis.
Well now, that's sly. Cameron is going out to South Africa, to their Big Brother Africa/South Africa (apparently they can't make their minds up) and one of their lot is coming over to our Big Brother house. There's some bizarre nomination restriction, but I can't be bothered thinking about it. What it does imply is that the swap lasts two weeks. This is a very politic move; it means that the only opportunity to see Cameron live for two weeks is to have E4. We 4 channel peasants have to choose between Cameron-related ignorance or enduring edited highlights on BB's Little Brother with Kermit o' Dreary. Besides that aspect of the whole fair, it seems like a pretty cool idea to me.

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.

Well, as I say, James made a good point. What good is Christianity, or if you prefer, Christian teaching, without Christ anyway? Not much:
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.(1 Cor. 15:17-19)

I don't suppose anyone needed telling, but it really does put the recreational drugs issue somewhat in the shade to say the least. If anything in scripture is a bar to faith, then it is certainly worth discussing, but for the scriptures actually to matter to gentiles in the way that they do, this is "of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve."(1 Cor. 15:3-5)

Right, well for reasons not scrupulously argued I came to believe that Christ did die for my sins and was raised back to life also. I believed for a time because my parents believed and passed the form of that belief on to me, as St. Paul did. A long time ago parents were infallible beings, if you recall. Well, naturally,that perception didn't last; this my parents may well attest to. I expect I believed then out of habit, but increasingly because, for all their nefarious parent ways, like sending me to bed before I really wanted to, they loved me and wanted me to know the same Lord who had been kind to them. My mother was also raised as a Christian, but my father had been an atheist. Now he's a vicar in the Church of England. I did not receive an infant baptism, but I think it was when I was 10 that I decided for myself that I wanted baptism; that in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. In time I was also confirmed. The world seemed full of people who believed firmly in Jesus as more than a man; in the Anglican church, the leaders of the Christian ventures I went on, the worshippers at Spring Harvest. They all elaborated on the theme that my parents had given me, that Jesus, in love for the whole world, consented to be crucified and die, but was raised by God, becoming the hope for the whole world. Naturally, I believe that God had the primary hand in preparing me to believe in his Son. Not a readily verifiable claim however.

I see that I have veered into theology. As exciting as these ideas still are to me, I wanted the facts of the matter, in time, as much as anyone who became rapdily bored with that last paragraph. So I discovered apologetics. Predictably enough, this 2000 year old cult into which my parents had initiated me had at times been called upon to defend itself rationally. For instance, when people said things like "Jesus was raised from the dead.", the conversation did not invariably continue along these lines:

NON-CHRISTIAN No he didn't.
CHRISTIAN Yes he did.
NON-CHRISTIAN No he didn't.
CHRISTIAN Well I've got faith - nyeh!
NON-CHRISTIAN Gosh, well that's my argument scuppered. Where do I sign up?

Insofar as I am able to then, I'm going to outline reasons to believe that Christ's resurrection from the dead is actually far more likely than not. This will hopefully explain why people have felt compelled to facilitate their own death by asserting this. And then I suppose some of you will argue with me, and try to prove the converse. A hypothesis about the resurrection must account for these things
  1. Jesus' burial
  2. The discovery of an empty tomb
  3. The appearances after his death
  4. The disciples' belief in the resurrection

These are believed by the majority of NT scholars. Lest anyone think that unremarkable, I should point out that orthodoxy is not apparently the mainstay of contemporary theological thought. Many critics of the resurrection are forced by the evidence to maintain that these are facts, proposing alternate theories to account for them.

It is related that after the crucifixion, Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea in the tomb. This is to say that the location of Jesus' body would have been public knowledge. For the disciples to convincingly preach Christ raised from the dead this known tomb would have therefore to be empty. "Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council"(Mark 15:43) is an bizarre figure to be credited with giving Jesus an honourable burial, given the hostility of early Christian writings towards the Jewish authorities. This unexpected feature suggests truth, rather than a justifying fiction. It even puts a member of the Sanhedrin in a more courageous role than the apostles, who were reportedly in hiding. If it were untrue, it would also be a simple matter to get the Sanhedrin to refute the claim.

The Sunday after the crucifixion, Jesus' tomb was reported empty by a group of his women followers. Again, the 'choice' of protagonists is a bizarre one. If anything, it is an embarassing admission, because women's testimony was regarded as so worthless that they were not entitled to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court of law. Happily, in these enlightened times, there is no such reason for one to distrust the testimony of women. We can instead admire the fact that the gospel writers felt compelled to retain the fact of the sex of the witnesses even though it apparently weakened their case. In a legendary account we would expect male witnesses.

On multiple occasions and under various circumstances, different inidividuals and groups of people claimed to have seen Jesus alive from the dead. St. Paul claims that Jesus "appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep."(1 Cor 15:6) As I'm sure you'll appreciate, that's a pretty stupid thing to say if you haven't actually got somewhere around 500 eyewitnesses to verify your story, especially as he goes on to name some of those witnesses: "Peter, and then [...] the Twelve. [...] Then he appeared to James[.]"(1 Cor 15:5-7) This James was Jesus' brother - another abberation, as he hadn't believed in Jesus as Messiah before the resurrection. Josephus records his martyrdom for the sake of his brother. Other named witnesses in the gospels include Mary Magdalene,the other women, and Cleopas. In Acts 2:24 Peter is recorded to have declared to a "multitude" of "Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven", "dwelling in Jerusalem" that:
Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst [...] you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up[.]"(Acts 2:5-24)
This would be the right time to say "No he didn't.", but there is apparent silence. Christianity spread like a rash in Jerusalem; if Peter's words were ludicrous to his audience then why would this be the case?

The disciples came to believe that Christ had risen from the dead. In addition to the scepticism you or I might have against Jesus' resurrection, there are distinctive features of Jewish theology which counted against it. firstly they weren't expecting the Messiah to die - what he was meant to do, they thought, was to liberate Jerusalem from the Romans, rather than be crucified by them. According to Jewish law, Jesus died the death of a heretic*; he could not therefore be seen as the Messiah, and was hardly a candidate for the only ever resurrection. . Also, though certain groups believed in a general resurrection at the end of the world, there was no precedent for anyone rising before then. And yet they came to believe. The apostles often went without food, slept exposed to the elements, were ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned, and most of them were executed tortuously for this belief, which had been counter-intuitive.

Now the resurrection of Jesus accounts for these facts, and it accounts for them fully. It is consistent with the claims of Jesus and the accounts of miracles that have been preserved and handed down. It requires no ad hoc historical event to support it. One needs a more convincing account to dismiss the Christian claim.
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Saturday, 21 June 2003

A very good point.
Tidied my room and made a to-do list. Should have my CV finished soon too.

From Fr. Paul's e-mail:

Sundays readings (Job3;1.8-11 2Cor5;14-17 Mk4;35-41) all speak of God's
over all creation.

Fair enough. I was listening to Job this morning. Had I been more capable of staying awake after saying goodbye to James and Ella at about 0750, I would be able to say that I've recently finished it. Anyway, I thought I'd read the readings beforehand this week. Job 3:1-11 (I guess that's what that means) is this:
After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said:
"Let the day perish wherein I was born,
  and the night which said,
  'A man-child is conceived.'
Let that day be darkness!
  May God above not seek it,
  nor light shine upon it.
Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
  Let clouds dwell upon it;
  let the blackness of the day terrify it.
That night - let thick darkness seize it!
  let it not rejoice among the days of the year,
  let it not come into the number of the months.
Yea, let that day be barren;
  let no joyful cry be heard in it.
Let those curse it who curse the day,
  who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.
Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
  let it hope for light, but have none,
   nor see the eyelids of the morning;
because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb,
  nor hide trouble from my eyes.

I was a bit confused. But it turns out he meant Job 38:1-11. All makes sense now...

Friday, 20 June 2003

I went to the last Choral Society concert of the year yesterday. It was dashed good. Here are the pieces performed, before I forget:
  • Elgar, Promenade

  • Mozart, Ave Verum Corpus

  • Handel, Nisi Dominus

  • Holst, St. Paul's Suite

  • Haydn, Cello Concerto in C

  • Vivaldi, Gloria

On the way I ran into Adam, with whom I am living next year. He was shopping. At 1900. Weird. Somewhat surreally, I also encountered Pedro on the way, or rather he encountered me. He was cycling to the venue in a dinner jacket, which is an odd sight. The Anglican MassIve put in a decent showing. When I sat down I noticed that Liz, who is an American Catholic that I first encountered in my Arthurian seminar was there too. She was playing, but only in one pieve, which must be a bit of a drag. I had gone on myown, but Adam informed me that I would probably see Luke. He came with "the Beenas", which is to say the residents of 7 Kingdom Mews, so I sat with them. Did mention the concert was good? It was. Stella conducted one piece - I believe it was the . She also recieved a swanee whistle from conductor Paul for her to play Ride of the Valkyries on. The Gloria was the best choral piece by far.

Said Beenas invited me back to theirs for hot chocolate, so that's what I did at the end. Lucy is attending a relative's first communion on Sunday. She's never been to a Catholic church before, but she acquired the idea that I know about these things at some point,and asked me whether or not she was permitted to receive communion at one. She didn't like the answer. She said something about how in first year theology a lecturer had said that transubstantiation meant that if a mouse were to eat some of the wafer, the mouse had to be eaten. Hmm. Just some random chatting interspered by occasional Big Brother when we got there, which only Lucy and I were that interested in. I suppose the result (Fed & Jon out, Cameron in) was as good as can be expected. Lucy rushed off a bit before midnight to try and get the new Harry Potter book. I noticed that their house was amazingly organised and tidy. I left expecting to find the inverse of the presentable Beena kitchen at our house,but to my delight I found that Rebekah and Gavin had tidied it up. It was awesome.
Currently, Coldplay sound more like Radiohead than Radiohead do.
This blog comes to you courtesy of James' keyboard and the letter "X". I am trying to dry mine in the sun.

Does anyone in Lancaster want a Gameboy Advance link-cable? Let me know prior to Ella's and James' departure, and it shall be yours.
Just got back from town.

Laundry day today. Ella was keeping vigil by the back door, which meant that I could use it too, and lent variety to the proceedings. There's not much that you can do in between stages of laundry, but you can pray, so I did. I looked at some more job stuff on the information superhighway, but none of it was very helpful. I started on the washing up but fortunately/unfortunately, Neil phoned to say that he had £25 worth of unspent travel expenses, and would I care to eat some of it? I need a new phone battery, as I keep running out in conversations, which is what happened this time. When I was trying to rush out of the house, James Dean tried to call me, bu I had locked my phone in my room recharging, so that didn't quite come off. Turns out he was inviting me out for lunch too. Fancy that. Like the whole you-never-see-a-bus-on-its-own thing.

Krishna last time, Mormons this time, but they never spoke to me. Also there were some people dressed as superheroes; I guess they were collecting for charity. Met Neil outside of Tescos and we proceeded to walk down to "Exeter's historic quayside" for lunch. Neil had a burger and I had a ploughmans,which was nice. He seems to be getting on with the old horology rather well. We opted to find pudding somewhere cheaper. Out we came and bought ice-cream. I had stem ginger ice-cream which was interesting. I think I'll stick with fruit though. I highly recommend the blackberry. Neil had heard tell of a secondhand bookshop, Bill Greenhalgh way, so I endeavoured to find a sensible route to get there. I wasn't in the mood for shopping, so I said bye and left him to it. Popped in to a couple of music shops to try and ascertain the starting price of a new acoustic guitar; 'bout £115-120. On the way home I saw Ella on the other side if the road and thus informed her. She doesn't think she wants a guitar though, fearing for her fingers.

And then I spilt some water on my keyboard - whoops.

Thursday, 19 June 2003

Today. Having issues remembering today. It was a bit boring. I needed to do things while James and Ella were off riding a tandem and flying kites in Exmouth. I filled in a form to say I was interested in doing a Graduate Business Placement sometime around next term. That would be a good thing to do. I also investigated how one gets into librarianship and local government. In both cases they have applications for graduates, and in both cases I have predictably missed the boat. There's always next year for the librarian jobby, but it's a pity, because they take on people at the uni library. I really like the uni library. I am given to understand that there are temporary vacancies in local government relatively frequently, so when I do interviews for temping agencies I should mention that. Emma has sent me her CV to peruse. I don't think I need to do too much work on mine, so I should finally do it tomorrow. The guy at careers reccommended that I talk to someone at the public and university libraries about what it's like to work in one. I hate that kind of thing. "Hello, can I interrupt you in your work to ask vague and ill-formed questions?" Bleh.

Nothing's ever on telly these days, 'cept Big Brother. Given the amount of cheese with which the show is laden, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I really thought that the superhero thing sucked. I'm not sure who I want out tomorrow. Jon is the only person who I'm bored with, but then I understand it's a double eviction; damn gimmicks. In terms of all-round, good-blokeness, I guess I want Cameron to win. However, trying as Fed might be, I don't want him out. He's having a hard time in there, but he's trying, and he doesn't seem more malevolent than incompetent. Poor Fed. And they've got food this week. How exciting for them. Everyone was having a go at the vegetarians. Gah. Will and James will be partly responsible if I ever become a militant vegetarian.
"Meat is murder!" - A Catholic Response

I only really posted that so I could propose my own:

"Meat is murder!" - A Mark Dobson Response:
"Meat is murder" is one the more bathetically ludicrous songs that Morrissey wrote. While I'm on the subject, how does a celibate man get away with releasing a song called "Never had no one ever"?
Re. sacrificial offerings:

JAMES What do you suppose the vegetarian Jews did?
MARK (Wearily) I suppose you couldn't be a vegetarian Jew.

I shall start eating meat again just as soon as James gets circumcised. Sorted. And while I'm at it, I'm quoting Romans. It's not exactly applicable, but the gist serves my turn:
As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgement on him who eats; for God has welcomed him.(Romans 14:1-3)

So leave me alone! I also found, whilst searching for information on the luminous mysteries, that provide Catholics with their own message board, just fancy that. Lots of Comic Sans MS and emoticons going on in there.
This morning I got slightly bewildered. I had about a mouthul of cereal left, so James kindly offered me some of his own. I went to get my milk. There was no milk. "No milk?" I thought, "I thought I had the inverse of no milk, to wit - some milk..."

"James, can I have some of your milk?"

Aftert that I went to the fridge again to get my bread. There was no bread. "No bread?" I thought. So I used some rolls I skanked from last night's BBQ.

I don't remember running out of either milk or bread. How peculiar. Someone had left out some bread that looked very much like mine on the table though. On the basis that it was probably me, I swiped it.

Wednesday, 18 June 2003

Today was rather fun. Because of me, and my incessant demands, we did not go canoeing yesterday, when the weather was awesome, but today, when the weather was okay with the risk of rain. At 1000, John and Joe came round to get James, Ella and myself to stroll down to the quay, where James paid a man to let us take two canoes and one kayak. James and Ella in one canoe, John and myself in t'other, and Joe going it alone in the kayak. John was steering our canoe, so I berated him. He's a good sport is John, whereas I apparently take things like not hitting the bank (almost always the left [John's] bank) too seriously. We did this a number of times on the way down to the double locks, but towards the end we were on the same pageand thunked gracefully into the landing thingy, where we landed. It was good. Exerting oneself with a goal in mind is good. A relaxing beer before midday when one is at leisure to do such things is also good. Two pints of O' Hanlon's Red before midday is probably, on balance, bad, but it was nice anyway. Everyone save John and myself had food, but Ella bought too much food, so I ate it all. It is because I hate to see food going to waste when I could make sure that roast potatoes had not beeen roasted in vain. In between these drinking and eating shenanigans, we noticed the kid's adventure playground. We improvised a path round it, and competed for the best time wothout touching the ground (5 second penalty). I went first and was unbeaten, having fallen off no times. 01:24 it was. I couldn't do it again after two pints. I fell off many times. In newfound harmony of intent, John and myself drove the canoe back to the quay at a repectable pace along with the others. Less verbal abuse this time.

John and Joe went home, but Ella wanted to go to town to try and find a book of evening and morning prayers, like this, but not online so that if she gets lost in a jungle and eaten by tigers she can still pray. She and James had already been to SPCK, but he didn't even know about Wesley Owen. I said that it was pretty unlikely to sell what she wanted, but we went anyway. I found Daff of St. Leonard's upstairs and we had a brief chat, if you can call it that. James wanted to go to Game, which was the cause of my spending far too much on a GBA port of Bubble Bobble. It's rather fun, and being a game from gaming's cassic era, it is difficult enought to be causing me issues.

When we got back from town, I took some pills and went to bed, for I had a stonking headache. I left Radio 1 switched on. It was a bit weird. Chris Moyles is away apparently, and Scott Mills was guesting. Scott Mills is one of your non-entity R1 DJs and his show is usually the epitome of tedium. Moyles occasionally takes to slagging him off on air. Oddly though, all of Moyles' 'crew' were still on the show, so it was actually rather good. They all sounded like they were having a splendid time.

A while after I awoke, James Ella and myself went to the vigil mass for Corpus Christi.1930 seems rather early for a vigil mass, but whatcha gonna do? For the homily Paul put a grapefruit in a juicer and said that Christ's one sacrifice was something like that, in that it was irrevocable and committing. After there was a BBQ. I don't have any idea how to spell Zoshia's name (it'd help if James sorted the CathSoc website out) but she took charge of the cooking, and did a sterling job of it. She had brough some friends. We had actually seen at least some of them canoeing at the same time of us already. "Hello, we were canoeing at the same time as you, we waved!" There were peaches and strawberries and ice-cream also. I was the only veggie (I really wish James would shut up about it) and therefore got to take the uneaten veggie burgers home. There were also tonnes of baps and rolls left, so various people grabbed them.
It's a Mark classic moment: I am deyhdrated.
Victor got a job!!! Whoo!
Ugh. My SFA Radiator CD is all skanked up. It's because I foolishly left it downstairs by Andy's stereo, which is a kind of CD graveyard. It looks like it's been used as a coaster. It's not scratched anyway, so I guess I can sort it.

Tuesday, 17 June 2003

On Richard and Judy today was a person called Pamela something or other. She was an uber-groupie apparently. Scarcely had Judy mentioned that she was in a band called the GTOs than I said I'd heard of them and didn't they have something to do with Frank Zappa? Immediate vindication. I know all about popular music. Pamela Miller (for it was she) with her band was Miss Pamela and the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously). There was also quite a disappointing film on a new film about Hitler. The premise was that it wasn't the right time to "humanise" Hitler. My immediate reaction was that any time is the right time to draw attention to the fact that Hitler was human. Otherwise you might get the idea that people who do terrible things are sub-human. Obviously we're not like Hitler. This is complacency and deceit. James said Mark Shea has already said this many times. Well he's right to do so. It turned out that the film was actually straight out anti-Semitic, which is a different issue.

I liked TotP2 today. It was a tribute to a producer called Mickie Most, who has passed away, may God rest his soul. While he was still with us, he produced records such as these:
  • Mud, The cat crept in

  • Kim Wilde, The Kids in America

  • Suzi Quatro, Can the Can

  • Animals, House of the Rising Sun

Those were my favourites. Mud and Quatro both are representative of, guess what kids, fun! Mud looked like morons - they were wearing pale blue sequined suits - but they were enjoying themselves, and despite dealing in a half-arsed pop-rock 'n roll genre, they had smiles on their faces, and one of them played guitar behind their head! Similarly, Suzi looked like she was on top of the world in her full-on leather get-up, which I'm given to understand was the subject of many an adolescent fantasy. But she mostly looked like a young woman very happy to have the chance to be on a stage making noises with guitars. Whee! I refer my esteemed readers to an analogous article by the Mekons' Colin "B" Morton. It's primarily a rant against Coldplay, but it's the bit about eX-Girl which seems a particularly valid point to me. Kids in America is a great track, and Mickie's production sounded flawless too. Have you seen the 'video' for The House of the Rising Sun by the way? It is an absolute study in less-is-more. Well worth a look. I'll take it above Men in Black anyday. It's simple and elegant - just the singer and two guitarist processing round the percussionist (off-handedly chewing gum) and keyboard player. Effortless cool, with great 60s mise-en-scene.

When music is fun, it is good music. This is my position. I expect that the more levels of marketing and management you take out of the production of a record, the more easy it is to retain this, but it's not impossible. Vive le fun!
After watching Ella play Zelda for a while, I printed off my CV and trundled off with it and the damage deposit repayment form. The interview was pretty helpful really. In particualr, it set my fears about temping to rest. I still might not get work, but the chap didn;t seem to think it a waste of time. He also pointed me in the direction of a 20 week paid graduate scheme I could express an interest in. Mostly Exeter-based. Sounds ideal to me. He also suggested a couple of improvements on my CV. I didn't have it finished (which is why I still haven't posted it, or sent it to Adrian and Emma) but he thought it was pretty funky generally.
This morning, I got up back on track again :) What's the good of being able to get up at eight if as soon as it stops being completely unnecessary you can't any more. Went round to Luke's. He's in the house that I'm living in next year, and he's also in my Exe-group which was his opportunity to cordially invite me over for Tekken 4, dress optional. I think I like Tekken 4, but Virtua Fighter 4 is still the king. James is hoping that Soul Calibur II will be good. He's going to buy it primarily because it has Link in it, but it seems like a pretty solid purchase choice to me anyway. Played the latest incarnarion of Mortal Kombat as well. It's rubbish, the epitome of anti-realist beat-em-up action, and it's not like beat-em-ups tend towards realism anyway. It's hilarious though. Everyone has six packs, especially the women, and the bloodletting is comically liberal. Luke doesn't have an ideal housing situation currently. It turns out he was moving out because he wanted to live with Christians. At the time, of course, he didn't know that me and my mate James were going to move in. His plans fell through though. He seems pretty relaxed about it despite not having a house. He'll probably be okay. Think I'll have a pray for him anyway, neither would it hurt if any of you did.

Came back for dinner. On the local news, they had interviewed a man walking nude to demonstrate his freedom of expression. The police arrested him during the interview for indecent exposure; he really should have demonstrated in favour of his freedom of expression really...

Monday, 16 June 2003

Well after that, I thought it was high time to get myself an appointment at the careers advisory centre. So I did. 1600 tomorrow. Pretty prompt. James had forgotten to ask me whether he could borrow my cushions. Naturally I was going to let him, but they were at Nina's, so I had to text her. James had to go shopping, cos Ella likes food that isn't curry sometimes. Paul needed to go shopping as well. He tells me that he's been eating suasage sandwiches for four days. Hmm. I was determined not to do a major shopping trip, as I don't trust myself at Alphington's after last time. Did get myself some bread and milk though, as it's propbably cheaper than going to the UTC and Ozzy's, as I usually do.

When we got back, I engaged in some duck-feeding with Paul. It was great. Paul is a great waster of food. This week he had bought proper unsliced bread (whatever then did people pre-slice bread for? was it all in vain?) and it staled on the kitchen table for a bit. It made great duck food though. Actually, the ducks were largely as disinterested as Greek gods, and the pigeons got the lion's share. You know what I mean. The crust was an issue though; too big and thick for such ducks as were willing to eat our offerings (the white ones) and certainly for the pigeons. We started throwing huge chunks in the water. This was a good thing, because the seagulls which had started circling around our bounty, and newfound fowl-friends, started excitingly diving from heights to drag these chuinks off to the floor. And they were loud, and got in each others way - it was awesome. I hadn't left much time after that, in fact I was late, for the last Exe-group ever. Parable of the sower in Mark, which I thought we'd done. Sharon (a lily of the valleys) had brought a friend along who had been to Poland with her. She was very personable, the antithesis of myself in unfamiliar company, and said that she liked my bible tabs. Well, they are awesome. She had a "rose" transparent piece of plastic which she read her bible through, having recently been made aware that this activity would render it much more readable. I heard about this condition, linked to dyslexia, once before, possibly on Richard and Judy. The last Exe-group ever was rather nice. We all decided to go to Paignton zoo next Thursday as well.

When I got back (it was also the latest Exe-group ever - natch) Ella had arrived. Almost immediately, James said that John and Joe were going to the pub, and would I like to join them? I am easily persuaded in the direction of a a good pub, and I hold that the Artful is one such, so off I went, resolved to buy one pint merely. James and Ella stayed behind, to have some food I think. I've got to save some money if I'm going to Paignton Zoo... Shortly afterwards, James and Ella showed up. James had promised Ella food, because he couldn't be bothered to cook I think, but the Artful stops servingat 2130. It was too late. I wonder what it was that we talked about. It was entertaining enough nonsense I suspect.

And then I went to bed.
I screwed it up. I can't go and visit Adrian and Emma before the end of term, what with car movements and visitors to Ex. So I had to go tot he station and try for a refund. I got it, but less £10. Gah. The mistakes I make have a tendency to lose me money.
James blogged it all.

Cristiana (No H I am informed) was most perturbed by my "friend, who is a girl" line. She's cool - she likes the Smiths and Syd Barrett.

Sunday, 15 June 2003

[Badly formatted table showing my itinerary]

Great! These coming weeks are gonna be packed full of niceness. Firstly Ella comes round tomorrow, and James has to entertain her all week. This should should at the very least involve canoeing, presumably many other fun things. James Dean just asked if I wanted to go to a beach party Wednesday afternoon. There's a barbecue on Wednesday at CathSoc too. Then I go to see Adrian and Emma at the weekend in Manchester. When I get back, Will and Rosie are gonna have been in Exeter for about five minutes, and I get to see them as well! Groovy.
We're mad we are. Well James is. As far as I know it started when James noticed that Rebekah had her window open. Logically, the only thing to do in this situation was to attempt to shoot her. The window was getting in the way though, so he prevailed upon Paul to use his window-breaking expertise so that he could get a good clear shot. Gavin stood by and laughed as many many pellets were fired into Rebekah's open window. I don't think any hit her. Then we decided that the keycom phones just weren't cutting it, and that what we really needed was a long piece of string to hang between our houses so that we could talk via plastic cups. Not content with this miracle of communication, James attempted to get deflating balloons to fly down it attached to straws. Neil turned up about now and joined in, which was just as well, because Gavin was long gone, Paul had gone to his bedroom to do sensible revision and I was just feeling lazy. James has started putting the balloons to a simpler, decorative function. It's looking pretty good. What with the bed fiasco and the parties we have had, which I think have been relatively infamous, I think we prob have a reputation for being fun-loving, childish people by now. "Only four more ballons left!". Thus spake James.

My post about Smile vanished. Ugh.
Mass today, as ever. LT brought her grandson along. He had some VTech toy. I'm not much good at ages, so I won't guess, but he was definitely a kid. Lisa was going to do the do the talk today (strictly off the record) on the trinity, but she was ill, so Fr. Paul had ot make something up. It involved firstly juggling, then a little iconography/art-criticism and then something else which I forget. He pointed out, by way of a sideline, that we weren't too enthusiatic about the responsorial psalm. He's not wrong. I think it's because you have to remember a short phrase; I for one am no good at that. The response was something like "Happy is the nation that the LORD has chosen for himself." It was a little ironic. It brought to mind, however, a sermon I once heard on the beatitudes at Belmont. Derek, for it was he, said that "happy" was an etymological nuisance. This is because our word "happy" derives from the middle English "hap", meaning to have good luck, good circumstances - that sort of thing. From that more objective starting point, happiness has come to be the subjective mood that one tends to be in when one is in good fortune. Worth bearing in mind, though we probably should be happier about being a chosen nation of God, yes. As I mentioned, James and I cooked. It was a great success, and everybodyat it all up.

Saturday, 14 June 2003

Got up around 0940. Forgot to turn my alarm off. First significant thing was finding James back from his exam far in advance of its close. Assisted some more with Resident Evil, and then dragged him off to Sainsbury's where we purchased ingredients for CathSoc tomorrow. We're cooking you see. After this they won't want us back. We're going to make some pasta and fruit salad - separate bowls. It cost more than I was expecting. I think I'd better pay for some of it myself. There is usually recompense.

When we got back, we spent some time in the back garden, such as it is, reading. Shortly before, Mino's friend who is a girl, Christiana, came by. While we moved all the furniture out of the kitchen, they conversed in Italian. To start with, Mino spoke at a curiously atypical lower pitch. If it wasn't to sound more manly, I don't know to what this should be attributed. He talked normally for a while, but then diverged into making curious and comical noises for them both to laugh at. James and I sat outside first. He was reading a Mark Shea, and I, the book of Job, which I think I'm right in saynig is the oldest book in the bible. Gavin said he was going to read the Beano, to which I retorted that I was being "holier than" him. Paul joined us to do some revision, and after a while John came by wit shopping and came and read some of 1 Thessalonians and Revelation. He liked my homemade tabs, but also pointed out that I had done it all wrong round 1 Thes. Nina and Laurence (sp?) also swang by. She said my hair looked nice. We got some random stuff rom the UTC to eat as well.

Gavin and Rebekah came round to watch Casualty. I was obviously in an odd mood, as I watched it with them. Very strange. Then Big Brother, which was pretty funny. Big Brother's always pretty anal in its instructions. Luckily, Jon was there to be uber-anal and point out that, in Big Brother directions, a preposition is a very bad thing to end a sentence with. If you can't provide an actual reason why you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition (as I defy anyone to) then you shouldn't mock those at a different level of verbal smugness. Might as well say that split infinitives are fine too. That's Latin grammar.

Discovered it's Mino's birthday tomorrow! He kept it fairly quiet, but somehow Rebekah found out, and Gavin told me.
Goodness. Look what they've got to eat all week:
  • Baked beans

  • Brown bread

  • Chopped tomatoes

  • Kidney beans

  • Sausages

  • Tuna in brine
"Maybe [Big Brother let us hear that] because it's all positive," [Tania] mused. "And not negative," she added, lest anyone present not be familiar with positive's antonym.

"We didn't get pocket money as kids, so we bred rabbits and sold them for meat," said Jon, demonstrating his early liking for cash.

"Nush wants to make a baked bean loaf," scoffed Scott.

"That's wrong on so many levels," replied Fed.

On noticing that her DIY cigarette habit had turned her fingers yellow [Sissy] attempted to clean off the stains with household cleaning products, much to the concern of Big Brother and bystander Ray.


Friday, 13 June 2003

Woke up really early again. It doesn't help me get out of bed any. Blearily watched RI:SE, as is my wont, until Mum and Dad came to pick me up so we could go somewhere. I suggested we got to a castle, so to Okehampton we went, to investigate on old motte and bailey job. It was pretty well ruined. There was an audio tour which was informative enough, although not comprehensive. It also had an obligatory historical-recreationist narrator, which always seems like a daft idea to me. Castles are cool. There were some interesting black birds around. We weren't sure what they were, but they made bird noises with which I was unfamiliar and had a base in a nearby tree. There was a very placid bird on some stone steps in the castle, which scarcely moved as I walked up. Also found a slowworm I think, just outside the castle walls. Haven't seen one of them for a while. There were about 5 garderobes in the pace, which you may or may not know is an exceptionally large amount - very sanitary. We drove back to the house so that Mum and Dad could pick Neil and my stuff up, to go back, which they did.

Watched a lot of TV today. Let's see... Richard and Judy, Simpsons, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Question of Sport, Top of the Pops, that new meta-quiz with Vorderman and a slaphead, and Big Brother parts 1 and 2. That tedious, pale man hight Marilyn Manson was on TotP today. He was very pale and tedious. Andy was unusually cerebral in his music criticism today. He usually just says people can't sing, or that he hates them. The quiz thing, he rightly pointed out, consisted, if you think about it for a moment, of only 8 minutes of quiz before the final round, with a lot of inane babble going on inbetween. I rather liked the eviction on BB tonight. I wanted Sissy out and thought that she would. She just seemed like the less interesting of the nominees. Happily, upon emerging, she seemed to become more of a real person on the outside anyway, and it was very good to see her realising that the public didn't hate her, by and large. She wasn't very happy at all, after finding out who had nominated her, calling them all snakes. Probably true, except in the case of Gos I reckon.

Thursday, 12 June 2003

Woke up this morning very early; all this sun and stuff. Andy was in the front room at breakfast time, this being a relibale indicator of a morning exam. I was feeling very, uh flat, and Andy suggested going for a bike ride as a way to clear my head up. It didn't work exactly, but after a brief cycle down and alittle past the quayside, I felt better. When I got back I tried to pack some stuff. Mum and Dad were coming down for a bit, and offered to take some stuff back, so now my shelves lack videos and most of my fiction. Still got Jackson's Dillema and Arthurian Romances if I feel that way inclined though. I threw out a lot of stuff in the process and sorted through three years of English notes; it looked pretty pathetic to be honest, but I think I've done alright despite it. I had an idea I might predict myself a grade based on hard facts, but I gave up after a while. I found both my essays from Evolutions and Revolutions. I think Angelique may have despised me, as she gave both of them by far my worst marks. I aced the exam though, and pulled the module up to almost a first. Go me. Almost a first seems to be what I'm getting. Have I metnioned that already. I'm starting to doubt my capacities though, presumbaly irrationally. I still have no mark for my dissertation, which seemed pretty nebulous at the time and accounts for a quarter of this years marks. Ah well.

Mum and Dad turned up at midday, and we walked up to Pizza Express for lunch. We didn't talk about much except my future, which I happen to consider a rather depressing subject. Mum was really tired from being on call, so she and I came back to the house while Dad pootled about in town. She had a nap while I worked on my CV some more, nearly finishing it. Dad came back for Countdown, so we all watched that, and then they went of for tea at a friend's place. I forget what happened after that - nothing much I think.
Abandoned post. This is what happened at CathSoc anyway. Confusingly, it's on the wrong day. Bit long ago now anyway.

Wednesday, 11 June 2003

Aauurrrghhh! Writing a CV is difficult.
I'm switching e-mail addresses, as my old one is going to die, like my webspace. I've e-mailed people the new one, but it's not inconceivable that I'll have missed people out. I can't put it on my blog though, I thought, owing to spammers and the like. Do you remember those thin book catalogues you used to get in infant and primary school? I do. Once upon a time I bought a book about secret codes from one such catalogue. It's still in our house I think. This purchase was to facilitate my entry into MI5, but as I can't see that happening any time soon, I shall put its mysteries into more mundane use.


This is an easy one. You're meant to pile encryption upon encryption, but I guess that's probably enought to deter those bots that scan websites to rip e-mail addresses. Anyway, the idea is simply that I have put an arbitrary letter after every vowel. Strip them, and you have it. While I'm at it, my MSN is still tsoyanpm@hontmaliyl.coym if anyone wants that.
Right. Well after going up to my room, and writing that miserable entry, I perked up a little. Furthermore, when I cam back down again, James had made a good effort at cleaning up. For him, I mean. He still thinks that regular washing up is the preserve of the weak-minded. Well that's quite enough bitching. Anyway, he scraped some of the wax off the floor with a teaspoon, which is now sharpened. Andy, in his knowledge of these things, said this morning that it'd make a good prison weapon, tunneling tool. He also maintained that the bolsheviks had stolen his frying pan. Then he found it. Apparently the bolsheviks had merely hidden it. However, I digress. I was checking on the ol' Commonwealth, and it seems we of The Eagle Tavern have come to an arrangement whereby decision-making capabilities are directly related to attendance at the real Eagle Tavern. Mary lived at Danes Road in the second year, and lived near the Eagle, but was too scared of its local character to go there with me, so I'd never got round to going in it. I tagged along therefore, with Andy for a pint with his drinking buddies, including Dan. It was a bit busy owing to it being quiz night, so we had to sit in the lounge. The lack of seats made me think that I might end up being a bit periphery, but it wasn't so bad. It was quite upbeat really, considering that most people there were in exam mode. We were only there for an hour because of that. Bryony, who lives in our old flat, requested Andy, like the gentleman he is, to escort her home after Lemmying it, so I walked back home with them. Andy accused Bryony of reading Mills & Boon novels. She wan't too happy with that.

When we got home, Andy felt like a random walk. He sat outside, enjoying the crisp, pure night air, while I attempted to draw Paul and James out of the house. Paul came, and instead of the random wandering proposed, we finally got the recycling done. It went amusingly badly. We broke a fair amount of glass on the pavement on the way, but we got it done anyway. Naturally, next on the agenda was going on the swings in the park. Andy thought it wasn't safe for me to jump off the swings. I, who have jumped off many a swing in my days upon God's green earth and have never been in hospital except to visit, jumped off the swings. Paul and Andy were more impressed than was necessary. Either that, or they were taking the piss, but I don't think so. We suddenly decided to run over to the wall and race over it. Andy's long legs apparently avail him naught. I effortlessly overtook him and swept over. Paul also, who missed initial burst, and doesn't exactly have the same height advantage as Andy, easily got over. We both looked back to see Andy, long legs flailing with manifest futility, practically static at the top of the wall. After smirking a bit at that, we wandered home.

Tuesday, 10 June 2003

A depressing day. A largely wasted day. I realised quite quickly after that first post that there wasn't much point in me going into town without a CV. However, I didn't have a copy with me. Fortunately, my wonderful brother Nick was in back at Dobson HQ, and MSNd me the original word file from Dad's computer. So I started on that. My attention span apparently didn't like the idea of me completing this task in one sitting, so I went downstairs and had some tea and sandwiches and stuff. Today, Andy was revising. This meant that he spent some of the day being audibly bewildered by physics, and some in short-term pursuits, such as trying to persuade Mino that his taste in music is excellent. This he did by playing CDs in the front room and saying "Now this - this Mino is just the best song that they ever did. Isn't this great?" Mino and I were both fairly frank regarding our music appreciation. That is to say that we didn't admit that whatever was playing at the time was the best thing in the world, and consistently thwarted his notion that we might. I forget what exactly Andy did other than that, but he was in the kind of mood, as James and I pointed out to him at lunchtime, that little boys sometimes get in and which precedes their mothers telling them to go outside and play. We even offered him the princely sum of £2 to try and get him to occupy himself for an hour outside the house. This would have been a calming activity, we felt, this freeing his mind up to revise properly, as he didn't want to. There were less noble motivations too, as I'm sure you may imagine.

But to my discredit, I did far less CV than Andy did revision. Furthermore, by the end of the day, the kitchen through various activities has become a squalid, depressing place. Our kitchen is usually a tip, but today was a bit much. The sheer superfluity of the mess is what gets me. I am far happier knowing that washing up is a byproduct of ingestion. Andy's revision notes, strewn about the front room liberally, are arranged in the way that he apparently works best, and that's okay, though he does receive a fair few digs for it. Today however, was what might be termed an arts and crafts day. James, Andy and Paul, in their various ways, scattered plaster of paris (making a cast of James' hand, the aforementioned plaster nob design - it did come off), wax (used in the casting process and to make a candle, which was placed and burnt directly on the kitchen table) ashes (various) and tea (poured onto the candle so that the wax turned urine yellow. this then dripped unchecked onto the floor, resembling fake vomit) all round the place. The kitchen is now a very unpleasant place. Oddly, James chose today of all days to take Mino to task (though it was all pretty light-hearted really) for leaving vegetables and coffee in the sink. Oh, and the wax, having dripped onto the cooker, was burnt off, leaving to kitchen full of wax smoke. I wish I'd have gone out as I said I would, rather than staying in to witness the offhand and gratuitous piling up of unusual dirt. Needless to say, the recycling from the party still has to be done. A depressing day. A largely wasted day.
Andy is a big [k?]nob; he just attempted to draw one on the kitchen floor with plaster of Paris. I think I have my story all worked out for when it can't be removed from the floor, and domestic services demand our damage deposit. "It's entirely Andy's fault" I'll quip, "He's a big nob."
Well this morning I'm going to look for temping work. I haven't got much of a hope, there being only three and a bit weeks left for me to be in employ, but there isn't really much else to do that I can think of. I could always try to enjoy my last three and a bit weeks of uni, but I know I'll just get restless and stressed if I don't try and do anything beneficial to my short-term future. Claire, who lives on the same block as us with some other Christian girls I know, said that there were occasional vacancies for university catering work. I wonder if I can get in on that before term ends...

Monday, 9 June 2003

Bike and a haircut, two bits. Well, £65 actually, all told. I was going to see how much that was in Euros, but it doesn't seem worth the effort, just to make my blog ever so slightly more topical.
Well, I guess blogger must be working again now.

So - today. I woke up at 0530. I had determined to sort out many things today - at 0530 I was far too asleep to do anything constructive, yet very much awake enough to stress about all that had to be done. I put on Morimur, a kind of perfomative essay on Bach at probably too loud a volume, and waited 'til dread 8 hath come. Did some realtive phoning to try and sort out a way to get all my stuff back home. Must also remember to go and see a film or something with Neil.

I went to campus first, to the careers centre, which was as helpful as it ever is. Apparently, my temperament is fundamentally ill-suited to the kind of work which graduates are meant to do. Then I picked up some stuff about Natwest graduate accounts, which I should probably read. I also worked out that I was overdrawn on my student account, which is fine, as opposed to my current account, which has no agreed OD facility. This would then have been a most perturbing development, but it's coooooooooool.

Wandered to town. On my way to get my hair cut, a Krishna monk, looking for "cool people like yourself" said that he thought my hair was "cool". Pah. He wanted to give me a book (donation of about £4-5) but I said I needed the money for a haircut. Then he said £1. If I'd really wanted the book, I would have felt guilty about taknig it at that price. This relates to my idea, as proposed to the assembled in th'Artful, that pubs could have decent books as ornamentation, provided that they were largely treatises on morality and the like. Then the kind of person who wanted to read them would be the kind of person who didn't want to steal them. I didn't want the book, so I just got a slip about a forthcoming Krishna celebration. And a haircut. Not from the monk. I think it rather a good idea to have a bike next year (can't afford a car) , so I went to Halford's to investigate prices. "Do you sell second-hand bikes here?" says I. "I do." says he. Now I have an appointment to view a £60 bike this evening at this guy's house. I also bought some CDs from MVC. More Bach. Owing to Mr. Bach's prolific nature, it is not a simple thing to try and purchase a representative work. I bought a recording of The Brandenburg Concertos and St. John (sic) Passion. Shouldn't it be "John's"?

When I got back to get some dinner, Gavin was visibly taken aback at my hair, as was Paul. James has not mentioned it. This might be because it is a slightly irritating thing for someone who has had a drastic hair reconfiguration worked upon them when those about them says things like "It looks much better now." This suggests the paucity of respect they've had for your chosen hairstyle over the years. Most likely though, it is because he can't work up the enthusiasm to say "It's all right, I suppose."

Sunday, 8 June 2003

Tonight, Joe had suggested that we make a pub expedition, so myself, James, Andy and Joe traipsed down to the Artful to imbibe moderately priced sources of alcohol. John joined us later having had an exam that morning. This we discussed among other things, in the Artful's less than usually pleasant (Saturday crowd) surroundings. Well, we were all having a good time. So good a time in fact, that when Andy suggested going to the Lemmy I didn't laugh in his face. He was as taken aback by this as I was. Must have been in a funny mood. Anyway, I think Joe was up for it from the off, which leaves James and John. Hmm. James said he'd go if John did. I expect he thought that was the end of the matter, as there was not a hope in hell that John was going to come. The very idea! So, as John rightly pointed out, we bullied him into going along with us. I discovered that I was overdrawn at the cashpoint, but thought I should ignore it for the time being, and it vanished from my mind.

People always say that when you go to the Lemmy, you are amazed at how many people you meet there. When you say that you've never ran into anyone you want to run into there, they backtrack and say that you make friends with all the regulars. At this point I tend to snort contemptuously. "My arse.", I think, whilst cryptically whatever facial growth I have at the time of going to press. Must be an attitude thing; as I didn't really care if I met anyone there (I had with me a goodly crew) I met tonnes of unexpected people. Well, tonnes for a stay-at-home like meself anyway. I ran into Nina's housemate and vehement non-Belgian, Wouter, Mary, and Elain. This latter, who is friends with some of Mary's friends, said that it was odd she had run into me, because she had thought about me early in the day. "How delightful.", I thought. She had been recalling, however, the occasion upon which I went to the Imperial and spewed volcanically over a new suit that I had bought. This is the only occasion upon which I have not recalled a large portion of a night due to to being thus profaned. Honurs binds me to point out that this usage of "profane" is Andy's. I also saw one of our next door neighbours, who I always say "Hi." to in passing because on the first day I went next door to try and introduce myself. I also ran into John, a theology student I believe, from my corridor in the first year and some of his friends. I had not seen John since the first year except withinn the past four days, when I have ran into him thrice. Odd.

When we got bored of dancing to certain club standards (Dee-lite, Groove is in the heart being a notable highlight) and James' and John's studied disruption of our vibe via their dancing (again c.f. John), which was the very antithesis of cool, certain members of our party felt the urge of nostalgia. Therefore we went to the Italian Job (Un Momento's) for megaburgers. Some random guys gave us an unwanted pizza. It had meat on, but it was still pretty cool. James keeps on taking the piss out of me for being a vegetarian. Anyway, then we went to Lopes for further retro action. I tried to play table tennis with John, but I was more merry than is conducive to tabel tennis, so my place was taken by Andy, while I hid in an alcove behind a curtain. Well, I wasn't really hiding; I was just being mildly quirky. However, I was bewildered to find certain among us querying my whereabouts. I thought it was pretty obvious really. Lopes is a small sort of a hall, so everybody living there can pick out strangers pretty easily. We, walking in through the open door, therefore amused/perturbed the residents who were hanging by the doorway. We strolled out to a pointed "Good night" from one such.

When we got back we went up to John and Joe's flat, for I had desired to investigate Joe's rap depository. Mother Hubbard tha Police and all that. Um, yeah, and then we slept, little knowing that would feel unexpectedly worse for wear the next day.

* * *

I did very little the following day. I did manage to make it to Mass though, and partook of the cheap, invigorating properties of Red Bull, available at Noah's Ark.

Saturday, 7 June 2003

Well I caved in and started my own nation. I wonder how easy .xml is, cos then this might be more useful. All depends on one's definition of useful really.
Well I found my archive page, so that link should be working now. It is however hideously ugly, and the wrong way round. I also fear that I may not be able to recover snippets and spam without hosting blogs at different addresses under the same name, which seems a tad cheeky.

Friday, 6 June 2003

Well that's just great. I missed the eviction. Guess I'd better start crying into my pillow.
Elevator lady [4x]
Lady levitate me

If all in all is true [3x]
If all is true
Won't you please fawn over me [4x]

Not a great deal happened to me this afternoon. On the other hand, I did watch Amélie, a film whose pleasantry quite overcame me. So that was nice. In attempting to get that link for you, I type in "imbd" instead of "imdb" which resulted in one of those arbitrary pretend search engine things. I wonder if anyone ever uses them. I for one always prefer to move on to the site I wanted to begin with. Nina walked past our window today, as is her wont. Either she was less observant than usual, or in a bad mood because she did not respond to my hailing (gesticulatory). Hopefully it is the former :/

Disappointed to find no TotP2 today; some rubbish about horse-racing instead, that most tedious of betting opportunities. Neither was TotP proper particularly inspring. Today was Colin and Edith's TotP debut. They were just as non-entitytastic as anyone else ever is. Something about TotP-hosting brings out the tediously vapid in people I think. Ginuwine stroked his ego thusly: "Say we love you Ginuwine." I heard no response from anyone other than the backing singers - serves the tedious goit right. We are now to call Emma Bunton "Emma" it would seem. Sorry everyone else called Emma, you may soon have to preface your names with the indefinite article. You don't mind do you? Oddly, her new single is basically a Bond theme tune. I suppose it must have been deliberate, for she had a dress that looked like Ursula Andress's bikini. For the record, now is I suppose the appropriate juncture at which to state that I'm not sure that Halle Berry is particularly attractive. More than Lucy Liu at least. Okay - S-club. Who splits up after four years?

I've been reading my new toy, A New Eusebius today, and I thought I would note down some things that arrested my attention. Firstly a persistent belief in the Sibyl among many early Christians, whoever she might be. Some controversy on the ability of a person to repent; some maintained that there was only one repenetance, and that was at baptism. It also seems that Justin, a church father according to's indexing system advocated the worship of angels. These are things that I feel I should take a look at at some point. Also, a timely reminder of the precedent of Christian behaviour.
The format of the Big Brother Page at Channel 4 sucks. I am now very accustomed to scrolling my way through dense thickets of pure text, and I am sure that BB nerds can do likewise. On the other hand, four line headlines and a link saying "read more..." are not my tasse tee. Been doing accumulated paperwork this morning. In fact, I shall get back to it before I get too distracted through the miracle of the information mega-dirt-track.
In addition some residents will be disregarded when assessing discount entitlement. Please indicate if any of the residents are:
H[:] homeless persons

A homeless person may be regarded as a resident? I'm sure there's a good reason for maintaining this paradox, but I certainly can't think of one.

Thursday, 5 June 2003

Hello, my friend! Schtay a while and listen. I haven't done this blogging a day thing for ages. I've sort of gorgotten how it is achieved. Nevertheless, this is an attempt. One description of this morning might be that I wasted it. On the other hand, you might simply say that I dusted my blog template down and tried to make it all shiny and new. I should probably assume a sympathetic audience; go me!

Computers are dangerous things. They provide a mechanism for keeping oneself busy without creating an apparent necessity of personal hygeine. I knew, when I woke up this morning, that my face had been somewhat underwashed of late. This should have meant a quick wash and shave at 8030 approx, but I emerged from my becurtained den about 1230 to eat various snacks purchased in a very atypically expensive shop at Alphington Sainsbury's in Paul's car the other day. He bought a Pixies album; I was both surprised and impressed. Also he had purchased a Sigur Ros album, which reminded me of the thoroughly boring sort of band that Radiohead have become of late. It's nothing to do with accessibility folks - Radiohead are just crap these days. After this, I did a bit of washing up to Idlewild.

Had an idea to watch a film this evening, as everyone has exams on and would prob feel bad about going to the pub. John, poor lad, is stressing about exams coming up, so he said he probably shouldn't come round, but Joe, James and I ended up watching Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai. As a rule of thumb, if you would like James to appreciate a film, it is best not to praise it in any manner. I don't much anyway, but as Andy wasn't here to say that it was an awesome film, I reckon it was an altogether more rounded viewing experience.

When Joe left, it was 2200; Big Brother time. Only started watching it recently. I think the decision to evict Anouska over Jon was a bit too perverse really, but I think I'd rather have Justine leave this week, and I think I'm on the same wavelength as the BB majority. I can't work up enough enthusiasm to vote though. Poor Federico I say. I don't know how he screwed up last time, but this time round, he just seems to have stumbled into antipathy.

I am taking an opportunity to say here that as I have finished early like every other workshy English student, I am offering my services as errand runner. Any requests?
++FREE Ninja Robotic Camera Mount!++

uh... The ninja part would be what exactly? After taking pictures "for security and fun" it breaks your kneecaps and steals your wallet?
I've spent a large part of this morning getting my blog together. Phil says he thinks the snippets page should come back. He also thinks that he isn't getting enough hits. Awww. I apologise if I have been getting hits recently; no-one in here but us chickens.

Wednesday, 4 June 2003

Hi guys. Handed in my last essay this morning. Odd thing.

This is where my blog has to live from now on. At some point I'll fix all these broken links and probably get rid of the javascript, cos its pretty slow loading now isn't it? I'll let you know when I think it's bug free. Then you can tell me that it isn't.

Feeling quite lethargic. I'll start blogging properly tomorrow.

Tuesday, 3 June 2003

Where is my new blog? It should be here...
Hmm. This essay is going suspiciously easily. This is not to say that I'm not het up about it. It might be easy because I'm not doing it very well. We shall see. At any rate, the deadline seems somehow distant, though I know it is tomorrow.

Ages ago now, my acoustic guitar broke. I suppose it was going to break of its own accord, but the fact that Andy ketp shopoting it with BB pellets can't have helped any. Now I have my electric, which sounds slightly nasty; the strings should have been changed ages ago, plus I can't carry it round the house. So yesterday I amused myself by playing James' guitar in a crazy upside-down fashion. I know someone who has a guitar hidden next to their wardrobe. She doesn't seem averse to my playing, so perhaps I can utilise this knowledge. It's someone who I should really go and see anyway. I should really go and see lots of people.

Nick, I cannot believe how not-working fortunecity is. Are you still updating it? I shall give you FTP details if you like, so you can publish it here. Then I can at least read it. Or you could host it at blogspot...
Kylie's arse in legal wrangle.

Heard about this on Ri:se this morning. Obviously it's Kylie's bottom to do with as she pleases, but surely she can't have the copyright? Or is she in fact the author of her posterior? I thought copyright had to do with the creator of the ahem 'work', so presumably unless Mr. and Mrs. Kylie have passed away, they have the only coherent claim to copyright on Miss Minogue's sit-upon. Not that I'm saying that isn't a very silly idea, mind.

Monday, 2 June 2003

Say that we had one father, say one womb
(Curse to my joys!) gave both us life and birth;
Are we not therefore each to other bound
So much the more by nature? By the links
Of blood, of reason? Nay, if you will have't,
Even of religion, to be ever one,
One soul, one flesh, one love, one heart, one all?
    ('Tis Pity She's a Whore I.i.28-34)

Translation: "Hey, if you think about it, it's only logical that I shack up with my sister."