Paxtonvic’s Blog

Just another weblog

April moonlight and a dolphin

Moonlight April 27th 2010 in Little Paxton.

A dolphin taking part in Election campaigning in Buckingham April 28th 2010

Cygnets on a lake at Wimpole Hall, taken by Fiona Matthews, from Cambridge.

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There but for the grace of God, go I……

Oh come on, who of us who use mics in public havent had  at least one near miss with being overheard at thr wrong time?

When we first got our new sound system at LP I hadnt quite got used to the fact that you have to turn it off when you go to the loo or walk outside to meet a funeral party? I know my voice has been heard in places it doesnt need to be heard ( Im far more careful now!)

And who of us hasnt thought critical things of other people but kept our thoughts to ourselves- few can hold their hands up and say they have never been cross with someone and expressed it in private.

Jesus didnt mince his words on occasion – once he had some pretty tought things to say about  the Pharisees ” “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean” – Matthew 23 v 27. No wonder he ended up crucified.

Im not saying that Mr Brown should have said what he did but I dont think he should beat himself up about it – nor should the media whip it up like they are. None of us are squeeky clean – it could have happened to any of the leaders. And why didnt the guy who was controlling the mic turn the volume off – it was clear this wasnt a public moment when Brown was speaking.

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And now for the third contender…Mr Cameron

Britain's opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron  leaves his house in west London April 6,... Britain’s opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron leaves his house in west London April 6,…

REUTERS – British opposition leader David Cameron, whose Conservatives are favourites to win the May 6 election, hopes to lead the centre-right party back to power after 13 years in opposition.

Here are five facts about him:

– Born in October 1966, Cameron was educated at Britain’s most exclusive private school, Eton, and at Oxford University, where he joined the elitist Bullingdon dining club and gained a first-class degree in politics, philosophy and economics.

– After university, he went straight into a job at the Conservative Party. He was an adviser to the then-Chancellor Norman Lamont in 1992 when sterling crashed out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Cameron later worked as a public relations executive at the Carlton television company for seven years, before being elected to parliament in 2001.

– The Conservatives chose Cameron as their fifth leader in nine years in December 2005, months after suffering their third successive election defeat at the hands of the Labour Party. He is credited with making the Conservatives electable again after years in which it was regarded, in the words of a former chairman, as the “nasty party”.

– Cameron’s support for “compassionate Conservatism” and defence of the state-run National Health Service were partly influenced by the experience of caring for his oldest child Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy. Six-year-old Ivan died in February last year.

– Cameron and his wife Samantha have two other children and are expecting a baby in September. The aristocratic Samantha, who is creative director at the Smythson luxury leather goods firm, has become a favourite with the British press, who nickname her “Sam Cam”.

I may draw a line when it comes to the Monster Raving Looney Party….

but if you want to know more go to: their web-site is quite amusing if you have five minutes. They are fielding 27 candidates and have a manifesto….

Alan “Howlin Laud” Hope.  OMRLP Party leader.. he looks fun!

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Some lovely ones near to my back garden

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Just tobe fair, Ive been trying to find 10 facts out about the other two priministerail contenders – and Im a bit stuck….

Here is the best I can do from CBBC’s newsround in 2007!

Gordon Brown

  • His real name is James Gordon Brown
  • He was born in Glasgow
  • His dad was a Church of Scotland minister
  • He was super clever at school and went to uni when he was 16
  • He’s married to Sarah. They have two young sons – John and Fraser
    Gordon and his family

    Gordon and his family

  • Before he went into politics, he was a lecturer and worked in television
  • He became an MP in 1983
  • He supports Raith Rovers footie club
  • He was quoted as being an Arctic Monkeys fan
  • He has two brothers – John and Andrew
  • He used to be good at rugby and tennis
  • He’s wanted to be PM for a long time, but reportedly stepped aside to let Tony Blair go for the job, way back in 1994

So there you have it from a children’s TV point of view ….

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Not biased or anything… but here are some facts about Nick Clegg

No policis on paxtonvic, oh no – but incase any of you are wondering about Nick Clegg since his ratings soared after the first televised debate… here is everything you might  want to know – courtesy of  timesonline…

10 things you didn’t know about Nick Clegg

There’s more to the Liberal Democrat leader than Quality Street ties, 30-ish lovers and one leaders debate in the bag. Ten things, to be exact *.


1. He wrote a novel

But not just any novel – “impenetrable, pretentious garbage” (his words, not ours). He told Mumsnet in January, “I’d just read a book without any punctuation (Garcia Marquez I think) so I tried to mimic that style.” Sadly, it was never published, but a shiny pound to anyone who can write an “as imagined by” for our holiday read. Hugo? You listening?

2. He’s a cactus arsonist

While on a school exchange in Munich, 16-year-old Clegg got drunk and set fire to a professor’s rare collection of cacti. On return to England, the chastened teenager had to spend the summer hunting down replacements. He later blamed the state he was in on the local beer, brewed in monasteries: “Unbelievably strong. Which clearly I couldn’t take.” It’s called Kloster Andechs if you’re into that sort of thing.

3. He’s Bullingdon material

With aristocratic Russian ancestry and a public school background (how oiky is Westminster compared to Eton, Dave?) the only thing stopping Clegg getting into the notorious Oxford drinking club was the fact he went to, er, Cambridge. He was even a Tory for a time. Cambridge University Conservative Association records cite an “N Clegg” of Robinson College as member between 1986-87 and there was only one N Clegg at the college. The Lib Dem leader says he can’t remember anything about this, citing fresher’s week fervour and a poor memory.

4. He’s the only ‘out’ atheist leader

With most leaders dancing the tango of coy avoidance when discussing religion, Clegg is the only English political leader to state that he doesn’t believe in God. Luckily for religious base-covering, his wife Miriam is raising their three children as Catholics.

5. He could have been a very different sort of hack

On graduating from university, Clegg worked as a trainee journalist under Christopher Hitchens in New York. After doing a second Masters in Brussels, where he met Miriam, he won a Financial Times scholarship to report on industrial privations in Hungary. But journalism wasn’t for him: he worked developing aid programmes and as a EU policy adviser and speech writer, before becoming an MEP in 1999.


(Pic: PA. Nick Clegg and wife Miriam González Durántez)

6. He’s a rule breaker

In June last year, Clegg caused a Parliamentary fluster when he broke an unwritten rule and became the first leader in modern political history to call for the resignation of the Speaker. The last time this happened was in 1695. Fortunately for Clegg, Michael Martin reacted to this faux-pas with grace, standing down a month later after pressure from MPs.

7. He’s got a silver tongue

The son of a Dutch mother and half-Russian father, Clegg was brought up bilingual. As well as Dutch and English, he speaks French, German and Spanish – “I speak German the worst”. In 2000 he married long-term girlfriend Miriam in Spain, in what sounds like the most fun political wedding in history. The party went on until 7am and she made everyone hot chocolate afterwards. Their three children have Spanish first names to balance their English surname.

8. He’s a secret thesp

At Cambridge, Clegg acted opposite Helena Bonham-Carter in a play about AIDS and counts the soon-to-be ex-Mr Kate Winslet, Sam Mendes, among his friends. He’s also a star of the Sheffield pantomime scene: his roles while MP include Sleeping Beauty’s prince and the slightly more modest part of a health-and-safety inspector checking the structural integrity of Jack’s beanstalk.

9. He loves his food

We know more about Nick Clegg’s food choices than anyone probably should: the man went to Carluccio’s for a quick dinner with Miriam on the eve of the election, and, thanks to Biscuitgate we have two options to buy in should he ever pop round for tea. Here’s the Clegg shopping list:

Biscuits: Rich Tea “when dunked” in tea and Hob Nobs “when not dunked”.

Weirdest meal: “Fried bees in China”

Snacking: “I have a biscuit tin and a fruit bowl in my office, and I always eat the biscuits first.”

Breakfast: “Porridge”

Fruit: “Mangoes”

10. He’s a fan of chilling out

While on a road trip with TV presenter Louis Theroux and his brother Marcel, Clegg caused much mirth by insisting on stopping the car twice a day for 20 minutes of transcendental meditation. “People may mock,” he says, “but I found it an extremely good way to deal with the stresses of ordinary life.” The reason he started meditating in the first place? When he was writing Clegg fact #1, that terrible novel.

Wonder how this week will pan out…. I will try to find 10 facts about Gordon Brown and David Cameron if I get a free few moments..

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wedding bells in the Old days

Love this picture that Peter  H  kindly e-mailed me just now from the Daily Telegraph  called ” Wedding Bells” by James Hayllar. I imagine this is just how the tower at Little Paxton would have looked like – the layout is so similar – though the fashions have changed somewhat…

Is the bride about to come in with her  father, or has she just gone out with her new husband? Maybe if the ringers are about to ring then she has just gone out….or maybe they used to ring a bride in??? I would date this mid to late Victorian, note the Victorian tiles on the floor is the usual pattern.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Shepherd Sunday

My dearest Lord, be thou a bright flame before me, be thou a guiding star above me, be thou a smooth path beneath me, be thou a kindly shepherd behind me, today and evermore St Columba

Jesus the Good Shepherd

Some notes on the theme:

This fourth Sunday in Easter, with its reading from John’s Gospel, is often called “ Good Shepherd Sunday” – and  sheep and shepherds  were a very familiar part of Palestinian life in Jesus’ time.

The shepherd had to feed as well as protect his flock. He would have to travel long distances with them,  especially in the hot summer period. He would know each one usually by name, and each sheep would know the voice of his shepherd,  just as acutely as a dog is so attune to the voice of its master or mistress. Each night he would count his sheep into an open  sheep fold, and lay himself across the opening – so becoming “the door of the sheep”.

He had to keep a keen watch for the wild animals which came up from the jungle of the Jordan Valley. He would carry a staff to catch hold of the sheep which fell and would carry a wooden club should any attack be forthcoming from a wild animal.

The shepherd usually had charge of a mixed flock of sheep and goats. He could drive the goats, but he led the sheep. Sheep mainly provided wool for clothes and only occasionally were they eaten for meat – a fat tail was a rare delicacy. Sheep’s milk was very poor. If a sheep was stolen, then the shepherd had to repay his master. If attacked by beasts, the shepherd had to bring back the evidence. It was natural for the shepherd to risk his life for his sheep – and he would always be willing to protect them from attack or thieves.

With sheep very much a part of life in biblical  Palestine, references to them in biblical material is hardly surprising.

God is often  pictured as being the  Good Shepherd of Israel. Isaiah 40 v 10-11:

It is no wonder that  one image Jesus used to describe himself and his relationship to his followers was that of The Good Shepherd – The Good Shepherd whose sheep hear his voice and whose constant care is for his flock – and who is willing to lay down his life for his sheep.

“ I am telling you the truth. I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever comes in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. I am the Good Shepherd – who is willing to die for his sheep. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me.” From John 10.

Note that Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. In Greek there are two words for good. AGATHOS and KALOS. Agathos means something is good rather than bad. For instance, it is a good thing to do to help someone in need.

Kalos on the other hand means someone who is good in the sense  of being lovely, attractive, good and wholesome through and through. This is the sense in which Jesus describes himself – the image of a person who is kind and gracious.

The picture builds up in St John’s gospel of Jesus The Good Shepherd.

  • A Good Shepherd who knows his followers intimately and whose voice they recognize instantly.
  • A Good shepherd who protects his followers selflessly against outside threats and dangers and who will lay down his life for them.
  • A Good Shepherd whose very wholesome attractiveness ensures that his followers follow him where ever he leads them.
  • A Good Shepherd who promises to give his followers eternal life – a very special quality of life lived with God – who promises that life would know no end and a life that was secure. Nothing could snatch Jesus followers from his hand. Even in the darkest moments of life, they would still be conscious of the everlasting arms of God underneath and about them.
  • Whilst Jesus likens himself to a Good Shepherd, the flock of sheep in John 10 is seen as the Church – a church always vulnerable to attack from outsiders, always liable to  trouble from inside from false shepherds.

These lovely words from Jesus in John 10 have at their essence abundant life. That is what Jesus has to offer – abundant life for all his followers.

I invite you to take the image home with you when you leave church and see how God may speak to you through it and in it.


April 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Enjoying it so far?

We’ve nearly two more weeks to go until the BIG DAY – are you all enjoying the build up???

I think Gordon is having a prayer time before the second debate begins…

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

St George

Here are some notes Ive done for the St George’s Day Scout Service this week-end. Im  not sure we English make as fuss as the Welsh or Irish do about our patron saint – but why not think a bit about him today – not that we know much for certain with so much legend attached to his personna.

The Real St George….

St. George is the patron saint of England. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George’s emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king’s soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.Quick Facts about St George

  • Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia) c AD 270.
  • Lived in 3rd century
  • His parents were Christian
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine

St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. 17 years – joined the Roman army and became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his  faith.

When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George’s pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303.

The popularity of St George in England stems from the time of the early Crusades when it is said that the Normans saw him in a vision and were victorious.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced Edward the Confessor as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.

St George is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine and Portugal amongst others, although he is celebrated on different days .Like England, every country in the UK has its own patron saint who in times of great peril is called upon to help save the country from its enemies.

St George is also patron saint of scouts, soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy and plague.

He kept his eyes focused on Jesus throughout his life – and was willing to die rather than deny him.

The legend.The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. In the Middle Ages the dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil. The slaying of the dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, long after his death. It is therefore likely that the many stories connected with St George’s name are fictitious.

There are many versions of story of St George slaying the dragon, but most agree on the following:

  1. A town was terrorised by a dragon.
  2. A young princess was offered to the dragon
  3. When George heard about this he rode into the village
  4. George slayed the dragon and rescued the princess

St. George travelled for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.

‘Every day,’ said the old man, ‘he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The king’s daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.’

When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit’s hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.

As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it.

The dragon’s scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.

He smote the beast with his sword but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales, so that it fell dead at his feet.

Umm…. a good tale at least.

April 23rd is also the day that Shakespeare was born and died.

Now you know…

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment