Monday, 26 July 2010

7 links challenge

A few days ago The Church Mouse posted his response to the 7 Links Challenge and I was amazed to discover that he had mentioned one of my posts, having a punt, in his response. Anyway, I though I’d take up the challenge and have a go.

1. Your first post – My first post was entitled Lawnmower Reflections and explained the title of my previous blog. Sadly, for me if for no one else, the blog is no longer accessible so I can’t link to it. From memory I explained how the title was prompted by the fact that I seem to do my most creative thinking while mowing the lawn (so not very often) and that one of my favourite Genesis songs contains the classic line: ‘Me I’m just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk’ (Genesis: I Know What I Like from Selling England By the Pound). The first post on this blog was called Moving Home.

2. A post you enjoyed writing the most – I didn’t enjoy writing this post but it came together in the way I wanted it to and had the impact on some readers that I had intended. A tale of two homecomings contrasts the return of the failed England World Cup Squad with the arrival home on the same day of the bodies of seven soldiers from Afghan. I wept as I wrote it and several people commented that it had the same effect on them.

3. A post which had a great discussion – I try not to let outrage drive my blogging but with this post I couldn’t help it. UKBA Christmas Card was my response to the outrageous Christmas card sent out by the Border Agency boasting about their work in 2009. It was just plain offensive and a complete contradiction of what Christmas is about. I had a huge number of hits and many links from other sites, both Christian and secular. My blood still boils when I think about that card.

4. A post on someone else's blog that you wish you'd written – There is so much excellent material out there and I am continually challenged and inspired by other people’s blogging. However, I have gone for someone who does something I could never do. Dave Walker is a cartoonist responsible for the Cartoon Blog, as well as drawing for the Church Times. He is able with one picture to sum up some aspect of church life in a way that a post full of words could never do. He is funny and incisive, often making for uncomfortable reading and he has been known to wind up the most hard bitten hack; one Telegraph journo called him ‘the world’s worst cartoonist’. Here’s one of many I could have linked to: The Welcomers.

5. A post with a title that you are proud of – I’m not very good at thinking up titles and I get annoyed with blogs that have posts with arresting titles that don’t really relate to the post. I’ve gone for U-bend Theology my review of Slumdog Millionaire. I wasn’t very impressed by the film but one scene did remind me of an important theological truth.

6. A post that you wish more people had readPalestinian Walks: notes on a vanishing landscape. This was a review of a book I read following my sabbatical visit to the land of the Holy One. The book by Raja Shehadeh tells the story of his love affair with the landscape of his homeland against the backdrop of the unfolding events in Israel and Palestine. It’s very powerful and anyone who wants to understand more of the situation should read the book.

7. Your most visited post ever – I’ve already listed the most visited post which was the UKBA Christmas card (see 3). In second place was Gossip: cancer of the community. This post was about the press coverage of the process for appointing the Bishop of Southwark. The post seemed to touch a raw spot because a well known journalist at the Telegraph responsible for breaking the story started attacking me via Twitter!

That’s me done. I enjoyed looking back and reviewing the posts I am proud of and those that in retrospect didn’t really work. I look forward to other bloggers’ responses.

I’ll tag Sam Norton, Jonathan Evens, Maggi Dawn, Steve Griffiths, and Dave Walker for this one.

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