Here at Hargreaves Towers, many things too numerous to mention, clamour for attention in the day to day war of attrition we like to call “family”. When our children were young, they thought as we did – because we told them to and what we liked – they liked because we were their heroes. Those times have long passed and now, when being allowed to go out with them in public is a bonus (unless, of course, we are on our way to the cash machine) things are very different. One ongoing bone of contention is church worship. Last Sunday we had what is now termed an “animated discussion” about son’s failure to sing to a certain hymn. His reply – that he couldn’t see the point of repeating “16th century irrelevant phrases ” made me think a bit about Christian music.
I am a hymn fan. My wedding was full of ’em. That was in the days before weddings were full of Disney songs and Witney Houston. (Least favourite wedding opening. Bride entering to “Can you feel the love tonight?” from the Lion King. Bit of an awkward moment.) Yep,Fanny Crosby, HF Lyte and Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Chas Wesley. I love it. But. I’m kind of thinking that they work best in their context. I don’t mean we shouldn’t sing them. Just that they should be sung how they were written. I think Amazing Grace works better without a drum’n’bass track. And maybe “When I Survey” can live without a sixties style melody to “appeal to the young people”.

In the same way songs written by Tim Hughes or Matt Redman with a loud guitar riff needs to retain that. I’m never sure about singing these songs sort of toned down for an older audience. You know the kind of thing “Oh happy day! (cue drum cymbals – chink a chink,chink a chink) Happy Day (chink a chink) You washed my sins away! (ker chink!) Even someone like me who hasn’t jumped up vertically with both feet off the ground since Steve Coppell was scoring from outside the penalty box in 1976 appreciates that these songs work best played so that people can jump, clap, wave and all that jazz. Thinking that maybe we should mix and match a bit. Sing each others stuff generously as it was meant to be sung and put a bit of effort in. Its not all about you you know!

Back at work this week so unable to settle long enough to bless you with deep thoughts and insights so try and get by without the bedrock of my wisdom but think on these things.

1. Richard Dawkins is arranging to arrest the Pope. Leaving aside the deep moral and spiritual issues I feel Mr Dawkins will do better when he gets over his shyness and pushes himself forward more. Come on Mr Dawkins!

2. Hero of the week. The mother of a child with Downs Syndrome who stood up to Frankie Boyle. Find out more here. I understand that a comic who bases his act in being edgier than the edgiest edgy thing will do stuff that makes you go ouch. However, in the debate about where the line is drawn – surely its a long way in front of kicking helpless children with a disability who can’t fight back. This just won’t do. In the olden days when I was a child we had a word for kids like Mr Boyle (no not that word – its a Christian based column and that’s not edifying) the word was bully. And although everyone was nice to the bully’s face – nobody really liked him. Mr Boyle may not care but that doesn’t make a difference. Don’t do it.

3. North/South Divide. There are lots of things the South does at least as well as the North. The weather helps of course etc. etc. but there are areas where they should never cross into each others areas of expertise and at the top of the page resplendent all its glory, is an example of one. The Steak Pudding. This may be called one but it isn’t one, if you know what I mean. Don’t do it. Leave it. Don’t try. Don’t dabble. Don’t pretend. No. No. No……………………………………………………………….No! Er No.

I know its been a long time but – well, I started a new job, significant other also started new job, have had heavy duty revision responsibilities with oldest fruit of womb, I’ve become a great auntie and have had Wayne Rooney’s ankle to worry about. So, no blog. Give me a break. At least I’ve taken the trouble to re-jig it. So will try harder.

Anyway, maybe, possibly, perhaps Spring has sprung (a bit) so time to get a line of washing out! If Cheryl Cole knew about the life I live ……

Saw an article this week about whats wrong with Christianity in the modern world. One of the suggestions to improve our profile was a high value conversion like Cheryl or the Beckhams or (close your eyes and imagine) Katie Price. Thing is, my old dad always says (actually might not be my dad but someone very much like him) that Christianity struggles when it gets popular. We apparently operate best when we are out of step with the majority and are not to be trusted with too much power. (Hmmm. Certain areas of Catholic Church anyone?) I spend half my life feeling out of step with…well virtually everything really. It is a great comfort to me therefore to know that this is because of my extraordinary level of spirituality and not because of early onset dementia. Here endeth today’s lesson.

PS I’ve added another blog to the list on the side. Chez Larsson is basically lots of pages about a Swedish woman cleaning out her cupboards but I love it. Which probably says a lot about my very high boredom threshold or equally high nosiness levels.


Still shivering and feeling on the verge of a cold that never quite happens. Have amused myself with the tele and t’Internet. Herewith is some of the stuff – Behold!

Read this if you dare. Its strong stuff and I sobbed like a baby afterwards. But maybe its something we all need to read. Link here to a strong account of child neglect and if you feel the need to come back and sign up to the NSPCC don’t fight it!! Just click on the donate by the logo below to take you through to the NSPCC site

Donate

Look its not important (especially if you read the link above) but I love Beaker. Don’t we all? And this makes me happy. Click here to feel Beaker love…

My thing with make up is that I like it but have no idea about it and my make up bag is packed to the drawstrings with expensive mistakes. So I do love E.L.F (eyes lips and face). The stuff is nice and a nice price. These nail varnishes are £1.50 at the moment. Last summer I took my daughter and four friends on a weekend away and on a rainy afternoon in a caravan I offered sanity saving manicures without having to use £11.00 bottles of varnish on the little darlings.

Channel 4s – The Bible A History has been very annoying so far I think. Most Christianity stuff on TV these days is so keen to be “right on” – its like there is nothing challenging to say. Anyone who has been a Christian for more than twenty minutes can usually write this stuff holding the pen in their teeth and whistling “Its the same old song” at the same time. However tonight’s episode, while I don’t agree with lots of it, is v v interesting for a change. Faith is a feminist issue???


This is late. I am sorry. I have been soooo busy but in case you care – my thoughts on the festive season and the time following it…

The List
Things I am discovering…….
1.Having a son who is doing A levels has improved my knowledge of Stalin, annotation of texts, philosopy and the way an album sleeve is constructed immeasurably.
2.None of the above are of any use to me in any way.
3.Test Match Special can almost make an afternoon of ironing bearable
4.It is snow. It is not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (South Coast of England – Do you hear me?)
5.It is not cool to sniffle with pride as your son plays bass for the first time in the worship band.
6.It would apparently not have been cool either for the whole family to turn up for the meeting in “We love the Bass Player” matching T shirts. Only trying to encourage…
7.Cooking for seven at Christmas Dinner is much more than twice as hard than cooking for four. How can that be? Still great time had by all – me included.
8.”Carols with Beer” is an interesting concept for a party and was more enjoyable than I expected. Interesting to see people not usually in church having their singing pipes loosened by a Party Seven.
9.It is essential to have a daughter who understands Doctor Who with you when you are trying to fathom out the final episode. (Still cried and DT isn’t even my favourite doctor)
10.Morecambe has few self esteem issues when it comes to making his feelings known about being asked to leave the setee.
Have a go at this Dog Whisperer!