Saint George?


Before his death last year, George Best was frequently criticised for a multitude of sins - chief amongst these was his abuse of his 'new kidney' after a transplant operation. I think Best was a tragic figure, the personification of flawed genius. A truly incredible footballer, but that's about it.

What irks me is the hypocrisy! The same 'pundits' who wanted the kidney ripped from George's fragile torso when Bestie was caught downing libations in his local, elbowed their way to the top of the line to proclaim him a saint, encouraging all sorts of acts, gestures and celebrations that would immortalise 'our George'. There's an airport, a statue, a plane and even a faberge egg! Now there's a banknote. Tomorrow the Ulsterbank release a special fiver with George as the artwork.

The bank are expecting quite a rush on the notes when they fling wide the doors in the morning- they have been on sale on ebay since the bank announced their plans with all the pomp and ceremony they could muster. I've just found one for £30 (+£2 postage)!

For those of you who are interested, here's the note in all its glory...

Wendell Berry

I was introduced to Wendell Berry by my good friend Trygve Johnson. I should say 'introduced' as in to his work rather than the rather more impressive, "Wendell, this is Stu...Stuart, meet Wendell."

Anyway, I've read a few of his essays and the excellent Jayber Crow. In the new year I'm hoping to embark on a Berry feast by reading as much of his work as I can get my hands on. I think he's got some really interesting things to say about our relationship to the creation and how Christians might think critically about politics and the prevailing culture of consumerism. Here's link to an excellent bibliography.

The quote above the portrait reads: "The most alarming sign of the state of our society is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful."

The boss brings peace to our troubled land?




Good news peace fans - Where politicans, religious leaders and clever people who know lots about peace have failed Bruce Springsteen has been victorious! Last night he played in Belfast for the first time in ten years. Amongst the aging rockers and those who've raided their Dad's music collection we find Ian Paisley Junior and Gerry Adams! It's a great story - I'm not sure of the details but I like to think of ian jnr sneaking out his bedroom window to dance to some sinful music and bumping into Gerry. Despite their ideological, political and religious differences the refrain of 'Thunder Road' brings them together and Northern Ireland takes a step closer to a lasting peace.

I know Bruce has come in for stick about his politics of late, but I'm sure his fellow americans will forgive him his campaigning when they hear he's brought peace to Ireland

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Stuart Noble


E-mail: stuartjnoble@gmail.com

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romantic? No just cold


It's been a cold and wet weekend in Belfast. Perfect for being inside, making and eating soup, reading the papers and enjoying the hot-tub at the gym. Our little belfast house is pretty cold so we had to light some candles in the living room - where once there was a fireplace we have a few artfully arranged logs and a variety of candles. Not sure how much of a difference it makes, but it certainly adds something to the mood.

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