Archive for December, 2008

Just been reminded of this great song by Andrew Peterson based on the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. It makes me smile, especially when he sings ‘Listen very closely, I don’t want to sing this twice.’

I’m planning to buy the album ‘Behold the Lamb’, which I’ve just found is less than a fiver. Maybe a bit late for this Christmas but I’ll be word perfect with the genealogy by next year…

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In the last three weeks of term the Curate and I attended three school Christmas productions. The first one we attended was performed by the morning nursery.

The Engineer was dressed as an elf and had to work in Santa’s workshop, rather gruesomely using a saw on the teddy bear he was carrying. The nursery children enthusiastically sang along to Bob the Builder’s ‘Can we fix it? Yes we can!’ as the Engineer and his friends ratherly sullenly appeared on the stage area. The Engineer looked like he felt it very much beneath his dignity to perform for us.

The Engineer looked about as grumpy as this elf

This elf looks cheerier than the Engineer did

As well as Santa and the elves, we had a snowman dance, a Christmas tree dance and and a full nativity scene, complete with a laughing angel and Mary broadly smiling from ear to ear. The children sang ‘Happy Happy Happy Birthday to the Baby Jesus’ and the nursery teacher reminded us that the Baby Jesus is the most important thing about Christmas. There were children of many different colours, nationalities and religions in the show and everyone there was very pleased with the performance.

My friend Sunshine, who lives in a beautiful university town, has a daughter who is also in a nativity play this Christmas. Her school, however, thought it should send an apology and explanation, I guess because they were concerned that parents would object. They reminded the parents that the nativity play happens only rarely, and asked for the parents to indulge them this year.

What a blessing to have kids in a church school in a happy city, where many cultures are able to celebrate Christmas without anybody feeling the need to apologise.

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The Joker has been expanding his joke repertoire of late. In case you would like to do the same I can recommend the following sources:

  • Infant Christmas production (there was a character with an endless supply of dreadful cracker jokes, but also a nativity play I hasten to add, just in case you were worried about standards dropping in church schools)
  • Basil Brush joketionary (the Joker’s joking hero)
  • Sainsbury’s – an unusual joke source you may think but the Joker was telling one of his (What do snowmen wear on their heads? Icecaps) as we passed the ready meal section and made a fellow shopper laugh. The laughing shopper then passed on a good Sainsbury’s joke to the Joker. I had to explain it to him in the dairy section and he’s been telling it since then: How do you get a bear to eat cheese? You say ‘Come on bear’. Say it out loud.

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The house next door has been sold at auction after it was repossessed. Our neighbour who is on the case with these things found out the price from the auction house. It went for less than half the price that was originally paid.

This is bad news for neighbours who want to rearrange their mortgages after coming off fixed rate deals. The value of the houses has dropped so much that they can’t go anywhere else, but have to stay with the original mortgage companies on the (most expensive) variable rate. We are thankful for living in a tied house, even if it confuses people when we fill in surveys and applications.

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After the recent repossessions on our street, we are seeing the recession in action in our neighbourhood:

Yesterday I met my neighbour at the pedestrian crossing. He’s lost his job so he and his wife are going to English lessons. He’s an Asian, who previously worked in Europe as a skilled parts machinist, but has been on a factory line here because his English isn’t as good as his other two or three languages.

I wonder how he and his wife are going to manage to pay their mortgage if he doesn’t get another job soon.

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