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Showing posts from March, 2021

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 28 March 2021

 I have a couple of problems with praying in a group or congregation (more than a couple, but these will do for the time being). Until I had a cochlear implant, I couldn’t hear if anyone else had started, or if they’d finished. So I opened my eyes, looked around, but even then I’d sometimes pray over someone who had started at the same time. And my dodgy balance means that I can’t close my eyes while I’m standing up, so I have to pray with my eyes open. We’re all agreed that praying is a  *good thing* . We should do it, and follow a bible reading plan, at least daily. But it’s not so easy, is it. The pace of modern life, family responsibilities, disillusion after apparently unanswered prayer, our own emotional state, all sorts of things get in the way, and all we can say is “This is too hard for me today, Lord, I can’t pray”.  Or this is too hard for me all week, all year. You know what? That’s a prayer. “This is too hard for me, Lord” is a prayer. And if you think about it, it’s a psa

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 21 March 2021

  I’m settling some old business with Her Britannic Majesty’s government across the seas (ie I’m trying to get some of my own money out of them). Incredibly, well into the 21 st   Century, the correspondence has to take place by snail mail. They needed a signature. I signed. Some weeks later, one has to allow for unfavourable winds along the mailboat’s passage, one of Sir Humphrey’s minions advised that the signature didn’t match that in their records. I pointed out that the recorded signature was signed more than 50 years ago, and that everyone’s signature, certainly mine, changes over time. Further, nobody requires an analogue signature from me nowadays, they want a PIN or a digital signature. I’ll keep you posted on this engrossing matter. It isn’t only an analogue signature that I don’t scribble any longer, I rarely write anything with a pen or pencil, everything is typed on some i-device or other. But when I did write “the old-fashioned way”, my preferred tool was a fountain pen.

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 14 March 2021

I have never smoked cigarettes – well, the usual drag behind school bike sheds before being almost sick, and never trying them again. I used to have a cigar or two each year, to mark my or a friend’s birthday. It’s probably been twenty five years since I indulged in that Havana decadence. But I did enjoy smoking a pipe. Not so much smoking it, although I’ll come to that in a sec, but holding the lovely smooth bowl, savouring the exhaled cherry or whatever hint had been added to the tobacco, picking an aromatic pipe tobacco, wielding the stem as a pointer in pub discussions, playing with the tamp and pipe cleaners. If you’re familiar with an English pub, you’ll be able to imagine the scene. I even had a Donegal Tweed jacket, still do, it doesn’t fit now 🥲  Leisa will tell you that I spent more time playing with my pipes (English briars, Falcons, Meerschaums, an eclectic collection) than smoking. She would be right (she’s always right) because I never mastered the art of keeping them al