Showing posts from May, 2009

Poulenc: Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano I.

Poulenc in silly mood.

Subway blues

Went back to my usual (ex)-Subway sandwich place. It's back to the 3 euro sandwich, forgotten are the incredible British £1.50 bargains. However my friendly local ex-Subway manager gave me 'City workers' discount'. I asked him how things are and May has been very hard. "Mais le Français quitte les restos et achète des sandwichs !" Not quite true. He's quitting the restaurants and not buying sandwiches either. Apparently MacDonalds is doing well but nobody else is.

Hmm - cheap catéchismes.

We could really do with a cheap catechism with scripture proofs in French. The Geneva Catéchisme is available but doesn't have Scripture proofs. Le catéchisme de Heidelberg is also available but it costs 5€ a shot, which is a lot when you want to give thm out to Christian students. We were thinking more like 50c ! We find that our students need grounding in baic Christian doctrines like the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, etc. A catechism with scripture proofs is a good way of doing this. I may have to produce a desktop published Heidelberg catechism.

Vaughan Williams - Six studies in English Folksong

Arranged and played by Brian Diehl.

English Problems, isn't it.

There is actually no problem with putting isn't it at the end of your sentences, I hasten to add, isn't it.

A sincere warning from a friend

The Reverend Pastor Gary Brady sends this sincere warning : If you receive an email from the 'National Institutes of Health' saying not to eat tinned chopped ham with pork because of swine flu, just ignore it..... it's SPAM.

Home and not quite dry...

Here I am back safe and sound in soggy chilly Pessac. Warmer and dryer in Bath !

Hailstones like pigeons' eggs, like ping-pong balls !

in Creon, just a little way to the North East of Bordeaux.

Branford Marsalis Quartet - The Blossom Of Parting

Cracking concert. Honestly. Cracking.

Well waddayaknow !

The phone rings. Roger and Anne have just left. The lads have not yet surfaced. Do I answer it ? "Hallo. I'm afraid Roger isn't here but I can take a message." Thomas appears at the door ready to rescue me but : "Is that Alan Davey ? This is Andrew Page ." Andrew is the author of The Mark Experiment and has worked with students and in pastoral work in Austria for many years. He's also met Aurelien in Dublin so we have lots of links. He now works with Above Bar church in Southampton. I know of him through the Mark Experiment though we had never met. We chatted and regretted a little that we would not meet this time. Then about 20 minutes later the phone rang again and Thomas answered it, but it was Andrew again inviting me up to the Bentley-Taylors for coffee and a face to face encounter. We shared anecdotes and experiences and had a wonderfully helpful time together.

Getting ready to fly home to Bordeaux

Not quite as simple as it would appear because I want to try to ensure that my 14 kg of tea bags and cheddar cheese do not send my bag over the weight limit, which means putting my shoes in my hand luggage etc.. I also have one or two things to hunt for if any supermarkets are open. It's a bank holiday in Bath and the senior Henwoods have gone to a wedding far far away. In theory the juniors and I will collaborate on meals, though this is a source of some trepidation to me as young folks have exacting standards when it comes to food and I am far from sure of delivering something which would be edible to the fellows. As I type we have our first casualty - a thumb sliced on a unsheathed breadknife. So in a moment I shall pass through the bathroom and into the town. Incidentally, I have been reading "The elegance of the hedgehog" ( L'elegance du herisson in translation) and really enjoyed it.

Dennis Rollins @ The Sands VenueLIVE WEB STREAMING AVAILABLE

This is the trombonist who played with the Maceo Parker band last night. He's from Birmingham and studied at Doncaster.

Pass the Peas by Maceo Parker live at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1995

This is the last Maceo Parker I will post, I promise.

Maceo Parker - 'To be or Not to be' - North Sea Jazz 2005

They made it funky.

Farewell to Deeside

I waved a fond farewell to Deeside and wiped away a tear. The thing is that when I went to buy fourteen kilogrammes of PG Tips tea I kept bumping into people I knew - Neil our old next-door neighbour, Paula with grandchild, Joyce the golden greeter... A long and tedious journey to Bath was followed by a rare treat - I got taken to a jazz-funk concert. I'll post a link to one of the songs that the group, the Maceo Parker Band, played. I tell you, they made it funky. We had a funk fiesta. Now I feel tired and hot and I would like to be a lert for tomorrow, so it's off to bed for me. I not with some concern a general strike organised for Tuesday and hope that the Air Traffic Controllers will still be working !

Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Sometimes it stopped raining.

Glenada Conference Centre

Newcastle , Northern Ireland


Here I am in the kichen of our old friends looking out on the gently falling rain. This morning I am visiting the Thursday Morning Bible Study. That'll bring back memories of some of my favourite moments here in Deeside. One lady recently said "Do you know, I often think of what you used to say in our Thursday Bible studies - 'Yes, but what comes just before that in the passage' and how you stressed the importance of the context". That was so nice of her to share that reminiscence. This afternoon I think I'll make a quick pilgrimage to Borders. It was my bolt hole in times of sadness (after funerals, for example). I seldom bought anything. I doubt if I will today. But it's good to browse. Tomorrow I "hold court" in Bethany Books. One wag suggested I sign books there. Could do ! Bethany Books do a cracking coffee so it'll be good to lurk there and talk with the folks who come in. Then Saturday down to Bath to spend Sunday at Widcombe. Tuesday

A Hawarden

Il faut que j'explique la manque d'accents - je tape sur un ordinateur britannique clavier anglais. Bof ! Je me trouve a Hawarden au Pays de Galles. Ce matin je rends visite a l'etude biblique de jeudi matin de notre ancienne eglise ici. Demain je vais prendre un cafe a la librairie chretienne. Hier soir j'etais a Wrexham a l'eglise Borras Park. Je preche dimanche a Bath a l'eglise baptiste Widcombe. Mardi je prends l'avion. Partout je partage ce que Dieu est en train de faire a Bordeaux parmi les etudiants et dans l'eglise et notre espoir pour l'avenir - d'etre un eglise qui rayonne dans la CUB, le departement et la region. Partout les gens prient pour nous et s'interessent au projet. En meme temps je sais que Ben Griffin visite d'autres eglises pour communiquer les possibilites et les defis qui sont devant eux et nous.

A Cwmbran

Voila ! Apres beaucoup de kilometres je me trouve a Cwmbran chez mes amis les Pegington pour rendre visite a l'Eglise Evangelique du Pont Neuf ( Pont Newydd Evangelical Church). Le paysage du Pays de Galles profond etait magnifique aujourd'hui mais franchement j'ai marre de tout ce va et venir et j'ai trop envie de rentrer en France ! Quand meme, il me reste qu'une semaine . A bientot !

Cardiff - Mold - Flint - Aberystwyth - Cwmbran - Wrexham

This is the most tiring part of the fortnight, but also the most delightful. At St Mellons I met old friends and made new ones. I had a lovely drive up to Mold where it was great to be amongst the folk at Ebenezer, then down to Flint for an after-meeting where my dear friend Rhys was there. Then after a super cup of coffee in Bethany Books down to Aberystwyth and my first ever pastor, Geoff Thomas. Aber is as gorgeous and grotesque as ever. Today down to Cardiff and thence to Cwmbran where more old friends awaited me. I stopped off at the designer outlet place to use the free wifi (thanks MacDonalds) and found some important emails awaiting me AND my old friend and partner in crime Pneil Pfeiffer. I haven't seen Neil for years, since he moved from Coedpoeth down to Llansamlet, but we slipped back into our easy, happy relationship. He's such a fine chap. As for me I am starting to wilt a little, so woe betide anyone who asks a stupid question tonight... No, I think I'll be O

Catrin Finch Goldberg Variations

Huw, my brother-in-law, introduced me to this. Ta Huw!

AECW Annual Assembly

Grand ! And I had a lift there with Ian Parry of the Bay Church, Cardiff. And I got to sing a new Stuart Townend song. And to do a quick report for the folks. And to see so many old and valued friends.

On visiting my old stomping grounds in Cardiff

The Hayes - WHAT ! Eeek ! Coffee shops EVERYWHERE - even upstairs in W H Smith. The Castle - some things never change. Rowlands - oh no ! Where's Rowlands ? Aha - moved to the other side of the arcade. Aha - music stocks somewhat reduced. So THAT'S why everyone buys music on the net. SO glad it's still going though. Wally's deli. Oh yes ! Happy memories of Rye bread with caraway seeds and very fibrous muesli. Christian bookshop - ah yes, no Potts, Robert etc... Time moves on. Oh look ! A Borders !

Dotty definitions

A good friend sent me the following and I pass it on for your delight. You will see that I have deemed some unsuitable for publication in these august pages. The Washington Post has an annual contest in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. And the winners are: 1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs. 2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained. 3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach. 4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk. 6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown. 7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp. 8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash. 9. Flatulence, n.. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller. 10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline. 12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists. 13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist. 14. Oyster, n. A person who s

Last night at Emmanuel Gabalfa

Cardiff is so full of old friends - some of them are now Very Old ! Now I have two days just to spend with my sisters and families and also meeting an "old friend" for coffee tomorrow at Ikea. I am posting this in Macdonalds. I timed it wrong so as well as my traditional cup of tea I bought a "deli sandwich" - sweet chilli chicken, which was an unexpected treat. Saturday the long trek to Newtown for the AECW Annual Assembly. Someone said that I am speaking, but it can't be a major session or they would have told me, so I guess I am just giving a report during the reports session. I haven't seen a programme. Sunday Cardiff am, Mold, then Fflint pm.

Mission accomplished

Bargain Clarks shoes and Marks trousers from the outlet village. That's me covered up for a few more years. Then to the Bay Church, which meets in a school . It was great to see so many old friends who are working hard to establish this church in the heart of a needy part of Cardiff.

Such strange weather

Violent storms in the Charente Maritime and the Gironde. Huge hailstones and flooded motorways. Meanwhile in Cardiff it is warm and sunny. How weird is that !

Greetings from Cardiff

So from the UFM Northern Ireland conference we went to Belfast International Airport where I caught the flight to Bristol. Northern Ireland was amazing. It's a small area, with just 1,500,000 people. About 500,000 live in Belfast. A large percentage of Christians and lots of churches, many of whom are evangelical. So a small community, but one that God has blessed and used over the years. Some memorable quotes : on cakes - "We don't like to take a cup of tea with nothing." on Scotland - "The Scots are getting nearly as godless as the English". (I told them that sadly the Welsh are more godless than either.) Colin took us on a tour of the Falls / Shankhill Road areas. The murals are quite disturbing and to see so many union flags and tricolors. But much of the "peace wall" has been demolished and the old checkpoint gates we drove through are no longer used. Maybe it's good that they remain as a reminder of how bad things can be. One lady at the

Holst 2nd Suite in F - i: March - Mancunian Winds dir. Matt Burke

Come on ! Get up ! It's Sunday !

A taste of Britain

Crisps : Fish and chips, Cajun squirrel. Seen but not tried ! Chewing gum : mint choc. Northern Ireland is fed on cakes and traybakes, some I had never encountered before, such as a "15". Thinks - traybakes may go down well in France for church lunch desserts. However the biggest surprise so far : we needed to stop to buy a sandwich en route to Newcastle and a 6" (15cm) ham subway is £1.50. Bargain!

'Hen wlâd fy nhadau' yn Stâd Frainc

Mae Rennes a Guingamp yn chwarae yng ngystadleuaeth Cwpan Ffrainc a mae Cyngor Llydaw wedi gofyn iddynt i chwarae anthem cenedlaethol Llydaw - 'Hen wlâd fy nhadau'. Caiff yr anthem ei chwarae, ond awr neu awr a hanner cyn yr anthem ffrengig. Rennes and Guingamp are competeing for the France Cup and the Regional Council has asked for the Breton anthem to be played -  le Bro gozh ma zadoù   (the Welsh anthem, but in Breton). It'll be played but an hour or more before the Maresillaise. Read about it in French here. Hear the Breton anthem here .  

Subway club

Turkey, beef and ham with toasted cheese in a honey and oats roll with all the salads possible and a honey mustard sauce. Very nice indeed. Bristol airport is not bad. I bought an adapter for French to British sockets. The man before me in the queue was saying 'for French ? for French ?' and when I looked at him I was surprised nto to see Inspector Clouseau. So I told him that I had the same model and that it should be what he needs. Later I saw him with his companion trying to ask where his car rental office was, so I went up and explained where to go. He and his companion were from Toulouse and over for the Badminton horse trials. A Brazilian tried to sell me a £20 ticket to cross the ball and win a Porsche. He's in the country working to send money home to his mother in Brazil. A really nice guy but he could see that there was no way I was going to buy his ticket ! We talked in between punters ! It was a surprisingly friendly and lively place.

La Marseillaise for 8th May

Victory in Europe. Bank Holiday. The school of music is playing the Marseillaise at the Place de la République in Pessac. This is Roberto Alagna singing Berlioz' understated arrangement. Meanwhile I am in Lisburn near Belfast for the UFM Ireland Conference. Ireland is great and I am sure the weekend will be corker. I will experience the unique plenitude of the Ulster Fry tomorrow, I am told. I am also looking forward to seeing the gang and hearing all that goes on.


Well here I am halfway to Northern Ireland. Par for the course, International Roaming is not working on my mobile phone. I have checked on the website if it is set on, and it is, but my phone isn't allowed access to any networks. Wifi on the mini laptop is working though. Hence this message. Ho Hum. In a moment I shall eat a Subway sandwich while waiting for my onward flight. I wonder if they do le sub du jour .

Chabrier, Espana conducted by Placido Domingo

with George Peppard from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' playing bass.

Song of the Day - Jive For Five (Paul Nagle) - Quinette de cuivres de l'OVNI

At the Mairie

"We only deal with social housing", said the lady at reception. I was quite flattered ! Anyway there was nobody in the office she directed us to (it was dead on two) so we waited till somebody came and then went in. I explained the scenario and we were told "Here's the form, you visit the 6 agencies first then when you have your departmental number you submit the form." So somewhat daunted by the prospect of visiting 5 more offices we scuttled off to see what could be done by internet. We got four done, for the fifth the website form didn't work so they're sending a paper form to fill in and the sixth only has flats way out of town. Voilà. Mission accomplished.

At the HLM office.

But a studio isn't big enough for three people. In the far east it is. Yes, but this is France. Yes, I agree entirely but this student has limited means. Yes, but the government will help - he can get a decent flat with his housing allowance. The lady was very helpful and this afternoon we'll visit la Mairie de Pessac to request housing there, too. HLM = social housing.

The day after tomorrow I fly

I'll never be ready on time ! Still, I'l be on the plane, ready or not. Three major tasks this afternoon : 1) visit the town hall with a student to submit a request for housing 2) prepare for the English Class 3) ensure there's enough money in the bank to keep the family fed until May 25th when we get paid ! (after paying for the air fare and car hire we may need to raid our savings to get through the month)

La Méditation de Thaïs

Ask yourself "Why is he playing in a cave ?" Deep joy. Deep joy.

Did You Know 3.0

Well we got our good weather and we had our barbecue

with about 20 people there of varying nationalities. We ate sausages and then considered John 4 as the sun slowly set.

Recession and restauration

Today is the first of the bridges of May

May 1 is a bank holiday so there are no trams or buses at all and in theory everyone zooms off for the weekend to do happy outdoorsy things. However the weather is cold, grey and menacing. We had considered having a picnic lunch together (the kids are off school) but it's too cold. Instead we'll huddle together and drink soup and eat toast. Tomorrow is the International Homegroup and I am hoping for good weather so we can barbecue. However, even if it rains we can still barbecue on the covered patio thing and if it is cold people can stay inside and huddle together or crowd round the barbecue. Thinking to look at John 3 tomorrow evening. Also writing articles and preparing Powerpoint for church visits.