Pat suggested that vicars wear beards because they are too hard-pressed to spare the time to shave. Sounds to me a bit like gardeners cultivating weeds because they don't have time to do the hoeing! Heard the Bish of Oxford on the radio this morning: he's another bearded one, I thought. Jane soon set me right. The only local bishop currently with a beard is Bish of Buckingham. Anyway I thought I'd do a bit of research, and so looked up the group photos at the Lambeth Conference last year. The one of the lot of them was too small, but a sample one showed about a fifth of them with beards, and in the middle one (nearest Archbish Rowan...) I counted 12 beards out of 26. Either way it's a seriously high percentage. So... if you're aspiring to being a bishop (for some weird reason) maybe facial hair's a good move. Meanwhile, I'm still able to shave myself - thank God.
This weekend there's a rally just up the road from here. There are flourescent pink signs to it, but none of them say what it's a rally of. Jane was walking the dog round the fields yesterday and reported hordes of people scouring the ground with metal detectors. So I googled and lo and behold, came on the Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club, who are holding a rally on 19/20 on 1000 hectares just north of here; I think the rate is £10 a day. No doubt a record of any finds will appear on their website in due course. I'm sure it's a fascinating and at times rewarding hobby. But I'll not give you the link, because, to be honest, I wish they were looking for treasure elsewhere 'where neither moth nor rust corrupt'. So many people look for treasure which, frankly, isn't worth it, like the millions spent every week on lotteries, whereas I could take them to real permanent treasure which you don't have to pay for (except with yourself). In fact if they'd come with us today to Millbrook School they'd have heard about it.
Meanwhile my and Jozanne's book is shaping up. She has written some amazingly deep and vivid chapters arising from her experience, while I'm trying to reflect on the theology a bit more. By the way, if anyone knows if Woody Guthrie's songs are in the public domain (other than 'This land is my land' for which he wrote an idiosyncratic copyright notice!) and if not who holds the copyright, I'd love to know.