Monthly Archives: January 2009

Don’t panic, Japes, just don’t panic.

Breath, and calm, and think positive thoughts…


I know I’m ready. I’ve done all the print outs, all the equipment is packed up and ready to trundle, I’ve practiced all songs, I’ve got enough Duck Tape and hazard tape, along with extension leads, to get us through a national emergency. I’ve organised everyone to within an inch of their lives…. Why do I get involved in creative liturgies?! Especially in these days of Health and Safety and Fire Risks and….

Finger is unbruised enough to cope with all tomorrow will bring.

My inner being, though, is fairly bruised from yesterday, and I think I’ve worked out why. I need to stick to the resolve I made never to let this particular friend rant at me about another friend. I had more of it than I can can cope with, at a time when I don’t need it, and I certainly didn’t need the brand of teasing I was getting either, I know there are some brands of teasing I don’t respond well to, (I’m better at covering it up than I used to be, but it’s still not great….) and I thought this friend was aware of it. But obviously not… and it’s one of those really stupid things where I feel I could well make matters worse by trying to explain it to her, when actually, she really wants to see something in a situation that’s just not there.

Then, the household returns to normal today, and I’m not sure I want to hear what might be coming back from this meeting.

Why didn’t I agree to plan B?

Calming down….

Enough that I’m going to treat today’s silly, immature behaviour with the contempt it deserves.

And if fifty year old, who is acting about six, friend wants to act out her playground taunts, and say the idiotic thing she’s threatening to, then she will find I’m not playing those games.

Good night.


and I’m not entirely certain how, I’m well organised for the weekend. This could be because I’ve got a couple of weeks off one of my little paid pieces of work. It’s only a couple of hours each week, but sometimes seems to take up a disproportionate amount of time and energy!

Also in view of the badly bruised hand incident, it’s probably just as well I’m not doing much in the way of piano playing this week. So, unfortunately my grand plan of beginning on learning all Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues in all seriousness has taken a bit of a setback. Sorry, Bach has also won out because I’m also an organist, and Bach sooths my soul more than almost any other composer. And right now, my soul needs all the soothing it can get.

I got through Saturday more or less in one piece, thanks to the excellent gentle support from the two people who knew why I would be finding it a difficult day! Given I was singing, I was more afraid I was going to get tearful and not be able to sing at the appropriate moments, than I was worried about seeming a bit quiet and withdrawn generally. Or my other coping mechanism of being loud and noisy. Come to think of it, I kind of ricocheted between the two, but not as dramatically as I might have done.

Mmmmm… there are very nice Quadruple Belgian Chocolate Cookies….

Coffee time, methinks

End of the working week…. bliss

More or less. I thought I was going to have to work all day tomorrow, my day off, but I got on far better today than I thought I was going to, so despite the fact I’ll be spending the evening working on a major PowerPoint presentation with He Who Knows about these things, and tracking down some Iona song books, I’ve got a clearer day than I thought I had.

Then, excitements of excitements, I’ve got access to a car all weekend!! It has reached the silly point with rail fares that if the whole household is going somewhere it is cheaper to hire a car. Saturday will be a good, but incredibly difficult day. I shall be putting on professional musician mode to cover up the fact it’s going to be a very emotional occasion for me. Except, only a few of us know that… If I wasn’t playing a part in the service, I wouldn’t be going, but it’s something I agreed to do before Major Decision was made. And the timing of letting other people know about this is such that I don’t want it known until after Saturday.

On those surveyed thus far, Bach is winning…. which is a good choice, because I can play Bach on my keyboard in my room, (as well as on the piano downstairs,) and not disturb anyone!


My room has reverted to normal levels of, um, chaos. This is, I believe, due to me feeling much more positive about my life, and more comfortable with myself again!! Yippee, and long may it last. Though, if I could just remember where I put that hymn book… OK, I know I own more than fifty of the dear things, but this is one I use more than most. (Looks round vaguely) Ah – yes, there it is on the music stand! Shifted to pile for tonights planning session before I forget….

Where was I?

I like visiting someone who’s finally feeling comfortable enough not to be all spick and span and tidy before I turn up for one of my occasional long discussions. That’s not just domestic tidiness, but emotional tidiness too! It’s also really good talking to someone who gets how I operate, and will be there when the really difficult fall out starts in a few weeks time!

Now, I need some assistance with a difficult decision. I have three musical ambitions, and I want to make a start on one of them. Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues, Mozart Sonatas, or the Beethoven Sonatas that my relatively small hand size can cope with. I have promised I will start on one of them as part of the “Keep Japes Sane through the Fall Out” process.

Trains, for once, all worked in my favour!!

Conspiracy Theory

There is a conspiracy, I tell you.

There are several conspiracies.

When I am trying to lose weight, eat healthily, only at meal times, take more exercise (well, try and walk to and from things more and not accept every offer of a lift) etc. it stubbornly refuses to shift. Today, after a six week spell of giving up completely, and eating or not as I felt like it, I appear to have lost just over a stone.

Then there is the “Interesting Projects” all arriving at once. Especially the ones that I’d love to say yes to, but know I can’t.

There is the Brown Sock Conspiracy… closely related to the Lost and Odd Sock Gremlins that lurk by the laundry bags and the washing machine.

There is the Circles and Spirals and Spirograph pictures of my Inner Being conspiracy. Humph. (Don’t worry… I’m not going completely mad here, but I was describing some of the stuff that’s going on in my head and my life as being very circular, that I seem to be re-visiting a whole heap of things I thought I’d dealt with, in a whole different way, and somehow, we got on to describing it as like Spirograph pictures.? And then, how do I spiral out of it all….)

Now, all I need to pray about is that the train from City of Residence to Larger City about an hour away is running on time tomorrow!

Awkward Questions

I’ve been asked too many this week, about have I considered this, that or the other as possible ways of filling my life up, or career choices, and it’s incredible interesting timing, as I am already considering a major change of lifestyle, and work….

Some of them I have considered before, and not followed through, others I can understand why people suggest them, but they’re not right for me.

The most interesting bit is the one word that keeps cropping up over and over again.

I tell you, it’s jolly unreasonable. As is the fact none of my question askers know that I’m having this major re-think.

How could I forget?!

I’ve been living South for too long, is all I can say.

I go to a weekday Eucharist most Tuesdays. I do so today, and the priest did his usual spiel about the commemorations for the day. I was only half listening, because I’d remembered Hilary, and vaguely George Fox, because they caught my eye at Morning Prayer this morning. But……

But, how could I forget Kentigern, (or Mungo). I used to go to a St Kentigern’s church, I used to live in Glasgow, for goodness sake. I have a virtual calendar in my head of what seems like thousands of obscure saints and commemorations.

My head is hanging in shame, and I deserve numerous penances. Or at least the mercies of the good St Kentigern and my fellow Glaswegians.

Now, just quite how did that happen?

I opened my mouth and agreed to it, that’s how. But I’m not displeased, really.

I had a lovely morning back at my One Morning A Week volunteering activity. I had missed it more than I realised, and especially as it’s something I think I should be working towards moving into as more of a proper job. So, I now find myself with a Two Morning a Week volunteering activity. It’s quite intense work whilst I’m there, but having done it for a full year (before taking the break) after a fourteen year gap, I’ve caught up on the methods used now, and could be more help. So, I’m back with the same lot as I was with last year, but in their new setting, and then I’ll be helping with the same age group as last year, but with a different set of people to get to know.

The irony of all of this is I trained as a teacher for this age range more than twenty years ago and failed. I vowed never to set foot in a classroom again. God always seems to have had other ideas. So, as a result of complex sets of circumstances, I have either found myself working as a classroom assistant (or whatever they are called nowadays, I lose track) especially for those with behaviour problems, or as some kind of troubleshooter in a class, or… whatever really!

The thing is, I may try to stop working with children and young people, or with music, or with creative liturgy, it just isn’t going to happen. The complexities of the part of my life I don’t blog about are such that all of those are difficult things to do… they are noisy, messy, unpredictable and awkwardly timed kinds of work. Last autumn proved to me several significant things about what happens to me, and how it then impacts on other people, if I don’t do enough of the kind of activity that nourishes my soul. It wasn’t just the stopping of one small-ish activity… it was much else besides.

So, I’m working towards how all of this is going to change so I can start building my life around all of the things I should be doing. And saying no to the things I can do perfectly well, (I’ve more than proved I can do more or less anything I’m asked – apart from gardening) but loathe doing.


Cautiously optimistic

So far, I’ve survived a normal working week with no ill effects. A normal one for me, that is, as tomorrow is the last day of my working week. However, I’m not pushing my luck by taking on too much and am being sensible about resting when I’ve nothing to do, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

Not too sure that choir practice is going to be a good idea, though! We shall see, I shall stop singing if it’s not working.

I am looking forwards to re-starting an activity I gave up for the autumn, though. What with Unexpected New Job, and Excessive Numbers of Workmen crawling all over the building, keeping going with my one morning a week volunteering was silly! Every time I thought I was going to get a clear run of regular commitment to it again, I got stymied. But, now the Workmen have all gone away, New Job can no longer be described as new, and everything else that was stressing me out is sorted out for now, I can definitely manage that once a week regular time again.

Now, if I can only remember to get the piano tuned before pupils appear next week, and remind myself it’s perfectly acceptable to spend time working at the piano, all might well be very well in my world. Oh, and if I can pin down a time slot for one of the Humungous Discussions…