Sunday, September 24, 2017

Our Lady of Walsingham

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, the titular feast of the Ordinariate in England and Wales and the patroness of England -- and by extension of the English-speaking people.  Our Lady of Walsingham is also the titular patroness  of the cathedral of the American Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

This page is a comprehensive website which will give you an entrance to as much or more history of the Walsingham  apparition and shrine as any on the web.

A parish shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham:

A collect for Our Lady of Walsingham:

O God, who through the mystery of the Word made flesh, didst in thy mercy sanctify the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and wondrously place it in the bosom of thy Church: Grant that being made separate from the tabernacles of sinners, we may become worthy indwellers in thy holy house; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Filial Correction

Of course, you've heard about it by now.  I can't imagine that anyone who frequents this little store-front located down one of the back alleyways of the internet can possibly have failed to learn of The Filial Correction.  

So this post isn't really to inform you of it.  It's more in the nature of hoisting the flag and showing a bit of solidarity with the good folk who put it together.  And in some cases probably kissed their careers good-bye in doing so.

Here's the document in question then.

And if you are in sufficient agreement, you can make your agreement public here.

What good will it all do?  Dunno.   Francis has the plenitudo potestatis and who has the authority to say him nay?  Nobody I know of.  But the alternative is to do nothing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's Ember Day in Michaelmastide

Well, it is here anyway.  At  least for the next three hours.

I should've mentioned this before but we were busy.  (See below)  But there are two more coming up on Friday and Saturday so you can go here and learn about stargazy pie for a proper Emberday abstinence meal.

(Is it Ember Day or Emberday?  I've seen both.)

To Add to Your "Best" List

See's dark chocolate truffles,  with the dark, soft chocolate center are (is?) the best confection in the world.

An uncompensated endorsement for those who worry about that sort of thing. (Unless you count the free one they gave me when we went into the shop the other day to buy some candy for Mary's aunt who is recovering from a broken hip, and now that I think of it, could use a prayer or two if you have a moment.)

How To Tell When You Have the Perfect Marriage

It's when you forget your wedding anniversary and she isn't bothered by it.  She even says that she did too and only remembered when her sister sent her congratulations.

So we went out to an early dinner with some friends and had some good talk and laughter.   And not for the first time I wonder how I got so lucky.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Voynich Manuscript Decoded

Fully aware that even though I found this research project absolutely fascinating, nobody else probably will I still can't resist passing along the link to this essay.

I've read about the mysterious Voynich manuscript and all the scholars it has puzzled over the years.  And now someone's got a handle on it.


It's a Merck manual for medieval physicians and pharmacists.

Friday, September 08, 2017

September 12 - Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

Cum iucunditate Nativitatem beatæ Mariæ celebremus, ut ipsa pro nobis intercedat ad Dominum Iesum Christum.

Dearly beloved, the day of the blessed and ever venerable Virgin Mary so long desired, is here.  Let our land rejoice in the greatest exultation.  Let it shine in the light of the birth of such a virgin.  For  she is the flower of the field, from her bloomed the precious lily of the valley.  Through her birth the nature inherited from our  first  parents is changed. Their sin is blotted out. That unhappy curse of Eve in which it was said:  "In sorrow you shall bring forth children," is, in the case of Mary, ended, for she bore the Lord in joy.
-- II Nocturn, lectio iv, - St Augustine, Bishop

Monday, September 04, 2017

Why No-one Should Ever Rely on Me for Proof-reading

Because I see what I expect to see rather than what's actually there.

Take the "Some Saints for September" section over there on the left hand column.  Miss Chadwick's drawings for September do reside there at the moment.  But for a short while on this 4th day of September her drawings for Septuagesima graced that space.  Both words do, in fact, begin with "Sept".  But as I have now learned -- alas, not for the first time -- one does have to read the entire word in order to post the correct picture.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Story of My Life

And yet . . . it always seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Worlds

That's the World Pipe Band Championship competition held annually in Glasgow.  It was last Saturday.

You missed it?  Well, I have good news for you.  You can see and hear the finals courtesy of the BBC who have archived the videos here.

St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band is always a favourite and I thought Boghall and Bathgate had some excellent tune choices this year.  But in fact Inverary and District swept all before them this year.  There were 6 prizes available to them and they took 5 of them.  (O.K., O.K.  They swept most before them.  Picky, picky.)

[Funny how the mind works.  I came this close to typing St Peter O'Toole Pipe Band.  He's a fine actor but I'm not aware of a pipe band named after him.  And he's probably still a few years away from canonization.  Even under the current pontificate.]


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Lammas Day

The first of August is indeed Lammas Day.  The Inn dug up a few things about Lammas Day last year which you can still find here.

It's also the feast of St Peter at the Chains and of the Holy Maccabees.  The chains that fell from Peter's limbs are found in chapter 12 of the book of Acts and the Maccabees can be found, not co-incidentally, in the 1st & 2d books of Maccabees.  Today's martyrs are in chapter 7.

Are these things still called memes?

Or is that something else now?  Whatever it is, it arrived on my desktop this afternoon and was so wonderfully pointless and absurd it had to be tried.

So herewith:

"However, the war-song at the commencement of this famous battle was recited by MacMhuirich (MacVuirich), the hereditary bard of Clan Ranald, and the MacMhuirichs were descendants of Muiredach O'Daly, of Lissadil, County Sligo, a famous Irish minstrel."

So sayeth the book nearest to me at the top of page 45.

Um, O.K.

I guess.

Total Eclipse

On Monday Aug. 21, a solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States. And wherever you are, you will be able to see it. Even though the "totality" — the area where the sun is completely blocked out by the moon — is only 70 miles wide, the whole country (even Alaska and Hawaii) will experience a partial eclipse. This is what you'll see, and the time you'll see it, in your zip code.  

So says the message in my inbox this morning.  This site explains it for us.  And it reminds us not to stare at it unprotected.  But we knew about that already, didn't we.

Apparently I'm about 700 miles southwest, more or less, from where I need to be to get a "totality" experience.  Still, there should be something.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


The last Saturday in July at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and I am sitting here in the office messing about with the pc.

"So?" I hear you ask.

So, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon on the last Saturday in July it should be, as my grandfather was wont to say, hotter than the hinges of hell.  But it isn't.  As of last Wednesday I now, for the first time in my life, live in a home that is air-conditioned.  It is wonderfully pleasant in here.  The only downside I can find is that I may now have to come up with another excuse for abandoning The Inn for days and weeks on end.  (The energy bill?  Pfui.  That's no downside.  I'll just give up eating.)

I may not leave the house again until winter.  Except, um, now.  Herself wants to go out to lunch.  But after that. . . .

And while I've been messing about on the pc, I think I have discovered The "Conservative" Roman Curia Members Marching Song, circa 2017.  See what you think:

You all know who I'm speakin'  of
When I mention you-know-who.
For if you-know-who should hear ya,
You know what he'd do.
So if you don't see me again,
You'll know why I'm away,
And if anyone asks you where I've gone,
Here's what you must say. . . .


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Found While Looking for Something Else

A group of Seaforth Highlanders from the WWI era.  Apparently one-size-fits-all is not a new thing.  The Seaforth's kilt provider seems to have been a firm believer.

As (almost) always, you can click on the picture to make it way too big.)


The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (and of the Carmelite scapular) -- 16 July

O Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee. 
Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow,
Star of the Sea. 
Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here. 
Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee. 
Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee. 
Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
Thou givest to those
who turn to thee. 
O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with thy children
That gladness thou gained'st
and now enjoy. 
Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

The Flos Carmeli, composed by St Simon Stock

More on Our Lady, the brown Carmelite scapular, and the Order of Carmel here.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Day 9

Well, we made it to Day 9 with only two posting lapses.  Probably -- alas -- about average for me.

And now to actually pray the prayer and honour the feast tomorrow.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bastille Day - Government Sponsored Terror Begins

Tuesday, July 14 probably passes without much fanfare in your home, but the date, Bastille Day, marks the beginning of the greatest organized persecution of Christians since the Emperor Diocletian. This day, the beginning of the French Revolution, also planted the seeds for the murderous ideologies of socialism and nationalism that would poison the next two centuries, murdering millions of believers and other innocent civilians.
The rest is here. 

Feet, Don't Fail Me Now

The title of this piece from the Beeb is "What Not To Do In A Disaster" which sounds like it's going to be helpful.  But it isn't.

According to sciency types who study that sort of thing what's really  going to happen is neither fight nor flight.  It's freeze up.  Apparently most of us homo sapiens when faced with the on-coming locomotive or the giant tsunami wave or the person of no particular religion shouting Allahu Akbar and firing off his AK47 just stand there and gawp for an inordinately long, and occasionally fatal, period of time.  It seems the only solution is to spend a large portion of our lives training for each sort of disaster so that the proper reaction becomes second nature.

So, no, not terribly helpful.  But I found it really interesting, if a bit of a downer.  In the event you want to be slightly depressed also, you can find it here.

How Not To Get Caught Forging Documents

In a nutshell:  if your document is supposed to be from, say, 2001 don't type it up using a font that wasn't invented until 2009.

There's more here but, really, I've already handed it to you.

Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Day 8

Here is the text for day 8 of the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

And, yes, day 7 never quite made it into The Inn.  We weren't at the pc yesterday and, although the text is available on the terrifyingly talented smart phone, without the password for the blogspot dashboard it wasn't of much use for posting purposes.

You can access day 8 and scroll up to find day 7 but that isn't very satisfactory on day 8 is it.

We will try to do better tomorrow for Day 9.

(Sunday is the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, although unless you attend a Carmelite parish, you'll never know it.  Those who decide such things long ago decided random days after Pentecost or Trinity or days in common-or-garden variety time should supersede almost everything else.)

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Day 6

Day 6 of the novena can be found here.  More than half way there today.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Novena Day 5

Oh, dear.  Day 4 of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel never made it to the pages of The Inn.  In fact, if you go to any of the individual day links you can scroll up or down to find the entire novena.  But I still meant to do each day.  Gabh mo leithscéal.

But, in any event, here's Day 5.


St Columba's Cell Found on Iona

Archaeologists say they have identified the remains of the cell of St Columba on the Scottish island of Iona.
They have used radiocarbon dating to place samples of burned wood in the middle of Columba's time there almost 1,500 years ago.
The charred remains of a hut were excavated in 1957, but it has taken until now for science to accurately date them.
The cell, or scriptorium, is where he worked, prayed and spent his last day.

More here.


Sunday, July 09, 2017

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Day 3

Novena Day 3

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena - Day 2

Novena Day 2


Friday, July 07, 2017

Why a Record Number of University Places Might Not be a Good Thing

So sayeth The Spectator in an article here.

This results in a number of angry, aggrieved graduates unable to find the positions they feel their education warrants, as well as not being able to afford the housing and financial stability necessary for family formation. They become like a sort of gender-neutral ‘bare branches’ of the 21st century. 
In the west today there are two sections of society driving political polarisation: a working-class opposed to multiculturalism who are moving from the left to the radical right; and middle-class graduates enraged at being left behind by the super-rich, and attracted to Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and others on the radical left. As long as huge numbers attend university courses that provide few material rewards there will be an inexhaustible supply of the latter.

More at the link.


Did you know there is a General George Patton pilsner?

Well, there is.  There's a bare mention and a picture here but not a lot of other information, like is it available in this corner of the Benighted States.

Thanks to Scott Richert, who first mentioned it in my hearing  (well, reading) I shall now have to go wandering about Trader Joe's or BevMo to see what I can find.

St Maria Goretti and Our Lady of Ipswich

They share a shrine in Italy.  Fr Finigan will explain it to you here. An interesting story with some good links interspersed.

Mancunians, Bajans, and Haligonians

Those, believe it or not,  are demonyms, i.e., "the category of words describing either a person from a certain place, or a property of that place, like New Yorker or Italian".  Mancunians, for example,  are folks from Manchester.

It seems there is no way to logically deduce what any particular demonym is. You just have to know.  Although once you do know, there is a logical reason for the demonym.  Usually.  But really, you just have to know.

And this essay will let you in on a few of them.

Like Haligonian.

Novena Day 1

Today is the first day of the traditional novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  There are several printed and on-line.  Not unexpectedly, I like this one.


Monday, June 19, 2017

My New Favourite Hymn

We sang it last Sunday for the external solemnity of Corpus Christi. The tune used was that for "The Church's One Foundation" but it fits a few others. Something from the good old Anglo-Catholic repertoire, guaranteed to annoy everyone in the parish who wasn't one.

There was a time in England
A time of faith and love,
When men believed that Jesus
Came down from heav'n above;
Came down, and on his altar,
In Consecrated Host,
Vouchsafed to all who sought Him
Love to the uttermost.

The multitudes pressed round Him,
And thronged His holy seat,
Only to touch his garment,
Only to kiss-his feet;
And from Him went forth virtue,
And healing powers, and grace;
They knew his loving presence,
Who might not see his face.  
Then came the unbelievers,
They wrecked the House of God,
The Sacrament of Jesus
Beneath their feet they trod;
Tore down the sacred altar,
Defiled his holy shrine;
Cast out the mystic presence
Of Jesus, Lord Divine.   
But as for us, to Jesus
In faith and hope we turn,
Again would see the sacred
Lamp before altar burn,
The lamp that speaks of Jesus,
Our Master and Our Lord,
Who dwells upon his altar
By angel hosts adored. 
O deep be our repentance,
Accepted may it be:
And so from sin and evil,
Shall we at length be free;
Then may we hope for pardon
From God who reigns above
And hope shall make us sharers
In Jesu's perfect love.   
O Mary, God's own Mother,
Pray for our native land;
And ye, O Saints and Angels,
Around the throne who stand;
Pray for our darkened country,
That faith may live again,
That Jesus in His Sacrament
Once more supreme may reign! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday today: the first Sunday in Trinitytide and the last remaining day in the calendar for the recitation of the Athanasian creed.  In the Ordinariate and the traditional Roman Rite, that is.  It was apparently too unecumenical or something for the Pauline rite.  The Inn has a copy of it here if your liturgical books are not ready to hand.

It's also the feast of St Barnabas.  June 11 used to be the longest day of the year, hence the verse:

Barnaby bright,
The longest day,
And the shortest night.

You'll find St Barnabas in the Acts of the Apostles.  The good old Catholic Encyclopædia has more from tradition here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

White Rose Day

June the 10th is White Rose Day,  a significant day for Yorkists, Jacobites, and assorted other legitimists, royalists, and traditional folk.  Charles Coulombe will tell you all you need to know about it here.

And if that weren't enough on June 10 in 1549 the men of Cornwall and Devon rose in the Prayer Book Rebellion, preferring their old service in Latin to the new one "which", they said, "is like a Christmas game."

And on this day in 1540 Thomas Cromwell was arrested for treason.  Better late than never.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Twenty-ninth of May . . .

. . .  which is Royal Oak Day, sometimes called Oak Apple Day.

The tune is an old English jig called "The 29th of May" and commemorates on this day the restoration of the Monarchy after the Cromwellian devastation.  The 29th of May was chosen as it was the birthday of King Charles II.

A bit more here, together with some judicious links with further explication.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Blessed Fr John Sullivan, S.J.

The Irish Jesuit Fr John Sullivan, S.J. was beatified in Dublin today.

There is a website dedicated to him here.

The beatification ceremony is on youtube here.  Very novus ordo.  {{sigh}}  And it's very long; say 3 hours plus.  But the homily is worth a listen.  It starts at about the 2 hour and 15 minute mark and lasts a touch  over a quarter of an hour.  (If you want to see the whole thing the first hour and ten minutes consists of a fellow fiddling with the camera and then an hour of colour bars and silence.  So start about 1:10" in.)

He sounds like a good and saintly man who deserves the honors of the altar.

St Julian of Norwich

Her feast day is today, May 13th, in some local calendars.  She was never formally canonized and is sometimes only Blessed Julian.  The good old Catholic Encyclopædia tells what is known of her here.

Her "Revelation of Divine Love" as it's called is on the web somewhere in its entirety.  (I've lost the link and I'm being summoned right at the moment by She Who Must Be Obeyed.  Google will find it for you no doubt.  Or maybe I will later.)

Addendum: And so I did.  It's here.  And there are a couple other versions on line, too.  But this should do to start.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

First Sleep and Second Sleep

However, historical evidence, borne out by scientific studies, suggests that lying awake in the middle of the night was a normal part of the way our ancestors slept—so normal, in fact, that the night was broken into two chunks, “first sleep” and “second sleep.” The two sleeping periods were interrupted by an hour or two of quiet activity, in which people prayed, discussed their dreams, chatted about the day’s events, performed household chores, smoked, or had sex. Darker activities are also said to have been common during these late hours: jealous husbands alleged that their wives used the time to fly off to the witch’s Sabbaths; petty thieves took advantage of the darkness to steal from dockyards and orchards, among other crimes.

More here.

So perhaps Matins in the middle of the night for monks and nuns was not such an extraordinary thing to do.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Reeds but no Pipes

Clive Williams plays a knockout version of Morpeth Rant on the melodeon.  No hidden meaning or relevant connection to the day that's in it.  I just like the tune and the playing here is outstanding.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The English Hymnal

I've lost track of who cited  me to this piece on The English Hymnal.  It's a lovely read full of good sense about many things including communal singing in general.  I was interested at first since this was our little parish's first choice of hymnal.  Alas, the few copies we could find were too expensive for our budget.

The musical editor of The English Hymnal was the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. This task came at an early stage in his career, and he told the story of how it began with an unexpected visit: 
It must have been in 1904 that I was sitting in my study in Barton Street, Westminster, when a cab drove up to the door and ‘Mr. Dearmer’ was announced. I just knew his name vaguely as a parson who invited tramps to sleep in his drawing room; but he had not come to me about tramps. He went straight to the point and asked me to edit the music of a hymn book. I protested that I knew very little about hymns but he explained that Cecil Sharp had suggested my name […] and the final clench was given when I understood that if I did not do the job it would be offered to a well-known Church musician with whose musical ideas I was much out of sympathy.
The rest of the essay can be found here.  It's worth a click and a read.

As something of an aside, Mr Dearmer is he of The Parson's Handbook fame.  And Cecil Sharp, aside from being the fons et origo of English folk music collecting was also one of the principal founders of the EFDSS.

Friday, April 14, 2017

And again . . . .

The world is on fire; and it looks as though they would like to condemn Christ anew, so to speak, for they keep bringing up endless accusations; they are trying to wreck His Church.  For the love of God beg His Majesty to hear our prayers in this regard; and I--wretch that I am--will also beg Him for the same thing, since His glory and the good of His Church are at stake. 
There is nothing I want apart from this.
S Teresa of Avila, -The Way of Perfection

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spy Wednesday

Luke chapter 22 beginning the first verse:

Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.
And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

Here the Clerk of  Oxford gives us a Middle English poem in which Judas has an excuse (of sorts) for his betrayal.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Phoenix from the Ashes

Still making my way very slowly through H.J.A. Sire's Phoenix from the Ashes, a brilliant but not very optimistic book.  The progress would be a lot quicker if I didn't find something to highlight in almost every paragraph.

This isn't a review, if for no other reason than that I haven't finished it yet.  A short review can be found at the link above.  But I did want to give some sort of introduction before posting a few of my highlighted and underlined excerpts.  This isn't much of an introduction but it will have to do for now.

". . .how closely our time repeats the tide of barbarism which, in the fifth century, overwhelmed the security and culture of the Roman Empire. Despite the cushions of artificial progress that surround us,  our frontiers have been pierced and the standards of civilisation overthrown.  We are like the Romans in the kingdom of Theodoric.  The city still stands, recognisable in its main landmarks though battered by two destructive invasions; the toga is still worn by ancient nobles, beside the uncouth jackets of the invaders; the senate and consuls rehearse their solemn rites; but only the weak-minded deceive themselves.  The barbarians are in control.  Those who have not been taught to despise the greatness of the past are left to clutch, like Boethius, at the last tatters of literature and philosophy."  

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Earthquakes I Have Known

Ever since the destruction began last August I've been following news about the earthquakes in Norcia, principally Hilary's blogs, the bulletins from the monks, and assorted Italian sites with the help of and (Literalism isn't all it's cracked up to be; what's really needed is a translation service that does dynamic equivalence, if you'll pardon the phrase.)

We've sent prayers and a few bucks. And we ourselves have finally gotten something we've never had before, even living as we do 4 or 5 miles from one of the San Andreas fault's tributaries. We now have earthquake insurance. It's not great insurance. It doesn't cover everything, the deductible is rather high, and the premium is higher than we'd like. But if the house is flattened -- and we survive -- it'll be something to carry on with.

This is from Google maps and if you're using the Opera browser you can click on it and make it gigantic:

What you're looking at is 7th Street in Long Beach CA. The V.A. hospital is on the left and there's a shopping center on the right. You see how 7th Street is on one level and the CVS pharmacy drops down to a lower level? That's the fault line. I could probably drive there in 10 or 15 minutes depending on the traffic.

I rather enjoyed my first earthquake. That was the Tehachapi quake. I was four. It woke me up and bounced the bed around the room. I was delighted. I had no idea the bed could do that. When my mother rushed into the room to comfort me I asked when it would happen again. She assured me that it was all over now. You can imagine my disappointment. A ride like that on the mechanical horse at the supermarket cost a nickel. Nickels didn't come easy to four-year-olds in 1952.  This ride was free.

My grandfather's reaction was slightly different than mine but still became part of family legend. When my aunt ran into his room with "Oh, dad, dad, it's an earthquake!" his response was "Thank God. I thought it was a heart-attack."

In any event, my mother was wrong. It wasn't all over for good. There were aftershocks. Once again, I was in bed for the next big one. And now I wouldn't get up. My mother thought I was too afraid to get up. But, in fact, I now believed that, much like Santa Claus, the earthquakes wouldn't come unless I was in bed. I did get up eventually, albeit reluctantly, and life went on.

As did earthquakes in southern California. The next one I really remember was the Sylmar quake. By now I was in my 20s and no longer quite so sanguine about earthquakes. In my 20's indeed, but once again in bed. I remember being awakened -- or half awakened -- and looking up at the Grundig Satellit

on my headboard and thinking "If that falls on my head, it is really going to hurt." And then, rather than moving, I closed my eyes.

Yes, older but not appreciably wiser. At least not when half asleep. To be sure, it did not fall but the reasonable and prudent man really should have gotten out of the way.

 The picture below was in the Times the next day and gave me a dislike for driving under freeway overpasses that remains to this day.

The epicenter of the Whittier Narrows quake was probably the closest to our home. It happened when I was on my way to work. I was driving over a bridge across the L.A. River at the time and thought I had a flat tire. I got out to look and noticed that the entire lane of traffic thought the same thing. We had all got out to check our tires. At which point we all seemed to notice at the same time that the street lamps were still swaying. There was nothing else to do but continue on. And get off that bridge. The power was out here and there as were the traffic lights so it took a while longer to get to work. Memory says that we were sent home that day so they could check the structural integrity of the building. But I may be mistaking that for the Northridge quake a few years later.

Two things I do remember about the Northridge quake. The first was the impeccable good taste of that particular quake. Mary had -- still has -- quite a bit of Waterford. (Her father knew Somebody and got a really good deal on it.) But the quake didn't disturb any of it. All sorts of the cheap stuff, jelly glasses and dimestore stuff, went crashing down on the kitchen floor. It took a good while to get it all cleaned up. But none of the Waterford ever budged.

The other thing I remember about Northridge was that the home of a woman I worked with was damaged and red tagged. (Or was it yellow tagged? It was whichever of those means you can't go back in.) Well, she didn't want to sleep on a cot in a school gymnasium for who knows how long and she couldn't afford a hotel for the aforesaid who-knows-how-long. So we found out later that what she did was park her car in the street behind her house, walk through the adjoining back yard, and in through her own untagged and untaped back door to spend the night in her own house. I don't remember how that all worked out in the end but she apparently got away with it for a good long time.

We've had a few since but those were the really memorable ones. There was one out in the desert somewhere that we only got the tail end of.  I think I was working on the 18th floor then in the old Transamerica Centre. That building was the first of L.A.'s high rises and the builders had earthquakes in mind when it was built. Rollers are part of its foundation. (No, I don't know how that works either. But that's how it was explained to me.) We were far enough away from the center that we didn't feel a great jolt but it did start the building to swaying. Which it continued to do for quite some time . . . long after the actual earthquake had stopped. It was a very gentle sway but a few folks got quite nauseous.

Should you have an interest -- and you might if you read this far -- all of these temblors* have their own webpages thanks to Wikipedia:

Tehachapi  (They call it the "Kern County" quake.  But it's the Tehachapi.)

And now in the wake of Norcia, we have earthquake insurance.

(*All essays about earthquakes have to use the word temblor at some point. I think it may be statutory.)

Monday, April 03, 2017

A New Venture in Farming

A fascinating new enterprise is beginning on the Hebridean isle of Islay.  You can read about it here.

I suppose it is incumbent upon me to mention that this link was sent to me last Saturday, the first of April.

St Richard of Chichester . . . probably

No, I don't mean probably a saint.  Bishop Richard de Wyche is a saint all right. He was canonized by Urban IV on January 12, 1262.  And today is his feast day.


Well, the good old Catholic Encyclopædia says it is.  But there's been a whole lot of liturgical tinkering since the early part of the 20th century when the original Catholic Encyclopædia was printed.  And the old Roman Martyrology says so, too.  (But see above re: tinkering.)  Wikipedia says today sometimes is but that some folks keep it in June, Lent being well and truly over by then and a better time for keeping a feast day.  And then it says the Catholic Church still keeps it on 3 April and gives the text of St Richard's collect from the Ordinariate Missal, to wit:

MOST merciful Redeemer,
who gavest to thy Bishop Richard a love of learning,
a zeal for souls, and a devotion to the poor:
grant that, encouraged by his example,
and aided by his prayers,
we may know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
and follow thee more nearly,
day by day;
who livest and reignest with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God,
world without end. Amen.
Except the Ordinariate calendar keeps his day on 16 June.

So take your pick.  Either day is a good day to honour a sturdy English bishop who didn't take any guff from kings or libidinous clergymen.

The good old Catholic Encyclopædia gives his life here.

Wikipedia's text is here.

This site gives a few additional facts and seems pretty certain he was a Dominican, wearing their habit.  (Perhaps 3d Order?)


Sunday, March 19, 2017

St Patrick's Day as was

God help us, The Inn missed a St Patrick's Day mention on the day entirely.  His collect from the old English Missal:

O God, who for the preaching of thy glory unto the Gentiles wast pleased to send forth blessed  Patrick, thy confessor and Bishop : grant by his merits and intercession ; that we may through thy mercy be enabled to accomplish those things which thou commandest us to do. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For more than you even knew existed about St Patrick, bookmark this wonderful site Trias Thaumaturga and peruse at your leisure.  There is much for the feasts of St Brigid (1 February) and St Colum Cille (9 June) also.

And in an attempt to atone for inexcusable tardiness, here is the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band's medley performance at the 2015 Worlds.