On 13th September churches in Colchester are hosting a Free Family Fun Festival in Castle Park (in the centre of the town). It promises to be a brilliant day with all manner of different free activities to bless the people of our town. If you want more information about what’s happening click on the link here.

I have been privileged to be a part of the planning team for this and I confess that the alliterative name came from me. I like lots of lovely (a)lliteration. There’s something about it that is appealing. I have read several explanations that include it matching synaptic rhythms in our grey matter; that it flows off the tongue easily (your mouth can revert to making the same shape at the start of saying several similarly starting words; and that it makes phrases more memorable (useful in preliterate societies) and mimics musicality.

Whatever the reason, alliteration adds another aspect to words, even if they are consciously contrived confabulations of coincidentally commencing comments. It is playful. And that’s my contribution to the canon of cognition about it: it appeals to our innate desire to play.

Of course, as you may have experienced in this bloggage, it is possible to overdo it. It is perhaps the unexpectedness of the alliterative episode that contributes to our enjoyment of it. If everything was alliterative we would soon grow tired of it. Would we or wouldn’t we?

To close this musing I would like to share with you the Melody in F from Frogs in Cream (a book by Nick Mercer and Stephen Gaukroger that is now out of print but is partly responsible for my love of humour).

Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the farthings. He flew far to foreign fields, and frittered his fortune feasting fabulously with faithless friends.

Fleeced If by his fellows in folly, and facing famine, he found himself a feed flinger in a filthy farmyard. Fairly vanishing, he fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from fodder fragments.

 ‘Fooey! My father’s flunkies fare far finer!’ The frazzled fugitive forlornly fumbled, frankly facing facts. Frustrated by failure, and filled with foreboding, he fled forthwith to his family.

Falling at his father’s feet, he forlornly fumbled, ‘Father, I’ve flunked, and fruitlessly forfeited family fellowship favour.’ The farsighted father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies, ‘fetch a fatling from the flock and fix a feast!’

The fugitive’s faultfinding brother frowned on this fickle forgiveness of former falderal. But the faithful father figured, ‘Filial fidelity is fine, but the fugitive is found! Let flags be unfurled! Let fanfares flare!’

His father’s forgiveness forms the foundation for the former fugitive’s future fortitude.


(See Luke 15 if you want the less alliterative version!)

Be blessed, be a blessing

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