Monthly Archives: May 2009


my lunch
My lettuce.
My bread.
My hens’ eggs.
My lunch.


…to join together….

Only those with friends in the clergy find themselves at Institutions on a reasonably regular basis. For those who don’t, they are really more like marriages than any other kind of service. You have two entities coming together in the hope of a happy and fruitful partnership. You have splendid copes, and ardent prayers, beautiful flowers and (last night) truly truly glorious music. You know an awful awful lot of work has gone into it all – not just the service but the choice of partners. You know that such relationships can be joyous and lead to the growth of both partners. You also know they are rarely totally plain sailing.

Last night a friend of mine was joined in lawful incumbency with a new parish. I shed more than a few tears at the beauty of the service, and even to me, unmusical as I am – oh the music. And at the sense of things going very right.

Kelvin told us: ‘She will make your adults play and she will listen to your children with the utmost seriousness.’ And she will. The bishop told me: ‘Her spirituality is her greatest gift.’ I replied that it was great, but greater is her ability to find and grow the talents of others at expense to herself. He agreed that is the greatest gift in ministry. I have warned them they will find the Bible larger than they supposed. They don’t ask you ‘incumbent or congregation’? But handing such a person over to a new congregation is always done with just the tiniest catch in the throat.

But from what I saw of Dunblane last night they are a congregation with a big heart and huge talents themselves. I could not be happier or more hopeful about this marriage.

Still no illustrations…

So long and no pictures – I had intended amendment of life today too. But neither of today’s posts lend themselves.

Firstly, I have been invited to lead a bible study off a passage suitable for the subject of inter faith dialogue. No need to re-read, you got it right first time. Ingenious suggestions please.

Secondly I did not think you would want an illustration of today’s cat vomit. I started at the bit last puked up, and noted it was entrails – hoped not a dear bird …. then fur, then half of he mask of a young rat. Glad no pictures now?

The golden net

I have never been any good at ‘networking’ – I have lived in remote places, and largely been busy with family and work. And I am awkward in company, scared with new faces, hiding my shyness under a rush of words.

But it came to me this morning that without ever consciously seeking a network I belong to one. There are my friends, both close, long-lasting friends and newer, though no less precious. And then there are their friends, who so often find ways of meeting and helping me. Somewhere they, too are supported by others. And so it spreads out, that golden surface of disinterest, and compassion, making a surface strong enough to support me, them, us. There is a golden net of disinterest which surrounds me, not because of anything done to earn it, but because it is just there.

I am not much of a theologian, but to me this looks like a pebble for the wall of the theology of friendship.

Strew on her roses, roses

It may yet be possible to do this – and most certainly there will never be that sprig of yew up here. At long last ALL the land is fenced, and the tens of marauding sheep belonging to the big estate, and shepherded by one of my neighbours, have at last een sut out. Not only is the big field for my sheep and ponies and them alone, my garden is no longer nipped off all the time.

All three of the container grown roses (presents from a generous friend) are still alive, though one got rather cut back. Both the bare root roses I bought in the sale for Peter Beals (and if you want old fashioned roses, they are the real biz) are doing well (the containers frightened off the sheep) and even nine of the ten bargain basement roses I bought labelless are in leaf. There is hope for the tenth, though not certainty. The ten are an excitement. I know what my Kiftsgate will look like ( a mass if tiny white blooms) and so on – but I have no notion what roses will eventually spring from the thorny stems only now tentatively pushing out leaves.

Blessed Thursday

It comes in a tiered series of reliefs.

That I have got to work on time.
That I have reached coffee break.
That the morning is over.
That I have something nice to eat as I drive to Coylton.
That I get there safely.
That I now only have only four more hours cleaning this week.
That I can drink tea on the job.
That I have three hours
Half an hour.
That I have got through another week without losing another customer.
That I am driving home.
That this time there is no crash and I am heading up my drive.
That I am home
And it is my evening off.
What thankfulness for Thursdays.

Alas, poor Horatia

All that sitting, and no babies, not even from the bought-in eggs. I suspect that her own eggs, not being fertile, became rotten and exploded, contaminating the others. Though many other things could have gone wrong. She now only has two eggs, and soon they too will break. Poor bird.

The silence of the goldfish

When I first moved in, I went out and bought two goldfish, to make up for those re-homed due to the move. For a long time they thrived, and then one day I found one of them moribund. I was most upset, but waited to check the remaining fish was not affected by whatever had caused the death, and went out and bought goldfish c – a most beautiful and lively fish.

Imagine my consternation and sorrow when I found fish b was itself dying in the pond weed. Then yesterday I found poor fish c dying – at the paws of the culprit.

Let us just say that my sympathy for that favourite cat drowned in a bowl of goldfish has been severely diminished.

True gold

Some things really do improve with age, and friendship is one of them. My oldest friend, Meg, has been here for a long weekend, and we have had a wonderful time. Much talk, as you can imagine.

I was poorly over the whole weekend – have been very under the weather since last Tuesday, with a very sore throat and perhaps
talking was aide by my inability to do very much – but one thing we did manage was to see the marsh marigolds – they bloom very freely here, to some degree compensating for the lack of primroses (which I take it are fatally attractive to sheep).

True gold – marigolds and friend. A matter for joy and thanksgiving.