Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Happy New Year! Hope your Christmas went well. We did fine. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, HOH pulled his back while getting some logs out of the boot of the car. This curtailed the general jollity somewhat but otherwise fine. If I am being brutally honest I rather enjoyed three hours on my own in the kitchen - without help - with Kermode and Mayo's Film Review of the Year on Radio 5 Live.
I inherited a Kindle Fire for Christmas and managed to thrill myself to nuclear levels by downloading a Barbara Pym book at 9pm at night to read that very same bedtime! These are thrilling times that we live in, indeed they are.
TV was a bit rubbish was it not? As the weather is making going outside only possible in short twenty minute bursts until the dog has finished his ablutions, I could have done with a bit of good telly. Death Comes to Pemberly has been ok and the last thirty seconds of Doctor Who when we got to see Peter Capaldi was good as well. Also, Toy Story 3 made me cry but other than that ----BRING ON SHERLOCK!
Monday, 23 December 2013
Usually, I don't really speak on here about either the weather or politics. Mainly because the weather is boring (unless it is documented rather wonderfully on The Maple Syrup Mob ) I intend to break both of those rules in this blog. For a start, I am thinking about going out and finding some railings to lash my family to until this latest storm has passed. Plymouth is like a scene from Moby Dick. (Ok, no whale, I'll give you that) Much hilarity ensued when the BBC sent an intrepid reporter from its slightly breezy capital city, to Plymouth Hoe to get the locals' opinion. Locals, not being dimwits, had made themselves scarce and were holed up at home. Intrepid Reporter was left alone on seafront shouting into microphone and wondering if local lifeboat service would be able to find him when he was swept into the Sound. This weather is awful. It makes you think about those with nowhere to sleep tonight. I work on an office based on the ground floor of a local car park (Don't ask) and as soon as we leave the rough sleepers move in for the night. We don't mind as long as they don't set fire to the place or draw felt tip diagrams of their er.. underpants' departments on the wall. When too much loopy juice results in this kind of behaviour, we have to say non but otherwise we prefer to turn a blind eye.
On a slightly related note - politics. Usually I find that word as welcoming as the sentence uttered at the beginning of our Carol Service this week. "Tonight, we hope to be playing a few contemporary songs" Noooooooooo!
However, this is important. You may or may not know that Foodbanks were debated in our House of Commons this week. It didn't go well. It seems that the Government is wary of being railroaded by groups with political agendas on this issue. Well first of all, you are politicians, I would have thought that political cut and thrust was easy peasy for you. Also, this is a big deal. People need these places to feed their children. In 20th Century Britain! Really! It isn't the war you know.
I am quite an old biddy and I have never seen anything like it in my time. I thought this kind of thing had passed - like Z Cars and rickets. I have no idea why the people in charge don't feel the need to hang their heads in shame and I mean any political party. For more information, please refer to Jack Munro. She has known plenty of poverty in her time and is a tireless campaigner.
It's Christmas and for some people, all that means is a big shiny sign of how awful their life is. It does my head in because Christmas was meant to be the sign that it was time for things to change for the better - Jesus was here and the rescue plan had moved into gear. It is a bad sign for our society that for many people Christmas doesn't mean very much at all.
If you can give to your local Foodbank or the Sally Army, please do so. They are packed to the drawstrings with Christians who are trying to make a difference. If you can't give, you can pray. I'm no expert but I don't think it's supposed to be like this.
Wishing you a loving and peaceful Christmas xx
Monday, 16 December 2013
This week I will be mostly
- Rooting round the bottom of wardrobes to find presents that I cunningly bought ahead and have now lost.
- Trying to keep patient with old ladies who cannot believe that we don't run a bus to visit the pub on Christmas morning
- Washing the back of my eyes out to try and rid myself of the picture of Sir Alec Ferguson coming down a long staircase at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, while Russell Watson sings "To Dream The Impossible Dream." *Rubs eyes hard* Nope - can still see it.
- Wondering if it is ever acceptable to not wrap presents. Surely more environmentally friendly?
- Getting snotty when Mums on Facebook who have a month of exciting Advent activities for their children are making me weep with inferiority.
- Trying not to get to upset over Syrian children in that horrific winter and also that video on You Tube of the abandoned puppy running after the car that it had just been chucked out of. As you can see, my priorities are expertly balanced.
- Re above - what is the matter with everybody?
- Re above and the above that - Am having unsavoury fantasies re puppy abandoners, Syrian generals on both sides and big stick with a nail in it. Am aware that this is probably NOT what Jesus would do. Probably.
- Re above and above etc etc. Think I am very tired
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
So there's this conversation about Christmas presents with my Mum.
Mum Do you know that Call the Midwife?
Mum Have you seen it?
Me Now and again.
I'm sorry, I cannot be doing with Call The Midwife. I know a lot of people love it so I am probably wrong but it does my head in. It's like Downton Abbey with mucus. A monkey, a typewriter and as many stereotypes as you can fit into a brown paper bag and you are away.
A mad nun
A serene nun
A salt of the earth slightly sweary nun
A good looking young doctor
A tart with a heart midwife
A beautiful midwife with a dark secret/ broken heart or both. (Don't worry - she will love again)
A slightly dowdy midwife/nun who will come into her own later.
Miranda Hart who gets to fall off her bike a lot.
And Sunday night TV is your oyster.
Mum Well, I got the DVD you for Christmas. Series 2
Me Er Ok.
Mum You'll love it
Me Do you like it?
Mum Never watched it. Don't think I would like it.
I am thinking bad thoughts. I am a bad person.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Outside of Hark The Herald Angels - nothing, I repeat nothing puts me in the mood for Christmas like this. People in America - you are very blessed to have this every year. Prepare to be blown off your tootsies. No need to thank me. You are more than welcome.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you Exodus 3 (The Message)
So, we are doing Exodus in church at the moment right. We come across this that God says to Moses. This is just after the Burning Bush incident that was done so well in the new TV version of The Bible. (To be honest, I've seen it done better with a flannel- board.) However, back to this astonishing statement. It stopped me in my tracks when I heard it. I have to confess something here. (It's ok. I have already confessed to God and he's good with it. He likes me.) For a tiny-teeny nano second, the song line "I am what I am" flitted into my head, complete with jazz hands. This is, obviously, a bad thing. It is not, however, unconnected. Imagine being so happy and content with yourself. Imagine being the finished product so you could say. "I am who I am" Obviously God can say it because he is God and, therefore, the finished product - if indeed he was ever started - following at the back?
Some people might be so comfortable with their progress as a member of the human race, that they may feel that they are near enough complete when it comes to being a decent person so they are quite happy to er shout out - "I am what I am." I am not one of these people. But I am accepted, as I am. Even though God knows me completely.
There is, I think, a tension between accepting who you are and realising that you still have a way to go. It is, in the words of Yul Brynner in The King and I, "a puzzlement". Getting hold of this may be one of the great secrets to life.
I am completely known by God. All my ins, outs, positives, negatives. He has seen it all. Even the things about me that I bury so deep that I am barely aware that they exist. Then, even having scanned me top to bottom with his intergalactic, Star Trek-like scanner and seen all of it, he then accepts me totally. Known, that's what I am.
I know that God doesn't leave it there. I know that he has to lead, guide, teach, try, push and pull for the rest of my life. A lot of the time, I am not going to fancy it much but God will carry on drawing me forward and up.
I need to get that, when I drag my sorry bones into bed in the evening. I am known, secure and safe. God knows it all. He is not afraid of what he might find in me someday. He has already seen it. And it is ok.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
I have had mini blog shaped crisis of faith (Do I continue with this blogging business?) which has kept me away for a couple of weeks, apologies. Anyway God used a couple of people to give me a swift kick up the how's your father and I am here again. I think there is an awful lot of nonsense talked about God has told me to tell you this or that but when a couple of people you barely know say something that completely hits the spot, when they are not really trying really trying to be all spiritual, then you have to take notice I think.
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, first thing wake ups. (I do realise that I hadn't actually got round to WRITING anything about early mornings yet but I was thinking about it and am about to do so. Be patient.)
One of my favourite writers is Caitlin Moran as I think I may have said. I probably disagree with about 50% of her opinions (and passionately agree with many of them) but she is so clever and warm hearted , that I seek her out wherever she has left prose to read. This includes Twitter. (Do not follow unless you are a broadminded sort of chap.) Anyway, I found this as an excerpt from her writing day on The Stylist Magazine
There has only been one time in my life, ever, that I’ve woken up and thought ‘YAY! HURRAH! I HAVE WOKEN! I FEEL A TREMBLING REVERENCE FOR LIFE!’ – the morning I went youth-hostelling to Wales, when I was 11. I woke up very perky that day. I was super-excited. I jumped out of my top bunk shouting ‘PUPPY POWER!’ Every other day of my life before or since, however, I have woken up going ‘UGH this is too early. This is GHASTLY. This system is bust.’ Even if it’s 2pm.
Early mornings are a weird time for everyone. I saw some research recently that said that one of the functions of sleep is to sort of wash out all the thoughts we have had during the day, including the destructive and negative ones. If sleep is interrupted or we don't get enough, then the process is incomplete and we can wake with all this negative nonsense wooshing round, even if we aren't normally inclined to depression.
When I was ill, a few years ago, I would wake every morning and within five seconds, I would remember cancer and dip. This went on for years, long after I became well.
What changed it was God. A sensible God. (I think we underrate how full of common sense God is) I learnt to plug into him. Make contact with him asap. "Hullo God. Morning." You might even try a piece of scripture. (I can't find my slippers in the morning, never mind quote scripture) When I find him, he finds me back and things are better. We are not meant to fight our way through any of this alone.
On a more negative note, I would be a bit dishonest if I didn't give you my thoughts on *shouts into echo chamber* THE BIBLE. This is Channel 5's showing of the epic series from America. First of all, I have to say how good it is that something slightly Christian has made it to TV at all. I also have to point out that the American culture is perhaps more different from the British culture than we realise and this has an impact on the finished product. However, I'm sorry, I'm disappointed. Questions, so many questions.
Why does Pharaoh's son have a gold head?
Why are all the baddies (Egyptian royal family, slave drivers, the entire population of Sodom) British?
Where did Joshua get his teeth done?
What had made Mrs Lot such a miserable crow?
Why is Jesus wearing a wig? (I know Jesus often wears a wig in TV adaptations but I was hoping, you know?)
But the thing that I liked least was the characterisation of Noah, Abraham and Moses. Here they were spiritual super heroes, off away with the angels half the time. The Bible spends a lot of time pointing our that Noah liked a drink and it got him into trouble, Abraham pimped out his wife and Moses was a coward who sent his brother into the front line against Pharaoh. And still they were loved by God and used for great things. I missed it. The depth, the ups and downs, the redeeming love. I shall be getting the BBC Nativity DVD out and watching that. For my money, a bit closer to real life. Still I suppose that if it stirs debate about God, it can't be a bad thing. And, as you probably know, I am quite a shallow person who is probably missing the whole point. But I will watch some more. Apparently, some woman from Eastenders will be playing Delilah. (More British baddies...grrr)
Also, who knew angels were so...well.....hot?
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