Tuesday, 30 December 2014

All Present and Correct


Sooo, we did it, we survived Christmas. It was fine. Some really nice days. I dragged all at Martha Towers to the traditional Christmas film at the Plymouth Arts Centre. This year it was ET which none of the offspring had seen (Call yourself a mother?) There was some discord as FOW1 declared that his favourite Christmas film was Die Hard and I felt that this misconception had to be dealt with. However, all was merry and bright and if I was slightly unhappy at having to pay £55 for four ponced up burgers in Ed's Diner afterwards, I kept it to myself for the most part. Other than that, I seem to have spent a lot of time providing lifts for offspring and then waiting for offspring to get back from things. You know how it is.

We had to split Christmas Day as HOH was working on Christmas morning, so presents were done on Christmas Eve which means the arrival of Aged Parent with four bin bags full of Christmas detritus and therefore me working like a Trojan to placate HOH who likes his life quite tidy. Christmas Day was spent in the kitchen more or less. I was quite taken this year with Frugal Queen's assertion that it was just a big roast and that we just just back off and give ourselves less pressure. However, I spent hours in the kitchen and am feeling more and more that Aunt Bessies pre cooked stuff is the way forward in future years. Or a lasagne.

The Carol Service was excellent this year. Lots of carols with a traditional choir. Seems like that's what people want at a Carol Service - to come along and sing lots of carols - who knew? It was good for me though because up to then, I had been a bit like Barry Manilow about Christmas - you know - up, down, trying to get the feeling again. I did wonder briefly if this was the year that we had all finally managed to kill Real Christmas off. What with penguins on buses and Black Friday and adverts pretending to be about the war when really all they want you to do is buy their chocolate. Linking up on the Advent Pause was helpful. I read everyone's blogs and found new people and generally just felt more proper Christmassy with it. 
I'm a bit woo-woo about Facebook, this time of year. It's full of photos of people in their living rooms having a great time at Christmas. It's good for me because I live a long way away from people that I like so I can see them and also I'm quite nosy. However, it crossed my mind that if you were alone or worried or just not having a particularly good time, it might make things a bit worse for you. I say don't be too affected by this kind of thing. Most people are muttering under their breath a lot during the festive period - despite all the #lovemyfamilyatChristmas stuff that is posted. Of course you love your family! Why are you telling me? I have come to the age when I will be quite glad to "see things go back to normal" and I am eyeing Christmas tree with a sort of  - "how well will that burn?" gleam in my eye. Speaking of burning, the photo above is a fantastic present from a friend. It goes by the fire and is full of the odds and ends of old scented candles. So when you light your fire it is easier to get going and you get a nice scent as well. Bob - il est votre oncle as they say. Some people are so creative.
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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas story. This is there too.

Independent



A sound was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and much lament.
Rachel weeping for her children,
    Rachel refusing all solace,
Her children gone,
    dead and buried.

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Advent 3


This week I am

Cancelling tea with the Mayor. Yep that's the kind of high living person I am. I just throw the Mayor to one side because I get a better offer. (Actually, we have a couple of people off work which means that there are literally no phone answerers if I go swanning off. Am hoping Mayor is ok with this. Am thinking that he is as he as already cancelled on me once)

Reporting back on the Paddington movie. It's really good. The spirit of the books is there in all its glory. He's funny and sweet. The Brown family are exactly as they should be and the house they live in is just beautiful in its eccentricity. It is also an unashamed plea for racial tolerance and welcoming strangers into our lives. I don't expect UKIP will be giving out copies of the DVD for Christmas. (Didn't get to see the one about the nun. We weren't sure if we fancied it. The day after we didn't go, it promptly won a big award at a film festival. Of course it did.)

Trying to find a sensible place and then noting down where I am keeping presents. This will hopefully avoid the usual scene of me having to remove all the clothes from my wardrobe on Christmas Eve in a mad panic because 50% of the presents I have been buying are missing. It's never a good time.

Thinking - blow the whole thing and sitting down on Saturday afternoon with some chocolate and watching Hello Dolly. How lovely it is. Am almost not bothered about being found later in kitchen high kicking and singing Put On Your Sunday Clothes.

Attending FOW2s A Level Certificate presentation. Am hoping against hope that it will be as funny as the year they invited a contestant from The Voice to make the presentations. The faces of the Board of Governors as he sang "Your Sex is On Fire" has kept me happy on many a cold night.

Wondering why a elderly man who was drunk as a monkey was trying to shoplift a bottle of suntan lotion. (Bit of a commotion while I was waiting in the Chemist for medication for Aged Parent) I wouldn't have thought there was much call for it at this time of year - even on what I presume is a thriving Black Market in Plymouth. Maybe it was just for the thrill of it. Anyway, I was more unhappy about seeing it replaced straight back on the shelf when the bottle was recovered. It could quite clearly have done with a rinse having been down some rather unsavoury trousers.

Finding out about Advent Candles. I didn't know that each one was supposed to represent anything. (I come from a Christian background where any candle in church is the beginning of a slippery slope) So when we lit ours on Sunday,  I heard that it represented John The Baptist and this was news to me. I like John The Baptist though. A voice in the wilderness. A light in the darkness. In the busy times, in the mess that is in my head, in the darkness that lurks in my thought life, in the sadness of buying a coat for a child in a refugee camp because they have fled their homes with only the clothes on their backs, in the startling realisation that the people we trust to govern us think that we will be ok with torture. During these times it's helpful to remember that God is there - a small light in the darkness sometimes or a still small voice of calm and wisdom. 

Linking up to A Pause in Advent 
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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

This Week


This week I am


  • Receiving FOW 1 back into the fold for Christmas -  We are stocked up on Pizzas and toilet paper - we are braced.
  • Going to the flicks a couple of times. Off to see Paddington tonight (with my stern "I love Paddington - this had better be good" face on). Then something about a nun on Thursday I think. Will report back.
  • Having aged parent round for tea. Remember no onions. Unfortunate consequences for her belly (and for all concerned)
  • Spending time struggling to get into cupboards. We have replaced a mattress on a bed but are keeping the old one for a Christmas visitor as the only thing that is wrong with it is that it is a bit saggy in the middle (bit like my good self) Thing is, we have nowhere to keep it so it keeps being left against wardrobes and my big cupboard at the top of the stairs and I keep having to wrestle it to get in anywhere.
  • Praying for an early fitting of our blinds. People are getting chairs out and sitting in the road outside our house now to watch us. (Well it feels like it)
  • Putting in very chunky amounts of toil at work. All shopping buses and scooters and wheelchairs are choc a block with people trying to get their Christmas stuff done. There is nothing like a determined pensioner on a shopping mission - trust me.
  • Being very pleased that HOH was able to mend Joseph in our oldest Nativity set after an unfortunate incident with Morecambe last year. (Or was it Liam? Can't remember) Anyway - at one point we thought we would have to marry Mary off to a shepherd and that would not do at all.
  • Looking ruefully at my planning book and wishing I had the time to sit and plan in it - never mind actually DOING the stuff on my to-do list.
It's all going very well - as usual. Carry on.
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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Pausing For Advent (2)

If only. I am still struggling to pause. I am up to my eyes in various bits and pieces and life etc. Nothing to bother too much about. I am reading all the other blogs and it seems that, for lots of reasons, other people are the same. I will not go gently into that Bah Humbug though. I LOVE Christmas and I will not sink under all the detritus so I don't enjoy it anymore. I am well aware that this one is up to me. We had a guest speaker at church today and he told us that the secret to contentment is a decent dialogue with God - which makes a lot of sense to me. I have to find the time to do it - especially at this time of year. It is up to me to cut back on things where I can. So, here are my Christmas Resolutions. Unconventional I know but that's the way I roll.

1. If I see you every day. Sort of "Hello - nice weekend?" as we sit down at desks opposite each other. Or, if I usually send you a card after you have posted one through my door saying "To all at 22 from all at number 48." because neither of us know each other from Adam - then don't hold your breath for a card from me. Cards this year will be to people who live a long way away, people I need to re-connect with and to my Mother, who takes the size of the card we send her as an indication of the amount of affection she is held in. (Can be tricky when the lady who does her hair once a week has sent a bigger one than me because I went for quality rather then size)

2. I will be making several meals for visitors and on Christmas Day and all that. This is fine. I am looking forward to it. However, know now that the mash will be Marks and Spencer. The pudding will be ready made and Mice Pies will be Mr Kipling. Come to terms with it. I have. It is happening and it is happening in this house.I will probably make my own roast potatoes because I like them best but, have to be honest, there will be a bag of frozen ones in the freezer in case of emergencies.

3. My house will not be a picture of domestic perfection. It has just been through a traumatic time with the windows being replaced and half the front rendering being ripped off. We don't have the new blinds in place yet so getting dressed in the morning is like permanently dressing under a beach towel. If you are coming here to see a beautifully tidy and serene home you are a) barking up the wrong tree completely and don't know me at all and b) Seriously? Why would you do that?

4. I will not be losing that last half stone before Christmas. All my clothes are fitting (more or less) and I reserve the right to seek solace in an emergency bag of cheese and onion crisps if the need arises. 

Good Grief - that feels better.

On a more positive note - everyone else went out this afternoon and I took the opportunity to put some Christmas music and give Hark The Herald Angels some welly in the privacy of my own kitchen. Wow I love that carol. Top Notch.

Linking Up at A Pause in Advent

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Advent First Sunday





This is our hallway - last year. Because I haven't put any decorations up. Not yet. We couldn't if we wanted to but we don't want to. Not yet. We have just had the windows replaced, as well as the rendering on the front of the house. I am all of a kerfuffle. I have lost three weeks of my life to dust, unplugged phone lines and wi-fi, scaffolding and big spiders. I am barely back in the habit of having regular showers - let alone Christmas Decorations. And it's TOO EARLY! I am downcast by Black Friday - watching people who fought last year in Tesco's car park for a 28 inch telly, now coming back and fighting again for a 40 inch telly because the Internet tells them that they have to. Bah!
I am bad tempered, tired with little positive to say about Christmas and I love Christmas. According to the You Tube people - this week is Jingle Week enabling me to buy my Christmas clothes and make-up. Hah! Well you know what you can do with that.
Yet, in the middle of all this, there is just a tiny hint. Something is stirring. Think of the Wise Men. They had maybe spent years and years studying astrological charts, watching the skies and reading the stars. Looking to make sure that they had got it right - that a king - a promised Messiah was on the way. Maybe they just noticed a few subtle changes in the skies, before they ever saw THE star.
Just thinking about Mary, alone and quiet - rubbing her belly and thinking and wondering what was to come. In the middle of the madness that has so successfully claimed Christmas, I'm trying to stop and look at the skies. I'm wondering how it felt, if it felt any different at all, in those moments, just before the miracle, when God's great rescue plan began to move into action. And I want to claim it back. I want Christmas to be about the baby who would be Saviour and before it all starts, I want to quietly take my time and think about what is to come.

Linking up with Tracing Rainbows - A Pause in Advent 


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Friday, 21 November 2014

The Heretic

Can I just bung in a review for this book? I was given this, not to review but just by someone who thought I would like it and I really did. Set in 1536 when burning or horrific executions were waiting for anyone who held convictions contrary to the state view, it is just a rattling good read. There is a lot going on here. There's a big picture which will appeal to people who like Wolf Hall and the Sansom books and then there is a smaller, more intimate picture of family and friends during the time.The author also manages to weave in the changes and challenges to the Christian faith without it being, well a bit obvious. I think the idea was to tell a good story, really well and job done. Highly recommended

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Dreams of Another Life


We found this photo of my mum. It was lurking under the bed and she came across it trying to find a photo of me as a child for some dreadful fund-raising thing we were doing at work. She looks really great I think - a bit of Munroe in there? So we rescued it from under the bed and it's on our wall now (that's why it's a bit wobbly sorry because all our family photos are on the wall going upstairs and I had to risk life and limb leaning over a banister to get it) Mum has total recall of the day this was taken, at work (notice the typewriter she is leaning on) and it's probably over 50 years ago. It makes her a bit wobbly looking at this because she was full of hopes and dreams in those days and she is not sure that too many of them came to pass. Although she produced me - how good can it get, I ask you? Still, she has seen a nasty divorce and the death of a child as well as her other child being seriously ill. It has not been a barrel of laughs. She is finding more contentment these days though. Settled in a flat near us, she like the area and is forging new friendships and although she is loath to admit it, is perhaps more settled than she has been for years. She still likes a moan and is robust in her criticism of nearly everyone (mainly me though) but in the main I think she is doing ok.
What she has never lost and what an inveterate conflict avoider like me has never had, is the ability to tell it how she sees it.


Mum (sitting on her settee with her chum)
I think Eileen and George (residents in her building) may have something going on
Chum
Yes indeed, I have seen them linking arms and the like. (Do not get involved in what "the like" could be - I find it best not to)
Mum
She's a lot older than him - it's a bit strange if you ask me
Chum
I knew her first husband you know, if he'd have had both his legs, he would have never have looked at her.
Me (interjecting to try desperately to inject some positivity into the conversation)
She's a very handsome woman though

There then follows five seconds silence while Mum with furrowed eyebrows considers this.
Mum
Are we talking about the same woman?

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Mr Turner

Well, this was unexpected. I really liked this. I mean really, really. Possibly one of the best films I have seen this year. We went on a day off which seenmed to be a pensioners' day out. They were giving out lists of future performances for the seniors club but HOH said I wasn't allowed to get one. I thought that was a missed opportunity for HOH. He would get a cheap ticket and a cup of tea and biscuit.
 Despite the stellar reviews I wasn't expecting that much from this film really. I sometimes really like Mike Leigh and sometimes I really don't. His thing about Gilbert and Sullivan was one of the few films I have ever walked out on (I have probably only ever left about five films early in my whole life - unless you include "Love Actually" which I left mentally by falling asleep about two thirds of the way through -  a mercy for all concerned) The Gilbert and Sullivan film antipathy could have been because I don't really get G and S although I realise that they are the very air that some people breathe. I remember in my twenties going with a friend to her new fiance's house for celebratory drinks and someone - apparently unbidden stepped up to the piano and gave us all a rendition of a G and S number. It was all deeply unnerving. I was partly worried because I thought the same might be expected of all of us and I remember wondering if my version of Wham's Last Christmas was going to cut it. Digressing.
However, would recommend this. Firstly, it is beautiful. Just lovely to look at. Secondly, it seems to capture it's time and place perfectly. Thirdly Timothy Spall is just amazing. Turner seemed to me to be complex, sometimes heartless, sometimes kind, always immersed in his work and Spall makes him a human.You don't need to know about painting or anything. Just go. It's very good.


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Friday, 14 November 2014

Giving Up



So, I have given up a bit and brought this home. Just to look at, you understand. Not to actually do anything with. It's just helpful, to be thinking about it - a bit.
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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Not Forgetting

There has been a lot of talk about the Tower Poppies and whether they are appropriate and what to do with them after Remembrance Day. Just to throw my two penneth in. I think they are dignified, beautiful and very moving. However, not as moving as the four million people who have taken the time to come and see them and remember. Surely, that is their prime purpose - not to be pretty or ugly or whatever. Just to make people stop and remember. For what it's worth, I also think they should be dismantled. They are not a tourist attraction. It is the shock that stirs the soul. So many. Would this not become diluted over time?
Anyway just for today, a poem from the beautiful Siegfried Sassoon. Remembrance. Gratitude. Yet not to forget what we are grateful for and the horror of it from someone who earned the right to tell us what he thought.

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.


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Monday, 10 November 2014

The Dufflecoat Years



When I was a teenage Christian, many things were different. Tambourines were de-rigueur, choruses were found in a yellow book and the youth meeting consisted of telling you lots of things NOT to do. If you were a female type person, chief among the no-nos was make-up, short skirts and dangly jewellery - for this way sinfulness and unavoidable lusts would follow. Although I kind of understood the thinking behind this (well, no I didn't actually but in those days, it wasn't really done to ask) -  for someone like me, who had a bit of a hankering for lip gloss and love beads, it was a challenging time. Men were men and girls wore dufflecoats. When I left school and began to earn a bit of money I led a mini rebellion by coming to church wearing blue mascara and a skirt above my knee. Most of my rebellion got in under the wire because the senior leaders were too busy dealing with a bohemian girl who had joined the youth group and encouraged the menfolk to indulge a little too freely in the "community" aspect of church - especially with her. This she managed to do without the aid of make up or short skirts. By the time she had been dealt with (most successfully by someone's wife with a pointy finger and various "non-Christian" threats) the whole of youth womanhood at our church, had run wild and was unabashedly wearing perfume. The genie was out of the bottle.
So when I look around now and see young women in church with hair straightened within an inch of its life, beautiful cat like eye liner flicks that make them look like Nigella and heels that are not doing the church floorboards any good, it makes me smile. I am glad that the old tyranny has gone and girls no longer have to sacrifice eyebrow plucking and person hygiene for Jesus. EXCEPT (and you knew that there was an "except" unless you are new here) I hope that we haven't gone too far and replaced an old tyranny with a new one. I am very keen on the church being a place of safety. The concept is very precious to me even though it can be as rare as hen's teeth to actually see it in action. I hope that girls who don't want to partake in high level personal grooming feel free not to do so. I hope that church is a place where females can feel free to be themselves whether that involves wearing lip liner or just a bin liner.
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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Simple Things Making Me Happy

So we have a new freezer for overspill (Please ignore bottle of wine. It is not, as the nasty rumour goes, a spare freezer for Mummy's Wine.  I had forgotten to put it in the fridge and we were on a deadline) I remember a time when the most exciting present I could get was a nice piece of underwear or some interesting jewellery. It is probably a very sad day as I realise just how excited I am by the arrival of the freezer. I am officially a sad, old crone.


I have also finished my patchwork cushion. It's very nice and everything but NEVER AGAIN! It has taken longer than the Bayeux Tapestry.  I am a woman who loves a quick win when it comes to craft. If I ever do patchwork again it will be with MUCH bigger hexagons.
Made some little chocolate cake (I can't bear the name "cupcakes", Makes me think of lifestyle bloggers sitting in front of log fires pretending they are actually going to eat the food they are posing with) You might be surprised how life affirming a little cake becomes with the addition of a little Munchie sweet in the middle before it goes in the oven. No photos sorry - all woofed down.
I may not get out much but I certainly know how to keep myself happy at home. Simple soul that I am.
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Sunday, 2 November 2014

Keeping hold


Sometimes it's hard to hold on to your joy. Sometimes people do things with the best motives but they do your head in. Sometimes those things nibble at the vision that you feel God has given you almost to the point where you don't really know if you want to carry on with it.

Things to do to hold on to whatever it is God has said to you
 
  1.  Kind of in the way that The Beastie Boys advised you to "Fight For Your Right..To Paaarty" you may need to pitch in and fight for what you believe to be right. (In a totally non confrontational, Christiany  way obvs)
  2. Keep doing the right things. Stick to the plan. If this thing was worth doing before, it still continues to be so, however disillusioned you may feel.
  3. You are not going anywhere Jesus hasn't been before. People were always telling him he was doing it wrong. He wasn't.
  4. Ask yourself if "The Advice" you have received has any truth in it. If there is something you can learn, you must learn from it. If possible without learning through gritted teeth and muttering about "know-it-alls" (even if they are)
  5. Resove to be graceful if you know you are right. God has little time for gloaters who shout "Oh yeah! Oh yeah" while dancing and pointing in accusing way to the person who you have overcome.
  6. Smile like Morecambe. It will sort itself. This will pass. Get on with the job in hand.

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Feminism?



I don't think I would call myself what is sometimes charmingly referred to as a "rabid feminist".  (Although I would say you are a lady feminist if you are female and vote, or expect the same pay for doing the same job as a man, or expect your name to go on the mortgage if you pay into it or indeed expect that if your husband decides he would rather live with the chambermaid, you do not expect to be turned out into the cold without a possession or any of your children) Anyway I digress. It's just that something that happened this week that made me think - would it happen to a man?

There has been a post circulating on Facebook this week called "Her name was Reeva Steencamp" This is because in all the shouting about Oscar Pistorious and whether he did or whether he didn't and the debates about the effect it was all having on his life and his career etc etc - some reports haven't even mentioned her name. Some just call her his girlfriend or a lingerie model. Anyway her name was Reeva - Reeva Steencamp. The piece about her is here if you are interested. 

On a lighter but connected note. Can I just say that I have always liked Daniel Radcliffe? I haven't been too impressed by many of his films since his Harry Potter days to be honest but he's young and he will develop. He has almost made it on to the list of people who it would be acceptable for our daughter to bring home with a view to marriage. Almost but not quite but still a creditable try with this.

In case you can't read it, he picks up on a reporter who says he struggles to regard him as handsome after having watched him grow up in Harry Potter. Radcliffe replies that men do not seem to be having the same problem with Emma Watson. As I say, creditable sentiments and he came quite close to getting on the acceptable suitor list but Head of House has vetoed him - because I put in a vote for Roy Keane but that has also been deemed unacceptable. Honestly, young people these days.

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Sparse

HOH has been out in the garden, cutting stuff back, pulling stuff up, digging things over. Our back yard doesn't exactly look dead glamorous at the moment. It suits my mood. It's ages off Christmas, a grand summer has come and gone, because we are saving for aforementioned Christmas and double glazing, we are skint. Everyone is working really hard with nothing much else going on. 
Do you think though, that this may be a healthy attitude? If your life is abundant all the time as Kim Kardashian and some tele-evangelists would have it, then do you forget how to celebrate during the special times? If there is no paring back and scarcity then surely you become clogged up and bloated. If we take our cue from nature which benefits from land that lies quiet and fallow for a while, then we should expect there to be quiet times, poorer times and slow times. I get annoyed with people in T'Internet who gabble on about how much they love Autumn and when you look further into it, it's because the new coats are out at Primark or because Yankee Candles have a half price offer on their "Fallen Leaves" range. They then post photos of themselves from a jaunty angle with a full make up face pretending to kick up leaves while not actually letting any leaves touch their new boots.
That isn't Autumn for me. There are lovely colours of course but they are the colours of nature drawing a veil, battening down the hatches and preparing for what is to come. That's not as bad as it sounds. We can, if we want to, slow down a bit. We can read a bit more, sleep a bit more. We can give more attention to our inner lives. Pray a bit more and don't be afraid to not be as busy. It is truly ok I think to let things go and be a bit less for a while. Trust me - Christmas will be here soon enough. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the sound of the Marks and Spencer adverts.
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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Reality Bites





For reasons that are too complicated to bother you with here, I have just spent a weekend dipping in and out of the X Factor and Strictly. As regular readers will know, I am more inclined to one rather than the other of these. FOW2 and my good self have just joined Strictly. I usually like to give it a bit of time to bed in and also, I do think that it goes on for an awfully long time these days. There at least thirty eight couples in the starting line up. There has been a bit of a hoo-ha today because Thom has been sent home and he is a reasonable dancer. The thing is, I don't get up too worked up about who goes though on Strictly. It's all a bit of a gamble. The public can be quite weird and will vote for people that they take a fancy to for no other reason than they just like the cut of their jib. I don't think the best dancer has won Strictly for years. The thing is that it doesn't really matter because the pros and the slebs are already in the game. They have "Showbiz"  careers (even if some may be a bit more successful than others) they know the game. They understood how it might be when they started and when they go they go back to slogging away at whatever branch of showbiz they have come from. (Again, some more successfully than others)
I find the X Factor more troubling. For a start, some of them look like children. When did we start lining children up and then rejecting them for our personal delectation and delight? Also, when they are rejected, they don't return to panto or Gardeners Question time or whatever. Most of them go back to the sausage factory from whence they came. Even winning the thing seems to be the kiss of death as far as I can see. I don't like it. I try to because, at this time of year, not liking the X Factor can leave me feeling very much alone but I can't. Also, can I just say, a lot of the singers are just rubbish? Is that acceptable? I watched some lad last night do things to "Try A Little Tenderness" that would have got him arrested in seven states in America. Also I'm pretty certain that the lyric is "shabby dress". NOT "SHAGGY DRESS" Good Grief.
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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Grim Up North

Look - you knew we would be going to see this. If you have spent more than 15 seconds looking at this blog you will know that HOH spent much of his twenties chasing Northern Soul venues around the country, buying records and looking for somewhere to dance to them. 

So this film was eagerly awaited here by at least a proportion of the inhabitants of Martha Towers. First of all I have to refer to the cinema we had to go to to watch the film because it was on a limited release. I have never been there before. I will not fight to go there again. There was enough of that going on in the foyer as far as I could see. I don't think I have ever been scared at the flicks before (unless you take into account how I felt when I realised that Tom Cruise's Cocktail had another hour to go before we were mercifully released) We stood in a queue with a lot of other slightly ageing soul type people, many of whom were on sticks or had dodgy backs (probably because of all that backdropping) while about a hundred drunk, grubby hipster/biker types pushed past us to get to their film. Well it felt like a hundred to me. I have no idea what they were seeing. I don't think that it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 
Inside the cinema, things did not improve. I did not know that they made screens that small. HOH had to wear glasses to see the film. The hygiene was not what you would call top notch. The toilets were actually in the room we watched the film from - raising the unedifying possibility of flushing and other noises during quiet moments. Also, I think I was sitting in something sticky. I don't know. I didn't look and my jeans went straight into the wash. Bijou vintage it was not.

To the film then. You would probably only see this if you knew what it was about, if you get my drift. If you love the music or remember the scene, you will like this. The scenes in the dance hall were fantastic, the best I have seen. It was truly exhilarating and I would have liked to see more of them. There were some great little moments where people were learning to dance and just going for it. Lisa Stansfield shouting "I were right shown up today!" in a very broad accent is a happy moment that will stay with me for ages. I think you can hear a "but" coming. At the risk of sounding like I know what I am talking about, I think it was underwritten. It needed a better script rather than people just saying things to move the story on. You know the kind of thing...

"Whatever you do - don't start injecting drugs - it's a mug's game" Cue toilet scene with needles

"If we get caught with these drugs it's ten years in jail" Thrill to totally unexpected blue flashing siren.

Having said all that, it was beautifully shot - in Bolton, I think a lot of it and it did capture perfectly a northern town in England in the 1970s. Although it was a bit grimmer than I remember it. That's probably because I am sooo much younger than HOH. Yep that will be it.


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Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Tough Fruit

Galatians 5:22New International Version (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

These things are known as the Fruit of the Spirit or as the Message calls them - the things that happen when we live God's way. There are some big groovy concepts here. LOVE! JOY! PEACE! These are all huge things that you can spend a lifetime trying to attain and then die having failed miserably. (Joke) (Bad Joke) I got to thinking about one of the fruits which is a bit unassuming looking but may be the most muscular of them all. 

It takes courage to be kind. 

This morning I was absorbed in the newspaper and my other half was staring out of the window. "I'm just going to see Stan - he's just standing in the street." Then HOH disappears out the front door. Stan is our elderly neighbour. He hasn't had a good year health wise but is doing ok now. HOH was just concerned that he might have come over a bit peculiar and wanted to know if he needed help.  HOH is very good at this sort of thing. He just sees something and reacts kindly. As it turned out, Stan was just a bit puffed and didn't need HOH. 
I'm not sure I would have reacted as quickly, not because I don't care but because I lack courage. I think before I put my head over the parapet. What if Stan doesn't want help? What if I'm embarrassed? What if he reacts angrily? (I have never heard Stan react angrily to anything - I didn't say that it was logical did I?)
It takes courage to be kind because kindness can sometimes be perceived as weakness. Choosing not to wipe the floor with someone and giving them another chance can mark you out as someone who can't hack it or someone who is scared of confrontation. 
At the other end of the scale, it takes courage to join an aid convoy to take much needed relief to a war torn country. Kindness there may actually lose you your life in the most horrific of ways.

I suppose like most fruits it grows when it is cultivated. You do it again and again and it becomes easier. It becomes a way of thinking to say the kind, inclusive thing rather than shrink back and agree with the unkind majority.  You begin to learn that it is ok to see if someone needs you or not. These worst thing that can happen is that they can tell you to sling your hook. A while back I came across an elderly lady who was sitting among the dog biscuits in Sainsbury's. After a fair bit of prevaricating I asked if she felt unwell. She said that she was fine thank you and to leave her alone (with added F words to covey to me how strongly she felt) So I did. No harm done. 
And kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit - so God helps us to do it by giving us the desire to help. The Message translates kindness as

a sense of compassion in the heart 

which is really good. Just not always that easy to do. 
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Monday, 13 October 2014

Learning


I have been to London. Yes I have and I have learnt things. I went to the Association of Christian Writers Writers' Day about Christian Fiction. It was truly interesting and I took notes and everything. Some of what I learnt was less than interesting except to me, but, since when have I ever applied that filter to the things that appear here?

  1. I have learnt that I cannot "network" or make polite conversation with people that I don't know. Can I just apologise to all those lovely people who tried to come and chat to me. It's not that I am completely self obsessed. It's just that I was so terrified while you were speaking to me that I couldn't remember anything that you said and therefore had to fall back on talking about myself.
  2. I learnt that when I am having a bit of a flush and someone moves your chair from the back of the room by the door with a slight breeze to the front of the room so that we can all be closer or something, it is not terribly Christian to curse under my breath and it was just as easy to do what I eventually did and quietly move the chair back.
  3. Lots of people are cleverer and a lot further on than I am.
  4. Writing "properly" takes a great deal of organisation  and time  - both to write and to imagine the world that you are going to write about. (I also think that this is true of non fiction writing as well)
  5. CS Lewis was really very, very good at what he did.
  6. When the lady leading the seminar informs a room full of Christians that she would like them all to get up and dance to Mud's Tiger Feet to illustrate her point that writing needs a brain and a brain is a part of the body and therefore responds well to physcical activity, a good proprtion of the room would have rather scooped their own eyes out with a spoon. (I did better than I would usually do at this sort of thing. Firstly because I was at the back and secondly, it is a little known fact that when I was twelve in the early seventies, I loved Mud and was actually engaged to Ray Stiles their bass gutarist. This was so little known that Ray Stiles was unaware of it as well but it was a nice nostalgic three minutes for me.)
Anyway, many thanks to Penelope Wilcock and Tony Collins for their kindness and for a thought provoking day and to everyone else who put the whole thing together. There is a possibility - however small, that this may have been quite an important day for me.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Tres, Tres Occupe



What a weekend. All go. This is me and my colleague Debbie at the British Transport Awards (or something) Never heard of them? No, me neither till we got a nomination. Didn't win but we got a trip to London, a lovely meal and then a photo with JEREMY VINE!! Actually very lovely man and a good after dinner speaker which is more than I can say for some under Secretary of Transport who also spoke and needs some lessons on how to work a room. (Am quite shocked at how short my hair is. You never imagine yourself to look the way you do in photos do you?)

Also we went to the flicks again.
This is completely fine. If you like Outnumbered then you will like this. There is a lot of kiddy improvisation going on which the adults handle very well.
Rosamund Pike is yummy. David Tennant is yummy. Billy Connolly looks slightly bemused yet yummy. Amelia Bullimore completely steals the whole thing with a fantastic YouTube video that had the cinema I was in shrieking with laughter.
Scotland is impossibly beautiful. It's really funny and I suspect nothing like Gone Girl will be which is Rosamund Pike's next big movie. Gone Girl is an 18 certificate. Nothing gets an 18 certificate these days. What on earth do you suppose is going on there? I shan't be troubling it I don't think.

Lastly, just a little thank you. A couple of posts ago I mentioned how much I was enjoying the Shardlake novels and that I wished I had bought them in paper form. Well a friend saw the post and has given me all his copies! How generous is that? So thanks very much David and (probably more relevant) thanks as well to your Mrs who is insisting on you decluttering a bit (well a lot)

Right, I am off to try Grantchester on catch up. Dunno anything about it. Will give it a go.
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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A New Venture



The weather is changing here in Devon, a bit misty in the mornings now and a bit chilly until the sun comes out. Probably about time, if only to kill off some of the alien size spiders that have taken up residence in our garden. I heard someone on the radio say that all the house spiders we see are male and that we would know if we saw a female, because apparently they are THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF A MALE SPIDER! How can that be possible? I have been out and given the garden spiders a strict talking to about the rules. "Stay out here and you live, Enter my house and I cannot be held responsible for the consequences - especially if you are thinking about bringing the lady wife with you." Time will tell if they take the wise course of action.

I am looking into starting a new group at church. It's a group for young adults. Too old for youth but not part of the student community - at least not yet. Most of the ideas are still forming in my head but I will get there. The idea is that they spend one night fortnightly at our house - your basic time honoured Bible Study vibe and then, on alternate weeks, go and do something social without me. This way, I get more recovery time from young people and they get time to build community without an old fart in tow. It's a win win I think you will find.

The only slightly jarring note so far is that someone suggested that I might like to think of a name for the group. You see I don't really hold with all this modern naming stuff - you know - ZOOM!, DYNAMIC! or THRUST! you get the idea. Or worse still things that are almost acronyms. IYBIHWC! (If You Build It He Will Come - in case you were wondering) At the moment, I am thinking of going with "Young Adults". I think it has a ring to it.

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Monday, 29 September 2014

That's what my heart yearns for now...




...Love and Pride

Off to the pictures AGAIN...what are we like?? We went to see the film "Pride" as a sort of celebration of my brother's life. Four years on 25th September since he died. We thought it was a film he would have loved - there's a good disco bit! Anyway - we loved it too. It's about the 1985 Miners' Strike and a group of gay activists who decide to support them whether they want them to or not. There is a lot of mistrust on both sides but...well you can probably guess how it goes. It is quite formulaic but surprisingly moving. The music is great - especially the way Billy Bragg's Power in a Union is used. It came as a surprise to me that some of the people in the film were real people. You get the titles at the end to tell you what happened to them in real life. Again very moving - don't forget this was as AIDS was just emerging. We cried about four times for various reasons. I'm not I would watch it with a maiden aunt or The Rev Ian Paisley were he still with us. Oh and it's a really good laugh as well
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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Holy Mystery



This is my not particularly impressive photo of Wembury Church. It's a long way off and a lot of it is behind the greenery. I was a bit distracted by how far we had walked and the prospect of chips when we got home. It is a very purdee church - Norman most of it and it has a real sense of a community in it. People pay a lot of money to get married there and you can see why. Although, to tell you the truth, if the weather is a bit off, and it can be in Devon believe it or not, then you might be better served by having your wedding photos in a wind tunnel - the effect is more or less the same. Anyway, to walk in is to feel a sense of calm and if you pay attention, I think you can get a sense of God. I like a church me. I like old ones and new ones. I even like boxes built in the sixties. Actually, I especially like the boxy ones built in the sixties.

But (I realise that I just started a paragraph with BUT but I am trying to tell you something and I can't be bothered.) But, I read this in the Message in Luke. Jesus has just healed the Centurion's servant and raised a woman's son from the dead. They are outside, by the village gate near the funeral procession and the disciples realise something

They all realised that they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them.

They are not in church or temple. There are no visitations from Moses or Elijah or angels with fiery swords. Just them - with Jesus. And he is doing stuff. And they realise that this means that God is doing stuff. Maybe they mean that this time was a place of holy mystery. I don't know really. This signalled a change among them. And I thought that as I ask God and he moves in circumstances and I see God at work in ways that I cannot fathom, that I need to train my "Holy Mystery Detector" to see things for what they are. To not wait for meetings or for church.

The Bible said that this realisation made them

..quietly worshipful and then noisily grateful

I like this - a bit of respectful realisation of what they were dealing with followed by a bit of joy and gratitude. 

Sometimes there is so much trash happening in my life, a great deal of which (but not all) I create myself that I can miss that God is there, working, above and beyond the day to day. 

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Culture to the Second

IMDB

To the pictures to see A Most Wanted Man. I LOVED this. It was subdued, slow and not afraid to go a full thirty minutes without people getting their entrails scattered abroad. It is a spy thriller in the old sense of the word with twists and turns and it is almost impossible to tell who, if anyone, is a goody. 
I know this is trite but Hoffman is a real loss to the cinema. He was just fantastic.

Reading the series by CJ Sansom about Shardlake - a hunchback lawyer who operated in London on the fringes of the court of Henry VIII. It is no Mantel and no Wilcock (the first one is set in a monastery) but really good murder mystery stuff going on here and really famous real people keep walking in and out of the thing. (Cromwell, Rich, Duke of Norfolk etc) At the moment am finishing one and galloping on to the next. This where Kindles don't really do it for me. When I first wanted to read one of these, I downloaded it for 99p on some sort of special deal. Now, three books in, I think I would rather actually own real paper copies, to keep but it seems a bit over the top to buy it twice. What to do...what to do...
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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Culture

Guardian  
To the theatre to see 1984. I am one of those people who has tried very hard to like George Orwell. I like the idea of him. I appreciate that his contribution to literature and to social justice is important. I think that he was very clever. I just find it all a bit - flat.
We read Animal Farm at school and watched the cartoon. I could not possibly tell you, all these years later, anything that happened. I remember it was all a bit loud and a lot of Nazi imagery. Is it ok do you think to appreciate the impact of something without actually liking it?
I also read 1984 at school. Again, it felt like a few hours that could have been more productively spent staring into space. (In contrast, I read Brave New World in one sitting - thought it was amazing) So I wasn't particularly on the edge of my seat with this but the reviews were really good and when plays tour to Plymouth, I like to drag my sorry backside out to support if I can.
And...really good. No really, come back. Have to admit to some confusion at the beginning because of the repetitive set up. Otherwise moving, scary and clever. I don't actually remember the book having this much energy. The torture scenes are very uncomfortable, set as they are in a terrifying white box and the staging is stark and violent. (Don't go with a migraine)
It is not a gentle evening out but really good. Almost got on board with Orwell. Almost
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Monday, 15 September 2014

Reality Haul


I don't know how you are with YouTube, If you have young people in the house you will probably be ok with it. FOW2 loves beauty bloggers - especially haul videos. In haul videos, young women (at least usually it's women) let you know what they have spent this week/month on make-up beauty products. Above is an example of a haul from essiebutton - one of the nicer bloggers I think. But, they do spend an AWFUL LOT of money on make up. Then - perhaps a month later, they will have an empties video and show you all their empty bottles and tell you what they thought of the product. This is a useful service or at least it is for those who will happily pay £30 for a body lotion. If you - like me - do not fall into that category, you might be interested in my empties blog. It's not quite as glammy as the ones you find from the beauty blogs, sorry, You may still find it helpful though. Here are my empty bottles for the month...

The first empty is bodywash. It's from Wilcos. It doesn't smell of anything posh really. But that's ok because all you do is put it on and wash it off. The best part is that it is usually on offer at 2 for £1.50 so you get a massive bottle of body wash for 70 odd of your British pences. What more could you want?


Next empty is conditioner. I didn't like this really, it is supposed to make your hair feel thick but it just felt a bit like it had something stuck in it so it wasn't much good to me. However, it is excellent for shaving the old legs with so waste not want not eh?



Do not panic, there has not been an addition to Martha Towers. This is an empty box of what we dog walkers like to call poo bags - no way to dress that up really. Almost a luxury item as I don't get the absolute cheapest nappy bags as when they are too thin you sometimes get accidental and unsavoury "finger poking through bag" incident and no-one wants that do they?

Lastly, one for the green lobby. This is a bottle of vinegar which, when used regularly together with bicarb can help prevent  plughole emergencies without me having to deal too much with whatever grossness is going on down there. Empty though so email to Summer Naturals is in order.

So there you have it - a glimpse into my empties for this month. feel free to purchase or not, it's really up to you. 
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Friday, 5 September 2014

A Special Place


Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1

So I read this and was thinking about it, like you do. When I was a young person in church, this was often used as an instruction regarding discipline. Jesus got himself out of bed early - he made the effort to pray and so should you! I am all for the merits of discipline. Goodness knows I could do with a bit when it comes to my unedifying caramel wafer habit. (Do you think they will be more difficult to buy if Scotland votes for Independence? I might boycott them anyway if they do. I am having huge rejection issues about this. Sorry - digression) It is true that we achieve very little without some form of discipline. It wasn't what struck me about this though.

We were also advised that this meant that early morning was the ideal time to have a quiet prayer time because that's when Jesus did it and so it must be right. Anyone who has set their alarm at 4am for a quiet time and after switching it off with every intention of getting up immediately, suddenly finds themselves waking with a start four hours late for work, knows that it doesn't always work. Also what if you work an early shift? You would have to set your alarm at about 1am. I am not sure God would welcome the kind of person I would be at 1am after an alarm had gone off. Anyway, it's not what I thought of when I read this.

I thought, what if Jesus got up that early because he just couldn't wait. As soon as his eyes opened he wanted to be with God. Because that was his special, safe place. Because, with all that was going on, he couldn't wait to seek God's face for advice and power. And also maybe because of the way God felt about his beloved son. He wanted Jesus to come and BE with him. Jesus knew the Father would be waiting and be so chuffed to spend time together. This would give Jesus strength for the rest of the day but it was also a special time in itself. It was maybe his favourite time of the whole day, when he was most where he was supposed to be and he LOVED it. 

I would so love to cultivate that - the complete acceptance, the simple joy in the presence of the father - just a fantastic relationship. So that, when I think of God, I just want to be in my best place. at prayer with the Father. feeling known and loved.

You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? 
Galatians 4 6 (Msg)
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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Things for you


Just to let you know that I have just finished this and really enjoyed it. It's set in a debtors prison and it is full of historical detail and social history and a stonking good murder mystery and, if I guessed one of the murderers almost straight away, it didn't spoil anything, partly because I didn't see the other murder thing coming at all. Got it out of the library too so I have frugal brownie points as well.

Just in passing, I thought that Dr Who was a lot better this week. I hope he works, I really like him.

Finally, I think I told you that FOW1 was 21 a few weeks ago. FOW 2 and my good self were running around M and S trying to get candles for the cake. FOW1 is at that funny age when he is too adult for cake and candles unless you don't bother getting them for him and then you are a bad parent. Anyway, we couldn't find any of the right numbers (2 and 1) so we got these. they add up to the right number so it's the same thing right? Apparently not.


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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Going gently into that good scrapyard


Reading Tracing Rainbows this week and all the problems Angela has had with her car reminded me that this summer, we said goodbye to our car. I am not the sort of person who is too bothered about cars. I am very much an A to B person. HOH and I and I both walk to work and when the kids were at school, they got the bus so really our car is a sort of extra thing. 
I am sure that it is not healthy to give feelings to an inanimate object but I have to confess to a little tear as they towed it away. I wondered for a fleeting moment if it was a bit frightened about where it was going (not to a good place) then I realised how ridiculous I was. The thing is the car has been part of our family - oh yes it has. We bought it to take me to the Christie hospital for radiotherapy and since then it has seen some life. It has been packed full of teenagers and dog on their way to the beach for evening bbqs. It has provided a safe space to open envelopes with exam results in. It has been the place that hid me when I was too shy to go into a place for the first time. It has also been the place where I cried when work was just TOO difficult. It has sheltered us from the rain and the wind and was such a welcome sight when we were waiting for lifts late at night. It has taken family members to hospital appointments and transported us all safely down south when we moved. Do NOT try and tell me that it has not been an important part of us.
However, it is now 17 years old and it had started to overheat on a regular basis so that I was more and more tense when we were in traffic. It was costing loads of money to get it through its MOT and I kind of felt it was done. So we got something else and it's fine and the kids are less embarrassed by it and it is less likely to pack in during the pouring rain or on Plymouth's most notorious roundabout. But I waved it off, at least I did in my head and it takes some precious memories with it and I am very grateful for it. You can laugh all you want.
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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

That's It Then



I am assuming that Summer has decided to sling its hook. It is still August but if the Bank Holiday is anything to go by, I think we can safely assume that we have more or less had it. No more leisurely breakfasts on the Hoe for a while. Probably just as well judging by waistline and bank balance. It is very damp here so hopefully telly will get a bit better. Anyway...Dr Who

BBC
I love Peter Capaldi and I really hope it works out but...good grief. Without sounding too much like my Mum, half the time I had no idea what anyone was saying. It all seemed very intense and not in a good way. Not even a new story, FOW2 recognised it as an old Tennant story within 5 minutes. Don't strain yourself Moffatt will you? And that flippin Lizzard and her wife as they kept telling us again and again and again. They came out more times than Vicky Beeching! (Sorry Vicky, I think you are lovely and brave but I kind of think it might be time to talk about someone else for a while?) 

FOW2 and I spent half an our this evening chatting about old Whos, funny Whos, sharp Whos. I miss Eccleston opening a copy of Hello magazine and commenting "That'll never work - he's gay and she's an alien" I miss him telling Billie Piper that what she needed was a doctor. I miss Tennant shouting "Allons-y Allonso!" or " You want weapons - we're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!" or Donna shouting "You're not mating with me sunshine!" You get the idea.

I truly hope it's not an idea whose time has passed. It is in dire need of something though. A script perhaps?
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

We're Living The High Life


Or we were...

Anyway, bit of London. We were there for 3 nights and 5 days if you get my drift. We planned ahead and did something every night. Just thought I would tell you about the theatre bits. We saw The Commitments, which is really just the weakest story in the history of the world held together by some of the most fantastic music ever. Basically, they get away with it by providing a twenty minute set of Motown belters at the end that they do really well. This sends everyone away happy and completely oblivious to the fact that the plot and dialogue could have been written in the gaps on the back of a Persil packet. Seriously not complaining though - we had a great night. We watched from a box which was on a special offer thingy. Several people must have thought that we were famous because they came and pointed their cameras up at us to take photos. Must have been a bit disappointing when they got home.

Also went to see The 39 Steps, which is a quite frankly hilarious parody of Hitchcock's film of the John Buchan Novel It has a cast of four who interchange roles quite brilliantly. It would make your cat laugh. We did spot a few Japanese people buying copies of the original film in the foyer after the play had finished. Just hope they knew it was the original film - rather than the funny play. I had visions of them getting home and putting their films in their lovely DVD players and wondering why the whole thing was so much darker and more dramatic than they remembered. Not as many laughs either.

Anyway, just to finish this portion of that was the month, that was, a photo of me and HOH. This is because he takes most of the photos and thinks that in years to come, strangers will look back and think that we were a one parent family because he is rarely there. That would never do.
 
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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

How rude


I have been away from blogging. It was very rude to leave without a by your leave. This is not a Northern thing to do. I apologise. In my defence I have had a month and a half - in a month - all squashed in. 
  • FOW1 has had a friend to stay for a weekend. Not that I was involved much in that but my job was to keep the bathroom clean which turned out to be a full time job.
  • We had a very welcome invasion from Northern type relatives for a few days. 
  • All members of family, except, me hit milestone birthdays - 18, 21 and 60. You can work out for yourself which is which.
  • We have had leave from work and also been to London to see lots of theatre and cinema and history and shopping and stuff. And eating. Lots and lots of eating - trash mostly.
  • Went to London with HOH-ON OUR OWN . Mooched around in a lovely romantic way without teenagers five yards behind asking where Bella Italia is.
  • FOW2 got her A level results. AAA* since you ask - thank you very much.
It has been so busy. A more organised person would have blogged every day and kept you abreast of developments. I meant to, I really did. Instead, I kept guiltily looking at my laptop in the corner staring at me like a puppy I hadn't fed. (I have no idea why I wrote that, I have never not fed a puppy)

I have also been brave and booked for a writers' day in London in October. I don't really do things like this but really wanted to go so I went for it. Can always pull out (no, no I won't - almost certainly not)

So if you are still there, thank you. I shall attempt to continue as things were before the month that has just passed intervened. Can't say I am sorry though. We had a great month!
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Sunday, 20 July 2014

What have we become?

Guardian



Some people made a terrible mistake this week. A shocking horrifying mistake. A passenger plane was shot down. They weren't aiming for a passenger plane, but that was what they hit. Because of that mistake nearly two hundred people - perhaps eighty of them children, including these beautiful faces here, lost their lives in a horrible, horrible way.
It is the kind of thing that should stop us in our tracks. We should be asking ourselves - is this too far? Does this awful thing show us just how near to the abyss we are? We should be asking ourselves these things personally but also as nations. Our leaders should be leading us to our knees. Yet, what do we see? Politicians on all sides jockeying for position. Trying to take advantage. Pointing fingers. We see people playing for time, hiding evidence, stopping grieving families finding their loves, their babies.Trying to shift the blame, to absolve themselves of all responsibility.
I am naive, I know. I sort of thought that something like this would make people stop. Say "Hang on a minute - this is too much, too far. Let's talk together like grown people who have maybe seen too much."
It seems not. I am afraid for what we are all becoming.
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