Wednesday, 11 February 2009

ughh... that 's why I don't drink instant

Those who know me know that I take my coffee seriously...

In fact I either take a flask of "home brew" with me or I stop off on the way to work to get one filled.

Today I thought, "ah, I'll stay in bed for the extra five minutes and just use instant..."

So now I remember why I don't drink instant...

Which lead me to this famous clip... and No.1 in my new occasional series- "Famous Film coffee mistakes"

So, what was the mistake?

Answers in the comments please

Thursday, 5 February 2009

The Cathedral of St Mac...

As a mac user... (and occasional Mac evangelist) I had to laugh at this account of a visit to the Mac store!

Go on, have a laugh... its been a long day!

Beyond the Summits

I've just got a copy of Catherine Destivelle's film, Passion des Cimes (Beyond the Summits)...

When my jaw's stopped dropping I'll post a review... however here's a couple of (compared to the DVD) very bad quality clips to keep you going:

the "bishop", the "right-wing extremist group", and "that" film...

A few weeks ago several of my disparate feeds in my blog reader came together.

It started with the Swedish News feeds."Right Wing Extremist allowed to use Church buildings" caught my attention. Expecting it to refer to the usual suspects- neo-Nazi, skinheads, motorcycle gangs, etc, was read on to discover that they were referring to SSPX in Sweden.

This group of extremist catholics had, in a reaction to Vatican 2 become schismatic after they went ahead and consecrated 4 bishops without papal authority. Because the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden wouldn't allow them to use their buildings they used (Lutheran) Church of Sweden and Church of England (the Diocese of Gibraltar has two Anglican Churches in Sweden) buildings for their services.

At the same time other news feds (both secular and religious) started running a story that SSPX bishop Williamson had been quoted as denying the Holocaust (again).

At the same time, Catholic (and Anglo-Catholic) blogs were running stories that rumours were surfacing that the pope would lift the excommunications and start the process of allowing SSPX back into the fold.

The rest is history... the rumours became fact and the excommunications were lifted... the outrage at Williamson's words grew and after Several weeks the pope declared that he would have to recant before being allowed back.

However, whilst everyone seems to be castigating Williamson they are forgetting the context of his interview- the original Swedish documentary which gave rise to the first news feed.

For whilst everyone seems content to distance themselves (rightfully) from Williamson's shameful words, and attempt to portray this as one twisted person (his comment on women in trousers didn't help either!), they have failed to respond to the central argument of the documentary.

The film was not an expose of Williamson (a quick google search will show that he's been providing evidence that he's a pallium short of a full set of vestments for a while...), but instead a catalogue of links between SSPX in Sweden and far-right, extremist, and anti-Semitic groups. The film argues that this is more than a simple problem of one troublesome priest, that the whole organization is riddled with this kind of problem.

Again, this is not a new allegation, what is new is that this is being overlooked and one man is being scapegoated so that the rest of the organisation can continue. Williamson may be under censure for his remarks, but what about the rest of the whole sorry lot?

Now, in case your Swedish isn't up to it, you can watch the documentary with English subtitles here until 21st Feb.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

...But I've got the milk...

On Monday England came to a halt... we were so shocked to see some strange white stuff on the ground which we were informed was called snow.

Apparently it necessitated shutting the country down...

Sadly a few of us didn't receive the message and made our way into work.

There our receptionist told us that she had heard them say on the radio that you should only drive if your journey was absolutely necessary...

So why was she in work?

..."but I've got the milk for the office!"

A new definition of an absolutely necessary journey is born!

Monday, 5 January 2009

New Year (and all that)

Regular readers (all 2 of you!) might remember a post a put up a few years ago about resolutions (and yes I'm still keeping that one!).

But here is this year's list... lets see how long it lasts:

1)Build up my strength/get back to fitness
2)Learn more Swedish
3)Continue to rediscover our Christian roots (my greek-eng Apostolic Fathers in on its way)
4)Learn to sing (that'll strke fear into the heart-and ears-of anyone near by!)

What about you?

They think its cold here...

Got back to Blighty yesterday with a wry smile.

I saw on the web people complaining about -3 C at midnight on New Year'Eve in Edinburgh... It was -4 durring the day where I was!

When I got to the airport yesterday morning I watched them de-ice the wings and plough/scrape the runway as it was -10!


Sunday, 7 December 2008

A day out

I thought I deserved a day out so I was out of the door by 9am and at Watford Station by 9:25.

This is where the problems started... one train cancelled, the second delayed and then cancelled (I think... they never announced it as such it just disappeared!), a third announced on time (10:07). It arrived at 10:15, stayed at the station for 5 minutes, chugged slowly to Bushey where it stayed for over 10 minutes before depositing me at Euston at 11! (For those who don't know, the train journey normally takes 20-25 min!)

So I missed the start of the service I planed on attending, but I snuck into the back of the church...

Afterwards I found a Scandinavian Deli where I got my real Swedish filter coffee (yep, this coffee snob is lament the fact that at the moment he's separated from both his stove top Espresso and filter coffee maker and has to rely on instant... oh the shame...)

Then I found a book in Mowbrays (as was, now part of Hatchards) and i then found a quite back street pub and cofeeshop to quietly read...

I would have popped into evensong only I didn't trust the trains to get me home later!

Oh well...

back to work in the morning, just time to watch the BBC's version of Henning Mankell's Wallender- Tonight its the first one of his books I read... lets see what they make of that!

Advent II

Heavenly Father,
Who didst send they Son to redeem the world and wilt send him again to be our judge: give us grace so to imitate him in the humility and purity of his first coming that when he shall come again, we may be found ready to great him with joyful love and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord

(post-communion prayer)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


What is conversion? Not at all
For me the experience of St. Paul
No blinding light of faith I know
Which sometimes goes completely out
And leaves me plunging round in doubt
Until I will myself to go
And worship in God’s house below-
My parish Church- and even there
I find distractions everywhere.

What is conversion? Turning round
To gaze upon a love profound.
For some of us see Jesus plain
And never once look back again,
And some of us have seen and known
And turned and gone away alone,
But most of us turn slow to see
The figure hanging on a tree
And stumble on and blindly grope
Upheld by intermittent hope.
God grant before we die we all
May see the light as did St. Paul.

John Betjeman, The Conversion of St. Paul (lines 62- 83)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Advent 1955

The Advent wind begins to stir
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It's dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver pale
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound -
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out 'Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.'

And how, in fact, do we prepare
The great day that waits us there -
For the twenty-fifth day of December,
The birth of Christ? For some it means
An interchange of hunting scenes
On coloured cards, And I remember
Last year I sent out twenty yards,
Laid end to end, of Christmas cards
To people that I scarcely know -
They'd sent a card to me, and so
I had to send one back. Oh dear!
Is this a form of Christmas cheer?
Or is it, which is less surprising,
My pride gone in for advertising?
The only cards that really count
Are that extremely small amount
From real friends who keep in touch
And are not rich but love us much
Some ways indeed are very odd
By which we hail the birth of God.

We raise the price of things in shops,
We give plain boxes fancy tops
And lines which traders cannot sell
Thus parcell'd go extremely well
We dole out bribes we call a present
To those to whom we must be pleasant
For business reasons. Our defence is
These bribes are charged against expenses
And bring relief in Income Tax
Enough of these unworthy cracks!
'The time draws near the birth of Christ'.
A present that cannot be priced
Given two thousand years ago
Yet if God had not given so
He still would be a distant stranger
And not the Baby in the manger.

John Betjeman

Advent 1

Almighty God,
As your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Today is the First Sunday in Advent, the start of the Christian year.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

I told you there was a reason why I hadn't blogged!

As some of you may know (or not as I haven't got around to telling you!), at the start of November I started work as the Bible Tutor at the ADC office in Watford. My task is to mark all the bible courses (paper and online) and to then process them.

However after two weeks, on the 16th November this happened!

This was the view the next morning

The ADC was in the bit on the left. Structurally it is the least damaged part of the building and apart from smoke and some water damage we're not too badly affected...

except we are now homeless.

Last week I marked courses from home, this week we are using a room in the Stanborough Church and hopefully we'll have a home soon as its quite hard to operate without access to the net, our printer, stocks, telephone, etc!

So as I said before, normal service will be resumed... but it might take a while!

(more pictures can be found here)

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly...

Sorry guys...

I was going to blog earlier but I got a little busy getting the hang of the new job. So after 2 weeks I thought I would blog again, however something came up (see the next post) which has put things on hold (removed my access to the net, etc...)

Soon I Will be back!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I'll be back

No seriously, I will!

I'm still alive and have just started a new job and have access to the net reguarly again so I'll be back soon!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

I am Alive!

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am still alive... I just haven't had regular access to the net for a month!

Thank you to everyone who sent a card or a message for my birthday this week!

I'm back in the UK at my parent's in Watford. I had to return to sort out some things with the flat/sick pay/etc. And it looks like I might be here for a little longer, even though I wish I was back in Sweden.

So that's the brief update... more may follow if I get access to the net again!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Sadly I know a few churches like this

A minister was ignored when he stayed outside his church dressed as a "tramp"
Read all about ithere

Lord have mercy...

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The wisdom of footballers

I remember a Guardian column a few years ago asking why we were concerned about footballers being "stupid"- after all it asked, we don't expect our philosophers to play good football...

Well this quote from Germany's Lukas Podolski has almost knocked out my favourite "Beckhamism"

"football is just like chess, except without the dice"



Saturday, 5 July 2008

the basics...

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words. One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it. Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and for his own follies.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together)

Friday, 4 July 2008

The bottom line

Whoever thinks he understands divine scripture or any part of it, but whose interpretation does not build up the twofold love of God and neighbour, has not really understood it

St Augustine of Hippo

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Finally... Midsummer!

So after being rained away on Friday we managed to get bit of a traditional midsummer today.

I'm afraid I didn't do "the little green frog"- my excuse is that no one would show me how!

I'll post some more pictures from today and from our meal on Friday later

Friday, 20 June 2008


If the previous video clip failed help you understand the Swedish holiday, maybe this article (from the official Swedish portal) or this (more irreverent article from The Local) will make it clear!

If the weather stays clear I may be able to bring you the reality later!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

My Swedish lesson!

I'm trying to read my way through a Swedish magazine I got last week.

(I find them good because they use fairly simply language, have short paragraphs, and are on a subject I have some interest/knowledge of)

Its called "Allt Om Flugfiske" (all about fly fishing) and the article I'm reading is about the history of Farlows .

In case you want to try the article is here:

(I'm actually just over half way through!)

Öströö Fårfarm (lamb farm)

Last week we went to Öströö Fårfarm, a Lamb farm about 30 minutes from here. As we drove in and saw the lambs running around for a moment I thought it was going to be like the old fish restaurants... I had visions of them asking, "which lamb would you like? before returning with some cutlets!

As it turned out we didn't get any meat. It was all frozen, not fresh (although that might be because the lambs are still too small). However this traditional wooden cottage housed was filled with different items all made from wool, sheepskin or other lamb related products! We might be back later!

What's the most important news story here at the moment?

Well it might be the proposed electronic surveillance bill been debated and voted on tomorrow (I might post about it later), but actually its more likely to be what the weather is going to be on Friday.


Because Friday is Midsummer's Day and highlight of the festive year!

(and sadly since the weekend its being grey, cloudy, showery, and sometimes stormy)

The weather centre say that Friday could be dry, or showery!
-They'll be more certain after Wednesday.

So what is Midsummer's all about... maybe this will help!

(this is an IKEA Germany ad which was pulled after IKEA HQ saw it and was banned from being shown on TV)

(I'll let you know after the weekend if its accurate!)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

I am a number not a name

I got my "co-ordination number"/(tempoary) personal number yesterday in the post.

I think this means I can look for work, apply for language classes, etc.

It reminds me a bit of this...

Eurovision ("Melodifestivalen") 2008- The Swedes lose their innocence? (things I didn't get around to posting...)

The Swedes take Melodifestivalen very seriously- they even repeat the whole (and I mean whole, no editing here, the whole 3 hour plus) thing the next day in case you missed it...

By comparison the only reason its on UK TV is the fact that Terry Wogan needs a job (and that the BBC is one of the 4 networks that pay for it...)

I will admit to watching it in the past- We would get together on a Saturday night after a days work at Russell's and make fun of the contestants, flip popcorn at the screen and generally abuse the performers- I think that's the traditional British approach. We realise that its useless fluff and drivel and either ignore it, or mercilessly mock it. (The first time I realised that somebody took it seriously was when I was at college: I was working in pizza restaurant and a Croatian colleague was bemoaning the fact that he was missing Eurovision. It took us all a while to realise that he was serious!)

Anyway as I was saying, the Swedes take it all seriously (I don't know, maybe its their ABBA History...) even holding televised regional contests in order to find their entrant.

You see the Swedes make the mistake of thinking that the music really counts and that Eurovision is a genuine cultural, artistic and musical event...

Oh dear...

So they turned up with their entrant, Charlotte Perrelli (although why anyone would want to change their name from a normal sounding "Nilsson" to a topless car tyre calendar is beyond me...)- the only singer who can make themselves look 10 year older than they really are, and expected to win.

To be fair, even the BBC news website tipped them, so I suppose someone outside this small country must have rated her song (I will admit to hearing it- I wore some radio headphones on the afternoon of the contest to drown out the sound of a chainsaw- although personally I preferred the sound of the saw to "hero"... sadly the 43% of Swedes who bought the single disagreed). So the country went into corporate shock when she ended up 18th!

Newspapers called it a scandal, editorials claimed they should pull out of future contests, and I even heard it referred to from the pulpit the next morning!

Sweden had finally discovered that Eurovision is a thinly disguised political freak show with votes going to fraternal nations with little regard to the quality of the music (although as that too is lacking is this surprising?). This is something that the rest of us knew and took for granted for years.

Have the Swedes lost their Eurovision cherry? We'll see what happens next year!

June 6th- Swedish National Day (things I didn't get around to posting...)

Yes its National Day (not "national commemoration day"), but what does that mean?

As this article in The Local shows, people really don't know what to do! Although the day goes back a long time- its commemoration is only a recent thing.

The real celebrations take place a few weeks later at midsummer.

Instead everyone seems to just fly a flag, stick yellow and blue ribbons up, watch the royal family on TV, enjoy a public holiday (which gave everyone a long weekend this year), and look forward to midsummer!

The "Bullet Button" (things I didn't around to posting...)

I got a new keyring at the Vargerg Fortress Museum.

As it says on the label...

'The bullet button has been exhibited in the museum since 1932. Karl XII was considered immortal and "hard against bullets".

To be able to use supernatural powers you had to take a button from the king's uniform and use this to kill him. This was done at the fortress of Fredriksten, Norway in 1718.

The legend lives on through the bullet button'

We were going to go to Varberg to get one last year when I was here in July, but my frequent trips to the doctor and a hospital stay put pay to that plan. Now I have my keyring... just need a key to put on it!

Varberg Fort (things I didn't get around to posting)

Whilst In Varberg we visited the Fort. Despite being an imposing looking building it never saw any action, instead becoming a jail and now a museum (although the jail hasn't really changed- its become a youth hostel!)

There are several interesting exhibitions including one about a mysterious preserved medieval body found in a peat bog near by.

Apparently some sort of "lake monster" lives in the moat... although having visited Loch Ness and Loch Morar, I doubt the moat could hide anything bigger than a pike!