Tag Archives: fairtrade

A Miscellany

First of all, thanks Ian for your comment on the previous post. I can’t really recommend a good place to start with Thomas Merton, since The Seven Storey Mountain is the first thing I have read by him. It is, my comments from the other day notwithstanding, very readable and interesting.

I’ve had a really busy couple of days in the parishes, so did not see twitter at all for 48 hours or so. Lots of interesting things to read. Here are a few of them.

It seems there was a Panorama programme about chocolate, more specifically about child labour within the cocoa trade. The fairtrade chocolate people have been responding (here and here and probably elsewhere as well), pointing out that the part of the programme showing a fairtrade producer was dealing with how the fairtrade organisation stops child labour when they find it happening. Good. I shall continue to eat Dark Divine.

An incredible knitting project has finished. Most people knit one sock at a time. Some knit two at a time on one long needle. This guy knitted 14 at a time on one humongous needle. One pair for each day of the week – makes sense when you think about it. His knitting bag is even bigger than mine.

I don’t often blog about maths but, given I studied it first time round at uni, I feel the need to reassure Joe Taxpayer that their contributions were not in vain and I am still interested in the subject. A famous mathematician (yes, there are others) has apparently refused or is about to refuse another big prize for his work solving the Poincare Conjecture. He is Russian, and some Russian charities are asking him not to refuse the prize, but to accept it and donate the cash to good causes in Russia. Interesting. Should charities hold people to ransom like this? I don’t think so. Should people turn down legitimately earned money because they have enough? Maybe if the money would then automatically go to support another mathematician and further the course of human knowledge. Maybe not, if they can see a better use for it that they can influence. I’m in danger of siding with the charities here, and I’ve not even started in on the relative merits of academic work and child poverty.

Finally, I’m very excited about this software. Openshot: A non-linear video editor for Linux. I’ve looked at video editing stuff for the Mac and rather liked the look of it – this seems to be a start for Linux. I’ll install it after my next Ubuntu upgrade. Why do I always seem to have a hankering for upgrading a month before the next release? The end of March/beginning of April seems to send me into software envy every year. It is worse this time – I didn’t upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 since I was too busy when it came out. I’ve since tried it on a live cd and found that the touchscreen on my laptop works! I cannot overstate how cool I find this to be. My laptop has a turny-roundy screen that folds down so you can use it like a piece of paper. I’ve never actually used it because it only worked in Windows up to now and I only use windows once in a blue moon and have no data on that partition at all.

In other news, I’ve nearly finished the book my book group started reading in December. Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I read it 10 years ago and loved it, but could remember nothing about it. Loving it even more this time. I suggested a Jasper Fforde book for this month, on the grounds that I have read it and so get a month off! I hear it is being quite well-received.


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.

New Church

Yesterday I did the whole going to a new church thing. Mr F had googled to find the nearest C of E before we moved, but various things like Greenbelt, a Hen Night and the Church website not actually having directions to the church on it had delayed us somewhat. Mr F was still a bit under the weather, so I left him in bed and ventured out alone.

The church is about 10 minutes walk from the house – perfect. I hate driving to church, probably because I always walked when I was younger. I think driving feels like cheating and you don’t get the awareness of what is happening along the route, or meet people. It is a converted church hall, the original church having been demolished when they discovered that someone forgot to put any foundations in!

The building is right on the main road, with quite an obvious entrance – always good. There was a steady trickle of people heading towards it, so I went in.

The welcomers handed me a booklet and notice sheet and then one of them rather sheepishly asked me if I was new, (probably expecting me to say ‘no, I’ve been coming here for 3 years now’) to which I admitted that yes, I was new.

‘Ooh, let me see if I can find you a young person to sit by’. Scanning the congregation did not reveal many young people so she took me over to someone who she thought I might like instead. Trouble was, this was three rows from the front and the two rows in front were full of boys. As soon as the Sunday school went out I was going to be on the front row. Now I am not a front row person, at least not on my first visit to a church.

The lady I had been taken to sit by was, indeed, lovely and very welcoming, explaining a bit about the church and what sort of community it was. She was worrying that there weren’t many small children or twenty-somethings in the church. By this point, the church was pretty much full, with half of it taken up with youth. The church I was at last would have loved to have that many kids around. I don’t think they have much to worry about in that respect.

The biggest plus point for the church was that I knew every single one of the hymns/songs. At my last church, which I was at for about 3 and a half years, I don’t think I ever went to a service where I knew all the hymns (possible exception being our wedding).

The service got under way, the kids left and we were, as I thought, left on the front row, but also with three empty rows behind us. No problem, I had someone to sit with. Oh, gesticulation from the corridor implied that they were missing a leader for one of the groups. My friend apologised and said she had to go and help. Help! Now I was really left on my own.

Once I got over the rather goldfish bowl feeling, it wasn’t too bad at all. People came and said hello during the peace, so I wasn’t left out on a limb and they had someone in charge of telling people when to go up for Communion so that worry was assuaged.

Coffee was fairtrade, there was a fairtrade stall as well and people were very friendly, we were even given a dinner invitation for a few weeks hence. All in all, a lovely church, with lovely people. Much lower down the candle than I am used to, but I think that will be good for me. They are in a group with some more traditional churches, so I can always head over there if I need some more ritual.

Incidentally, I had to walk past a Quaker Meeting House, a Baptist, a Methodist and a Buddhist centre. I wonder what ecumenism is like here.