Friday 7 September 2012

Not a holiday diary blogpost

But an observation of people.

We've seen an amazing variety of people here.

On the beach today we saw a lass that looked like a slim and lovely Helen Mirren, in at least her mid 50s, possibly older. Chris commented before I did!

At the other end of the spectrum we can reassure those in doubt that French women do indeed get fat (contrary to a particular book!).

We saw someone who would be indistinguishable from a friend of ours from behind, even down to the same clothes, the same walk and way of standing, the same hairdo - quite astonishing.

Port d'Albret is full of 'ordinary' people from France and Spain, very different from the classic holiday destinations of many English tourists. It seems that France and Spain have their equivalent to 'the Blackpool set' too.

Meeting another English-speaking person is a little like bumping into a long-lost friend, so few are there.

Not entirely unrelated, but I seem to have been reading stuff with recurring themes that make observations on people. I quite like entertaining junk: by that I don't mean 50 shades (from the little I know of that, I think that even as a schoolboy I'd have been ashamed of being caught with it in my bag - porn to be ashamed of) but classics that have now become silly but remained entertaining. One of Edgar Rice-Burroughs 'John Carter' martian series was the first and James de Mille's A strange manuscript found in a copper cylinder was the second.

Both used similar plot devices that were as bad as if they'd been Ellis Peters Cadfael series book. However the 'strange manuscript' was interesting in it's attempt to create a society that was a deliberate reversal of Victorian England, and to a degree, present society. A people are found who reject the acquisition of wealth and power, light and fresh air, where the most highly esteemed are the paupers and the most worthless those in positions of highest authority. There was also a twist in that the poorest of all paupers was so because he had outdone all in his determination to get to the top/bottom of the pile, and was as power-hungry and vicious as we might expect any politician of a cruel society to be.

Curious stuff indeed, but well worth thinking about in a church context; both how we should be determined not to accumulate wealth and how we might re-shape society based on raising others above us.

The preset reading matter is a Nicky Gumbel book about revival, but it *feels* like it's aimed toward a post-alpha audience in the NG style, and is also a little dated, drawing most of its references from the late 90s and earlier.

More all about people stuff then.

When I get back I also want to obtain a copy of Frank Viola's Pagan Christianity for another take on the church in society (or possibly a take that lines up with stuff I've thought for a long time).

Anyway, that's enough blogging. Time to do some work.

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