Monday, 29 November 2010

under it all

We were on one of our regular trips to London last week when we got the news that one of our elderly gents had suddenly died.
On our return home, having visited the family and then prepared the service, I heard the weather forecast, so set about finding a warm winter-weight jacket. Non to be found in the two towns that I frequent and so I resorted to buying warm black fabric, lining etc. etc. and making it myself.
Although the weather forecast predicted clouds it was a beautiful sunny morning but still very chilly - so on went layers of clothes.
Usual undies, then cami-top, long sleeved silk vest, thin black jumper and clerical blouse on the top half, with one pair of usual tights, one pair of thick black tights, silk short johns, petticoat and lined skirt all topped with new lined black jacket plus gown - Welsh funerals are done in style! Nose and hands were still cold!
We have about 20 at our Sunday service but today the Chapel was packed, and the school room was packed and the 'stable' was packed and yet more were standing outside - rough guess; about 150! We have loudspeakers on the outside of the Chapel so that the whole village can hear the service!
George was the gent who was persuaded to get a scooter so that he could get to the Chapel for his grandaughter's wedding and he has been coming to Chapel ever since.
How can one not love a 90 year old guy who winks at you across the Chapel when we are saying the Grace to each other!
God bless you George - see you on the other side.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

school trip

I loved the school trips all those years ago. We 'did' so many of the London tourist places - Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, the Planetarium etc.
One of the classes from our local school came to our chapel this morning! This is rather special as it is a Church of England school (in Wales!) and they have all their special services at the 'big' church, but the teacher wanted the children to know the difference between church and chapel.
As I live just round the corner from the school I went to meet the children there and we walked in crocodile fashion the half mile to the chapel.
They loved the huge old Bible with colour plates and brass catches, placed open on the communion table and the long-handled candle snuffer for the central candelabra (we do have electric lights as well!)
I explained the difference between Infant Baptism and Adult Baptism - not the theological points but how wet or not one gets! One lad wanted to know how it was done and he was game for me to hold him and lean him back - but we didn't get into the river to do it - it was rather swollen, brown, and I expect it was cold!
Another lad asked the best question -"How long do you stay under the water?" along with "Do you wear swimming costumes?"
They were intrigued with the grave stones, noting that many of them have the name of the farm or house where the person lived. 
And then there was the gravestone with the mistake, '1985 - 1973' - whoops!
Over an hour later we walked back to the school with many sketches done of the chapel - such fun.

Monday, 15 November 2010


I note that it is World Diabetes Day and that they are promoting physical activity as more and more people are becoming type 2 diabetics through eating more, or the wrong, food than is needed for the activity they do.
But that is not the only reason that people become type 2 diabetics as I know from experience! I've been told by my friends not complain because M&S have stopped selling trousers in a size 10 long. From that you should be able to tell that I am far from being overweight!
Little is made of the fact that stress can cause diabetes and although my life has changed and I am no longer in that stressful environment, I am still diabetic - and slim!


it was my daughter who persuaded me to join facebook - it seems to be the easiest way to contact her!
Then I found that I was able to stay in touch with many friends from way back including college friends from the 1960's! other college friends from the 1990's as well as my sons, my brother, step brothers and all their sons and daughters. However, my eldest son says that knowing that his mother can read his facebook wall does cramp his style!
Over the weekend my younger son posted a photo of his foot, with his little toe swollen and a beautiful shade of purple! Several friends were able to leave sympathetic comments, asking how he had hurt himself.
He replied that he had stubbed it on a chair, had taken the Lord's name in vain, and that the toe had actually fallen off but he had managed to fix it back on with wrigleys and a cocktail stick.
I then felt quite awkward... should one really fall about laughing when one's baby boy has hurt himself?

Monday, 8 November 2010

bust, busy, busy - rest!

Life seems to have been very busy over the last few weeks and today I've stopped - but that just means that the dust and general clutter and the liberal sprinkling of papers and books over my study floor are shouting to be cleared up!
So instead I sit here at my computer, gazing out of the window at pockets of blue sky wondering where the rain forecast for this morning has gone?

I have returned from my monthly fix of study at Spurgeon's. I love driving so the journey from South Wales to South London is a delight.
I journey the day before and stay at college overnight. This time I visited friends 'from way back when' we were teenagers. It was lovely to see the result of their hobbies since retiring. He takes photos and beautifully transforms them with the aid of his computer, while she has discovered that she has a talent for water colours.
Then shopping and a meal with my daughter.

After the course it was a drive to Brighton in time to bath the grandsons - such fun! and read bed-time stories to the eldest while Mummy was feeding the little one.

Saturday morning was a drive up the M23, round the M25 to Epping Forest where my eldest is living the good life, complete with chickens and loads of home-grown veg.

Then back into my trusty steed, back to Wales and into Sunday with a sermon on Titus, with folk looking up all the passages where he is mentioned to imagine the man he was! 

Life is very full and never boring!

Monday, 1 November 2010

We have been looking a Paul in our bible studies/discussion group and so I followed the theme through to Sunday with 'Road to Damascus' experiences. I found a beautiful piece in 'Shadowlands' of Joy Gresham's experience - the shock for her of being a communist atheist on her knees praying!

I altered my prepared sermon in the light of watching 'The Big Silence' with Christopher Jamison, the former Abbot of Worth. Five folk spent an eight day retreat in silence. Each in their own way had a profound sense of God being with them, even though only one of the group found it relatively easy to get into the silence.

Christopher explained that silence is the gateway to the soul, and the soul is the gateway to God.
But this leaves me with a nagging question around the 'Myers Briggs Type Indicator' (MBTI).
Where does this leave Extroverts who mostly get their energy from others and find retreats very draining? 
Or is this why four of the five had such a tough time getting into the silence? 
Or is it that silence is so different to our everyday lives it becomes quite scary?
I would welcome any comments!


There still seems to be a glitch on my blog which doesn't allow me to add to comments.
So thank you to Angela, who's married to a techno-wizz, for your offer and to Catriona for your encouragement.
It all went well and the chapel folk enjoyed the music and singing along with others on the ipod.
I had previously chosen hymns around the theme of being called weren't on the ipod so instead chose some Graham Kendrick hymns, one of which was new to them but they soon picked it up.
Yes, of course they would rather have our organist but they did enjoy the ipod for a change.