Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Drowning sorrows etc

Had one of these on Sunday (am I back in the good books, Simon?). Crikey. 6%. Very nice. Bit of an attitude problem, though. Here's what it says on the label:

“This is not a lowest common denomination beer. This is an aggressive beer. We don’t care if you don’t like it. We do not merely aspire to the proclaimed heady heights of conformity through neutrality or blandness. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste of the sophistication to appreciate the depth, character and quality of this premium craft beer. You probably don’t even care that this rebellious beer contains no preservatives and uses only the finest natural ingredients. Just go back to drinking you mass marketed, bland, cheaply made watered down lager, and close the door behind you”.

We mean it, man....

And remember kids, drink responsibly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Witter, witter, witter...

The New Curate sits down after the postcommunion ablutions on Sunday. He's miked up and has the voice of a hypnotist ("Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes...")

"Let's take some moments in the presence of the Lord in silence to reflect on the Gospel challenge today...[OK] examine those areas of our lives in which we do not meet the challenge of the Lord....[Great I'll do tha....] To think about those things we need to sacrifice to bring us closer to the Lord...[OK, a bit of quiet now] the silence of our hearts to contemplate the message of the Gospel....[Phew. Silence] ...the words of Our Lord, addressed to us today..[I'm trying, I'm really trying...] ......"

*10 seconds of silence*

"Let us pray..."


That's how it happened...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hubris etc

Well, what did we expect? Story of my life. I've spent years expecting the CBCE+W to teach the Catholic faith so why shouldn't I expect England to win the World Cup? I now get a chance to watch some decent football teams for the next two weeks.

Still, England are amateurs as far as hubris goes...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Faith and football

Angelo in the comments mentioned that religious gestures have been banned by football. I see no lessening of footballers crossing themselves. It seems it's religious and political T-shirts that have been banned. I'm not sure how they could stop the footie players crossing themselves. Kaka, is very devout, it seems, albeit, sadly in Brazil, an evangelical Christian. Good on him for standing up for Our Lord.

England players (and especially Wayne Rooney) should note, Nobby Stiles attended Mass every day through the campaign, including the morning of the Final in 1966.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Those *@?#&^% Vuvuzelas

Monday, June 14, 2010

Inked up

A milestone last week - I came across a quite heavily tattooed young lady doctor. I don't think I've come across any before now. A sign of the times. My grandfather had a modest heart with 'MOTHER' round it on his arm - a relic of service in the Navy in WW1. Of course patients have plenty. A colleague of mine has an index of poverty he calls the TtTR (Tattoo-to-Teeth Ratio - the more tattoos and the less teeth, the higher the ratio, the greater the chance of social deprivation). I came across a patient who had a tattoo of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on his chest. It was quite old and faded. "Were you very pious as a young man?" I asked. "No just a bit stupid" he replied. I have never had the desire to have tattoos and I would discourage my boys from them.

I discovered this site: (Religious Tattoos - Dedicated to Judaeo-Christian Body Art) by accident searching for a picture of the Lamb of God. I'm impressed in a mouth-open-watching-a-car-crash kind of way.

Is it a sin - it being a voluntary disfigurement? Let me know what you think.
These folk clearly don't think it is:

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Well done, Mrs P!

With the knowledge that England's first game was tonight, Thursday's internet shop was a masterstroke.

I love my wife.


Here goes...

Our Lady of Walsingham - pray for your Dowry.

In the 1970s when Leeds Utd were doing well, dear departed Aunty Mary, God rest her soul, asked her PP if she should pray for the team. "Oh dear Lord, yes, Mary" said the old canon (God rest HIS soul), "if they win they bring glory to the city, and if they play like men they are a good example to the young boys".

I'm not sure Leeds Utd were a very good example to the young boys in the 70s. Hopefully this lot can do better.

As for Wayne? A pity the beads weren't in his hands, but, hey, it's a start.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Cruelty to Scots #2

Not a party you'd see Ebo spinning the discs at (do they do that these days or is it all on laptop?). I imagine the viewing figures won't be big for this on STV.

Good track, though. Made me want to buy a pair of Adidas Samba trainers.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Another Catholic cleric - this time a bishop - is killed in Turkey. The Vatican starts the "Move along now, nothing to see here" routine with a statement that it had nothing to do with religion. Others are not so sure.

"Mentally instability" must be very common in Turkey, at least as far as the deaths of Christians are concerned.

I wonder what could possibly be the factor that makes "mental instability" such a common problem there?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Edging Back Into The Public Square

[That's my boy's scout troop in a previous parade. Scottish Scouts wear kilts on parade. Cool, huh?]

I am delighted that after years of irreligious and pagan nonsense infecting the West End Festival, St Peter's and St Simon's churches in the West End of Glasgow have stepped up to the plate in bringing the Faith into the Festival. Some years ago the festival parade was headed buy a bunch of femmo-hippie-nutcases bearing a very large banner bearing a parody of the Pater Noster ("Our Mother, Who Art On Earth..." you get the picture). I had taken my young children and I despared of the whole thing.

There are a number of events one of which looks a bit grizzly (Speaking of Faith - Andrew O'Hagan and a Lady Vicar */facepalm*) but there is a concert of works including Tavener and Macmillan (Musical Ikons) by the Strathclyde University Chamber Choir and most promisingly Solemn Vespers on the 27th June at 6pm and Quarant'Ore (7.30am-7.30pm) 28th/29th June at St Peter's Partick.

On a historical note, St Peter's in Partick was apparently the first place in post-Reformation Scotland where Benediction and Eucharistic Adoration was introduced. Can that be true?

Anyway, well done St Simon's & St Peter's.

Ideas for next year: Solemn High Mass in the EF for Ss Peter and Paul? Solemn Vespers, EF or OF? John Haldane and James Macmillan on reclaiming Catholicism?

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Cruelty to Scots #1

On Armchair World Cup on 5Live yesterday. Alan Davies (to Terry Butcher):

"So, Terry, what kind of tournament do you think James McFadden is going to have?"


Sunday, June 06, 2010

What on earth were they thinking?

Making a 'chasuble' out of John Lewis upholstery fabric (see below)? No bids on ebay. Why am I not surprised?

The (Ex-) Curate

For the last few years, I have made reference in this blog to The Curate. As is the way of things, the Archbishop has moved The Curate on to a parish of his own. For my family this has brought great sadness in that we have over the years built up a friendship with the good Father, who has been a support in our faith and a voice of orthodoxy in a time where to be such sometimes invites ridicule. It is a sign of the times that a good priest has to keep his adherence to the fullness of the Catholic faith and his loyalty to the Holy Father and traditional forms of Catholic piety in check. It would seem at times that the love of tradition is now the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

So I say farewell to a good priest who has become a friend (so not really farewell at all). Like all good priests his work is hard and his trials many (I do not envy him trendy primary school teachers) and the misunderstandings of cleaving to tradition must be manifold ("Why do you want to turn the clock back, Father?").

An anecdote he does not know is that he gained the admiration of a friend of mine, also in the parish, with his insistence on proper catechesis for his boy who was intending to receive his First Holy Communion. "I like him" said my friend "he's hardcore".

Thank God for good priests like my friend, the now Ex-Curate. God grant us more good, strong and holy priests like him. God grant him many years to work in His vineyard.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Secret History

I grew up imbibing some of the myths that surrounded the Jarrow March, so it came as a surprise to read Michael Burleigh's book review in the Speccie of The Last Dance by Denys Blakeway.

Blakeway is fair-minded and has a keen eye for telling detail, no more evident than in his chapter on the Jarrow marchers, where he repeatedly reminds us that these unemployed Tynesiders were supported by The Spectator, as well as quartered and provisioned by Conservative local councils, outraged by the mean-spiritedness of some like Sir Walter Runciman who had vetoed a modern steel works to supersede the defunct shipyard. A Labour party that feared being tainted with Communism ostentatiously ignored the marchers. That the poor fellows (half of them war veterans) needed support was evident when one removed the ham from a sandwich in order to post it home to a family that had not eaten meat in six weeks. In Sheffield, a Tory agent bade them farewell saying:

We are told you will not be received by the Powers-That-Be. To the devil with that. Your march is a good thing, in my opinion, and whether my head office likes it or not, I don’t care.

Another Tory who comes out well from Blakeway’s account — although he detested fellow clerics who jumped on the Jarrow bandwagon — was Hensley Henson, Bishop of Durham, who would become Churchill’s favourite wartime clergyman. At a time when plenty of fashionable upper-class folk were eager to trade anti-Semitic badinage with their Nazi friends, notably the bishop’s Durham neighbour Charley Londonderry and his ghastly wife Edie, Henson got the measure of the Nazis early on, aiding Jewish refugees and urging a boycott of Germany’s Aryanised universities.

Not ideas one is likely to come across through the usual conduits. Tories supporting hunger marchers while socialists stand by and clergymen opposing Nazis. Who'd a thunk it?

That's on my reading list for the summer.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

RIP Dennis Hopper

Bonkers, obviously, but added a certain something to the films he was in.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I haven't seen Eurovision for some years, but Mrs P and I caught the last hour or so of it when we came home after a curry out. I couldn't help smiling at this slightly daft, slightly hypnotic sequence dancing.

It's like The Slosh for young people