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  • Too Much Choice!

    This afternoon I decided to go to town to spend my assorted Waterstone's gift cards (other shops are, of course, available).  I had a few ideas of things I wanted to look for, but was mainly looking forward to a nice browse and possibly a cuppa in the instore coffee shop.

    The coffee shop was mobbed, so I abandoned that idea very quickly.  In one section, anything I might have been interested in I already owned, whilst in another it took ages to locate the appropriate part of the alphabet in their somewhat muddled system.  Not quite the leisurely browse I'd imagined, but fun all the same - just way too many things to choose from to the point of near overwhelming.

    In the end I bought a Malta tourist book (ahead of my autumn holiday - good to get organised!), an English translation of the Qur'an (because people are constantly citing bits out of context and I thought it might be good to see what it actually says), a complete book of Robert Burns poetry (educational if nowt else, but also in memory of someone) and two cat books, one more serious than the other.

    And I came home with change left on one of my gift cards, so all in all a good day out.

  • Coppering Up


    This may be a midlands expression, I have no idea... the practice of counting up the coppers in order to create useful sums of money.

    Today I have coppered up more than a decade's worth of coppers (and silver) that has lain in my house in assorted draws, jars, tins, bowls etc... and the total was just under £48.  Rounded up to £50 it makes a decent contribution to the cause I have selected and had, effectively cost me nothing.

    One jar of copper coins dated back to the time I was a student in Manchester and money was tight.  I popped coppers into a jar so that I would have money for treats for godsons or nephews/nieces who came to visit to buy ice-creams.  Given one of the godsons got married a fornight ago, I reckon its use is past!

    Very chuffed to have discovered £50 of "dead" money and put it to work for the Kingdom of God!

  • Celebrating new life...



    This morning we had the delight of blessing a baby girl, born to Nigerian-born parents, with one set of grandparents present along with neighbours, friends and relatives.  It was a very colourful and happy morning and a real sense of community.

  • An All Round Good Moment!

    I just booked some flight tickets to go to Malta in October.  A holiday with a friend which has become something of an annual treat, but has thus far always meant me travelling by train to Manchester so we can travel together... sometimes turning into a right fandango with late running trains, cancellations, rail replacement buses and who knows what.  So this year we are travelling separately and meeting at the airport in Malta - a new adventure for us both.  Still a convoluted route for me (via Gatwick, no direct flights from Scotland) so scope for "issues" but I am sure it'll be fine :-)

    And it was good because I used "easy fundraising" to link to a flight search provider who make a 0.65% donation on every flight - which should mean £1.75 or thereabouts towards the cost of our shiny new church, when we get that far!

    And it is good because it will be over five years since my cancer diagnosis so just maybe the insurance will be a tad less extortionate...

    But above all it is good because I just booked it without even blinking - not that life is taken for granted, but that realism has re-established itself at last.

  • Puzzled

    There is a lot in the press and in social media about the launch of the film version of "Fifty Shades of Grey" to coincide with Valentine's Day, and the sudden realisation that this is actually the story of a blatently abusive relationship.  What has puzzled me - who has never even looked at, let alone read, any of the books - is why now.  Why is it only when the story is translated into film that people begin to see what it is?  This puzzles me.  How is reading so different from viewing?  Or is it maybe something about the privacy of one's own head compared to the voyeurisitc viewing of a cinema audience?  Are we perhaps more discomiftted in community than in private?  Or do our minds operate an internal censorship facilitiy?

    Books with abusive and violent relationships are hardly new - the Bible has plenty of them!  Not as intricately described for sure, but rape, murder, daughters handed over to violent men, and so on. 

    I suppose it is in part the timing - not Valetine's Day, that's just commerical - the fact that there is growing awareness of the need to recognise and address gender-based violence that makes this so disturbing, not leaast as it is written by a woman. 

    Perhaps, not having read or seen it, I have no right to express a view, but it seems plenty of level-headed, non-prudish women have been disturbed by it.  And I am still puzzled why it is the film version that has triggered this and not the written word...