View from Janus’s potting shed

Logo for www2006 conference - a thistle
The logo of the WWW2006 conference to be held in Edinburgh in May — and one of the things I’m looking forward to in 2006.

Well, that’s almost another year done (2005 for those of you not paying attention) and typically Australia get to 2006 before us. Again.

The year of our Lord two-thousand and five has been a funny year in many ways. We’ve had our share of ups and downs. We bought the house in Cellardyke in late-2004 and spent the first quarter of 2005 decorating and furnishing it, the second quarter enjoying it for ourselves, and the third and fourth quarters worrying about it as we let it out to visitors. That’s pretty much dominated our lives and bank balance this year.

Highlights of 2005 included:

Looking ahead to 2006:

  • Next month I move from St Salvador’s, Stenhouse and take on new responsibilities at St Ninian’s, Comelybank for a few months as they begin a period of transition in ministry.
  • I need to find a new job, and perhaps even direction. Much prayer is need for that.
  • One thing I’m really looking forward to — and hope that I can attend — is the WWW2006 Conference which is taking place here in Edinburgh! One of the main speakers is my Dad’s old friend, Sir David Brown, and of course, TBL will be there: the one and only Tim Berners-Lee, grandfather and founder of the World Wide Web.
  • I also need to get fit. No excuses this year. I need to lose stones, not just pounds.

I’m sure there’s loads more, but that’ll do for now. There’s some serious Scots comedy (Chewin’ the Fat) to watch on TV before cuddling up with my wife for the last time this year.

I’ve enjoyed sharing this year with you, lovely people of the Blogland region of the Internet. I’ll see you next year! x

ps I’m pleased to say that I managed to get my new menu bar (above) working before the year was out. I was keen to give it ‘sticky’ tab-like buttons, and the PHP script was much easier than I’d feared. I’ll share that with you all sometime. There will be much coding to be done next year, but I’ll enjoy that.

Four things …

Confused girls ... according to Stock.xchng
I searched stock.xchng for photographs entitled “Questions” … and this is the only photo it came up with. Who am I to argue?!

Questions nicked from Steve Lawson, et al.

A. Four jobs you’ve had in your life

  1. Priest
  2. Group Worker in Shaftesbury Society Homeless Hostel
  3. Stock-taker and van driver at Claridge Mills, Selkirk
  4. Temporary Postman

B. Four films you could watch again and again

  1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)
  2. Star Wars, Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1977)
  3. The Italian Job (1969)
  4. Highlander (1986)

(Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Rear Window (1954) came close to appearing in that list.)

C. Four cities you’ve lived in

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Inverness
  3. London
  4. St Andrews

D. Four TV programmes you love to watch

  1. Man Stroke Woman
  2. Top Gear
  3. The Mighty Boosh
  4. Fr. Ted

E. Four favourite places you’ve been on holiday

  1. 1992 NYC World Tour (California, Hawai’i, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore)
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Healdsburg, CA
  4. Moscow and Leningrad (as it was then)

F. Four websites you visit daily

  1. http://study/ — my personal webserver’s home page!
  2. Google UK
  3. BBC News
  4. Steve Lawson’s blog

G. Four of your all-time favourite restaurants

I don’t really do restaurants, but …

  1. St John’s Curry Club, Edinburgh
  2. Behind the Wall, Falkirk — for the most gorgeous desserts everâ„¢
  3. There was a restaurant at Larkspur Landing, CA in 1992 that holds great memories, even if I can’t remember what I ate!
  4. Similarly, the National Youth Choir’s 1992 World Tour of McDonalds restaurants on three continents was pretty special! Particularly James Whalley’s 9 burger meals in Dunedin … and he has diabetes!

H. Four of your favourite foods

  1. Chicken Malayan (curry)
  2. Haggis, neaps and tatties
  3. Hawai’ian pizza (with extra mushrooms)
  4. Chocolate!

I. Four places you’d rather be right now

  1. With friends and family
  2. San Francisco
  3. With friends and family in San Francisco
  4. Making new friends

J. Four things you find yourself saying

  1. “Pretty much …”
  2. “Do you see what I did there …?”
  3. “… and in a way, that’s a bit like Jesus!”
  4. “Internet Explorer is RUBBISH — you want to try Mozilla Firefox!”

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay minus 1

Catalan musicians
Catalan musicians playing on a temporary stage at the west end of George Street, Edinburgh.

This evening Jane and I went into town with Jane’s elder sister Pauline and her husband Paul to see the Catalan-themed festivities, as part of the build-up to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. We parked nearby and walked to the west end of George Street, where we were immediately greeted by giant figures and ordinary-sized people but with massive heids dancing to a Catalan band (photo above).

Further along George Street we stood and watched a group of Catalans building human pyramids from themselves (below).

Catalan acrobats creating a six-level human pyramid

It was very impressive, and looked terribly dangerous. I suspect, however, it wasn’t so much a piece of street theatre as they’d lost one of their members and this was the easiest way to alert him to their position in the crowds.

Disappointingly, having just battled our way through the crowds towards Hanover Street, we passed the Ceilidh dancing just as their World Record attempt was about to start. We’d just got out the other end when they announced that they were about to begin the record for the largest “Strip the Willow” ever. We paused long enough to decide whether to battle the crowds again to fight our way back, but decided that a drink at The Dome was a better idea.

One drink later — Jane and Pauline got the last 2 chairs in the place, while Paul and I sat on the floor — we were back out, and like the Wise Men returning by another route. But not before Jane spectacularly managed to spill two drinks and smash one glass just turning around!

On our way back we stumbled upon some firey dinosaurs (below). Like you do!

Dancing dinosaurs

They were ‘dancing’ up George Street to some weird drum ‘n’ bass track, and some guy playing through what sounded like an oboe on steroids. It was quite … scary, to be honest!

Returning to the car we noticed a cow on a balcony (below). It’s not a great photo as it was taken on my Nokia 5140i on Night Mode, but you get the gist:

A cow on a balcony

Giants, Catalan musicians, dancers and acrobats, smashing glasses at the pub, dinosaurs and cows: the recipe for a perfect evening!

Calendar and Lectionary Guide 2005/2006

Calendar
A calendar, completely unlike the one used by the Church to work out which festival we should be celebrating this week.

Each year the Scottish Episcopal Church publishes a free guide to its calendar and lectionary. This guide helps to keep us clergy right throughout the year, as it lists each Sunday and major festival, with details such as its name (eg Week of 1 Advent), its category (1 through 6), its liturgical colour (eg Violet) and what Daily Prayer order should be used (eg DP Anticipation).

I’ve just finished formatting this booklet for the Web. For the first time, this document is now available for download in its entirety. It is available on the Liturgy page in HTML (webpage), A5 PDF booklet, and A4 PDF landscape formats.

Slowly but surely I’m getting through the various liturgy documents that need to go on the website. But it takes time. This one document took me about four hours.

No more springs

Ikea lorry parked outside our house

Look who turned up early this afternoon (above): Mr and Mrs Ikea pulled up outside shortly before one-o’clock-and-time-for-lunch (see Genesis for details) and delivered our new mattress (below).

Our kingsize bed

I know that you can’t tell from the photograph alone, but that’s the most comfortable bed I’ve ever laid down upon in that whole bedroom. I forgot to take a photo before we made the bed.

It’s firm, it’s soft, it’s comfortable and no more dirty-great springs in my back at night. Happy Christmas, Jane! (That’s our Christmas present to one another: a mattress. Proving once and for all that we are definitely ‘grown-ups’!)