Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

I can remember the last Daily Mail London-New York Air Race when I was at University in London in 1968/69. The idea was to get from the Post Office (now Telecom) Tower in London to (I think) the top of the Empire State Building in the shortest time. People competed on scheduled flights, in private jets, you name it. The highlight of the whole gig for me was the participant who took off in a Harrier 'Jump' Jet - he had parked his Harrier in a coal yard somewhere in London and took off from there, inevitably covering half of London in coal dust. Magnificent! I can't remember if he won or not but it doesn't really matter.

Today, at the hands of the cost-cutting bean counters in Whitehall, the Harrier took its last flight in the service of the RAF and Navy, ahead of time - the Harrier had some good life left in it.

Aircraft buffs used to sat that the UK had at least 3 things to be wholly proud of - Concorde, the Harrier and the Red Arrows.

Anybody want to buy an 'aircraft' carrier, one careless owner, might come in useful as a floating football pitch.....

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Old Age Ain't For Sissies!

With apologies to the Old Geezer - and to The Revd. Acular who has already plagiarised him - but the title suits the thought of the day to a T.

I am delighted to announce that, as of yesterday, I am officially an OAP! Why yesterday? Well, the Department for Work & Pensions, the great Palace of Plenty in its infinite wisdom and beneficence, finally put some money into my bank account yesterday. I am actually tickled pink about that!

Yes, I know, intellectually I am aware that I have been putting big chunks of money into that pot since God & I were in our teens, but emotionally it feels a bit like they are giving me free money just for being old-ish. I like that.

I am now officially an Old Dear, so don't mess with me or I'll fetch you one round the earhole with my walking stick. (I've got one somewhere!)

Seriously, though, what IS the problem with getting old? I don't understand. Why do so many deeply misguided people subject themselves to quite unnecessary nips, tucks, fillers, toxins, in the vain attempt to stay young. I am certainly not wishing my life away but I enjoy the milestones. 30 was better than 29 because you can aspire to elegance at 30. 40 was good because it lends a gravitas that eludes a mere 39-year-old. 50 was the best one because I could retire at 50 - beat that, botox-fodder! AND I got to go on SAGA holidays.

And at 60? Free money, free bus pass, concessionary fares, exemption from paying National Insurance. Respect, maybe? It's great so far and I have no complaints.

Now I can't sit here chatting away for your amusement. I've got stuff to do. My ipod needs charging and I'm teaching myself to create a photo-DVD to give a presentation about my trip to Oberammergau (I have yet to convince them that they need a digital projector but I'm working on it).

Speak to you again when I've got a minute.....

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Flying Bishops....?

I've been thinking about Flying Bishops. I don't really approve. I mean, does Ebbsfleet really need a bishop? I don't think so. What is the point? Does the episcopal derriere keep warm the big chair in Ebbsfleet Cathedral? No. Does the episcopal presence direct operations in the Diocese of Ebbsfleet? No.

I got on to this odd and seldom travelled (by me, at least) road after reading Bishop Alan's blog. (No there is absolutely NO connection there!) But I got to thinking, if the mysogynists can have their very own bishops, can we not all have our very own bishops. The Flying brigade are there to give succour to those poor souls who are put out by having a General Synod that disagrees with them (a bit simplistic, maybe, but it covers the ground sufficiently for this purpose). I need similar succour.

Now I have a bishop - a nice man and a good man - but whose idea of what the dear old CofE is all about is as far removed from mine as it is possible to be. It's a bit like F in F having to report to Bishop Brenda but the other way round.

So I got to thinking, why can't I have my own nominated bishop? I don't need my personal bishop to fly but in the geographically neutral world of the web I need him to blog. Bring on Bishop Alan. I sneakily read the Bishop's blog every day these days and there is much that speaks to me. (And you've got to respect a man who's got the full Hebrew Bible on his ipad - already!)

So, no Flying Bishops for me (not now, not ever!) but I humbly submit my application to nominate Bishop Alan as my Blogging Bishop.

OK Bish?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Hello World...

This is my 'Hello, World' post - I have bowed to the pressure and started my own blog rather than just commenting on those I follow.

It is Corpus Christi - the day of Thanksgiving for Holy Communion. That probably means more to Roman Catholics than to the majority of those who put 'CofE' as their religion on official forms, but we do not ignore it. We have celebrated this in some style in recent years with processions over scented strewing herbs and rose petals (it's all about hitting all the senses...)

We celebrate differently this year. We are taking a 49-seater coach-full of people plus a few cars 20 miles down the road to visit our last-Vicar-but-one (now a Bishop) who is visiting to preach. They are all very keen to go. Did we mention that it was going to be a Pontifical Concelebrated High Mass? Maybe, maybe not. They might just be able to see the Old Vic through the smoke.... (It's all about hitting all the senses!)

I confess, I have not told the whole truth. You see, the mention of 'smoke' would have deterred several of my fellow-travellers, and yet they haven't seen the much-loved Old Vic for a couple of years and really really look forward to seeing him. So, I have not told the whole truth. So, they can have an outing, a coach trip, see their old friend, celebrate the feast, enjoy. If they don't like the smoke, they can moan tomorrow, but tonight, we feast!