A wee bit of cross-posting from my other blog where I’ve been pondering my total failure to remain serene in the midst of chaos. “If you can keep your head when all around you…” One of my thoughts as I lay awake spectacularly unable to find that ‘place within myself,’ (to quote from a workshop I was at last week) was “B—– —! How ever am I going to cope during Greenbelt?” Where on earth am I going to find my ‘quiet space?’ I do love the rush and bustle of the festival and it is only for four days, but at the same time find it draining. And I’m stewarding for the first time this year, albeit in one of the quieter (well, I hope it’s quieter) venues. St Clare, Francis, Ignatius and any others you can think of – come to my aid! (Yes, I have moved higher up the candle since I left oldchurch, haven’t I ?)
I’ve had an epiphany. Whenever I begin to doubt my ability to express myself in an anyway coherent and fitting manner, all I need do for reassurance is to check out my spam box; there are screeds of purple prose there that make my confused witterings seem positively Dostoevsky-like in comparison.
Hrmph! Here’s another absentee wiblogger emerging from the shadows, after a long-time dalliance over on blogger. The innards of Musings are working, I’m glad to say; reading Chelly’s warning about the prevalence of pork luncheon meat prompted me to stir myself and log on again. I appear to be spam free, thank goodness, even if my stats have that lonely, moth-eaten look to them. I do still read some of you regularly though via the listing on my other blog and I loved meeting up with some of you earlier in the year at Smudgie’s licencing.
So, what’s been going on down our way since my last post here? Well, the late, great Miffcat Mk3 has been replaced by moggie Mk4, aka Tigercat – a rather skew-whiff, feisty chap, with a passion for hunting games and an apparent allergy to vets. This last probably resulting from his experiences after a horrible road traffic accident back in his misspent youth. Jekyll and Hyde just isn’t in it, as Mr M and I, one vet and a vetinary nurse can certify. At the sight of a needle he transforms from ‘Simon’s Cat’ into a spitting, scratching, growling devil. Ouch. But we love him all the same. He’s certainly leaving his mark – usually in the form of a little ‘present,’ in front of his litter box for me to discover at crack of dawn.
The offspring are pottering along nicely. Ms M is well established in graphic design now; Mstr M currently working on his masters disertation:Umpteen thousand words on Gormenghast in the style of an autopsy report, anyone?
And Mr M? Well, he’s gradually getting back into cycling after a year or so’s break. Myself? Well, still ‘Seabirding,’ (are you still around, Rosamundi?); being on the area team for this has been a fair old learning curve for me. As has the process of getting involved in giving spiritual direction, following on from training some years back. Does anyone remember those cryptic entries about my trips down to the land of seabirds and brisk sea breezes?
Most of my online musing goes on now over at Growing Greenpatches but I’ll try and get back over here more often, I promise.
There’s a distinctly Autumnal feel round here today, hence I’m indulging myself with an old favourite . In our case it’s not only autumn leaves drifting by our window, but sprinklings of ash, following from an unscheduled bonfire in the next street. Around 10.45 pm yesterday, we were about to lock up when we noticed a burning smell. Thinking it might be another electrical fault; the dishwasher blew earlier in the week, we tried to track down the stink. Then Mr M looked out over the garden and spotted flames nearby. Thinking it might be a fire on the old school building site, and being an over-fussy Mummy (OK, I’ll admit it, a nosey so-and-so as well) – son was at a friend’s birthday do just up the road – I made my way up the street to find that the fire was much nearer than we’d thought. Down a nearby cul-de-sac, sundry neighbours,mostly in their night things, were out on the street watching a clump of trees burning away merrily. Thank goodness it rained yesterday, otherwise it could easily have spread further than it did. As it was, the flames were only ten feet or so from the nearby houses.
Any old how, the fire brigade arrived, doused the remaining flames and hosed down a couple of cars that had got covered in ash and embers. Nobody was hurt, damage was minimal, which was the main thing, and the general thought was that the fire had been caused by somebody chucking a cigarette end down in a nearby alleyway. So – quite a frisson of excitement for our neighbourhood – which is normally quite peaceful. Still I will admit to a smidgeon of disappointment at the fire brigade. Though lovely, the fire brigade weren’t quite the hunky chaps I’d anticipated. Pathetic, I know. I blame all those episodes of Fireman Sam I used to watch with the children when they were littlies.
Never mind, all cleared up now. Some of the nearby cars and gardens have a delicate sprinkling of ashes, but the rain will soon clear it away.
The photo above, of course is entirely unrelated. I’ve done all my Greenbelt catching up over on my other blog – here, here and here but thought this snap was suitably Miffy-themed so deserved a place on Musings.
It’s been a mixed experience for me again. Looking back GB seems to have fallen into an alternating pattern of one good, one bad, one good, one bad for me. Actually let’s now say more ‘mixed,’ than ‘bad’ per se – as long as I can learn from the experience and I’d say I have. A couple of encounters, there and elsewhere recently have underlined the importance of letting yourself be seen to be vulnerable and when appropriate, saying things as they are for you. So, beginning as I mean (hmmm) to go on, I’ve been back to a piece I was struggling to write, have rehashed it in the light of GB, completed, and sent it off. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of a reception it gets.
“Ah! You’re reading SAGA Magazine,” exclaimed Ms M triumphantly, a few minutes ago. I guess she regards this as the ultimate evidence that her mother is cantering down the slippery slope into complete decrepitude. Answer – an elderly acquaintance of mine kindly gave me her copies. Actually,they’re rather good – though I’ll not be taking out a subscription anytime soon.
In any case, she’s a fine one to talk – being about to head on down to the racecourse for Ladies Day with a guest appearance by a certain Sir Tom Jones. That’s different, apparently.
The Church Times back page interview today was with Third Order Franciscan tertiary Paul Alexander. I’ve given it a mention over on my Greenpatches blog. He talks about the imperative to hold onto the Franciscan characteristics of joy, foolishness and daring in the midst of a growing and changing order. Interesting. I’ve been around TSSF for nearly five years now, and, still sometimes find it difficult to pin down that elusive Franciscan something or other. Say Benedictine? Yup, I’ve got it. Dominican? I can catch a glimpse. Franciscan? Hmmm. Although I’ll admit that at its best, the Order does have its fair share of subversive personalities, (aka awkward so and sos). Subversive in a restrained, Anglican manner, of course!
Self included. Yes, I have my moments, my ‘Barbara Woodehouse blowing up horses’ noses moments). Like last night’s church prayer group, where the passage chosen for Lectio was the one from Numbers 11 describing God’s provision of quails to feed the starving Israelites in the desert. “Listen for the word that is spoken to you.” Have you read that passage? Yes, really? Go on, have a peep. And then tell me you’d be able to keep your head when all about you seem oblivious to the phrase that was sending me into waves of silent hysteria: No one gathered less than ten homers. Thank the Lord that we hadn’t chosen Ignatian imaginative contemplation that night! (And I keep saying I have no pictorial imagination!).
To restore the tone of the proceedings, mercifully there was another phrase that stuck out for me – so I managed to sort myself out by the end of the session. Well, it was a challenging passage. The spirit blows where it will etc. Only in my case, it seems to do it by way of my funnybone. I must be a bona fide Franciscan after all.
in the archive ‘Musings,’ – at last!
On 8 April 2005 we learn:
Son collided with daughter just now, on his way into the bathroom. She was coming out of it. Neither saw the other coming;both having burst into a spontaneous rendering of ‘The Road to Amarillo!’
More original than ‘Happy Birthday To You,’ I guess – it being Mr M’s half century plus some birthday today.
Other than that, the summer season is in full swing chez Miffy. Offspring One is sunning herself in Malta. Offspring Two and his mates have just set off* for La Belle France, and Mr M has launched himself back into his training programme. No big events this year, though plans are in the pipeline for a reprise of part of his 2006 TDF shadowing for 2011. And talking of pipes, the Miffy internal plumbing is again under investigation, though indications point to nothing serious; hopefully, it’s due to time of life. (Which might account for my weird urges above!). Could make for an interesting time at Greenbelt, though. I’ll need to steer clear of all those lovely, exotic food stalls. (Bah!)
* Armed with a pile of cheese and egg and watercress sandwiches to last them five days, I’ve just been informed. Again, this could be ‘interesting.’