Thursday, 26 March 2020

Priorities

If the current dire situation has taught me anything, it has reinforced the need to prioritise.

Being brought up to date every hour by TV radio and all forms of media with the ongoing state of the world as it faces its biggest challenge since World war 2, does wonders for concentrating the mind on what is truly important.

Everyday necessities in our 1st world lives suddenly become luxuries which we can perfectly easily manage without.

We learn every day how the desperate needs of those in deadly peril are not being met, sometimes because of our own greedy and selfish behaviours.

So many wonderful kind generous people are giving time energy and physical help to those unable to help themselves.

The NHS, for many years spoken of  as the best in the world (though less often recently) has shown immense courage, sense of duty and a willingness to sacrifice their expertise, time energy and sadly sometimes, their lives in an effort to save as many people as they can from this latest threat .

Kind neighbours are collecting shopping for those self-isolating, strangers are giving lifts to hospital and to other people stranded or unable to take other forms of transport.

Human nature at its very best is daily making itself felt while at the same time a few (thankfully) others are flouting all the rules advice and instructions which were designed not only to   keep them safe, but to save others from their lack of common sense, or even basic humanity

We need wherever we are able to prioritise our needs while ignoring our wants and if we can do nothing physically to help one another try at least to heed the advice and not make anything more difficult for each other.

If we all pull together we will defeat this pandemic and emerge at the end of it, probably leaner, but hopefully wiser.


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

What is Old?



The poor picture of the balloon given me when my lovely neighbours took me out on my 80th birthday reminds me that age is just a number.

I now have a similar balloon sitting in my sitting room (how's that for alliteration)? only, this time it says Happy 85th Birthday.

How did that happen? five years gone in a flash.

Although 2015 was the year I was diagnosed with Parkinson's, I feel very little different from how I felt then.

Faced with the certainty of "house arrest" due to the current virus, I am vary grateful for the fact that we (the girls and I) were able to go out to our favourite restaurant on Sunday

It may well be the last Jolly for some time.

Small pleasures, bird-song, a good tv play, a good book are going to be the best many of us can hope for in the coming weeks and months.

Yesterday, Monday, I went shopping as I do every Monday and tomorrow Wednesday, I will do so again, as I do every Wednesday. After that - who knows?

For me, self-isolation will not be a pleasure, but due to the fact that I have really good friends both in the church and among my neighbours I need not fear being alone and imprisoned.

Many other people may not be so lucky.

If those who are able to get about easily will help those who are not then we   will all (or nearly all of us) get through this dangerous time.

Let's all do what we are able and if that is very little at least let us pray for one another.

Despite the World Health Authority, age is really not the biggest issue here.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Yer be dragons

My two pet dragons, Ivan Llewellyn Pendragon and little Rhodri, pictured on the left reminded me this morning before I left for church, that today is St David's day.

Something I had never really thought about before is the total lack of Welsh hymns in the various hymn books we use every Sunday.

Many of the best known and still most commonly sung tunes are by the great Parry or by other Welsh composers, yet their Welshness (if there is such a word), is never celebrated.

Lots of people say "oh the Welsh can all sing" (not true by the way, but noone ever says they can write wonderful uplifting or deeply sonorous music.

Now I have to admit I have never heard my household dragons sing or caught them sitting writing hymns, but that's not to say they couldn't if they so chose.

After all, in a land so steeped in mystery and fable who can say with certainty that dragons (which abound, by the way), never stop their fire breathing in order to sing hymns to their creator?

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Familiar Themes

Once again evading the arms of morpheus my over-active brain keeps running over last evening's Ashing service.

Not just the Singing of the Allegri Misereri Mei, (a marathon by anyone's standards), but the now familiar words of psalm 103 I find myself once again caught up in my old dilemma of criticising the "new" version preferred by our American rector, while running alongside them is the old, far more beautiful St James version.

Every Sunday and every special service I can hear in my head the elegant phrases of the old version and cannot help comparing those words with the abbreviated everyday language which for me robs the entire service of its appeal.

Sometimes the entire service is ruined for me by just one word.

I know the content is supposed to matter more than the language in which it is presented, but why, I cannot help but wonder, is it better to speak in everyday tongues when at the same time, singing the anthem in Latin and following the centuries old rituals with little change from the 17th Century?

Our Rector would argue that modern English (or in his case American), has a more direct appeal to today's congregations, yet the people who attend our church every week have deliberately chosen from dozens of others, a church whose traditions and rituals are steeped in High Anglican history.

This is not yet another sleepless rant, more a reflection on how little things can shape opinions  and divide otherwise peace loving people who prefer the pen to the sword.

I'm rambling and probably making no sense so will stop and resume my night's sleep ( or failure to sleep).

After all there is the whole of Lent in which to reflect (and possibly comment) on these things.

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.