Showing posts from October, 2009

3 Go Mad At Fordingbridge

Time for a Brothers' bonding outing... it's the final weekend of half-term and I suggested that the 3 of us go to a pub in the New Forest near Fordingbridge for a pub lunch and forest walk. But why is it that I can't help thinking of "Father Ted"??? :-)
More to follow...

"Up" (Disney/Pixar - 2009)

Pixar/Disney's latest animation "Up" is an unashamedly moving, incredibly funny, stunningly beautiful (in a subtle, unshowy way), all-round entertaining piece of film-making. If it doesn't AT LEAST get an Oscar nomination for Best Film, then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the world.
Don't just take my word for it, go see it yourself (with optional 3D which I liked), and I challenge any grown adult not to get more than just a lump in the throat during the early montage sequence showing the lives of central character Carl Friedricksen and his wife Ellie, from the moment they first meet as young children. It is a sequence as good as any that I have seen for a very long time. It shows the genius of the Pixar animation house and director John Lasseter in just a few minutes: beautiful animation that doesn't glory in its own eye-catching beauty, but that is 100% at the service of the characters and their stories.

Athlete - "Black Swan Song" (British Legion Poppy Appeal)

This song, from the latest album of one of my favourite bands, has been released as a single with all proceeds going to the British Legion Poppy Appeal for war veterans.

This lovely song was inspired lead singer Joel Potts Grandfather Major John Pott who died in 2006 but was seriously injured at the Battle of Arnhem in 1944. The video is simple (obviously made on a low budget), but movingly effective. It was filmed at the spot where Major Pott lay injured for 20 hours, during which time he wrote a letter to his wife. See below for more info.


In 1943 he joined the Parachute Regiment, where his brother-in-law Lieutenant Colonel John Frost DSO MC was commanding the 2nd battalion. He was soon to become famous for holding the bridge at Arnhem and was played by Anthony Hopkins in the film A Bridge Too Far.

John Pott, also at Arnhem, was commander of A company in 156 Battalion which was in the 4th Para brigade. When they were dropped on Ginkel Heide on Monday 18th September, there were m…

Oh boy... do I NOT like stress!!...

... but I DO like trusting in God that he will give me all I need to be able to cope with that stress. At times it's a close run thing, but being where he wants me to be, I know he will give me all I need.
Stress... hmmm... a couple of my friends laugh when I mention this topic. The word "stress" is neither in their vocabulary, nor in their experience of life. Whereas I happen to be one of life's natural worriers. Put it down to my "artistic temperament"! My Novice Master, Frère Michel, said as much to me at the end of my Noviciate (first year of training to be a Brother) in 1991. He said that my personality/psychological make up would be a double-edged sword for me as the years go by: on the one hand a creative sensibility, sensitivity and vulnerability that would allow me to express my deepest feelings through music and would lead me into many strong and lasting friendships... and on the other hand an emotional fragility and a tendency to get very easily h…

Dvd translations - Père Gustave

I've started to translate into English some of what my friend Fr. Gustave says on the dvd that I mention in my previous post so that I can use it in my R.E. classes. It's wonderful stuff, but I fear that my translation does not even come anyway close to doing him justice. You have to hear him deliver it with the enthusiasm and passion that inhabits him (see the video link also in the previous post). Anyway, here goes a few extracts:
Death + Resurrection God is all-powerful. He created a natural world (the universe) which is not all-powerful but that does have the power to inflict death as a natural event. Through the resurrection, God offers us victory over the natural world in Jesus’ body, the body of a man that is at the same time God in human form. So, if nature/death defeated Jesus Christ (God-made-flesh) in his body through the crucifixion, in that same body death has been defeated by the resurrection. In the death + resurrection of Jesus, God himself passes through death, …

One of my heroes... Père Gustave Martelet s.j.

Now four weeks into the new school year at my new school, the last few days I've felt as if I was running on empty. But I think the worst is over, especially now that we have actually had our impending Ofsted (school inspection). It took place 2 weeks ago and is always a very stressful experience, but nowadays as much, if not more so for the school administration as it is for the teachers themselves, what with all the hoops a school has to jump through in terms of documentation.
I'd like to take a moment to look back briefly at my summer travels in France. When I was there for our Provincial celebration towards the end of August I had the chance to come back via Paris and visit my old friend Fr. Gustave Martelet s.j., a 92 year-old Jesuit theologian and "expert" at Vatican II with whom I had the privilege to work during my 4 years of study in Paris. As well as having become a spiritual mentor/director, I am immensely honoured to say he has also become a close frien…