Friday 31 January 2014

Do Germans think in black and white?

Says the headline on this week's Tablet.

Thanks to Westminster Cathedral for allowing me to read it as I worked past ..

Um well.

The answer?

A compound noun of course. KLANGFARBENMELODIE.

Saturday 18 January 2014

Episode the Third

Having done an inside job trashing Pope Pius XII ( Hitler's Pope with the great cover of Eugenio Pacelli during the Weimar Republic, see the CTS pamphlet if you are in need of facts ) and Blessed John Paul II ( The Pope in Winter as opposed to A Man for All Seasons?), it's now time to turn on the sacraments.

The Dark Box: Confession in the Catholic Church
By John Cornwell.

This is how Amazon UK describe the book, in case you think I'm being very rude about a book I have not even read.

Would you tell your deepest secrets to a relative stranger? And if you did, would you feel vulnerable? Cleansed? Or perhaps even worse than you did before?

Confession has always performed a complex role in society, always created mixed feelings in its practitioners. As an acknowledgement of sinfulness, it can provide immense psychological relief; but while aiming to replace remorse with innocence, its history has become inextricably intertwined with eroticism and shame.

The Dark Box is an erudite and personal history; Cornwell draws on his own memories of Catholic boyhood, and weaves it with the story of confession from its origins in the early church to the current day, where its enduring psychological potency is evidenced by everything from the Vatican's 'confession app' to Oprah Winfrey's talk shows. Since the 16th century, seclusion of two individuals in the intimate 'dark box', often discussing sexual actions and thoughts, has eroticised the experience of confession. When, in 1905, Pius X made confession a weekly, rather than yearly ritual, the horrific cases of child abuse which have haunted the Catholic church in the twentieth century became possible.

It is published on 20 Feb.

My reponse? I'll just carry on joining that queue of people going to Confession.

And book review bingo. When it comes out I'll see if anyone who actually goes to Confession reviews it.

Sunday 5 January 2014


Almost time to change the date by the front door.

(The pic is from St Vitus Cathedral, Prague: my front door is a whole lot more grand....)

I also have friend, now living abroad, who likes to have a piece of chalk.

Last year I sent a piece through the post. The custom declaration was interesting to fill out, shall we say.

Thursday 2 January 2014

An Award - and then there were two

Thank you to Mac and Ben for nominating me.

So little do I consider my blog in the public sphere, that when a gentleman asked me about bara brith after the parish carol service, I did a double take. People actually read this?

On the blog largely reduced to pictures of cakes and saints since Feb '12, here is the stuff.

10 pieces of info about me.

1. My birthday is on Christmas Day.
2. I have two younger brothers.
3. I eat porridge for breakfast.
4. I play the horn, though far far less than I would like.
5. I gave my nephew a Richard Scarry book for Christmas, which he had read three times by 9am- he gets up before dawn.
6. My Dad likes bara brith and that is why this blog is so named.
7. I like growing stuff in the garden and then cooking people dinners using it.
8. Beethoven is my favourite composer or maybe Dvorak, Brahms, Bach or Mozart, Mahler, Stravinsky...
9. I like walking and swimming.
10. So far today amongst other things, I have been to Mass, had my hair done, put on two loads of washing, done some ironing, printed the Propers for Sunday and Monday, chucked some junk out, done some weeding, cooked soup and stew to freeze for term time and emailed my Dad a link about a new TV series about Wales. And it's only tea-time!

As usual, everyone who I might nominate has already been done, so if you are feeling left out, please consider yourself nominated and I will appreciate your blog, even if retrospectively.