Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The Eden Project

(backposting) It's a great place. We arrived at around 0930, and didn't leave till 1630, which is an enormously long time to spend anywhere with Jo. She slept for an hour in the middle of the day, and had ice-cream twice before noon, but that's really not bad for a two and a half year old with chicken pox. As yesterday, she found the end of the day a little hard, but that's understandable. A nightmare getting her to bed, though.

One of the striking things about the project is that all of the employees really seem to get it. From the waiters to the ticket office people, from the ground staff to the live drummers (as opposed to dead drummers?), they really seem to believe in the place. I've been to institutions - mainly in the US - where employees believe, but in a pretty big UK institution, it's a first for me, I think. I talked to someone there about it as we were buying some things from the shop, and she agreed.

I'm trying to get my head round the assignment on music and liturgy that I'm supposed to be doing, but by the end of the evening, when we've got Jo down and have a couple of hours before we have to wake Miri up for a feed and Jo wakes up again and insists on going in with Moo, other things seem to be more important. Even if it's just finishing off this blog and watching a pretty poor Sandra Bullokc and Hugh Grant film (Two Weeks' Notice).

The big deal we closed recently got delivered and accepted today: the last day of the quarter. I'm really pleased with the dev. team: one guy in particular needs lots of plaudits, and I'll work on that when I'm back at work.

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Monday, July 30, 2007


Lessons learnt

We ended up going to Trebarwith again, and had a lovely time. We arrived a little early, as the tide was still pretty much in, but it went out fairly fast, and we installed ourselves on the sand. Moo spent most of the time on a little chair we bought (apparently it's difficult to breastfeed on the sand) for her. Miri spent most of the time feeding and sleeping and gurgling. Jo spent most of the time running around saying "I love it" again. We found a green millipede, two different types of anemone, limpets, a sea louse, some small fish, barnacles, lots of mussels and some small waves to jump over. The bigger waves were a little too scary, obviously, but I was allowed to spent a few minutes in them later in the day.

Jo got a little cold and tired, and lost it rather, which was quite understandable. She's still not well, obviously, which doesn't help. Lots of running around in the garden again "I'm a bear", "now I'm a tiger", "you hide: no, let's both hide: here. Boo!" You get the idea.

Dad phoned me this morning to tell me to buy The Times. Hard to do, obviously, but a brief article about how the Jesuits are telling Catholics to embrace SecondLife for missionary work. Good for them.

Oh - and I forgot to mention. On Friday, Miri giggled for the first time, and then laughed. It's the first time, and it was for me, which was lovely.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007


Two important lessons

(backposting) These lessons are:
  1. don't take a pushchair to the beach unless you're _sure_ there are no rocks to clamber over, and the sand will be firm;
  2. don't try to change a baby only a couple of metres from the shoreline if the tide's coming in.
I think you get the picture. We had a lovely time, though, and Jo just kept running from pool to pool saying "I love this, I love this". I got to have a copule of minutes in the surf in my wetsuit, which is frankly too short, a problem which is not helped by the fact that I could do to lose some weight, if we're brutally honest.

Ice-cream, doughnuts (don't start - we're on holiday).

We'd started off in Boscastle, and then headed off to Trebarwith, which is a lovely beach. We were there around 1400, which was a little late, as the tide was coming in very quickly, but we'll know better next time. May well return on another occasion. Without pushchair.

Poor Jo's being very good about not scratching, and she's been better in herself today. Had a lovely hour or so running around in the cottage's garden, pretending to be various animals, hiding, chasing, playing with a beachball: all that sort of thing. She really gets play with other people now, and it was a real joy: _she_ was a real joy to be with. No spots on Miri so far.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007


Newquay, and a wedding

Or - how to be a fantastic husband

(backposting) First of all - calomine lotion, painkillers. This will be a bit of a theme.

We went out in the morning for coffee and cake, followed by shopping, to Wadebridge (lovely modern Coop - can't fault it except on size), and I put pressure on Moo. I told her that I was quite happy to look after the girls for enough time for her at least to make the ceremony in Padstowe. She ummed and ahhed, but in the end, went for it. I was so pleased - as I mentioned yesterday, Sophie is very special to her - so she got dressed up and we headed off in the car to Padstowe. Sophie and Steve were getting married at Prideaux Place, a manor house-type place, and so after agreeing where to meet, and pressing Moo again, I dropped her off.

The girls were still asleep in the back of the car, so I just drove. To Newquay and back - around an hour round trip - and then when Miri started to set off, we found a farmshop. Got Miri out, changed her, put her in a sling - all the while Jo was being a star - got Jo out, went to the farmshop. No C & C. Aaaargh! Girls back in the car. Look for C & C place. Fail to find one. Park up, sling up, take Jo into Padstowe, get ice-creams. Jo very, very mucky (even took pictures).

By this time, Moo was ready, so I drove up to Prideaux Place to pick her up. Had a quick chat with Phil and Becca, good friends from college (and married, as of ages ago).

I had earned enormous husband points. It's good to be lovely sometimes, and it made me really happy that Moo had got to go to the wedding. I'd have loved to go as well, but some things aren't meant to be.

A hard, hard evening: in the end, Jo didn't go to bed until we did, and slept with Moo all night.


Friday, July 27, 2007


Off on holiday!

(backposting) Got up just before 0400. This was planned. Well, we'd _planned_ to get up dead on the nail of 0400, but Miri woke up a few minutes before, so Moo did, Jo was already in with Moo, she woke up, I heard them from the other room, so we decided to get on with it. We left around 0430, which is pretty good.

I'd packed the car the night before, to a litany of swearing. At one point I got annoyed and needed to throw something at a wall (an outside one, I hasten to add). Unluckily, what came to hand was a chocolate biscuit. Not heavy enough, and so bad aerodynamically for throwing at walls that it just caused Moo to laugh at me, which wasn't exactly the effect for which I was hoping.

We made very good time, and decided to stop off at my parents' house for a while to catch our breath. We couldn't get to the cottage in Cornwall before 1600 anyway, and we'd left early in order to avoid the bad M25-M4 traffic, so we'd broken the back of the journey already. Poll and Lee had already headed off to their respective works, but Mum was there, and Dad hadn't left yet, so we got to see them. In fact, we stayed till around 1100, and I had a bit of a sleep.

Spots appearing all over Jo's back, and a few on her tummy. We stopped near my parents' and got some children's painkillers and calomine lotion. A friend with whom she was playing on Wednesday came out with full-blown chicken-pox on Thursday, so we had an idea what was going to happen, and by the time we made it to the cottage around 1700 (we'd turned up a little earlier, but it was still being cleaned, so we'd visited Port Isaac for a little walk, followed by the family staple of C & C (Coffee and Cake) - prefixed by an ice-cream, as we're on holiday) ... to return to that sentence ... it was clear that she had full-blown chicken pox. Nothing on Miri yet, but hmm.

Tomorrow is Sophie's wedding. We phoned. They have a 9-month old, and lots of children are expected at the wedding, and when we phoned to suggest that they might prefer us not to come, they took us up on it. We weren't surprised, but Moo was very upset, though she quite understood. Sophie was Moo's best friend from college, and we'd organised the trip specially to come to the wedding. Some tears, lots of cuddles, and I started plotting.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


Yes, there _was_...

... something wrong with the freezer in the cat kitchen. (A moment of explanation: we knocked through to the next door cottage - which we bought! - 18 months or so after we moved into the house, and the original kitchen is used (among other things) for feeding cats, so is known as "the cat kitchen"). It's dead. Light on, nobody at home. Well, it's not keeping things cold, anyway.

So, after ordering a new one online, we had a full cooked breakfast with Mel in an attempt to use up some of the food in there.

Ice-cream for lunch, methinks...


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Misc. post

(backposting) Bits and pieces:

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Squeaky toy

Last night, after watching some of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we went upstairs to go to bed. I stood on a squeaky toy in the bathroom, and don't think I'll ever live down how high I jumped. Moo says that the particularly special thing was the fact that I was naked (or "nudey-rudey" as Jo would say) added some poignancy. Without wanting to spoil the film, it's about a very big snake...

Got my Wii age down to 41 yesterday.

Today it's 28! I rock, clearly.

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Monday, July 23, 2007


Sleep, again - and supervision

We're having to juggle sleep. Jo and Miri are both waking up at ridiculous times in the night, and Jo wants to come in and sleep with one of us. This isn't very good.

Had a supervision with Helen today on a piece of work (6000 words) that I'm doing on music, liturgy and life. We agree that I've got enough thoughts down to be doing something useful, but it's time to focus (too many thoughts, in fact). She very meanly made me do an essay plan. Yeuch! Trying to think when I was last made to do that in real time. Anyway, I'm now in a good position to get things going, I think.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007


If I were a liberal - wait a sec: I _am_ a liberal

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This makes me very happy.



Oh - and Harry Potter

Walked into the cafe yesterday with the Harry Potter in my hand, and said "Who'd have thought he dies in the first chapter, then?".

Had to apologise.



Disappointment, but affirmation

Up at 0515, which really wasn't great. The SecondLife ervice started a little after 0805 - I'd managed to get the streaming working at around 0755 (having woken Moo up at 0730 to look after Jo, though the former had also been up at 0315 for Miri - why?), but it didn't seem to work for anyone else, so we went without. We had a congregation of around half a dozen, I was robed in a cassock, and was ready with cut and paste for a complete BCP Mattins. The only parts which I didn't cut and paste were the intercessions - I invited suggestions from the congregation, and we ended up paying for a goth outreach for Birmingham Cathedral, the Anglican communion and other issues and people - and the sermon, which I constructed as we went. I'd done some preparation, obviously, and preached on condemnation, starting off with Mary Magdalene, who is commemorated today. I talked about condemning the sin, not the person ("I look out in front of me, and I see sinners. But then again, I look in the mirror, and I see a sinner, too"). I really enjoyed preaching, and got some feedback during the sermon, too.

Hopefully someone's videoed the service. If so, I'll probably make bits available.

Had an interesting conversation with a member of the congregation afterwards. A non-believer, but interested. Brought in partly due to his interest in physics and creation. Need to think about it. I've said I'm very happy to talk more about science and religion if he'd like - I have some background in the subject.

Finished the Harry Potter around 1100 (I've been busy, which is why it took over 24 hours), have so far failed to find anyone to talk to about it, who's also finished it. No spoilers, but it's a very good ending, more deaths than I'd expected. Got a little sad towards the end...

We've been so tired today. Cafe Clare for brunch, played in the playground there, back home, played with Jo. I had a bit of a sleep (Moo had tried before, but been kept awake by the Miri monster), then took Jo for a lovely swim. I see what Moo means about her really getting it. With a backfloat on, she's really capable - can go quite fast and steer, as well.

Bath: Jo didn't want her hair washed, but went to sleep in under 2 minutes.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007


God be thankit for geekery!

I hope to be able to stream and text the service tomorrow at 0800. Recompilation, after lots of failed attempts. God gives gifts (and then forces us to use them).

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Very tired

Not much sleep last night, and a busy day today with Jo. Still managed to read over half the Harry Potter.

I'm also taking Mattins in SL at the Anglican Cathedral at 0800 BST (12 midnight SL time). Please join me.

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Friday, July 20, 2007


Kate and Mac

I had a sudden idea last night, and we invited Kate and Mac to visit. Lovely to see them, and gave Moo a little bit of a break.


Thursday, July 19, 2007


Polyamory - polygamy and polyandry

A friend showed me this post, and asked me to comment on it. In the end, I had so much to say that I thought it made sense to blog it. Hope people find it interesting.

The post: very difficult, very challenging. I struggle with it, on a number of levels.

Let's start with marriage. I'd like to think that (life-long) marriage is the model that we have been given, and which is the ideal to which we are called. But there are problems from the start:

Why not more people in a marriage, then? As the poster points out, there's biblical precedent for a man having more than one wife - and though the other way round (one woman, more than one husband) isn't attested to, one assumes that the patriarchal nature of biblical society would be likely to condone this, given the view of women as owned goods, rather than owners. By Jesus' time, however, it seems that the current model was the accepted one. It's also the case that Christians have accepted polygamous marriage in some societies where they've tried to contextualise their mission activity - in Africa, for instance.

So, it's difficult.

And why one-to-one? Well, apart from the historical reasons about needing a mix of male and female to make babies, I suspect that a major reason that most societies worldwide have settled on two-person relationships is that they work best. Relationships are fluid things, and it's difficult enough with children, but having multiple adults will make for more complicated relationships. And sex complicates things. Sexual jealousy is a fact of life, and although people may, at one particular time, not feel jealousy sexually, I suspect that for many people, that can and often will change over time - sometimes more, sometimes less. And sex, I really believe, is, like all good things about being human, a gift from God. It can be misused, but it can be a hugely rewarding, affirming and joyful experience: one of the great things that you can share with another human being.

I think sex is important in this context because there are many family set-ups where lots of people live in the same space - or set of spaces - and care for each other. But the sexual elements of the family relationships tend to be the cementing aspects between particular members.

I talked about "most societies worldwide" settling on two-person relationships. I think there are some questions we need to ask here. The first is "what about God's revelation through scripture?" Indeed - and I think there are very important things to learn here, but we need to be very aware of the readings of scripture we make here - the book "What the Bible really says about homosexuality" is a good source-book here. So, there certainly is guidance to be gained. But I also believe that God, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, works through societies, whether Christian or not, and through the individuals that comprise them - again, whether Christian or not. But there are dangers here, too - where do we stand on the issue that most societies are (still) strongly patriarchal?

Two biblical points: first, the fact that Jesus' first great work was at a marriage (at Cana, of course) has traditionally (and with very good reason, I believe) been seen as an important sign that marriage is an institution blessed by God.

Second, Jesus (in Luke 20:34ff) says "Those who belong in this age marry and are given to marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage." This is the NRSV translation, and there's an interesting note in the HarperCollins Study version on 20:34: "Marry, i.e., to procreate. This is no longer necessary for those who inherit eternal life in the age to come." First, saying that marry = procreate doesn't seem fair to the Greek. I'm not a Greek scholar, but other uses of the the lemma from which this word comes ("gamein"), though it seems to come from a meaning around procreation ("gamete" in English is cognate, I suspect) seems to mean "marriage" when used by New Testament writers, particularly Paul. I have no idea what Aramaic word Jesus was using! Second (on the note in the study version), Jesus _actually_ talks about "those who are considered worthy", which is different. Of course, _we_ can't decide who's considered worthy. Peake's commentary is interesting here:

"[XX:]35. Lk. corrects Mk's apparent implication that all the sons of this age will attain the resurrection life. It is very unlikely that Kl.'s change to Mk's wording imples a view that men are fitted by celibacy in this life to attain the age to come; marriage is considered in this passage solely from the point of view of legal relationship and the procreation of children. No conclusions can be drawn from it concerning the character of Christian marriage."
I'm not sure that I agree with the last sentence: where else are we supposed to take scriptural guidance, if not from Jesus' words? It's a complicated passage, and I don't think that Peake helps much. (NB - I've checked the Synoptic parallels, and they're very similar: Luke has the most material of the three).

There's a last point which complicates matters for me. In the strict Protestant tradition, the only sacraments are Baptism and Communion, as those are the only ones instituted by Jesus Christ. Indeed, the 25th Article of Religion in the Book of Common Prayer states:

Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, begin such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not the like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign of ceremony ordained of God.
I take a high view of marriage, however, and for me, my marriage _is_ a sacrament. But I'm not sure I'm ready to force others to this view. But I think we can agree that it's a divinely ordained institution. That can't help but sway my views on how seriously we take marriage and related issues.

Note - I think there is one area where this poster doesn't meet the marriage criteria: she says that at least one of the members isn't ready for commitment. That's a big one for me. Commitment to each other in front of God and a congregation (preferably of those you know, whether that's family or friends) is a sine qua non for me.

I don't think I'm ready to condemn - I'm not a big fan of condemnation anyway - but I certainly have some reservations about what the poster describes, whether it works for her or not.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I spy

Jo's beginning to get "I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with ...". Obviously, we make the letter sound, rather than the letter, but she loves it, and wants to play as well. This morning Moo, Jo and I were sitting downstairs, and Jo and I were looking at a book. We started playing "I spy", and I did a few.

Then Jo piped up with "I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with ... cake!" Moo's immediate comment was "well, she's certainly a Bursell". Compounded by her saying, a few minutes later, "I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with ... pie!" OK, OK, embarassed.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Assignment finished!

Several months late (though I had an extension), I've finally handed in my second Life and Service module assignment: an analysis of my local church. Rather thought-provoking, actually, and harder than I thought it was going to be.

I've also started on the next piece of work: something on music and liturgy - in the broadest sense, so including pastoral work, and how we use, and could use, music. I'm really liking the Orthodox views here, which I'll expand on at some point. It's giving me a great excuse to list - and listen to - some of my favourite music. Downloaded a recording I didn't have of New College under Higginbottom singing Byrd 4-part and the Tallis Lams. Fantastic.

Wii latest

Moo's got into it now, and all we need to do is get Miri to sleep before we play against (and it's _always_) against each other.

My Wii fitness age is down from 45 to 41. _Better_, but still.

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Monday, July 16, 2007


Getting younger

I love the Wii, I'm afraid. Yesterday, I managed to drop my age from 64 to 63. Today I did the test stone-cold sober (and with some practice), and I'm down to 45. This is better. But a little tragic, to be honest.

Si and Morgan came round. We enjoyed the tennis, the baseball, and particularly the golf. Si's already bidding on eBay.

On another topic, I really enjoyed the service last night. There were some problems with the streaming, but the bits that did work were really effective, and I'm hoping to lead a similar service next Sunday, again in the cathedral in SecondLife.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007


Turning over a new...

... baby. Miri's three months and 2 days old today, and turned over from her back onto her front today for the first time. She's been close to it for a while, but this was the first actual event.

Church in the morning (Long Melford), Clare craft fair (where I had a pint of Nethergate's Augustinian while eating some lunch in the grounds of the Augustinian priory. Very fitting.

Up for over an hour during the night trying to get Jo back to sleep. She was adamant that she wanted to sleep in my bed (she'd assumed that I'd moved into the spare room, though I hadn't by that stage), and I was adamant that she wasn't going to. I prevailed, but, as I said, it took an hour.

We'll be holding our first service in the Anglican Cathedral in SecondLife at 8pm UK time, 12noon SecondLife time (PST). You're very welcome to join us.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007


Wii - and hot tub

We went into Cambridge, and I bought a Wii today. Jo can already play the tennis games as my doubles partner - serving fairly well and hitting the odd lob here and there (to be honest, I don't know exactly what a lob is, but she's hitting some balls back). It's great, and quite a work-out. Unluckily, I did the "find your Wii exercise age" thing on the Sports game, which is the only one we have atm, and it appears that I'm 64. I'd had the odd glass or two beforehand, though, so...

What's this about a hot tub, then? Well, Si and D have recently moved house, and we went round for a barbecue, and to see the lovely little Charlotte Phoebe Plant. She's tiny - only just 6 pounds (though she's only a little over 2 weeks old) - and Miriam looks more like 6 months old next to her. It turns out that their new house has a lovely shower, but no bath. Not inside, at any rate. Instead, it comes with a hot tub outside. Designed for four, and Si and I fitted very well into it with a glass of wine each and a child to look after, while D and Moo looked after the littles. Si lent me a pair of swimming trunks, but I'm planning to leave a pair over there for next time.

He's planning to come over to work from home at my house on Monday, as he doesn't yet have broadband and needs to look after Morgan. Oh, and he doesn't have a Wii yet, either.

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Friday, July 13, 2007



Didn't mention it yesterday, because I was synchroblogging, but Moo and Mel took Miri and Jo swimming as usual yesterday. Miri loves swimming, and so does Jo - and she made two big steps yesterday. First, she got much more confident about jumping in from the side. Second, she suddenly got the whole swimming thing. She had floats on her back, but was apparently moving at real speed. Next step is to remove a float at a time...

Currently trying to write an assignment in front of Big Brother and related programming. Not so good.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007


A SecondLife Utopia

For those who don't know it, SecondLife is a virtual world where you can interact in 3D with other people. Each person has an avatar, which you can dress up, change the looks - even appear as a different animal or fantasy creature. People and organisations can own land, build structures, exhibit art, sell and buy property, furniture and art, vehicles, objects and intellectual property. Universities, companies, charities and churches are provides services (pun intended) worldwide.

But why do people take part in SecondLife? The obvious joke is that you don't need SecondLife if you have a first life. And it's true that many people use SecondLife as a way out of the life that's outside. SecondLife gives people a chance to look how they want, to build what they want, to live in the sort of environment that they want, and to present the personality that they want.

And SecondLife is, almost by definition, a no-place (the Greek root of the word) - you can be whatever you need to be. But I'd argue that this isn't always a bad thing. A chance to explore what you can be - as long as you're honest to yourself and God - may be a good thing. There are some very exciting things going on in a church sense in SecondLife. An example which I'm involved in is the Anglican Church in SecondLife. We're building a community, are planning services, and have an amazing mediaeval cathedral on our own island. We have a leadership team committed not only to liturgy, but also to the pastoral as well.

And the pastoral comes up more than you might expect. For a variety of reasons which I think it would be very interesting to examine, many people seem very open to pastoral or faith-based experiences in SecondLife. Opportunities to talk about faith - with people from a huge range of traditions - come up fairly frequently. It's not always when you expect it, or want it, but when it comes, you need to embrace it.

There are dangers to SecondLife, certainly, but opportunities. There are circumstances in which it could be destructive - and there's gambling and sex and pornography there in ways that are difficult to reconcile with faith - but it can be positive, too. A no-place can be a what-place, a who-place, and a how-place.


Today is a "synchroblog" on the subject of "Utopia". If you've liked what you read here, or, more particularly, if you didn't, and you'd like to read some other opinions, please visit one of the other participating blogs:

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Early, early

(backposting) I thought it was bad enough being woken up by the girls at night, but I had to get up at 0415 this morning (0315 UK time) to catch my flight. In fact, I didn't need to get up _that_ early, but I always play these things safe. I was there very early, and we got into the UK on time. I really can't remember what time that was! Got some breakfast at a truck stop, drove home, had a sleep. I was so pleased to get an extra day with Jo, Miri and Moo - always a bonus.

I'm getting close to writing up more of an assignment - I'm at the stage of having far too much to put in: I need to decide where it's going. Hope to have something at least in draft by the end of the weekend.

Moo's nan's parrot died today, so she's upset. Jo's made a card to post.

Watched some West Wing (final series), and then the first episode of Spaced which I bought last week for Moo (we're on a Simon Pegg-fest atm).

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007



I was doing an audit today, for which we'd scheduled two days, but in the end - for various reasons - we got what we could do finished by around 1330 local, so Ian (a colleague) and I went back to the hotel in Freising, did some work, and then wandered around the town (had a beer and an icecream, that sort of thing). The town's lovely, and we had a good meal at what bills itself as "the oldest brewery in the world": Weihenstephan.

To bed early, as my flight leaves at 0625 local.

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Monday, July 09, 2007



(backposting) I travelled down to London City Airport this evening to catch a plane to Munich to do an audit. As I headed down past Braintree, it became clear that I was heading into a pretty big storm, and although I didn't get much of the rain, I started counting the lightning flashes. I saw 14 over the next hour and a half or so, but more than that: I actually saw 11 of the actual forks: one right onto a petrol station (which seemed OK). It was brilliant, and wonderful.

When I got there, the plane was 20 minutes delayed, and by the time we set off, it was more like an hour, but we got off, dodged storms across Europe, took quite a lot of turbulence, and made it into Munich airport in time for me to get to the hotel almost dead on midnight. Only one pillow, but the hotel helped out quickly on that when I asked. Took me ages to get to sleep though.

Poor Miri is teething, which means that she's taking a long time to settle, and sometimes will just get upset for no obvious reason. It must be really hard for her, but we've discovered that she loves watching Jo, who also loves singing to her, and that sometimes Jo can calm her down when neither of us can. They're lovely together, and it's great bonding for both of them. At the same time, Jo really gets to know that she's helping us out, which is really good for her.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007


Two wedding anniversary presents

You might think that this title might refer to the present that I bought for Moo, and the present that she bought for me, and which we exchanged today, as it's our 12th wedding anniversary today. But no. Moo's apparently ordered a present for me, but it's not arrived yet. And she thinks that she probably threw out the card she bought, in her mad recycling frenzy on Thursday night. I gave her a present - a lovely bag from Roots which I bought last week, and a card which I bought yesterday.

So what, you ask, is the second present? The gift of laughter. We went out to a nice pub for a meal with our friends Kirsty and Matt (hi, Kirsty!) over lunch, and while we were waiting for service (which seemed to be for much of the meal), I took Jo to play in the grass area. There were some deckchairs. Jo and I sat in one each, we got up, we moved around, Jo and I sat in the same ones again. *Crack*

I had to 'fess up to Moo and to the pub (who were fine about it). Moo thought it was very funny, particularly because I have some form with breaking seating furniture. This comes up quite often in the family, and I thought I was very generous to share this story with Moo (although Jo would probably have grassed me up anyway).

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Saturday, July 07, 2007


Girls back

Moo, Jo and Miri got back around lunchtime - in fact, we met at Freeport for something to eat. I'd slept through to 9am (!), and then got up and done things like get some more food for the dog, get rid of some of the more obvious thistles and brambles in the garden, get some food in, and even have time for some tea and cake at the Cafe Clare.

I took Jo to pick up Buster, who was very pleased to see us. I gave him a bit of a groom, which he really needed, and he seemed to settle down OK. Did some work on an ERMC assignment, watched an Alan Partridge DVD with Moo.

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Friday, July 06, 2007


Back home again

I was on one of Air Canada's new Boeing 777s, in business class. Fully-reclining seats, very nice. Watched Breach, about Robert Hanssen, the US spy. Quite good - lots of Catholicism, though quite how it played into his becoming a Soviet traitor was unclear. Finished the Tim Gorringe book for the Summer School. Quite liked the later chapters. Then a decent amount of sleep, landing, and a car back.

Moo, Jo and Miri are away at Turtle's 4th birthday party, so it's just me tonight. Got the DVD of the second series of Alan Partridge, so that should keep me going. Early night, I think.


Thursday, July 05, 2007


Good news

Not just that I'm heading home - and should be in business class, as I have an upgrade token that I can use - but a friend of ours who's had some terrible problems in her life is pregnant. The child, a boy, is well, as is his mother, and it's one of those "thank God" moments. I've been praying for this couple lots, and I'm so glad that God has taken them from a terrible place and given them something to hold on to. We spend so much time praying about the bad times that it's sometimes fantastic to be able to offer a great prayer of thanks and joy and jubilation to God.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007



(backposting) We had our first ministry team meeting for the Anglicans in SecondLife group today. A good representation from across the globe, including some good discussions of what we're doing, what we plan to do, and what we're _not_ planning to do. Among the last is a Eucharist. The theological questions around it are quite complex, and we want to probe them, but, for the moment, we think it's safer not to push the boundaries - and neither, I think, do any of us feel happy theologically or pastorally about doing so.

The group was interested to hear that we've made contact with The Ecclesiastical Law Society, and look forward to discussing various issues with them. They seem keen to engage with what's happening online, and in particular with SecondLife, so I'm looking forward to more involvement there.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007



Well, things were less ready for me over here (in Canada) than I expected (I'm supposed to be doing some auditing), but I've got some other things going, and things are moving. Caught up with loads of people, and as usual, did more than I thought I'd do in some areas.

Also had a chat with someone associated with the Ecclesiastical Law Society, Mark, about how we might proceed with regards to Second Life. He seems very interested, and I'm looking forward to working more closely with him to see what happens next.

Brian, a colleague from work, has very kindly invited me out to a barbecue at his house, so that's my evening sorted out.




So, I'm now in Canada, after a 7 and a half hour flight. Heathrow was busy, but quieter than I'd expected, given the terrorist attacks (and attempted attacks) over the weekend. Most important, everything was moving.

It's now 0015 local time, and I've just spent quite some time doing SecondLife stuff - we've got a leadership team forming, which is great news. I'm already doing some community liaison work, which is great.

Must get some food now, as I'm getting hungry...

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Sunday, July 01, 2007


5 and a half hours

(backposting) We slept OK again - though Jo wet the bed, for the first time ever, poor thing. She seemed to have forgotten about it by the morning, though, which was good. To church (Moo came with Miri as well), and a good sermon from Victor, the incumbent, about the responsibilities and difficulties of preaching, which resonated.

We then had a lovely meal with all the family to celebrate Mum and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary: well done both of them! Good food, good company - pity I couldn't drink, as I would be driving.

Only 5 and a half hours, but more stops this time, as Jo wasn't feeling great, and Miri kept crying, which was fair enough. Moo and I had a few hours after Jo had gone to bed, and Miri was quiet, to be with each other, which was a bit of a treat.

Oh - and as of today, it's illegal to smoke in a public, enclosed space anywhere in England. Yay!

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