Wednesday, December 21, 2011

His Festive Grace

Readers and Communicants will have to forgive this slight interruption to His Grace's daily homilies: he is rather preoccupied with sundry festive preparations and innumerable celebratory gatherings. He has also discovered what a lush drink is port mixed with brandy. Normal service will be resumed (he promises) in good time to hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace.


Blogger Preacher said...

An old remedy for an upset tummy sir, especially as a 'Hair of the dog'.

21 December 2011 at 09:29  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace -- may you return doubly fortified.

Meanwhile, the headdress is quite fascinating.

21 December 2011 at 10:01  
Blogger William said...

Yes a rather stunning headdress and an excellent way to offset a slightly redder nose.

21 December 2011 at 10:41  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Sounds like His Grace intends setting himself alight from the inside this time around.

21 December 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Portuguese Daisy!
Now thats Lushitanian for you.

21 December 2011 at 13:23  
Blogger John M Ward said...

I think the drink is excusable. After all, you aren't a Methodist or a Salvationist, and ashes can be rather dry and in need of lubrication...

21 December 2011 at 15:35  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Your Grace looks really hot in red!

21 December 2011 at 16:00  
Blogger English Viking said...

I've seen it all now - HG in a Hijab with a hangover.

Happy Christmas to HG and all the contributors to his blog.

21 December 2011 at 16:07  
Blogger len said...

Cheers Your Grace, love the festive look.

21 December 2011 at 16:35  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This is serious political stuff, Your Grace. A crisis looms on a darkened horizon. Your favoured merry-maker is a blend of French and Portuguese liquours, with England conspicuously absent. Excitable patriots might see a meaning in this and claim a whiff of treachery.

To pre-empt jingoistic over-reactions and to increase the efficiency ratio, may I humbly suggest going full sails by adding to this mixture a robust West Indies rum, perhaps with a dollop of lime, as a nod to the Roayal Navy? Just a thought, Your Grace.

In any event, wishing you and yours, and all your communicants here a well deserved rest and a Happy Christmas!

21 December 2011 at 17:34  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Wishing Your Grace a well-earned rest this Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May all Commentators have a Joyful, Blessed and above all Peaceful Christmas.

21 December 2011 at 17:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Your image rather reminds the Inspector of the doss house queue he walks past most nights. Only the mandatory can of ‘Special Brew’ missing. Enjoy your break....

21 December 2011 at 18:45  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Avi Barzel said...

... England conspicuously absent ...

In which case I recommend that grand old English cocktail, a Dog's Nose. It's half a pint of bitter with a shot of gin in it. After three or four you even stop noticing the taste of it.

21 December 2011 at 19:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say Tripehound, nothing like Guinness Extra in bottles. They say it’s so good for you that it doesn’t count when you tot up your number of units per week...

21 December 2011 at 19:23  
Blogger Doorkeeper said...

Brandy & port was the late Mr. Doorkeeper's patent cure for the common cold. Take one, sitting. If symptoms persist, take a second, lying.

Beware, though, he is, after all, the LATE Mr. Doorkeeper.

21 December 2011 at 20:27  
Blogger Peter Jackson said...

Season's greetings YG.
But do tell, which type of port is recommended?

21 December 2011 at 21:54  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Good to see your drinking habits are Eurocentric. Maybe, being in a festive mood, one could encourage you to sample Buckfast Tonic Wine. It is a healthy brew from the good Benedictine monks. Just remember the advice, ignored by the Scots:
"Three small glasses a day, for good health and lively blood".

A peaceful and joyful Christmas to you and all your fellow bloggers, and a prosperous New Year.


Ifind the only acceptable way to drink bottled Guiness is to mix it in equal measure with cider. A 'Black and Tan' to the uninitiated.

21 December 2011 at 22:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Methinks we're overwhelming His Grace with, er, intemperate advice. It would not do for the dignity of his person, his blog and his communicants for him to be discovered by his local constabulary stumbling about red nosed and in a red burka with a crown of holly branches upon his head, precariously ballancing jingling bags of port, brandy, rum, gin, Guinness and cider on his way to his alchymist's lair to concoct all manner of dangerous compounds including Portuguese Daisies, Dog's Noses, Black and Tans and whatnots.

On the other hand, if he were to follow all the recommendations, a detailed evaluation report would be of practical value, not to mention considerable amusement, to all of his advisers here.

21 December 2011 at 23:52  
Blogger Berserker said...

Let me make a plea here for AB Cramner to try good old British Mead. It can be made with fermented honey with herbs and hops or even the white grape. It can be sweet or dry.

Probably the oldest glass that cheers in existence. The great Russian writer Nabokov (something of an insomniac) believed it to be the finest of late night tipples for a good sleep.

Let me leave everyone with wishing you all a merry and joyous Christmas and with Nabokov's:

Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.

22 December 2011 at 00:19  
Blogger Harlene303 said...

A yummy remedy!

22 December 2011 at 01:24  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

Port & Brandy was my father's cure for any stomach ailment. And a few others as well. Very fine!

As for Special Brew, mix half and half with Chimay for a winter warmer.


22 December 2011 at 06:43  
Blogger Preacher said...

Mead? also known in olden times as the honeymoon drink, be careful in your recomendations, our host is not as young as he used to be & a mixture of Port, Brandy & Mead plus seasonal festivities could lead to rather unforseen & very unfortunate results & one hell of a hangover!.
God Bless you all & may peace & laughter ring through all your houses for the next year.
Happy Hanukah Avi, Shallom.

22 December 2011 at 09:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thank you Preacher, and a again, a Happy Christmas to you and all here.

22 December 2011 at 15:19  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Merry Christmas everyone.

22 December 2011 at 16:42  
Blogger bluedog said...

A very Merry Christmas, Your Grace, and thank you for continuining your invaluable ministry.

As you will be aware, just when you think it's getting boring, there's an Event, so please do not despair.

For festive or just winter tipple your communicant recommends his aging father's bullace gin. The bullace is a hedgerow plum of Olde England which the old bloke used to collect and stew with sugar and industrial-strength gin from the supermarket. Not bad at all.

22 December 2011 at 20:20  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

bluedog, fascinatng! I'm a connoisseur of wild fruits and have seen in Ontario almost anything to be found in Europe, including wild "hedge cherries," but not bullace. Had to look that one up in Wiki and my mouth waters! I would have noticed it here on my hikes, as I go by the leaves and bark of trees and bushes to identify odd fruits no one else seems to know or care about, and plum would be easy to spot. For some reason, wild varieties of grape, tiny bush cherry, pear and of course the ubiquitous apple in all forms, including ones the size of peas, abound here, but apart from some meaty rosehip variants, nothing exciting in the other branches of the big rose family, like the peach or the plum. For such, and many different wild bush berries and nut trees, I recommend the southern foothills of the Balkan Range. Should you ever find yourself there in late summer.

Your father's recipe is similar to one of my dad's, where he uses sour cherries with sugar and a mild-tasting, clear slivovits ("plum brandy"). I experimented with chopped-up lemons, with sugar and vodka, and not bad at all either. No cooking of the fruit involved, but steeping it for a few months makes it so much better.

22 December 2011 at 22:34  
Blogger Manfarang said...

You could try sloe gin but make mine Norfolk Punch available at Holland and Barrett.

23 December 2011 at 06:19  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

To all Communicants.
The Trinity Church Brentwood Carol Concert will be broadcast as usual over the Christmas period and I would highly recommend you to record and view at your convenience. The following link is to a preview of the concert. It a vibrant and well produced production of contemporary and traditional songs and well worth viewing.

Sat 24th, 5.30pm, Sky 581
Sun 25th, 10.30pm, Freesat 692
Sun 25th, 8.00pm, TBN 583
Wed 28th, 3.00pm, TBN 583

23 December 2011 at 16:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

As Dave Allen would say - 'May your God go with you'


23 December 2011 at 20:18  
Blogger English Viking said...


God bless you.

But you wouldn't want any old god doing the blessing, would you?

Not Allah, surely?

Please tell me not '...the god of this world' - Satan?

God discriminates, most distinctly.

So should we.

24 December 2011 at 00:27  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Have a Blessed Christmas, Sir. And may you have a peaceful New Year.

24 December 2011 at 00:34  
Blogger English Viking said...


May the God of our Father, the one, true, living God, cleanse me and both thee of our vile hearts, bless us, change us and lead us into better things, eh?

I'm sorry for my rudeness.

I'm sorry for all sorts of things, most of which I pray you will never have to experience.

I am just sorry.

Happy Christmas.

PS Is it just me, or is Christmas super, super depressing?

24 December 2011 at 02:15  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Breaking News
Santa spotted riding an elephant in Ayutthays.

24 December 2011 at 03:10  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'Skol' EV

24 December 2011 at 08:47  
Blogger len said...

Happy Christmas to H G and all communicants.

English Viking,our only hope is in Christ Jesus, even the Apostle Paul recognised that there was no good thing in Him,that is 'in his flesh'

' 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(Paul is crying out in despair, then he states the answer, verse 25)

The re-birth, the New Spirit and'walking in the Spirit'puts a Higher Law into effect and overcomes the downward pull of the 'flesh'the 'natural' impulses of the old nature.

Basically when we are born -again,submitted to the Spirit, totally identified with Christ in His death and resurrection the Spirit holds 'the flesh' in the place of death on the Cross.

(I spell these things out realising that you probably know these things but there may be others who are unaware of them)

I pray that God will give revelation of His plan of salvation and reveal His love through Christ Jesus to all who seek Him.

24 December 2011 at 09:03  
Blogger English Viking said...


I completely agree with you.

I know you doubt it, but I really do have a new nature.

It's the old one that causes all the problems, and he just will not shut up.

Anyway, God bless, and a very merry Christmas to you and yours.

24 December 2011 at 09:34  
Blogger English Viking said...


Tusen takk.

PS 'Skål', ikkje 'Skol', but the sentiment is much appreciated.

'Til Kongen' is my favourite.

To the King!

24 December 2011 at 09:38  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Cheer up old son, one never knows what waits round the next corner. To mix my metaphors, turn over the next page and write a fresh chapter.

Ummm ... as we've agreed a truce over the Christmas period let's not get into a theological discussion.

However, I do need to say, your interpretation of scripture and being 'born again' is suspect. To me, you down play the ongoing role of free will as we develop our relationship with Christ and grow in faith as Christians.

24 December 2011 at 17:07  
Blogger len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 December 2011 at 15:51  
Blogger len said...

Proper scriptural interpretation can only be achieved when we interpret the scriptures in the light of the scriptures. If we rely on men to tell us what a scripture means without searching for the truth ourselves, we become blind followers. We should certainly seek the advice and insight of those who are more knowledgeable and experienced in understanding the words of God. But we must search the scriptures ourselves to verify that the things we are being told are true. If our leaders select a scripture to emphasize and teach us an interpretation of that scripture which might conflict with other scriptures, then we must consider that our leaders’ interpretation may be flawed.

It is rare that a man is both able and willing to examine the scriptures without the bias of his training and traditions. Since God cannot lie, let us lay aside our strict adherence to the doctrines that are unclear in scripture.

25 December 2011 at 19:42  
Blogger Pubcrawler said...

When i was last in Portugal I was introduced to the sublime delghts of ginja:

I do not believe that there is a finer liqueur in Christendom. Which is probably why they seem to keep it all to themselves.

25 December 2011 at 20:33  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ...
"Since God cannot lie, let us lay aside our strict adherence to the doctrines that are unclear in scripture."

I know where you're coming from but can see also where this heads.

What doctrines? What does strict adherence mean? To whom are they unclear? We already have 30,000 protestant sects, this approach will spawn more. Some already fail to see any biblical authority against homosexuality, divorce, abortion and ethenasia. Some question the 'truthfulness' of scripture about the Incarnation and Resurrection.

It is tenet of my faith that Christ established a Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead men to salvation. He endowes us all with different gifts but has placed authority, responsibility and accountability with His Church for teaching His revelation and the message of salvation. We can place any personal revelation before the Church but have to accept Her final, earthly authority in these matters.

How can we overcome this?

25 December 2011 at 23:33  
Blogger len said...

The basic problem with all the denominations (as I see it) is the interpretation of Scripture.
God is not the author of confusion so there must be a way of interpreting scripture which will reveal truth as God intended.
I believe scripture should be used to interpret scripture guided by the Holy Spirit(who after all is the author)

26 December 2011 at 10:52  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ...
"I believe scripture should be used to interpret scripture guided by the Holy Spirit(who after all is the author)"

No Catholic would disagree with the principle but would qualify it by adding early oral traditions passed to the Church by the Apostles and first disciples that formed the body of faith before scripture was written.

Where we part company is on the reliability of individuals to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to fully understand it. The evidence is against this. The Bible is also a text capable of serious misinterpretation and gross distortion.

The organised Church, aided by the Holy Spirit, has to be the final arbiter in matters of faith, dogma and doctrine. It also has to have authority invested in its Bishops and the Pope. Saint Paul clearly understood the function of the Church, as Christs Mystical Body with an earthly mission, and how the gifts of the Spirit were divided unevenly amongst its members to enable them to meet its diverse needs.

WV marietri

27 December 2011 at 01:04  

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