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Posts Tagged ‘London markets’

Stewardship of Money and Living in London on a Student Budget

September 30, 2014 1 comment

It’s that time of the year when sunny days get colder and the student hordes throng the streets of London. I’ve had a good time meeting the first arrivals, urging them to make the most of their few years abroad.

rocket, fig, proscuitto, mozzarella salad with linseed vinaigretteIt’ll be a sad thing if all they had to show at the end of their degree was, erm, a degree, selfies in front of tourist attractions, signed menus from Michelin restaurants, and a life partner to eat in said restaurants with. There’s much more to life, boys and girls! Away from the usual societal crutches of home, this is the perfect opportunity to think carefully and independently about life – to investigate properly what truth is and so set valid life goals according to that truth. After thorough investigation, Christian claims, as set out in the Bible, seemed overwhelmingly true:

  1. the deadly problem we all face is that we are all under the wrath of God for failing to acknowledge him;
  2. nothing we can ever do or say will be able to turn away God’s wrath on the Last Day;
  3. but God sent his Son Jesus to save us from this – if we trust that what God promised is true – ie. that Jesus’ death is sufficient to save us from the consequences of our sin.

Because this is such an important thing for this life and the next, I would highly recommend everyone to research this for themselves. A Christianity Explored course is a great place to start! And London universities are well served by good churches like St. Helen’s Bishopsgate and Euston Church.

While the important stuff gets sorted, there are also daily necessities to consider. (Ah but, really, who ultimately provides us with money to buy food with, enables food to grow as they should, regulates the seasons, gives us breath?) As a student at a Bible course, living off my own savings, I had to be careful about spending, but also not let frugality be an idol; to be so able to work the budget as still to be generously hospitable about housing and feeding people. We usually think that “good stewardship” of God-given money consists merely of avoiding conspicuous consumption, but miserliness too fails to properly invest God’s money for his work.

Food
Because the United Kingdom produces its own food and local food is more likely to be less expensive, it is best to eat the season.

Street markets are your best bet for fresh food. I don’t mean the organic hipster places but the “ethnic” sort in East London – for example, along Whitechapel or in Shadwell. Vegetables are usually sold by the bowl – £1 for whatever is in the bowl. And I have managed to bargain for more to be stuffed in the same bowl…

Check London Farmers Markets for more English/continental produce. Although basics are on the whole more expensive, this is for you if you care about provenance. And there are some bargains at closing time or on things that don’t usually figure in the modern London kitchen – like duck hearts, other offal, pork bones for ramen bases. Even the more posh farmers’ markets are worth checking out: I’ve gotten good bags of pesticide-free fruit and vegetables for £1 each at the Marylebone Farmers’ Market and chicken carcasses for stock (but with enough flesh left on it for a meal for one or two) for 25p each at Borough Market.

It’s also worth being a regular at your local butcher and fishmonger who may throw in stuff for free once they get to know you.

wild blackberries wild blackberry tart

Foraging has saved me a bundle on fruit and herbs. But obviously you need to be sure not to poison yourself, especially with the mushrooms. Check out recipes and advice at Forage London.

Marked Down GroceriesIf you really need to use a supermarket, you can compare prices at mysupermarket.co.uk. There isn’t a particularly generally cheap(er) mainstream supermarket: Tesco and Sainsbury’s might sell different goods more cheaply. Lidl, Aldi, and ASDA, although not known to be upmarket, have own-brand products that stand up to more expensive own-brands: like olive oil and charcuterie. Check for Great Taste Awards as well. There are also treasures in Lidl’s wine bins (eg. Bordeaux second growths).

Waitrose does really deep discounts on well-kept but expiring food. I usually snap these up for the freezer – good for lazy evenings and unexpected guests. It’s also worth signing up to be a Waitrose member for free coffee (espresso, cappuccino, latte) and tea daily, additional discounts, and a free well-written magazine every month.
Marked Down Groceries Marked Down GroceriesThe other great thing about Waitrose is that it applies original bulk-buy discounts to stickered items. In this instance, Waitrose technically paid me £0.11 to buy 18 sausages off them!

Marked Down Groceries Marked Down Groceries
Marked Down Groceries Marked Down Groceries
Marked Down Groceries Marked Down Groceries

Marks & Spencer stores tend to clear out their bakery sections at a good yellow-stickered discount about 6.00 p.m. (store-dependent) every day so you can get proper bread/pastry your dinner/breakfast there. The city center stores are also good for discounts on dairy items like milk and cheese.

Approved Food has a bit of a niche selling food near or past its best before date at good reductions.

Coffee
Brewing your own probably gives you a better cup and saves you loads off Costa lattes. Worth checking out online coffee companies for promotional discounts – eg. Pact Coffee delivers your first order for only £1.

Clothes
By the fact that everyone can tell me a mile away by my clothes, it is clear that I don’t really have much experience in this area. But for fig leaves that don’t look too cheap, TK Maxx has good stuff. There are loads of charity shops around. Also look out for clothes swaps.

For camping/hiking/walking clothes, footwear, and accessories, try the Army Surplus Store

Hair Cuts
Get them free by being a real live model for hairdressing students or juniors. Have a look at this Time Out article for details.

Cookware, homeware and home electricals
Check first if anyone has anything to give away on London Freecycle or Gumtree or a whole list of alternatives on the Guardian Green Living Blog or on the London Re-use Network. Otherwise, compare prices at:
Robert Dyas
Argos
Lakeland
Poundland, 99p shop, 98p shop…

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
Reuse jars as cups and for storage. Reuse can and coffee cups as pen and pencil holders. Reuse fruit crates for shelves. Reuse wine cases for bookshelves.

Transportation
Cycling around London is free, though you’ll need to acquire a bicycle and an all-important bicycle lock.

Bicycles
Freecycle, Gumtree, . Or ReCycling and other sites listed on Bike Hub. Cycle training, if you live in Tower Hamlets, is free.

bicycle maintenance club bicycle repair and maintenance tools

You’ll want to keep your ride in good shape, so pop down to the free bicycle maintenance workshops.

Trains
The Man on Seat 61 has good advice about this.

Leisure Activities
It helps to live in areas that the government thinks need a leg up. In Tower Hamlets, for example, there is free tennis and relatively cheap admission to swimming pools.

For theatre, opera, concerts, check out the TKTS website for discounts, or (if appropriate) hunt for student standby tickets or platform seats.

Lots more tips at moneysavingexpert.com.

Billingsgate Fish Market

April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Billingsgate Market (Trafalgar Way, Poplar, London E14 5ST), say all the publicity, is the United Kingdom’s largest inland fish market. It is easily accessible by bus and DLR. There is a seafood training school onsite, the Billingsgate Seafood School where you can gain fishmongering skills and also learn how to make sushi from Feng Sushi’s Silla Bjerrumis. An opportunistic seal called Sammy resides in the waters just off the market.
Billingsgate Fish Market, London

Tsukiji Fish Market it was not. On Saturday morning, the wet floor teemed with a mess of both restauranteurs and Joe Public eager to get a good price for seafood, and also, camera-wielding tourists commenting on how it was not Tsukiji. Old clothes and waterproof footwear were the best gear for the occasion, and a ear out for warning cries of the porters shouting “mind your feet!” essential to avoid having ankles bruised by the heavy pallet trucks and trolleys pushing past.
Billingsgate Fish Market, London

The experienced came with marketing trolleys, not just because of the weight of the produce but also because bus-drivers have been known to refuse entry to people openly carrying raw seafood – for fear that the lingering fishy smell would affect other passengers. The marketing trolleys had to be left outside the main entrance.
Billingsgate Fish Market, London

Inside, fish and other seafood were laid out in styrofoam boxes. Because this was a wholesale market, some stalls only sold fish by the box. And certainly, there were no fishmongers to scale, clean, cut or otherwise prepare the fish for anyone, though some fish was sold already cleaned. On offer were mackerel, salmon, tilapia, catfish, milk fish, seabass, emperor fish, rohu fish, hara hara (?), plaice, stockfish; smoked fish from Scandinavia, and salted fish to cater to those from the African and Caribbean cultures,

Billingsgate Fish Market, London Billingsgate Fish Market, London
Billingsgate Fish Market, London Billingsgate Fish Market, London

live piles of oysters, crabs, scallops in their shells, winkles…

Billingsgate Fish Market, London Billingsgate Fish Market, London

Since only a few people would be over for dinner that night (vs the housemate’s need to feed 20), I purchased a modest amount of scallops for £5 a dozen and 4 salmon heads for £1. Not being at all familiar with Chinese cuisine, fell back on the Asian food I understand most – pseudo-Japanese. The misomayo hotate was very well-received, accompanied by buckwheat noodles in steaming kombu miso soup.

Scallop in half-shell Grilled scallops in half-shell

The grilled salmon heads, with their crisp exterior, meaty front collar, and tender cheeks, were not quite as well-liked – because they resembled (they were!)… real fish…

Salmon Heads
Grilled Salmon Head Grilled Salmon Head

We have been thinking about what it means to live for God – yes, there is the being obedient to specific commandments and also standing firm in one’s evidence-based faith, not being ashamed of Jesus because Jesus has already brought believers into his kingdom and because if we are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us on the last day. But what do we do that isn’t merely reactive? The working hypothesis (possibly the same vein as my frugal nasty-bits-diet-in-preparation-for-mission-to-supermarketless-lands policy, though not stemming therefrom) is to make the most of the situations (whether good or bad, humanly-speaking) God has placed us in, and of the gifts and character God has given us, to make God’s work in Jesus known to all – for surely that is what gives God the most glory.

Smithfield Meat Market and Pig Parts

March 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Smithfield Market, London Smithfield Market, London

The Assistant Chef and I headed to Smithfield Meat Market early one cold cold morning. The temperature was so low, our noses were hard-pressed to detect the scent of blood in the air.

Smithfield Market, London Emu eggs? Smithfield Market, London
Pig ears. Smithfield Market, London Pig trotters. Smithfield Market, London

The sight of animal body parts nonchalantly piled into boxes in chillers, however, was a bit of a challenge to us two ex-pescetarians. And as we trundled along, we had to hop out of the way of trolleys stacked high with carcasses…

Meat in a baby buggy. Smithfield Market, London
…and baby strollers filled with bags of meat.

Preserved meats. Smithfield Market, London
Eschewed the charcuterie shops, with their beckoning hanging bundles of preserved meats, for something possibly more useful for future ministry:

Pig heads. Smithfield Market, London Smithfield Market, London

a cheap pig part that i might need to know how to use in case of being short of funds and/or in a country / missionary situation where no part of an animal can be wasted. This pig’s head cost £2.50 though i might have gotten it free-of-charge with the right connections.

Cooking a Pig's Head
Cooking a Pig's Head Cooking a Pig's Head

Borrowed a pot off the Local Outreach Minister and ransacked the house fridge for bits of left-over veggies. Bunged the lot in with a generous amount of salt and gave the head a nice hot barely bubbling soak for a few hours.

There’s nothing like looking your meal in the face to remember where meat comes from.

It would be inconsistent to go into raptures about bacon sandwiches yet be grossed out by the head of the pig that gave you that bit of tasty flesh – either reject meat altogether or embrace all parts of the animal who died to give that meat. Am pretty convinced by Genesis 9:3 (“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”) that we can enjoy animal meat as God’s good gift to us.

Cooking a Pig's Head

Scored a decent amount of delicious meat in the cheeks and tongue. This could have gone into the ragù sauce for pasta

Blow torch and receipe for pig head ragu

(the Building Manager, more excited about the possibilities of the head than I, printed out this BBC recipe and lent me his blowtorch), but decided to try to do a Momofuku Pig’s Head Torchon instead.

Pig head trochon pucks with salad

Surprisingly dark meat rendered tender by all that fatty goodness, held together by collagen, breaded with panko and then deep-fried. In the Momofuku recipe (according to other far prettier attempts), the pork pucks have  pickled cherries and a Japanese mayo-mustard-vinegar mix for company. Having none of these things, the ponzu sauce leftover from a recent hotpot attempt made for a good stand-in.

Deep-fried pig ears

Sliced and deep-fried the pig ears  – they were chewy and cartilagey. Might be good for a bar snack to accompany beer, just like pork crackling.

An Evening at Brixton and The Perspicuity of Scripture

January 11, 2013 1 comment

A&C Co. Continental Grocers. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9 Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9

So we came to a probable end to the matter (of resolving whether there is authoritative evidence to underpin the claim that each person can exegete Scripture – “read the Bible on their own” in the parlance of a certain evangelical circle), then i headed to Brixton to walk off the accumulated adrenalin.

A great number of residents have Afro-Caribbean heritage, and the universal fate of such vibrant ethnic neighbourhoods is gentrification.

At Brixton Market,

Brixton Market, Southwest London, SW2, SW9 Brixton Market, Southwest London, SW2, SW9
Seven at Brixton, Brixton Market, Southwest London, SW2, SW9

Franco Manca (purveyors of sourdough pizzas), and Seven at Brixton (a cocktail and tapas bar) were full.

A little along Coldharbour Lane, The Dogstar Brixton (389 Coldharbour Lane, facebook) housing DJ-led entertainment:
Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9

And further down Coldharbour Lane or across Atlantic Road from Brixton Market, Brixton Village Market (fka Granville Arcade, facebook):

Fish, Wings & Tings. Kaosarn. Brixton Village Market. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9 Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9
Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9 Brick Box, Brixton Village Market. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9
Okan. Brixon Cornercopia. Brixton Village Market. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9 Mama Lan. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9
The Agile Rabbit, Brixton Village Market. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9 Honest Burgers. Brixton Village Market. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9
Bibs Konsult Catering Equipment. Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9

with a good variety of international cuisine and hipster custom: Kaosarn (Thai), Brixton Cornercopia (ultra-local food), Okan (Unit 39, Japanese okonomiyaki), Mama Lan (Chinese dumplings), The Agile Rabbit (Unit 24, facebook), Honest Burgers (meat from The Ginger Pig with options for coeliacs), The Brick Box (Unit 41/42), Fish, Wings & Tings (facebook) etc.

To be explored in further depth at some point…

Brixton, Southwest London, SW2, SW9

There was tentative resolution to the issue of the perspicuity or clarity of Scripture however, much to my relief, thanks to a passing word with The Tutor who confirmed my conclusions. (Not that his word is the ultimate authority, but it’s good to know i’m not alone!) After more than a week of harrassing everyone who would listen* (usually, unfortunate souls politely asking,”How was your Christmas?”) and reading every book in sight, it seems that my doctrine has been less than accurate:

  • the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture (“The old term for the clarity of Scripture was perspicuity, a term that simply means “clarity”. That term itself is not very clear to people today, and I have not used it in this book.” Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology) ought to refer to ability of the Bible to be understood by humans. It is not, however, a promise that the Bible can be understood by any one all at once, without effort, without hard work and good hermeneutical skills and proper exegesis, without teachers, without the help of the Spirit;
  • Wayne Grudem’s chapter on this in his Systematic Theology, which I guess is where I got my doctrine from as a new Christian, is then less than helpful because it does not contain the same emphasis as Scripture on the role of the teachers and church community in understanding the Bible. His John Wenham Lecture on The Perspicuity of Scripture at the Tyndale Fellowship Conference in 2009 was slightly more useful, with its qualifications.

Prawn Pad Thai at Kaosarn Brixton, D.A. Carson's Exegetical Fallacies Wynchwood Goliath Ale

In summary:

  1. Scripture itself affirms that it is God’s ultimate official way of communicating with us (not via dreams etc, though these aren’t precluded in certain circumstances).
  2. The text is meant to be understood and meditated on and obeyed (eg. Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Psalm 1:2, Deuteronomy 30:11-14), and there is a fixed meaning to the text. My queries have therefore not been about the understandability of the text but the method by which the text can be understood.
  3. It is important to understand Scripture correctly (cf. the ignorant and unstable who twist Scripture to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).)
  4. A search of Scripture does not reveal any promise that the individual, acting alone, will be able to understand what is being written and comprehend it. It doesn’t say he can’t; it is simply silent on this matter.
  5. What Scripture does say is that God’s help (Psalm 119) and the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3 – 4) are needed to understand, accept, and obey the content of God’s Word in Scripture.
  6. Despite Grudem’s conclusions from these passages, Matthew’s Gospel relates Jesus rebuking the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees (and not the common people) for not reading the Old Testament properly (“Have you not read” (Matthew 12:3,5; Matthew 19:4; Mathew 22:31), “Have you never read in the Scriptures” (Matthew 21:42).
  7. And what Scripture keeps talking about is that those who are given the gifts of teaching within the church community should teach sound doctrine (Titus 1:9, Titus 2:1), and that merely reading Scripture isn’t adequate – there must also be exhortation and teaching (1 Timothy 4:13).
  8. Therefore, the position seems to be almost as articulated by Timothy Ward in Words of Life (as mentioned previously): individual reading of Scripture should therefore be “derivative of, and dependent on, the corporate reading and proclamation of Scripture in the Christian assembly” – that is, because “the church is the primary means God has given us for coming to encounter him in his Word in a way that enables us to hear his voice and respond to him”, “giving priority to the corporate use of Scripture over the individual…recognises that the Lord continues to give his church pastor-teachers who will expound the biblical writings of the prophets and apostles, in order to equip his people for works to service…”

Bear on Bed

This has been bothering me since it has implications for ministry. So in consequence:

  • missionaries to far-flung places, while being concerned with translating the Bible into the vernacular and even teaching whole tribes to read, should be more concerned with having teachers within the communities to teach the people the truth. And obviously, just air-dropping Bibles isn’t quite God’s way of propagating the good news;
  • “teaching people to read the Bible for themselves” is not the primary role of those with teaching gifts – explaining and preaching the content of the passage is;
  • but in 121s (one-to-one meetings), the teachers should also teach those with teaching gifts to exegete Scripture. With adequate hermeneutical skills and the help of the Spirit, there should be little need for commentaries, since everyone is working on the same text. Though, insights of a two thousand years of people studying the passage might be useful (or not!).

This is not to say that those with teaching gifts are superior to the rest of the congregation. Rather, each member of Christ’s body has been given different gifts – those who can teach are meant to use those gifts to equip the rest of the saints for ministry, and should not attempt to have everyone else take on the same role within the body. i hope this is right, just haven’t found any reason to be persuaded otherwise.

*Reactions to my queries have been interesting to observe. They seemed to fall into four major camps:

  • the uninterested: basically, “Oh, I don’t know these things. Why don’t you ask xxx.” (Foundation Year Associate.)
  • the scoffers: “I don’t need to know all this. Just read the Bible and you’ll know.” (A fellow student at The School.)
  • the not-quite-convincing quoters who used not-quite-on-the-point passages to try to back up their personal conviction that every person should be able to read the Bible on their own (eg. Jeremiah 31:33-34 which i would take to be at most, a now-but-not-yet fulfilment) (Some Second Year Associates and lecturers at The School.)
  • the moderates: “I’m sure it’s just a balance between the two.” (Several church workers and leaders, but without convincing Scriptural evidence.)

Sunday Afternoon Jaunts: Spitalfields Markets, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been really lovely going for Sunday market ganders around London E1 between morning and evening services.

There’re the Spitalfields Markets (Old Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields Art Market etc):
Spitalfields Market Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields Market Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields Market Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields Market Spitalfields Market

Then, down past Poppies Fish & Chips, Rosa’s Thai Restaurant, and Absolute Vintage,
Poppies Fish & Chips, Hanbury Street Rosa's, Hanbury Street
Absolute Vintage, Hanbury Street

and hang a left to Corbet Place where you can turn Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket or just enjoy the al fresco dining at The Old Truman Brewery:
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket The Old Truman Brewery
The Old Truman Brewery The Old Truman Brewery

Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket featured a range of beautiful new products (like leather shoes from Shoe Embassy), cupcakes, vintage in the basement, posters:
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket

and an international selection of food:
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket

to be eaten at proper tables indoors, or on seated on the pavement with friends:
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket
Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket

Sometimes, through the little rabbit hole adjoining the entrance to Sunday Upmarket, you can follows the signs to the bright airy space hosting the Renegade Craft Fair:
Renegade Craft Market Renegade Craft Market
Renegade Craft Market Renegade Craft Market
Renegade Craft Market Renegade Craft Market
Renegade Craft Market Renegade Craft Market
Renegade Craft Market

Back outside, Rough Trade East, Traffic People, a perfume shop, American Apparel, hipster throngs:
Corbet Place Corbet Place
Rough Trade East, Corbet Place Corbet Place
Corbet Place Corbet Place
Corbet Place Corbet Place
Brick Lane Sunday Market

What I love about markets is their diversity of goods and the music, and the energy wrought from the coming together of creatives and people who appreciate them. Similarly, it is the smörgåsbord of ideas about truth and reality that has always rendered philosophy so attractive to me.

A good chat with The Tutor on our way out today helped confirm some of the conclusions I reached last week while re-thinking (Gottfried Wilhelm) Leibniz’s Theodicy and how right Voltaire was to scoff at him in Candide – the poor man really got his knickers in a twist attempting to explain what God hadn’t revealed. While the discussion this rainy evening was first about women and bible college, it quickly devolved into one concerning biblical theology vs systematic theology, synthesis vs Bible as false dichotomy, major and minor topics in the Bible, disagreement about biblical theology as process and systematic theology as product (synthesis as product? but really, relationship with God as aim), summation of the Law as “love God and love neighbour” not being systematic theology but mere summary.

The problem with systematic theology (as distinct from doctrine synthesised from biblical theology) is that it attempts to force the Bible to answer its questions, whereas it is God through his word in the Bible who should dictate the questions. So questions about ontology, for example, are moot. Ah, this explains why I’ve never been convinced by such arguments as might be found in Thomas Acquinas’ Summa Theologiæ.

Now: listening to Vladimir Horowitz work his way through some Chopin to de-buzz.

PS: Brick Lane Sunday Market + Backyard Market:

Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market Brick Lane Coffee. Brick Lane Sunday Market
Brick Lane Sunday Market

Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Human Butchery at Smithfield Meat Market

October 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery

There were signs at Smithfield Meat Market advertising the presence of Wesker & Son (wholesale meats), a human butchery…and also an unsolved murder…

Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery
Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery
Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery
Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery

The resultant controversy about the aesthetics of separated human body parts (thanks to the mildly-named Miss Cakehead) seems to have been generally successful in publicising Resident Evil 6.

What is it about the sight of hanging limbs or torsos that is so repugnant? If humans are equal to animals as some claim, then why the universal disgust at the thought of cannibalism? Social contract (the “i won’t eat you, if you won’t eat me” edition) seems inadequate to explain the revulsion we feel, over and above the existence of any laws prohibiting murder or manslaughter.

Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery
Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery Wesker & Son (Wholesale Meats) Pop-up Human Butchery

The reason why humans are far more precious than animals, says the Bible, is that we have been made in the image of God.

Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:6)

And actually, aren’t we being rather hypocritical in expressing offense at a human butchery? After all, whom amongst us aren’t murderers? Murder isn’t just about the physical taking of another’s life; it is more concerned with the attitude of the heart that exhibits itself in murder. And so it is on such evil thoughts that we are judged and found wanting:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. (Matthew 5:21-26)

Lasagna and Luke 10:38-42, London Open House 2012, Venn Street Market,

September 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Italian NightLasagna and Chianti, and wine-not-keeping-with-the-theme, and tiramisu. The excitement of meeting so many new friends, including a fascinating lecturer of politics and an amazing saxophone-playing photographer.

Spaghetti Painting Spaghetti Painting

Hilarious spaghetti painting and tray duelling. Andrew Sach gave a short talk on Luke 10:38-42:

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

If all things had been handed over to Jesus by God, and no one could know God except through Jesus and anyone to whom Jesus chose to reveal God to (Luke 10:22), then Jesus’ words were of utmost importance. Even the perfectly legitimate practice of hospitality should be halted in deference to hearing Jesus speak.

Since God and Jesus’ words have been written down for us in the Bible, what could be more important than reading Scripture? But London is a thriving metropolis with all the attendant distractions. A quick flip through TimeOut London would offer several equally interesting alternatives to meeting with God’s people to study the Bible.

Queue outside The Bank of England during the London Open House 2012 London Open House - St. Helen's Bishopsgate

Was thinking about this on Friday because we were, as usual, spoilt for choice for the weekend – should we pop round various locations for The London Design Festival 2012? Or enjoy free entry to other usually restricted places during the London Open House 2012? Or take part in The Great Gorilla Run 2012 (full gorilla suit included in registration fee)? Or hop on a train to Cardiff for The Great British Cheese Festival (mmmm cheeeese)?Or pop up to Bristol for the Tesco Wine Fair?

Upon considering the importance of people hearing God’s Word, decided to take my rest at the opera on Friday night and the morning off on Saturday, then help with our church’s London Open House gig on Saturday, and it turned out magnificent.

London Coliseum

A few minutes after I’d settled into my seat at the London Coliseum and made polite conversation with the person in the next seat about Mozart’s The Magic Flute as interpreted by the English National Opera and getting a stall seat for a quarter of the original price, this same neighbour and I got into a discussion on the validity of the Christian faith.

London Coliseum London Coliseum
London Coliseum London Coliseum

His contention was that Christianity was just another religion – man-made by ignorant people, not worthy of consideration, a mere personal version of truth. My reply was that, on the contrary, the Christian faith was based on historical fact and objective truth – if it was just something that someone made up, it would be foolish to spend one’s life in adherence to its teachings.

Clapham Common Station Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common

It was bright and sunny on Saturday morning. Venn Street Market (Clapham Common) was a compact little place

Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
Saint Sugar of London. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Borough Cheese Company. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
The Rotisserie. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Pate Moi. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
Ms Cupcake. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
Venn Street Market, Clapham Common The Honest Carrot. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common
Garlic Wood. Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common

filled with organic veg and fruit farm products (Ted’s Veg), very tempting piles of bread and cakes and cookies and vegan cupcakes (The Old Post Office Bakery, Oliver’s Bakery, Saint Sugar of London, Ms. Cupcake), all sorts of garlic (The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight), vegetarian savouries (The Honest CarrotPâté Moi), fresh fish on ice (Veasey & Sons Fishmongers), cheese (Borough Cheese Company), fantastic meats (game and rare breed meats at Garlic Wood, spit-roasted whole chickens at The Rotisserie dripping their juices onto the potatoes below, a magnificent hog on the spit at M Moen & Sons), and biodynamic wines.

Venn Street Market, Clapham Common Venn Street Market, Clapham Common

Popped some veggies in the bag, fuelled up on a delicious bap filled with hot tasty hog meat (accompanied by crackling, homemade apple sauce, and rocket), and was then ready for an afternoon on my feet volunteering for the London Open House. Fantastic conversations with visitors from London, the UK, the EU, and the rest of the world, curious about what we did at church and about what we believed. Charlie Skrine gave an excellent tour of the building, quite rightly pointing out how the theology of the church affected the interior architecture of the space.

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