Monday, 29 April 2013

Living Life in the Wrong Order

(Apologies to Joyce Meyer for the mis-spelling of her name. Actually, apologies also to John Newton who had already said this years earlier but he said it before the Internet and therefore it didn't really count)

I couldn't remember if HOH and Yours Truly had made a deal about whether I was going to watch Endeavour on my own because he had such a rubbish shift on Sunday and wouldn't be back until after 11. We may have discussed it but I may not have been paying attention. So I decided not to bother. I found an old Danny Baker programme discussing the best ever pop albums. After a long discussion, Baker nominated Michael Jackson's Off the Wall as his best pop album. This vindicated everything I had ever said on the subject. In my humble opinion, Jackson's first solo album had been his best with Thriller and Bad being very nice thank you, but following the law of diminishing returns.
I had seen the same argument about Orson Welles. Welles first film was Citizen Kane. Many people have often nominated this as the best film ever made. There are not a lot of laughs in it to be honest but you can see what all the fuss was about. There then followed The Magnificent Ambersons which was not quite as good. Over the rest of his career, there were many highlights including The Thin Man and (my personal favourite) - The Stranger, but at the end of his life because his last jobs included providing the voice of Findus peas and the Carlsberg voice-over, the theory was put forward that he had lived his life backwards.
The theory is that, in life, we start with little expertise and experience and over the years , we combine both so that our lives are on a steady upward curve where we grow as people and we get gradually better at living, until, when we die, we are actually experts at life.
It isn't really happening like that for me. If my learning curve is going up at all, it is in a very wobbly sort of way. It falls back sometimes and often it sort of doubles back on itself. Sometimes, these things have been my fault. Sometimes they are things that have happened to me that have knocked me back. However, taken as a whole, I would hope that as I get older, I may get wiser, maybe a bit stronger and a bit less lily-livered. I like to hope that my faith will be stronger. I agree with Paul McCartney and it is a Long and Winding Road but I am hoping and praying  that when the video of my life is played back on that great VHS player in the sky, it will look to be moving forwards ultimately and finishing further on than where I started from.


Friday, 26 April 2013


I will always be a northerner both by place of birth and by inclination. I am proud of where I come from and anyone who knows me knows that my accent will always betray me and go a bit Manchester when I am stressed or not concentrating. (Normally it is nothing but the Queen's English for me)
However, I do like where I live. The South West of England is often a neglected corner and Plymouth particularly seems to be somewhere people pass through on their way to Cornwall. So I just wanted to share this with you. Plymouth is having a punt at becoming City of Culture. They have put this together to give people an idea about the city. And you know what? Plymouth - she rocks!


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

All things are possibly.

So busy. Everyone is busy. All the blogs I read say how busy they all are. There is a pattern emerging here. Probably. I have been busy actually. Yes indeedy. FOW1 has returned to bother the ancient bones of York along with the rest of the archaeology department. I am weighing up whether or not he said I could tell you about him throwing up at the back of the lecture hall - mid lecture. I can't remember. I'm sure it is ok. It's all over Facebook anyway. Some kind of virus. Possibly. Much better now thank you. Given the virus to lots of other people. 
Back at Martha Towers, the main news, apart from the food bills plummeting as FOW1 closed the front door behind him, is that my baby girl has turned 17. This is definitely a mistake. I do not look anywhere near old enough to have a seventeen year old daughter and I am certain about that. Possibly.
As part of the celebrations  we went shopping to Exeter. Bit rubbish I thought. We seemed to arrive during a Morris Dancers Convention. FOW2 kept asking "Is this really a thing?" John Lewis is so small we sort of walked through the front door, coughed and found ourselves deposited back into the shopping precinct. We did become slightly hysterical on seeing the price of  a pair of  "7 For All Mankind Jeans". but other than that John Lewis made little impact. I think I am used to the one in the Trafford Centre. Possibly. 
I did get cake tin liners from Lakeland. They were too big.
In other news, we have asked to become members at church. We went to a meeting with leadery type people, who seemed nice and normal. I got to listen to HOH's testimony. Haven't heard it for ages. It's not really the sort of thing you share while you are dragging a trolly round Sainsbury's is it? Anyway. Quite forgot how wonderful it was. You know he had no Christian background and had shown no religious inclination. Just the opposite in fact, having practically lived at Wigan Casino (it's a Northern Soul dance venue - not a room full of croupiers and slot machines in case you were wondering) The thing is, someone he worked with just told him. Not a lecture or a preach. Just told him about Jesus. Changed his life.
Where was I? Oh yes membership. I do believe in membership. I'm just not a very good joiner really. Have put it off but am now womaning up. Now someone comes to our house apparently. Which will be nice. Hope Morecambe thinks so. Sure he will be fine. Probably.

Have read..
Really tried to like this. Loved Suspicions of Mr Whicher. But it is so annoying. Irritating swooning woman flopping about, mooning over idiot married doctor who should know better. Whole thing goes to divorce court. Act your age not your shoe size - in the words of Prince. No one comes out of it well. Ask me if I care.
Have re-read a Barbara Pym to feel better about books. Always works.

Endeavour. This is so far up my street, it has practically turned the corner and caught a bus. Just love it. I never get the clues. Hardly matters, I love Morse, Thursday, Oxford against the sky, the music and perhaps most of all, the fact that, unlike 90% of the dramas on the telly,  we don't have to watch someone locked in a cupboard having their teeth pulled out. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

One Thing

Two things. One made me think of the other. Billy Crystal in City Slickers asking about the meaning of life. (Bit of language alert)

Made me think of this -works for me.

"One Thing Remains"
Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains 

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me 

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love...

Jesus Culture 2010

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Not Much Really

We are all buzzing around a bit today and I will struggle to get coherent thoughts (which I HAVE actually been thinking actually) to you, so would it be ok if I just threw a few random facts about life etc. at you? Please 'scuse if a bit all over the place. I have one eye on the football. Love football even if, in the case of the FA Cup semi final, I am in the position of wanting both teams to lose. This, like so many things in my life, is bound to end in disappointment for me.

Spent most of yesterday schlepping round town trying to find work boots for FOW1 in case he drops precious ancient artifacts on his toe while he is archaeologically engaged at uni.

We are all out tonight at Bella Italia for tea because FOW1 is due back at uni before FOW2 has her birthday We have therefore declared a sort of rolling celebration starting today like Marie Antoinette would have had. Both FOWs are unhappy with me because I will be using money off vouchers but I feel the dosh is better off in my pocket than theirs, as they say up north.

Church this morning could be filed in the controversial draw. Pastor did Sodom and Gomorrah. He used the "Homosexual" word more than once. However, the whole thing was filled with grace and love. Only one person walked out but she was quite old and may have needed a wee or had a bus to catch so we possibly shouldn't read too much into that.

As we are out tonight have set the video (am I the only person who still talks about "Taping Programmes"?) for Endeavour. I didn't see the pilot but think it may be decent Sunday evening stuff and Roger Allam is in it and he is acey-pacey. Whatever it is like, it has to be an improvement on flippin' Broadchurch. How long is it going to take to find out who did this? Is the idea to drag it out long enough for them all to die of old age and decay?

I have retreated away from the telly over the weekend as I am having to speed-read a library book because I have tried to extend my loan, only to find that someone has reserved it and it needs to be back sharpish - by Tuesday. I had never heard of Roger Mortimer. It is really interesting - if a bit gruesome. Quite difficult to speed read a history book. People keep running each other though and I keep losing track.

Can I just throw my two penneth in about Margaret Thatcher?
I have to put my cards on the table and tell you that my husband lost his job at British Aerospace because of Thatcherite policies so I am no friend of much of what she stood for. I would defend the right of anyone to not eulogise her and her public life. However, I would like to hope that we would show a bit of class and dip our heads and think of her family. Turning on a sixpence - as I do - In a time of austerity, doesn't it seem to be an awful lot of money to spend? Couldn't it have been a little more restrained and the 10 million pounds be put to better use? On a slightly different note - Love Divine, All Loves Excelling which is on the Order of Service is a beautiful hymn. 

Anyway, this is just a little treat for you to set you up for Monday morning. I know I complained about paps last week but look! It's Sherlock and he's only in a flamin' deerstalker! Let joy be unconfined....


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Approved Food Order

I have followed lots of other bloggers' example and have just received my first Approved Food Order. Generally, it is all very impressive. I have learnt

  • If you buy six packets of Rockys-teenagers will need to be told forcefully that they are meant to last more than a week.
  • The stuff that comes is really high quality and saves you
    a packet.
  • I do need to be more careful about product sizes. The above teeny tiny product was a bit of a disappointment!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Dipping my toe back in the water

I have had a week off work and a deliberate week off blogging. Just didn't feel like it. Tried to make it a more spiritual reason than that but just didn't feel like it. Sorry - don't mean to be rude. We have all taken Lucy's loss quite hard. Thank you for all your kind thoughts and prayers. Thank you that no-one said "It's just a dog". We were all doing quite a lot better until we got a lovely card from the vet, expressing their sorrow and supporting our decision. Bit sobby again but getting there.
Also quite rocked back by a blog I read this week. A Christian had written that she felt that prayer was a conversation and a continuing closeness with God and that answers to prayer were more often about how your life circumstances turned out and the sort of person you are. Well I wondered and worried about this for a while and I am sorry - that just won't do for me. If my God doesn't do miracles - above and beyond anything that I can imagine then all bets are off for me. I might as well go and get a decent life coach and see how much I can achieve in my life. I'm not saying that God is my personal slot machine and that I get everything I ask for (are you kidding?) but the POSSIBILITY of the miraculous is essential don't you think? If God be God and all that. I'm sticking with petitionary prayer with loads of thanksgiving and seeing what God does. Otherwise some of my life circumstances have been so poo, if I couldn't expect God to intervene in some way, at some time, I would do myself a mischief! (RAMBLING! Sorry)

Other than that just leaving you with a few random things.

Went for day out in Newton Abbott. You know, I don't need the lights of Vegas and wilder-beast roaming across the plains but, I have to be brutally honest, it was a long way to drive for a big Asda, twenty charity shops and two buskers murdering Beatles' songs. Maybe I caught it on a bad day.

Had a lunch in Buffet City. All you an eat Chinese for the uninitiated. Always makes me want to come out and go on five day bread and water fast. Why do we do that to ourselves? And FOW1 was making a cheese sandwich about an hour later.

Foyle's War is back - if only for three weeks. HURRAH! Also, wish that he papers would stop hanging round the filming of Sherlock and taking random photos. If they give any clues away - I shall be very annoyed.

FOW2 to me during last week's Easter Morning service

"Mum, don't wave and shout 'Hello' to the chicken puppet. It isn't for you."

Outrageous! I prefer it when she sits with the youth. Just one more random thing. This is why Cosby is a genius  Think on young people.

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