Monday, May 31, 2010

Marks and Spencer

If you say the words Pork Pies today, to any of my extended family ,they will all laugh. We are rather inundated with them. 
For 6 weeks now my  visits to Beverley have been a menage a trois . My mother, the Marks and Spencer food to Order Catalogue,and myself. Aged parent had read the food catalogue and savouring every word and detail had made her first list of food  by the second week of April. Every Tuesday we have sat together and pruned , honed, extended and varied the list. Three weeks ago we had managed to write a sizeable order and wait for grandson in M and S to see  to the order for her, to pay for it and do all the paperwork. 
I now know by heart the pictures of every sandwich, roll, fillings, cake and tarte au citrons in the book. I have had to listen to suggestions  from young family members
  • wanting to know why sushi had not been ordered,
  • telling me that no one these days eats sausage rolls
  • asking me to remember everyone likes profiteroles
  • hoping we have actually ordered enough food for 15 adults, 5 children and 2 infants
 Aged parent was not open to suggestion in any form , the first time round that is. After weeks of drip, drip, drip suggestions, she did eventually agree to Indian style chicken kebabs to liven up the Party Food Selection x2 -all sausage rolls, mini quiches, and pork pies and sandwiches.
 But Oh dear! Beverley M and S did not do the salads aged parent wanted. They will be easy to do I said, beetroot salad, bean salad, coleslaw and potato salad are the work of an hour. And they were.

The Day it Dawned. The Family arrived from all corners of the known parts of England. Special Godson and I put out all the food under the gazebos. We had to do it so quickly as small children were magnetized to the tables as soon as they spied us casually taking shrink wrap from kebabs. We tried to offer carrot sticks to keep them going, but they had spotted the party eggs. We forgot to use the doilies, and to put the sausage rolls on the specially bought disposable foil mock silver platters.

3 year old Reuben managed his usual grace
'Thank you ,God! for our lovely lunch'
It was a truly wonderful family gathering. We are grateful to M and S for their food to go service.
Thank you Mummy for having us all round for lunch to celebrate your 90th birthday! Thank you Beverley Abbeyfields for all your support! Thank you God for families who may get together .

BUT pork pies-we have all had  ENOUGH OF THEM.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thirsk and Malton (and Filey) run on Election

  •  Why is the word FILEY  not in our constituency's title ?
  • Why has my husband had  a personal(find and replace on Word personal )  letter from Nick Clegg asking him to vote for the Liberal Democrat's candidate in our Election tomorrow?
  • Why didn't I have a letter from Nick Clegg?
  • Why didn't they address the letter to both of us?
  • Do the Liberal Democrats have so much money to spend they can afford a letter and a stamp for all the males of the constituency in their database?
  • Where do the Liberal Democrats get their names and addresses for cold call invitations to vote for them?
  • Have they trawled the subscriptions to Social Work magazines for names and addresses?
  • Are they interested in the member of this household who blogs, twitters and helps run the Filey Parish Blog OKA  Vox Populus ?
  • Am I going to vote for the Conservative candidate who spent £5000 on gardening ?
  • Am I going to vote for the Labour candidate who according to the Liberal Democrats candidate has no chance ?
  • Does the Old  Liberal  candidate have any chance of picking up the votes of those who do not vote for someone whose Lib Dem Party is led  by a Public Schoolboy?
  • Or will UKIP  surprise us all?

6368 men and women  (2001 Census)  of Filey please JUST VOTE

I got these  stats from the census link on Bill Lealmans innovative and inspiring Filey Blog called Bill's website



Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Pentecost polemic

I always really look forward to today. The End of the Easter season has its resounding WOW as that wonderful passage about being 'drunk at nine 'o clock in the morning' or rather not drunk at nine 'o clock in the morning' in Acts 2 is read out. It was my turn today , and I found the bit where Peter quotes from Joel  so beautiful I was in tears on the lectern
'In the last days, God says,
      I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
   Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
      your young men will see visions,
      your old men will dream dreams.
 18Even on my servants, both men and women,
      I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
      and they will prophesy.

I was looking down at the congregation and imagining all the old men on the PCC, and the young man playing the keyboards beside me   filled with the Holy Spirit and my ancient church suddenly held for me a glimpse of a Promise.
I wanted to shout GO FOR IT, GO FOR IT...............but I didnt because we're Anglicans, and the average age of the congregation today was 60, much lower than usual as Junior Church were with us for their monthly visit.

Sometimes I just want to leave the  church which we go to , to not go at all, to listen to my CDs and watch Songs of Praise, and be one of those I don't need to go to a church to be Christian type of Christian. I didnt like the 3 out of the 5 dreary hymns. I wanted everyone to be  filled with the Holy Spirit in a revival sort of way. I wanted a real go at worship, where we are rapt by the attention we are giving to our wonderful , awesome and available God. I wanted singing in tongues and a sense of excitement of being in the presence of God. I didnt want DULL DULL DULL.

I've just watched Songs of Praise. It was harping back to the Welsh Revival.I had a good sing. I love that Hymn.  I've got it off my chest now, keep on trusting, its not all about me after all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Remember Box Hill on Ascension Day

One of my most abiding memories of living in  the Gin and Jag belt of Surrey in Margaret Thatchers 80's was celebrating Ascension Day on the top of Box Hill. Always a school Day,  a work day  a special day.
I found it very hard to fit in to Dorking. My Yorkshire ways were fine in London, everyone there seemed to have been born somewhere else,and no one cared . In Dorking everyone seemed to have been born somewhere else ,but was trying to forget it, as porcelain vowels and a penchant for 4x4s  , coffee mornings and the Housewives Register were required for status even for  those in the humblest houses.
My children were playing in the garden on a Saturday afternoon  once,  when a neighbour who would not name themselves telephoned to ask if I would keep them quiet as they were playing Bridge. In London,  in Wandsworth in the then rough and tumble of Sainsburys and going to the Rec, the laundrette and 3 buses coming at once ,there was an informality in the giving and receiving of freebies. Would you like this coat for your child, Its too small for mine was the norm . In Dorking I was asked if I would like this coat for my child, yes please I said, will £2 be OK came the reply.
 Translate this all to the church we attended, the Parish Church,  dear St Martins   the maths would not have worked. It was not congruent in any way. A true church of a mixed parish, all folk united by their faith of love.  I have just looked at their website and yes its still going on, the service on Box Hill on Ascension day at 6.30 am.

Box Hill is a local beauty spot a mile or so out of Dorking, and after a mile of hairpin bends from the Burford Bridge Hotel the view over Dorking is fantastic. So one year we drove to the car park, walked to the viewpoint where Local Christians gathered  ready for singing some  Wesley and reading again those words that are ringing round my head today with the music of JSB.
'Why stand ye looking up into heaven?'
I will never , ever ,forget the sight that year, Dorking covered literally and metaphorically a blanket of mist, and just  poking out of it ,the tip of the spire of St Martins. 
People of St Martins , fellow travellers, and friends I send you my love.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Damned if you do and damned if you dont

I was asked to do a very simple thing a few weeks ago. Please would you update one of the notices on the notice  board.  Please would you remove the photos of those who have died or moved and put  some recent photos of all those who still help out at St O's Parish Church. No worries , the work of a moment.  Take some digitals , trim them , bung them quickly on the same notice where you have just removed the visages of the dead , dead and gone, or just gone. 
I use those last words quite deliberately. We have lived here 20 yrs and still people in the parish  think the vicar who left in 1991 was not only irreplaceable , but a saint. (He was a saint of course , but arent we all we living crowd of witnesses).In this Parish I wonder when people will stop talking about what a wonderful vicar he was. Very I follow Apollos, I follow Paul, and how right to point this out in the NT . When we moved to the Parish no one talked about their faith or what Jesus had done for them but just what the last vicar had done.

So I take down the notice. It is cleverly backed with velcro type fixers. 
First hurdle -The notice  board is a bit of a mish mash. Drawing Pins , sometimes 2 to a notice, sometimes 4, sometimes yellow , red or blue , sometimes brass remind me that I am not in charge. I only have to fulfil my own brief. I have to change 1 notice in content only. I do not have an Ofsted team measuring my borders with a ruler, I do not have a design team looking for state of the Art Saatchi visuals.
So I take some  new photos of the Rev H, the Rev F, the Rev D, Canon R.
Second Hurdle-Photo-chromatic glasses are not a help. Great Pic of Rev F, in gardening clothes. Great pic of Rev H in full gear with highly patterned stole. Canon Rs hair is a mess
So I ask them if they want a formal or an informal, crop to faces, lighten faces,edit hair. Take photos indoors away from bright sunlight.
Third Hurdle-Warden suggest the one I do of vicar is bigger than the others.
No problem . Have forgotten that vicar pic  should be replaced  , she is on holiday for 2 weeks.Will trawl the archives. Found lovely one where she'd just had her hair done, but  taken at garden centre, so no dress-ups.Will e mail vicar and tell her to let me know when she is back and tell me if she wants me to take another some time when she is in uniform and has just had hair done.
Fourth Hurdle-the notice does not need replacing, its cardboard and shape are to be retained. The  success will be in the arrangement.

Does the Vicar go in the middle with the unpaid helpers around her like acolytes? Does the vicar go at the top with the unpaid helpers tiered beneath her? Does anyone care? Yes they do. I have just read Mark 9 v33
Who is Greatest?
 33They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
 35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." 

and  My sons

Matthew 20:21

 21"What is it you want?" he asked.
      She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."

So nothing changes . People will still maybe be interested in order and arrangement. I will use my logic. I will put the most senior retired cleric at Vicars right hand. He will have the largest pension I think. I will put much loved Associate minister at her left hand. I will put other retired clergy persons  in alphabetical order.
Fifth Hurdle-Why are the Lay readers not on the notice board?
Do them. Put them at the bottom of the notice board. They are just as  good but not of the order of Melchizedek. No one can argue with that , or can they. priesthood of all believers rings a bell in my brain but I am not listening in the interest of sanity.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Staffordshire Hoard (2)

 You know when you have to keep quiet about something, even though the words are around  inside your head, and you have all the pictures in 640x480

I have reached that moment. No doubt my Cheshire sibling has been waiting for me to say a few words about the time we waited in a well disciplined and highly organized queue  to see the Staffordshire Hoard.
We snaked curiously past glass fields of cow creamers, water softeners, beautiful tiles and 50's crockery , we knew the people standing behind us and ahead of us just as St Patrick knew his breastplate. 
The Hoard of small and crumpled, twisted and bittersweet gold bits delighted us all. We stood leaning over the display cases, learning together by talking, asking questions, viewing and reviewing, in an all but perfect learning environment. Touch would have been good. Thousand of fragments of bits of swords , and stuff, all hidden for hundreds of years just beneath the good red earth have now been saved for the nation.
I think they should go back to their rightful owner, for they have got it wrong. They are not the remains of an Anglo Saxon hoard.  They are 2000 years older than that. I suggest they were left by the Staffordshire Mug people for their cousin Eileen to recycle . She of course after all the ritual and assaying was going to order the Production of a limited edition of Tea Lights. She just has to finish the book she has started ,