Monthly Archives: February 2007

It’s not easy being green – 2

Poor Kermit! He’s in good company. Inspired by the two Methodist ladies mentioned in my last entry, and prompted by my new study unit which adresses itself to the hard issues involved in a Christian approach to caring for the environment, I’ve just launched green_patches

I’ve a rag-bag of reasons and motives for starting it up; some of them best left to myself. And for someone whose experience of things of the greenish hue have so far been confined to The Great Ile de Glenan boat trip Seasick Experience (aka Thirty minutes of Hell off the Brittany coast ) some of the challenges therein are going to prove quite err…’challenging.’ Hence the need for support – past experience having shown that my ability to stick to the task in hand is improved no end by being accountable to others. And what better way than spreading my manure all over the bog (oops – sorry!) blogosphere?! So, provided I keep it all in proportion, it should, I’m hoping act as a useful and ongoing journal of my current studies, help others, and, if all else fails, give you all a good laugh.

No new shoes?

Do you ever get that sense of impending doom? Now I know ‘God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform’ and all that. Yes – I’ve no difficulty whatsoever accepting the notion that ‘Chocolate is God’s way of saying He loves you and wants you to be happy!’ Speaking as one whose dentist is ‘keeping an eye on’ her crowns and who’s still wading her way through yesterday’s Valentine’s haul I’d have no difficulty passing the time from 21 February 21 to 7 April, unloved and miserable. In fact, the little child that generally spends her time hiding inside a flabby, pre-menopausal Miffy is positively thrilled at the idea, and even as I type is fighting to get out, waving at the world in general, yelling,’ Look at me! Look at me! Aren’t I being a Good Girl!’

But please… No New Shoes? No treats? No new BOOKS ? Magazines (the ‘essential’ reading list for the next part of my course has multiplied ten-fold in the last 5 minutes!) Surely that mug of coffee from the station stall on the way up to visit MIL counts as an ‘essential?’ Along with the pack of pringles, sandwiches – and suppose the youth group at church do one of their bacon buttie sales during Lent? I mean, it’s for a Good Cause? It would be churlish to refuse?

Ah yes, but as a would-be ‘Seabirder,’ who’s been earnestly pondering notions of simplicity, poverty and self-denial these last few months and who if all goes according to plan should be taking on a more serious comittment come Easter, what on earth am I griping about? After all, it’s simply a matter of putting your money where your mouth is, isn’t it? Or rather – not putting your money.

So, why the outburst of verbal diarrhoea? Well, being the responsible, mature adult that I am, I’ll blame someone else. (Eve did it. I’m in good company!). I blame ‘Having An Idle Moment,’ post course unit completion. Of course! If I’d been owrking away I’d not have idly clicked on Chelley’s blog
wiblog/chelley and read her plans for Lent. Thus inspired, I forced myself to eat lunch whilst reading this week’s ‘Methodist Recorder,’ (ah, goodie. I can blame Smudgie as well!) and came across this newly lauched Lent initiative by two members of staff from Methodist Church House.

Michaela Youngson and Anna Drew have decided to go for 46 days without shopping for anything but essentials.

“emo ergo sum: I shop, therefore I am.
The average UK household spends £443 a week, with £58 on recreation & culture and £62 a week on transport. But what if we didn’t? What if we said ‘no!' to all this spending and settled on just buying what we need? The thought fills us with fear…
no new shoes is a Lent experiment. We want to know whether it changes the way we think about ourselves and our world if for 46 days we only purchase essential items. And what’s ‘essential' anyway?”

Check out their website for more details. Meanwhile there’s going to be some serious musing going on chez Miffy. The results of which could make for some extremely interesting reading over the next few months. (Especially if it involves a bookless Lent!).

*Miffy who sometimes feels that God loves people who ‘eat up their cabbage.’ 😉

‘It’s a lovely day for snowmen’

What the best dressed Miffy is wearing:

underwear – we draw a veil over this one
ve..correction ‘camisole’ supplied by The Patron Saint of the High Street
long-sleeved top
woolly cardi
quilted waistcoat
40 denier ‘body sensor’ navy tights
shocking pink chenille socks
backache busting heatwrap
abominable snowman boots

So it was sporting this fetching ensemble that I set out in the wee small hours of this morning. Hardly a soul around apart from the milkman, who if not exactly ‘The Fastest Milkman in the West’ was certainly the fastest moving object on the streets given the conditions. I’m now rather regretting having politely refused his offer of a lift down the hill in his float. Well, I’ve been erring on the cautious re personal safety recently. Besides I thought that maybe Mr M would object. Not that our milkman is anything like ‘Ten Ton Ted from Teddington,’ more like mild-mannered Mike. And to be honest, I was really looking forward to the walk through the yet as unspoiled snow. The return journey was a different matter, once the paths had started to turn to grey slippery porridge. (Ted, where are you when I need you?!)

Anyway, owrk was like a furnace, thanks to powers that be’s worries re possible burst pipes. Returned home some hours later to find mutiny in the camp as local radio’s list of school closures rose steadily til finally it must have included every educational establishment in the area bar two. One of which happened to be little M’s school. As he and his friends said, there could be a nuclear explosion in the vicinity and the wretched place would still be open for business. And…warming to his theme (sorry about the pun!), there’s not been a decent snowfall for nearly four years, this might be their last ever chance to go sledging and play in the snow before adulthood with all that that holds closes in. Shades of the prisonhouse… A2s, uni, work etc etc. Well, he didn’t put it quite that eloquently. Their last chance to build up memories of the old town etc etc etc.

So, you’ll no doubt be glad to learn, that, along with probably 99% of the kids in the district, they armed themselves with sleds, trays and skateboards and headed off for the slopes. No doubt Nemesis will be looming at some point, thanks, in part to the diligence of the local press coverage of half the town gambolling in the snowdrifts. And judging from the footage I just viewed, and according to son and his pals, a good time was had by all. There was something quite touching, really, watching a bunch of hulking great 17 year olds simply (and I mean simply) ENJOYING themselves, just for the sake of it. Not because somebody, some so- called ‘celebrity’ said they had to, not to meet curriculum requirements, not because it would look good on their CVs or UCAS forms. Not by proxy via a games console ‘experience,’ but simply because it’s FUN!

Oh dear!

Thank you, Smudgie!

Your IQ Is 95

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Exceptional

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Average

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

Whatever happened to the 120 I scored at 8 years old? I just KNEW my folks must have bribed someone to get me through the 11 Plus exam. Although note it has the grace to say that my mathematical intelligence is above average. What that says about the average score of the typical blogger goodness only knows – when you consider my mercifully short mathematical career, terminating in a CSE pass grade unmentionable way back in the Dark Ages. My logical intelligence? No surprises there. Thus spake my inner INFP! As for verbal – I’m not sure the verdict given here is one that many folk who’ve had to put up with my ramblings IRL would agree with.

Ah well. It did say quick and dirty.

And to continue the theme… (or giggling with God)

to (mis) quote Adrian Plass: ‘…from affluent to effluent: I felt moved on leaving church this morning [yet another apalling pun!] to share the anecdote of my prayer book and the toilet To be more accurate, my prayer book DOWN the toilet. This was a while ago, you may have heard it before. Basically I was in the loo early one morning, reading my prayer book (as you do?) when on rising, it fell out of my dressing-gown pocket and descended into the miry depths.

So when as part of an excellent sermon on Reading The Bible, the preacher mentioned the oft-quoted fact that it’s said that some Christians spend more time on the loo than reading God’s Word, I felt the urge to warn him of the dangers of becoming too enthusiastic. Well, it WAS intended to be encouraging, and rather more constructive than the much-maligned ‘Nice sermon, vicar.’

Something I read last week, spoke about the dangers of losing your sense of joy, of playfulness with God, and this really did strike a chord with me. Life’s not bad atm – maybe it’s just January – ok – February blues, but a bit grey and porridge-like and woefully short of fun. So I have to take my laughs where I can find them! Anyone glancing my way post-communion might have been impressed by the sight of Yours Truly crouched in her customary shampoo position, deep in prayer. Little did they know! Either I have a severely warped sense of humour or so does God!

It’s Not Easy Being Green

As Dave’s been finding out over on 2007/02/03/responding-to-climate-change

I encountered similar gloomy prognostications ( is that the word?) by The Indpendent earlier in the week. I was in the post office paying car tax for Mr M at the time. Thereby aiding and abetting the emission of yet more gaseous substances into the atmosphere. Although I’m a non-driver myself, I have to put my hand up and admit to the Miffy household falling woefully short of the ideal on the environmentally- friendly front. The number of vehicles we possess is in direct disproportion to the actual number of licence holders. Even taking into account the fact that Ms Miff hasn’t taken her Miffmobylette with her to uni.

However, we’ve taken a step forward recently in that Mr M has sold one of his gas-guzzlers (Smudgie, if you’re reading this, tell Tiddles and Smudgelet that we’ve just waved bye-bye to the Miffboulder) and is negotiating terms for the sale of the second. Which leaves him with one vehicle. And with the imminentish move of his office to *Ahem* think of a famous poem by a certain Mr. J. Betjeman – he’s proposing to combine his love of cycling with support of the public transport system, train to *ahem* and folding cycle (the Brompton comes recommended) to work. Though to be honest, I’m not entirely certain that his reasons are entirely ‘green’ ones. But never mind. The main thing is that he’s doing something; whatever his motives might be.

Meanwhile, as I near the end of the current unit in my course and ponder which to tackle next, the theme’s hovering round the edges of my consciousness also. I’m fairly certain as to which options I want to follow; it’s simply a question of order. Particularly relevant is a unit entitled ‘The Purposes of God,’ of which the first section is concerned with a Christian approach to the environment. html/distance_learning/course_details/CCS/yellow-c6.shtml

I know I’ll do it eventually, but it just seems so well-timed to do it now, especially as it all chimes together with my current ‘Seabird’ process. (Cue apalling pun about it being ‘Seabird-friendly!) I’ve been in contact with the college, as I’ve already tackled much of the material for the second more ‘vocational’ section in conjunction with a stay I had up there last year. So this section probably wouldn’t take me that long. In fact, double-bonus: the environmental theme is also one that chimes in very much with the ‘Seabird’ way of thinking.

Just one nagging worry, though. There’s always the danger I’ll end up having to do some daft practical project like urging owrk to change over to ‘green’ cleaning products, or persuading church to recycle their loo paper and re-design their waste-systems. ‘God’s wonderful World: The Full Gospel Significance of The Low-Level Flush.’ I can just see it!