Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Who do you want to be?

Last night Monty led bible study in Zac's in part on the theme of hypocrisy. It was an excellent study and he suggested that God wants us to be transparent, the same person whoever we're with, people of integrity. (As much for our sake: it's hard work wearing different masks.)

Monty asked the question, 'Who does God want you to be? Who do you want to be?'
I thought straightaway of this old saying:

Then I thought, 'Actually, no. My dog doesn't have any illusions about me.'

As far as George is concerned I'm only nice if I'm feeding or tickling him. His attitude could be described as feline.

So instead I aspire to be as good a person as some people think I am. (No, really, some people think I'm good.)

* * * * * * * 

We go on holiday tomorrow so this'll be my last blog for a week or so. Burglars please note that the house is not unattended: Younger Son and Nuora have moved in to look after George.

Yesterday I told GrandSon2 that we were going on holiday in an aeroplane.
'A real aeroplane?' he asked.
'Are you going in a Red Arrow?'

I sort of hope not. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mouse or Supermouse

The mice in the attic enjoy our poison so much they've eaten their way into the tub.
And, yes, we have tried the humane method.

If you see this woman

If I looked like this today, with the country on terrorist alert, I doubt they would let me back in.
That was my passport from 1973, for my first trip abroad, which happened to be to Mombasa in Kenya.
We went on an oceanography field trip, stayed in college dorms, spent mornings on the beach, ate lunch in posh hotels, and generally enjoyed ourselves. Our professor got his feet sunburned the first day there and spent several days in bed; our lecturer and his girlfriend (one of us students) smoked weed, while the most adventurous thing I did was to dance in a nightclub - I'd always been so shy I'd refused to dance in public before. Brown Sugar will forever have a special place in my heart.

And what did I learn? That if sand squeaks when you walk on it it means it has a high percentage of quartz. Worth going.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Aping an accent

I have a terrible habit - and one that seems to happen unconsciously - of copying a person's accent. 

So if I'm talking to a Yorkshireman I'll adopt the northern accent, if I'm talking to someone camp I'll get very theatrical, and if I'm talking to a Pakistani I sound like Peter Sellers.
Oh yes I forgot to mention that I copy the accent badly.

When I realise I'm doing it I make an effort to stop but I fear I could offend a whole load of people before that. So if I've done it to you please refriend me! I'm sure it must be some subconscious urge to make the other person feel comfortable. That's what I tell myself anyway.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I'm not a knit!

This is the most intricate thing I ever knitted.
In fact it's probably the only thing I ever finished.

I made it when expecting last-born and then when he arrived decided it was too pretty for a boy so didn't use it. By the time my children had babies they no longer wore matinee jackets so it's never been worn.

But I can't get rid of it. It's evidence that once - just once - I knitted something.

P.S. I've added 'knitting' as a label. Now that's something that you won't often find on my blog.

Bringing out the monkey in me

Lovely walk yesterday afternoon with Younger Son, Nuora and GrandSon4 down through Crawley Woods to Nicholaston Burrows and on to the beach.

Coming back through the woods Younger Son attempted to help me brush up on my tree identification.
And then I climbed one.*

*Someone had nailed footholds to the other side making it easy! Getting down, however, was a little scary, especially that first bit getting my leg back over backwards - and the last bit where I misjudged the drop.

Best excuse so far

Me: I'm organising a fitness class for women on Monday mornings; you might like to come.
Woman: Well, I'll have to wait and see what Jesus wants me to do on Monday morning.

She could just have said no. Giggling to myself in the car afterwards I said, 'Go on, Jesus, I dare you!'

Friday, May 12, 2017

You know that good idea?

You know sometimes you have a good idea? Something you could/should do? And then halfway through it you think, 'Oh why?'

My desk drawer before I started.
There are only so many staples/tape measures/pencil sharpeners one person can use in their lifetime.
The end result. Which may not look like a huge improvement but it is. And I managed to find room for a few essentials that may just come in useful some time.
Like a whistle and compass. Well, you never know.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


So I'm on my walk this morning when I realise I only have one tissue with me. (This is slightly after I remember I forgot to put on my fitbit. One of those days.) It's not that I have a cold but walking makes my nose run. And the wind makes my nose run. So walking in the wind makes my nose run run.

All I can say is that it was a good job I was wearing a long-sleeved jumper. 

I had a paddle but wasn't tempted to skinny dip, you'll be pleased to hear. A bit of a breeze. Or a howling gale depending on how appropriately dressed you happened to be.

Scary being a kitten

Awake at 6.00 am, head buzzing. After failing to get back to sleep I decided to do as Younger Son suggested and make use of this time: I got up!

So by 6.30 this morning - it took me a little while to persuade myself that this really was a good idea - I was sitting at my computer working on my article.

The ideas I'd been having I tried out and mostly they worked so I have a finished article I will send off later on today after I've given it more resting time and checked it again.

* * * * * * * * * 
'Oh!' I gasped. 'There was a big black dog and it ate a tiny kitten. In one gulp. Like the old woman it just opened its throat and in went a kitten. I tried to pull it back out but it was too far gone.'
Husband looked at me. 'This was in your dream, right?'
'Good. But did you hear about the kitten who fell from the sky?'
'And this was in your dream?' I suggested.
'No, on the news.'
I was just imagining the messiah returning to earth in the form of a kitten when Husband explained. 'A seagull had taken it and then dropped it.'

It must be scary being a kitten.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Would Jesus have played rugby?

I don't have time to blog much today because I've been too busy writing. And thinking about writing. And re-writing. 

The deadline for the next The Bay article is 15th of this month. As the next issue will be out just before the general election I thought I'd do something related but when I'd finished, although I liked it, I wasn't sure if it was appropriate for my piece. I emailed it to the editor for her consideration and she agreed: it wasn't right.

So it's been back to the drawing board today and a hurried re-think. Publication day will be around Whitsun so I considered - and rejected as boring -  the history and customs of pentecost/Whitsun. Then I asked Husband and Younger Son for ideas.
Husband: The Lions rugby tour.
YS: Would Jesus have played rugby or football? Discuss.

I didn't ask them for any more ideas.

I browsed through some of my old writing to see if there was anything I could rehash or ideas I could adapt. I have to say I was quite impressed: some of the writing I've done - at least I assume I've done it because I don't remember doing it - is quite good. But not right. 

But I've finally written something that I'm moderately happy with. It has its roots in some old writing but has taken a new turn. I'm not absolutely sure the turn isn't into a dead end so I'll leave it for now and go back with fresh eyes tomorrow. Let's just hope I don't hate it.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

I like to call myself a writer

At one time I had great aspirations to be a famous (and rich would be nice too) writer. Frequent knockbacks have knocked that out of me and today I'm happy writing for The Bay magazine and my blog. (Of course I'm not really. I still yearn for publication of a novel by a proper publisher, for recognition that my work is good. But I think I may have to give self publishing another go. Else I'll be dead before I'm famous. Come to think of it, lots of people get more famous once they're dead ...)

But way back when, when I began this journey, I invested in lots of books. I have what could be called a mini library of 'how to write _______ (fill in the gap with your choice). Most of which I've barely looked at; some of which I've not even opened.

So in the spirit of de-cluttering they're going. Leaving me with room on my bookshelf for ... more books!

And portion size is based on ?

Another new recipe (from Sainsburys magazine) for dinner tonight. Harissa salmon with warm chickpea salad.
Tasted yummy but there was a lot more of it in the magazine photo. 

When I read the recipe properly I quickly realised it wouldn't be enough for Husband for dinner. Not in a million years. So I added chips. Slightly spoiling the healthy effect but my life wouldn't have been worth living.

Please, miss, I don't have hymn number 524 in my book

There can't be many church services where you have to check the hymnbooks before handing them out to make sure they've got all their pages. 

It would be nice to think that the guys wanted to have their souls set alight by the beauty of the words, but the truth is rather more mundane: they want the paper to make roll-ups.

Since smoking was banned in prison the men will use anything they can find whether it's banana peel or tea-bags.

It's amazing how many Christian tracts they decide they must take back to their cells to 'read later'. 

George is embarrassed by me

It's been remarkably dry for ages so I figured I could risk a riverside walk in my trainers. And it was fine until ...
I had to decide which stick to balance on next.

Could have been worse. Until I remember that I have holes in my shoes. 'Oh ploopy, ploopy, ploopy!'
Even George pretended not to be with me.

Note to self: must buy new trainers. 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

And that cake ...

Blueberry and white chocolate cake with a cheesecake topping
From a Sainsbury's recipe

My attempt to crystallise mint was less than successful!

White sugar might have worked better.

I wrote a song!

Some dogs (some dogs) like to run all day, like to jiggy jiggy jiggy jig
But other dogs (other dogs) like to sleep all day and not do a figgy figgy fig.

Not inspired by George I should add. It's to the tune of what I thought was a song called Some Girls but I can't find it, at least not the song I think I'm thinking of. 

Anyway I'm off to the hairdresser today. Need to get my grey sorted before my holiday. Then we've been invited to dinner with Younger Son and Nuora. I offered to take dessert as I wanted to try a new cake recipe. (Photos later.)

(Husband just asked me if I have a scalpel.)

Wild garlic on our walk yesterday.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Mishaps and misadventures of me

'Okay, we're looking at John chapter 11. It's page 1034.'
I'm leading bible study in Zac's and we're just beginning.
'What page did you say?'
'It's 1726, isn't it?'
'No, it's not. I'm looking at it here and it's definitely 1034.'
'The gospel of John?'
'No! Luke! ...... Did I say John?'

Whoops. A good start to the bible study. You'd think it could only get better from there on, wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong.

Anyway that was Tuesday.

* * * * * * *
Yesterday I set the sat nav for a location in Swansea and found myself on the motorway to Cardiff (next city). We got there in the end. Scenic route I guess.

* * * * * * *
Today I set out to promote the fitness class starting next Monday. I arrived at my first destination and discovered I'd left the posters behind.

* * * * * * *
After screwing up my eyes in the bright sunshine I noticed I had my sunglasses in the car so I put them on.
'Oh, these are uncomfortable. Something's sticking into my eyelid. I wonder if they've broken.'
I took them off and found a strawberry stalk stuck in the corner. #joysofgrandchildren

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

WonderWoman had an off day

I could write a sermon; I could talk for forty minutes; but where I fail is getting people involved in discussion.

I think that I've come up with questions that will stimulate discussion but apparently not. Either that or people were particularly sleepy and uninterested last night in bible study in Zac's. Ah well.

* * * * * * * * *
It may have been Princess Charlotte's birthday yesterday but our little princess who is just as gorgeous - a biased granny may say more - is two today. Happy birthday, GrandDaughter2! 

Which meant pavlova for tea. Plus a small slice of lemon tart because it would have been rude not to. Diet resumes tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Today I shall be WonderWoman

Usually in Zac's I'm cake baker and taxi driver; tonight I'm adding study leader to that.

It's the first time I've led for ages and I'm really nervous about it so I need to don my WonderWoman knickers and pull myself together.

A lot depends on who's there. If they're the non-talkers then it will be a very short bible study. Think of me.