Wednesday, October 26, 2005

closely observed pigeons

This lunchtime I went to Bethnal Green and sat in the park. An East End park at lunchtime feels different from a West End or city park at lunchtime. Green spaces in the city, however small, are always full of suits at lunchtime. People escape the office for an hour or so and balance their sandwiches or noodles or vegetarian pasta bake on their laps, enjoying the sunshine or trying to pretend it's not freezing cold. In Bethnal Green, there were several squirrels, various yoof sitting around or playing basketball, one other lunching woman and a small flock of pigeons.

I watched the pigeons fly around the park. From being scattered, they suddenly flew together towards a tree on the far side of the grass. For a while, they jostled about there and then fanned out like policemen doing a finger tip search. A lone pigeon flew back across the park and landed beneath a tree near me. A few minutes later, the entire flock flew across to join him, gathering together for a bit and then fanning out as before. A little later and for no apparent reason, they all flew off again.

Do you think it's fun being a pigeon?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

God's a science starter, holy science starter

There's a brilliant essay on why Christianity is good for science - indeed the reason that science is possible - over the the newly launched Pearcey report. I remember arguing this as part of a talk on faith on my Masters course. Not quite as well as Nancy Pearcey does though.

Here's an extract:
"The story of conflict [between science and Christianity] does sound familiar, because it is the standard interpretation of history taught all through the public education system. In fact, it is so widely accepted that often it is treated not as an interpretation at all, but simply as a fact of history. Yet, surprising as it may sound, among historians of science, the standard view has been soundly debunked. Most historians today agree that the main impact Christianity had on the origin and development of modern science was positive. Far from being a science stopper, it is a science starter."

Note to self - must get round to reading Total Truth.

blog matchmaking

There must be something in the air. Adrian Warnock and Marla Swoffer have both been wondering about the possibilities of blogging as a way for single people to meet each other.

As a single blogger myself, I can't say the thought ever ocurred to me. I think of my blog as my public face on the net, a place to write and think and show other people things that have ocurred to me. I like the interaction of commenting on blogs and finding out about other people and I suppose over time relationships online could develop into relationships offline. On the other hand, much of the Godblogosphere is based in the US and I'm not. Perhaps it does happen, but if that's your prime motivation for blogging, you're not going to get very far!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

sniffle sniffle cough cough

I've been being ill for the last couple of days, so it's been quiet. There are lots of knitting photos to look at over at pigwotknits and I've been scanning some pictures from this summer, so they should be up on flickr soon.

My brain isn't really working well enough to write proper stuff which is a little worrying because I've got to write an essay about Pride and Prejudice in the next week.

UPDATE: pics from Chester zoo are up.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


scavengers busking
Originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.
This weekend, a bunch of us from church went on a scavenger hunt round London. This is my team busking in the underpass at Hyde Park corner (I think, I was a bit lost). We had a fantastic time (thanks Sunny and Nic!) and discovered new bits of London. More pictures on my flickr photostream.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

another blogger is born

Go and say hello to James.

post number 100 - happy birthday to me!

It's my birthday, I'm 26 today.

Apart from that, today isn't very exciting. I'm at work, it's raining, I'm not doing anything particularly exciting tonight. Although I did see Pride and Prejudice last night and absolutely loved it!

Today, you could also be celebrating John Peel day, Margaret Thatcher's 80th birthday or Paul Simon's 64th.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I've been ratified!

Does that mean I've started to grow a tail, pointy ears and whiskers? Sadly, no.

I've been waiting for my new job to be confirmed by the college committee since August and finally, it has. That means from January I will be working for a small institute in Cambridge. I'll be marketing their journal and courses and seminars about science and religion. I'm very excited about it!

I've not got anywhere to live in Cambridge yet and there are loads of thing yet to be sorted. Moving out of my parent's house properly will be exciting and scary, but it feels like time to move. Leaving my current church will be harder, but I know there's a good church in Cambridge (several actually) and I'm looking forward to getting involved there.

Please can you pray that I'll find somewhere to live and that I'll use the next couple of months wisely and patiently.

retro gal

Marla Swoffer's been causing trouble with her retro/metro Christianity table. This isn't a post about that, although it's an interesting idea and the resultant discussion seems to have snowballed. For the record, I scored something like 13 retro, 21 metro and 7 undecided/don't knows. Typological profiles tend to be crude, especially when there are only two choices, but as Marla points out, that was kind of the point. If you've no idea what I'm talking about, go and have a look.

Anyway, I realised yesterday as I washed my 1976 Beetle, wearing my giant flared jeans and a striped shirt that's older than I am, (it belonged to my mum and was tatty enough when she went to university to be used for painting in), brushing my side-parted shoulder length hair out of my eyes, that I appear to be living in a 1970s timewarp. I could have taken a picture of the event with my c 1978 Practica MTL3 or my Soviet era (designed in the early 80s so it doesn't quite fit, but why let logic spoil a good blog post?) Lomo LCA.

So does this mean that the 70s weren't the decade taste forgot after all or that I'm about 30 years out of date? I will admit to being slightly Luddite in preferring lowtech solutions to fancy electronic ones, but I can't be all that much of a technophobe since I am after all posting this on my blog. Perhaps the awful truth is that I'm turning into my mum, c1976, (although with blonde hair and no glasses). What a scary thought.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

space to knit , space to think

There have been quite a few knitting-related posts here lately and I thought it was time to give the knitting its own space. I've created a new blog, the pig wot knits, to accommodate the knitting. There's not much there yet, but I'll update it soon with details of the things I've made so far this year.

So those who like knitted things can go and take a look, but anyone who isn't really that bothered can ignore it.

Hmm, that means I've got to think of some proper content. Any thoughts?

Friday, October 07, 2005

flights of fancy

So, I was just in the library looking for a dictionary of quotations and I came across a book called The Symbolic Pig: An Anthology of Pigs in Literature and Art by F C Sillar and R M Meyler. (Would you file that next to a dictionary of quotations? If not, where would you file it?) Naturally I had a flick through, looked up flying pigs and found this quotation:

"I have myself a poetical enthusiasm for pigs, and the paradise of my fancy is one where pigs have wings. But it is only men, especially wise men, who discuss whether pigs can fly; we have no particular proof that pigs ever discuss it."

from Fancies versus Facts by G.K. Chesterton

I rather like that.

sit down, put your feet up


Originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It's been a long week.

Good things - HP has a roommate. She's a Christian, she's from Nigeria.
Tuesday night, my cell group had pizza at my house. We sat around and chatted and had fun.

Bad things - being knocked off my bike.
I'm still feeling achey and very tired and wondering if I'm about to be ill.

Good things - it's Friday, the weekend starts soon.
I'm going to Cambridge tomorrow to see DP.
I'll be able to go to church with her on Sunday and talk to people and say "I'm moving here in January."

Bad things - it's a long time until January.
I haven't got anywhere to live in Cambridge yet.

Good things - it's a long time until January so there's plenty of time to find somewhere to live.
The committee who have to approve my appointment meet this weekend, so on Monday I should be able to resign properly and tell people at work that I'm leaving.
It's my birthday next Thursday.

Silly thing - I found this moon hoax parody earlier in the week. It made me laugh.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the most beautiful knitting in the world

Is to be found here. It's half in Japanese and half in sort of English, so it's hard to work out what's been knitted by the author and what hasn't, but even if she's only knitted half the stuff, she's a genius. (I assume she's a she, I have no idea.) Go back through her archive and look at some of the intricately put-together jumpers. I've been trying to figure out how she makes those zig zig things, but so far I can't. It's probably something like knitting a mitred square, but that didn't seem to work when I tried it.

All I have to show off is a finished pink jumper. Ta da!

big pink finished object

big pink finished object
Originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

a minor incident

Yesterday on my way home, I got knocked off my bike. I'm OK, just a few bruises and a scraped knee and I'm thankful it wasn't worse. On my route home, there's a point where the road bends round to the right but there's a turning that goes straight on. It's very easy for drivers to go straight on without really thinking about it (I've done it myself when driving that way.) I was going round the corner and a car going straight on into the turning clipped me with its wing mirror. The bike went over, I went flying. The woman in the car behind me jumped out of her car to see if I was hurt. The driver of the car that hit me stopped and got out too. I was fine, just a little shaken up and all that happened to the bike was that the basket on the front came off. The driver who hit me helped me reattach it and made sure I really was OK to continue and gave me his contact details before he drove off.

The collision was partly the driver's fault for not seeing me and partly mine for not paying enough attention. I usually swing round that corner without thinking about it, trusting the fact that it's my right of way and anyone turning in or out of that side road can just avoid me. That would be OK in a car, but on a bike, if someone doesn't see me and turns off, it's me that's going to come off worst, even if the collision is their fault.

I'm not going to be put off cycling. I got back on the bike this morning, although I did feel a bit shaky by the time I got to Leyton and left the bike there rather than continue onto Stratford as I usually do. However, I think I should try harder to pay attention to the road. It's too easy to pedal along with my thoughts miles away instead of thinking about than where I am and what the traffic around me is doing.

Monday, October 03, 2005

on socks

rainbow socks
Originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.
Here, as promised, are my first ever completed pair of socks. I'm very pleased with them. There are some errors, and things I'd do differently, but that's all part of the learning process. One sock is decidedly greener than the other, presumably because the colours in the hand-dyed wool came out slightly differently in each skein.

While knitting these socks in a variety of places (on the tube, on the train to Birmingham, during spare time during a conference), I remembered some of the knitting I'd seen on holiday in Wales at the National Woollen Museum. There were handknitted stockings made Welsh working men, from the 18th (I think) century and pictures of men and women knitting as they walked to work or to market or anywhere at all. Some of the stockings were personalised with intricate designs and initials. These were practical, vital garments, made by hand from handspun fleece, dyed with vegetable dyes, all local materials. Those too poor to own their own sheep would have got their wool from hedgerows and fences, following the sheep as they moved around (the origin of the word woolgathering).

My knitted socks are essentially a luxury item. I didn't shear the sheep or spin the wool or dye it myself, although theoretically I could have done. If I had to knit all my socks myself, I doubt it would be so much fun.

On Saturday, I went to a Christians in Science conference on sustainability. It's got me thinking about the environmental impact of my everyday life and the choices I make about what to do and how to live. My sock wool, spun and dyed in the USA and then shipped to the UK is beautiful, but represents a large number of airmiles. I could have made a different choice; this country is hardly lacking in sheep and yarn manufacturers. I don't think you'll see me out woolgathering or spinning my own yarn anytime soon, but perhaps I might start thinking about ways to make my yarn choices (and choices in other areas of life) more environmentally sustainable.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

new addition

Adrian's been spawning blogchildren again. His newest blogchild (and therefore my blog-brother?) is Dotun and his blog is Brosdee's view. (I don't know why, perhaps he'll tell us). Go over and give him some encouragement and perhaps he'll post some more.

Africa Sunday!

One of the things I love about my London church is the diversity of people from different backgrounds and countries, including lots of people from Africa, mostly Nigerians. Today at church we had an African day. We dressed in African clothes, ate plantain and rice and other delicious things, learnt some new songs and danced and worshipped joyfully and exuberantly. We were celebrating our diversity and our unity. God had made us different, male and female, black and white, tall and short and He has made us one, united in Christ.

On the way home, I talked to my mum about how much fun we'd had, and what some of the visitors we'd had might have thought. "You know," she said, "this morning wasn't actually that different from a normal Sunday morning. This is us, this is who we are."

She's right. Maybe we don't always wear such colourful clothes, or jump around so much, but we're joyful and united and enthusiastic about being together praising God. Thank you God!

(UPDATE: Go and read Adrian's post.)