Sunday, 14 September 2014

Pride goeth before a fall

This week on Wednesday we welcome our new incumbent at St Mary's.

Looking at my less than sparkling surplice and stock I took them home to give them the rare treat of a bleach, wash and iron in honour of this event.

Getting into the taxi this morning, plastic covered 'whites' carefully placed on the seat I thought.  "Lovely, the white will blind everyone".

Scrambling awkwardly out of the taxi the hanger shed its load which slithered out of the plastic into a most fetching heap in the road.

Mildly annoyed I gathered it up and was pleased to find no marks on it, proceeded to robe and get myself ready to process with the rest of the choir at 10.00 am.

Aware that I had the honour of the first reading I paid less than usual attention to my progress clutching black folder and hymn books and got down to the front of the aisle.  The hand microphone slipped off its perch and full of bravado I made a grab for it, missed slipped and wound up on my back in the middle of the aisle.

Half a dozen concerned faces surrounded me as I lay like a stag beetle on my back unable to get up, this was instantly followed by dozens of hands hauling me to my feet.

Shaken and shaking I stumbled to my place in the choir stalls and proceeded to shed papers in all directions.  Singing along with the choir hands shaking, face red and all dignity lost for ever I reflected that really it had been a waste of time laundering my robes  since i was clearly destined to destroy all my good work.

A lesson there for me I think.

By the way, I'm told the reading was fine.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Old favourite

Finding this terrible heat and humidity too much to do anything useful I have just sat through the whole of one of my favourite films.

The wonderful "Beckett", made in 1964 and starring Richard Burton in the title role with Peter O'Toole as the weak, petulant but ultimately vicious Henry 11.

Back in the day I was under the spell of the Burton voice and added to that the beautiful blue eyes of O'toole, which had it not been an excellent film with 1st rate acting would still have coaxed the price of a good seat from my shabby purse.

The original un-edited film lasted for about three hours, today's trunkated for tv version was still a hefty 2hours and 20 minutes.

How faithful the dialogue is to the Anouilh play I don't know, but the witty barbed comments of the two lead characters illustrate beautifully just how intelligent Beckett was and how devious Henry.

Not historically faithful it is still an intriguing picture of these two Titans of Norman England.

Despite the occasional whiff of 1960's England the film stands the test of time well and for anyone who missed it, well worth the cost of a DVD. (I'm sure there must be  one)

If this oppressive weather ever relents i shall return to sanity (and a shed-load of work)

Retreats back under stone.

Friday, 11 July 2014


Apropos of nothing in particular except that this is the picture I had intended to use to illustrate my "Writer's Block" post, but could not upload at the time.

So just because I thought it would be a shame to waste it and anyway I wanted to look at it again, here it is.

Awww  !

Monday, 7 July 2014

Writer's Block

My blog silence recently has been due in the main to a total lack of inspiration combined with tendency to snooze in the afternoons.

Saturday brought about a change,

It was Roald Dahl day, an annual event in Aylesbury and celebrated by the town as a whole, and traditionally at St. Mary's.

Every year there is a procession starting at the church and making its way down into the town centre and eventually back to St. M's

This consists of a fabulous variety of characters from Dahl's books in puppet form, some tiny and hand held, some gigantic and needing several adults to manipulate.

Local schools spend weeks making the puppets and the procession is led by a brass band.

There are related events throughout the day and  always a lot of activity in the church.  Displays of flower arranging with the chance for people to make their own little arrangements, stalls with Dahl related chocolate
bars in a chocolate tombola, raffles and a lucky dip for the smallest children.

The choir puts on a couple of 20 minute shows of mixed music.

A local dance group for handicapped children gives a short display, and there is a hamburger and hot-dog stall in the churchyard.

The refectory and kitchen are run off their feet,  and about 3.oopm everyone capsizes heaves a sigh of relief and toddles off home.

I had my lunch at 4.oo pm and reluctantly cleaned myself up and headed back to town for a concert in the church.

I am so very glad I went.

The concert was called "The road home", was given by an a cappella chorale called "Oasis", and I can say with all my heart it was the best choir I have ever heard in my long life.

It was formed in 2003 by a group of young Anabaptist people who worked in a home for handicapped children.

They invited a conductor to join them and began to recruit members from all over America and Canada.

These are all volunteers and are drawn from many Mennonite missions and care organisations.

They have toured the UK before and also Ireland and all down America's East coast.

The choir we heard had 36 members, 18 each of men and women, and had some of the best voices I've ever heard,

They resemble the Shakers in some ways, dress very simply and without ornament and are active in prison ministry and in promoting peace.

They mingled with us in the congregation before the concert, in the interval and afterwards.

Several of us found ourselves in tears by the end of the concert, not just because of the beauty of the sound but the overwhelming feeling of love they generated.

The final item in the concert was "God be with you till we meet again", beautifully sung and made even more moving by the way they left their positions in the choir and began to slowly walk among and around the church until we were surrounded by these lovely people and an immense feeling of peace.

Terrific theatre I know, but not theatrical.

There was absolute silence briefly as they finished then a roar which would take the roof off.

There was not a trace of cynicism on any face and the whole audience wanted to stay an talk all night.

Eventually we let the poor tired people get into their coach to their hotel begging them to return soon.

Saturday was lovely!!.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Barnesii Domesticus

The title refers to an extremely rare (almost extinct) creature, seldom seen (something to be thankful for) ie - me.

I would take umbrage should I hear anyone describe me as a " slut," or more vernacular,"lazy cow", or even "a bit blind to what needs doing", but, I have to admit to taking my time to get around to matters domestic.

Not only have I an aversion to washing, scrubbing, polishing vacuuming dusting etc but I also have little energy these days so 'prioritise' those things I can't any longer avoid.

Today I was determined to wash my sitting-room curtains.  For those who have been reading this blog for a while, they were hung, new, when my sitting room was redecorated.

I know that curtains never look the same again once washed but felt it was time (almost three years) to see off some of the dust which has been making my throat (already suffering from a virus) even more sore.

The label on the curtains says "dry clean only", a phrase I seem unable to translate.  To me this is a clear indication that they need a little care when washing.

Tentatively, I washed just the one pair initially to see whether I had once again got away with my reading of the label, and surprise surprise, they emerged from the washer and later the dryer in perfect condition.

The second pair is currently enjoying my version of "dry cleaning".

Contrary to popular belief I am not completely mad, just good at reading all the labels.  If the material is synthetic (these are) then as long as you follow instructions on your washing machine and dryer for 'delicate' items it is generally perfectly safe to wash in a machine.

I might add that the ordeal of taking curtains down, packing them up and getting a bus into town to a dry cleaners then the revcerse action to get them back again seems to me totally unnecessary.

Lazy, moi?

Not guilty M'lud.

The snippet of a picture above is the way they looked the day they were first hung, and that is exactly how they look today.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

It's enough to make a cat laugh

As I am currently fighting off an impending cold and want to shake it off before it gets a good hold, I decided having done enough housework for the time being, to have a lie down.

Settling into a comfortable snooze I was startled into an abrupt sitting up position by a loud and insistent crashing sound from downstairs.

I knew the back door was locked so was more than a bit worried as to who or what the intruder might be.

Even standing in the kitchen I at first couldn't  locate the source of the racket.

Then as it recommenced at last I realised that the cat-flap was being systematically bashed.

Opening the door I was confronted by a large pale ginger and white cat which was attempting to put its head through the locked (for the past 6 years) cat flap.

I have been feeding this monster for about two years whenever he appears, since, though I am fairly sure he has a home, he is seldom in it.

Often at 6.oo am he is on the step, cold wet and miserable so he gets a large handful of cat biscuits, drinks from the birdbath and wanders off.

Today he hadn't appeared earlier on and was obviously incensed that I was not waiting for him to show up biscuits in hand.

After he had scoffed every last crumb he took himself off to the centre of my rose garden and lay down on the yellow poppies in order to keep them warm.

My yelling "get off there" produced a yawn wide enough to swallow a whale and he curled into a ball, squashing everything in sight.

I know when I'm beaten so retired to resume my rest secure in the knowledge that my garden had its security officer in place.

Am seriously contemplating replacing the door with one without a cat flap.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Falling leaves

The tree once full of leaves is losing them day by day.

Every day another one falls and each day the tree becomes closer to being a skeleton, branches bare.

Sadness is in the air

We who are the leaves watch and wait for our turn.

That is not to say we have no other thoughts, but that we notice how few our companions are.

The gaps are more numerous than the leaves and the outline of the tree is clearer every day.

We mourn and miss each falling leaf but welcome the ability to see the shape of the tree.
Yesterday the leaf that was my brother-in-law fell to the ground.

Rest in Peace Terry. X