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Hung, drawn and quartered
 For those of you brave souls who have continued to show interest, may I just update you (if you don't know already) with the news that it appears we have a hung parliament (I love the images which this conjures).  I am hoping and praying that Mr Brown will be able to do a deal with Mr Clegg of the Liberal Democrats and keep the Toffs at bay.  After sitting up half the night I am feeling a little fragile this morning, more so because, as I slept, my home town passed into Tory hands.  Oh the shame of it.

Hurray, the toffs don't have a clear majority! I'm not sure why a hung parliament is supposed to be such a bad thing, but I do wonder who will be prime minister now.

I can entirely sympathize with the shame of one's hometown going over to the other side. I am currently supposedly represented in my State legislature by the stupidest and most Republican Republican in the entire State. He introduced a law that would make embryos citizens with all the rights there to from the moment of conception. This law would have made abortion for any reason (including non-viable fallopian tube pregnancy) murder and miscarriage manslaughter. Luckily, the bill was defeated, but does the man have a brain?

Oo-er. He sounds seriously bonkers. Embryo citizens? Being a catholic I do believe in the sanctity of life; however . . . this man has obviously no idea or experience of the complex subject of abortion. He sounds as if he should be taken away by the men in white coats.

It looks as if Cameron (of the Toffs) will try to broker a deal with the lovely Mr Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. Cue some interesting days ahead.

I think the days have gone beyond interesting now, three nights later and still no result.
Starting to think that I am the only person left on the planet who has not been asked for their opinion by the BBC - have you been on yet? I'm ready to start a campaign to end rolling news when it just becomes 24-hour wallpaper.

Did your husband get away on his pilgrimage to Italy? What makes it a pilgrimage?

No, perhaps they don't venture as far as deepest Ipswich. I'm still getting over the fact that the whole of East Anglia is now toff, I mean Tory.

Somebody is going to have to give in soon, surely? It will be some sort of sell-out no doubt. I had to laugh this morning; Liam Fox, Toff bigwig, claims that during the election, nobody mentioned electoral reform to him. And did he mention it?

Yeah, Stephen got away, but when he returns is obviously up to the Volcano. He's near Rome, which at the moment is still open I believe. It's a pilgrimage, because he is a priest and his parish is linked to Nettuno in Italy. Briefly, in the 16th Century, fearing destruction of the image of our Lady of Grace in Ipswich by the agents of Henry VIII, sailors took it back to Nettuno, a coastal town near Rome. There it stayed until a few years ago, Stephen's predecessor had a replica made in our church in Ipswich and made a link with Nettuno. At first they thought he was coming to get the original statue (!) but then when they realised he wasn't, a link was established, and now the English (ecumenical) group goes to a huge Marian festival in early May and then they come back here at the end of May. It's great, the Italians are great, a great model for ecumenism. sorry, that wasn't very brief, was it?

Not brief, but lovely. What a wonderful link between people in the two countries, and history being kept alive with it as well.
We're Scottish Presbyterian, and I'm a great admirer of Mr Knox, who dispensed with pilgrimages (and a lot of other things) in 1560; but three years ago and again in November there we went a trip? a holiday? a tour? of the Holy Land with a company called McCabe (cough) Pilgrimages, and spent a very intense couple of weeks under the guidance of devout Palastinian Christians visiting what are basically Roman Catholic shrines. I fought the P-word every inch of the way; ended up with the Kirk Bus Trip. But it was amazing.

What are the odds on another alliance now that Gordon is going? And how much longer......?

Ooops, got a typo in Palestinian.
And it was an ecumenical Kirk Bus Trip.

John Knox apart, you should not shrink from the term - it is a religious concept common to most of the world's great religions, and it sounds as if your pilgrimage was an intense and very moving spiritual journey. I do believe that ecumenism is the way forward - I'm a Roman Catholic, my husband is an Anglican, and my son's godparents were both Scottish Presbyterians. I would love to visit the Holy Land, and to see the holy places in the company of Palestinian Christians would be the way I would choose.

I'm just watching a Scottish MSP talking about Gordon Brown in a most moving way. Personally, I'm sorry that he has felt he has to go, I think he's a very decent man. I can't imagine what is going to happen next, obviously the Lib Dems are playing both sides against each other to try and get the best deal for themselves. It remains to be seen whether we will get any sort of electoral reform out of all this.

It was an amazing experience, with almost every minute steeped in Biblical verses.
(The only time a worldly thought crossed my mind was when I discovered they got NCIS at the Sea of Galilee!)

I feel sorry for Gordon too. He is a bit of a kindred spirit; there is a spark of recognition with a fellow dour Presbyterian, and I'm more inclined to trust him than the smoothly smiling folk of the world.
But having opened that door now, the haggling could go on for days, especially as Labour needs more than the Lib Dems. Was a bit taken aback when the Scot Nats and the Welsh came out with their prices!
A strange time we are living in.

Well a bit of compromise is probably good for the soul. It's just a shock to the system when the little guys come out and play heavy!

Well, I guess you can include the lovely David along with Gordon as a fellow dour Presbyterian, at least I believe that's his background. I love the idea of NCIS, Sea of Galilee!

Undermines the whole religious retreat idea though, with Himself on the TV at the end of the day.


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