Monthly Archives: September 2004

OK – I can take a joke, but this is ridiculous!

Please, please can somebody explain how persons unknown linked to me via a googlesearch on ‘piles problems caused by folding chair!’ Please.

I’ve quite forgotten what I was going to write. This creeping cold has turned my brain to mush. Nor has it helped the singing, either, although I’d put the dry throat down to central heating. I’ll need to bring a larger bottle of water next time, I gulped down so much. Partly out of nervousness, I’ll admit, as today we finally broke through the sound barrier and sang to the others in pairs. I can’t pretend that ‘While Shepherds washed thei..watched their flocks’ is my favourite carol. Still, we managed. Well, put it this way, nobody walked out! We’ve each been given a recording of the various exercises to practice with at home. Makes a change from listening to old sermon tapes over the ironing mountain, I suppose. I shall ignore Mr M’s remarks about locking up the animals before I start.

Said Mr M is in sunny France atm. I’d barely got in this afternoon when I had a call from SIL wanting to know when next we’d be up, as she’d left the new leggings I bought her behind in the house. I had to break the news that though we’ll be moving her mum on Saturday next, we’ll have no time to do anything else. Mr M’s said as much to Mum, who seems to think that he’s available and able to drop whatever he’s doing at any time to hare up the motorway to attend to domestic worries (some of which are imaginary). We detected the same attitude whilst she was in hospital, often from social services and the medical staff. who seemed to assume that we were local, a number of times made arrangements which later had to be undone because we couldn’t get up there, frightening Mum in law in the process.

We’re so much hoping that the move, into a more supported living situation will go some way towards restoring her confidence,and with our help enable her to regain some degree of independence. And maybe, if she’s happier, we’ll be able to gently encourage SIL to do a wee bit more for herself. Luckily, the staff at the place she’s resident at have been marvellously supportive this last year. Last week, we signed an agreement clearly stating the number of cigarettes she’s allowed to have per day. (we give them to the staff to be handed over). Thus , hopefully, putting a stop to frantic phone calls days before we’re due up there). And we’re working on her trying to go out and buy her own toiletries,and other bits n’bobs. I’d been supplying her with these regularly until a member of staff I’d not met before put me right as to what should and should not be my responsibility. The worry behind this for us, is, of course, that if we push her too far, she’ll end up going back into hospital. The thought of the effect that would have on her mum in her present state doesn’t bear thinking about! So, there we are – Christian charity is in short supply on our part, just now.

Day of Rest

And would you believe it, none of it spent in church. The nearest I got to that was my customary listen-in to the local radio Sunday programme. This had a makeover about a year ago, when the wavebands split and Oxford, with its longstanding and well-loved presenter got separate programming.Those of us who don’t live quite so near the dreaming spires were left with the new setup. Mustadmit, it took me a while to get used to it: the presenter opted for a less predictable format than we’d been used to. But it seems to have paid off. Over the last months there have been some challenging discussions with varied choice of guests. She’s not afraid to step ‘outside the box,’ to go outside of orthodox Christian thinking, or even (horrors! ;)) to bring in interfaith dialogue. Definitely not what Mr M calls ‘cat stuck up a tree’ broadcasting, even if the programme does start to morph into a gardening phone-in during the last half hour.

I find that it’s the occasional off the cuff statements that give me food for thought as much as the more scheduled items. This morning, for instance – when the presenter said words to the effect that she felt that some folk tend towards a fairly dogmatic type of faith in their youth, but that this often becomes more relaxed, more blurred as they get older (presumably older in the faith as much as chronologically) This last interests me in as much as I only became a Christian in my thirties, and have therefore experienced several faith ‘stages’ compressed into a short period of time.

Anyway, today’s change of scene was pure laziness, really. The normal morning service having been replaced by a musical, with a second performance in the early evening – I moved from ‘I won’t go in in the morning, to ‘I’ll go to the second performance and then on to the evening service,’ ‘ No time for the performance;I’ll just go the evening service,’ and finally, ‘Oops, too late to go to the service!’ My official excuse being that we’re tired after yesterday’s hard work preparing for Mr M’s Mum’s move to her new flat next week. The unofficial reason was due to me flopping down in front of the TV with Mr M to watch Pleasantville. Yes, I know I shouldn’t find it funny….but come on, I’m only human!

Miffy, you’re getting older

If I’d thought 20 years ago that one day my idea of a good Saturday night was to log onto my favourite board and initiate threads about rude sounding place names. (Sad isn’t it). I blame last night’s night on the tiles, or rather night in the barn. We got hopelessly lost turned east instead of west thanks to a diversion by the sleepy village of Stanford Dingley, and nearly ended up in the even sleepier sounding village (hamlet?) of Tutts Clump Thank goodness we were in the old French Miffymobile at the time; all those potholes did wonders for our suspensions! The poor vehicle has done us proud over the years, though – taken us through France, to Switzerland and Germany. It’s been used for countless birthday outings, theme park trips; even become a makeshift tent at the Oktoberfest. Once the Mrs Miffy snr house move is over, it’ll be about ready to take that trip to the great carpound in the sky.

So, back to last night. I’ve made two discoveries: 1) I’m hopelessly unfit. A quick whizz through the Cumberland Square Reel should not reduce you to a quivering heap, and 2) Dancing makes me travel sick. Maybe I should take a couple of Stugeron before trying again.

Never mind. I’ll keep plugging away. I’m determined to perfect my basket leg- flying technique in the remote event that someone should think to ask me to another of these….occasions…. The secret is to lean heavily on your partner’s shoulders and let the men do all the hard work!

Run for the Hills

Is my default reaction on encountering such delights as the book I unpacked this morning – a delightful tome on biblical womanhood. Checked Amazon just now to reveal over 6000 titles on the theme! Yes, yes, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ I know. Not that I had time to read the offending article, you understand; we were far too busy. 😉 One glance at the cover, with its perfectly coiffed, made up and wholesome looking ladies, unleashed in me an unwholesome urge to tell them precisely where to stuff their ….erhmmm…. Steptford Wives alert, Steptford Wives alert!

I’ll be off to get Mr Miff’s tea, now. See you later, once I’ve recovered my customary air of submissive serenity.

Thinking of higher things

We passed a pleasant half hour or so this afternoon discussing our will with a solicitor. There’s a certain grim hilarity about deciding who should be your beneficaries in the (hopefully unlikely) event of a ‘doomsday scenario’ occurring. In my case I’ve plumped for a hospice charity and World Vision. We’ve agreed to leave specific legacies for a codicil later. I’ve enough problems keeping the house decluttered, let alone deciding which of my motheaten possessions should be foisted on the world at large. It’s hardly a case of the Crown jewels – "I hereby bequeath my priceless collection of odd earrings to my bestest friend Heliotrope, my vintage M and S undies to Flylady for dusters, and my yellowing copy of Abba’s Greatest Hits to the music department of whatever church is unlucky enough to be hououred with my custom at the time of my death."

Ah well. Must hop – the dog needs putting out. I’ll save the gory details of today’s voice class for another time.

Miserable lot

You’d have thought that including ‘nasally challenged elephant,’ ‘oxy pads and Beatrix Potter in my last entry would have attracted some googlers. Not a sausage! And to add insult to injury little Miff informed me his oxy pads have gone awol. My blog for the 17th confirmed that they weren’t a figment of my imagination. OK, who switched on overtype?!

The assignment has winged its way off into cyberspace. The Peter Rabbit tissues weren’t needed for the final draft, thank goodness. I’m finding these more touchy -feely units a bit of a mixed blessing. For a start I find timetabling and churning out work far easier with the more trad, academically straightforward topics. And the family seem to be more respectful of your need to have P and Q when they know that you’ve a study on Ephesians to write, for example than say, reflections on the ‘pritual disciplines that will help me in my walk with God.’ Or it could be I’m making excuses! Anyway, although there’s at least one more workbook based module I’d like to do, I’m wondering if for my own sake it’d be better to make the next unit one of the regular, churn out one essay a fortnight jobs. Plus no spritual entrails are involved at any point. (bother that overtype – what on earth’s happening?).

And speaking of entrails, made a complete twit of myself on Sunday during one of those – ‘get into small groups’ sessions. In order to facilitate more shall we say ‘spontaneous’ praise (i.e. an attempt to get more folk praying than the one or two who always do), we’d been divided up into sections, given the images of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and asked to come up with individual prayers. Now being determined not to compromise my new found integrity and to be ‘myself,’ I uncharacteristically leapt in and informed the other ladies in my group that I’d cop out as I couldn’t cope with the concept of God as Father;only to be told I’d joined the wrong row; they’d been given the Holy Spirit! Terminal embarrassment! That’s the last time I bring out my spiritual underpinnings (or lack of them) in public.

I have RSI

According to Ms M, who has made me the subject of her A2 design project. Apparently I spend 8 hours a DAY(!!) at my pc, have back problems (well that’s true at least), problems with my co-ordination and difficulties scrolling. Hence she is designing me a ‘foot -operated mouse.’ (mercifully, I am only named as ‘the client’ on the official blurb. ) I get periodic alarming e-mails from her school address. This afternoon’s also contained part of a progressive story about a nasally -challenged elephant.* I was tempted add to the tale, but refrained.

Bit the bullet (or the mouse) today and finished the first draft of my next assignment! Only 150 words over the limit, which is pretty good for me. And with a 500-1000 count allowed this time, luxury indeed! I celebrated this evening by walking to Sainsbury’s to buy those essentials of life – coffee beans, oxy pads and toilet rolls. Emerged with everything on my list, plus a jumbone for the dog, swweties for the drive tomorrow and a box of Beatrix Potter tissues! In my defence we’ll probably need the tissues. Both little Miffs are sneezing. Plus my assignment is a bit on the touchy-feely side and editing may call for tissue -wielding.

*Actually, I’m wrong here. Said pachyderm was challenged in another area entirely. What do they teach them in these schools?

Christmas is coming

Treated myself to a turkey sandwich with cranberry stuffing at lunchtime. Let’s see what visitors I get with that statement. According to my stats, someone’s reached this blog by googling for ‘blue jelly.’ Thanks are due to Yay and his/her olympic desserts/deserts ?? OK then – puddings. I’ve had so few hits recently I need to do something drastic to boost my ratings. What can I add that’ll have folk flocking to my door? I know!- Examining the label gave me little clue as to the origins of the sandwich, but such was its succulence that it wouldn’t surprise me if the shop hadn’t used Delia Smith’s Christmas recipes in its manufacture.

Oh mi – – – !!!!?!!!

Was my reaction this afternoon on logging onto my favourite site to find my DAUGHTER flagged up as its newest member! Is nothing sacred? 😉 Who next I ask myself – my ageing auntie? the rector? (wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t already signed up), even my other half?! The mind boggles. What on earth will she come out with? Suppose we find ourselves pitted against each other in a bitter flame war? Suppose, even, I find myself consigned to the depths of ‘Hell’ by my own offspring? Actually, I’m secretly rather pleased – I couldn’t have been more surprised if she’d come home and announced she’d signed up for the nearest Alpha course. (Come think of it, the thought of Ms M being let loose on Nicky Gumbel and his ilk doesn’t bear thinking about) Give me Christian unrest any day!

Ah well, I suppose I’ll have to modify my fluffy online persona to one more suited to a lady of mature years and mother of two, responsible PCC member etc, etc. So I’ll be off now to pursue my latest crossstitching project : ‘ Revelation! – Small-group Bible studies in DMC 3-Ply.’

Thank you for the music…

Oh dear. Had the first of the terms’s singing sessions this morning and this was the first song to be added to our repertoire! I found it difficult to keep a straight face, anyway, as memories of the spoof version I wrote for Ship of Fools Eurovison kept coming into my head. I’m not sure the authentic ABBA effect was in evidence (a group of eight ladies of uncertain years and the token male gathered in a rather chilly parish room hardly reproduces the buzz of the Concours Eeuropeene to Chanson or whatever they call it), but we did our best. I also understand why my pitiful attempts at humming generally result in a strangled squeak. Oh, and I understand the need to analyse the meaning of a song before you so much as attempt to sing it. A method I fully intend to employ with little M next time I have to suffer Red Hot Chilli Peppers and their ilk ad nauseam on car journeys…"Do tell me, M, what EXACTLY does he mean when he tells the woman what he’d like to…." (CENSORED) 🙂 Revenge is mine!

We passed an interesting half hour this afternoon trying to rearrange all the CDs into the categories provided by the suppliers. Must say it had me baffled. As far as I’m concerned I thought all you had was Graham Kendrick, Matt Redman, Spring Harvest’s latest offerings , woffly Celtic stuff and miscellaneous. But no – that wasn’t enough. Tell me – please, who would you categorize under Hard Music??

Bother – the dog again…!