Hen talk.

My hens talk to me,they do really!  Mrs Fergueson,named after the family who sold her to us, comes running along with her funny side to side  gait, and almost purrs deeply in her throat, a sort of “cuup,cuup,” noise, which she knows will melt my heart,and reward her with a little corn. the others,who are not so bold, being mongrels, not like Mrs F. who is a beautiful Barnevelder, come running and softly purr to each other.

When eggs are laid everyone finds their voice and the treasure is announced to the world. Mrs. F. comes into her own on these occasions, with such raucous squawking that she can be heard along the entire glen, she also lays large brown eggs with amazing orange yolks.

The Rev., on a Parish visit, to another hen keeping couple fell in love with a cockerel called Henry,he was apparently magnificent,both in stature and colour, who stood on the gate and crowed most of the day. The couple are moving away and Henry can’t go, but thankfully he had already been found a home. I am sure that our neighbours would not have appreciated him. They tolerate the barking and howling of our 3 dogs who act as if they have been abandoned for ever ,when we have really just gone to the shops. A cockerel no, are you listening Vicar???

Spot the Christian.

I was just reading on “Dreaming Beneath the Spires” about meeting people who purport to be Christian but leave us wondering. What kind of representative are we?  The other week I had had a really bad day, if, the Rev wants to live in a hovel in his study , that’s fine with me, although it’s a bit embarrassing when folk come to consult with him about something, and they climb over umpteen pairs of trainers, running gear and two smelly dog beds , his desk is in there somewhere too.I try to ignore it, it’s his territory, I do have to answer the phone, this always has it’s cable shut in the drawer, so that when I put the receiver to my ear, it is snatched away and falls on the floor leaving the caller shouting from the carpet, but I digress.
I was having a bad day because our bedroom was beginning to look like the Study. I watch these d.i.y programmes where beautiful relaxing spaces are created for couples to relax in. They don’t have towels, camouflage clothing left over from the Army, old receipts, 16 copies of past order of services and swimming gear drying on pictures on the wall! They don’t have books piled high on bedside tables , so high I can’t see the alarm clock, they don’t have the communion silver ( it’s safely locked away now) under a chair, and other unmentionable things lying around the floor. I really lost it, it took me all day to clear a space ,make it smell nice and fill three bags of rubbish. The Rev. had left his sermon to the last minute, and was not finding inspiration anywhere, and was not a nice boy, so my mood got worse. By the evening I was tired and irritable and the Rev. was tetchy. We had to go to a community ceilidh type evening with people I didn’t know, and I was not in the mood for dancing. I also knew that once there I would be left on my own while my dearest went off and exchanged swimming and running times with friends. You know , I swam 50 miles in 15 seconds with my legs tied together and a brick on my head! I’m jealous because I swim badly and always wish I was fitter. 
Anyway , I felt like a fish out of water,(excuse the pun)  the hall was gloomy and the whole thing was a bit naff and all I wanted to do was go home. So when one of his friends’ wives came to chat with me, and I thought ,”oh no, not more small talk I do that all the time , it’s part of my “job”, I was curt and quite unfriendly, actually I couldn’t believe I did it. Anyway I insisted we left and I fell asleep as soon as we got home. Now, those folk weren’t Christians, and what kind of ambassador was I for God, I was the Ministers wife who came across as a cold, irritable, old bag. However, I feel, I can’t be “off duty”,can any of us really, which can be a bit wearing. I know God understood, but now, somehow ,I have to repair the damage.

 It’s awful being human isn’t it! We are SO imperfect, but then that’s where grace comes in.As Yancey says , “There is nothing you can do to make God love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you more…” or words to that effect, but that isn’t always the case with people.  I get to meet all kinds too, ladies who want to tell me all the gossip, a woman who is “on fire” for the Lord and burns everything to a cinder with her sparks, leaving people running in all directions when they see her coming because she is just too much.

There is a man who catches me after the sermon each Sunday and engages me in a discussion where he seeks to point out where my husband got it wrong and preaches an alternative just for me, I take it ,so that I can repeat it to the Rev. to put him right.

I am pleased that they are “in the Church” I hope by being there they hear God’s word and they add to the tapestry of church life.. I grit my teeth and put up with them, but God welcomes them with grace. I have much to learn………. ,and I see you in the supermarket when you duck behind your trolley when you see the Ministers wife coming! What is a christian? One who follows Jesus however wobbly their legs ? and we all get a bit wobbly at times.

13 March 2012 03:22

Rest and Be Thankful.

It seems that we appear sporty and fit up here, but this is for a reason. There are no shops! Normally a girl would take a bit of retail therapy when feeling the need for some entertainment. Here we have a few “touristy” shops,about 4 miles away, gift shops and coffee shops and a supermarket (of sorts). An hour and a half away you can access our larger shopping centre in Oban, here you have a choice of supermarkets,Tesco Aldi and Lidl, with a few national shop names like Homebase and Waterstones, New look and the Edinburgh Woolshop. Not exactly exciting, and Oban is one of the windiest places on earth, the main reason for going there is to catch a Ferry to the Western Isles.
If you really need to shop, then it’s Glasgow, but you need to start early, 8 a.m. bus ( doesn’t usually get in til twenty past due to paper deliveries) will get you there for 11.30 ish with a 15 minute break in Inverary. Shop til you drop but don’t miss the last bus at 6 p.m.. ( make sure you have booked in advance) or you will be staying over night in the city.
The journey time depends on the condition of the mountain pass at Rest and be Thankful, known as “The Rest” locally, we are seldom thankful as the land slides onto the road with regular monotony, causing an hour to be added to the journey as we have to go north towards Oban around the otherside of the “Arrochar Alps”. This road is spectacular  but as our only route east, is a bone of contention at present. It is also disconcerting when the warning lights are flashing and we see cameras monitoring the movement on the hillside as we pass through.

Edinburgh is your other choice, that will take you 4-5 hours, or half a day by public transport. So, we amuse ourselves and use our beautiful countryside instead, cycling , running, watersports and sailing up the Crinan canal, if you can afford it.There are dozens of forestry commission tracks to follow with wonderful views. Argyll people are hardy, and have a great sense of community. You can find a ceilidh, or a coffee morning, agricultural show to go to, join the rural, (Scottish W.I), or just have a coffee with friends. Here everyone talks to everyone else, you can’t pass someone in the street without speaking, maybe I should work for the tourist office!

But, if you like home comforts, easily accessible shops with your regular brands, be ready to travel or tough it out. However you could get fit and healthy like us.

As stately as a Galleon…

 In answer to the comments of my last post, here is a Joyce Grenfell song which sums up our group nicely. As yet we have no gentlemen. The Rev. is already a fairly good dancer, as well as swimmer,runner, triathlete….. I have to keep up despite being 7 years older than him! Those 7 years do make a difference too, I shall be glad when he gets to 50  later this year. Actually having to cycle to the dance class makes me get out , I did ,however, stupidly say that I would go out with him on some pastoral visits this week,especially as he promised me lunch out. It transpired that he was going to a village 12 1/2 miles away, which doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that’s 25 miles of peddling.
Now on the flat that is fine ,but in the car I had never noticed the hills! The Rev. went off in front  to do his visits, and I said that I would catch him up at the pub. Oh MY! This village is on a peninsula of land which has a deep glen and two large Lochs, I cycled around bends, crawled up hills that had my muscles screaming, and still no sign of the place, at one point I could have sat down on the side of the road and cried with self pity! The beautiful sight of  Tayvallich when I got around the final bend was worth it. The boats in the bay, the sun shining and there was a dear friend standing on the jetty looking out to sea who was full of encouragement but very surprised to see me there. I managed to see quite a few parishioners who lived there ,while waiting for the Rev. ,one lady who is over 80 and  who  kayaks, dances and does yoga,  assured me that once I had scaled the Glen on the return journey, I would be fine. We all had a lovely lunch together, and I made it back in an hour and forty minutes.Next day I had  some stiff muscles but a sense of acheivement. The Rev. said I would get a prize if I beat him home, I did by 10 minutes, but no prize, he said I’d have to have him as the gift, suppose it’s not too bad……
My neighbour, Mrs Fanshaw, is portly-plump and gay.
She must be over sixty-seven if she is a day.
You might have thought her life was dull. It’s one long whirl instead.
I asked her all about it, and this is what she said:

I’ve joined an Old Time Dance Club. the trouble is that there
Are too many ladies over, and no gentlemen to spare.
It seems a shame; it’s not the same, but still it has to be:
Some ladies have to dance together. One of them is me.

Stately as a galleon I sail across the floor,
Doing the Military Two-step as in the days of yore.
I dance with Mrs Tiverton. She’s light on her feet, in spite
Of turning the scale at fourteen stone, and being of medium height.

So gay the band, so giddy the sight, full evening dress is a must,
But the zest goes out of a beautiful waltz when you dance it bust to bust.

So, stately as two galleons, we sail across the floor,
Doing the Valse Valeta as in the days of yore.
The gent is Mrs Tiverton. I am her lady fair.
She bows to me ever so nicely and I curtsey to her with care.

So gay the band, so giddy the sight, but it’s not the same in the end,
For a lady is never a gentleman, though she may be your bosom friend.

So, stately as a galleon, I sail across the floor,
Doing the dear old Lancers, as in the days of yore.
I’m led by Mrs Tiverton. She swings me round and round,
And though she manoeuvres me wonderfully well, I never get off the ground.

So gay the band, so giddy the sight, I try not to get depressed;
And it’s done me a power of good to explode, and get this lot off my chest.

I dance in my cycling gear,and have ” Muddy Fox” written on the side of my cycling leggings, but I hope one day to float about in a tea dress!