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Elsewhere Radio Orchestrar / Flickr December 2008
September 26th, 2004
Sunday, September 26th, 2004 10:56 am

Before I settle down to business, I was mildly distracted by two news items on the BBC site this morning. The first of these, concerning the Church of England's Back to Church Sunday scheme, suggested that bars of chocolate might be offered to those returning to the fold. I'm concerned about this upon two grounds. The more minor of these concerns the precise type of chocolate they are going to offer. It's sure to be vegelate, I fear, although it's just possible it might be Fairtrade [it is, donated by the Co-op].

As to the second of my concerns, it's true that food does play a role within the church community. My own frequently has a range of hearty Russian dishes on offer after the service and we feast together at various times of the year, but, and here's the crux, we've all been fasting since midnight (and sometimes longer) and nary a crumb nor drop has passed our lips aside from the Divine Gifts offered within the Liturgy. I suspect far too many of your C of E types have had breakfast before attendance. Rowan Williams is not unsympathetic to Orthodox traditions, perhaps he might consider reintroducing proper fasting regulations within the Church... and maybe they could start using proper bread. After all, there was no eating of insipid wafers at the Last Supper. I can remember the first time I attended Liturgy and was astounded, indeed I experienced an epiphany, that the bread was bread. This little things are crucial. It's the tinkering with form that has done so much to dilute Anglican tradition into empty homily.

I also noted that the Church has urged Christians not to vote for the BNP [this seems to have been back in June]. I'd suggest that it should instruct Christians not to vote for them and, indeed, expel forthwith any member of the clergy found to be in any way supportive. Let's have some proper Byzantine authority...

That all sounds rather like some nutter in the Daily Mail, perchance. Moving on into more democratic waters, I've been saddened recently to hear that a mother of an old school friend, we shall call her Turtle, for she is, has been very ill of late and I hope that she recovers, although her condition is very serious. Although my friend, we shall call him Rapsack, has had a fractious relationship with his mum at times, I've always really liked her. This is probably because of her literary bent and also the fact I have never incurred her wrath. The house in Holland Park is filled with books and paintings in every available corner. I went there yesterday to see R. He seems well, but it can't be the easiest of times. I first started visiting the house in about 1981. On a few occasions, you'd go into the house only to discover some member of the Thatcher cabinet taking tea upstairs. I bit my tongue fairly well on these occasions, but, sigh, I was young and idealistic. I'm still the latter. I believe my entirely deluded, but seemingly real, of amateurishly fumbling Nigella dates from this time. At least it wasn't... No, I can't post that link...

I was further reminded of this yesterday when I listened to Norman Lamont on Any Questions. I'd once ended up babysitting his children at short notice. I can remember pocketing some House of Commons stationery that was upon a table, thinking that I might start some spurious campaign of disinformation. I never did and I'm glad I didn't. But then again, I'd probably be glad if I had. My only noted political achievement that got any media attention was as provocateur, enabling a subsequent physical attack upon Rick Wakeman. I'm not especially proud of this now. I'm firmly back in the non-violent camp. Well, except when it comes to Nazis. Prog rock, whatever its sins, didn't really require such a response. Mind you, since I was well schooled in the Soviet model, I was of course at least fifty miles away when it happened.

Lamont was talking about Iraq and I was pleased to here him denounce past and present policy with such efficacy and vigour. Someone else on the panel commented that it was good to hear a Tory speak with such passion upon an issue. I was glad that I'd never sent that letter. Should I meet him again shortly (and I do hope that it is not too soon, for Mrs Turtle's sake), I might tell him this story and apologise. He really was quite impressive.

And now, in a short break from all this nostalgia, some corrections for the inventory...

The RRS and RSS Discovery are not to be confused. One is Scott's ship. The other is a later Antarctic exploratory ship built in 1962. The fact no one distinguishes between RRS and RSS doesn't makel life any easier. Hmm, actually seems they're both called RRS. I give up...

The suggestion that Fukurokuju sometimes inhabits the body of Jurojin. I suppose I should read the links more scrupulously, but do me a favour! No wonder I still can't work those two geezers out.