Category Archives: pilgrimage

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.

To boldly go – poetry and pilgrimage

"I'll get me hat."
Mstr Miff on Graduation Day 19 July 2011

We seem to have a touch of the gremlins here in the tech dept – either that or my computer and camera have had words, so you’ve been spared the group photo of son and his cronies on their graduation day. Never mind – I think the above snap has a certain “Je ne sais quoi” about it, don’t you? A good time was had by all, the rain held off until just after the final snap was taken, and no doubt since then several hundred English graduates when asked “What were you doing on Tuesday?” have seized the opportunity to answer “Oh, I was in something with Patrick Stewart!” (the latter having received an honorary doctorate).

On the other hand, I’m kind of relieved to learn from Mstr M that he was sufficiently overawed by the gravity of the occasion that he abandoned his original plan to have a quick word in Sir P’s ear as he crossed the platform, asking him to insert a certain rude word into his acceptance speech!

I was pondering questions of life, the universe and everything the other day, and came to the conclusion that life’s been very much “Thunder and Rainbows,” lately. Realising this makes it a tad easier for me to hold onto the positives (of which I’m blessed with more than my fair share) and stops me from spiralling down into a spate of existential and vocational angst aka PMS (no, not thatPMS, I’m post menopausal); we’re talking that common complaint – “Poor Me (s).”

So, let’s forget the thunder for now – I’ll update you on a few of my recent “rainbows” over the last month or so: The Grand Mr and Mrs M walking trip and pilgrimage to Iona, obviously – which I’ve written about elsewhere; a flying, unofficial mini -meet with a fellow Shippie and ‘Seabird;’ Ms Miffy’s adventures in, and safe arrival home (what a relief!) from Thailand and Cambodia; Mstr M’s graduation; planning and execution of a Seabird Area Meeting – the which gave me a few grey hairs, but was great fun, and thanks to the rest of the group, seemed to go off well; I’ve picked up a few pieces of writing…Then, even if modesty forbads me to blow my trumpet – I guess I’m allowed to blow a little party popper: a couple of weeks ago something I wrote was set to music and sung in church. Aaagh! Terminal embarrassent alert! May I sit back down now, please? Thank you.

p.s. The urge to rush about the back garden painting everything in sight continues unabated. And I have a new toy – one of those Irish poacher’s ‘Volcano’ kettles to use at Greenbelt, (never try and keep a Miffy from her Nice Cup of Tea!) the use of which is unleashing strange, primitive urges in my good self. It must be my inner hunter-gatherer trying to get out. Though my neighbours may not agree – it stinks to high heaven!

Post pilgrimage ponderings

Spent almost the entire day outside with the paintbrushes, having a race to see who would win, myself or the gathering clouds. The last week has been more rain than sunny intervals. Most frustrating – my creativity is being stifled! (The urge to dash out and paint every wooden surface in sight seems to be yet another by-product of our recent wanderings. Other pilgrims have world-shaking mystical experiences; Yours Truly develops a yen to decorate the trellis (and those plants that had the temerity to be growing in the way of my paintbrush) in buttermilk and sage. Very restful. Very tasteful. Very satisfying. I’ve an inkling of what The Almighty must have felt surveying his/her handiwork. “And God saw that it was good.” And before I get a stream of comments accusing me of being a) a megalomaniac or b) worse, no, I do nottake the creation accounts in Genesis literally. Even if my over-fertile imagination does love the picture of the spirit hoovering over the deep.

Whan thatte Aprille (redux)

Iona Abbey at night

Long time no blog. I’m using our recent pilgrimaging and peregrinations as an excuse; a fairly feeble one now, considering we’ve been home for nearly three weeks. No Olde Englysshe this time round, either. To wax Chaucerian about over a month’s wanderings and accompanying hundreds of photos is beyond me. Suffice it to say that mid-April the beloved and I hopped on a train to Durham, from whence we set out to walk great chunks of Hadrian’s Wall path, the Southern Upland and West Highland, and more besides; ending up at Oban after about a 200 miles hike. Well, a little judicious train and taxi linking took place,though only when strictly necessary!

The view in the photo will be familiar to many of you, I guess. After a few days resting on Mull, we wound up the trip by staying at Iona Abbey for a week. This was an experience in itself – worthy of an entire blog; something which many have done before me, and far better than I ever could either, so again, I’ll spare you. Well, maybe just a teensiest peek into one of the more ‘memorable’ (on several counts!) part of the trip.

Still, this was our Big Trip, which we’d planned and dreamed about for nearly three years. During those three years we wondered if we were mad, if we’d bitten off more than we could chew, if we were fit enough to manage it, (those health scares a while back, happily false alarms, gave me an extra impetus to tackle the challenge – “Times winged chariot” and all that), even if we could both cope with being in each others’ company 24 hours a day for the best part of a month . After which, to be thrown into a group of total strangers and expected to build community – not easy for two introverts. It’s given me a good deal to reflect upon regarding how I interact with others, and relate to the groups and communities I’m part of back home, not all of it comfortable, but neither did I expect it to be.

So, am I changed? Who knows? I’ve certainly come back with a strange liking for bracing winds, sleeting rain, and and odd urge to muse about reflections on dead sheep. Don’t worry – there is a perfectly simple explanation!

Am I glad I went? Yes! Challenges notwithstanding. Seriously, it’s one of those experiences, the other one being our years spent living abroad, where the tangibility of any personal change isn’t always obvious at the time, but which becomes more evident in the months and years after the event. Whatever comes from our journeying, I’m so proud we managed it.

Looking back and looking forward:archive Musings

What was the Miffy household up to on 6 April 2010? Not blogging here, that’s for sure. So, in the first of an exciting new series/desperate attempt to put the muse back into my musings, I’ve decided to have a retrospective look through the ‘Musings Archives.’ April 6 not being forthcoming, let’s peek at the next day’s post.

On 7 April, Spring had sprung, we were busy getting terribly excited over thermal base layers, hydration systems, and other such cutting-edge items for our upcoming walking trip. They must have all come up to scratch as we survived to tell the tale, as our saga of blisters, mud and fluffy bunnies proves.

We were also pondering the perennial Greenbelt question: To camp or not to camp?

Much the same as now, actually.

Though this time round, I’ll spare readers the Chaucerian ramblings.

A complete disgrace

Yes, I’m so lazy I even pinch other blogger’s post header ideas! 😉 I Am Another Blogger who suffers from serial procrastinitis and acute inability to put finger to keyboard, even though I’m hardly lacking in topics to blog about: contemplative prayer, art journaling, spiritual direction, CAP Close The Gap campaign, Richard Rohr, Greenbelt, Green churches, pilgrimage, back exercises, pilgrimage planning (hence back exercises), Franciscan tertaries, mystics, ornamental cabbages…Life on Mars…

Is there no hope for me?

Daye Fyve

Daye Fyve and sadyre ande wisyre the Miffyes decyde for to tayke an shorte cutte
alonge ye note so longye ande windyge roade to an friendlye hostelrye
Ye Jacke Russelle of ye village of Faccombe,wheyre theye passe an houre or threye samplynge ye local cidre etc
ande disportynge themselves by (note inne!) ye vilage ducke ponde
After whiche theye sommone an chariote of irone for to conveye them to Crofton, ye dwellinge place of ye olde pumpinge station
Ye enginmannes reste beyinge closed, the Miffyes maken yr waye to ye friendlye Bee yn Bee
thenne repaire to ye olde vilage hostelrye in ye litel Wiltone for to downe vaste quantityes of currye ande ale

Daye Foure

The Miffyes wenden theyre waye to...guess wehre?
Withe lighte hearte and nimble feete
deeeee de-de-de-de-de-de, diddle-diddle dee, diddle-didde deeee....

The Miffyes trippe theyre merrie waye to Watershippe Downe

Sheepe maye safely graze
But tavernes were there none. Mstr Miffye enjoyes a co-operative cheese and tomato sandwhich whilste Miffye powdrs hyre nose in yonder hedgerowe
Thenne, twas juste a lighte sauntre oe'r hille,dale, a 'quicke' diversion for to avoide becomyge roadkille on the A34 crossynge
Ande, makynge lyke a rabbite this tyme
Oure brayve pilgrimes reache an humble taverne
Withe the largeste footbathe seene this syde of heavene!

Daye Three

Whyche Waye? The Miffyes wenden the wearie roade from Alreforde (olde) to Overton
This Waye!
Abbotstone Downe
Theye brave thicketes
Encountere straunge beastes
Dyne greately on chippes and cidre
ande, after wandrynge thru pastures of sheepe ploppe
Reache Overton