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

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. 


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Culture to the Second


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...

Saturday, 20 September 2014


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

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. 

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)

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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