Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sunday 08/03/09

For reasons unknown, my North American readers seem to have disappeared in one fell swoop. Not one hit from across the Pond since the 4th March. Inexplicable!

We have a waste bin specifically for vegetable or similar organic detritus destined for the compost heap; however, I keep forgetting to use it. Hay maintains it’s due to bin anxiety.

We were looking at the layout plans for the house yesterday. Now that we’re no longer building in the arboretum, we were wondering how it could be best preserved. Hay’s sister pointed out that if we’re to have a communal heating system for the 3 houses comprising the family compound, then the arboretum will have to be the site of the Old Sodbury B nuclear power station, negating any potential to have it designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However, as a power station, we could lobby to have it designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The aerial view below gives you an idea of the overall layout. The cyan area is the existing buildings complex belonging to the Caravans and Hay’s sister; the yellow area is the common arboretum / prospective Old Sodbury B power station; the orange area is our building plot and the rest of the field; the green outline is the approximate position of the new house and the pink outline is where the caravan is currently sited – right over the build plot. The caravan is going to have to be pulled out to the right into the field, well clear of the build plot. Manoeuvring it anywhere else will require turning it, and we don’t think the chassis will accommodate the torque, probably resulting in it separating into two distinct pieces.

Ever noticed how cats sometimes look as if they’re hearing something beyond our auditory range and are receiving some kind of instructions? Cat was doing this yesterday and Hay was convinced she was tuning into alien signals from the planet Cat. She’s obviously preparing for the invasion and take-over of earth.

I sometimes despair of legislators and educationalists. Waltham Forest council has said it is treating the absence of primary school children from lessons on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history as "unauthorised", which would result in parental prosecution. The council says the classes were part of its policy of promoting tolerance. However, rather than teaching kids the history of something of which they are not yet old enough to even be aware, I would much rather teachers taught children how to spell and do arithmetic – key skills that are seemingly missing on leaving secondary school, let alone primary school.

Jade Tweed (nee Goody), along with her two kids, has apparently been christened – and, I would suspect, also baptised. Why is christening spelled with a lowercase ‘c’? The word is based on the name of Christ, so being based on a name (and a highly venerated name at that) it should surely start with a capital letter. I was trying to think of similar instances of activities based on a person’s name where the activity is capitalised, but all I could come up with were the following:

  • Baraking; putting several billon dollars into the American economy,
  • Browning; allowing bank CEOs to have excessive pensions,
  • Poping; doing something the Pope would do,
  • Baathing; the activities of someone involved with the pan-Arabic socialist Baath Party, generally involving copious quantities of water and soap,
  • Reading; a town in Berkshire, famous for being the birthplace of Kate Winslet,
  • Thatching; breaking the unions (sometimes associated with Caroling, being the activity of calling someone a golliwog).

Talking of Christening (I am henceforth going to choose to use uppercase, and damn the consequences) and similar religious ceremonies, I have great difficulty understanding people who choose to engage in paedobaptism. It sounds filthy, and in a way it is; it’s the baptism of infants and children. I see it as the indoctrination of children into philosophical belief systems they (not to mention many adults) lack the intellectual capacity to comprehend. Unless a child can rationally and intelligently discuss matters surrounding the Trinity, Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy, evolution, the morality of abortion and homosexuality and a myriad other intellectual and philosophical issues, the procedure can be considered nothing short of brainwashing and possibly even abuse. Baptism – and even the taking of kids to church - is something that should be left until people reach the age of reason and critical thinking and can make their own decisions. It’s not for nothing that Francis Xavier said: “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”


  1. Ahhhh! For once I agree with you, I also think that teaching children that there is a god(s) is tantamount to abuse.

    I also find it odd that we happily teach children that there is a Father Christmas, (Santa Clause for the American Colonies) Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and expect them to grow out of the idea and realise that Father Christmas etc. is just parents lying - whilst at the same time we expect the children to retain a belief in god(s) - for whom there is much less evidence than FC - until and beyond puberty.

    Richard x x x

  2. There is a small difference between baptise and christening.

    Christening is to give someone a name as part of religious ceremony of receiving them into the Christian Church.

    Baptising is to dip or immerse someone in, or sprinkle them with, water as a sign of them having become a member of the Christian Church - it may or may not be accompanied by name giving.

    Usually - and strictly - a baby is christened - an adult is baptised.

    Richard x x x

  3. Richard,

    I thought you always agreed with me!

    Naturally the evidence for Father Chrstmas is compelling - there ARE Christmas presents under the tree on Xmas morning.

  4. I have realised - after reading your Blog that I don't know if Christ is a name or a title - I think it might be a title, like President, Lord or Irascible.

    Richard x

  5. Rchard,

    Try finding some authoritative stuff on Christening. It's difficult to find and where it is it's usually associated with baptism when both are performed at the same time.


  6. and He drinks Coca-Cola - does god?

    Richard x

  7. Richard,

    Agreed - he was THE Christ.

    However, Mohammed is the Prophet, not the prophet. And we all know what Propheteering is - bank bosses do it.

  8. Don't look at the Church of England or Catholic churches which - as you so rightly point out - like to get their recruits before they can speak - look at those churches that immerse adults - usually there is no naming just reception into the church.

    Also consider that John baptised Jesus - he didn't christen him - although it was accompanied by doves and heavenly voices

    The lovely Richard

    Richard x x

  9. You could almost use the badinage of today's comment list as a post in itself...I don't object to children being told there is A GOD - just not one exclusivly THEIRS, as opposed to the whole of mankind/womankind...

  10. Jinksy,

    I don't oppose children being told there is a God, providing they are disabused of the fact by the lack of evidence at the same time they are disabused of the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas.

    To perpetuate the concept of a God without evidence is perpetuating superstition.

    Present the evidence at 16 and then let them decide.

  11. Make that present the OBJECTIVE evidence!

    Actually I have always said that just one talking, burning bush that was not consumed would do it for me - but as yet.......

    Richard x x x

  12. Richard,

    You've just presented me with evidence for God's existence.

    OK, it didn't talk, but there's no way I could get the Xmas tree to burn! Damned thing is still lying in the field, totally unconsumed - even when I used parafin.

  13. Leaving the politics and religion out of my equation, for I'm not as learned, this is Ashton Kutcher doing a review of an American product, Smoking Everywhere - Is it the e-cigar? If it is, you may be able to source it using this name?

    Not trying to feed your habit, sir, just passing on something I just read on Twitter (I don't do Facebook).

    Word Verif "Eunic"?!