29 October 2009

RIP David Shepherd

I thought I should mark the fact that former Test cricket umpire David Shepherd has died. I first started to get interested in cricket during the early 90s when I was off sick from school and was therefore able to watch my first test match from start to finish on BBC TV (those were the days). I remember being intrigued by the characters in the white coats, and in particular, David Shepherd's reaction to 'nelson' scores (multiples of 111). He would hop around on one leg until the score moved on again.

The thing I admired most about Shepherd was that he seemed to command respect from the players without sacrificing his sense of humour and character. This is something I think all managers should seek to emulate.

27 October 2009

Not all Anglo-Catholics want to go to Rome (except for maybe a holiday)

Whilst I've been offline, the Pope has thrown a helpful hand-grenade into the Anglican Communion; just when we needed one!

It seems that yet more Anglican Priests will be offered the chance to join the Roman Catholic Church, albeit in a very special way!

I have a lot of Roman Catholic friends, some of them priests. If I was in their shoes, I would be mightily unimpressed with this. For those who have made an often difficult decision to lead a celibate life, I can imagine that this arrangement may be most unsatisfactory.

Mike Peatman gives the matter some consideration on his blog here, and he makes me wonder about the practicalities of the proposal. What if an entire congregation wants to go to Rome with their Parish Priest? Do they all go? And what about the buildings? Don't they belong to the Church of England and its trustees? Sounds like a nightmare to me.

The other big issue in all of this is the usual balance approach taken by our media. There is an assumption that all anglo-catholics are conservative traditionalists. Thinking Anglicans had this press release from the Society of Catholic Priests (a Society of Anglican Priests - I know its confusing) and Affirming Catholicism (another group of Anglicans). It says this, and I heartily agree:

To suggest that the departure from the Church of England of those who hold more conservative views will remove the catholic wing and tradition from the church is entirely wrong. Churches and parishes which have a catholic tradition and are served by priests, both male and female, are growing and flourishing and look forward to the future with enthusiasm.

We welcome the offer made by the Pope to those of our brothers and sisters who no longer feel that the Anglican Communion is their spiritual home. We hope that this will not impede swift progress in the Church of England towards the ordination of the first women bishops in this land. 

26 October 2009

Back to work

Many apologies for the lack of posts over the last three weeks. The arrival and subsequent busyness have kept me away from the blog.

Anyhow, I'm back at work today, so normal service may just resume.

9 October 2009


LittleLanky was born yesterday morning at 00:05, weighing in at 7lb 13.5oz. MrsLanky had a rough time with a prolonged period of unsuccessful induction followed by a caesarean section.

Phew! Now the hard work starts.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

5 October 2009

4 October 2009

Bored now

Having been in the hospital for more than 24 hours, MrsLanky and I are officially bored. Come on LittleLanky, we'd like to meet you.

Induction has commenced, so hopefully things will speed up soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

1 October 2009

The wonderful NHS

I know there's a lot of opinion on the web about the NHS and how good/bad it is, and I thought now would be the time to post about my view of the antenatal care we have received. Today marks week 38 for LittleLanky, and we've just had our final antenatal session, which covered the wonderful world of breastfeeding (including fake boobs).

I know there's a lot of variability in antenatal care across the UK. We have friends and family whose experiences have been scattered along a very broad quality spectrum, and my first observation is that care seems to be better in smaller towns/cities. Lancaster (so far) has been a great place to be pregnant. We've had abundant access to our wonderful community midwife, who we have seen for the vast majority of our appointments; all of the other midwives we have seen have been professional and personable.

In recent weeks, we have had the pleasure of attending the local NHS-run antenatal classes. At first, MrsLanky and I weren't keen, but we were soon convinced of their value. The midwife who runs the classes is great! Her enthusiasm and positivity is infectious; whilst her knowledge and experience are reassuring. I feel like we're much better prepared than we cold possibly have been through books and websites.

MrsLanky has also taken advantage of the NHS physiotherapy service due to a number of pregnancy related ailments. The physiotherapist has been excellent, and we didn't have to wait months for a referral.

The quality of care we have received has been superb throughout; if you're thinking about having a baby, come to Lancaster!