The world’s greatest bicycling race the Tour de France is coming to London and Kent next weekend, the 6th to the 8th of July. There are two websites which tell you all about it – the Tour in London site, which focuses on next weekend’s events, and the official main Tour de France site. In summary this is what is happening:
Friday 6th of July
The opening ceremony at 6pm. I’m not sure how interesting this will be to non-cycling fans as I haven’t been to one. I’m hoping to be there as I happen to be in London anyway that day.
Saturday 7th of July
The prologue time trial. This is where the riders go one by one at one minute intervals around the streets of London. The route is about 8km and will taken them about 9 minutes. The ‘caravane’ starts at 1 (these are the eccentric promotional vehicles that precede the race and give out freebees), whilst the first rider goes at 3pm and the last at just after 6. We’re planning to be there.
Sunday 8th of July
Stage 1, from London to Canterbury via various places. It starts at about 10.25am with the caravane before that from 8.40. The race reaches Canterbury sometime around 3.30pm. Again, we are hoping to watch the race at some point along the route, but we aren’t quite sure where. There are special train timetables which we are poring over. In theory it should be possible to see the race twice, once in London and once in Kent, but that might be a bit ambitious.
Anyone else planning to watch it? We might see you there, depending upon your chosen vantage point.
Posted by Dave at 5:31 pm on June 30, 2007 and filed under Current events, Cycling.
According to the leader column in Third Way magazine (spotted by Tractorgirl) the magazine is to become part of GJ Palmer and Sons, the company that publishes the Church Times (and therefore my cartoons). GJ Palmer is one of the subsidiaries of Hymns Ancient and Modern, others being SCM-Canterbury Press (who publish my book) and the Church House bookshop.
I like Third Way, though I’m afraid I’m an occasional purchaser rather than a regular subscriber. This does look like a good way for it to survive though, so that is good.
Tractor Girl also notes that Faithworks now have a magazine too. It is published by CCP Ltd, the people who do Christianity magazine, Youthwork magazine and Christian Marketplace magazine.
It sems to me that the Christian magazine marketplace is becoming a bit crowded, especially the Evangelical bit. Titles like Inspire and Christian Today have a strong internet presence already, and one might think that could be where the future lies. Can all these magazines survive? I don’t know.
Posted by Dave at 3:00 pm on June 30, 2007 and filed under Religion.
[Please excuse this headline - if you can say it five times in quick succession give yourself one thousand points]
What a shame. I just heard from Neil that the Fopp chain of compact disc shops is closed. Fopp sold lots of compact discs for five pounds or only three pounds, which is quite a good price for internet cartoonists. Internet cartoonists can’t really afford eight pounds or ten pounds or twelve pounds except on special occasions.
My favourite Fopp shops were Reading, Cardiff and Cambridge. Which were yours?
Posted by Dave at 2:36 pm on June 29, 2007 and filed under Current events.
The ‘public places in England’ smoking ban comes into effect on Sunday. As far as I can understand churches are required to put up signs, perhaps on a noticeboard for instance. The official guidance is here.
There have been various news reports over the last month or two about whether the signs should apply to churches. A debate in the House of Commons on the subject is here, and then there are news reports on the BBC, Christian Today and a comment piece by Matthew Parris from the Times. Some people have even gone as far as to say that the smoking ban threatens churches with closure, but I think that is a bit of an exaggeration, and perhaps even an over-exaggeration.
No smoking resources for churches are available on a few diocesan websites (Exeter and Hereford for instance) and of course you can use the official signs. I thought though that it would be a good idea to provide some signs of my own, so here they are. They are free to download, print off, or whatever. You don’t need to buy a licence to use them, though you do for most of my other stuff.
Please note that these signs might not be legal – in fact the first one is probably the only one which might be. I accept no responsibility for any trouble you may get into as a result of using these signs. If you get into a bit of a pickle it is your own doing, so don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
To download: In Internet Explorer you can save the file onto your computer by right clicking on the link, then selecting ‘ Save Target As…’, choosing where you want to store the image on your computer, then clicking ‘Save’. In Firefox right click on the link and select ‘Save Link As…’.
No Smoking: Download jpeg / Download pdf
No Smoking but incense is fine
No Smoking but incense is fine: Download jpeg / Download pdf
No incense: Download jpeg / Download pdf
No breaking the law
No breaking the law: Download jpeg / Download pdf
(Ideal for churches who don’t want people breaking the law but don’t want to single out smokers)
[Note for bloggers: I appreciate your linking to this post - if you could link to the post rather than the individual files/images that would be great. The locations of the files may change depending on bandwidth usage. Thank you!]
If you’ve enjoyed these posters you might also like my church-related cartoons.
Letter to Oxford Diocesan Newspaper urging churches to be disobedient in this matter.
Church Times – Deans accept no-smoking signs under protest – scroll down for article advising churches not to comply.
Posted by Dave at 12:41 pm on June 28, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Church, Current events, Religion.
I don’t normally talk about politics, but I’ve been watching some of the Blair-Brown handover commentary on the BBC. It was interesting to see Tony Blair’s final Prime Minister’s Questions, in particular the question about faith.
LIberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross (to great heckling) asked about the advice Mr Blair would give Mr Brown on the relationship between state and faith, especially if Mr Brown really does want to disestablish the Church of England. Tony Blair’s reply: “I think I’m really not bothered about that one”. Loud applause followed.
It gave the impression that the Church of England is, in the eyes of MPs, an entire irrelevance.
Posted by Dave at 1:23 pm on June 27, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Church, Current events, Religion.
Owing to various problems I went to the doctor. I told the doctor that I thought my problems might be connected to my ears, so he took a look and told me that perhaps my ears and my problems might be connected.
To tell the end of a long story: I am going to have my right ear syringed tomorrow. I went a week ago and had it done, but it did not really work, so I am going back for another go.
In order to prepare for the aforementioned procedure it is necessary to put olive oil into your ear thrice daily for a week. Two drops a time, making a total of 42 drops. I have done it for two weeks, so 84 drops. If I am to be honest I have quite often forgotten, so I put 6 drops in at the end of the day so that my overall droppage is still what it should be.
In the olden days olive oil was placed in ones ear using a teaspoon and a shaky hand. It was quite difficult and often meant olive oil on the face, hair and carpet. Nowadays you go to the chemist for a special dropper. It is a lot easier and means that you will only get oil over your face and carpet.
It is important to incline your ear after you have applied the olive oil, otherwise it will run straight back out onto your face, hair and carpet (as in the days of the teaspoon). It is best to continue tilting for a number of minutes or for as long as you can be bothered to be so inclined. The diagrams above show some of the postures I have been adopting over the last two weeks whilst trying to make olive oil soak into my inner ear. Hopefully this will explain a thing or two.
Message to people seeking invoices / replies / answers: I’m going to try really hard to get up to date within the next 48 hours, though some of this work may be delivered at an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees.
Posted by Dave at 11:30 pm on June 26, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Essex Life, In-depth analysis.
Powerpoint song, by John Bennett and the Sprowston band.
All the hymnbooks that we used to use
Hvae been thrown in the recycling bin
With the photocopied service sheets
And the last remaining BCPs
Powerpoint pleases nobody
But it’s the latest thing
On a screen on the wall
Colours clash and writing small
And I hate it Lord
Thanks John. You might remember the John from such songs as The Old Argued Cross and the SPCK Song (which I think isn’t there now). Apologies for any lines that I have got wrong.
General chit chat
Terrible flooding today in various parts of the UK. I hope no-one reading has been too badly affected.
No cartoons for you today again. This morning I was concentrating on putting the washing out to dry and then getting it in again when it looked like it might rain, then putting it out again when it looked like it might not after all. During the afternoon I fell asleep then had a loss of confidence.
Posted by Dave at 11:30 pm on June 25, 2007 and filed under Religion.
This is an old one from my old blog.
The weather forecasters have managed to get their weather predictions quite wrong for Essex for much of the last two weeks. On most days the promised showers have failed to materialise, which is good for people with no umbrellas but bad for agricultural sorts like me. By agricultural I mean that I have some radishes and peppers and carrots which I have been watering.
Today it did rain though, so I stayed in and did my work.
I hope none of you have been flooded or caught in large quantities of mud with inappropriate footwear.
I’ll be more interesting tomorrow, I promise.
Posted by Dave at 11:54 pm on June 24, 2007 and filed under Mundane.
Today I went unexpectedly to the Chelmsford Diocesan environment conference. I did not intend to go, but owing to various circumstances I ended up there. It is a not-that-long but not-that-interesting story, so I will not tell it. And very good the conference was too. For me the need to take action on environmental and justice issues rather put yesterday’s discussions into perspective. Hence my hastily scribbled list, which is not intended to be accurate, or correct, or good.
Of course it is easy to get overwhelmed by the pressing needs of our planet. One of the conference speakers, when faced with the question ‘But what can we actually do?’ replied by saying ‘Do what you do’. In other words, do the thing you normally do in life, but do it in such a way that will help the world to operate sustainably and will help to get the message about environmental issues out there and will generally do as much good as possible. For this reason I will continue to do a few drawings and rambly blog posts, but I am going to try to address environmental issues a bit more often.
I have decided to take a small bit of additional action in one particular area though. I think we should have some cycle racks at our church, so I am going to see whether I can, by asking the right people, make some cycle racks happen at our church. I think having cycle racks at church would mean that more people might cycle there, which would be a good thing. If anyone reading has experience of commissioning cycle racks for a church then I would like to hear from you. Alternatively you might know a church with really really good cycle racks and you might know how they got them. I talked to a man from Sustrans, and he said that Sheffield Cycle Racks are the best ones. I don’t know whether there are special people who install such things or whether you get a builder to do it or mix your own concrete using a home made recipe. I am so clueless on the subject you would hardly believe it. My ignorance is plain for all to see.
Greetings to Paul, who I met at the conference, though I knew him from the internet. Paul offered me his garden for my occasional cartooning purposes, which was a very kind gesture.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on June 23, 2007 and filed under Cycling, Environment, Justice, Religion.
This is of course to do with the case of the girl who wants to wear a Silver Ring Thing Ring to school but the school says no and now there are newspaper articles and things.
I admire the girl in question for her desire to stand up for her faith, but I don’t agree that she has the right to break the rules of her school. It’s a not-unrelated situation to the British Airways lady with her cross, who I also didn’t feel should have been allowed to break the rules of her airline.
To me it has to come down to how essential the particular items of clothing or jewellery. If it is absolutely 100% central to your faith and without it you are not following the ordinances of your religion you should be allowed to break the rules and wear it. But if it is not I think you should abide by the rules, like it says in the Bible.
If the particular brand of Christianity that the girl follows says that wearing a special ring is 100% essential to the faith then it is a bit of an odd brand of Christianity and should be frowned at.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on June 22, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Current events, Religion.
Here are some cartooning links:
1. First of all, The Dilbert Blog: How to Make a Comic Strip. I’m a great fan of Scott Adams’ work. As well as his cartoons he writes a splendid blog, which is one of the things I read on a ‘daily basis’ basis. This entry shows what he does each day in pictures.
2. Procartoonists.org is a new organisation for professional cartoonists in the UK. It describes itself thus:
The PCO’s membership spans the best, most experienced and most published full-time, professional cartoonists and caricaturists in the UK.
I am not a member as I am a bit second rate, not that experienced, not that published, a bit of a part-timer and not that professional. I am in the UK though, so I have made a start on the long and rocky road to membership.
3. If you find cartooning a bit difficult you could always try doing this with your pencils.
4. Article about cartoons and religion.
Anyway, how is everyone? I’ve spent the day working on the church website. It isn’t what I should have been doing, but I’ve got so far behind with it that I just had to concentrate on it and get it done. I’ll post the link another time so that you can see what it is like, but I must not do so before the Vicar has looked at it in case I have written libellous information on it.
Tomorrow I’m going to do some in depth perusing of your cartoon ideas followed by some drawings. The stuff you’ve written really is most splendid, so thanks again.
Later in the afternoon the cats and I might play ‘bird’, one of our favourite games. We’ll have to see how things go though. If we haven’t done two decent cartoons between the three of us there’ll be no game of ‘bird’, that’s for sure.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on June 21, 2007 and filed under Cartooning, Mundane.
This is an urgent request from the Anglican Communion Office:
Any Anglican Episcopal church with an image of The Transfiguration is asked to send a photo (scan) ASAP to the Editor, for use in our magazine.
Just to repeat, a photo of the Transfiguration is required by the Anglican Communion Office. If you were present at the Transfiguration and managed to get a photo then please do send it in to them. I appreciate that most of those present at the Transfiguration would not have had a camera, so a photo from a mobile phone will do just fine. If you were present at the aforementioned event Jim Rosenthal would like to hear from you.
Posted by Dave at 9:43 pm on June 20, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Art, Religion.