Big World Small Boat

Private Diary of A Priest. OK, so we're not all angels...Everyone needs a place to get things off their chest! And yes, I do talk to God about it all! Even He has a sense of humour! Want proof? Well, he made me, didn't He? Oh, one last thought-If you don't like what I've written, please keep in mind - it's MY diary. Go write your own!

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Location: England, United Kingdom

I've been serving children in crisis for over twenty five years. My goals are not to raise money, but to find organisations and individuals who can help change lives! What may be outdated equipment for you could change the life of a child in Eastern Europe! To learn more please visit our site at:


Where's the 'Lye'

‘Tommy said it FIRST!’ 

Can’t you just imagine a rejoinder such as this from a child who was caught uttering a profanity? The child’s immediate reaction is damage control: Diffuse the situation! Shift the focus to someone else! But at all cost, blink those eyes and try to wriggle out of it.

Most adults see through this immediately. Some take a sweeping action and wash both the children’s mouths out with soap. Some parents shake their head in utter disappointment over the cunning their child has used to try and shift blame. Then they pray their children will apologise and eventually grow up to be respectable and sensitive adults. 
But no matter what the reaction, the bottom line is that the word(s) were said. For children, it’s part of their learning experience in growing up.

For our esteemed mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, I’m not sure what his excuse is.

And I don't care; hand me the soap!

The Adjudication Panel for England ruled Ken Livingstone had brought his office into disrepute when he was suspended from office for four weeks for comparing a Jewish journalist to an SS Nazi concentration camp guard.

The mayor said: ‘This decision strikes at the heart of democracy.’ He added: ‘Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law.’ 

Mr. Livingstone has refused to apologise.


Très Doucement Caché

Oh how I wish I were making this up! Our friends at Yahoo-remember, they’re the ones (yes, ahead of Google in their attempts), who were first willing to compromise freedom of speech in order to get their feet into the door of China, ahead of anyone else, has banned…refused…rejected…and nullified an application by one Linda Callahan to use her own name for her email address. Why? Get this…within the composition of her surname someone who might be playing the game ‘find the hidden word’ could locate Callahan!

Now, whilst you might think this would be a moderate decision from a moderate organisation, desperately attempting to walk a tightrope of political correctness, unfortunately, Yahoo will happily accept the name of ‘Godoy,’ as in Manuel Godoy, the prime minister of Spain, who stuffed things up so badly for his people that it led to the abdication of Charles IV and the occupation of the country by Napoléon! Might I have the right to be upset or outraged? Oh, come on, get real!

And don’t forget the fact that it’s absolutely hunky dory for Yahoo to accept Jehovah, Buddha, Messiah, priest and paedophile, or any permutations thereof in an email address. But just try entering words that contain Osama, or bin Laden and you’ll find yourself at the mouth of an unsanitary tributary with an insufficient means of propulsion! ( if you get my drift?)

Let this be a caveat to anyone wishing to set up a Yahoo blog about a delicious yeast-leavened egg bread traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath or other ceremonial occasions. Chalah or the variant ‘hallah’ is verboten! Verstehen Sie?

But if you’re a seamstress who wishes to educate generations to come, in the art of making rounded pleats on a ruffle, you're in luck! Our friends at Yahoo will have no problem in setting up an email for ‘godet.’

My goodness Yahoo, aren’t you the sly little demigods in today’s society! Oops! Am I allowed to say that?

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Take Any Culture And Fill In The Blanks!

Some evening it’s been. I had to get down on all fours and reach far beneath my bed to retrieve the small book, well, booklet actually, well…actually a sheet…oh alright, a card - an old business card, which had become lodged between a couple of dust balls and an errant tic tac that rolled under the bed one morning. It was my ‘George Bush Presidential Report Card’ that I made at the beginning of his first term. I was going to use it to mark my reminders of things he had done which pleased me. (and not necessarily anyone else.) I more or less discarded the card when the pressure began to convince the world that Iraq was the root of all the world’s problems.

I want to make note of his decision not to bow to the senate or congress over the management contract of some American ports by a group based in the UAE. Well done you President Bush!

You were able to see beyond all the hyperbole and hysteria your administration created at the beginning of your term, that instilled paranoia in small town America that anything Arab is bad. Unfortunately, there never seemed to be a differentiation made, or at least sufficiently, between a bunch of despotic religious zealots who used a twisted view of their religion as their platform for terrorism and an entire culture.

I hope you continue on this path of re-education. But I suspect it will be difficult. If we look at all the people who have suffered in Northern Ireland over Christian religious differences we have grim reminders of how long it takes to eradicate the deliberate planting of an ill seed.

I doubt many remember, or even know of the period when a grim phalanx of FBI agents rounded up anyone in America of Japanese or German descent; women, children, and babies, and carted them off to holding camps in the mountains of Virginia and California-merely because of their heritage and accents. Lurking in every corner, the Japanese became the flavour of the moment, where America was whipped into a frenzy and tacitly encouraged to perceive them as the personification of evil itself - brainwashed into running amok at the drop of a hat.

Here we are, half a century on and there still exists a prejudice against them – a seed planted by a child’s parents and continued on through modelling parental behaviour. Dr. Martin Luther King spent his entire life trying to eradicate a similar seed.

I sincerely hope President Bush stands strong on this matter. I have no doubt the UAE contractor will do just as good a job as P&O have done. If there needs to be a review of security measures, and by all accounts there does, then so be it. But please, please do not judge people simply because of their birthplace, colour of their skin, accent, or religion.

We’ve been down this path before.


Coco Pops, The Satan Of Cereals

This morning the BBC presented an article on Kellogg’s latest marketing gimmick: Coco Pops chocolate cereal straws. Apparently Kellogg’s marketing gurus are boasting that by parents buying this product it will encourage children to drink milk.

Excuse me; I had to take a brief pause whilst I scooped up the last rings of Fruit Loops from my bowl. Thank goodness no salvos were hurled at my favourite toucan this morning. I’d really have to go on the warpath!

To be honest, whether it’s cereal companies trying to hustle trans fat and sugar infused grains, or beverage companies extolling the virtues of calorie control by consuming carcinogen injected fizzy drinks, the world seems addicted to short-cuts.

Have you ever sat in a Denny’s restaurant and heard the table across from you order a tall stack of pancakes with strawberries, whipped cream, and a side of maple syrup, sausage, two fried eggs, and a diet coke? Or driven past one of those churches that has a sign out front with a catchy little phrase such as ‘Forbidden fruit creates many jams?’

Nowadays I find it more and more difficult to escape the most guttural fundamentals of human nature: ‘what’s in it for me?’ and ‘make me feel good about myself!’ It isn’t necessary to point fingers anywhere, we all participate in it.

On one hand we could say, well done Kellogg’s, you’re working jolly hard to be socially responsible in getting the world’s youth off to school with a balanced and nutritious start to their mornings. Sure, and Dolly Parton sleeps on her stomach!

On the other hand, we could be part of a campaign to increase awareness of what really is a nutritious start to a morning, inclusive of all the food groups, colours and all. That’s what Which magazine’s diatribe is all about.

But do you really think our youth is going to buy into that bunch of fluff? I don’t see any community service announcements between MTV clips on Jessica Simpson’s riveting social intellect or the show where a gaggle of hopeful lovelies are deceived into believing some country born cowboy is a multi-millionaire living in an Italian palazzo and is searching for a ‘Miss Right’ to ride off into the Tuscan sunset with him.

Why not have a year of truthful marketing? That would be different. A year where everyone told the truth, everyone was made aware of the facts, and anyone who wanted to achieve a goal would actually have to work for it.

Now, there's a marketing strategy that has never been tried!

I wonder if there’d be any takers? ......... Naaaaaaah


Christian J sent me an interesting little snippet. I'm just too thick to figure out how to add a link to the comments field; but anyhoo, it seems the venerable Mr Kellog was actually a vegetarian health freak (in the nicest sense of the term), who advocated healthy eating and a regimen of enemas! I'm certain he would have loved the straws!


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Microsoft, You Scallywags!

I’m a technical klutz and there isn’t much I can do about it, except keep trying. I have well burned tread marks in my settings slide when it comes to adjusting my security settings to allow, disallow, possibly allow, or don’t bother with those little cookie thingies.

So I guess I’m vulnerable to all sorts of stuff. But I’m strong. I’ve survived one of my neighbour’s courgette and lemon curd tarts, so I think I can handle most anything. Everything that is, except Microsoft.

According to ZD Net (‘where technology means business’), Microsoft is now going to offer to me, for a mere £49.95, the opportunity to 'protect' myself from all sorts of nasties that might find their way into my computer. Of course, the new software will be proudly included in every computer that comes off the shelf, but will last for a limited time only at no charge, then, once you feel safe and secure…BAM! The fear factor will hit you. It’s a bit like becoming lulled into a sense of warmth and community love and then the preacher hits you with the fire and brimstone bits!

But what gets up my nose is that these vulnerabilities are a result of glitches and faults in Microsoft’s own product!

Those scallywags!

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La Cage Aux Folles, Mon Dieu!

I’m going to remind myself that this is ‘my’ place and I use it to say whatever jolly well comes into my mind. It's a place for me to let loose and let my hair down, piddle about with my hobbies, go off on some tangent if I want to, and even possibly use it as a barometer of how I’ve been feeling over time. I may not be politically correct, but then our innermost thoughts seldom are.

Well, the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, has now admitted himself into hospital due to his ‘increasing dependence on alcohol.’ In an open letter to his diocese, Bp. Robinson says that he has been dealing with alcoholism for years and considers it ‘as a failure of will or discipline…rather than a disease over which his particular body has no control…’

I just want to know what was in the letter he wrote to his wife and children when he announced that he was homosexual? Well, actually, I don’t ever recall him stating that he was homosexual to anyone in the public either. As I recall, I think the euphemism bantered about was ‘gay.’

I wish Bp. Robinson well. I know it will be an uphill struggle. These things always are. Sadly, I’ve buried a lot of people who had drinking problems, among other things, but were never alcoholics.

But I am concerned about other people who have had their own challenges with alcoholism over the years, who looked to the venerable bishop as a beacon and as an example of what is and isn’t acceptable. Could this recent revelation have a negative impact on those people and drive them further away from the church? Some might say it could bring them closer. Who knows?


And please, Bishop Robinson, you randy headline grabber you, no more revelations! You’ve had your fifteen minutes!
Gene Robinson Big World Small Boat
Homosexuals in the Anglican Church Big World Small Boat
Anglican Prayers Big World Small B

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Go Ahead, Turn The Other Cheek!

I’ve been quite cranky this week. It’s not typical of my persona, but my goodness, so many bits and bobs have rubbed me the wrong way.

The fruitcake brigade is at it again. I’ve had an overflowing cuspidor of vitriol from my ‘
’ for the actions concerning the offensive Danish cartoons. I’m still so saddened by all of this. I love the Danish people and it gripes me to no end that so many of them are in peril because of the actions of one of their citizens.

Yesterday the Iranian embassy in Frankfurt demanded an apology from a Berlin newspaper after it printed a cartoon of Iranian footballers dressed as suicide bombers. How considerate.

The cartoon was publish on Friday by Der Tagesspiegel and showed four moustachioed men with explosives strapped to their chests, wearing the shirt of the Iranian national team, which is playing in the World Cup in Germany. (remember the purpose and ethos of the World Cup?) And of course, the newspaper says it has no plans to apologise. They’ve called upon their freedom of press and civil rights as the reason.

My oh my, what a double standard. Had the newspaper created a cartoon of moustachioed men, wearing swastikas, with SS markings on their collars, the newspaper would be in deep doodles!

If you have difficulty in understanding my frustration over this, just try imagining a newspaper in the states creating a cartoon of Martin Luther King and depicting him as Uncle Remus, or Step ‘N Fetch It.

Freedom of speech? Freedom of expression? You bet! But when this ‘freedom’ serves no other purpose but to malign, denigrate, infuriate, and hurt, then society has little right to complain about the reactions of those who have been hurt or aggrieved.

We can’t hide behind our civilities and then judge others when we show no civility ourselves.

There's Icing On That Cake!

I love sharing information about Romania and Moldova and children in need. And I'm delighted to help people broaden their horizons.

In most instances the questions I receive are obviously well thought out and reflective of an individual or group who are striving to learn. But there is also a heavy dose of what I call the 'fruitcake brigade.'

Whilst I'm touched (I think) that they are showing compassion for people in need, the writers appear to have such a limited knowledge of the world around them that it is highly doubtful that they could find their own home country on a world map! Sound harsh? You'd understand if you read some of the mail I receive.

I don't know whether some comet has just skimmed the ionosphere of the earth or there has been a rash of sunspots that's affecting people's grey matter, but some of the emails I've received in the past ten days absolutely defy all logic: So much so, that I might need to continue on this subject for a day or so just to get it off of my chest!

My mother taught me to always be nice. I try. Honest! But there's a simple message I'd love to offer for people who have never travelled outside of their own country. The rule is simple: 'On your first trip, keep your eyes and ears open...and your mouth and passport shut!' At least, that way, you'll considerably lower your chances of being me!

And to the individual who keeps sending me all the quotations from Jerry Falwell's sermons, I'm still not convinced there's a satanic movement originating from the Orthodox Churches in Romania and Moldova, but thank you anyway!

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