Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Thursday, June 17

Work at last! - update IV

A bit more promising today - spoke to my direct client and end client - the job is not affected by recent cuts - they still want me urgently - the delay is down to people being on leave and sick and nobody doing anything while they are away.

Looks promising for next week.

Wednesday, June 16


The grandmother of all blockages today. Normal plunging did nothing at all. Found a website that suggested using a mop wrapped in a tee shirt and plastic bags - failed. It's a toilet with a double U bend, and the blockage was in the second bend. So al the plunging was just making waves in the airpocket between the two bends.

My sone suggested using atube to blow more air in, and even gave me an old washing macjhine hose for it. I felt this was the wrong thing to do, but stuck the hose through into the air pocket anyway, and blew experimentally to see if any air woudl come out anywhere - no. Next job, suck the air out - but not by mouth! Rigged the vacuum cleaner up to it with lots of plastic and sellotape, then got my son to switch it on and off in pulses to avoid filling the vacuum cleaner with toilet water, while I went back to plunging now that the air pocket was gone, or at least smaller.

It worked!

So I proclaimed myself a genius, and thanked my son for his sidekick role.

Baby news

She's not really a baby anymore. Tall, a fast runner, communicative, has nappy control (but not yet the initiatuve to ask for the potty). She is a real delight.

But she was sick three times the previous night - all over bed covers and things.

"Yuk" she says, in her sweet high voice. I couldn't agree more!

Work at last! - update III

Well, my provisional start date of 15 June has come and gone, and two days since, with no word. Part of me is in faith, trusting that this is indeed the job the Lord has planned fo me and I just need to be patient. Part of me is very anxiuos - the end client announced 200 redundancies today - not in my field but they will have to go through a process to prove they need to take me on rather than just redeploy redundant staff. But their skills are not even vaguely relevant to my field, so hopefully that will be a short process.

Monday, June 7

Joshua v Judges II

More thoughts on the discrepancy between the triumphalistic end of Joshua and the depressed pessimistic start of Judges.

Is this not a pciture of the Christian?

On the one hand, we are now saved, completely, by the death and ressurection of Christ. We have a the promises NOW. We are a new creation, NOW.

On the other hand, we are still working out our salvation. There are areas of our lives that have still not been brought under the rule of Christ. Stubborn sins and habits that we allow to remain, like dandelions in the lawn, they keep springing back up. Our bodies are still sick. Our minds are still weak.

Jesus says "A time is coming, and now is....".

We have the promise of the final fulfillment of all things, and though we do not yet see it and are honest about its dissapointments, we can still start to live now IN the final fulfillment of the promises.

So Joshua looks to that future, as yet unfulfilled, as though it has already been fulfilled. Because our 'future' is our timeless God's 'now'.

Family update

Wife - still suffers rheumatoid arthritis. Still wants more babies (at age 47!) Working with variuos mother and toddler groups at the church, both evangelistically and pastorally. Hopes to set up a playgroup as a business when she is finally convinced she will have no more of her own.

Child 1 (m) - nearly finished year in industry, starts university in autumn. Steady girlfriend, will probably marry her after college. Does PA and Sunday School at a New Frontiers church.

Child 2 (m) - doing 5 A levels. Will do a year in industry before going to university. Does Sunday School and youth work at our church.

Child 3 (m) - doing GCSEs. Will go on to do 4 or 5 A levels. Hopes to joing the RAF and train as a typhoon pilot. Plays acoustic and electric guitar in the youth band at our church.

Child 4 (f) - doing some early GCSE's, most next year. Wants to be an interior designer. Good at witnessing to the faith to her friends in word and deed.

Child 5 (f) - year 8 (British system). Bright, mathematician. No particular career ideas yet.

Child 6 (m) - year 5 (British system - ie one year left of primary school). I read him a chapter of the Bible for a bedtime story from the Message translation most nights.

Chid 7 (f) - has not expressed career aspirations yet, being under 2 years old. Delights the congregation at church by flar waving and dancing during worship. Cute now, but this will become annoying as she gets older. It will be hard to know when to step in.

But the main thing about them all is that they are passionate in their faith. What a privilege! 7 Christian children!

Petal girl

My youngest daughter was 'petal girl' at a wedding at my church on Friday.

She's only 22 months old, and in the rehearsal she would just rush down the aisle, stop halfway, and leap into the air flourishing her basket and deivering all the petas in one dollop.

On the day, she walked at a reasonable speed the whole way, and OK she didn't spread many petals but it was enough to be adequate. A good job well done.

I know pride is a sin, but she is really very sweet and she is God's miracle gift to us. So proud I shall shamelessly be.

Me, a Vicar? III

Notwithstanding that my quest for ordination is currently at a standstill (owing to my financial position) people keep coming up to me saying that i should be a vicar.

Work at last! - update II

Got al worried late on Friday.

Email from my client, saying that the intermediary agency thought that 'nothing had come of that job' and a junior at the ultimate client thinking that my current provisional start date (15th June) is too soon.

But I think its all hot air. The main man at the ultimate client is away on Holiday till 14th, and I expect that when he gets back it will al become clear. THough I am realistic enough to expect some delay.

But I realy do, desperately, need this job to start, and not with much delay. Not ony are my domestic finances totally on the rocks (we are scratching behind the sofa for lost pennies), but the tax office is now threatening my company with regard to the corporation tax bill for 2008/09. If I start work soon, I can pay. If not, they'll just have to take my company to court. Not that that will help them - they won't get any more out of me. The well has run dry.


It's 'work experience week' at my daughter's school. She had arranged with a local primary school that for the alloted week she would help out at the school. Listening to 4 year olds read. Helping others with maths probems. Tidying up the art cupboard. Generay acting as a teacher's assistant.

Fantastic. Excellent co-operation from the primary school.

Except they forgot to tell us that this week they are on their half term break and the school is totally shut and empty.

Wednesday, June 2

Old man remembers....

Nostalgically browsing my teenage music on youtube:

Back Sabbath - Paranoid

Rainbow -Stargazer

Iron Maiden - Phantom of the Opera

Led Zeppelin - Immigrant's Song

You know women like chocolate better than sex? Well the same goes for middle aged men and good old heavy rock. I'm very happy now.