Monthly Archives: October 2009


Just saw this on Tall Skinny Kiwi and thought you would appreciate it.


Very busy writing the dissertation. Back later.

[Edit – well that didn’t work – here is the link instead.]

[Edit again – think I have it this time]

Peculiar Old Cake

I took a cursory glance into my baking cupboard before sending Mr F out to the supermarket this morning, but discovered later there were some key ingredients missing for making Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake (very easy cake – from Feast). No Guinness and very little cocoa powder. Not to worry, I have improvised. Half a bottle of Old Peculiar replaced the Guinness then I replaced the dry weight of cocoa powder that was missing with extra flour, then grated in some dark Divine chocolate to add extra chocolate flavour. The cake is now cooling and I am drinking the other half of the OP to avoid wastage. It seems to be OK. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve been tinkering with a post on the Roman Catholic announcement this week, but I think I’ve decided some things are better left unsaid. I will just have a quick link: Dave Walker (@davewalker) drew my attention to this article by Frank Skinner in the Times. Very interesting point of view. Go have a quick peruse.

The other thing going around the web today is the whole BNP – Question Time thing. I’m sure most things have been said but, having stayed up to watch it last night, I was left wondering at the use (overuse?) of one particular word: elite. The “politcal elite” was mentioned by the BNP leader more than a few times, meant in a derogatory way. What does it mean? Presumably those in the main political parties. Do you know what? I think I want the country to be run by the political elite – those who are best at it, those with the skill, experience and talent to sort things out. Inverse political snobbery perhaps on his part. There are of course many other reasons for not voting for them.

Teething troubles

Rusk is having a few troubles with the next tooth. Our normal sunny little boy is replaced by a grumpy, moany person. So sweet. I’m hoping the worst will be over before his baptism on Sunday. It’s going to be quite a party. Lots of lovely people visiting, much cake and generally a lovely weekend I hope.

On a related note, there are more vegetables in the kitchen than there have ever been. It is going to be quite some stew on Sunday.

Five reasons why…

… being in ministry is like knitting a sock in public.


  1. When some people see the sock/collar, they come over and want to know what you are doing and why. They ask questions and you get to evangelise about how great knitting/Christianity is and why they should totally join in. Other people look over and think it is just plain weird and avoid any sort of contact
  2. The sock is a UFO – an unfinished object. So is my ministry. (The analogy falls down somewhat here since I hope one day soon to finish the sock, but ministry will carry on for the foreseeable future)
  3. Each individual stitch looks somewhat unimpressive and it is difficult to see how it fits into the bigger picture, but it is essential for how things turn out. Each individual encounter with another person, even if only passing on the street, contributes to building up relationships that may be essential in the future.
  4. You need 5 needles to make a sock. Each needle will be used at some point for knitting, but at other times will be just holding stitches or even back in the needle case. You need a variety of skills to be in ministry (e.g. sermon writing, listening, praying, leading, practical stuff), but you don’t use all of them all the time.
  5. This sock has been designed by cobbling together ideas from various different books – it may turn out the way I intended, or it may end up different. In either case it will be complex and useful. This ministry has been planned by cobbling together ideas from various different books – it may turn out the way I intended, or it may end up different. By its nature, ministry is complex. I hope I will be useful to those around me.

So, a simile stretched to breaking point there. What do you think?

With thanks to my IME group for the inspiration for this post. IME is basically the compulsory training for curates in the first 4 years after ordination. We were told to bring something representative of our ministry – I had forgotten to prepare, but took my knitting along, thinking I could probably come up with something.

The importance of taking photos of knitting

Just a quick note to other wibloggers – have you seen the WISE thread on the boards recently? It might be worthwhile popping over there and announcing your interest in participating.

Well, I’ve got some photos, as promised. Do they need explanation? Not really, but here goes.

The hat – a somewhat mis-shapen lump of dirty lilac.


Really not looking impressive, is it? Hmm how to make it look better? Ah, put it on a head. Right – I am in the house alone so the only head is mine. Oh well, I was bound to put up a picture of me sometime. Here you go:


Oh no, there seems to be a pool of grey that leaked onto the photo. Ah well.

There is also the Strictly Sock, currently moving slowly up the leg as I try to figure out how long I want it to be. The lovely spiral effect I was getting on the foot was ruined by the geometry of the heel, but you can almost make it out still.


For those that are interested, it is a 5 stitch pattern repeat from either Sensational Knitted Socks or More Sensational Knitted Socks. I’ve messed around with it a fair bit, but it is basically a toe-up heel-flap sock with the pattern across the top of the foot and all round the leg. I’ve used heel stitch on part of the gusset too.

And finally… proof that Seph is remarkably dim at times.


She posed for a photo while chasing the mouse, then lost vigilance to the extent that I managed to save the mouse and put it outside. You know the glass and paper thing with spiders? Totally works with mice too. I used a handy sieve and a Lakeland catalogue. (Gruesome bit alert) There is another chapter to this story. Yesterday I came downstairs to find that they had thoroughly dissected a mouse-like mammal all over the kitchen floor – thankfully tiled, but still annoying. Do I mind more when they bring animals in and eat them or when they leave them whole for me to dispose of? I don’t know.

Right, back to transcribing interviews for my dissertation.