Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Orthodox Roundup

It`s Roundup time :-)

There has been an abundance of brilliant blogging by the Orthodox community over the last few weeks, but I think the best place to start is with preparations for the Dormition fast.
Katherine describes what she and her family are doing with Treasure boxes for the Theotokos and CD resources for the Paraclesis service .
One of my own special favourites is the Paraclesis cd performed by Abouna`s Angels, but I haven`t found it anywhere on the web; I bought mine form Orthodox Christian Books in the UK.

The talented Dawn has finished her wonderful icon of St Michael and like many of us, has been reading Harry Potter. Laura Nee gives her thoughts on Harry Potter as a role model for children brought up without a faith / moral background. Matt also has some interesting points to consider, as does Fr Joseph.

Orrologion gives a superb pictures of St Elizabeth the New Martyr`s life and character here.

Papa Herman describes the life and a miracle of St Marina

Alana ponders on the complexities of almsgiving.

Deb has been to visit the myrrh streaming icon of St Anna. Fr Stephen discusses how icons are amazing teaching aids, on turning the heart to God, and how much he appreciates the intercessions of the Saints

James over at Paradosis is now a tonsured Reader. Many Years !

Are cappucino coffees Orthodox ? David discusses the evidence !

Over at Pithless Thoughts, s-p provides some scatalogical Orthodox humour.

Handmaid MaryLeah has inspired me immensely with some glorious excerpts from St Theophan`s writings 1, 2, 4, as well as contemporary Saints like Elder Michael II of Valaam, and Elder Adrian of Romania. If you haven`t already bookmarked her blog, I would recommend that you go visit it - each time I do, my spiritual batteries are recharged.
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Monday, July 30, 2007

Not Much News

Not much to report on the Home Front except that the rain has stopped and we have had two blazingly hot sunny days. Thankfully the flooded areas are starting to get utilities back and will be able to start putting their lives and possessions back in order.

It was so hot this morning that we had to leave the park this morning by 10.30am as it was just too hot to be outside, let alone running around and playing on the equipment.
I`ve got two loads of washing dry on the line outside, though !

The young ones played quietly at home with Playdough for ages so I was able to have some computer time :-)
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Contestants Without A Clue

These are all Q & Q from various competitions and Quiz shows , "borrowed" from another Forum to which I belong.

If you ever doubted the levels to which General Knowledge have plummeted, read on and prepare to be simultaneously appalled and amused.......especially the last one. God help us all !

Gary King: Name the funny men who once entertained kings and queens at
Contestant: Lepers.

Greg Scott: We're looking for an occupation beginning with 'T'.
Contestant: Doctor.
Scott: No, it's 'T'. 'T' for Tommy. 'T' for Tango. 'T' for
Contestant: Oh, right . . . (pause) . . . Doctor.

Kelly: Which French Mediterranean town hosts a famous film festival
every year?
Contestant: I don't know, I need a clue.
Kelly: OK. What do beans come in?
Contestant: Cartons?

Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Theakston: There's a clue in the title.
Contestant: Leicester.

Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: I don't know.
White: I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your
hand and your elbow? Contestant: Arm.
White: Correct. And if you're not weak, you're . . .?
Contestant: Strong.
White: Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?
Contestant: Louis.
White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song
What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?

Alex Trelinski: What is the capital of Italy?
Contestant: France.
Trelinski: France is another country. Try again.
Contestant: Oh, um, Benidorm.
Trelinski: Wrong, sorry, let's try another question. In which country is
the Parthenon?
Contestant: Sorry, I don't know.
Trelinski: Just guess a country then.
Contestant: Paris.

Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for 'cherrypickers' and
Contestant: Homosexuals.
Paxman: No. They're regiments in the British Army who will be very upset
with you.

Anne Robinson: Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all
written books about their experiences in what: prison, or the
Conservative Party?
Contestant: The Conservative Party.

DJ Mark: For Pounds 10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Ruth from Rowley Regis: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?

Anne Robinson: In traffic, what 'J' is where two roads meet?
Contestant: Jool carriageway?

Bamber Gascoigne: What was Gandhi's first name?
Contestant: Goosey, goosey?

GWR FM (Bristol)
Presenter: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?
Contestant: I don't know, I wasn't watching it then.

Presenter: What is the name of the long- running TV comedy show about
pensioners: Last Of The ...?
Caller: Mohicans.

Greg Scott: We're looking for a word that goes in front of 'clock'.
Contestant: Grandfather.
Scott: Grandfather clock is already up there, say something else.
Contestant: Panda.

Q: Which American actor is married to Nicole Kidman?
A: Forrest Gump.

Leslie: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er . . .
Leslie: He makes bread .. .
Contestant: Er . . .
Leslie: He makes cakes .. .
Contestant: Kipling Street?

Graham Dene: What was the name of Tony Blair's chief spin-doctor who
resigned last year?
Contestant: Iain Duncan Smith.

Jodie Marsh: Arrange these two groups of letters to form a word - CHED
and PIT.
Team: Chedpit.

Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Contestant: Barcelona.
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in Spain.

Presenter: How many toes would three people have in total?
Contestant: 23.

Question: What is the world's largest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific

Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a
famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Contestant: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... er . . .
er . . . three?

Eamonn Holmes: There are three states of matter: solid, liquid and what?
Contestant: Jelly.

Girl: Name a book written by Jane Austen.
Boy: Charlotte Bronte.

Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna?
Caller: Japan.
Searle: I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear
that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er . . . Mexico?

Ulrika Jonsson: Who wrote Lord of the Rings?
Contestant: Enid Blyton

DLT: In which European country are there people called Walloons?
Contestant: Wales.

DARYL DENHAM'S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO) Daryl Denham: In which country
would you spend shekels?
Contestant: Holland?
Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland?
Denham (helpfully): It's a bad line. Did you say Israel?
Contestant: No.

Wood: What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er . . .
Wood: It's got two syllables . . . Kor . . .
Contestant: Blimey?
Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . .
Contestant: (Silence)
Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . .
Contestant: Walked?

Dale Winton: Skegness is a seaside resort on the coast of which sea: a)
Irish Sea, cool.gif English Channel, c) North Sea?
Contestant: Oh, I know that, you can start writing out the cheque now,
It's on the east coast, so it must be the Irish Sea.

Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the
sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
Contestant: Nostalgic.

Chris Moyles: Which 'S' is a kind of whale that can grow up to 80
Contestant: Ummm .. .
Moyles: It begins with 'S' and rhymes with 'perm'.
Contestant: Shark.

Wright: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging
character clad only in a loincloth did he play?
Contestant: Jesus.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Asking St George`s Intercession

I thought this prayer was particularly lovely......

Prayer to St. George, patron of England

St. George, special patron of England and great defender of the faith, we invoke your intercession for our country in these times.
St. George, defend our people from the error of trying to live without God.
St. George, defend our people from the wiles of Satan.
St. George, protect our families from sin and division.
George, protect our young from all who would corrupt them.
George, protect the unborn from the evil of abortion.
St. George, protect the old and vulnerable from the threat of euthanasia.
George, defend the Church from all spiritual, moral and physical danger.
St. George, intercede for faith to return to the heart of our land, family life and government.

St. George we pray to you, our beloved patron and implore your powerful intercession for the conversion of England, once Mary’s dowry and land of so many Saints.
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Monday, July 23, 2007


I really wish I could go see this guy !

This is something I would love to do; maybe one day when the kids are all grown , DH and I could give it a try..........
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I didn`t know whether to be reassured or disappointed that I wasn`t regarded as incitatory enough to warrant a higher blograting :-)

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

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The Deathly Hallows- Spoiler Alert !

If you do not wish to read about HP 7 you should navigate away from this page NOW :-)

Saturday saw the house enveloped in an eerie silence. No chatter, no tv noise, just the industrious swish of pages turning over as we devoured the new Harry Potter book.

In the interests of family harmony, we had two copies; one from our local independent bookstore, which I support on principle, and one cut-price delivered from the Asda supermarket chain (owned by Wal-Mart) for DD3, as it was offered cheaper than even the paperback will be when it is published in due course........

DH heroically braved torrential rain to get my copy at 7 am for me, and I read the first three chapters before handing it over to DoomHamster (still in bed!), to whom I had promised first dibs on the book. Luckily book number 2 was delivered by 8.30 am , so DD3 immersed herself in hers.

I resorted to knitting some more squares for my blanket whilst waiting for DoomHamster to finish reading, which she did before noon, so I was able to purloin the book back and enjoy.

My main concern was the fate of Severus Snape; I refused to believe that he was as black as everyone else seemed to think, and was relieved that my trust in him was vindicated.

All in all, it was a satisfactory ending, though some characters were deleted rather cruelly.
It just seems really odd that there are no more books to look forward to in due course.
I do hope JK Rowling will relent and write some more HP related items for us to enjoy...
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And Still The Rain Falls.....

It is still raining here.

There is some meteorologically complex issue relating to the jet flows from the Gulf stream causing us to be deluged and the rest of Europe to be suffering intense heat, of course.

Schools fairly near us had to be evacuated on Friday due to severe flash floods; much of Gloucestershire, Hereford and Worcester is badly affected by flooding. video of the flood damage can be found here.
The glorious riverside Abbey town of Tewkesbury, is almost completely flooded, and there are more flood warnings for those near the River Severn and the Wye.

There has been widespread damage to homes, towns and farm crops, and tankers are having to supply water to some areas.

Utterly unbelievable that this is happening in July.

Here at Blogsville we have been very fortunate indeed not to have suffered damage; only one country lane has been closed due to a small amount of flooding.

Lord have mercy on us all.
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Friday, July 20, 2007

School`s Out !

Our school year finished today.
We are sad to say goodbye to a much-loved teacher who has taught both the young ones and is now ending a long and successful teaching career.

DH and I are girding our loins for the summer, most particularly as it rained on St Swithin`s day, which means we may be subjected to rain for the next forty days. It seems the old saying may be right; there have been flash floods near us today, and it has rained torrentially pretty much all week.

I do hope the weather improves soon; in the meantime I have stocked up on baking essentials so the children and I can at least be busy cooking in the kitchen rather than being "bored"....
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Harry Potter Again

Interestingly, it seems that the person who photographed the alleged new HP book could be caught by the digital info indelibly encrypted into the photo itself.

This "EXIF" data even identifies the make, model and serial number of the camera used, and thereby the means to track its owner by warranty registration.......

Scoop here
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thought For The Day

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

This seems to be the case more and more each day here in Britain. If you hold any belief which is not officially sanctioned "mainstream", you are suspect.
Ho hum.
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Harry Potter Spoilers

I was surprised to read in the paper this morning that photographed pages of what purports to be the new Harry Potter novel are available on the web.

Curiosity did get the better of me, and I wandered over here for a look. The photographs are readable.

It may of course - and most likely is - a spoof, but it seems quite good nevertheless.

Maybe if we don`t like what JKR does to our favourite characters, we can always ask a ghost writer to write a new version ? LOL.

Snape cannot be evil. He has to be a hero of sorts. Or else I will be seriously miffed and will write my own ending.
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Orthodox Roundup

Welcome !

Lots to talk about.
Orrologion posts details of audio files by Fr Andrew Louth as well as a brilliant article on whether creationism and evolutionary theories can be reconciled .

Harry Potter fever is in action, but there are still people who don`t seem to get the enormous amount of Christian belief which underpins the entire Harry Potter series. At our home, DoomHamster has kindly volunteered to go get the book at some unearthly hour of Saturday morning, and she will get to read it first, probably finishing it before the rest of us are awake :-)

How to make Orthodoxy strong in America ( and the rest of the world, too !) is discussed by Fr Joseph, as well as a brilliant exposition on the Six Psalms of Matins.

Icons in an unusual -yet logical - place and iconography get coverage over at Paradosis, as does the work of the Orthodox Celts band.

The iconographic theme gets extensive and beautifully illustrated coverage by Handmaid Mary Leah, and is very well worth a visit ! Mary Leah is incredibly productive and has given me huge amounts of food for thought. Some of my favourites are:-
Elder Paisios` thoughts on how difficult our age is.
How- and why- to control one`s tongue.
Elder Epiphanios on the Most Holy Mysteries and unbelief.
and modern day blessings from St Luke`s relics, and the importance of the Holy Cross.

The importance of love in our dealing with the whole world is emphasised by Fr Stephen.

The inconveniences of life are discussed by Molly, which really struck a chord with me, and Fr John discusses whether hospitality is dead.

Deb on the run gives us a great post on the significance and impact of the Cherubic Hymn, which I love so dearly.....

Boulia rounds up her wonderful travelogue about her recent trip to Moscow.

Katherine talks about St Innocent of Alaska and shows their lovely home icon corner!
Papa Herman ponders on Acts of God.

Current in the medical blogosphere has been this case, where a doctor has been paralysing dying infants with the drug Pancuronium. Make no bones, these babies were in their death throes, and it must have been dreadful for their parents to witness, but like NHS Blog Doc, I too have serious problems with what this particular doctor did. To paralyse these babies so that their parents did not have to witness their desperate last gasps might have made the parents feel better, but the babies were deliberately prevented from breathing their last. There is no mention of whether the babies were given sedation or pain-killing medication to ease their last moments ; if not, these babies may well have been aware yet paralysed - not quite the peaceful death the parents may have imagined their children were having.
To give a dying person morphine to ease their pain and suffering does sometimes have the effect of depressing the respiratory system, hence slightly hastening death, but its primary aim is to relive suffering. To administer paralysing agents does not relieve suffering, it kills. End of argument.
Enter some NHS hospitals at your peril.......

Another take on the end of season episode of Doctor Who having a profoundly Christian theme is here, especially for Mimi ! It is well worth a read......

Till next time.......
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

St Elizabeth the New Martyr

Wednesday marks the commemoration according to the Greek usage of St Elizabeth the New Martyr, my patron.

James has been very quick off the mark and has provided a lovely post here :-)
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Monday, July 16, 2007


to the new Paul Potts album, which was delivered this morning.
I will probably be listening to it several more times today. I especially loved "Music of the Night" from "Phantom of the Opera".

There was one track I truly did not like - nothing wrong with his voice, I just did not like the song "Amapola".

At the moment, it is the number 2 music bestseller on Amazon.co.uk ; our extended family has bought 4 copies of it, but not from Amazon but from Play.com

I hope it does sell really well for him.
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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Star Trek Quiz

I`m Beverley Crusher................
who are you ?

Your results:
You are Beverly Crusher

Beverly Crusher
Deanna Troi
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Jean-Luc Picard
Will Riker
Geordi LaForge
Mr. Scott
Mr. Sulu
A good physician and a caring parent.
You are devoted to your children
and to your occupation.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cpncert at Margam

Fireworks at Margam Park last Sunday, when Paul Potts sang with Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins at a special concert.....
Sadly, we couldn`t afford the tickets to go......
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More Paul Potts

For some sneak previews of Paul Potts actually working on his album in the recording studio, take a walk to these:-

Paul singing "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera - turn your volume UP as this was recorded from behind the orchestra !

and Nessun Dorma

Enjoy !!! And these are just snippets from odd places in the studio; imagine what the CD will sound like !

A lovely interview with Paul is here
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Monday, July 09, 2007

Terrifying Evangelism

More thoughts on the original.......

I am still looking for one of the pages I unearthed, which says that basically RCs are not "saved" and need to be shown the error of their ways no matter how much pain it causes them.

So I think it is safe to say the adherents of that particular mindset would consider we Orthodox are probably not "saved" either, even if they don`t know the Orthodox exist......

I think God will indeed be gracious and merciful to those who have not heard the true message of the Gospel, whether in heathen lands or at home, but I also believe that all those of us who consider ourselves Christian will have to explain to God exactly why we did not spread the Good News about Christ more openly and effectively, whether by actual word or by the example of a truly transfigured, Christ-centred life.

I am just not convinced that telling people they will definitely go to Hell is the best evangelistic tool. I think that God would prefer we come to Him out of free will, and out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us, and not only say the Sinner`s prayer out of cringeing , gibbering terror and a desire to escape Hell......

Wandering around the links from some extremely useful Protestant Christian home-making sites this evening, I came upon this in someone`s sidebar........


150,000 People
Will Die Today

The counter to the side is ticking off the number of people who have died since you opened this webpage. The vast majority of those people are entering Hell. Christ commanded his followers to share the Gospel with those who are perishing... who have you shared with today?



And in the little box was a real-time counter which logged up 64 deaths in the one minute I observed it. In their Protestant evangelical opinion, most of those folk were undoubtedly going to Hell because they weren`t the right brand of Christian.

I am glad to be Orthodox and able to leave the question of the destination of someone`s soul after they die to the loving benevolence of our God. I am not denigrating the urgent need to preach the Gospel to those folk who do not really know or understand it, but I do doubt that these guilt trip inducing tactics are the best way to go about it.

Your mileage may vary, of course. Please feel free to comment accordingly.
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More from Elder Cleopa

I was so thrilled to find this site which gives YouTube video of Elder Cleopa talking about prayer, WITH English subtitles, so we can benefit from his teaching.

Also another video of Elder Cleopa teaching about the Fear of God here

What a blessing !
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Paul Potts & Overdrafts......

I had to laugh when I read this ; some banks offer much better service than others :-)
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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Virtual Reality

The chances of me getting to the Hermitage museum are probably quite small, but this has to be the very next thing :-)

They even have a virtual tour..........
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Tap At The Window

Last night, I was eagerly anticipating watching the season finale of CSI.
At last we were due to discover the true identity of the infamous serial "miniature killer" , whose trail Gil, Sara and the rest of the CSI team have been chasing.

It had just started; it was getting a tad creepy and outside, dusk was starting to fall rapidly.
The dog was snoozing noisily on one settee and I was on another settee, when suddenly there was an almighty "THUD" and I saw a large brown object move past the garden window (where I am currently typing this up).

Just before I had a heart attack and the dog nearly leapt out of his skin, I saw the shape move from the window sill and fly away into the garden..... only a bird . But it unsettled me for the rest of the evening , LOL. And the finale ended on a wretched cliffhanger.

I am not a happy bunny .......
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Independence Day

Happy July 4th to my friends across the pond, and those expats currently domiciled in the UK.

God bless you all !
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Monday, July 02, 2007

Dr Who as a Christian Allegory

Watching this series` last episode, I began to wonder.

Seems like I was not the only one........

Ruth Gledhill at The Times thought the same
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St John The Wonderworker

Asking the prayers of our holy Father amongst the Saints, John the Wonderworker, as we celebrate his Feast Day today !

Addendum: This is a truly modern-day Saint !

St John Maximovitch the Wonderworker, sometimes called St John of Shanghai (where he was Arch-Bishop ) or St John of San Francisco (where he was ArchBishop in his later years)

Information about him can be found here
and lots of resources here.
The Akathist to St John is here
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One thing DH and I have in common from our childhoods is an unfulfilled desire to go inside a lighthouse.
Personally, I blame it on Enid Blyton`s Famous Five books !

Well, on Saturday, we finally got to visit and tour a lighthouse. The weather was poor, but we went, nevertheless, and it was a wonderful experience. The view was still fairly good, as you can see !

The children loved it, even the 140+ steps to the top. Our tour guide was enthusiastic, kind and helpful, and it is a memory we will treasure forever.

He even fired up the foghorn (housed in a separate building) for us, which was so loud it made the ground beneath our feet shake - it was incredible !

We hope to go again later in the summer, as DoomHamster has said she would like to visit it and wasn`t able to come with us this time.
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I have decided to turn the comment moderation *off*.
I am not going to be dictated to by someone who is both labouring under the mistaken delusion that I am someone else whom s/he happens to dislike, and who is also clearly struggling to produce rational and reasoned thought.......


Just in case you were wondering, I have enabled comments moderation due to the ravings of someone who is under the impression that I am someone else, to judge by the rants that were posted.
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Sunday, July 01, 2007