I thought I would share a couple of my views today. Monday’s are always varied for me and they are definitely full of “moments”!
Sunday stealing from here.
1.What are some small things that make your day better?
A decent cup of tea, butter on my toast, getting the porridge oats to milk ratio right, having my pillows plumped to the optimum level
2. What shows are you into?
At the moment, the hubby and I are into “Death in Paradise”, “Father Brown” and “Vera”. Kind of in a crime/fantasy “wouldn’t it be lovely to live there” vibe
3. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
Anything without adverts
4. Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
My daughter. She has always had an independent streak, but I’m so impressed with her work ethic and her drive to keep moving
5. What age do you wish you could permanently be?
I’m quite happy with the age I am. Any younger and I would have to go through all that torturous learning and self-doubt again, and any older is a world yet unexplored
6. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
Nothing specifically, but the reality shows like Geordie Shore or TOWIE just leave me cold and I can’t see me ever watching anything like those
7. What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?
My glasses. I am almost blind in my left eye and my right eye is quite weak too, so without glasses I would have a severely compromised life. I use three pairs as it is (“main” glasses, “middle glasses” for reading music or preaching and “reading” glasses for obvious reasons). I don’t know how people in the third world manage without them and I am grateful for the ones I use to enable me to live the life I lead
8. What’s your claim to fame?
I gambled £40k when I was on “The Chase” a couple of years ago. My highlight of that was that Mark Labbett said I was a “worthy opponent”
9. What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
Marriage. Work at it, don’t give up on it just because it’s difficult
10. What’s your favourite genre of book or movie?
Books, crime thrillers. Movies, pretty much anything except horror
11. How often do you people watch?
As often as possible!
12. What have you only recently formed an opinion about?
The use of plastic packaging
13. What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
I am interested in amigurumi, which as technique of crocheting whereby 3D objects (mainly animals) can be made
This example is found on https://amigurumi.today/
14. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
15. What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?
I don’t know. There’s such a fine line between “heartwarming” and “sentimental”
16. What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
“So, you’re going to be the like the Vicar of Dibley then?”
17. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Crocheting, brass bands, music in general
18. If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?
I’d pass a law to say everyone must be nice to everyone else and I would ban money. People would earn and spend according to a bartering system based on their abilities and their talents rather than cash
19. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Empty their food cupboards and go hungry for a week. It would give a greater understanding of how some people live throughout their whole lives
We had Messy Church at my church today, and it was a fantastic experience. It’s something we hold once a month and it is “church for those who don’t DO church”, in other words, for those who perhaps find mainstream church a challenge, or have another reason for not wanting to take part.
This picture shows one of the activities from today, where the children were making little prayer booklets made out of a pair of hands and some prayer prompts tied in the centre. The little boy on the right is M (full name not given for safeguarding reasons), and he shared my lunch afterwards. He sat on my knee, and we both fed each other cottage pie and carrots. It was such a lovely moment to share with him, and a privilege too.
One of the themes of today’s Messy Church was “fresh beginnings” and part of that was acknowledging God calls us all by name. We made three banners, one for each of our partner churches, and everybody was invited to make their own sheep to place on the banner.
I couldn’t resist adjusting my name on the sheep I made… you can just about make it out on the banner on the right.
I hope you have enjoyed the view from the PamCam today!
For Today 9th January 2018
Looking out my window… I can see the frost on the ground that has still not disappeared from this morning.
I am thinking…that sometimes, it’s the small things that affect us more than the big ones. For example, the papercut on my finger is distracting me beyond measure, yet the sore throat that I thought I had got rid of with antibiotics is now about half-way developed again and until I try to speak or swallow, it is not bothering me at all. And still, that papercut is making me feel utterly miserable.
I am thankful… for the easy access we have to medicine in our world. I know there are places on earth that don’t have ready access to even the basic medical care, so for those people, the throat infection I have had might have proved to bring a totally different outcome than the one I had.
One of my favourite things… is hitting on a great story idea and starting to plan out the characters and plot points to tell it properly. One of my least favourite is editing it once it has been written. Feels so much like destruction for a while, and then it gets creative again, but that initial destruction of an idea is one of my least favourite parts to writing.
I am creating… I made myself a long, chunky scarf a couple of weeks ago and I am trying to create a hat to match it. I am on for my fourth attempt so far (completed and undone to save yarn) and I am still not happy with it. The colours are great, but I just can’t get the right shape of hat. It’ll come!
I am wearing… warm clothes today. It’s not that cold outside, but as I’m still under the weather a little, I am feeling chilly in my bones.
I am reading … “Origin” by Dan Brown. I started it last week but I haven’t really been in the mood for reading since, and I am still only about three-quarters of the way through it. I will do a proper book review when I’ve finished it.
I am praying… for a tiny baby born too small for his gestational age and who is facing some complex health issues; for an old friend who has to face a serious operation in the next few days.
I am learning… to take care of my health. Not easy because I don’t like to say “no” to things, and because I have a tendency to push through things just so I can keep going. I have learned particularly over Christmas that that is not always possible – or advisable.
In my kitchen… we are “budget cooking” at the moment, and the challenge is on to find nutritious and filling yet inexpensive meals for the family. We are eating a lot of inexpensive protein, such as grains and pulses, which turns out to be a bit healthier too. Win win!
Post Script… You may already have a prayer pattern which you use daily, but if you haven’t or are perhaps looking for something different, why not give this a go? It is the Examen prayer as defined by St Ignatius of Loyola and is something I have used quite a bit and I find it useful when prayer is difficult.
Shared Quote… “The beginning is always today.” Mary Shelley
A moment from my day… Just your average Grandma playing about with your daughter’s Navy uniform…
Closing Notes… I am struck again by the valuable contact that I have through the people who come and read my blog. Thank you all for making yourselves known to me and for our conversation and debate we strike up online. Social media has such a bad reputation, but when I make contact with friends through my blog I am minded that we shouldn’t just take a reputation blindly, and be thankful for those times we buck the trend.
I like to do the Daybook entry now and again, and it is hosted by Peggy at http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com. Please hop along and have a go yourself if you’d like to link up with her.
A view of the bandroom this evening.
Pemberton band, based in Wigan and now in the Championship section of the British Brass Band movement. We were back for our first rehearsal of 2018 tonight, and we are working on the testpiece for the national qualifying competition at the end of February.
This picture shows a couple of musicians still practicing at the end of the rehearsal and the large framed photo of the band when they came off stage at the National Championships last September. At the time this photo was taken, we didn’t know that we were winners of our section which earned is promotion to the top section this year.
You will have heard the phrase “you reap what you sow”, I’m sure you have. It is a phrase that pops up in the Bible in a couple of places most notably in Proverbs, Luke (chapter 19), and Galations (chapter 6).
Depending on your viewpoint, it can mean different things. Maybe you would read it that in order to benefit from something, first you must put the work into planting and nurturing it. Another way to understand it could be that whatever deeds you do, you will be repaid at the same level.
I was thinking about that when I read this story in the Manchester Evening News. There are plans to plant 50 million trees over the next 25 years in the North of England, from Liverpool to Hull along the M62 corridor, beginning around Bolton. That’s a lot of trees, and it will be done over a long time. When I was thinking about the reaping and the sowing mentioned in the Bible I couldn’t help think that whoever plants the first of these trees is unlikely to see them ever come to the stage where they would enjoy them. After all, trees take a long time to become saplings, and then to mature into young trees, and then I don’t know how long until they mature enough to become the desired forest areas that are planned at this stage.
My Grandad had an apple tree in his garden when I was growing up, and he told me that it was there when he moved in. Somebody else had planted it and nurtured it before he moved in, but he was the one who enjoyed it in its fruitful, mature years. He explained to me that a gardener who plants an apple tree does not do so for his own benefit, but for someone else to enjoy. Wise words.
Trying to square these two things together – the Biblical sense of reaping only what one sows, and the gardener’s view of planting something for someone else’s benefit – is not an easy thing to do. Perhaps the Biblical sense means something else? Perhaps the reaping and sowing is more to do with our actions than physically planting crops and so on? As Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6. King Solomon says a similar thing: “Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,” Proverbs 22:8, so maybe a literal understanding is not what is being asked of us.
As a thriving church and people of God, I would hope and pray that we are actually planting seeds now that will spring to fruition for future generations to benefit from. Who knows how God is at work in our children now, and in our children yet to come? I don’t think it is for us to know, just as it is not for those people who are going to be busy planting all those trees to know how their endeavours will turn out, just as it was with the seeds my grandparents sowed in me, my brothers (Alan and John) and my cousins (Steve, Kat, Laura and Juliette) that they never saw come to full fruition during their lifetime.
But if you are like me and you are not a gardening type in the physical sense, you may find comfort and guidance from Paul’s advice to the people of Corinth.
So. Let’s sow generously and see what will those who come after us will reap.
Here is a view of my workspace this afternoon:
I have been studying today, managed to get about four hours in this afternoon. I usually work in the box room (otherwise known as “the study”, “the office”, “the junk room” or “the desk” depending on whether it is me or Kevin using it and whether or not there is floor space as well as desk space on which to work) but today I thought I would spread out a bit and work on my bed instead.
The different way of working made me think a differently and I managed to get more done than I would usually do at the desk. Strange, and needs a bit of thinking about.
But, as you may know I have not been well for a couple of weeks, suffering with the dreaded flu over Christmas which developed into a throat infection. I am largely over all of that now, but today I started to feel a bit grotty again and fell asleep – as you do when you’re nice and comfy on your bed in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. I woke up to find my daughter and her friend here to cook a meal for us, and she brought me some flowers to cheer me up. She’s a delight!