(You can choose or or both)

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Ca nous aura pris presque un an, mais on a enfin terminé mon cadeau d'anniversaire.
Took us almost a year, but we finally got round to finishing my birthday present!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Happy Swiss?

La Suisse serait le pays le plus heureux. Qui l'eut cru ? :)

Parmi d'autres raisons, je vous propose les deux photos ci-dessus.

Ca n'empêchera personne de râler, bien sûr!
It's official, Switzerland is the world's happiest country.

There are many reasons, but the two photos above give a hint

Won't stop anyone complaining though :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sex in the church

Réflexions intéressantes d'un pasteur anglican à Territet (in English):
Je pense que dans l'ensemble il y a trop d'accent sur la sexualité dans l'Eglise. Nous devons protéger les personnes vulnérables contre les prédateurs sexuels, bien sûr, mais ce n'est pas une question de sexualité en tant que telle, mais une question de pouvoir. Nous pourrions parler beaucoup plus de l'irresponsabilité financière que de l'irresponsabilité sexuelle, mais nous ne le faisons pas. 
More from Father Paul:
I think that on the whole there is too much concentration about sexuality in the Church. We must protect vulnerable people from sexual predators, of course, but that is not an issue about sexuality as such, but an issue of power. We could talk much more about financial irresponsibility than sexual irresponsibility, but we don’t..

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jimmy Saville

For some reason, recent reading has led me to the story of Jimmy Saville.

It now seems to be generally accepted that he was a sex monster, but some doubt has been sowed in my mind by reading off the beaten path.

It is interesting that the modern mind seems to be taken in by the thought that sheer volume of allegations compensates for lack of evidence. A bit like if you add enough zeros you'll eventually get a number.

The idea is "all those people independently saying the same thing can't be making it up". Which is probably the opposite of the truth. If all those people had already read or seen reports of what 'that horrible man' had done, any making up most likely would be similar.

Except that it seems they aren't all saying the same thing: he seems to be variously accused of abusing young boys, young girls, teenagers, women, people in wheelchairs, pensioners, and even dead bodies. In public, in private, in hospitals, in cars, in dressing rooms. (I won't enumerate the different kinds of sex acts, you can go and Google those for yourselves)

So there is clearly a pattern there (irony).

This of course still leaves a nagging doubt: how come so many people would spontaneously come forward with these accusations? They can't just be in it for the kicks.

Well they could be, but the thing is, apparently they didn't come forward spontaneously, the police went looking for them. And this is not new:
Detective Superintendent John Robbins, of the Merseyside police, has described this new kind of investigation as ‘the reverse of normal police methods’. Instead of starting from a crime and setting out to find the criminal, the trawling procedure starts with the suspect (or an allegation) and then attempts to find the crime. Police officers trace and interview former residents of care homes and, during these interviews, more evidence against the original suspect, or against other care workers, almost unfailingly emerges. 
Note also that these people are probably aware (if the police don't directly inform them), that there is money to be made from this.

Generally I can spot 'conspiracy theorists' websites from a mile away. Black backgrounds, wildly changing fonts, miles of text mostly repeating itself, deviations from the main subject into half-associated weird affirmations about an unspecified 'them'. This blog definitely doesn't fit the pattern. If you've got the time, read this four-part series, then sit back and try to work out what you really believe.

Susan's story - Part 1
Susan's story - Part 2
Susan's story - Part 3
Susan's story - Part 4

In life (as much as I can judge by TV appearances) he clearly had an eccentric persona. But I suspect that the 'I always knew he was a baddun' is retrospective re-interpretation. So, it may well be that he was up to no good, but accepting unsubstantiated accusations just because "doubting sex-abuse victims just adds to their trauma" is not good justice.

And then they came for Cliff Richards!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Helpless, hapless ... Ne m'aidez surtout pas

Un journalist ramasse des enfants qui mendient sur les rue des Beyrouth. Il les amène à l'hôpital, et ils finissent par se faire embarquer par la police.

Quand est-ce que 'faire quelque chose' fait plus de mal que ne rien faire du tout?
This is a strange tale.

A brush with the brutal world of child refugees.

Strange because the journalist seemingly unwittingly creates his own story.
Strange also because it points to the ambiguity of 'helping' people when you're not really familiar with their situation.
Strange because it could almost be seen as an allegory for Western intervention in Irak, or foreign intervention anywhere.

When is doing something actually less help than just doing nothing?

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Fukushima. Aaaaaaragahghghhgh!

De la radioactivité de Fukushima a traversé le Pacifique et on l'a détécté sur la côte canadienne!

Cela ne fait que prouver ce que tout le monde me dit: on ne peut pas faire confiance aux centrales nucléaires, il faut les fermer toutes.


Sauf que:

"nager tous les jours pendant un an dans l'eau autour de l'île de Vancouver résulterait en une dose de radiation mille fois inférieure à une simple radiographie dentaire"
Radiation from Fukushima has crossed the Pacific and been detected off the coast of Canada!

That just proves what all the worriers have been telling me, you just can't trust nuclear power.


Except that:

"swimming in the Vancouver Island water every day for a year would provide a dose of radiation less than a thousand times smaller than a single dental X-ray".

Monday, April 06, 2015


I've been saving up these links for a while, in the hope of writing something about them, but I think I'll just throw them out as-is, with a 'recommended read':

In the beginning: it’s not about "days" - appears to me to be the only 'sustainable' interpretation of Genesis, and ultimately far richer than sterile 'scientific' debates.

What Makes It Right? - a very interesting article questioning the validity of the notion of 'consenting adults'.

And this article is worth reading just for the comments (which also refer to a previous article where the author explains why he has left his church):
"I pray that the God of wisdom will kill you dead and raise you alive every day. I pray that his light will illuminate your path, especially if your path is through a dry and barren country. I pray that he will bring you to springs of living water, and that his bread of life will sustain you. And I pray that we will all be joined together in that far off country where we will make our home together in Him forever. Amen."

Friday, April 03, 2015

Very interesting

"What would you do?"

A 'choose your own adventure' from the BBC, in the role of a Syrian refugee.

Syrian journey: choose your own route.

In fact there's a whole series of articles.

Obviously, this is blatant 'sympathy for immigrants' stuff, but hey, it works...

And I'm an immigrant myself.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Done ... c'est fait

Maintenant je peux commencer à me plaindre de ces fichus étrangers qui envahissent la Suisse :)

(Oui, c'est le 1 avril, mais ce n'est pas une blague!)
Now I can start moaning about all these foreigners invading Switzerland :)

(It's the 1st of April, but this isn't an April Fool's!)