It’s nearly over…thank goodness!

Much as I can support the possibilities coming from competitors from all over the world, meeting and competing once every four years, I am certainly having reservations about the recent comments from the IOC President.

He has said that London cannot do less than China did to put on the spectacular 2008 Olympic Games. Has he not noted the starvation throughout the world, the ozone layer problem, the disruption in people’s lives, the consumption of materials, the use of a decreasing fuel supply, the air-time taken up, the glorification of what should be sports, but end up as ways to earn obscene amounts of money etc etc.

How we can justify spending such large amounts of money and using up the earth’s resources, whilst others starve, I just do not know! What are we saying to gernerations to come….. ‘We ignored the poor and hungry, so that we can get our fix of sport, and spent increasingly-large amounts of money so that others can praise our politicians.

Sorry, but I will be glad when it is over….I’ve had over-kill!

My other life!!

Some of you may already know of my great love of choral music, and our loyal band of Choristers who have worked together for some years now. So much is happening in that field that it needs its own outlet for information.

If interested in this you can use the link on the Blogroll at

I have many references under ‘irishpisky’ about the choir, and will still blog on it if something proves of general interest

Old and/or New

I have a wardrobe full of clothes which are mostly over a year old. They are all perfectly functionable and serviceable for occasions ranging from gardening, to formal does, and don’t show the signs of aging which my face does! As they wear, they are moved into another usage area so that they can be utilised with impunity in the garden or when grovelling in the loft. When even that is no longer an option, they are moved into the next charity bag requesting rags or old clothes. ….all a very good system!

I also have a car which has 110,000 miles on the clock, and whilst it sports a few bits of rust and some scratches, it is going well, and will see me well, until public transport is the main mode of travel for us…..and I am proud of having an old car!

So I am doing my bit to save the planet from the voracious consumption of ‘stuff’!!!!!

Why then is it seen as the function of the fair species to induce us to ‘clear out those clothes’, on a regular basis? The problem is, you see, that I constantly receive gifts of ties, sock, shirts and vouchers for major clothes chains! This unfortunately happens irrespective of the actual requirement, no matter how good the intention. So I receive more items than are disposed-off, and so the wardrobe gets fuller, and the individual clothes which are there are worn fewer times per year, (obviously) but their presence and the occasional wearing, lead the Young Lady of the House to inquire why ‘that old thing’ is being worn.

It’s a chicken and egg thing. Should I ask for a moratorium on the purchase of clothes for me for 5 years so that I can actually wear out some, and clear a space in the wardrobe? I can’t think of any answer….come on guys, give me a clue as to how you handle this ….and ladies, don’t give any platitudes about ‘keeping in fashion’ or any such rubbish!


I’ve at long last made a start on clearing out the ‘photo box’ which we got from the family home now that the ‘old folks’ have passed-on.

There are many hundreds of snapshots-in-time recorded. I imagine that many have not seen the light of day for many decades, and unfortunately many are now of no historical value because there is no record of names, locations or dates to give a clue as to why they were thought valuable enough to keep in a box for over 50 years.

Some are obviously of severe old great-grandparents staring out at us from the 19th century. Stiff collars and suits for the men, and long dresses and rolled-up hair-styles for the ladies. Even our grandparents and parents dresses relatively formally for holidays. I even have a photo of my father ploughing with a shirt and tie!

The early photos were obviously relatively expensive and only taken for specific reasons and occasions. They appear to be of high quality and the detail is remarkable. The only problem is that we cannot easily see behind the starched image, and it is only within the last 50 years that we begin to see a relaxation in the photos. Photography had become cheaper, with the Kodak Brownie camera with the miniature photos, and although they were all in black-and-white we could imagine the colour.

Now that digital photography is in the hands of everyone, we can take hundreds of photos on holiday and then select what we want to retain, so that we only keep the very best to put on a disc or send to friends. But how often will we look at them? It’s also difficult to carry the laptop around to show photos to friends or work colleagues.

So we will have recorded a marvellous fund of historical information for future generations of the family and those who want to research the past. But are they the ones we would like to keep to record our existence?

Remember, remember…..

Today (6th August) is the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, with the intention of ending their participation in the war. (Although Japan was already prepared to surrender)

The world would never be the same again….or so we thought! But still we have violence and national wars. Another broken promise by politicians, and total lack of understanding of the human condition.

And did we have any mention of it in the national news…no!

So please just give a few minutes’ thought to those who died, those who suffered and those who were bereaved.

Bishop Gene’s at our Cathedral!

News of the Lambeth Conference has been plastered all over the media. Even those who have no real interest in Church affairs must be aware that Anglical/Episcopal Bishops have been meeting at Canterbury, from all over the world. A considerable number decided to stay away, either because many have felt it is irrelevant or they have other reasons (almost 200 did not attend).

One Bishop, specifically, was forbidden to attend (actually…. he was not invited, which in this instance, is the same thing). He still came over to the UK, and was around at Canterbury, but was forbidden from actively taking part in Communion Services anywhere in England. His name is Bishop Gene Robinson from New Hampshire, and he is openly gay, in a same-sex relationship.

Whatever your opinion, if one you have, about such relationships, and how they could and should be viewed, there is a general feeling around that perhaps too much valuable time and tabloid inches have been taken up with the sexuality question regarding Priests and Bishops, whilst matters of much larger importance affecting our world have been pushed to one side.

He was invited to preach and Preside over our Communion Service today at Glasgow’s St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. This was only possible because the Scottish Episcopal Church is independent from the Church of England, and Archbishop Rowan Williams has no jurisdiction here.

The Cathedral is normally quite well filled, with an increasing congregation, and today it was packed, as was expected. There were natural worries about might happen, should those who disagree with his position decide to make a vociferous point during the service. The banners and a few (albeit sincere) protesters outside the cathedral at the beginning of the Service were the only evidence.

In the event it was a wonderful service, with an excellent extempore sermon (not from the Pulpit but at the level of the congregation) from the Bishop, in which the theme was about inclusion.

But should freedom of the ‘Pulpit’ be given to someone who has views at odds with much of the Chuch heirarchy (and perhaps congregational members)? Freedom of expression is enshrined in most democracies, but it obviously must be balanced and positive, and lead us towards the greater good. Minority attitudes are part and parcel of the human condition and as such should be valued, if not necessarily accepted.

On balance, and without infringing on people’s right to object to the man himself, I must say I was impressed with how he handled himself….a quiet gentle person, who must have had an effect on a considerable number of people. Open-mindedness as a principle is necessary if we are to develop our thought processes, and whilst one Sermon rarely makes a convert, I’m sure many others were persuaded that the attitude of the Archbishop of Canterbury in not inviting him to the discusssions was more of a misjudgement than a sensible intentional decision.

I think Gene Robinson is not going away!

Any comments from our American friends who might know more of him?

Getting back to normal?

I’m looking forward to tomorrw night when Young Lady of the House, and Daughter, return from their sojourn on the sun-kissed beaches of Cala San Vicente, no doubt tanned and relaxed.

I managed to get a lot of work done in the garden when the weather was hot, and the normal cleaning and hygiene necessary in any household was carried-out to normal male-standards…but I have a feeling that they may be subject to some criticism. I never really came to terms with the vast amount of thinking and physical work which the household requires.

I ate on three nights with Son, and two kind families offered hospitality so I did not require any great cuisine to keep body and soul together……thanks are due to them!

So it will be with joy in my heart that I welcome the ladies of my life back to the fold. Not just because I love them both to bits, but I am happy to hand over the reins of the household again, and Daughter can take away Benji the hamster to his own home

My last day of freedom (or solitude if you wish) will be a trip to the beautiful area of Tighnabruaich in Argyll, and then last minute shopping and tidying before heading to the Airport.