Showing posts from April, 2009

Massimo La Rosa-Marco Cadario: S. Sulek, Sonata Vox Gabrieli

It's a long time since I put any music on. You may find this music hard to like, I don't know. I find it amazingly beautiful. The title is, I think, a pun on the angel Gabriel and the Venetian brass composer, Gabrieli.

More on Confessions of Faith 4

So why not use an established Confession of Faith ? Many Christian groups do just that. They identify with a short modern confession like that of EMW. Others, one of the longer confessions of the 17th century. Still others, aware of the need to state one's place in the flow of church history, adopt a 17th century confession plus the historic creeds (Chalcedon, Nicene, Apostles', etc.) I think another strength of this approach is that it avoids the "not invented here" approach that can sometimes make evangelicals appear arrogant and divisive.

More on Confessions of Faith 3

Another strength of writing your own confession of faith is that it allows and encourages you to address the contemporary eccentricities of the world 'christian' scene from the standpoint of the Bible. 'What do you think about : elders, healers, prophets, modern songs, tongues, falling on the floor and barking, "kicking people in the face in the Holy Ghost", prosperity teaching, the DPP, etc ?' people ask. If it's in your confession of faith they can read it quietly at home and reflect on it. Of course, this is also a weakness. After all, who still falls on the floor and barks ? In five years' time who will still 'kick people in the face in the Holy Ghost' ? Our contemporary worries are often passing fads (thankfully !). Then we are faced either with revising our confession of faith to remove all references to barking, lowing and bleating, or with explaining the historical context in which it was written. But of course, it was ever so. It is s

There's always something new to learn, eh !

There are about 500,000 cases of tapeworm in France each year . The larvae of the worm in question ténia saginata , live in the muscles of cows, and so the worms are contracted through eating beef that is not thoroughly cooked. If this expression (beef that is not thoroughly cooked) rings any bells with you, it does with me, too.


Really you're pretty unlikely to catch a viral infection from breathing in droplets in the air. (A possible exception may be in planes, where air is pumped round and round the cabin !) Normally we pick up the viruses on our hands and then transfer them to our mucous membranes by displacement behaviour (nose-picking, etc...) And don't imagine that you don't pick your nose. I have seen you do it during the sermon. Moral of the story ? WASH YOUR HANDS ! OFTEN ! After taking publc transport ? WASH YOUR HANDS ! Also here in France people will often say "on fait pas la bise, je suis enrhumé" and attempt to shake hands instead. Bad move ! Either wave from a distance or put your hands in your pockets and do la bise . You're NOT VERY LIKELY to pick up the virus from touching cheeks - but shake hands with them (and they've just blown their nose in a sodden paper hankie which they stuffed back up their sleeve etc...) and then pick your nose and the deed is done ! If

This'll be interesting !

This morning I meet up with a student to go and visit one of the low-cost housing agencies. I'm accompanying him because he has almost no French. The agency is near where he's doing his research and he's hoping to get a bedsit ready for when his wife and child come to Bordeaux in September. It'll be interesting because one of the BIG ISSUES with work in the big cities is the cost of accommodation. We pay out a fortune in rents (and a mortgage). Monthly (approximately) : Church: 1200 euros FAC : 450 euros UFM Housing : 1000 + 900 + 600 Church housing : 1200. Add it all up - you get 4450 euros in rent and 900 in mortgage. I have always wondered whether there would be a cheaper option if we tried to rent in HLMs, in low cost housing. However because we are paid from overseas it is very difficult to find people who will take the risk of renting to us. Not only that, but we looked at the low-cost housing agency website to see what they advertise as being available and basica

More on the Confession of Faith thing 2

When your group decides that it needs a confession of faith you have a choice to make. Do you adopt an existing one or do you write your own. There is something to be said for writing your own. For example, you may not want to identify yourselves with any particular movement within evangelicalism. Again, the nature of your group may impose particular constraints - you may need a confession of faith in very simple English, for example. Whatever the reason, it's a good exercise to try to write a brief confession of faith - to try to set out in a structured way the basics of what you believe as a christian. Then to look at some other examples (e.g. UCCF , EMW , AECW , Prison Fellowship ) and to reflect on what you wrote and what you read.

Les ponts de mai

When a bank holiday falls on or near a weekend it's an occasion of great joy, because you can take an extra day's holiday and have a long weekend (faire le pont). This May is very auspicious because we have : Fri 1 May, Fri 8 May, Thu 22 May. That makes THREE LONG WEEKENDS ! Amazing. It does mean that the roads will be completely blocked with holidaymakers, mind you. Meanwhile the Assemblée Nationale are debating le travail dominical (Sunday working), at present strictly regulated to preserve the calm and quiet of a continental Sunday with the shops all closed.

Ubuntu 9.04

Upgraded on Friday or Saturday. The system said 'You can upgrade.' I thought, "OK". It took perhaps 1/2 hour and I had to say "Yes" a few times. Voilà ! I am SO TEMPTED to replace XP with Windows 7 RC. But I can hardly moan about having to fool around so much with computers and then go and fool around EVEN MORE without due cause !

Something ROUSING for a sluggish Monday morning

Viento Sur Trombone Quartet performs Casterede lll

More on the confession of faith thing. 1

I woke at a strange hour last night, listened to the rain and thought about confessions of faith. Sometimes when Evangelicals get together they decide that they need an agreed confession of faith. This is really important because of the 'culture' and 'tradition' thing. (See 'Assumed Evangelicalism' ) For example, and I apologise right now for probably misquoting him, but when Rowan was enthroned I think I remember him saying that he valued the evangelicals because from time to time he just needs "to bash a tambourine and sing Blessed Assurance ". He meant this kindly, I think, though it is a startling caricature of evangelicalism and makes me wonder if he knows any evangelicals at all. No, he must. Mustn't he ? Anyway... The culture and tradition problem is that movements start with a statement of truth, a shared belief system, a common conviction, at first proclaimed, then assumed, then remembered, then neglected, then forgotten. Meanwhile the cul

Tell us :

"Why do innocent people suffer ?" A question over dinner last night. It's great to be able to say that the most innocent person that ever lived suffered the most extreme suffering ever known willingly for our sakes so that we will never suffer as we deserve but receive the rewards of innocence.

OK, that's the flights booked.

There's a 48hr period to accept the quote for car hire, so I want to just catch my breath before forking that out too !

Today's Family Fun Time ?

Breakfast at Ikea, with a large quantity of Griffins. We have vowed not to be drawn into going all round the store. Can we keep our resolve ? I have one or two little tasks I need to do - like book flights and hire-car for the visit to Britain in May, plan the order of service for Sunday and be ready for English Service Sunday evening. Some emails to send. But probably the family will not notice that I am sharing my day between them and these little things.

Brilliant idea - a car-sharing/car-rental scheme

Right here in Bordeaux. Not in Pessac, but they now have cars in Mérignac so it's only a matter of time. This would be great for us because from time to time we need two cars, but not enough to justify the expense of buying, insuring, servicing etc.

It's sunny. Spring is here. Time to dance.

My birthday party

I had a milestone birthday on Saturday during the FAC Outreach. I used to think 40 was old. Now, with ever-increasing hindsight, I know that these numbers change nothing. Anyway one of the students had said ça se fête , and so it proved to be. There I was innocently sat in my dressing gown of many colours / with sleeves (there's a textual variant) sending a video of a guy playing Bach on piccolo trumpet to my trumpeter friend, Joseph, when I glimpsed him out of the corner of my eye ( j'hallucine , thought I). Then his mother. Then his sister. I retreated to the bedroom and donned some garb. Students arrived. MV team members. Other folk from the church. Eventually we were more than 20 and it was a very happy time. I thought that Pat had made rather a lot of chilli for just the MV team and us, but far be it from me ! Not only did we have a fine fête, but we also had a splendid cake made by Catrin's fair paws and I was given a copy of Calvin Héraut de Dieu by Eric Denimal, si

How Wales leads the world !

Oh come on. I live in France and you don't get that much jingoism on the site do you ? Anyway, I used to be a pastor and an apparatchik in the AECW, the Associating Evangelical Churches of Wales, and I hereby salute and applaud this worthy group. It has many faults - in fact all the faults that its constituent churches bring to it (and they bring the faults of each member - let us not forget !) However the AECW has one humungous strength - it exists to unite confessional churches in Wales - that is churches that hold to, preach, express one of the reformed confessions of faith (e.g. 1823 Calvinistic Methodist, 1689 Baptist, Westminster, Savoy, etc. etc.) This is a brilliant expression of gospel unity because it defines what we mean by the words evangelical and church - a confessional church, a gospel with content - but it also allows for diversity of conviction regarding church government, baptism, etc. AECW accepts that its member churches have deep and strong convictions about ba

iPhoney baloney

Speaking to my friend, confidant, mission-council-member (yes, sir!) and info-guru yesterday I realised that my Nokia N95 (old style - 4c on SFR at the moment, I think) is still the tool for me, and not these new-fangled iPhones or iPods Touch. My N95 has better speakers. My N95 takes memory cards so I can increase the storage or swap cards if I want. My N95 has lots of programs I can put on it. I don 't but I could (thus apps-store, schmapps-store...) My N95 has a better 5MP camera - great for the blogo-reportage pictures that I usually do. My N95 makes good videos, too. The iPhone can't. My N95 works great as a phone, as does the iPhone. What does the iPhone have that my N95 doesn't ? It looks cool and it has a little Apple logo on the back.

Some family time

The kids are off school. The students are on vacation. The sun is shining. I'm only preaching once on Sunday (and I COULD use the message I did in French last Sunday...) So I am taking some time off and spending it with the family. This sometimes means us all being in different rooms doing our own thing (families get to that stage, I guess). But this afternoon it meant us going into Bordeaux for a kebab. One of the students had recommended this kébabberie which is super-bon and pas cher du tout . I asked her where it was and got brilliant directions so we all went in to Victoire and walked round the Capucins market to the designated place. For 19 euros we had our four kebabs with salad and chips (served in a big wrap rather than in a pitta bread) and four canettes (two cokes, two ice teas, guess who had what). The owner asked "Vous êtes d'où ?" and I said my usual. 'On est de Pessac' . "Oui, mais vous avez un accent." 'Ah oui, le Pays de Gal

Aubergines and artichokes

at the supermarket (some time ago !)

When trombone players go on holiday

Measuring success


Colin Marshall writes about "Bruce Ministry" in the briefing

The church Sheilas are progressing in the faith, but how to encourage the Bruces to grow ? Colin reflects here.

S. Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances op.45 (I) Non allegro (Part I)

Please make sure you listen beyond the 4 minute mark. You get one of Rachmaninov's incredible melodies that make you want to laugh and cry at the same time.

A N Wilson on his return to faith

It's so well worth a read I've copied it all below : Why I believe again A N Wilson Published 02 April 2009 A N Wilson writes on how his conversion to atheism may have been similar to a road to Damascus experience but his return to faith has been slow and doubting Unlike his conversion to Atheism, Wilson's path back to faith has been a slow one By nature a doubting Thomas, I should have distrusted the symptoms when I underwent a “conversion experience” 20 years ago. Something was happening which was out of character – the inner glow of complete certainty, the heady sense of being at one with the great tide of fellow non-believers. For my conversion experience was to atheism. There were several moments of epiphany, actually, but one of the most dramatic occurred in the pulpit of a church. At St Mary-le-Bow in the City of London, there are two pulpits, and for some decades they have been used for lunchtime dialogues. I had just published a biography of C S Lewis, and the rec

Quick mission report

Thanks to all who have been praying for the special time of outreach with the folks from Mission Vacances. One of the peculiar frustrations of a week like this is that at a time when we most want to share what's happening there's least time to do that ! Anyway : We spent the mornings doing outreach on campus : door-to-door tracts and invites by the tram stops and cafés. From this have come a nice handful of contacts to follow up - they've passed on their email address. The afternoon found us in the town centre with the Calvin expo and in the square round the cathedral inviting folks in. Between 40 and 50 people came to the expo and many of them had useful conversations, too, and/or took leaflets, Bibles, etc. The MV folks say this was a very good number and I confess that I was surprised how popular an expo on Calvin proved to be. The evening events were more mixed. The Calvin conférence was well attended and of a very good quality, though it was not as evangelistically poi

1. Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine, 1610 / Jean Tubéry

Sackbutts !

Paris Gare du Nord

Go George. Listen folks !

A la maniere de schumann-Jacques Mauger

Mission week

So far so great. Beau temps. Visitors to Calvin expo. Happy team. Good session last night with Daniel Bergèse. All in fifth gear and steaming on through !

Castérède Jaques - "Flutes en Vacances", Flutes légères

It's Castérède season

Team here, expo looking good, tract written

but it's raining. Still, an expo is a good idea in the rain !

Santi Novoa y Ramón López - 1er mov. Casterede Sonatina

Cracking, this, isn't it ! Nice and bright and sunny with a happy bouncy pianist.

OK Team arrives today

Fiona and a gang of students are sticking the exhibition all over the student centre with gay abandon and a lorry-load of Pritt stick. I have just written my tract and Pat and I are on reception duty so I have been to buy half a tonne of pork chops and the European Sweet and Sour Sauce lake to feed the troops when they arrive. As I wrestled to write just 50 words about Calvin (yes - but they had to be the right words, and all in the right place !) I thought about how, just 10 years ago, or even less, if you had told me that I would be in Bordeaux, France writing a tract in French about Calvin I'd have thought your were utterly barking. The Mission begins in earnest tomorrow.

Joshua Griffin

goes into hospital this evening for the battery of tests the French doctors want to help them to understand his problems with co-ordination and why he is still prone to febrile convulsions. Please pray for them all.

The website

Honestly, the quick and shoddy websites I threw together for and for were well worth the minimal effort involved ! I used blogger and just took out as much as I could to stop it looking quite so much like a blog. Blogger is easy to use but limited, so you can't do much fancy stuff, but who needs that anyway. The Bordeaux Church website is basically just our leaflet put online. And this week, listen to this - this week alone - we had four enquiries from people who found the website: 3 e-mails and one person who just came to church without emailing first.

Easter report

Easter weekend began with the Good Friday service at 6pm at the church. But not for us ! As I made my way home just after 5 I saw that the rocade was completely blocked in the Bordeaux direction and Pessac centre itself was pretty impassable. The problem ? Three things : 1) end of working day. The rocade is always a problem around that time 2) beginning of Easter hols. People hit the road for Spain and the sun on Friday evening. 3) a trailer load of wood had caught fire on the Pont François Mitterand. So no Good Friday service for us ! Easter Day began bright and early at church for the setup and the service. The folk from Blaye were there and together with some other visitors we were pretty full. Sammy preached from the Emmaus Road and Romans 6 on reckoning yourself dead to sin and alive to righteousness. Pat had invited three families back for lunch and we press-ganged another friend into coming too. This is what enormous slow cookers were invented for. So we ate chilli and sticky th

Santi Novoa y Ramón López - Cavatine - Saint Saens

To celebrate an Easter Monday lie-in !

Tom Wrights On

the resurrection.

Bach - Magnificat Part 1

Et Resurrexit - Gran Misa en Si menor BWV 232 Bach

Juan Eliot Jardinero ?

Bach - Matthaeus Passion - 67-68

The final moments of Bach's St Matthew Passion reflect on Jésus' burial. It's Passion music, meant for Good Friday. For the resurrection we must wait. It's Friday (but Sunday's coming). The soloists say goodbye. Everyone says "All your work is over. Sleep now."

Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

Je remets mon esprit entre tes mains, tu m'as libéré, Eternel, toi, le Dieu véritable

Bach - Matthaeus Passion - 19-20-21-22

This is the Gethsemane section. I like the way this tenor sings, with no showmanship. He is like an earnest witness in a trial.

At the SFR shop

Well I picked a bad day to take Pat's faulty phone back - the day the iPhone came out on SFR, and they were selling like bread rolls, as one says. I joined the queue. An elderly lady joined the queue behind me. There was another queue on the other side of the shop. It moved quicker than ours. It always does. The chap in front of me was buying a new mobile for his mother. She destroys phones. There were 10€ off. To get it you had to fill in lots of forms. The salesman said "Why don't you insure the phone ?" "Well, yes, but what does the insurance cover ?" "Loss, theft, accidental damage, oxidation..." "Yes, but if I am attacked in the street and someone takes my phone in my backpack ?" "That's theft." I noticed that the young man had a slight tremor. He seemed very nice. "Yes, but what if I am attacked in the street and I drop my phone ?" "Then that's accidental damage." "But what about oxidation

A bit about music exams in UK and France

They're really different. I think I have already mentioned that while in the UK people generally find a private teacher for their instrument, or do it through a school scheme, here there are municipal music school, conservatoires and so on. The situation is a little more complex than I had first understood, because the schools vary in the rigidity of their organisation: the most, the conservatoires, next the municipals, then the associations. Our music school is an association, but it tends to apply the standards of the municipal schools with its programme of cycles, etc. Britain - grade 1 to 8, grade 8 being roughly equivalent to A-level, pre university/conservatoire. France - 3 cycles, each taking about 4 years, with 3ème cycle being roughly equivalent to grade 8. Theory of music - UK to take grade 8 you need theory grade 5. In France you study theory alongside your instrumental studies, very slowly. Catrin's flute music is MUCH more difficult than the stuff she does in theor

Bach - Matthaus Passion - 8. Aria S - Blute nur

The iPhone and competition in France

Thus far the iPhone has only been available in France on the Orange network at a price of 99 and 199 euros, with rental costing about 50 euros a month upwards. However one of the good things about France is that it is far more interventionist than Britain, and as of tomorrow the iPhone will be avilable on the SFR network, at a price of 99 and 199 euros, with rental costing about 50 euros a month upwards. Linked sales are also illegal in France, which means that in a French computermonger if you buy a pc and don't want Vista on it ( imagine the thought ! ) you can just say "Take off that ... software please." and they have to deduct the price of it, too.  Meanwhile, Bouygues Telecom ( boo-eeg, not boogie-woogie ) have yet to announce their prices, but I reckon I could give a good guess. Because one of the bad things about France is that there is a lot less competition than in Britain, so lots of things are more expensive and there's fewer killer deals around. For examp

Bach - Matthaeus Passion - 02-03-04-05 - Tom Koopman et al

In this section Caiaphas plots to get Jesus killed, but the Sanhedrin say "Not during the feast or the people will riot". Meanwhile a woman breaks her life savings of perfume and pours it on Jesus' head. The disciples complain about it, but Jesus defends her. Bach gives us great crowd scenes contrasted with a calm self-controlled Jesus.

Trouble at 'mill - what will happen to this university year ?

The students have now been on strike for about 8 weeks in some departments, a bit less in others. Some are beginning to wonder what will happen to their university year. Can there be exams in June ? If so to examine what ? There were already exams in January to test the studies from October to December. In theory exams in April / May would test the studies from January to March/April - but these are what have been interrupted. Can the year be validated without exams ? That would mean that for some people their degree would have been gained with a lot less study than for other people. This seems unlikely to happen. Third option - redo the year. Redoing the year is a pretty common choice anyway in France - many if not most students take a few goes at at least one fo their university years. O well, it's all grist to the mill.

O Waly, Waly / Andreas Scholl

Suddenly coming across a spring

Today in preparing for the English class I decided to use the BBC's 6-minute English broadcast for April Fool's day and I also found on Youtube the classic broadcast of the Swiss spaghetti trees. Now then where to go with that ? I thought about the fool saying in his heart that there is no God, but I think the majority of the class are theistic. I thought about Nabal, Abigail and David - I could have preached an evangelistic sermon on that but there is a limit to what you can do in the English Class ! I thought about 1 Corinthians, and I still really want to do that - especially for those in the class who believe that Christ was not crucified. I thought about the wise and foolish builders. But I think I will go with Luke 12, and the fool who built bigger barns but was not rich towards God. But en route I stopped and drank at Isaiah 35 , echoed in Hebrews 12.

Classic Comedy Morecambe and Wise

Chop the tail off it

I have long been sceptical of alternative therapies. Years ago I tried little homeopathic pills for hay fever - you dissolved them under your tongue. The ingredients were silica, sucrose. Yep - sugar and sand. They didn't work. I shouldn't have read the ingredients. A friend used to look at me through half-closed eyelids and mutter "phosphorus". Not for me. Chinese medicine ? Well I am not Chinese. However such is the persuasive skill of my friend Andy that he has me drinking pomelo pith and lily bulb soup for the next ten days to "chop the tail off" my asthma. I have dark misgivings. I know that grapefruit are now supposed to interact with all sorts of things and so on... Still, if it chops the tail off my asthma I won't complain.

Ride on, ride on in majesty

RIDE on! ride on in majesty! Hark! all the tribes ‘Hosanna’ cry; O Saviour meek, pursue Your road with palms and scattered garments strowed. Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die; O Christ, Your triumphs now begin o’er captive death and conquered sin. Ride on, ride on in majesty! The angel armies of the sky look down with sad and wondering eyes to see the approaching sacrifice. Ride on, ride on in majesty! Your last and fiercest strife is nigh: the Father on His sapphire throne awaits His own anointed Son. Ride on! ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die; bow Your meek head to mortal pain, then take, O God, Your power, and reign. Henry Hart Milman, 1791-1868

All Glory, Praise and Honour / All Glory, Laud and Honour

In honour of the two ... elder ... sisters

Cheers Kath and Haze !

Essential supplies for sermon prep.

Here Incidentally somone gave me a piece of "chocolat noir au poivre rose" the other day. It was very strange but very nice indeed !

That is SO WAY COOL !

While not going to the mairie Gwilym and I went to the Post Office then to a supermarket to buy him some Coke where we saw what must be the coolest toilet paper possible. Black. Isn't it GORGEOUS !

"I say, you're English, aren't you !"

was the greeting on the stairs. I said "Kind of...", but I am not really English at all ! Friend D a f y dd Job writes four short pieces on The Welsh Connection here .

Well I got to within about 300 yards of the mairie !

But one of the documents we need to submit is not where it should be . So we'll have to wait for the new copy to come by post and then I'll hand in the form when we have it . Please continue to pray that the mission week will be honouring and useful to God , that the exhibition will be attended and the various evening events useful , too .

Alastair Miles sings "The trumpet shall sound"

Handel's English wasn't brilliant and at first this went: 'and the dead shall be raised in-CO-or-rup-TIB-le. He changed it in version 1.5 (no major upgrade, just bug fixes)

Dietrich Henschel sings "Großer Herr, o starker König"

At the mairie ( one day I must read "The trial" by Kafka )

Anyway at reception they said 'Third floor' . On the third floor they said "Second floor" . On the second floor I found someone who said 'Oh yes, that's my office, come with me' We went. The office was empty of people but full of files. We waited. Someone came. They always do. The guy said: "Where's this exposition ?" "Who owns the building ?" "Who told you to come here ?" ( at this point I thought he would say "Just do what you like, we don't need to know, but... ) "Fill in this dossier and return it as soon as possible - you'll need to cross out lots of sections that don't apply to you". The form has about 30 pages and asks if we are using fireworks, helicopters or interrupting the trams for our Calvin exhibition, if we are holding a cremation and if we have informed the police in case of public panic. As you guessed, most of it does not apply to us at all, but rather to demonstrations in the

A day to fill me with fear and trembling

Firstly I visit the Mairie. As part of our Easter mission we are mounting an exhibition at Centre FAC which has free admission. We are told that the Town Hall must be notified of all "Portes Ouvertes". So I am off to do that today. It is not easy to convey the degree of reluctance that the French administration can inspire in the heart. I have previously reported on the ongoing saga of our friend who is seeking French nationality which entails repeated 7-hour waits in the préfecture. I try to help myself by reminding myself of how to deal with dogs in the street. If you show that you are intimidated they attack. If you appear nonchalant they accept you and leave you alone. Secondly Bible study tonight is on the second coming. This would not be at all problematic in Britain but in France the Scofield Bible is still immensely popular and its teachings dearly held by most churches. Some demand acceptance of some kind of dispensationalism in order to become a church member. It is

History repeated at Saddleback ?

Anyone know if the target was reached ?

"I know you're very busy, but..."

I started my first job in computing in October 1980, the year of the info bubble. My firm took on LOADS of new graduates and for some months had nothing for us to do. We were given desks near the entrance to the office suite and told to look busy. This was important because if clients visited and saw us loafing or reading the Beano this would give the impression that the firm didn't have enough work. Of course, it was perfectly in order to loaf or to read the Beano as long as we looked busy . (After a couple of weeks we got assigned to projects, one by one..) One of my pet hates as a busy pastor was to have people say to me "I know you're very busy, but.." It's true, I had a lot to do but after all I was there for people, and if I didn't have time for people then I was too busy. Not only that but think of all the people who wanted to dicuss things with me but decided they couldn't because I was too busy. Anyway, people shouldn't have to begin their co