Friday 29 February 2008

Hallo Africa

I have had my first two African visitors. Welcome.

One in Liberia, seeking yes, bara brith. Yum. Bara brith lovers of the world unite, for clearly though we be flung to the far corners of the earth, we have much in common. Happy St David's Day.

Another from Uganda. Hallo!

Thursday 28 February 2008


Yesterday, continuing my quest to get out a bit in a Catholic kinda way, I went to a talk in a London Church. It was most excellent. Really. Top top stuff. Never been to anything where the Priest says we'll have a few questions only then a bit of silent adoration. Great. Some people ask really interesting questions, but others ramble a bit and someimes people get a bit hot under the collar, which is hard on the person who's just been speaking. I'm a teacher, so I sit at the back and look at the floor.

Anyway, during the course of the talk a lady a couple of rows infront of me seemed to faint and I'm not sure if she actually did fall to the floor, but was certainly on the way and it was a hrad wooden floor. What always strikes me on the these occasions is that everyone reacts the same. So, suddenly there was a collective surge of, 'Oh no, I hope she's OK, has she hurt herself,' though no-one actually spoke. She seemed fine, thankfully.

When with Catholics I seem to be able to mind read and other people seem to be able to predict my every wim (lucky me), the rest of the time, it's a bit hit and miss (and that's putting it gently!)

St David's Day

A flurry of googling for bara brith, indicates the coming of March 1st.

Some random pictures of a heart-warming Welsh sort.

Conwy Castle, which is on the opposite side of the river to where my Grandparents lived. Travellers til the 1980s will have fond memories of queuing through Conwy on the way to Holyhead and Ireland. My Welsh Grandfather - Taidy, spoke little, but was often heard to enquire after the traffic, which really dominated their lives. All fine now thanks to a tunnel. Before Edward I built it (the castle, that is,)there was an Augustinian monastery there. All Edward's castles are served by sea... The Welsh castle he dismantled was on the opposite side. There are still a few rocks left on some waste land and a road named after it.

The Great Orme in Llandudno. My Dad used to take me and my next brother there for running around of an afternoon before going back for Wales Today, the coal fire and Victoria Sponge. It felt like our own mountain. We used to make huge 'Hello' signs in rocks and then wave to coach parties of elderly people as they went by, which we thought was great. I seem to remember being taken with the idea of throwing rocks off, but this was not allowed as you can't always see it's safe. I'm sure the sheep would have moved quickly enough.... but maybe not the coaches. It's now a nature reserve and you have to pay to go on it. Probably not allowed to make 'Hellos' either.
The furthest west and north in the visitor league is Flint, or as my Dad calls it F-Flint.
So in an effort to press NW, here are some places for people to google and find me. Beddgelert, Llanrwst, Porthmadog, Moel Siabod, Cnicht, Tyfan, Penrynddaedrath, Deganwy, Mochdre. Sorted.

Thursday 21 February 2008

Hello Bevans

I saw the repoduction of the Sistine Chapel ceiling on Fr Dwight's blog the other day. WOW!

Now the whole family have a blog.

I like their list of likes.

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Lent in London

Last night I went to a talk at Corpus Christ Maiden Lane. It was very good, all about marriage and no shying away from the toughy bits either. Every Tues 7pm for the next couple of weeks.

Don't you often find there is a Fr X (I was going to write Z, although given his wanderlust, that is entirely possible, but not on this occasion true,) visiting from foreign parts when you go to something like this? A bonus track so to speak

This time Fr X was from Italy and working as a missionary in Peru. There's me going to some talk and he's working at altitude in a region with hardly any Priests or Religious battling to stop people falling into 'sects.' The real deal. Anyway, he's giving a talk next week at St Patrick's Soho Sq, so I shall go to that too methinks. I found out about these talks when I went to Mass at Notre Dame de France on Ash Wed. (Didn't make it to Westminster Cathedral this time.)

They were very keen last night to get e mail details of events in London for Catholics out to people and to give lots of encouragement to stock up on CTS pamphlets for example. All very positive.


'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow free votes on the embryology and fathers components of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill when considered by the House of Commons.'

Followed the link from Fr Tim to add my name.
I don't know why you have to add you address and postcode.
Do they check it against the electoral register? Good. It's me again, that crazy woman who keeps e mailing the BBC and the ASA.

It's very scary stuff. There seem to be no limits to the scientific, 'If we can we should' mentality. Meantime, energy and time is not being put into legitimate research which could offer treatments and cures to people.

Anyone know of a medical research charity that Catholics can contribute to with a clear conscience? I now end up not giving money on the basis that charity xyz deals with a genetic disorder, thus probably uses embryos...

Saturday 16 February 2008


My neighbour is now back at home, bruised, but fine.

His van is, needless to say, a right off.

Monday 4 February 2008

123 Meme episode 2

This time from Berenike.

Awfully grand next nearest book. Eugene Onegin by Pushkin, because we are going to a Schools' Matinee at The ROH in March and I thought it would be a novelty to have knowledge of the plot. Thought it would add to basking in the Tchaik. Also, when some pupil asks me what's going on, I'll be able to tell them. Always handy.

Sentences are a bit tricky, what with it being written in verse. So I'll count lines instead

With caution through the key-hole spying
She sees ... Why, who would credit it?
About the table monsters sit!

Anyone else, please join in....

Sunday 3 February 2008

A good day

Yesterday was a game of two halves - three if you count the surprise Wales win in the Rugby - winning not just the singing this time. I grew up in the 70s in the great days of JPR Williams and Gareth Edwards and am still basking in that glow. Wooden spoons bounce off me as I bring to mind the Welsh National Anthem in the Arms Park, but I digress, as usual.

In the morning I went to the Missa Cantata at Blackfen. All I can say is the real deal. Wow. This is the way it's meant to be.

(Saw Fr Z too.)

Then off to buy icing sugar and lemons to ice two Christmas Cakes for my parents' Ruby Wedding Anniversary Party in thier Church Hall. A fun time was had by all. One of my brothers sang and played the guitar and I play the last movement of Mozart 4th Horn Concerto with a backing track. (That's as groovy as the horn gets, let's face it.) Their PP is a fellow Dennis Brain fan so we have much in common. Lots of their old friends were there and well it is lovely to go to a party where you really know everyone very well and they know you. They had their wedding photo out and their Papal Blessing from Pope Paul VI. We are lucky to have them, several of their friends are widowed and a few of my friends have lost a parent, some when they were very young.

The only near disaster was that my aunt, uncle and cousins had a windscreen smash on the M25. They called a taxi from the hard shoulder (as y'do,) and arrived very late some with shards of glass in their hair. My cousin's husband had to go home with the car on the tow truck, so missed the party. Not good though a smahed windscreen in the dark.

Saturday 2 February 2008


Just done two days of auditions for scholarships.

Heard some fantastic playing and some not so fantastic.

Funny moments?

'So xyz, what are you going to play for us today?'
Candidate holding trombone, 'The trombone.'

'Any questions that you'd like to ask us about the school?
'Do you have a Science Club?'


Thanks to The Curt Jester for The Advent Wreath and Christmas Graphic. Now put in the cupboard under the stairs in a placky bag til next year.