Monday, July 31, 2006


A year of blogging

I've been blogging for a year today. And there's at least one entry per day. I've backposted from time to time, but I believe that every day's covered. I started doing it as a journal for my theological training, a discipline and a way of recording what's going on with my life in pretty much all aspects. It's been useful in all sorts of ways, and it's good to know that a number of friends read it regularly.

One thing I forgot yesterday was that I discovered that I'd won a cake at the church fete a few weeks ago. Dorothy had kindly frozen it for me, and I picked it up yesterday. I would have felt a little more blessed by my win if I actually liked fruit cake, but I suppose that I've been handed an opportunity to show Christian humility and grace by sharing it with other people, but I'm not sure that I've necessarily done this with as much of that humility and grace as I might have done. To be fair, there would have been even less of the humility and grace if it had been a chocolate cake, so fair enough: God made it better for me than She might have done.

Busy afternoon at work: I suspect that this is the way it's going to be, given that Toronto only comes online, as 'twere, at 1400 our time (they're 5 hours behind). Still, it's all going well and is very interesting.

Jo's got a bit of a temperature, and we'd hoped that this would mean that she'd go down quicker tonight. 50+ minutes.

Sunday, July 30, 2006



Jo got us up at 0700, but I pleaded jetlag, and Moo took her downstairs. In the end, I woke up at 0935 or thereabouts: just in time to get to church for 1030. Bishop Christopher, +Chelmsford (kind of my boss) was due to take the service at Stambourne, so I thought I ought to show my face, and Jo I got there for 1025 or so. Walked past the notice-board, which stated that the service started at 1000. Whoops. So, we got there just as the bishop was starting his sermon. I caught a bit of this before taking Jo into the tower area to play with some toys. She's really pretty good, and keeps very quiet, but it's unfair to expect her to participate and just stay still in the pews. She likes the hymns, though, and sometimes sings along.

We passed the peace (a part of the service where the congregation go around greeting each other, usually with words like "The peace of the Lord be with you"), and Jo got very into it: shaking hands with people and then kissing them if she got the chance! The ladies in the congregation (mainly older) loved it. We went up for communion, and Jo got a blessing, and we were standing at the end of the aisle when the bishop and Keith came down the nave. To be fair, I had set Jo up slightly by pointing out what a good hat the bishop was wearing earlier on, but I was very pleased to hear her say, very clearly "'At!" as he came down towards us.

Later, after lunch (and a sleep from Jo) we went to Sudbury to ditch an old hoover and huge amounts of old computer pieces (including 3 towers, 2 printers, 2 sets of speakers and a monitor). Unluckily, there'd been a fire at the tip, so we went on to Hadleigh, and got rid of it there. We then went into Hadleigh and walked around a bit, going into the church, looking round, singing a hymn/song ("Lord of the Dance" - Moo joined in) and generally getting the feel of the place. Jo was wearing a hat, and given her outburst this morning, I encouraged her to get used to wearing one in church...

Saturday, July 29, 2006


A morning at the beach

A day to be a parent. We were up fairly early, and decided to go to Old Felixstowe harbour while it was still warm but not hot. We got there for about 0900, I changed straight into my wetsuit (shorty, rather than the full length one), and we put Jo into her rashy (sp?). The water was lovely and warm, and Jo went all the way in with me, then went and paddled lots. I caught a little crab which was nibbling my toes, and Jo had that on her hand for a bit, which she thought was fun. There were some dogs for her to talk to, including a lovely 18 week old Newfy puppy, who was lovely and reminded me of Suzy.

I spent quite a lot of time just chilling in the sea - though I didn't dar go far out, as the current was desparately strong. It was another lovely day being a dad with the best baby in the world. Afterwards we went shopping and Jo said that she needed a wee, so I took her to the baby changing/disabled loo. There was no potty, so I held her on the loo, and, lo and behold, she did a wee! What a star. In the car back, she even said "big girl" when we talked about it. It really means that if we're out and about, we now have options, even without a potty.

In the afternoon, we got Jo's paddling pool out and put her slide next to it, with the end of it in the pool. Wheeeee - splash! Wheeeee - splash! I went a couple of doors down and invited them round to play. Half an hour later, Jason brought Ruby (23 months) and George (11 months) over to play. George is just chilled-out baby number 1, though Ruby took a bit of time to start playing. Jo's got sharing issues - she's at that stage - but she gets it some of the time. To be honest, she's as likely to shout "no, no!" at Willem, the cat, as at another child, and sometimes she just goes and offers things to other children (rarely the cat).

I wrote a while ago about the fact that my lovely new monitor had problems, in that I was unable to run it at 1600x1200. I worked out that the graphics card was overheating, and I thought that I was going to need to buy a new graphics card. I did a bit of a search on the web, and managed to find a cooler designed for my current card (nVidia FX 5200) for around 25 quid (inc. VAT, P&P, etc.): much better. In the end, it was the fact that it worked fine to start with, and then had problems, that was the give-away. I opened up the case, opened it, and the heatsink was very, very hot. Seemed pretty obvious, then.


Thanks to Tosha for pointing out that what I'd written made no sense. For some reason, two paragraphs got concatenated. Now it hopefully makes more sense than it did. Whoops.

Friday, July 28, 2006


And home

Got some sleep on the plane, and then some more in the car back (I wasn't driving). Home by around 1230. Lots of work done.

Jo was very pleased to see me (and I her): we celebrated my return with an icecream each. When asked where I'd been, she replied "work", and how I got back "plane". Her speech has become clearer even since I left. It's so exciting.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Heading back home

(backposting) Caught a plane from SF to Toronto on Air Canada. Got an earlier flight, rather than the red eye. This was a good thing, as otherwise I'd have got in around 0600 this morning, and had to go pretty much straight into HQ. Instead, we (Danno was on the same flight) got in around 2300, picked up a car and drove to the Courtyard Marriott, getting in around 2355. Got nearly 8 hours sleep, which really helped. Even got round to saying evensong, which was a close-run thing, given how knackered I was. There was a little (6 month old?) baby behind me, who cried quite a lot. Couldn't really blame her, as it was a good five hours. AND SHE HAD HER EARS PIERCED. Who does that?

Met lots of people from Certicom today: I'm now pretty confident that I know who to talk to about different issues, and one came up. All going well, and I'm pleased with how it's all going.

I discovered in the morning that the people that it had been intended to see me tomorrow, so we arranged for me to go home today, instead of tomorrow. Huzzah! Phoned Moo to give her the news, and she'd thought I was coming home then anyway. So much for all those brownie points.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Redeemed from poverty

Woke up around 0430 this morning, which isn't bad, as it meant that I got around 7 hours of sleep. Did some stuff on my laptop (no sign of the Blackberry working, despite numerous calls to Cingular and Orange during the day), had a bath, watched a bit of TV. Turned over to a channel, and caught an advertisement: It appears that if you buy a six CD set from a gentleman whose name I didn't record, you can become rich through Christ. This is surely a vile corruption of the gospel message? I'm happy to believe that it is possible to have money - indeed, to become rich - whilst living a Christian life, and to do so with a Christian ethic. But surely Jesus didn't redeem us from poverty? I'm really quite upset by this, but I just can't pin down exactly what about it makes my skin crawl.

The show was busy at times, quiet at others, and I've so far failed to win an X-box. However, I'm now confident in pitching the product that we're talking about here, and have gathered some pretty good leads. Had a couple of chats with my boss, which confirmed that he's looking for me to take a very proactive lead in working on the strategy and tactics for Europe, which is very exciting. He seems to like the approach I intend to take, so once I get back, it'll be time to start getting some serious work done.

He also agreed that, given the problems with chaning my laptop keyboard and the fact that the stupid thing doesn't have bluetooth, it's going to be simpler to buy a new one, just swap over the hard drives, and give this one to the Canadian IT folks. This is a Good Thing[tm].

So, a good day, and I've met some excellent people. A good meal last night, some good discussions, and I really feel part of Certicom Corp..

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


San Francisco

Well, I'm here - after a fairly average 10+ hour flight. Got an emergency exit seat (extra legroom), but no upgrade, despite wearing a tie! The plane was packed, with lots of kids - holidays have just begun. Charles Kennedy and his wife were queueing for boarding, so presumably they were on the plane, too.

Got here, and my Blackberry doesn't want to play data, which is beyond dull. Heigh-ho: I've got Internet access via my laptop, so I'll survive.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Glueing glasses

Yes, my glasses needed glueing, and as I've recently bought some Araldite, I used that. How interesting is my life? Moo's gone to her Mum and Dad's with Jo, I've done my expenses, emptied (but not repacked) my laptop bag, and I'm watching the Alan Partridge series on DVD. I've tidied the house a bit, too.

I preached this morning on Mark 6:30-44, which is the feeding of the five thousand. I took it in the context of mission. Immediately preceding are two pericopes: the commissioning of the twelve and the death of John the Baptist. If we take the latter as a sign that the twelve are to take over the mission to proclaim Jesus now that John the Baptist is dead, then the feeding of the 5000 is the twelve's first chance to be shine. The use of the word "apostle" is only used twice in Mark - first at their naming, and second in this passage, and tends to suggest "emissaries", according to my Study Bible. I then talked about mission, and how it's a major topic for my year at ERMC, and how it scares me witless. So, I introduced the five marks of mission (from a handout for our summer school):

I reckon I can manage these, or at least a bit. I then pointed to the fact that the people in the narrative ate in their hundreds and their fifties. This reminded me of the sermon I gave last week about how we can manage to change things when we work with people of 100 or so. So, we have a scope within which we can talk about mission.

I've not described this very well, but it seemed to hang together OK. We had no organist, so we sang the hymns together - I took the bass part when I dared, and when I hadn't chosen too low a key (and when the pitch that we were singing at didn't drop too low...).

Off to SF tomorrow, then Toronto, then home. Moo's at home with the lovely Jo, and I'm hoping to use Skype to talk to them (and see them).

On another tack, I watched the end of the Open today on TV, and was touched to see Tiger Woods crying when he won. It's his first win since the death of his dad, and although he'd kept things together throughout the tournament, it was clear that the emotion of the occasion really got to him. I think it's really important that men can show emotion.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Family day

I'm off on business for some of next week, and it was lovely, therefore, to have a great family day today. Jo slept in past 0800, which meant that we did, too, and after a slow breakfast, we got Jo dressed and I took her into Clare so that Moo could have a sleep. I put her in the backpack, and we walked around the country park (she kept asking for "animals!" - these farms we've been going to have set her expectations a bit high. There were, however, ducks and swans ("hiss!"). We then bought some milk, as she'd kept asking for it, and headed into the church, which has a great acoustic. I had a little sing ("He who would valiant be..."), and Jo had some milk. She then wandered around the church, finding crosses after I'd pointed one out to her. I turned out that there were quite a lot to find. :-)

A bit more shopping, then home. Moo was still asleep, which was good. Then Jo to sleep, then lunch. Then we went for a walk - "White Horse extended" in our nomenclature - and then home. Jo's food, then bed. Where she went down very quickly. Hopefully we'll have a good evening.

I've also got Blackberry IM working, which will probably be useful.

Preaching at Tilbury-juxta-Clare at 0930 tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006



At last, I got a call from the Orange shop in Cambridge, who had a Blackberry 8700g for me. Certicom use them a lot with a push server to make sure that you get your email wherever you are, and can send emails, too. It's a pain needing another phone (I love my N80 too much to give it up), but we got it sorted, and it's pretty good.

In the evening, Steve, our financial guy, came over and sorted lots of things out for us. We're terribly, terribly bad at these sorts of things, and it's a real relief to find someone who knows what they're doing and likes doing it to help us out.

Oh, and got my first prospect today. Which was nice.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Day 2, and printer

(backposting) OK, I promise to stop counting the days soon, but it's still exciting. Today's big trip was to buy a new printer. I need a decent one for work, and my old one had died, so as my boss was up for it, I went out and bought an HP laser. Works fine, though I've yet to get it working properly as a shared printer. Lovely and fast.

In the evening, Victoria came over with Sennon, Jo's friend (he's HUGE, though!), and Grenville, her Turner Prize-winning husband, joined us later. Moo and Jo had gone to Mersea with Victoria and Grenville in the morning, and we'd been meaning to have them over for ages. We finally got round to it, and had a lovely barbecue. They're our sort of people, if you see what I mean, and we'll definitely do the same again soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


First day with Certicom!

(backposting) I got an email yesterday asking if I wanted to meet Ian, the President of Certicom, and Darryl, a senior technical guy, at Heathrow for a curry for supper. Heathrow's a serious slog, but it really seemed to make sense, and I was very pleased that I went. I got to hear lots about the company, talked with Harri about how best to support him, Micke and Johan in Europe, and had a good time. Got home around 2330, but it was definitely worth the trip.

I spent a good deal of the day exploring the company intranet and getting my office (at home!) sorted out a bit.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Last day before Certicom

Rosie, Mum's sister and Jo's great aunt, came over and met Jo for the first time since her christening. She was suitably impressed, and we then headed off to the Crown in Churchill for lunch (rare roast beef on granary - yum!), and Rosie then headed off to see Florence for the first time.

Jo and I headed home - over 5 hours, including stops. Jo did really well: she didn't sleep for more than 2 hours of it, and we did have to stop a couple of times, including once because she just wanted a cuddle, but I'd taken a cross-country route on purpose, so we did fine. She probably cried for less than 3 minutes in total. Basically, she can now understand what you're talking to her about, and can interact much better. She's a star.

Monday, July 17, 2006



(backposting) Mum and I went to see Florence in the morning, at Jim and Nina's. I love little babies - and we have some lovely pictures of Jo with her. Jim and Nina both seem to be coping well, and enjoying parenthood

In the afternoon, Polly ("Polyp"), Lee ("Bling"), Jo and I went to Court Farm. which is a children's farm, a little like the one we went to last week. In fact, I'd say it was even better, and Jo had a fantastic time: the only real question is whether Polly enjoyed herself even more.

We had a barbecue (using a pretty crap disposable tray thing), and Mum stayed overnight - she'd planned to go up to Dent this evening, but was tired, so left it till tomorrow. We had a bit of a hassle getting a baby monitor (I'd forgotten to bring one down, and Mum offered to get one to keep at theirs): Mum got one from Weston-super-Mare, only to discover that it had the wrong components, so she and Lee had to get back into WsM just before closing to replace it, which was very kind.

Less good sleep from Jo this time...

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Apathy, journeying and TV

(backposting) I ended up preaching about apathy, and on 1 John 4:8: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.". I'd heard a couple of Conservative politicians on the Week in Westminster. Here's what one of them had to say: This made me really angry: we _can_ control the causes of crime and as the Body of Christ, we have a metaphor for how to engage with others, and in the sentence from 1 John, we have a requirement to love, and, I argued, to influence people. Personal apathy (think Pilate) and national apathy (think Germany and the Holocaust, or Cameron's attempt to engage on "hoodies") are difficult for us to deal with, but we can influence at the community level, so there are things you can do. The sermon seemed to go down well - I have another one, at Tilbury-juxta-Clare, next Sunday.

We went out and bought a new TV, then in the afternoon, after Jo had eaten her supper, I set off to take her to my parents. I don't start my new job until Wednesday, so why not? It's an opportunity to see Florence, Jo's new cousin, and for us to see the family.

The journey was a million times better than I thought it would be. Over four hours, and Jo slept for a couple of them, but when she woke up, she was really fine: she understood that we were going to see her Granny and Grandad, and was excited. I was able to tell her that Mummy's at home or at work, and she understands that. She is now happy to talk and be talked to, and so the drive was fine.

Got there around 2200 everyone had a lovely time with Jo: she went down around 2340...

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Back home

There's something odd, but very satisfying, about getting home from holiday before lunch. And that's leaving after 0930, and going shopping on the way. I know that we're very boring, but it's nice, particularly with a little one who doesn't travel awfully well, to have short journeys.

We had a good holiday, and it was just what we all needed, I think.

At 3pm, Moo had booked a workshop with Willard White for Jo and me (only one adult allowed). It was deeply disappointing, unluckily. Willard White as there, but took very little part. It was based around a children's music class that Jo goes to each week, and the kids clearly had a good time, but just did their usual thing, with their usual music and songs. And because the person who runs it writes her own songs (excellent at they are) Willard White couldn't even join in much. I was saddened, and I think he probably was a little confused. Heigh-ho. At least Jo had a good time.

Today, my legs and arms have worked, which is a bit a surprise, given that Jo much have spent at least 5 hours on my back, in the backpack. It just goes to show how well it's designed, and, I suppose, suggests that I'm not as horribly out of shape as I thought I probably was.

Got to work out what I'm going to preach on tomorrow. Women bishops? Dancing? Prophecy? Hmm.

TV update

We were just watching Sport Relief on BBC1, when the TV blew up. Not "blew up" blew up, but went *phut*, and started making "put, put" noises every second or so. Changed the fuse, but it was pretty obvious from the smell coming from the back of the machine that something else was pretty amiss. Should help me concentrate on the sermon, anyway.

Friday, July 14, 2006



(backposting) Today we went to Latitude, a new festival held at Henham Park, in Suffolk. As I've already mentioned, we're festival virgins, so it was all going to be new to us. Our main worry, on arriving, was the discovery that the two bands we were very keen on seeing - The Zutons and Snow Patrol - wouldn't be on until 2000 and 2130 respectively: rather late for Jo.

We got there for just after 1030, which was the earliest they were planning on letting people in, and got let into the gates a little before 1100. The first thing we discovered was a kid's area, with, amongst other things, an area for little children run by the Sole Bay Team Ministry. We met the vicar of Reydon and his wife (and a couple of kids): they were seeing it as an opportunity to serve the community, and had been invited by the organisers of the festival, which I thought was excellent.

The festival was great. We caught random bits of this and that (including Mr Hopkinson's Computer and Ed Harcourt, both of which were excellent in very different ways indeed). And Marcus Brigstocke, who was very, very funny (as on Radio 4), and also very, very rude (unlike on Radio 4). Brill.

And we managed to get Jo a couple of 20 minute sleeps, which meant that we got to see almost all of The Zutons and Snow Patrol. Who both rock. Seriously good music: and you realise why people go to live gigs (we haven't, for ages, and only to one or two at that). We must try to make more of an effort. And Jo thought it was fantastic, too. To be fair, she was off the walls, in that hyper-alert state that was the only option apart from sleep. But she kept it together, and that allowed us to have a lovely day. It was our present to each other for our wedding anniversary, so that was most pleasing.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


doughnuts, sea, pigs

Although Jo and Moo were up around 0530, I was allowed to sleep through to around 0645, which really helped me. Moo's always been a mornings person, and I never have, though she ended up having a nap around lunchtime today. In fact, Moo's not very well: a nasty sore throat. Hopefully she'll be better tomorrow, as we're off to the Latitude festival, which we're really looking forward to.

So we headed off to Walberswick again this morning, and had a fantastic time on the beach. Jo's getting more and more into the whole sea thing: wading into the waves on her own, running through the surf, shouting and splashing, even sitting down a couple of times in the water (not intentionally, obviously, but she wasn't freaked by it). I've been so impressed with how she's coped with the beach: it's the first time she's ever done the sea (except on walks, and that when she was pretty young, and on my back most of the time), but she just loves it. We must find opportunities to get over here more often.

Back to the cottage for lunch - Jo and Moo had a sleep - and then out to Easton Park Farm, which has lots of pigs, chickens, horses, sheep, goats, ducks, cows and their young. Oh, and rabbits and guinea pigs. And a couple of dogs. She had a fantastic time, even though the most exciting thing seemed to be "bikes!" (sit on children's tractors) some of the time. There's also an indoors play area, with an under 5s and under 11s area (though she eschewed the under 5s bit, and insisted on going down the big curvy slide in the under 11 areas. Our pig won the pig race, so Jo got a little pig badge. They didn't have one with "Josephine" on, so we got a plain one for us to write on. Before the pig race (letting the pigs race round a little course to get to their food), they painted numbers on their backs. The pigs found this rather exciting, and though I didn't feel it was entirely appropriate to mention this in front of the other children and parents, at least one of them got _far_ too excited, and it wasn't just red paint on the pigs. *cough* Heigh-ho.

Another brilliant day with Jo: I just adore being a dad, and watching her and Moo enjoying the holiday. Today's latest from Jo: "the door's locked" (when we douldn't get into the car). She's such a clever bubba.

A lovely bottle of Sancerre with Moo over a chicken stirfry, and we've just opened another bottle - Muscadet sur Lie. Bed soon, and then, tomorrow, the Latitude festival, which should be great.

I'm considering going down to Mum and Dad's on Sunday night for 24 hours in order to see Jim, Nina and Florence, but it's one hell of a way, and if Jo gets upset, it will be a nightmare. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


More beach - and a boat

Up at the usual time, I'm afraid, but we had a lovely time at Walberswick again - Jo in my backpack this time. We caught the little rowed ferry across to the other side (Southwold) at 1000: the very first time that Jo had been in a boat. She loved it, particularly when we explained that it's the same as "row, row, row the boat...".

Wandered round Southwold, and then Moo found somewhere that would do her a pedicure. We'd already agreed that if we could find somewhere she'd have it as a holiday treat. Jo and I wandered around Southwold: they've closed the beach! What a ridiculously ungenius idea: close one of your two main tourist attractions in July, one of your two major tourist months. I was so incensed that I went into the tourst office and complained. I got the feeling from the defensive answer I got (before I'd even finished the question) that I wasn't the first person to have asked.

I was sitting watching the sea around 0800 this morning, while Moo and Jo played in the sea, thinking how lucky Sally is living by the sea and being able to experience it every day. Moo said, this morning, "I'd forgotten how much children enjoy the seaside." She's right - Jo loves it, and not necessarily for obvious reasons. She's got some new words ("wave" is a particular favourite), and loves throwing stones into the surf. You don't realise how complicated the act of throwing something is until you watch someone learn it. I've been very impressed with how quickly she's learnt it. Not perfect, yet, but most times she'll let go of the stone in such a way that it actually goes forward, rather than backwards, to the side or just falls down. And she doesn't often hit one of us, which is good.

Bad news this evening - though expected - Nana's been to the plaster clinic, and needs to spend another 4 weeks in her cast.

Last, and slightly weirdly, Jo's started calling me "Mike" and, on occasion, Moo "Moo". It's only when she's calling one of us, and it's clearly because she's noticed one or other of us doing it, but it feels very weird, and although we konw that some parents encourage it, we've never had any intention of getting her to call us by our Christian names - particularly at 16 months.

There's one word that we don't understand: "dabba". She seems to use it to express a concept, rather than as a verb or noun (she uses both, and does the odd concept). We just can't work it out, though. We're noticing more sentences or near-sentences, including "I want a...", "I don't want a..." or even "Am I allowed a...?". So far, pretty much everything's focused on her wants and needs, but why shouldn't they be? She's getting very, very good at asking for the loo ("wee-wee"), which is pretty impressive, and certainly helps our lives along.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


More beach

(backposting) Up at 0530: a sleep-in! To Southwold, where we did the beach. I'm going to pretend that I'm not bitter that Moo forgot to bring along the excellent fossil I found, but we really did have a very good time. We then wandered around Southwold, stopping at The Crown (a hotel owned by Adnams, the local brewer) for another breakfast a little before 1000. I had kippers, and was very pleased to discover that Jo likes them, too. Last time I had them, I was banned from having them in the house again, as they stank the place out for 3 days. I just wrote "years" instead of "days" there, which was a good Freudian slip. But now that we know that Jo's a fan...

Then off to Walberswick, which is a beautiful beach. More sand than is usual on the Suffolk coast, from my experience, and this time Jo really was happy to stand in the surf ("waves! bubbles! duck!" (well, it was seagull, but...)), rather than just be held with her feet dangling. I did the real thing and went all the way in, so I'm a bit proud of myself. Really not very warm (I'm used to the South coast, I guess), but fine.

We then went into Woodbridge, and Jo had a couple of serious tantrums. She really wants to push the pushchair (rather than be in it) except when she's really, really sleepy. But it's just not safe when we're on pavements by roads with cars on...

Got back to the cottage, Jo went mad and ran around, and took a while to get to bed, but when she did Jo to sleep, she just went _straight_ down. A barbecue (what a crap one there is here) and a bottle of wine, and we're sitting in front of "Pokerface", which is diverting, if nothing more.

I love being a dad. I've taken some lovely pictures of Jo, and she's so happy. Again: this is what I signed up for.

Monday, July 10, 2006


This is what I signed up for

Not, repeat not, getting up at 0505. Moo had ended up going to bed with Jo last night as just before we were ready to head off together, Jo set off, and with a nasty cough, failed to get down, so Moo went with her. I'd woken up some 20-30 minutes before 0505, but managed to convince myself that I'd get back to sleep, and that I shouldn't feel too guilty that Moo was clearly up with a very active Jo. I failed on both counts, so got up. We had some breakfast, and managed to get ourselves off to Aldeburgh for 0700. It was gorgeous: warmer than we've ever had in Aldeburgh before, with not a hint of a breeze. I put Jo in the backpack, and we walked the length of the beach, to just past the lovely scallop shell sculpture.

We walked back into town, and found a nice hotel serving full English breakfasts. Much, much better. We then walked back to the car and then introduced Jo to the sea. She loved paddling (as long as we held her and she didn't need to feel the pebbles on her feet), and kept on with the "more, more!". _This_ is what we signed up for. Not, as Moo had suggested earlier, the getting up well before 0600 in the morning. Jo was a little star, and the joy in her face was fantastic.

We walked down the town and back up it (again), stopping this time for tea/coffe and cake (well, me and Jo, anyway, once Jo woke up again - yes, she'd had the cheek to go to sleep).

Then to Snape ("ducks! luddle!" (cuddle), chase), and lunch (the Crown Inn, Snape), and back to the cottage. Sleep. Heated (just) outdoor pool, back again, some food, Jo to sleep, a good meal and some nice wine, and then Moo off to bed. I'll be following soon. What a fantastic day.

The only sad thing about the day was a message from a friend who's just had a 20 week scan, saying that there are major developmental problems. I can't go into details: please pray for all of them.

Sunday, July 09, 2006



(backposting) Not up too early today, which was good, and I determined to take Jo to church, to give Moo some time on her own to do with as she would. I took the car out to the local parish church (Letheringham) at around 0835, to discover that I'd missed the benefice communion at 0830, but that there was a family service (all ages) at Monewden at 1000, combined with Dallinghoo (or Dalling Hoo, depending on the signpost). Popped to Wickham Market and got a Sunday paper, and also checked out the options for church there. There was an 1100 Morning Worship with testimonies advertised - not really my bag, though it's something that I have some experience with from ERMC - but the 1000 seemed to make more sense.

So, I turned up at St Mary's, Monewden, at around 0950 (it was rather more difficult to find that I'd expected). Silence. No cars. No people. I took Jo out of the car, and into the church. Nothing. So I decided that "combined with Dallinghoo" must mean _at_ "Dalling Hoo" (or DallingHoo). I got instructions, and drove over there post haste. Got there a little before 1010. Silence. No cars, no people. I took Jo out of the card, and into the church. Yup, you've guessed it: nothing. So, I brought Jo back to the cottage (Moo said "God doesn't seem to want you to go to church today"), and both Jo and I went to sleep, which we really needed.

Once we got up, we had some lunch, and then headed to Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge. It was rather good: better than I'd expected, certainly. Jo got a little bored towards the end, but seemed keen to cuddle the representation of the dead Anglo-Saxon in the main part of the exhibition. She was also very sweet about sheep as we walked round.

She went down much, much easier tonight, and Moo and I had a lovely evening together. I managed to get Lotus Notes working again with Crossover Office (it had stopped working when I subscribed to the full version, but renaming usp10.dll did the trick...), so all was well with the world.

On a side issue, Moo was looking out of the window of th cottage today and called me over: "what's that?" she asked. I had a quick look: "A wallaby," I answered. To be fair, I really didn't know, but it was a too big for a rabbit, didn't look like a deer, and I thought I saw a long tail. She didn't believe me, but I assured her that there are colonies of wallabies around the country (there are).

It moved then. Tricky buggers, those large hares.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Wedding anniversary

(backposting) Today's our 11th wedding anniversary, and so after heading home from Kate and Mac's, we went to the White Hart for lunch. I then took Jo to the church fete for half an hour or so and bought random bits and pieces (including two cakes) while Moo did some packing. Once we got back, we finished off the packing, and then headed off to Letheringham, where we've rented a cottage from Rural Retreats for a week. We've used them quite a lot over the years (in fact, we had our honeymoon in a Rural Retreats cottage in the Cotswolds) and they tend to be pretty good. This isn't one of the best: the garden's not fenced in, and as we're close to a working farm and there are only-just-covered-pits, etc. nearby, we can't let Jo free-roam. The cutlery's not the best, and the towels are a bit small - it's things like that which the really good Rural Retreat properties get just right - but it'll certainly do us. It's the first time we've tried one with Jo, and our first non-Dent holiday since she came along.

Jo had rather a difficult day, with bits and pieces of sleep, so by the time it was time to put her down, she was very difficult to settle: maybe 45 minutes or more. But I managed it, I'm proud to say, and so she went down in the end.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Still posh

Sally raised some interesting issues about class. I think that part of the issue is that the church is keen to ensure that those who are ordained are well educated theologically. Until recently, that meant that they they had at least a partly academic background. These days, self-education - or mature education - is considered acceptable, and some of the people from my diocese in my year have little formal education. Of course, education is (typically, though not always) an indicator of class, so there's your link.

We went to see Jo, Moo's Nana, today. She's much better than I'd expected, though she still has a broken wrist and leg. Her mind, however, seems to be very much there - which is an improvement over earlier in the week, when she was apparently rather confused. I do hope she gets fully better - the challenge is the physical, not the mental or the psychological, I think.

After getting broadband sorted yesterday, decided to upgrade Kate's machine, and had an utter nightmare. Spent several hours, in the end, trying a variety of approaches. What finally worked was the Ubuntu Dapper net-install CD. All seems to work now, which an immense relief.

Jo's been a star all day, and behaved very well indeed in the hospital. We're currently all being very surprised by how often she's asking for a "wee-wee", and then holding on until she's on the potty.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Being outed (+ last day + new radio)

I've been outed today. It's painful, but it's out in the open now: I'm posh. Officially. I went to private schools from age 8 (boarding), and then to Oxbridge (oy, Gary!). I'm not ashamed. Well, not very much. I married beneath mysel^W^W a good comprehensive girl, and my political views are firmly left-leaning these days. I've voted Labour in several elections recently. Oh: maybe not, then.

What else? Well, in major news, it was my last day at Cryptomathic today. I'm on holiday until the 19th July, which is my first day at Certicom. I'm rather excited. I bought a new car radio and some rear speakers: much better than what came with my car, and it'll play MP3s, too.

Then drove to Kate and Mac's, and got their broadband working. I'm a star, really. Jo was so pleased to see me: I love her very much.

Oh - something I forgot to mention yesterday. On Monday, I bought a collection of Richard Hooker's sermons (2nd hand at the Cambridge SPCK), and I started to read them last night. He's a (the?) theological father of Anglicanism, and the sermon that I've read so far was really inspiring: I'm really looking forward to reading more.


Moo away

(backposting) I got back quite early from the audit, and Jo and Moo and I went swimming. Usually, we're joined by a bunch of other mums and toddlers, but it happened that it was just us. I taught Jo to blow out when her mouth was under water, which was good, as later she was pushing herself off the side (sitting down), and her face went completely under the water. Although she was a bit surprised, she wasn't upset, and kept asking for more.

While Moo was packing in preparation for going up to Kate and Mac's for a couple of days, I took Jo round to our new neighbours, who live just the other side of the Londis shop. Jo and Jason have two children: Ruby (2) and George (6 months). Moo enjoyed playing with their toys, and after a bit even played with them a bit. Jo's up for going to church with them and me, so hopefully there's someone to start going with regularly. They seem like nice people, and it would be good to have some friends in the village.

Tomorrow's my last day at work! Well, Cryptomathic, anyway...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006



It's hard, difficult work, but very interesting. That's all today.

Monday, July 03, 2006


In the office

(backposting) For some of the day, at least. Not very much to do, really, so I went into Cambridge over lunch, did some bits and pieces, including buying Moo a lovely wedding anniversary present for Saturday. I also popped into King's chapel, where I sat in the college stalls (I am a member of college, so this is allowed, after all) and said Mattins. I don't say Mattins very often, but am trying to increase the frequency: by the time I'm ordained, I ought to be saying both Mattins and Evening Prayer every day.

I didn't have a bible to hand, so I missed out the readings, but I did the relevant psalms and collect and the rest of the service. It was a lovely old prayer book, too: I checked the date afterwards, and it said 1745 (well, in Roman numerals, actually).

In the evening, off to south Essex for an audit: my very last piece of work for Cryptomathic, other than writing up the report. Met Geeta, from Visa, who's to shadow me, and had a couple of pints with her before I headed off to bed.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


...playing of the merry organ...

As Jo was asleep, I went with just Mum and Dad to Communion at Great Yeldham today, and as Jo wasn't there to be looked after, I played the organ. It's been a while, but it went OK. Read the epistle and adminstered the chalice, too: my second time at that, and still worried that I'll drop it or spill the wine, but it went OK.

Moo's Nana's stabilising, we hope, but things still not well.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


On penalties

Not the way to go out, but we held it together quite well until then. I'm still not sure whether young Master Rooney actually meant to tread where he did, but if it _was_ his intention, then he deserved to be sent off. I thought we did pretty well to keep in it for as long as we did. Losing to Portugal on penalties brought back memories of a couple of years ago at Euro 2004, as it was then that we discovered that Moo was pregnant with little Josephine.

We discovered earlier in the week that Moo's Nana broke her wrist on Monday. Today we discovered that on the same day she broke her tibula and fibula. The original thought was that it was a broken ankle, but it's looking rather worse than that. Her right leg is now in plaster from her thigh to her toes. She's 90, and this is a pretty big deal. She spent quite a long time on a trolley in Nottingham hospital, and they tried to discharge her later on in the day, but she's finally been admitted, and we'll have to see how it goes. Prayers, please.

My parents have been with us today, and we've had a lovely time. Some very interesting discussions with Dad on women bishops and on homsexuality i the church, and also on judges and sentencing (their hands are pretty well tied, whatever the tabloids want to make out).

This morning, Mum, Moo, Jo and I went to Freeport (Dad needed to do some work), and had a lovely time. Jo was so busy pushing the pushchair around: the only problem being that she's about 2 foot too short to see where she's going, so has to be guided around. I was hoping to buy a shirt (failed), but Moo bought a number of things, and we also got some new outside chairs to replace the rather old ones which are there at the moment.

90 years on: the Battle of the Somme

One of the most bloody days of human conflict happened 90 years ago today: the first day of the battle of the Somme led to 60,000 allied casualties. There were over a million casualties over the five months of the battle (source here) across the opposing armies. It wasn't just British and German troops, but also French troops, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Irishmen who were fighting with the British forces. I did a history project on the first day - 1st July 1916 - for O level, and have felt touched by it ever since. To give you an idea of the scale of the tragedy, you probably have around 100 people that you know fairly well. Think of all of them dying, and all of the people they know dying, doubled. That's the number of dead (20,000) on the Allied armies on this day, 90 years ago. And over five months, a million people. I personally find that unimaginable.

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