Monthly Archives: April 2007

Reasons to be Cheerful

1) I have just realised that the warm liquid that Che (Hopalong Chekitty) has just flicked in my eye was, in fact, tea. He had just accidentally dipped the tip of his tail in my mug and waved it around. The other option was much worse!

2) Hopalong Chekitty is recovering very well, and should be free from his cage rest in two weeks’ time

3) Husband and self are off to Hamsterjam (capital of Hollandland) very soon, in Magda.

4) Made Big Issue man smile today by having nice chat and giving him a sub (type of sandwich, before all the literalists out there say anything)

5) The sun is shining.

6) I have a lovely new Welsh dresser, kindly collected for me last w-end by Husband. No effort on my part there!

7) Fairtrade orders are beginning to come in and I will be holding a stall at the local Resource Centre at the beginning of June.

8) I am continutally discovering new bits of interesting countryside within walking distance of our lovely home.

9) The Outlaws are coming for dinner tomorrow. Yes, Welsh Dragon, that IS a reason to be cheerful. It means that I get the pleasure of cooking for people. It also means that the threat of Outlaws crossing the threshold does not lead to my rapid exit. I guess that is a sign that I am one of the lucky few who Get On with my marriage family 🙂

10) Oh, did I say, Husband is taking me to Hamsterjam? 🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. Yes, this is a ruse. There is a reason not to be cheerful i.e. that I think work are not really on my side. However, I thought I would chase away the glooms with a list of 10 really good things in my life. In this instance, it makes me feel better than ranting.

Hope it was much more pleasant reading for you, too.

Briefly

Finally, after waiting far too long, my employers have scheduled a date for us to discuss the outcome of my Occ Health report. So, wibfolk, please be thinking/praying/crossing your fingers for me on Thursday afternoon as we seek to find the best way forward.

Thanks.

Requisite daftness

Okay, it has all been a bit too serious recently, so here is something that made me laugh today.

Sad Sister (i.e. my sis-in-law) and I went on a fun excursion to Shepton Mallet today to look at craft stuff and try not to spend too much money. En route we passed through the humourously named Binegar (Gurney Bassett), which was cool enough. What had us both in stitches, however, was the sign ‘Nursing Home’ attached to the side of a brick built bus shelter with a lovely pointed roof and ample undercover bench room. I reckon the view was pretty good, too.

How I wish I’d had a camera at the time. A very visual joke!

Some ongoing thoughts

I have copied the following entry directly from a post I made to a discussion forum on OT Law and Ethics, in connection with the Diploma in Christian Studies I am currently studying. The thread I was responding to concerned the idea of women being little more than slaves in OT culture. This is me in serious mode…

"At risk of annoying the more ‘traditional’ feminists, I would like to say that the liberation movement, whilst doing a great deal of good for women of my generation, has also done us a disservice. I think that alot of the drive towards equality has been underpinned by the unspoken subtext of ‘Women are as good as men and should be allowed professional advancement in the traditionally male-dominated fields’. The implication of this can be the reinforcement of the idea that what men, on the whole, do better is somehow to be aspired to and admired.

I believe that the thrust should now be towards recognising that things that women traditionally do better, the more nurturing and organisational professions for example, are worth just as much. In fact, I think the idea that we can ‘have it all’ has proved to be a fallacy. Men seem to be able to detach the emotional from the work-based in a way that women do not appear to, so the career-orientated wife still may tend to bear more of the emotional responsibilty in a family setting that their equally career-minded partners. Also, have you noticed how a man can just ignore outstanding housework? If that is not just specific to my husband(!), then it suggests that the female tendency to want to make surroundings more pleasant will also prey on her mind if it is not done more than it would that of her husband.

Whilst I have been talking about this in the context of career, am I alone in thinking that the apparant downgrading of the idea of a stay-at-home-mother is not good? I dislike it when I hear a competent and caring woman denigrate herself by saying she is ‘just a housewife’. Just!!! Not being a mother myself, but seeing how my friends cope and also taking time myself to care for my nephews occasionally, I think that bringing up a family must be one of the hardest jobs – ever!

To put these thoughts in the context of this discussion on Law and Ethics, I think that God certainly made us different and, pre-Fall, we were certainly equal. However, the relationship was damaged by sin and now there appears to be a battle of the sexes. We no longer co-operate, utilising our complimentary talents. Instead, the man has assumed a form of superiority that he was never intended to have. As a consequence, the woman can feel subjugated and attempt to compete with the man, on his terms. This is a mistake as a man will always be the best at being a man, and the woman can only ever be a woman trying to act like one!

So, in summary, perhaps the OT Law about women submitting is, as I said before, just to accomodate this fact. Another of the ‘least worst’ rather than ‘best’ situations, to use Dr. Provan’s terminology.

And Lila, as for why this is still being discussed. There will always be a new generation of Chritian couples trying to resolve this in their particular context. The fact of this conflict will never go away, at least until Christ returns(!), so I guess the debate never will.

So, everybody, have I stirred up a hornets’ nest by making unfounded statements and presumptions? Or does any of this make sense to you? Please tell me, I would like to know."

Equally, wibfolk, am I wide of the mark here? (Male and female perspectives welcome 🙂

Butterfly

As the butterfly clung to the remains of its chrysalis it began to wonder quite what is was, where it should go and what it should do. Much of its life had been spent munching voraciously on leaves, but it no longer felt the need to do that. It had also crawled along with the use of its six short legs and a number of suckers on its underside. However, it legs had become longer and the suckers had gone comepletely. As for the long, loopy body it used to posess, that felt decidedly different, too.

Casting its mind back, the butterfly remembered the last thing it had done in its old form. It had spun a cosy case for itself and settled its long, replete body into it. After that, though, all was a blank. The next thing it had known was clambering awkwardly from this case, which had become hard during the intervening time.

Recent memories consisted of simply sitting very still and mentally reviewing the unfamilar form it now possessed and the accompanying feelings. On its back, the buttefly was aware of something very new. As it had hung upside-down from the redundant chrysalis, this thing – or things – had initially felt very cumbersome and heavy. Over time, however, they seemed to expand and become lighter. Exercising a new movement, the butterfly managed to flex these things, these wings, and it had felt strangely pleasant. The creature experienced a sudden urge to stop sitting, accompanied by an awareness of hunger.

Surverying the leaves again, the minibeast concluded that these would no longer serve as food. What would be suitable, however? The butterfly tentatively uncurled its long new tongue and caught a pleasant scent as it did so. Turning its head, the large multi-faceted eyes lit upon a bright object and the butterfly concluded that this could be the source of food.

Crawling awkwardly off of its chrysalis and over the leaves, the creature asked itself why walking was so difficult in this new body. However, it persevered and eventually reached the brightly coloured flower. Instinct caused the insect to uncurl its long tongue again and drink deeply of the nectar that lay in a pool at the bottom of the bloom. Feeling energised and refreshed, the butterfly looked around for another flower. It caught sight of one but, on noticing that it was a fair distance away, felt disappointed. It could not possibly crawl all that way. A bird or other predator would be sure to see it and snatch it up.

Instead, the butterfly sat.

The sun emerged from behind a cloud and, reflexively, the butterfly extended its wings to catch the rays. The warmth felt pleasant against the membranes and the minibeast began to think further about these new additions. What were they for? Further reflection brought to mind the brightly coloured insects that, whilst dwelling in its caterpillar body, it had noticed flitting about from plant to plant. At the time it had paid them little attention. It had been an ugly green insect, more intent on eating and avoiding being eaten than watching other insects, particularly those that appeared so different. Now, however, the butterfly did not feel so dissimilar to them after all.

At that moment, a flash of bright wings heralded a new arrival. It landed briefly beside our butterfly and took off again, flitting in a erratic pattern overhead. In what appeared to be an invitation, it described a final circle and flew into the distance. The buttefly flexed its new wings and, with the effort accompanying any new endeavour, it launched itself into the air. Clumsily at first, but with increasing grace, it followed the path of the other butterfly.

Our butterfly’s potential companion easily outpaced it, but this turned out to be of no consequence. During its pursiut, our butterfly looked down to see a flower below, its nectar glistening invitingly in the depths of its petals. With measured precision, the insect navigated towards the bloom and pitched gently on the edge. As its tounge drank once again of the sweet liqiud within, the buttefly began to understand.

It began to understand
– what it was
– where it should go
– what it should do.

As for the author of this short story, she is also beginning to grasp those things.

Confession

In this time of true enlightenment, where one’s mind and indeed identity may undergo some form of change, I need to let others of my faith know the following.

I have become apostate.

I speak not of my adherence to the true faith of Christianity, but to another significant belief system to which I have long held close. That of the Fully Sardonic Church of Sport Hating. Yes, my now Sport Spectating Brethren, I have sorely mocked thee for I have not indeed ‘got’ the whole ‘thing’ about sport. For that I feel an appropriate level of shame. It was the cynicism of the ignorant.

For today, on this glorious spring day in my adoptive country of Wales, I acted on a whim. I entered one of the local temples of fervent prayer, cries of adulation and groans of sorrow – Pontypool Rugby Ground. And lo, Pooler did play most magnificently and I did get most of the rules. Verily I did sit on the edge of my seat and jump up yelling on scoring of the sacred tries. It was with great gladness that I did exit the ground, with my heart full of the joy of seeing ‘my’ team win, flanked by lifetime devotees to the faith in the persons of T&E and the Holy Father-in-Law.

Thus, I say to you all, I repent of the sins of mockery, cynicism and virlulent bile towards the faithful Sport Fans. Whilst I never will achieve the fanatical heights of some, and my conversion to the affiliated sport of football is as yet undecided, I am happy to accept the accolade of Fairweather Supporter – and wear it with pride.

For in Sport Supporting, pride in your team, your community and a game well played is far from sinful, it is indeed a Worthy Thing. And the joy of yelling such pious phrases and ‘Go on lads!’ at full volume is an act for which I feel no shame, for I am among fellow vocalists and it is, to my mind, now a form of Fun.

I apologise to those of my former faith and hope for them that they, too, may see the light and come to understand they joys of this wondrous pastime. Fanaticism is optional, as is violence and downright stupid behaviour. However, to enjoy a win is mandatory.

Suffice to say – I did! 😉

(Yeah, I know, Pooler will also lose. But vicarious sorrow is to be expected and, in the end, it is still Only A Game)

The Dithster and the Daleks of Doom

Popped into M&S to obey the call of nature the other day, not knowing that it would end in my near extermination by the Daleks.

Prominently located to capture the unwary, a full bank of Daleks occupied the centre of the store. They looked fairly static, almost harmless, so I approached them and foolishly touched one. I was met by a response of ‘Exterminate!’ This caused me to decide that the best course of action in this case would be to capture one for each of my nephews, who are well versed in Dalek-lore. I wrestled two into my arms, and carried them to the Dalek-trading post, with one of them calling out ‘Exterminate!’ again. The full monetary requirement for removing them was handed over and they were placed in a special, Dalek-proof M&S bag. This annoyed them, especially when I inadvertantly bashed the bag against a clothes rail (well, the Daleks were pretty bulky) and an irate cry of ‘Exterminate!’ emanated from the depths of the M&S containment system.

I bundled them into my car boot on arrival at the car park and proceeded to drive away. As I reached the exit, repeated cries of ‘Exterminate! Exerminate!! EXTERMINATE!!!’ emanated from the back of my Transport And Ropey Driving In Suburbia machine. With lightning reflexes I braked (after checking my rear view mirror, naturally) and the Daleks were finally silenced.

However, I had been so distracted that I entered the wrong lane of the exit and ended up taking a circuitous route home. Perturbed at this, I muttered beneath my breath,
‘Agh! The Daleks made me go the wrong way!’

Not something that happens every day in Newport. In Cardiff, when pretending to be London, perhaps, but not in Newport. 🙂

(Btw, the Daleks in question were made of organic chocolate for Easter, with a touch sensitive sound chip – true to the Christian tradition 😉

Purple

Whilst the fish was happy in the blueness, Gonzo is more at home in purple.

If it ain’t broke, fix it ’til it is.

Then put it back to how it was, for it was better that way 😉