Monthly Archives: May 2009

News from the Shredding Department

The job continues… I’m now onto the baker’s dozen of bin-liners filled with shredded paper, two shopping trolley loads of unshredded paper and related material, (for alas, I do have to walk with all this lot along to the recycling bins) and I do believe the end is in sight. For shredding, at least.

There are other delightful chores ahead of me, including dusting and cleaning in places I’ve not visited recently. mainly because now I’ve got rid of so much paper, and recycled so many things I can now, um, see the dust. I also moved the flipchart paper from the top of the wardrobe. That, too, was an error of judgement that revealed layers of dust I prefer not to have known about.

I have saved the pleasant task of sorting out my printed music until this evening.

Today we commemorate Josephine Butler, my favourite commemoration in the Church of England’s calendar, and I will reread the excellent biography by Jane Jordan some time over the next few days.

Poor, overworked shredder

is now having a well earned snooze back in it’s customary corner, having worked it’s way through enough paper to fill half a dozen bin-liners.

I’m sure there has been an impact on the paper work that lives in my work area, but it doesn’t really look like it right now!! There’s a load more to do…

It’s about to get chaotic

A job I’ve been putting off for quite some time now, but a little incident involving my somewhat official looking garment’s right hand pocket, a drawer handle, and me trying to avoid a worse incident with a sharp knife, (I succeeded there!) meant I was obliged to spend an hour plying needle and cotton this afternoon. Possibly my least favoured activity after gardening and ironing, but, I need this garment to wear for an official purpose tomorrow, so it was a matter of urgent necessity.

The pocket is now securely mended, as are all the bits of hem that were beginning to come adrift. I have a sneaky suspicion the thread used for the making of this garment was on the elderly side, because there was an awful lot of mending to do that I don’t think can all be put down to me being careless. Anyway, it’s all looking much as before, really, but I know a significant amount of mending has been done.

I will be responsible for plant watering for a few days. I believe the requested list of instructions has been drawn up… It’s either very brave, or very stupid, leaving plants in my care without precise instructions, but that request is always received with the same degree of surprise it has been over a good number of years. But, I just have no natural instinct about plants, it’s no good telling me to water them if they need it, I have absolutely no idea what that means.

It also means the Occasional Grand Clear Out and Major Cleaning Session can take place in peace over the next few days!! As will a mammoth shredding session, the pile of papers have been building up for quite a while now, and every file of paperwork I possess is due for sorting, and assessing for keeping or shredding. As will some decisions about things to keep or pass on or replace.

I’ll save the nice job of sorting the music oddments for a treat at the end! But, I’m not losing a single hymn book.

Cold water cure worked

Burn still evident, but no blistering, or soreness, and proper two handed typing has now been resumed. Three hours of soaking hand in large jug of cold water worked!

The consolation is that, even though I didn’t particularly enjoy them, the way I cooked the potatoes last night did meet with approval. Which is a bonus. What was wrong with them? Well, to me, they were nicely, but boringly, cooked. I’d’ve had loads of herbs and onions in with the milk/veg stock liquid mix that the potatoes got cooked in

What I need to remember for next time I microwave liquid-y food in a pyrex dish before putting it in the oven, is that if the liquid has boiled over in the microwave, then once the dish has been transferred to the oven, the liquid that still remains on the rim of the pyrex dish will cook and stick the lid and the dish together. Thereby causing the hapless cook to burn her hand through the inadequate oven gloves, when attempting to remove lid from dish. Unless she remembers to wipe the rim of dish before transferring it to oven!

New oven gloves have been added to the next shopping list.

Spelling may get erratic!!

I’m typing mostly one-handed. Most useful hand for typing purposes is intermittently languishing in a jug of cold water…the conclusion, after inspecting the burnt hand three hours ago is that we need new oven gloves! Luckily, the next organ playing stint is not until Wednesday.

How can this be?

Bag is packed and ready for the off, in about an hour’s time. Apart from the last documents for reading through. Which are churning their way out of the printer as I type, and I’m also praying the printer is not going to chose now to die on me, as it’s sounding horribly terminally sick. (It heard me! It’s trying to fool me it’s not sick, as it’s now sounding a bit hoarse and breathless, but not death-rattly at the moment.)

But, being organised, well before time to go out? Must be important! Well, it is really. This is Most Humungous Discussion So Far Day. With Major Decision Confirmation Day being soon. So, I did have to make sure I had everything with me, and all carefully organised.

On to more interesting matters for now…

It was very reassuring to read, in my comments on the last post, that I’m not the only one with on-line identity issues! Thanks Ian, and Jack, that was helpful. Can’t resolve the Twitter issue for you, though, as it’s not something I can see any point me getting into, certainly at the moment. But, I can see why you might want a different name there, too.

I, somehow, in my vast music collection seem to have acquired far more copies of Joseph and the Amazing Techicolour Dream coat that even I can use or need! Same with King James Versions of the Bible. I never, ever use it. But, for some reason, whenever an aged member of the family dies, and no-one can think what to do with their Bible, it gets sent to me… Now, I know I’m also the family historian, and I love getting any other bits and pieces that I get sent for the tree, but there is a limit to how many KJV Bibles any one NRSV reading woman can use. (With occasional forays off into the Message, or the Youth Bible, or other translations as they present themselves to me! but, for everyday purposes, NRSV.) There are ten KJVs on my Bibles shelf!

This week coming, after the Bank Holiday as well as being a week where I am not required at any of my regular commitments and where I’ve mostly got the house to myself, is to be devoted to a Grand Shredding, Clearing, Finishing Up Admin Tasks, All Purpose Sort Out kind of set of activities.

I may well drown in a sea of paper work, and books, and old clothes. Lifeboats may be required. Definitely coffee, cake and chocolate, if nothing else. So, if I’m Missing in Action, that’s where I’ll be.

Another one?

I’m having an identity crisis! Sighs, it was kind of inevitable.

I was playing around with new e-mail addresses over the weekend, as soon, the e-mail addresses I currently use will be bearing Wrong Information. It’s in a name that will no longer be mine to use.

So, I set up a new one in my own name. I’m not starting using it properly yet, but began changing over to it for various sites I’m registered with. The BBC news, the various church-y things I get information from on a regular basis. Then ground to a halt.

My own name is way too unique! I still want to maintain a level of anonymity in the blogging worlds I meander about in, certainly for the time being, and there are three places where I’m known by different internet names. I didn’t quite mean for this to happen!! I registered with the Ship a long time ago, but only recently have begun to be more active there. I am praying for a name amnesty, so I can change my Shipname to Japes! That’s because the name I go by there, (No Socks) is related to a very, very long, but incredibly minor on-going saga of the life I’ve been leading, and again, will no longer apply. Maybe it will? Possibly. I probably will still go around in bare feet and wear sandals a lot, and still have people coming up to me in church, especially if I’ve been playing the organ in bare feet, asking if my feet aren’t cold without socks on?

Then, there’s the Other Blog! It was my first venture into the world of blogging, about three years ago, and I found myself choosing a name that was somewhat unwieldy. At the time, though, it was a very accurate choice. Now, it is no longer representative of who I’ve become and am still becoming. Yet, I’ve made some really good friends there, and don’t want to lose that blog. Just the name! It’s a really important place for me, as here is, and I will keep both going, as they satisfy different parts of me.

Japes, as a name, somehow, transcends the lot, and is much more applicable to the whole of my life, as it has been, and is becoming. But for now, whilst I’ve got other identity crises going on, I think I’ll keep them all going in the names they are in!

But, I did set up a new email address, just for blogs! It seems to be working….


give me a headache.

Whoever decreed ordinations should happen around Petertide is going to be given my full and unvarnished opinion about how complex this makes my life most years. Though, to be fair, I’ve had a few years where it’s been simple, and even had a couple of years off!! But this year? Dear, oh dear, oh dear.

So, I am sitting glaring at the invitations to three ordinations to the diaconate, one to the priesthood (all Anglican), one Baptist ordination, as well as their celebratory parties. Oh, and the First Eucharist the day after the Ordination to the Priesthood. Then there is one Significant Birthday Party and Significant Anniversary Party. All happening within the same 48 hours, in five different places. All with excellent reasons for wanting me to be at the events. All significant people in my life.

I thought I’d got it sorted, but what might have been happening at a different time now is not.

Bother, bother, bother, bother, bother.

Bother, bother, bother, bother, bother!!!!


I am concluding that I am not really a multi-tasker. It’s in the category of things I can do if I have to, but would really rather not. Like accounts, and cleaning, and cooking for someone who is very particular about how food is cooked and presented.

So, yesterday, when I was being bombarded with questions (about a job I’d handed over before I was satisfied I’d really done what needed to be done. “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine with what you’ve done…”) when I was cooking for the aforementioned particular person, I calmly stated I needed to concentrate on the cooking! “But, you can cook and talk at the same time.” I was informed… “Yes, when it’s general chit-chat, and when I’m cooking something I know well. Today, I’m following a recipe, and you need to be out by a certain time. Therefore, I need to cook now and answer questions another time.” Sulking ensued. Temper was shown (but not mine!)

Today, at work, when chaos was whirling, and I needed to concentrate, I picked up the paperwork and the computer, and announced I was taking myself off to a quiet corner to work in peace. “Good idea! See you when it’s done.” Then, when I was done with the task I don’t really like doing, but do best of the group of us, I could go back to being part of the chaos which is where I best belong.

The more I’m removing unhelpful ways of working from my life, where it’s possible to, the more energy and enthusiasm for life is coming back. The more I’m making changes, the more I can see how long overdue some of them really have been.

It’s still not that apparent to many people how much change has been going on in a quiet way for some time now. But, it soon will be.

Now, if only I could convince our choir I’d really prefer to do only one thing at a time!! So, if sing along to something I know well, albeit the Wrong Part, I really have to do, please can we sing the language I know it off by heart in, and not the alternative vernacular.

Mmm… when does one phase end, and another begin?

Gulps. I’m not sure, but I’m a big step towards finding out.

It’s been quite a day, really. I had an unexpected day at home, as I wasn’t needed at one of my regular commitments. So, I was bold, and resolute, and wrote three letters, two official ones, and one personal. I’ve known I’ve had to do these for a while, I’ve even had the draft for the main one on the computer for a month or so, but knew they were going to be emotionally draining to write, so was waiting for the right time. Home alone, with virtually no chance of being disturbed, apart from a phone call I’m waiting for…. still.

I faffed a bit with cleaning, (bathrooms and kitchen floors, and some hoovering – I’d hate to break with tradition, I blog when I’m avoiding cleaning, and I clean when I’m avoiding writing…..) then, with large mug of coffee to the right of me, spare hankies to the left of me, and music gently playing in the background (“In Christ Alone”, which was coincidentally on when I started, and it suited my mood, so I put it on repeat!) I settled down to write the first and most important one, printed it out for the official version and e-mailed copies to the people who need to see it first.

The second one was much easier, it was merely a request to see someone with a view to exploring employment possibilities that we had already discussed, but couldn’t be any more than vague about it when it was first mooted. But, it was still hard to do, as it meant there was a solid reality of the outcomes of the first letter.

Finally, and this was the one that nearly finished me off, a personal letter to someone who is going to find this particular decision very difficult to accept, and will possibly need much reassuring that there really was nothing that could be done to prevent this happening now. No one person, or set of circumstances are at fault, though there are things that should never have happened the way they did. What matters now is getting this as right as can be, and for everyone involved to move on and let go.

Me especially on the moving on and letting go! When I was in retreat just after Easter, I did a meditation on finding God in the city. I find these kind of guided meditations really hard to do, but I persevered with this one. Partly because I thought I would find it easy, then partly because I was intrigued that I was finding it so impossible to stick with!! You see, I’m a city dweller, love city living, and the people who live in them, the work I do has almost always involved inner-city areas where mostly people are wanting to get out to somewhere “better” as fast as possible, but I was shocked to find no amount of wanting to get off the hill I was mentally sat on, overlooking my favourite city, could make me budge. I eventually coaxed myself off the hill, but it was reluctant, and got even more reluctant when I was imagining God wandering around with me, and I didn’t linger in any of the many cities I could readily call up to my minds eye. In fact, I don’t think I ever really finished the meditation! I’m still thinking about it all, and what God might be saying in it … I have the sheet of paper with it on to try again sometime, when I’m having a quiet day. But, it does seem that whatever I have been doing is no longer what God is asking me to be doing any more, but I’m not at all clear what it is I should be instead.

There are going to be a load more personal letters to write, and three more need to be done this week, but the rest can wait until I am able to confirm the results of the first official letter! Which isn’t going to happen for a few weeks…

All that I am clear about is whatever path it is I’m going to be setting off on, God will be with me, every step of the way, and I’m trusting God in a way I’ve not trusted for a long, long time.