Wednesday, 31 July 2013

SOTS Summer Meeting 2013

I promised SOTS members that there would be a blog post today, as long as nothing happened in the foothills of the Pennines to distract me; one has to allow for this possibility, as it seems that one such happening may have occurred in 1957, and here is a link to some information about it: The Wardle Incident of 1957 . However, this afternoon, so far so good, and I can only hope that anything exciting happens only this evening when I will be returning to my flat from Mother's at about 11 pm after watching the TV programme I have recommended about Thomas Heatherwick on BBC2 at 10pm. I have sat in one of his chairs in the V & A, and this is in itself an experience to be recommended: Heatherwick chair youtube . There is much more to Mr. Heatherwick than this, of course.

Oh dear, I will be accused of digressing, though I don't think I am, I am only expanding on a few things mentioned earlier.

We are fortunate in having James Patrick as hospitality secretary, and here he is in full flow directing operations. I'm sorry I chopped his hand off in this picture, but I will include the pic as it shows how he has
James, Eryl and David
readily, and rightly confidently, taken to his new role. Long before he was appointed, I privately thought he was just the man to take over from Elizabeth Harper - a hard act to follow - and I think my hunch has proved correct. I have a private idea about who would make a good president for 2017, our centenary year, but I will keep this very secret, though I am gaining confidence in my own ability to be quite a reasonable judge of these things. James is seen here with President Eryl Davies, and David Tollerton also of Bangor University, who gave a thought-provoking paper about the holocaust and OT theology. During this, I was reminded of something I heard recently from the lips of Trevor Dennis (who used to be a member of SOTS - a sad loss) that 'if we did not know that the OT had been written by Jews, we would say that it is anti-semitic', which seemed to me to sum up very concisely (and without my meaning to be at all flippant) some aspects of the issues involved. David's book on the subject is: David Tollerton, The Book of Job in Post-Holocaust Thought
John Barton

But this is supposed to be a collection of pictures, and already I have lapsed into becoming too talkative as usual, so without further ado I will try to provide only the minimum of blurb around the pictures.

Here is John Barton, alerting us to the existence of pithy ethical advice in the OT and what might be thought about its origin and more. John Goldingay paid us a rare and welcome visit, and we were glad of his thoughts on memory in the OT; always asking questions that
John Goldingay and Cloth Q
provoke discussion and a 'Hmmm' posture in his listeners, though behind him 'Cloth Q' (who allowed me to use his name for this blog) is standing up and looks as if he might be about to set off on his windsurfing board, but I am sure he is listening very intently, and saying things in his heart.

Summing up papers is not my strong point, and we await the abstracts in the next Bulletin with interest, and are pleased that SOTS members' papers are usually presenting a small part of an issue which the giver explores in much depth and detail in their published or yet-to-be-published work, and of course there were many more than I can mention here.

"Always carry a camera, always"
You may know that I gave a paper myself, or a cloth, 'But is it in the text Viv?...' about my way of using textile work to think through OT things. It never really did become a paper, although I did try before breakfast on the day to sit up in bed and write down a few of the thoughts I had had while preparing it in case I was attacked by 'Scared Rabbit Phenomenon' while delivering it, which is a bit of a risk in the case of an intentionally unscripted paper; but I was interrupted by the bleeping of the fire alarm in my room, and clearly I am not at my best before breakfast because I can now see the idiocy of the thoughts that went through my mind at that point. I had tried to tune into Radio 4 on my Walkman (this sounds such an old-fashioned device now, and I only bought it the other week mainly because of a buyer's recommendation on Amazon that it had proved a success with an elderly gardener neighbour), but seemed only to get Welsh language stations, and wondered whether twiddling the dials had created some lethal spark. Then I got out of bed and tried to stop the thing bleeping by wafting it with a wad of paper much as though I had burnt some toast at home, which of course failed to stop the noise. After a little while, I remembered that the idea of these things was to tell us that we were to exit the building asap, and so I did, but I forgot to take my camera with me (probably a good thing), thus going against the advice I gave in my
Brian Mastin and Chris Thomson
presentation (and followed at the time) which you can see on the screen in the pic of smiling members here. (Scared Rabbit Phenomenon did not seem affect me, probably because the fire alarm event put me in just the right mood for delivering a paper. Highly recommended; see James Patrick if you think it would help you in future.)

The outing was a great success, as it seems that an interest in the Bible often goes with an interest in steam trains; it's certainly almost de rigeur for Anglican clergymen to have such an interest, and it seems to extend further than this as the evidence from SOTS shows, and one or two of my pics show members fingers pointing at I-know-not-what parts of the machinery involved. So here are a couple of pics which seem to sum up some of the delights for us.

So I end with a pic of myself and my teddy bear 'Bear Aloft', who owes his name to the kindness of friends, especially SOTS friends, who have helped me get through some difficult times lately, for which many thanks, and I can assure you that I am on the up and soon to move into a little house where I am planning a garden (in tandem with a proposed textile effort) influenced by the Song of Songs. If you have any advice or thoughts to offer me about this, then please do send it to me at as usual. The idea came from the fact that the book is high in mentions of species of plants, and so I felt that its author was possibly a gardener (but certainly did not have a Sony Walkman) or knowledgeable about plants, as well as a writer.

I shall now flee to an evening at the nearby Littleborough Townswomen's Guild, and hope that this blog entry does not contain too many errors about anyone else's work. It was certainly a superb Meeting, and we look forward to many more, God willing as I say.
Bear Aloft with memsec Viv

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Looking after the castle

To my reader, if I have one... sorry I have been away for so long. Life has been a bit eventful, and I don't yet have internet access where I live, and this rather precludes sitting down writing in the usual manner from my couch or bed. I can get it on the stairs up to my flat, but in rainy weather that is not a good place to be sitting with a laptop.

So there isn't much new on this blog yet, but when I arrive in my new house, then hopefully I'll get back to writing, even write regularly on particular days! (But life isn't like that is it? So it will very likely be as sporadic as ever.)

My reader knows I like taking photographs when I am out and about, and perhaps this one above is the one I most love from recent days. It's of the good people of SOTS at the Summer Meeting in Bangor. It's about all I can manage to do just now, as getting to SOTS at all, with a 'paper' written (it never was 'written', but was carefully planned as a succession of images of and about my textile exegesis work; OK, 'written' like an icon is said to be then) was quite a challenge given that I have had more bedrooms in a single spring than I ever have done before except in 2010 while doing the camino to Santiago de Compostela, which can never be the same again, oh the horror of that recent terrible happening on the eve of St. James' day.
Mine's the one next to the fence

Just now I'm exhausted, yes really, in every way, and am trying to get through each day and achieve something; but my aims are modest, so it is 'get all the washing-up done', 'open the window and get rid of that musty smell', that kind of thing.

I have not forgotten my blog, or its reader, and I hope that there will be readers in the future, but really even that doesn't matter as I just write for the pleasure of it. "More anon" then!

I'm at my sister's just now for the internet access, and need to be trekking home soon. Tonight I will go to bed dreaming of what colour I'm going to paint the pebbledash exterior of my garage. That such a prospect brings me so much pleasure is perhaps the best thing about being me now. But a colour is more than a colour: it can evoke the British seaside, the Russian steppe, or the Spanish wharrever can't it, a chance to dream? (Only two of these are things you might want to do in this situation, I think, but wait - I give myself new ideas all the time, don't rule anything out!

No really, it is a gorgeous little house, (the back is actually a friendly place where all the gardens meet), and the current owners are going to live in a castle, as he is a handyman of high order and that's what he'll be doing there, looking after a castle. So I'm looking forward to looking after mine.
Home sweet home (soon I hope). I would like a proper wooden front door though.