Monthly Archives: March 2005

I did it!

Finished the assignment I meant. I’m now embarked on an ethics unit (no more navel gazing for now!) and have in front of me, even as I type, various worthy tomes. These include ‘The Ethics of Human Cloning’, ‘Genetic Engineering for a New Earth’, ‘Debating Homosexuality’, and the rather grimly entitled ‘Cohabitation: A Biblical Perspective.’ All good bedtime reading and surefire conversation stoppers at your average homegroup. 😀

So, many thanks to my little band of ‘neggers.’ I’ll do the same for you anyday.

Months ago, I remember wondering about what would happen if elements of the ‘me,’ you sometimes ‘see’ online were to emerge in IRL settings. Here I was chiefly referring to those times when I keep quiet when maybe it would be wiser (if less comfortable) in the long run to speak out about various issues. Although my sense of humour frequently gets the better of me as well, often at the most inappropriate times, in church settings, for instance. (It’s no coincidence that I’m a SOF fan!).

This happened the other morning while I was reading through the daily office. No, not in church; I’m not THAT keen – it’s simply that as a serial procrastinator I find it useful to have some sort of a framework to base my ‘devotional life’ around. Though to be honest, such ‘devotions’ as I have tend all too fequently to be of the ‘Help!’ or ‘Whoops, Sorry!’ genre. I’ll never make a saint, you’ll be sad to learn. Anyway, there I am steaming my way through the Song of Moses and Miriam from Exodus when I come across the description of God drowning the Pharoah’s armies in the Red Sea. ‘At the blast of your nostrils the sea covered them…’ At this I collapsed – with visions of the Almighty – caught out without a hanky – covering the unfortunate Egyptians with strings of luminous green, sticky…….(Stop it right now, Miffy!). For all the world like the ‘Spitting Image,’ skit (remember them?) where a white haired, bearded God bumbles around apologizing profusely for all the ills of the world: ‘Whoops, Sorry! I messed it up again!’

I think I’d best sign off now. Maybe the bracing breezes at the Wightmeet will clear my brain.

‘Go for it!’ needed

Remember my thoughts on procrastination? (No Shifty Gnome, NOT ‘predestination;’ I’m not doing your homegroup work for you! ;). Yes? Well, my assignment has expanded to one and a half sides of A4, but is nowhere near finished. I’m in need of some gentle ‘negging.’ Those of you who post on SOF will know what I’m talking about. For everyone else, ‘to neg’ is to offer a mixture of nagging and encouragement. The encouragement has come from reading a fellow summer schooler’s account of how she finished her certificate in 6 years* (pacing herself at one unit per year). That’s heartening, as by those criteria, I’m just about on course….if…..I can just get this flipping piece written by Easter.

So… any ‘negs’ or gentle shoves would be much appreciated. Next time I log on I expect to see a flood of ‘Miffy – go for it!’** in my ‘comments.’ And no, this isn’t a ruse to bump up my wiblog status!

* Even more of an encouragement was the student who took 23 years! There’s hope for me yet!

** Going back to my ‘beanstalk’ situation – I’ve ‘gone for it’ – and it’s working out, for once. Excitement! Watch out for news here once I’ve …….’neg’ ‘neg’ ‘neg’ . Stop procrastinating, Miffy.

My stats are back!

Who’s been looking me up on ‘gruesome films?’ We’re referring to ‘Les Choristes,’ here, I presume.

At risk of annoying Smudgie and JTL, I’m working my way through my Mothering Sunday chocolate piece by piece. Sorry to tempt you, ladies! And as Mr Miff is on a diet, and Ms Miff resolutely refuses to break her Lenten choc fast, I have it pretty much to myself. And if I say it myself, I’m quite impressed at my self-control!

I only seem to be able to demonstrate said fruit of the spirit in that one area, at the moment, although after the weekend’s high octane marital tiff, I’d better get practising in various others. Poor Mr Miff and myself are tiptoeing apologetically round the place, being unaturally and uncharacteristically polite to each other. Hence the Mothers Day chocolate from my other half – for use when I’m feeling down. Paradoxically, the assignment is coming along nicely, and after this weekend, I’ve certainly gained some new ideas. Not least about why the way our family interacts affects the stuggles I experience expressing my faith. It’s a strange feeling when something stops being a mere academic exercise and becomes something that you live. Strange also when that that for you is the core of your existence is rubbished and ripped to pieces.

So just now, I’m concentrating on glueing the shattered pieces of my confidence together again, and keeping things on as even a keel as I can manage for Mr Miff. The best way of which appears to be by keeping quiet, keeping the place running like clockwork (or as near an approximation to that as is ever possible chez Miffy), and above all expressing as few (negative) emotions as possible.

Ah well. Could be worse. And if I were a psychologist I could have a field day with our family!

I want my stats!

No comment.

Thanks to Mike Mulligan and company’s undercoating activities, we now boast an L-shaped lawn. Which should make mowing fun come the Summer.

Mr Miff just called through from the kitchen to inform me that for only £30, Miffdog could be the proud owner of a Gucci rubber chew. Given that he has the bite of your average wolf, I think we’ll pass on that one. Far better to rely on that old standard – the empty toilet roll. Or the dropped sock. Far cheaper, and easier to replace.

Said hound is still eyeing me suspiciously after our recent excursions with his new, ‘no pull-harness.’ Whilst I’m starting to feel the effects of the flying rugby tackle I was forced to make when he slipped out of it. Shame really, as for a few glorious moments I could imagine myself parading round the show ring with this model dog walking obediently by my side. Almost too obedient, tbh, as whenever he’s harnessed up he changes from a hybrid of Tigger and Zebedee from ‘The Magic Roundabout’ to a passable imitation of a Steptford dog. We’ll keep working at it. I’ve solved the escape problem by using two leads, one static at the harness point, the other longer length locked retractable clipped to his collar for use in emergencies. So, if you see a skinny figure clad in fleece and bobble hat wandering round the Home Counties steering what appears to be a furry, low-flying kite, please say hello!

I’m conscious that the ‘spritual’ content of this blog has been sadly lacking lately. Suggestions as to how to remedy this welcomed. Though the chances of a stray surfer falling to his knees in repentance after being hit with the full gospel significance of Bob the Builder, Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin et al and the price of cheap French plonk are pretty remote. (Thank goodness).

He’s still there

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel I mean. http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/features/mike_mulligan/. What do you mean, you’re too young to remember him? Well…think Bob the Builder in an earlier incarnation. (Am I allowed to say incarnation here?) Rain and an inconsiderately placed tree put paid to any work today. The latter will have to be surgically removed, sadly, and the fence moved back. Our lawn is shrinking at an alarming rate. So much for my dreams of a cottage garden. The rate we’re going I could be in the running for a starring role in one one of those gardening makeover programmes. I might as well bow to the inevitable, pinch a pile of pebbles from the nearest beach* (about 80 miles away by my reckoning) and scatter a few tropical plants over the lunar landscape. Next thing we know, Lawrence double barrelled Bowen will appear on the doorstep. Well, if he can endorse a certain property developer’s homes I’m sure he can spare time for yours truly. Though I can’t imagine him striding through the mud in welly boots.

Assignment update: I’ve written 3 paragraphs! It seems to have turned into a dissection of the Anglican Marriage service. Not quite what I’d intended. Still, anything is better than nothing. And there’s nothing like a nice long quote to make you feel you’ve actually achieved something!

* And yes, I’ll admit to it. We do have a solar powered water feature.

Help, my stats have disappeared!

Not that I’m forever checking to see who’s been flocking to read my pearls of wisdom – oh no! Perish the thought. Well, yes…I’ll confess, I do, (poor sad creature that I am). It’s clear I’ve a spirit of pride along with the stinginess and procrastination. ;)(See last months logs for details).

I’m working on the last one. Yes, you’ll be glad to know – especially Smudgie and Jack – that at long last I’ve got going on the assignment and produced (gasp!) all of ONE paragraph. It had to be done. I sensed that the procrastination was getting to ‘procrastingy’ even for me when I found myself pootling around on Publisher planning out next Christmas’s Round Robin. (Readers of SoF might remember me agonizing over this one). Though to let you (and a million other faceless bloggers) into a secret, I quite fancy doing something out of the ordinary: gathering various of my ‘thoughts,’ and ‘viewpoints’ together in an attractively bound little booklet, for instance and sending them out to those people who’ve been honoured by inclusion on my card list. Just imagine the look of astonishment and delight on those little faces when they open….No Miffy, you couldn’t be so cruel….could you?

Talking of delight, we were quite flabberghasted, but thrilled last night when little Miff gave us a showing of a DVD he’d made for English at school. I’d wondered what on earth he was doing yesterday. I didn’t like to ask why he’d borrowed his Dad’s hat, poured a glass of milk and plunged out into the snowy back garden armed only with a spade. It turns out he was filming a Seamus Heaney poem. And for a son who professes not to see the point of poetry, the results were outstanding. We know he’s a wannabee film maker, (he’s spent 2 years completing a skate video with another one planned for 2006), but this was way out of that league! Sniff. There’s one extremely proud Mum. (I know how you feel, Smudgie!)

Although the workmen must have wondered why someone had started off their digging for them when they arrived this morning. Yes, after more than a week’s wait, we now have a back garden looking like a lunar landscape, a severely scalped Buddlia bush and a dirty great JCB mounting guard outside the Miffy residence. I’ll keep you posted.