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How God uses nerds

A fascinating meeting yesterday with a self-confessed Nerd. I’ve always associated the term nerd with computer geeks, entirely focussed to the point of obsession while being entirely devoid of social skills. However, I now discover from Wikipedia that Dr Seuss coined the word in 1950 in his book “If I Ran the Zoo.” In that pre-digital age it had the connotation of bookishness. I guess the English equivalent is the term ‘anorak’ which I have always assumed comes from the sight of middle-aged train spotters standing in the early morning drizzle at the end of platform 12 of Crewe station, waiting for the Class 89 diesel locomotive to pass through. You may know, incidentally, tha

How you get there is just as important

Hola! As it happens I am writing this blog from outside the European Union. Just like the land of my forebears (i.e. the IOM) and the Channel Islands, Tenerife - for some quirk of history - is not a member of the EU. That used to be worth knowing as you walked through the duty free area at Manchester airport. When PM David Cameron was lining up his referendum on staying in the EU, I remember the German weekly periodical Der Spiegel (in the English edition, I hasten to add) reassuring its readers that they could rely on the good sense of the British electorate to make the right decision. Whatever, as a consequence of that referendum we now find ourselves about to enter the brave new world

We need to keep moving. Come on!

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger Travelling through this world below There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger In that bright land to which I go. The last time I was so gripped by a film was in 1957 watching the Wizard of Oz at the Regent. But 1917 was just as scary – mainly due to the series of long takes making the viewing experience totally immersive. Clearly director Sam Mendes wants us to be fellow travellers with Lance Corporals Schofield and Blake, not just observers. For your peace of mind I won’t give the plot away – although the trailer does a pretty good job of spoiling the storyline. Try and forget it. You probably will know the basic plot of how these two unsuspec

Our responsibility for those left behind

Late start today. Kevin turned off the power. That’s his job for Utility Warehouse as he installs new 2nd generation smart meters for our electricity and at this very moment, our gas. The previous ones stopped working. Very much the end of the era: no more visits from meter readers. I can recall as a child the gas man emptying our meter, counting the shillings on the kitchen table before giving my Mum a rebate. Exciting. Not that meter readers had an exciting job, certainly in recent years only visiting designated addresses. But another job consigned to history by technology. Nothing new here, of course. Technology has long since been making people redundant. Remember the

What's it like to lose everything?

What’s it like to lose everything? Just after my ordination a good friend, an experienced insurance assessor, offered his advice on home insurance.  While being aware of ‘averaging’ he suggested I need not include everything I owned. People never lose everything, he explained.   Except, it would seem four decades later, in Australia. I’ve been following the bush fire crisis there very closely, not least because we were there 18 months ago.  We travelled from Brisbane to Sydney by train, some 12 hours of snaking our way on what was originally a narrow gauge track of the North Coast line through miles of dense woodland, well away from the main roads.  Then by car from Sydney to Melbour

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