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A rumour has sprung forth that I have been elected to General Synod. I received the following e-mail from my vicar following a conversation on the subject: ‘Most of the Chelmsford Diocese seems to think you are on it and I was so convinced by them that I’ve put it in the Notice Sheet! OOOPs!’
This is dissatisfactory state of affairs because once something is in the Notice Sheet it more or less becomes true by nature of the stature of the publication. If I am not careful it will become the talk of the parish and I will have to attend services this Sunday in person just so as to convince people that the Notice Sheet is not infallible.
I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to reassure readers that (a) I am not on General Synod, and (b) I am not the Bishop of Dudley, David Walker. To friends of the Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, I’d like to say (1) He is on General Synod, and (2) he is not me.
I hope this clears things up.
The list of who is actually on General Synod is kept on a list maintained by Peter Owen. As you can see I am not on it. It is not the official list, but it might as well be as everyone refers to it, including the officials who organise General Synod. I myself have typed ‘Peter Owen Synod’ into Google about twelve times today just to check whether I was on General Synod. If Peter wanted to cause synodical havoc he would be ideally placed to do so. I on the other hand, am hoping to learn about saving bookmarks at this Saturday’s Advanced Christian Computing Conference. More about that later.
Update: Notice that will appear in our church notice sheet:
Posted by Dave at 7:53 am on October 15, 2010 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Church, Essex Life.
On Sunday I am making an appearance at the Southminster art and craft exhibition at St Leonards Church in Southminster, Essex (location). If you would like to see a few of my cartoons or buy a book and you happen to live in that particular part of rural Essex I might be as bold as to say that this is an ideal opportunity. The cartoons on show might be the same ones as I showed at Greenbelt, depending upon the results of my forthcoming trip into the depths of the Church Times basement.
I do enjoy doing this sort of thing (small exhibitions / talks with diagrams). I could occasionally be persuaded to do a bit more. I should warn you though that my green room requirements are fairly demanding.
Posted by Dave at 9:51 am on September 15, 2010 and filed under Cartooning, Essex Life, Going out to things.
We have a new tent.
It is to replace the campervan which was retired from active service a year ago.
In order to prove to ourselves that we can put up the new tent we went on a highly unadventurous camping trip to a camp site approximately 3 miles from home at Barleylands, a ‘farm park’ that people around here visit in order to make themselves feel as if they have been to the countryside. This small escapade proved that our pitching is yet to be perfected. We did get there eventually though (picture above) and retired to a local pub to recover.
Question for tent geeks: The whole of the tent material seems to have ended up pulled right over to one side of the tent on both of the occasions we have pitched it. So on one side you have the merest glimpse of tent pole, but on the other side quite a few inches (or centimetres for you young people) of tent pole visible. This makes it very difficult to put the final pole into place. Such a thing does not happen in the video and there doesn’t really seem to be a way to make adjustments. Also (unlike the video) there are arguments and some mild swearing. Is this normal?
Posted by Dave at 3:03 pm on August 1, 2010 and filed under Essex Life, Photographs.
I now have the keys to the new office and will be moving some things in over the weekend. Here are some pictures of the office in its empty state. Warning: Those who find dull pictures uninteresting should look away now.
Above: Empty office. Note heater and powerpoints. The computing department will be on the left I think, and the drawing department on the right. The location of the filing department is still to be determined. It looks a bit dark – that is because the lights aren’t on, it was cloudy and the windows are tinted a bit.
(Click ‘read the rest of this entry’ for more of this kind of thing.)
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Dave at 8:57 am on April 30, 2010 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Essex Life, Mundane, Photographs, Starting a Business.
We have one or more squirrels in the roof. I hear it, or them, pacing inside the soffits. There is no way to tell how many squirrels there are, because in the time it takes to move the stepladder to the loft hatch, work out how to open the step ladder, work out how to open the loft hatch, find someone to hold the ladder steady and pop ones head up into the loft space the squirrel(s) have long since gone or hidden. For the purposes of this essay I shall assume one squirrel.
Possible ways to get rid of a squirrel in the roof:
1. Scare it away with flashing bicycle lights and the Divine Comedy pumped in at medium volume (no particular reason for it being the Divine Comedy except that I’ve never heard of a squirrel liking the Divine Comedy). Problem: The neighbours might be disturbed.
2) Find the hole where it is getting in, and block it. Issues: (a) I have been watching for a while and I have not seen any holes (2) The hole could belong to a neighbour’s house. We are not detached and I believe our soffets and lofts are linked by a hidden maze of squirrel tunnels.
3) Send up the cats. Difficulty: Our cats would be more trouble in the roof than our squirrel.
4) Borrow a squirrel cage, trap the squirrel and release it inside the M25 (we are outside the M25).
5) Call someone who knows about these sorts of things.
6) Write about it on my internet web blog and hope that my readers include a fully licenced diocesan squirrel catcher.
Questions for Lent groups:
i) Tell the group about a time you had a squirrel in your roof.
ii) List some of the spiritual ‘squirrels’ you have faced and how you overcame them.
Posted by Dave at 9:45 pm on September 29, 2009 and filed under Essex Life, Household hints, My problems.
I was quite surprised when I had a look on the library computer to find that I had had one of my books for over 100 years. Fortunately the maximum fine for such an offence is £3.70.
Posted by Dave at 11:04 am on June 25, 2008 and filed under Essex Life, Photographs.
I would like to point out that my van does not present a blockage to the emergency services. There is plenty of room for them to get past. However, the refuse and cleansing operational services (bin men) have to reverse around a corner and so I can see why they would think my van could be in the way. I will therefore resolve to be a better parker from now on.
I blame the people who planned our housing estate in the first place who did not leave enough room for people to park thereby making it very difficult not to upset the refuse and cleansing operational services. This would I assume be Basildon Council.
PS I think that signature is a forgery.
Posted by Dave at 2:22 pm on June 11, 2008 and filed under Campervans, Essex Life.
It might seem as if I post the same cartoon week in and week out, but in fact it’s just your memory playing tricks.
On Saturday we went down to Greenwich market. It’s quite easy from here – for those that are interested: Buy a travelcard, change at West Ham onto the Jubilee line and then onto the Docklands Light Railway at Canary Wharf. On the way back we decided, upon a whim, to go into the centre of town. It was crazy – absolutely crazy. Oxford street was closed to traffic and the whole place was thronging with a great multitude as far as the eye could see, which wasn’t that far as there was a great multitude in the way. There were queues to get into the tube station, out of the tube station and most places in-between.
Shopping is the religion of our day, with football being a sort of a runner-up religion. Of course I can’t blame everyone else for being there outside Bond Street tube, as we were there too. Perhaps they all, like us, went on a whim.
The church is trying to stop Sunday opening hours being extended, and for that I applaud them.
For me, the ideal as far as present buying goes would to not spend so much on Christmas presents this year and instead make them out of odds and ends that I find lying around the house. We do have an abundance of odds and ends and we need to cut down on them, so it would be good from all points of view. I will start by dismantling the cardboard-box house I built for the cats and seeing what I can turn it into. We must all pull together, and that includes the cats.
I doubt I will succeed, but I will try a bit. The Buy Nothing Christmas site (Thanks to Ian for the reminder) has ideas and resources for those who, like me, mean well.
Posted by Dave at 7:33 pm on December 3, 2007 and filed under Advent, Cartoons, Essex Life, Religion.
As I have said before (hence the continued’) I love the idea of getting a folding bike. The picture above is me test riding a ‘Brompton’, the ultimate in folding bikes, at the Cycle Show. Bromptons cost about £600 once you have bought all the trimmings. As you can see I am blurred owing to my great velocity. The lady on the right is guiding the traffic as the test track is a figure of 8 – in other words it crosses over itself on a diagonal basis. This is to give an element of danger which adds realism to the test ride. The other lady on the right is the assistant to the lady guiding the traffic. I’m not sure what her job is, but it involves standing there. The figure on the left is a cardboard cutout for safety reasons as it would be too dangerous to have a real person there with all these test-cyclists whizzing around. This also adds a sense of realism for those who will find themselves regularly riding in areas populated largely by cardboard cutouts.
When I was in the supermarket yesterday I noticed that someone was advertising a folding bicycle for only £25 in the postcards. £25! Buoyed with enthusiasm I called up and made my enquiries. Unfortunately the man did not have the answers to my in-depth questions, like ‘What make is it?’, so I decided I had better go and see it.
I went on my folding bicycle inspection excursion this morning. Upon seeing the bicycle I instantly knew that it was not what I was looking for as it was a bit rubbish, so told him that I would not be buying it. I came up with a convincing reason involving the handlebars. He said that that was fine, not a problem at all. At which point in a moment of madness I said: ‘Oh, alright then, I’ll buy it.’
I am an idiot sometimes.
Unfortunately the bicycle really is rubbish. It is unique amongst folding bicycles in that it folds into a shape bigger and less convenient than the shape it started from. One popular folding bicycle website says this about it:
The Skoda of folding bikes – the Universal is still the cheapest folder available, but the Chinese are challenging. Made in Poland, the bike looks like a 1960s-vintage ‘shopper’, which is exactly what it is. It’s heavy, it doesn’t fold very well or clip together, and the ride and handling are poor. Yawn, yawn. Long, long overdue for a replacement
Does anyone want to buy a folding bicycle?
To you – £25.
Posted by Dave at 11:31 pm on October 31, 2007 and filed under Cycling, Essex Life, Photographs.
We are currently in the evening class signing up season. Brochures are being thumbed, tutors are reading up on their subjects and people like me are telephoning the admissions hotline.
Last year if you remember I did two different oil painting classes. This year I have changed direction and have decided that I am going to not do something artistic but rather study a topic of general and sundry interest. So, I have chosen to go to a class about Psychology. I am hoping to learn about the secrets of good morale and also Wednesday evenings are convenient.
Is anyone else going to a course and learning about something about which they were hitherto ignorant? Is anyone tutoring and if so what on? Is anyone umming and/or arring about whether to do a course? If so step forward and we will persuade you.
Update: I spoke too soon:
Posted by Dave at 1:14 pm on September 19, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Essex Life.
I have recently been working on the website for the Parish of Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex. I’m just putting a post on here to let the search engines know about it. Regular readers: feel free to talk amongst yourselves or take an opportunity to visit the lavatories or the book stall.
If you’re looking for a Basildon Church or more specifically a Langdon Hills Church then this is the place to find information. There are specific pages on St Mary’s Church and St John’s Church. Brilliant!
There. That wasn’t so bad was it.
Posted by Dave at 10:45 am on September 18, 2007 and filed under Church, Essex Life, Religion.
This is a three minute cartoon, which explains why it looks a bit odd. The dogs look like crosses between sheep and rabbits, but that is just the angle. The man walking is stooped over owing to the burdensome cares of life which are weighing heavily upon his weary shoulders. The trees are just there for scenic effect, so I have put a minimal amount of effort into them. You will notice that there is one tree near the three dog walkers, but three trees near the single non dog walker. This is hidden symbolism.
I have noticed that it is not really acceptable to go walking in our local country park without a dog or a child. I suppose this is why people have dogs or children. The advantage of a dog over a child is that a dog can be walked on any day of the week, whereas children are mainly walked at the weekends.
Yesterday I went walking for about two hours. We are blessed with a country park that is a few minutes from the house and it does not take long to get to a point where you could be in the countryside as long as you go in one particular direction. From some of the lofty points you can see Canary Wharf and the Gherkin, as we are the first bit of quite high ground that you come to if you go east from London. It really was quite beautiful yesterday evening, what with the sunshine and everything.
I have put up a poll in the left hand column to see what you take when you go walking. It will help me to see whether I am odd when I walk, or whether it is the people giving me odd looks who are odd.
[Update: results of poll are to the right.]
Posted by Dave at 7:44 pm on July 2, 2007 and filed under Essex Life, In-depth analysis.