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From the Rectory – September

Between 2009 and 2013 the number of albums in the UK that were sold on CD near enough halved from 112 million to just over 60 million. In the same time frame digital sales, on iTunes and other online retailers more than doubled. For music retailers on the High Street it was a difficult time. HMV, the ninety year old company with outlets all over the UK faced disaster, and at the beginning of 2013 it was rescued from administration but saw significant store closures and job losses.

Record Spinning on Turn Table

Somewhat surprisingly only two years later HMV is once again making profits, and has just announced it is to to open new shops across the Middle East. It is also in talks to expand into Australia, China and India. They have seen year-on-year CD, DVD and Blu-Ray sales increase by small amounts, but the real star is vinyl albums where the number sold has increased by 170%. read more

From the Rectory – August

Alongside sandcastles, donkey rides and ice creams, rock is part of any good summer seaside holiday. These multi-coloured sticks of confectionary wonderfulness involve the careful mixing of sugar, liquid glucose and various colouring, and then after a process of twisting and turning and pulling and stretching, the final product is formed. Having kept dentists in business for many years rock is as popular now as it ever was.

stickofrockIt’s not only the brightly coloured sugar that make up a stick of rock, it often features the name of the seaside town or resort as part of the rock itself. Not just lettering on the outside, the letters run right through its middle. Every bite you take from one end to the other and there it is. read more

From the Rectory – July

There have been some recent press articles about the difficult nature of at least one of the GCSE exams this summer. One recorded how students had left their EdExcel Maths paper and taken to social media to complain that one of the questions was ‘impossible’. The truth of the matter was that it was indeed very difficult, but for the most mathematically able of the students it was solvable.

Another more amusing account came from the GCSE Chemistry paper, where a short teaser posed to students near the beginning asked them to finish the sentence ‘Limestone is Calcium ______’. If there was any doubt over the answer from those taking the exam, a cursory glance through the rest of the paper would have helped considerably. One of the questions further on began with the statement Donboscocambodia0001‘Limestone is Calcium Carbonate.’ read more

From the Rectory – June 2015

I caught a show on one of the more obscure television channels recently with the title ‘Day of Gluttony’. The premise of the programme is that over the course of twenty-four hours, the hosts, Harry and Bruce, visit 24 eating establishments in a particular city. Thankfully for their state of health, they don’t actually have a meal at every stop. Alongside restaurants there are also milkshake shops, juice bars, and for me the most interesting, coffee roasters.

The choice of coffee that is available at these places can number as many as a dozen or more. Each of the beans is roasted in house before being lovingly brewed into a cupCoffee-and-Breakfast of steaming hot deliciousness. The hosts don’t know what these coffees are going to taste like before they take their first sip, but they seem to revel in the opportunity of trying something new, something different, something unusual. There’s always the possibility that they may well find the perfect cup. read more

From the Rectory – April

I wonder if you have ever found out something surprising and unexpected about someone that you thought you knew really well? Maybe you have an aunt who unknown to you was once a downhill skier in a winter olympics. Or perhaps you have  second cousin who behind their mild mannered exterior, is actually an operative for MI5.

20_SureflapSir Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician who formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation – supposedly inspired by having an apple drop on his head. He built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour from observing the decomposition of white light through a prism. There are also stories that among his huge scientific achievements and contributions to our understanding of our world, Newton played a significant part in the homes of thousands and thousands of people. He invented the cat flap.  read more

From the Rectory – March

bin_bagThose of you who indulge in social media on the internet will know that it can be amusing, exciting, annoying and above all else, a huge eater of time. Occasionally there will be something that is so incredibly useful that it makes the many hours looking at pictures of grumpy cats worthwhile.

I came across just one of those things recently.

Alongside the web pages encouraging the reader to give up cheese for Lent, or stop drinking, or take up running, was a blog suggesting a far more satisfying and ultimately helpful idea. Titled ’40 bags in 40 days’, the idea is that over a forty day period in the spring (coinciding with the 40 days of Lent) you focus on cleaning one area of your home per day. In this one area you challenge yourself to declutter, simplify, and get rid of things you simply don’t need. The aim is one bag a day but you can have more or less. read more

From the Rectory – February

loveitSome 85 miles away from the Taj Mahal lies the small Indian town of Kaser Kalan. It is here that 79 year old Faizul Hasan Qadri is building a monument in memory of his wife. The building has a rounded ceiling and archways has four tower’s on its perimeter and one day this will be his wife’s tomb. 

Qadri married his wife when they were teenagers, and they were together for 58 years before her death three years ago. The couple never had children, and one day Qadri’s wife asked him who would remember them once they were gone. “I will build a tomb that everybody will remember,” he told her. It was for her, he says, though one day he will also be laid inside it.  read more

From the Rectory – January

Saturn_V_RocketOn the 25th of May, 1961, President Kennedy stood in front of the US Congress and made a hugely significant announcement. He proposed the Apollo Program, a national goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to earth by the end of the 1960s. This aim wasn’t realised until July 1969, many years after President Kennedy himself had died. There were problems and setbacks, including the loss of the entire crew of Apollo 1 following a cabin fire during a pre-launch test. When Neil Armstrong eventually took the first step of a human being on the surface of another world, an estimated five hundred million people were watching on TV 384,000 miles away. read more

Christmas is Coming!

The Christmas Card from the churches of the Manningtree area will be dropping through your front door shortly. This is it if you live further afield

Mannnigtree Outside 2jpgManningtree Inside 2jpg

As always, we had this printed at Print24, who are greatly recommended!

From the Rectory – November

Earlier this year I was digging through some old documents concerning the work that was done in Lawford Church a few years ago, and came across a folder that contained two pieces of A4 that reported on the discussion about the removal of the pews.  

When it was decided that the ageing heating system was going to be replaced, and new underfloor heating installed, the pews had to be taken out to lay the tiled floor. That having been decided, the ongoing discussion was on what kind of seating would be put back in again. Some favoured returning the original pews. Others some kind of chairs. A third suggestion was to put the old pews back, but put them on wheels to make them movable. read more