Sunday, 26 January 2020

Never Underestimate the Power of the Inanimate

Ha! Did I say 'they' might leave me in peace now?

What an optimist!

Last Monday my washing machine decided to die, True it has had a very long life, true, i was aware that it was on its last legs but oh dear what a terrible noise it made before ceasing to make any noise.

My usual panic mode set in and for about half a day I did not have a clue what to do, then slowly, common sense returned.

I went to my local retail park - awful title - and threw myself on the mercy of a very kind and very well-informed lady who talked me through all the options and made several useful suggestions.

On Saturday afternoon my new machine was delivered, fitted, tried out and the old one taken away.

By then I had yet another very sore throat cough and the usual temperature so wasn't feeling wonderful

Today instead of being in church I did rwo wash loads and cleared the back log of laundry which has piled up in the past week.

The machine appears to be working perfectly, my temperature is easing off and things appear to be returning to what passes for  normal in my world.

BUT I am not loudly proclaiming the end of my problems - just in case they are listening.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Deja Vu

Never have I managed to get through the whole Christmas/New Year break without the appearance at some stage of my household demons.

This year all was going quite nicely, quiet, peaceful no obvious problems until.......sitting minding my own business  I glanced at the radiator under my front window and noticed what I thought was a spill or splash of something, couldn't imagine what, on the top right corner.

Investigation showed it to be some sort of oily brownish gunk.

Still not worried I took a couple of dettol wipes and tried to remove the mark. only to find it hardly had any affect, so scrubbing a little harder I found it appeared to be a leak.

Suddenly my holiday brain-freeze relaxed its hold and I tore upstairs to find an emergency number for British Gas with whom I have a maintenance contract.

To cut a long boring story short, an engineer was with me in an hour and told me I needed to  have the radiator replaced.

It appears that I am covered for this so all was easier than I dreamed it could be and they are coming on Monday to carry out the work.

I am still somewhat worried about the possibility of the leak suddenly getting much worse before then but at least the demon/gremlin has been packed off to gibber in a corner (probably till next Christmas).

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy 2020

A brief good wish for anyone who happens on this blog.   May your 2020 be better by far than your 2019,

Health happiness and peace, in fact, what we would all like ouir lives to be.

The world appears to be in a state of chaos but still there is hope, small signs of a change in attitudes behaviours and manners.

Despite the worst efforts of the world's politicians the voice of reason can still be (faintly) heard.

Though not in this Close tonight where loud thumping music and crashing fireworks are still deafening us all even at this hour.

Why can't New Year be given a silent welcome?

Oh well, I can dream I suppose.

A Happy healthy New Year to one and all.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Germ War fare

Today once again looking out of windows drowning in sheets of rain, wind rattling house and skies grey as far as I can see, I find myself wondering  why human beings don't hibernate like the more intelligent animals.

In fact, having once again been struck down by the annual  Advent  virus just over 10 days ago, I am only just now beginning to even think about life outside these four walls.

Every year about this time half the choir goes down with a bug and all the careful hard work that has gone into the Advent music is wasted as our poor musical director tries desperately to change listed music for simpler well known stuff which needs half the usual numbers to sound reasonable.

In addition to this, yesterday was the funeral/memorial service for the wife of our Sacristan and I really wanted so much to be there.  I have been told that there was a good turnout despite lowish numbers in the choir but that doesn't make me feel any less frustrated by my own incapacity.

Will we ever develop the ability to fight off virus infections or is this simply the way we are meant to be?

Brilliant scientists achieve incredible unbelievable break-throughs in so many areas of human achievement yet nobody so far has even begun to keep back the overwhelming tide of virus infections which lay the population low every year.

I wonder if we moved to another planet could we leave the bugs behind, or would we have even bigger stronger ones to contend with?

All I want for Christmas is a cure for the common cold.

...and a large whisky.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Brass Nerve

I know some of you will recall having seen this fine fellow before, but I felt he was due an airing again.

When I have a reading on the occasional Sunday he is what my A4 copy rests on.

The bible permanently on his mighty back is a vast and very heavy early 19th century copy of the King James.

Never used in our services sadly, but always open for visitors to examine on it's brass wings, the "Budgie" as he is affectionately known is the obvious resting place for this hefty tome.

The reason he is wearing this rather fetching bonnet is that I felt sorry for him some years ago when the church was beautifully decorated for Easter so I made him an Easter bonnet.

Our then rector graciously permitted him to wear his lacy cap for the whole service on Easter Day.

I photographed him from underneath which is why he looks more like Mother Goose than a dignified Eagle.

Nevertheless, I am sure I've caught the odd reproachful glance from his beady eye as if wondering why he has never since been given some headwear on 'gala' occasions.

Am currently trying to devise something suitable for this Christmas Day.

Ideas welcome.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Singing Like a Bird............A Crow!

This week we  had the Mayor's Remembrance Service at St Mary's.  That was on Thursday evening and was reasonably well sung.

On Friday evening we had our normal choir practice plus an extra half-hour's run-through for our annual Chiltern Brewery Christmas Shop opening.  About 10 carols - some of which we knew!

Today (Saturday) we woke to freezing fog followed later by torrential rain  and made our bleary-eyed way to the village where the brewery shop was waiting to greet us like old friends.

We did a h alf hour stint went home for lunch and returned for a repeat of the programme at 2 pm.

There were only 6 of us but we did our best with our lovely Chris on her keyboard.  The sound was....well ....different.

This afternoon we had each tried a tiny thimble sized drop of one or two of the fabulous range of drinks they sell and it had improved our approach to the music if not our voices so much that we had quite a few compliments from customers.

With two services tomorrow, one in church and one in the market square we will know what to do if the sound is not as good as it should be.

Strange that don't you think?

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Life resumes

I know it's only just October but already we are beginning to sign up for the choir performances  in which we intend to take part.

So far, we haven't had any inkling as to just what we will be singing but our 'boss' needs to  know what potential is available.

The long boring months of summer are soon to be replaced by anticipation and a degree of excitement, as well as a lot of hard work.

Since mine is a fairly solitary existence most of the summer, there is the feeling of being taken out of the cupboard, dusted down and prepared for use once more - and I love it, and welcome it.

It hasn't been quite as bad as this sounds but nevertheless I can't help feeling as though the 'stop' button has been replaced with 'go'.

This evening's choir practice was just October's music but by the end of the month we should have at least some idea of what this Christmas has in store for us.

We have inevitably lost a couple of our youngest members to University but hope to recruit some more soon.  Unfortunately the two who have just left are both really good musicians and will be greatly missed.

These days we make a really good sound and need to keep recruiting good new members to replace the inevitable fall-out each season.

Unlike a village church where the choir if any, will be relatively stable, St Mary's is an urban church and the population is constantly changing.

The fact that it is also the County church of Buckinghamshire and a Grade 1 listed building leads to rather high expectations - not easy to meet.

At least the bats show their appreciation (at least I think that's what it means), by doing an occasional fly-past when we rehearse, accompanied by less welcome tokens of their 'approval'.

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord", and if you can't, buy him/her some ear plugs.