Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Living below the line

Day 3 of Living Below the Line just starting. So far so good. Whilst doing this as an exercise is rather fun for many it is the reality of their everyday lives. For me the risk is that I put in treats that we have in the larder. For many the larder is bare. Yesterday the menu was porridge, scrambled eggs on toast for lunch and pasta with a tomato & onion sauce.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Living Below the Line - Living on £1 per day for five days!

Taken from my Facebook page:

  • First day of "Living Below the Line" max spending on food is £1. Remember that 1.2 billion people live on the equivalent of this every day of their lives. Julia and i are just doing it for 5 days.
  • Stuart Mellish What's on the menu for today?
  • Barry Mellish Porridge for breakfast, rice and lentils for tea, lunch will be two slices of "basic" supermarket bread and soup.
    10 mins · Like · 1
  • Richard 'Dickie' Dugdale Out of interest barry is that packet soup or homemade? Im interested in which would be cheeper i bet its the packet stuff
  • Barry Mellish This is Very cheap packet. Julia usually makes the soup - it is a good way of using vegetables that are on the point of "going off". No matter how well you plan meals and shopping there always seems to be something that you have too much off. That makes homemade soup difficult to cost and for the purposes of this five day exercise we decided to use packet.
  • Barry Mellish The important point to remember si that for 1.2billion people they have no choice. There are also thousands in this country that are counting every penny. We usually forget how lucky we are.
  • Richard 'Dickie' Dugdale Ah yes makes sense barry, did you do a shop all together for the week then? Im tempted at doing this myself you know its very intriguing
  • Barry Mellish We have bought most of the stuff in bulk - this makes it easier and cheaper. Again some do not have that luxury - we are also using herbs and spices that we have in the house and making a notional 10p a day charge against the budget - is this correct - I don't honestly know.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Why is Alex Salmond being kept under wraps?

If in the forthcoming election the SNP hold the balance of power I wonder what the role of their leader Nicola Sturgeon will be? She is not standing as a candidate - is that when they roll out our old friend Alex Salmond?

How did your MP vote?

If you want to find out how your MP voted in the last parliament then click here. This site details how all the votes in both the Commons and the Lords went.

If you are particularly interested in Christian values, which I am, then this site is of great use click here. Not only does it focus on Christian values and ethics but it has a useful tool that enables you to email all the parliamentary candidates in your constituency and ask them the set set of questions. The answers, if any, will be most illuminating!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Who to Vote for?

Deacon Nick Donnelly of Protect the Pope offers some advice on who Catholics can vote for in the upcoming general election in a recent article which has been banned by a local paper because of its "political content". Deacon Nick explains:

The editor of the Barrow Evening Mail has banned my article on the General Election from their weekly Christian Comment section. He gave the following reason:

'It is highly politicised and as we are now in purdah (the period running up to an election during which newspapers must be extremely careful of what political content they publish), it is not appropriate for publication I'm afraid.'

Here's my banned article:

Every General Election I am faced with a dilemma as a Christian – which candidate and political party can I vote for in good conscience?

As a Christian I no longer trust the Labour party because of their actions against the Church when last in government. It was Tony Blair who destroyed the network of Catholic adoption agencies in this country by forcing them to place children with gay couples. As a consequence the Church had to cut her links with adoption agencies that ordinary Christians had built up over a hundred years.

How can I vote for a candidate who won’t protect babies from being aborted because they’re girls? Recently, the vast majority of Labour MPs, including Barrow’s John Woodcock, voted down legislation that would have ensured that babies are protected from sex-selection abortion.
I also can’t vote for the Liberal Democrats or Green party because they hold more extreme positions than Labour that are impossible for me to reconcile with my Christian Faith.

How can Christians trust David Cameron after his legalisation of same sex marriage which did not feature in either the 2010 manifesto or in the Coalition Agreement with the Liberal Democrats? And now Christian schools are being put into special measures by Ofsted for not adequately teaching LGBT rights and issues.

When it comes to the Conservative party I’m profoundly reluctant to vote for their candidate Simon Fell considering his party’s record on life issues and same-sex marriage. It was Margaret Thatcher’s government that legalised experimentation on embryonic human beings conceived through IVF. This original Tory legislation has led to the creation in the laboratory of animal-human hybrids and recent legalisation allowing the destruction of embryonic human beings as to be used as spare parts for siblings.

Some Christians tell me that they’re going to vote of UKIP as a protest vote but even that option is not open to me because of their policy of cutting the UK’s foreign aid budget by two-thirds. It would be gravely immoral to cut aid to some of the poorest and most vulnerable families and children in the world who depend on the UK for food, medicine and education.

I consider voting at a General Election to be a solemn and binding duty on every citizen because countless men and women have given their lives to protect our freedom as a democracy. But what do Christians do when all the political parties advocate a whole variety of policies that we consider immoral? I’m sure I’m not the only one to conclude that no political party at this General Election represents our moral world view as a Christians.

History tells us that new political movements emerge when groups of people find themselves politically marginalised or disenfranchised. Have we come to the point when Christians feel strongly enough to challenge the secular ruling establishment in this country?

Deacon Nick Donnelly, Our Lady of Furness, Duke St, Barrow.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Helena and The Paris Marathon

On Sunday our daughter Hélèna and her friend Marie ran the Paris Marathon - the first long distance run (apart from training) for both girls. They had a support team of six, including Hélèna's husband Sam. They went Eurostar to Paris on the Thursday and stayed in an apartment. It must have been rather grand as one of the neighbour's was the designer John Galliano and his partner.
They seemed to have a good time, ran a good race in 4hrs 50 mins 9secs and raised over £1200 for St John Ambulance. If anybody wants to sponsor them then:

Near the apartment

Getting a drink
Mid-race hug form Noor

Still enough energy to wave!

The support crew

At the end

A well earned meal

Relaxing the day after

Saturday, 4 April 2015

When does Lent End?

There are two days for the end of Lent. What most people mean by "When does Lent end?" is "When does the Lenten fast end?" The answer to that question is Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday), which is the 46th day since Ash Wednesday (if you include Ash Wednesday) but the 40th day of the 40-day Lenten fast. Liturgically, however, Lent ends two days earlier, on Holy Thursday—at least since 1969, when the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, which govern the revised Roman calendar used in the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass, were released. More specifically, paragraph 28 of the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar states, "Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord's Supper exclusive." In other words, liturgically speaking, Lent ends just before the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening, when the liturgical season of the Easter Triduum begins.