Saturday 31 December 2022

Happy Noo Year

 Best wishes to you all for
Blessed and Peaceful New Year
 and thanx for your continued prayers.

May God bless you and your families always.

Friday 30 December 2022



Sung by Father Francis Maple

Thursday 29 December 2022

Embracing Technology


Father Ignatius heard Mrs Davenport, the housekeeper, speaking with the telephone engineer in the main living room, so he kept well out of the way in the kitchen not wishing to be involved. He planned on having a quick toast and ginger marmalade for breakfast and then out of the back door and he was gone.

But too late … he heard Mrs Davenport calling:

“It’s been installed Father Ignatius … would you like to see how it works?”

He couldn’t pretend not to have heard and sneak out quickly, could he? That’s certainly not Father Ignatius’ style; he was honest to the nth degree. He’d heard her calling and that was that; honesty dictates that he has to answer her call.

He reluctantly walked into the living room and was greeted by a smiling telephone engineer, “Good morning sir … I have installed your new Series 12 Telephone Answering Machine and it is ready for action … if you care to see how it works …”

Father Ignatius was not anti-progress as such, but he felt that the phones should be answered by a real person at all times especially if on occasions someone might call the priests in an emergency. But he was eventually convinced by Father Donald and Mrs Davenport that it was time St Vincent Church entered the 20th Century so he finally acquiesced.

“This is the on-off switch …” explained the engineer, “and ideally the machine should be always on. This button here is to allow you to record your out-going message; that’s what the callers will hear when they phone you …”

Father Ignatius nodded passively half-listening; his mind concentrating on the un-eaten toast and marmalade in the kitchen.

Eventually, the engineer asked, “Any questions?”

“Does it make toast?” asked the priest almost instinctively.

“Eh … no sir …” replied the confused engineer.

“Perhaps the Series 13 machine would have this added feature …” smiled the priest, and then thought he’d better ask an intelligent question to compensate.

“At present all phones ring at once, this one, the one in my office and the one in Father Donald’s … one of us answers it first. Will this machine jump in first and answer the calls?”

“No sir … I have timed it that it will only answer after about one minute of the phone ringing … you can augment the time delay with this button here …”

Father Ignatius soon regretted his intelligent question and hoped the machine could make hot espresso coffee instead.

Throughout the day that machine became the center of attraction. Mrs Davenport proudly demonstrated it to every visitor to the Parish House. The vegetables delivery man got a full demonstration of which button does what, and so did the gardener when he came to mow the loan, and three members of the choir; but certainly not Mother Superior who declined politely as she sought refuge in Father Donald’s office for a school governors’ meeting.

Father Ignatius smiled to himself every time he heard her repeat which button is supposed to do what and then ask herself “at least that’s what I think the engineer said …”

“How lucky we are,” the priest thought to himself, “that God does not have an answering machine. We never hear Him saying ‘sorry there’s no one here to take your call’ or ‘call back later’.

“He’s with us always, just as Jesus promised, only a prayer away. Ready to listen, to help us and to guide us all the way back to Him in Heaven.”

Mrs Davenport had certainly taken to the machine and embraced new technology as it entered the Parish House for the first time. Father Ignatius was proud of that, and had not expected it from her. He saw her as more conservative and stuck in her ways.

“One day …” he said to her, “no doubt someone will invent a portable telephone which you take with you everywhere. And people will talk to each other as they walk in the street, as they drive and as they shop and so on … how would you like that Mrs Davenport?”

“But won’t all those wires get tangled up with each other as all the people walk about carrying their phones?” she asked innocently.

Later that evening Mrs Davenport confirmed in the priest’s mind that new technology had not yet reached the Davenport brain after all.

He overheard a conversation with a young Altar boy sitting in the kitchen doing his homework whilst waiting for his mother to pick him up.

The child asked Mrs Davenport who was preparing the evening meal: “If a person is in a vacuum can you hear him shout and scream?”

“It depends if the vacuum is switched on or off at the time, and the amount of dirt in the bag …” replied Mrs Davenport.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Christmas presents


Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and that you had lovely presents which you have enjoyed and will perhaps come useful in future as well. 

Normally at Christmas people receive gifts such as perfumes, slippers, various clothing items, socks, toys or even electronic gadgets such as tablets, computer games, electric hair dryers and this and that and the other thing.

Personally, I prefer edible gifts. There's nothing better than edible gifts for two main reasons. First of all, they can be nutritious, secondly you do not have to find a place where to store them, (often unused), and keep them safe to re-cycle them next time you're looking for a birthday, wedding or Christmas gift for someone else. 

There's nothing better than an edible Christmas tree with edible decorations - that's what I say.

Well ... this year someone gifted me something edible; although I doubt that is what he had in mind. He gave me a French snail called Hugo Slow.

Yes; a genuine, live, French garden snail which you can find plenty of in any back garden or park in France. 

I was told that this was a pet which needed very little looking after. It does not need to be taken for a daily walk, it does not jump on the couch when you're not looking, or scratch at furniture or do any of the things a dog or a cat would do which you wish they did not do. It does not even need to go out in the garden to do its business, or climb trees and become unable to get down again. 

This pet just stays in its glass tank and is happy to be fed with lettuce leaves and the odd dandelion leaf easily obtainable from my garden.

At the most, he just walks a few inches a day from one end of its glass tank to the other. He will not escape because the top of the tank is covered by a metal mesh to prevent him from going out.

More often than not, all you see is just the shell. Sometimes he comes out of his shell, especially when slightly claustrophobic, and you see him sliding slowly and perhaps nibbling gently a bit of lettuce or so.

Whereas some people do have their pets with them in bed, you do not need to do so with Hugo Slow because his tank in our bed would cause a real obstacle to marital harmony. No one wants a ménage à trois with Hugo in bed.

I'll never forget the day I replaced our king-sized double bed with a trampoline and my wife hit the roof. 

So now, for the sake of calm and happiness, I always ask for permission first on such bedroom matters.

And there you have it; this Christmas I did receive an edible gift in the shape of Hugo Slow; yet he is not edible for reasons that are very obvious ... we have no garlic sauce to serve him with!

Monday 26 December 2022

Mary's Boy Child


Saturday 24 December 2022

Blessed Christmas


(Please join in the prayer below)


Friday 23 December 2022

Favourite Christmas Hymns


Father Francis Maple


Thursday 22 December 2022

Donate A Prayer


Wednesday 21 December 2022

It's in the news


Do you ever sit in the bath and read your newspaper? I often do. It's the best way to get some peace and quiet and read without interruptions. 

I tried reading the paper in the shower but it gets very wet. In the bath some parts get wet but the newspaper remains dry if you hold it high enough. It is difficult though sitting there with the paper held high and balancing a glass of whisky and a jar of pickled onions. Sometimes it is a jar of pickled cucumbers or other vegetables, but onions are best because they are good for indigestion.

Anyway, I read in the papers the other day that some jogger running in the woods was suddenly attacked by a bear. The man was an amateur wrestler and tried a few times to pin the bear down but was unsuccessful as the bear got up before the count of three. Apparently, the fight went on for several minutes and the bear cheated because he did not fight according to the rules and tore the man to shreds with his paws and sharp teeth.

NOTE: I hope you enjoyed this joke - it was armless fun.

Also in the newspapers there are several stories on the cost of living and redundancies. It seems the authorities intend to shorten the unemployment line by asking people to stand closer together.

I also read that a midget fortune-teller had escaped from prison. The headline in the paper was, "Small medium at large."

This happened when a prison van, with him and other prisoners on board, had collided with a lorry full of mixed concrete. The police are looking for some hardened criminals.

Apparently one of the criminals had pick-pocketed the dwarf. How could he stoop so low?

In the papers there was also yet another article debating as to who wrote Shakespeare plays. Some say it was Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe or Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Personally I don't care.

I remember as a child at school having to memorise several of his writings. In Antony and Cleopatra, Antony's lieutenant Enobarbus, once described Cleopatra's charms by saying: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry where most she satisfies." Basically he said she was good looking. But I did not quite understand that.

Unfortunately, a few days later our history teacher was late because his mother had died that very morning. To comfort him I blurted, "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."

I got expelled for three days from school as a result. For some reason, I also failed my history exams that year.

A scientific article in the papers said that men will become extinct in some thousand years’ time because there is something wrong with their Y chromosome. This is terrible news. If men became extinct then who will catch the spiders when they fall in the bath?

And finally, firemen called on Miss Frogmarsh down the road to rescue her cat which had climbed a tall tree and could not get down. They brought the cat down to safety and Miss Frogmarsh, an elderly pensioner, invited the firemen in for tea and cakes. After enjoying her generosity they accidentally reversed over the cat and killed it.

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Christmas Time



The child is a king
The caroller sing
The old is past
There's a new beginning.
Dreams of Santa
Dreams of snow
Fingers numb
Faces aglow
It's -
Christmas time
Mistletoe and wine
Children singing Christian rhyme.
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.
A time for living
A time for believing
A time for trusting
Not deceiving.
Love and laughter and joy ever after
Ours for the taking
Just follow the Master.
Christmas time
Mistletoe and wine

Children singing Christian rhyme.
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.

 Silent night
Holy night -
It's a time for giving
A time for getting
A time for forgiving and for forgetting.
Christmas is love
Christmas is peace
A time for hating and fighting to cease.
Christmas time
Mistletoe and wine
Children singing Christian rhyme.
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.
Christmas time
Mistletoe and wine
Christmas time
Mistletoe and wine

Monday 19 December 2022



You know what they say?

Who they? I don't know ... it's just a saying ... don't interrupt your own thoughts and keep typing. Start again from the top.

You know what they say ... Necessity is the mother of invention. Which means: when the need for something becomes essential, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it. 

This happened to me a few times. I think of something I really need and my mind wanders to find a solution and somehow I come up with a brilliant idea which could be turned into an invention and a new product. But somehow I never actually follow it through and make it happen because of lack of funds, or ability, or whatever. The invention is good in my head, and it would benefit society and make me rich, but it never gets off the ground.

Here are some examples.

I was in London, (England), and I slipped on a banana skin and injured my foot and ankle. Auntie was all right. I also hurt my wrists.

I was taken to hospital and they said I needed an anaesthetic. I asked, "Is it a local anaesthetic?" They said, "No it's in Birmingham!"

Now Birmingham is about 125 miles from London. You can do it in two and-a-half hours using the M40 highway.

They put me in a wheelchair and I was pushed down to the car park to my friend's car. The wheelchair has a squeaky wheel that kept stopping suddenly thus turning the whole wheelchair to the left.  

Invention in my brain Number One: Why not have wheelchairs with an extra spare wheel like you have in cars. You could put the spare wheel on the back of the seat and whenever a problem occurs you quickly change wheels on the spot.

We got to the car. My friend had not driven to Birmingham before. He typed "Birmingham" in the GPS satellite navigation system. The predictive text took over and typed Birmingham USA. 

Invention Number Two: Stop all predictive text from all electronic gadgets. It is a stupid idea which teaches children how to be illiterate and bad at spelling. 

We drove and drove and drove ... Instead of going North where Birmingham in the UK is, we were going West towards Wales. Instead of two and-a-half hours it took ages driving through highways, low ways, side ways and all sorts of alleyways. 

It was getting dark. And we were still driving. I thought they had probably moved Birmingham without telling any one.

I was getting hungry. I ate a banana ... ironic since that was the original cause of my present predicament. 

It is then that I realised that all my life I have been eating bananas upside down. Not me being upside down, but the banana. If you are like me, you probably peel the banana from the top, the stalk end where the banana was attached to the bunch of bananas it came from, and you eat it from there.

WRONG. You should peel the banana from the stalk end as usual and then eat it from the bottom end first working your way upwards. It tastes much better. Especially in the dark. Try it.

Invention Number Three: Bananas should be painted with fluorescent paint at one end so we can tell the top from the bottom in the dark.

As we drove on further West I needed to visit the bathroom. But there are no bathrooms in the countryside. All the woods and trees are bathrooms you might say. So we stopped and I searched for the nearest convenient tree. But my wrists were bandaged and still hurt from my fall.

Invention Number Four: Trouser zippers should be made to open and close automatically by means of a remote control. Can you imagine. Just like a TV remote control. You press a button and hey presto the zipper at the front of the trousers opens automatically ... and then closes when you've finished. What a brilliant invention that would be. Automatic remote controlled opening of zippers in trousers.

It would also be useful for ladies' dresses with long zips at the back. Just put on the dress, press the remote control and hey presto the zip is done. 

Be careful though where you leave the remote control to avoid embarrassment. You don't want it in your pocket and the buttons are pressed accidentally and the zip opens up like the curtains on the stage in a theatre when the play is about to start.

Anyway ... we kept driving in the dark. It was almost midnight when we realised our feet were getting wet. 

Damp at first then soaking wet as water was rising inside the car all the way up to our waist.

We had reached Wales, and the sea, and the GPS system was still telling us to keep driving West towards Birmingham USA.

Invention Number Five: GPS satellite systems should not send you on a fool's errand when it is obvious you do not want to go on a wild goose chase.

Change of subject in a related sort of way.

At this time of year we have Christmas trees in our homes. Some are real trees which are cut and then thrown away after Christmas, others are artificial trees which are packed away and used in subsequent years.

Invention Number Six: Christmas trees should be made edible. Any kind or flavour would do. Chocolate, cake, marzipan, Stollen, Panettone or other bakery product. Just have the tree there and every so often eat a piece until Christmas is over.

I went to the shop recently and bought our Christmas tree. The shop assistant said, "It's a big tree. Will you put it up yourself?"

I said, "No ... I'll put it up in the living room!"

Sunday 18 December 2022

Mary did you know

  Luke 1:26 onwards

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus."

Mary Did You Know?



Saturday 17 December 2022

No Regrets


Je Ne Regrette Rien
No Regrets


No! No regrets

No! I will have no regrets

All the things

That went wrong

For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets

No! I will have no regrets

For the grief doesn't last

It is gone

I've forgotten the past

And the memories I had

I no longer desire

Both the good and the bad

I have flung in a fire

And I feel in my heart

That the seed has been sown

It is something quite new

It's like nothing I've known

No! No regrets

No! I will have no regrets

All the things that went wrong

For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets

No! I will have no regrets

For the seed that is new

It's the love that is growing for you

I regret giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a wasp. It stung me on the lips. Also, nailing my shoes to the floorboards next to my bed to stop the dog from taking them away. The next morning I put the shoes on and fell flat on my face.
I guess there are others but over all, regrets ... I've had a few; but then again too few to mention.
I've always been independent and did it my way. Never ever have I plagiarised from anyone. No one should plagiarise. You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will be as one.
If you have any regrets, and you can put them right, do so right now. If you cannot put them right pray about them, seek forgiveness and hand them to God.

Friday 16 December 2022

Concert Invitation

You are invited to 
The Salvation Army
Christmas Concert
The Royal Albert Hall
(1 hour 36 minutes)
With Bible Readings
and subtitles of hymns
for you to join in.
(Really worth listening if you can spare the time)
God Bless



Thursday 15 December 2022

Smiling Times


Returned by Popular Demands 
(thank you for writing to me) 
more humour for you!

I went on a date last night and during conversation, I told my date I worked with animals every day. She said, “Oh, how sweet. What do you do?”

I said, “I’m a butcher.”


To be honest, I love animals. Actually I have spent a fortune on sick animals. Horses mainly, and dogs and pigeons. But I did not know they were sick before the race began.



A very rich woman in hospital in intensive care dies for a few seconds. She sees herself leave her body in a near death experience and meets God in Heaven. “Is that it?” she asks Him, “Am I dead?”

“No,” says God, “you will live for many more years yet!”

She recovers in hospital and is well again. She is so cheerful that she decides to improve herself. She gets plastic surgery done on her face, gets her hair re-styled and dyed a different colour, gets a new set of stylish clothes and looks terrific once again.

A few days later she is hit by a bus and killed instantly.

When she meets God she complains, “I thought you said I’ll live for many years yet!”

He replies, “Sorry, I didn’t recognize you after the make-over!”


At least, we are all getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two adults to carry £50 worth of groceries. Today, a 5-year-old can carry them!



Wednesday 14 December 2022



Why does life sometimes has a habit of making one bad thing follow another on and on like a chain of disasters?

Once upon a time there was a man walking in the park enjoying a packet of potato chips. As he was walking by the lake, looking at the various fowl there and eating his potato chips he inadvertently walked into a low lying branch so hard that it nearly knocked him unconscious.

He was so dazed by the hit in the head that he dropped his food on the ground and walked around not knowing where he was going. He stumbled and fell in the lake.

The sudden shock of being in cold water revived him enough to make him relieve himself and reminded him that he could not swim. He spluttered and splashed here and there trying to remain afloat as his life, past as well as future, flashed quickly before him.

This attracted a swan nearby which was swimming with her newly born family. She did what comes naturally and attacked the drowning man by jumping on his head, thus pushing him further underwater, and pecking him here there and everywhere. But mostly there!

Somehow, in this watery struggle, the man managed to crawl slowly ashore and pull himself out of the lake. But not before the swan pecked him there one more time.

He stood up, still dazed and confused, yet also very wet and shivering cold, not to mention smelling of rotten dead fish and vegetation as one would find in the bottom of a lake or pond. 

As he made his way here and there, but nowhere in particular, he seemed to have attracted the attention of a small pack of dogs which were running loosely in the park. He hurried away quickly which excited the three or four dogs which gave chase at what they thought was a fun game to partake in.

As he sped away he stumbled and slipped as the dogs caught up with him barking and jumping and biting playfully here and there. But mostly there.

He tried to fight them off which they eventually did when called by their owners, but not before tearing his clothes to shreds.

Moments later, he came across a park ranger who, seeing his clothes in tatters, did not believe his story and accused him of indecent exposure. Fortunately, at that point two of the stray dogs came running by and one of them bit the park ranger in the leg.

And the moral of the story is: Do Not Eat Potato Chips.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

White Christmas



Doo doo doo doo

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the tree tops glisten

And children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow, oh, the snow

Ah yay yay yay yay am dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days may your days may your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the tree tops glisten

And the children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow, oh, the snow

Ah yay yay yay yay am dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days may your days may your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

Jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way Oooooh!!!!