Category Archives: Linkage

Some reflection

I was alerted to this post by a post on the Church Times Blog. The post is written by a C of E pioneer minister, but is relevant to those of us who do not have the pioneer label.

My sitting in the pub, sitting in the coffee shops, wandering around the High Street is not pioneering as I understand it. What I am doing is, I think, what the traditional parish priest used to do – which was to be in the community and be available…

…I am starting to wonder if the establishment as such also needs to give permission to parish clergy to be out in their communities and so making themselves available to the people.

I didn’t think the establishment was against parish clergy actually being in the parish. I think I had always assumed that it was part of the role. Indeed, at my welcoming service here, the incumbent asked me to exercise my role as a deacon particularly by bringing to the Church the needs of the parishes, by searching out the non-churchgoers and finding out what they are doing, their needs and concerns. It is, however, good to have a bit of a reminder. To be honest, I’m struggling a bit to figure out where to start (other than organised groups and activities). I think the Shiny Headed Prophet has a point – I need to find somewhere to go regularly, just to hang out. So where then?

In thinking about this, I’ve realised that there isn’t a cafe in any of the parishes, (except some distance from the village centres in tourist attractions), so nowhere for the locals to hang out and chat for a bit. Oh hang on, yes there is – the bakery has a counter with three chairs there. That is a possibility. Then there are the pubs. Maybe I just need to get over my aversion to sitting in pubs on my own – in my head it is fine for blokes to go to pubs on their own, but a little odd for girls.

A related note: when we are called to be full time ministers, we are called as ourselves. College doesn’t turn us into any stranger beings than we already were. If we were interested in gardening or art before, then we will probably find them useful in ministry. If not, then although we might end up doing a bit of gardening or art, there is probably some skill or enthusiasm that it is more obvious to use.

A question: what are my skills and where can they fit in the parishes? I’ll keep thinking.

More sloe news

Here they are on the tree:


And here they are in the kitchen. Note there are now jars there too.


I am not confident about these jars. I would rather have jars which seal properly. They will have to do until the end of the week when Mr F is heading for the big city where there is a Lakeland. I really, really hope they don’t explode all over the under the stairs cupboard. The instructions do say to shake the jar(s) every day for the first month, so I don’t suppose they will mind being decanted.

In other news, I am making a hat:

fairisle hat

The knitters among you will see that I am using magic loop because I had neither the correct dpns nor a short enough circular for normal circular knitting. I am enjoying it. Slightly disappointing that the colours in the pattern aren’t showing up very well. I would blame the camera, but it isn’t much better in real life. Still the challenge of two-handed fair isle is keeping me busy.

Knitting again

I have spent this evening partly re-reading Michael Ramsey’s The Christian Priest Today and then, as a reward for doing theology reading on my day off*, I have been bringing my Ravelry page up to scratch, uploading photos and updating project details.

The knitters among you may be surprised to hear that yesterday, for about half an hour, I had NO works in progress. Not one. I have finished the mittens, the clapotis and even the miniature stocking that was for my sister at Christmas last year. Don’t worry, I started another miniature stocking in a different pattern so I would not be fretting unduly in the night.

Future knitting plans include a hat to accompany the mittens (it gets quite chilly here and we don’t heat the church building for morning and evening prayer). I say ‘accompany’ rather than ‘match’ since the colours couldn’t be more different. We’ll see. I may make more mittens to match at some point. I also have plans for more socks – some in a toe-up pattern so I can see just how long a skein of Shepherd Sock will go and some using fairisle.

Anyway, here are some pics of the stuff I have recently finished.

Clapotis + Esme

This was Esme helping me to lay Clapotis out pre-blocking.

Broad Street Mitten open

And here is a mitten. You can see the mitten top that folds over the fingers when needed.

It was a bit tricky taking pictures of both mittens, given that one hand was needed to operate the camera shutter, but I found the timer switch and here you go. Never realised how pretty the radiator was before…

Broad Street Mittens

Clicking on any of the photos will take you to many, many more photos of yarn of various sorts. Feel free, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In final knitting-related news, the dpn that I lost during the mittens turned upĀ  down between the (non-removable) sofa cushions this evening. I’ve only looked there about 20 times already. Anyway, much rejoicing.

PS Day 3 of no-cake month complete. Still 5 cakes of pastoral necessity remaining

* I have a study morning on it tomorrow, led by the Bishop. I just thought it might be wise to do a bit of revision.

Carry on camping

We took Rusk camping at the weekend. Boy was that an experience! It never ceases to amaze me how he can increase his stamina according to whether there are interesting things going on. While he would normally have 2 naps a day and sleep from 7 to 7, he managed to get by with the odd 20 minutes of nap and stay awake while we went to a restaurant until 9pm. He entertained everyone at the table by playing peekaboo with his napkin. I was less impressed when a pigeon woke him up at 5.15am the next day, particularly since I was in the same tent as him and I had to wake up too. At least a tent is a fairly safe environment where he can play without needing too much attention from a very bleary-eyed parent.

We found a very, very good visitor centre and gift shop in Dalby Forest, along with a 2.5 mile walk that was suitable for pushchairs, although possibly better for pushchairs with slightly bigger wheels than ours. It was tough pushing at times. We rewarded ourselves with a cream tea afterwards. Rusk loves scones – probably a good thing for a vicarage child – and will keep quiet for quite a while if given chunks of scone every few minutes.

So, my top camping tips for camping with a nearly-toddler:

  • Make sure the child can actually toddle. Crawlers get very muddy knees, or have to be carried much of the time.
  • Have a small tent ready to use as playpen while putting the larger ones up
  • Take many other adults with you to play with the toddler
  • Either camp far away from other people or accept that the toddler will disturb a large proportion of the campsite
  • ALL camping equipment counts as toys, from the guy ropes to the air bed pump. Don’t bother taking many actual toys
  • Gin and tonic (for you, not the toddler)

RC 8 – 12

I’ve now completely dropped off the list of recent posts so it must be time for a brief round up.

I’m meant to be knuckling down to work on my 25000 word dissertation, but things are slow going at the moment. We are starting to get ready for the move to St North’s. Rusk is nearly 10 months and almost crawling, although I’ve been saying that since before Christmas. The vestments are pretty much all made, just waiting to be paid for and so waiting for my diocese to send me the money. One of the cats worried us last weekend by disappearing for 3 days. She was back by 5.30am on Monday morning though. That is about it on the news front.

I have been indulging in a fair amount of reading recently:

RC 8 – Robin Shelton – Allotted Time. The subtitle says it all really: Twelve months, two blokes, one shed, no idea. Great diary of two blokes trying to grow vegetables. Very funny.

RC 9 – Victoria Hislop – The Island. Very interesting novel centring round one family’s links to a leper colony. Thoroughly recommend this.

RC 10 – Quanta A. Ahmed MD – Invisible Women. This I think was a free e-book in the library thing early reviewers scheme. If not, I don’t quite remember where I downloaded it from. Autobiographical account of one woman practising medicine in Saudi Arabia. The cultural and religious detail is fascinating and her journey into deeper understanding of her Muslim heritage is moving.

RC 11 – William Styron – Sophie’s Choice. Now I am fairly sure this book counts as proper literature. I didn’t particularly enjoy the book, but I can see that it is very cleverly written. I think the reason I didn’t enjoy it is that I wasn’t really interested in the narrator’s story, just in the flashbacks to Sophie’s story. Anyway, I got to the end of it, mainly thanks to a very long train journey where the only alternative was reading journal articles for my dissertation.

RC 12 – Eoin Colfer – The Supernaturalist. A cut above the Artemis Fowl books, which I love. Reading this makes me think that Colfer might actually do a pretty good job on the next Hitchhiker book. While not quite as quirky as Douglas Adams, he has a good balance of dark and light and a pervading sense of doom which might work well. The characters are drawn sketchily, but still seemed real. Very good sci-fi.

Quick post

I should NOT be blogging, rather I should be writing a sermon. However, things are increasingly busy (who would have thought I would find a social life?) so I thought I would stick a quick post up to get some things out of my head.

So, I have been reading quite a bit. In brief:

RC3 – The Folklore of Discworld. Christmas present. Fantastic. Like the APF (annotated Pratchett file) but written by someone with access to PTerry. Looking at all the folklore which has inexplicably crossed dimensions from our world to the Discworld.

RC4 – The Shack. Yes, I finally succumbed to it. Although not the most literary thing I have ever read, it was a pleasure. The story chugged along nicely (was going to say happily, but actually little could be further from the truth) and I really enjoyed the Christology embedded in the narrative. Nice to have a different perspective on things. Doctrine is really much easier to grasp through story. There were times when it was rather trite and the characters might not always have the full three dimensions, but it is worth reading.

RC5 – Nation (Terry Pratchett) Another Christmas present. I think this is one of his best books yet, certainly his best young adult book. I have told my sister (an English teacher) to read it because I think she will be teaching it before too many years are gone. Note: this is NOT a Discworld book. This is set in a world very, very similar to our own.

RC6 – Valley of Strength (Shulamit Lapid) This was a free book I got in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaway. It is a new translation (first in English I think) of an Israeli classic. It is about a young Russian Jewess who arrives in Israel sometime at the end of the nineteenth century (I think, may be the early twentieth – I don’t have my copy to hand to check). The book describes her struggle to survive and raise a family in a harsh environment. It was a good book, but I don’t think I would ever have read it if it hadn’t been free. At times it was repetitive and I could really have done with a glossary and a character list. As a love story it was good, but there were times when I wanted to shout at the characters: just TALK to each other and things would be so much simpler.

RC7 – The Way of Shadows (Brent Weeks). Impulse buy this week. I was in Waterstones looking for a new fantasy trilogy and this one inspired me. It was really rather good, but horribly dark, being about assassination. Fairly classic hero journey, but good characters, compelling universe and nice use of magic. I did lose Thursday though since I couldn’t put it down once I started.

OK I must focus. I’m into the big stint of writing my dissertation so I probably won’t be around here much until after Easter, unless procrastination strikes.

Vestment quest part 2

So the things I was still in search of are…

  • clerical shirts
  • a cloak
  • a white stole

Cross Designs appeared at college so I went up to look at their stuff and was really pleased with what I saw. The ladies range was quite extensive, the staff had endless patience with the girls trying on about 15 items each. With the catalogue we were given a complete set of fabric samples. Much time was spent holding tiny scraps of fabric up against each other’s faces to see what suited. The resident colour expert (not an ordinand so able to look at it with quite a detached view) gave strict advice on which colours we were allowed to order. Apparently my colouring is quite tricky, but some blues, greens and browns were ok.

Anyway, I have ordered various things including a clerical hoodie (in brown with blue lining in the hood and round the dog collar). A couple of shirts were also on the list, as well as a very cunning shirt with dog collar insert that is impossible to describe, but here is a diagram.

They offer various colour linings for cloaks. Although extremely tempted by the hot pink lining, I went for a more subtle purply one instead, on the grounds that I’ll mostly be wearing it at funerals and you don’t really want to be a distraction.

So, we are nearly there. Just need to think about the stole now, and maybe a few more shirts. I may well go with Butler & Butler fairtrade shirts.

Exciting book link

In my meanderings around this evening, I came across a link from Rhys’s blog to an article all about various ways of organising and classifying books, particularly using the colour (or rather, color) of the spine/cover. I know that book classification is a subject very dear to the heart of at least one of my readers, as well as being something I can get ridiculously excited about, so I thought I would pass it on. I will read the article in more detail and follow the links when I have time.

One of the joys of moving house was working out how all my books fitted in. (Easy answer – they don’t). I’m still not completely happy about their arrangement, but the broad strokes of the classification is there. I think that once I get them all onto Library Thing, I will be able to use tags more effectively. It is like a great big n-dimensional Venn Diagram. Mmmmmm maths and books, two of my favourite things.

Would I ever arrange my books by colour? I don’t think so. However, our DVDs end up being somewhat arranged by colour since colour often indicates genre: generally, romcom = white, action/thriller = black. A friend who has a large collection of videos arranged by colour first pointed this out to me some years ago and it still holds true in the most part.

Lectures today were very exciting, challenging and stretching. Learning is fun!

And that is all for now since I set myself a limit of 11pm for coming off the internet. Ooops, just overun. Sshhh, dont mention it, I might not have realised.

The political animal

I wasn’t going to blog again today, but Mr F is busy watching League of Gentlemen downstairs. LoG gives me the creeps, so I prefer not to be in the same room as it. And so it came to pass that I was sitting in front of the keyboard again, wondering what to type.

I was called ‘politically aware’ today by a perfect stranger. Up until this year, I would have laughed if anyone had suggested this, but I have been trying to develop and maintain a broader range of sources of information.

I was in the middle of making a stirfry when the doorknocker went (any visitors to chez Farli must remember to compliment Mr Farli on the shiny-blackness of the doorknocker). It was a student asking for donations to Free Tibet. I didn’t donate, because I generally only give to doorstep collectors I have researched thoroughly beforehand. I was, however, impressed with the amount of knowledge she could pass on and promised to visit the website.

The collector was, in her turn, impressed that I had heard of Free Tibet and questioned me further on how I knew and what I knew. I thought it was probably from New Internationalist, but Mr Farli reckons it was from The West Wing, since he had heard of it too.

Now there is a clue to my rising interest in politics: The West Wing. Quite the most brilliant TV series ever. It is tightly written, with glorious dialogue, sympathetic characters and an ability to make political process interesting. As a result, I know far more about US politics than I know about UK politics. It made politics sound like we should be interested in it and take a part in democracy, not just to vote.

So I had been reading New Internationalist and watching the West Wing when I discovered Bloglines. A whole new vista of information opened up, aggregated and delivered to me at my convenience. Marvellous, but what to subscribe to? I don’t want to end up too biased, nor do I want (or rather, have time)to spend every waking hour surfing.

So here is a taste of what I generally look at.
Dilbert, because it is practically compulsory and the Dilbert Blog because Scott Adams is entertaining in his lambasting of government and his provocative thought experiments.

Nick Robinson (from the BBC) and Tim Worstall (expat in Portugal, likes economics and pointing out typos) for UK political happenings. Tim does a weekly round up of Brit blogs, which is the real reason for subscribing. A lot of the economics is way over my head and he writes so much that I rarely have time to read it all.

Slashdot so I hear about Linux related matters and cool nerdy things (sometimes in the same post, often not). This is a real timestealer. Also various other techy blogs.

Where religion is concerned, the most important one is, of course, The Cartoon Church. I also read Ruth Gledhill (Times Religion Correspondent – don’t always agree with her viewpoint, but she often flags up stuff that is going on). For a Jewish view on things, I have been reading Irene Lancaster, who often comments in Ruth’s blog. Irene, however, is now living in Israel, so I might look round for another UK Jewish blog. From the emerging church I have TallSkinnyKiwi (currently on a blog fast, but very interesting), and Scot McKnight for an American point of view.

I think that is enough linkage for now.

It goes without saying that there are all you wonderful Wibloggers too, although I don’t have you on bloglines because I like to come and read on the wibsite.

Are there aspects missing? Definitely. I could do with some gen-yoo-wine politicians, someone Islamic, someone from Palestine, someone vociferously atheist, some environmental discussion. Preferably all amusing, well written and concise. *Thinks* Does Boris Johnson have a blog? He does. Entertaining as he undoubtedly is on HIGNFY, I’m not sure I can take it. Well I will give it a go for a bit. That is the joy of bloglines – the ‘delete feed’ button.

So, what should I be reading? Yes, I know – books for college. Apart from that?