Monthly Archives: May 2010

God’s Timings; the continuing saga!

After a beautifully lazy day, and more cake than I’ve had for a long while, it didn’t finish quite so well. I was very upset by a crass piece of communicating, and for a while wondered if I was over-reacting, or had got it wrong. But, after gathering sympathy from various equally outraged friends, especially one who let me talk for ages late last night, I feel lots better, and determined to put it behind me!

Today, I had a long, long conversation with my landlady and lists have been made of things that need doing here, and we’ve both been pretty frank about how we see things going for the next few years.

So, I’m happily settling in my little home for the foreseeable future, I have work I love, several ideas about things that are not quite sorted yet. Most of this is never what I envisaged happening, but I am happy it’s all turned out this way.

It was a most contented Japes who indulged in a two hour nap this afternoon!!

Peeking out of the window

An activity that lasted for approximately two seconds, which was long enough for me to make up my mind about several queries about what to do today.

The fundamental decision made was that there is absolutely no need for me to go out, at all. I have main meal food, lots of cake, good books to read, lovely music to listen to, no work needing to be done other than a little light domestication, and a little music practice before tomorrow – what more could a Japes want or need?

Then, there are phone calls to wait for and to be made, as well as plans to ponder.

A stay at home day, just pottering, sounds exactly the best way to spend the day!!

Giggling madly at myself.

Ah… nothing like a dose of the brutally honest teenager for a good reality check.

I’ve been giggling madly at his assessment of me all afternoon. Fortunately, considering that assessment was that he couldn’t talk to me, (I couldn’t actually get a word in edgeways for the fifteen minutes he was with me!) he managed to give me more than enough information for me to assess him and get the appropriate processes under way!

In the meantime, I have concluded I am grateful for the week off next week, that my taste for chocolate has returned, and has been celebrated, and I am off for an early night, as tomorrow has once more been turned upside down, and I will be dealing with the horridly unexpected again. I have a night’s notice this time though, rather than the five minutes I had last time.

Well-meaning, maybe

but, I am about to scream very, very, very loudly.

Except, I’d probably wake up my youngest next door neighbour, (aged 1) which would not make me popular with his parents, as he’s not well at the moment. I’d also probably frighten the other neighbours, who are not used to noise from this direction.

So, in lieu of a good scream, I will see if I can explain myself.

I am on the verge of deciding to finish a friendship, because I am so, so tired of feeling I’ve got to talk more than I want to, and invariably feel uncomfortable with the level of questioning I get for almost every comment I make…

I’ve been keeping a pretty low profile for many reasons lately, but as soon as I poke my head above the parapet, this person seems to be there ready to pounce, to ask soulfully, and intensely, if I’m feeling OK, and to ask lots of deep and meaningful questions.. some of which I do answer, but others I feel are downright intrusive.

So, a few nights ago, it went something like…

I won’t be going to my church for the next few weeks, for good reasons, which I’d said as part of an answer to another question, so I was asked how I felt about it. I asked what feelings had to do with it.. (I really couldn’t see why I was being asked!) which brought down on my head a tirade of it didn’t speak well for the church I went to if I had no feelings about it. I’m now even more puzzled, as the church I go to is a perfectly good one, I’m just not involved other than turning up on Sundays and feast days, so genuinely don’t have any feelings about it. The fact I’m absenting myself for a few weeks doesn’t mean I’m not going to church – I’ll be playing the organ elsewhere. It’s an occupational hazard of being an organist without a regular organ stool to call one’s own. If someone needs an organist, I’ll respond to that need.

I don’t want to discuss my on-going inner battle about church with anyone other than the people I choose to, and it’s certainly not this person. We have a lot of different views about church, anyway, which don’t bother me, but she feels the need to debate it all to the nth degree. Unfortunately for her, I do not have that need, and what she may be seeing as showing love and concern, I am experiencing as uncomfortable, intrusive and interference. Any attempts at explaining my point of view generally brings on the wide-eyed, hurt “I was only trying to help” and “You’re misunderstanding me.” (I don’t think I am, in fact, I think I understand all too well what’s going on.)

It got worse over the weekend, with interrogations about a mutual friend, (which I utterly refused to engage with) and today’s final straw was an email that was blatant interference in something that is not anyone’s business but mine and one other person’s, and the matter is well and truly in hand.

So, at the very least, taking a big step backwards from this one is going to be necessary for my on-going sanity for the next few weeks.

Endings and beginnings

I was deliberately keeping myself very busy this weekend. Had I not completely turned my life upside down this time last year, I would’ve been elsewhere this weekend, saying goodbye to a place, and seeing the end of a significant chapter in my life. As it was, being there would not have been helpful for anyone, so I stayed away. Well away. I will be doing my own “goodbye” to this particular place in my own way another time.

This week, though, will also see the formal decision I’ve made to change my life put into process, and formal, official ending will happen soon. It’s strange, but oddly appropriate that the two formal endings have come so close together.

And as for beginnings?

I am beginning to glimpse the possibilities for my future. I am beginning to know what I really do want. I am definitely beginning to know, without any doubt, this is the right path.


I remain mystified by the subject of gardening.

Having spent the morning on a long over due exploring of the garden, as well as the gardening equipment left here by my landlady, and finding out the lawn mower works, but the strimmer does not, and neither do the shears, I am in awe of those who actually like gardening. My kind next door neighbours gave me some helpful hints, and lent me some things to assist me until I can meander to the shop to purchase said useful items! I don’t think it was just relief I was going to do something about the wilderness my back garden had become. (We have also established that the fence that is falling to pieces is theirs, not mine, but none of us are too perturbed at the moment – though maybe when Littlest Neighbour is more mobile a sense of urgency about it may emerge!)

Luckily, I did only agree to keep it tidy, and it certainly looks much tidier than it was three hours ago.  Not bad for someone who has just, in the middle of her fifth decade, mown a lawn for the very first time.

But now, I am going to reward myself with lunch, then Band Practice.

God’s timings…

There are weeks when I know exactly why I love my jobs, and this week has been one of them. I’ve had a crazy busy week, full of surprises, some frustrations, and moments of sheer joy… and um, some moments of  sheer inanity for which I’ve had to apologise  profusely! Luckily, I’ve got away with it all, especially as it was seen I was really trying to do the right things,  just gone about in slightly the wrong ways, as well as trying to be three different people for two days. I was the only healthy person on the team all week!

It’s been a week of discovering how my work could develop very well into some new areas, and knowing if we can pull it off, it would add a really interesting aspect to my working week.

It’s also been a week of realising the two roles I fulfil in my workplace are gradually working together in ways we couldn’t have envisaged, and the spin off for both teams has been manifold.

In my original role, which is technically the smaller of my two jobs, there have been seismic shifts about how I’m utilised. Until recently I would not have been seen as a substitute for my boss, except in my main area of responsibility. This past two weeks, I have found myself taking on new challenges, partly out of necessity, and partly because I’ve proved I can.

So, despite the fact I work in a very insecure sector at the moment (insecure from the point of view of finances, and general low morale throughout it which has not, on the whole, improved in the new political climate), I got to the end of this week with a strong sense that this is where I am meant to be for the immediate, and foreseeable future. I have both my bosses, and their line manager asking how many hours work do I need to make enough money to live on, and how can they put a package together that works for all of us. (Japes ended up blushing furiously at several points of the week, but especially when the boss I’ve had least to do with came marching round to find me to check out the rumour that I’d been planning on leaving at the end of the contracted time, to inform me she would happily give me as many hours as she could, I just needed to tell her how many! She also pointed out no amount of qualifications would produce the unique set of skills I have to deal with some of the complex and difficult situations I’m presented with, and she for one was in awe of my ability to do so…. This was my deepest blush making moment of the week. Strong coffee was required after that one. )

I’m fascinated by the timing of all this. I’ve spent much of the last year being pulled in a million different directions, not able to make my mind up, feeling like a failure for not knowing what I wanted or needed, feeling a sense of other people’s anxieties that I wasn’t better at organising myself.

But – every time I tried to organise things, nothing worked. The best plan almost did, but fell apart quite dramatically. It was only as I decided to close the door on that option, (which felt like removing a safety net that had always been there) but with no idea of how things were going to pan out, that new work presented itself without my looking for it.

Several months on, it’s the same, but a bit different! It has been almost as if God was waiting for me to make the final move to closing the doors on the last twenty years, before gently pointing out all I ever wanted or needed was there just before me, I only had to trust his timing, not mine or anyone else’s.

Which for a determinedly independent planner and organiser like me (despite my best attempts to prove the opposite this week) is a tough lesson to learn. Yet, I also remember, somewhat vaguely, praying I would learn to trust God better!! I also remember praying that I’d find out “What I wanted to do when I grow up”. I think I know now.

Oh, and I think I no longer want to hide in a back corner at church any more – shame I’m having five weeks off doing some organ playing in other churches!

And, by the way…

to all car drivers who give me thunderous looks, or yell at me for daring to cross the road as they are  turning the corner.

The correct use of your indicators would have alerted me to the fact you wanted to turn the corner, and I would’ve waited for you to do so. If you are so busy talking on your mobile phone, that you have no free hand to use your indicator, well then you are driving illegally on several counts, and I have no sympathy for you.

If you do not indicate your intention, then I read your intention as going Straight On, and I am free to cross the road.

Thank you.

Etiquette of the pavement…

Auntie Doris has reminded me of a rant I’ve been meaning to have for a few days now! After several days worth of  escapades with cars and cyclists and motorised scooters and the like, I would like to reclaim the pavement for the humble solo pedestrian!

Or, at least plead for some consideration for the humble solo pedestrian. Who spends a lot of time getting out of everyone’s way

Some parts of my walking routes to and from work do include sections of the pavement which are cycle lanes. However, I am aware of a growing tendency for many cyclists to assume they can cycle where they like, with little awareness of those of us walking. And with little awareness of the Highway Code.  My apologies to responsible cyclists, but I am encountering far more irresponsible ones, and my life is at risk!!

Then, there are pavements where cars think it’s perfectly OK to drive on them, because they are wide enough for a car, and the poor pedestrian is left wondering where to go!! Especially when the car stops, and the drivers asks you to move out of their way… and there is nowhere to go!! And there there are narrower roads, where cars park blocking most of the pavement, and their drivers think it outrageous that you want to be able to walk on the pavement, not on the road.

Then, there are those groups who walk in a line, hogging the width of the pavement.

I am on the slower side as a walker, I try do keep to one side or other of the pavement, so faster walkers can get past, but can’t always do even that in my efforts to avoid being mown down by cars, cyclists, motorised scooters.

It is a miracle I get home in one piece! Today it was a close run thing, and I have the bruise from the cycle’s handlebars to prove it.

How are you feeling?

I’m going to get asked this a lot over the coming few weeks, I’m sure. It is only going to irritate me more and more.

After posting a status that has prompted more response in the last two hours than any status I think I’ve ever written, I have been asked “How are you feeling?” no less than 10 times in two hours in private e-mails.

For the record, here and now, I’m feeling absolutely fine and still remarkably calm, as stated yesterday, albeit a little sleepy, but a lot of people might not be feeling fine if they keep asking me how I’m feeling. Especially if they’re not people who’ve taken much trouble to find out “how I’m feeling” at other times in this process, which has been a long arduous one, and still has a bit to go. In fact, there are only three people who have genuinely earned the right to ask me that and I will give them a careful, truthful, considered answer. Oh, and my bosses can ask, and I will answer – because I want paying!!

Actually, come to think about it I’m feeling hungry. It’s time for food!