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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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77 Responses to 784

  1. I straight away associated myself with the two having the conversation… but that’s probably not true.

  2. Carole says:

    Hahaha! What a tonic…love this one. So true! Oddly enough, Christine, I was not associating myself with any of them, I was observing from some distance…on the outside…no change there, then. So I’m the one out of the picture…sky blue pink with a finny-addy border, two heads and swinging a thurible. ;)

  3. Robb says:

    I am the one with the tail….

  4. jonbirch says:

    green one with the tail or mauve one with the tail, robb? i’m guessing green (because of the hair), although that one was intended to be female. :-)

    so which one might you be and why, christine? :-)

    carole… the idea of two heads and a swinging thurible i find strangely erotic… is that wrong? :lol:

  5. AnneDroid says:

    Or maybe they just think they come from different planets.

  6. Forrest says:

    And they’ve all made different books out of the same book

  7. becky says:

    Which one is the Anglican who likes alt./w. services and hangs out in the fringes? That’s me.

  8. Robb says:

    I was aiming for the purple one (mauve must be something that happens down south :P )

    Becky – you must also be the purple one…. :D

  9. Sue says:

    Which denomination is the Grimace-shaped character? I wanna go there.

  10. Tiggy says:

    Mauve’s considerably lighter than purple, Robb, but yeah you wouldn’t know that because you’re Northern and working class and only speak nouveaux Viking.

    I’m the one with the fez and the tail. That one immediately excited me as being a sort of Sufi Christian.

    I always thought I was from a different planet anyway!

  11. Miriworm says:

    John 10:16 (NIV)

    I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.

    I must bring them also.

    They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

  12. Carole says:

    Jon (4) – you are a BAD man, hahaha! Oddly enough I was once strangely unsettled by a priest friend who was describing the technique of effective thurible swinging, that you had to work on the rhythm…had to go and get another slice of quiche to take my mind off it. :lol:

  13. Pat says:

    Carole :lol: made me choke on my toast!

    Now Jon…why would the pear-shaped one be female? I think there’s a bit of non too subtle stereotyping going on here :-P

  14. jonbirch says:

    no, pat! not that green one… the other green one! :lol:

    carole… the art of the thurible seems a little akin to the art of the cheer leader, only with longer skirts. :-)

    actually, i love those really big ones that you get in some cathedrals where they seem to swing them for miles.

    miriworm… i find it cool that there are so many diverse ways that people express faith or anything else for that matter. i wonder whether sometimes we are guilty of not appreciating diversity as perhaps we should. :-)

  15. Pat says:

    Synchronised thurible-swinging anyone? :-D

    Actually, I love incense…I’d love to do the Pilgrimmage to Compostella and get there for one of the times when they swing the huge thurible :-)

  16. Pat says:

    Especially if Ian Hislop was thurifer-in-chief :lol:

  17. jonbirch says:

    met an incense swinging priest once and found him to be a thuribly nice chap. :lol: sorry.

  18. Pat says:

    Jon – I am, somewhat inevitably, incensed by such a bad pun :lol:

  19. Carole says:

    Jon – we’re getting into the realms of dodgy puns again…but then, I am a bit of an aficionado. ;)

    Pat, I am determined to do the Camino de Santiago…have wanted to for about 15 years now and as yet I’m no closer. I might have to resort to doing it in stages but I’d rather do the whole thing in one go. So, if you fancy a bit of an adventure in Northern Spain…have your people talk to my people etc. :)

  20. Miriworm says:

    Jon #14 – Spoken like a real Trekky! ;-)

  21. becky says:

    8. The mauve one does look the closest though I do like the antenna as I often feel I am tuned in to my own frequency.

    17. The few thurible throwers I met were sacramental snots. Perhaps I am not enough of a swinger to meet the thuribly nice chaps.

  22. rockingRev says:

    I like the weeble who will wobble but not fall down. Does that mean that he/she is without sin?

  23. Carole says:

    rockingRev :lol:

  24. Caroline Too says:

    no, rocking rev, after all (s)he’s legless

  25. Pat says:

    Caroline Too :lol:

    rockingrev – now I come to look more closely at said figure – surely he/she/it also bears more than a passing resemblance to Jabba the Hutt. Perhaps there’s hope for us all eh?

  26. Robb says:

    Tiggy – that would be pink then.

    RE The Thurible With Tribbles – I can swing a thurible and I’d hate to be thought of as a sacramental snot.

    A frind of mine taught me to be a thurifer (not that I ever a any more) and he thought he would be clever and tell me ho to do a figure of eight. I plucked the thurible out of his hand and swung it in a figure of eight. I then had to explain that I used to do re-enactment (Viking/Saxon Tiggy :P ) and it was the same movement as the “web of death” from the Commodore 64 game “Barbarian:D

  27. Carole says:

    Commodore 64! haha! Them wert days!

  28. rockingRev says:

    It could be Jabba the hut as I believe that there are a couple of Jedi churches, one in Wales and one in California. May the force be with you:)

  29. Robb says:

    Humour results….

    Welsh Jedi’s 0 Tesco 1

  30. Christians on planet alien this time then?

  31. i’m probably the one with its head in a bubble actually… feeling disconnected from everyone else. I’d like to be one of the couple in the middle, striking up a conversation and looking all confident. but it’s never really worked that way.

    ok, i need to leave this scene right now!

  32. Tiggy says:

    Do you fancy Ian Hislop, Pat? Or am I missing a pun?

    I love incense, but it can make me cough a lot if it’s overdone and make my eyes sore. I would imagine it’s quite a problem if you’re asthmatic.

    I meant to say Robb, I met quite a few miners when they marched down to County Hall during the Miners Strike and they weren’t as D.H.Lawrency as you make out. I certainly didn’t feel a huge sense of mutual class alienation as I talked to them. I have felt that in the past with public school types and at Holy Trinity, Brompton, but now I just laugh.

    My parents were Eastenders, and while they didn’t live ‘in’t paper bag in’t middle ‘t road’, my dad didn’t have a bathroom, lived a great deal on bread ‘n drippin’ and played with the Kray Twins. His home was demolished as a slum. I should think the majority of the country had parents who were working-class, but most of them don’t have class problems with church. Maybe what you think of as class difference is just an extreme insularity on the part of some people who live in villages where everyone has lived a similar life.

    Btw, if you walked into my church and belched loudly, I’d probably give you a dirty look too, though if it were me who’d done it inadvertently, forgetting there were lots of people around, I’d probably double up in hysterics – or at least that’s what I did in the rather crowded lift in Colchester. Ah, that was a great moment – it echoed all round!

    Excuse the long and off-topic post, but I’ve been absent with migraines.

  33. subo says:

    just about gets it

  34. Forrest says:

    Let’s see; a left-handed person with Aspergers’ Disorder on the Autism spectrum and a Christian on top of that – oh yeah, we’re talking big time alien here.
    To quote title of the Lone Justice album sitting out, “This World is Not My Home”
    And How!

    Yeah, those ‘alien visitations’ are for real and I am the alien visiting this little ball of rock and water.

    Now, back to the fried chicken.

    “Yeah, there’s some good aliens, they taste like chicken”.

  35. Robb says:

    “I met quite a few miners when they marched down to County Hall during the Miners Strike and they weren’t as D.H.Lawrency as you make out.”

    I wish I knew what I had said or what this sentence means.

    I was drinking in the pub that the Krays used to drink in last week with my friend. I also had a pint in the pub where Albert Square is modeled upon – the one that is supposed to be the Queen Vic. I know the guy who runs it.

    I’m not a total northern yoke :P

  36. Robb says:

    Is this because I don’t use the word mauve? :lol:

  37. Tiggy says:


    No I’ve been pondering for some time your working-class hang-up.

    I’m the opposite. I left Essex because I didn’t fit in with the Essex boys and girls and people who stared at me like I was an alien if I used a slightly long word. There just weren’t people around that I had anything in common with. I immediately felt at home in Bath because the literature festival was on when I arrived. I felt I was living in a cultural wasteland before. I was hungering to be with people I could discuss books and ideas with. And I LOVE going to a church that does Espresso coffee and biscotti. I can’t see anything ethically or spiritually superior in drinking instant coffee.

    Most of church seems to focus around singing hymns and I would have thought people from mining villages would be quite at home with that. Or is that only in Wales?

  38. AnneDroid says:

    Being as I am a low low low church. totally non-smells-and-bells type of alien (though some of my best friends are etc etc), I am bemused by thurbible swinging and am tempted to shout “Hey mister! Your handbag’s on fire”.

  39. Kim says:

    Fabulous, needed a laugh just then, thanks! I am defo the green pear shaped one. (need to try & cut out wheat maybe..?!) not the ian hislop fascination again though, i just cannot get that :lol:

  40. Pat says:

    Tiggy @ 32: it’s a flashback to a slightly surreal strand in an earlier ASBO – before your time I think.

    AnneDroid :lol:

    Robb: Maybe mauve is the new purple this season :-) Of course it might also depend on if one was thurifing under Russian, Byzantine or Roman rites :-D Do you have any other liturgically-themed boots to go with the pentecost ones?

  41. WOT a fab start to my day!!!!!!!!!!

    computer off….cycle out…off i go, very happy and chuckling like anything

    thank you!

  42. subo says:

    yep, the effects of church can be quite damaging, it’s the cult stuff, it seems to leave people looking blue and feeling green

    it’s just amazing, now that so much is known about establishing healthy group dynamics, that churches continue to do this stuff to people, and even more amazing when you understand that to be a ‘cult’ group, you have to be prepared to inflict pain

    it seems dumping guilt, threats, and general abuse is easier than establishing responsible boundaries, recognising limits, sharing power, acknowledging your brokeness, even though it’s been clear to me that there’s plenty of info in the new testament about how to build a healthy, accepting and genuinely loving, vibrant group!

    what I find particularly difficult, is that Jesus said ‘a bruised reed I will not break’, and have taken this to mean he is particularly understanding of those of us who are hurting, especially those suffering mental anguish. and yet church groups seem so reluctant to take any responsibility in this area. it just boils my blood that churches are so damaging for people who’ve already been hurt!

    – yet still claiming to know how they can help you, I passionately believe churches could do more to understand the dynamics of mental health, the ways they let people down, the damage caused by the current ‘leadership ego bug’, and the way they marginalise the family members of those with mental distress – by claiming to ‘know how to help’, I’m sorry, but your ego trip really is hurting people who’ve already been hurt

    there, that’s my rant for the day, sorry everyone, I know I’ve let myself gut hung up on this

  43. Robb says:

    Tiggy – I am not sure you know me well enough to accuse me of having a working class hang up. Perhaps you should be a little less quick to judge.

    I know one thing for sure as a practitioner working in a (largely but not exclusively) working class area. Most people outside of “the church” feel unworthy about entering the church because they aren’t “good enough” to go to church. They don’t have the “right clothes” and they don’t speak in “clever enough words”. When they enter for a funeral they often feel that they “aren’t allowed” to light a candle because they belong to “the people who come to church”.

    As for your experiences, good for you. I go to the theatre and paint. I sit around discussing literature. I am currently sat in a coffee shop drinking a skinny cappuccino and eating biscotti.

    However, I am in a minority of 6 in a town of 40,000 who are. Everyone else is somewhere else doing something else.

    Pointing out that there are differences in culture between different areas and parts of society in the UK doesn’t make me a bad person or mean I have a hang up. It means I am observant.

  44. Robb says:

    Pat – I have a black pair that I wear someetimes. I keep meaning to get some purple ones but they may be a bit too girly.

  45. Carole says:

    Blimey, Robb! What a busy life you lead! Beats me how you manage to fit brass band practice in! ;-)

  46. jonbirch says:

    and the ferrets, robb… you can’t possibly be giving them all the attention they need. :lol: actually i’m thinking of getting a ferret when the dog dies… very affectionate and friendly apparently. not that you’d know anything about them! :-)

  47. Robb says:

    You guys are sooooo far behind!! Ferrets are so 19th century! Whippets are where us 20th century guys are at!!

  48. Carole says:

    Jon – don’t get a ferret. I’d always considered them to be cute, cuddly, perhaps a tad disproportionately long creatures. I leant over a pen of the things at a fete, ready to gaze adoringly at them and I swear they went for my throat! And they stink, too…meat eaters, you see…poop from herbivores is far less offensive…unless they are cows or horses but that’s more a question of volume. :)

  49. jonbirch says:

    right, carole… okay… well, not wishing to appear shallow, i’ve gone right off the idea of ferrets! :-)

    robb… what about the 21st century guys? surely there must be some of you up there. :-)

  50. Robb says:

    When we actually make it to the 21st century up here’s I’ll let you know. I better go and smash them new fangled automatic looms :lol:

  51. Caroline Too says:

    Robb said:
    When we actually make it to the 21st century up here’s I’ll let you know

    hang on Robb, you northerners were making 21st centuries for ages until we started importing cheaper versions from the far east….

    umm, have I missed something?

  52. So that’s why I feel so alien whem I’m in church.

  53. rockingRev says:

    Actually in the REAL north (of Scotland)21st century folk are into Golden Retrievers. Whippets are so last year!

  54. Robb says:

    Croline Too – Actually we’ve been digging them out of the ground for years ;)

    RockingRev – How far up Scotland? My family moved from Dornoch via Edinburgh before there was a me. I get all sorts of grief off them for being born in the wrong country :D

  55. rockingRev says:

    Moray firth, Lossiemouth to be precise. Edinburgh was my home growing up.

  56. Forrest says:

    Ferrets have 2-speed transmissions: Off, and WARPDRIVE!!!

    Or at least the couple I’ve seen did.
    It was interesting some years back while keeping Clarke’s albino (or was he just white?) ferret Ghost while he was out of town and watching it and my cat Annabelle work out their relationship.

    Yeah, Ferret Musk can get pretty powerful. Ghost’s would stain his hair yellow.

  57. Robb says:

    I better be more specific then :D Whitecraig

  58. Tiggy says:

    They have biscotti up there? Oh, I guess they have Starbucks. But if they do, then people must go in there. When I lived in Lancaster, there really were a lot of whippets in the pubs and clog dancing was very popular. You could hear them practising from quite a distance. I think Lancaster was probably self-consciously Northern though as the biggest employers were the University and the Health Service so many of the population were incomers and it wasn’t particularly working class.

    I wouldn’t have used the phrase ‘working-class hang-up’, Robb, if I hadn’t assumed it was too obvious to merit diplomacy. (Haha, that sounds really bitchy, which wasn’t intended – but it’s a good sentence so it’s staying.) What I meant was, I hadn’t inteded to be rude, but I thought you were wearing your ‘particular concern’ shall we say, rather than ‘hang-up’, on your sleeve. I’m not saying you have a particular concern about YOU being working-class, but I thought you were seeing class difference as a major barrier to church-going in the whole country, rather than just certain areas. I can think of plenty of other barriers to people going to church – one of which is that people think it’s a load of shoemenders implements.

    Jon, don’t forget ferrets like to go down people’s trousers!

  59. jonbirch says:

    i’d love to know where that myth about ferrets down trousers comes from. probably some old comedy sketch.

  60. Tiggy says:

    I thought it was where people kept them. lol Is that a ferret down your trousers or are you just pleased to see me?

  61. dubb says:

    howw is the dog jon?? always makes me smile thinking of him under general anaesthetic :) – i hope he doesn’t know your already finding his replacement! ;)

  62. jonbirch says:

    haha, he’s fine dubb. just old, deaf, a bit daft and howls if he’s left for more than two seconds. other than that though… :lol:

  63. Tiggy says:

    You have a dog?? Can I take him for a walk or is he a metaphorical sort of dog? I get dog withdrawal symptoms. What sort of dog? I need a dog, but alas I have no garden.

  64. Caroline Too says:

    #63… reads like a description of my good friend JB!

  65. Tiggy says:

    I sometimes look after dogs while their owners are in a shop and they’ve left them outside. I keep them company. The owners probably think I’m mad and maybe the dogs do too.

  66. Robb says:

    No starbucks in this town. We do have a family run coffee shop though. We all know each other by name and they let me plug the laptop in and use their wi-fi whilst I drink their coffee and get on with some work.

    Do starbucks have a monopoly on Biscotti as well as the worst coffee I have ever had?

    Plenty Starbucks in the city centre though.

  67. Pat says:

    Robb@44: Surely they would only be ‘girly’ if they were mauve :-)

  68. Tiggy says:

    They sound more Gothy than girly.

    I just realised that ‘shoemakers implements’ is a reference to Rhyming Slang and I’m not sure how much that’s just a London thing. Wasn’t trying to obfuscate; for once I was attempting not to be too rude.

  69. Robb says:

    Pat – YES!! Finally someone gets it!!

    Tiggy – I think that it is difficult to use words like Goth when you aren’t part of it. I am forever being asked if I am a Goth and….. no I am not. I am neither a clervely painted cane carrying Goth (of old) nor a smeared makeup emo kid “Goth” of now. The closest I can get to a pigeon hole is “hairy biker” or perhaps “cock rocking hair metal sunset strip type”.

    But that is like the OCR syllabus saying that people view the bible as either literalists, conservatives and liberals.

    I like walking a mile in someones shes…. they fit ;)

  70. Robb says:

    Oh for flying circuses sake….

    I should speeeel chock

    “I like walking a mile in someone’s SHOES…. they fit…..”

  71. Tiggy says:

    Dear Robb, I wish you would not use the phrase ‘cock-rocking’, especially at this time of night – it quite undoes me! Sigh.

    Never judge a man till you have walked a mile in his purple boots.

  72. jonbirch says:

    never judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. that way, when you judge them you have a mile head start + their shoes. :-)

  73. Tiggy says:

    LOL That’s really funny! It reminds me of when I was on the beach in Turkey some years ago and this little Turkish girl of about two and a half, came up and put my ‘jellies’ on (plastic sandals). She then walked into the sea in them. I loved the relaxed way her mother just watched her do it instead of making a fuss and being apologetic. And it was so cute.

  74. Pat says:

    And no doubt blisters as well Jon :-)

  75. Jane says:

    I love this – I’m at an ecumenical consultation and will just have to post this to my blog THANK YOU!

  76. jonbirch says:

    cheers, jane. :-)

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