July 19, 2011

A few more random thoughts swirling around after a fitful night’s sleep:

The English get technology in a way we do not. Perhaps it is how they apply it.

– A washer dryer in one unit the size of a small filing cabinet.
– Every outlet has a switch on it.tics
– Motion sensors to turn lights off when no one is in the room.
-Sheet/blanket combination that is easily laundered, easily made up in the morning and does not tangle you up like a spider web while you wrestle sleep in a strange bed.
-Hand held card reader that let’s you add gratuity to your restaurant bill electronically.
– A two speed toilet. Yes . . . Its got an overdrive for those times you need extra power. Brilliant. Enough said.
-The Brits love their “mow-biles” as much as Americans, if not more. But they TALK on them.
– A transom window operated by electric motor via a wall switch.
– Electric delivery trucks.

The English design sensibility is cool too. They make plastic seem hip. Simplicity, clean lines, no fear of color or form. I’m not enough of a designer to describe it better, but a good enough design consumer to know it’s well done.

Things close down on Sundays and after 11:00 at night. Very civilized.

As I waited at the counter of the corner coffee shop this morning, a buisness man struck up a polite conversation.

When I told him we had arrived in London just a few days ago, he made a face and said, “Auff! London ‘as no soul anymo. You’ll like it ‘ere in the Nowth betta.” (imagine Ringo Starr saying this sentence and you’ll get the sound of it.)

I nodded and simply said that I had noticed it too.

Liverpool has much more of a discernible spirit. It’s weary, but unapologetic. Without question a working city. Dirtier by London standards, clean by American. Friendly, but not tourist-friendly. It has not been packaged (yet).

If I were dating Liverpool, she would have come to the door hopping up and down trying to get a shoe on, hair half done, late from work but smiling and welcoming me in for a drink before we left. London would have been dressed to the nines, answered the door fully put together, lovely no doubt, but would have come straight out, closing the door behind her, purse in hand, pretty, polite smile, ready to go . . . Room temperature.

More about church from Sunday’s experience. The vision of stone upon stone building the church, generation upon generation, tradition upon tradition:

Each successive generation of church builder must simultaneously do three things in order to succeed in our God given mission:

1) Build upon what came before us by matching the bottom of our stone to the Β top surface which is presented to us. It is not our job to chip away at what was already laid down, but to seat ourselves to it in such a way as to make an airtight fit. How else will the weight of the building be carried all the way down to the cornerstone?

2) Be willing to endure critisim as we chip away at the TOP of our own stone, correcting the inevitable imperfections contained in all stone, and adjusting the course to the extent it has been missed by those before us. Those below will struggle not to take our adjustments as cruel indictment of their work. It is not (well, it SHOULD not be). We cannot let their fear squelch our efforts toward perfection.

3) Those preparing to set a stone atop ours will cry out in anticipation of the imperfect surface they will be presented with. Let us not judge them too harshly, for we did the same. But instead let our corrections be based on truth and not image keeping. Let us endeavor to pass on to them a little more truth and a little more grace than we received. In doing so, they may learn to do the same, and the day when Heaven comes down to Earth will arrive that much sooner.

If we were to succeed in this , over time one could stand back to see a beautiful tower, unpredictably twisting and turning, each course of stone different than the one before it, yet anchored in place, un-moveable and strong, creating a fortress of truth but possessing a beauty and sense of life beyond compare.

*sigh*

Off to wake up the girls and explore Liverpool today.

8 thoughts on “July 19, 2011

  1. Very much enjoying your blog Dan, but…….I must beg to STRONGLY differ with your assessment of the English sheet/blanket combo. I think the root of the problem is that it is really not an English idea at all, but a bad idea imported from the French, called the “duvet”. I can tell you from unfortunate personal experience on the house team at Hettton Hall that it is in fact NOT easy to launder. You have to remove the duvet cover and then put it back on, which is much more difficult then washing and replacing a top sheet. Furthermore for tall people like me, trying to sleep with this set up is not fun. Because it does not tuck in at the base of the bed and is generally too short anyway, my feet end up sticking out at the bottom. Furthermore, in the summer I am too hot under the duvet and too cold if I’m not covered at all. My personal solution is to always travel in the UK with a top sheet that I bring from home. I always say a prayer of thanks when I find the unusual English bed that actually has the sensible TWO sheets!!

    1. Maybe it’s just my average height blended with novelty and a freedom from laundry duties πŸ™‚
      Duvet protest duly lodged.
      Thanks for following along with us, Alan.

      1. That’s so strange, Brad HATES top sheets and we’ve nearly always slept with just a comforter (well, two, one for each of us when it’s hot and two together when it’s cold) and a fitted sheet because he is forever untucking the top sheet with his feet, since he is longer than most beds at 6’4″. When we stay at a hotel or other not-at-home place we always wind up taking the top sheet off for the duration of our stay…although there is something to be said for not having a cheap, scratchy, who-knows-when-it-was-laundered-last bed spread touching me. I also love not having to fold california king top sheets! (You could seriously clothe a family of eight with the fabric from one of those unwieldy, impossible things!)

  2. “If I were dating Liverpool, she would have come to the door hopping up and down trying to get a shoe on, hair half done, late from work but smiling and welcoming me in for a drink before we left. London would have been dressed to the nines, answered the door fully put together, lovely no doubt, but would have come straight out, closing the door behind her, purse in hand, pretty, polite smile, ready to go . . . Room temperature.”
    -You should have charged me to read this paragraph. It’s that good.

  3. Dan, if you spotted a cute little blond, with metal in her face, and a strange accent – it might have been my daughter, Ruth. Tell her she is loved!

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