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- Page 4

  • Interesting Perspectives

    This morning I went into town to go to the bank (there's only one branch of my bank in the whole of Glasgow, so it is always very busy) pick a few bits and bobs and treat myself to lunch out.  Quite a few amusing moments...

    I was riding the up escalator in one of the shopping centres and could not help overhearing the conversation of three young men behind me:

    Man 1 - I thought youse was afraid of escalators

    Man 2 - Aye, I was until I went to Manchester, then I learned how tae do them

    Man 3 - Manchester - that's sooo big

    Well, Manchester isn't small but I'd lay odds that Glasgow's shopping area is far bigger.

    Then I was in a department store, of the very English persuasion, so much so that many of the staff make me, born in London, seem like a northerner.  Anyway, I found what I was looking for - a wooden banana tree - and took it to pay for.  I commented to the woman behind the counter (who was not English) that it was hard to find these items now and that maybe they were going out of fashion.  I was rather bemused by her, totally non-ironic, comment that bananas are exotic!!!

    Some people ask me why I love city life, being bemused that I would leave English village life for a big industrial city where 'they talk funny' (they 'talk funny' in the semi-rural Midlands too), but moments like these are part of the delight.  I love the energy and diversity of big cities, the way they are really villages (or clusters of villages) that combine options of anonymity and engagement.  Anyway, now I know that bananas are exotic, I feel I must be very posh indeed to eat them almost daily!!

  • Banning Eve

    Someone at church alerted me to this programme - first of a two-parter - on Sunday.  It could well be interesting.  Alas as I will be visiting my sister in Cambridge and probably eating lunch at the time it is on, I will have to settle for 'listen again'.  Thanks V for the tip-off.

  • If you ever wondered...

    ... about BUGB Council, then this will undoubtedly enlighten you.  Enjoy!  HT Neil.

  • Same Difference?

    Recently I was at a prayer gathering where someone picked upa piece of string and started playing "cats's cradle."  A few deft moves later and she had formed "Jacob's Ladder" a pattern I had learned a s a child (though had to 'not think' to do it correctly).  She commented at her surprise that she growing up in Aberdeen had played the same string games as I had in Northampton.

    I wasn't so surprised having moved around a bit and played umpteen variations on the same games in GB companies across England and now Scotland.  Subtlies in words of songs or names given to the catcher in chase games help pinpoint where you are, but it's all much about the same really.  People have done whole PhDs in this field, investigating what it says about something or other.

    It got me thinking about how we accpet as 'the same difference' ('same coffee, different pot' 'same meat different gravy') these variations in songs and games but get more twitchy when we go to a church that sings a slightly different song (metaphorically) or the 'game' is subtley different.  What is it that makes 'in and out the/those dusty bluebells/windows' authentically itself and not, say 'the farmer's in his/the den/dell'?  And what really matters?  No new ideas here, people have wrestled with them for centuries.  It just seems that if we accept minor local variations in children's games maybe we ought to be more accepting of cultural/regional/denominational variations in churches.

  • Elementary Geekery

    Computer geekery is not really my thing, though I am confident enough to set up computers, add peripherals and try things out.  But this week I am awarding myself the 'level 1' geekery badge for fixing ... so far so good... the wireless problem on my gleaming laptop.  Using the trusty old steam driven computer with an ethernet-DSL link I'd googled enough to discover that the same problem arose with this make of laptop, this version of the operating system and this broadband supplier.  So which was it?  Finding a wireless hotspot it became clear the problem was in the machine not the modem.  So, eventually having exhausted other options, I hooked it up via ethernet, downloaded a replacement wireless driver (even though auto update told me the one I had was the latest) and hey presto, wireless restored.

    All of which seems worthy of elementary geekery - at least in my book.  Hopefully it will stay fixed now.....