As expected, the UK government announced yesterday that the present “lockdown” restrictions would remain for the present. Nonetheless, it is becoming clear that now is a time when critical decisions must be made. No one can be certain when we will reach the “peak” (and we won’t know it was the peak for certain until afterwards anyway) but it is clearly some time around now.
At this point it is vital that we know what kind of endgame we wish to target with COVID-19. We will make dramatically different choices depending on this choice. And I suspect the best endgame may not be the one we are drifting towards.
A number of Christians have said to me that God will keep us safe from COVID-19 and that we can treat the government’s advice lightly. I want to be very clear in saying that this is unwise, theologically incorrect and socially irresponsible. Continue reading
One of the saddest sounds in the world is the change in tone of the water pump as the water runs dry half way through a shot. There’s no real rescuing this situation. It’s go ahead with a sub-par cup of coffee or start again. Not only is that a wasted 40p of coffee beans but, worse, it dishonours the farmers, roasters and everyone else who has put so much effort into bringing such a wonderful flavour to you from the far reaches of the planet. So, what is needed is a water level meter that can warn when the reservoir is getting low. Continue reading
When modding a coffee machine, it is easy to overlook questions around just how to connect up the wiring. The space the wiring occupies can be very hot. Just the air can easily be over 70°C and if the wire touches the boiler itself, that can be well over 100°C. Some wires also have to carry fairly large currents and mains voltage. The large currents cause extra heating and the large currents and voltages both cause electromagnetic interference.
Here are some wiring tricks I have learnt over the years. Continue reading
I have struggled for years to find a good way to mount the flow meter on my pimped Gaggia Baby Class. Eventually, when I bought an old Gaggia Baby Twin, I had a look a the metal bracket Gaggia uses and that immediately gave me an idea. An old PC expansion card blanking plate, bent over, a notch filed on the end and a cable tie. A little bit of silicone glue for stability and viola! Continue reading
I recently got (and fixed) a broken Baby Twin off ebay. I want to experiment with the extra boiler. Anyway, it turns out the Twin talks to its front panel using a TWI based protocol. Here are my notes (which I made in an ASCII editor – enjoy the ASCII graphics and sorry about the scroll bar at the bottom): Continue reading
The way we arrange the furniture in our lives (both the literal and the non-literal) communicates so much about who we are and who we aspire to be. And it sets the background scenery to our story. If the arrangement of the furniture is at odds with our goals, this can frustrate or even prevent us attaining our goals. One cannot physically relax in a living room without comfortable chairs. Equally, an untidy desk can be an impediment to work. Less literally, a cluttered calendar has no space for a new departure in life (e.g. deciding to pray regularly) – something has to move out to make space.
So it interests me immensely how we arrange the furniture in our church buildings. We should sometimes stop and ask what our furniture says about our understanding of who we are and who God is calling us to be.
As vicar of Greenside Parish, I have been exploring with my church the idea of adopting a church rule of life. Recently, we began to look at some potential wording for such a rule as a way of exploring the idea. Whether we will ever adopt this wording or even something similar to it remains to be seen. For now, it is just an exploration.
The words we have been considering are below. Continue reading
It's passing strange...
- although why I think it strange, I can not penetrate -
- maybe all my "normal" is but surface shadow, dim reflection -
- perhaps what I call "strange" is ocean deep -
It's passing strange - and ocean deep - that vast conceits...
...can only be expressed in drops of salted water.
Hot, large and urgent
or slow, gentle caress.
Falling and bursting on hard ground
or flung in myriad spray from blinking lashes
or rivulets upon the face.
If I say words out loud, say "This creation astounds",
my barren sounds congeal into flat, dull, tasteless mass
But if I weep the words,
the cataracts of worlds pour forth
in delirium of rapturous delight
If I say "This creation is broken",
the dull monotone tugs at mired feet, sinking in ennui
But if I weep the words,
my running heart is torn from heaving breast
and I strain in passioned yearning for the resolution of ages
If I say "The Lord is risen",
not much rises above my bleating
But if I weep the words,
a fresh cosmos burst forth
and the founding stars laugh and dance
If I say "My friend is dead",
I convey, in open prose, a matter of fact about molecules at rest
But, if I weep the words,
each glittering tear cradles within its liquid shell
the world of worlds
the tale of tales
And today I weep.
Supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s has announced that they are abandoning the Fairtrade standard for their teas and introducing a new Sainbury’s “Fairly Traded” mark. This is an act of war against Fairtrade. You think I’m exaggerating? I wish I were. Continue reading