Friday, November 29, 2013

Thank goodness it's Friday

Not the best of days today. It's strange, isn't it, how you can imagine something happening and what your response would be but when it does your response is quite different?

Never mind, off to Cardiff tomorrow afternoon for the Wales Australia rugby game at the Millennium Stadium.

And then A Taste of Italy on Sunday. Unfortunately I don't think there'll be many people there: lots either away or busy or not interested. But we will enjoy it I'm sure.

It's also Husband's birthday on Sunday and the first day of December so on Monday we can get out the Christmas mugs and start on the Christmas music. Yay!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm a winner!

Woop, woop! I've done it! Written 50,000 words in November. In spite of my birthday and GrandDaughter's birthday celebrations I am a NaNoWriMo WINNER!
Now you may get some sense out of me.

Apart from getting Moses baskets ready for the midwife tomorrow, work on Friday, going to Cardiff for the rugby on Saturday, Husband's birthday plus Younger Son and Nuora's big fund-raising cookery demonstration on Sunday, Christmas planning and a few other things I must get done, I don't have anything to do ...

And of course 50,000 words doth not a novel make. My heroine is currently in big trouble and I have yet to work out how she's going to wriggle out of it. But at least I can take my time now - and maybe, as I did last year, put it off until Spring. 

So I'll be out and about blog visiting soon. But first of all I shall a deep breath and ... I was going to say eat chocolate but I don't have any. phooey. Bad planning, Mrs Hinds.

Monday, November 25, 2013

More Doctor Who than marmite

We watched the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special - and most excellent it was - on Saturday and at the end I said, 'I understood that. Apart from a tiny bit.' As I have failed to understand what's going on about 90% of the time during the last three doctors that was quite an achievement.

On Sunday morning I started thinking about it again and realised that, in fact, I understood very little of it.

Later, after our church meeting, one of the mums who'd been in crèche asked me what the speaker had been like. I paused and then said, 'So-so. I didn't like some of the stuff he said but every now and again he made a good point.'

Marmite uses the slogan 'you love it or hate it' in its advertising campaigns. Now I neither love nor hate it: I like a little bit spread thinly. And I was thinking much the same about the speaker: I didn't love or hate him.

Today I pondered more about it and posted three statuses on Facebook entitled Things that put me off, 1, 2 and 3.
1: when the speaker uses the words cosmic twice and cosmology once in the first three minutes of his talk.
2: when the speaker singles someone out and publicly prophesies over him especially when preceding it with the words 'I'm not prophesying over you.'
3: when the speaker says he's unhappy with his prayer life then says, 'it's probably a prayer life you'd envy but I'm not happy with it.'

As I couldn't remember a single good thing he'd said I came to the conclusion that while not hating him I can't have enjoyed his talk very much.

So it was less like Marmite and more like Doctor Who, in that thinking about it brought me to a different conclusion. 

If that makes sense then welcome to my world. 

Incidentally, in work today I was listening to the talk given by the speaker the week before. (It's part of my job to put talks on the website.) He was self-deprecating and excellent. Also didn't ramble or go on for ages. My sort of speaker.

Happy birthday to my princess!

Apologies for lack of blogging this month. NaNoWriMo is taking up most of my time - along with birthdays, Christmas, work, Zac's and stuff.

This last weekend we were in Devon for GrandDaughter's 4th birthday. Daughter made this fab cake for the little girl obsessed with princesses, in particular, Aurora.

While some of the guests were still doing crafty stuff a few of us began the balloon dance.

Grandson2 had a good time wandering around eating left-overs from people's plates - or more particularly icing off the top of cupcakes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beautiful birthday flowers

From Sean at Zac's.

A fresh expression of church

On Saturday Zac's Place hosted a Fresh Expressions Vision day.

Fresh Expressions is an initiative of the Anglican and Methodist churches (at least mainly I think) aimed at creating and encouraging fresh expressions of church. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the old expressions and many people love them but falling attendance and closing buildings suggest that they're not attracting as many people today as they might have done in the past.

Zac's is vaunted as an example of a fresh expression of church that works and it was great on Saturday to be able to welcome a number of Anglican, Methodist and Salvation Army people for one of the vision days run in different venues around the country by the Fresh Expressions people.

Because I am so much part of Zac's and it part of me I find it very strange to think of it as unusual. It feels normal and as church should be but sadly church often doesn't live up to the New Testament version and we have many regulars who can tell their stories of abuse by church.

It would be interesting to hear what the participants said to their congregation/family/friends about the day and particularly their views on Zac's from what they saw and heard of it.

P.S. I've just looked at the FE website and read a report about the recent Vision Day held in Edinburgh attended by 120 people. I hope the the very much lower attendance at ours doesn't reflect an ingrained attitude in the Church in Wales.

A Jew or not a Jew?

I thought I saw a man in the woods today standing by a tree. An Orthodox Jew to be precise. My imaginings are very specific.

I blame George: he'd stood and stared so maybe he imagined him too.

I had been thinking about Abraham ready for tonight's bible study but I don't think anyone would classify him as an Orthodox Jew. In fact were he to turn up and ask to join an OJ synagogue today they'd probably uncircumcise him or whatever they do for being a disgrace.

Yet God loved him and that is a great relief to us less than perfect people.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm just a girl who can't ...

I seem to have become - or maybe always have been - a girl who can't say no.

Thus my hall currently looks like this:
It was one of the twice yearly NCT nearly new sales this morning. I'd contacted the organisers asking if I could have first refusal on any left-over Moses baskets etc that could be given to destitute pregnant young women and she'd told me to come along after the sale had finished. The Red Cross always collects the remains but she said I could have first pick. 

Unfortunately the Red Cross men got there first and weren't very sympathetic to my cause. So I was standing a bit like an unwanted guest at a wedding until one of the organisers spotted me and they did a special announcement explaining exactly who I was and what I was doing so sellers who had leftover small baby stuff they didn't want to take home again came and gave it to me and gave everything else to the Red Cross. 

I did two trips in Mini and, thankfully, my next door neighbour was there and she was able to bring home a car-load too. I did refuse some stuff saying, 'no, give that to the Red Cross,' but still it was a bit, 'Do you want this?' 'Yes please.'
'Do you want this?'
'Yes please.'
'Do you want this cumbersome electricity-guzzling machine that makes life-size ice models of duck-billed platypuses?'
'Yes please ... um wait ... oh go on then.'

Huge thanks to the mums who were so generous and also to Steve Porter, who by agreeing to store some of the stuff has prevented me being divorced by Husband. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy birthday to me!

I've had a lovely 61st birthday today!

We took George via Pobbles to Three Cliffs and while walking up the valley there was a celebration fly past, first of an old plane and then a heron. 

It's a bit blurry but here's the sun reflecting (refracting?) through a water droplet.
Then Husband took me to PAs for lunch where I ate far too much. I really should have stopped before the apple and blackcurrant crumble - with extra custard.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Excuse my whine

I intended to keep my writing posts on my other blog but allow me to beg your sympathy: I came home from work to yet another rejection.

The email began 'Despite your funny and engaging style ...' So she must have liked it - but not enough.

I have yet to write my day's allocation of words (about 1,700) on my NaNoWriMo novel too. And I have a stiff neck after digging the garden yesterday. 

Is there anything else I can moan about while I'm at it?

And yes I know they're having terrible typhoons in the Philippines and there are people with all sorts of terrible ailments and problems but for this minute, for me, this is poopy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The pox

I shouldn't be here. 

I should be in Devon but the grandbabies have chickenpox. GrandSon2 is spotty at the moment but GrandDaughter has the early symptoms. (As does Son-in-law who has googled it and thinks he has shingles and will die.)

I would love to be there to help look after grumpy children - no, really I would - but I had chickenpox as a child and then again when my children were little. (Yes, I know you're only supposed to be able to get it once; maybe I'm susceptible to it.) I definitely don't want it again or shingles so we're staying away I'm afraid until all is well. What a bad granny I must be!

* * * * * * * 

On Monday Husband phoned me in work to find out how to work the washing machine. Thirty-five years of marriage has spoiled him.

Sometimes I worry about my brain

You've just got to the end of leading a bible study, you think, 'that was okayish,' and someone comes across and whispers to you, 'I could see you were struggling at the end and I would have stepped in but I didn't think it was my place.'

Okay, so at least that suggests it was only obvious I was struggling at one point ...

Anyway Martin said, 'well done,' which I consider to be the equivalent of an Olympic gold medal so I won't worry too much.

I was leading the study on Abraham's three visitors in Genesis 18. I really enjoyed preparing for it and was quite enthused and excited leading it, which possibly means as Ric said, 'you should get out more.'

On the plus side I didn't run out of things to say. If anything I think I talked too much but nobody else seemed to be in a discussionary mood. Or maybe I didn't ask the right questions to get them talking. In the end I'm afraid I had to resort to the church option. 'Have you ever felt let down by God, by the CHURCH or by others?' That worked a treat releasing, as it always does, a stream of fury against churches.

Praying at the end I had one of those blank moments. Halfway through a prayer for someone whose parent had died I realised I couldn't remember if it was the dad or the mum: ' in the loss of ... this special character.'

One good thing about being in Zac's is that we tend to be a depository for leftover food. Last night before we started we were given 4 trays of posh Marks & Spencers' sandwiches including prawn, smoked salmon and pastrami. Afterwards Steve turned up with the remains from a bonfire party, including hot dogs, sausage rolls and cakes. And most of it was eaten too. there was a good crowd and it was a cold night.

I also made up two bags of tinned food for a couple of the guys to take home. One of the lads, Ben, was on his pushbike. When he left he returned a few moments later and said, 'My handle's broken; do you have a couple of carrier bags I could have?'
I stared at him for a moment then went and fetched 2 from the kitchen. I gave them to him and said to Steve, 'His handle's broken,' trying to telepathically suggest that he go and help him fix it. Because for the life of me I couldn't see how 2 carrier bags would be of any help with a broken pushbike handle.
Yes, you're there before me, aren't you? It wasn't the handlebar of his pushbike that had broken but the handle of the carrier bag I'd put his food in. 

Sometimes I worry about my brain.

Monday, November 04, 2013


In a craft fayre on Saturday with Nuora. The weather was against us as was the fact that there was another craft fayre on in the village on the same day. End result: I sold one copy of my book! On the plus side Nuora did rather better with her crafts, selling them to raise money towards funding their marine conservation project in Malaysia. 

The bags on the right are made from sustainable bamboo and printed by Nuora. The softness of the bamboo created quite a bit of interest - and a few sales.

As I said the weather was horrendous, very very windy. On returning from the craft fayre I dragged George down to the sea front so I could see the wind-blown tide. It was a bit like when you're walking over hills and you think, 'That's the top; I'll just go that far,' but when you get there you realise there's another higher bit a bit further on. In this case it was, 'the waves are breaking best just along there; we'll go there,' but it was always a bit further on or even behind us, where we'd just walked.
With prison Sunday morning and Zac's in the afternoon I've been squeezing in my writing for NaNoWriMo. To succeed i.e. write 50,000 words in November, I have to write roughly 1,700 words a day. After 3 days of writing my estimated finishing date is 1st December. Not bad but not good enough! Must do better. In fact that's what I'm supposed to be doing now ...