Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Time for Change

A new year is traditionally the chance to make a clean sweep of all the things you don't like about your life, change for the better what you can, and find ways of dealing with those you cannot change.

Such a lofty and noble plan, so what is stopping us?

Sometimes outside forces, sometimes our tendency to cling to old habits or as in my case, simple inertia.

It has been linked by some people to depression, and there is some truth in that, but also the basic nature of the individual plays a big part in just how much energy we are prepared to spend on trying to rethink our way of life.

Laziness has always been a big part of my nature, and at one time was merely mental inertia but these days includes a disinclination to make myself do anything I don't really want to do.

This I justify by saying "I am too old" or "I am not as fit as I was", when in truth what I should say is "I can't be bothered, it would take too much effort".

Spending as I do, all of the Christmas and New Year break on my own gives me much more time than usual to dream up reasons for not doing things, while the usually bad weather (though not this year) is the perfect excuse for not moving a muscle except when absolutely necessary.

I make a big list of all the jobs which I should do in this long break from routine and start by crossing off each one as I complete it, feeling smug and self-satisfied with each tick.

Then instead of lurking in the shadows, in comes inertia sidling round the door, whispering "Leave that one till tomorrow", or "Wait a day or two to do that you may feel more energetic".

Inevitably when I return to my routine Monmday morning in St Mary's (7th Jan this year) I will get caught up in the usual energy draining activities and think, "You idiot why didn't you do so and so while you had that long break, now you'll have to find time to fit it in in a busy week".

Somehow however, it does get done during the 'normal' week and takes very little effort while affording huge satisfaction that it is at last done.

When the rain in mid January is lashing down and the garden is fast becoming a lake, I think "Just look at all that old bird-seed you meant to sweep up while it was dry, now it is turning to porridge".

So this year I am going to lock the door on prevarication and "Gird up my Lions" and jujst get on with it.  Or at least that is my intention.

A very happy healthy New year to all.  Keep moving.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

The sound of feathers.

Of the many beliefs attached to Christianity one of the most common is a belief in angels.

Some people dismiss belief in angels as fantasy, fiction, a sign of mental derangement or even a form of curruption.

If you ask me if I believe in angels the answer has to be yes, most definitely.

Do I believe in winged human look-alikes with super ;powers? definitely not.

Angels abound in everyday situations, are on hand when our need is greatest, come to our rescue when we need them most and are almost never recognised for what they are.

One of the things which I feel most embarrassed about is my inability to do quite simple basic things, like wire a plug, fiddle with the appropriate knobs, buttons, keys or whatever on gadgets which are easy everyday tools for many people including most children.

I have no aptitude for such things and as a result am surrounded by small problems which to most people can be solved in seconds, but in my life loom ominously until they become major problems.

While my husband was alive he would automatically sort out my household demons with the greatest of ease and no fuss, since his death 9 years ago I have had to throw myself on the mercy of neighbours, church friends or indeed anyone in the vicinity in order to be able to see (light bulbs), watch TV (replacement remote controls), prune branches in the garden (use a saw). and dozens of other things.

In early December I had to change the router for my internet supply, call a plumber to repair a leak, have a new outlet hose attached to my tumble dryer. and have my Ipad re-vamped to accept the new router.

Without neighbour Mick, British Gas Maint plumber (name unknown), gardener Nick, and friend and husband of cleaner Dick I would have had a terribly stressed and angst filled Christmas, instead thanks to my kind, caring and generous flock of angels I had a peaceful and relaxed rest.

All of them offered help and would accept no reward other than thanks and when I said how very grateful I was each one in turn said "any time, just ask".

I'm not certain, but I think I may have heard the rustle of wings.

Sunday, 9 December 2018


Does this look familiar?

Well it should.!

This is my default self-portrait for this time of year, and once again I am enjoying all the multiple joys of the annual Advent Cold Virus.

Streaming nose and eyes, 'orrible' cough, sore throat, explosive sneezes loud enough to blow the roof off and last but by no means least hot sweaty body.

It would be so nice to experience just one Christmas period without my regular companion but it appears to think I am a welcoming host.

Like many people my age an effective immune system is a thing of the past and every virus looking for victims heads my way with the world's best sat-nav.

It is of course, the busiest time for St M's choir (probably where I picked this up), and should I feel well enough to venture out tomorrow (impossible) I would also have the 1st Reading in addition to a morning's worth of Advent singing.

Apologies have been phoned and a substitute reader found, and just to add to my joys I have had to call out a plumber - who can't come until Monday - to repair a leak in a pipe in the bathroom.

This, in turn, means that even in the unlikely event of the virus having moved on, I will have to stay home all day and cancel my Monday stint at St M's.

As this is the day when my cleaner normally comes there is yet another phone call to be made and new arrangements to be made.

All this when I feel like something the cat dragged in.

Deep joy.

If anyone ever discovers a cure for the common (Oh so very common) cold, they should be given the Nobel Prize.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Advent Again

So, here we are again, the first Sunday in Advent tomorrow, kicking off in usual St Mary's style with a morning Eucharist followed by the Mayor's carol service at 5.30pm .

In the morning the anthem will be "O thou the central Orb" (not a favourite of  mine, and in the evening we will sing my favourite carol of all time "Jesus Christ the apple tree".

I try not to complain too much about singing hymns I don't like because there is always a compensatory one to balance it.

Our Friday evening choir practice was hard work, with half the crowd of regular volunteers erecting and decorating the two huge Christmas trees which will greet tomorrow's congregation.

Singing over the racket of hammering and noisy instructions all added to the general chaos, but somehow, as it  always does, the music was worked through and the c hurch ready for Advent by 9.00pm.

There is something magical about the twinkling lights on the trees and the ring of Advent candles lifted on its pulleys so that it sits high above the chancel ready to be lowered for the first candle to be lit on Sunday morning.

There really is something to be said for ritual.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Another Sleepless Night

St Mary's as I hope not to see it this winter.

The temperatures are dropping, the wind is from the East Brrrr.

Tomorrow, or rather today, is not one of my St M's days and I am more than glad of it.

Going out in cold weather is not one of my hobbies so unless absolutely necessary I will stay warm and snug in my burrow.

It is building up towards the most hectic season in the church, and lovely though that is it is also a time when health and fitness need to be at their best.

We have already had our first carol performance at a local brewery which wanted us to sing two half-hour sessions on their Christmas Shop opening day.  It was a really warm and welcoming event and we felt appreciated both by the management and staff and the customers.  Quite unusual but rather nice.

It felt a bit odd to be commemorating the Armistice the following day, as though we had got our dates reversed, but the Civic Service was a good one and well attended.

Soon we shall have the Buck's Fire and Rescue Carol Service then all the usual Advent Services, so a lot of singing and more than ever a need to be feeling well.

For me, this time of year almost always produces some kind of virus to try to put a spanner in the works so sleepless nights are not a lot of help.

I was in bed four and a half hours ago, had a brief 15 minute nap and woke from a nasty nightmare, since then I have been reading for hours and am now (obviously) on the computer.

As it is now 4.20 am I probably won't sleep any more till tomorrow night, but at least I don't have to leave the house till Wednesday morning.

Insomnia is a recurring theme in my life but these days it is not combined with the need to get up and go to work next day.

There is brilliant moonlight outside and a ferocious East wind blowing the trees about and I'm gloing back to bed to read some more.

Good night/morning/day.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

There's No Accounting for Taste

The older I get the more fascinating I find the huge differences in the likes and dislikes of the people I encounter.

The cat enjoying a gherkin on the left is a classic  illustration of this phenomena.

Worldwide the chosen leaders of countries large and small. centre-stage or backstage in world politics, have such differing and varying ideas of how the world should be, that I am amazed any kind of agreement can be reached on anything at all.

Today's exhausting and confusing Brexit 'plans', have left me wondering if this is some kind of parallel universe.

Is this really what our ancestors worked so hard for, the right to vote, to have our say, to work to make this a better country, part of a better world?

I have always valued this precious right and exercised it whenever the opportunity arose but, now faced with uncertain goals, weak and indecisive leaders, political in-fighting at every level and conflicting information at every turn I am beginning to want to turn back the clock.

Not the sharpest knife in the box and with no great claim to intellectual clarity of vision I nevertheless always felt I had at least a loose 'handle' on any national political situation.

This is no longer the case.

I voted to remain in the EU and still feel it was the right way to vote, but that is no longer an option and the alternatives appear less attractive with every day that passes.

Listening to the amount of venom between the opposing factions I can't help but wonder just how well having got their way they will be able to manage an alternative system.

No-one stands out as a natural leader, though that doesn't stop the contenders bidding for the top job on a daily basis.

Are we to be treated to another dose of Barmey Boris, versus Jacob Reece Smug, exchanging verbal fisticuffs for a further 12 months or so while the Government limps on its directionless journey to economic failure?

Meanwhile over the pond the head honcho effectively proves that one man can single-handedly reverse centuries of evolution and civilisation and somehow remain in power.

At the same time the whole world is hurtling toward extinction burning up the environment and wasting all of its resources.

I can't help hoping to wake up and find this is a Terry Pratchett universe, or just a bad dream.

Now, if ever, is the time for a World leader to appear.

Any offers?

Wednesday, 17 October 2018


I have no way of knowing whether it 'just happened', or someone helped it to happen, somehow, but the problem of the invader blog appears to have been solved.

If anyone was able to remove it remotely I thank you.  If it was Divine intervention (unlikely), I am just as gratefull.

Sometimes i think i am the only surviving dynasour on the planet.

But, that won't stop me blogging/