Monday, 19 March 2018

Just For Fun

Love popped his head round the door.
"Hi!" He said, and,
"May I?" Pointing to the bed.

"YOU!" I laughed, can take a hike - 
I'm not at home to you today."

Love, unabashed, closed the door behind him.

"We need to talk." (Ever the drama queen.)

I touched his cheek, tenderly, as a mother does,
And whispered.

I shall not  tell you what I said, but I WILL reveal:

Love laughed out loud,

And, before leaving via the fire escape, 


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Looking Ahead

Stephen Hawking: theoretical physicist and thoroughly decent human being, died this week.

 I am ambivalent about death, not particularly pro-it, but knowing that it's the price we pay for life, I'm OK with it. I am not terribly fussed about what happens afterwards. Were it the end, I'm inclined to say, "So what? I have enjoyed the incredible privilege of awareness and sentience in a largely insentient cosmos*, and it all has to end someday, and today'll do!" " If it doesn't end? There is a possibility that awareness continues, and  that would be nice. Incomprehensible, right now, but nice. 

Many  descriptions of the hereafter are a little scary, a reckoning, followed by consignment to a destination of eternal pleasure or eternal suffering. I kind of like the thought that really nasty people don't get away with it, until I remember my really nasty side, and am more inclined to vote for mercy over judgement. My ultimate take is to say that God is more loving than I can imagine, certainly more loving than I am, and I wouldn't throw even my worst enemy into a lake of fire, so I have my doubts about God's willingness to do so, but that's his bag, not mine. 

I'm not afraid of death. This is going to sound weird, but it's the truth:I am more taken up by curiosity than fear. I remember the other-wordly sense of awe as I sat with my dying father. He and I were in a different place, together, a sacred space that can't be described or explained, We were experiencing together the ultimate rite of passage, it was very, very special. Recalling it,  I imagine myself dying, thinking, "My this is interesting, I wish I could tell (onlookers) how oddly normal this feels ..." 

I could go on, but I'd rather get back to Stephen Hawking. He was an atheist, and I tell you, I don't blame him. The limited, petty, vindictive, so very awful Persona that is a popular version of "God" really isn't worth believing in. The followers of this "God" have nothing to offer mankind. Belief in This  offers no hope to the world, That, isn't good news. 

I'm prompted to put my own eternal destination at risk today, because the death of Stephen Hawking brought out the absolute worst in the triumphalist Christians who happily consign everyone who doesn't believe in their horrible God,  to hell. I have read their poison, and am sickened by it. 

I am confident Stephen Hawking, who could comprehend the deepest secrets of the cosmos in ways that I can't begin to understand, or imagine, knew more about the workings of  the God-mystery than the peddlers of  hell-fire and damnation. 

I don't believe in their God either,. 

* Unless, Sentience FILLS the cosmos and IS God! I hear this, and wonder. "Christ is IN ALL and is ALL," is a foundational Christian belief. 

Friday, 9 March 2018

Playing Catch-Up Or: "What Granny Did This Week"

Quite a lot.

On Monday, I drove in my Dacia Sandero ( Black 2014) into Gloucester to prepare lunch with my fellow Christians at the Salvation Army Citadel at the top of Eastgate Street. The drive was uneventful: I noticed the winter woods were greening up a little at floor level, and the water-meadows bordering the Severn were flooded with snow-melt.

I spent the previous day with the adorable Finley, my grandson, who is one year-old, and was sick. Today, he is better.

The snows of the previous Thursday and Friday had rendered Ray and I housebound. But as we'd heeded the warnings and shopped, we were warm and comfortable.

Children, and Carol checked up on us. We are fine. Thank you.

There were errands to run. Letter for a church friend left on the front table in the narthex. Reminder of the Cell meeting on Thursday. A letter to deliver to the Principal of the local Secondary School ( 'Principal': horrible American affectation. I was proud to be a Head Teacher, I guess now the school is planning to become an Academy, he feels the need to disassociate from teaching. In the word of Trump, Sad. )This letter is from the Labour Party, Newent Branch which I chair. We are advising him to think again. Somebody needs too. I ended up delegating this task to Ray, to save time.

Consequently, I was early to the Army and chopped carrots. Cottage pie today. Usually, frozen carrots are employed, but the supermarket was out of them. And other things too, due to the snow - but we managed. I progressed to potatoes, then slicing and wrapping cake.

Others were working on mince, onions, and sandwiches for the evening soup run.

Before the opening of the Drop-in Lunch at 12:00pm, I check that "my" tea table is fully supplied and then I join the other helpers for a sandwich lunch.

This is a highlight of the week. I get to know the homeless, the jobless and that not-coping. Hearing their stories means I can tell them, and I do, when comfortable people, innocent (or not) in their ignorance, defame them. Some people are shocked, and many hearts open with compassion. Those that don't, have trouble coming, on the day when THEIR story turns to tragedy. How can those without love, receive it in turn?


After Army duty, I head north to Droitwich to spend a few hours with another beautiful boy, Frankie. He's fit and well, I'm here to allow his mum and dad to grab a break.

Home by six. I have a meeting later which I am not going to. My apologies were made in advance and my contribution emailed in.


A quiet morning and afternoon. My remaining three grandchildren are arriving after school for supper and a sleepover. Rosie is ten now, and excited about moving on to High School. Abigail, aged six, informs me that she loves everyone in the world more than she loves my iPad, but might she have it now please? All questions about her day are stonewalled, but that's nothing new. Sam and Ray play "marbles on the stairs" an activity three year-old needs and loves. This, I suspect is one of the games reserved for grandparents' homes!


The sleepover and breakfast is enjoyably routine. The young ones go to sleep without fuss, breakfast and dressing go off without incident, and I am off again, this time to Gloucester City Mission, to serve a meal to the same friends I saw on Monday.

There are some new faces. One guy was made redundant from Carillion on 24 January, and evicted on 27th. Another, elderly, vulnerable, was evicted the day after his partner died. I wonder: what sort of country have we become?

Fortunately, both were homeless for a very short time, not brilliant accommodation, but rooves over their heads in life-threateningly cold weather.


Ever tried too hard at something? Lesson for the day. Stay chilled. I lead a Parish Evangelisation Cell Group. I spent days preparing the worship, and presented the group with a song I loved, and which totally bombed. I am asking serious questions about why the group has dwindled from 15 to 5. Even the co-leader was a no-show this time!

I felt completely humbled. Then I listened what the group were saying. They picked the song for next time and I am delegating the co-leader to introduce it. Two birds killed with one stone. :)

Ray has headed off to Leipzig for the EUEFA Cup qualifier. I suspect Leipzig are playing, but I regret to say, I forgot to ask! He's a courier for ISG, and will return the tapes of the game to Frankie's father in Coventry, who will edit them.

So a cosy evening in. Steak and potatoes for supper and an early night. I watch an awful film about an alien invasion, and end up asking myself why. I loathe battle scenes. Has anyone else noticed how many more of them there are in films these days?


I got up early to go pray with a friend who is unwell. I think she was comforted. Now the important bit begins, walking with her through whatever comes next.

I parked in town, and set about buying flowers for Mother's Day. My mother, Trudy Pitt, much loved, much missed, died in 2002. I will place them at the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, for ALL mothers, everywhere, every time.

I wandered through the Newent Charity Shops in search of a spending fix. I am tempted by an old fashioned meat mincer, a Style dress pattern, an oval pie dish and a photo frame. I bought nothing.

I did give in to a bottle of white wine and a tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

Ray returns from Leipzig. We watch two episodes of Portello's Railway Journeys, then I take a bath and go to bed.

Caught up!

God Bless You All, Every One!


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Still Raining

I have an Idle Moment, before a very busy week, which I am spending  riffling through my anthology of poems, seeking one I might post. I fell upon “Still Raining” with delight, having completely forgotten it. 

In this poem I reflect on a childhood game I used to play with my younger brother, Adrian, who died before the Millenium, which was too soon. Too soon. 

So here we are, a rainy day, indoors, tracing the rivulets of raindrops as they meander down the window pane.