Monday, October 24, 2005

Blogging Friends

A couple of weeks ago we had some new friends over to lunch. Michael Pahl is finishing of a PhD at Birmingham University, he also has a New Testament sudies type blog here. He is also teaching the gospel of John at my old college, BCC, a bit like Michael Strickland, the first anglo-file, who now blogs here (yes, that is what he really looks like) and who introduced us. Michael came over to Coventry on the train with his wife Larissa and his kids Matthew, Michael and Amelia (they have an official family website here (and I find it hard to keep one blog up to date!). The Pahls are from Alberta, Canada which is one of my favourite places on earth (especially Banff, where I would give my right arm to live). Now, Canadians, like all North Americans, are easy to please. You just show them some old stuff. Like buildings that are 7 or 8 times older than their home town, stuff that we Brits walk past everyday without batting an eyelid. Anyway, Michael has written up his trip in a much more interesting and informative way than I ever could here. It was fun to have his family over for lunch and get to know them a bit. We are hoping to be able to take them to Oxford or somewhere at some point in November.
Not wishing to indulge in national stereotypes but I'm yet to meet an unpleasant Canadian. They're the Americans it's ok to like. (only kidding, Strickland). Michael (Strickland) speculated that they are 40% American(US variety), 30% English and 30% unique but I wouldn't dare say they are that high in US content. I definitely wouldn't say that they talk like Americans, spell like Brits and smell like nothing else, which Strickland also said (and told me to tell you, Michael P).

Another friend, Doug, has started blogging here. If it's anything like his real life verbal diarrhea he will be quite prolific but fairly insubstantial. So far it's been quite quiet though. He is, however, doing better than my brother-in-law, whose token effort at blogging was frankly pathetic.

1 comment:

Michael Pahl said...

Thanks for the online welcome!

On the Canadian thing, Michael's missing the French connection in Canada. It's more like Canada is the son of Britain and France, and the US is the older half-brother (parents Britain and Spain?) who has rebelled against his parents while Canada has maintained close ties with his parents. And, like all younger-older brother relationships, the Canada-US relationship has a mix of envy and loathing by the younger for the older, some sibling rivalry, etc., but they're brothers and you always stick by your family. That's my theory, anyway, and I'm sticking by it. Canada is very different from the States historically and politically, very different in terms of social and cultural values, and maybe shares a bit of superficial pop culture and language similarities but not much more.

And on the "old stuff" that you've got here in Britain, I'm beginning to wonder if it's not all just a scam. Like that awful "apparent age" theory of creation, the Brits have just made stuff look old, to increase tourism since the glory of the Empire has faded. Everyone's in on it, of course, and Brits learn about all this made up history in school so they can pass it off to unsuspecting visitors as "historical fact"... There's probably some underground factory in Coventry that churns out British antiquities by the bushel for strategic placement around the UK... ;-)