Friday, 6 April 2018


Updating software introduces all kinds of 'helpful' ideas. Wally has suddenly turned up on Google Maps, but I don't want to ask 'Where's Wally?' when looking for a route or location. Yes, it might be different if I was reading to a child. And then there are voices .... but I'm going to have a go at talking to one when I feel in the mood.

Of course I don't want to be a grumpy old man, because some of these new ideas will fly. There are fantastic apps I use regularly which really irritated when they first appeared. Things are always updating. You only have to look at the tunes of familiar carols; most are relatively new. Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge is broadcast to millions every Christmas, and it always has some new tunes.

Jesus used many illustrations, and was a powerful communicator. Some of his ideas are in common parlance today. 'Don't put new wine into old bottles' he said. We might update that to 'Don't put new software into old computers!' Sometimes the old technology can't cope; most machines are 64 bit today.

Easter is a constant update of our ideas, of energy, of forgiveness which has extraordinary power to unlock new beginnings. It's an amazing festival celebrated every spring [autumn in the southern hemisphere], but every Sunday is a mini-Easter. In fact 'at all times, and in all places' [to quote the old prayer book] we should celebrate being an Easter people.

Forgiveness is just one facet of Easter, and it can bring new beginnings for terrorists [Good Friday agreement 20 years old], between family members, and [as the pope prayed] between countries and within countries that have not known peace for many generations. We need that Easter spirit.

Updating you on my teeth [March issue], and Fairtrade challenge to Sainsbury [August 2017]: I'm pleased with my first wooden toothbrushes, which seem to do the job well and are wearing OK. It also feels good not to be adding to landfill, where plastic toothbrushes die. It will be interesting to see how the wood burns when the time comes.

The Advertising Standards Agency [ASA] has upheld a complaint against Sainsbury for use of their Fairly Traded tile which is sufficiently close to Fairtrade so as to cause confusion. In round figures the latter is a partnership, while the former is 'big brother' supermarket chain imposing a structure because it knows best. We need justice for producers, so I strongly urge you to follow the ASA's lead and not be conned.

Easter updates should be regular, and motivate us to find the power to make a difference for good in our world.