Friday, March 31, 2006



Dotty is the name of a proper-sized Newfy owned by some friends of ours. She lives quite close, so Moo, who was at a loose end today, took Jo to see her. Jo was apparently entranced (until the 95th time that Dotty licked her face): Dotty is a really big dog, certainly compared to what Jo's used to: 59 kilograms. Being a Newf, she has a lovely temperament, but she's still a bit puppy-bouncy, which was a little overwhelming, apparently.

I've been working nice and hard - contract negotiations today. Yeuch. We've got a new guy starting on Monday, also called Mike. He's great - he's done some consulting work from the company before when still an academic, so I knew him already. He got to the end of a postgraduate contract, and decided to look at a job in the real world, and we were very pleased to take him on. Once he's up and running, he's going to be a huge asset to the team - and we're so busy at the moment that it's going to help a lot.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Up at 0530

Despite that, a good day. A couple of meetings: one in Reading, one in London. Got home early, which meant that I got to see lots more of Jo. Cleaned out the drains at the back of the kitchen. Had some supper, then the PCC Annual General Meeting.

At some point, I need to spend more time blogging, but I'm too tired, and too busy. Soon, hopefully. Have (on a different note) decided to go with the Nokia N80. Should be available on Orange mid-April.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Orange upgrade

I'm due for an upgrade to my phone soon, and Orange contacted me offering me an upgrade to the Nokia N70. I'd much rather wait for the N80 (or even one of the E-series, which are a way off), but they're also offering me quite a nice discount plan on my bill, which they say will lapse if I don't sign a new contract. The alternative is to go with a rolling monthly contract, and take the new phone when it comes, but if I take the new phone now, I'll have to pay for an upgrade if I want one. So, is the phone they're offering me good enough to be worth it, with the discount? Particularly as work pay most of my bill? Hmm.

Need to be up at 0530 or so tomorrow for a meeting near Reading at 0930. Oh, joy. Not helped by the fact that I need to take the train in order to come back into London afterwards for another meeting.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


London, knackered

Pretty much says it all. Jo learnt "tummy" today. Always useful.

Monday, March 27, 2006



Got up at 0540. Drove to Stansted, only just made it in time to the gate (very slow check-in, security a nightmare), then they waited for nearly 10 minutes before letting us on. Then we waited on the apron, and ended up leaving 50 minutes late.

When I arrived at the airport, I got a rental car. They sent a bloke to get it, who drove it to th wrong terminal. Not my day.

A useful meeting near Northwich, then back home. Via Fiona (from work)'s house to pick up the laptop power lead I left in the office on Friday, and Si and D's (to say hi - they live nearby), then home.

Oh, and I'm probably going to need to go to Singapore. Quite cool, really, but harsh, particularly for Moo. On the other hand, she's just discovered that she's got a PA. (Not a PDA - she's already got one of those, but a Personal Assistant). She's very excited indeed. And I'm jealous.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Cauliflower in white sauce

(Backposting) Mothering Sunday. I'd gone to the spare room again to allow Jo to sleep with Moo, and woke up rather groggy. Dad had to remind me that it was Mothering Sunday, so I went back upstairs and got the presents for Moo and Mum. Among the presents for Mum were some Bendicks Bittermints. The Bursells love these, and they're very difficult to get hold of, so I was rather pleased that I'd managed to get some during the week.

I say that they're very difficult to get hold of, but it turns out that there's a garage up the road that sells them, so Mum and Dad had just picked some up on the way to the pub yesterday.

Had a good time in church with Jo - there were lots of children there with their Mums, so Jo had fun with them.

For lunch we had roast lamb, roast potatoes (3 each, with 1 extra for Moo), and cauliflower in white sauce. Moo and I had to work very hard to stop ourselves losing the plot. It was very funny, really.

Nearly six hours getting home. Partly because we stopped about ten minutes in and I spent 30 minutes holding the head of a guy who'd crashed into a stationary car. My guess is at least one broken wrist, a broken ankle, possible cracked rib, and concussion. But I did all the right things, and kept him OK, awake and immobile while we waited for the ambulance crew to arrive and then put a neckbrace on him.

Got home late, Jo wouldn't settle until around 2330, and Moo had to sleep with her in the other room.

Ah - the amusement about the cauliflower.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Stuff in Somerset

(Backposting) I went back to bed, as we'd not had a great night (I ended up heading downstairs during the night so that Jo could sleep with Moo). Moo took Jo into Winscombe with Mum, and Jo slept on the way back. For lunch we met Polly at the lovely Sexey's Arms, and had a great lunch. Helped Dad with some computing stuff - including buying a new desktop for him (from Evesham Micros. A bit galling, to be honest, that the lowest spec machine they had on offer was faster than my desktop, but that's the way it goes.

Duck with gravy, boiled potatoes and (previously frozen) peas for supper. This is actually very funny, but you had to be there.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Long drive

(Backposting) Had a half day, and then scooted home. We left to get to my parents down in Somerset around 2pm, and got there around 7pm. Jo was fine until a little before Bristol, which we ended up going through, because of bad traffic on the M5 around the Almondsbury Interchange. And then she wasn't OK. Moo sat in the back, trying to keep Jo quiet and happy.

We got there, and Polly was there, as expected, which was great, and we even had some time with Lee. Of course, Mum and Dad were there as well. So, all well, and Moo and I headed to bed quite early - pretty much as soon as Jo had got to sleep.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Harry Potter

We got CAP certification today from MasterCard, which is excellent. Lots of writing up of documents, and now Moo and I are about to watch the latest Harry Potter on DVD. Bye!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Sleep, oh blessed sleep

I slept for a little under 10 hours, and boy, did I feel better for it. Phoned home, only to discover that Jo had been sick in the night again, poor thing. And poor Moo. By the time I'd phoned, however, Jo was pretty much back to normal, and they seemed to have had an OK day. Moo now has no work until the 3rd of April, when she starts her new job. FWA have sent lots of IT information (including telling her that they've bought her a laptop and monitor), with which was a login to her email, etc.. So, we've done that, and it's all very exciting.

A busy day in Zurich, but I was back just before 2100, so not too bad. The project we're doing is going very well indeed, and there's lots of writing up to be done.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Ill. And off to Switzerland

(Backposting) Jo was up quite a lot of the night, and so was I. Really not feeling at all well, and by the time we got up, my tummy really wasn't very happy. I went back to bed at 0900, and got another couple of hours' sleep. Then I had to get up and go to Zurich. Not much fun. Flew from London City, which doesn't take too long to get to, but just felt ill all day. Managed a few bananas, then some chocolate, and then some fish for supper.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Spiritual direction

(Backposting) After work, and a quick trip home where I saw Jo off to bed and bolted some of last night's chicken curry (on toast), I went to see my spiritual director, John. He was very helpful indeed. We talked about feeling overwhelmed, and lack of spiritual nourishment, and most of all about priorities. Understanding priorities has got to be important, and from time to time, you have to let things go, or take some time. Things to think about, but it really helped. There's more to do, though: we'll meet again next month.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


More Moo's office

(Backposting) Took Jo to church, then the rest of the day was about doing up Moo's office. Another coat of paint, and moving stuff down. By the end of the day, we were all pretty knackered, and Moo's office was completely usable. All very pleasing.

In the evening, Moo and I tried to watch Truly, Madly, Deeply. Unluckily, we started crying too much, and had to stop after about 15 minutes. Both of us. We know this is pretty pathetic, but that's the way it was.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


A day with Jo

Moo wanted to paint her new office today, so I had Jo. We had a lovely time - she insisted on walking most of the way around Sudbury, and slept in the car on the way back. A quick sleep after lunch, too, and an afternoon just playing, listening to music, etc.. We had a great time, and it was one of those times that you just treasure. Moo got lots of the painting done, which means that she'll have little to do tomorrow.

For one of my assignments this term, I've got approval to create a multimedia meditation based on Arvo Pärt's Passio. I've spent this evening getting timings for each verse, and generally listening through it again. It's such an affecting piece for me, and touches me deeply every time I hear it, so I'm glad I chose it for the assignment.

Friday, March 17, 2006



Not a great night, but not too bad, either: Jo's not very well, so Moo took her into the spare room after a little while, where she finally got down to sleep. She's got a nasty cough, which didn't help.

I was up at 0700 this morning, and on the email - there was a major issue about a document that I needed to get to an important customer, and what exactly the scope was, and I wanted to nail it before going off to work. I had an early meeting, too, so had to leave home around 0750, so all was sorted. Peter (my boss) seemed happy with the plan that I came up with, and the meeting went well, too. I got the document off by mid-afternoon, and so it was a pretty good day at work.

This weekend, we're painting what has been the dining room, moving all of the furniture out of it (well, that's before the painting, actually), and then making it into Moo's office, as she's going to be working from home 4 days a week from the beginning of April. We got most of the furniture up into the barn this evening, and got the walls and ceiling washed down, which means that we can proceed apace tomorrow. Si and D have offered to take Jo to the zoo over the weekend at some point to give us some time to get stuff done. It'll only work if Jo gets a bit better - she's very clingy when she's ill at the moment - but it's a very kind offer, and we'll see how it goes.

Today I got in touch with Clare Priory about doing a retreat, which my DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands) is keen on my doing. It sounds like it should work fine, and it's only about 6 miles away, so it won't take me long to get there. Now I need to find a time to go there.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Post number (2^8)-1

So, we like powers of 2, and also powers of 2 minus 1. And that's what this post is: my 256th post. Had an excellent day at work today. Very busy, but I had one of those "damn, but I'm good" days, when some things really seemed to go right. Lots and lots going on at work, and Moo and Jo not feeling too great, but so far I'm all right.

A good supervision on christology (I really enjoyed Kathryn Tanner's work in the Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine on Luther's approach to pro me, pro nobis, compared with Barth's view), and we strayed into a very interesting discussion on street services and ministry, an area in which Alan, who's done lots of teaching and supervision of other Salvation Army officers, had a lot to say. Fascinating, and I learnt a lot.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Now Moo's not well

Got home, and as we started to put Jo to bed, Moo announced that she was suddenly not feeling very well, so she's gone to bed at the same time as Jo. Hopefully a good night's sleep will make her feel better, so I'm downstairs doing some bits and pieces.

One of the things I thought I'd do was make public the discussion site that I've been working on. I've had fewer people looking at it than I'd hoped from the people I'd asked to have a look at it, so the best way to get a few more hits, I guess, is to open it up. So, first of all, I'll mention it here, and then I'll tell some more people and let Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN and the rest about it. The site is AnglicanPriest ( Have a look, and if you think it's for you, please join. Most of all, it needs people to submit some stories...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006



Jo's never been properly sick since she went onto solids. She has now. She was obviously very upset, but seems better now that it's all gone. I suspect it was just something that she ate. Poor little bubba, though. It may have been the first time, but it won't be the last, we know that. And she had such a lovely time in the bath, and was so chirpy. Maybe she won't sleep through tonight.


London (then Zurich, then Cheshire, then Zurich again, then ...)

To London for a meeting with a major customer today. I ended up running the meeting, and got accolades from both Peter (my boss, the CEO) and Torben (the CTO) for how I'd done it. An excellent kick-off meeting. And the next meeting's in Zurich on Wednesday - not yet sure whether I'll go out on the Tuesday, or just do a day-trip. We're not paying, so we'll see which makes the most sense from a trip point-of-view. (Ooh - just watched the titles sequence from "The Apprentice", and it showed the building I spent the day in!) After that, fortnightly meetings in Cheshire and Zurich, some of which I'll have to attend, at least to start with. It's going to be a busy few months, but interesting, and lots of responsibility.

The head hunters keep calling...

Oh - Jo slept through, except for a brief wake when we went to bed, and a 5 minuter at midnight. We can live with this.

Today's Dilbert's very funny.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Sleep, the reprise

Or not. We tried for over and hour and three quarters (starting at 0245), but it wasn't to be. Every time we left the room (or tried to), she woke up. And screamed. After an hour and a half, I took Moo up on her offer to go in. Immediately, Jo started to scream for Daddy, which was quite amusing, on one level. On another level - the fact that she (and we) had been awake for that long - it wasn't.

Moo's heard from her old work that they'll pay her for her holiday, so that she can finish a project she's on. Extra money, huzzah.

It's been a long time, but I've got round to arranging a time to see John, my spiritual director. I could use a bit of spiritual direction at the moment. A number of things are being quite hard at the moment, though I can't talk about them really. Nothing life-shattering, it's just that I could use a bit of support and someone outside the process to talk to.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Moo's birthday: 2^5 today

Moo's birthday, and I'm glad to say that I was feeling much better and therefore able to look after her a bit better today. Up this morning at 0500 - thanks, Jo - but we brought her into our bed after a while and slept in till after 0700. Then went downstairs, fed cats, got tea and presents. Jo thought the two enormous "Happy Birthday" balloons were excellent, and we had rather too much fun with static electricity and her fine straight hair. Jo also loved the liquid bubble blower and the singing card. Moo seemed to have fun, too.

I took Jo to church in the morning, having been prodded by Keith, as it's a while since I've been to Great Yeldham for a "normal" service, and had a really good time, felt really welcomed, and "homed". There was a young couple (and his parents) there for the first reading of the banns, and all the usual suspects, including Barbara's new beau. Mike, our reader, preached an excellent sermon on christology, which was good timing, giving that this is my topic this week. I ended up reading the epistle, which was part of Romans 4, which, again, was very topical, as that's what I was studying last week.

We went swimming with Si and Morgan in the afternoon at a private pool which happened to be free, and had a great time. Jo's very good in the water, and half an hour was about her limit. We came back, had a beer, and then Si and Morgan left. Poor D's got an observation as part of her teacher training, so wasn't really up for, well, anything, so she stayed at home.

We had roast chicken for supper, all together round the table, which we don't manage very often, but which we must try to do more frequently.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Not very well

Well, Jo slept all the way through from 2200, which was fantastic. Unluckily, I didn't sleep very well: partly because I kept _thinking_ that I heard Jo, and partly because I didn't feel very well. Didn't feel very much better during the day, either: it's a long time since I refused any lunch. We went into Cambridge to find a birthday present for Moo, and did rather badly. I've got some bits and pieces, and we've decided that we'll wait until she's got a better idea of what she'll need for her job. We also looked at phones, and I think Moo's decided on a Nokia 7370. She's expecting to put two lines on it, and until she knows exactly what her work will pay for, she can't really get one. Soon, hopefully. I'm not sure that I've mentioned who Moo will be working for: it's the Family Welfare Association, who do great work in a variety of areas. She'll be Regional Manager for East Anglia ('cos she's a star).

Sorry not to have done much theology lately, but I've had other things on my mind, and haven't felt very well, either. I've done some reading on christology today and yesterday, and there are a set of very interesting questions out there, including the growth of christology in the very early church, and the extent to which salvation requires effort from us (which, to be fair, is soteriology).

Friday, March 10, 2006


More busyness

Working on the architecture for this big project we're starting on. Other bits and pieces kept me busy, but that's the main thing. Last night was 1 hour 25 minutes, but she never screamed, and she started off the whole procedure by saying "Daddy", which was rather sweet. Must remember to say "no" to her tonight: it's what seemed finally to quieten her down in the end.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


A good day

OK, so Jo took an hour and a half to go down after she woke up at 0350, but that's still quarter of an hour less than last time. And I got some sleep afterwards, so not too bad.

Good day at work, too: got a new technical white paper written - or finished off - and I'm very happy with it. Oli, who reviewed it, said that he thought the quality was top quality and that it was excellent. So, I was pretty chuffed about that. And I had an hour and 7 minutes phone call with one of the technical guys from Denmark about the new project we're working on, which gave us a realy good start on the work we need to do. In fact, it enabled me to start off the project documentation. Lots done, then. And a call from a head hunter, which is always nice. As Si says, it's silly not at least to find out what people think you're worth. And it's also good to keep an eye on your career.

And it ended up with a good supervision, which was officially on Paul's Epistle to the Romans, but which we carried over onto more general NT issues, including the Epistle to the Hebrews (not by Paul, everyone's pretty sure). We talked about the "crowd of witnesses", which led us onto the community of the saints and to pastoral issues. A very interesting and affirming discussion.

Back home, and Moo'd made flapjacks. There were even a few which Jo hadn't eaten. Apparently she loves them. And she thinks that high-fiving you is also very funny. I didn't see her tonight, because of the supervision, but I'll be looking forward to that tomorrow.

A good day. Thanks, Moo, thanks Jo, thanks work, thanks God.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006



Yup, we're back to that. Last night, I decided that I'd try to get Jo back to sleep if she woke up in the middle of the night. Moo was very tired and had gone to bed early, and I followed her not too long afterwards, but took a while to get to sleep as I brooded over the (parlous) state of our bank accounts. Heigh-ho. At 0210, Jo woke up, so I went in. For the first half hour, she kept calling for Moo ("Mummee, mummee"), but I didn't give in, and kept reassuring her that Daddy was there. After that, she said "Daddy" a couple of times, and seemed to get with it a bit. She still took at long time to quieten down, but I got her sorted by about 0245. I was pleased, because she was actually awake when I left the room, which meant that she managed to settle herself.

She stayed down for about 10-15 minutes, and I was back up again. I'd decided that it's really worth trying to break her of her dependency on Moo, so that meant leaving her to cry (and she did get worked up into a proper tizzy after a while), or going back in myself, which is what I did. She had some milk (cow's milk, from a bottle - she'd usually have a snack at the breast at this time of night, and that's another thing to try to break from), and settled again. Around 0350.

I'd eaten something that disagreed with me for supper, too, which meant that I really didn't feel great this morning, but had to go in, as we're pretty busy. Hope to get more sleep tonight. If I can, I'm going to try to settle her again. I don't expect it to be easy, but if we can get at least some improvement, then we're going the right way.

More Paul

On a different topic, I've just read this excellent article on the Letter to Romans, which embraces the "new paradigm" over the "old paradigm". In essence, the thesis of the new paradigm is that Paul was less interested in condemning 1st century Judaism for being based on salvation through works (which it wasn't, actually), and more interested in how to explain Gentiles' place within the chosen, alongside Jews. Very much worth a read. I found it on The Paul Page ("Dedicated to the New Perspective on Paul"), which seems to be well worth looking over in more detail at some point.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006



Had a good lunch at the Wrestlers today (green chicken curry - my usual) with Si and Mark. Feeling a bit off at the moment. Just background, but a few things have come together which are got me a bit narked off, I guess. A few little work things, and some other bits and pieces, but nothing homewise, at least.

Monday, March 06, 2006



Working on the Epistle to the Romans, which is the next topic that I'm doing with my tutor. I'm feeling a little snowed under at the moment, particularly because I've got six essays/projects to complete before the middle of June. Two by the middle of April. I can start on one of the theological reflection projects now, and probably ought to, at least after I've got one of my essays on the NT done, or started.

Jo's a star, and doing more and more. We had "me do" for the first time today, when she wanted to do something for herself. I think it's the first "me" that we've heard, and certainly in this context. She really can tell you what she wants now.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Back home

Woken at 0725 by the alarm. Drank lots of water today. Work on the history of the Bible, our theological reflection task for next year, then worship, then lunch, then a little extra meeting with Holger, who's my mentor, to talk about some course-related stuff. Drove home, arrived 20 minutes before Moo and Jo, which meant that I didn't have time for the kip I'd been planning. Heigh-ho. Jo's got a new tooth out.

Sorry for the sparseness of the blog for the last few days, but I'm catching up, and not feeling very inspired.


More work

More ERMC work, on the Old and New Testaments, and up late. 2am, to be precise. Six or seven of us chatting about women bishops, homosexuality and theodicy, mainly. Lots of fun, but I really should have imbibed a little less and gone to bed a little earlier. We did some good theology, though.


Off to Ditchingham

Moo's fully ensconced at her parents, and I'm off to Ditchingham for an ERMC weekend. Last night, before going to bed, I watched Full Metal Jacket, the Stanley Kubrick film about US marines training for, and in, Vietnam. It's pretty brutal, as I'm sure it's meant to be. Thought-provoking, too.

Anyway, I took half a day off in lieu, given that I'd used around a day's worth of my weekend up in preparation for Singapore, and headed off to Ditchingham for a seminar on Paul that I'd not been able to attend earlier in the term. Then the course proper kicked in, including some group work and worship. Good to see lots of folks again. Not too late to bed - 11ish.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Supervision on feminist theology

Had a good supervision today with Alan. He'd not spent much time on feminist theology before, and seemed to appreciate something which is a big interest of mine. I think there's still a big issue about the extent to which a man - or men - can engage fully with feminism and feminist theology. This is maybe less than the case with which a straight man (or woman) could engage with issues of homosexual theology.

I'm off on a weekend at Ditchingham with ERMC this weekend. It's on the relationship between the Old and the New Testament, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the folks again. I'm likely to tell more people about the discussion forum and to ask them to have a play with it, to see how it goes.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Tallis Lams

That's what we used to call them at King's, but they are, more accurately, the Lamentations of Jeremiah, set by Thomas Tallis. Moo's putting together a DVD of Jo's first year or so, and we're looking for good music for it, and although I don't think that they will make it, I'm taking the opportunity to listen to some of the first set as I write this. Some of my most favourite music ever.

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