Thinking allowed

calling plain courses

For some time now I have been practising ringing touches of bob doubles, and even bob minor, bob triples and bob major. I have mostly got the hang of the necessary dodges, and can start on any bell, and I can usually cope with the calls of bob, though I can only do this by remembering the sequence, or cycle of work, and not by noticing signposts such as when I cross the treble’s path (although this is occasionally obvious, especially when making 2nds’ place). And in the even-bell methods, where there is no cover bell always in last place from which to lead, I can now usually see the last bell rope go down, so that I can lead appropriately.

Tonight I got to ‘call’ various plain courses of bob doubles, bob triples and bob minor. The hard part at this stage is to know when to call the end of the method — calls should be made when the lead bell is at handstroke, a full stroke before the method ends, and where your bell is at this point depends on which bell you are ringing. Of course, harder than this is calling a touch with bobs (and singles) and getting back to rounds at the end of it; and being able to correct other ringers if they are about to go wrong. I’m definitely a long way from that. Still, progress is being made.

Now we have two of our ‘new’ ringers who can just about ring touches of plain bob doubles and triples, and we have four who can, with varying degrees of success, plain hunt to these (and other) methods. We need to get some of these other ringers to be able to ring ‘inside’ to plain bob — then we will be able to try plain courses on Sunday mornings and weddings when we are not assisted by more experienced ringers.


Sydney Carter

Today’s Telegraph carries the obituary of Sydney Carter, best known as the writer of The Lord of the Dance — written in 1963 and described in the obituary as ‘the most celebrated religious song of the 20th century’.

Carter, who died on Saturday 13 March, was much more than the writer of this song — he was a poet, and he wrote folk songs, as well as other religious songs and hymns such as One More Step and When I Needed a Neighbour.

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bestselling artist of all time?

The BBC website reports that this accolade is claimed (by the publisher) for Annie Vallotton.

Who’s Annie Vallotton you might ask?

She is the Swiss woman who illustrated the Good News Bible in the 1970s.

Sample quote:

One of the most memorable examples is of the crucifixion in Luke’s gospel. The thorn-crowned head hangs forward, below the single line of the shoulder. Above it, two right-angles are the cross.
Somehow this plain sketch conveys the desolation of Jesus far more powerfully than two hours of Mel Gibson’s blood-spattered film, The Passion of the Christ.