Thursday, March 23, 2017

In which I am almost perfect

So the dentist says I need to have my teeth scaled. 'I will use sonar to remove the tartar,' she says. 'But I should warn you that people don't like it. It vibrates and there is cold water.'

'Phooey,' I think. 'How painful can a bit of sonar be?'
Ooo yee oww! 
The answer is very.

Other than that she told me I have excellent oral hygiene. And she didn't even add 'for your age.'

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

And he's definitely gone

'Is it odd to say I still can't think of him as gone?' 

Husband and I were in the car on our way home from Uncle's where I'd been sorting out some of his clothes. And it doesn't seem strange at all and I somehow think it should.

I've been trying - and failing - to print a photo of him to frame and the best one I have is the one that Husband took for the 2014 article in The Guardian. In it he looks happy and relaxed and well and it struck me how much he'd changed in the last two years, especially since last autumn, and that I hadn't noticed how dramatically he'd deteriorated. I suppose you don't when you see someone regularly.

He never got his appetite back after a bad chest infection before Christmas. I kept saying to myself, 'Once he starts eating again he'll pick up in strength, get his old enthusiasm back and will carry on to live for years.' This was even though he kept saying, 'Oh, I don't want live for years; I've had enough.'

We've been thinking that something may well have gone wrong in his gut: he had bowel cancer a long time ago. He'd been fine since but, in retrospect, it may have appeared again. And maybe Uncle suspected it.

The most poignant moment of the morning was finding his jacket with the handkerchief still just peeking out of the top pocket. Uncle was always a gentleman in manner and dress.

Husband said, 'No. Life's been too busy. I was thinking about him the other day and it struck me: he's gone. And I miss the old codger.'


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

In which I come out of the closet

So yesterday I upset a friend. I didn't mean to but I did. So since then I've been thinking a lot and trying to clarify my thoughts - always a tricky job when it involves my brain.

There's been a lot of discussion - and pain - around the question of homosexuality and the church. I have friends on both sides of the argument: those who say homosexuality is definitely a sin and those who are equally firmly convinced it's not. I have been reluctant to give my views on the subject because I didn't want to upset either side but that's not being honest. 

So I upset my friend by saying I honestly didn't know if homosexuality was a sin to God. My head says yes but my heart says no. I read passages that seem to say quite clearly that it is but then I think of Jesus (who didn't say anything about it) and his attitude of inclusivity, and then I read articles about how the church is failing to disciple or teach its young people properly (and losing them in the process), and then I read other articles about love and I end up even more confused than I started.

So I thought I'd better try again to look at some passages myself.

My first thought was that not only does Jesus not say anything about homosexuality neither do the ten commandments (although there is a bit in Leviticus, which appears to be things God thought of after the first ten biggies, and which includes some quite severe laws and drastic punishments many of which would be laughed out of church today). 

What the ten commandments do is give us a guide to living. If we do the the things God says we shouldn't do they will cause hurt or pain to us or someone else - so that seems quite reasonable to me. Likewise Jesus in his manifesto (the sermon on the mount) gives us good advice for living: do good and it'll do you good.

What Jesus really doesn't like is hypocrisy: people saying one thing and doing another, especially those leading the church who should know better. The ones who care more about the rules than about the people in their care. He prefers the company of honest sinners. Yes, he tells them to go and sin no more but he's there in the dirt and the mud with them, helping them, helping us.

It's because we can't keep the law that Jesus came. We are no longer under law. 

So back to the subject. Some writers in the New Testament also express themselves strongly on the the topic. Often quoted are these words of Paul:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. etc (Romans 1:26-27) 

But if you look at verse 25 the people Paul is talking about are those who had:
exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator ...

The gay Christians I know know the truth about God and worship and serve him, so they are not the people Paul is talking about nor the unrighteous mentioned in a similar verse in Timothy's letter.

A lot of pro-gay people will put the cultural argument that the times Paul was writing in and about were times of sexual craziness where prostitution and abuse was accepted and even welcomed in temples, where people were used and abused and love had nothing whatsoever to do with it. And I'm sure that's true too. (Paul also said women shouldn't speak in church and frowned upon long hair on men.)

So my head is coming down more on the not a sin side. (When I say homosexuality I am talking about loving committed relationships between two people who happen to be of the same sex.) 

If it is a sin then it's between God and the individual. It's nothing to do with me as long as I don't see one individual using or abusing an another. My job is to encourage people to meet God, get to know him, accept his love. Anything more than that is down to God. And quite honestly I'm pretty glad about that. I have more than enough of my own sins to worry about.

P.S. As you can see I'm my usual wishy washy self on this, but that's okay, because there are loads of things I don't understand in the bible. But I know Jesus and he's pretty cool about that and with me so I'm not going to worry.
P.P.S. I also read an article by a man who considers what he'd do if one of his children came out as gay. He said he would love them not despite their sexuality and not because of it but just because he loves them. I hope the same is true of me and my gay friends.

When is a stool not a stool?

Remember my resolution to think before I speak?

Postman arrives with a parcel. I open the door and say, 'That doesn't look like a stool.'
Postman looks at me, smiles anxiously, and says, 'Sign here please,' before hurrying away.

Perhaps Husband wasn't talking about stools when he said he was expecting a delivery today. He could have made that clear to me. But is that the delivery he told me to wait in for? Or should I still be expecting stools?

Speaking of stools reminds me that I still have a bowel cancer testing kit to use. It arrived during the what-I-call difficult times earlier in the year and I put it to one side to 'do later'. Later has arrived. But I'm busy today ...

Oh yes, and I have a new knife! The same as the one that went missing. Happy woman.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Another short one

Okay so I've rewritten the blog post I was going to post yesterday but I'm not posting it yet. I want to have some details checked by someone I trust.

In other news, GrandSon4 is much improved and eating better.

I spent a large part of today walking to and fro between banks in the pouring rain trying to persuade them to accept a cheque. You wouldn't think they'd be so reluctant, would you? As an executrix I should have waved my wand, said the magic word, 'Acceptiamus!' and they'd have been saying please and thank you good as can be. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I can do magic

I am executrix of Uncle's will. I feel I should be able to do magic being an executrix. Instead I have to go and talk to bank managers. Disappointing.

And that's it, my token post for today. I was going to write a long thoughtful post but I confused myself and deleted it all. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

So ... SuperSaturday

Came and went and really shouldn't have bothered.

Italy lost, then Wales lost and then England lost.

Not much more to say except the Wales France game lasted an extraordinary 98 minutes instead of the designated 80 and there was an inevitability about the end result that made you want to say, 'Oh just give them a try and finish this ordeal.'

The good news is that GrandSon4 has tonsillitis. Ordinarily that wouldn't be good news but he's been back and for to the doctor's for several days with changing symptoms and when Younger Son messaged from the hospital this afternoon to say the out-of-hours doctor didn't think it was meningitis but was sending him to the paediatric unit the rugby result became of secondary importance.

So now he has antibiotics and hopefully he'll improve soon. He's been unhappy and, most significantly, off his food so it will be good when we see him eating again.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Some unashamed self promotion


It occurs to me that some more recent readers of my blog may not be aware that I am a published author. (I know: you can't tell from reading my blog.)

After success with a number of non-fiction books I tried my hand at a novel. After twenty-seven rejections I decided to self-publish and This Time Next Year is the result. 

To give you a taste of it here's the blurb from the Amazon page:

When her decree absolute arrives in the post with her 50th birthday cards Alison Turner wonders if middle age life can get any worse. When the highlights of the last year include being told off by the plumber for 'putting feminine items of hygiene down the lavatory', and her husband leaving her for a 28-year-old 'bimbo', it's easy to understand why Alison exclaims in her diary, 'I do not want another year like that. I must get a new plumber.' 

But if the romantic aspect of Alison's life leaves a lot to be desired (including sex, which is something the rest of her family appear to be enjoying) the everyday aspect is full of incident. In a year of well-intentioned ineptitude, as Alison records in her diary, she is thrown out of a pub for the first time in her life, begins to diet eight times (at least), finds out twelve unappealing things about dogs and discovers that first impressions can sometimes be misleading.

This Time Next Year is available as a paperback or as an ebook from Amazon. Just click on this link.

It might be worth bearing in mind especially with Mother's Day coming up! Or as a present for yourself.

By the same author (as they say on the back of books): A Cop for Christ For Officer Mike DiSanza of the NYPD patrolling the harsh, unforgiving streets of Harlem and the Bronx, it was a near-death experience that led to an amazing turnaround in his perception of the world around him. 

Things that raise more questions than answers

One of the brown 'places of tourist interest' signs pointing to Mumbles has this symbol on it:
Younger Son and I discussed this and came to the conclusion that it meant 'interesting vase in the window of a house in Mumbles':
Today the question arose again this time asked by Husband.  He wasn't convinced by my answer. 
'I think it means wine bar,' he said, 'and that's a carafe.'
'Huh! That's far less likely than my theory.'
I pondered for a while. 'Perhaps it means crafts. Or old things like Roman stuff.'

Thank goodness for Google. It does indeed mean pottery or crafts. But did you know there are 93 different symbols that can appear on brown signs? No, nor me. And you can see them all here.

It doesn't however explain the logo for the National Waterfront Museum.
It's puzzled me ever since they first opened it. I've imagined it's people - slightly bent people -  looking at things.
'I think it's a factory with smoke coming from the chimneys, built on the letter M,' Husband said today. That would be reasonable as it's an industrial museum. But I still say it's not obvious.