Monthly Archives: December 2008

Yesterday was the advent carol service – an amazingly rich feast of words and music – and all the prose pieces written by four from the churches, if you count me as an ex member.

It was incredible hearing my pieces brought to life in the voices of others. I owe so much to those who read so beautifully. The music was stunning – I had not realised how much I missed this gift, or how incredibly talented the two home congregations are.

It was an astonishing effort, real team work – yes a tribute to the time and talent of the leader but also to each member of the team. The whole was truly greater than the parts. How wonderful it is when church really works.

You can find better accounts

Good Lord deliver us


This afternoon there came an all too rare chance to walk in both dry and light – so off we set, the dogs and I. I suddenly realised that Bridget, the beautiful woose, was not with me and Max. I could see her standing by the tight shut gate. It took several moments to hear what had frozen her – the distant sounds of a shoot, so faint Max and I had not really registered them.

Just so I am frozen into useless horror by the suggestion that ‘if only’ I had vacuumed the floor at work ‘properly’ the floor scrubber would still work. As it always sucks up water, and won’t put out water from the perfectly clean reservoir, I doubt this. But I hear distant gunfire, and am rooted to the spot, awaiting my fate.

Simple goodness

It was a week of crises and exhaustion, and last night was rendered horrid by serial nightmares.

Today the simple goodness of kind people(please note, NOT simple people), and a day of undemanding companionship has restored me to health. How easily we undervalue the most basic kindness, and feel we need to offer something more complex.

Crossing the same river twice?

I don’t have much sense of time, and very little of the scale of changes in my own life. Just occasionally something happens which shows me how profound changes are.

I have been invited to contribute a piece of writing to an internet site which I greatly respect, which is organised by people who have known my writing for many years, but not over the last year.

The last year, I now realise, has seen a revolution. I used to write a good deal of cold prose comment, and occasional stretches of fiction/imaginative writing. Now I seem to be writing mainly shortish fiction/imaginative pieces. I am not thinking in terms of argument, but in images and allusions. Illusions too maybe.

I went back and looked at the first pieces I wrote in the new style, and was flabbergasted at their clumsiness and lack of ‘charge’. I wrote them for Advent last year. I only persevered because a kind and supportive friend found something in them that I did not. I went on to write what (I think) are some things which were actually worth reading.

The new consignment will mean a return to cold prose. Will it mean crossing the same river again, or will I be able to find a new and better cold prose voice? Do I still have anything to say in cold prose? Interesting. Interesting, too, the huge distance I have covered in a year.

Crisp n’ Even


It is a bit of an open secret that at times I would have been tempted to lable this post: ‘Does the road wind up hill all the way??’ but not today.

A light fall of snow in the night, and then brilliant sun. The view from work was of a fairy tale Aran floating above the sea of mist.

There was just time to pop home for lunch, which turned into another photo session. One pony really knows how to pose.