Friday, 30 October 2015

The Commandment about my neighbour's wife


"Do not desire your neighbour's house, do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns."

Hmmm ... my neighbour has no slaves, cattle, donkeys or anything else I would desire. But his wife !!!

His wife ... there's absolutely no chance on earth that I would desire or covet his wife.

She frightens me. She is a very thin and tall woman always dressed in black. A long flowing dress that comes down to her feet. She has long black hair all the way down her back ... none on her head; just down her back. She has a long semi-crooked nose a bit like a parrot's beak.

I sometimes hear her cackle rather than laugh in her garden. She's out there trying to sunbathe but to no avail whatsoever. As soon as she lies fully clothed on a couple of wooden planks the sun quickly hides behind the clouds in fear.

Even nature itself is frightened of her. This year the birds have returned all the seeds they took from her garden last year.

If I ever see her in the street I quickly run in before she notices me. I'd hate to ever meet her in a dark alley at night. When my cat sees her he comes running in too and climbs up the curtains; counting carefully his nine lives. Even the dog jumps on top of the fridge in fear. Have you ever had a bulldog on a fridge?

Lately, she accused me of sending frogs in her garden. I did not understand what she meant. She claims that frogs come out of our pond and go through the hedge between us into her garden.

She is often in her garden collecting frogs from the ground and throwing them high over the fence into our garden. I throw them back with my tennis racket as they fly through the air. Every so often I hit them hard and they don't land in her garden but in the garden beyond that. She cakles madly and says "15-love!"

The other day she rang me at 3.00 in the morning and complained that our horse was in her garden. I mumbled some apologies and went back to sleep.

It wasn't until the morning when I realised that we do not have a horse.

So I plucked up all my courage, or made to pluck up all my courage by the family, to be precise, and I went next door to put her right. She cackled and said that she must have dreamt the whole thing about the horse. Now why did I not dream that we don't have a horse and all would have been well.

Her house has the garage at the front of the house visible from the street. I saw her a few days ago with the garage doors open. It was full of boxes, plastic bags, broomsticks, and containers of all sorts and so on. Basically, the garage was full to the roof with so much stuff she could hardly close the door. I volunteered to help her. I said: "You're looking for something. Can I help?"

She cackled as she usually does and said "I'm looking for my husband. I left him here three weeks ago!"

Come to think of it, I had not seen her husband for a while. He is a small short man who doesn't say much except "Yes dear ... OK dear ... Whatever you say dear" and such like. (A bit like me really!)

He used to be a safety officer in a coal mine. They used to tie a rope round his waist and send him down the mine. If he did not faint it was safe to go down and work. Otherwise they'd pull him up, revive him, and send him down again a few minutes later to check again.

Their house is a permanent Halloween with real cobwebs and spiders welcoming you in as soon as you ring the door bell. I'm sure at night I've seen bats flying round their chimney.

All this I have told you leads me to one question which has always crossed my mind: The Commandment clearly says you must not covet your neighbour's wife - and it is a sin to do so. Even if you covet her in your mind and not in reality like!

My question: Is it also a sin if, as in my case, you un-covet, or not covet at all, your neighbour's wife? Am I good because I obey the Commandment, or bad because I take its opposite to extremes?

Any ideas?

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Genesis - Without Phil Collins

GENESIS Chapter 2 Verse 18-19

God took some soil from the ground and made the birds and animals and brought them to Adam so he can name them.

At first, Adam was very hesitant, and as each animal passed in front of him he mumbled monosyllables: "Ant, bee, cat, dog, cow, pig ..." and so on.

In time, he became more adventurous and used longer words, "giraffe, horse, llama, tiger, panther, zebra ..." and so on.

But there were many animals and birds, not to mention all the fishes in the sea, still to be named. So Adam grew tired and he could hardly keep his eyes open. When the next animal walked by him he said "Hippopotamus amphibius or Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis depending on the size of the animal."

At which point God hit Adam on the head with a dead bat and said "Don't be too clever, lad!"

And that's how we got the word Hippopotamus.

Make sure you spell it correctly.

And don't abbreviate it to Hippo. For Adam's sake!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Christ's Prayer for us


Just before He was arrested, Jesus prayed for His disciples. (John 17).

Then He prayed for us – yes, you and me. He said:

“I pray not only for them, (the disciples), but also for those who believe in me because of their message. I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” John 17: 20-21.

Let me repeat the last bit and write it in bold:

"May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me."

Two thousand years later Christians are still disagreeing with each other. The more we dispute on minor things the more we throw doubts and confusion on the Christian message to this world.

You may wish to Donate A Prayer HERE

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Family Branches

My grandfather finally achieved his life-long ambition to be a lion-whisperer; just moments before he died.

My other grandfather was very lazy and worked on a farm. He was fired for killing a snail which followed him all day long.

My other grandfather invented a compass which always pointed in the opposite direction he was travelling. He did not know whether he was coming or going. He also invented a luminous sundial so he could tell the time at night. His sundial watch did not catch on though ... except on his sleeves as he put his shirts on.

My other grandfather was abandoned by his family so he joined ours. He could not keep his nose out of peoples' private business. He was on security duty in a nudist camp; where people go to air their differences. He was a boxer. The rest of his family were Dalmatians.

My other grandfather ... or was it my uncle? My uncle went for three weeks on a dog food diet. It eventually landed him in hospital. He stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle's butt and was hit by a car.

My other uncle did not have a peaceful death lying quietly in his bed. Instead he was surrounded by shouting and screaming people as he drove the bus over a cliff.

My auntie ... my auntie told her parents that she was pregnant. They told her to deny that the baby was hers.

My other uncle ... we were a big family. My other uncle used to work as an elevator attendant in a department store. His life had its ups and downs. He also suffered a lot from flatulence. I think farting in an elevator is wrong on so many levels.

My other uncle ... he died at work in a warehouse suddenly without saying goodbye. He was hit on the head by a falling crate of Cheerios.

My cousins ... all of them my distant cousins. They all moved to Australia to be as far away from me as possible.

One of my cousins ... well, he still lives next door. He inherited my grandfather's compass. We call him Boomerang. Every time we send him to Australia he comes back. Whenever he goes out shopping we move house. But he still manages to find us.

He is such a miser that he would not spend any money at all if he could possibly help it. He is always coming round to borrow the mother-in-law's false teeth.
The mother-in-law ... well she came as part of the deal. When I married it was a buy one get one free offer at her family. 

I can always tell when she's home because she leaves her broomstick in the porch. I've tried putting it in the trash can but it keeps flying out and resting out of reach on the chimney. 

I thought of putting the broomstick in the trash can and then placing something heavy on the lid to stop it getting out; but my mother-in-law refuses to sit there until collection day on Wednesday.

My other grandfather ... I'd forgotten about him. He doesn't believe in modern technology and all that. He is on Twitter but does not tweet. It is his way of playing truant. 

He is on Facebook too but has no followers whatsoever. So he's taken to walking down the street and making inane statements about himself of no more than 180 characters or so; as they do on Twitter and Facebook. Every so often he says: "My shoes hurt!" "I need a haircut." "My trousers itch in unusual places." 

At first these occasional utterances astounded those around him. But now he has three followers - all wearing white coats.

My grandmother ... forgot about her. My grandmother swallowed a fly. Then she swallowed a spider. Eventually she got prosecuted by the Animal Welfare People for cruelty to animals.

My other grandmother used to live in a tree. She said she liked to imitate birds. She ate worms.

My other grandmother had tattoos on her fingers just by the knuckles. On one hand she had tattooed the letters L - O - V - E and on the other hand she had tattooed the letters H - A - T. 

She ran out of money before finishing the tattoos. If only ... we too ran out of money every time we started to hate!

She was so thin and bonney she had liposuction to put some fat in. It was done at the sausage factory.

Another of my cousins, however, had lost a lot of weight and as a result he had a lot of loose skin; especially in the chest and tummy area. He went for surgery and they pulled up his skin upwards, ever so upwards, and stretched it tightly until all his loose skin was tied into a knot and hidden behind his neck. He looked perfectly well except that his belly button (navel) was now on his forehead. He also had a very unusual tie.

My other cousin always plays tennis whilst wearing a motorcyclist's helmet in case he gets hit in the face by the ball. He got hit in the groin instead. Now he wears two motorcyclist's helmets.

My other cousin is a scientist. He was fired from his job in the Research Lab for inventing instant laxative. He was not flushed with success. 

My other other cousin is a lawyer. I won't say a thing about him!

My other distant cousin three times removed ... keeps coming back! He performs keyhole surgery at the local locksmith. His patients refuse to have a door placed on them as they lay on the operating table.

My other other cousin always wears dresses in public, especially whilst shopping and when attending church. She's a woman, so what do you expect? Are you suggesting there's something weird about my family? I'll have you know we're all perfectly normal; for around here.

As for me ... well, I am perfect as you all already know. 

Thank you for your attention. God bless.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Everything I Own



You sheltered me from harm 
Kept me warm, kept me warm 
You gave my life to me 
Set me free, set me free 

The finest years I ever knew 
Were all the years I had with you And... 

(Chorus:) 
I would give anything I own 
Give up my life, my heart, my home 
I would give ev'rything I own 
Just to have you back again 

You taught me how to love 
What it's of, what it's of 
You never said too much 
But still you showed the way 

And I knew from watching you 
Nobody else could ever know 
The part of me that can't let go 

And... 

(Repeat chorus) 

Just to touch you once again

Friday, 16 October 2015

Embarrassing Shopping

When you go shopping at the supermarket and you are pushing your trolley along, putting something in every now and then according to your shopping list, do you cover up some items, the cheap ones perhaps, with more expensive ones until you get to the checkout?

I do hate to meet people in the supermarket when I am shopping, don't you? I mean, people I know, not just ordinary shoppers.

You have to stop and say hello and pretend to be interested when all you want to do is get your shopping done and get out of the shop as quickly as possible. And worse still when you see their eyes looking downwards at your trolley and noticing that you bought some cheap item or other instead of the best brand available on the shelf. And you're such a miser that you bought the "buy one get one free" offer of coffee which is no more than burnt horse manure and not one coffee bean has been used in its making.

Or even more worse still, when I get to meet the priest at the supermarket and he eyes the brand of whisky I have just bought, or the quality wines and beer; and I always pretend that I don't drink really. "It's just in case someone visits us at home, Father. Honestly! And don't take that as a hint of an invitation. This whisky is mine and mine alone. You can have the cheap one when you visit us. I always decant it into an empty bottle with an expensive label on!"

Anyway, where is all this leading to, I hear you ask. Yes ... I can hear you all right.

Well, the other day I was at the supermarket and I bumped into a lady friend from work. She's a lively young thing of about thirty or so, always bubbly and laughing. We stopped and talked, about work ... what else. As we're standing there chatting I notice that in her trolley there were no fewer than six packets of condoms of various types and quality/flavour (???)

She had made no effort whatsoever to hide them under the large packet of cornflakes or the super big box of energy drinks cans.

Six packets containing five condoms each equates to quite a lot of exercise for her and her husband or boyfriend, I thought.

As we were talking inanely about work she noticed from my eyes that I had noticed what was lying there on top of her trolley.

She picked up a packet and said "These are our favourite brand, if you were wondering! Which ones do you use?"

As I said ... I hate meeting people in the supermarket. Whether I know them or not.

Which supermarket do you go to and when, so I can avoid meeting you?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A walk in the park

A few days ago we visited a park in a town we happened to be staying at for a few days. It was one of those beautiful well-maintained parks with a variety of plants and flowers and trees which you could admire and enjoy, if you are that way inclined. Which I am not. As far as I am concerned, if it is not edible it is not worth bothering about. When will someone grow a pizza tree, or a doughnuts tree; now that would be worth visiting and sampling its produce.

Anyway, that park had a very interesting feature, even for me. Every so often along the path there was a bench for you to sit on and admire a special plant positioned right opposite. Nothing unusual about that, you may say. But wait. As you sit on the bench a voice emanates from your trousers ant it tells you all about the plant or bush you are sitting in front. It tells you what the plant is called in English and Latin, (just in case you want to say "Hello" to it in Latin), where it originates from, and various other facts you probably did not care to know about anyway. It was uncanny, every time you sat on a bench this voice told you all about the plant or bush opposite you.

Hitherto, the only sound that came out of people's trousers, or dresses for that matter, bore no resemblence whatsoever to a human voice. But all this changed with these new style benches.

Whose idea, I thought, was it to hide little speakers on these seats which are somehow triggered into speech as you sit on them. And what happens when it rains, for instance? Do they gargle their message or just shout "I'm drowning here!"

I sat on one of these benches opposite a red leaved bush and the voice kept on repeating ad nausea: "Hello. You are looking at the photinia red robin bush ...." and on and on it went  about this plant I'd never heard of before nor wished to hear of again. But no such luck. As soon as the voice stopped talking it repeated again "You are looking at the photinia red robin bush ...." which was not strictly true because at one point, whilst enjoying a strawberry jelly doughnut, a bit of jelly fell down on my lap. I looked down whilst the voice was telling me I was looking somewhere else. I must say I never heard it called a photinia red robin before! 
   
But believe it or not, these benches were very popular. People kept rushing from one bench to another and plonking their backsides hurriedly to hear the voice speak to them.

I'll admit that, in order to participate in the fun, and to prove that I too can be light-hearted at times, I did try a few benches; although I did not care to know about nasturtiums or azealeas, whatever they are. I just moved nonchalantly along the path looking left and right as if I were a plant expert and then, as soon as I reached the next bench, I sat hurriedly to hear what it had to say to me.

All went well until at one bench I sat down quickly without looking and instead of the familiar dulcet tones through my trousers I heard a female voice shout at me: "You idiot. You sat on my prize cactus!"

I'll admit that I got up faster than the sound of her voice could travel. The stupid woman had placed on the bench a cactus plant that she'd just bought from the souvenir shop, whilst standing there taking a photograph of some flower or other. The plant had come out of its plastic pot and was totally entrenched in my trousers. The pain was out of this world!

Have you ever had a cactus in your backside?

I suggested we retrieve the plant and put it back in the pot; but the woman walked away saying some unrepeatable things which I will not repeat here. Why did she have to be so rude about my ample figure?


Painful as that experience was, it was not as embarrasing as I lay on the bed in hospital whilst two nurses helped remove from my bottom what was left of that prize cactus.

Monday, 12 October 2015

... And then we die ...

OK ... let's face it. The two things we can't avoid are paying taxes and death. Although avoiding taxes can perhaps be illegal and get us in deep trouble. Death on the other hand is quite natural and comes to all of us sooner or later.

The problem is how do we dispose of the remains when a creature has died.

Normally, if you happen to have a small pet like a budgie or a hamster or such like, and it dies on you, the thing to do is to bury it in the garden and say a little prayer. It's a simple and perhaps gentle way to introduce young ones to the inevitability that we all die. You tell them that their budgie is now in Heaven where mirrors are bigger and never get dirty and you never have to clean the cage because in Heaven budgies no longer poo. Or their hamster is in Heaven enjoying the biggest wheel he could ever imagine.

If it is the goldfish that dies the simple way is to flush it down the toilet and say that it has now gone to a watery Heaven were water never needs to be changed and the tank is as big as eternity itself. Or lies to that effect.

A word of warning however: never try to flush large items down the toilet. I tried it with a dead cat once and we had the biggest blockage you could imagine. Cost us a lot in plumbers' fees.

Whatever you do; death must be treated with dignity at all times.

I remember once I went to the funeral of a friend of mine who throughout life was a clown at the local circus. When he died, they dressed him up in his clown outfit and painted his face just as he always looked when performing; big smile and all.

Although dignified in appearance, unfortunately his funeral was not so in execution. When they drove him to church the hearse he was in kept honking every few minutes, the engine went "bang" every now and then, the doors fell off, the steering wheel came off in the hands of Coco the clown driving it, and smoke came out the back.

When they laid him in his coffin they could not put the lid on because his big feet protruded upright from the box.
The funeral cortège consisted of other clowns following him, as well as an elephant, a zebra, a juggler juggling and a half-naked woman carrying a large python amongst other circus type people.

At the cemetery, when they lowered him into the ground, he kept popping up and down like a toy clown in a box.

Most people, of course, decide that when they die they will either be buried or cremated. Some decide to leave their bodies to science or donate their organs; which is a generous and laudable thing to do. Others prefer to be buried at sea. Whatever is decided it is always done in a dignified way.

How about being somewhat adventurous, however, and have a memorable funeral? Like being catapulted at speed from a mountain top and far away into the sea? Or being tied to a strong elastic band and bounced up and down from a platform into a shark infested pool? Inventive and very memorable I should say.

And one more last thing. When you get to meet Our Lord, as surely you will, take with you a book of jokes to put Him in a good mood before He pronounces on your fate.

Finally ... here's a short video I made which treats this whole subject with real dignity.



Sunday, 11 October 2015

ABOUT BEING RICH

The reading in church today was from Mark 10:17-27.

I’m sure you know the story about the rich man who was told by Jesus to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus.

The man just could not do this, and went away sad.

Jesus also says that famous saying about it being harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

And people have been debating that hyperbole for years. What did it mean? Did Jesus refer to a gate called Needle, or was it a mountain pass which was so narrow you had to unload your camel of what it was carrying, pass the camel through, and then load it again.

It really doesn't matter. What matters is what Jesus meant in what He said to the rich man.

Jesus advised him to sell all he has and to give the money to the poor; and then to come and follow Jesus.

On hearing this the man went away very sad; he was not willing to follow the advice given.

Let’s pause here for a minute and reflect. What would you have done?

Let’s assume God spoke to you right now, in a dream, or a vision, and you were certain it was Him speaking. Just as certain as Abraham, Moses, Noah, Mary and Joseph were when God spoke to them. You know where I’m getting to …

And God asked you to sell everything and give it to the poor, and become a missionary or a volunteer helper somewhere far off your community.

Would you be able to do it? Would you leave your spouse and family behind and follow Jesus wherever He asks you to go? Would you sell off everything you have, give up your job, leaving your children with nothing; and moved on to a new life?

On reflection, perhaps we sympathise a little with the rich man. For we know not whether he had a family, friends and servants who relied on him – although we can assume he had. All these would have been left with nothing if the rich man followed Christ's advice to the letter.

So what is Jesus really saying then?

I doubt very much if every rich man on earth sold all their property and gave it to the poor that it would make any difference. It would be like putting a snowflake in a burning furnace.

Anyway, it is not physically possible, since if every rich person sold their property, by implication, they would sell it to someone else who would in turn be rich in order to be able to buy it. I’m sure you follow the tautology.

So what did Jesus mean?

He certainly was not speaking against wealth. Wealth creates wealth. It creates jobs and it creates the wherewithal to help others less fortunate than ourselves.

Christ condones, nay encourages, the creation of wealth in His parable about the servants given a gold coin each by their master. When he returned from his travels the master discovered that two servants managed to make their fortune increase whilst the third just didn’t bother. So he rewards the hard-working servants and punishes the other. Luke 19:11-27.

In this story about the rich man Jesus was teaching responsible wealth. There’s nothing wrong in working hard and amassing a fortune honestly. As long as we use it responsibly.

Those who are fortunate to have wealth should remember their responsibility to share it with others, and to help others, as best they can. This doesn’t mean sell everything and give it to the poor. It means be aware of those around you who are less fortunate than yourself; and share your good fortune with them.

If you were to sell everything then once it's gone, it's gone - you can no longer help the poor and you may well become poor yourself. What's so clever about that?


In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) Jesus does not condemn the rich man for being rich; but for not even realizing, never mind caring, for a poor man starving at his gate.

So there you have it: work hard, be wealthy, but remember others less well-off than yourself.

And wealth does not necessarily mean riches and money.

Some people are wealthy in different ways: wealthy in wisdom and knowledge, wealthy in health and stamina, wealthy in talents and so on.

Those amongst us who are well educated and knowledgeable should not look down on others haughtily and with disdain. Use your knowledge to teach others.

Those who are fortunate to be healthy should remember the sick and if possible visit them or help them as best they can.

Those with talents for music, the arts, sports or whatever should share their talents with others. Imagine the good you can achieve as a sportsman if you visit a school and share a few moments coaching children in whatever it is you do. Or if a musician or celebrity shared a few moments with less talented yet aspiring youngsters. That visit would be imprinted on young memories for life – and may well inspire them to do better and achieve more.

Let’s all look at ourselves deeply and discover what wealth God has given us.

Money, good health, a talent for music, painting, singing or whatever … and let’s share it for the glory of, and in thanksgiving to, God our Creator.  

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Bon Appétit

I don't deny that eating a nice steak, or a lamb casserole, roast chicken and freshly cooked fish and chips are a delight at any time. I can smell the delicious aroma of these and many other favourites of mine right now as I am typing these words.

But yet ... there's another delicacy which most of us have probably not partaken in, which goes unnoticed by our culinary experts and is indeed far cheaper than anything you can buy at your supermarket, delicatessen or top of the range boucherie!

ROADKILL !!!

Can you imagine how much meat is left lying there on the road every day to rot away in the sun instead of resting nicely on your plate next to your favourite vegetables? And it's FREE folks. You don't have to pay for it.

Just stop the car and pick up the remains of that squashed squirrel. You may need a spade for this, but on the positive side the meat has already been tenderised by the weight of the vehicle which run him over.

If this makes you squeamish, don't worry. 

Drive on a few more miles and you'll most likely find a dead rabbit, or a dead fox which will serve you as a neck scarf as well as a meal.

Or if you're lucky you may find a dead pheasant, (I said pheasant, not peasant - pay attention). Or indeed some other bird like a crow or a sparrow even, or maybe you could enjoy the delicacy of dead frogs and toads attempting to cross the road and not quite making it to the other side. They may be a bit squashy on the road, but a few minutes in a blender with some spices will make you a delicious soup, or gravy.

The possibilities are endless. And the beauty of it all is that the cuisine varies depending on which country you're in. 

Can you imagine kangaroo steaks from Australia? Sheep from New Zealand or Wales? Reindeer or moose or buffalo? Geese and turkeys? Prickly hedgehogs or even wild haggis in Scotland's Highlands?

The roads are full of food for you to enjoy. Even scraping the dead insects from the front of your car can provide an appetising meal if you put your mind to it.

So help the environment and keep our roads clean. Take a roadkill to your kitchen today. Nothing looks better when viewed on your plate with some vegetables.

Except that bicycle you ran over the other day!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Eating Healthy

I don't know what it's like where you happen to live, but over here in the UK we've been encouraged for some time by health experts to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This has lately been increased to seven portions a day because of inflation.

Personally, I think seven, or even five, portions of fruit and vegetables is far too much for anyone to take. Can you imagine munching on a carrot, an apple, a piece of broccoli or spinach, a banana perhaps, (that makes four) and a box of chocolates with fruit centers? That's only five! Still two more portions of this healthy food and I won't have any room for steak and french fries, or pizza or a burger in a large bun.

Obviously the thing to ask these health experts is what do they mean by a portion. Apparently it is the amount of fruit or vegetables which you can hold in the palm of your hand.

So having a large watermelon or a pineapple is OK then; is it?

But before we scoff at this advice given to us in order to lead long and healthy lives, let us look at the science behind the advice.

According to studies carried out by nutriologists and such like boffins the proof of healthy eating is overwhelming.

They had two groups of 50 people. One group of 50 was fed seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily for a period of five years; and the other group of 50 were totally deprived of these items for the same period.

At the end of the five years, out of the group who ate fruits and vegetables daily, two were hit by a bus and died, one drowned when he fell off a bridge, and another broke his leg when he fell off a ladder. The rest did not live any longer than those who did not eat fruits and vegetables, but it sure seemed like it.

Yet the scientists do not relent in their advice to eat fruits and vegetables.

They say the advantage of eating so much vegetation will make us live long enough for our families to despise us and put us in an old peoples' home.

And once there, the staff will care for us so that our relatives don't have to. And to humour us, the staff will no longer force us to have seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily; which will eventually shorten our longevity proving once again that scientists were right in recommending so much fruits and vegetables in our diets.

So there you are. You can either accept experts' advice on this subject or not. Personally, I think it is dangerous to read too much between the lines, especially if you are standing in a railway station.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

L'Esprit en France


It all happened in France all those years ago. I was staying overnight at an old auberge in Paris. It had been a long day working on business as well as sight-seeing whenever the opportunity allowed. But now I was really tired and shattered at the same time; if that is at all possible.

I jumped into bed and, as a last dutiful act of loyalty to my employer, I decided to read a Census Report showing population trends over the years in different French locations and how this would affect our business in this country.

A few minutes afterwards, as I was reading, I noticed a ghost standing by the foot of my bed. He was staring at me. I was frightened out of my Census.

He was wearing an old style type costume, a bit like the three musketeers or something from that era. And he had a patch on one eye.

When I gathered whatever courage there was left lying around all over the place, I asked him, pointing at the patch on his eye, "Are you a ghost of a pirate?"

"Oh non, Monsieur," he replied in a typical French accent, "I am not a pirate! I got zis one day when I entered a room through ze keyhole in ze door, and somebody put ze key in ze door at ze same time!"

"Oh!" I said, as he continued.

"I also used to enter ze rooms by sliding under ze doors, you know. But I stopped doing zat too. One day, I slid under ze door and zere was a woman cleaning ze room on ze other side. She sucked me into her vacuum cleaner!

"But not anymore, Monsieur. Now I travel ze conventional ghostly way by walking through ze solid walls!"

At this point a clock somewhere struck 10:35pm.

"Oh ... I must go to my wife Suzette" he said. "Madame Penoir, my wife, she gets very upset when I am late! I usually tell her ze stories zat I am haunting tourists in old auberges; but she is not believing me. She says she can see right through me!"

And with zese words, sorry ... these words, he jumped out of the window and landed in the river below. I think he was in Seine!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Challenging Nudity

This article was prompted by readers' comments HERE. I'll try to deal with this subject as delicately as I can.

For many many years artists, painters, sculptors and photographers have been fascinated by the nude body. It has been accepted as art and admired by many over the years.

Look at the two pictures below:

             Pierre Auguste Renoir                    
SLR Camera Automatic Shutter Speed

Question 1     Would you say that both pictures are art? Why/why not?

Question 2     What is nudity anyway? (Rhetorical question - no need to answer).

Question 3     If a person goes around naked in the privacy of their own home is that OK do you think?

Question 4     What if it was two persons, male and female, or both the same sex, naked in the privacy of their home; is that OK?

Question 5     What if it was five people, ten people, or more in a private nudist club or beach; is that OK do you think?

Question 6     Difficult question this - Can a Christian be a nudist?

Consider this scenario. (BASED ON TRUE FACTS).

Four friends walking down the beach, they are aged mid-twenties or so. There are two men, one woman and YOU.

They are wearing nothing but swimming attire. They walk in the sand and every so often they jump in the water for a while; but mostly they walk on the beach. It is a deserted area and no one else there.

Suddenly, they are approached by two naked men. One of them says: "You can't go any further folks. This is a nudist beach. Did you not see the sign back there where you came from?"

They hadn't.

The two men suggest that to go on further the four friends have to take their swimming pants off and place them in the hut nearby. They can then proceed naked.

Surprisingly, the two male friends quickly take their pants off. Even more surprising, the young woman also delicately takes off her bikini. Clearly, they see nothing wrong in being totally naked.

Question 7     What would YOU have done?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Peace and Happiness to you



MONKS OF WESTON PRIORY VERMONT USA

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Wedding Reception


I know that you dear readers often smile, or laugh at, my misadventures. But last week's was one of my worst, I tell you.

Last Saturday we were invited at the wedding of some friends of ours. We had not seen them for some years, and they live a distance away - but hey ... we received the invitation by post and we accepted. After the marriage ceremony in Church we jumped in the car and drove to the appointed hotel where the reception was to take place.

I tell you ... this was the biggest and largest hotel in the whole world. If you could transplant it from its position and put it somewhere else it would cover the whole of Texas. That's how big it was. When we entered the main entrance hall it was so huge you could see for miles around. The chandeliers hanging from the ceiling were as big as planets.

Anyway, as we entered the hotel, I decided to go to the rest room. I asked the family to go on ahead to the reception and I would join them later.

FIRST MISTAKE - When I got out of the rest room I took the wrong turning and went to the wrong reception. Did I tell you the hotel was huge? Well, there were two wedding receptions taking place at the same time; and I didn't know, did I? So I went to the wrong one.

As I entered this big hall where the reception was, I looked left and right for my family. Obviously, I could not find them, because they were not there. They were at the proper wedding reception we had been invited to; somewhere else in this big hotel.

I walked around the wedding guests trying to find my family and I bumped into two colleagues from work. A husband and wife. What were they doing there? Obviously, by coincidence, they had been invited to the other wedding taking place in this hotel.

They said "Hi" and we started chatting about work; what else. I thought I was at the right wedding reception and thought nothing was wrong.

We discussed various projects we were involved in and whether we would save money if we bought large paper clips instead of small ones and save by buying fewer of them. This of course depended on how many bits of paper we have to clip together at a given point in time. But who cares? Whilst talking I was surreptitiously looking left and right for my family and pretending to be engaged in conversation.

Moments later a man in uniform asked us in a loud voice to take our seats at the tables. He explained that there were no set places. We could sit where we wanted to. Tables were set for groups of six and there were plenty of them to sit at.

My work colleagues, thinking I was alone at the wedding, invited me to sit at their table. They said I could meet their new friends who were into nude skiing in the Alps. Quite invigorating, they said.

Thinking that my family was also sitting with other friends, I decided to sit with my work colleagues. The discussion, as expected, was about naked skiing and how liberated they felt coming down the mountains and airing their differences. I sat there politely wondering about the risk of frostbite to one's extremities with all that snow and icy winds blowing around the Alps. Perhaps I should have asked them whether they ski with all the other people, or whether there is an area reserved for nudists who want to expose their bits to each other as well as the elements. 

The meal was OK I suppose, except I did not particularly enjoy the ice cream for dessert. The very thought of all that naked skiing in the snow sent a chill down my spine.

It wasn't until the best man stood up to toast the newly weds that I realised I was at the wrong wedding. Did I mention it was a big hotel?

Our table was right at the end of the hall; so I could not see the top table very well from where we were sitting. So when the best man stood up and asked for silence, then he toasted the newly weds, I realised that the names he mentioned were not our friends' at all. I suddenly got a brain freeze. Must have been the ice cream, I suppose. For a moment I could not work out what was going on.

SECOND MISTAKE - I made an excuse to leave the table.

My first thought was that we'd come to the wrong hotel. No one had told me there were two weddings here in the same hotel, did they?

I went to the Reception Desk and asked if my family had left a message for me. They hadn't.

I phone home. No reply.

I phoned all the cell-phones in our family. All switched off. What's the use of switched off phones? I ask you.

For some stupid reason, I went back to the reception hall I'd just left and looked around. What's the point? I was at the wrong wedding anyway, so my family wouldn't be there would they? Unless they had made the same mistake as me; which they hadn't. At this point, conscience I suppose, I felt guilty for having eaten a meal at a wedding which I had not been invited to. Do I have to confess this, I thought. Well, I hadn't finished the ice cream, for reasons already mentioned. So that must diminish my sinful culpability somewhat. However, the conversation about naked skiing, and my imagination running wild at the time, must really tip the scales as far as sins are concerned.

I went back to the Reception Desk again and asked if there was a message for me. The kind assistant lady looked at me as if I was an imbecile and assured me that no one had left a message for me.

I asked her if this town had another hotel with a similar name. She smiled politely and said "No."

I mumbled incoherently that I'd attended a wedding meal just now and the married couple, for some inexplicable reason, had different names to what I expected them to have.

The Receptionist was a quick thinker and realised what had happened. She explained that there were two wedding receptions in the hotel at the same time; and politely directed me to where I should have been all along.

I found my family. The wedding meal at the reception I should have been at was already over and all the speeches had been done.

My family has still not forgiven me for all this. It wasn't my fault, I tell you.

Did I mention it was a huge hotel? And to make matters worse, the proper reception I should have been at did not have ice-cream for dessert. They had my favourite forest gateau which I missed by not being there.
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