Showing posts from August, 2014

Book review : How Will The World End? by Jeramie Rinne

Recently a friend showed me a book that they'd been recommended to read on the book of Revelation. "I'm baffled", they said, waving the standard, respected volume at me. It isn't terribly easy to find an accessible, straight-forward help to understanding the book of Revelation or the doctrine of eschatology, the last things. I like Sam Storms' "Kingdom Come", Wilcock's "Message of Revelation" and Bewes "The Lamb Wins", among others. Now you can add "How will the world end?" by Jeramie Rinne. The book has immediate advantages over all the others, however. Firstly, it is very short. Just 96 pages. And some of the pages have diagrams on them! It really won't take you long to read this book. Secondly, the cover is a very pleasing shade of red. Perhaps the reddest book cover I have ever seen. Any more red and it might slip into the infra-red and become invisible. More importantly, the book is surprisingly co

Photography, or rather, cameras

I was hunting for something I needed urgently the other day and made the happy discovery of my old, dearly loved Olympus mju 2 camera. It's a splendid gizmo. It still has a film in it, and I haven't used it since - well it must be at least 12 years. My first camera was an Agfa instamatic thingy that I got to take on a school trip. It was as basic as basic could be, but the photos were OK. You remember them. Square photos from a kind of boxy clunky thing. 126 film cartridges. Typical 1970s contraptions. Next I remember spending £30 on a Zenit E. It was a wonderful thing with a most splendid lens, but so heavy it was like walking with a sack of spuds round your neck. After a couple of years of taking LOTS of photos and sending them for developing to cheap labs everywhere I sold my Zenit for what I paid for it and bought a Cosina CSM. The Cosina CSM was an aperture priority slr camera with TTL metering! Very high tech. This was traded in for a second-hand Nikon, which then g

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

Well I got through to the appliance repair people yesterday and they said, "bring the oven along", so I reserved a car for this morning and we hauled said oven and ourselves off to the aforementioned place. A kind chappie listened to our problem and then helped me carry the machine in and plonk it on top of one of those gas cookers with a folding lid. "I can tell you now that we can't fix it;", he said, "it's a bit too old, they only carry parts for eight years, and by the time you track the spares down you just as well have bought another." We surveyed the combination ovens they had in the store. All were too small. We contemplated getting a small oven and small microwave separately. That would take up twice the room, the oven are particularly basic and in our experience don't last very long. We contemplated getting a small electric cooker, sawing out the worktop to allow it to sit in the kitchen and getting a small microwave oven al

Delfeayo Marsalis - sorry, I forgot to pop one on yesterday!

Libération !

Today is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bordeaux. As the Nazi forces were retreating they continued to struggle to hold Bordeaux because of its strategic importance as an atlantic port. However fighting broke out in various places in the city as people started to challenge the occupying forces. Shots were fired in the centre of Bordeaux. A soldier threw a hand-grande into the crowd at Talence. The city could not be kept. The order came to leave the city, but not before destroying the port by blowing up the quays. The collaborationist town hall negotiated to try to save the city. Meanwhile, a brave German soldier sabotaged the planned destruction by blowing up the ammunition dump. He later settled in Bordeaux, took French nationality and died some years ago in the city he protected. The port was sabotaged by another means, though, and a path for shipping was not reopened until 1949. Some sunken ships remain in the estuary and one can be seen in central Bordeaux at low tid

Delfeayo Marsalis - Les Feuilles Mortes

A walk along the vineyards

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Sunny, warm and bright. So we ventured out for a stroll up the track alongside the Pape Clément vineyard up to the second-hand bookshop, where we found nothing of interest. It was good to see the grapes ripening.

Delfeayo Marsalis again

Aber Conference

The third week of our holiday was spent at the Aberystwyth Conference, where the main speakers were Don Carson and Joel Beeke. The main addresses are held in the Great Hall of the University and we were staying in a student flat in the Cwrt Mawr halls of residence. Our flat was shared with one Dutch couple, an Australian couple currently teaching in Kiev and, New Zealander and an English woman. Don Carson was speaking on Ephesians, the other folks took various themes, passages, approaches. A search for "Evangelical Movement of Wales" in YouTube MIGHT bring up the conference addresses, etc, though there was a rumour that they would be taken down from YouTube and only made available through the Movement's website itself. There's various seminars in town and a well-regarded missionary exhibition - I went to one seminar where Don Carson spoke on various matters to consider when thinking of preaching through John's Gospel. We also did the mishbish one afternoon.

Porage in the slow cooker

Works fine, but it makes a TERRIBLE mess of the container you cook it in.

A short sequence of Delfeayo Marsalis videos

Morning panic

Microwave and oven broken. Porridge in the slow cooker overnight. Bleary-eyed morning. "You OK, Catrin, You're up very early." "No, I'm not, it's half past eight." EEEEK Slow-cooked porage fine - different texture, more like rice pudding, but fine.

Le groupe chinois

It was great to be back with the groupe chinois this evening. This week was John 14:15-27, and again helping them to be prepared for the JWs attempts to derail them. I love the group so much. Where else could you ask, "And what else does the Holy Spirit give to believers?" and not have anyone suggest gifts?

The Proms on iPlayer

Suffering from sensory deprivation as I do, I have a tendency to burst into tears at inappropriate moments. Tonight's first occasion was during the Proms' Battle of the Big Bands, at a point during "It don't mean a thing" where the camera panned to show people in the circle of the Albert Hall dancing. The second was during a performance by the Hallé Orchestra of Berlioz' overture, Le Corsaire, specifically the moment towards the end where the tuba and trombones blast out descending arpeggios, then scales.. Baaam ba baam baam baaaaam!     Baaam ba baam baam baaaaam! Ba ba baam ba ba ba ba baaam! I'm sure you get the picture. If you know the piece you know the part I mean. Sheer magic! Oh, look, someone has put it on YouTube. The moment is at about 7 minutes in.

How do people cope?

We had three motorway journeys to do. Firstly down to Leicester - for this on the way down we took the M6 toll and we didn't have too many hold-ups. One the way back we took the M1 up to Derby, then the Toyota road across to Stoke and got horribly caught up in traffic afterwards. Then we went down to Watford. Because of the time of day there were no real hold-ups and we pottered along at a decent speed. Then to Cardiff. OH BOY! After congestion on the M6 we then hit huge road works on the M5 that added at least an hour to our journey time. I don't miss the motorways. Not at all!

Deeside and environs

It was good to spend some time in Deeside. We had a list of things we wanted to do. Conway Castle Walls of Chester Portmeirion Outlet village for pants and socks Abakhan mill shop for wool etc. Well we got to Abakhan and Pat got some wonderful wool to make Gwilym a scarf.

Seeing the folks

This year we were able to see all our siblings. Quite a feat! We hadn't seen Pat's family for a few years, but this year we were in the UK at the time of a joint 40th / 65th birthday barbecue, so there was a general gathering of the clans of the Hodgsons and erstwhile Hodgsons. It was good to see Pat's three sisters, her brother and a good proportion of her nephews and nieces. One of my brothers-in-law has been in hospital for a few months after suffering a stroke, so I was very keen to see him and my sister. Then that evening my other sister, her children and some of her grand-children were met for Friday Family Festive Fun, so we joined them and marvelled at how big all the children are getting.

UFM FamConf

UFM holds a Family Conference every year the last week of July, and missionaries who are in the UK at the time are strongly encouraged to attend. It's no hardship. We love meeting with friends, colleagues and people who are concerned for the work of the mission. Not only that, but the conference is held at Hothorpe Hall, where the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the food is excellent. The helpful conference addresses on James 1 were given by David Magowan from Reading and we especially enjoyed the presence and help of our friends from 100Fold, the finest pointy-headed geeks you'll ever meet. Every missionary has a 14.75 minute slot to present their work and we decided to show our slides and stuff, then to have Pat interview me about burnout. Lots of missionaries suffer from stress-related problems and we wanted to try to be helpful. Anyway, we got through this by the simple expedient of me not thinking about it beforehand (quite Biblical - take no thought for the mor

Travel arrangements for the Davey World Tour of Wales

The logistics for this three-week holiday were the most complicated yet. So much so that until we were on the plane home I was not sure the plan would come together. But we only had one modification to do, and that was due to a combination of the M5 roadworks and an unforeseen funeral. The problem was that we were very rarely all together in one place. Usually three of us were at one event while the fourth was somewhere else. And everything miles, sometimes hundreds of miles apart. Firstly Catrin, Pat and I flew Easyjet to Liverpool. Here our friend Rhys was waiting to meet us. I fly quite often now and sometimes there's someone to meet me, but usually there's not. Whenever I land unmet I always look with envy at the people being welcomed by family and friends. There's even a book I'd rather like to read called "Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part" (I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere). So to see Rhys' welcoming smile wa

Been kinda quiet round here, ain't it...

Sorry about the prolonged silence - about 3 1/2 weeks I make it. We have been away on holiday in England and Wales. We flew to Liverpool without our lad, Gwilym and spent a few days in Shotton. Then Catrin, Pat and I went to the UFM Family Conference. Catrin then went to camp and Pat and I went up to Northop Hall. Gwilym joined us, and we took him to camp, Pat and I went to the Aber Conference, while Catrin spent a week with friends in London. Then a weekend in Deeside with us all together before sending Gwilym off to Swindon and returning to Bordeaux. At present we have post-holiday blues and we feel like a three-legged dog without our lad. Proper reflections will follow thick and fast.