Showing posts from April, 2008

The Austrian cellar case

"He's a monster !", people say. Then one journalist says "I interviewed him and he didn't seem like a monster to me, just a frightened old man." When people do outrageous and appalling things it is very tempting to proclaim them monsters, to demonise them, to announce that they are not "normal". I think that perhaps when we do that we do it to reassure ourselves. They are monsters. We are not like that and we could never be like that. Nothing would ever cause us to do something extreme and horrific because they are monsters and we are not. In demonising them we make ourselves feel better and safe. When we demonise them, we "angelise" ourselves. Then again we are reminded that in some societies incest is not regarded as undesirable or abnormal. Of course this man isn't a demon any more than any of us is. He maintained his relationship with his wife, his neighbours who knew nothing of the secret of his cellar. But there was this hidden

It's been quiet on the blog

Yes, I know. I've had a cold - complete with sinus pain. But I am much better this morning. Meanwhile we had two nice days - Friday and Saturday. Sunday wasn't bad. But since then rain again. My brother-in-law is staying with us at the moment and is very keen to strim and mow in the garden while the rest of us chop and cut. However rain has stopped play. I said "See, it rains all the time, doesn't it ?" "Yes", came the brief but accurate reply.

Everyone must be a theologian

Huw and Kath at St Emilion

My sister and brother-in-law came to stay and worked like slaves in the garden. ( Last time they came they cleaned the drains. ) On Monday we took them to St Emilion in the rain.

May 1968 - a decisive moment in the construction of today's France

Trams and buses

The 1st of May is a bank holiday, and an important one, so there will be no buses or trams that day. We had a confabulation with the students last night ( lots at the Bible Study and it seemed to go pretty well - parables from Matthew 13 ) and it looked like we'd be very few next Thursday so we'll close the centre for the day. 5th May onwards tram strikes are expected. That could be fun. Once we went into town on the tram for something at the student centre and when it was time to get home and pick the kids up from school the trams had stopped running. We caught the last tram to Mérignac (which is not where we live) and had to get a friend to fetch the children.

The rain has stopped and the strimming has begun

together with the sneezing. Now where's my anti-histamines ? A French newspaper explained that one must not ignore hay-fever symptoms because those who do could develop other, more severe allergies, perhaps even food intolerances. Anyway because the grass is still very wet from the dew I have to pause the strimming so I can hunt for the pills in the meantime.

Thanks, Tim, for the link to this advert

Discovery Channel: I Love the World

Bath - some more


Bath rooftops etc.

Sunday morning is a popular time to be out in your allotment - an area of ground rented by the council for you to use as a garden. Allotments are very prized in Britain.

Bath river and canal


What struck me ?

A couple of people asked me what struck me about Britain compared to France. The constant whining of the press was very noticeable. The government is pilloried every day in the newspaper columns. I imagine someone must read this stuff but I can't imagine who. Well I can, but I imagine Colonel Blimp types, moustaches bristling, saying "eh what...". It would shrivel your soul like salt on a slug. Not only that but think of the effect of this culture of constant whining against authority on the church, the family, etc.. Another thing that was surprising was the low prices - for example one sign advertised two meals for £6.50 in some steakhouse or other. The supermarkets seemed cheap. Even fuel didn't seem as expensive as I thought it would be. I paid about £1.10 per litre of unleaded. Here in France we pay about 1.25€ per litre of diesel. With current exchange rates ( about 1 € = 80 pence ) that isn't a massive difference, though you have to remember that diesel is t

Bath Abbey


Bath doors


Bath Crescents


Bath is given to the consumption of the Cornish Pastie


Bath is ludicrously picturesque



My friends in Strathaven took me to see Peebles.

At Smithton-Culloden

I don't really like taking photos during services

On the road to Inverness

A beautiful journey.

In Edinburgh I met a

francophile cyber-friend in the Elephant House Cafe. Now what's that place famous for ? I liked the view.

The Banner of Truth Conference

There were other speakers, too.

Wheelock Heath Church

meets in a school in the morning and in the old chapel in the evening.

Bethany Books - for the best of books

A quiet moment in our bookshop in Shotton

Photos of Britain

This is a village near Whitby where I started my journey.