Thursday, January 31, 2008
George went swimming yesterday! His first time.
He was wading in quite deeply so I threw a stick a bit further out in the deeper part of the river. He waded as far as he could and then, very tentatively, launched himself into doggy paddle! I was ever so slightly over-excited. It's a good job we were alone in the woods (apart from the fairies but they don't mind).
He brought the stick back and I sent him in again twice more. What a star! Then we walked on a bit further and he kept running to the water's edge and waiting. I was the one who was reluctant to send him in as the poor little thing is so skinny that he was shivering when he came out.
But then he lost his nerve. And would only fetch the stick if he could stree-tt-cc-h over and reach it without swimming. I think the trouble was that he was swimming with his mouth open - and under the water with a lot of resulting spluttering when he emerged.
Still, next time ...
Then this morning he brought some mail in to me that the postman had delieverd through the letterbox. Admittedly I think he only fetched it as he was planning on settling down to eat it but at least he's getting the right idea.
He escaped again this morning. The wind in the night blew away my barricade and he was off. I think we need an electric fence.
He dug up the plants in the tub. Not the new ones that we bought to replace the ones he destroyed last week - they have an old metal mesh tray over them (from a freezer I think) - but the ones in the other tub that weren't covered. They - or what's left of them - are now - with a seed tray and a watering can.
Never the Ugly
Then he squeezes in between the desk and chair and puts his front legs up on my lap and looks into my face with his big dark eyes and I have to stroke his silky-soft ears and give him kisses and tell him how beautiful he is, and he lays his head against my chest and keeps looking up at me ... oh, he is so gorgeous.
On Sunday we parked at Southgate and walked along the headland down into Pobbles. When the tide is out - as it was - Pobbles and Three Cliffs become one big bay.
This is especially for Sometimes Saintly Nick who said he would like to join us on a walk.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Oh, bless him. he's sitting on the lawn looking up at an aeroplane he can hear overhead. He's much more aware of things like that than Harvey was. Harvey never showed any interest in the television but the other night an advert came on (he's testing my barricade - better go check - bother, he's taken my shoe! Have to hop - it's okay, it's impenetrable) and it had a small black dot wending its way through other arrangements of dots. George carefully followed the dot, getting up close to it. It was so sweet to watch.
And the other day he was standing up against my chair when a tiny squeaky little fart escaped from his bottom. You have never ever seen a dog look so surprised. He turned round quickly then got down and started circling on his own axis, trying to work out where the noise had come from, I imagine. He hasn't learned yet to deny all knowledge and blame dad.
I've posted photos of it before but I don't apologise for that! It's regularly in the Top 3 of the World's Best Beaches. I'm not sure why exactly: it's not the longest; it doesn't have the whitest sand; it's not the most deserted (although it looks it here).
I'm biased, of course: I think it's wonderful. It doesn't have a cafe, souvenir shop, toilets or a car park. To get there involves a fairish walk (so that keeps all but the most dedicated beach babies away in the summer).
Maybe it's the peculiar rock formation - that isn't clear in this photo but that gives the beach its name - that makes it special; maybe it just has that something.
Chris and Alun have been doing a series following the Jewish people from the beginning, using places as stopping points. At the moment we're in the Sinai desert, which is not at all as I imagined, being altogether hillier and bleaker. We'd reached the point that talks about God's people being a nation of priests. Chris asked for some definitions of the word and most agreed that a priest was an intermediary who pointed people to God and showed God to people.
At that point I was wriggling uncomfortably, thinking what a bad example I am. If people are looking for God in me they'll have to look hard; I'm altogether not good enough to be a priest, to demonstrate God; I have far too many failings; and so on. Then Chris said, 'Now some people are going to say that they've got far too much rubbish in their lives; they can't do that. But I think that's a cop-out. It's because of the crap in our lives that we can.'
Our crap that we've been forgiven; the love, grace and mercy that has been shown to us. In spite of us.
Then it was Alun's turn. 'Six thousand die from AIDs in Africa every day. That's two 9/11s.' He went on to list other horrors and insanities that go on before asking, 'Where is God in this? Why doesn't he do something?'
If we are God's priests, why don't we?
It ended with a challenge to make a difference. The same challenge was repeated in Zac's tonight. We can't change the world single-handedly but individually we can make a small difference to the lives of others, and corporately, we can bring about change. We have to believe that; we have to hope. We have to kick the darkness until it bleeds light.
* * * * * * * * * *
And because I can't be entirely serious for very long I'll also mention that Sean spoke about God not only forgiving our sins but forgetting them too. He said, 'When we go to God and say, "I'm sorry I've done it again", God says, "Done what again?"' And my first thought was, 'Don't tell me God's menopausal too!'
They're both gifts from www.goodgifts.org Their catalogue includes a huge number of very varied gift ideas for the person who has everything, such as the bull semen (improves the quality of livestock in third world countries) and the tea dance (organised by Help the Aged for elderly in this country).
All the gifts are supplied by recognised charities including Woodland Trust, Warchild, Unicef, Sightsavers, nspcc and so on.
Footballs for an African school, music therapy sessions, protect a penguin, elephant-stopping chili hedges. The ideas are so brilliant and wild and original, there must be something there you know someone would like!
And I'm not getting paid to promote this! We received the catalogue in work and I just loved it!
Husband ordered the camera after deciding that the old one would cost more to repair. It's not just that the flap doesn't; it also struggles to remain focused. A bit like me on most days: not flapping but slightly out of focus.
* * * * * * * * *
My editor phoned. (Do you like the way I drop that in?) He said, 'We've got some great photos of you and your husband. Send us money or we publish them.'
No, he didn't say the last bit. The good thing is that they will only appear on the web so aunties, uncles, friends and, most importantly, work colleagues of Husband won't see them.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I have to pass it along. I haven't forgotten I have to pass along the Nice award too. I will have to check who already has them and then I will pass them on, promise!
Remind me later to tell you about the bull semen and frog spawn.
2. Over on Calum's blog there's a post from 22nd January (I don't know how to link to individual posts) all about growing up in the fifties/sixties. Apart from the fact that I thought he was younger than that, it's a great post for reliving memories if you're of that generation.
3. George was chipped on Saturday. We never had Harvey done but we were impressed with how simple a procedure it is. George didn't even notice. And what's more, the chip can tell his temperature! So no more thermometers up the bottom! I told George but he had wiped that memory from his head but he believed me when I said it was a good thing.
4. Church on Sunday was excellent! It's not often you will hear me say that ... I plan to write more about it but later as I must work first. But think on this: kicking the darkness until it bleeds light.
5. The man from the Evening Post (my editor!) was supposed to be phoning me yesterday to talk about what's needed; he didn't. My fear is that he's seen the photos and is rethinking his decision. But thank you all for your comments on the previous post. No, I don't get any free tickets to games; the daffodil is a symbol of Wales; we acquired the large blow-up daffodil after the last international we went to at the Millennium stadium - we didn't buy it, someone had left it behind!; I will be sure to blog the photo. I mean, how could I not after this?!
Monday, January 28, 2008
The Six Nations rugby competition begins next weekend when Wales play the old enemy, England, at Twickenham. I noticed that the Evening Post was advertising for a rugby fan blogger to cover the tournament so I applied. I suspect I was the only applicant so I got the 'job'. If I'd been the only applicant and had been turned down it would have been pretty depressing but I wasn't, so that's fine.
'So can we send a photographer to take your photo so we can introduce you to the readers?'
'Oh, yes, okay.'
I forgot to say that in my application I'd just happened to mention that Husband is an England rugby fan so they decided they'd like a photo of us both in our respective rugby shirts.
(When I told Husband this little detail, he groaned and muttered something under his breath.)
So the photographer came today. First of all he took some shots of me on my own then some of us together. Now where I probably made my biggest mistake was saying that we had a large blow-up daffodil and would he like me to bring that out with me (he took the photos in the natural light outside).
He stroked his chin thoughtfully then said, 'Eureka!' (Or words to that effect.)
So what do you think? Which photo will appear in the local paper? Me in sexy-in-rugby-shirt pose or me hitting Husband with giant blow-up daffodil?
I'll keep you informed.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
So I couldn't take photos to show how George, single-pawedly, is destroying our garden (as well as our home).
This is only a short little video. Do watch it if you are thinking of getting a Golden Retriever puppy.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
At the very end of the meeting, almost as a throwaway, Sean read Romans 8:1.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ..."
If only he and she and you and I could really grasp what that means, the world would be a different place.
I was reminded of the verse again reading jmb's blog about music and its effect on her. On a Sunday morning we occasionally sing an old hymn, Before the throne of God above. The words were written in 1863 by Charitie L. Bancroft and it's the second verse that always gets me.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ..."
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I walk for at least an hour most days and I do two hours of strenuous circuit training a week. I am trying to diet and yet I don't lose weight. I even dance around the kitchen while poaching my eggs, singing along with the CD, complete with beetroot-on-fork microphone.
So it must be a rare affliction I have. Perhaps they will name it after me. I have always wanted to be famous. Though I had hoped it would be for my writing.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Last night when we were getting ready for bed, Husband put my glass of water - instead of the tube of toothpaste - in the bathroom cabinet. I realised he'd done it and got into bed before him and asked him to bring me my glass of water. He went to the bathroom and, being unable to see it on the side of the sink, knew straightaway that it was in the bathroom cabinet.
He says it wasn't him who put it there but I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, why would he even think to look in the bathroom cabinet? That's not a place anyone would expect a glass of water to be; only the person who had put it there would know instantly.
* * * * * * * * * *
I realised I had forgotten to expound upon my theory and I know the world is waiting, so my theory is as follows.
I am not losing weight but I am very tired. It is my belief that my body has forgotten it is supposed to convert excess flab into energy and is draining my already depleted stocks of energy thus making me tireder but not thinner.
What do you think?
I have always been a bit dubious about those who have used slow metabolism as an excuse but a dodgy metabolism is a different matter altogether. I mean to say, I made half a leftover trifle last me two days; no-one could call that excessive, could they? At least not to my face.
Hey ho. Serious serious diet starts today. Sigh.
If I say I’ve been expecting it, that doesn’t mean that there was anything I could do to prevent it. And it has been over a year since I had to call out the rescue men. Yes, Betty broke down. Since winter began, each time she’s started again after stalling at traffic lights, I’ve given a little ‘yes!’ of delight, but this morning it wasn’t just that she wouldn’t start in the vet’s car park: she began to buzz. Loudly. Even after I took the key out of the ignition, she continued to buzz. I got out of the car, went round the back, opened the boot/bonnet and jiggled a rubber hose; she carried on buzzing.
A lady who had pulled into the car park next to me, got out and, together, we umm-ed and aah-ed. Betty stopped buzzing.
‘Try and start her now,’ the lady said.
I had scarcely opened the door before Betty began to buzz again. ‘Oh dear,’ we both said. ‘I think it must be something serious,’ I said, ‘like a um fan belt coming off.’ (I am very knowledgeable.)
I phoned the Rescue Men.
‘What’s the trouble?’
‘My car is buzzing.’
When the mechanic arrived, I turned the ignition key so he could hear the buzzing and there wasn't any. Instead Betty made a sort of rumbling noise.
‘Sounds like a flat battery,’ he said.
‘No, she wasn’t making that sort of noise before; she was buzzing.’
‘Sounds like a flat battery.’
‘No, I know what flat batteries sound like. They don’t make a noise.’
‘I’ll get my charger,’ he said.
It was a flat battery.
At least it wasn’t anything serious.
As an honorary Pats supporter, I thought I should mention that 'our' boys are off to Arizona for the Superbowl on 3rd February. If they're successful, it'll be their fourth Superbowl title in seven seasons.
The video was made a few weeks ago so doesn't include the last two victories, including yesterday's defeat of the San Diego Chargers. The New England Patriots are the first team to go 18-0 taking the record from Miami who set it in 1972 with 17 consecutive wins.
Elsie sent me the video and she's the one who introduced me to Tom Brady. And I think it's American football they play, not that it matters if Tom's playing ...
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Take yesterday morning for instance. It was mentioned that there was an urgent need for a volunteer to prepare food for the student lunch after church on Sunday. 'I'll do it,' my mouth said. 'How many students?'
'Usually 12 is the maximum.'
'But this week we have a team of 5 Australian student workers with us as well.'
None of the students are vegetarians and we don't know about the Aussies but, as Nathan said, 'Whoever heard of a veggie Aussie?'
So I'm making (currently simmering away nicely) a huge pan of bolognese sauce, and tomorrow I'll cook spaghetti and garlic bread, and with a green salad and a couple of large trifles, that should do. That will have to do.
At least it has taken my mind off the fact that we're doing a presentation in prison tomorrow. Usually we just go in to support the chaplains but once every 6 weeks, whoever is in, does a presentation i.e. takes the whole service. Twice, in fact, for different cell blocks. (It used to be 3 times as we did the segregated unit separately but it's been decided to unsegregate them for chapel.)
I phoned the chaplain yesterday to give our names for gate security.
'Just the two of you?' he said.
'You know you're doing a presentation, don't you?'
'It'll be fine, don't worry.'
It will be fine. Robin's leading the singing and I'm doing the talky bit. We can do this, with a little bit of help from God. Okay, a big bit of help.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Suddenly, in work today, I realised the answer was just before my nose. Surely some of the most important people in my life are the leaders of the church I attend. They provide guidance, pastoring, care, wisdom, direction, as well as answers to the greatest theological questions in the world; they set an example with their lifestyles; they are at the forefront of modern Christian thinking; they hold the cords that keep us together. So for my entry for the Photohunt this week, I offer photos of two of those leaders, men with all the qualities that you would look for in a guru, men who command the utmost respect. Fellow Photohunters, I present to you, Two Important Men.
And when they see these photos, I might have to leave the country.
Must tell you that yesterday I booked tickets for the Wales Italy rugby game and Bruce Springsteen. Both at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium - but not together.
Last we saw The Boss was a couple of years ago in London. It was a difficult-to-get-to venue and we left just before the end because we knew getting a tube train would be horrendous. We won't have that problem this time so will be able to relax and go with the flow, man.
* * * * * * * * * *
Today in work i took phone call from 'John'. His wife was downstairs in the quilting class and he wanted me to pass a message on to her. John and his wife are part of our church and I know him well. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to slap him next time I see him. Asking me to take the message he said, 'As you've got a bit of extra meat on you, it'll do you good to run downstairs.'
What made it worse was that when I told his wife, she sighed (she's well used to John putting his foot in it) but as she did so her eyes travelled up and down my body - and she didn't say, 'What extra meat?' She didn't say anything!
I know I've put on weight but I'm still wearing the same clothes; it can't be THAT obvious surely?!!!!!
I need chocolate.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
We followed this path. Yes, it was a path, George ... no, it wasn't a river ... it's just been a bit - damp of late.
In and out of the corkscrew trees.
And we discovered that, given the choice between coming when I call him and licking clean an empty sandwich packet, the latter will win. George wasn't going to stop until the packaging was germ-free let alone crumb-free, even if I did go and leave him and hide.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
'URGH!!!!! I hate that!'
I was quite surprised at the strength of his reaction: I've never known marmalade to provoke such a response before. 'You don't have to eat it,' I said.
Then Sean cut it into slices and the man peered at it. 'Mar-ma-lade,' he said. 'Oah, that's the stuff you have on toast in the mornings, isn't it? I like that.'
Yes, you've got it: he thought it was Marmite Cake.
Later on I read a monologue I'd written and afterwards several people said to me, 'That was so descriptive. I felt I was there.'
I guess that answers my previous post.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I'm not good at descriptive writing. My writing is sparse perhaps?
I was thinking about this when we were walking. I write my blog posts carefully, often composing them in my head before I get anywhere near a computer. But, sometimes, I wonder if I say enough. I know what I mean but is it clear to a reader?
In an earlier post I wrote about newspaper headlines. I finished the post with one word: Nice. I know what I meant by that but should I have explained it more?
I could have said this.
I am disgusted with both the press and the mother. The press because Diana is dead but her sons are alive; the mother because if her daughter were a whore maybe it was because she was searching for the love that had been missing from her life from her childhood onwards.
Is that what you read into my 'Nice'?
In the centre of the picture below the sea there ... (Oh, I just had a moment of complete panic: I could hear a phone ringing, wasn't sure if it was mine, ran around like an idiot following the noise, found it was my phone ringing and couldn't remember how to answer it.) ... are some houses. One is very reddish-looking and to its left,as you look at it, there's a yellow house. That's not ours. But ours is behind it. Now, was that worth it?
It was brilliant! Very joyous and funny and smile-making. The leading girl was great: short, plump and with an innocent, slightly puzzled-by-the-world expression. Michelle Pfeiffer was an excellent evil bitch of a television station manager. The only thing I didn't understand was why they cast John Travolta as the mother. He certainly didn't have Mrs Doubtfire's realism. Maybe it's impossible to find a middle-aged fat woman in Hollywood.
Many critics compared it with Grease. It has the same want-to-singalong factor and the whole retro feel. What I loved about it was that it had a probably unrealistic ending where the fat girl gets the boy and there's full racial integration. While I enjoyed Grease I was so disappointed with the ending where Sandy's transformation from 'good' girl is signalled by her appearing, with attitude, in leathers and a tight t-shirt. In order to fit in she has to conform with the crowd. Sad.
So if you want a really feel-good movie, watch Hairspray!
I did go but the place was all locked up and deserted. So I went to Sainsburys instead. After all I haven't been there since, um, Saturday.
In the petrol station outside the shop there is a display of newspapers. After all that Paul Burrell, butler to the Princess of Wales, said in his evidence at the inquest yesterday, what do the majority of newspapers choose to use for their front page headlines?
Diana was a whore says her mother.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Basically VAT is on luxury goods, which strangely includes toilet rolls.
So, anyway, I couldn't remember if coffee or chocolate drinks had VAT on them so I decided to check on the web. 'There must be a simple little chart somewhere that will tell me what is what,' I said to myself.
On the government website, it said that the following foods are zero-rated:
The supply of anything comprised in the general items set out below, except -
(a) a supply in the course of catering; and
(b) a supply of anything comprised in any of the excepted items set out below, unless it is also comprised in any of the items overriding the exceptions set out below which relates to that excepted item.
Well, of course.
So I guessed. If I end up in prison for defrauding the VATman, please send chocolate.xx
Chris retorted (retorted? No, retorted isn't too strong a word) something along the lines of there being a difference between truth and fact. The truth we believe, we can't claim as fact.
I am so glad I am part of church where it's okay, in almost every case, for my truth to be different from that even of the person who is sitting next to me of a Sunday morning.
I asked Husband if it belonged to him. 'No. You probably bought it in a charity shop.'
'No, I didn't. I wouldn't even pick up a book that didn't have a title on its cover or spine. There is nothing about it that would attract me.'
Now I've bought things before, put them away and forgotten about them but a memory - however vague - has always been triggered on coming across them again. But this book, A Cynic's Lexicon, nope, complete blank.
A quote at random: Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself. (Joan Didion)
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Your Birthdate: November 12
You're a dynamic, charismatic person who's possibly headed for fame.
You tend to charm strangers easily. And you usually can get what you want from them.
Verbally talented, you tend to persuade people with your speaking and writing.
You are affectionate and loving, but it's hard for you to commit to any one relationship.
Your strength: Your charm
Your weakness: Your extreme manipulation tactics
Your power color: Indigo
Your power symbol: Four leaf clover
Your power month: December
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I don't know if you can see in this photo how muddy he is. He wouldn't pose properly for me so I had to bribe him with treats. Oh, yes, and the camera is working again. I shook it a bit and fiddled with the lens thing that goes in and out and it did the trick.
But perhaps if I had given George his lunch before we went he wouldn't have felt the need to fill up on horsey poo.
* * * * * * * * * *
I've decided to leave the lights and tinsel up in the hall to go with the holly leaves. I expect we'll get round to finishing decorating one day.
I probably shouldn't have put the sparkly Christmas tablecloth in to wash with Husband's boxers though. I have warned him not to go to the Gents at the same time as anyone else: I would not like him to be mistaken for a Christmas fairy.
* * * * * * * * *
Talking about underwear, I have had a mammoth bra-wash today, soaping all my decent ones - and some indecent ones. I have had to wear an old one and it is driving me to distraction: it is sooooo itchy! It's a good job I am in the house today (except when I went out with George to the woods, which was people-free). It isn't done for a church administrator to be seen scratching in public.
* * * * * * * * * *
George is very puzzled by the last video. He can hear my voice but he's worked out that I'm not speaking to him at this moment. So he bites me.
* * * * * * * * *
Driving somewhere this afternoon, thinking about Marmite, I thought some more about what Jenny had said last night. We both acknowledged that we do bad things (sin!) and that, what's more, we know in advance that we're going to do it, but it doesn't stop us; it just makes us feel guilty.
Then I remembered one of those witty little sayings that someone comes up, which are so simple and obvious that you wish you'd said it yourself but you know you're not clever enough to have done. It was something along the lines of: You can't disappoint God; he knows you too well to be disappointed by anything you do. Only snappier than that.
Now I'm going to watch Farce of the Penguins.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I was talking about this afterwards with Jenny.
We both know people who seem to be on a permanent high in their faith. They give the impression - although it isn't their intention - that to be anywhere else is not good enough.
I wouldn't say that I'm on a permanent low but certainly my faith is far less spectacular and exciting and wonderful and thrilling and ... you get the picture, than theirs. Mine is on a steady plane (plain?) with occasional highs and the odd troughs.
I like Marmite but not in great dollops. I prefer mine spread evenly over my toast. And that's okay. (In fact I've just noticed that it says spread thinly on the jar.)
And, sadly, I am rather suspicious of people who always spread it on thickly.
Share the Marmite, brothers and sisters!
Anyway it didn't, he didn't and he wasn't, so all was well - once we got beyond the first 20-30 yards with him whimpering and being dragged along on his bottom. He is a most peculiar dog.
He enjoys being out really. He had a good romp on the seashore, playing with other dogs and being growled at and fussed over, and even fetching sticks. And he managed to find what was probably the only bit of horse poo on the whole of the five-mile stretch of foreshore (which is washed twice daily by the tide).
Now before I go I must ask you what would you think if you read this newspaper billboard: JUDGE ATTACKS CLUB BOUNCER.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I travelled to London to meet her and her husband and when I left them, I had the impression from her that we'd be meeting again. However my editor later told me that they didn't think I was the right person for the job. (I guessed while I was with them that her husband felt I lacked the passion for their cause, and, also, he'd started writing the story himself and wanted to continue I believe.) As far as I am aware the book was never published, at least not by H&S.
But all that's just an introduction to what I wanted to say. One thing the woman and her husband both tried to impress upon me was that, if I took on the job, I would come under pressure from people who didn't want the book published. The woman had been targeted with all sorts of slurs. Well, I didn't have any secrets in my past so whether I was naive or stupid, I wasn't particularly concerned.
I was both relieved and disappointed when I didn't get the job. Relieved because I wanted to do my own writing, not ghost-writing, and disappointed because I would have been earning money, and the story was fascinating. How she'd got involved in Scientology, progressed to a high level, then 'seen the light' and left. As well as the problems she'd had since leaving.
It seems incredible that people can become involved in cults. That they can be so gullible as to fall for the stories they're told. (Yes, Dr Stu, I know I've fallen for the story of Christ!) And many of these people are intelligent. I think, 'how can they go along with this? '
But they do and I suppose it's because they want to, no, they need to. They're searching, desperately seeking answers, acceptance, love, and if these are the answers put in front of them, then they will grab at them with both hands.
Okay, because I can hear Dr Stu's voice, I'll say that, yes, I was searching, seeking something beyond myself. I was fortunate that I found Christ - or rather He found me. My faith isn't insidious, I don't believe. It doesn't make ridiculous demands of me; its basic message is a good one, one of love and unselfishness.
Those who fall prey to less humble saviours are easy victims. A saviour who shouts a lot about the state of the world but continues to enjoy its benefits and live by its principles isn't a saviour worth having.
In theory I was at the checkout at Sainsburys on Saturday; in reality I was reeling around in the ether, stumbling and stuttering in amazement. When did it happen? When did I become this grown-up woman with responsibility for running a home, cooking food, stocking up on toilet rolls, bringing up children, driving a car?
It must have happened when, to quote John Lennon, I was busy doing something else. I certainly didn't notice it. I'm not old enough for heaven's sake! Or responsible enough. How have these years gone by? Have I done okay?
I think I must have: I've fooled lots of people. Including me. Because that's not really me. I'm the girl who skips, who had adventures with Harvey, who gets embarrassed when there's sex on television.
I'm not the woman the boy on the checkout can see. The middle-aged, wrinkled, overweight, less-than-impeccably-dressed woman. The woman he feels he must make conversation to: Is it still raining out there?
I stop and think. 'I can't remember.' But it's not that I can't remember; it's because I didn't absorb it; it wasn't important.
You see, a grown-up woman would know if it were raining. She would consider that a piece of vital-to-know information. She'd have a sensible coat or an umbrella!
Yay, I'm not really grown-up! I don't have an umbrella. I hate umbrellas.
I can be Peter Pan - in my head - a little longer.
Monday, January 07, 2008
I saw this quote on Matt W's blog and thought it worthwhile repeating. As is this one of Mother Teresa's.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
He left. Others followed him. There was great pain and sorrow on both sides of the divide. Some left the organisation to join the splinter group; some left to go elsewhere; some became so disillusioned they gave up entirely.
Gradually over the next ten years many of those who left returned. They realised that the things they were led to believe about the organisation weren't true at all.
So a happy ending? Maybe, except for those for whom the damage was too deep.
* * * * * * * * * *
Before our church split a lot of people stopped coming on Sundays because they were confused and unhappy. One evening during this time we had a guest speaker. His name was Jeff Lucas and he'd travelled from London to speak. He'd been invited a long time before everything had blown up and the leaders didn't want to put him off. I was amongst the very small audience who heard him. I have no idea what he said but I didn't stop laughing from almost as soon as he started until the end. It was wonderful to hear laughter in church again after a long time without it. It was just what we needed.
P.S. I meant to say that the point of this post is the old cliche, that nothing, however good or bad it is, lasts for ever (except perhaps The Sound of Music). And that - oh, I'm doing well on the cliches! - laughter is the best medicine!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
On unfamiliar territory George keeps very close to my heels. What's that? Oh I see. George says he is the rear guard, making sure no-one creeps up on us from behind. My hero.
I know it won't be long, however, before I am screaming at him, 'George, come back here!' as he disappears into the distance and these walks, with a dog at my side, are nothing more than a fond memory.
George hasn't yet learned the rules of dogiquette. He hasn't learned that he's not supposed to jump up at other dog-walkers even if he has sniffed out doggy treats in their pockets. Especially if the dog being walked is a fully-grown female Rottweiler who would have squashed George had she sat upon him.