Sunday, 21 June 2015
The five finalists were all very good, the winner absolutely outstanding, and to my great satisfaction is the one I chose.
Of the more than 20 years it has been running I have on all but one occasion always chosen the winner.
What that proves heaven only knows, but it tickles my vanity.
I watched Andy Murray win his match this afternoon on TV of course. I should have been visiting the "Secret Gardens" in the old town, but was too tired after this morning's service to cope with another trip into town.
This may or may not be related to the fact that I am not very well at present, so am taking things easy/
In this town 99% of the taxi drivers are Asian (usually Muslim) and since I use a lot of taxis many of them have become friendly over the past few years,
As it is now Ramadan many of them are suffering the usual early days of that very testing time and until they become accustomed to fasting all day are not feeling their very best. The chap who drove me to church this morning told me he is diabetic and is actually better (or at least his sugar levels are better) during this period than normal.
The one who drove me home says he drinks vast amounts of water in the early hours before daylight which last him well until about mid-day, but after this he becomes more and more thirsty until he can drink again.
One of them has a 10-year old son who volunteers to fast with the adults, has been told he need not do so until he is 15, but insists on doing so and is apparently well and happy.
I cannot tell you how much I admire such strength of will and determined faith, but also fear that taken to extreme, it may be the roots of fundamentalism.
Part of my taxi journeys are always taken up with discussion about the similarities of Muslim and Christian teaching and I always feel that there are more things we have in common than divide us.
Never a particularly gullible person nor much inclined to generalise I still find to my surprise that the vast majority of the muslims in this town are easier to talk to than many of my own countrymen.
At St Mary's we have a very large community of Zimbabwe Mother's Union, who along with their husbands and children add considerable zest and enthusiasm (and noise it has to be said), to our all-age service when they sing with drummers some of their versions of our better known hymns.
One of their number is a valued member of our choir.
I think perhaps the key to good international relations is to simply listen to what (foreigners) have to say.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:59:00 pm
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Today I murdered my balloons.
What kind of comment /confession is that? My kind.
Those long-suffering readers who saw my item on the balloon family I acquired on my birthday back in March will perhaps remember that I intended to keep the helium filled 'children and mama' as long as I could.
They were still occupying a chair this morning in various states of deterioration when I suddenly thought "this is mad, they are taking up a whole chair, the room is a mess".
With that I took my letter opener and callously ended their existence.
Now I feel guilty!
That, odd though it may be is as nothing to the fact that I 'talk' to the birds when I've been out all day and they were fed only once (early morning), instead of two or even three times.
When I eventually - after a very long time, throw out a pair of worn-out shoes I say, "sorry, you really have to go". Then I miss them.
If the large pale ginger cat who is a regular at my restaurant, doesn't eat all his biscuits I say "sorry I shopped somewhere else and they don't sell the ones you like".
I could go on, but for the sake of your poor nerves will refrain.
There is probably a (not very nice) name for my sort of mind but, if you know it, please keep it to yourself.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:15:00 pm
Saturday, 6 June 2015
This morning I have a lot of housework to catch up on.
This afternoon there is a Golden Wedding service with full eucharist at St. M's, The couple at the centre being our retiring church warden choir member and his wife who is involved in dozens of other enterprises in our church family.
After the service there will be a buffet party, which in my case is to be followed by a party for the 18th birthday of one of my friends in the close.
So, lots of lovely time out of the very grubby house, followed by tomorrow's normal morning service .
This morning I am trying to rectify the neglect which is everywhere apparent. First by vacuuming the whole house, then dusting polishing etc.
My vacuum cleaner is frankly cheap and not nasty exactly but inadequate. It weighs so little that I can carry it upstairs on one finger.
Unfortunately this wonderful fact (the reason I bought it), is accompanied by several eccentricities which I am getting used to. For example, when it becomes too warm it dies, with a sound like a fading air raid siren. It is then necessary to wait for it to regain its strength before it will cooperate.
It lets me know when it is getting choked with dust by spitting out or regurgitating its contents, usually when I am almost finished.
This morning it did its usual fade-out so I thought, "a good time to have a coffee" and did just that.
Half way through my second cup there was a sound like a road drill and I went to the front window to see which of my neighbours was starting some building work. No one!
Puzzled I went upstairs to see if I could see better from there where the racket was coming from..
Lo and behold it was my vacuum cleaner which had switched itself on and was clearly waiting for me to resume.
Somewhat unnerved by this autonomous action I switched it off at the mains and said "Now let's see you start up".
Either I am losing the plot completely or it is as I have always suspected, household machines have independent life.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:00:00 pm