April 2008

Glossolalia HQListening to a putative display of glossolalia (apparently to-order) on the old tube last night, I caught myself smiling. 

The glossolalist in question was making a bit of a pig’s breakfast out of explaining the phenomenon with any degree of clarity.  Apart from my usual thought that it would be much more sporting of the Holy Ghost to inspire these people with the gift of actual, recognisable languages (and, as the Catholic Encyclopædia says: “The charisma of interpretation is […] the necessary complement of glossolalia; when interpretation is not forthcoming, the speaker with tongues shall hold his peace.”), another thought also flitted through the draughty chasm of my mind.  I know, two at a time: working to capacity.

Isn’t it odd, I mused, that those who appear to be most effortlessly eloquent in these strange tongues are frequently those who are least eloquent in talking about them (or anything else) in tongues which are familiar to the rest of us?  Do these tongue-tied individuals, I wonder, ever reflect with chagrin on the irony of that?


I saw in a banner-ad at the bottom of a website this morning that the M*rmons are advertising themselves under the slogan of “Truth Restored” these days.  I choked on my biscuit. 

Rievaulx "restored"

Truth “restored”.  Uhuh.  Like Henry VIII “restored” the monasteries.  I think I’ll take my Truth fully un-restored, thanks.

Tag, tig, or kissie-catchies?Well, there’s not been a new post here for a wee while, so you’ll just have to be grateful for whatever you get. 

I’ve been tagged.  No, no, no—not for shoplifting or ram-raiding or defacing headstones in pet cemeteries.  Not this time, anyway.  I mean I’ve been sent a meme, a wee questionnaire.  By the next big thing in Canadian literature, Seraphic Single.  No, it’s no use asking me what possible interest any of the answers I’ve provided are, or to whom: just read and be grateful if I haven’t tagged you in turn.  Go on, you might even enjoy yourselves…

1. The rules of the game get posted on the beginning.
2. Each player answers the rules about himself.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read his blog.

What I was doing ten years ago:
I was a teaching-monkey (official title: “Lecturer in Social Science”) at an FE college. I taught philosophy (and other random stuff) there part-time, whilst researching for an MLitt. at my alma mater.

Five things on my To-Do list today:
1. Go to work.
2. Discuss some random stuff with the boss (who’s been off for a week).
3. Call the the relevant authority to discuss declaring my car off-road (and therefore tax-exempt).
4. Clear up the house (properly) after Friday night’s dinner party.
5. Read more of that inestimable tome, The Widow of Saint-Pierre.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Pay off the bank.
2. Buy and furnish a house.
3. Endow/fund assorted Catholic charities, projects, institutions, etc.
4. Offer help to family and friends.
5. Invest a small amount for personal use and ensure nothing was left after all of the above.

Three of my bad habits:
1. Surfing the net (yeah, like this is gonna help…).
2. General procrastination.
3. Fibbing to barbers/taxi-drivers.

Five places I’ve lived:
1. Dundee, Scotland.
2. W–lb–k (near Dundee).
3. Aberdeen, Scotland.
4. Old Aberdeen, Scotland.
5. Edinburgh (Athens Borealis, innit).

Five jobs I’ve had:
1. Bookshop assistant.
2. Beadle.
3. College lecturer.
4. University tutor.
5. Education/interpretation officer for “heritage” organisation.

Five books I’ve recently read:
1. Mary and the Fathers of the Church (Fr Gambero).
2. The Tragical Tale of Aelianus of England (Seraphic Single).
3. On (Hilaire Belloc).
4. The Red Door (Iain Crichton Smith).
5. The Temple of Death: The Ghost Stories of A.C. and R.H. Benson.

And of course I am reading The Widow of Saint-Pierre.  But who isn’t, right?

Five people or communities I’m going to tag:
In an effort to keep a Catholic and/or Scottish theme going, poor Mark, Cirdan, Catholic Teuchtar, Ebo and Cath are so getting tagged. Sorry, chaps…


Yellow WidowTo combine one shameless plug with another, I’m ostensibly posting this to celebrate the publication of the book puffed below

But since I’d already mentioned the widow Clicquot down there, and since the non-vintage bottle is so very attractive and so powerfully evocative of joyous good fun and bonhomie (for me at any rate—you lot can get your own Proustian-madeleine-type-thingie), I thought I’d pop this piccie up.

The thought that some lovely rep from said bubbly-co might drop by and see that I’ve directly linked to their website, and then, perhaps, casually reward my disinterested plug (it really is marvellous stuff, you know: if need be, sell your children to ensure a regular suppy) with a bottle magnum case of this very nectar, never crossed my simple mind.  No, not even once, I tell you.

[After this case, VCP would no doubt be delighted to take this opportunity to foster Canadian goodwill by an act of spontaneous largesse to celebrate the publication!  I for one would drink a toast to such a gesture… ]

The Widow of Saint-Pierre by Seraphic Single (Book) in Science Fiction & FantasyNever has there been such rejoicing over the making of a widow (excepting maybe Mme Clicquot).  I’ve ordered mine—when will you be ordering yours? 

Buy, buy, buy this fabulous new tome, freshly penned by the fair hand of a deserving Canadian gentlewoman keen to rediscover her Caledonian patrimony.

What—you’ve read this far into the post without yet having purchased copies for your self, family, friends and pets?  Rectify that immediately

See?  That feels better, now doesn’t it?  Think how much better still it’ll feel when the wee beauty pops through your wee letterboxes.  Why, it’ll make you want to begin the buying process all over again!

The author of this ‘blog would like to make it quite clear that he is not working on commission for sales of the aforementioned book—it’s just his natural kindness shining through…

Perusing idly (I don’t do “searching energetically”) my blog stats today, I noticed that not a few people were finding their way here via a Google search for “cumbernauld”.  Oh dear, I thought.  Still, never mind—this site must be way down the list of the million-and-then-some sites featuring that fair town.  Said I to myself said I, I’ve probably blown what little chance I had of being presented with the Freedom of the Toon now—I’ll take that one manfully on the chin—but I’m likely enough to remain unmolested by the Loyal Cumbernauldian Crew (“ye bas”). 

But.  It then ocurred to me to check Google images.  A very recent search for “cumbernauld” there brought up a link to my wee post as the… very first result.  That’s the very first result out of 33,400.  *Gulp*. 

In addition to a concern for my own physical welfare (some of those chaps from Lanarkshire Borealis can be a tad rough—and that’s to say nothing of their womenfolk), I suppose I feel a wee bit guilty too.  If it helps at all, I’m happy to explain to anyone who may thereby have stumbled hereupon that the offending poyum in question was nothing but a happenstantial whimsy, a totem more to my desire to see my febrile nonsense in e-print than to any genuine animosity to her or hers.  Let them by all means allow their opinions of said toon to be influenced by less biased and better informed judgements than mine (and they shouldn’t be too hard to find).

In related news, someone found their way here today by googling “hate picasso” (though TT is currently way down on the list for that one).  It takes all sorts.

[Er,  I suppose this post has just made the very problem it raises worse.  Bum.]

McMortar-board“That’s no a haiku!”

“Aye it is!”  “No it’s no!”  “Is!”

“No!”  “Is!”  “Shut it, youse!”

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