Friday, 16 March 2007

Six Weird Things About Me

Just when I was getting to regret saying I never got tagged for anything! Esther got me...

People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 weird things as well as stating this rule clearly! Three people need to be tagged and their names listed. Finally a comment needs to be left on each tagged person's blog...

Six weird things... errrm, tricky. How about this:

1. I wear a mantilla. (OK, strictly speaking it's unusual rather than weird! Humour me!)

2. I don't eat vegetables. (Never. Even as a little girl. Potatoes don't count, especially chipped and/or deep fried.)

3. I'm blonde, but I adore blonde jokes.

4. I'm almost pathological in my loathing of "inclusive" language. If I remember the words, I sing the un-PC versions of hymns in church... Loudly.

5. When I had an operation to rebuild the top of my tibia and fix my knee, I was chatted up by an anaesthetist... (while on the operating table... during the operation... very long story!)

6. I am convinced that my Guardian Angel is white-haired, and on valium-and-vodka cocktails with the strain of looking after me... Look at some of the stuff I've done: road-traffic accident when 16 (broke tibia, fibula, pelvis, scapula, unconscious for a week, transfusion of six units of blood and developed a pulmonary embolism), hospitalised for severe blood loss at 18 (transfusion of 7 units of blood), I walked into the middle of a murder (as it was happening... not an experience I'd recommend), my car was smashed into by articulated lorry (on motorway, car spun across three lanes and overturned) and finally, this year started with a rear wheel-bearing on my car collapsing while I was driving down the motorway...

See... I'm not really that weird after all !

I tag Northern Cleric, Stephen and Newhousenewjob...

A Little Taste of Heaven

Ok, now pay attention you lot ! Northern Cleric, put the ice-cream down. Stephen, stop teasing the cats and put the camera away. Pull yourself together, Newhousenewjob: it's very bad form to giggle at your own jokes, so will you please stop... and don't think I didn't see those bluebells in your pocket, Dúnadan...

Now I have your undivided attention, I just thought I'd make my feelings absolutely clear... when I die, I want my Requiem to be celebrated in the Classical Roman Rite. I attended my first Old Rite Requiem today, and it was just so awesome...

Just to set the scene: altar set up for Mass ad orientem, priest in cassock, black vestments and biretta... holy water and incense ready to go... and people praying quietly.

This desire for a Classical Latin Requiem Mass isn't just me being traddy. It makes total sense. No-one in my family is a practicing Catholic, so they won't know what's going on at the Mass anyway, or when to stand, kneel or sit... so I'll make it easy for them: kneel down at the start, and stay kneeling until the end, except for the two Gospel readings. I'm assuming that they will be in no fit state to pay any attention to the prayers, so they can forget about trying to keep up with them: the audible bits are in Latin, but most of it is silent, so a person can pray quietly, or they can indulge in some histrionic weeping and wailing without interrupting the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Three hymns: Offertory (lets the priest get on with his prayers), Communion and Final hymn (so the priest can go out and change out of the vestments and into the cotta for the sermon.) I am not completely sure which hymns... but you can bet your bottom dollar that "Colours of Day" won't be one of them. Something to Our Lady for the Offertory ("Mary Immaculate" perhaps) and "Soul of my Saviour" or "O bread of heaven" for Communion, with "Guardian Angel from heaven so bright" to finish up. The priest will sing "In Paradisum" at the end... (if he doesn't, I'll come back and haunt him!)

...just thought I'd share that with you !!

(I doubt I'll get a High Mass, but I loved the picture!)

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Red Box Day?

Fr. Tim is all set to run with the alternative to Red Nose Day. He called it "Red Box Day" - an idea from Birmingham Diocese which was publicised by Jackie...

Hmmn. Not sure how it will look with the black vestments for tomorrow morning's Requiem Mass... he might be able to perch it on his biretta!

Personally, I shall be doing my utmost to avoid anything to do with Comic Relief. From the coverage on TV lately (yes, I still have the evil box... ) I'm beginning to think that all the money raised is going to help HIV/AIDS orphans and other victims of the disease. Yes, yes, before you flood my com-box, I know that's not the only way the money is used... but it really does seem to get the most coverage.

I have heard so many stupid comments over the past couple of weeks with regard to HIV/AIDS funding in Africa - with one female interviewee actually stating that the so-called "ABC" programme was failing in one African country (I forget which, I was too gobsmacked by the sheer stupidity of the comment and needed to try and avoid crashing the car!) because abstinence and being faithful were being over-emphasised at the expense of promoting condom use, and people needed to be able to choose.

I'm so sorry, I must have missed something here... I blame the fact that I'm blonde, but I really can't recall the last time choosing abstinence caused HIV infection rates to go up...

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A Little Lenten Levity

There's another fabulous joke over at Just Doing My Best... I was tempted to copy it for my own blog... but then I realised that I really have to give up snaffling other people's jokes for Lent!

Never mind, you can read it HERE.

Inspecting Gadgets

I don't know about "boys and their toys" but I love getting new stuff. I am geeky enough to savour reading the instruction manuals... and get somewhat narked that the current trend is to remove as many words from them as possible, as I don't actually like trying to interpret the diagrams. Give me step-by-step instructions any day!

Anyway, I have been playing with my new phone. It does have some disadvantages... namely that, because the handsets and SIM cards are not interchangable between companies, I have to put in all my contact numbers by hand. I rang customer support to see if they had an easy way to transfer the information, and they didn't. *sigh*

However, putting the information in is marginally more fun than usual because I have the choice of "writing" the information in (there is a handwriting recognition system... though it is a little hit-and-miss) or tapping it in on the screen's QWERTY keyboard with the stylus.

I've already checked to see whether I can access my blog... I can, and pretty impressive it looks too, even if I do say so myself! It feels a little odd not to have a number-pad for the phone, but you can't have everything...

More importantly, I had to check out the camera. The software which came with the phone didn't react very well to the fact that I don't use Outlook, but eventually I got the phone and computer to talk to each other. And so I just had to take a photo or two of Sylvester to allow a comparison of the two phone cameras...

Some Very Encouraging News !

There is the distinct possibility that Sophia might be able to go home at the end of the week. She still has a long way to go, but the news has taken a definite turn for the better... and the blood clots seem to have disappeared, which appears to be nothing short of miraculous.

Check out the full details in these two posts if you want to be really cheered up!

The Joys Of Public Transport

Newhousenewjob has been having some difficulties with transportation. However, she has a good enough sense of humour to blog about it for the amusement of the rest of us!

I particularly enjoyed this one:

"To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage - what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you understand?"

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

New Toy

I finally lost my temper with my mobile phone provider... I am tired of having my phone reception go from five bars to zero, without so much as a twitch from me, in the middle of a call. I am also tired of handing my phone over for someone to borrow only to find that it is claiming to be able to make emergency calls only, and then having to switch the phone off and then on again (with the resulting need for PIN numbers and the wait for the phone book to initialise...)

I had been told that it was the model of phone I had. So I upgraded my phone. That wasn't the problem. Then I was told that it was the fault of my old SIM card. So I changed my SIM card. And, you guessed it... it wasn't the problem.

My brother-in-law recommended "3"... but I'm a fussy type... I went to the shop in Bluewater, and had a look at what was on offer. They had some pretty good tarrifs, but the phones available were rather grim. I was particularly keen on the camera facility, and wasn't prepared to settle for a lower specification than the one I had already.

After visiting a few more phone shops, I found myself a new toy. So now I'm going to go and play!

Mean-Spirited Attack on the Sisters

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life are a new order, and basically run the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative in Scotland. They have saved countless babies from being aborted by offering care, counselling and practical support to young mothers who feel they have no other option but to abort. This practical support extends to helping to find accommodation for young mothers, providing cots, prams, baby clothes and so on.

I know the Sisters personally - they are involved with the Faith Movement - and more kind, selfless and committed people would be hard to find anywhere.

So it was with great sadness that I saw a post on Credo alerting people to the fact that the Glasgow Herald has published a nasty, ill-informed article criticising the Sisters' pro-life work.

Visit the Herald's website to read the article in full. You might want to leave a comment indicating how you feel about such vicious, unprovoked attacks being credited as newsworthy.

Life Is Just Sooooo Hard...

Mantilla-twitch in the direction of the Roving Medievalist.

Monday, 12 March 2007

For The Health-Conscious Among You

Newhousenewjob has an excellent information sheet to dispel all those myths about diets and exercise regimes.

I particularly liked the point about alcohol consumption...

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Read the rest HERE.

Sophia Update

Dominican Idaho has put up the latest. Sophia, the 7-year-old girl who had a brain tumour, is far from out of the woods, and still needs prayers, but she was able to be brought outside for the first time today. So she's progressing, slowly.

More Decoding of Gargoyles

Fr. Dwight has put up the next piece of advice sent by Slubgrip to Hogwart. You can read Part 7 HERE.

(Still no news on whether it'll make up a book!)

My Adorable Nephew

I phoned my sister for a chat... unfortunately, with my perfect timing, I rang just as she was catching up on some sleep...

...once she had woken up enough to phone me back, we had a good natter. I now know more than I ever dreamed possible about the mechanics of breastfeeding. I praise God that he, in his infinite mercy, has decided to spare me the direct experience...

My oh-so-efficient-and-organised sister is also rather bemused by the side-effects of motherhood. She ruefully told me that, not only does her conversation revolve around the demanding little bundle she produced ten weeks ago, but that she is totally incapable of getting her brain round anything not baby-oriented. She used to discuss business concerns with her husband and they would brainstorm ideas. Last night he asked her for her opinion on something work-related, and she could feel her brain go all mushy.

I realised something weird had happened when my "baby" sister (motherhood notwithstanding, she will remain my baby sister as long as I remember the day she was born) started to lecture me about not eating vegetables.

Interesting concept: post-natal hormones kick in to make the mother's mental processes totally baby-fixated, thus ensuring the survival of the species. Neat trick.

My sister took a photo of my nephew on her phone and sent it through to me. I think it calls for a caption competition...

Daylight Saving Time

Our American cousins have had Daylight Saving Time (DST) inflicted upon them this weekend. The Ironic Catholic is convinced that DST is contrary to the will of God, and makes a good case to support her view... Fr. Erik Richtsteig of Orthometer seems to agree with her. As far as he's concerned, the only good thing to result from DST is the amusement it affords when observing people turn up an hour late for Mass...

Here in the UK, we still have this delightful experience to come...

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Blonde Antelope?

A friend sent the following to me as an email attachment... I was going to try and post it myself, but then I realised that it was probably already on You Tube. I was right, so here, enjoy!!

The Morning-After Pill & Abortion Rates

We had copies of the Pro-Life Times handed out after Mass today. One article which caught my eye showed that research has demonstrated that increased access to the morning-after pill has no effect on unplanned pregnancy rates.

23 studies from around the world failed to find lower pregnancy or abortion rates, despite more women taking the pills due to greater availability.

Professor David Paton, Nottingham University, was quoted as saying,

"This analysis confirms what the scientific research has been telling us for years: promotion of the morning-after pill does not reduce abortion or unwanted pregnancy rates. The body of published work on this question is wide-ranging and now surely without question.

"Just a few years ago, people promoting the morning-after pill told us that greater access to the drug was the single most important thing that could be done to lower rates of unwanted pregnancy. Now these same people freely admit that promotion of the morning-after pill does nothing to cut unwanted pregnancies."

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence is recommending that certain life-saving cancer treatments should not be available on the NHS because they are not "cost effective." So, by the same token, the morning-after pill will no longer be available on the NHS...

...yeah, right. And that's a flying pig up there.

More Site Statistics

Wow... I am now averaging 140 visits a day. Not bad, considering that the content of my blog can be summarised briefly as the vague stream-of-consciousness of a thirty-something blonde.

Looking at Site Meter, I discovered that the majority of my readers are from the UK and the USA (which is hardly earth-shattering news, I grant you!) But 3.5% of my readers are logging on from an "unknown" country...

...unknown to whom, I wonder?
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