Monthly Archives: December 2006

Wet, wet, wet

That should get me some interesting googlesearches.

If Good King Wenceslas had looked out over our little town this afternoon, all he’d have seen were puddles, blocked drains and floods. Miffdog hasn’t had a walk today;paddling not being his favourite occupation. Ms Miff wisely decided that the safest place to be was in bed, hence didn’t get out of hers until nearly 4 p.m. Little M went out a couple of hours ago to buy a New Year present for a friend (sans rainwear of any kind), so we await his return with interest.

Meanwhile, Mr M has spent most of the day fiddling about with our pc network. We’ve at last decided to let little M keep all his stuff in his bedroom. Theoretically speaking the change should be easy. In practice – its involved much cursing and blinding as the beloved has negotiated a mass of cables worthy of spaghetti junction, and tried in vain to pacify offended computers. After hours of work, we’re about fixed. Little M’s work station is up and going, whilst I’ve now (in theory) got the whole of the study table to myself. At last I can spread my work out and leave it out between sessions! Unfortunately, my ‘new’ pc, (Ms Miff’s old goth model) is still suffering trauma from its abrupt change of ownership a month ago and has decided to sulk. Its in league with the printers – result – the colour one refuses to work for either of us. As little Miff is doing graphics and product design for As level, this could prove a teensy bit problematic. We’re leaving it for today whilst we ponder on what tactics to adopt: diplomatic persuasion, or sledgehammer tactics. Knowing Mr Miff, I fear it may be the latter!

Moving on to something rather more inspiring

It’s only once I stop that I realise just how tired I normally am. Here I am, with three more days to go before returning to w*** and I’ve only just managed to even begin to unwind. Isn’t that always the way?!

One little snippet which I’d not got round to blogging about happened a few weeks back. I’d got to thinking (as I do) about this ongoing ‘seabird’ business. Now, I’ve often remarked that I had very little contact with relgious orders of any sort during child and early adulthood. I’m not Roman Catholic – I’m Anglican, and despite attending a C of E Independent school, folk like nuns, monks, friars and the like simply didn’t register on my radar. Hence – unlike some of my contemporaries – I have no preconceived ideas or hangups about religious.

So as I mused about this, I got to thinking about the one group I do have vague memories of: a missionary order which ran a local hospital. Over the years most members of my family had spent some time there with various ailments. My mother used to tell us that the sisters working there were returning missionaries on ‘holiday,’ (which may not have been far from the truth). I can remember spending a short time there myself for a minor op about 25 years ago. The sisters (such as remained ) seemed very kindly, as Mr M himself can recall. Not that I can recall that much, as I was ever so slightly woozy at the time.

Anyway, back to the present. In one of those idle moments (hah!) it occurred to me that I’d no idea what order they belonged to. Well, Google is my friend, and a quick search showed a couple of interesting facts. Firstly, and sadly, a link to one of the RC journals confirmed that the order had sold on the hospital some years ago and moved back to the motherhouse several miles away. But secondly, and here comes the ‘well I never did!’ moment – a quick jump to their website revealed them to be… yes… Franciscan! Not that I should really be that surprised; they are a missionary order, after all. Still, not a little co-incidence maybe, that here I am, moving towards tertiary membership of another Franciscan group, and now it turns out that all those years ago, the only contact I had with any religious order was with Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood

It’s a funny old life, isn’t it?

And if that HTML code works properly it’ll be even funnier!


It’s ok. My tax return is done and filed. I received a nice e-mail to that effect from Inland Revenue just now. No, the above exclamation/exhortation/lamentation stems from last night’s viewing. On reflection, joining Mr M to watch the latest production of ‘Dracula’ wasn’t the wisest thing to do before retiring for the night. If ever I wanted insomnia, this was the way to catch it! The worst was, I think, that the actor playing the Count bore a passing resemblance to Colin Firth. (Mercifully he wasn’t Colin as I found when I checked). It’s the look in those eyes. I shall never, ever be able to watch Pride and Prejudice again without (bleurgh!!).

Though to be positive – in a negatively positive way (I’m gifted this way!) it was a brilliant production. Given the popularity of Dracula, and that we all know the story they could have really hammed it up. As it was, what we saw was a clever re-weaving which brought the … I was about to say brought the old legend back to life, but I’ve not quite lost all sense of humour and good taste!

Typical me. I hardly ever watch TV and when I do… Think we’ll go back to working our way through those Jeeves and Wooster episodes tonight. You can’t go wrong with Aunt Dahlia and Madeleine Basset.

My annual bath!

No, don’t be shocked. I exaggerated slightly. Quarterly would be more accurate. And if in case by now you’re retreating behind the sofa with nose pinched twixt finger and thumb, worry not. I’m talking about the dog.
Bailey Dec 2006

Yes, in a burst of unwonted energy, and spurred on by post Christmas Chocolate adrenalin, I’ve not only wound the year up by completing and sending another course assignment, but to celebrate, little M and I went mad and decided to give Miffdog a bath! I’ve never seen the bathtub so dirty. Nor have I seen a dog streak downstairs so quickly afterwards. It’s now strangely quiet chez Miffy. I suspect said canine is skulking in his ‘lair,’ (the space behind the coathooks next to the stairwell.) Brooding, no doubt. And plotting to find the biggest cowpat in known history the moment he’s allowed out for a walk.

Ah, the simple joys of life!

Get out the bus pass

I feel distinctly old and creaky. Why is it that men – usually men – keep calling me ‘dear,’ or worse – ‘my dear.’ It used to be men old enough to be my father; now even the younger ones have started. Like the chap behind the counter in the railway cafe this evening. Am I that decrepit?!

Anyway, I’ve spent the afternoon visiting family in deepest, darkest Surrey. Dave will be glad to know that I took his advice and travelled by train, thus avoiding Guildford Borough Council’ s exciting and simple to use Park and Ride Scheme. However, all was not lost. On emerging from the station I was somewhat taken aback to be faced with a large poster asking if I was prepared for a flood. Closer examination showed this not to be an recruitment drive for one of the more err…’extreme’ cults, but a warning to local firms to ‘be prepared’ should the worst happen. Seeing as Guildford has been flooded in the past. (I vaguely remember having a day off school due to this once) this was only sensible. Makes a change from posters exhorting you to save water, I suppose. Out of interest, does the region still have a hosepipe ban?

Then, as I wandered over to the shopping centre I saw yet another notice exhorting me to ‘buy 4 breakfasts – get one free!’ You’ll be glad to know that I resisted the temptation. Although I did buy a packet of crisps to sustain me during the long, hard tramp up the hill. Guildford being Guildford it has very posh shops. It even has high- class crisps. Where else could you get Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme flavour? What next? Caviar? Roast pheasant?

‘The Even More Mature than the Maturest Student in the World’ [Where’s ytour Grandma?]

Jack, move over. There’s a contender for your title. Yes – you read it here. I MAY be eligible for an NUS card! (Stop sniggering over there). A mere 25 years (help – it’s not been that long is it?!) since the last time.

Couple that with the current ‘Seabird’ situation. (I’m convinced my poor son thinks I’m going to become a full-blown nun!) and I have sufficient ammunition with which to embarrass my offspring for evermore.

Of course, should this come about, I’ll need to get my act together and actually do a wee bit more work than at present.

Smug Smile

It’s only when I stop that I realise just how tired I normally am.

Took my last ‘day’s’ holiday today, hence no horrifically early start. The resulting blast of energy was such that I have:

weeded the patio
done ‘scoop pooping’ duty on lawn and pathway
de-slimed and swept pathway
walked dog
done largish chunk of the everlasting college assignment
dropped off Secret Santa parcel at Post Office
(all by lunchtime!)

made Christmas card list
Written and sent most of my airmail Christmas cards
Wrapped presents for visit to family at the end of the week

I’m amazed and delighted!

However, as tomorrow is chock a block, I’m back to work and Mr Miff is travelling for the rest of the week, no doubt it’ll be downhill all the way from now on. Never mind. It was good while it lasted!

Subversive theological conversation

– between Mr Miff and myself. I’d been talking about the visit I’d made to a nearby convent the previous week:

Him: Of course, you do know that Mary wasn’t a real virgin, don’t you?

Her: Mmmm?

Him: It was their way of saying ‘a young girl.’

Her: Yes, I know that…but….

Her: Besides – The Community of St Mary Blessed Teenage Mother doesn’t quite have the same ring about it, does it?!!