Photo credits

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

Tuesday, June 25

Evangelism box

£540 to sort out a jammed gear box. Ouch!

The mechanic offered “£450 cash or £450 plus VAT” – the tone of his voice questioning the sanity of anyone who would choose the latter option.

So I said I was a licensed lay minister in the church, and that like with MPs you have to be whiter than white. He asked ‘What church?’ so I told him.

I regret not saying more, but at least it is the beginning of a seed of knowledge of the gospel. Maybe next time there is an event of some kind at the church, he will hear about it and make the link.

God is really real

So I had to speak at the informal, interactive evening service. I spoke on the lead-in to us making a declaration of faith in Christ, showing how God has been calling us right from the foundation of the earth. It was quite a Calvinist talk, but balanced with a healthy dose of Arminias. As part of my ‘interaction’, I asked some people to tell the story of how they became Christians. Three of them I had primed two weeks earlier. One came up through Sunday school, one felt God’s call through the beauty of duck eggs, and one had had a difficult life with multiple cancers, bereavement and family tensions. All good stuff, illustrating that often God does not conform to our evangelical ‘Sinner’s prayer’ models.

But the thing that made the evening for me was a 75 year-old lady who does not normally come to the evening service. Not knowing my intention to ask for testimonies, as she came into the building she went to the Vicar and asked him if she could give her testimony. He was reluctant knowing her tendency to ramble on. But I was thrilled that God was endorsing my event by sending extra testimonies.

And what a testimony it was! As a young woman she had been the 1960’s equivalent of a ladette – but one night on her own in her bedroom she begged God that she should not go to hell. She then had a supernatural experience with stuff glowing that doesn’t scientifically glow, etc., and filled with the Holy Spirit she had danced and praised God all night long, followed by the puzzlement of colleagues in the morning when she was no longer interested in cigarettes and pubs. POW! So not only did God endorse my event, but he sent along the most powerful testimony I have heard for a long time.

The rest of the evening went well. The music was terrible but that did not stop genuine worship at the end. And I went home happy, knowing that God had looked down from heaven and seen …. Me!

Driving gender

Went for some longer motorway trips over the weekend, using the main north/south motorways rather than the minor branches. The driving patterns here seemed different, and so my overall statistic are now:

Proportion of the men encountered who were speeding:                   66%

Proportion of the women encountered who were speeding:               58%

* Note that this excludes people of either gender driving legally at 70mph, because travelling at the same speed I never encountered them.

So that fits better with expectations - that men are worse, but it also underlines the reason why I started this survey in the first place - there are an awful lot of illegally fast (who could therefore be classed as 'aggressive') female drivers  out there

Another point that I find surprising is that overall male drivers still outnumber women 3 to 1. I would have thought we were more equal by now.

Thursday, June 20

Driving gender

Today's total stats

When I was driving at the speed limit on three commuting trips I counted the men and women that I encountered:

Men I overtook            34
women I overtook        15
Men passing me           41
Women passing me      20


Two thirds of those breaking the speed limit were men, but you have to consider how many of each gender were on the road.
Proportion of the men who drove too fast            55%
Proportion of the women who drove too fast        57%

Conclusion (based on this limited sample and questionable method)

Women are worse drivers than men.

I will keep counting!

Wednesday, June 19

10, 2, 14, 6, driving and gender issues

The numbers are this morning’s traffic statistics.


While driving at the speed limit on my way to work this morning, I overtook 10 male drivers and 2 female drivers. Meanwhile the 20 cars that zipped past me at illegal speeds were driven by 14 men and 6 women.
A similar statistic is:
0, 0, 0, 1
Which means that zero drivers of either gender were driving irrationally slowly in front of me, and I was tailgated by zero men and 1 woman.
  • My journey to work is 30 miles, of which about 12 is motorway and a further 2 dual carriageway – these are where all of the manoeuvres took place today, but I do overtake/get overtaken on other roads on other days so I will include these in the stats.
  • HGV's not included.
  • The main conclusion is that women drive more illegally than men. 58% of men were overtaking me, i.e. speeding, while 75% of women were speeding.
  • In my mind, speeding and tailgating are measures of aggression.
  • Of course, since insurance companies say women have better accident statistics, one could conclude that if women drive faster but have fewer accidents than men then they are better drivers! 
  • 100% of the tailgaters were women – but a sample size of 1 does not really count, and she only tailgated me around the roundabout and in the small local village 30mph zone.
  • The overall sample size is too small. So I will carry on for at least a week, gathering the same data.
  • I don't promise to gather tailgating data very day - it's hard enough remembering the overtaking stats.
  • These stats do not include the woman I followed for 10 miles last week whose hands I could see in her rear view mirror - not her eyes!!  Very worrying

Monday, June 17

Feint cheer

The Vicar announces ....

"Next week, the speaker in the morning services will be [so and so]"  (loud cheer)
"The in the afternoon will be the joint churches service at [XYZ location]"  (loud cheer)
"Then in the evening [SaintSimon] will be speaking" .... (feint cheer from one person - my own daughter)

Well, I suppose if no one is planning to attend it saves me preparation effort!

Wednesday, June 12

The Lords' will and the LORD's will

On our Sunday’s church bulletin, the Vicar wrote an article expressing his disappointment on the Gay Marriage bill passing through the House of Lords.

But if he has prayed for the LORD’s will to be done with this bill, then by faith he should accept that it is the LORD’s will for Gay Marriage to proceed.

Monday, June 10

Waxing lyrical

My weekend:

  • Arrange new phone contract for 2nd daughter
  • Buy banger (cheap old car - £600) for 3rd son (choose from Autotrader, phone up, vehicle sold (repeat), eventually get one still available, view, go home, move money around from one account to another, arrange insurance (£1500 for 19 year old, with black box), go to cash machine, back to dealer, buy car, follow son home anxiously.
  • Worst ever head louse infestation in 4th son – he looks like a freshly-poked anthill. Apply chemicals etc.
  • In between all the above, try to do the usual housework and attend to wife and 4 year-old.
  • Clean house frantically before church.
  • Church (Very good!!!! God IS real!!!)
  • 3 hairy lads from church having legs waxed for charity. Deemed inappropriate event for church building therefore doing it at our house (hence the cleaning). 27 teenagers from church plus youth leaders in crowd into our lounge along with the ‘beauty therapist’ and her large padded table thing. Very hot weather – windows wide open. Screams of tortured pain echo down the street. Funny looks from neighbours!
  • And lots of other hot exhausting stressful stuff.
Today - back to work for a rest!

Monday, June 3

Current marital status III

Original post deleted.

It's fair enough to pour out my troubles at the time, but there is no need for a permanent record of the grizzly details.

This note remains to confirm that (like everyone else) my marriage has its ups and downs, but through the prayers of friends things can be resolved.