Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Response and recognition

I love this simple explanation of what worship is: a never-ending flow between these two states. I'm not sure where it comes from (I heard it on Sunday in Andrew's reworking of Mumford-on-Nathan-on-Revelation, if you follow) but I'm certainly going to use it from now on.

Response and recognition:

Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to invite yourself round for dinner.

1. Talk with friends (in person) about arranging dinner, but leave things tentative (because your wife always has the final say).

2. Leave your mobile unanswered, so that said friends have to leave a voicemail invitation.

3. Forget to delete voicemail.

4. After suitable passage of time, lend mobile to wife.

5. Sit back and watch her resurrect the old message by responding with a hearty "Why yes, we'd love to come round!" to slightly bemused and very lovely friends.

6. Enjoy your dinner.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Ethical dilemmas come in a sorts of shapes and sizes, but a particularly chewy one to resolve is whether or not it is acceptable to take your favourite chocolate from the lower tier of a chocolate box before the upper tier has been eaten.

Top tip: take from the lower tier anyway, but transplant a chocolate from the upper one as a replacement! I suppose one has to be reasonably careful to ensure that the replacement chocolate 'fits' the gap, but who says that ethics aren't good news?

And just in time for Christmas too, eh?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The road to Hull

Mrs Hope and I drove to Hull yesterday to be with some good friends from the States and Ukraine. As Mrs Hope is now two and a half weeks off her due-date, we made sure she had her hospital bag with us in the car. Actually, she made sure she had her hospital bag in the car. She also made sure she packed the car seat. (I'm still figuring this stuff out, as you can see.)

So I went to strap said car seat in - to get some practice at it. But I couldn't.

So - aware of not being aware of what is about to happen, but unable to do anything tangible to address it, but actually ignorant of everything but the car seat - I got cross with the car seat. Thankfully my wife gently guided me through not throwing it away, and took the wheel as we drove to Hull.

Reflecting on this later, I realised the issues below the surface of the car seat. I don't feel in control of being a parent. It brings up a whole bunch of fears about being a 'good dad' and a 'good husband'. And a 'good dad and husband' ought to be able to fit a car seat, right? Funny how a device meant to keep a baby safe and secure in a risky environment brings this up.

So now I am trying to figure out how to fit two car seats...

Monday, November 12, 2007

In memoriam: Anne Hope

Granny Hope

My dear Granny fell asleep today. I was able to say goodbye to her a few weeks ago, in a few precious minutes of her still being with us. She was delighted to see me, Nic, and my big bro' Charlie, but she was so close she was almost transparent. Mercifully, she was quite comfortable right until the end.

We would stay at her flat in Edinburgh at the beginning and end of every holiday (as well as almost every half-term), book-ending our journeys to see our Mum and Dad in Kenya, and then Dubai. She went to all our 'Parents Evenings', keeping a close eye on how we did at school. She did the best afternoon teas.

Bye Granny - lots of love, and see you soon!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What a great idea!

I love everything about this game:

- that it feeds hungry people
- that it's about words
- that it's sponsored by big multinationals (inter alia, iTunes)

So far, in about three minutes of playing, I got to vocab. level 43. I'm okay if the words have a latin/greek root, but normally stumped by other types. Great fun though!

If you're an individual - play it.

If you're a company - advertise on it.

Monday, November 05, 2007

How much tax do we pay?

One Holsten-Pils-branded bottle of beer at a certain hotel bar on Pembroke Road cost me £3.20.

Six bottles of Becks alcohol-free beer at Oddbins on Gloucester Road cost me £3.00.

How much is a pint these days?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Brownie roulette

There is sometimes a need to clarify what a statement does not mean, as occasionally even a careful and thorough explanation as to what it does mean will not cancel out the fantastical and oddly-fascinating imaginings that were sparked initially. But I won't do it in this post.

Last night was Hallow e'en, and gangs of miniature witches, ghouls, ghosts, and serial killers roamed the streets of Bishopston in search of free sugary snacks. Normally we don't like to participate in the 'celebrations' of Hallow e'en but, Bishopston being Bishopston, you'll never meet more polite or well-groomed creatures of the underworld than can be found in our neighbourhood. Growls and snarls were clearly and crisply enunciated, threats were followed by 'please' and booty carried off with 'thank-you-very-much-have-a-nice-Hallowe'en' and I'd venture to say that even the dirt under their fake fingernails was clean.

Mrs Hope prepared a tin of chocolate brownies for the marauding hoarders, and made a tiny pumpkin into a lantern to indicate that we were open to receiving visitors. To spice each visitation up (but more likely a feeble attempt restore some sort of balance in the power struggle that I experience when held to ransom by kids on a sugar-high), we decided to trick our 'trick-or-treaters'. Each time the tin of brownies was raided, we gave a warning that one brownie had been laced with pepper. Without fail, the once-eager hands became more wary, and one or two of the smaller nightmarish visitors flat-out refused (until they gently reassured that there was nothing to worry about).

But on one occasion, a ghastly warlock gagged and choked that his brownie was indeed peppery; shortly afterwards we heard a gentle thump of a 'peppered brownie' being thrown back against our front door in disgust. Such is the power of suggestion.
Strawberry Lips and Candy Kicks

This news warrants a post all by itself! The wonderful Casey Odean has begun blogging here. Credit is due to the unsung sister who persuaded her to graduate from LiveJournal to Blogger.