Sunday, April 30, 2006


A fantastic day

Good weather, and lots of fun things. Didn't go to church today, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that if I had gone, I'd have taken Jo, and it was a benefice service today in Tilbury-juxta-Clare, where there's really nothing for kids to do. Also, Moo very much appreciated the fact that I spent the time en famille. So, in the morning, we headed off for a quick trip to Freeport (mainly to buy a new teapot, though we got some other bits and pieces, including a pair of sunglasses for me). For lunch, we went to the White Hart for their "Family Fun Day" (barbecue, bouncy castle (Jo sat on the edge, which was excitement enough for her) and some classic cars), where Jo ran around a lot: there were some other kids there, too, and it was so sweet to see them holding hands.

Aside: Jo will now tell the difference between a boy and a girl in a book, if said difference is obvious. I didn't realise that she also knows what a spider is: asked her to show me one in a book, and she pointed straight at it. Her vocabulary is enormous, and a good amount of her day involves her pointing at things and saying "what's that?" for us to name.

In the afternoon, I strimmed the lawn again (mower's in for service, of course), and got a little tent and tunnel that we bought yesterday out for Jo. She played with it for a bit, and with her water table, and then, while Moo gardened, I took Jo off for a nice walk - maybe a couple of miles. I'd forgotten how much I love walking with her on my back, and she gabbled lots and made me sing songs. Then supper (a mild chicken curry, which we finished after she went to bed), then bath and bed.

Moo and I are watching the latest Ultimate Farce - sorry, Force - which we DVDed last night. Then to bed. What a lovely day.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


New box to play with!

Moo brought back an old box that's been decommissioned from her work. It's a Pentium III, significantly faster than my current server (an old PII), so it's time to commission a new file server! Yay! The pain! The hurt! The annoyance!

Nice day in Cambridge today, doing stuff, taking the mower in for service (on the way), dropping off some books at the UL, having lunch, seeing our friend Kirsty. All in all, a good relaxing day. Pity Jo slept so badly last night.

Friday, April 28, 2006


And back home

The flight was really full. Lots of of people of all ages, and it was horrid. The last straw, on getting sat down, was to discover that Qantas still use the ridiculous two-jack headphone sockets, which meant that (as I didn't have an adapter) I couldn't use my noise reduction ones. Got grumpy - very grumpy - and had a sleep.

Although I'd been feeling a bit better yesterday, I started feeling dodgy again on the plane. Nowhere near as ill as before - no throwing up, fewer (and less, um, interesting) trips to the loo, etc. - but really not great. Although I got a fair amount of sleep, it was fitful and uncomfortable, and the experience in general was pretty terrible. I'd rate BA well above Qantas for economy long-haul (although I don't intend to try either again in the near future, if ever) on most, if not all, criteria: food, staff, service, toilets, seats, entertainment...

We got in, thankfully, on time. Baggage took a while, but then I found the driver, and he whisked me home (I slept most of the way). Jo and Moo were both pleased to see me, and I fell into bed for another 3 or 4 hours.

I've done some work this afternoon - just stuff that needed doing and couldn't really wait - and I'm looking forward to bed soon, although it's only 1600 or so.

Two good pieces of news:

I know that the past few posts haven't been very positive, as I've been ill, but I'm just glad to be home, now. The experience yesterday of just sitting down in a prayer room and letting it all out for God to deal with gave me the strength I needed to carry on, and I'm very glad that I did it. It was, bizarrely, a very good and formative experience, and something I need to cherish: it shows how even a little blip in an otherwise terrible time can really help you cope.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Another long day

Started off feeling fine, and went to deliver the training which was the reason I'd been flown over in the first place. That went fine, though by the end I was feeling a little ropey. Had a nice meal with the two folks I was training: Chinese food, but easy on the spicy bits, then headed to Shim Lim Square, which is an electronics boutique heaven. Didn't actually buy anything this time, apart from a phone cover for Peter, who managed to break (one of) his a while ago.

By the time I made it to the exhibition that Martin and Peter were attending, I was really feeling pretty awful. Met Andrew, my contact from last time, there, and his company are keen for me to go over to Australia in June. Frankly, I'm not going if I have to go in economy. I've had enough of it, and the flight to Singapore was bad enough.

The show finished at 1730, and I had to wait for nearly an hour for a contact from the training, who kindly offered to drive me to the airport. I'd have gone on my own, but I'd left my bags, and my bags had my passport, etc.. By the time I got to the airport, I was feeling really crappy. Changed into travelling clothes, and went to ask for an upgrade. To be fair, I think they probably would have given me one had there been any going, but the flight was pretty full already with people from the original flight (from Melbourne, I think), and there weren't any to be had, even for a sob story such as mine. And not even any bulkhead seats: I was lucky to get an aisle seat. So, after I'd phoned home to Moo, I checked through security, found the chapel/prayer room, knelt down, and a had a good old long cry. I stayed there for nearly an hour, sitting, kneeling, even lying prostrate, sometimes crying, sometimes praying, sometimes thinking, sometimes on my own, sometimes with one or more other people, listening to their quiet prayers and "Allah Akbar"'s. I even had a little bit of a sleep, but decided that if was going to do that, I ought to go to the gate.

So, feeling a little bit more settled, I headed off, sat down by the gate, and slept for a bit. Bought some gin to take home - nice cheap Bombay Sapphire, which I'll enjoy when I'm up for enjoying anything to drink again - and finally onto the plane.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006



Well, they weren't as bad as they sometimes are when I'm ill, and they've gone now. In fact, it's now around 1740 local time, and I'm feeling much better. I've drunk a lot of water, and taken a fair number of Immodium, but I've also done a lot of sleeping. Need to eat something tonight, I think, but not much, and I should be ready for the big meeting tomorrow, as long as I take it easy.

I've spoken to Moo and to Jo (though Jo didn't have anything to say), and all's well at home. Peter and Martin managed fine on the stand today without me (no surprise), but I think that Peter's glad that I'm going to be able to do things tomorrow: it's the reason the company paid for me to fly out, after all.

I'm going to do a bit of preparation for tomorrow now, then get some food and head to bed. What a nasty couple of days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


To Singapore

I threw up 3 times before we even left the tarmac. Numerous (20+) trips to the toilet during the flight, and only fitful sleep. A couple more vomiting sessions, too. In the end, the lovely BA staff (and they really _were_ lovely) ordered me a wheelchair from the plane, as it's a really long walk from the stand.

I finally made it to the hotel (after the first taxi driver had taken me to the wrong one...), handed over the expanding exhibition stand to Martin (staying at the same hotel), and headed to bed.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Things not to do

(backposting) Don't ever combine serious food poisoning with a 12 and a half hour flight in economy, that's all I can say.

Did lots and lots of work during the day - Becky, the temporary nanny, was a star, and Jo's much better, so I didn't need to be doing much there - and we got a major set of deliverables out, which I'm very happy about. Had lunch, was fine, Moo got back early, so I got to see her before I headed off, and then a car came to pick me up to take me to Heathrow. Felt a bit odd in the car, but nothing major, so when I got to the airport, I thought I'd better get myself some food.

I went to a major food chain - not fast food, but nothing special - who I won't name, as I can't be sure it was their fault. Had garlic bread, burger and chips, a couple of glasses of water and a single glass of wine.

Within the hour, I was visiting the loos with diarrhoea. Wasn't convinced it was too bad, and I hadn't managed to throw up properly, but I was getting pretty shaky by boarding time. I phoned Moo, unsure of whether to go at all, but decided that I'd better: I was booked in, my luggage was on, etc.. So, onto the plane I went.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Jo improving

So, she's getting better, but slowly. She didn't sleep as much today, and was very much like her old self over mealtimes, and we even went for a play on the swings, etc. across the road. Some of the time, however, she was very prone to crying, and although she only had one poo, it was pretty messy. So, some way to go. I'm at home most of tomorrow, although I've got a lot of work to do, so we'll see how Becky (the relief nanny) manages.

I did my first set of work for the exegesis module today, on Genesis 6:1-6. Look it up: it's seriously weird stuff, so made for an interesting first module. Rather enjoyed it, actually, and it was certainly more tractable than I'd expected. I was only able to do it after having a major clear-out and rearrange of my office. I've moved all of my theological books up here, and moved my computing and management-related books out. Some will be housed at work for a while.

Saturday, April 22, 2006



(backposting) Started the reading for the term today (well, I've been doing a fair amount of reading, but this was tackling the term's syllabus booklet. It's going to be a busy one. For the last couple of terms, I've managed to get away with lots of reading each week: this one really requires me to sit down and do some written preparation, which is a pain, but kind of important, given what we're doing.

Jo really not well: no diarrhoea, but lots of sleep, and very clingy. Mahala came round to interview for a slightly longer term temporary nanny post, and poor Jo just had no interest in interacting whatsoever.

Did lots of work in the garden, as the weather was lovely: had a go a some bushes that grow up the side of next door's house, to ensure that they don't impinge on their roof, and lots of bramble clearance: good work.

Had vaguely planned to meet Si and D, but they needed to do gardening themselves in the afternoon, and were looking at a new car for Si around lunchtime: at the BMW garage... Doesn't really fit the caravan stereotype, does it? :-)

Friday, April 21, 2006


Mad day

(backposting) So mad, in fact, that I didn't get home till after 1800, which is unlike me. A long meeting (but very successfu), and lots to do afterwards to prepare for my trip to Singapore, but I think I'm now sorted.

Got home, and just slumped. Jo had suffered from very nasty diarrhoea during the day, and we were rather worried that she'd not sleep through, but in the end, she pulled an all-nighter (with just a brief waking and need to settle around 0130, which was fine). Just when we needed it!

To save either Moo or me having to drive up and take Kate back home, Mac came down during the day, so he was there for supper. We're seeing lots and lots of them at the moment!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Next week sorted

Jo still wasn't very well this morning when we got up: she still had a temperature, and wasn't great. So I decided to stay at home, although Kate was here, just to provide back-up. In fact, I got a huge amount of work done: probably more than I would have done if I'd stayed at home. Got a bunch of things cleared, and by the end of the day, and after lots and lots of sleep, Jo was much, much better. We've finally got her off to sleep, but Moo's gone to bed as well, so Kate and I are sitting downstairs adoring the cats.

During the day we also had Becky come round to see about nannying for next week (and possibly a week or so after that). She got on well with Jo, and vice versa, so she'll be nannying from Monday through Thursday. I'm at home for most of Monday, so I can show her where things are, what the routine is, etc., and Moo's at home for around half of Tuesday and half of Thursday. Seems fine, and we've got another possible - Mahala - coming to see us on Saturday. She might be able to take over from Tuesday 4th May (the Monday's a Bank Holiday), so we've got two options from next week.

I'm not only glad that we've got this sorted, but also that I've been able to help out: it's been me that's been in charge of arrangements. I'm aware that Moo's shouldered lots of the burden, and will do so next week, too, when I'm in Singapore, but I do what I can.

Next Saturday is Polly's birthday. My lovely sister will hit the big 3-0. I've got her a present which I (and Lee, her husband) think she'll like, but I'm not going to say what it is until it arrives (probably on Monday) in case she's reading this. I understand that Lee's also got a lovely treat lined up for her over the weekend, but again, I don't know if she's aware of the details, so I'm going to keep schtum. Good word.

Last, but far from least, we're so, so grateful to Kate for helping us out. My mum's done her bit, too, but she's working, and just hasn't been able to spare the time that Kate has, although she's very kindly offered to drop pretty much everything if required. Thanks to everyone who's offered support of whatever type. Hopefully we're getting there, and things will be easier from now on.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Finally up to date

I've been backposting for far too long - though not all in one shift - but I'm now back on today, as it were. Many apologies - life's been very, very hectic. I don't expect anyone cares particularly, but it's a discipline that I need to keep up, if I can.

Managed to arrange a nanny for next week. Her name's Becky, and she's been looking after Naomi and Chris' twins this week, so I called Naomi and spoke to her about Becky. She was very positive, and Becky's coming round tomorrow to see how she gets on with Jo. Hopefully it'll go well, and we'll be all sorted. She's not qualified, but has lots of experience and comes well regarded.

Moo's currently driving back from her parents with Jo (hopefully no longer vomiting: she seems to have been entirely vomit-free - though very sleepy - today) and Kate, who's going to cover Thursday and Friday for childcare. I'll drive her back to East Leake on Friday night, probably. We feel very much in their debt, and have got them a wireless router and USB wireless connector thingy for when they get broadband next month, by way of a thank you.

It's been a while since I put in much of a spiritual nature, or any theology. I'm very tired, and have been trying to keep my spiritual life alive, and have managed to do so with odd sparks here and there. One particular such spark was a card - handwritten - from Bishop Christopher, who's my area bishop. It was really kind and cheering, and every time I see it, it just raises a smile to my face. The message on the front is "Love's Redeeming Work Is Done", and the message he wrote was very kind and thoughtful, so much appreciated. Other sparks include managing to keep the daily office going, and receiving communion on Easter Day, which is the one day of the year on which Anglicans are supposed, particularly, to receive it.

Speaking of Easter Day, one of the problems with taking Jo to church is that she requires quite a lot of attention these days, and that means that I'm not as involved in the liturgy as I'd like. I'm sure that God understands (He's pretty good at that, you know), but I'd like to be more involved. Hmm - not sure what I can do about that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Back to work

(backposting) And lots of it to do, as well. Partly extricating Mike from an audit which went horribly wrong - not his fault, but a bit harsh on his very first audit as lead auditor. Martin, who was shadowing, was very impressed with how he coped, which means that we'll set him free to them on his own from now on.

Spent quite a lot of time trying to sort out possible nannies for next week - and the following weeks, probably. Managed to get in touch with the relevant people, who are looking into options. Moo drove to her parents - yes, I know that we just got back - with Jo, as she (Moo) has to be in Boston (Lincolnshire, not Mass., obviously) tomorrow, and it's closer to Kate and Macs. Jo started throwing up after she got there, and spent quite a lot of the afternoon - and some of the night - doing so. She doesn't seem unwell as such - just throwing up, and a bit of a temperature. We're not worried - but it just wasn't what we needed.

Went to supper with Si and D to the Cock Inn, in Clare. Had a lovely meal - lovely beer, too: Nethergate's Augustinian, which Simon has decided he likes a lot. I was driving, so only had the one, whereas Si wasn't, and had three. That might explain why he got quite argumentative with D about her, my and Moo's socialist viewpoints. Or it might not. :-)

Spoke to Carolyn, as well. She's feeling much better than she was, but is still not well: we have literally no idea when she's likely to be better, so we're definitely going to sort something for next week, and plan for a couple of weeks at least after that.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Easter Monday

At home, so we went to the zoo. Jo can now say "zoo", "oo, oo, oo" (in response to "what do you say to a monkey?") and "go dere" ("I want to go over there, particularly if I'm not supposed to. I really, really do"). She enjoyed the zoo a lot, and although it was very busy, we parked very close and managed to get straight in, avoiding the queues. Such a good decision to get season tickets.

I strimmed the lawn in the afternoon (the mower's broken: just one more thing...). Back to work tomorrow.

Dad gave me Colossus: Bletchley Park's Greatest Secret, by Paul Gannon, for Easter, which I'm enjoying.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Easter Day


The Lord is risen. He is risen indeed: Halleluyah!

Jo and Turtle came church with me, Kate and aunty Brenda (who arrived yesterday with Sarah, Jane and Jess - known from now on as "the stripey one"). They ran around alot (Jo and Turtle, not the others), and I had to tell Turtle off rather severely for trying to touch the bell-ropes. _Not_ a very good idea.

When we got back, all the little ones were dressed in the same little dresses (in different sizes), and looked lovely. We then had an Easter egg hunt, which Turtle enjoyed and which rather stumped Jo, who seemed to enjoy playing along, even if she didn't really get the point.

We headed back home after a rather late late lunch, and got home around 2100. If only Jo had been ready to go to sleep, but no, no, no. So she got to bed late. Again.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Holy Saturday

(backposting) Jo and Turtle had a lovely time running around, rolling in the grass, trying to drink water from the water feature, that sort of thing. Turtle did really well, and Jo got desperately tired trying to keep up with her.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Good Friday

(backposting) Got up - didn't sleep in as long as I'd like, but that's just due to being used to being woken up - got my stuff together, and then spent a little over an hour listening to Arvo Pärt's Passio, which is a discipline that I try to perform each year. From time to time I've gone with Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, but that takes longer, and I was in the right mood for the Pärt.

Then drove to East Leake to the in-laws: a beautiful, fantastic drive (and Fleetwood Mac's The Chain didn't exactly hinder the fun), and when I got there, Moo and Jo were there, which was just what I needed.

We had a nice afternoon and evening (OK, so I broke the hose attachment), and discovered that they're getting broadband. I've committed to providing a wireless link so that it's easier for them to have their computer where the need it, and also for Jen, Moo and me to work there if we ever need to do so. Broadband will make such a difference - oh, and got the TFT monitor that we've given them working today, as well, which went down a storm after the crappy large CRT they had before.

Oh - got my two assignments dropped off at ERMC, which was a huge, huge relief. Next term starts in two weeks - pity I'll be in Singapore.

Jen, Jake, Turtle and little Mouse arrived around 2200, and we didn't get to bed until around 2345. How wired were those kids?

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Good, then not so good day

Got lots of work done today, then discovered that Carolyn, our nanny, might be a long time away: can't say much more than that at the moment. We're really at our wit's end.

On top of that, I've discovered that I've managed to upset a couple of people I really would never want to, and that's a really crappy way to start the weekend. Just watched (the terrible) Johnny Mnemonic with Keanu Reeves, in an attempt to chill out a bit. Didn't really work, though I'm very pleased that I've managed to print out and prepare my ERMC assignments.

I wish things would improve. I'm tired, things are really, really hard at work, just due to the amount I've got to do, I've managed to upset some friends, Moo's really stressed, and we don't have childcare. Or any money to sort things out a bit. Let's pray that Easter brings some renewal.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


A busy day in London

Had to work on the train back, too. Was expecting to have a quiet mail with Si and D, but they were going to go out with a couple of their friends: Naomi and Chris. So, we all went out together. Naomi and Chris are choir types, and we had a great time in the curry house going over stuff. Back rather later than I'd planned.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Back home, and it's still mad

Work, and life, that is. Got home from Eindhoven just after 2000, after an OK flight and around 5 hours in Eindhoven airport, which is a rather good, actually. It was very helpful: there was free wifi access (we never worked out if this was intentional or not), so Mike and I got lots of work done, including making a good start on the report of the audit that we'd finished around lunchtime.

Tomorrow I'm in London all day - Thursday I'll have a chance to review some documents before sending them off to the relevant customer. I'm keeping several other projects airborne, and have just agreed another trip to Singapore at the end of the month. I'm currently down to fly economy, and am really hoping that premium economy seats become available.

Must get back downstairs - was just doing some house-keeping on the old Internet banking. Mum's been here looking after Jo, and I don't want to miss time with her.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Rubber-based carpet adhesive

No, really. I'll get there.

A very busy day doing an audit in Sittard, (not very close to Eindhoven, it turns out), and Peter managed to find me other things to do, despite the fact that I was very busy here. So, as well as a number of calls during the day, I had to spend an hour getting stuff sorted online as soon as I got back to the hotel, so I'm absolutely knackered.

After doing all this work, I went downstairs, and slipped fairly majorly on some rubber-based carpet adhesive, getting it on my hand, my shoes and my trousers. Most of it has come off, and I'm rather hoping that dry-cleaning it (which I will charge to the hotel, who were actually very good about it, and deserve a mention for being so: the Van der Valk hotel in Urmond-Sittard) will get it out. Another good meal - less drink this time - and I'm about to have bath.

Mum (who arrived at home last night and is looking after Jo) tells me that Jo's latest word is "bike".

This keyboard is having key problems: yesterday the down arrow, g and slash, today h. Grr.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Palm Sunday

After a rather enjoyable Palm Sunday service - Pebbles the donkey, followed by a communion at which I played the organ - we had a nice lunch, and sorted bits and pieces until I had to leave around 1430 to go to Stansted, and then off to Eindhoven, in the Netherlands. Met the other Mike from work (who's only just joined us) there, and we took the flight. Very pleasant company (hi, Mike!), and really knows his stuff. It turns out that unlike everyone else at work, he's got a healthy interest in Christianity, though he comes from a very different background to me: a fundamentalist, creationist background. We ate and drank quite a lot, and had interesting discussions late into the night. I look forward to many more. New words today: "giraffe", and "row, row" (when Jo wants you to sing "Row, row, row the boat" and do the actions).

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Tosha and Nik's

We went to visit the lovely Kittenhead (aka Tosha) and Nik today, where Jo and little Digi got on very well. Lots of tottering around, some chatting to each other, Jo trying to force-feed Digi from her milk bottle, that kind of thing. Tosha got some dry rice into a tray with some cups, spoons, etc. which they had lots of fun transferring from the tray to the blanket it was on, and then from there to the floor. Luckily Jo decided to play up to gender stereotypes and went to get a broom, which she then proceeded to sweep the floor, which was very sweet.

It's very annoying - as I've said before - that they live nearly an hour away, as we get on well and have quite a few things in common. At some point we'll get them to visit us, but given how very pregnant Tosha is, and the problems that Nik has with his back, it seems a bit harsh for now.

In the morning, Moo and Jo went off to Braintree where they did some shopping and also got some flowers for Carolyn. We're really hoping she'll get better soon, both because it's nasty that she's ill, of course, but also because it's difficult for us with childcare (selfish, but it's true). I think we can sort things out for the next three weeks, but we really hope she'll be better well before then.

While they were away, I finished off my first assignment, did the main bit of the second, and started on the final part (a commentary on the meditation that I've put together, which is based round Arvo Pärt's "I Am the True Vine". It's been much more difficult than I thought, and taught me lots of things, so I'm very pleased to have decided to do it.

Friday, April 07, 2006


We thank heaven for grandmothers

My mum's now booked to come and stay from Sunday evening till Wednesday, because Carolyn's still not well. In fact, I spoke to Tom, her husband, who's very worried about her. She's been bad for nearly two weeks, now, and although he'd thought she was getting better, she's still not able to keep anything down, and when she's not throwing up, all she can do is sleep. He's called out the doctor on call to have a look at her, and kept apologising. All I could do was to keep telling him not to worry, that we're not at all stressed by it, and to concentrate on getting her well. They've only been married for a few months, and he's got a new job, as well, so it must be very hard on him.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Essay time

(backposting - hadn't even realised I'd missed) Today - after the usual hard slog at work (we're madly busy still) - I got home to an empty house, because Moo and Jo had headed off to take Kate back home. Kate, thankfully, had pretty much recovered today, so was able to help Moo - who had to get some work done, of course. The only real concern of the day was whether Moo's new Nokia 6111 would arrive before they left, but it did, and she's very pleased with it.

I finally managed to get one of my assignments done: the essay. Only references to do, and I was in bed by 2345, which is earlier than I'd expected. Phew.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Now Kate's ill

First Carolyn (our nanny), and now Kate (my mother-in-law), so I took the day off work. In fact, I managed to get around 4.5 hours in, so it's just half a day. Could have done without it, frankly, though it's not Kate's fault at all, and there was no way Moo could take her third day in a new job off. Just wasn't great timing, is all.

I'm not sure sure how I'm going to get my assignments done. Time is just evaporating.

Monday, April 03, 2006


All fine

In the end, it all worked out OK. Jo had a lovely time with Kate, and didn't set off at all (until Moo came back home and, quite unfairly, took her car keys away from Jo, who'd been eating them). I got home around 1615, so had a nice time with Jo as well (though I had a fair amount of work to do). Speaking of which, I've finally started one of my essays: on the differences (and their importance) between John's Gospel and the Synoptics. I'm taking a wider view than the obvious source criticism, and looking at broader contextual and theological issues. Should be OK.

Someone nearby set up an Ad Hoc wifi network using the same SSID as my home one. This was a real pain, at least until I worked out the problem, and changed it to something different. What a dumb thing to do.

Moo seems to have had a good first day at work, though I think she's still got quite a way to go before she knows what she's actually up to. More info as it comes in.

Tomorrow, should come home in the afternoon to offer some moral support to Kate.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Nanny panic

I failed to mention it last week, but Carolyn, Jo's nanny, has been ill, and has even had to be hospitalised. We're hoping that she'll be better soon, but in the meantime, this week's rather interesting. I'm very busy, but, more importantly, Moo starts her new job tomorrow, and is expecting to be out of the house Monday through Wednesday. Even if she were at home, it would be taking the p*ss a little to be looking after a baby at the same time.

Luckily, our respective mothers have stepped into the breach. Kate (Moo's mum) is with us today - I went and picked her up from Stamford, which is about halfway between our homes, this afternoon - and will stay till at least Wednesday. My mum's ready to step into the breach from Thursday and for the early part of next week if required, though we hope that Carolyn will be recovered by then. Thank God for loving parents.

Took mattins at Toppesfield this morning. Struggled as to what to preach about right up until I actually read the second lesson, which was John 12:20-33. Ended up talking about the Greeks representing the mission to the Gentiles, and how it was only when they appear on the scene that Jesus says that the hour has come. We, of course, are Gentiles in this context, so here's an opportunity to realise how the Passion story is aimed at, and relevant to, us. Seemed to go OK.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Zoo (and The Differences Between the Gospel of John and the Synoptics, obviously)

First, Moo's laptop and monitor arrived. She's very pleased with it - the laptop's a Toshiba 1.73 GHz with half a gig of RAM, and the monitor's a 17" 1280x1024 TFT that seems to do very well. I've managed to get it all set up, and have even got round to adding WPA encryption on the wifi network, and both my laptop and hers are now using it. Lots of security, oh yes.

Then we took Jo to the zoo. Colchester Zoo - great place, as I think I've mentioned before. Today we did more of the zoo, and Jo got to see the giraffes, zebras, rhinos and elephants (which she was asleep for the last time). She really, really likes giraffes, zebras, rhinos and elephants. Oh, and wolves, penguins, seals, ducks (not very zooey, of course, but there were some there), chimpanzees, meercats and marmosets. I took her around most of it in the backpack, and then she walked for quite a long time. Unluckily, this didn't seem to get her tired enough, as she was a nightmare to get down tonight, but heigh-ho.

While Moo was trying to get Jo to sleep (and later on, once we'd brought Jo back down for three quarters of an hour or so), I did some work on one of my assignments for ERMC this term, on the differences between John and the Synoptics. I found a number of interesting books and articles, but mainly based on the more obvious textual differences. I was hoping for more on the deeper theological issues and community, but unluckily not.

I'm also due to preach tomorrow at Toppesfield church (1100 BCP mattins), and haven't felt particularly inspired. I'm sure it'll all come together, and there are a number of themes which I can go with, but nothing's really gripping me.

We're watching the Fry and Laurie Jeeves and Wooster on DVD, which Dad kindly gave me when he discovered that he'd got them on Region 1 instead, and couldn't work out how to de-region (what?) his DVD player. Very funny - I watched some of them when they first came out, and it's good to see them again.

Oh: Si and D collected their new caravan today. No more need be said.

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