Friday 30 August 2013

That Jamie Oliver Quote Revised

Jamie Oliver has apologised for saying that poor people eat chips out of styrofoam while watching super-sized TVs.

What he meant to say was, poor people should sell their giant tellies, as that's the only way they'll be able to afford the Jamie Oliver brand of foods.

Apologies for any confusion caused.

Thursday 29 August 2013

An Antidote to the Grovelling in the BCP

Former Anglicans often come to us and say they are "depressed". But we tell them there is no such thing as depression. What they have is what we call "Post-Anglican Disorder", and the cure is not anti-coanglicant drugs, but to lift them up from the Book of Common Prayer Confession-related grovelling they've been doing, and discover their true worth.

Oh God, it must be great for you to see us;
A sight for sore eyes.
In fact you must have been pretty lonely so far today,
Knocking around this cold, empty building on your own.
So it's nice of us to spare you the time, if you think about it.
Saves you from talking to yourself
Although we accept that, theologically speaking
you probably do that the whole time
Kind of goes with that whole "Trinity" concept
Though we won't think about your wondrous Trinity in unity too much
as we don't understand it
and focusing on our own limitations
tends to get us down.

So we don't want to meditate on things we don't understand
as that might make us feel small
and we're here to feel good about ourselves
because that is, after all, what worship's about.

And so we thank you for your goodness in creation
All the trees and bees and seas blah blah
But most of all for us
What a treat it must have been for you
Making us
Great job
Well done
We couldn't have done it better ourselves
Albeit we might have skipped the "ageing and dying" bit
Bit of a design flaw, there?

Anyway, we're sure it's been a blessing on all sides, our visit to you here.
And the flower ladies will be in Saturday morning.
And if  we've got time we'll pop back
next Sunday for the Taize Evening.
But excuse us if we mostly have our eyes shut
We won't be ignoring you
We'll just be concentrating on how good we're feeling.

We're off now
We'll shut the door so you don't have a draught.
We're off to our exciting lives!
Don't feel too lonely
We know how much you miss us
After all - what else do you have to live for?

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Removal of 47" TV

In my new role as "Senior Admin Gofer", I have been asked to make the following announcements.

The 47" TV is to be removed from the Room of Vision. Apparently Charlii thinks that the size of Jamie Oliver's head on a screen that size may prove terrifying to small children or poor people. Charlii has kindly offered to swap it for the portable in the Acting Archdruidical Suite.

The Beaker Chip Shop has upgraded to selling sweet potato rosti fried in olive oil, with cherry mushrooms and s handful of sardines and a few figs scattered across the top. Unfortunately this has required a slight adjustment in prices - from £1.50 to €17.49. The Styrofoam containers will continue in use.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

This Week's Twitter Loathing Chart

1 (-) Jamie Oliver ( 1 week)
2 (2) Michael Gove (176 weeks)
3 (1) Stephen Fry ( 2 weeks)
4 (3) Richard Dawkins (4,712 weeks, due to an anomaly in the space-time continuum)
5 (9) Jose Mourinho
6 (-) Tony Blair (112 weeks in total, with several return entries)
7 (7) David Cameron (176 weeks)
8 (-) Miley Cyrus (1 week)
9 (4) Stuart Broad (4 weeks)
10 (5) Robin Thicke (6 weeks)

Monday 26 August 2013

Not-Enough-Faith Lunch

So it has been yet another of those "special" social events.

Today we have been holding a "faith barbecue". A pious twist on the old concept whereby everyone turns up with Value Pork Pies and nearly-out-of-code quiche, and the "faith" involved is hoping nobody gets food poisoning.

Unfortunately Hiraeth took it all too seriously. With far too much faith in other people's ability to read his mind, he turned up with a full-grown Aberdeen Angus bull. He did show remarkable faith -the faith  that somebody would have the ability to slaughter it, someone would have the necessary equipment and - possibly even less likely than the others - that the meat would miraculously be aged.

And I've no idea why he though transporting the animal in the back of a Ford Transit was sensible either. Let's just say it wasn't happy when it arrived. Seeing the lack of slaughtering and butchery equipment, Hiraeth accused everybody else of betraying the faith he had in them - which would normally have caused a certain amount of offence, if everyone weren't so busy running.

So I am blogging this from within the Doily Shed. We are all in here, barricaded away from a bull that, as far as we can tell, is busy running around the Olde Beaker China Shoppe we recently opened. We're hoping he tires out quickly and we can all get back to the barbecue - the good news is that, ignoring the instructions, Mrs Hnaef brought a load of quiche, and if we get out tonight it will still be in code.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Stonehenge, Hemsby - The Mystery and the Magic

Dear Readers, it was a bit of a shock for me. Charlii has been dropping hints to me for days that I should go on a holiday, and I have been resisting it. You know the way things pile up if you don't stay on top of them -and I had a holiday a couple of years ago. So even when she was saying "if you don't get out of my sight for a few days I'm going to set your flares on fire", I resisted.

But this morning, somebody put a sack over my head. I was thrown into a car, and driven for a number of hours, and then I was thrown out onto a beach. When I had pulled the bag off my head, I investigated the pain I had been suffering from in my chest. I discovered somebody had stapled an envelope to it. Inside the envelope was a chalet key, and the message "research the Henge".

A henge? At Hemsby? How could it possibly be? And yet, there it was:
A Henge in Hemsby
Its location took some time to understand. My first thought was that it was placed there, almost the most easterly point of England, to receive the first beams of the Summer Solstice sunrise. However, the enormous dunes that block off the henge from the eastern horizon suggest that this is not the case.
View-blocking dunes
It is, however, close to a couple of bars, and very handy for the cafe next to the beach. On closer investigation, I was able to start to piece together some of the details of the way the Henge was created. It seems that the structure was built in three distinct phases. I call these Hemsby Stonehenge Phases I, II and III. However the man in the guardian's hut referred to them as "9-hole, 12-hole and 18-hole". He also claimed it was built in about 2003. Which is later than the Wiltshire Stonehenge, of course, but still - a 4,000 year old monument is quite something.
Hemsby Stonehenge
In fact, I suspect I may have found signs of an earlier-yet construction: for are these posts not remnants of the "Hemsby Woodhenge", which predated the pink concrete version? The hole in the centre may be used for ritual purposes, akin to the Aubrey Holes at the Wiltshire version of this great monument.
Hemsby Woodhenge
And so we are left with a mystery. We may know where Hemsby Stonehenge is, we may be able to see the wondrous way the sun sets through the Great Trilithon, and over the chip shop opposite.  But what can we make of the strange rituals of the Pilgrims at this monument?  They walk around the Henge as if it is labyrinth - making strange swinging motions with their metal sticks, which gleam in the sunlight. Perhaps they are honouring their dead? Or is their clockwise path round the monument an homage to the sun's diurnal journey? Are they walking alongside the sun? Or attempting to strengthen it - to bring back the long days of summer - maybe even encourage it to stay out for more than ten minutes at a time? Do the mats of green represent the world of life - while the gravel and stone-effect surroundings represent the world of the dead? 

I believe that the ritual where the pilgrims roll small balls down a slope and into a brook represent the very act of passing over to the afterlife. Certainly, when they enact this ritual they say some very strong oaths. At other times, the Pilgrims seem to speak in strange tongues, or at least in code - for what could "That number 11 is never a par 2" possibly mean?

I have had a couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen and will now lay me down to rest in my little chalet to ponder further into these things. But I believe that it will always be with me - the mystery of the Hemsby Stonehenge.

Friday 23 August 2013

Not Suing for Copyright Infringement

Thanks to Mike Peatman for sharing with us this picture, taken at Greenbelt this afternoon.

We're not going to be resorting to the Copyright Acts, as we think certain former members of the Eastern Region Ministerial Course might be after us, in their turn.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Religious Collective Nouns

A failed compromise of Anglicans

A pair of 8am service communicants

An introspection of self-analysing blog posts

An unexpected presence of clergy on their day off / on holiday

A suspension of disbelief of church pronouncements on sexuality

A dissatisfaction of choristers

A lacy finery of Anglo Catholics

An immovability of PCC members

An ambush of lay preachers (outside the holiday season, when they get preaching withdrawal symptoms)

A drizzle of holes in the church roof

A neediness of religious bloggers

An encirclement of Church Wardens

A meaningless plethora of hashtags from social media events you didn't go to

A phonebox of Church AGM attendees

A vicious circle of Catholic tweeting

A bounding of undeserved grace to us

Tuesday 20 August 2013

A Review of the Ministry of Women

I have received a letter from the Druidical Synod in response to my complaints. It reads,

"Dear Burton

I may have the body of a weak woman, but I have the hockey stick of a Norse Berserker. I suggest you stick to thinking about spiritual, not physical, matters.



Sound pastoral theology there, I think. Maybe I should be lighting more tea lights.

Monday 19 August 2013

The Weaker Sex

Dear Readers, I have written A Letter. It was the least that I could do. But something had to be done. Charlii is an unsuitable Archdruid, and it is time this was realised.

It is not as if Archdruid Eileen is unattractive - in a scary way. She has a brightness, a certain bounce in her step, a resemblance to my former school teacher. But, because she is so terrifying, and - let us face it - heading for 50 - I could still concentrate on the liturgy.

But now there is Charlii. Young, slim, in druidical outfits that may hide her curves from sight, yet do not hide them from the imagination. Her sermons may well be of the most spiritual nature, and yet all I hear is "come over here, geek-boy - I've got a lovely set of quadratic equations for you to unravel."

It is quite disgusting, and she should be ashamed of herself. Until we have a manly, hairy and- above all - unattractive male Druid in charge, I will not be able to listen to another word of the liturgy. Something Must Be Done.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Keeping the Normans out of Kashyyyk

This evening the Beaker Folk lit a tea light in honour of one of our favourite heroes.

After the Normans invaded England in 1066, there were many natives who resisted. Many lost their lives, and some their ears.

But in the fenny fenland of the Fens, there was one great warrior who resisted successfully. A powerful local lord, he kept the Fens Norman-free throughout the period, terrorising the French invaders from Peterborough to Ely, entering the folklore.

Some said he was 8 feet tall. Some said he roared when he spoke. Some, that he was covered from head to foot in fur and had a friend called Han.

Whatever the truth, he bequeathed the English a tradition of resistance to unfair occupation;  a love of and desire to protect the underdog.

So here's to you, Hereward the Wookie.

Saturday 17 August 2013

The God who Heals - a Meditation on a BBC report about Pentecostals refusing medicine for HIV

Inspired by this BBC silly season article on religious believers not accepting medical treatment for HIV

"The Children's HIV Association surveyed 19 doctors and health professionals working with babies and children in England; its members had reported hearing anecdotal evidence of HIV patients deciding to stop taking their anti-retroviral drugs because their pastors had told them to do so.
Among 10 doctors who said they had encountered the problem in the last five years, 29 of their patients had reported being put under pressure to stop taking medicine and at least 11 had done so."

All: 19, locally-chosen, health professionals are not statistically significant. (Repeat 100 times)

Reading: "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17)

Chant: Science is not opposed to religion
As football is not opposed to music.
As drama is not opposed to psychology.
As Beauty is not opposed to Logic.
As Manet is not opposed to Einstein.
As sociology is not opposed to orienteering.
As the sea is not opposed to a lightning bolt.
As an entity diagram is not opposed to Schubert.
As a railway timetable is not opposed to a picture of the Cornish Coast.
As economics is not opposed to haematology
As a tide table is not opposed to the script of Hamlet
As the Simpsons is not opposed to a periodic table
As prayer is not opposed to medicine.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

The Day the Help Desk went into an Existential Loop

You may be aware, Dear Readers, that I am the manager of the Beaker Help Desk.In fact, I am the Beaker Help Desk. One day, when we have sufficient Beaker People with enough computing equipment to make it worth while, I hope to have people in the Help Desk working for me, and others to go out and fix networks, laptops, tablets etc. But for now, it is just me, fixing the POS in the Beaker Bazaar, sorting out the WiFi, rebooting things - and taking all the calls.

Having a 24-hour helpline number has always been wearing - especially when Young Keith used to phone up in the small hours, then just say "would you believe it - it's just started working again!" And then cackle down the phone. That was quite annoying. But I would enter the call into the Incident Logging system, in accord with ITIL best practice, and then close it immediately.  It's the old rule - no incident log, no problem.

But as it happens, the Help Desk has, as of now, ceased to function. It has entered an existential loop - and there is, by definition, nothing I can do about it. From here on in, there is no more help. Ever. I can explain the issue best by the use of this flowchart:

The irony is, I had to phone myself to report it in the first place. I was left on "hold" for 20 minutes until I realised I was waiting for myself to get off the phone.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Celebration of Hi-viz Bunnies

Charlii: At last the scientists have answered that all-important question:

Scientist: "What excuse might we use, to justify producing glow'in-the-dark rabbits?

All: Ooh!  Hi-viz bunnies?

The procession of the hi-viz bunnies.

Charlii: Wake up,  bunnies!

All: OohHi-viz bunnies everywhere!

Burton (arriving late) : That's it. I'm never drinking Franklim's Old Cludger again.

All: But tell us, Charlii, why did you buy so many? And why are you planning to use them as replacement tea lights?

Scientist: Well, having invented them, we had to think of a market for them.

Hnaef: I'm starting to think this whole liturgy is very Girardian.

Charlii: Not at all. I read it in the Independent....

Monday 12 August 2013

In Memoriam - Trevor Storer, Founder of Pukka Pies

Syston's Finest has gone to where the Pies are always served in coloured tin foil, with mushy peas and chips

Charliie: Steak and Kidney

All: Steak and Onion

Charlii: Steak and Ale

All: Chicken and Mushroom

Charlii: Potato and veg

All: Meat and Potato

Charlii: Chicken Balti

All: Sausage Roll

Charlii: Pukka Pies

All: Don't compromise.

Charlii: OK, pies and chips all round.

Equal Rights for Pagan Folk Memories

We have received a letter from the Environment Department at the Council. Someone has complained that we have somebody living in Bottom Spinney. The council say we may be breaching planning regs, and there is a threat to call in the immigration authorities.

Naturally I have responded. There is a Wodewose living in the Spinney. He lives there because Wodewosen live in woods. They are not to be confused with Pogles, who are smaller and gentler, but the idea is the same. They scorn the use of houses, although this one tends to sneak into the Doily Shed in very cold weather.

Far from being an immigration issue, the Wodewosen were ancient in our land before any Angle arrived to name them in their brutish tongue.  I asked Woody what they had been called in Welsh, but he says he can't pronounce it - just a load of L's and W's, he reckons.

He did offer to go down to Dunstable and sort the issue himself; but we advised against it. Can you imagine - an ancient wood-man walking through Dunstable with a five-foot club as a weapon? He would not last ten minutes.

He then tried to convince me that he had been lined up to be the original model for the Cerne Abbas giant, but "They didn't have enough chalk", then walked off laughing. I wonder why that was funny?

Sunday 11 August 2013

Print your own Rollright Stones!

Tired of travelling all the way to Chipping Norton to see a stone circle? Owner of a large hall and a wish to dance around a prehistoric monument? Well, now the answer is at hand!

All you need is a 6 foot-wide printer with a continuous feed, and a large amount of paper. Simply print off the "Rollrights on a roll", bend the resultant picture round in a circle - and it's like your're in the Oxfordshire countryside on your day off!

Friday 9 August 2013

A Maze-ing Discovery

It's so obvious when you see it.

The Cerne Abbas Giant. How did we never spot it before?

It's just a very early example of a labyrinth, isn't it? Just more interesting than the average.

A Little Puzzler

Probably not hard to guess where this is, but isn't it a wonderful little effect?

What Else Would Jesus Do?

This interesting pastoral conversation occurred earlier. I leave it as an example of how to deal with these tricky pastoral matters.

Rowlf: Pastor Drayton, I have a real problem. Can you help me?

DP: Of course, Rowlf. What is your issue?

Rowlf: As you know, I've been struggling to find work since I was declared fit. The depression wasn't deemed a severe enough condition to stop me working. And I've lost some benefits, and I can't actually afford to buy enough food for the family. And I'm tempted to nick some of the food out of the waste bins behind the supermarket after they close - they won't give it to me cheap in case it encourages other people to hang out for a bargain. Should I steal it, or should I let my family live on beans and "value" bread.

DP: Rowlf, Rowlf, in circumstances like this, I always ask myself - what would Jesus do?

Rowlf: Get some loaves and fish and turn them into enough for 10,000 or more people. Are you sure I can manage that?

DP: No, for your faith is not even as the mustard seed. What else would Jesus do?

Rowlf: Live for forty days and nights without eating or drinking? I'm not saying that wouldn't cut the bills down, but our Amie has diabetes and I'm not sure....

DP: But what else would Jesus do, Rowlf? Four little letters - starts with "P" and ends in "Y"?

Rowlf: I see. There is that, of course. But can I turn it round to you, Revd Parslow? Let's suppose he was teaching in the Temple courts, and a poor man came up to him - and said "I've no money and I don't know how to feed my family" - what would Jesus do?

DP: Surely, Rowlf, the answer is to be found in the Good Book. For in a similar circumstance, did Jesus not say "Go, and sin no more"?

We will miss Rowlf from our little congregation, since he said that word to me. But, at least, we will miss little in the way of his tithing. 

Thursday 8 August 2013

Reorganising for Mission

Charlii came to me this afternoon with her new Grand Plan. You have to say, she has not let the grass grow under her feet.

Charlii has recognised a lack of vision, inspiration and general oomph about the many satellite communities which orbit the Husborne Crawley mother ship. She sees them as sheep without a shepherd,  as comets without a star to orbit - as lacking the direction that a certain amount of centralisation can bring. She has therefore made the following appointments:

Director for Rural Communities: Osric.

Executive Enabler for Agricultural Evangelism and Local Yokel Engagement: Mostyn.

Missioner for Mission: Gertryd.

Visionary for Vision: Chelsii.

Outreach Arch-Assistant Archdruid with special Responsibility for Reading: Ragwort.

Naturally I did what any Treasurer worth their salt would do in the circumstances. I grumbled about the cost. Charlii took my point, and then took an Executive Decision.

It is therefore with sadness that I have to announce that the local Druids of the La Tene Folk of Leighton Buzzard, the Deepings Diaspora, the Corded Ware Folk of Caddington, the the Ampthill Assembly and the Rednecks of Reading have just been made "Moot House for Duty".  This is like a zero hours contract, except without the pay if you actually do any hours. And if you do no pastoral work, the Visioner for Vision phones you up to ask if you have no commitment.

I will admit, Dear Readers, I am not a man of great social awareness. Thankfully this has been a great blessing in a life working in Financial computer systems. But even I could see the flaw in this policy. By enabling a situation where far-flung communities had Druids who would surely starve in the gutter or resort to getting jobs in Spearmint Rhino or - worse - advertising to make ends meet - surely this would make matters worse?

Charlii has taken my point, but possibly too well once again.  So she has appointed Golfrice as Enablement Enabler and Lay Invigoratrix, charged with ensuring that non-Druids are able to run things themselves without constantly falling back on Auntie for assistance.

In order to pay Golfrice's wages, I therefore have to announce that the Windmill Hill Folk of Westoning, the Auroch Herders of Aylesbury and the Flint Knappers of Flitwick will also now be without a local paid Druid. Charlii says don't worry - it's all gonna work out.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Making Disciples of Disciples

Are you burdened down with a weight of sin? (Ps 38:4)

Are you expecting the wrath of God to be poured out on the world? (Romans 1:18)

Do you want to flee from the wrath that is to come? (Luke 3:7)

Are you wondering what you must do to be saved? (Acts 16:30)

Are you aware of just how scary God is? (Gen 32:30)

Do you want to be washed clean? (51:7)

Do you recognise all the evil in our society? (Gen 18:20)

Are you ready to rend your heart and be healed? (Joel 2:13)

Then you probably go to Church already.

But why not come to ours? We speak your language.

Bogwulf Baptist Church. We're more Christian than the one you go to at the minute.

Liturgy Written Using Only Predictive Text

Charlii: Behold the best of the world's most popular games and software products!

All: Gradely and the other day I was wondering whether it is not a very good and bad for the announcement of your life and work.

Charlii: Ah me to be the first to review the new job in the next few months of July or August and then delete this message.

All: And now that you have deeper mystic knowledge of how the new church in England is being used to be parked.

Charlii: Go and get the best explanation of how to use this feature.

All: I think I will greatly increase in the next few months.

Charlii: And now I have been checking out the latest version of the fittest and then click the link below.

All: And also with you.

Sunday 4 August 2013

The New Who

Burton: Who will it be?

All: Yes. Who will be Who.

Burton: No, I mean - who will it be?

All: Who will who be?

Burton: Yes.

All: No, who?

Burton: Who what?

All: What will who be?

Burton: That's the big question.

All: What?

Burton: Do you mean who?

All: Who do you mean?

Burton: I mean - who will Who be?

All: Who, indeed.

Charlii: Nights are drawing in, soon be Panto season.

Saturday 3 August 2013

Acting Archdruidical Elections

I'm pleased to announce the results of the election for Acting Archdruid. Obviously I regard this as a totally unnecessary and costly way of conducting democracy, when everybody just doing what I say would have been cheaper and more efficient, and also just as reliable. However, the Beaker Book of Rules says the election has to be held one month after the temporary appointment of an Acting Archdruid. It is important for the Beaker People to confirm the divinely-inspired executive decision of the Actual Archdruid.

Still, I'm relieved that I've been elected with 130% of the popular vote. This may look suspicious, but I can assure you that the greater than 100% majority is simply a mathematical thing you won't understand.

I'd like to congratulate my gallant opponent, Wulfsbane, for a bravely-fought if not actually suicidal campaign. And I'm sure Wulfsbane will be looking forward to working in a supportive way within the Beaker Community, just as soon as I've allowed him and his followers out of the Doily Shed. From the plaintive cries we've heard, I gather it's been a bit warm in there this week.

Internet Trolling - The Other View

An interesting angle provided for us by the local leader of "Men are Victims Too", Thomas Rolling-Apologist... 
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with putting women on bank notes. I've always been a big fan of women myself. Her Majesty the Queen - she should be on the bank notes. Or Princess Diana. She was lovely. But Jane Austen doesn't deserve to. She was probably a virgin, for a start. What sort of example is that to set anybody? 
But if we aren't going to put the Queen on the notes, then what about my little Anastasia? Lovely, she is. It would be nice to have her on the notes. Especially as I'm not allowed to see her any more. 
And I'm not supporting the threats and abuse on the Internet. Obviously, it's unpleasant. Wouldn't do it myself. But if you don't want to put up with it, why not just stay off the Internet? It's like, if a woman doesn't want builders or van drivers shouting at her in the street - she should just stay at home. Or drive a car with blacked-out windows.  Or wear dungarees and a bag on her head, to avoid attracting attention. Mind you, you'd rather they put up with it - after all, we don't want women staying at home all the time. This isn't Saudi Arabia. Obviously, if when she grows up, anyone shouts that stuff at my little Anastasia, or tries to get her on the front page of Nuts, I'll do time for them. But that's different. She's precious.
Clearly this is a free speech issue. People have the right to be as vicious and threatening and nasty as they like - it's a free country. And incidents like when me and Frezza got banned from the Jaipur, just because we were making a few harmless jokes, show you how free speech is being eroded in this country. Anybody would think we were living under Sharia Law. 
I'd advise that if you don't want to deal with the kind of abuse that free speech allows, then don't complain about it - that can cause all sorts of unpleasantness. Get out of harm's way. It's like Poland, in World War II. Just asking for it, being in Europe next to Germany like that. If Poland had had any sense, it would have been in South America. Germany would have looked really stupid, invading an extra-wide stretch of the Baltic Sea. And all the nastiness would have been avoided. If there were no women demanding respect on the Internet - and just more like little @donna12344 and @vixen434444, who are ever so sweet and don't go around expecting you to be polite to them - Twitter would be a nicer place, without all that nasty trolling. Avoid @rosie888zz, mind you. I had a tweet-up with her. Turned out to be a big bloke who took all my money off me. Wish I'd found that out before I bought her dinner.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Be a Privilege Giver!

Good News! I received today a letter from Banburyshire, confirming that I have received my allocation of shares in Beaker (Cayman Islands) plc. I'm sure you will all be pleased to share in my joy and financial security.

Co-incidentally. today is the day we are introducing the new Beaker Privilege Giver Scheme! Any Beaker person joining the Beaker Privilege Giver Scheme receives the following benefits:

  • Enhanced donation to the Beaker Folk (15%)
  • Tax relief on their donations!
  • A "Beaker Privilege Giver" T-shirt, with the message "I'm glad I'm not in love with money" on the back.

And the good news is, you don't have to do anything at all to join the Beaker Privilege Giver scheme! Anybody who gives by direct debit will already have been upgraded from the old scheme, now rebranded "Stingy Givers", to become Privilege Givers! So a big thank you to all of you for your generosity - and especially to those who didn't even know they were privileged until they read this post!

Liturgy for Yorkshire Day

Beaker Folk assemble on t'moor, accompanied by whippets, flat caps, sensible shoes etc

Charlii: 'ow do...

All: Gradely, gradely.

Charlii: Go and get faither

All: Is there trooble at t'mill?

Hymn: On Ilkley Moor bah't At

A reading from the Prophet Enoch.

Charlii: Ah, Yorkshire,  Yorkshire! You who sack your prophets* and regret your lost industrial heritage. For suffering in pits, woollen mills and steelworks, you received Meadowhall. And yet, one day, your land will be returned to you. And once again your borders will stretch from the Tees to the West of the Pennines. Lancs, Mancs and Mackems will return your stolen villages. You will flow with Tetleys and teacakes. And from Middlesbrough to Saddleworth will the cry of "Yorkshire, Yorkshire!"  arise, and the great Yorkshire deity, Earnshaw, be worshipped. OK, let go the sacrifice......

An old man is pushed down a hill.

Compo Simmonite: Tell Nora I were thinkin' of her!

Norman  Clegg: It's feeling a bit warm. I may take my third cardigan off later.

Charlii: And now Hnaef's in charge for the rest of the day. I'm off to London.

Billy Fisher: A druid could lose herself in London, Charlii. Looooooose herself in London.

Final Incantation

Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt -
Allus do it fer thissen


The Dangers of Direct Message Links

Dear Readers, can I advise you, if you are on Twitter and you receive a Direct Mail with a link in it, and a message like "get a look at this", would you believe it" or "what are you doing in this video?" - just delete it. No matter how tempting, or how close the imaginary friend is, just delete it. It is almost certainly a portal to Hell, where you will give up all your passwords and end up spamming everybody else with fake Direct Messages and weight loss adverts. And try to avoid accidentally clicking on the link while trying to delete it - frankly, I fear fat fingers.

It is, however, worth messaging the alleged sender - mostly to warn them they may have been hacked, but also just in case it was genuine. I received such a message a few weeks ago, and deleted it as spurious and dangerous. Later on, I found out it was in fact a link to a genuine video of me.

What an Accountancy Systems Analysts' Annual Disco that was. You should have seen me, wearing a paper hat and dancing to the "Birdy Song". I don't know, we're just wild when we get together.