Daily Archives: June 21, 2005


My computer’s gone funny. The address bar and tool bar at the top of the screen seem to have amalgamated into one, with lots of little arrows where it won’t all fit in on the screen. And the toolbar at the bottom of the screen has disappeared completely, only appearing when I move my mouse to the bottom of the screen – very inconvenient if you’re trying to read people’s wiblogs with one eye on the time so’s not to be late to work. Any ideas?

Two firsts…

Local Preachers’ Meetings, that is. We have two here in our circuit… one just for the trainees, mentors and tutors, and then one for everyone all together.. and of course I have to go to both.

It was the full one today. Interesting. (Hmmm.. was that the best word to use for it?). I felt a little nervous, a little like an interloper who shouldn’t really have been there. I think that may be part of the problem of working independently rather than in a training group as it felt as though I’d sneaked in uninvited, and when it came to the voting I felt awful as I didn’t feel I had the right to vote on things such as whether one of the other trainees should be recognised as having completed their training and being ready to go on full plan, but then it felt bad to sit with my hand down when people were asked if they approved of that decision! Still, they made me feel quite at home in one way – when I arrived I was asked if I’d play the piano for the devotions at the beginning!

And a classic error – the meeting was being led by a stand-in while our superintendant minister was away on sabattical. He looked at his agenda at the very start of the meeting and said “I believe Smudgie is going to do the welcome” and looked straight at me, expectantly.

“Er… erm…. I don’t think she is,” I replied, looking frantically at my mentor for support.

“Well, it says here – ‘ Welcome: Smudgie ‘ as the first item on the agenda.”

Instant understanding: “I think you’ll find that means that you’re supposed to welcome me, seeing as it’s my first ever local preachers’ meeting” !!!

The training meeting was actually last week. Talk about intimidating! Even though everyone knew everyone else and it was all very friendly, I’m not looking forward to this aspect of the training at all as it took the form of reports on everyone’s progress and actual reports of the services taken, strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement. Boring and embarrassing, dare I say it. And I got a bit frustrated because there’s some confusion over my training files. I said that I’d been sent the wrong ones, everyone’s insisting that I haven’t. It’s like having a conversation with my father! I mean, I ought to know what files are actually sitting on my desk, oughtn’t I, and they are NOT THE RIGHT ONES!

Best part of the evening, but still somewhat daunting to think that this is still to come… two of my colleagues were being given their final interview, where they have to discuss one of John Wesley’s sermons! They have to know it inside out – although apparently they were treated more kindly than most and simply led through a discussion of the content rather than quizzed in nit-picking detail as often happens. I had expecting this part to be rather offputting, but instead I have to say I was entranced. I’ve never read any of Wesley’s sermons, but I came away longing to read the four that are identified as the best and most pertinent. This man’s words, although written in archaic language of course, have such resonance today and the two people who were talking about them were obviously fired with enthusiasm for his ideas. Since last Thursday I’ve even found myself referring to his words of wisdom.

But I have a theory. God may or may not have called me to do this training in order for me to preach… but he’s definitely called me in order to teach me patience and tolerance!

Gathering my thoughts..

It has been some time since last I blogged…. it has been some time since last had ten minutes of guilt-free time to sit at my computer desk with a cup of coffee and just while the hours away. Hours, what are those? But I fully intend to while away a few minutes now while I have my cup of coffee and relax after my first ever Full Local Preachers’ Meeting and before I tackle the next task on my to-do sheet which is writing to a friend whose wife has died.

Life here is fairly hectic as we prepare for a trip up to the Midlands to a) see my sister, b) deliver my father for a fortnight’s break, c) go to a Church of Fools retreat and d) pick up Tiddles from his Peak District adventure. I wonder how he’s getting on. Today, the itinerary informs me, he should have been having a tour of Chatsworth House. I’m quite jealous. I’ve never actually been round the house, despite it being only a short distance from where I grew up, and despite having had a lovely afternoon in the gardens there… and I resented having to miss a school trip there in order to do my Maths O’level a year early. Humph… at the time I wasn’t too sure whether it was a sacrifice worth making… was it? I don’t envy him tomorrow’s trip, though – a full day’s hiking in this heat! I wonder how he’s coping. I had my obligatory postcard from him, sent the very first day: ” Having a loverly time. We got here at five pm and had tea at harf past six. It was chicken (something) and chips and salard and was very nice. Hope you and Smudgelet are having fun. Love Tiddles. PS Your turn to right”

My grand attack on the boys’ room is in hand. I’ll be at it in earnest next week when we get back – cleaning thoroughly, decorating and….. mwahahahaha…. dividing it into two separate halves by means of a row of wardrobes from my room. (You can imagine the chaos in the meantime, however – my bed has disappeared under the entire collection of our assembled wardrobe contents!) This will hopefully put an end to their night-time natterings (Smudgelet likes to keep Tiddles awake and then sit back to watch the fireworks afterwards!) and their interminable arguing over who’s turn it is to tidy the bedroom. The boxing up of all their toys and books was a depressing task, made bearable by my wonderful friend M who shared the task. Five boxes of books, partially read; three boxes of clothing; an empty washbasket turning into an overflowing washbasket by the time I’d picked their clothes off the floor; three small boxes of undamaged toys; two bags of teddies; and… wait for it… five huge black bags of broken toys, snotty tissues, and the assorted wrappers of various purloined sweets and biscuits!!!! Poor Smudgelet caught the brunt of my anger when he came skipping merrily home from school!!!

Meanwhile Dad’s trip to the cancer clinic brought a mixed blessing. I can’t quite express how I feel. Suffice to say, the cancer seems to be responding to treatment again and the bone scan did not reveal any spread to the bones. The consultant smiled reassuringly, but offered no explanation of the pain Dad’s in other than the “simple” aches and pains of getting old. Maybe the recent Xrays will tell us more… maybe. But the signs are definitely there of diminishing memory and self-control and at present I feel myself dreading for him a prolonged suffering through Azheimers – and to be honest, I dread that for me as well, both in the demands on my time and patience and emotion and in the torture of seeing him brought so low.

He’s having the shower, though – it’s being fitted some time next week 😀 😀 😀 😀 (Don’t get me started on the story of the tiles!!!)

Now, before I write this letter, I have to make some decisions about the menu for my nephew’s wedding in August. We have to order our five courses in advance. Hmmm.. it all sounds very posh. Anyone got a dictionary of cuisine so I can work out what on earth it is I’m ordering. Do they do fish and chips? Somehow I don’t think they cater for fussy eaters!