Out of a combination of absent mindedness and laziness, last Friday when I went to the Water Aerobics Class from Hell, I forgot to take off my precious silver fairtrade ring, the Ring that Goes with Everything. When I staggered exhausted out of the very chlorinated water, it was looking distinctly weathered.

Finally yesterday I got round to polishing it with Lord Sheraton polish (‘with jeweller’s rouge’). I wasn’t at all sure it would come up again, since I didn’t know if it was solid silver or plated, or something inferior, hence whether the black bits were tarnish or the surface being eroded off. Anyway, it must be solid silver because it came up beautifully shiny, and I can now see my face in it again. By such small pleasures are otherwise frustrating days improved.

And it was a frustrating day, having to pick up a sick boy from school, write my column while he was asleep in my bed, and then take him back to school much improved to fulfil an appointment with the chemistry teacher. Today was not dissimilar, as he had a morning off because of an exam in the afternoon, and I had a sermon to write in between helping him with the revision which as usual he left till the last minute. But I’ve written it, hurrah! (on Proverbs, using some of what I learned from writing Bible notes on Proverbs a couple of weeks ago).

The ring polishing incident, by the way, reminds me of a poster a friend of mine once encountered which said ‘Help Polish Christians’. I’m sure some of us need more polishing than others…