Monday, October 31, 2005


Clap, clap, clap

So, by this morning, she was clapping like a mad thing. Anything that's funny gets clapped out, and Carolyn (her nanny) says that she spent most of the day clapping and waving at things. She met her friend Bailey, and thought that the stacking (and subsequent knocking over) of bricks is hilarious. Moo was away from 0730 to 1810 or so: the longest she's been away from Jo. Jo was very, very happy to see both of us: it's fantastic how she can show joy and excitement. I so look forward to her being able to speak, but there's already so much she can tell us.

Just finished reading the second of two pieces on the canonicity of the Old Testament. Neither of the articles dealt extensively with the questions that I find most interesting: those of authorship and authority, though the second (by Sanders) had a brief discussion on "Canon and inspiration" which at least touched on it for a couple of paragraphs. Sanders raised the question of bibliolatry - a form of idolatry where too much emphasis is given to the canon, and there is a (fundamentalist) refusal to engage critically with the text qua text.

On a different note altogether, we had no tricking or treating today, I'm pleased to say. Or if we did, it was before Moo or I got home, so I suspect that Carolyn will have ignored it. It seems such a manufactured, artificial thing in the UK: it may work in the US, but not here, as far as I've been able to divine.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


More walking

Had another great walk with the Jo this afternoon. I've worked out that I'm doing nearly 4 miles an hour, when I'm moving at "stride pace", which is rather more than I expected. I did maybe another four and a half miles today, meaning that I did some 9 miles this weekend: maybe more. And I'm really shifting, believe me. I'm feeling so much fitter already - I was expecting to feel in quite a lot of pain, but that hasn't happened, which is very good. Very, very good (pain is, on balance, bad).

Finally got round to ripping the Razorlight album ("Vertigo"), which we bought months ago, and has been sitting in Moo's car since then. She's not even really that keen on it, either, but it just hasn't moved. It's ripping as I type.

Had a good supper with Si, D and Morgan today. I'd not seen Jo interacting with an older child before - not for an extended time, anyway - and it's fascinating. She followed Morgan around, desparate to be with him, and to play with the things that he was playing with. And she watched him, and clapped when he did things that she enjoyed: Moo had said a couple of days before that Jo had started clapping, but I'd not seen it before.

This morning, I took Jo to Long Melford church for a service. It was a communion service, and the organist is very good. He played a Dubois toccata at the end of the service which I knew quite well, and Jo and I (well, I, to be more honest) turned pages for him. I was very impressed. People were very welcoming, and it was an interesting sermon. Ian (the vicar (rector?)) had been on a 3 month sabbatical, and preached to a large extent on the welcome that he'd got in different churches as he went around the South of England. I was pleased to be made so welcome (though, as a young(er) man coming to a service with a baby, it's not a huge surprise), and had a good chat with a number of people afterwards. Ian even invited me to preach if I wanted to, which I found very touching. Ian was previously based at Cottenham, and has worked with a number of other ordinands from the Cambridge theological colleges (I think), and said how much he enjoys having them around. As I said, I was touched. I'd love to go back there: the music was good, the style was high, but informal, and the welcome friendly.

Next week, I'm preaching at Helion's Bumpstead (at 0930), and at Steeple Bumpstead (at 1100). Over the past few weeks, I've tended to end up preaching about what I've been reading, or studying, but I'm not sure whether the canon of the Old Testament's going to yield a very cogent sermon (apparently I'm allowed to use the same sermon twice). You're all welcome, as always. I'll try to remember to give a better idea of what I'm going to preach about over the next few days, but I really don't think it's going to be the foolish bridesmaids (which is the gospel reading for the Sunday). We'll see.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Wave, woo-woo-woo

Jo's learnt to wave, and I'm not sure why, but it's heart-breaking. It's so, so endearing, and the sweetest thing. Sometimes she'll do it when you wave at her, and sometimes she'll just wave at you. The other thing is that she's learnt how to make the "woo-woo-woo" noise by putting her hand in front of her mouth while making a talking/singing/screaming. I remember when I was a kid being told that this was a noise that Indians (by which was meant "Red Indians", by which was meant Native Americans) made, but I'm really not convinced that this was ever actually the case, but it's very lovely when she does it.

Today we bought a copy of the Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture (on Naxos), and Jo absolutely loves it. She waves her hands around, and makes the woo-woo-woo noise, which she seems to feel is appropriate for music she likes, and who are we to disagree?

Had a lovely walk with Jo today: did something over 4 and a half miles, and kept a really good pace going. I feel that I'm getting fitter and thinner, and it's great walking with Jo on my back. She slept most of the time, although she woke up when we met James and Digger, who were loading cattle onto a trailer to take them into winter quarters (or whatever it's called). Jo didn't seem to mind the heifers, which are looking very fine - we need to get some more beef in, so I'm looking forward to having some of their meat. We've had some before, and it's very good indeed. I was thinking of popping in on Stella and Claudia at the end of the walk, but James told me that they're in Surrey, so I extended the walk, and we'll do it another time.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Weight, family, work

Managing to lose some weight. Can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but I need to drop a few pounds/kilos/stone. I'm trying to stick with the GI diet and, basically, eat rather a lot less than I was until recently. It seems to be going well: if nothing else, I'm down at least one belt hole - maybe two, already. Still need to lose more, but I'm not finding it desparately difficult to shed the pounds, and if I can continue to take a sensible amount of exercise, it's going to help a lot. I was worried that it was going to be difficult to eat sensibly while I was travelling this week, but I seem to have got away with it.

Moo and Jo are back tonight. Yay.

Been a good day at work. We managed to get some movement on a project which looked like it was doomed, and which I'm in charge of. Not sure if it's going to come good, but at the moment it's looking pretty hopeful. And I think that we've finally managed to nail the support issue that's been troubling us. Something we really couldn't have worked out until now, and a bug (well, missing functionality) for a fairly pathological case which should never occur (but which, if it ever did, we should have handled). The problem was that something was connecting to us in a misbehaving manner, so it was showing up. Sod's law.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Back home again

Feels like I've not really been home for a couple of days. Last night was a fleeting visit, before getting up after far too little sleep and heading off to a quite interesting conference morning in London (yeuch, I hate London - at least the weather was nice). The conference was organised by, an outfit run by a set of lawyers in London, and specialising in law relating to e-commerce, particularly for banks. One of their people spoke, someone from Barclays, someone from APACS, and someone from Cyota.

Then back to the office (briefly), and then to an interesting tutorial on Wisdom literature in the Old Testament. Interesting, and we covered everything from puns in Ecclesiastes (no, there are, actually) to exorcism. Which was nice.

So looking forward to seeing Moo and the Jo tomorrow. It's silly how much I miss them: particularly Jo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


In Denmark

Most people here are as blonde as they were last time I was over, which I guess isn't a surprise. Honestly - if you like your people blonde, think about moving. Had a good meeting this afternoon, though I've been trying to juggle a couple of other issues at the same time, which has been interesting. We've been talking about support - all of those of us on 24x7 have met up, including the new guy we've hired, who'll be joining the rota once he knows more about the products we're supporting. Looks like another couple of 24x7 contracts are likely to turn up fairly soon, which is good news for the company. One of the tasks we need to do is to divvy up the Christmas period - good money, but quite a pain.

Oh yes: re-reading "Islands in the Net" by Bruce Sterling. _Not_ great literature, though interesting to see how he thought the world might go in 1988. Main point: he didn't realise how cheap bandwidth was going to be...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


DK tomorrow

Off to Denmark again tomorrow, so a 0540 start, and I won't be home before 0020, I suspect. I've remembered to pack a couple of novels (crappy sci-fi ones, admittedly), because last time I ran out of things to read a little early. I really hope that I manage to get some sleep this time - last time I didn't, and felt pretty awful. Sadly, I'm not going to see Moo and Jo for a couple of days, and they're heading off to Moo's parents. I wouldn't have seen much of them anyway, as Thursday's busy, so it's a good chance to see her mum and dad and grandmother.

Busy at work with bits and pieces: we're shipping a release to a customer soon, and I needed to get some pieces together for that, including arrange for someone to go and do a full install for them; still juggling a support issue; and there's a demo that I'm in charge of which isn't going too well. The latter isn't really my fault - in that things have not worked that might have done - but I'm project manager, and so I should have kept more of an eye on it.

Started reading a very good book on the sacraments: "The Sacraments in Protestant Practice and Faith" by James F. White. So far concentrating on baptism, but I'm looking forward to work on the eucharist.

Music today - not much chance for music today, as I was rather busy

Monday, October 24, 2005


Mad day

Lots of support stuff at work today: just mad.

Last night, I finished (re-re-reading) "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson, which is one of his best, I'd say. Just wanted something a bit different to read, and enjoyed it very much (again). Last week I also read the latest (?) William Gibson, "Pattern Recognition", which was also great. I love being sucked into their worlds, and yes, I know I'm a sad cyberpunk-reading geek.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


More walking

Took Jo for another walk today, this time just the two of us. We did the Tilbury walk (about 3 miles), and extended it to pop in to see James, Claudia and Stella (who were out). I kept a decent pace up, and by the end, was a bit achy, but this seems to have subsided over the afternoon. A nice, hot bath this evening, and all will be fine, I'm sure.

Preached at Little Yeldham this morning, at the 9:30am. I turned up at Tilbury-juxta-Clare at around 9:00am, but Mike, the Reader in the benefice, turned up a little before 9:20am, and was rather surprised to see me (as I was, him). After some thinking, we decided that I probably had the wrong church. Tried phoning Moo to check, using Mike's mobile, but no coverage, so I popped into my car (still in my alb), and drove hot-foot (can you drive hot-foot?) to Little Yeldham. They were very pleased to see me, but just because they were expecting to have to take the service themselves (as they often do), and always prefer to have someone, rather than expecting me. So we popped over to someone's house, and phoned Moo. She confirmed that I was supposed to be at Tilbury, but by that stage, there was no point in going back, as Mike was already there. Note - Tilbury, without an organist, use a double-bass player to fill in. Great plan.

I preached on Matthew 22:34-46 (the Great Commandments and what I think of as "the Awkward Question", where Jesus asks the Pharisees why David would call the Messiah - his descendant/son - "Lord"). After pointing out that we're often asked awkward questions as Christians, I went on to talk about the the commandment "Love you neighbour as yourself", suggesting that in order to get to the first part of that commandment, you first need to love yourself. Not, obviously, in a narcissistic way, but accepting what you have been, what you are, what you can be, and what you actually will be, along with all of the disappoinments, problems and joys that this entails. Once you can accept yourself, your possibilities, your sins, and your joys, then maybe you will be able to see the same in your neighbours. In order to love yourself fully, you need to accept God's love, and love him (the first commandment), so this all brings it together. The sermon seemed to go down well (I even got an accolade, which is always nice), and the service passed without undue incident, so I was pleased.

Managed to find Mike afterwards, before he started the Great Yeldham 11:00am service, and we decided that Keith had got confused about who he'd asked to take the service before he went on holiday. No harm done, and everyone got a service, all's well.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


A Jo day

I had a lovely day with Jo today. Moo needed a) some sleep and b) to do some work for an approaching deadline, so in the morning, I took Jo for a walk with Si, D, Morgan and the boys (their dogs, Murphy and Tolly). We walked some footpaths around the Thurlows and did a little over two miles which, with two adults, a toddler who walked a fair amount of the way, and an increasingly heavy baby (who was on my back all the way) isn't bad going. Took approximately an hour and three quarters, and felt like good, honest exercise. I guess that, with the carrying rucksacky thing, I had about 10kg on my back, so not a huge amount, but enough to add a little something to the exercise (in both obvious senses of the word).

After that, I headed off briefly to Sainsbury's, got some food, and the Plants joined us for lunch. That was all great: then the Plants popped back home, grabbed swimming stuff and Jo and I went with them to Sudbury leisure centre (the Kingfisher Leisure Centre). It's got a great slope down into the water, which meant that Jo could paddle a bit, and two slides, including a little one which Morgan was brave enough to try (several times). Jo had a lovely time splashing around, and I enjoyed myself lots, too: I'd not gone swimming with her before (getting her changed back into her clothes afterwards is _not_ an easy job). She also really seemed to enjoy the noise and all the children around (she was the youngest there by a way, but was completely unphased by it). She started to get very tired after a while, and I took her out just as they put the wave machine on (which Morgan seemed to enjoy - and his dad, too, to be honest), and then took her home once Si, D and Morgan came out of the changing rooms.

So, although Moo had a day without Jo - and missed her, particularly after having to read through the Victoria Climbié report - we had a daddy-daughter day which was very special for me. And Moo got some sleep, and did some work, so all very good. Need to do some theological academic work tonight, and I have sermon to preach and service to lead tomorrow, so I need some preparation time, too. However, the goespel reading I'll be using for the sermon is the one for which I prepared a sermon a few weeks ago before realising that I'd picked the wrong Sunday, so I've got a good idea of what it is that I'll be saying.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I'm still standing...

...or, more accurately, just beginning to stand. Yesterday, Jo really started to stand for short periods of time. Maximum time so far is around 4 seconds, but she's practicing more and more. She will, I think we can safely say, be walking by Christmas, which could be lots of fun.

Today, Jo turned 8 months old, and she's more lovely by the day. Not sleeping as much as would be our perfect expectation, but she does sleep, and we do, too (sometimes). She babbles, with more and more recognisable syllables every day. She's more and more mobile, and loves the cats. She also learnt a new skill today, which was rattling something in front of, but not within actual reaching distance of, one of the cats (Willum by preference, as Megan's tolerance levels are lower). The clever thing about this is that, as Jo's out of range, it's _Mummy_ who gets scratched, and not our original protagonist.

Quote of the day: (on IM)
Me: sometimes I love being a geek
Si: lol
Si: me too

Music today (yes, I recently ripped my "Stairway to Heaven" CD, which I suddenly discovered wasn't on the server)

Thursday, October 20, 2005


After sleep...

... everything feels so much better. A lovely, beautiful autumn day today, and although I didn't get to see Jo this evening, she had a lovely day, and was great this morning. Moo went to Saffron Walden with her (note: yet another HSBC branch with problems for pushchairs, to add to Halstead and Sudbury), and everyone had a lovely time.

Had an interesting tutorial with Alan today, and we had a good discussion on Exodus and Covenant. Of particular interest was the move from a dynastic, power-based model of society to a more communal model, with power more flatly distributed, and with God as the pinnacle, not a human leader. Though when we say that the power relationships were flattened, the relative powerlessness of women (not to mention slaves) is worth noting. We discussed topics for essays, and are now onto optional topics for the weeks of term: the first one we're going with is Wisdom literature, which I'm rather looking forward to. In a couple of weeks, I've got another seminar, which is on the Canon of the OT. As I'm thinking of writing an essay on this later in term, I'm also very much looking forward to this.

I love being a daddy: it's great. In celebration, I wore my "I'm the daddy" t-shirt.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Cats for Tosha

Stuff on cats - worth following the links down the side, too. Be scared. I've lost my link to the marvellous cat scan page. Anyone?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005



Although they say it, you never really know how tired you're going to be until it hits you. Bringing up a small child is tiring, and though Jo's never been great for sleeping through the night, she's even worse with teeth coming through and a cold (well, it may just be teeth-induced snot, but who knows). Moo has to get up in the night, because a good percentage of the waking up will involve a feed, and with the best will in the world, it's me that has to drive 40-45 minutes to work when we finally get up in the morning. Which means that we're both knackered for huge amounts of the time. I mentioned to Moo that Si and D have offered to baby-sit at some point next week (D's on half-term), and Moo just said that at the moment, she's too tired even to think about going out for an evening. I have to admit that at the moment, I feel the same.

We unwind in front of the TV (usually a West Wing episode on DVD) and just crash. I've been managing to get some theology read for ERMC, which is a relief, and last night I even did some work on the paper that I'm hoping my Dad and I will get published, but other than that? Nah - no chance. So, we really need sleep. I don't think that we're particularly down about it, or depressed, or even at our wits end: we're just tired all the time.

Monday, October 17, 2005


More support

A busy day of more support, as I come down with a sore throat. Moo had a good day in London, and Jo was apparently an angel all day. We've started watching The West Wing from the beginning of the first series again, having completed the sixth. We love it, we do.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Much better, now

Not sure what it is about me and weekends and the moment, but I really had a nasty time with this eye infection. Luckily, after lots of sleep yesterday, and three hours straight this morning (plus some eye drops), I felt much better. Well enough to take the Jo out in the afternoon, and let Moo have a sleep, which is really important.

Didn't seem as much of my parents as I would have liked, and it's a bit harsh to make Moo spend so much time with them on their own, but noone seemed to come to physical harm, so it can't have been too bad. I spent some time with Dad discussing a paper we're trying to put together on Canon Law and the Internet, and I think we're getting there. Need to do some more work on it, and then have a second draft.

In the meantime, I'm reading for my next tutorial, whihch is on Exodus and Covenant. There are more versions of some of the Exodus stories than I'd been aware of, and the strong covenantal side of the end of Joshua was something I'd not not concentrated on before. Interesting, particularly the overlap with suzerain contracts in the secular sphere.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Not well again

Eye infection. Yeuch.

Friday, October 14, 2005


busy again

And with support, again. We'll see how it does. The best news is here, here and here, though. It's also been all over the BBC radio and TV channels, and Sky News, too. That's our product: what I've spent the last year or so working on! I'm so chuffed that it's out. We're hoping to make a press release about it soon, but need to get it agreed first.

Mum and Dad to stay, and as Polly was over earlier in the week, it's a Bursell-fest.

Music today



Moo and Polly (my sister) told me last night that Jo said "gat" while looking at the cat yesterday, but I wasn't convinced. But this morning, she was looking at a favourite book (of cats), and kept saying "ca-ca-ca", when prompted to say "cat" which suggests that we're very close to a first word. She also does a passable "hello" when people come in the room sometimes, but we'll wait and see. "Dada" and "mama" happen, too, but not with any kind of intention, as far as we can tell.

Thursday, October 13, 2005



Only got home at around 0030 this morning, so I'm pretty shattered today, as I had to get up and go to work today (isn't life hard?). However, another good day, in that I had one piece of work that I really needed to get finished, and I've managed it, so that's good. A couple of weeks ago, things were so quiet, and all of a sudden, there's a flood on. Weird how that works, isn't it?

Although it's really still rather warm (it was up in the high teens centigrade earlier in the week, and has hardly dipped below 10, even at night, for a while), autumn really seems to be coming on. The nights are drawing in (what a lovely phrase), the rain's coming down, the trees and hedgerows are turning, and it's foggy some of the time. I really don't mind: autumn and winter are great times of year for me. Partly because I can light a fire at home and snuggle up warm, and partly, I suspect, because these days I'm not forced to go out in the cold, wet half-light to play sport.

It's been dawning on me over the past few days how much hard work the ERMC course is going to be. I have a pretty busy work life, and, what with being a dad, too, it's easy to get overwhelmed. I think I'm going to have to continue doing what I've been doing so far, which is to cram the academic stuff when I can, and let the reflective side take place in the day-to-day. That's always seemed to work for me, though: I rarely find that I sit down and _do_ theological reflection (though it's happened that way in the past from time to time). More often, events will trigger thoughts, which will trigger more, just as I drive to work, or get some lunch, or just while I sit in the bath. Given how little time I have just to sit and think at the moment, this is probably a very good thing.

One thing that I've found interesting over the past week was how easy I found it to pray while I was ill. And not for me - though I did pray to get better - but for those who were ill, but didn't have people to care for them, or medicine, or sanitation, or even the clean water that I was needing to drink so much of to get better. And the situation in South-East Asia, with the earthquake, or course brought that into sharp focus.

Music today (in fact, only part of it: a bug in the script?)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005



Pretty much everyone in Denmark is blonde, it seems. To various degrees, admittedly, but blonde nevertheless. It's a real statement not to be blonde, and of the people I saw today in Aarhus who weren't blonde, three were black, and two turned out to be speaking Italian when I walked past them. Whereas, in the UK, you might say that someone's hair was quite blonde, here you'd say that someone's hair was a little dark. And you wouldn't say that about many people. I was up at 5:35 this morning: can you tell? At least we had a good day: the enormous bug turned out not to be. Enormous. Or, come to that, a bug. Which was nice. Should be home room after midnight. *yawn*

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Better, but busy

Had a dentist's appoinment this morning (nothing major), followed by a health and development check for Jo (she's a star), and then into work. Started work on something I'd not got finished on Friday, when a crisis erupted. So very, very busy, but quite fun, in a weird kind of a way.

Monday, October 10, 2005



Actually feeling worse today, which isn't good. 3 and a half hours unbroken this morning (after getting up and going back to bed) should help, but I'm not up to much. Forgive me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005



Union's back on the TV, and I'm really enjoying the Llanelli Scarlets vs Newcastle Falcons game. There was a very good game of League on earlier (St Helen's vs Bradford), so it's been a good afternoon, sports-wise. We have a rugby ball in the house which I bought for Morgan to play with before Jo was born, but she enjoyed have a mess around with it as well, so that's a good thing to encourage. I've already explained that girls are absolutely allowed to play rugby, and that she mustn't allow anyone to tell her different.

Everyone's much better today, though Moo didn't get much sleep last night. I've made her go to bed (on her own!) twice today, and she does seem to be much better for some kip. We're all in recuperation mode, but we've had a nice quiet day today, and I didn't have any church commitments, which relieved the pressure somewhat.

I'm pretty close to moving my main desktop box to ubuntu (having had such a good experience with my laptop). The big decision has been whether to upgrade, or reinstall, and I think I've decided on the latter, because there are so many bits and pieces that I think ubuntu's going to do better. I'm having a big old backup first, of course.

Things are terrible in Pakistan, according to the news. It's impossible really to get your head round tragedy on that scale: entire communities just wiped out. We can, of course, pray.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Not well

Caught the bug Moo had earlier in the week, so I spent much of the night up being very ill. Moo says that I'm the noisiest vomiter in the world, so it's nice to be appreciated.

Friday, October 07, 2005


So modest

Today, I have mostly been listening to Modest Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov".

Music today


First tooth

Moo's rung me to tell me that Jo's first tooth has now come through a bit. She knows, because Jo bit her (Moo's) nose, and she felt it. Has had a look, at there it is! Clever Jo (what has this to do with intelligence, I wonder?). No wonder she's been a bit under the weather.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Back home again

Managed to get home by 1330, and spent lots of time with (a very sleepy) Jo, allowing Moo to get some good sleep herself. Yesterday, Kate and Mac stepped into the breach, and we're hugely grateful to them. Dorothy, Keith's wife, held the fort until they arrived, taking Jo out first thing yesterday morning, and allowing Moo just to feel that she wasn't completely failing to look after either herself or Jo. We're very much in their debt: all of them.

Although Moo was sick again in the night, she's felt much better this morning. Jo was also ill a few times, and her stomach was quite upset, but she's stuck to breast milk today, apart from a small piece of banana. She's been very clingy, and very sleepy, which is fair enough: she actually slept for about an hour and half uninterrupted, which is almost unheard of.

The other thing that she's started to do - and I know that this is ridiculous, given that she's only 7 and a half months - is to try to stand unsupported. I don't mean get herself up to standing position without help - which she's been doing for over a month - but to stand up, and balance, on her own. She's not really managed it for more than about a second so far, and given that she's not very well, it's not surprising that she's been falling on her bum quite a lot. But we're just amazed that she's trying it at all. We're very proud, obviously, but also rather scared about what this means for her mobility. She's crawling everywhere already, and will walk her way round furniture, or walk forward if you're holding her, but if she starts to walk in the next few weeks, it's all a bit concerning...

Am I too intolerant? Should I spend more time on creationism, etc.? It just seems wrong.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Moo: ill. Mike: in Tewkesbury

Moo's not at all well, and I'm in Tewkesbury, at least 3 and a half hours away, on business. Moo's mum and dad came down, but it's far from perfect. Hope to be home asap tomorrow. Please pray for Moo and Jo, that they're better soon.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005



I'm in Tewkesbury on business, and stopped off to see my parents a little south of Bristol, and Polly, my sister was there as well. Didn't have time to do much more than have a meal with them, but it was lovely to see them. It's hard to find time to see them, as I've mentioned in previous blogs, because we're busy, they're busy, travelling with Jo for long periods of time isn't much fun, and it's 3 and a half hours absolute minimum. So this was a good excuse to pop in.

My brother's looking for a laptop for work, and Dad mentioned that he had a couple of old ones floating around, so I said I'd look at them to see if either of them would be worthwhile reconfiguring, but unless Jim (my brother) is looking to use it mainly to prop doors open, neither laptop would be of any use to him. I've taken the HDD out of one of them to wipe, and have taken the whole machine for the other, as I couldn't get into it very easily.

Sad not to be with Jo and Moo, but that's the way it goes. At least I'm looking forward to the next couple of days' work.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Do you believe that the Bible is literally true?

"Yes, but I don't believe that either of us is smart enough to understand it."

Great quote from The West Wing, from a conservative senator to a Jewish staffer (Wilkinson to Toby).


Intelligent Design, Creationism...

... and other similar humiliating crap. I've talked elsewhere about my views on these theories. There's a good article on the Register today called The new Scopes Monkey trials, which reminds us why we need to continue to be worried about these people, and a fantastic letter about Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. Now, I'm a firm advocate of taking a postmodern view of the world, and that means refusing to privilege any particular view over another, and believing that all viewpoints are worthy of examination, but that doesn't mean that all viewpoints are equally valid. Creationism and Intelligent Design are two such viewpoints: they just don't stand up to the tools we have, and, what's more, they posit a significantly _less_ powerful God than the one I believe in. It's lazy intellectually to go with this sort of rubbish, and God gave us our minds to use, so we should. Rant over.

For the last couple of nights, Moo's slept with Jo in one bed, and I've slept on my own in the other. This is because Jo keeps half-waking-up (snuffling with a cold), and when she really does wake up, she needs Moo, not me (as she wants a feed). Sad to have to do it, but everyone seems to be getting more sleep than before, and Moo's certainly doing better on it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Gravy and bread equals ...

... gravy butties. Things to discover about your wife after 10 years of marriage. She get horrifically excited about gravy butties. And she says that her father does, too. I'm worried, worried.

The sermon seemed to go well: made a bit of a cock-up of other bits of the service, but the sermon wasn't a problem. I did the same as last time: spoke without notes. It seems to work for me, though I wouldn't want to do it if I'd not prepared well beforehand. There are times, I'm sure - particularly when I've got particular phrases I want to use, or more complicated structure - when I'll use notes, as I've done before, but as long as I prepare, I don't think there's a harm in trying this technique.

Went for a 3-mile walk with Moo and Jo, the latter in a new appliance that sits on my back, like a rucksack. It's very comfortable, and transfers all of her weight down through my hips, so my back is protected, but she's quite heavy, and the rucksack arrangement isn't weightless, so I'm a bit knackered, but it's good knackered, and I need to do more exercise generally, anyway.

Saturday, October 01, 2005



A lovely day with Kate and Mac today. We drove up from my work last night, arriving early enough to enjoy most of the evening with them. Jo slept in the car, as did Moo for a while: they both went to bed at 9! I discovered yesterday afternoon that I'd prepared a sermon for tomorrow on the wrong reading, so I've been trying to grab a few minutes here and there to work on the correct one. So far, I've not felt very inspired, and may end up preaching on what I'd already thought about, but there's the drive back this evening. (Later) After some thought and prayer, realised that the connections that Jesus makes in the lectionary reading (Matthew 21:33-46, the parable of the tenants) resonatep rather closely with my thoughts in the blog yesterday on the OT. He cites it explicitly with the quote about the stone rejected by the builders, and implicitly with the mention of the servants/slaves sent before the son (usually thought of as a reference to the prophets). Jesus thought of himself as part of a tradition, and Matthew is very keen to place him firmly in that throughout the gospel. There are OT references in almost every chapter of Matthew, in fact. So, that gives me a framework to start with, at least.

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