Today was our ‘cancel church and visit someone else’s church’ Sunday which we have periodically. On the long drive to the church we wanted to visit, we passed ‘Our Lady’s Convent Church’ only unfortunately I initially read it as ‘Our Lady’s Corset Church’ which sounds highly dubious…! Then in our worship sheet instead of thanking God for ‘the redemption which is ours in Jesus’, it invited us to thank God for ‘the redemption which is our sin Jesus’. Oops…I think they need a better proofreader. In all other respects it was a lovely church, though nearly everyone was away for half term and we visitors made up almost half the congregation (it’s like that at our place sometimes too). And they stayed around afterwards for at least an hour drinking tea and chatting, just like we do… The music was led by a rock mandolinist which was refreshingly different. Hope they will come and visit us sometime in return.
Still coughing my guts out. This was not welcome when I sat next to a rather cool man at church yesterday, but fortunately he was coughing his guts out too, so we coughed in stereo. Yes, I know I am an old married woman and shouldn’t want to be impressing cool men.
Searching through my stats, in particular the search terms, which turned out to include ‘rude places’, I am reminded that yesterday after leading worship I sat down next to a church friend and during a conversation on the swiftness of time, I quoted ‘my days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle’. Which would have been fine except that after the word ‘shuttle’ I paused for a moment and then found my lips and voice forming the word ‘cock’. All on its own. Fortunately the friend was the sort to which one can say such things, even in church…
On skimming through my emails tonight I spotted in one of the Freecycle mails the following: ‘Offer: trolley’. My immediate thought was: ‘Is she?’
You may conclude from the quality of jokes that life has been a little too demanding lately. I survived chairing the Inclusion Group meeting (10 people came and seem very enthusiastic about taking action), but have been pretty overwhelmed since, with the sheer number of things I have to do this week, and the frustration of knowing that no matter how many letters we write, the Demon Headmaster will go his own sweet way. However we are now considering engaging in a group legal action, which would certainly make him sit up.
Woke up feeling awful today, but with the judicious application of an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo, followed by a comforting church service, I feel almost put back together. Though still knackered.
Looking back at my last entry it really does seem a little ungracious – I can only say, never underestimate the power of a Jewish mother. Even if she is 94 – dear old lady just doesn’t describe it. I finally phoned her yesterday and she didn’t mention anything about our previous conversation or the fact that I hadn’t phoned, so I think she knew she was in the doghouse. We seem to be talking civilly again anyway.
Have just finished reading Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning (whom I believe to have been a Greenbelt speaker in the past). One scary book. I am trying in small ways to practise the kind of trust he recommends. The trouble is, my current inclinations are so bolshie that it is very difficult to trust God, or indeed to feel well-disposed towards God. Church is not a happy experience for me just now, which is such an unusual feeling for me, since I normally love my church, that I don’t quite know what to do with it. I shall keep turning up and hoping God does too, as even if I am feeling my faith to be at zero, I do still love being with the people. Even if the depressed voice inside says they all hate me (rationally I know this not to be true, but depression does these things). Off to eat some worms now…
Yesterday was a good day. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but it really is extraordinary how when I am depressed I honestly believe that I will never feel better and never have done, and once I am better I begin to believe that I will now be better for ever, and even that the depressed time wasn’t really that bad. How we deceive ourselves…
The good things about yesterday were a) a morning reading a crime novel set in Vienna before the First World War, in which the amateur detective is a young Jewish psychiatrist who does psychological profiling before its time; b) a really lovely service in the afternoon in which my son was interviewed, along with his best friend, about their experience of school and what they would like us to pray about as they start a new school year (and I also got to speak German to some visitors); c) an impromptu party in the lovely huge garden of the Mennonite Centre, with margaritas, nibbles and old friends visiting from Canada.
Today was good too: I had to go to Bristol for the day to be part of a group brainstorming about a possible book on gender issues. The train journey was very relaxed (I’d booked a seat) and I managed to read the whole of the Guardian Weekly for a change, as well as enjoying the scenery outside; and then the discussion was very stimulating and encouraging.
In my travels I saw a notice in a rail siding that said, among other things, ‘Nose End Wash’. I found myself speculating on what kind of village or town Nose End Wash might be, and who would live there. It would be somewhere in the Fens, I think…
The good times continued over the weekend, with a meal out on Saturday night with good friends whose son is best friends with my son; then a church lunch on Sunday (with three good desserts!) and a nourishing service on Sunday afternoon.
Managed to get GB back to school for his physics exam on Monday, in spite of the fact that he hadn’t gone to sleep till about 2.00 am! (he came straight home after the exam which he wasn’t supposed to). And this morning I did a ‘learn yoga so you can teach it to your kid’ session, and would have gone to a silent film in the afternoon if I hadn’t driven round and round trying to find a legal parking place and finally given up and gone home. Why oh why does an area have a unique arts cinema with afternoon showings, and then limit pay and display parking to 90 minutes, which is less than the length of most films? Do they really want to shoot their own local economy in the foot?
Oh well, I had a sleep instead. Not as culturally satisfying.
School has been a sensitive subject for Genius Brat lately. He is actually doing incredibly well, but feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of coursework and other homework to catch up on. In fact in the two weeks before half term (which was last week), he only went to school four or five times: three days the school was closed because of snow, one or maybe two days he wasn’t well, and one day I let him stay home to catch up on coursework and get over a panic about it.
After the half term rest I thought things would be getting back to normal, but having been feeling ill on Sunday, he was not much better yesterday (Monday) so I kept him home another day, and left a message on the Attendance Officer’s voicemail to say he was unwell. I really think he was fighting a bug, as he slept till 2.30 pm! (although this could be normal teenage behaviour…). Then today he woke up in a big panic about a piece of German coursework he hadn’t done which was due today. Just to make sure he really had a German lesson today I checked the school newsletter online to see which week of his two-week timetable we were in. Imagine my embarrassment to find that yesterday was in fact an INSET (staff training) day and so there hadn’t been school yesterday in any case!
On the strength of that, it didn’t seem so bad to be missing today, so he stayed home and we worked together on his German. The irony is, he’d already done a quarter of the work to a really high standard, and didn’t need all that much help from me. He gets in such a state over the work but when he actually gets down to doing it, he always does it absolutely brilliantly. I wonder how we can get over the panic factor?
With reference to which, I am currently reading a book called The Explosive Child, which came highly recommended by a US Shipmate whose kids, like mine, have neurological deficits. It is indeed amazingly helpful, but I am waiting for the sequel: The Explosive Parent.
By the way, did I ever say I loved my church? I love my church… rush of love occasioned by a really fantastic ‘members’ communion’ (agape meal) last Tuesday. I don’t know how I’d survive without these lovely people.
Today was our church awayday, which we have in alternate years when we are not having a whole weekend away. It was good. We did some fun stuff looking at each other’s photos (we’d each been asked to choose four to share and talk about) and some serious thinking about simple lifestyle, and went for a rather fast and sweaty walk around the lakes and through the woods. Then it ended with communion and we all went home. And we all get to see each other again tomorrow! 🙂