As vicar of the North Devon fishing village of Appledore he wore a green
Marines beret, white cassock and sandals. He liked to do his parish visiting on
horseback, often leaving hoof prints in gardens, and allowed his two cream
labradors to enter his church immediately before and after services. He was also
an enthusiastic user of pubs where, he used to say, there was often more
fellowship and more joy than in church. "A pub is a sort of confessional," he
claimed. "People communicate freely after a few drinks; they tell you their
"PJ", as he liked to be called, advocated burial at sea,
church blessings for divorcees and christenings conducted in lighthouses. His
success in getting Lundy Island incorporated into his parish reconciled his love
of God with his need to be on the water. If bad weather broke the one telephone
connection with the island, he used carrier pigeons to tell his wife that he was
delayed, though the GPO warned him that he was infringing its monopoly.
was not always emollient. When a woman told him that the only thing she
remembered about her marriage was that the vicar had worn sandals, he replied:
"Can't be much of a marriage." But Daniel Farson, hardly a natural sympathiser,
concluded in a Sunday Telegraph article that, paradoxically, it was PJ's strict,
personal discipline which allowed him to break free from convention rather than
an apparent, light-hearted approach to his calling.
The Corriere della Sera reveals that the ice hotel phenomenon has hit China.
There's an impressive story from New Jersey about a six-pounder hamburger. Mmmmmmm!
Finally, it takes the Brits to come up with anything like this - an article in today's Telegraph about shooting wasps.
The tradition for shooting insects goes back hundreds of years. Queen
Christina of Sweden had a pathological hatred of fleas in the 17th century and
is said to have kept a small cannon in her bedroom to fire shots at the
Paul Hargreaves, of West Grinstead, West Sussex, suggested a modern
day variant – using a Berloque Pistole loaded with a 78 rpm gramophone needle.
"This unique miniature pistol makes short work of wasps at distances of up to
six feet," he said.
The disadvantage is that anyone attempting to massacre
wasps with the pistol could be risking a jail sentence. According to the
Worshipful Company of Gunmakers, the weapon is classified as a prohibited weapon
under the Firearms Act. Owners could face five years in jail.