Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Dai is in Zac's tonight. It's the first time he's been sober for weeks. He's been going through a bad period and has taken refuge in drink. He'd been saving money to buy himself a good guitar but he's blown it all. He comes to Zac's to try and find something. He finds peace.
Pray God he can hang on to that, and find the strength to fight and win his battle.
The move followed a passionate intervention by Dr Rowan Williams that Trident was morally unacceptable. "I don't believe that there is a case for the moral acceptability of nuclear weapons that I could with integrity accept,' he said. "I believe that the least a Christian body ought to do would be ... to issue the strongest possible warnings and discouragements to our government."'
Da iawn, Rowan. (A Swansea boy, you see.)
But the amendment was only passed by 165 to 149. Which seems to be a sad indictment of the Anglican church in this country.
Sit on the floor, your right leg straight out in front of you. Put your left foot outside your right thigh. Wrap your arms around your left knee and hug it in towards your right shoulder. Mutter sweet nothings to it (that's optional).
Then do the same thing only the other way round.
It's also good for pain in the lower back.
Unfortunately it's not guaranteed to rid you of all pains in the bottom.
Normally I shop in Sainsburys but they're closed for four days for a re-vamp. In other words, they've closed just to upset me twice over. First time: making me go to Tesco's. Second time: I won't be able to find anything when they re-open. (I wonder if they're planning another series of Grumpy Old Women; I could audition.)
So there I am filling the car with petrol while being pelted with rain and blasted with wind, and I glance over at the car just leaving. It's driven by a woman and she's alone. And she looks as if she just stepped out of Vogue. Even with an extra-special effort I don't look like that even when I've just stepped out of the house; I certainly don't look like it now with my red nose and my hair looking as if I've been dragged, not through a hedge but, through a jungle, feet first. How do they do it, these women? As the King of Siam would have said - if he'd been scripted by Rodgers and Hammerstein, 'It is a puzzlement.'
* * * * * * * * * * *
We had a letter in work today. It said they were looking for people with 'a warm heart, a large teapot and a downstairs toilet'.
Also in work, Alun told me that the Welsh for microwave oven is popty ping. That's one of the better Welsh translations.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Lynn Scully (who is living with pretending-to-be-reformed bad boy, Paul Robinson), on being told by her priest that she couldn't marry in church because she's divorced, 'The Pope will never forgive me.'
Now I'm trying to decide whether to post something I've written. I will ponder a little longer.
I have a bad habit of not bothering to open mail if it looks boring; it's now reached the point where I don't even pick it up from the floor where it's landed.
But this morning, with new determination and good intentions, I picked it up. To find a letter from the tax man. 'That's okay,' I thought. 'He'll be thanking me for paying my dues.'
Huh! No such thing. He's trying to penalise me £100 for a late tax return! Rubbish! Not only was my assessment done online before the end of January (when it was due), but he cashed my payment cheque on 1st February. And I have the bank statement to prove it if he wants to argue! The little fibber!
* * * * * * * * * * *
Elder Son tells me that his friend, Otty, is going to sing at the wedding, while they're signing the register. Otty is a rapper so I shall look forward to that.
I really must get started on the wedding cake this week too. Add it to the to-do list.
Maybe it was a particularly enthusiastic circuits session that did it but it's not working the right way round.
Normally I sleep soundly at night, occasionally dreaming but nothing much that I recall; for the last week my dreams have been so vivid and so stressful, it's no wonder I am waking up exhausted and yawning all day.
Last night's dream involved Harvey and was, well, too horrid to think about.
Husband asked if I am worrying about anything: not that I know of.
Come to think of it, it's only started since I began eating yoghurts (those with Bifidus ActiRegularis in them). Hmm, interesting. But stoopid.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Even when we have been out for a walk together, when we return, he has to get into the house first and find something to put in his mouth to greet us. At least he used to; now he doesn't get into the house until someone has helped him. But even then he'll try and find something to hold.
He also still likes to be in the midst of whatever is going on - although he did get confused when Husband was on the scaffolding and talking to him - he couldn't work out where the voice was coming from!
I think he thought it might be the umbrella that's on the stairs; he's been suspicious of it ever since someone left it there, eyeing it when he thinks it's not expecting it.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test and best of all, you can do these simple exercises right in and around your home.
Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective enough.
Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat with the other breast.
Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts. Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
It is, however, the photo of Elder Son that I entered for Boots' Beautiful Baby competition.
Can you believe that he didn't win?!
I wonder if it was the vest that did it.
Ensenda Grande, Mexico
Kovalam Beach, India
White Island, Philippines
Praia da Lopes Mendes, Brazil
Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Oxwich Bay, Gower, UK
Guludo Beach, Mozambique
Super Paradise Beach, Greece
One Foot Island, Cook Islands
Playa Flamenco, Puerto Rico
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Diary
Day 983 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow --but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...
So that would be flour then?
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
He said he'd be delighted but that he would probably be dead before me on the grounds that, even though he's 5 years younger, women usually outlive men.
We tried to think of someone young and funny but decided no-one else would know me so well. So, the plan is, that if he looks a bit poorly, I will rush round with a video camera and he can record a tribute that can be played at my funeral. He will begin it by saying, 'If you're watching this, then both Liz and I are dead.'
I had better start thinking about some good points that he can include because I'm sure he won't!
However I do tend towards a Miss Superior attitude. I'm a Christian - my future is assured - but I don't really expect to see you there!
Today I went to see my great-aunt, Auntie Joan. I told her I didn't know that Uncle Horace had been in the Dambusters and she said that he wouldn't talk about it. He was recruited into the squadron just before they were married, and she didn't know until afterwards what it was he was doing.
Years later he was still having nightmares. Thirty, forty years later he would suddenly sit up in bed and shout, '2 o'clock!' When he was invited to a reunion in the 70s, he wouldn't go, couldn't face going.
I didn't know that they'd met in a church youth group either. I knew they'd been married in the church he was buried from but didn't realise that when she was 16 and he was 20, they started going out after the youth group. 'We used to go to church three times a Sunday then,' Auntie Joan said. 'We loved it.'
I've never known Uncle Horace go to church, except for weddings and funerals. I was learning a lot about him.
'Oh, yes,' Auntie Joan went on, 'on Sunday nights he used to say, "Let's have Songs of Praise on." We'd watch that and then he'd be happy. He was quite a religious man in his own way.'
There are Christians I know who would say, 'That doesn't make him a Christian; that doesn't guarantee him a place in heaven.' But I know where he is right now. And he's free from his nightmares.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Anyway, if you can see, you'll see there are two dials. The top one controls how hot I want it to be; the bottom one has different settings. The settings include one called ECO.
I am under the belief that this stands for Economy, but how can that be? If the temperature is controlled by the top dial, then if I set the bottom dial on Economy, will it make me as warm more cheaply i.e. send a message to the Electricity shop and tell them I'm using the Economy setting so please don't charge me so much? Or will it use less energy - but take longer so it has to be on for longer - to reach the same temperature? Or is it just a magic button that was invented by a genius who worked out how to create energy from nothing? Thus disproving every law of energy there is, I expect.
That's it. And he was employed by the Electricity people who obviously don't want people knowing how to make energy from nothing or they'll be out of business, so they a) bribed him to keep quiet; b) said they'd use it as they have in my fan heater just to keep him happy; c) kidnapped him and even now he is a prisoner in a castle somewhere in deepest Cumbria.
Now for anyone who reads this who thinks I should be working i.e. Husband and Daughter, I'm on my lunch break.
Sounds good and sensible to me.
Unfortunately the Maltings Theatre is in Berwick, which is only a few miles inside England away from the Scottish border. Now a Scottish Nationalist is claiming that it is racial discrimination against the Scots who would have to pay more.
Sometimes it's not necessary to say anything, is it? Things speak for themselves.
Then again, something like 41% of the theatre's audience comes from Scotland. The theatre management asked the region to contribute to its costs: the local authority refused. So it could be spin or spite.
Except I use at least 20 sprays. But how many calories can there be in that? So that's fine.
Except it doesn't look very good so I slop in some proper olive oil. And some more. But, still, it's not as if I'll be eating the entire casserole, so that's fine.
Except I was thinking of putting a rice pudding in to cook at the same time. If I don't I'll be hearing my granny's voice saying, 'You can't waste all that heat on cooking just one thing.' And foods high in calcium help you pooh more fat, so that's all right.
All that milk and rice mightn't be awfully slimming but I am going to circuits first and it is comfort food and it is Valentine's Day and I will be alone. Unless you count younger Son who is planning on eating his dinner in his room watching Arsenal.
So, yes, that's fine. Hardly a hiccup for the diet at all.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
It wasn't until later that I discovered that God likes people.
Immanuel means 'God with us'. Take away God and us and you're left with 'with'. If you ask for coffee with milk in Zac's, you'll get it all mixed up, not with the milk in a jug on the side. That's the same word as God with us. Inseparable. Even when you can't make sense of life, God is in it with you."
Sammy also sang a song about a songwriter whose girlfriend left him because he couldn't get his words to rhyme.
"She's gone to him,
because I can't get my words to rim.
My life is oh so dull,
just pick up your phone and cull
Sammy, Sean and Doris.
Zac's received some funding to commission artwork on the theme of the Beatitudes. Doris symbolises 'Blessed are those who mourn.' In her back are lots of little drawers containing things lost.
I must do another post about the artwork soon. There is still some to be completed but it's part of the vision of Zac's to use different art forms for worship and to provoke thought. To use our God-given creativity to help us be the people we were created to be.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Best known as main songwriter, bassist and front man of the Celtic rock combo, The Electrics, Sammy also tours alone and he's just produced a solo CD called, Songs for the Sick and Tired. If you like Celtic music, you'll love his. You can hear some on the website or his myspace.
He's Irish and intersperses his music with a wonderful narrative. He's got the blarney, all right.
He said he's often asked where he gets the inspiration for his songs. From everywhere, he replies, including a t-shirt Marge wore in one episode of The Simpsons. Here are the words of the song he wrote from that.
For as you judge so you shall be, it says so in the bible o
So please don't be too harsh on me for pobody's nerfect o.
I've tried my best to do my best because I think it's worth it o
But fail I do, yet loved I am, cause pobody's nerfect o.
And if you think you're better than the man who sits beside you o
Then be my guest and throw your stones, for pobody's nerfect o.
He's coming along to Zac's again tonight. I can't wait!
And have been since Sunday. (Apart from the box of Venetian chocolates, which, incidentally, were very scrummy. 'Were' being the operative word.)
I am allowing myself four weeks to lose weight before looking for a wedding outfit.
I'm not going to go on about it; I just wanted you to be aware of it so that, should my posts get a bit grumpy, you'll know there is a reason for it.
But so far, so good. (Apart from the box of Venetian chocolates.)
|Your English Skills:|
Monday, February 12, 2007
No, I'm not really; but I should be after the way Wales played in their Six Nations match against Scotland yesterday.
Last week they lost to Ireland but played well. 'When we get our backs back, it'll be all right, ' we said. Well, we had one of our backs back, but the rest of the team were useless.
2005 Wales win the Grand Slam.
2006 Wales do badly but we put it down to a huge injury list.
2007 What's our excuse?
There seemed to be no hunger to win, no spirit, no hwyl. We were lacklustre, as if we were at the end of a hard season not at the beginning of World Cup year.
England were pretty dire too. But at least they won.
And not even my fantasy rugby team is helping. If it hadn't been for Scotsman, Chris Patterson, scoring so many points against Wales, I'd have been in the red. Good job I had him in my team. although being in my team seems to be a signal for players to get injured or substituted. I included - on Alun's advice - Iain Balshaw (injured) and Mike Tindall (substituted); Irish players, Andrew Trimble and Simon Easterby, both substituted, also figured in my team. Although that's a good thing as the Irish lost. (It's a very complicated scoring system.)
I'm now in 23,172nd position in the league.
As a one-day belated birthday treat, we all - well, all the humans - ate out at Jack in the Green last night. It's our fourth visit there since Daughter has lived in Devon and it's probably about our favourite place to eat. We've never been disappointed.
Last night for starters I had Seared Sesame Tuna with Chive Crushed Potato, Black Olive and Cabernet Sauvignon Vinaigrette . Now I've never had fresh tuna before so I didn't know what to expect. What arrived was three small triangular slices of - well, Husband and Son-in-law who've both eaten tuna before assured me was - tuna. I was convinced they'd brought me the wrong thing. It tasted like ... no, not chicken ... duck or lamb maybe. Certainly it bore nor resemblance to tinned tuna, which I always consider to be a dry fish, which is why I've never chosen to have it before. Anyway it was delicious. Whatever it was.
Killerton House is a National trust property, close to Silverton.
The 'new' Severn Bridge is a very beautiful structure.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
When I left home this morning it was raining; by lunchtime the drive up to the building was getting untravellable, so, being the only person in work, I made an executive decision and sent myself home. Just as well I did too, as Alfie didn't like the slippery hill at all and was most reluctant to stop.
Two things from work though. First an I received an email about a survey being carried out, or as the writer put it, 'we're running a pole asking ...'. One hopes he stops running long enough to ask his questions.
Secondly, on making a phone call I got through to an answerphone that said, 'Your call cannot be answered at the moment and you cannot leave a message so - here the speaker took a breath, just long enough for me to wonder what she was going to say - please sod off.' Not really.
I used to leave amusing messages on the answerphone in work. Okay, I thought they were amusing. One time I said, 'I'm sorry, the answerphone isn't working but the filing cabinet will take a message and pass it on for you.'
I had to remove it after my boss kept getting people complaining that the answerphone wasn't working.
Remember those flowers from yesterday? See them today.
And the cross isn't a cross; it's the edge of a noticeboard (in the middle of the woods).