My web-watching column for the Church of England Newspaper last month:
When the going gets tough the British go shopping. So it used to be said, but increasingly this is done on-line. Here are some shopping sites that are a slightly better-kept secret than they ought to be.
Notonthehighstreet is a one-stop shop collecting many different retailers. It is an especially useful place to find an appropriate gift for birthdays, weddings and the like. Worth a look.
Getting Personal is also a gift service but every product can be personalised for the recipient. The products are cleverly organised by occasion. Free delivery on orders over £30.
Traidcraft tends to be a place I only remember to visit at Christmas but they have good gifts all the year round. Its nice to know that every purchase deposits a fair return in the hands of the worker who made the goods. They support a hundred or so producer groups in thirty countries. Purchases change lives.
Red Letter Days sell outings, events and experiences rather than things. Here you will find gastro-holidays, theatre breaks, balloon rides and the like.
If help is needed to stop spending much has been said recently about financial advice on-line, little of it for younger adults. What About Money is an easy-to-navigate site full of tips and hints about mobile phone deals, transport costs, budgeting and much more. If you self-same young adults have enough money for a year out then Gap Year Travel Store is a must-visit.
If you want to find a few last minute resources for Holy Week and Easter try Family Worship, which has ideas for songs, drama and other resources with downloadable free MP3 files of backing tracks. Reep promotes connections between religions and the environment and has an Easter resources page.
As Easter holidays beckon children may be looking for entertainment. If you'd like to tell your tonking from your festop and your festoon from your forktop visit Making and Flying Kites.
People seem to be becoming more and more interested in the history of their home patch (or maybe I'm just getting older). Whatever, Vision of Britain will give maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions of Britain between 1801 and 2001, searchable by postcode.
Tired of googling? Feel like a change? Try Clusty. It's very quick.
If you fancy wandering around a few blogs over the Easter break may I recommend Crooked Shore (the name taken from the County Down coastline). It's a place to '...expect comments on books and movies. Sometimes, though not often, a rant. Often biblical or theological reflection. Maybe a poem.' Good pictures too.
Doug Chaplin used to blog at Metacatholic but he has laid that one down to become Blogito Ergo Sim. He still muses on faith and life in an informed and intellectually stimulating way. When blogs end do they sound the last post?
Justin Lewis-Anthony is '...a priest in the Church of England, with an unhealthy interest in film and theology, and an inability not to see the long view.' He blogs as the 3 Minute Theologian, 'Making words about God for the attention deficit generation.' Fun and thoughtful. It was via this blog that I found the work of Slacktivist. The theme that holds it all together is 'knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend.' I'll be back. Sometimes chaos is riveting.
In a greying world Green Patches mixes the ecological, theological and illogical. The biography says, 'Married, middle-aged, immature, living with keep-fit and cycle-sportive fanatic, teenage son, dog, cat (late), birds, gerbil (very late) and bearded dragon - with student daughter away in The Big City. Half Scottish, with a touch of Welsh and French somewhere in the mix, I'm a quiet, retiring, MBTI INFP, cleaner up of other folks messes and part-time mature student. Currently exploring a vocation to The Society of St Francis (Franciscan Third Order).' Bloggers are a bit like this. Enjoying this script will help you to work out if you have what it takes to surf the blogosphere.
Green Patches linked me to The Mercy Blog, the writings of a Franciscan ex-herdsman. I found it a lovely place to read and meditate.
Iminacoma.org is currently not responding.
Mustard Seed Shavings has an archive of previous columns.