Sunday, 17 November 2013

Stream of Consciousness

Right, dead busy, sorry. No planning or anything about this today. Well YES it is usually planned meticulously actually. So just musing and reviewing (posh way of saying if I liked something or not. However, I do have exceptionally good taste so you can trust me.)

To the piccys this week to see Philomena. It was a three tissue movie about how nuns in Ireland made "fallen women" sell their children. (All proceeds to the nunnery - not to the women, you will be surprised to learn.) Dame Dench was wonderful and Steve Coogan was excellent as well. I was a bit surprised to find out how many laughs there were. Also, it wasn't just the usual one dimensional, "If Christians can behave like this, then there is therefore obviously no God" drivel that you usually get. There are some Dick Dasterdly level wicked nuns and I couldn't help thinking that things were probably a bit more complicated than they were presented. However, it was (and still is) a horror story about man's inhumanity to man and highly recommended.

Also to the theatre to see People by Alan Bennett. This could have been made a bit awkward as the two seats next to us were filled at the last minute by someone I know slightly from work. Nothing
wrong with him - very nice person. However, he was with his lovely lady-friend and I was with Head of House and you are thinking - Do we want to spend half time together chatting and trying to be interesting or just split up and run off to separate corners of the same room? In the end, we went for the latter as we had an appointment with a pre-order of gin at the bar and I think that was for the best. The play wasn't my favourite Alan Bennett ever - I am not sure what the National Trust have done to upset him - however, it was still head and shoulders above half the stuff that is out there at the moment and his way with words makes me think that I am playing at it.

Read as promised Pen Wilcock's Breath of Peace and loved it. I love the way that she has built these characters so that when the plot starts to develop the way that it does , you think that this is exactly how they will behave. If you haven't read The Hawk and The Dove series, may I respectfully recommend that you check it out. If you know what is good for you.

OK, that's it. Back to de-cluttering. Am trying to get house something like normal as Christmas approaches and we have to make room for people to sleep here who don't normally do so. Including, apparently, my mother. This is bizarre because she now only lives five minutes up the road. Conversation as follows

Me.    Mum, will you be ok to sleep in the back room on Christmas night so we won't be getting you back too late?

Mum   Oh yes, I will be fine for one or two or even four nights.

Oh dear. 


Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Roots of Happiness

Daily Mail

Hello newspapers of the world.My name is Katherine Wales. You take photos of me all the time. This week, you were all charming enough to print lots of photos of me showing my grey roots and pointing out that I might be letting myself go a bit since the birth of baby George. Some papers even had helpful hints about how to keep on top of this terrible problem.
Let me just tell you a little bit about the way we roll at the moment here at Wales Towers. I have a baby boy. An astonishing, loud, demanding baby boy. And you never did see anything more beautiful - ever. He is our obsession. He has changed everything. I love his chubby arms and legs and the way they look like they have elastic bands on his wrists and ankles . I love the way his head smells and how his head goes a bit wobbly when I pick him up. I spend hours with him in my arms, just holding him close to me - just because I want to. In fact, because I almost feel it is impossible to do anything else.
My chap feels the same as me. Whenever we can, we bring him into bed with us in the mornings and we lie there and play with him. The chap likes to blow bubbles on his belly. It makes both of them laugh like drains. I like to secretly bite my baby's bottom. My mum told me I would want to and I do. If we are feeling really silly, we get my eyeliner and draw a little monocle on him or put a paper hat on him. Because, God willing, he will one day be king, but for now he is ours - mine - and we can just play at it. He is exhausting, frustrating,  scary and fifteen types of wonderful.
So by all means point out my roots. Send me helpful advice. Suggest ways that I can improve myself for the consumption of the masses. It's just that I think you may have confused me with someone who gives a monkeys. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Not just bouncy

So last Sunday night, we are at church and singing this song, I'm usually a bit allergic to songs that invite God round and tell him he's welcome and offer him Victoria sandwich and a cup of tea. As if you would. As if. Still this is alright.

I remember once that a girl told me that she never sang songs about inviting the Holy Spirit to meetings and asking him to overwhelm us and fill us and things - just in case the Holy Spirit took up the invite. She told me that the last thing she wanted was the meeting to be all full of "happenings" and people falling over and  BOOM - Benny Hinn's your uncle. You get the idea. Because of this, she didn't really bother much with the Holy Spirit. 

Now that's an opinion you may or may not agree with. If I'm brutally honest, I have to say that I have been in meetings when I can hear Mrs Sketchley's voice rising an octave and I know we are going to be there an extra half an hour because that seems the polite thing to do, although really most people would be happier if we just put it to bed and went home. However, I think it is also essential to give the Holy Spirit some elbow room in our meetings and supply an atmosphere which allows receptive listening to anything God is trying to say.

I think what is even more important is that this approach to the Holy Spirit sells him a bit short. It's all about much more than bouncy, singy meetings. Being overwhelmed by the Spirit is about much more than Sunday at Seven and lying down. I think that we need to be overwhelmed to function as any kind of half decent Christian. Left to my own devices, I will never be kind enough, or love enough or have enough self-control. Yet they are fruits of the Spirit and only with enough Spirit in me, will I begin to show them. So even if you struggle with what someone with a stern face once called the "new performance culture around the Holy Spirit" Christians need the Holy Spirit - on Mondays, when work is making you entertain axe-murderer fantasies, On Wednesdays, when that woman won't get off the phone and on Thursday night when sleep won't come because you are so worried. Without the  intervention of the Spirit - even in the most undramatic way - I know I have no chance of living the God filled life.

    Galatians 5:22-24
    But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.


Saturday, 2 November 2013


Just a brief rant, I have books to read and Rachel Riley and Pasha to worry about on Strictly so I can't stop. BUT, can I just say to M & S and Boots with your three for two Christmas offers and Argos with your Christmassy aliens that look a bit like little sperms and Aldi with your Christmas themed emails etc etc......

I will do Christmas when I am good and ready. If I were a betting woman, I would say that would probably be around December time - if only to fall in with hundreds of years of tradition. I am not afraid that things will run out. I see no reason to stuff my freezer at this stage. If the apocalypse happens between now and December and there are no sprouts in the shops, we will eat chips or cute little sausages on sticks. We will live. 

We all have a vague idea about Christmas presents but I see no reason to panic buy. The world is full of enough electrical gadgets to choke a pig so I doubt that we will run out. I love Christmas. I am a Christian. For me, Christmas celebrates that extraordinary time when God's amazing rescue plan began to form into a living human and I am very glad about that. But you are ruining it! I am sick of how pushy and steam-rollery you are about it. The decorations are up in the shops. By the beginning of December, we will either be completely sick of them or not even noticing them.

When the time is right I will be singing carols, watching "Nativity!" ( Things are really COOL in Nazareth - sing along) and  looking uncertainly into a box of tangled Christmas lights with the best of them. BUT NOT YET. STOP BULLYING ME. Thank you. 

By the way.  Tom Hanks. Captain Philips. Fantastic. Very tense. Left teeth marks in the seat in front but still fantastic. 

Now I need to go and nurse my dog through his annual firework induced nervous breakdown. Goodbye.

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