Tuesday 29 June 2010

Sunday 27 June 2010


Last year I harvested 4oz from the bushes. Their first.

This year 12oz.

A bountiful harvest. Let's hope for another threefold increase in 2011.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Via Romea

Follow my intrepid friends via their blog here as they cycle from Sidcup to Rome.

They have a link for donations.

The charities?

Mary's Meals and The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative.

Good choices.

Off you go!

Tuesday 22 June 2010

St John Fisher

Not the best bit of info this because I've lost the book I read it in.

But when Henry VIII was setting the date for St John Fisher's execution, he wanted to avoid the Feast of St John the Baptist. Heads on plates. Bad PR. Lots of the public were not happy.

A few years ago I went to an RSC production by Shakespeare and friends' play, 'St Thomas More.' It was excellent. More witty, warm and fair, punning away. But who else got a big part in this play written 50 years after the executions? St John Fisher.

Also interesting is that when Elizabeth I came to the throne all (nearly all) the Bishops gave up their Sees.

In 1535? Only St John Fisher.

PS five people have googled today for this prayer by St John Fisher. I got it off a prayer card given out at my last parish in Dartford. Dartford at the time of the Reformation had the only Dominican Convent in england. St John Fisher's half sister was a nun there as were several sisters of the Carthusians martyred at Tyburn.

The same lady who got the cards done also wrote the history of the parish. Turns out upstairs from my hairdressers is were Mass was celebrated in the 19thC by an Italian missionary.

Whilst we are on local history in 1985 my Mum and I saw St John Fisher's calendar in Lewes (of all places.) It was on loan from Kent to East sussex. We had a look thro', no gloves or anything, but apart from dates my Mum couldn't decifer the writing. We were looking for reference their parish, then celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Thursday 17 June 2010

New Catholic Music Blogs


Jubal's Review


The Chant Cafe

for where it's at

or via Our Lady of the Rosary Church Choir where you can learn Mass XI for Sunday along the way. (Assuming you need to...)

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Broad beans

Tuesday 15 June 2010



Finding myself on the sofa of sickness, only faintly comprehending the amount of work I have not done over the past two days that will now have to be packed into the remaining three, I can use the time to inform myself of new instruments.

We Music Teachers must keep up to date.

Not since I spent a week playing 'Football's coming home,' one of the best purchases of my working life, has music and football been so closely linked.

Monday 14 June 2010


Sunday 13 June 2010

Heartening Catholic Anecdote #5

Once just before Christmas I went to Westminster Cathedral to go to Confession and an orchestra was rehearsing Messiah.

Now I like watching rehearsals of orchestras and I am very good at putting off going to Confession.

Opposite the orchestra there was a line of people who appeared from the back of the Cathedral to be watching the orchestra too. So I went and stood on the end...of the queue for Confessions which had snaked round the corner.

Saturday 12 June 2010


Friday 11 June 2010

Sacred Heart

Thursday 10 June 2010

Heartening Catholic Anecdotes #4

In a pre Sacred Heart post we return to the hot hot summer of 1976, my first at school.

It was so hot that when we visited my cousins' new house which had a permanent paddling pool in the back garden, I was told by one of them (probably a mighty 7 years old) that the Prime Minister had said that they could not fill it with water. Thus I understood just how powerful he was that he could reach into their back garden.

Anyway, at playtime all the infants would queue for the drinking fountain, like the playground was just one queue (how British!) No other games. When it was your turn someone would thump you on the back to the count of 10 and that was yer lot. These were the dark ages of leaking Tupperware beakers and Ribena in glass bottles, so you didn't bring a drink with you to school.

Into this desert came Fr Koch with his car boot full of ice lollies. Imagine. 350 in one car! The excitement. Fr Koch, it would be fair to say, was a little off putting for the small child, though clearly understood child psychology very well, because I never forgot when the Feast of the Sacred Heart was.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Papal Visit Plans

I have a very modest picture of the Pope in my window.

Friends round the corner have a very nice pic from an old calendar in their window.

I say we stick smiley Pope pics in our windows!

How brave

It seems that the Bishop murdered in Turkey, having learned that his driver was radicalised cancelled their flights to Cyprus. Hours later he was murdered.

Heartening Catholic Anecdotes #3

OK Not so occasional, but I thought everything has got so nasty vis a vis the Papal Visit and we had such a drubbing in the secular media over the last few months that it was time for some cheery posts. (If you want the dreary depressing posts see barabrith gone mouldy.)

Whilst I was in Walsingham lots of great things happened and as with pilgrimages in general the journeys were experiences in themselves.

On the Sunday afternoon we had a procession from our campsite (aka a field next to the Catholic Shrine) to the Catholic Church in Walsingham in all its new spangledness. On the way we experienced a variety of weather and an announcement over the megaphone for children to come done off the banks either side of the path lest they be struck by lightening. As if ...

Anyway, two things I liked amongst many. People playing pushchair relay, so people didn't have to push them the whole way and me getting to play 'God Bless our Pope' (9verses, impressive eh!) down the main street on a borrowed trumpet, that pleasure having been subcontracted out by the instrument's owner who did all the rest of the music for the weekend. As Fr Ted would have said, 'That would be an ecumenical matter.'

Monday 7 June 2010

Heartening Catholic Anecdotes #2

Occurred before #1, infact as I got up and turned around having received Holy Communion.

At that precise moment the Oratory Choir sang the beginning of the Mozart Ave verum.

Sunday 6 June 2010


Heartening Catholic Anecdotes #1

Part the first in an occasional series.

The other week I went to the Mass at Brompton Oratory for the Feast of St Philip Neri. The one with Archbishop Nichols, a Haydn Mass etc. All very beautiful, VERY beautiful.

Got there a bit early, because you know how it is, you have to eat your tea, but can't eat right before a Mass, so inhaled a crepe, downed a bottle of water and there I was, early.

Before the Mass started an elderly lady went by, walking very slowly on two sticks and I wondered how long and how much effort it had taken her to get there.

As I got close to the Altar, going up to Communion, the same lady was coming back, only she suddenly could not put one foot in front of the other and looked as if she might be about to fall. The young man immediately behind her went into action steadying her whilst a man on her left made ready to jump out of his place to catch her. By the time I was returning up the aisle, she was safely sitting in a seat.

What does this prove? Everything or nothing.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Well there's a thing

When I was a student, you may have read me mention, once or twice or maybe more that I missed James MacMillan by a couple of years, however one PhD composer who was there was Karen Markham, whose music I played a couple of times.

Now look what she is up to. here

Trouble at Mill

In lieu of anyone in authority giving the lead, apart from asking for my money and yes you got lots and yes I filled out the Gift Aid Form too,

this is what I shall be doing:

Going to Mass.
Saying the rosary
Putting a picture of the Pope in my window
Playing lots of Newman hymns at Mass plus 'God bless our Pope'
Watching EWTN online
Going to anything I can make that's laid on in the Parish - including watching telly in the Club.
Going into London on Sat 18th Sept armed with a Papal Flag, sandwiches and my travel card and I shall just have to be in the crowd. If the HF goes to Hyde Park by helicopter, I shall just have to look into the sky. (It is the Feast of St Joseph of Cupertino - wasn't he the flying one?)

And I don't care two hoots if I'm the only person who does.
I spend most of my time doing my own thing on my own, so there!

Any other positive suggestions? Moaning not accepted.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Allotment News

Just in case you've been sitting on the edge of your seat for some while now wondering, you will be pleased to know that I'm not one of those one season wonders, nor someone who has been evicted, yet.

More of the plot is now in cultivation, thanks to various friends who have lent a hand and dug up some of the evil couch grass. One smaller friend has even put in a little path of stones. Other recent additions have included some pumpkins which are planted with a generous amount of space, so let's hope they do plenty of growing.

The start stop weather has not been great. One moment you are watering everything madly, the next your runner beans are taken by a late frost. Hopefully, aside from the present freezing rainy spell, we might get back into serious growing. Just in case I have some spare courgettes...

Meantime, in the back garden the tomatoes are coming on OK.