“I may be many things but a fictional bear isn’t one of them”: Discuss

Marmalade? On a baguette? And an untoasted one at that? Surely not. And indeed, I had no intention of spreading marmalade on it. Then why the surprised look and question from my wife? Because, as it turned out, I'd mistakenly picked up the marmalade jar from the fridge thinking it was jam, and brought it all the way to the table without realising my error. Crikey.

Fooled by the logo

I was fooled by the label. A glance at that “Hartley's” logo confirmed to me that it was the blackberry jelly I craved. (For the sake of completeness I should add that I also collected the cheese spread with which to adorn half of the baguette, having failed to make a choice between sweet or savoury. Having said that, I'll admit that although that fact makes the story more complete, it doesn't make it any more entertaining, challenging or enlightening. At least, I don't think it does. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised. But, if not, can I apologise now? Thanks.)

So there I am, at the table, having had my faux pas pointed out. “No,” says I, “I don't want marmalade. I may be many things, but a fictional bear isn't one of them.”

A fictional bear, such as I am not

This was, of course, a Paddington reference. The bear, that is, created by Michael Bond in 1958 (as distinct from the train station, designed by Brunel in 1854). If, at this point, you're gazing at the screen with a somewhat bemused expression and haven't the slightest idea what I'm talking about, let me explain. Paddington's favourite snack is a marmalade sandwich. Hence the reference. But then you probably knew that.

To confirm, then, I am not, repeat not, a fictional bear. Kinda obvious in the cold light of day, I suppose. I promise you it was extremely witty and mildly amusing at the time. You had to be there.

Marmalade anyone?



Reblog: The problems are being fixed, please wait…

On this Good Friday it’s good to remember that the Son of God came to rescue us and make it possible for us to be right with God. He also wants to make us like He is – which takes time. Read this post for more…

Forever Autumn


Wow, 921 problems corrected, immediately – with the click of a finger, in the blink of an eye. This morning, after clicking the notice given by my anti-virus for maintenance, my computer screen began speaking to me. I thought about how I wish I could fix my 921 (at least) problems by clicking a button; I wish human maintenance and mental and emotional health was that simple; I want to hit a button and have my mind defragmented!

However, when the day went on and the defrag continued into the afternoon and the evening, this is what hit me:


While the 921 problems were rectified almost instantly at my click, this defragging biz takes time and is a longer process (especially when there is “severe fragmentation”). A sermon was forming…

Please wait…

Isaiah 30:18:

So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you…

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This is how much Jesus loves you…

“To be a man was something, to be a man of sorrows was far more; to bleed, and die, and suffer, these were much for him who was the Son of God; but to suffer such unparalleled agony—to endure a death of shame and desertion by his Father, this is a depth of condescending love which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to fathom. Herein is love! and truly it is love that “passeth knowledge.” O let this love fill our hearts with adoring gratitude, and lead us to practical manifestations of its power.”

Charles Spurgeon

Have a wonderful Easter.

Dr Who weeping angel spotted in Lancashire garden

Whenever I visit my parents I look for photo opportunities around their garden or in the area. This time I think I may have spotted something slightly alarming.

They have an innocent-looking stone statue with a bird bath underneath. Not to everyone’s taste, sure, but innocent nonetheless. Or so I thought.

Taking my trusty Canon Ixus 800 IS I activated macro (it being the only way to throw the background out of focus) and shot this:

Don’t blink! Don’t look away!
Notice, if you will, the cute, panpipe-playing cherub. Now look again. See? He’s looking at you. Again. This time he’s closer, somehow malevolent… Don’t blink!

Or maybe it’s just a garden ornament. Isn’t it?

Photo Post: Beach walk

Goring Beach photo

Taken on Goring Beach, Sussex on a January day in 2008. We'd gone to visit an old uni friend, who isn't in the picture. Her two children aren't in it either. Nor am I. I have no idea who is, in fact, in it. Whoever they are, I'm grateful for their presence just on that perfect one-third spot in my photo. (To be honest, they only ended up there after some judicious cropping.)

I shot it in monochrome mode. Purists will tell me I shouldn't do that, but always shoot in colour and convert afterwards. What can I say? Those Mode Settings on my little Canon are just too tempting. And, personally, I love the result.

Watch out for me next time you're on the beach. I'll be the one fiddling with camera settings.