Saturday 15 September 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Great weather, too much time travelling around ferrying children to have much to say...

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. In the mean time, here is some music.

Friday 14 September 2007

Atonement Moment

We're well supplied with cinemas here. So we thought we'd head off to the Arts Picturehouse to see Atonement.


A great film, but don't go if you're down in the dumps. A heartwarming knockabout comedy it isn't. But a truly great film it is.

Now we're watching Saved. Not in the same league, but a counterpoint. (Thanks, Helena :) )

Thursday 13 September 2007


Number one son wanted a website. I thought he should work for it. So we made one (partly inspired by using his drawing and writing. I like the effect a lot! Find me on facebook or send me a message if you want the link.

Now, children all tucked up, time for an evening.

Groovy Greek

Just noticed that today's free Horrible History book (with the Daily Telegraph) is The Groovy Greeks.

This should encourage me in my continuing quest to acquire vocab.

Pro-soap-on = face
Eno-pea-on = before (location)
etc etc

(I'd give you the real Greek but I can't see a suitable font here.)

Just Look Up

Looking up is always rewarding. In Cambridge, even the best known parts - especially the best known parts - have details that easily escape the eye.

I like roofs, chimneys, gargoyles, statues, and all the crinkly bits of architecture that show it's all for a purpose, all thought through.

Sometimes you can see or guess that what was on paper has some points of difference with what is in stone.

Perhaps the architect has seen potential as the building was raised, or more mundanely maybe funds didn't stretch to the original design.

We were in Barcelona not so long ago, and like every visitor must, we marvelled at the Gaudi buildings.

Everything, everything seems organic.

Impossible-seeming curves challenge one's expectations of what a chimney should be like. Or an office. Or a cathedral. Or a statue. Or a frieze. Or... or... or...
(Great pictures, by the way, Ruthie :D )

Because of Gaudi (and, in a different way, Rogers), we realise that that 'should' relates to our own limited experience and understanding.

There's no 'should' about it: it's a matter of skill, and taste, and art, and choice.

So common sense turns out to be the box in which we sit - a perfect cube whose walls seem solid but are, in fact, illusions. Look up, and you get a peep outside; maybe you even get a tiny glimpse of the whole scene.

There's probably a sermon in that. Must file it away for a few months!

Wednesday 12 September 2007


This is pure experiment. Can I be a rubbish Christian blog for google, just like the great and good Mr Walker? It's an ambition...

(Note: at least temporarily I can via, but it won't last :( )

Subscribing to this blog - another voice :)

Dave Walker does a better job of explaining 'feeds'

Subscribing to this blog

I'm asked how to get to see the blog without having to visit it too much.

Well! How rude! It's as if people had better things to do!

There are probably lots of ways to do this. Here are the ones I know.

First, when you're on the home page you may see a symbol light up above the page (I'll paste in a picture later). This shows that your computer has understood the blog as a 'feed.' Actually you may have several of these! Browse them.

One of them is on your Windows Live toolbar if you have one. You could click on the little arrow to the right of the symbol and 'subscribe' - then you can visit this and any other feeds (like news and weather) any time you like via

The standard one on the bottom row of buttons may also be configured to do this, or just to store the links for quick access.

My preference is having my own custom pages at iGoogle which gets me all I want. Get a google account if you need one (they're free) and log in to that page. You should see at the top, "Add stuff."

So click on that and all sorts of generally popular stuff will pop up. Top right, next to the search box, there's, "Add by URL." Click on that. And a little box will appear.

Paste in to this: and click "Add." Now click on "Back to Homepage." Voila! You can click the little arrow to choose how many posts you want to see.

Good luck!

King's Views

Kings College - like a lot of Cambridge buildings - has great chunks of scaffold spoiling the view right now.

So note my raw photographer's cunning in eliminating the unsightly object making use of the handy tree. Almost indetectable.

King's Parade has now hit the calm-before-the-storm stage. Plenty of tourists are still around, but a tiny fraction of the height of summertime language student 'n' tourist frenzy. Lots of students about to arrive, though - quite a few are to be seen making scouting visits with parents in tow (or, more probably, the other way round). I'm very probably taking the Cambridge University BTh, but continue to take the view that nothing's certain until it's certain. If I do, though, I'll be a member of one of the colleges, although it's Ridley itself and the wider Federation that will be the centre of life and study. (Who takes the role of the Klingons, I wonder?)

Meeting assorted Ridleyites (Ridleians? Ridlish? Ridlonians? I must ask), one of the choices seems to be how much to get involved with college life, and one of the temptations is to end up in an ordinands' ghetto, thus using the crucial formation time here in Cambridge to lose all touch with real life! There's a benefit in being in Cambridge already, of course - we already have a group of friends, neighbours and school gate acquaintances. I hope I will get to enjoy a bit of college life, though I realise that 'mature students' have a cloak of invisibility to rival Harry Potter's when around straight-from-school undergraduates. (Nice to have a chance to sport my MA gown at the odd formal dinner, though ;) ).

Here are my resolutions to give me some chance at least of mixing in a bit at college:

  • I must resist the temptation to cap every student's travelling tale with one of my own from somewhere more exciting or six of my own to show range of experience
  • I must resist the temptation to gloat over those juggling student loans when we CofE ordinands are funded (and indeed I got a student grant first time round)
  • I must resist the temptation to name-drop people and places and companies from the last 20 years in order to compete with the energy and fresh-facedness all around
  • I must resist the temptation to try and relive student life first time round

I'll let you know how I do with all those!

Back to the view at King's.

Another alternative to photography is to use the digital dexterity of my photo editing software. Guess which object it removed for me, and with what it replaced it when I asked (nicely). No peeking at the first picture, mind.

It's a wonderful thing, technology, isn't it?

Right. Back to work!

Tuesday 11 September 2007

Books - The Original Story

Another book from my reading - the first I read because it was on the reading list (there were some I'd read before I had the reading list, which pleased me greatly!).

The Original Story, subtitled God, Israel and the World Barton & Bowden

Very readable - Old Testament background, overview of scholarly views and techniques, but written and presented in a school text book way (which isn't meant to be a criticism!).

Horrible cover, though.

Mystery Object

Cambridge is a late starting city. I had to be up and about early, so I cycled around a bit to get some fresh air and kick-start the circulation. But even by ten to nine, the city feels like no-one wants to be out of bed. The market's just setting up, the coffee shops are open but near empty, the few pedestrians have dazed or purposeful or resentful looks.

Here is today's mystery object. In Cambridge. But no more clues.

In case you're still thinking about DNA001, it's time for the first clue.
(Drum roll.)
There's a connection with Doctor Who.
More next week unless someone gets it.

Monday 10 September 2007

That Crucial First Cup Of Coffee

Sainsbury's Continental Blend
(Beans, freshly ground)

Yeo Valley Organic Skimmed Milk

Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate
+ cinnamon powder

So, on into the day!

Two weeks to go


(But I am going to finish the books I meant to.)

(And with Ruth's help get the Greek OK)

Sunday 9 September 2007

Hello to Ruth

I can offer proof of your exertions, in the form of this photo :D

Hello from Ruth

Well, Jeremy has done all the graft to get this blog up and skipping, so it's about time I wrote something. Hello! We've had a lovely day, the weather here being as clear and crisp and beautiful as it always is in early September. The sun always comes out when the children go back to school! I love that autumnal morning smell, dew on vegetation about to turn. It evokes the whiff of new exercise books and the feel of new uniform - as a spoddy type, I always did relish the return to school and now there's the joy of getting my house back into some sort of order. It's been the wettest summer of the children's lives and during the longest stretch of rain, which lasted eight days, I felt an affinity with Noah shut up with all those animals, but was grateful for better plumbing, of course.
This week's challenges include doing some more Greek with Jeremy - we've done two and a half chapters of the four he's got to cover. Anna's got a French test tomorrow to decide which set to put her in. She's already done quite a bit of French, some will have done none, some will be bi-lingual! She seems relaxed, anyway. Louis and Raphael seem to have settled back happily in their new classes. We had a great time this afternoon seeing some friends and playing at their local rec, which has impressive brand new play equipment including a zip wire! I played more football than I have played in my entire life! It's harder than it looks, you know. Louis made us laugh doing slow motion action replays.
Bye for now.

Breakfast Road-Test

Here, we go further just for you.

Today we road-tested the Powter's of Newmarket Extra Lean Reduced Fat sausage.

The verdict - exclusively - on the media attachment.

Almost the last day at HT?

It's great being in Cambridge already: most of my intake year will be relocating and adjusting to life here, whilst we've had 18 months to do that. But the one change I/we will have is church: I'll have an attachment parish to worship at and get to know during my training.

So this Sunday may be nearly my last at our family church,, before moving on.

HT is an interesting place. It has a different character in and out of University termtime. At the moment, there's one morning service at 10:30 - very civilised in terms of getting up and cycling there. When term starts, we shift up to 9am, the service with children's groups, which is followed by another service aimed more at students. Who get the lie-in.

The historic incumbent of HT who is probably best-known was Charles Simeon (1759–1836), who faced (and outfaced) almost unimagineable opposition.

  • See what he looked like here
  • Listen to an interesting talk about him here
  • Read the essay I have on my mobile 8v) here

Simeon, a contemporary and correspondent of Wilberforce, was a leading light in missionary strategy, the mission of the church to Jewish people and clergy education (these were the days before theological colleges in the Church of England).

On the one hand, it would be nice not to have to face such trials; on the other, what it would be to leave such a legacy!