Tuesday, 30 April 2013
While the audience at home is silently, or in my case audibly, begging the liar to tell the truth and save the situation, the one caught up in the web of his/her own deceit gets deeper and deeper into trouble.
As a child I had what my mother described as "a very vivid imagination", which many times resulted in quite incredibly involved and elaborate tales, stories, or to be more accurate, lies.
At this great distance in time I can easily see why I found it necessary to invent and embroider situations to make them (me), more interesting, but at the time, I found myself caught up in a world of make-believe which bore almost no relation to my real life.
It was only in my teens when, embarrassed by being found out yet again, that I finally managed to get a grip on my tale-telling propensities and started to live a real, ordinary, every-day life.
The trouble with lies is that they develop their own momentum, involving more and more people in ever-widening circles. The first lie having to be backed up with more and more of the same until only someone with a memory like a computer could possibly remember the whole sequence.
The older I became, the less inclined to fabricate and the more I relished the (for me) unique feeling of being absolutely honest, and for the past 30 or so years I have found it totally impossible to look someone in the eye and tell a lie.
If the truth is likely to hurt, then it is sometimes possible to avoid a direct untruth and to circumnavigate the question but, if pushed, I now always answer a direct question honestly.
It has never seemed a good idea to me to squash a child's flights of fancy, but it is certainly necessary to make some sort of differentiation between fact and fiction.
Oddly I have always blushed easily, and even when giving a painfully honest and open answer look 'guilty' from sheer embarrassment.
"Tell the truth and shame the devil", may sound like good advice, but it may be necessary to wear a mask!
Posted by Ray Barnes at 9:33:00 pm
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Fit means different things to different people. It can mean you do a daily workout at the gym, or run a couple of miles before returning home for your half a grapefruit. It can mean that you are well, not suffering from any ailment, or, in modern parlance that you are good to look at.
People say when they see me apparently flourishing while all around me are laid low with flu, viruses, back-pains etc. "You are so fit for your age".
I've never really known what that means. Do they think I have super powers, or a secret cupboard containing the elixir of life, or merely that I seem to escape what ails most people.?
None of the above is true, though until 10 years or so ago, I was inclined to believe it was so.
Today is very warm, and since we are told it is the last warm day for a while I decided to tackle the front garden. Doing only a little trimming cutting weeding, the sort of thing which would have left me slightly warm but feeling OK even five years ago, I came indoors, soaked with sweat (yes, ladies do sweat, glow worms glow), back aching, feet and ankles swollen.
This was only an hour's work but felt like ten.
On my St.Mary's mornings (Mon, Tues, and Wednesday) I get off the bus at the rear of the church and have to climb what seems like Everest, a slight incline. Since I do this at my normal Olympic speed - don't know how to slow down - by the time I get into the Parish Office I am gasping for breath.
Pitiful isn't it.?
Lazy by nature exercise is not one of my favourite activities, so it is no wonder I'm not in good condition. Is that what is meant by 'fit' or rather, in my case unfit.
Gardening has always been a pleasure for me, but, it is becoming rather more of an effort these days.
Perhaps there are fairies at the bottom of my garden, if so I'll leave some tools out for them.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:28:00 pm
Monday, 22 April 2013
What I think of wasps has been written about at length, previously, but whatever we think of them, the one thing we do at our peril is ignore them.
I reached a tentative hand up to the casement latch, flung it open and waited till I was sure it would be gone, closed the window and heard, that's right, an angry buzzing.
Not a happy bunny by now, I raised the blind opened the window again and this time, looking what I was doing flicked the striped monster with a hand-towel and hastily shut the window and pulled down the blind. After all, it was early, and I wasn't dressed.
Not an auspicious beginning to the day, but hey, what's a little trouble?
As soon as I got to St. M's I phoned the dentist to make an emergency appointment, did I say I had broken a tooth yesterday?
The ladies who count 'the money', that is the various collections from the previous week, had a huge amount of small collections plus a larger one from The Scouts' St George's Day Service yesterday, so I offered to count out one of the extra one's for them (it was all small coins) to save them from meltdown.
Ten counts and I finally got it right. Phew!
Then the Parish Administrator gave me a lift to the dentist. Bless her.
A forty minute wait and I was x-rayed, the tooth had a temporary filling safely in place and I was told they would remove the old (black) filling, replace it with a white one, then make a crown , also white which would take a further two appointments.
Loving dentists as I do - a previous post will tell you how much - I reluctantly agreed, heaved a sigh of relief at leaving the 'chair' and went out to pay.
This is an NHS dentist and I was prepared for something of a shock since crowns are not cheap, but the sum of the two further appointments will cost me a princely £276.!!!
Luckily, I have a two and a half week wait for the 1st of these treatments, so time to rob a bank then.
Some days, I find myself wishing I hadn't got up.
Monday, 15 April 2013
Our dearly loved rector is leaving us in the summer.
This will be for him and his wife another step in his journey through the priesthood in all its splendid variety.
For us, his flock, congregation, teams of volunteers, church employees and all in the community it will be an occasion of sadness and loss.
Not yet two years since we said our goodbyes to a curate who touched many peoples hearts and whose departure is only just about beginning to be accepted and assimilated, we now have to say goodbye again to someone who has become a stable foundation at the centre of this church.
On a personal level I will miss both he and his wife who have become good friends in recent months.
I know this is a normal part of life in the Anglican church, and that for the incumbent in question is a part of his personal path to Christ, but for those of us who seem never to be able to get used to a new regime before it changes again, it is quite difficult to accept.
This is a busy, outgoing and many-faceted church and it takes a particular kind of person to sit at the helm, a position which this particular man has filled very well.
It is months before he will actually depart but the sense of loss is already beginning, along with a tiny, slight tremor of fear as to who might take his place.
Sadly those who will be most affected by this change will have no real say in the choice of replacement.
We can only wait, hope and pray.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 4:35:00 pm
Thursday, 11 April 2013
This afternoon I went with a large group to the lovely Waterside theatre here in Aylesbury.
Apart from a trip with the church to a pantomime at the end of 2010, it is the first time I've been in a theatre for 44 years.
It was one of my New Years resolutions this year to start going to the theatre and the cinema again, and this was the first attempt.
The play was "The Mousetrap". Yes I know it's entirely possible that I'm the only person in the uk who has never seen it, so it was about time.
Sorry about font don't know how it happened or how to correct it so onward and upward.
The last time I went to the theatre was in 1969 and the play was Abelard and Eloise, with Diana Rigg and Keith somebody (can't remember his name, but he was in the TV series Six Wives of Henry V111).
The last film I saw was "A Touch of Class" in about 1979/80.
My philosophy was, wait a year or so and if it was any good it will be on TV. This has largely worked, but of course only applies to films not theatre.
The Mousetrap was excellent, a good story and well acted and I shall be going again (to see something else that is).
Somehow being in a theatre in the daytime seems terribly decadent.
What a weird life I have been living these last forty or so years.
While I have no alarming intimations of mortality, even I realise that time is not on my side if I wan t to see all the good stuff that is out there.
We are lucky in this town to have such a beautiful modern theatre and (I'm told) a good cinema too.
We shall see.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 8:10:00 pm
Saturday, 6 April 2013
In the past four days I have had my evening meal interrupted 3 times by fund-raisers from charities to which I already donate asking me to consider giving by direct debit.
Now not only do I object very strongly to being harangued (however politely) by phone and in my precious evening, feed and relax time, but the fact that they are bombarding me with requests to do what I have already refused to do, is driving me nuts.
I have written many times in this blog about my system of giving, and I always make it plain that the only way I am prepared to give is using my carefully thought out system.
This evening's caller was quite put out when I said "no, I prefer to give on a rota system and am not prepared to take on any more direct debits".
Yes, I suspect I do actually know why. Obviously a regular commitment means it would be harder for me to refuse than an ad hoc appeal.
I pointed out that I do not have an endless supply of spare cash, nor have I access to a bank with only three walls, and the income I have is not going to increase.
Therefore, I need the freedom to be able to turn down a request should it be necessary.
So far, I have not taken this option, but times are hard, for everyone and it may happen at some time that there will be no more 'give away' cash, and I want to have that small get-out clause.
It looks as though all the charities are coming round to the same idea, have you noticed the increase of appeals for direct debit payments from the major charities on TV?
Please tell me if I am being unreasonable, and if I am not, has anyone any idea how to stop the calls?
Posted by Ray Barnes at 7:04:00 pm