Be You

Don’t be sad, or tired, or lonely.

Be You.

For that is enough.


Stephen Black


Apologies for the rubbish photo.


M&S plastic tat…the saga continues.

Just to let you know, I’ve updated the post about M&S’s “Little Shop of Tat” with the email I recieved from M&S in response to my complaint.

But with this email came another, asking me to rate the response I had received.

First a question: Based on the response to your query how happy would you be to have this advisor answer other questions? (or something like that) I said “5” – it wasn’t their fault that the standard company response was so bland.

Secondly: Based on the response to your complaint, how likely would you be to recommend M&S to your family and friends? I said “2”. Only based on their response however, which was rubbish. Also my family & friends don’t need me to recommend M&S anyway!

Then came the box, “Please comment further to say why you gave these ratings” So I did!!

I initially wrote to complain about the Little Shop promotion – how unnecessary it was, how the use of plastic in Plastic Free July seemed very cynical and unlike M&S high standards etc.

The email I received back did not really address my issues, but was so obviously a cut-and-paste standard reply (insomuch as it was written in two different fonts!) that I felt unsatisfied. I appreciate that you must receive hundreds of emails a day, and so it is difficult to individually answer each one, but when someone complains about something, they don’t wish to receive a reply which is not much more than promotional rubbish for the thing they are complaining about.

There was a promise that all feedback is monitored closely – I’m afraid this rang hollowly to me.

I have written about my feelings about this promotion, and the response I have received from you on my blog. I have received several comments of support, all expressing similar feelings to my own about the use of plastics (which,let’s face it, are not likely to be recycled) . And even if the packaging can be recycled, isn’t it better just not to have it? In the current climate of trying to reduce surplus waste I think M&S have got it spectacularly wrong.

I have rated the advisor as a “5” – it’s not their fault that the reply was so anodyne: I imagine that is company policy. However, I would like to object to the first sentence in their reply which actually makes no sense to me:” I’m sorry to hear you are disappointed with the way we are branching the Little Shop Promotion.” As far as I am aware, there is no verb “to branch” so it doesn’t make sense. I’m an English teacher and so badly written English like this does rather offend me. I assume it means “the way we are introducing the LSP into our branches…” but that’s only a guess.

What will happen next, I wonder…

Just sayin’…

…I am fine. Just very busy. Lots to blog about, but not quite “feeling it” at the moment.


Bishop Mark Edington visited us last Sunday:

It was a very good and helpful visitation.

Still here!

I am still here. I just seem to have lost my blogging mojo a little. Life seems so full of other things that need doing and I run out of energy or motivation for blogging.

So, sorry if you’re waiting on tenterhooks (highly unlikely) for the next erudite (or otherwise) blog post. This is all you’re getting at the moment. Sigh.

While we’re being amused by cats, you might like this:

Well, it made me laugh.

Something to ponder

“Life is so short, there isn’t enough time to love. I don’t know where people find time to hate.”


Words spoken by an Imam, Sheikh Hamza Mangera, at the funeral of 7 children, killed in a house fire in Canada in February.

Remembering the Ten…

Today on BBC Breakfast there was a special programme – on the 75th anniversary of a plane crash in Sheffield there was a fly past of various RAF/USAF planes.

Why? What was special about this particular crash?

It happened on 22nd February 1944, when Tony Foulds, then aged 8, and his mates were playing in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield. They saw the B-17 bomber plane limping back, after being damaged during its bombing raid, desperately looking for somewhere to land. They didn’t realise the state of the plane though, and when they saw someone waving from the plane the boys excitedly waved back, not understanding that it was a sign for them to clear the field. In order to avoid killing the boys the crew of the Flying Fortress steered away from them and crashed into the wooded hillside beyond. All ten airmen were killed instantly.

Since a memorial was erected in the 1970s, Tony has regularly kept plants watered and the area clean to remember the men who died. He says that he feels enormous guilt that the men died in order to save him and his friends, and this is one way of trying to make up for this. Tony says he “loves them like my own son or daughter” – these men who made the concious choice to die, rather than risk killing the young boys playing in the park below.

A report from BBC Breakfast recounted how Tony tended the memorial and how much he wanted to see these men honoured in a fly past. Permission was granted, and the USAF at RAF Lakenheath organised the Fly Past today, the 75th anniversary. This was the news report that started the whole thing off:

So today, thousands of people gathered in the park to watch the fly past, with the Breakfast Show being broadcast live from there. Tony was present, together with relatives of the young airmen who died. Here is a still from the TV report as a B-17 (at least I think that’s it. I may be wrong!) passes over and Tony raises his arms to wave.

It was actually a very emotional segment to watch, as the relatives tried to help assuage the guilt that this man feels “every day of my life” and he watched this commemmoration of their sacrifice.

Please note, I’m not unaware of the irony of the airmen dying while saving the lives of some young lads playing football in Sheffield, when they had just been over Germany dropping bombs on German civilians. But it’s still a moving story all the same.