Sunday, November 30, 2008


May your advent journey be a blessed one this year.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Interested to see that 'streetcar' has just been launched in Oxford and that they have a car very near to us.
Our car is definitely in its twilight years and I am fascinated by the possibility of doing without one - for ethical & environmental reasons and using something like streetcar instead.

Probably the way to do it will be to run it concurrently with our old jalopy for a year and see what it's like.

Anyone out there had any experience in using it or a similar scheme?

UPDATE: I've now registered on to this as they were doing a 'free' £30 credit before the end of November.

Band of Brothers

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying 'Band of Brothers' which is being repeated on BBC2 at the moment. Surprised because I think I am a pacifist and this is definitely in the 'glory of war' type of arena. But I am finding I can enjoy it without giving up my pacifism - if anything it confirms my belief in the utter futility of war. But in a world in which selfless acts are quite hard to come by (but thank God for the exceptions) it's quite compelling to see people absolutely committed to each other and literally putting their lives on the line without any sense of doing it for what's in it for them.

Why does it take things as horrendous as war to bring the best out of the human spirit?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

more iPhone apps like this please (if Jonny had an iPhone he would make it a worship trick)

There are lots of fantastic iPhone apps (to use apple speak for a moment) on the iTunes app store and I have downloaded lots of free ones. I've picked up a lot of useful tools.
But all the apps are very functional (leaving aside the games for a moment). But yesterday I discovered some really beautiful apps of a very different sort via Creative Review which I was browsing in Borders.
The one I'm most excited about is Bloom which is a programme developed by Brian Eno who describes it as a 'generative music application'. It's really ace - you use finger taps and gestures to create a soundscape. There are 9 different 'moods' and as you tap away it loops what you have played which builds up as you add layers. If you want to start again you shake the phone and it clears. It's all set to quite pretty, simple graphics (like the ones in this image) which react to your finger taps.

For those of you who know Eno's stuff it's very much in the 'Music for Airports' territory - very ambient etc. You could certainly run it through a PA and it would sound great and if there was a way of hooking up the visuals to a projector you would have an instant alternative worship environment!! Jonny should make it a worship trick!

Monday, November 24, 2008

advent series

I am way behind on blogging and intend to catch up soon but wanted to get this up as it starts next Sunday. As usual - if you live locally it would be a pleasure to see you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

well done America!

Very pleased with the outcome of last night's vote. I stayed up till 130am watching the early results come in and would have liked to have stayed up later but today would have been a write-off.

Anyway - delighted that Obama has won (and a McCain/Palin victory would have been unthinkable but I appreciated McCain's graciousness in defeat).

A couple of notes of caution however....firstly, as my friend Chris Langston says, we perhaps have to be a little cautious about anyone - however talented - that makes it to the top of American politics. Perhaps this is similar to the old adage about winning the rat race and still being a rat.
Secondly, this victory is perhaps similar to how we in the UK felt with the arrival of Tony Blair. And that didn't exactly work out brilliantly did it?!

Still - I am genuinely relieved at the result and am hopeful that Obama will reposition America in world affairs so that it is seen as a country that makes the world a better and safer place and not the opposite any more.