Friday 27 June 2008

Fly In The Ointment...

This made me chuckle. It pretty much ranks up there with "Face it, hippies, it's over..." as one of my all-time favourite quotes.

Twitch of the mantilla to the Pastor in Valle who spotted it first.


The UK has sunk pretty low in the morality stakes after passing laws to allow human-animal hybrids and "saviour" siblings.

But Spain has, I think, just trumped the UK in the crazy stakes. They now want to introduce legislation giving rights to apes.

John Smeaton has a very clear exposition of why this is completely illogical - especially in view of the fact that Spain allows unborn human babies no rights at all.

Thursday 26 June 2008


I was ever so disappointed that, due to the dates of our Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes, I missed my friend's wedding. She has finally returned from her honeymoon, and has even gone so far as to abandon her avoidance of being snapped... a selection of her wedding photos is now on her blog, with the promise of more!

Below you can see Newhousenewjob, along with New Man, looking totally radiant. Many congratulations to the two of them.

I have two questions for the happy couple...

1) Did you save me any wedding cake?

2) When do I get invited round for lunch/dinner to be shown all the wedding and honeymoon photos??

Fasting Before Communion

The inimitable Fr. Z has a post on extending the fast before Communion. At the moment, the Church requires communicants to fast from food and drink (other than water) for an hour before Communion. Canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters suggests calculating the fast from the start of Mass and extending the requirement to three hours before Mass.

I have to say that I believe the argument for calculating the fast from the beginning of Mass overwhelming. Sunday Mass generally lasts about 45 minutes (well, the Novus Ordo ones I've attended last that long, unless they're special events like Confirmation Masses - in which case they're even longer.) If you're calculating the fast from the time of receiving Communion, you are basically starting the fast about 20 minutes before Mass. Unless you scoot in just before the Entrance Procession, that means that you just have to refrain from eating or drinking as you make your way to church. Effectively, this isn't a fast undertaken as deliberate preparation for the reception of Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Re-introducing the obligation of a three-hour fast strikes me as a very good idea. People would have to consider carefully whether they wished to communicate at the Mass, and would have to plan (and prepare) accordingly. I think it would help to interrupt the assumption that reception of the Blessed Sacrament is automatic just because a person was present at Mass.

Three hours is not an overly taxing period to go without food. If Mass was very early, say 8:30am, then a person could just skip breakfast, and have a leisurely brunch after Mass. This is hardly an impossible task: many people have a very lengthy lie-in on Sunday mornings, surfacing some time around 11am wanting to be fed... it's the explanation many give for preferring to attend evening Mass!

Alternatively, if the Mass attended was later, say 10:30am, then, should breakfast be considered absolutely essential, a person could arrange to get up early and have breakfast before 7:30am...

Of course, fasting from midnight is even more salutary...

Lager and Ale...

I am not keen on Real Ale. I have been known to drink it, when it was the only option, but I'm definitely not an aficionado. I associate the stuff with the comic book "Asterix in Britain" where Asterix and Obelix are horrified to discover that the locals drink warm beer and eat boiled meat, both considered to be culinary atrocities. A very funny book... and, being brought up in a family of (semi-European) wine and spirits consumers, I hadn't realised how much warm beer was part of the national stereotype.

Now I know better. All the traddies in my parish are into Real Ale. They are quite scathing about lager, and Jonathan actually nicknamed the brew "Novus Ordo Eurofizz" to demonstrate his contempt for the stuff... a name which has caught on. The parish club has been persuaded to get in a supply of Real Ale on tap, as well as the bottled variety.

Curiously, there is a special blessing, in the Old Rite, for beer... I believe that Fr. Tim is waiting for the most opportune moment, and I shall endeavour to capture the occasion for posterity (and the blogosphere!)

Anyway, it seems that Real Ale is having a bit of a resurgence in popularity, and not just in our club. The Daily Telegraph has more on the boom in Real Ale sales HERE.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

That Time Again...

Yes, folks, I've been sent another blonde joke. I'm too tired out after tonight's Parents' Evening to post on anything more serious... you can find that stuff by visiting the usual suspects (the Brighton Blogger, His Hermeneuticalness, the chap with the Latin dictionary, etc. etc.) ... but blonde jokes are my own speciality, so....

Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive double-pane energy-efficient kind.

Yesterday, I got a call from the contractor who installed them.

He was complaining that the windows had been installed a whole year ago and I hadn't paid for them yet.

Now just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am stupid. So I told him just exactly what his fast-talking sales-rep had told me last year, namely that, in just one year, these super-dooper windows would pay for themselves!

"Helllooooo!" I told him, "It's been a year!"

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up... He hasn't called back, probably too embarrassed about forgetting the guarantee they made me. Bet he won't underestimate my intelligence again...

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Empire Building

I was surprised at how many people responded to my last post on Ikariam, the web browser game which lets you build up a civilisation. I'm curious to find out whether people stuck with the game, or got bored and moved off to pastures new. I do know that a certain blogging priest admitted to having checked on "his people" first thing in the morning before heading off to Westminster Cathedral for the Pontifical High Mass, and wanted to know how many towns I had!

Well, time for an update: I have four towns, and the capital is at level 17 (a maximum capacity of 1541 individuals.) All four of my towns are at maximum capacity, and I am holding back on increasing capacity for the moment as I'm keen to get a fifth town up and running. I haven't decided which resource I shall try to get... marble seems to be the most useful commodity for building and expansion purposes, but I'm not sure I'll be able to keep my citizens happy unless I can increase my wine production...

...and some time on Thursday morning, my scientists should have succeeded in researching bureaucracy, and I'm intrigued as to what will happen next.

So far, my capital city has progressed from this... this...

...and somehow, by dint of arranging museum collections for them to admire and keeping them supplied with plenty of wine in the tavern, I have succeeded in making my citizens very happy indeed...


You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.

But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.

You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.

You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.

Mantilla-twitch to that fellow Boston-Creme Donut, Karen.

Sunday 22 June 2008


...that Martin Luther didn't check his till receipts properly...

Not Silenced... Just Relocated...

Before you start to panic, and assume that the Bishops of England and Wales and the Tabletistas have successfully dismembered Damian Thompson and buried his remains along with those of his blog, be assured that the blog and its author are not deceased... but Mr Thompson's blog has moved.

Not quite sure why...

But anyway, you can find it HERE. Mantilla-twitch to the Pastor in Valle.

His picture is an improvement.
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