Sunday, 27 November 2011

playing truant

Well, that is what it feels like!
Two weeks ago, I started manic sneezing and by Monday a full blown cold had developed. And although the sneezing and blowing of the nose has subsided, I am left with a nasty frog in my throat and raging lethargy! Fortunately my brain doesn't seem to have been affected too much so instead of going to Chapel today I have started preparing for next Sunday with grateful thanks to C. for listing the various themes of advent.
I never played truant from school - I was too much of a goody, goody! But when I went to fashion college, I could not see the point of some of the 'school' lessons we received on two afternoons each week. I was useless at french at school and couldn't quite understand what poetry had to do with fashion! so would often escape early. All I can remember of Business Management was asking the tutor, who was a Roman Catholic, which verse in the bible told them that contraception was wrong! I went home, looked it up and decided that it was not the deed that was wrong but the fact that Onan disobeyed God. (Genesis 38: 8-10 if you are interested)
It is beautiful here this morning, the air is fresh and the sun has been shining all morning, but a quick visit to a neighbour showed me that I was not up to walking the half mile to chapel and my rule is that if I'm not up to walking, I'm not well enough to go. I have to remember that we have some elderly members in our congregation and I neither want to give them my bugs or catch a different bug on top of what I already have! However, it is difficult for both myself and others not to go to chapel when one has a cold!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

it all started with two elderly ladies...

Let me explain...
It seems to have been tradition in our chapel to sing the blessing of 'May God's blessing surround you each day' not only at the end of the ladies meeting but also at the end of every Sunday service. Having said 'The Grace' for many years in various churches, with open eyes to as many as possible in the congregation, I opened my mouth and asked why we here sang the blessing to the floor! 
From then on we have sung it to each other and warned visitors what we were about to do - that they were likely to have people turning round and smiling at them!
Now we have two super, bright as buttons, no marbles missing, ladies with failing eyesight, who because they could not see each other very well would grasp each other's hand.
And this spread.
All down one side of the chapel!
I was speaking to another member at the Bible study during the week about my desire that it should happen all over the chapel. And this morning she sat on the other side of the chapel and started it going so that there were hands grasped on both sides.
Much has been said recently about falling numbers and the need for mission from the churches. This is difficult when a large proportion of a church or chapel is already elderly but I think it is wonderful when a congregation feels comfortable enough to smile and clasp hands, blessing each other for the coming week.

Monday, 7 November 2011

and it was wonderful!

Several days have past since tea at the Savoy, with a day's course on Conflict Resolution and an excellent journey back to Wales with trains arriving early to enable me to catch the earlier local train from Newport, thus avoiding the usual half hour wait when all I want to do is get home! Yesterday was one of my preaching Sundays with a service of prayer for healing in the afternoon.
This morning has seen me tidying up the house and ironing the washing from Saturday! So now I can sit down and post the promised photos from Thursday's treat.
The exhibition of Degas was very interesting. Maggie thought I would enjoy it as it would bring back memories of my dancing days. Which it did! His paintings and models often had bent legs and I could suddenly remember being told off for not pulling up my knees and I even have a photo to prove that I often forgot - Nora Batty had nothing on me! And then there was the blood on the tights as one removed one's points - the animal wool wrapped around one's toes still didn't stop the blisters which bled! No wonder I stopped dancing!
Degas was particularly interested in the movement of the human body, so as well as his paintings there were very early cameras which took a series of photographs - early forerunners to the movie camera - and wonderful footage of dancers as well as - dare I say it..... naked men!
And on to tea... the entrance to the restaurant had a table covered in orchids!
Sorry for the blurred background - I was so excited that my tremor was quite wild!
There was a choice of over twenty different kinds of tea but I chose my favourite of Assam and of course it was the best Assam I had ever tasted! Five different sandwich fillings and we asked for more! followed by fruit and plain scones with home-made lemon curd and strawberry jam and clotted cream. Next came the pastries; we each chose two from the choice of seven, apart from Ele who had a third to take home for her hubby. By this time I had eaten my limit, so one pastry was wrapped in a tissue for the journey home the following day along with the next course of cake!
We were there for over two hours during which we were entertained by a lady playing the grand piano. A wonderful experience with excellent company!
From the left; Maggie, Hev, Mandie and myself - Ele kindly took the photo.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

ladies who lunch

is a phrase that describes ladies who do not need to earn a living but instead meet up to have lunch in expensive restaurants!
Tomorrow I am meeting up with two 'ladies' and two daughters and instead of lunch we are going to have tea at the Savoy! We have decided to wear skirts and be proper ladies! But first we will be going to the Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy.
Having Afternoon Tea in London is something I have only done three times before and it is a special treat, especially for a diabetic as the menu is likely to send my blood sugar up rather quickly! My first afternoon tea was for a hen party many years ago and even included a lady playing a harp! 
I enjoyed the experience so much that I suggested to my friend at college that we drive up to London (those were the days when you could still park in the centre of London without paying congestion charges or take out a mortgage for the meter) and have tea to celebrate taking our final exams. Comments were made to us by our fellow male students because we were wearing skirts that we were going to see a tutor to get an extension on an essay - and they were not joking! 
And then I had tea with my son and his future bride and met her Mum for the first time.
This time I will be meeting up with my friend Maggie from teenage years - she was my bridesmaid forty odd years ago and she made my cake. Two years later, I was her bridesmaid and made her dress. The other 'lady' is her sister-in-law, her other bridesmaid, known as Hev, who I have met at gatherings just three times in all the intervening years and yet we always get on so well. It was all Ele's (Maggie's daughter) idea and Mandie, my daughter has managed to get the day off. So we will all meet in the centre of town having come from Leicester, Dover and South Wales and I expect that there will be a lot of laughter. I shall take my camera but cannot guarantee that I will remember to take any photos!