Monthly Archives: December 2004

I’m back!

And mercifully, sans nasal hair trimmer. But my feet are luxuriating in their brand new ‘toasty’ slipper socks ( present from Mr Miff) and the ironing pile (now halfway up to the bedroom ceiling) will be kept down a treat with the aid of a nice little pile of CDs – also from Mr Miff. He in turn has got over the shock of receiving a set of men’s sloggis (my revenge for his dreadful mistake in Debenhams undies dept 2 years ago). Meanwhile, Ms Miff is obviously struck dumb with delight at one of my gifts to her – a dear little pink, fluffy poodle door bell – a dead ringer for the late and unlamented ‘Piaf Piaf – the little flying poodle,’ (aka – The book that would not die) from childhood days in France. And I can see Santas pressie of a Purple Ronnie swear box being in regular use. Judging by the ‘gros mots’ I’ve heard issuing from the mouth of our youngest, ‘Petit Papa Noel,’ must have known he was going to be given the latest incarnation of Metal Gear Solid. The house is full of square- jawed, unsmiling gritty men. And all ‘virtual’ (except Mr Miff, of course!)

It’s been a quiet Christmas – not unusual for us – and well needed after the various ‘blips’ over the last year. We were on our own for the Day itself – with the little Miffs mounting turkey duty whilst Mr and Mrs went off to church. All credit to them! Ms Miff hadn’t got to bed until well through the wee small hours as she and friends had been drinking in Christmas before all going off to Donnington Castle, (the secular equivalent of drinking and going off to Midnight Mass maybe?). A first, as by the time she got in, Mr Claus had already done the rounds. And rather poignant in a strange sort of way,for as she says, now she’s reached the grand old age of 18 – she may not always be with us at Christmas. So she says!

We’re both afflicted by a slight bout of ‘But it doesn’t feel like Christmatitis.’ An inevitable part of growing up – of being responsible for ‘making it happen,’ – I don’ know. Certainly, I can remember being Ms Miff’s age – sitting in the cathedral carol service with a sense of ‘But this doesn’t mean a thing to me.’ Of course, now, the faith side of things means everything to me. Although the dissonnance caused by trying to balance being the only Christian in the family with the horrendous ‘giftianity’ of the outside world, dulls the old ‘faithometer’ readings at times. And the real Christmas gift is overlooked. Definitely a case of death by nasal hair trimmer!

So you’ll be glad to hear I’m stopping the ‘bah, humbug!’ speil now. I did find my ‘Chrismassy moments,’ but only when I stopped looking for them. The first came on Christmas morning, shortly after we got back from church. I was trying to hide my Christmatitis wobble when I noticed that someone had put a late card through the door. Turned out to be from a couple we’d missed in the crowd at church with the inscription – ‘We saw this, and it reminded us of you.’ And it wasn’t a card, but a bookmark, with one of those words that spell out an inspirational snippet. (e.g. WWJD or PUSH). This one, (and those who know me will realise why ) spelt FROG – Fully Rely on God. Perfect timing!

And the second ? In church on Boxing Day evening. Probably only eight or ten of us there for a simple meditation on God’s gift to us and our response to him. Wonderful.

God really does move in mysterious ways sometimes.

Just what I always wanted!

I’m convinced that there are two different types of ‘gift.’ With only days to go now until we celebrate the birth of our Lord’s greatest gift to mankind; God incarnate, the Light of the World – how do we pass this news onto our nearest and dearest? We get down to our local Saint of the High Street’s emporium and buy them a nasal hair trimmer! I fear someone, somewhere, has lost the plot.

You can tell I’m off to brave the crowds today, can’t you? Ah well. ‘Joy to the world… etc.’

Forget the nuns, creation spirituality and severed heads

You’d have thought that I’d not read any of the handy hints so kindly provided on http://www.blahonline.net/feature1.htm ‘Idiots Guide to Starting a Blog.’ So many good intentions. Miffy, your middle name is procrastination! I can’t face the thought of having to catch up on nearly a fortnight’s news, so, dear reader, you will never know what those tantalising allusions I made last time I blogged were about.

It’s struck me just now what an appropriate expression ‘blog’ is. Reminiscent of those occcasions when one’s generosity with the loo roll leads to those oh -so -embarrassing blockages. Spiritual blockage; so much potential there awaiting processing that it blocks the system… (Err… on second thoughts, that’s maybe not the best analogy to use. I mean, we all know that when St Paul said ‘…I consider them to be so much rubbish’, he was using a rather more…’colloqial’ expression, but…)

Actually I do have a snippet to relate re nuns, even if it’s rather more ‘basic’ and definitely less spiritual than my original intention. Readers on ‘The Ship’ have already heard of my amusing Advent experience. To wit, the totally tasteless but hilarious joke told me by two members of the church youth group on the way home one evening about The Pope and the Seven Dwarfs.* The Advent service preceeding had obviously had the effect of a plunger on a u-bend. I know, I know, as a stalwart of the coffee rota and an upstanding member of the pcc, I shouldn’t be saying this but, it made my evening. Plus my estimation of the gentlemen concerned went up no end!

To continue on the lavatorial theme, if you’re ever short of a party game, do the relay race when each team wraps up the leader in loo roll. We first tried it at Ms Miff’s 9th birthday party. And nearly ten years later it went down a treat at this evening’s Christmas party given by the 6th form for the Year Sevens. Daughter and friends adapted it by making the ‘mummies’ ‘snowmen.’ The embarrassment factor is tremendous. Humiliate your boss, house head, youth leader….Brilliant. Though I’ve not heard what they did with the left over paper.

More profound thoughts tomorrow.

* I refuse to repeat it here. It’s far too rude, and besides, you probably all know it already. 😉

Severed heads and overzealous hosptals.

No, don’t worry. Since my last entry Bob’s departed taking his drill with him. As he slipped out, the green slime monster took up residence in my lungs. We’ve been recycling our colds for so long now, we’ve forgotten who’s given what and to whom. (grammar?). Little Miff appears to have chipped or cracked an area of his thumb so tiddly that it barely shows up on the x-ray. Which we tried to explain to the small but scarey nurse and overealous consultant on his return visit the other day. "Does it hurt here?" he asked, prodding the area between thumb and forefinger. "Yes," replies little Miff obediently and rather too literally. He means – a slight twinge. Consultant, who despite my efforts to persuade him to the contrary seems convinced that this is his first visit, means " Extreme discomfort." And before we know where we are he’s in the plaster room being offered a choice of football, white, red,blue or camofluage. He chooses the latter, and ten minutes later we emerge with son’s right arm encased from hand to elbow. His computer – msn, gameplaying arm, no less! And clutching an appointment card with booking for December 30th! By the time the kindly receptionist confirms that the plaster needs to stay on for six weeks, (six WEEKS? What about Christmas?) Jnr Miff is starting to look distinctly miffed, and by evening, the novelty of being an ‘invalid’ has completely worn off.

Mr Miff is in no smiling mood when he finds out, either. He’s all for storming up to the GP’s surgery or the clinic and tell them exactly what he thinks of their new, streamlined efficiency. Luckily for us, one of little Miff’s friend’s father is an extremely respected local doctor. A long distance consultation (well, tbh, a three way msn chat) ensues, and with a speed even more impressive than that of the plaster nurses, offspring and Mr Miff retire to the bathroom where they perform radical surgery with a pair of secateurs. The camofluage plaster was last seen in the dog’s bed. Along with the tattered remains of ‘les seins artificiel’ from a couple of entries back.

Now what on earth am I going to say to the fracture clinic after Christmas?

Rest assured, the severed head has nothing to do with my beloved’s verdict on the workings of the NHS. I’ll explain shortly. Along with musings on Jacobean tragedy, dusty houses, creation spirituality, drunken teenagers, nuns and procrastination. (Should be worth a few Google hits. :))