Saturday, September 30, 2006



That's what I'm going to preach on. It was on Friday, and given my name, it was an obvious choice, if only I could find something to tie it in. I discovered that in the mediaeval period, St Michael (whose saint's day seems to have been positioned partly to push out the pagan celebrations of the autumn equinox) was associated with paying of debts and reckoning, as well as the end of harvest. Michaelmas was one of four "quarter days" when debts had to be settled, as well as the beginning of term for universities (both Oxford and Cambridge - and some other British universities and colleges - still have a "Michaelmas term", as do lawyers).

I can relate this to the rather difficult reading from Mark, which talks about how it's better to cut off your hand or foot, or to pluck out an eye, than to go to hell. This can be seen as being about preparing one's soul for the afterlife - a very mediaeval preoccupation. Some translations of the Lord's Prayer use "debts" for "sins" or "trespasses", so that ties in well.

The clincher, though, was the discovery that Archangel Michael is the patron saint of Somerset, where I was brought up.

Moo, Jo and I went to Colchester zoo today, a perennial favourite. Dad couldn't make it, as he had meetings in Cambridge, but we had a lovely time, and found a very nice pub in Fingringhoe (yes, it's a real village) called The Whalebone. A good day. Where, by the way, did Jo learn to say "dawn" when we were up at 0545 and were trying to convince her it wasn't yet light, and that she should therefore go back to sleep?

Friday, September 29, 2006


Things I've searched on recently

Include (from memory): And a whole bunch more, of course.

What _am_ I going to preach on?

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Krispy Kremes

There's something profoundly wrong about Krispy Kreme donuts (sic). Not least the fact that they don't seem to go unfresh. But they taste lovely, and I found an outlet in a Tesco Express just near Liverpool Street station. Got a tray of 12, and Moo and I had demolished 6 of them within a couple of hours of my getting home with them. I blame Jen, my sister-in-law for this.

Work continues busy, and after a great meeting in London, I'm firefighting another issue, which will probably lead me to a trip to Sweden next week. Not what I had planned, but there you go.

On the topic of theology, Sally's blog's definitely worth a read today. I have the same seminar that she's just had coming up next week, and I'm really looking forward to it now. Interesting that she tied it into the Althaus-Reid book that I've blogged about recently, though I don't know if this came up at the seminar. I'm not sure anyone would have been brave enough with Richard there...

Moo continues to get larger in girth, and Mel, the nanny, has had a fantastic first week, so all's good with the world. Baby scan on Monday week.

Didn't blog it, but I had a good supervision with Keith on Monday. Talked at length about revelation, and in particular my experiences at Summer School. My parents are coming to stay this weekend, and Keith wondered if my father would like to read the Epistle. I offered to preach. And now I'm really struggling...

Inspiration is likely to come - it usually does - but there's nothing from the readings so far that's struck me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Earned my keep

Well, I certainly earned my pay today at work. HARD work.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Seminar reading

Started reading for the first Church History seminar on Monday. I'd already read the relevant piece in book I'm using for the module (Groundwork of Christian History), and the Gospel of St Thomas, as well as the module reading.

Pretty knackered (trip to Newbury and back to meet a possible customer who'd also driven there), so now we're watching the episode of spooks we recorded last night. The usual standards of script-writing and acting apply.

Monday, September 25, 2006


My darling wife

"Are you all right? You're looking odd."


"...No, you've had a haircut: that's what I meant to say."

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Back home from Ditchingham

Up bright and early. Hmph. Another beautiful day, though. Worship in groups, breakfast, then a session on critiquing application of management theory to the church. After some clarification, Malcolm's point was not that all modern management theory is bad, but rather that what has typically been applied to the church is not done well. So I was mollified.

Coffee, then a session on time management, with a somewhat cheesy but nevertheless quite useful DVD. There were some very good suggestions that came out of the discussion afterwards, though, which was good.

Then to Eucharist. I was drafted into the choir, despite not having attended the rehearsal (it was yesterday afternoon, while I was asleep), and sang tenor. Most of the time. Did some roving, and discovered that I had bottom B flats and top B flats, too. 3 octaves! Silly... Ian was "commissioned" onto the course, which was good, and then lunch. Didn't leave until nearly 1420, as I needed to have a couple of conversations with people before leaving.

Still, got home in fairly good time, and Jo was very pleased to see me, as was I her. Moo's tired, but well, and I had a chance to chat over some of the more difficult issues from the course over supper (a Chinese from "Taste of China" in Birdbrook). She's a star, she really is, and I love her so much. Early to bed, is the plan.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Lots of hard work

So, up at 0645, and to the bath. Unluckily, the hot water was more third gospel than Shadrach, Meshack and Abednigo (that's a biblical joke - not a very good one, admittedly), so I shelved that idea, and decided that as the day was looking lovely - a little foggy, but burning off), I'd go for walk for 45 minutes. That gave me enough time to get to the outskirts of Thwaite and back, keeping a good 4 miles an hour pace. It was warm enough for me to take my top off, so I didn't get too smelly, but I did feel for whoever was sitting next to me at morning worship.

Three sessions over the day with Richard Morgan and Ian McIntosh (when he managed to get a word in...), introducing some of the main questions (such as revelation vs tradition vs Scripture vs experience for authority) in the "Christian God" module which is one of the ones I'm taking this semester. Had a chat with Ian about what exactly I'm going to do this year as far as assignments. He was very happy to look at the suggestions that Helen came up with over summer school about music and lessons from the Orthodox tradition. I was really taken by him as a person and as an educator, and I like where he seems to be coming from theologically, too.

Had a nice bath in the afternoon, and then a kip. I'd noticed this morning that my bed had broken - not sure if this happened last night, or was like that when I got here yesterday - but it didn't stop me sleeping for an hour or so.

Evening worship, supper, "Community Matters" (under 55 minutes), then bar. Some interesting discussions. Not all easy. Didn't get to sleep until 0300 or so, which was far from optimal.

Friday, September 22, 2006


To Ditchingham

A day of work - quite busy, but at home - and then off to Ditchingham for the next ERMC. We had sherry in groups - I told my group the news about Moo's pregnancy - then supper, then compline all together in the chapel. I decided to be sensible, and headed away from the bar to Holy Cross House, which is where I was staying for the weekend (up with the nuns...). I _was_ going to go straight to bed, but instead, Sarah and I ended up chatting (about revelation, the course, ministry and the rest) over flapjacks. Sarah's an excellent mate, and we've known each other since selection conference. Didn't stay up too long, and set the alarm for 0645 so that I'd have time for a nice long soak in a hot bath before worship at 0800.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Mobile Content World

... was _not_ very inspiring. I managed to stay there for over an hour, but only just. There were a few possible leads to be had, but much "mobile portal"-age and "we can do adult content - oh, and non-adult 'girls only' content, too"-age. Hmm. Had a nice chat with a lovely black grandmother on the train back home. Talked briefly about faith and demoninations (she's a Pentecostalist): we agreed that God's the one who makes the decisions!

It was Carolyn's last day today, and she was quite sad, but Jo and Mel and her had a lovely time, and Jo now has a doll. It's called "baby", and when I took her to the swings, "baby" had to come and watch. And be on the roundabout (on a different seat), and watch her go down the slide, and then spend some time on swing, too. Jo's such fun, and Mel, her new nanny (only 4'6"!) is brill, too.

Off to Ditchingham for another ERMC weekend tomorrow. I've done the reading, which is a miracle in itself. I notice in the programme two interesting sessions - time management (oh, it's my entire life, in a short session!) and the application of management theory to ministry (oh, look, I spent 3 years working part-time on an MBA a few years ago...).

I love Jo, and I'm so looking forward to having a new bubba in the family.


Dusseldorf 2

(backposting) More standards (it can be dull, but there are flashes of interest, and you really do get a chance to go through some email...), and then home in the evening. Got home around 2130, which wasn't too bad. Lovely to see Moo, and Jo woke up, too. Managed to get her to sleep briefly, but then she woke up again, having had, I suspect, a nightmare, and ended up sleeping with Moo. I slept in the spare room.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Dusseldorf 2

(backposting) More standards (it can be dull, but there are flashes of interest, and you really do get a chance to go through some email...), and then home in the evening. Got home around 2130, which wasn't too bad. Lovely to see Moo, and Jo woke up, too. Managed to get her to sleep briefly, but then she woke up again, having had, I suspect, a nightmare, and ended up sleeping with Moo. I slept in the spare room.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006



Well, Dusseldorf's OK - a nice enough city, not that I'm going to see much of it. The hotel's good, too, and the OMTP much more interesting than I thought it would be. I even managed to get a quick sleep in during the morning, as I got in around 0915, and we didn't start till 1400.

Lots of big work stuff going on at the same time, and I'm also learning to use this iPAQ, which I'm still in two minds about.

Jo had a good time with Mel, the new nanny, who was working with Carolyn today (and other days this week), as it's Carolyn's last week before she goes on maternity leave.

Monday, September 18, 2006


London, and Jason

I was in London today, for a meeting, and while I was there I thought I'd attend an exhibition. Pity the latter doesn't start until tomorrow. Heigh-ho. Went and bought a nice piece of kit for demo purposes at work. And I was on the phone outside one of the shops on the Tottenham Court Road, and who should walk past but Jason Edwards? My best mate from college. It was great to see him and catch up with him.

Things have kicked off (in a very good way) at work, so it's all busy. I'll be up at 0530 tomorrow to fly to Dusseldorf. As you do.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Back home

Headed home around 1000 because I'd got a call from some baggaged company last night telling me that my bag should arrive back between 1300 and 1800. They updated the latter time to 1600, and, sure enough, it was here before 1530, which isn't too bad. A present I'd bought Moo had broken and a book was ruined - I need to find out how to get compensation - but nothing major.

Took Jo swimming, and now she's abed. Time for a West Wing episode before supper and the new Spooks series. Oh, yes.

Saturday, September 16, 2006



(backposting) Up at 0430, got Jo down again, but she was up again at 0500, and neither of us had got back to sleep. So we got up slowly, had some toast, and left for Mouse's birthday party at Kate and Mac's at around 0750. Mouse is Turtle's younger sister, and her real name is Mercy. Turtle's real name is Aurora. We stopped at a Little Chef for breakfast (just what the doctor ordered), and arrived around 1000. Jen, Jake and the the girls took quite a long time to arrive - they got there around 1200 - which was a pain, because we had something planned.

They finally did arrive, and we broke the champagne. We'd had champagne at Turtle's first birthday party, and it was after the initial toast and singing of "Happy Birthday" that we'd told the assembled crowds that Moo was pregnant with Jo. So once the champagne was handed out, Kate said, "so, nobody's about to announce they're pregnant, are they?" We sang Happy Birthday to Mouse, and then Moo piped up with "Well, actually, I _am_ pregnant."

Queue hysteria from Kate, who nearly dropped poor Mouse (as she'd nearly dropped poor Turtle 2 years ago).

So we had a lovely time, and also phoned my parents and family to let them know. We've known since the 5th (hence the title of the day's post), but have kept it quiet till now. It's been very, very, very hard to blog and not mention it. I'd guessed a two or three days beforehand, but had kept my trap well and truly shut until Moo decided it was time to wee on a stick. As we so politely call it.

Jo knows, and understands - she knows a couple other women who are pregnant - so if you ask her what's in Mummy's tummy, she'll respond "baby".

It's great, and didn't require the medical intervention that we were so dreading having to submit to second time round.

Friday, September 15, 2006


No luggage

(backposting) Got home around 1030, partly because I didn't have to wait for my luggage on the carousel. Because it's still in Dulles. If anywhere.

Home, slept, did some work, watched The West Wing with Moo. Sleep. Lovely to see Jo and Moo.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Baggage and duck

So, although I finally made my flight last night (getting in later than 0100 local time), when I got to Toronto, I discovered that my bag hadn't, as I suspected it might not do. Filled in a report, headed to my hotel, got 5 and a half hour's sleep or so, got up, had an excellent day of training. During which, I've made several calls, trying to track down my bag. They're still trying to track it down.

The duck? Willem half-killed (and half-ate) a duck in Jo's playroom. Nice.


In transit

Woke up at 0500 or so, which is kind of standard, but had a good 7 or so hours sleep, so I can't complain very much. What kind of hotel offers Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast? It's frankly evil. Anyway, I had a small blueberry muffin and some Orange Juice as well as the doughnuts, so that made it Healthy[tm]. Phew.

A useful day at the Reston office, mainly talking to Dave J., who had lots to teach me, so I'm pleased about that. For lunch, I had meatloaf followed by chocolate brownie, so, given my breakfast and the crab cakes and t-bone steak I had for supper, I feel that I've "done" US cuisine. Maybe if I'd been in the South I could have had some grits. Whatever they are.

I arrived at the airport quite early, and given the delay to my flight, it gave me lots of time to sit in "Vino Volo" (what language is that supposed to be?) and have a fascinating theological discussion. For some of the time we were joined by a presbyterian (jazz flautist) minister, but the rest of the time it was me, a Roman Catholic woman and an atheist man, both waiting to catch a flight to California. I'm terrible at names, so I'm not even going to try, but I hope that they'll read this (I gave them the URL) and will say hi. "Hi, folks," from me.

What did we discuss? Bases for faith, justification by faith alone ("that sounds rather reasonable," said my Catholic friend), revelation, the relevance of Christianity to non-Western societies (and mission impact), evolution, sin, soteriology, literal hell (obviously not!), fundamentalism, Luther, Eusebius (the allegorical nature of Genesis) and lots of stuff in between. It was challenging, fun, forced me to be very honest about my faith, and embodied an important part of my ministry. They'd started a conversation, based on a survey (results published in yesterday's "USA today"), and I'd asked if I could join. They graciously agreed, and we did theology. I don't know how to convert people - I'm not even sure I want to - but God seems to give me the strength to be honest about my experience of Him/Her, and to talk about my faith, my doubt, and to acknowledge the reality of others' experience of the world with and without Him/Her. This, I believe, is an important part of what I'm called to be as a priest. God keeps putting these opportunities in my way, and as long as I can not frighten people, but allow them to see an honest, loving faith, then I believe that I'm being honest to the vocation that God has called me to.

Thank you.


Yup, you guessed it: I missed it. I went to the gate we'd been told it would be at, in time (I believed) for the revised departure time, only to discover that it had already gone. Luckily, there was another one at 2135, although that was delayed till 2315. Time to go and sit at that gate and just wait...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


"Ordinary, decent Americans"

So, I'm in Washington - well, actually in Sterling - and I managed to pop into the office as I caught an earlier plane than I'd expected. No upgrade, unluckily - I need some more miles on my Star Alliance card - but it was quite a quiet flight, so I had 3 seats to myself. Watched the (very bizarrely named) Inside Man. Moo would have loved it, because it has Denzel Washington in it, but would also have hated it because it had a twist at the end. Had a sleep, read some of Faith Seeking Understanding by Daniel L. Migliore, which is part of the reading for the coming weekend (well, optional, but it's the book that I've got). Interesting so far, and I hope I'm going to enjoy the semester.

Need to meet a colleague on Thursday, if I can, and do some bridge-building. I didn't do a great job of making this person feel happy at a meeting a while ago, and so hopefully we can get things straightened out a bit.

The title for today is a phrase I've just heard on MSNBC. A bizarrely US phrase.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Shut that door!

Queue Larry Grayson impersonators. Actually, it's a new technique I'm trying to get Jo to bed. We're having real trouble settling her, because she can now get out of her bed, and if she doesn't go straight to sleep, we stay up there for hours. Almost literally, sometimes. Although she knows that she shouldn't get out of bed, she does, and comes to the door, opens it, and gets out. I've decided, tonight, to close the door, so that she _knows_ she can't get out. She tried it once, and I came and got her and put her back in bed when she started crying. There was a firm discussion about not getting out of bed, and so far, she's down. It's worth a try, even if it doesn't work immediately.

Jo and Moo visited our friend Sophie, who's due in 13 days.

Whoops - that's a second time with Jo...

Anyway, Jo had a fun time - she understands about babies being in tummies. Well, she _says_ she does.

I finally found a company to take me to Heathrow tomorrow morning. 0630. Could be worse. Did a bit of preparation for the September ERMC weekend, as well, because I'm away quite a lot over the next two weeks. And we're about to watch the last episode of The West Wing series 6, in preparation for the series 7 box set, which arrived today. Must go!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Another nap

Ooh, it's such a luxury, but I really did need it. I took a long time to get to sleep last night, and then was up with Jo in the middle of the night. A real success, though, as I did manage to get her to sleep again. Anyway, I had a nap before lunch, at the same time as Jo. And Moo took one, too. We'd all been swimming in the morning, so why not?

I'd gone to the 0800 Holy Communion at Great Yeldham, only to discover the church empty, but warm! We've finally got decent heating installed, and although I had the wrong time for a service (I went to the 0830 Tilbury-juxta-Clare instead, in the end), it was so good to know that we can welcome people into a warm space this winter. It's been a real turn-off, I think, and I hope it'll make a big change in our ability to bring people to worship.

In the afternoon, after a quick trip to the garden centre to get some more crushed slate for the garden (we - well I - had underestimated majorly yesterday), I took Jo in the backpack to Ridgewell Airfield. I'd noticed WWII jeeps, etc. outside, and a notice saying that the museum (which I didn't even know existed) was open. We walked across the fields and got there just in time for a very moving little ceremony to unveil and bless a memorial to the British service men and women (from 90th squadron (Stirlings) and 94th and 95th Maintenance Units (bomb disposal)) who'd served there during and after the war. There's been a US memorial there for a while, but nothing for the local forces. We say "O God, our help in ages past" and "Abide with me", and a piper played at the end. Jo behaved fantastically well for a little one for the service, which was over half an hour, and got a biscuit from the little museum for her troubles.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Zoo, zoo, zoo

"We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo...". Jo and I went there this morning, and had a great time. We only spent an hour and a half, but we've got a season ticket, so we don't feel we need to overdo it. It was just the right amount of time for Jo. We saw (not a complete list): monkeys, penguins, a snake, more monkeys, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, fish, more monkeys, a crocodile, mongooses, ducks, flamingoes, meerkats, pelicans, seals, a pygmy hippo, ostriches, rhinoceroi and zebrae.

Lunch with Si and D and Morgan and a digger for Morgan and Jo to watch in a field nearby. Afternoon sleep while Moo was aided (really?) by Jo.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Busy, at times

Moo's very tired. We both had dull medicals for insurance reasons today. Jo took a while to go down, but I managed to get her to sleep in the end: Moo feels guilty that she couldn't. Just dull family stuff.

Watched The Incredibles tonight - made us laugh.

For the second morning in a row, I attended the i-church morning service. Good to do if I can manage it. Bed now, 'cos I'm tired, too.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Busy afternoon

In fact, a pretty busy day all round. An All Hands meeting (well, call for me, as it was in Mississauga) ended it up. It was pretty good, though - I've attended a _lot_ worse. Went for a walk at lunchtime - I'm trying to get back into the habit of doing some more exercise. Jo went down much more easily tonight: helped, I suspect, by my holding out for nearly an hour longer than usual.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Indecent Theology: Marcella Althaus-Reid

This is a hard book, but fantastic: it really challenged me, and really made me think. Althaus-Reid (A-R) starts with the example of some lemon sellers in Argentina who have scandalised society: they are known for not wearing underwear, and squatting to pee, etc. A-R says that as the scent of the lemon seller's sex may mingle with the scent of the lemons in the basket, surely theologians should admit that sex is part of their life and their belief, and should, metaphorically at least, not wear underwear when they do their theology. Sex and sexuality are part of who we are, and they should be part of our theology: we should not deny our sexuality when we do theology, as did Paul Tillich, who, his wife discovered after his death, had a bondage fetish, with a particular thing for young women attached to crosses.

Surely our faith should be honest - and how can it be if we deny part of what we are? A-R is a strong proponent of Queer Theory, and believes that we should reject the Grand Narrative that underpins much of our theology - the heterosexual culture that is integral to our theology, our church, our government and our economic systems. Of course, for A-R, an Argentinian, Liberation Theology is all around her. She has problems with it, however, for a number of reasons. She relates a story of being a university student and brought into a "poor women's theology group" so that a visiting bishop from Europe could wonder at how the poor people were being liberated: she feels that it became commercialised. Worse than that it is that, for her, Liberation Theology often overlooks - even denies - the experiences of the poor. Especially the sexually marginalised: transvestites, transexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and simply poor women. Poor women, who are routinely abused, and sometimes turn to prostitution just to feed their families. How, she asks, can a truly liberating theology condemn the lives and experiences of people - who are Christians - just because they don't fit the stereotype of what that _particular_ theology wants to overthrow? It can't: it's bankrupt if it tries to.

She looks for a theology for women which can be more liberating - more indecent. She doesn't find it in Mariology - certainly not in the worship of the BVM that she sees as overturning Christ in Latin America. For her, the Virgin Mary is a non-person, a non-sexual being, who cannot even be impregnated by the normal route. There is nothing sexual about the Mary she sees reverenced - at least not in the "normal" ("straight") theology of the mainstream. The Mary of the poor transvestites - a drag queen Mary - offers some possibility, as does a queer Jesus. She quite admits that there is no evidence in the biblical record to suggest that Jesus was gay - but on the other hand, apart from his circumcision, there is not even anything to suggest that he had a penis, or was sexual at all. We need to deconstruct the theology of the Father, and of the Son, which can be heterocentrist theology, and look to other options.

A quick quote:

"In economic terms, women need to subert political systems whose systems of decency subvert political systems whose definitions of decency contravene their pleasure, because women's pleaseure is not linked to centralisation, state property or assignments based on reproductive planning." (p. 169)
I personally think that the book is brilliant theology. It's not easy, and I don't agree with it all, but as for deconstructing the Grand Narrative we live, and admitting and celebrating the experiences and lives of people truly, truly on the margins. This is theology which I hope - and pray - I can find the strength to do. God be thanked.



Finally joined i-church, an online Anglican (mainly) community. So far people have been welcoming, and there seems to be some good conversation going on. I'm going to give it a go.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


An interesting day

(backposting) Today was an interesting day: I'll blog about it in more detail another time. Had a lovely trip to the White Hart for lunch with Moo, as part of our attempt to ensure that when we're both at home we make the most of it to have some one-on-one (no Jo!) time when possible. Work's hotting up, too, and it looks like I'll be making a trip to Canada for a day or two next week. What happens the week after that is very much undecided...

Oh, and met Sonya (friend) and Dotty (very large Newf) in Clare, and got licked and slobbered on a lot (by Dotty).

Monday, September 04, 2006



It's too much. We've waited too long, and although we're on the Newfoundland Club's rescue list, we've decided to go proactive and try to find a Newf that's being returned to a breeder. It's nearly a year since Suzy died.

Sunday, September 03, 2006



Took Jo to Halstead leisure centre today to go swimming. A good place, a good toddlers' pool, and Jo loved every minute of it. Most of the time Jo waded through it with no armbands on: she was in her depth throughout, and so I shadowed her so that I could grab her on the few occasions that she fell over. I hadn't realised the amount of friction being generated by the tiles as I pulled myself along, and now I have patch of hairless skin on my right shin which looks very silly. Good thing that it's not shorts weather, huh?

Sermon went well, and we had an excellent discussion over tea and coffee afterwards. The sermon looked at the question of militaristic language ("the church militant") in the church (our hymnbook has "Onward Christian Pilgrims", rather than the usual "Soldiers"), and whether it's defensible. We stopped along the way with Augustine of Hippo ("just war"), Hitler and the Jewish Holocaust, a carved stone helmet on the North wall, chaplains to the Forces (my grandfather was one in the Second World War), the bringing in of the Kingdom of God, Jesus' ministry to the centurion, the Sermon on the Mount (peace/cheese-makers) and the 14 service personnel in a Nimrod. Militaristic language is OK for me, partly because I believe that my battle with broken-ness is best described by that. Violence in general we must, surely, decry, but can it be just? I just don't know, but I'm certainly not able to condemn it in all cases. And I have huge respect both for the Armed Services and for their chaplains. Choices are difficult.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Big girl bed

Went into Cambridge today and bought a quilt and pillow (and, for later, a duvet) for Jo. She got to ride on a bus, which made her happy, and we went to Chili's, where the staff were fantastic with Jo, and the food OK too: we'll go back.

When we got back, I chose some hymns for the service I'm taking tomorrow (0930 at Stambourne church - feel free to pop round). I'm really bad at choosing hymns, and it wasn't helped by the fact that I'd not yet decided what to preach about. I have now: militaristic language in church - good or bad? Or other, obviously. So, I just chose hymns that I like and that I think other people will know and like.

Did some gardening - Moo bought some plants last weekend, if you remember - and we cleared some space. Jo got to see: slugs; snails; spiders (various types); a centipede; a caterpillar; several frogs; and some beetles. So she was happy again.

She took around an hour to get to sleep tonight in her new bed (the cot we bought can be converted to a bed, and I made the changes this afternoon). Not an unmitigated sucess.


Helsinki 2

(backposting) This time, after a couple of meetings in the morning, I had four hours in Helsinki airport. Even less interesting than Stansted, but what with the flight on Wednesday, the time at the airport and the the flight today, I managed to read 200 of the 300 pages of The Groundwork of Church History, by Diarmaid MacCulloch, which is by way of being a set book for one of courses this seminar.

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