Give us this day our daily…

No, not the Telegraph but bread.  Though perhaps given the Torygraph’s increasingly surreal campaign to rescue the country from unbelievers (I’m not entirely sure how a distant ancestor’s transgression against the morality of today – though, not curiously of the Bible, which is somewhat pro-slavery in some of its older tracts – should affect anyone’s authority) perhaps the Lord’s Prayer will be adjusted in gratitude.

I had a guest staying at Fish Towers last night and, under these circumstances, I offer a very full service, including dinner, bed and breakfast and full use of wifi (though, I do lack cruet or a trouser press, which I fear would rob me of that all important fifth star).  As part of this award-winning package (warning: may not have won an award), I offered to provide fresh bread for breakfast this morning to be produced by my Panasonic Bread Machine (famed in song and story, or at least in GofaDM posts).  A vote was taken, and it was decided to produce ciabatta – permitting the first ever use of the Italian “programme”.  We arose this morning to extract the results, and then consume them – however, we were in for quite a surprise!

It doesn’t look like any ciabatta I’ve ever seen before!  It was also dramatically larger than any previous loaf made with the same quantity of ingredients – so might would be quite a good option for those on a diet, as presumably a significant proportion of each slice is zero-calorie air.  It tasted perfectly good, though I can’t say it hugely reminded me of Italy…

After breakfast, a little singing practice for me – with my guest providing piano accompaniment.  This led to a discussion about my future singing career, and the inadvisability of joining a male voice choir.  Given my Welsh ancestry and our earlier breakfast loaf, this talk reminded me of that fine hymn which is popularly known as “Bread of Heaven”, and which I have always thought of as hailing from the Principality (and, so indeed it does, being penned by one William Williams in Welsh).  To check both the words (English) and its more traditional title of “Guide me, O Though great Jehovah”, I grabbed my Hymn Book from its place in the bookcase.  Worryingly, I could remember that it was hymn number 410 which we were interested in – quite impressive as the book was commissioned on 27 January 1981 (I know as it says so on the inside cover)and has not been used since 1984.

“Hymns of Faith” offers an interesting window into the thinking of the teenaged Fish (late of 4 Swale).  It would seem that the early 1980s were dark times, with hymn book theft rife in north Kent.  As a result, my name is inscribed along the bottom and right-hand edges, the inside covers (both front and back) and a number of other places throughout the work.  Indeed, so often does my name appear that it threatens to out-number the references to the Lord Him- (or Her-) self contained with its 659 hymns.  Still, my security conscious approach (along with its covers being protected by clear sticky-backed plastic applied by my mother) have paid off, as I still have the book in near mint condition some 31 years later!

The book is also stamped “Property of Borden School” (though a mere twice) which does leave me to wonder if I was supposed to have returned it when I left back in 1984.  Ah well, they’ve survived without it for 31 years (which I think gives me squatters’ rights), so I think I should be in the clear, in this life at least, on the basis of the Statute of Limitations (however, I may have to face some rather pointed questions from St Peter before I am allowed to pick up my wings and harp).

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