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The Sun Pavilion in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens.

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The Right Time

I’ve often thought I would read some of those Great Books when I had the time. Or when work is a little less demanding. Or whenever.

Well waiting for “whenever” can take quite a while. Earlier this year I took the plunge and, very slowly, have read Anna Karenina, Ulysses and, for some light relief, Huckleberry Finn. And I am well on the way through The Brothers Karamazov.

Why not give it a try – challenge yourself to a really Great Read. It’s not going to get any easier – until you dive in.

What should I try next? Quite fancy some Hemmingway…

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Fountains Abbey is one of our favourite places for a family wander.

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Does the TV licence support Sky?

There’s a petition live at the moment, based upon the assertion that the BBC is required to pay Sky for carrying its channels.

The logic of the petition is that Sky gains far more from the BBC than vice versa and surely Sky should pay for BBC content, in the same way as they have to pay for Hollywood films and Premiership Football.

I don’t know if the assertion is true, but if so, it feels slightly uncomfortable to me!

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How did we get here?


This famous little book was aimed at bright and inquisitive children, but nevertheless it reawakened my interest in history. I say ‘reawakened’, but really I never caught the history bug as a child.

I was much more in to the sciences – my attempt to answer ‘How did we get here?’ would have been quite different. Anyway, years have passed and finally I’m keen to get the historian’s perspective. If you’ve not read A Little History, it’s great and well worth a few hours of your time.

I also loved reading Tony Judt’s ‘Postwar’ last year – yes I’m very Eurocentric for now! And perhaps I’m beginning to understand, just a little better, the forces that have shaped our (sub-)continent in the last half century or so.

I hope that I can also begin to share a little (very amateur!) enthusiasm for history with my kids, as well as my decidedly rusty science. I’d like to encourage broad interests for them and wait and see what blooms.

As you can tell, I’m in a New Year kind of mood!

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Things fall apart…

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

W B Yeats

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Not Church

Just read these 3 tweets (hence the ellipsis) by Steve Timmis, which nicely express something of where I hope we can go with Kairos.


If God’s purpose has always been 2 have a people thru’ whom he’ll reveal his glory, how cn church be primarily a weekly event in a building?

Church is a time&space expression of an eternal reality. Our life together as the people of God anticipates & demonstrates the New Creation.

We point back to the cross by showing its effectiveness as thru’ r life together we point 4ward 2 eternity as a foretaste of what’s 2 come.


Quite a challenge – a life demonstrating new creation, a foretaste of what’s to come.

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All that glisters

Stack of gold bars

When the economy is rocky, folk wisdom says to buy gold…it’s a safe store of value. But why? I mean, it certainly has practical uses – in electronics, for example. But so do many other substances &, whilst commodities have boomed, this is often explained by demand from rapidly developing economies, notably China. In which case, why choose gold specifically?

No, I think the advice is simply down to the world’s desire to hoard scarce gold – as a ‘solid
underpinning’ of wealth. But isn’t this just a circular argument? Why do people want it, if not to use it for something – even if that’s just as personal decoration? And surely its use in jewellery is to a large extent driven by its value…

So I wonder, what the millennia of demand for gold are really based upon – its warm yellowy glister, or its practical use? And how can we be sure it won’t someday be seen as the emperor’s new clothes?

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Justice – Up & Out

I came across this short video,  which beautifully sums up how a relationship with God should affect how we relate to other people. Especially with those who are let down by society.

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