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On Friday the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand confirmed the decision of the previous Assembly not to recognise the calling of anyone in a homosexual or de facto relationship to ministry in the church. Everyone was being stoic about it in the Church Archives office where I work. It felt like someone had died.

It is a triumph for the conservative wing of the church and a warning for all progressive and liberal christians who remain.

The other colours of the rainbow have to fend for themselves!

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Sing green


I collected Fremen’s ashes today. When I got home I scattered them on the catnip plant. Fremen loved fresh catnip and would gnaw on the shoots that peeked through the wire. Later I had to go out and shoo away a cat that had pushed the wire off so it could sit on the plant. I think it is secure now.

The ashes were so small. They could have filled a toothpaste tube easily. At a previous scattering of ashes I put my hand into the stream blown into the wind and realised that is what we are; spirit and dust (the reader may choose to read that as wind or breath).

I have finished reading the Questionable Content productivity virus. Those made me laugh, I enjoyed the humour. It has been added to my RSS aggregator so I can keep up with the series. What’s more Trigan.com is back up so I can get my daily dose of The Trigan Empire. Yay for 1970s nostalgic juvenalia! I’m tempted to write an IBWiki page making them into a Brithenig comic. That would be a fun piece of homage.

I’m currently reading Starmaker by Olaf Stapleton. I picked it up a couple of years ago at the 24-hour book sale. I’m glad I did, it’s a wonderful piece of eschatological fiction. I think it would be hard to say that this kind of writing has been bettered since. Other writers have picked up on the theme of galactic evolution and the end of the universe. I don’t think that any later writer has added anything new that Stapleton wrote in the background of an age of global conflict. I guess his only precedent would have been HG Wells and the Time Machine. I must look out for a copy of Stapleton’s Future Men history.


Bill the Gardener has finally been laid off from Knox College. After something like seventeen years. His position has been advertised in the newspaper.


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I have been aware that for the last week or more Fremen, my cat, has become gaunt and tasting her food rather than eating it. She has been definitely weakening and I feared the worst. So this afternoon I booked her into Pet Planet, the local vet clinic, put her into a catbox and walked down the hill. She was sufficiently far gone that she did not protest against the indignity. In the clinic she did not object when a departing puppy came over and sniffed the cage.

The vet took a look at her and diagnosed that Fremen had a cancer in her. She was skin and bone and a cancer the size of a fist in her gut. Also by her breath the vet could tell that she was not drinking. It would only be a matter of days before the worst of the cancer affected Fremen. I decided it would be easier to have her put down there and then.

The vet left to get the lethal injection and a nurse to hold the cat. I tasted my tears and wept for the life of the creature I would permit to die. Her feisty tortoiseshell spirit showed through and she squirmed three times before she allowed the needle to sink in. Fremen, lifthrasir I name you. Since it must be so, she bowed down her head before the capsule had emptied its load. I rested my hand on her body, but she was gone.

I do not consider it a good death. It was not a death that I would wish upon any creature. I will collect her ashes next week. I hope next weekend will be blowy. If so I want to be on a high hill where I can scatter the dust of Fremen’s body and bequeath them to the winds. Old Swampy would be nice — I wonder if I can organise a ride out there. Perhaps some I can save to fertilise my pot of catnip. I think she would appreciate that.