reflecting my eclectic (and sometimes erratic) life
Author: John Ager
Salvation Army Officer (in retirement) who likes technology, Radiohead and F1. Married to Naomi. Runner. Christian with an open heart and mind. Left of centre. Freedom, justice and equality. Feminism. LGBTQ ally. Interfaith dialogue with those of all faiths and none. Geek. Personal views.
There are times when you need an uplifting song to raise your mood, at other times a sad song can emotionally connect with particular feelings and be more meaningful. Indeed, many people consider sad songs better and deeper than happy songs, as they speak profoundly to the human condition.
Just sometimes though, we need to rage and let our feelings out, as this can be very cathartic. Here’s a Radiohead song does just that, it’s a song of rage from their album Kid A released in 2000.
Everyone Everyone around here Everyone is so near It’s holding on It’s holding on
Everyone Everyone is so near Everyone has got the fear It’s holding on It’s holding on
It’s holding on It’s holding on It’s holding on
Thom Yorke sings short, ambiguous lyrics, using voice distortion and a feedback echo that creates a sense of isolation and fear. The looping heavy bass line that leads the song was composed by Yorke when he was 16 years old. The early electronic instrument called ondes Martenot, played by Jonny Greenwood, was inspired by Olivier Messiaen. The free jazz-style brass section was inspired by the work of Charles Mingus. Added to that are some interlaced sound effects and mysterious samples creating quite a unique track.
Since retiring (even with young children) I have more time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, one of which is the the sheer joy of making fresh coffee with our coffee maker (a wedding present).
In the past, I often needed to make coffee in a hurry, sometimes resorting to coffee bags for quickness, but NEVER instant coffee!
One of the things I’m looking forward to in retirement is walking into the village, and writing in a coffee shop. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has largely put paid to this. But here’s hoping for the not too distant future, at least I can make proper coffee at home.
There’s so many ways you can make coffee, and it’s especially satisfying when you grind your own beans, although I generally use ground coffee. Taylors of Harrogate is a particular favourite coffee range.
The smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the world’s greatest inventions. Hugh Jackman
Three hundred years ago, during the Age of Enlightenment, the coffee house became the centre of innovation. Peter Diamonde
I enjoy the whole process of making coffee, even cleaning and preparing the coffee machine for the next brew is strangely satisfying.
Like many others, I thought Windows 10 was going to be the final version of the operating system, with only upgrades going forward. Apparently not.
Windows 11 is now available for testing, and this upgrade might be because Apple announced it was moving on from OS X to Version 11, and Microsoft didn’t want to be seen as left behind. A victory for the marketing people!
Our laptop doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11, but Microsoft are making some exceptions for those in the Windows Insider Program. We’ll continue to get insider preview updates for Windows 11 until it’s generally available. If there’s any problems and we have to revert back to Windows 10, we can’t then reinstall Windows 11.
When it’s fully released, it’s recommended for us to go back to Windows 10 with a completely fresh installation, and they will provide the ISO file. I’m hoping to avoid this, I’ll see how it goes.
The inscription ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’ became the catchphrase of British and American abolitionists. Medallions were even sent in 1788 to Benjamin Franklin who was then president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. The image was widely reproduced on domestic objects like crockery and also became popular on fashion accessories.Source
Let’s foster a better historical, cultural, and sensitive understanding of ‘taking the knee’. Think for yourself, don’t swallow the bigotry and propaganda. We all need to fight a culture war against bigotry and ignorance.
The England football team, staff, and manager, represent the country I want to live in. A country that works as a team, values diversity and inclusion, and stands up to injustice despite opposition. A forward looking, thoughtful, brave, open, and compassionate country.
Unfortunately, a vision made more difficult to achieve by Brexit, but I still hope and strive for it. C’mon England!
Football is a microcosm of all human life: the best and the worst, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the triumphs and the sorrows, the successes and the failures, the ecstasy and the agony, the beauty and the ugliness. Love it or loathe it, you can’t escape it. You have to deal with it.
What better vehicle is there to teach our children human character, the value of working as a team, and emotional intelligence for their adult lives? And, in the light of the result, I would add the need to demonstrate graciousness in defeat.
Every year churches around the world celebrate Sea Sunday on the second Sunday in July. It’s a day for people to come together to pray for seafarers and fishers, and thank them for the vital role they play in all of our lives. Here’s a Bible reading (click on the link), a hymn, and a prayer for you to use.
Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep: O hear us when we cry to thee For those in peril on the sea.
O Saviour, whose almighty word The winds and waves submissive heard, Who walkedst on the foaming deep, And calm amid its rage didst sleep: O hear us when we cry to thee For those in peril on the sea.
O Holy Spirit, who didst brood Upon the chaos dark and rude, And bid its angry tumult cease, And give, for wild confusion, peace: O hear us when we cry to thee For those in peril on the sea.
O Trinity of love and power, Our brethren shield in danger’s hour; From rock and tempest, fire and foe, Protect them wheresoe’er they go: And ever let there rise to thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
Almighty God, we remember those whose lives are lived on your great oceans. For those who go down to the sea in ships, we give thanks; they enrich our lives at great personal cost. May they daily feel the strength of your protection, the warmth of your presence and the love of your relationship as they seek hope of safe passage. Pray for seafarers who are stranded at sea and forced to survive using only the resources available around them. Comfort them in times of loneliness and need and remind them that, in you, they are never alone, particularly when they are struggling with poor weather conditions or sickness. Amen.Source
The England football song Three Lions (1996) (sometimes known as It’s Coming Home) can come across as arrogant, and arrogance is something often attributed to England (and sometimes more widely to Great Britain). Sadly, with good reason considering our attitudes and history. Equally, this arrogance is also felt in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Unlike other football songs, the lyrics express the disappointment of being a football fan. It’s actually about dreaming, recognising that the result might go against us, but still believing and hoping.
I think it’s bad news for the English game We’re not creative enough, and we’re not positive enough
It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home (We’ll go on getting bad results) It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home
Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before They just know, they’re so sure That England’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away But I know they can play, ’cause I remember
Three lions on a shirt Jules Rimet still gleaming Thirty years of hurt Never stopped me dreaming
So many jokes, so many sneers But all those “Oh, so nears” wear you down through the years But I still see that tackle by Moore and when Lineker scored Bobby belting the ball, and Nobby dancing
Three lions on a shirt Jules Rimet still gleaming Thirty years of hurt Never stopped me dreaming
England have done it, in the last minute of extra time! What a save, Gordon Banks! Good old England, England that couldn’t play football! England have got it in the bag! I know that was then, but it could be again
It’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home (England have done it) It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming Football’s coming home
(It’s coming home) Three lions on a shirt (It’s coming home, it’s coming) Jules Rimet still gleaming (Football’s coming home It’s coming home) Thirty years of hurt (It’s coming home, it’s coming) Never stopped me dreaming (Football’s coming home It’s coming home) Three lions on a shirt (It’s coming home, it’s coming) Jules Rimet still gleaming (Football’s coming home It’s coming home) Thirty years of hurt (It’s coming home, it’s coming) Never stopped me dreaming (Football’s coming home It’s coming home) Three lions on a shirt (It’s coming home, it’s coming) Jules Rimet still gleaming (Football’s coming home It’s coming home) Thirty years of hurt (It’s coming home, it’s coming) Never stopped me dreaming (Football’s coming home)
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has spotted a number of ‘free floating’ planets in deep space. The telescope discovered four rogue planets with a similar mass to Earth. However, none of them were attached to our solar system.
NASA Exoplanets shared the names of the two planets and wrote that it added to the total of 4,424 found exoplanets. The two planets were named Kepler-129d and GJ849c. (July 2021)
Free-floating planetary mass ‘may represent the end-states of disrupted exoplanetary systems’, according University of Manchester researchers.
I am the great sun, but you do not see me, I am your husband, but you turn away. I am the captive, but you do not free me, I am the captain but you will not obey. I am the truth, but you will not believe me, I am the city where you will not stay. I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me, I am that God to whom you will not pray. I am your counsel, but you will not hear me, I am your lover whom you will betray. I am the victor, but you do not cheer me, I am the holy dove whom you will slay. I am your life, but if you will not name me, Seal up your soul with tears, and never blame me.
Charles Causley (24 August 1917 – 4 November 2003) was a Cornish poet, schoolmaster and writer. His work is noted for its simplicity and directness and for its associations with folklore, especially when linked to his native Cornwall.