Monthly Archives: September 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

Not here…. For a long time I have been a member of a small basically conservative Christian discussion board. I rather felt the members had got fed up with the endless re-iteration of the debate over the rightness of gay Christians being in a relationship, and I shut up. It seems I shut up too long.

A few days ago one member posted an outburst of such vituperative vileness that I exploded. I was not helped by the fact that I had not been on the board for a couple of days, and apart from a defence by the resident secularist members, nobody had protested and the post which was in clear breach of board rules had not been removed. My explosion, rather out of character in written discussion, got the whole thread axed. I slammed off the board, rather. Now I am asking myself if now I’ve got a better control over my temper, I go back and argue it out.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past going through the same arguments again and again to change minds. I know half the minds on that board are firmly shut, and I admit to a kind of sinking feeling at the idea of going back and going through the arguments yet one more time.

But perhaps I should – so that the truth is witnessed, more moderate members supported, and the secularists thanked and let to know that at least some Christians do not take such a stupid attitude. I dunno.


Making an autumn

Last Sunday the last swallows were still swooping round my out buildings. I saw them again on Wednesday. Today there are none. The wagtails have de camped, too. I have new bird feeders in, but they are not yet being visited. Dearie me. Need to work harder on making a habitat for garden birds – the absence of flight is hard to bear.


Today I was driving, slightly late, into Kilmarnock. I was bowling down the main road when I saw a slight obstacle to one side. I slowed at once, and then slowed some more. Had I not been late with a tail of traffic behind me I would have stopped altogether. There, pulled up at the side of the road was a genuine, Sri Lankan style three wheeler. The red and yellow colouring, the open sides. Driver seemed to have trotted off down the embankment. The guess would be to relieve a bladder made to ache by the Ayrshire wind in late September, unimpeded by the slight protection of the canopy.

Really! First Italy and then Sri Lanka – what IS Ayrshire coming to 😉


Today, walking back from the Uni library after another afternoon of research, I stopped to buy some figs. I eat them walking down Great Western Road in the late sunshine. Coffee wafted from open doorways. Suddenly my mother was beside me, and I was back on an Italian street.

Hiding behind history

Today I took the two children of my neighbours to the small local museum to see the mask of Alexander Peden. Peden was a covenanter, a minister of the church which broke away when Charles II returned, and he lived a dramatic and cloak and dagger lifestyle preaching and prophesying. The mask, well presented in a darkened room was far more dramatic than this image of it.

It wasn’t the mask which was the problem, it was the curator. Any suggestion that Peden might have been less than a plaster saint was at once talked down. I suggested to the children that what with his prophesying and his mask, Peden, however principled, had a flair for the dramatic. Nope. I suggested that going armed, campaigning for the right to carry a gun, and speaking openly of a desire to kill the King might be a good way of becoming unpopular. Nope. Where DO they get them? This is the second joyless historian I have encountered in Ayrshire, to say nothing of the published ones.

The curator, bless him, killed Peded deader than he had been for the 400 years since his death, worn out but miraculously of natural causes.

Friday’s blog


The blog that was Wednesday

I will tell you what it was.  It was headed  ‘From the rising of the sun….’  and it showed a niceish watercoloury picture of Arran at dawn seen from here.  Then there was a much more dramatic picture of Arran at sunset, which I really liked.  The text would have read: ‘The recent spell of almost unbroken sunshine makes it easier, and it is always simpler at this time of year.’

I hoped this was not so religious as to put off my family while entertaining religious readers who would fill in the missing gaps, and smile knowingly.

Yesterday I had three atempts at loading the pictures (which are small) and today I had two.  They will not load.  Nor witll the web page agree to change to the Flash uploader.

Sometimes I hate blogging.

Lawn Tennis Championship

Not that one.  In 1891, the Third Marquess of Bute, then Mayor of Cardiff, was invited to the town’s tennis championship.  He did not find it a treat, “In afternoon to Lawn Tennis Tournament with my Lady, Margaret, & Mr Lindsay. Deadly dull: uncivil to ask one to such a thing.”

Jig saw

I do not sleep alone.   This is not a confession that I have acquired a bidie-in.  Each night a small procession goes up the stairs.  Senior dog, junior dog, and me.   In this order it is quite a quiet procession.  On the odd occasion that it goes junior dog, senior dog, me, then it is much noisier, since a sense of danger and achievement spurs junior dog on to an awful lot of noise, and a sense of being displaced spurs senior dog on to even more.

Then we get to the bedroom and I get into bed.  Probably, senior dog, blessed with a thick pelt, gets on the bed, and junior dog who feels the cold, also gets into bed, and out, and in, and out, and in and turns round and round and, yes, finally settles and I can take up a book for the few paragraphs before my eyelids start to sag.

And then, and then, we all re arrange ourselves into a jig saw, jockeying for space.  Dogs press back, stretch out, I shove back, even kick a little, or subtly encroach a limb, nudge a knee. They are not small dogs, and indeed junior dog is often greeted by cries of ‘My goodness, he’s BIG.’

And this sounds most uncomfortable.  But it is not, it is the opposite.  It is comforting.  In the end, a warm companionable huddle is reached.  The pack leader in the centre, safe, and the members all in touch.  For a few moments we enjoy the gentle free fall of utter safety.  Then we wake up to the dawn in totally different positions to those in which we drifted off.  Refreshed.  Undisturbed.

Bit part player

I have had a small make over of the bathroom, a holding job until the major repairs and renovations which I am now hoping really MAY happen next year.  I now have a lino tile floor down, and that means using some means to keep the shower water off the floor.

Enter the shower curtain.  It is a ghostly misty white, and looks very like the shower curtain in Psycho.  In Psycho of course it had just a bit part.  Now it wants the lead.  It creeps up to me, touching me most inappropriately with clammy hands, and plainly trying to wrap itself around me.  It can’t actually do any harm of course, but talk about cheap thrills.  Urgh.