Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ferries and Porpoises

What a fantastic sail we had yesterday! It was a bit of a no-brainer after church to pack up a picnic to have on Fidelio, since the sun was shining, there was a good breeze and the dogs were happy after their morning walk. Heading across to Gourock was the simplest option given the wind direction, although there's always a chance of getting in the way of ferries that way. I have to tell you, we got in the way of the Cally Mac, the Western and even the Waverley and they all changed course for little 28ft Fidelio. Steam gives way to sail and so do diesel engines! On the way home we were joined by a pair of porpoises that followed us, weaving in and out and under the boat and generally causing me to go off course and Rob to let the spinnaker flap. Fortunately not too many other boats around for us to get in the way of. All in all, a splendid afternoon. And the picnic was good too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The little silver box

My computer seems to have become my best friend and that's scary. It's also not quite true, but the elements are there. I now turn to the little silver box on my table for entertainment throughout the day (especially if it's raining). It's a wonderful procrastination tool against housework and other such dull chores. I read emails and messages and facebook several times a day, enjoy an ongoing game of Scrabble with my brother, watch TV programmes on iPlayer while eating lone meals (when I used to read), buy whatever I want online and waste a lot of time looking for the best deal, look up information on just about anything that flits into my butterfly mind, know what's going on in the lives of all sorts of people, some of whom I've never met and some of whom I haven't seen for years . . . I could probably go on but I'm beginning to bore even myself. You get the picture.

My little silver box is a wonderful thing in so many ways. And yet it has its dark side. If the Internet's not working I get really agitated. Things are going on without me! I might miss something! Oh no, I can't look and see who else is sitting at their computer playing Farmville or whatever! Hmm - getting a bit obsessive here.

And that's the thing. I'm kind of obsessed.

I tend towards being a receiver rather than a giver online. Blog posts are few and far between and Facebook and Twitter updates are sporadic, mainly because I don't believe folk can be remotely interested in what I'm doing most of the time. But wait a minute - I love reading about what they're up to, I get a buzz when someone I've been thinking about communicates. I worry if they haven't blogged/twitted/facebooked for a while unless I know them to be on holiday or somesuch. I panic if someone 'unfriends' me on facebook - what have I done to upset them?

I'm letting the little silver box take over my life.

A few years ago I took a conscious step back from the little silver box (it was a pretty blue box called Bluebell then) because I recognised this obsession in myself. In those days it was Instant Messenger and I would sit of an evening or an early morning 'chatting' to several folk at a time. It began to take over. Some people seemed to live in my computer. Every time I opened it up they were there, wanting to talk. It had to stop.

But now, it seems half the world shares my obsession. If I back off, I'm actually in danger of worrying lots of people who really care about me. It's all gone much too far to back off, and anyway, I love it! If I wasn't writing this blog post, I'd be forced to go and hoover the stairs.

Friday, August 06, 2010

I think the sermon's finished. I do enjoy poking around and trying to come up with something that people might want to listen to. I even quite enjoy delivering it, presumably because even after retirement I retain that annoying teachers' trait that compels me to impart information to anyone who'll listen. It's especially exciting if I've only just found stuff out for myself, so the research is probably the most important and enjoyable part. As a lay person I can't preach as such. I can only read, research and share my ideas, and if anyone wants to argue with me, I'm cool with that so long as they don't get nasty.

But it all takes time. I can't imagine how it must be to have to come up with something every week. I suppose people ordained folk have a good theological training behind them. I can only hope that if it works, God must be in there somewhere.

So we'll see how my take on the Transfiguration goes.

In other news, I made bagels yesterday and they're pretty good. However they don't quite have the chewiness of the authentic ones we used to get in school. Maybe they need to be boiled for longer.