Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hi I'm Tess.... and I'm 7 months old now!!!

I'm a gun dog so I like to go hunting around the garden smelling everything - and boy, is there a 
lot to smell!  And, yes, I just love rolling in the tall grass too!  

My breed is from Malta, an island in the Mediterranean.  It is known as "Tal-Kacca" and was originally introduced in early 1700 as a cross with other European Pointers. Unfortunately now we are slowly approaching extinction due to uncontrolled inter-breeding with other dogs. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Just realised that it has been close to 2 years since i last posted anything on this blog.  Is that a good thing or a bad one?  So many things have happened to me in that period of time... My family is now settled and both my children are married....  so it is quiet at home with the wife. I also turned 66,  I retired from work but am busier than ever! I started administering and facilitating a weekly website called "The Word on Sunday" which has also made its pressures on me, and on my time.

But there's "trouble" on the horizon as Tess joins me at home in about 4 weeks time...hehe..... oh, Tess is the Pointer pup in the pic here with my daughter Jacki.  The other two pics are of Tess' family, mum Spiz and her 8 siblings (can you call them that?). It was pile up time for lunch when I too these pics.  Think Tess is going to be a very spoilt pet but more of that when she arrives.

God bless you all.


Friday, November 9, 2012

And the children drew Jesus

 What does Jesus look like?  In the age when digital photography did not exist (except probably in God's mind) we today suffer from a lack of an image of what Jesus actually looked like.  This is a good thing in a way because it allows us to tailor-make his looks to our needs.  Happy. Sad. Gentle. Authoritative.  He looks just as we want Him to look (though He acts only as He wants to, and cannot be bribed!).  Possibly the best people to really picture Jesus are the children because they are freer in their creative thoughts.  My Australian friend Alfred Arena shared with me about the Year of Grace activities at the three parish schools on the Mornington Penninsula in the vicinity of the Port of Hastings on outer Melbourne, Australia, where he works.

One of the methods used by some of the children was to combine a photo of the student with another of the iconic face of Jesus cut up into horizontal  strips and alternately pasted to form a composite that alternate from one to the other. A sort of Jesus reflected in us.  “I find that the collage made up from the different drawings is most interesting from a photographic point of view too” Alfred ointed out; “not to mention the resonance these images have when one reflects of the Face of Christ.”  
He added that the idea came out of the Pope’s encouragement to reflect on the “face of Jesus” in this coming Year.  “Dutifully, when visiting the three parish schools, our parish priest requested that as part of their religious education activity,  the teachers would invite the children in their respective classes “to use their imagination” and make a drawing of the Face of Jesus. These three parish Catholic primary schools have a contingent of 500 children so one may well imagine the volume of material that was to be produced. By the end of the exercise the interior of these schools were decked out with wall to wall pictures of the Face of Jesus."
Alfred said that “when I noticed the first pictures that where posted on the school’s main pin board in the foyer at St Marys primary school where I work, I was somewhat confused at the array of so many that looked like distorted faces of Jesus. They reminded me of a recent news segment where an old lady took it upon herself to restore an old beautiful fresco of Jesus in a chapel in Spain with the result that a British news commentator described it as now looking like. “A monkey wearing an ill fitting tunic”. Unquote.

“I asked our religious education coordinator at our school  if the children were at least provided with a model they could work from. The reply was that that was what the parish priest asked for; to simply ask the children to use their imagination to draw Jesus’ face. So I didn’t pursue the enquiry further and left it at that. When during the week I visited another of our Parish primary schools - St Brendan’s – I noticed that one of the teachers used a little prompting in the way her children approached the task of drawing Jesus’ face. The pictures on her classroom windows showed a composite face of Jesus. One  side of the picture was an A4 size photocopy of Jesus’ face found in many common and popular icons while the other half was an attempt to hand draw and complete the face by the student. This while producing some excellent close representations was also marred by many unsatisfactory results full of distortions.  I pondered a while what were all these would be Faces of  Jesus  saying to me. In theory there is only one Face of Jesus they should all resemble instead of all the hodgepodge of distorted images or close approximations.

“Could there be a parable in all these images perhaps? Well I thought that for every Christian Jesus must be the human model we ought to grow into and that for everyone of us there is a present condition that we fit  in that could be as remotely  far from the true model Jesus and as variant as the children’s pictures showed. Many of the drawings show a face with a beard, others with no beard while others showed a face with a Hitler’s moustache. Others show an image of Jesus with Bugs Bunny eyes, or looking more like Queen Elizabeth wearing a crown. And on and on.   It made me sad to think that if  – as the overwhelming majority of the ‘Face of Jesus’ depicted – Christianity is so far out of sync; where is Grace in this Year of Grace?  

"In my confusion" said Alfred, "all I could hear without any distortion whatsoever and unanimously was just the name - Jesus. Every picture was titled Jesus or Jesus Christ. And perhaps that is all that is necessary at this point in time and in our futility; until we see him ‘face to face’. And finally it occurred to me that one other common and unmistakable characteristic was that even when you account for all the distortions what all the children drew was  un-mistakenly  a human face. There is no myth or metaphor in the mystery of the  Incarnation; this is an event in human history.  And God became incarnate and became man and dwelt amongst us; or one could say that God has become  At One with us. Or as we familiarly recall – Emanuel – God with us; no matter how strangely our countenance might be.”   

Friday, October 26, 2012

A bird in hand....

One of my dad's favourite pieces of advice to me whenever I had to make a serious decision on something was that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.  Coming from a banker and father I still feel it is good advice (even though I didn't always agree with him at the time).  I've found that it's generally better to be a bit shorthanded now than to risk too much and then to find you have nothing.

I remembered this quote because I was talking to a friend the other day who had had enough of her husband playing the "little boy" and selfishly thinking only of himself and not of her feelings.  She told me that it has been the story of her 20 year marriage and that enough is enough.  She was going to take the matter up once and for all and sort it. Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied is her philosophy at the moment. 

My reaction to that was that if you had to ask my wife about me she would probably say the same thing.  We men somehow don't always seem to grow up... before it's too late and we'll have dropped a mill stone on our toes.  But the thing is, too, that we have now been happily married for 37 years and though the bliss of the honeymoon is well and truly over, and in the past year our two kids were happily married too,  we still move on.  Together.  Now, in my early days of retirement, I find that I have a chance to start afresh, to take my marriage and work on its flaws and fix them.  Even if it may need surgery at some point.  

Most probably it will be solved by the swallowing of.....no, not pills but..... my pride.  I am learning to ignore what irritates me in what she does and am trying to be a good partner to her (I can her her muttering "finally" if she'll read this!!).   It doesn't mean I have to become a floor cloth she can wipe her feet it, it simply means that I have to start seeing things the way I did the first time we met.  And do the things I did in those long ago days.  That was what sparked it all off in us.  That's what will keep us together.

Talking of fatherly advice, I am reminded that Jesus' own advice is pretty much the same on this.  Die to yourself for others.  It doesn't have to be a painful death.  It means more "yes" than "no" I suppose, keeping well in mind, though, that saying "yes" to something or someone would also mean saying "no" to someone or something else.

So to go back to my friend's dilemma..... saying no to her marriage because she's had enough of his chauvinistic approach, might be saying yes to a life that could be worse, no one to share with, no one to thrash in her mind because he's "a fool", no one to come to her aid if she falls and hurts herself or has an accident. 

Better the bird in hand, I guess, than two in the bush.  Robert Browing said it nicely, "Grow old with me, the best is yet to come."


I am no marriage expert, but I was wondering if the reasoning I expounded above will hold water if there are serious marital problems in a relationship, such as infidelity or infertility? 

In the latter case, I would say: yes, definitely.  In the former case, I would say: could be, because infidelity wasn't always there in the relationship and, once upon a time, love brought the two together.  They need to look at themselves and ask:  Have we worked enough at the relationship (even to always looking good for the partner as the years pass)? Have we died to ourselves at all or expected the other to submit to us?  Are we ready to forgiven and be forgiven for taking advantage of our partner?

And, you know what, this trend of thought will take us right back where it all started.... better a bird in hand (with all the known problems) than two in the bush!  (Or to use biblical terms: better the devil you know than the one you don't!) 

The Last Word?

Make yourself at home here, come back and read some of the older cappuccino posts too, relax, reflect.... and comment if you wish....there's a comment button at the end of each post!
I hope to see you again in a few days time. Enjoy.