Archive for October, 2011

Queen Mary II

Went to Liverpool the other week to see the Queen Mary II at the waterfront.  There must have been a disco or something onboard because there was a most unpleasant din coming from the ship.  There was to be a firework display at 10.00pm after which the ship was to set sail.  As soon as the fireworks finished, the mooring ropes were cast off and she slid slowly away from the quay side without any fuss.  I’m glad I saw it but I have no ambition whatsoever to sail on it(her).   I must be becoming a grumpy old man again!  Also – why does the spell checker not understand “quay”.  I was certainly not standing on the key side.

I have been reading an article about the way the brain processes what it sees.  apparently when reading text, provided the first and last letters of each word are correct, the rest can be in any order and it is still readable.  Just to demonstrate this I will fsiinh tihs bolg lkie taht jsut to sohw taht it wkors.  Not sure that it works all that well but I might try producing the next church notices like that.  At least we would find out who reads them.  Believe it or not we actually have people who admit to never reading the notices but complain that they don’t know what is happening.  There – I’m getting grumpy again.  Must be the weather.  Just to cheer you up here is a photo of Queen Mary

Sorry, wrong one.


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Cheap printing

The local corner shop has changed hands recently and I noticed that the latest price for photocopying is 9p per copy.  Sounds a bit dear to me but I know prices have gone up.  I have a machine which will print full colour A4 copies using waterproof ink for 6p per copy so not sure why anyone would pay 9p for black and white.  I do all the printing for our Church, other local churches and the Brownies.  I have also helped some of our local businesses because I think that it is part of the Church’s role to serve the community and this is one way of doing that.  If you think we might be able to help your organisation in this way please get in touch.

I first started doing the Church printing with an old Banda machine – the one which used methylated spirit and a stencil.  It seemed good at the time.  Then we moved on to a Roneo.  It was a Roneo 500 machine and at that time there was a Roneo dealer in Corporation Street, Preston.  The machine was so old they had never seen one like it before.  Then I managed to get a more modern version but it soon went wrong.  I enquired through the dealer and it was impossible to have it repaired – so they said.  I had nothing to lose so I drilled a large hole in the side of the drum, did some keyhole surgery with a long pair of plyers and a spring and araldited a piece of a baked bean tin over the hole.  It continued to work like this for many years.  Dot matrix printers started to appear and against all advice I used one to cut stencils for the duplicator.  I was able to do limited graphics and different fonts so it was very advanced at the time.

Things have moved along so much in recent years – we had a firm in Preston who made a living producing hand painted posters on flourescent paper.  They seemed to be very busy, until the advent of computers and withing a few years they closed down because it was so easy to produce professional looking posters at home for a fraction of the cost. I  wonder what we will have by the next Preston Guild in 2032.  I guess it is probably beyond our imagination.

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Here we go again.  It doesn’t seem twenty years since the last Guild but this will be my fourth!  It makes me sound ancient but there we are.

Went to a meeting in Preston last Thursday to hear about the latest plans.  There are some very exciting events planned which include live BBC tv broadcasts,  mass choirs surrounding the docks, Aled Jones, a human cross over half a mile long, and other amazing things.  It all has to be paid for and one of the first things is to start fund raising to pay for our float.  I am going to make some small money boxes for people to take home to put a small amount away each week from now until next September.  If twenty people put 50p per week away that would make £500.  I don’t think that would quite cover it but it would go a long way. If there are any wealthy sponsors out there please let us know.  In the mean time we need to keep up the real work of the Church which also needs funding.

At a time when religious broadcasting seems to be being dumbed down it is very encouraging to find that the BBC are so keen to be involved in broadcasting live from Preston during Holy Week.

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Artists live again

Some time ago I called in to chat with the artists who rent our Church premises every week.  They have been regular users of the premises for many years but they told me that numbers had dropped to the point where it no longer seemed to be viable to continue.  I suggested that we might have a recruitment drive and I offered to print poster and flyers, free of charge, if they would make the effort and distribute  them around the area.  They must have worked hard because the following week they asked for more poster and flyers.  After a few weeks numbers began to increase and have continued to increase to the point where we are now running out of floor space and tables.  They decided to hold an art exhibition a few weeks ago which was a huge success and a date has been booked for the next one.  It is rewarding to see them flourishing and to feel that in a small way the Church has reached out to the community when it was in need.

It just made me wonder how many other organisations might have the same degree of success if they had some support and encouragement and were willing to make a concerted effort to reach their goal.  Perhaps even the Church could learn a lesson from this.


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I was recently looking on the internet for some more information on my illness, Ocular Cicatricial Pemphigoid (OCP) when I came across a social network webpage with a group of people who had OCP.  I was amazed because it is a rare illness which usually only begins to affect someone when they are in their 60’s or 70’s.

Two years ago I was told that there was approx 300 people in the UK with OCP and I was the 2nd youngest but due to other medical problems the younger girl was unable to share her experiences with the doctors.  I’d looked for a support group but there wasn’t any for OCP, although there was one for something similar.  So you can imagine how pleased I was when I came across something almost like a support group and I joined immediately and shared my experiences.  Unfortunately since then I have been unable to access the particular website as it rejects my username and password.  Believe me I have tried and tried and tried again, reset my password, reset my username, and then reset my password again and again.  I have even contacted the website and so far all they have done is reset my password for me – I’d already tried that.

Anyway that led me to wonder if there is anyone else searching for information on OCP and having a similar problem as me.  If you are an OCP sufferer or have Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid then please do get in touch with me and share your experience.

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