Saturday, 30 January 2010

Whatever you want it to be...

I'm getting bored of myself not writing anything, so, suggest something I should write about, I'll research it (or not - the latter might be more amusing) form an opinion and write about it on my blog.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Exiles by Michael Frost

This is a book which I heartily recommend you read, whoever you might be. This recommendation comes only a half way through the second chapter, and I doubt this opinion will change.

Anyway, over the next few weeks you may get it regurgitated, like a penguin feeding her chicks. Or something. Came across this quote today while reading said book:
"The one thing we can't bear for Jesus to be is ordinary, for his ordinariness invites us to follow him by providing us with a template of how to be Godlike even as an ordinary human being."
Boom. Take that, you over-venerating religious people!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The power of advertising...

Isn't it interesting that the popular thing to do in Western culture is to give yourself a 'healthy tan', by going on holiday, applying fake tan, going to a tanning booth, when in India, the popular thing to do is make yourself as 'fair' as possible, using 'whiteness cream' and avoiding the sun, as 'one hour in the sun can ruin your fairness for up to 8 weeks'?

And isn't it odd how the unhealthy thing in British food is calories, yet the unhealthy thing in American food is carbohydrates?

And how strange is it that certain animals - horses, dogs, etc. - are perfectly normal animals to eat in some cultures, but not in Britain?

Culture and advertising, eh? I don't really have a point to make - just that we live in a rather odd world.


All above observations are just that, observations, from my time spent in other countries. They may not be the over-riding feeling of the culture, maybe just the places I stayed, and I'm aware of this, so please don't deride me too much.

Also, if there are any other cultural anomalies you've spotted, feel free to add to the conversation.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


I am home from my travels, and if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know I love flying into London when it's raining. It's so homely. Just imagine how amplified that feeling is when it's snowing. YES COLD WEATHER FRONT.


Let's play 'Spot The Geographical Fail.'


Went out to a restaurant with the wonderful people I was staying with in Mumbai. It was described as a restaurant and lounge. To my mind, this conjures up images of soft jazz music piped into my ears and warm lighting in which to easily survey my surroundings.

Apparently not.

The music was heavy dance music played by a DJ, and the lighting was almost nonexistent. It was like someone had been into a nightclub and thought, 'You know what would be a really good idea? To eat in an atmosphere like this, so I can't hear the people I'm with, nor can I see the food in front of me. Yes, marvellous. I think I'll do that.'

It's saving grace was that, as a restaurant, it was awesome. The food, despite not being able to see it, was really good. In fact, perhaps that was why it was really good...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

If you've never...

...been to this boy's blog, then you should. Everything he says is thought provoking, funny or beautiful.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

That was 200...

This is my 'official' 200th blog post, which is about as official as the Queen's birthday (not that she's 200, you understand) because I think it may be only about 190 due to drafts, and so on. Anyway, as 200 is a vaguely a milestone of some kind, I thought I would commemorate it with pictures of you. Yes, you. You who have made a difference in my life over the last 18 months of this blog. Choosing pictures was hard, but I hope I have represented you all well, in the amazing light that you should be cast in.

Thank you for your contribution to my life, however big or small. Be blessed to be a blessing.

A special mention goes to Liza, who I have spent two very quick days with in Bangalore. She's lovely. Entirely worth flying to go see. We found a Manga Bible, which we discovered we both use as a very small claim to fame. Exciting, no?

Monday, 4 January 2010



Went to church yesterday - a small, charismatic church that meets in a school. It was wonderful to be in such a relaxed atmosphere, sing some songs that were obviously Hillsongs because a) I didn't know them, and b) they were about 'me'.

One thing I certainly enjoyed about the service was the sermon. Now, I'm all for deep, challenging, theological treatises on most subjects, and I've come to expect long sermons in India. But Pastor Ernest surprised me. He read the passage in Matthew about the tax collector and the Pharisee, then asked the congregation the difference. It was refreshing. I wanted to pipe up, but didn't have the bottle.

A couple of things that made me think in the service, too. Communion was shared, and the bread was broken with the words 'Jesus said, 'this is my body, broken for you.' Jesus didn't say any such words, because his body was never broken. He was the perfect sacrifice. Not a broken one.

Also, we sang a song with the chorus 'I lift my worship up to you'. I can't remember what the rest of the song was, but that line struck a chord (ha!) with me. Did they mean the sacrificial living of our lives in an God-honouring way, or did they mean the singing of songs, y'know, the bit before the sermon? And if they meant the latter, how does one lift it up? Despite my slight cynicism, I am actually looking for an answer - is this just lazy song writing, or is there something more to it?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The BBC & mosquitos

Because both are powerful, right? Right.


Thus far, I count 35 mosquito bites. And, as usual, I haven't seen a single mosquito actually land on me and bite me. Which is frustrating. Here is some of the damage:

It looks like my foot has been plugged into the Matrix.


Irish Atheists, which sounds like an oxymoron, but clearly isn't, are campaigning against the blasphemy law that kicked off from the 1st of January, with a selection of 25 quotes from a variety of people (including Jesus) claiming that they would be in contradiction to the new law. It was obviously a popular website, in that I couldn't get on it for a while - the article on the BBC did a Stephen Fry to the servers. Anyway, good for them - and having read them, I agree with the sentiment: atheists and religious people should neither be exempt nor singled out - every single person is deserving of the right to say what they will, within reason.

Having said that, I'm not sure what reason is. Er... discuss?

Friday, 1 January 2010

Explicit Maths

From the BBC. Thanks, guys. Helpful...

"Experts estimate that sales of bootleg vodka in Russia make up almost 50% of all vodka drunk by Russians.

As an average Russian drinks 34 bottles a year, that adds up to a lot of bottles"