Yesterday I promised you a high resolution cartoon, but I have not delivered. My excuse is that some of my family were here and we went to the Secret Nuclear Bunker.
Instead here are some more pictures of our cats:
They are adorable of course, but they are causing us some stress at the moment as one of them likes to leave the garden to go and jump on neighbours’ cars and plastic greenhouses in order to see whether she can do any damage. The other is sure to follow. Keeping them in the garden does not really seem to be an option without a large expense and a lot of chicken wire. Perhaps we will have to go and speak to all the neighbours and apologise in advance for all the damage our cats will cause over the next decade or two. I am already given funny looks locally because I have a campervan and look a bit odd, so to be honest it is all water off the back, as ducks say.
If you have any experience of using chicken wire for cats (or for chickens) please write in.
Posted by Dave at 11:57 pm on May 31, 2007 and filed under Religion.
Another one from the book. I’ll give you a link to a larger republishable version of this cartoon tomorrow.
Update: larger republishable version now available here.
Posted by Dave at 11:45 pm on May 30, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Church, Religion.
No-one knows where good ideas come from. You can go back to the place that you had the last idea in the same frame of mind and order the same coffee and the likelihood is that you will just stare out of the window with a blank sheet of paper.
The harder you try to have a good idea the less likely you are to have one. But then again if you stop trying to have an idea then you probably won’t have one either. I find the best approach is somewhere in between. Put in a bit of half-hearted effort every now and then and try to trick your brain into having a good idea when it is not expecting you to.
Of course not-really-that-funny ideas are ten a penny, or you can get a bumper pack for a pound. I have notebooks full of the things.
I try to save my very best ideas and not use them all up at the same time. I draw a cartoon based on my second best idea hoping that the best idea will keep for a rainy day. Unfortunately a lot of ideas dilute over time. Some of the goodness fades in the sunlight. When you write them down in the notebook they are fresh and alive, but when you open up the notebook the following morning they aren’t quite as funny as they first appeared.
Sometimes an idea will come to you at a point at which it is not socially acceptable to write it down. You have the choice of either (a) Committing it to memory knowing that that will probably be the last you hear of it (b) Break the taboo knowing that the idea was worth the cost of being thrown out of the Society for ideas writing at an inappropriate juncture (c) Make some shifty notes under the table cloth.
In the comments section of this post I propose we have an ideas amnesty. You can write ideas here with no fear that anyone will ridicule you. You can ask for ideas, suggest ideas or harvest ideas. They can be about anything – they don’t have to be cartoon ideas. It doesn’t matter how rubbish they are. Of course, some of the worst ideas are also the best ones. It is just that we are looking at them upside down.
Posted by Dave at 10:23 pm on May 29, 2007 and filed under Cartooning, Profound, Utter nonsense.
Today has been a Bank Holiday. This means lots of people take a day off so that they can sit at home and look out of the window at the rain. I have done so much looking out of the window that I have not finished my work, so I am having a late late night trying to do a drawing that does not really want to be done. I am such an idiot.
Anyway, enough about me. Here is a religion news story for those who have tuned in hoping for such a thing:
The University of Gloucestershire is introducing a Postgraduate course in Sport and Christian Outreach. Inspire Magazine reports here, and the Telegraph here.
Apparently a third of the Premiership clubs were founded by churches. This course will be useful for those churches who are thinking about starting a Premiership club.
Posted by Dave at 11:46 pm on May 28, 2007 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
On a recent trip to Hay on Wye I was very pleased to find a 1909 copy of The Parson’s Handbook by Percy Dearmer. It cost me five pounds. I’ve copied a random page above – I quite like the bit about us Englishmen and our dangly hands.
In summary the Parson’s Handbook was written in 1899 or so and explains how church should be done from an Anglo Catholic point of view whilst sticking to the book of Common Prayer. Do correct me if I’m wrong.
I was similarly pleased whilst doing a quick search today to find that the 1899 text is online – transcribed by Peter Owen of Thinking Anglicans fame. Thanks Peter – it is marvellous. The document, by the way, is part of Project Canterbury, a site with lots and lots of old Anglican texts which you might find interesting if you are interested in that sort of thing.
Posted by Dave at 11:57 pm on May 27, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Church, Religion.
The Methodist Church has responded to my recent criticism of their yellow wallpaper by launching a new website. They do not actually say that this is why they have released a new website, but the timing seems terribly co-incidental otherwise.
Having had a look around it I think it is very good. It took me a little while to get to grips with the main 4 or 5 sections, but once I had done that I discovered a wealth of information about the Methodists and what they do.
As an aside, I have learnt that the cafe at Westminster Central Hall is called ‘Wesley’s Cafe‘. One assumes this because the Wesleys used to frequent it for tea and snacks. This might be why the wallpaper colour cannot be changed. If the pale yellow inspired ‘O For a Thousand Tongues’ they can’t really paint over it.
An additional news story because it is Saturday:
Vicars’ football teams required
This appeal has been made on the Diocese of Oxford website for football teams consisting of vicars. These will be required to play against other occupations. The Guardian are organising it. If too many teams of vicars come forward the winners will be decided on penalties.
Posted by Dave at 11:28 am on May 26, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
Premier (who do the radio) have launched a thing called ‘Cpanel‘, which describes itself as ‘the UK’s first online panel of Christians’. The idea is, to put it simply, that people who want to know what Christians think will contact Cpanel, who will ask Christians what they think and then tell the people who are asking what it is that Christians think what Christians think. According to Inspire, (where I found out about this) “Through Cpanel, a major opportunity exists for Christians to influence the nation’s leaders and policy formers over many issues of concern”.
Various points that I would like to make:
1) Christians who offer their opinions will be paid £2.50 per 15 minutes of survey time. It seems to me that this could be quite lucrative for those with long drawn out opinions, especially if you can do something else which also earns you money at the same time. If you are prone to waffle whilst multitasking then “sign up pronto” would be my advice.
2) Cpanel is a very silly name to have called it. If you search for Cpanel on the internet you will find that it is one of the main control panel systems for websites and therefore everything on the internet about Cpanel will be about website control panels. It is a bit like calling it ‘Google’ or something. There again, some words do have two meanings. Like ‘sprout’, or ‘undertaking’.
3) The problem with the idea is that in general Christians do not agree about anything, therefore finding out ‘what Christians think’ is going to a bit difficult. A bit like herding ants.
These points might not be that well thought out as I am still not 100%, though I am better than yesterday when I was about 63 or 64%. Thanks for all the kind messages.
Posted by Dave at 7:58 pm on May 25, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
[This cartoon is a repeat]
I have not been feeling very well today. It started last night with a slightly dazed feeling and a headache and then I had a numbness of the side of my face and tingling in my right arm. It was similar to how I was in March, but a bit different. I rang NHS Direct, who decided that I was suffering from anxiety. This was indeed true as I was feeling anxious because I had a slightly dazed feeling and a headache and a numbness of the side of my face and tingling in my right arm.
Today I went to the doctor who said that I did not have problems. This is what they always say when I go to the doctor. I am thankful that I do not have problems of course, but the problem with being told you do not have problems is that not having problems does not make the problems go away.
I think the ‘anxiety’ diagnosis is worth considering though. If anyone has any messages along the lines of ‘the world is lovely and you do not need to worry about anything’ then please do feel free to leave them. I will meditate upon them whilst sitting around tomorrow trying hard to feel better and unanxious.
In the meantime I must remind myself that there are of course many millions of people with greater needs in the world than I. Take the appeal for Darfur and Chad, which was launched today or recently.
Posted by Dave at 11:28 pm on May 24, 2007 and filed under Mundane, Sundry posts.
Archbishop Rowan has sent out the invitations for the Lambeth Conference. It is looking like there is going to be a Lambeth Conference, which is good, because I did a sort of a drawing of it on my 2008 calendar which is not available yet but will be soon (Did you notice that plug? I tried to blend it in).
Archbishop Rowan has decided who is in and who is out, but this is not a final list, the main reason being that the Archbishop is known for his postal problems. I would estimate that about 5 to 7 percent of the bishops will not attend simply because they did not get the invitation. Especially the far flung ones, who might not even know that there is a Lambeth conference at all.
The two bishops that everyone is saying have not been invited are Bishop Robinson (who said this) and Bishop Minns (who said this). Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria is unhappy and has said that he might not be bringing a coachload of his bishops.
There has been loads written about this (mostly grumpy) on all the anglican blogs – I don’t have time to talk about it now as I am going to Basildon.
Posted by Dave at 11:26 am on May 23, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Church, Religion.
If you want to become a world renowned artist overnight the Anglican Communion can help you. All you have to do is design the official Anglican Christmas card for 2007.
The only slight confusion is that the Anglican Communion website says “please note the request to send a copy, rather than the original artwork”, whereas the poster says “Original artwork only please”.
This is the true test. Anyone who can solve the riddle an produce artwork that is an original but not an original ca win the glittering prize.
Posted by Dave at 5:23 pm on May 22, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Art, Religion.
Last week was Christian Aid week. I suspect some readers will, like me, have had the joy of delivering their Christian Aid envelopes and then collecting them a few days later. The above not-really-humourous-I’m-afraid diagram illustrates the various responses one gets at the doors.
Now, one thing must be said. I am not a particularly heroic Christian Aid collector. Last year I volunteered for one road, and discovered it had six houses. This year I chose two roads which turned out to have a total of 19 houses. I approach the collecting with great trepidation, but I do actually quite enjoy doing it when it actually comes to it, so next year I will do three roads or perhaps even four.
As you can see ‘no reply’ is the most common occurrence when one returns for the envelopes. This is often because people’s door bells do not work or because they do not hear you knocking. I estimate (using figures I have just made up) that non-working and ineffectual doorbells cost Christian Aid about 3 or 4 million pounds a year. Quite a few feign ignorance, but this year I only had one entirely negative response.
I was quite pleased by the whole experience this year. Two houses already had their coppers bundled up in the envelopes waiting, and a further two found something to stuff into the envelopes. That is a better response than I have been used to in the past.
I think one of the reasons for my trepidation is that I really don’t like people coming to the door when I have no means of checking who they are, so I can understand when people are suspicious. If I did not know the person who collects Christian Aid envelopes in our road I might well not give them very much, preferring to send it directly to Christian Aid or something like that. It is asking quite a bit of people to give generously and provide their information to reclaim the tax when you look a bit shifty (and I do) and have only a hand written badge for identification. That said I know that Christian Aid would not be able to do much of what they do without the door to door collections, so I think it is important that we keep on supporting them.
Joe has been collecting too – he shares some reflections here. Surefish has some Chrstian Aid collectors tales.
Posted by Dave at 11:10 am on May 22, 2007 and filed under Essex Life, Make Poverty History, Sundry posts.
I know it is not Pentecost yet, and I know everyone reading will have used my Pentecost worksheet if they are interested in such a thing, but I thought I’d flag it up anyway in case it was useful for someone.
If you can pay me £3 for photocopying and using the worksheet that would be lovely. Unlimited use of my stuff for a year in your church costs £35.
Here is a picture of some people using the worksheets, taken from this blog post.
Apologies for the fact that I now churn out a replica of this post every year. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll draw some new worksheets.
Posted by Dave at 11:36 pm on May 21, 2007 and filed under Church, Religion, Worksheets.