Monday, December 26, 2005

Just when you thought it was safe..

after Christmas come these patisseries. Not found any prices yet - which is probably as well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas letter

If you've not been lucky enough(!) to get our semi-annual Christmas circular, I've put a pdf version on my home webserver. Made the photos b/w for printing maybe I should have replaced them with the originals for this version...


Sylvia and Sigrid outside Macclesfield Register Office this morning following their civil partnership. 'The law has caught up with us at last'. More pictures on my home machine

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tales from the Checkout - 2

Following on from the first
Was reflecting in a talk recently about control in the various forms of employment I've had. The cartoon version is that in software development you're in control - any mistake is your fault - work at your pace. On the checkout there's continuous interaction, far shorter segments and then you start again - though there are knockons - people get aggravated if you make a mess of the preceding customer and take ages.
To some extent you are in control there's all kinds of things that you see that the customer doesn't know about, but it's far more of an alliance you can work together - or not!
Scanning rate still increasing monotonically and by (usually) more than 0.1 per week!

What are the churchwardens doing?

via Google Earth comes this satellite image of All Saint's car park (and Church). It must be Chris and Roger - the churchwardens - but what are they worrying about? Suggestions?

(Boringly I suspect it is really two cars)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wrappp up your penguins

Australian news has a story with a knitting pattern and picture of penguins in wolly jumpers. They just need a hat and scarf!
I got it from Geoff Coupe who got it from Improbable Research. .. channeling Tom Lehrer ..
Especially for Sigrid!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Further local coverage

From Today's Macc Express, picture nicked in case the Macc Express page vanishes. Coverage in the paper has been uniformly positive so far.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It didn't even ask about my cookery skills...

You scored 46 masculinity and 73 femininity!
You scored high on femininity and low on masculinity. You have a traditionally feminine personality.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 16% on masculinity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 74% on femininity
Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

From today's Macclesfield Express

Lesbian Lovers first to Marry - eugh on the title but I'm not working that day.....

In our little corner of Macclesfield it has been a very stable community as it has been the same people living here since we moved in.

We have never regretted living here as the people of Macclesfield have always very supportive and generous.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

BATS - the full list

Well it is intending to be the full list of books we have read as part of the BATS book group to date.

Working backwards - because that's easiest! And with some blanks towards the beginning, linking either to what I wrote or the best webpage on that book!


And to be filled out later and others added as I remember them:

  • Music and Silence - Rose Tremain
  • Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood, good pages here - natural born quilter - hmmmmm.
  • Love and War in the Apennines - Eric Newby
  • Quarantine - Jim Crace
  • The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
  • Northern Lights - Philip Pullman
  • White Cargo - Felicity Kendall
  • Cod - Mark Kurlansky
  • The Surgeon of Crowthorne A Tale of Murder,Madness and the Oxford English Dictionary - Simon Winchester
  • Last Orders - Graham Swift
  • Wait till I tell you - Candida McWIlliam
  • The Soldier's Return - Melvyn Bragg
  • Sea Change - Robert Goddard
  • The Falls - Ian Rankin
  • Park and Ride (Adventures in Surburbia) - Amanda Sawyer

In case you're wondering, BATS stands for Books And ThingS - not a lot of things so far!

Tales from the checkout - 1

The first -I hope - of an ongoing series!

Last week sometime, I was asked 'are you a student' - unfortunately we don't sell glasses. Then at the end of the week, 'is this your retirement job'. I think the truth lies with Mister Inbetween!

On Sunday a colleague passed on to me a customer question - 'Where is Bali?', I said Indonesia, got the response 'But where is Bali in the store' which puzzled me no end! It was about 10 minutes later that I re-parsed the statement as 'Where is the barley' and things started dropping into place.

Then there was serving Neville Holder who quietly went through spending his royalties - not much if I remember his letter to the Guardian Notes and Queries a few weeks back!

Get a reasonable number of items per minute scanned in my first week and thought it should be much better next week and yesterday I saw it increased by 0.1 item/min. Ah well slowly and steadily!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Checking in (or out)

I seem to have survived two weeks at Sainsbury's - from a customer POV it seems a mind numbing job but I've found it fairly enjoyable, you have to keep pretty alert and it keeps my mind busy. Staff are friendly and it seems to match what I need at the moment. Was there dressed in a sombrero and a chunky jumper on Friday for Children in Need!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

.. and another


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla
.. looking at the results you can't be Orcish, or indeen anything really bad.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


You are Julian of Norwich! It's all about God, to
you. You're convinced that the world has a
happy ending. Everyone else is convinced that
you're a closet hippie, but you love them

Which Saint Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hunt the (grey) squirrel

According to today's Independent (link will only work for a few days)
Well, it is our fault. Reds frolicked happily in the forests of England undisturbed (more or less) until one dread day in 1876 when a Victorian landowner thought it would be a jolly wheeze to import a couple of those unusual greys from North America. The guilty man can now be named as Thomas Emmet Brocklehurst of Henbury Park in Cheshire. A time traveller with a shotgun could save a lot of trouble.

We have a lot of grey squirrels around here on ground that used to belong to the Brocklehurst family - now we know the reason for all the local squirrels. We hope the cat will get around to reducing the numbers!

Also I see that a lot of web pages claim that it was TV Brocklehust (rather than the above Emmet), but apparently there are mentions of a Thomas Unnet Brocklehurst in the local Silk Heritage Centre which suggests that the Independent has it wrong and that the rest have confused their V's with their U's. Google gives me one relevant hit for Unnet Brocklehurst (apart from suggesting Uunet :-))

Brocklehurst, Thomas Unnet, Mexico To-Day: A Country with a Great Future, and a Glance at the Prehistoric Remains and Antiquities of the Montezumans, 1883
which appears to confirm the Americas connection.

Monday, November 07, 2005


You Aren't Scary, You're Scared

Probably even scared to see how this quiz came out!

Definitely another rank

From quoting 'Brian' in alt.folklore.computers:

a British Army Major, who retired in '62, told me that in their computer section, the programers were corporals, because they were really just clerks, but the operators were officers, because they were in charge of very expensive equipment. Of course, the operators were required to wear dress uniform, including swords, after 8pm on the night shift.

says it all really!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

.. a new chapter..

Well this past week I've been training for working on the tills at Sainsbury's, I hit them for the first time (general training so far) tomorrow - watch this space! It might be a useful culture shock for me! At least it will be a continuous - though small - source of income, and get me out of the house and meeting people again.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Spirituality test

You fit in with:

Your ideals are mostly spiritual, but in an individualistic way. While spirituality is very important in your life, organized religion itself may not be for you. It is best for you to seek these things on your own terms.

60% spiritual.
40% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at

Looks odd in preview...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cat on a hot plastic roof

Yes it's Hecate again - threatening the photographer!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Food for thought

Via Maggi Dawn's site comes this post

evangelicals often use the phrase ‘authority of scripture’ when they mean the authority of evangelical, or Protestant, theology since the assumption is made that we (evangelicals, or Protestants) are the ones who know and believe what the Bible is saying. And, though there is more than a grain of truth in such claims, they are by no means the whole truth, and to imagine that they are is to move from theology to ideology.

Not only evangelicals I think! That quote comes from NT Wright - evangelical and Bishop of Durham How can the Bible be Authoritative?

Disgusted of Durham

I enjoyed this letter from today's Guardian (David Lindsay 3rd letter down) too much to not quote some of it:

No wonder Cameron's supporters want the Tories to merge with the Eurofanatical, anti-family, pro-drugs, pro-crime Liberal Democrats.

Only slightly hysterical!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Terragen updates

Created a new page on my home webserver for some terragen renders

Saturday, September 24, 2005

New sleeping place

Hecate has a new favourite sleeping place...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Gone Phishing

I enjoyed reading this too much not to share it...

Hello Hotmail and yahoo users. There have been many attempts to hack hotmail or Unfortunatly all of them have failed, EXCEPT this one. I though have found out a revolutionary way to hack hotmail and yahoo accounts. And might I add it's az easy az ABC. After 8 months of
research we have found the broken link. soi_manbot to be exact. is a bot, an auto bot. You send it a letter and within 24 hours it will send you one back. The ULTIMATE hack for hotmail and yahoo is as follows:

Send a letter to, within the Subject heading place the word "Password" (not in quotes but has to have a capital P) this way the automated bot recognizes what you are after. Then in the text field place the name of the person at hotmail or yahoo that you
want to hack (Do not put or after their name). No capital letters are to be put in this place. Then skip one (1) line and place your own hotmail or yahoo account information such as: My login:My password (a smeicolon makes it easier for the bot to
recognize). This way the bot can verify that your account actually exists. And then supplies you with the password for the person's account that you want it for. Here is an example:

(details deleted)

This IS the only way to hack hotmail. Use it with care.

As they say, you can't cheat an honest man. The expample i've deleted doesn't follow their instructions either.

What's a soi_manbot?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Elitist - moi?

Your CD collection is almost as big as your ego,
and you can most likely play an instrument or
three. You're a real hit at parties, but you're
SO above karaoke.
What people love: You're instant entertainment.
Unless you play the oboe.
What people hate: Your tendency to sing louder than
the radio and compare everything to a freaking

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

oboe!! what's an obo (original text of above). 'song' - grrrr, all music does not just consist of songs.
But that result is not a surprise!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Back to househusbanding

- well at least on a solitary basis as Beth has another temporary job out in Goostrey.
Meanwhile I'm trying to address the continuing saga of my daughter's machine. Having worked perfectly over the Summer, just before Uni restarts it decides to sulk.
Definitely memory problems so a new stick acquired from Crucial but now it appears that the disk (a Maxtor) is sulking - no partitions found - recreated and then (sometimes) the same error again - unless I just can't do wiring?!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Germany 1929

Wonderful pictures via Boing Boing

Vegetarian Engineering

Oh those wacky google ads! I think some words have been concatenated there...

Have I said that blogger's spell checker can't spell google (or indeed blogger)?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Looking Glass

Read this last night:

The nuns always warned against storytelling and day-dreaming, which they said meant lying, an escape from the truth. To me it was the opposite. Those bright pictures were the most real thing.


Nothing could be too difficult if the sea was nearby. I fell down that last stretch of road as though I were being born.

From Michèle Roberts The Looking Glass

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Speaking fluently

Job advertisments keep on asking me 'Do you speak fluently English?'

I think the answer is 'better than you'! Google suggests it is fairly common, though in some of those links punctuation and the phrase continuation makes a difference.

(there's bound to be a grammatical howler somewhere in this!)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Back from Holiday..

Been away for a week - photos have been processed, good stay at Seagull Cottage Llandudno - but don't attempt to use the official tourist guide site, what's the Welsh for accessibility?!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

More on holiday club

It's now over but I've copied the pictures over to an external server rather than have my local server handle the load!

A level results!

Just found the page at Macclesfield college recording the A levels results and there's a photo of Beth having got her A in Italian
Beth Marshall (on the left, who achieved an A grade), Susan Neville and Lesley Howard who both gained Bs. All of them chose to study just for the pleasure of learning a new language and to be able to put it into practice on foreign holidays. Beth has already put her new skills to use, “I've been doing some research work recently that's involved speaking on the phone to Italians, so the course has been a real benefit.”

Monday, August 22, 2005

Holiday Club

Working at the All Saints' holiday club this week run by the Rhema Theatre Company on the theme of Gideon. As we're missing our usual photographer, I'm taking some pictures

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Maybe I should mention the BATS (Books and Things) weblog that I also have, if nothing else it will encourage me to update it more often if I get more hits. Went to the local library yesterday - they have a book sale and walked off with 12 books for a £1 - including Maugham, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Susan Hill, Mary Renault and others - now just have to read them! PIcture is of Hecate enjoying the use of the BATS box.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Five posts in a day - whatever next! Uploaded webcam picture looks ok, maybe it's this m/c or apache or png or a combination...
But I need a few more lines of space, so that the right hand stuff isn't obscured - bit more attention to the html and I needn't be doing this.

But at this stage ona Friday afternoon, I feel lazy!

Checking the webcam

Let's put a picture up here to see if it is ok - it will also push the previous post down a bit so the whole thing looks better! Having problems with the real webcam pictures getting truncated!

Geek vs empathiser

Another test - bet it will mess up blogger's layout! Seem to have done well on both bits!
Much More Scientific

You have:
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored about average on emotional intuition and well above average on scientific intuition.Keep
in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can
compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of
intuition you're best at. Your scientific intuition is stronger than
your emotional intuition.

Your Emotional Intuition
score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their
unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates
social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good
at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition
score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well
you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with
high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Scientific
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Interpersonal
Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid


Webcam now in operation - at least when I'm logged in on this machine! The image seems not to be transferring fully, but works fine for me using the same webserver - looking into it. Rather unexciting and blurry at the moment, some difficulties getting it work with Linux but I installed the spca5xx kernel module and it worked. I need either a longer USB cable or to move the computer and then I can feed images of the traffic situation at the Hibel Road traffic lights in Macclesfield - the Hibel Rd station is long gone!

Pubs and smoking

According to today's Guardian
As many as two-thirds of pubs in the most deprived parts of England could be exempt from a ban on smoking because they do not serve food, according to a study by doctors....Leeds topped the league, with 88% of its pubs not serving food and therefore likely to be exempt from the smoking ban, followed by Stoke, Lambeth, Chesterfield, Sunderland, Bradford and Macclesfield.

Interesting that Macclesfield is up there, not really a deprived area, I assume this survey covers the borough as a whole (it's from the BMJ but I can't find it on their web site). Here I think it's more cultural, a very large number of pubs - back in the 1960's I remember counting 50+ in Bollington - so competition constraints don't encourage the serving of food.
It's annoying though for us non-smokers in the area!

I'm sure the blogger spellcheck needs a tweak, place names are always problematic but it suggests misclassified for Macclesfield and Cinderella for Sunderland!

Mo Mowlam

Died this morning, not unexpected but still a great loss to politics and principle - Robin Cook and Mowlam in a month I shall miss them. What with Brother Roger's murder on Wednesday it has been a week of loss.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Rowan Williams via Hopeful Amphibian

You're constrained, you're hemmed in, you're sat on, but you're not trapped. Whatever happens to you, your value is in somebody else's hands, God's hands. Not your achievement, not other people's approval, but something utterly, utterly non-negotiable.

Tripping out

Into Manchester for the evening to have a drink with Greg and Bryan at Taurus, Canal St seems to have changed rather a lot since I was last there, new bars, changes of names, fairly quiet as it was a Monday in August. Lots of folks having an evening meal when I arrived but it then got rather thin until the tap was turned again and there was a sudden influx at around 9:45. Their Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is fairly pleasant - bit strawy though. I'd eaten but Greg ordered a Meze Platter (£12.50) which was huge so we both picked away at it. Mental revisits of cycling in Cambridge back in the 1970's - for me! - pulling up Castle hill, fighting to keep going on country roads when the wind - straight from Siberia was blowing against you. Strange moment early on when some folk appeared in overalls and toolboxes (think Village People!) and opened up a cupboard and started adjusting the lighting, wondered whether they'd stopped paying the bills!

Left at around 10:15 - the train service to Macc is replaced by a bus for the last train (and gets back at 1:15 or something) so didn't want that death march. The next-to-last train wasn't bad seems to be mainly female - maybe it's women who high-tail up to Manchester on a weekday evening, maybe the men are happier drinking and driving...

Had the camera with me but forgot to take any photos!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Glimpses of Macclesfield

from Glimpses of Macclesfield in ye Olden Days published in 1883

From a paper read at a meeting of the Rosicrusian Society, held in Manchester, on the "Historical Memorials of the Church of Prestbury," we find an entry in the churchwardens accounts for the year 1745. "Item - Paid for umbrella for a carriage, 03 00 00." It is hard to imagine the Guards under fire and using umbrellas at the same time. Such a thing, was seen once. During the action at the Mayor's house, near Bayonne, in 1813, the Grenadiers under Colonel Tyling occupied an unfinished redoubt near the high road. Wellington, happening to ride that way, beheld the officers of the household regiment protecting themselves from the falling rain with umbrellas. This was too much for the great chief's equanimity, and he instantly sent off Lord A. Hill with the message, "Lord Wellington does not approve of the use of umbrellas under fire, and cannot allow the gentlemen's sons to make themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the army."
I was actually looking for information on the history of weavers cottages..

Friday, August 12, 2005

The J-Walk Blog Link Experiment

As commanded!:
The J-Walk Blog: "All you have to do is post a link to this particular blog item (i.e., the one you're reading now). Just call it J-Walk Blog Link Experiment or something like that. After a few days, I'll post a list of every blog I found that linked to this item. If you're not on the list, I'll invite you to send me the link to your entry. I'll post these unfound links, and we'll try to figure out why I didn't find you."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The walks (again!)

I suppose I ought to note that the walks are over and the photo log complete. There's various other albums accessible from that machine the index being here, including the recent barbeque and a trip to West Chiltington

The Myth of Marriage

Thanks to Maggie for drawing attention to a write up on Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage - recently published.

Geek test

My computer geek score is greater than 78% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!
oh dear!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Colin Dutton

.. photographer. I was looking for some more of his Vespa photos - found when I was sorting though an old Independent on Sunday Magazine and found his web site, alas there's only one composite but maybe there's more - ah I've now found the Solomango site which has this page, there's also some nice photography at the Tethys Gallery.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Latest Walk

Latest walk - the penultimate - was to Gun Hill ending up at the Rose and Crown in Rushton Spencer. I have some pictures on one of the later pages now! Other pictures (not by me!) of the same area including a rather nice Gun Hill panorama - we saw very little!

Friday, July 15, 2005

More Thursday evening walks

.. more of the series, around Macclesfield Forest and Bollington.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Just wanted to quote these two reactions
This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful; it is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers; it was aimed at ordinary working class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christians, Hindu and Jew, young and old, indiscriminate attempt at slaughter irrespective of any considerations, of age, of class, of religion, whatever, that isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith, it's just indiscriminate attempt at mass murder, and we know what the objective is, they seek to divide London. They seek to turn Londoners against each other and Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack...
from Ken Livingston via Geoff Coupe and
So now it is time for progressives to keep the focus on draining the swamp, not on counterproductive military adventures that will only reinforce Al Qaeda propaganda. Aggressive and innovative policies to address climate change and poverty are two of the most powerful ways accomplish this.

from via Storytellers world

And a Moving story of getting out.

We need to drain the swamp...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Parrs Wood School and Open Source

Missed this programme but the writeup looks pretty good. The school's website is here

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Another Book meme

This seems to be going around
Number of books I/we own: must be in the thousands - I have this difficulty with the concept of disposing of books.

Last book I bought:Mike Yaconelli's Messy Spirituality

Last book I read: John Banville's "The Untouchable" one of our book group books - I blogged a bit elsewhere. The next BATS book is Lesley Glaister's Now you see me and I'm also finishing off Pierre Boulez's Orientations

Books that mean a lot to me:
  • Alan Garner Red Shift
  • The Bible
  • Williams The Radical Reformation
  • Many books of piano sheet music

If anyone reads this and wants to carry on, you know what to do!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mix your own Dr Who

I'm speechlessobtained viaThanks Kay! subtle alterations to the Dr Who theme.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Friday, June 17, 2005

Leather's Smithy

.. another Thursday, another walk ending up at the Leather's Smithy in Langley - their website appears to be down at the moment not sure if that's a temporary DNS blip. Photos are up on the web, see my previous link but not a very impressive set.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Theological worldview

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.
You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal


Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal






What's your theological worldview?
created with

Must be that long-ago Methodist/Congregationalist background! But it looks like a draw between postmodern and Wesleyan! I seem to have a pretty wide spread of sympathies with some very interesting draws in the ranking. Pillaged from Storyteller's World

Not sure of the meaning of all those percentages there's an awful lot more than 100%!

Church Affairs

What a powerful image, wow! Ca't really quote any it without quoting the whole thing!

I always find it difficult to name a computer - I had a naming scheme in mind a few years back but it has disappeared into the mists of my brain. The new one is called faure but that should be Fauré and the case and the missing accent is beginning to niggle. Comes of not being prepared for the question when it came. I think a rebaptism will be in order!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Over Peover

This evening's walk ended up with some lovely photos walking through fields ready for harvesting. Ending up at the Dog at Peover

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Imagining a New Old Church

Via Prodigal Kiwi comes a mention of The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church
by Diana Butler Bass. This extract comes from the introduction:

Too often, whatProtestants read about their tradition is ultimately unimaginative — the same tired story lines about conflict, about liberal and conservative divides, and about mainline decline. Contemporary mainline Protestants have believed these stories, allowing their self-understanding to be colonized by storytellers outside theirtradition whose work is sometimes driven by agendas that benefit from stories of conflict and decline. By believing others’ stories
and not having the confidence to imagine their own narratives, mainline Protestants have often fuelled the cycle of conflict and given into the temptation of spiritual despair.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Fear and love

From JFreeman's blog
It's a hot potato. Gay people want to be in the church, pining to be loved unconditionally, and someone else, (evidently) more important, might get angry about it. So everyone runs away. It hurts that people we love have to hide that they love us.

What she says!

Friday, June 03, 2005

All Saints Summer Walks

The All Saints summer walks are now in full swing, I mentioned last weeks walk briefly here and I am keeping an online album of the photos

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Changing Attitudes

Busy with Changing Attitude business, having just ported their diocesan webpages to my machine while it gets updated and other bits made to work!

At long last I now have ip masquerading and a home network working..after problems with a duff network card - or at least one that didn't work with Linux


Microsoft were meant to respond to the EC by midnight last night on the unbundling of media player but apparently there's nothing yet, maybe they're hoping that the EC is a little concerned with other matters at the moment?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Reflections on Michael Vasey

From Storyteller's World - Michael Vasey on leading liturgy
Say them like you mean them, as if they were the newest, most exciting and important words that anyone could say. And visualise what you’re talking about, as if it’s happening right in front of you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

World View?

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Definitely not materialist then...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thought on reordering

from Good in Parts

Our church, you see, has so many pillars, both literal and metaphorical, that it's impossible to tell which ones are useful to hold the roof up and which simply block your view!

been there...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

More typos

(typing very carefully!) one of my favourite typos in the Mission Praise hymnbook was the one with the line about the bells peeling - tangerines I thought - I see that google gives 144000 for bells peeling and only 41000 for bells pealing. Other hymn lines I've recently met were 'Thus untied in this water' and 'In Jesus name we shall be string' - unfortunately not superstring.

Simon Winchester on mallemaroking

Article on mallemaroking, it was one of my favourite words from that edition of Chambers too. Sadly the latest edition omits the word.

Washington State Ground Water Association - oops

Washington State Ground Water Association:
"This hardscrabble cluster of mobile home parks and legal brothels is becoming a bedroom community of a different sort."
- it's the curse of the spell-checker - I'm pretty certain they mean boreholes there...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Latest piano workings

Grade 8 over I'm now working on a couple of new pieces,
hard to get two more different pieces (well I suppose it's not), but giving different challenges. Also looking at some Schubert and Poulenc..

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Firefox 1.0.4

New version of firefox (1.0.4) is now out - if you are using an earlier version - you need to upgrade due some security problems with the earlier one!

Monday, May 02, 2005

lighter spamassassin

A bit back I complained about spamassassin reducing my machine to a crawl - the latest version (3.0.3) doesn't have this 'feature' - probably the problem was the auto whitelisting feature where a bug has been fixed. Though installing the MIME::Base64 perl module may also have helped things along. The software is much appreciated and it looks as if real spam is even higher scored than before.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Anglican Mainstream and the politics of untruth

Two issues that I know of:

Their FAQ claims

87% of the Bishops present at the 1998 Lambeth Conference and the vast majority of the Church of England General Synod are opposed to the blessing of same-sex sexual relationships.
That 87% figure is untrue and they know it - and also I've informed them of that a number of times - the 87% figure relates to those bishops who voted for the 1998 sexuality resolution and comparing that figure with those who voted no. When you take into account those bishops who abstained and those who weren't present for the debate the true figure is about 70%.

Just for comparison

  • the number of times homosexuality appears to be mentioned in uncomplimentary terms in the Bible - seven
  • the number of times lying appears to be mentioned in uncomplimentary terms in the Bible - well I managed 50 without breaking into too much of a sweat!

Back in July 2004 Anglican Mainstream went to 10 Downing Street:

Anglican Mainstream believed that to characterize the groupings in the church today as lying on a spectrum between anglo-catholic and conservative evangelical was inaccurate. Therefore the whole breadth of the church is not covered in the present pattern of appointments. To illustrate they pointed to the concern at the fact that in the appointments announced in the 12 months to April 2004 no graduate of Ridley Hall, Trinity College Bristol or Oak Hill Theological College, had been preferred to the office of suffragan bishop, dean or archdeacon in the Church of England.

The implication being that conservative evangelicals are not fairly represented in the current pattern of appointments (at least in the 12 months to April 2004). However there are a number of other evangelical colleges within the Church of England - Wycliffe Hall, Cranmer Hall and St John's Nottingham. Various of those colleges did have people in the suffragan bishops, dean and archdeacon classes appointed in that period (Paul Butler (+Southampton) was Wycliffe trained. James Langstaff (+Lynn) was at St John's Nottingham. Richard Inwood (+Bedford) and David Hawkins (+Barking) are Durham). There were also episcopal appointments in that period of folk from AM's group of 3 colleges - but that doesn't go via that committee. Clearly a meeting designed to pull wool over the eyes their choice of evangelical theological colleges being curiously selective - though it would seem that Oakhill were under-represented in that period.

And then there's the Anglican Mainstream Comedy Petition

Myers Briggs type

NP'S -- THE INTUITIVE PERCEIVING-MODE TYPES: "INFPs present a calm, pleasant face to the world and are seen as reticent and even shy. Although they demonstrate a cool reserve toward others, inside they are anything but distant. They have a capacity for caring which is not always found in other types." - test at I think the result was a little different last time.
No I'm wrong - last time I took this test and that also reported me as INFP

For May Day

From: Your Daily Dig:
As we enter a new society, work cannot be considered the dark side of life but rather the opposite. Our educational task in the coming years is to transform work into a moral necessity, an internal necessity. We have to rid ourselves of the erroneous view -- appropriate only to a society based on exploitation -- that work is a disagreeable human necessity. We have to bring out work’s other aspect, as a human necessity within each individual.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, from "Economics and Politics in the Transition to Socialism"

Though we celebrated by remembering two half birthdays and going out for lunch!

Friday, April 29, 2005

These appealed...

Someone has too much time on their hands! - the Bible in Polari

This has someone, apparently not a spoof, claiming that a member of their youth group thought that a rap singer had been made pope!

Putting things on sleeping cats is definitely beyond the pale (via J-Walk).

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Becta at last showing some independence?

Open source makes school appointment | Channel Register: "Becta, the Government's lead agency for ICT in education, is set to release a new report which will say that schools could save significant sums by switching to open source software, eGov monitor can report."
Not released until after the election but if true (the report not the statement - that is clearly so!) would be very welcome!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Inclusive or exclusive?

I found the talk here helpful, after hearing another on Sunday on the same theme - much of which I agreed with!
Is the Jesus whom we offer to people really a true and living way?
how does the Church offer a faith that attracts that comes along side them. The Jesus that is a living and not a death-dealing way.

The cat again

New photograph of Hecate staring suspiciously over the wall is on my home weblog.
hecate-wall.jpg should work when my machine is booted!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Are you thinking...

Lucy Winkett’s comment in Third Way: “The answer to the question: "Are you thinking what we’re thinking?” is surely “Yes, sometimes, and when I am, I’m ashamed of myself”." - a comment on Storyteller's World
I also loved Deadbrain's spoof manifesto

Friday, April 22, 2005

Knock knock

From knock-knock comes this post which brightened up my morning, still like to know if it is true though..
And then there's this rather pretty web site - nothing to do with the Pope! (though it plays music at you)

I had Kitty Yo in my bookmarks for ages after an interesting track on a The Wire cover cd. It now causes Firefox to crash - click on the image when that page finishes loading and the next page crashes after it has finished loading. Doesn't happen with epiphany or konqueror. (How do you refer to a copy of 'The Wire' magazine?)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Graham Turner

Last night we attended the induction of Graham Turner who was Area Dean of Yardley and Bordesley as rector of the Macclesfield team parish. These events can - very easily - be impersonal but I felt it was a good celebration of where Graham had been and marked a transition. I hope some pictures will follow. Peter Forster spoke well on the prodigal son (Graham grew up in Cheshire!) Good choice of hymns, 'All my hope on God is founded' - a personal favourite, 'Inspired by love and anger' - I'd not heard this before, good for election time as the link says, words here - I think there was some amusement(?) and observation at folks reactions to the words, the choir sang 'Christ has no body now on earth but yours' (continuing that theme I think), then 'I offer up my life in spirit and truth' (Matt Redman) and finishing with 'Thine be the glory'. An inspiring occasion.

And tonight it is Mahler's Resurrection Symphony from the Wilmslow(!) Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Who Should You Vote For?

Who Should You Vote For?
Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour -14
Conservative -47
Liberal Democrat 58
UK Independence Party -12
Green 25

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Monday, April 11, 2005

.. and an even busier fortnight!

I seem - to some personal surprise to have passed my ABRSM Grade VIII piano exam - just! Failed the Shostakovich and the scales, passed the rest. We're a little suprised over some of the marking, the Scriabin was - we thought - far better - than the exact pass mark - though she didn't like my bringing out some of the inner parts - maybe the exam piano didn't help.

Still busy on the java contract - lots of useful experience.

And amazingly it's 3 weeks not a fortnight since my last posting here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

A busy week

Well I've now done a week's work on the java contract and that seems to be going reasonably well. We've also had a French Exchange student over from Douai via Tytherington - took some photos of trips around the Macclesfield area. And today's the piano exam, and Clare's return from University. I expect things will get back to normality after Easter!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Another funeral

.. maybe it comes with getting older but went to another funeral this morning of Mavis Adams, she led the Mothers Union here for many years, led a dance group, many other things. It was a pretty raw event, I suppose because of all those things, someone read Lord of the Dance the Sydney Carter hymn that was also read at her husband's funeral nearly 20 years ago. Because it is so associated with primary school maybe you think it is superficial but it isn't. Ending with 'The day thou gavest, Lord is ended' another one for stirring the emotions!

Before that there was a hurried trip the the Job Centre to sign on (and off!!) as I'm now experiencing the joys of self employment for at least the next month and beyond that who knows!
This afternoon is a time for getting down to the nitty-gritty of java development after nearly 4 months of limbo.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Searching using MSN for st trinians film clips gives - on the first page - lots of Derek Jarman and my machine's page of the current state of the videos I've recorded! Joyce Grenfell as a boy in blue.... I think their ranking algorithm needs work! Google gives far more sensible results

J-Walk gives this rather good photo link

Thursday, March 10, 2005


As I blogged a bit back I had a difficulty with the examiner for Grade 8 piano, now sorted out someone else at a later date!! It was originally going to be today - and the time has been useful even the minor scales in 3rds and 6ths are beginning to sound respectable. I've carefully forgotten the name of the new examiner but I don't think it meant anything to me.
New exam on the 21st March - wish me luck!

How to prevent theft of your html

read here, from j-walk, as the page says it can't be done

Latest book meme

Via Storyteller's World comes an invitation to see how many banned books you've read:

Here's a list (I'm told) of the top 110 banned books. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've partially read. Underline the ones you specifically want to read (at least some of). Read more. Convince others to read some.

I suppose it depends what's meant by partially read, I've read a couple of paragraphs of Joyce's Ulysses!

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Qur'an
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire (listened to the Opera!)
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius (again, it was a very good movie)
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Looks as if Steinbeck was a popular target!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

blackbox 0.70.0...

.. is released - get it and enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2005


Last weekend paid a visit to my daughter at university in Manchester because her computer (built by me) had broken down (home weblog for part of the grisly story), couldn't get it going, brought it home and thought that the new disk had gone - but I've now tried moving the cd onto a different IDE connection and things appear to be working. Unfortunately because of all the errors reported by fsck it looks as if a lot of the installation is munged.

See for changing attitude's response to the Primate's Communique.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

10 books by the same author

This meme comes from Chasing Daisy.
I suppose like people of my age I must have read more than 10 Enid Blyton and probably Anthony Buckeridge (Jennings). W E Johns of course.

Maybe one gets to be more discriminatory when older - or I just have less time! There's Iris Murdoch still have most of these and I must revisit some as I've not read many for years except the Bell - I'm trying to recall the Abbess' remark about love from that novel but am currently failing..

I guess I must have read more than 10 J G Ballard's - or am I confusing short stories with books?

Somerset Maugham - I think but it was back at school.

Oh and there's the books I've read to children - do these count? - Awrdy's Thomas the Tank Engine books - shudder! Beatrix Potter - though I expect I read - or had read to me - these when I was young.

Are there really more than 10 George Orwell books?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

ECDL idiocy

My wife has just started the ECDL courses. When signing up, the staff member had to enter the same details seven times - once for each course segment. This morning she receives seven identical letters - separate envelopes!

Friday, February 11, 2005

well it's best that I find out now!

Just discovered that the examiner I was going to have for Grade 8 is someone I've known since the 1970's - could have been red faces all round - urgent attempts to make things more honest!
.. four weeks to go ..

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Keeping busy..

.. which is all to the good!

Getting into the rhythm of Grade VIII practice - all those scales. The teacher on the ABRSM forum obviously has a sense of humour - 'handful of scales', hmmmmm. Also finding an enthousiasm for trying other adventurous pieces - in addition to the list - calm down Kelvin! - not done that for years but the fingers seem to be a lot freer and there's all that time to be filled - but I hope - it won't be like that for long.

Then there's a newsletter which should have been produced in January gradually emerging - nothing long or complicated it is just getting around to it.

And then there's tracking down and fixing bugs in blackbox before the next release. Maybe I need to post a screenshot here, but go and have a look at lonely machines collection. I posted one at home here, it felt Ash Wednesday-ish and I've already moved on.

Monday, February 07, 2005

fishy screen saver

Hecate again enjoying a little computing

click on the pictures for larger versions!

And if you have a compliant cat the necessary command is:

xlock -mode atlantis

but you probably need Linux

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Lost and now found!

I was beginning to wonder - but I've now found my Grade V Music theory certificate - dating from 1967 - that means my Grade 8 piano exams can go ahead - the ABRSM have that theory exam as a pre-requisite and I was beginning to think it was lost after nearly 40 years, though I gather - for a fee - they'll dig through their archives! Just need a little work on the Scales and the Aural!

Contracting is beginning to look a little more likely, just need some good estimates. If you want a Microsoft project look alike for Linux (or even Windows!) ganttproject looks pretty good, uses Java...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Goading Out the Goats

Maybe I - and possibly more than just me - need to be reminded of The Parable of the ninety-nine

If one sheep is with the shepherd and ninety-nine aren't, who's really the stray?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Cat -again!

Hecate enjoying the warmth from the dryer -

- click on the picture for a larger version!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

OTT Churches

Not sure how I got here but I was musing on churches that strike one as being different - sticking in the memory, I hope this isn't a call to ignore the diocesan architect! Ones that occur to me are:

  • Middleham Church, with the Richard III connections and the stained glass of the strangulation of St Akelda, can't find a link...
  • S.Maria della Vittoria Rome - principally for the Bernini!
  • Santa Maria della Spina Pisa - ornate outside - have never seen the inside
  • Birtles Church Macclesfield - somewhat closer to home - tiny place with lots of wooden carvings inside - can't find a web picture. I believe the carvings were brought back from Holland

Monday, January 17, 2005

Wrestling with maths

matematical crochet...! well I suppose it would fill in some time. Apparently - at least so I was told a long time ago crochet is very popular with wrestlers.

Didn't get that job I had an interview for, a bit of regrouping necessary and debating what avenues to follow. My cv is still where it was!

Oh an in an attempt to smoke out readers(!) if anyone wants a gmail invite I have half a dozen spare!

Nice photo need to look at creating a blackbox style for but there's competition!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Gathering pace?

Well a new week, sermon yesterday went pretty well, borrowed a few things during it, part of a Trevor Dennis meditation on the Baptism of Jesus from Imagining God, see Christis for an adapted version of one of his stories. Googling reveals that St Marks's Broomhill has a condensed version of the tale I used. I also quoted
Those of us who have had the privilege of loving know that we do not look into the eyes of our beloved, of our children, of our friends and say `What are you for? To what moral edification or theological revelation can you be put?' We say `I love you' and if the angels cheer so much more fun for the angels. Now as it happens if we love we will gain moral edification and theological revelation and the angels will cheer, but I know that as sure as hell that is not what loving is for. I do not want God whose love is less generous than my own pale imitations of it.
from Sara Maitland's Big Enough God. Maybe - being where I am the words of others help to crystallise things for me - and hopefully for my hearers!

Today various things - as far as work - might be coming together! A revision of my Java knowledge is looking necessary, as well as revising the links, for Bruce Eckel's Thinking in Java appears to have moved and I'm using an oldish print of that document.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Chichester Psalms

I was listening to Bernstein's Chichester Psalms on the radio yesterday and I remember clearly when I first heard the work back in 1989 - a 50 years since WWII concert with the composer. I was getting on for 40 then but that work had somehow managed to pass me by strange as I'd loved classical music for 20 years before then. What other works have I never got around to listening to? Space still for exploration I hope!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hecate's Christmas present

- click on the picture for a larger version!


Oh good grief with a PhD in Astronomy.....???!! It's a joke isn't it?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Into manchester..

Into Manchester for an interview - seemed to go fairly well, we'll see! Then to the HMV shop for an inspection of the sale, some interesting stuff bought. Anyone want to illuminate me as to where the Virgin Megastore in Manchester has gone?
Discovered from the local paper that another Macc maths teacher has died - also at 89 this week - Marjorie Rose - of the High School(?) - I see that Jack was also 89, I didn't get to the funeral with the Manchester trip.
Preaching on Sunday and a Changing Attitude meeting on Saturday, a busy weekend beckons!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ugly Christmas lights

Ugly Christmas lights and I thought the ones around here were bad!

Maths and memories

Get back from spending New Year away to discover that my maths teacher - Jack Rushbrooke - from school (back in 1970) has died. Many memories - got to know him more personally as a result of attending a Church home group that met in his and Winifred's house back in the 1980's.

Remembering his life with gratitude