Thursday, 27 January 2022

A Shot In The Park



ISBN 979 8402 9636 10

A gunshot is heard in the park opposite Saint Vincent Church. Is Father Ignatius the victim of this attack or the perpetrator of this heinous crime?

What was he doing in the park at a time he was due to hear Confessions in church? Was he meeting someone? Is he involved, once again, with the criminal fraternity? Is this the end for our much loved and respected priest?

The latest novel in the series about Father Ignatius is a fast-paced and intriguing story with a credible plot line and characters which will keep you guessing at every turn.


Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Back to University

I went back to University last week. Not as a student; I was visiting a friend of mine who is a professor of graffiti and bad behaviour. He teaches would-be graduates hooliganism and wearing torn clothing as a sign of new fashion.

You should have seen some of the students there. I asked myself where do they come from? Are we really saving the planet for the likes of them?

I think the only way some of them should have been accepted at University is as a scientific exhibit in a glass jar for primates to study.

To misquote Mark Twain, "if they keep on learning at this rate then soon enough they will know nothing at all!"

I think the only reason some of those youngsters were there is to allow their parents to fumigate their bedrooms.

In the cafeteria I sat at a table and talked to some students as part of my research into Higher Level Education - I am writing a paper about it for my business.

I gave a student a piece of paper with the question: If you were on a desert island what luxury item would you take with you?

He replied: A spoon!

Some of those kids were so highly educated that they can bore you on any subject. 

There was this geek looking young man with black rimmed glasses ten times larger than his face. He was studying ancient Greek history and was keen to tell me that the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed by a tortoise which was dropped by an eagle which feeds on tortoises by dropping them on hard objects. The eagle had mistaken Aeschylus' bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Ironically, Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.

Interesting don't you think? NOT!

Has this piece of information enriched my life in any way? Will it be useful for me in life? Apart from wearing a tortoise shell for a hat in case a tortoise fell on my head?

Why do we teach these youngsters subjects that are not likely to help them in a future career? The only jobs this geek will be able to do when he graduates is either teach ancient Greek history to another generation of torn-jeans-wearing students, or be a cashier at a supermarket.

The country, and the world, needs scientists, medical people, computer people and such like; not experts in the velocity of drunken crab under water! Let's teach them subjects relevant to modern society.

But then; what do I know? It's a long time since I last set foot in a University. I failed math so many times when at school I can't even count them! My parents used to buy me alphabet pasta in tomato sauce to teach me to read. Eventually they gave up on my stupidity and bought me spaghetti hoops instead.

I left the University rather disillusioned to learn that 9 out of every 6 students there do not understand percentages. That's almost half or 50%. 

Sad, isn't it?

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

My confession


I don't know about you, but I must confess I am addicted to collecting Beatles albums. I think I need HELP!

I read somewhere that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So I threw it at him and it kept him away for longer.

Did you know that I ran a dating agency for chickens? At the end I was struggling to make hens meet.

I am studying genetics by correspondence course; specialising in cloning techniques. If I don't perfect human cloning I won't be able to live with myself.

I tried studying ancient history. My poor knowledge of Greek mythology was my Achilles heel.

I went out for a drive yesterday. I didn't realise I was a bad driver until the lady in the satellite navigation system said, "A few yards ahead, please stop and let me out of the car!"

I went along to the local Kleptomaniacs Anonymous and found that all the seats were taken. 

We had a garage sale last week. I sold our vacuum cleaner. It was only gathering dust. 

This morning I met Henri. He is a Private Investigator. He was hiding behind a lamp post. Even though it was a beautiful day he was carrying an open umbrella. He told me he was undercover.

On her birthday my wife told me to go out and get something that makes her look sexy ... so I got drunk.

My grandfather told me that he saw the Titanic all those years ago. He warned the people that the ship would sink but no one believed him or listened to him. He was a brave man and did not give up. He continued warning people several times again and again that the ship would sink. Eventually they threw him out of the cinema. 

I like romantic movies. In the cinema I always like to hold hands, which often startles the strangers sitting next to me.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Who will teach them?


When I was at school, not so many centuries ago, we used to start the day with "Assembly". 

The whole school would gather in the big hall. Because there were so many of us all the pupils used to sit on the floor because there was no room for chairs to accommodate everyone; or even enough time to put the chairs out in rows like a cinema, and then take them away after Assembly.

My job, as a lead pupil, was to organise two other pupils to stand at the door and hand out hymn books to all coming in, and to collect them afterwards.

All the teachers stood/and sat on chairs, on the big stage up front. The hall was used as a theatre when we had plays or concerts.

Every morning at Assembly we waited for the Head Master to come in and walk all the way up front and walk up the stage from the side and stand in the middle of the stage. At that point we would all stand up and sing the hymn for the day. The music teacher played the piano.

After the hymn there was a Bible reading. Then school announcements, then another hymn. And so we left in an orderly fashion to our classrooms. The whole event lasted about 15 minutes.

Every day started with a Christian based assembly.

Now ... ... ... 

I wonder how much Christianity is really taught in schools. Not much I am told. In a lot of businesses it is forbidden to talk religion at work. I know it was so when I worked in London; it was frowned upon.

Some youngsters get Christian teaching in church either on Sundays or in preparation for certain events like First Communion, Confirmation or such. However, I read somewhere that in the UK regular church attendance is about 5% of the population.

So I ask myself: Who will teach them?

If there is a generation growing up with little if any Christian education; how will they grow up with Christian values and principles? How will they teach the next generation after them about God and Christianity?

I know of several people who not only have they stopped going to church, or believing altogether, having been brought up as Christians; but they have also not bothered to pass on the Christian beliefs which their parents instilled in them to their off-springs. 

Their attitude is that their children will have to make up their own minds on what to believe when they grow up.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

In her hour of need


Father Ignatius was in the Sacristy after morning Mass on Wednesday when Henry, a young Altar server, came in and said:

“Father I was off to school and I noticed there’s a woman at the back of the church crying loudly …”

“Thank you Henry … it’s good of you to tell me …” said the priest calmly, “you go to school … I’ll deal with it …”

Moments later the priest entered the empty church and walked towards the back. He approached the woman and sat calmly on the pew a few feet away from her.

She raised her head and got up from a kneeling position and sat down. Father Ignatius had never met her before. She wiped her eyes with a handkerchief and stopped crying loudly.

She looked at him and said:

“I’m sorry Father to make such a scene in church …”

He smiled and said nothing for a second or two … then he said gently, “If Jesus was here with you right now … do you know what He would say?”

She shook her head and wiped her nose with the handkerchief.

“He would say ‘Peace be with you’ … those would be His first words as a start …”

He stopped for a while, and then continued, “and slowly, His peace would be upon you and you would slowly calm down …

“And then you would get to know, and realize, perhaps for the first time … that He truly loves you and cares for you …

“Because Jesus loves us all … individually … each according to his or her needs …”

“Even me?” she asked calming down a little.

“Especially you …” continued Father Ignatius, “He cares for you as a child of God … and no matter what hurts you right now, He shares that pain and wishes to help you relieve it … all you need do is trust Him and speak to Him freely … He will lead you to His peace as He has done to so many others …”

“Thank you Father …” she said, “that’s very helpful.”

“In the meantime,” continued Father Ignatius, “if there is anything I can do to help … let me know … when you’re ready of course …”

“No thanks Father … I think I’ve just witnessed Jesus’ presence …”

And with that she left the church with a lighter heart.

She has been back to church every Sunday ever since … and no one knows the reason for her upset on that day she first met Father Ignatius.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

These things I have spoken unto you


 These things I have spoken unto you
(John 16:33)

These Things I Have Spoken Unto You

That in me you might have Peace

In the world you shall have tribulations

But be of good cheer be of good cheer

For I have overcome the world.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Hollow Deck?


In this Blog I try to offer a varied diet for your edification and entertainment. Often, I post a Christian themed article, then there's humour, music, scientific articles which I have spent a lot of time researching in the deep recesses of my mind, and whatever other subjects I dream of in a moment of whisky induced imagination.

And now for something completely different.

I wonder how many of you are familiar with that wonderful TV and Film series Star Trek? We all have our favourites, if we like that sort of thing. Personally, I prefer The Next Generation with Captain Jean-Luc Picard played by the English actor Patrick Stewart.

Picard is an odd fellow I think. He has a perfect English accent yet he is supposed to be from France. Why does he not speak with a French accent and say things like, "What eez zis out zere? Eez eet anozer extra terrestiaaal form of zee life in zee outer space ... zee final front ear? Zeese are zee voyages of zee starship Enterprise. Zee mission eez to explore zee strange new worlds. To seek out zee new life and zee new civilizations. To boldly go where no man haz gone before!"

Which perhaps explains why Picard was bald ... to baldly go ... or to go baldly if you do not wish to split zee infinitive.

Anyway, my mind is wandering ... I need anozer whisky. 

In Star Trek they have something on the spaceship called the holodeck. It is a large room, and before you enter it, you ask the computer to load a particular favourite program of yours. Once you enter the room, it transforms into whatever your computer program is. You could suddenly be in a rich mansion in the 19th or early 20th Century England, you could be in a field riding a horse, or transported back to a Western scenario with cowboys, or in Shakespearean times, or whatever. 

The computer creates the scenario for you with real computer animation 3D characters with whom you can interact, have a discussion with, or whatever. In one Star Trek episode they were transported into a Sherlock Holmes scenario and met James Moriarty.  

OK ... now over to you.

Imagine you had a holodeck. Where would you like to be transported to and who would you like to meet? What would you discuss or what question would you ask them? 

Remember, the holodeck computer has been programmed with all characters and scenarios you would wish to imagine and the characters you ask for will respond and behave exactly as they would do if they were alive and with you right now. For example, you may wish to meet up with Groucho Marx in 21st Century Britain, or in your favourite restaurant or ...

So ... tell us what is in your holodeck computer program?