Daily Archives: May 21, 2007

8 random things about me me me

On the subject of memes, I declared my intention of picking up a tag from Rosamundi and I won’t sleep unless I do it tonight. This is because I am actually too tired to go to bed.

Here goes:

1) I know I’ve mentioned this before but, having forgotten to take my tablet the other day and suffered the consequences it is at the forefront of my mind: I have dermographic urticaria. This means my skin responds to touch by developing red, itchy weals and has the added interest that it is possible to write messages or play noughts and crosses on my skin.

2) I tend to get a “wobbly” tummy just before it snows.

3) I learned several languages including Turkish to qualified translator level but can now only say useful things like “one red apple” and “how are you?”

4) I have climbed the mast of a tall ship, been up the CN tower, climbed a 50 foot tree, and stood on top of Lincoln cathedral. I am somewhat scared of heights.

5) I have played the piano accordion since teaching myself at the age of fifteen.

6) I am all-but tee-total, but can occasionally be tempted to indulge in Baileys, a snowball, the weakest bitter shandy in the world, or cinzano and lemonade. However I would much rather have Appletize, J2O, or a nice cup of coffee.

7) I am a renowned chocoholic but do not like chocolate things: e.g. chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate milkshake etc. I do make an exception for hot chocolate, however.

8) (If this sounds self-pitying, it is not intended to. While it frustrates me at times, at the moment it’s “just one of those things”) While I have never met anyone for whom there has been a mutual attraction and, at the grand old age of 21 and a bit have never been kissed, I seem to have an unerring knack of attracting the totally unsuitable or unavailable.


Did I mention I was a bit dopey today?

I teach four classes on a Monday, three for maths and one for English, to three year groups. The mathematicians amongst you will work out that one year group I have for both Maths and English. This group is made up mainly of the same children, with one or two variations, though there are far more in the maths group than the English.

I went to lesson one. The class of ten was lined up beautifully outside my classroom so I signalled them in. A colleague who was administering important tests in the next room asked me to run to reception to check on the presence/absence of a child who was supposed to be sitting the test, as the teacher in question could not leave the class, so I signalled to my little lovelies to read their reading books until I returned. Lovely kids – no worries at all leaving them unsupervised for a moment or two.

I returned to the classroom. I set the majority of the group a piece of writing to do while I took off two absentees from the previous week and administered a spelling test which they’d missed. Then I returned to the whole class – all ten of them – to continue with another English task.

Whereupon the girl at the front said “Er, Miss. You do realise this is a maths lesson, don’t you?”

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I preached, about two months ago, on how difficult we find it to trust that God knows what he’s doing.
How difficult it is, to trust that God knows what he’s doing!

Those niggles of doubt that must have God jumping up and down and shouting “For goodness sake, just trust me, will you!!!” You know, I can hear him shouting – it’s just so hard to let go of that knowledge that God sometimes answers “no” to our requests and it seems just asking for trouble to go totally banking on the answer being “yes”, just because you asked for something. It’s no wonder that I can’t concentrate on anything today and found sleep hard to come by last night.

But God certainly seems to be shouting “Just trust me” loud and firmly in my ear. Yesterday was a case in point. You know how sometimes, heaven forbid, your mind wanders during the readings? No, I’m sure you’ve never experienced that… and she adds hurriedly not that that ever really happens to me, of course. But there I was in church, waiting to do my Gospel reading after the Old Testament one and totally oblivious to the words from Isaiah – just engrossed in my “Lord, I don’t know whether to wait for a yes or a no from the school – what should I be feeling now?” turmoil. And suddenly a voice in my brain said “For Goodness Sake Smudgie, LISTEN TO THE BLINKING READING, WILL YOU!!!” (Goodness, I’ve just looked back at the lectionary to see what the reading was, and it wasn’t on the list – it was obviously chosen by the preacher for its pertinence to the service). And there was my reassurance – the words of Isaiah speaking straight to me in answer to my prayer.

And then today. Coincidence? God-incidence? Not sure. Another thing playing on my mind was that I didn’t know what the school report had said which had been sent from Tiddles’ previous school direct to the boarding school. I was fairly confident it would be influential, but in which direction? What had they said? In my rather dopey state this morning, I arrived home from school for lunch, only to realise that I’d left my keys in my classroom. How frustrating! So once we’d eaten, I took Tiddles along for the ride and returned to work to collect them. I was walking out through the foyer when I saw a visitor that I thought I recognised and we acknowledged one another. She asked how Tiddles was doing and the penny dropped – it was his former Head of Year Nine, the lovely teacher who had done her best for him while he was there and had filled in and sent the report off. She said straight away “I trust the form got there OK. I was honest, just as you said, but also said to them that it was my sincere belief that our school had not been right for him and that he would respond well to the environment at the boarding school and flourish there.” I could have kissed her! But for her to be there, and for me to need to go back to the school, both at the same time and just when I was needing to hear her say what she did?

So where does this leave me? Well, certainly still not daring to believe catagorically that he’ll get in, even before the letter arrives on the doormat. But beginning, just beginning, to realise that I do trust God to know what he’s doing. The indicators are that Tiddles will be offered a place, that we have reached out and grabbed the lifebuoy that God’s holding out to us and he’s not going to snatch it away from us; but if he is turned down I know, deep down, that God does know what he’s doing and will have a purpose for Tiddles and will bring it to fruition if we simply learn to trust him. “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Me! Me!

What is it about these things that holds such an attraction. I love reading them and love doing them. Memes, that is. And yet they’re only really interesting when they’re done by someone you sort of know a bit already, and I am sure they’re more interesting to the person doing them than the person reading them. Do I care? Pah! If you don’t like it, don’t read it – after all, I’m not writing this for you ;o) So, in true wiblogging tradition I am copying nessa and ian and farli (and probably some others that I haven’t got to yet) and memeing my forays into literature.

Books in bold are ones I’ve read.
Any in bold with an asterisk (*) after them are ones I’ve tried to read but failed.
Any in bold with a caret (^) after them are ones I’ve read and probably never will again — because once is enough [either due to length or my dislike of it]
Books in italics are ones I want to read.
Books in normal print are ones I’m not interested in (perhaps some of you can convince me one of these is a must-read!)

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) (Whether this becomes italicised depends on…..)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)*
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) *
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) I’ve seen the film – does that count?
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timoth Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

It is probably a sign of my mental deterioration post-motherhood that I have not even heard of half of the ones I have left in plain type, let alone formed any opinion of whether I want to read them or not. Before I became a mother, my definition of a book on my “to-read” list was that it should have words in it. Now my definition is that it is to be short enough for me to stand a chance of finishing it and straightforward enough for me to keep track of where I am if I end up leaving three weeks between each paragraph. But I did manage a whole book last week. Within the week. How amazing is that? I think that makes two so far this year. :o)