August 17th, 2003



It's my birthday on Thursday.

If anyone wanted to buy me anything from here I'd love them forever.

Especially the "God is just pretend" bumper sticker.

Which reminds me

I'm back from a weekend away, feeling much more energised, and actually enthusiastic about writing again.

The trip down and back was fine, the hotel was gorgeous (on the shore of Lake Ullswater, I could see yachts sailing back and forth from my bed), the food was great (I've been so far beyond naughty it's not true) and the wedding wasn't so bad. I managed not to giggle too much during the christianity, snore through the hymns or commit any other breaches of good taste, made polite conversation and was even dragged onto the dance floor for the ceilidh. Photos of all of this will be available as soon as Dad FTPs them to me.

Mike, Hugh and I took some time out from the reception (held in a marquee tent in a large field) to go investigate the nearby river. It was fairly rock-filled, so we clambered downstream (encumbered, in my part, by the lack of any grip on my good shoes). We all managed to avoid a soaking as we leapt from rock to rock, although when it got too slippery I had to abandon the river itself and take for the safety of the bank. Things came to a head when Mike went to avoid a precipitious drop (from a 6-foot high rock to a nearby 5-footer, with a 3 foot jump in between) and Hugh told him that he was cheating. Inflamed by hugh's cutting words (and a fair few glasses of champagne) Mike leapt agross the gap, his feet hitting the rock perfectly before sliding on the sodden moss and sending him hurtling riverwards. Thankfully he managed to avoid cracking his skull, and settled for soaking his arse and his tie, before we all clambered back upstream again.

On return to sunny Edinburgh I enveloped Erin in my arms and was then swept off to meet J H Brennan. If you ever played the Grailquest books then you'll know who he is. And if you didn't play them then you didn't have a proper childhood. He was lovely, as was his wife, and they treated us to dinner (I'd already had a fantastic lunch at the lakeland hotel, so I skipped the starter, otherwise I'd have been doing a Mr Creosote), Then we caught a bus home and I caught up with my email. I'd like to say I missed you all, but I only actually missed 83.4% of you.

I'd also like to sy that there would be more writing incoming soon, but tomorrow Ed moves in and I've got to do Fringe stuff over the next few days too. I'll try to fit some LJ in somewhere tho.

Now, I believe I have 120 friends posts on my 'people' group (and at least 500 on my news filter). I must go see what you naughty, naughty people have been up to.

Power Cuts

Sorry to hear about the problems all you third-world types are having with your power systems.

Here's a lovely illustration of the difference a few volts can make.


I was amazed that nobody else had linked to this Guardian article on the vatican's cover-up of child abuse...

The Observer has obtained a 40-year-old confidential document from the secret Vatican archive which lawyers are calling a 'blueprint for deception and concealment'. One British lawyer acting for Church child abuse victims has described it as 'explosive'.

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to 'be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.'

The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called 'Crimine solicitationies', which translates as 'instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation'.

It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the 'worst crime', described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with 'youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)'.

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases 'in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication'.