Monday, April 28, 2008


I love playing with compost and it's that time of year. I have four compost bins - two of the black plastic 'dalek' variety for kitchen waste and two bigger wooden ones at the far end of the garden for garden waste. Periodically I mix them up and layer them and add a bit of organic accelerator to them. I was doing that on Sunday. What fun.

Jess enjoyed it too - she likes to get her nose into the compost for a rummage around, but I didn't imagine the compost accelerator pellets would be a tasty snack for a small dog. Apparently they are. Now she's making her own compost.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I found another Cursillo blogger and fellow ex-Ninny - it's John Penman, aka Fr Dougal, now in Falkirk. He also seems to be a fellow bird-nerd.

Speaking of birds, I saw three goosanders on the river Echaig - two males chasing the same female who was acting very coy around both. I couldn't help feeling that she didn't really fancy either of them and had her eye on the one that flew off when Jonny leapt joyously into the river a little further upstream (the joy was due to the change in the calendar that dictates that dogs shall now enter all bodies of water at every opportunity. It usually coincides with the first application of the very expensive flea and tick control drops which warn against getting wet for three days after applying. Huh? Have they not heard of Argyll???).

The herons' eggs have hatched - or at least some of them have. I hope the chicks survived all that hail the other day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

All you need is love

That's me back from Cursillo #55 - a little the worse for wear in the body but renewed in spirit and with my Christian love levels well topped up! As usual I feel humbled by the trouble people will go to serving others and the cheerfulness with which they do it. As 'Observing Lay Rector' I didn't actually have much to do other than counting heads and generally getting in the way, which was just as well since the cold I took with me didn't improve and has settled nicely somewhere about mid-lung! But running on paracetamol, cough mixture and adrenaline, I was able to help make a difference in some people's Christian journey and that is just such an amazing privilege. The other amazing privilege was being allowed to administer the Chalice at the closing Eucharist.

Cursillo is such a gift to the church, I wish it was more widely used. The Holy Spirit fairly whistled round settling on everyone there - an eclectic mix of sundry Christians of widely different experience - from a young Malaysian just converted to Christianity to a learned and eminent canon of a cathedral. It's a wonderful way to experience a Christian community in action and makes you determined to bring some of that experience to your own church community. If people once felt the love they would never forget it. Surely that's what Jesus has been saying to us these past two thousand years or so! In the words of St John (or is St Paul?) - all you need is love!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Walk out

Well that was a first! Yesterday I had a student I was scribing for walk out out on me - taking her exam papers with her. I suspect they're in a bin somewhere in the school because they didn't, to my knowledge, arrive at their destination which should have been the school office. The girl was definitely having a bad day and the exam seemed to be entirely beyond her. Previous exams had been a struggle too but at least I'd mostly been able to help her focus long enough to think about the questions and come up with some kind of answer, despite a certain amount of huffing. When I told the teacher what had happened he laughed, as did the office staff who rolled their eyes and said, "Oh her!" I have to say I feel sorry for the lassie and annoyed with myself that I didn't see it coming. I've had kids struggle through papers plenty of times and we've both breathed sighs of relief when we've reached the end, but never a walk out. Oh well, clock another one up to experience and fourteen year old girls I guess, but I still feel I've let her down.