last weekend, courtesy of Hope and Greenwood the two senior Miffys were able to take a trip back down memory lane to the days of Sherbert Fountains, Flying Saucers, rhubarb and custards and liquorice allsorts. My one white filling survived the gobstoppers obtained from these ‘Purveyors of Fine Confectionary…’ just. And judging from the popularity of the shop (the place was chock a block when we visited) the dentists of East Dulwich must be doing a roaring trade!
Ms Miffy stocked up on chocolate for friends’ Xmas pressies. (I wonder how much will actually survive to be handed over? ;)), Mr Miff found a shop selling cheese of the type that announces its presence from a distance of 100 yards, offspring polished off a distant relation of Miffy herself in Le Chardon – and generally, a goodish time was had by all.
As we meandered through the streets from Ms M and friends abode taking in landmarks like the now deserted Wood Dene estate, the place was buzzing. We passed several zonking great Pentecostal Churches (and one smallish, apologetic C of E one with equally smallish Alpha banner). Given the amount of Hyde Park corner-like rantings that appeared to be going on, I was almost disappointed not to be stopped and asked if I had Accepted Jesus as My Lord and Saviour. Rosamundi – one day I’ll get to use your witty riposte about Our Lady – I’m sure.
Dear Uncle Dave,
I read your guide to ecclesiastical posture with interest. Have you ever considered extending your ‘ministry’ into the area of ‘ecclesiastical etiquette?’
For example, take a theological dilemma which I faced only the other day. I was at a Eucharist. When the time came to take communion, I received, as is customary in our neck of the woods, one of those tiny circly rice-papery things. (On occasion this is replaced by a chunk of consecrated, organic, wholemeal stone-ground grit, but I digress). So far, so good. However, on looking down after receiving, I was greatly troubled to see that, like a mishaped biscuit, there remained in my hands a number of tiny fragments. What was I to do? Our church is hardly Catholic with a capital ‘C.’ so brushing our Lord off onto the carpet would not have resulted in a summary burning of same. (Although as we recently had a new carpet installed, I would likely have incurred the ire of the church cleaner). I then considered picking off and ingesting offending fragments, but we were a tiny congregation, and I feared that the sight of a respectable, middle-aged lady licking her fingers at the most sacred part of the liturgy was hardly the kind of example to be setting to any weaker brethren (and sistren) present.
Eventually I took the law into my own hands – or to be more accurate – out of them, and on returning to my pew, shoved what remained of the host into my jeans pocket.
At least if anyone asks ‘Have you found Jesus?’ I can offer an original and challenging variation on the stock ‘behind the sofa’ response.
You’ll notice a new addition to my blogroll. Mike F, of The Mercy Blog – I’d have loved to have done a direct link and comment to his retreat reflections earlier this Summer – also at Compton Durville. Because of my complete lack of technical nous ( and a certain Mr M who’s muddled up our respective blogger IDs) that’s not possible. Multiple frustration-as he captures so much of what I also experienced there but which I’ve been totally unable to articulate on paper (whether real or virtual). Never mind, if you travel via the blogroll and then scroll down to the beginning of August you should be able to understand what I’m whittering on about.
As mentioned in my One Day in History entry, CSF Compton Durville, in Somerset is fast becoming one of my favourite places. And in a fit of efficiency totally at odds with my Miffyesque tendencies, I’ve already booked another retreat for next autumn; before I left this year’s one, if you must know! I’m coming to realise that unless I’m (excuse the jargoning) intentional about making space for one tired budgie to unsquish herself, it just ain’t going to happen. So with that in mind, and with a tiny bit of annual leave left to use up before the end of the year, I’ve also booked myself in for a Quiet Day at another community nearer to home in a few weeks time. If I think of it as Mr M thinks of his cycling, as something vital for maintenance of health and fitness, then all of a sudden it appears a sight less selfish.
Rosamundi – interesting stuff. Do I get Brownie points for managing the Latin? 🙂