The motoring correspondent of an English national newspaper was writing about satellite navigation systems in cars last Saturday. He was worried about the arbitrary decisions being made by his own system that certain journeys were not possible. He requested directions for a journey home, he lives beside a main road, and was told that the journey could not be made.
“It reminded me,” he said, “of the story of the Somerset farmer who was asked for directions to Devizes.”
“You can’t go to Devizes from here”, the farmer replied.
I know nothing about horses, never did and don’t suppose I ever will. They make me sneeze and my eyes run if I approach closer than a few yards, but I loved going horse racing. Well, what I really loved was the Downpatrick races.
The track was a real switchback course and the horses were mostly unknown and the jockeys would often not have been the people appearing on the racecards for Grade 1 races, but the Downpatrick races were great craic.
I could meet half my parish there and …
There are three simple ways to avoid fraught moments:
(i) don’t get married
(ii) don’t move house
(iii) don’t go on holiday
Each factor alone provides sufficient explosive material for a lengthy exchange, combined the three create a very unstable mixture.
This afternoon, I sought the mains lead for the camcorder. (We are going on holiday on Wednesday.)
The last time I could definitely remember having it was in May of last year. We have moved house twice since then, to allow our old house to be knocked down, and …
Sermon at Saint Matthias’ Church on 29th July 2007
“Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations”
Making associations between one thing an another is part of human intelligence and, when it comes to church hymns, most of us will associate particular hymns with particular moments or memories. O God our help in ages past is a hymn that I had always associated with Ulster Loyalism. It was a hymn that evoked memories of dark-suited men in bowler hats, the sound of flute and drum bands, …
I have been an obnoxious person. If I have learned nothing else in life, at least I learned that lesson.
When I was 15 I was presented with a prize on my school’s speech day. It was a book on astronomy, how I won it, I have no recall. What I recall is going to one of the teachers afterwards, brusquely commenting “This is no good to me”, and handing the book back.
Even at the time it was considered stupid and arrogant. My classmates, whom I must have thought …
I discovered today that Debbie Harry, lead singer with Blondie, was 62 at the beginning of the month – this is depressing. In my mind she will always be 34 – the age she was when I was 18 and listened to her records.
Certain people should be certain ages – clergy should always be in their late 60s and worldly wise, and even if they’re not, they should think they are. Pop stars should never be more than 35, or perhaps 40 if the more mature image suits.