[first published in the monthly Congregational Notes for October, 2019.]
There is something wonderfully non-material about the gift of speech which we can too easily overlook. We think of something and want to share it so our brain directs a corresponding series of noises to be made with our mouth. Someone else hears these sounds, decodes them and (hopefully) understands in their mind what was first in ours. The process does not need to be taught; a young baby automatically learns to associate the word ‘Mum’ with the image of one who feeds, cares and loves, and that although ‘Dad’ also cares and loves, Dad is not Mum. Different images and ideas require different sounds, i.e. words. Other words quickly follow as a mind realises how language operates and soon learns that words also exist for ideas that cannot be seen. Yes, there is some subjectivity in words like…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational Notes for September, 2019.]
Anyone who has used the gate between the Church and hall over the years will know that in dry periods it does not close or open properly. Local knowledge then comes into play and with a bit (sometimes a lot) of downward force on the gate everything lines up and the latch works as it should. So the lock itself is not at fault. Has the gate has been bent somehow or its locking frame come loose? A quick inspection shows nothing wrong there; the issue is more fundamental. Large as they are, the buildings themselves move relative to one another, and by up to 3mm! It is this movement that causes the mis-alignment. And all this is because of water—or rather, lack of it.
As its moisture content reduces, the soil shrinks so both buildings drop but one…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational “Notes” for August, 2019]
The product doesn’t work as it should so we “exercise our rights” and take it back, expecting a new one. We know the law! Imagine our surprise and annoyance if we were to be told, “You no longer have any right to complain about this product. The government has changed the law and all warranties are now invalid. Your product came from the factory that way and you will just have to accept it. There will be no exchange and no refund.” We would feel cheated. Of course, depending on the type of fault we may be able to repair it and perhaps we will be surprised at how long it lasts. Nevertheless, the fact remains that it was not what it should have been and we will feel wronged. No-one likes a broken product.
So what do we…continue reading