Until I heard the Chancellor I had no idea Duty on Stamps was so big [212, which follows 214, obviously]

Dear friends,

Bertie here, back again. Richard has asked me to take over for the day because he got confused with the numbering and missed out 212- he ran out of the door when he realised, shouting “Fix it, Bertie. I don’t care how you do it- just fix it.” So I am, by making it very clear it was his mistake and not mine, and by making clear in the title that 212 follows 214 and will be followed by 215. So it will go, in your library, 211, 213, 214, 212, and then 215. I did think of renumbering them all, and I did think of just moving on and hoping noone noticed, but we are honest about our mistakes in this Newsroom and then we can learn from our mistakes (Don’t be like Richard, for example) and do better in future. It’s the whole point of that excellent book “Black box thinking” which I heartily recommend if you’ve not found it yet. It compares the openness of the airline industry to learning lessons from accidents compared to other industries, including the US’ medical establishment in the 1990s, and it is a brilliant read. What else are people reading at the moment?

Anyway, this email is the midweek bits and bobs email, including obligatory frivolity, so let’s dive in…

Obligatory Frivolity

Petra has sent in these extracts from real Church Notices– although you will never find that kind of incompetence in this august institution…

as well as these marvellous (mostly accurate) quotations from the man behind the Churchill car insurance adverts, including a topical one:





Cause for Reflection

And Mary Cassidy has sent in these helpful thoughts on a CMS Podcast she has been listening to:

I have been participating in (more accurately listening to!!) the CMS Just Imagine webinar series. Last Thursday Jonny Baker and his guests were talking about 5 Provocations (things to make us stop and think which may lead to exciting new ideas).

  • received – you notice and receive something that happens to you
  • escape – take a feature you take for granted in a situation and cancel it or drop it out and see where that leads your thinking
  • reversal – look at the way things are normally done and go in the opposite direction
  • wishful thinking – ‘wouldn’t it be nice if…’
  • outrageous/absurd – produce a statement in relation to a problem that is absurd 

He quoted/showed us this poem, which can be read from top to bottom or bottom to top

follow the rules

do not

above all else

challenge the status quo 

and most importantly

do what everyone else does

you should never

try anything out of the ordinary

would be blasphemous if you didn’t

adhere to the age old tradition

we thrive when we do not

question everything

And another poem from John Sutton’s remarkably regular email list:

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;

Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,

Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

I say móre: the just man justices;

Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;

Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —

Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

And finally, here are the prayers Cara wrote for the Diocesan Service at the end of last month:

So there we are- back on track- all in order- I’m off now to rearrange my shelf of precious cheeses because they will not dust themselves.


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