December 2007

Happy new year from Sweden!!!


The holy family

Just like a teenage girl collect Justin Timberlake artifacts – I have a great place in my heart (as well as in my wallet) for items connected to Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The great idol

I guess G.M Hopkins isn’t as sexy as Britney Spear or 50 cents. But I promise you, I’m just as excited over my 100 years old pictures of a shipwreck than any teenager could be over some record collection.

In the thirties GMH’s personal papers and journals first where published.  In the fifties there was a second edition of his papers published, but in over fifty years no new material by Hopkins hand has been published. Until last year. Today I found out that Oxford press has started to publish the complete works by Hopkins, forty-five essays which Hopkins produced during his undergraduate career at Oxford that haven’t been published before is reproduced in this volume… I’m so happy. If I have understood the publisher correctly there will eventually be eight volumes in this series.

Heaven on earth: The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Volume IV: Oxford Essays and Notes 1863-1868)

The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Volume IV: Oxford Essays and Notes 1863-1868)


But why do they start with volume four? I just can’t grip if i missed three volumes or if they started with it… And when will the next part in the series come out? What are the fans supposed to think? We couldn’t be more confused even if Robbie Williams had been involved. And most importantly:

– Will there be a poster?????

Today is the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: “The Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instance of her conception was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race.” Read more about it in the Catholic encyclopedia.

And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me…

Mary gave her consent in faith at the Annunciation and maintained it without hesitation at the foot of the Cross. Ever since, her motherhood has extended to the brothers and sisters of her Son “who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties.” Jesus, the only mediator, is the way of our prayer; Mary, his mother and ours, is wholly transparent to him: she “shows the way” (hodigitria), and is herself “the Sign” of the way (ccc 2674)

The very first time I heard of Carbonara must have been when I was about eighteen or nineteen years old. I had moved out from my parents house but hadn’t got an apartment yet and was living at a friends place. One day one of my friends suggested he would cook for us, and I was kind of amazed. None of my friends ever cooked something.

Well, we gathered what coins we could find and went down to the local store. Found spaghetti and some bacon, but then we needed eggs. We did not have enough money to buy a whole six-pack (wish is the common way to buy eggs here). So we asked the clerk if we could buy just two eggs.

– I’m sorry sir, he said (with what to us seemed as a smug smile) but you can only get them in packages of six. If you buy one, we can’t sell the other five. Sorry. Can’t do.


The poor clerk had to give in and we got our Carbonara. I loved it. Now days, every time I cook Spaghetti Carbonara I think of this story.


Here is how I make this dish:

400 gr spaghetti
2 (whole) egg + 2 (additional) yolk
200 gr (7 oz.) sliced guanciale (or pancetta)
1/2 cup grated salty Italian (preferably Roman) cheese like Pecorino
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of pasta water


Whip eggs, mix in the wine and some of the cheese.
Boil pasta and fry the pancetta. Remove from heat and mix all ingredients.
Add about half a cup of the water used for boiling the pasta.
Stir the rest of the grated cheese and freshly grounded black pepper over it.

It takes five to ten minutes to make and it’s perfect for hungry teenagers. Both 25 years ago when I was young and still today: It’s my son’s favorite. 😉


Pecorino and Guanciale


I have been tagged by Ivar over at Musing on the Divine…

…Here’s what you do:~Each person starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves and post these guidelines. ~At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names.~Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!

1. I have two younger brothers and one younger sister.
2. I like to play guitar, but I haven’t got a good one for years.
3. I quit smoking a couple of months ago. I used to smoke two packages a day.
4. I worked with “mentally retarded” people for ten years.
5. I think the best fish dishes are the ones that don’t taste too much fish…
6. I’m a single “half-time” dad. My son is sixteen.
7. I have always been fascinated by the nineteenth century.
8. I practice “five year plans” in my life (no I’m not a Stalinist) and in one year I have to come up with new goals and evaluate the old ones.

I’ll tag: Gabrielle at Contemplative Haven, JustMe over at Oh, and.. this, the young poet James at Viewed and reviewed, Ginny at View from the pews, Marie also at View from the pews, And my friend Paula from Receiving Light, Veritas at poetry, prayer and praise and finally Pia at Beyond the horizon3


My son and one of my brothers. 🙂

Happy new (liturgical) year!!! You know it’ll be just like starting over.

The Sunday readings will be taken from Cycle A. The Weekday readings will use Cycle 2.

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