The similar phrase 'Worldly Christianity' is one used by Bonhoeffer. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Midweek Meeting September 26 2018

There were eight of us last night, four men adn four women. We began with a hymn and ended with one. I also spoke briefly on Lot's wife from Genesis 19:26. We kept things fairly brief as there is another meeting the following evening (tonight) for church members, which we all were in this occasion.

Young dog Old trick

Alffi the dog caps things off by making a spectacle of himself

"Day off" Week 39

The luxury of a day off is not always possible and so it has proved this week. What I did was to stagger it across Monday Tuesday - not ideal but better than nothing. I had hospital visits (just tests) on both days and those took up a chunk of time as did a visit to Kensington to pick up a visa for a forthcoming trip. One good thing was that the fitbit 1000 steps were easily achieved and more on both days. Otherwise, I did some reading (Nobel winner J M Coetzee's 1999 Booker prize winning novel Disgraced is a bit tawdry in its subject matter but well written and thought provoking with regards to South Africa and the wider world) and put together a Billy bookcase over in my study and watched the latest episodes of Vanity Fair (excellent) and Strangers (not so hot) as well as doing some blogging. Interleaved with all this was the beginnings of sermon preparation and a basic Bible study on the Tuesday night (only one person extra made it). Coffee and crossword puzzles also had their place as ever.

Chas Hodges

Chas Hodges of Chas and Dave has died recently. He used to give this anecdote

“I was at Eric Clapton’s wedding when I joined The Beatles,” he laughs.
“Me and the missus got invited and there was a marquee set up in the grounds with a stage, amps and drum kit in case anyone felt like getting up and having a jam.
“Anyway, this little kid starting bashing the drums and called over to me saying, ‘C’mon Chas, sing Gertcha for us.’ So up I go with the mike, and started singing some rock and roll stuff. I looked up and there was Ringo Starr sitting there smiling at me.
“The next thing I knew Paul McCartney was plugging in his bass and George Harrison was slipping a guitar strap over his head.
“And there’s me in the middle of some Chuck Berry number thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, I’m the fourth flippin Beatle ‘ere.”

Obscure but good stuff from 1973

Lord's Day September 23 2018

Good day on the whole with decent congregations morning and evening, though people missing as ever. Preached on the older lost son from Luke 15 in the morning and on the withered fig tree in the evening from Matthew 21. I forgot to mention last week that I have started a church history series (a la Sinclair Ferguson's The year of the Lord). I tried it once before and tripped up over which century was which a short way in. Part of the deal is to sing a hymn from each century. We cheated last week (with Caroline Noel's At the name of Jesus) but this week I got hold of Clement of Alexandria's Shepherd of tender youth (see below). Sinclair Ferguson gives you all the material you need. Only snag is it adds ten minutes and some are tired at night.

1 Shepherd of tender youth,
Guiding in love and truth
Through devious ways;
Christ, our triumphant king,
We come Your name to sing
And here our children bring
To join Your praise.

2 You are our holy Lord,
The all-subduing Word,
Healer of strife.
Yourself You did abase
That from sin's deep disgrace
You so might save our race
And give us life.

3 You are the great High Priest;
You have prepared the feast
Of holy love;
And in our mortal pain
None calls on You in vain;
Our pleas do not disdain;
Help from above.

4 Forever be our guide,
Our shepherd and our pride,
Our staff and song.
Jesus, O Christ of God,
By your enduring Word,
Lead us where You have trod;
Make our faith strong.

5 So now, and till we die,
Sound we Your praises high
And joyful sing:
Infants, and all the throng,
Who to the Church belong,
Unite to swell the song
To Christ, our king!

Not sure who did the translation, Devious can simply mean indirect.

Michael Toogood

For many years I was quite closely involved in the work of the London Inreach Project and the planting of the churc in Soho. I have long thought that the first planter in the team, Michael Toogood, should write up his own story as it would be an encouragement, a model and a discussion point as well as a testimony to God's goodness. Well, it has recently happened and I have already had chance to read my copy (a freebie) and I am keen to commend it to all and sundry. Anyone seriously considering urban ministry ought to at least sit and read it.
The book doesn't pull any punches and is a frank description and assesment of the eighties and nineties when Michael and his wife pam were involved in the work. Michael has very definite ideas about church planting and many other matters and even where one would beg to differ you have to admire his thoroughly thought through and tenacious, not to say tender yet firm, approach. At points an iron fist in a velvet glove came to mind.
One thing that struck me was that a lot of what Michael considers to be ministry I would tend to think of as things interrupting the real ministry. He may well be right and I am wrong.
One minor point. I'm not sure how the decision was made to publish the book as it has been but several proofing errors and spelling mistakes inevitably detract. I fear that distribution will be poor too. Do make the effort though. 

Holy, Holy, Holy: Proclaiming the Perfections of God

This Ligonier book is a collection of ten addresses on the general subject of the holiness of God given at a conference back in 2010 or so. The opening and closing chapters are from the late R C Sproul. Other chapters are from the hands of the usual suspects (Thabiti Anyabwile, Alistair Begg, Don Carson, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Derek Thomas). The chapters inevitably vary in their usefulness. I particularly appreciated Sinclair Ferguson on the holiness of the Father and Robert Godfrey on Isaiah 6. Beautifully presented in hardback once again.

The book ends with a great illustration from Sproul
My favorite illustration of how callous we have become with respect to the mercy, love, and grace of God comes from the second year of my teaching career, when I was given the assignment of teaching two hundred and fifty college freshman an introductory course on the Old Testament. On the first day of the class, I gave the students a syllabus and I said: “You have to write three short term papers, five pages each. The first one is due September 30 when you come to class, the second one October 30, and the third one November 30. Make sure that you have them done by the due date, because if you don’t, unless you are physically confined to the infirmary or in the hospital, or unless there is a death in the immediate family, you will get an F on that assignment. Does everybody understand that?” They all said, “Yes.”
On September 30, two hundred and twenty-five of my students came in with their term papers. There were twenty-five terrified freshmen who came in trembling. They said: “Oh, Professor Sproul, we didn’t budget our time properly. We haven’t made the transition from high school to college the way we should have. Please don’t flunk us. Please give us a few more days to get our papers finished.”
I said: “OK, this once I will give you a break. I will let you have three more days to get your papers in, but don’t you let that happen again.”
“Oh, no, we won’t let it happen again,” they said. “Thank you so, so, so much.”
Then came October 30. This time, two hundred students came with their term papers, but fifty students didn’t have them. I asked, “Where are your papers?”
They said: “Well, you know how it is, Prof. We’re having midterms, and we had all kinds of assignments for other classes. Plus, it’s homecoming week. We’re just running a little behind. Please give us just one more chance.”
I asked: “You don’t have your papers? Do you remember what I said the last time? I said, ‘Don’t even think about not having this one in on time.’ And now, fifty of you don’t have them done.”
“Oh, yes,” they said, “we know.”
I said: “OK. I will give you three days to turn in your papers. But this is the last time I extend the due date.”
Do you know what happened? They started singing spontaneously, “We love you, Prof Sproul, oh, yes, we do.” I was the most popular professor on that campus.
But then came November 30. This time one hundred of them came with their term papers, but a hundred and fifty of them did not. I watched them walk in as cool and as casual as they could be. So I said, “Johnson!”
“What?” he replied.
“Do you have your paper?”
“Don’t worry about it, Prof,” he responded. “I’ll have it for you in a couple of days.”
I picked up the most dreadful object in a freshman’s experience, my little black grade book. I opened it up and I asked, “Johnson, you don’t have your term paper?”
He said, “No”
I said, “F,” and I wrote that in the grade book. Then I asked, “Nicholson, do you have your term paper?” “No, I don’t have it.” “F. Jenkins, where is your term paper?”
“I don’t have it.”
Then, out of the midst of this crowd, someone shouted, “That’s not fair.” I turned around and asked, “Fitzgerald, was that you who said that?”
He said, “Yeah, it’s not fair.”
I asked, “Weren’t you late with your paper last month?”
“Yeah,” he responded.
“OK, Fitzgerald, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. If it’s justice you want, it’s justice you will get.” So I changed his grade from October to an F. When I did that, there was a gasp in the room. I asked, “Who else wants justice?” I didn’t get any takers.
There was a song in the musical My Fair Lady titled “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” Well, those students had grown accustomed to my grace. The first time they were late with their papers, they were amazed by grace. The second time, they were no longer surprised; they basically assumed it. By the third time, they demanded it. They had come to believe that grace was an inalienable right, an entitlement they all deserved.
I took that occasion to explain to my students: “Do you know what you did when you said, ‘That’s not fair’? You confused justice and grace.” The minute we think that anybody owes us grace, a bell should go off in our heads to alert us that we are no longer thinking about grace, because grace, by definition, is something we don’t deserve. It is something we cannot possibly deserve. We have no merit before God, only demerit. If God should ever, ever treat us justly outside of Christ, we would perish. Our feet would surely slip.

The Golden Child by Penelope Fitzgerald

I recently read another Penelope Fitzgerald novel, her first (of nine). The Golden Child came out in 1977 and it has been said that it "offers a satirical version of the King Tut exhibition at the British Museum" (of 1972). It also pokes fun at museum politics, academic scholars and Cold War spying. it has 11 main characters and without visual clues I got some of them mixed up a bit adn the denouement which is of the detective genre was not that gripping but it is otherwise good stuff with some very funny lines. I wished I'd marked the funny lines. I read that the original draft was 75, 000 word but the publishers got her to cut it too 50,000. Good thing.
Some examples I found
In order to continue living in a very small terraced house in Claphain South, [ ... ] he had to repay to the Whitstable and Protective Building Society the sum of f 118 a month. This figure loomed so large in Waring's daily thoughts, was so punctually waiting for him during any idle moment, that it sometimes seemed to him that his identity was changing and that there was no connection with the human being of five years ago who had scorned concentration on material things.
'[t1he true international solidarity was not between workers, but between queuers'.
The courtyard was entirely filled with people. A restrained noise rose from them, like the grinding of the sea at slack water. They made slight surges forward, then back, but always gaining an inch.

Midweek Meeting September 19 2018

We were nine again at the midweek meeting. Encouragingly, one person was there for the first time. I also think it is encouraging that although several of us are in our fifties, all six decades (teens, twenties, thirties up to sixties) were represented. We carried on looking at Genesis 19 and this time at verses 19-25 so touching on similar themes as in weeks gone by. Lots to pray for again. One person had news that was of such a nature that man of us were moved to make this ongoing matter something to pray about. What needs there are all around us.

Dog with bark

Day off Week 38

Really didn't feel good at the start of the day. Not sure exactly why. Rather downcast for no reaosn. As the day wore on I seemed to cheer up, however.
The arrangement this year will be that it's just me and Alffi the dog on Tuedays, which is fine but you do feel repsonsible. I should have begun with a long walk with him but I couldn't get going so I went for a short one and managed a bit more later on to get up to the 10000. Had a coffee en route and did some puzzles in the newspaper and then sat in the park. It was a funny day weatherwise, quite autumnal but warm too.
Back home I caught up on my Bible verse notes (I try to write something on at least one verse each day but often get behind) did some blogging and started a nice fat novel I spotted in a Charity shop the other day. At some point an engineer called asking me to open up the chapel so he could check the fire extinguishers, That didn't take too long and I took opportunity to carry on throwing out stuff from my chapel study which is in big need of a sorting. In the evening a church member came round for a brief chat about future plans in the church. Before bed we watched the next bit in a TV drama and the news. Not a bad day all told.

Words Farrukh Dhondy's private babel

I was in a charity shop a few weeks back and I stumbled across a book called Words by Farrukh Dondhy. I recognised the name from wayback. When I trained as a teacher (yes, I trained as an English teacher many moons ago). I remember a book of short stories for young people he had back then (Come to Mecca). Anyway this little book was right up my street. A rambling sort of book, it consists of a series of musings on words and their meanings with special reference to the Indian subcontinent where Mr Dhondy lived before coming to England to study Kipling and so on. If I tell you that he has worked for Channel 4 you will nt be surprised to hear that he lets himself down badly on the language front at a certain points, which is a shame. The core of the book, however, is full of interest. There were several areas where my understanding of the whole matter advanced (for example I was aware that bungalow is Indian but I had not connected it to the word Bengali). A good find.

Tiny Histories by Dixe Wills

I picked up Tiny Histories: Trivial events and trifling decisions that changed British history by Dixe Wills the other month and read it over the summer. I'd not realised it was part of a sort of series. It can be read in isolation. This volume is a series of anecdotes referening various events in history. he does stretch the format a litle here and there but it's okay. There are forty stories in six sections, some I knew (such as Byrhtnoth's act of chivalry and the two Liverpool teenagers who meet at a church fete) and some I didn't (such as arsenic poisoning in Bradford and Robert Clive's attempted suicide) and some I was vague on (Henry I and his lampreys and the 1964 election and a change of programme on BBC).

Lord's Day September 16 2018

I preached in the morning to a typically sized number (around 35) from Luke 15 on the lost son. It was encouraging to see most people present when we started (it's not always like that). There were people missing (including at least three young men I hoped to see - I got rather down about that later) but visitors too, including a couple who start at the seminary this week. Our Nigerian friend came again and a couple sat at the back before leaving straight after the service. They looked a little South Sea Islands to me and did turn out to be a Maori couple on holiday from Wellington.
We had a decent number in the evening too (18?) when I carried on with Matthew 21 and the cleansing of the Temple, including a mother and daughter new to the area who found us on the Internet. The daughter had come to faith hearing the preaching of Ray Bevan on TV. Hope we see them again. You never know in Childs Hill.
In the afternoon we had a visit from the son of former members from the States (he left 19 years ago when he was two!) over in London. It was  great delight to talk to him. I completely forgot it was evening communion at 6 pm, however, so we had to rush over and ai cam up wiht a truncated service - not the ideal way to do it. (We've had the communion before the main meeting for over 25 years I guess and I've forgotten about three times now).

November 21-23, 1963

1. Death Robert Stroud, Springfield, Missouri, 73 (American convict "Birdman of Alcatraz")

2. Death J F Kennedy, Dallas, 46
3. Death C S Lewis, Oxford, 65
4. Death Aldous Huxley, Hollywood, 69
5. Death William R Titterton, 87 (journalist and poet, friend and first biographer of G K Chesterton)
6. Death J D Tippit, Dallas, 39 (American police officer, also murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald)
7. Death Wilhelm Beiglböck, Buxtehude, 58 (Nazi war doctor)
8.  Release of the Beatles second studio album With the Beatles

9.  Death Luis Cernuda, Mexico City, 61 (Spanish poet and exile)
10. BBC broadcasts first episode of Dr Who series

Midweek Meeting September 12 2018

There were nine of us for yesterday's meeting as we get back into the swing of things. I took us through Genesis 19:12-17 (sobering stuff) and then we prayed. There always seem to be loads of things to pray for. Everybody took a turn to pray I think.

10 Types of saw

1. Rip saw
2. Salt saw
3. Two-man saw
4. Tenon saw
5. Carcase saw
6. Bow saw, Turning saw or Buck saw
7. Coping saw
8. Felloe saw (a pit saw with a narrow tapering blade for sawing out the felloes of wooden cart wheels)
9. Surgeon's saw (surgical saw, bone cutter)
10. Jigsaw ("saber saw" (US))
(also Chainsaw, Ice saw and (continuous) band saw)

10 Four Letter Bird Names

1. Swan
2. Dove
3. Gull
4. Lark
5. Wren
6. Duck
7. Teal
8. Myna
9. Rook
10. Crow

Day off Week 37

At the start of the day I saw a pair of canvas boots I've not worn much over the summer. I then walked over 12000 steps with the dog which was good. had a coffee in Highgate adn did the puzzles.
I managed to read another good book this week, another nice hardback, beautifully produced by Ligonier. This was Sinclair Ferguson's By grace alone. He works his way through the hymn How the grace of God amazes me by E T Sibomona a verse at a time. Some familiar themes arise, like the Prodigal son and Romans 6 and so on, but also Ephesians 6 and Job. I was really refreshed by the book and was once again amazed by grace, the purpose of the book. It's not a new book. It came out in 2007. Worth checking out though.
I also read a chunk of a novel (Penelope Fitzgerald's first The golden child). Very well observed and quite funny.
Listened to music this week. Lots of Bob Dylan. Watched TV in the evening with Eleri. Dipped into her Strictly adn Bake off and then watched the first in a new drama series Strangers.

10 Men of God called John

Having decided that we would look at three men called John at the Evangelical Library this Autumn I have been trying to recall an anecdote I came across at some time. I now have it. It is from a Spurgeon sermon. He says
I do not think Rowland Hill was at all foolish when he rode over from Cambridge, a distance of thirteen miles, to see an old woman who was on her deathbed. He said, “You are older than I am, but I am getting older, and, even now, I sometimes think they have forgotten me; but in the meantime, since you are going first, take my love to the four great Johns - John who leaned on Jesus’ bosom, and John Bunyan, and John Calvin, and John Knox; take my love to them, and tell them poor old Rowly will be coming by and by.” I have no doubt that the message would have been delivered. I think there is such a connection between earth and heaven that we shall see those who have gone before. How comforting it must be to some aged ones, when they think that though they are taken from that part of the family which remains on earth, they have a larger family circle probably in heaven than here!

1. John the Apostle
2. John the Baptist
3. John Chrysostom
4. John Calvin
5. John Knox
6. John Bunyan
7. John Owen
8. John Berridge
9. John Cennick
10. John Murray

(Obvious omissions: John Elias, John Fawcett, John Gill, John Newton, John Ryland, John Sutcliff, John Wesley, John Wycliffe)

John The Under-rated Pastor

We had the first of our Autumn lectures on Monday. This term we are looking at three men named John and the first of these was John Owen. Aaron Prelock, who is on the pastoral team at St Giles Mission and is currently doing a PhD on Owen, spoke very helpfully on "John the under-rated pastor". Emphasising Owen's largely pastoral role throughout his life, he shared with us his research into the scholastic context behind Owen and spoke of his understanding of habitus or disposition or bent, specifically what that should be in a pastor according to Owen
For Owen it is chiefly that of shepherd which he says, ina defence of congregationalism, 
is metaphorical. It is a denomination suited unto his work, denoting the same office and person with a bishop or elder, spoken of absolutely without limitation unto either teaching or ruling. And it seems to be used or applied unto this office, because it is more comprehensive of, and instructive in, all the duties that belong unto it, than any other name whatever; nay, than all of them put together.
He says
Unto the call of any person unto this office of a pastor in the church there are certain qualifications previously required in him, disposing and making him fit for that office. The outward call is an act of the church, as we shall show immediately ; but therein is required an obediential acting of him also who is called.
In more than one place he elucidates the sort of qualifications needed. So for example in one place he says

1. The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the flock by diligent preaching of the word.
2. The second duty of a pastor towards his flock is continual fervent prayer for them

This should be accompanied by 
(1.) Spiritual wisdom and understanding in the mysteries of the gospel, that they may declare unto the church "all the counsel of God" and "the unsearchable riches of Christ:''
(2.) Experience of the power of the truth which they preach in and upon their own souls
(3.) Skill to divide the word aright
(4.) A prudent and diligent consideration of the state of the floch over which any man is set
And, (5.) All these, in the whole discharge of their duty, are to be constantly accompanied with the evidence of zeal for the glory of God and compassion for the souls of men.
We had a good paper and a good discussion. Do join us next time (October 15) when Stan evers will speak on John Berridge - John the eccentric vicar. 

Lord's Day September 9 2018

 sometimes think the preaching is improving and may be it is but then you think of other things that need improving too. We were about 30 on Sunday morning and two thirds stayed for lunch. I wish it had been more. We were smaller again in the evening but not too bad. One encouraging thing was that there were about six people present in the 17-24 age group but some came am and some pm. I'm trying to get some people together this week for a home Bible study. I preached on the lost coin and the triumphal entry. The parable was easier than the narrative.

The Children Act

I'd meant to say we were at the cinema  last week, watching The Children Act with Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. People have not been too kind to it but I thought it was very good. It deals with big themes - death, marriage, childlessness, career. friendship, religion, etc - and does it,a s far as I could see, without coming down too heavily handedly in a didactic manner. Rather, it presents the dilemmas strikingly and realistically and I found it very stimulating. I don't like to read up about a film before going so I had not realised it is based on an Ian McEwan novel. May be I wouldn't like the novel. I liked the film. Great acting from Thompson, Tucci and the young man.

10 Books with flowers in their titles

1. Daisy Miller by Henry James
2. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
3. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
4. Black Tulip by Alexander Dumas
5. Clover by Susan Coolidge
6. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
8. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
9. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
10. Iris and Lily by Angela Scipioni

(The first three apear in the film The age of Adaline)

Midweek Meeting September 5 2018

A little different this week as we focused only on prayer. It is part of a week of prayer that I thought would be a suitable beginning to the new year. We weren't many but after singing and reading from Ehphesians 6 we did pray. We also met last night adn at other times.

Day off Week 36

It's been the holiday period and so there were few real days off in August except holiday ones. We are getting back into routine, however, and so yesterday was my official day off. In the morning there was a prayer meeting and three of us gathered to pray (I have organised a series of prayer meetings this week). I tried to fill the rest of the day with day off sorts of stuff. In the summer I picked up a copy of Derek Thomas's new book Strength for the weary. It is a beautifully produced hardback from Ligonier. I had assumed it was based on Psalms but it is a set of eight or nine reworked sermons on verses in the latter half of Isaiah (ie 40-66). It is a real gem being very pastoral but with a wonderful grasp of Isaiah, strong theology and good use of supporting materials. A real gem. I also carried on with a book I'm reading at present called The secret life of cows and another on words by Farrukh Dhondy (more on those another time). I didn't do that much walking but I made sure I went out for a coffee and a go at the puzzles in the newspaper. I also did some blogging here and watched the second part of  ITV's Vanity Fair which is going well I thought. I also got round to fixing our hall light which has been out of action for too long. As I suspected it was not just a bulb problem. The fitting wires had come loose and needed to be re-stripped and fitted. Balancing on the bottom of the stairs with a pair of scissors is not the best way to do it but we got there.

10 Bearers

1. Pallbearer
2. Cupbearer
3. Water bearer
4. Tale bearer or news or message bearer
5. Torch bearer
6. Standard bearer or flag bearer
7. Litter bearer or stretcher bearer
8. Ticket bearer
9. Ring bearer
10. Fur bearer
(cross bearer, armour bearer or sword bearer)

Praguematic Humour

Lord's Day September 2 2018

We had a very good day last Lord's Day. We were only 8 at communion but slowly numbers grew in the morning meeting an even in the evening we were into double figures. One feature of the day was lots of visitors. There was a Nigerian lady, two unconnected Iranians (a man who we had been expecting and a woman who we had not), a Syrian man who has come before with his visiting Greek mother and in the evening a Vietnamese young man new to us. As ever lots of others missing. We looked at the next bit in Luke 15 in the morning and returned to Matthew (the end of Chapter 20) in the evening.

10 theologians known by their double initial

1. F F Bruce (Frederick Fyvie)
2. D A Carson (Donald Arthur)
3. N T Wright (Nicholas Thomas)
4. B B Warfield (Benjamin Breckinridge)
5. D M Lloyd-Jones (David Martyn Lloyd-Jones)
6. A W Pink (Arthus Walkington)
7. J P Moreland (James Porter)
8. J I Packer (James Innell) 
9. D M Macleod (Donald M?)
10. A A Hodge (Archibald Alexander)

10 preachers known by their double initial

1. C H Spurgeon (Charles Haddon)
2. D L Moody (Dwight Lyman)
3. A W Tozer (Aiden Wilson)
4. W A Criswell (Wallie Amos)
5. R A Torrey (Reuben Archer)
6. F B Meyer (Frederick Brotherton)
7. W E Sangster (William Edwin)
8. F W Boreham (Frank William)
9. T D Jakes (Thomas Dexter)
10. R C Sproul (Robert Charles)
[Not all recommended]


According to Wikipedia Trdelník is found in several Central European countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, etc).
The word trdelník is of either Czech or Slovak origin. Nowadays, it is very popular among tourists as a sweet pastry in the Czech Republic. A modern version, with fillings such as ice cream, has been spreading in popularity from its origin in Prague. We had one filled with fresh fruit and ice cream with a chocolate spread topping.

The version made in the Slovak town of Skalica - Skalický trdelník was registered in December 2007 as PGI (protected geographical indication) in the European Union. The registration application with the detailed description of the product was published in April 2007 in the Official Journal of the European Union. The original recipe was brought to Skalica at the end of the 18th century by the Transylvanian cook József Gvadányi, a retired Hungarian general. The original recipe was later improved by the inhabitants of Skalica to its final form now known as Skalický trdelník.
The civil association Skalický trdelník was founded at the end of 2004 with the goal of keeping the tradition of the original open fire Trdelník production. The name trdelník comes from trdlo (originally a wooden tool for pounding or stamping materials in a stoupa, a hollowed-out log), the wooden stake the cake is wrapped around for cooking which gives it its traditional hollow shape.

Trip to Prague

It's been a bit quiet here recently as my wife and I have been away together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversarry. We decided to go to Prague for a couple of days, an unknown for us but we had an excellent time walking around sightseeing and taking a trip on the river. We had a nice enough hotel not too far from the centre and managed to see quite a bit on a fairly low budget. We also enjoyed a tram ride and the metro. We learned about trdelnik and enjoyed one each. More on that next time.