Saturday, April 19, 2014

George is not popular

It's 7.15 am and George is whining. I pretend to be asleep in the hope that Husband will respond.
7.20 am, the whining increases in level and Husband is still apparently asleep.
7.25 am, I turn over and go to get out of bed.
Husband mutters, 'I'm ignoring him.'
'You can't do that; he needs to go out.'
'No he doesn't; he wants his breakfast.'
'No, he wants a poo.'
'He can wait.'
He's desperate!'

I get up and go downstairs to let George out. He rolls over when he sees me coming so I can tickle his belly. Mid tickle I say, 'Hey, I thought you were desperate to go out.'
'Oh yes.' He stands and goes to the door. I open it and he bounds into the garden and begins to bark at a passing stranger. I shout at him and he wanders around until he finds the perfect spot for pooing.

I make tea but refuse to give him his breakfast. 'You can wait,' I tell him and go back to bed.

At 8.15 am when he starts to whine again I shout, 'Shut up, George!'

As I'm up early (for me) I decide to hit Sainsburys before the crowds. Unfortunately everyone else has the same idea. You would not believe how many people are in Sainsburys at 10.00 am on a Saturday morning. Don't these people have beds?

Brushing all aside

So Husband is on the kitchen roof when he calls and asks me to throw up the sweeping brush.
As an obedient wife I do as I'm told. The extra big garden brush you note.
I'd like you also to note the position of Husband's hands. He is obviously not expecting me to be able to achieve this. 

And I don't. And the brush comes sailing back down. Straight into my nose. For an instance I think this is what boxers must feel like when punched in the face and I put my hands to my nose dramatically. Husband laughs.

As does Son-in-law when I tell him. 'Didn't you think to catch it or step aside?' he asks.
At this Daughter laughs. She knows full well where she gets her lack of co-ordination from.

I hoped I would have an enormous bruise for which I could gain sympathy and possibly chocolate but my nose stayed strangely pale though painful.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lost: 1 mojo

I'm sure I had it a few days ago but I've looked everywhere and I can't find it. No doubt it will turn up soon but in the meantime ... 

Pull yourself together!

Met with Sean on Sunday to find out what I was supposed to be leading the bible study on on Tuesday. He said to skip the end of chapter 7 of John's gospel, go to chapter 8 and look at the story of the woman caught in adultery. Use it to lead a discussion on the idea of Jesus is Lord. Okey dokey.

Tuesday afternoon I settle down to prepare and read the passage. Read it again. And again getting progressively more panicky. No matter how many times I read it I still can't find any mention of the word Lord. 

Wonder if I got the passage wrong but am convinced it's what Sean said. The closest I can find is where the woman says, 'Yes, sir.' Check in other versions and find it does indeed say Lord in some. Wonder if there's some other idea I can take from it but decide to go with it and hope that the bibles we use in Zac's say lord.

They don't. 

So I explain the problem to everyone and ask if we can just pretend it does. Luckily they are an amiable bunch and we talk about everything - except Jesus as Lord. No, we do cover it a bit but no-one seems to want to dig into it - or maybe it's just that the idea is unpopular: giving someone else control of your life. 

But Rowland, our tribal elder, is very complimentary at the end of the evening so I'm happy. (And I don't think it was just because he had a birthday cake.)

Meanwhile I have volunteered to be at Zac's at 6.30 am on Sunday to help prepare bacon butties for the people who come back after the churches together Easter sunrise celebration on the beach. I really hope I've found my mojo by then. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Part of a bigger picture

I called George to get his attention and when he was looking I threw a stick. He continued to stare blankly at me.
'Go and fetch it, you silly great plonker!'
'Oh right.' And he lolloped half-heartedly down the beach. 

I despair of my dog sometimes.

Following the winter storms there is a lot more sand on Swansea beach. There are also, coincidentally, an awful lot of tiny shells. I'm sure it coincidence as they were there before the storms.
It is wonderfully pleasurable walking on shells. I love the sensation and the crunchy noise beneath my feet but also the feeling that I'm part of something much much bigger. I'm doing my bit for nature, helping the erosion process so that my grandchildren (to the power of 10 at least) will still be enjoying a sandy beach. 

* * * * * * * * * 
Yesterday we enjoyed lunch at Verdi's with my 'old' blogging friend, Shirl and her husband, Pete. They called in on their way back from visiting family in west Wales and we were delighted to see them.

* * * * * * * * 
And now I'm off to prison for my weekly dose of inadequacy and feeling like a bad Christian. It's slightly worrying that I feel more at ease with offenders than I do with Christians, lovely though they are.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Pope is offensive?

What I was thinking in my head
The Pope upset a lot of people with his comments about the rich and bankers and how we should be looking after the poor. And a good thing too.

What came out of my mouth
'The Pope is offensive.'

It wasn't until, well, this morning that it occurred to me that could be misunderstand if you weren't privy to what had gone on in my head. Which no-one was.

I can't even blame speaking on the spur of the moment as I'd thought it about it for a while.

We were looking at a passage in John's gospel where Jesus says, 'Do I offend you?' My point was that sometimes some people will be offended by us if we're standing up for those unable to defend themselves. And that we should be 'offensive' in that way, the same way as Jesus.

Sean hastened to clarify things by saying that when we offend it should be for the right reasons and not just because we're being obnoxious superior Christians. And Ric said to me, 'Tell me when you're gong to be offensive because I really want to see that.'

Split infinitive alert!

Sean: What do you think it was about Jesus that attracted people to him?
Visitor: Probably wasn't drugs so was he giving away women?
Sean: That's one possible explanation but I'm inclined to think it was something else.
Visitor: Herbs and spices?

Definitely not your average bible study.

We celebrated Paul's birthday. And we would have celebrated James' too if he'd been there.
Afterwards another visitor asked me what sort of cake it was; I told him 'just sponge'. He ate it and then declared, 'That wasn't just sponge; that was wonderful sponge like my mother used to make.'

Oh yes, I make a tidy sponge.

As last Sunday was the first in the month we had our monthly gathering, which turned out to be unusual for me. We hadn't long started when Paul, who was standing outside chatting to Nigel, stuck his head around the door and said, 'Can we have a lady out here to talk to someone?'

I looked around expecting someone else to get up but realised I was closest and couldn't really offload it so went out. And then spent the next 30-40 minutes sitting in the foyer with a distraught individual. I had no idea what to say so, as I sat there, I prayed, 'Please, God, give me words to say.'

He didn't. Which I think was probably right. My role was to listen, let the individual talk. And I don't think any words on mine would have fallen on receptive ears anyway. But at least I don't think I said the wrong things, which in itself is a miracle. 

And I didn't make a joke. Why would I make a joke, you ask, in what was obviously a non-funny situation? Because it's my natural response. My writing tutor used to tell me off because after I'd created a poignant or dramatic scene I'd go and spoil it by throwing in a joke. I don't deal well with bad or sad. Sometimes, depending on the situation and people, a joke is fine; other times it's the worst idea in the world.

So in this instance I didn't joke or say what I felt like saying about the person who was causing so much pain. ('You tell me their name and I'll send the boys around.')

But this was the fourth instance of 'something different' since I've left Linden and committed myself to Zac's, the latest example of what it means to really be church and demonstrate Jesus in the community, to be truly involved. It's scary but I love it.

Daughter sent me this video about empathy and I was trying to recall what it said on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Answers on a postcard

Now take a look at this.
If you were setting the automatic cooking thingy wouldn't you think the hand would mean stop cooking time?It doesn't. In fact I'm not sure what it does mean but the empty dish is the stop timer. 

I'm not good at icons. We have a fancy photocopier in work that can do all sorts of things. I'm told. I use it for single and double sided copying and I had to be shown several times how to do the double-sided. You see you choose the function you want from a selection of pictures labelled 2-3, 2-1, 1-2, etc, and the logical meaning for each of those i.e. the one that makes sense to me, isn't the right meaning.

I had long arguments discussions with Alun who was working with me at the time about the irrationality of the icons. He understood them all perfectly, which just goes to show. It's a man thing. Or possibly a me thing.

It's probably why I'm not good at Guess the Emoji. For those who don't know that's a game on Facebook, a but like television's Catchphrase where you 'say what you see', except in this case you say what you see and then try and come up with something completely unrelated. Some of the clues are ridiculously easy and some - most - are unfathomable.

I should stick to what I'm good at which is ... um...

Monday, April 07, 2014

that's another fine mess

The wood walk is pretty muddy at the moment and there is one bit that is definitely challenging. I think it's where there was a small water flow that gradually has become wider and muddier. A few logs and stones provide some foot steps but the mud is taking over and the step up to the bank on the other side getting higher and higher. 

Today we'd reached the 'just throw yourself at it and hope for the best' stage. So I did. And promptly fell back down.

My shriek even made George look up though I suspect less out of concern for me and more in the hope that I may have dropped some treats that he would be able to get at before I could. (I hadn't.)

Emerging from the wood I fell into step this time with an elderly Irishman who was carrying his dog. He asked if I'd walked this way on Friday and had I seen the all the police cars. Apparently there were five policemen who all pounced on a man returning to his camper van. 'They handcuffed him so I'm thinking it must be serious.'

Excitement and I missed it. My Irish friend pointed out that he'd been walking this way for forty years and had never seen the like of it so chances are I never will now.

* * * * * * * * 
On a separate note I was having a discussion with someone about poo. Apparently there is a man in Linden who only poos twice a week. That cannot be healthy!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Eating like an Italian

Husband spends a lot of time listening to local radio while working on the house so when he heard the offer of restaurant vouchers worth £40 for just £20 he couldn't resist. We were fairly selective in the restaurants we chose to purchase vouchers for but still ended up with 3, which have to be used by the end of May, so, what do you know, we just have to go out and eat occasionally.

Last night we went to Salento, a new-to-us restaurant located in Swansea's marina. This is the view we had from our table.

And this was my main course, Linguine carbonara mare, which was nicer than it looks although I couldn't bring myself to eat the baby octopi.
The waiter/manager is Italian and he explained the ethos of the restaurant is to serve real Italian food as eaten in Italy by real people. He and the chef - who apparently doesn't speak English - come from the region in the heel of Italy that gives the restaurant its name. The menu was certainly different and had an authenticity about it. 

Sadly my aubergine parmigiana wasn't as good as that I had in Rome but the panna cotta was delicious. Husband, on the other, hand made excellent choices with his spicy seafood soup, which was laden with fishy bits, followed by traditional Salento lasagna made with meatballs.

Would we go there again? Oh yes, definitely. We shall be taking YS and Nuora there when they return home for a real Italian's verdict.

Another day, another rejection

Two in one week is pretty good going even for me though.

When I go to the library or bookshop I am encouraged to see so many published books especially when many are only as good as or worse than my novels. I am equally discouraged for exactly the same reasons. 

You think that if you're good enough you'll be recognised one day but do I really believe that? If I do does it mean that I'm not good enough? If I don't, why do I keep on trying? 

I'm sure that, just as there are hundreds of wonderful singers who sing out their hearts in local amateur productions, and hundreds of skilled artists who tout their wares in local craft shops, there are hundreds of very good writers who will never be professionally recognised and published just because.

Tomorrow I'll try again.