Category Archives: church

Catching Up and Journeying On

All ready for

All ready for pilgrimage!

Coast Path, Devon. I thought I’d got this one the right way up just now; never mind – it was some walk!

Arrival at Exeter Cathedral.

Since then, we’ve had the drama of the dog and the nectarine stone, I’ve spent a fortune at the dentist (only I could manage to break a tooth on a Greenbelt bacon butty), the gippy festival tum is under control,the eye infection is getting that way. You’d not guess from all that griping that I actually had a Good Time, would you, but – don’t faint – I did!

And now? Several new challenges for the autumn – all very exciting in my usual quiet, Miffyesque kind of way. Keep Calm And Carry On.

Ehrm. I’ve been away too long. It doesn’t seem to want to publish links. OK – see my Growing Greenpatches blog for my Greenbelt musings.

Smelly and tired

I arrived in church this morning to discover that we were having one of our periodical ‘get to know you’ weeks where we’re invited to wear sticky name labels. It was tempting to write ‘Sleepy’ on mine; Neither Mr M or myself slept a wink last night. I eventually dropped off, only to wake up in a panic at 8.20 am. For those who don’t know me well, I’ve a half hour walk to church so this was cutting things rather too fine for comfort; ended dashing in hoping that I’d not a) managed to put any clothing on inside out or b) got my skirt tangled up in my undies.

Dozed through the service – only springing to life, relatively speaking, during the gospel – that wonderful passage from John 1 which always brings me close to tears. One great advantage IMO of belonging to a trad quite high up the candle congregation is that it’s possible to have a mini ‘dozette’ relatively unnoticed; you’re unlikely to be exhorted to ‘jump right up…turn around’ or do the liturgical equivalent of the hokey-cokey.

In case you’re wondering where the ‘smelly’ comes in, this was due to my daft attempts at holding back the march of time, which I’ve been blogging about in Greenpatches. Thus it was that I went to last night’s cycle club annual dinner ponging of parfum de takeaway curry et chip shop. Curry mustard and cinnamon powder with a touch of wine vinegar in the last rinse. Not a clever idea. I’ll stick to my more subtle rosemary and sage mix in future.

Carry on follow that camel

My fears that my last post on my offspring’s facial furnishings has scared everybody off have been confirmed. Nobody else has posted today – so far… So I’ve decided to put matters right with you all by showing you a pic of the latest addition to the Miffy Christmas menagerie I fell in love with the little chap above yesterday evening whilst we were setting up for the church Autumn Fair, so snapped him up as soon as I had the chance. Isn’t he lovely? Granted he’s at least twice the size of most of the other nativity creche figures, but anyone who’s familiar with our policy of come one, come all as far as the holy family are concerned will know that anything goes!

‘Tis local news for local people’

…to pinch a recent thread title from The Ship (thank you, Chorister!) I never did add my contribution “Guinea pigs die in house fire;” article ending on an upbeat note: “Nobody was harmed during the blaze.” (Except the poor guinea pigs, presumably).

Unfortunately, our little section of the SE has hit the national headlines over the weekend, as you’ll no doubt have seen. Greenham Common, Swampy, Vodaphone, the bypass, Jimi Hendrix (yes, really, he did once play here), and now, we’ll be known as the place where two horses were electrocuted on the racecourse. Shudders.

I can’t claim to be a fan of horseracing myself. Whilst it’s not quite on the same plane as performing animals in circuses in my book, there’s something about it that to me doesn’t seem natural. Nevertheless, apart from feeling sorry for the poor horses who died and the others ‘spooked’ by the incident, I can appreciate that the racing fraternity itself is facing a major loss, financially and I guess in many other ways.

There is a certain macabre humour about it, mind you. We were at Mark Steel’s local leg of his ‘Towns’ tour a few hours after the news had broken. A while before he’d tweeted asking for any interesting info on upcoming venues Newbury and Swindon. I bet you he’d not anticipated all this! It certainly added a whole new nuance to the backdrop pic of him posing in front of the town’s butchers shop, home of the ‘New ury Sausage; ‘ the missing letter having been knocked out by a roundhead pike, according to Mr S. (Another claim to fame I’d forgotten, our Civil War connections).

Changing the subject slightly, Mark’s thoughts on the miserable so and sos you find posting on on internet forums were one of the best parts of the evening, IMO. I swear he must have been reading some of our local places. Is being a miserable git* peculiar to our neck of the woods, or is it a disease of all small town community fora?

Sniping (mine) apart, we had a great evening, (as proven by the large bag of minstrels that I managed to munch my way through.) We really are lucky here. Small the town might be , but for arts, theatre and other entertainment, we’re really not too badly off at all. Even if the acts aren’t quite in the Jimi Hendrix league.

In other news, there’ve been not a few frissons of excitement up at what I must stop referring to as ‘Newchurch’ as our renewable energy project really begins to get underway. Read all about it here.. Great news.

*He put it rather more graphically than that, of course, but this is A Family Blog. 🙂

Home, Sweet Home

After a week which has seen me pottering round Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and East Anglia. We got back yesterday from a flying visit to see son, who’s just completed his second year at UEA. More about that on my other, Greenpatch blog. We had a great time seeing the sights from the obvious (Cathedral, market and shops) to the inspirational (Shrine church of Julian of Norwich – see photo) and the quirky, like the famous Norwich Puppet Man, (he even has his own website!) After all that, I’m quite happy to curl up at home with a Nice Cup of Tea. And cake would do nicely, too. (Japes, maybe you could find a way to send some ‘virtually!’)

Looking forward

Belated Easter greetings to everybody. Spring has sprung, and, as always, the Miffy household begins to plan its travels – of the four, two-wheeled – even the two-footed variety. Who would have thought that one could get quite so excited over thermal baselayers ( vests and long johns to the uninitiated!), dry bags, hydration systems, and, I’m ashamed to admit, that new-fangled ‘Shewee!’ (No, I’ve not yet plucked up the courage to ‘practice in the shower’ as per the user instructions). Shudders.

However,’The best laid plans of mice and men’ etc… Our Greenbelt arrangements have had to be tweaked suddenly, and yesterday saw us doing what we said we’d never do again after fifteen years or so of camping en France with the children. No, we’re not dashing off to buy the best Millets has to offer; that would be a step too far! But (if current negotiations are successfully negotiated) we should be staying on site for the first time. All will be revealed in due course, (don’t get too excited – or my stylish purple striped baselayer combo will be a sad let-down to all concerned). Let’s just say we will be following true wibsite camping tradition. And, with luck, I’ll have a refuge in which to down umpteen Nice Cups of Tea and contemplate my (purple-striped navel) until the cows come home.

As I said…the best laid plans.

Ah the simple pleasures of life!

So, here we are in 2010 – a new decade. How time flies! I was reminded about this in church this morning, while all the children were queueing up for their banners to wave during the final hymn. The last time I wielded one of these (banner, not a child), was during our churches together joint open-air service for the new millennium…nearly ten years ago! It can’t be that long, surely? But the calendar (and the mirror) says it is.

Nowadays, my idea of excitement is to spend a happy half hour in Millets during the Christmas rush, checking out their buy one, get one half price offer on ‘thermal baselayers,’ (sounds so much more glamorous than ‘thermal vest and long-johns, doesn’t it?). Son (19), was even more excited when I presented him with his charcoal- grey manly- looking combo. May it remain on record that the top half cut a dash in the local nightclub on Christmas eve and likely prevented him from freezing to death afterwards. For those who don’t know these things, ‘dressing up,’ at his age seems to involve subtracting rather than adding layers. And that’s just the boys!

Daughter was not as thrilled with her lurid purple floral top, mercifully,they’d run out of bottom halves by the time I got to the shops, so has passed it on to Mum. I think it’s rather pretty. It’ll come in so useful for when the beloved and I embark on more treks. Mr M has pointed out that should I be unlucky enough to be charged by a bull in the Highlands of Scotland, all I need to do is crouch down and I’ll become a dead ringer for a large clump of heather.

2009 revisited

April Plinth man, cool specs, Marilyn Monroe, Paris Marathon and water, water everywhere: The Miffy 50th Birthday trip to Venice.

Pax et Bonum: The Seabird has landed!

May “Ouch aye!” The “Etack” Caledonia and Wessex Wanderings.

July No, not a chipmunk; it’s a Marmotte.

Felicitations: L’Etape du Tour and Brisk Sea Breezes.

Felicitations, encore! Ms M graduates.

August “Whan that Aprille..” well, August actually. Pilgrimage Number One.

Greenbelt 2009  Fear not!

Franciscan recruiting tactics at Greenbelt.

Greenbelt 2009  zzzzzzzzzzzz

Mr M is slain in the spirit.

September/October Climb evry mountain; ford every stream…all thousand and one of them. The Miffys tackle the Via Podiensa – Le Puy en Valay to Conques.

Mr M does various other things involving cycles, rain, and the LEL.
November Miffy goes on retreat.

Me-me-me-meeee! Miffy goes green;proving without doubt that she is an Enneagram Type 6 and proud of it!

Here be Dragons… “Newchurch” goes even greener.


Having blogged more in the last week than she’s done in the preceeding six months, Miffy collapses in a chair with a glass of bubbly. Happy New Year to one and all!

An abundance of riches

Still skulking in the study. The dog has not long thrown up his tea, Mr M is out for the count after his Boxing Day time trial, and Ms M’s beef wellington has reached a crucial point. Should you be tiring of all this fun and frivolity and feel in need of something More Fitting for the season, do feel free to take yourself over to my other blog.

Cue vomiting noises from Miffdog…must go.

Merry Christmas!