Sunday, 29 August 2010

Despite a sniffle

Yes, the annual obligatory summer cold is upon us.  I still made it through tyesterday o watch Cowdenbeath beat Partick Thistle 2-1 (sorry Kenny, but to quote Kipling's "Stalky and Co" - "Aiee, I gloat!").  Mum retails the info that as passing local had told her that Max the Dog is not a mongerel - he is a "Parson's Cross" which is evidently what you call a cross breed that is half  (Parson) Jack Russell terrier.  Between snuffles it was Holy Mass and very enjoyable too!  I think some paracetemol wil settle my cold a little further.  And a nice cuppa!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Laus Deo.

Having finished my Festival with the Gospel at Colonus (ace!) and 2 comedy acts, it was back to work with a heap of overtime duly bagged for this week (money makes the holidays better I find),  the news that i will be taking a service user on holiday in September (expenses paid trip to a CentreParc (!) with overtime and sleepover thrown in!!), a supervision session this afternoon (good reviews for Dougal :-)) and a trip to the Cathedral for Evensong with a rather decent quire of Cannucks.  The Anthem was a variant of Psalm 30, the last 2 verses of which spoke to me.

"Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy, thou hast put of my sackcloth and girded me with gladness. Therefore shall every good man sing of thy praise without ceasing.  O my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever."

Yes, that is a statement I can really affirm these days.  Disaster yielded a new spring and I do feel more like singing these days.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Annual Leave

It's been a wee while, but I have been on leave.  The 1st weekend was Festival - American concert at the Usher Hall, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Copland's Lincoln Portrait (listen to this if ever you doubt that the USofA has a culture that has great aspects) and a frankly painfuly Symphony by a Charles Ives (the 2nd movement can only be described as an American Nightmare and the slamming of exit doors in the Hall as it proceeded was quite revealing!).  Then, "5 Guys named Moe" starring the author who is now Detective Fearon in "The Wire" and has wee bowlly legs in real life!).  Oh yes and a Haydn Mass for the Assumption in St Michael's! Well, it is listed in the Fringe programme asa venue and performance so..

My Berwickshire lurk was very idle: I can recommend Bella Italia (not one of the chain BTW) in North Berwick for an Italian meal.  The Saltimbucca alla Romana was almost as good as the one I ate in Rome!  I also did some gardening: I now officially hate thistles (gardenweedius bigjaggybasturdus) and brambles (jammyfruitibush jaggybasturdus)!

Returning to da fringe I went to see "Reel to Real" a live miusical interspersing classic Hollywood clips with classic musical numbers (brill btw) and still have a few to see today prior to returning to work.  I also managed a jazz cruise on the Forth and have had a fabulous break.  Mind you ,company helps and the company was very congenial.  Dammit, I think I may be getting emotionally entangled and all that!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Aid to the distressed.

Today's Independent has a front page querying why there has been such a slow response to appeals for charitable aid in Pakistan. Two possible causes are suggested. One would be the Prime Minister's speech accusing the Pakistani Secret Service of supporting the Taliban whilst allegedly fighting them, the other "compassion fatigue". Whilst there may be an element of truth in the former, I suspect there is something a shade more venal at work than compassion fatigue. I suspect that the General Public look at their small business running Pakistani neighbours and rather assume that they will be sending generous aid via Islamic charities which means they don't have to bother so much - unlike Haiti. Not so much compassion fatigue, as an assumption that "they will look after their own"

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Stars in my eyes?

I think I may pop out and contemplate the heavens tonight - here's why: It seems a good opportunity to reflect on the immensity of the creation and to marvel at why and how the Big Yin Out there can actually care about me and for me. Today, I got a letter informing me that my probationary period as a Support Worker is over and I am now fully fledged (and on an extra £600 pa). Quite a miracle, given my appalling condition on Friday 13th March 2009. Laus Deo.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Doom and gloom!

A Scottish working class legend has passed away: Jimmy Reid, whose instruction to the work-in-ing UCS workers that "there will be nae bevvying" always tickled me, has died. Well, he was 78. A life well lived indeed.

However, it would appear that both the Israeli Army and the Vatican seem to have the same stoopid PR advisers: see and also Madness!They really haven't clue how the World sees them.

More seriously, the Beath are out of another Cup and Scotland are in the process of getting tanned by Sweden. Being Scottish isn't always easy!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Work and Play

Well, the Management aren't asking me to do the stupid tomorrow - 2 rather hefty SW's will be doing it instead:-). We went to see Thomas the Tank Engine at Bo'ness today - I recognised Thomas, but can't recall the identities of them 2 green trains. Any answers out there? Was yucked to see that the Union had asked for a 2.2% pay rise and restoration of our previous overtime rates (reduced last year due to the economic downturn for one year - ha!). The Company are proposing a pay freeze (!!!) and keeping the overtime rates as they are. Oh dear!

The mighty Blue Brazil have had their usual lousy start to the season - stuffed 2-0 by the Staggies. But we do this and still get promoted. Time will tell.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Calling Planet Stupid!

Sometimes it's not the client, but the relatives!! You thought they were human, not aliens visiting from Planet Stupid! (Mother of the Bride from Hell experiences do prepare you for this!) Enter one silly idea from family: taking our boy to the Festival Parade on Sunday. He hates children, loves things that make noises (motorbikes like) and when he decides to go for something weighs 200lbs and is built like a fecking tank! Not without a taser is my response (albeit a silent one). In reality, no way Jose, because it has not been Risk Assesed and our butts would be oot the windae if anything went wonky! Should the Management try undue pressure, I got my Union Card in the post yesterday and would simply phone the Helpline!

I have one small query regarding my new status as a Trade Unionist: do I get the Traditional Cloth Cap and Whippet uniform?

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Chooks and Transfiguration

After returning from the day job, I piled into the kitchen and chook cooking. Well, not really. The chook was ready roasted, so it was peel and mash the spuds, (too watery IMHO), steam the broccoli and peas and microwave the Cadbury's chocolate puds Easy but fairly tasty. Our evening Office pointed to tomorrows' Feast of the Transfiguration. The reading we had was from 2 Peter:

We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

(2 Peter 1. 16-19)

Be attentive - to the truth that Jesus the Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer. That God's mercy in and through him remains forever, even if we cannot fully perceive it's glory and generosity due to the faintness of our own vision and inability to bear the fullness of the light. See its light in even the darkest places of the world or of our own hearts and minds. And trust that the Day of the Glorious Resurrection will dawn and the Son of God, the Day star, will rise and reign over us and all of the Creation, that love and justice may abound.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Back to work.

After the unusual luxury of 4 days off back to back (Choral Evensong and barbecued venison burgers being amongst the highlights thereof), it's back to work with a vengeance! 10-6 training day, 6-11 shift, sleepover and then a 7-2 to follow! Still, I am nicely rested and hit annual leave on the 14th, so it's just a week (!) to go. We must have been on good form in training, as we won the NASA quiz and chocolate. We also learnt 3 new escape techniques and I spent part of the shift watching a Dancing on Ice DVD. S'not all bad this!!