Sunday, 30 May 2004

Some people (not many) have asked when the Choral Society's concert is going to be. It's going to be the evening of Fri 18th June, and I pity the fool who doesn't come along to hear Schubert's Mass in G and Bach's Kantate nr. 147 (Herz und Mund and Tat und Leben)

Saturday, 29 May 2004

This is the code that makes Nick's entries look the way they do:
TD.nick {background-color:#add8e6; font-family:verdana}
TD.nickborder {background-color:#6666FF; font-family:verdana}

CSS allows me to customise a few things, but if you tell me the font, and colours (hex values please) that you want, I'll do it. I'm not gonna guess.

Friday, 28 May 2004

Ok, I've done something about the holiday! Having purchased a copy of Lonely Planet (Wales), Emma and I reckon that the best thing to do accomodation-wise is to rent a cottage for the week. Looks like roughly £400 for a cottage for the week, which is about the same price per person as youth hostelling (possibly cheaper).

Found a website of Pembrokshire coastal cottages:, and there are plenty available for the week we're looking at. [That's the week starting Monday 5th July Nick!]
The area around Haverfordwest looks a good spot. This is the largest town in the area (good for shopping, etc), and is central(ish) to the coast.

What do you guys reckon? Are the price, idea, location, etc suitable for you all? Please also have a look at the site (if the link works :)); Emma wants to stay in the one with the open fire...

Monday, 24 May 2004

Doh! I accidentally knocked over one of Trevor's clocks which he is fixing now, rather embarrassing but at least David can't complain that I only mention his mishaps.
James said that I shouldn't go back to bed the morning after an all-nighter. Many people are of the opinion that he's talking out of his bottom, it would appear, but here I am, in fine fettle. Thanks James.
Does seem a little long. I think my mind would wander well before 12 hours was up.
Ah, well. This had been thought of. It was all very arranged, with breaks, and with different subjects to pray over. It went remarkably quickly I thought, considering. There was food, and songs, and readings, and even arts and crafts, though I declined, and walking to campus (barefoot, in my case and in James') occasionally pausing, with the intention of handing out sweets to Lemmyers at chucking out time. Should think we'll be in Exepose at some point. Either side of the vigil were two fairly inactive days., but my bedroom is tidy now, for a change.

I seem to have been deluded about how long my contract was for. At any rate, I now know that I have no guaranteed job after December, but it's still a bit early to be chasing jobs I think. P'raps I should get my CV up to speed.
These silent retreats in the Ignatian tradition are open to Christians of any denomination who wish to step back from everyday life to review their journey of faith and be strengthened in their vocation as disciples of the (sic - this is indeed an arbitrarily unfinished sentence)

An individually directed retreat enables each person the maximum opportunity for space and prayer. Each retreatant will meet a spiritual companion once a day, and together you will discuss how best to use this time of retreat. The companion will help you to pray using scripture and your own experience of life. Together you will try to discern what God is saying to you at this time. The retreat will be made in silence to help you to pray and to leave other retreatants equal opportunity for reflection.

You are requested to bring with you a Bible and a notebook, and any creative material. It is suggested that you do not bring radios or other books: rather let this retreat be a precious space where you can be alone with God.

These retreats will be led by members of the Plymouth Diocesan Ignatian Spirituality Group, who will act as companions to the retreatants. They have all received training from Jesuit Spiritual Directors at Centres for Ignatian Spirituality.
Was thinking of going on one of these, a six day one. Six days of silence might be a bit difficult, and it's not like I'm usually running off at the mouth, only when I'm having fun.

I guess we should probably have sorted out Pembrokeshire by now. I should phone Adrian and Emma.

Sunday, 23 May 2004

Back once again with the renegade master.
In recent times, much of my activity has been related to, or under the influence of, a 12 hour prayer vigil.

12 hours.

That's why I'm not going to blog very much about it now.

Saturday, 22 May 2004

I've been mentioning James too much (oh fussocks). Rob has had a drastic haircut and gone to a barbecue hosted by Nimmi(sp?) and Rob, but it's a different Rob. I like Rob. I mean our Rob, though I may like t'other one. Norris has been playing James Bond: Everything or Nothing most of today and eating strange things. I like Norris. Adam has mostly been in his room - mostly. I think he sallied forth to say "Pffft", but I can't remember what it was about. I like Adam. Dan has been wandering backwards and then forwards and saying "Shut up." when he says something silly he's going to spend an alliterative evening at a medieval murder mystery. I like Dan.
I was chatting to James in the kitchen. He was saying how he liked to shake his milk, so it was frothy. It was at that time that a guy leaped over our wall to retrieve his ball from next door.

It's not quite all the boys, but it's certainly a start. I think we might need to learn the techniques that freak these boys before adequate milkshake quality may reasinably be said to be achieved.

I missed Top of the Pops again last night, but it was because I was praying, so I guess I don't mind.
Regarding James

Ah yes, now James comes to mention it, this is very rude. Don't listen to it unless you're, ooh, let's say - 40.
I was in the kitchen cooking vegetarian sausages and listening to the Scherzo from Shostakovich's first violin concerto, and Adam commented that it was "horrible", which rather took me aback. Pressed further, he said it was high-pitched and "jangling" which I take to mean jarring.

Sometimes I wonder about my taste in music. There was a point at which I took especial delight in acquiring music which was "difficult". It wasn't to impress anybody, because, frankly, no-one was. Perhaps it was something to do with working out my identity (this is my music which you don't understand). At least consciously, I reckon I'm past that sort of thing now, but I still like my awkward music, having developed a taste for it. It's based on nothing other than the fact that I've listened to it - I know how it works. I think I understand.

Retrospectively, I find myself agreeing with Iris Murdoch, a great philosopher of art in an age which, by-and-large, doesn't know what to do with art. Art-appreciation is a moral challenge. Like morality, it points beyond itself to universals, ideals that are for all humanity, and not the exclusive reserve of the artist or the recipient. If you try and work out what an artist is trying to "say" in a work, you are already doing a-good-thing, appreciating the significance of something beyond you, which connects you to other people and to a whole world of value.

I like my awkward music, not for show, but because I genuinely see value in it.
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.
There is a chaos, hurt and pain which only point to goodness. I would have described myself as a cynic in earlier days, and probably still would at times, but true cynicism demands meaning. I am under the sun, looking out for a better thing to justify my weariness.

And it chances to be a beautiful day, under the sun. Make of that what you will.
James was talking about liturgy planning groups t'other day, and said something about a vague decision being made to have one of a Thursday, when I'm off at choir. I don't mind - by the power of communication I can express ideas from afar.

So, utilising a recently acquired Sunday missal and my copy of The Source (If I could find a listing for Laudate online, it'd be more varied) I hereby propose certain songs.

Entrance: 318 - "Let your living water flow"
Communion: 250 - "It's your blood"
Recessional: 230 - "In my life, Lord"
On James' favouritest creature:
Vengeance, I ask and cry,
By way of exclamation,
On all the whole nation,
Of cattes wild and tame:
God send them sorrow and shame!
That cat specially
That slew so cruelly
My pretty little sparrow
That I brought up at Carrow!
O cat of churlish kind,
The fiend was in thy mind
So traitorously my bird to kill
That never owned thee evil will!
- "Jane Scroop (Her Lament for Philip Sparrow)"

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

I've been having a most satisfying day. The clock that I've been cleaning a waxy green mess off has come together very nicely.
I've been able to help David a lot today, with his GPS Navigation doodad, with packing his kettle, getting a long case movement down for delivery. However due to the inaccuracies of postcodes in the country poor David ended up in the wrong place, and the clock had a minor problem that required it to be brought back to the shop.

Pete Mitchell (St Loye's horology instructor) popped in today after a couple of watch straps which I was able to locate for him. Pete mentioned a difficult student that I haven't met, it does Pete good to have someone to be annoyed at.

One of David's previous repairers had not used enough oil on a floating balance clock, so when Matt was working on it putting a little oil on the pivots immensely improved the performance of the floating balance. Note to non-horologists; using non-clock oils into a clock tends to gum the clock up in short order

Monday, 17 May 2004

Oh goodness, where does the time go? I seem to keep myself busy these days.

Debate on Thursday, which I've realised I don't want to spend my lunch-break writing about - so I won't.

On Friday after work I strolled along to Will's wherein I met him. He treated me to various items of food and drink - thanks Will - and we had a quick drink in the Eagle. Earlier than usual. Belmont, our friendly local Brethren church, have been extending themselves of late and were inviting people in to look at the extension. I mean new rooms and suchlike. This is why I had come to Will's, so we cpould go and case the joint. It's a pretty strange idea I reckon, inviting people to look at your new church building, but there you are. Apparently there's a market for it. We looked round and met Rosie, and ended up talking very universally to a chap named Robin - posession, karma, justice, matriarchy. Well, I say we - I did most of the talking. I'd swear I used to be really quiet. What happened? After a while Will and Rosie had to leave but I offered to buy Robin a pint. Will said I never bought him pints. It's true - sorry Will. In fact, while I'm here - everybody, have a pint on me at some point. I just hope you don't all gang up on me at once.

I walked home cheerily and seem to recall finding Ella playing Zelda. After that, a blank. I dunno.

On Saturday, most of the house left for cyclage to Dawlish, but I had shopping to do. Got an umbrella, new clothes pegs, a (hopefull)y decent white shirt, Shostakovich's first and second violin concertos, oh, and some clothes. All clearance from TK Maxx. A silly brown tee-shirt with ostentatious orange stitching (sort of a DIY fascist look I suppose...), some faux combats with silly writing on the back which I hope to scratch off at some point, and some relatively sensible new jeans. Hopefully I will never need any clothes ever again. Still, it took less time than usual.

Eurovision party at the chaplaincy. Fr. Paul clearly had more sensible things to be doing as he cycled in the opposite direction. Good it was. Very loud though - why on earth do people buy Lisa coke? Well, I expect she asks for it. Not to disappointed at a Ukrainian victory. Serbia and Montenegro was my sensible choice , but very happy with inanity too. Drank vodka - stolat! I think.

Sunday Mass was haphazard for me, as Zosia and Lisa had outdone themselves by apparently trying to do absolutely everything. I got confused, but they meant well, very well in fact. Wish I was a bit more help at such things.

Went canoeing - it was great. My competitive streak had a great comeback as I relentlessly derided my companions, Rob and Lisa in the name of progress. Sorry guys - I get a bit silly. Drank Royal Oak at the Double Locks, which, to my mind, tasted a bit like it was an oak. Then rowed back. I had to row harder on the way back, which is how I prefer things.

Pub quiz was quite good, though we didn't win. We had to split up and came second and third. My team was third. By one point, dash it!

Rob didn't seem to get back home last night, must have done something gentlemanly.
Egad, I've forgotten my headphones! Luckily neither Strong Bad nor Weebl have been very prolific of late, else I would be mildly grieved.

Like when I find Scott Mills occupying airtime.

Saturday, 15 May 2004

How will the car be got from Camberley to the holiday place?
This is easier than trying to blog the debate on Thursday - I might do that a bit later on in the weekend. This, however, is a list of things that are coming up that I want to see!
  • Saturday 3rd July - Only The Magic bloody Band!!!
    I'm seeing this for sure even if no-one else in the entire world wants to go.

  • Thursday 8th July - The Brodsky Quartet

  • Friday 9th July - Grooverider
    Suport from FreQ Nasty & Dub Pistols Sound System

  • Wednesday 14th July - Susheela Raman
    Cool-sounding vocalist.

  • 14th July - 14 August - As You Like It

  • 18th July - Only Brian bloody Blessed!!!!
    Featuring the Band of the Grendier Guards or something.

  • Sunday 12th September - Only Clement bloody Freud!!!
    "Without hesitation, repetition or much deviation, Sir Clement talks about his life."

  • 11-14th August - The Castle of Perseverance
    A morality play! Which is to say, one of the immediate precursors of early-modern theatre.
Tell me if any of you want to see them too, and maybe they may be seen as a unit!

Just noticed that I'm on holiday for some of it. I trust my brothers and Emma won't be too offended if I join them shortly after my favourite band in the entire world play my home town.

Thursday, 13 May 2004

I like the idea of Christianity as a supercult more and more I think about it, despite the obvious bad associations. Linguistically accurate though, I should say, the uberkult, the cult that every cult 'til then was aiming for whether it realised it or not (not, one would assume). The cult of Jesus called the Christ, which blows the other ones out of the water - God with us.

Wednesday, 12 May 2004

I'm very much in a position of not caring.

A very popular line on my part, by all accounts.

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

Change of plan. If anyone wants a profile on here, create one in blogger.
Goes for you too Will.

The Debating Society is debating something along the lines of "Is Christianity a brainwashing supercult?" on Thursday evening. Fantastic. On slightly more safe territory, but very conveniently placed, there's a lunchtime apologetics talk on the resurrection on Friday. Fantastic. Something to pray for everybody, and attend people who can. Woo.

I wonder where James and Rob are - having fun without me no doubt. Poor Rob - nothing seems to be working out for him recently. Zosia doesn't seem very happy either too.
Hello. I don't think I'll be able to bring things up to speed in 25mins, but let's just see.

Had the barbecue. It was alright - good to see people. Not many drank the punch, but it was goooooood. Very windy day - lots of stop-startage. Will and Rosie were the first to arrive, and apparently they stayed for three hours, though it seemed like five minutes. The chaplaincy lot turned up a bit late, apparently because I said not to come early. I fear that my literalism is often mistaken for hints. I don't do hints. Juggling and eating and Dr. Shaw and Mino and some of Rob's friends one of which I'd never nmet in my life but seemed personable enough. Went on for quite a long time altogether, and Zosh and Lisa even came back. Madness.

Irene's back, which is nice. I like Irene. I also like the fact that she offered to lend me her Peugot 306 for three months. Well there you are. I mentioned the blog, and she said she had one before they were even called blogs. However, it's password-protected, and I hardly think that counts. Said Peugot got use today as well, as Tessa, Rachel and myself were driven down to Beer. Apparently it's recon for when Irene's family visit. We wandered round, Rachel bought tonnes of small gifts for her friends, Tessa killed a defenceless creature and we collected shells. There is talk of using them for "dip" receptacles. I doubt it. Rachel taught us this incredibly catchy antiphon, which was in my head all the way to work yesterday, and the some.
Jubilate Deo omnes terra
Servite Domino (sic - surely not) in laetitia
Alleluia, alleluia, in laetitia
Alleluia, alleluia, in laetitia

You sing it in canon and it rocks, and no, I don't know how to spell it.

So I actually did get to go to the pub quiz this week. I think I brought bad luck though, as we didn't win. Got booze though. It was apparently a lot harder this week. Not too much to say about that really though. Came back to ours afterwards and engaged in a bit of sleep deprivation/Monkeyball. It was something of a self-affirmatory session as the gospel that day was "by this shall all men know that you are my disciples. James got serious at one point, and I tried to too, but no-one was in the mood for that, and I was practically asleep myself.

After a day which was survived rather than worked through (go to bed earlier you prune) I decided to go to the cathedral. I didn't intend to go home, as we were going bowling later. On the way, it rained profoundly, and I was immoderately dampened. I abused my position as Will's friend to get a lift to my house from outside the cathedral, which had been closed because of the rain ("Sanctuary!") and got changed as hurriedly as a damp Mark can. Will provided beans on toast and then we went bowling.

I kicked at bowling.

Sorry I'm running out of time - anyway, that's about the size of it. I wish you well, whoever you are.

Sunday, 9 May 2004

Jill and I went our separate ways this weekend. Jill was committed to a choir competition and so was not able to go with me on my jaunts which I thought were more entertaining.
On Thursday after an all day meeting I set of for the wilds of Withington with Adrian and Emma. Evening chatting together. The next day I went Chester to do some family history research at the records office would you believe. Why did no-one tell me Chester races were on?
I got back A&E (no, not Accident and Emergency) Emma went out so Adrian and I went for a meal and drink in order to put the world to rights.
This brings me to Saturday morning after a good nights sleep. Thence to Oldham to see an uncle of my Dads and then to another family do. The Davies clan; guess what surname my maternal grandmother had. Much useful research, it keeps me off the streets, amuses me so I arrived home tired and content late/mid evening on Saturday.
And now I have to prepare my accounts to see the accountant on Tuesday. Yuck!

Friday, 7 May 2004

There's some anarchic punctuation going round the office today - lengthy ellipsis, inexplicably multiplied exclamation marks, and tildes used as hyphens.

They're not even particularly dramatic sentences...

Thursday, 6 May 2004

As Zosh would would say James would say, "Say Knorr to boring meals."

Tuesday, 4 May 2004

Barbecue at lunchtime on Saturday at ours, owing to proximity of my birthday. Chances are, if you read this, and you're able to come, I'd like to see you, so bring some burgers and stuff.
I'm practically alchoholic compared to Will and Rosie. It makes trips to the pub a little odd when they drink coke all the time and I'm on whatever ale or bitter is readily available. I don't think they're teetotal, but I gather it wouldn't take much of a shift in gear.

That's it then - I guess I'm the reckless one of the trio. I expect I shall die sooner.

Well, maybe not. Red wine, in moderation, is good for you. I'm not sure whether beer is, but in any case, alchohol in moderation is fairly well vindicated.

Zosia came round and saw internet cartoons the other day. I can't help but wonder if it wasn't a rather disturbing process.

Work was odd today; the deadlines are a little early, owing to this clutch of bank holidays, but I am, in fact ahead of time, and slightly stuck for work. This is just as well, as I am fairly tired, and today my head wasn't working particularly well.

I should probably recap the weekend. Went home to see Mum and Dad. I can't have done very much except hang around on Saturday, but on Sunday I went to mass. It was good. If Rob doesn't come up and reclaim his computer before I'm done (thanks Rob) I should probably go over the readings agian. They were a bit difficult to hear because of kids. The kids in front of me were classic though. An illustration in itself probably - perhaps I'm just being soppy - but anyway, two kids, one mother, and they were constantly reaching out to touch her face, and it was nice, and an analogy of the beatific vision I guess.

Surely whether "credo" relates to a plural or individual confession of faith is the incidental part of James' post, whereas the business of outright editing the creed is the more important.

No-one cares about hair-pulling anymore. They seem to have worked it out.

S'my birthday on Thursday. I have some spending money from Mum and Dad, and Neil treated me to a pint of IPA and some baked field mushrooms yesterday.

People think my blog entries are too long. People think that my vocabulary is too large. Maybe they've given up by this point. Oh I do feel as though I've been thinking about things alittle too much recently. Maybe doing things would be more helpful. Perhaps I should underpunctuate too - it would seem to be the way of things. Am I wrong to care about these things? Probably.
Well whaddya know? I didn't think the RSV was online.

Sunday, 2 May 2004

I'd like to be able to make some use of this, only I'm not au fait with either XML, RSS or PHP.

How about we start the web again using BASIC? No? Worth a shot.
A few days ago I sent Zosia a text saying, among other things, something along the lines of "did rob pull ur hair?" in reference to their (James and Lisa too) trip to Belmont park.

Now they're all very interested to know what I meant, and I'm not very interested in telling them what it meant, 'cos it meant very little and was silly.


And I apparently missed a game of scrabble. I like scrabble.

n.b. Rob's permalinks don't work.
i wonder why
Perhaps it's because you're missing a line like this in your template:

<a name="<$BlogItemNumber$>"></a>

Saturday, 1 May 2004

will someone tell me what it takes to be happy... (sic)
Mmm... Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. How handy.
Was watching Young Musician of the Year and they showed a clip wherein, at school, one of the contestants was asked to come up with four lines of iambic pentameter. I thought I'd have a go, and apparently ended up with this, which strikes me as rather a Saturday afternoon sentiment in any case.
I feel a need to obfuscate my cause,
and seek distraction for it's own good sake;
How heavy hangs the will of those old bores
refusing, out of habit - too sedate.
I wasn't in the mood for blank verse, so I opted for a quatrain. It's conspicuously less than orignal I l know.
I thought I'd create an MSN group to host pictures on. And now... a really big picture of an old familiar face.

An advantage of Adventists would seem to be that their beliefs are not nebulous. They seem to have all their bases covered with regards to church organisation and creed. So it's pretty easy to find, in a cursory reading of 27 Fundamental Beliefs and their Church Manual, plenty to consider.

I just want to list some things here which struck me, without wanting to launch into any kind of solipsistic critique:
  • Bible alone (naturally)

  • I think they consider an Ellen G. White as a"Doctor of the Church", so to speak

  • Sabbath as a perpetual ordinance - on which, more here

  • Washing of feet as a sacrament, and joined to the Eucharistic Service

  • Rebaptism for apostates

  • No alchohol (except presumably at communion)

  • No secular jazz or rock music
So there you are.