Sunday 14 July 2013
Monday 8 July 2013
Wednesday 3 July 2013
Friday 28 June 2013
Saturday 22 June 2013
Monday 17 June 2013
I suspect that finance would be #1 on most lists. The standard practice is to make a single payment when the body is buried. However those taking on the responsibility then have a long-term financial commitment over many decades. It seems as if in some cases the money coming in from new burials plus any investment income from decades of earlier burials is not enough to meet current costs. This leaves those in charge with just three options. Greatly increase the charges for new burials, neglect maintenance (or in the case of churches rely entirely on volunteer labour) or look for a public subsidy. I imagine the situation when the graveyard or cemetery is full is even more serious since no income whatsoever will be coming in. People with their family or friends buried there will campaign, sometimes quite strongly, against serious neglect but most taxpayers will be supremely indifferent. There are not many votes to be found in cemeteries.
#2 on the list will be geographical. What do you do when a site is full? There is unlikely to be vacant land next door to a Victorian cemetery and so many new cemeteries are established on the edges of towns and cities. Of course most people want to be buried in the same cemetery as other relatives - not some new site with which there is no family connection.
A third issue is who should be held responsible the maintenance of monuments and headstones? As the years go by and people move away neglect gradually increases. Add to this natural decay and vandalism and it isn’t surprising that some sites seem so tatty.
Tuesday 11 June 2013
Thursday 6 June 2013
A number of features before, during and after the election process combined to make me feel suspicious. There was no evidence that either of the two, ultimately successful, candidates had been correctly nominated. They were both expecting to be returned unopposed and were very much caught by surprise when other nomination papers were handed in five minutes before the deadline. I think it is more than likely that they then generated their own papers retrospectively.
There also seemed to be a serious mismatch between the number of ballot papers found in the ballot box and the number of people who complained that they either never received their ballot paper or who claimed that they didn’t even know that an election was taking place. It seemed curious to everybody - except the successful candidates - that such a high turnout was being claimed for an election where so many people were complaining about not having voted! It was also impossible to reconcile the votes for the different candidates with the way people claimed to have voted. There was certainly widespread incredulity at the low number of votes the unsuccessful candidates appeared to have received.
Subsequently it was discovered that the ballot papers had been counted without the unsuccessful candidates being present and without any public scrutiny. This was after the published time for the count was unilaterally changed by the Returning Officer. Curiously the two successful candidates had managed to be present at the count!
So no hard proof but a large number of unanswered questions shall we say!
Thursday 30 May 2013
Saturday 25 May 2013
Monday 20 May 2013
Tuesday 14 May 2013
Tuesday 7 May 2013
Looking on the bright side. I have greatly cheered by the recent performance of UKIP. What was particularly enjoyable was seeing the outrage of the political establishment at the prospect of their cosy little cartel being disrupted by “people power”. The Conservatives in south Shropshire seem so entrenched and now the other parties seem to given up trying to unseat them – neither Labour or the Lib Dems even stood for election – I would welcome the opportunity to vote for UKIP.
Wednesday 1 May 2013
Friday 26 April 2013
In characteristic Cannington fashion nobody bothered to warn me in advance and the first I knew about all of this was when I found a rather terse note on my (former) desk from the new occupants asking me to vacate “their space” pronto! Curiously and amusingly I never met the author of this note and although we exchanged a number of messages over a period of a couple of weeks I never saw them or any member of their staff or even the slightest sign that any childcare provision was taking place.
Friday 19 April 2013
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Friday 12 April 2013
Saturday 6 April 2013
Sunday 31 March 2013
Tuesday 26 March 2013
Thursday 21 March 2013
It was about now that I realised that it was time for me to move on. I did some work for the Somerset Information Technology Unit (SITU) and this gave me the confidence and the experience to apply for a promoted post at a mainstream further education college in Northamptonshire.
I got the job and the next day I submitted my letter of resignation to a rather shocked Principal. It seems as most people had assumed that I wouldn't get offered the job - and most of the rest thought that I would not take it even if I had been offered it. It was fun to prove them wrong.
I never taught Food Technology again!
Friday 15 March 2013
As I said only the other week - "If somebody wants to meet up with a few like-minded people in a former warehouse under the guise of calling it a church go ahead, I would be the last person to interfere." Just don't expect me to be in awe of your splinter group off a subsect of just one denomination of the Church that split off the Catholic Church in the middle ages.
Religion gives great joy to many people. It also gives comfort and solace to people in some of the darkest moments of their lives. But I always wonder what motivates the "ostentatiously religious" who are prone to waving their arms around during their "church" services in some bizarre attempt to appear more religious that the people around them.
I tend to judge people on the basis of what they do, day by day and week by week. What they do during one hour on a Sunday is just a tiny part of this. Many of the most community minded people that I know have no obvious religious affiliation while two of the most religious appear to do no voluntary sector work whatsoever.
My suspicion is that some of these fringe religious groups are in for a major shock when they reach the proverbial "Pearly Gates". "But what did you do that was useful to society at large?" is a question likely to leave them floundering!
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Wednesday 6 March 2013
Friday 1 March 2013
Version 1 – Although Peter exchanged regular letters with Joan and the children he never saw his family again as he was killed on active service off the coast of Norway in April 1940. Joan and the children returned to England shortly after VE Day in 1945 but they were never happy in their former home in Southampton and they all returned to Canada within a matter of months.
(This would be a book mainly set in war-time Canada and would be a fairly major research project if the mass of detailed information needed in the book was to be factually accurate.)
(This would be my first choice. Lots of potential for tension and an ending that would leave questions unanswered.)
Sunday 24 February 2013
Wednesday 20 February 2013
Thursday 14 February 2013
Thursday 7 February 2013
Friday 1 February 2013
Sunday 27 January 2013
Sometimes it can years before the truth about a person or organisation emerges into the full glare of public scrutiny. To me what makes battles of this type worth fighting is that eventually the whole story almost always does come out and it can be very satisfying to know that events have proved me right.
Tuesday 22 January 2013
Wednesday 16 January 2013
South America – There doesn’t seem to have been much published on 20th century postal rates and without this information “writing up” covers is almost impossible. Although it might be possible to locate Post Office Guides that would tabulate this data I assume they would have been written in Spanish or Portuguese neither of which I speak. On the plus side there is a reasonable quantity of material available and, I assume, relatively little competition for it since most of the auction lots I examined had attracted no bids.
Thursday 10 January 2013
Saturday 5 January 2013
Friday 4 January 2013
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to the French but not to the Scots. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Scots?
2. I would like to sell my daughters into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for them?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath when he drives to Church Stretton to buy a newspaper. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My Brother-in-Law is a farmer. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.