Sunday, 28 February 2010


Abssolutely delighted yesterday, at Synod, to hear that a dear friend, Revd Ian Barcroft, has been appointed Dean of the Diocese. Ian was one of my group of youngsters when, as Youth Chaplain, I conducted a "Not the General Synod" with some teenagers in Perth alongside the real Synod, back in the eighties.

An inspired appointment!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

As I head off to speak at Synod today.....

This springs to mind....  (click to make bigger)

Friday, 26 February 2010

Meetings & Mission

It's been a week of illness, death, and meetings, meetings, and more meetings.

The death of a good man, who I baptised and anointed two minutes before he died found me weeping with the family - very unprofessional - and the event had a profound effect on me. This is ministry in the raw, and what I was ordained for, but modern ministry tends to be more about meetings, and minutes and paperwork and forms to fill in.

Not that some of this week's meetings were unproductive. I'm in charge of a parish that wants to grow and reach out to others, in service definitely, but also with the offer of a place of quiet and serenity in the High Street. We want to share the riches we have and provide opportunities for God's grace to be found outwith our Sunday "love-in".

I know it's jargon, but there is desire to be a more "mission shaped" congregation, and that's been high on the agenda of this week's meetings. Not that we are are "anti-mission" shaped at the moment. Our hall is full to bursting at times with folk from everywhere in the town, our Sunday numbers remain constant even as we lose folk either in death or because it is time for them to move on. In many ways we have been a "growing congregation" for some time now, and new folk are always being added to our number.

However, now that all the building and restoration work is over, our minds are being focused on why we did all that stuff in the first place! It was for the Glory of God, yes, but also because we wanted to share that Glory, and have all the resources to share the love of God with others in an unconditional way. Various plans and ideas are underfoot to do the business now in a way that is not burdened by builders, architects and dreams of  wood, nails and cement.

Just when I thought the meetings were over, I'm suddenly aware that tomorrow is Diocesan Synod, and a wander through Canon Law, statistics and reports. There will be moments of laughter and the chance to catch up, and of course all eyes will be on our Bishop Elect, together with an eagerness to listen to what he has in store for us.

At home, Toastie is recovering a bit, as his pills seem to be reducing the fluid in his lungs, the cat has gone out and returned on several occasions, and the RW even attended the opera last night with several readers of the Scottish Sun. Freebie seats are not to be sniffed at! Me? I was at a meeting!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


The "Leader of the Pack", our Toastie, hasn't been very well for a while recently. He's lively in bursts, but then needs carried, and he seemed to be coughing and choking quite a bit.He really has been struggling to keep up with the other two for a while now.

He'll be seven in May, but even as a pup he had a heart murmur. We kept him fairly lean as a result, and he's had a very active life.

Tonight the vet told us he has congestive heart failure and his lungs are filling up with fluid. Yet, the wee man is trying, and failing to keep up with the pet-nonsense that goes on in our home. He's been given pills to slow his heart down and try to clear his lungs a bit, but he's obviously not going to be part of the pack as an active member any more, and that's sad. We just hope that with medication, he'll be around for a while yet. I'd miss him far too much.

Parliamo Glasgow!

Dick Turpin Without the Masks

The new Rectory is a joy to live in, not least because my study is a converted garage, next to the house. It gives me a quiet space away from pets, TV and the RW when she's in full flow, although I sometimes let the pets share it with me!

The only problem is that it doesn't have a working phone socket in it. This is pretty essential, as I need a socket to plug my modem in, out of the house, and enabling an internet connection to the big computer in the study.

Now... on to BT to ask how much it would cost to have an extension socket installed in my study. Answer - £200. Aye!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Change of Address

Still trying to catch up with all the people who need to be notified that my address has changed. I phoned a company today who said that I couldn't change it over the phone, but if I emailed the details, things would be fine.

Now this company have never had access to my email address before. How do they know it was me? Am I about to be bombarded now with more offers I CAN refuse?

Letting the Cat Out....

The RW decided that the cat shouldn't be introduced toour new home until we were a bit more settled, and packing boxes had all but disappeared. So, on Friday, the bold girl came into her new home with much yamming and sniffing about. Over the weekend, she's seemed to have settled in her new abode, though has been staring longingly through the many windows, no doubt visibly marking out a new territory.

Now, I understand that cats are different from dogs. My canines just want to stay where I stay, and there are no problems. However, I'm being told all sorts of things like putting butter on wee Truffle's paws before she goes out, and a plethora of other old housewife's tales.

This morning I just let her out.She had just become too desperate. Now I'm worrying! Will she come back? Will she go searching for St Andrew's Crescent again? She's certainly disappeared, but I'll get on with my day and try not to worry too much!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Fancy a Romantic Weekend?

A monastery near Vienna, Austria is offering men the chance to be a monk for a weekend.
Franciscans from Maria Enzersdorf, site of a monastery since the 15th Century, are opening their doors as they need recruits.
During the weekend they will have the chance to work and pray with the monks.
The Franciscans say they want to provide people with a realistic impression of life as a monk, and are accepting men up to the age of 40.
The scheme, which is free, started in October last year and since then, the chaplain says, three people are now considering becoming monks.
And it is not just for men - an order of Franciscan nuns is also offering weekend introductions to the sisterhood.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Ideal Solutions

Of course it's Lent, and not Advent, but it still doesn't stop those waiting for the "Rapture" living in expectation. The confirmed believers, the "saved", are to be taken up to The Lord in the air, leaving those of us who are not part of the elect here on earth.

This is all very well and good, but what about the pets we will be leaving behind? Who will care for them? Thankfully, in the USA, someone has come up with the answer!

Friday, 19 February 2010

March Magazine

After much tearing out of hair, and trying to get everything working again, the latest St Augustine's Magazine should be available for download!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Holy Week and Ecumenism

When I came to this parish, the Pisckies always opted out of the "Ecumenical" Holy Week services, and we did our own thing instead. The whole thing wasn't all that ecumenical anyway. Of course the Roman Catholics opted out, much for the same reasons that we did. There is a rich liturgical beauty in our Holy Week practices, and we weren't prepared to trade them in for a week's worth of hymn sandwiches, heavily dependent on the spoken word and the talent of the preacher.

During my time here, though, we've opted into some of it, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday really, and invited the others to join us on Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday. We also retained our "Last Hour" on Good Friday.

As we planned 2010 this year today, it was heartening to find an enthusiasm from the other churches in joining us for our Liturgies, not only on Maundy Thursday, but on Good Friday too. Our tentative "sharing" of what we have at this time has been appreciated after a little suspicion, and now the other congregations enthuse about joining us for our Thursday night goings on!

Sharing our riches has resulted in an openness and an enthusiasm to share more.

My goodness, I even discovered three Presbyterian ministers today who were reading Spong!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Dogs in the Covenant

A wonderfulpost from MadPriest! Toastie,Peanut and Archie loved it!

A New Beginning

Now we are settling into the new Rectory, and my time is once again fully focussed on doing mainly what the Church pays stipend for, it's good to mark this "new beginning" with Ash Wednesday. If ever there was a day for "new beginnings" this is it!

And so, with millions of others today, I'm looking for a new start! I'll ash and be ashed, and the words of the Liturgy which never cease to move me will move me again.

In many ways for me it will be the mark of a new ministry. Over eight years ago my bishop suggested I should look at Dumbarton as an option, and said that I would need to get a restoration going on the church building, see it through, try to replace the hall, and, if possible find an affordable rectory that fitted canonical requirements. Well, we've managed that, the folk here and me! (But mostly them!)

It's time to re-evaluate my ministry, as well as my life, in my new base, and see if I can set new goals and new targets for the future of this place as well as for me. Ash Wednesday. A wonderful time for this new beginning.

It's a day when many Christians will look at their past, as I will, and see in there many things that need to be changed or at least made better. In AA, on Step Four, we are asked to make a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves. In many ways the Church asks us to do the same today. However, whenever I'm helping folk with their Fourth Step, I always insist that they look back and identify the good things and the positives as well as the disasters and the negatives. We're not all just big dollops of sin you know! Within each of us is the glory and love of God, and despite our weaknesses and failures, it's there, and shines through anyway.

So,yes, I'll repent of my sin, but I'll not forget to give thanks for my positives as I enter a sort of "new era"!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tom Morton Stories

Like Big Rab, I often find myself listening in to Tom Morton on Radio Scotland when I'm in the car on weekday afternoons. There can be some seriously funny bits interspersed by music I really like. I missed yesterday, though, tied to the chair of a pub in Glasgow eating a long lunch with fellow clergy. I'm indebted to Rab for the update....

"Tom Morton always does a great show on Radio Scotland in the afternoon. In between the music he’ll introduce a theme or three for discussion amongst listeners. With today’s communication mediums including text, email, Facebook etc. Tom is never short of listeners’ contributions.

One of the subjects yesterday was labelling of parcels and I noticed the following contribution from former Lennox Herald editor Bill Heaney on Tom’s Facebook which I thought was brilliant. He reminisces about some of the strange things that used to be taken as parcels on the trains:

“I remember once a great stushie that was caused when someone sent a greyhound to a man in Balloch. The dog had a label round its neck, of course, giving the name of the person to whom it was being delivered. It was in the days of the old steam trains and all the parcels were kept in the guard’s van. As you will remember, the guard had to jump out at each station, see the passengers on and then wave the train off when everyone was safely aboard. The Glasgow to Balloch train stopped at Renton, the guard got out and the greyhound spotted the opportunity and nipped out at his back and then sped off down the platform. The story goes that it was pursued by the guard, who was shouting: “Stop that dug, it’s a parcel!”

Settling In - and Dealing with Duties!

At last the new Rectory is looking and feeling like a home, and the dogs have settled. There are still multiple tasks to be done, and the old Rectory needs cleared and gutted, but we'll get around to that after a few more days breathing space. When all is done,though, and we sit down, there comes the realisation of how stressed and "on edge" both the RW and I have been over the past four weeks.

Waiting for plumbers and joiners and heating engineers and being up to our armpits in water had kind of taken over our lives, and it's only today that I suddenly realise that Lent begins tomorrow, and there is a myriad of parish tasks that have been left undone through all the stramash of the last 30 days. It will take some time for catch up to take place, but the detailed Confession in the Eucharist tomorrow will be extremely meaningful for me! Oh! The things I have left undone and there being no health in me!

Some Vestry members have come up with ideas of what they want to use Lent Group time for, and since I'm dreadfully disorganised, I'm grateful for the suggestion. We hope to explore further all the points, suggestions and ideas, (vision), that came out of our Parish Day in December, and I'll try to root some of that stuff in scripture and prayer too.

Meanwhile, I'll get on with burning some palm crosses!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

We're In!

The removal on Friday was as stressful as the run-up, but we survived! The day began wonderfully well, with the van we had hired from Mitchell's. It was loaded up with the first batch of "heavy stuff" when the gearbox decided to go on the van. No reverse, no going forward, and the Macaulay household effects, like my bed, and my TV locked in a van at the bottom of a hill. Cue the man from Sky to arrive to connect up the telly.

Two hours and much drama later, we were going again, but half the "muscle" had gone. Well, we thought we would be finished with the heavy stuff before lunch, and two poor souls soldiered on unaided!

M provided the tea, coffee and bacon rolls and by 5pm I could sit down. In the midst of only mild chaos I sat!

The dogs are rather unsettled and don't seem to like the back garden much. Tough! Get used to it guys! The cat is still "on holiday" but will no doubt be reintroduced once all the unpacking and hassle is over. Another few days and we'll get there!

Can't believe it's Ash Wednesday this week! I have much to repent of!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Movin' Day Tomorrow!

Today has been a whirlwind of activity as the RW took a "day off" to move "stuff"! The place looks as if a bomb has hit it, and tomorrow we'll have two houses that'll look as if they've been hit by bombs! Ah the joys!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Oh No!

The RW has "done her back in", as we say in these parts. Enter Superman! Who's going to keep my specs safe?

Dirty Tricks!

This comes via “a friend” of "a friend"!

1. The indigenous US car industry is on it’s arse right now.
2. Toyota has long since usurped Detriot’s traditional Big Three.
3. Toyota becomes afflicted by a product-wide accelerator problem.
4. Next, the Prius model develops a braking issue.
5. Hey, only today, the Corolla in the States has a steering problem.
6. The world’s media buys it in full.
7. US politicians start to demand answers.
8. Moody’s threatens to downgrade Toyota stocks on supposition alone.
9. Professional engineers are frankly astonished. Toyota’s products and practices are a global byword in the car industry and beyond and for three such unrelated design incidences to arise in quick succession really beggars belief.
10. Oh yes, I almost forgot – America is home to the CIA and The Original Dirty Trick.

Has Madonna done the unthinkable and found someone hotter than Jesus?

You just must see this!


Some guys are really needing attention in these "moving days". Archie says "Hi there!".

Some Things are Worth Advertising

We have some gifted young musicians on the fringes of our congregation, and they're all getting ready for a workshop on Saturday. They're getting together to provide a wee "word/music-based" service on Saturday evening at 6pm in the church. I'm really chuffed that this is going on. We need to support it, but I have a fear that the pews may be emptier than I would like.

People who are not "Sons of the Rock" are welcome!

Link up to This!

Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on bankers that would raise billions to tackle poverty and climate change, at home and abroad. If governments took a tiny tax of 0.05% from international bankers transactions, it could generate hundreds of billions of pounds every year.

Please watch this video, and vote!


I was thinking this morning, after reading ++Rowan's stuff from the C of E General Synod, "Who would want to be Archbishop of Canterbury just now?" As I listened to the news on Radio Scotland at lunchtime, I found an answer. Gordon Brown. Let's face it.It would be an easier option!


I'm weary! Weary of letting in tradesmen, fixing things, paying things, moving things, getting ready for the big house move on Friday... and today, about an hour ago, as I sat down in the big mess, as carpet-fitters and joiners put the finishing touches to things, I decided I was weary! It's all under control, you know, although it seems as if it's all hopelessly out of control!

What do I need to do today? Probably nothing really. A bit more packing, but tomorrow is going to be the busy bit, and the RW has taken a day off to partner me before the muscle arrives on Friday morning! Because nobody is moving in to the old Rectory in the foreseeable future, things we don't want or need can be left here, and sorted in the coming days and weeks. That's a blessing! We take what we'll be living with and dispose of the unwanted at leisure..... and we might even have the luxury of changing our minds about disposing of the "unwanted", as we realise we needed it all along.

It's a strange situation, because this is the first home that the RW and I will be setting up together. It's a new beginning, and new beginnings are good and exciting. I have allowed myself to become incredibly stressed by it all, but in fairness, it has been a stressful time! There is a hidden stress too. It's about deciding what belongs to "us" rather than what belongs to a past we need to let go of. Memories are rekindled as we choose what belongs to both of us and which will be prominent in our new home, and other things which are too precious to let go, but speak of another time in our lives when we were not together. Simple things, like an ornament or picture. Hell, we're going to have one enormous jumble sale!

Anyone fancy a Rood Screen which is being stored in the garage?

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


I'm beginning to think that Blogs themselves are becoming "old hat" as we reach into the world of Facebook. I do Facebook, but it's shallow and instant and, yes, fun.

My viewing figures aren't brilliant these days, and Facebook is one of the reasons that's so, but have we lost something which was deeper and a bit more thoughtful as a result?

What do you think?


Things are beginning to hot up as we prepare to move on Friday. As we are doing the removal ourselves, with some muscle going free, it was decided that I moved my own study myself, books and all, before Friday happened. Tonight, I'm one tired bunny! Physically tired because I have lifted and moved about half of my study, but kinda tired emotionally too.

Going through bookshelves brings back memories of times past. The temptation to sit down and read your "letter" in the Parish Mag of 1998 or whatever has to be avoided, but when I put humpty dumpty together again in the new house, I'm going to savour stuff that has been lying in files for years.

Books themselves bring back memories.... memories of what was going on when you first read them, and finding that what was exciting at the time is now old hat, but to be cherished none-the-less. Some stuff, not books, will find their way into back bags, stuff that should have been binned long ago. But what about your University essays? Did I really think that, say that, write that?

What to do with parish mags that go back to the eighties? Letters of support in hard times that I've kept lovingly? Files of plans that never came to fruition? Projects and conclusions that are very dear to me?

I'm just moving it all just now. When I come to decide what will be on my shelves and in my filing cabinets as I sort out my new office, it will be different. I'll have time to sit and reflect. What to keep and what will go.

The RW made a telling comment tonight. Stuff you keep, she said, is stuff that other folk need to clear out once you've gone. She's right,I think. However, it would be nice for someone to discover some gems in what I leave behind. Maybe I'm delusional? Who wants to hear what I said to my last parish in my last letter? They didn't take any heed of it anyway!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Partick Thistle Nil Think Pink

Every 90 minutes, 9 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.

This Saturday The Nil have a derby game against rivals Airdrie United at Firhill. They are asking all our fans to "Think Pink" and join us in supporting Breast Cancer Care.

They have produced a promotional video and are asking all fans to please print off our special poster and ask your local shop to put it up.

Every 90 minutes, 9 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.

They have many services they offer including:

Introducing HeadStrong Service
Many women experience hair loss as a distressing side effect of cancer treatment. Breast Cancer Care Scotland understands this and that is why they have set up a HeadStrong service for anyone who is likely to lose, or has lost, their hair as a result of cancer treatment.
"Hair loss can be a traumatic experience. For a lot of women, losing their hair during treatment feels like a loss of their femininity. Our HeadStrong service helps people to cope with this shock. We show people how to tie scarves and give practical advice on how to look after their scalp. Some women don't like wearing a wig and are surprised by all the choices they have. We find something that's comfortable for them and suited to their individual needs. At the end of a session we can really see that their confidence has been boosted"
Pauline, HeadStrong Volunteer
Breast Cancer Care Scotland currently runs its HeadStrong Service in the following locations:
  • The Haven Centre, Blantyre
  • The Dalziel Centre, Strathclyde Hospital, Motherwell
  • Friends of the Beatson, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre
  • Breast Cancer Care Scotland Centre, Glasgow
For more information on the HeadStrong service or any aspect of Breast Cancer Care Scotland's work please visit (external link) or contact their office on 0141 353 8330.

If you approach Firhill on Saturday the Breast Cancer Care volunteers will be out in force collecting outside the stadium, please dig deep as every penny helps. They will also be selling pink raffle tickets in the concourse for a draw on the pitch at half time when one lucky winner will win a romantic table for 2 at The City Merchant, Glasgow's leading seafood restaurant. All the money raised from the raffle will be going to this amazing charity. At 3 o'clock, when the teams run out, they will ask you to raise your pink cards (which will be at every seat) in support of Breast Cancer Care.

Join us and Think Pink this Saturday! What a team Eh?


Well the last two days have been rather different! Sunday I got dragged through Homebase and General George as we went on the rampage buying all those "essentials" for a new home! We move on Friday and I've yet to pack a box, but it will be done. Come to think of it, we haven't hired a van yet either!

Today was different, at a Diocesan CMD event in Glasgow, a day to look at the art of discerning direction. Sounds posh, but basically "How do you catch a vision for your parish and help people to see it, buy into it, and respond to it!" (I'll probably get told that's not what it was about at all!)

These days are really worthwhile, not just because they provide stimulus, but they are brilliant at just bringing clergy in the Diocese together, to share, to laugh, to commiserate, to build each other up and feel a part of something bigger. We all share the same sort of difficulties and dreams, really, and affirmation is the bee's knees!

So, back to choosing curtains tonight! The RW might not be too interested in "vision" tonight, but she needs an opinion on colour schemes. The feminine side of me just creeps out on these occasions!

Fr Jimmy is a Big Shot at Last!

During the closing service of Gambia Diocesan Synod-2010. Fr James Cole, was appointed by the Bishop as a non residential Canon of the Cathedral of St Mary's, Banjul.

Congratulations, Fr Jimmy, from all your friends and admirers in Dumbarton!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Saturday, 6 February 2010

RW Has a Satisfying Day

With the departure of most of the workers, and only a few more little things to do to the new house, the RW actually got in today to our new mansion with a her cleaning gear. She even missed luch, so enthusiastic was she! So now things are spotless downstairs, and upstairs is quavering in it's boots at the prospect of its turn! She's had a most satisfying day and is all excited about it all!

Oh to be a pet! They all know something is in the air, and the fact that suitcases haven't come out yet is confusing for them, but they'll all ken by next weekend!

Tiler coming back on Monday, carpet fitters during the week, and a wee bit of painting and emulsioning needing done, and we'll be very ready to move in on Friday. I just didn't believe this was possible 10 days ago, but some have more faith than me. It's cost the parish an enormous amount of money to get us here, and all I can say is "thank-you" to my people for digging deep and making the unaffordable happen. Whether there will be enough to pay me over the next months is debatable but with faith, it will all happen!

Thanks, too, to all who have listened to my rants and wiped away the tears! You have all been wonderfully supportive!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Next Friday

Well, had a look around the new rectory today and decided we will be ready to move in next Friday with a bit of luck! The RW is happy, although there is a week of cleaning up in store! Now I'll be dragged kicking and screaming through IKEA and various other places which would not be my weekend choice!

Still, it's better than reporting another burst pipe!

Embrace Life - Loved This!!

Thursday, 4 February 2010


My visit to the new rectory today brought joy to my heart. The plumber had been back and sorted the new leaks, plumbed stuff in and sorted the showers. The joiner is finished. The boiler is now working and the house is "toastie", drying out. Tam, the decorator is being his brilliant best, what a man!! And apart from new carpets in the hall and stairway, we could possibly move in next Friday!

God is good!

Ministry Development Review

The Diocese are encouraging us all to participate in a Ministry Development Review. This, in itself, is a "good thing", and I wanted to participate. We all need to review where we have been, where we are, and set goals for the future. Ministry can easily become stale if we don't. I understand this.

I had grave doubts about the Diocesan strategy, inasmuch as it looked as if it was mainly lay folk mentoring clergy, and I don't know how effective that will be. Don't misunderstand. There are so many gifted lay people with incredible insight into ministry and its particular stresses and strains. My spiritual director is a lay person with more wisdom and insight than I'm comfortable with, at times! I think I may be uncomfortable with lay expectations? I'm too much of the "old school" for my own good at times.

However, I signed up with faith and a wee prayer. Joy of joys when I discovered today who my mentor was going to be. I'm a happy bunny! For no other reason except that I'll be stretched, encouraged, and affirmed.


The NJOY Cigarette

Well, it arrived today! I even had to sign for it! "The Smoker's Angel" it is called, and a USB plug to charge up the Electronic Cigarette. It's a bit heavy, but wow, it shows smoke coming out your mouth when you inhale! Not real smoke, but it sure looks authentic! Whether the nicotine hit will be enough for me remains to be seen, but I'll try it for a while and report back! There are so many fiddly bits and lots of instructions about charging the battery on the NJOY, but my computer is going to look cool with a cigarette attached to it whilst it's charging! Kudos!

With the NJOY in the post was also a bowel screening kit from the NHS. "Test your "motions" for bowel cancer now!" Not looking forward to this, but I guess it's good to catch bowel cancer early. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to test me for lung cancer, but I'll take whatever is going!

Loved This....


Thanks, MP!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Bishops are Nice People

Over to Ekklesia for this comment!

A taster: It should be conceded that, despite accusations of bullying (and indeed many MPs have faced similar accusations) bishops are in the main nice people. Indeed, bishops are so nice, that if they encountered arrangements in other parts of the world which allowed an undemocratic, external institution to parachute into a Parliament their own appointees, who can only be from one section of the country, of one gender, and from one particular strand of one religion – they would surely condemn it as profoundly unjust and corrupt.
It's just a shame that here in the UK, they defend such arrangements in the name of Christianity.


I went into the new rectory today to admire and bask in the progress. The newly decorated sitting room/dining room has a massive damp patch. Another burst I'm afraid, and the plumber is still sick! Today I'm joining him!


I got a lovely birthday card this year from a dear friend. It proclaimed, "Ageing (sic) is inevitable. Maturing is optional". Now, it's not often that wayside pulpit messages hit me so hard, but this one is true, true, true. And therein lies the root of all my problems. Lack of maturity.

I dream of being the wise older man with pipe and slippers, sitting in his armchair by the fire oozing wisdom, but instead I'm too busy acting and reacting like one of  the Sunday School at times. I think of myself as really being in my early thirties, even although the mirror tells me otherwise these days!

AA says that you stop maturing when you are drinking, and only start again when you reach sobriety. That makes me very young indeed! That's my excuse anyway!

Is This It??

I was fascinated on Monday evening as I watches "Hustle" on BBC 1. Here was this grossly unlikeable "dude" smoking an electronic cigarette! It had smoke, not real smoke of course, and went red at the end, but just looked like a normal ciggy! As I struggle in my office, trying so hard not to smoke as I work, or sit in the hall at coffee, desperate for a fag, I've often wondered if there was some kind of nicotine hit that actually looked and felt like a cigarette. This, too, is the year of definitely trying to give up the weed for good. My finances can't cope any more!

So, dear readers, I wait anxiously for the postman to come with my e-fag, having located the little beauty on the internet. My days of breaking the law in my office will be finally over!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

On the Way Up!

The new rectory saga has at last turned a corner and we are beginning to put Humpty Dumpty together again! Rejoice! And pray for the poor plumber who has taken to his bed, ill. The stress of 30 burst pipes at Helenslee Cres was obviously too much!


Had a nice wee 55th birthday yesterday, despite the fact that the RW decided to take a day off too! This means cleaning and going out for lunch and lugging furniture around, but she did buy me the most beautiful Italian linen jacket, "for the summer". As the heavy snowflakes continue to fall outside my window, I remember the fact that I've always been in The Gambia through January for eight years now, and I've missed my dose of winter sun! I can't wait until summer, so I've put the jacket away for Easter Day, in the hope.....

The new rectory will, hopefully get a boiler fitted today, and hot water at last! Yesterday saw a bit of a setback when the joiner, who is "fixing" things, put a screw through a water pipe right above the man who was putting up a new living room ceiling. I didn't cry. I'm getting used to it! We got someone in to view the current Rectory, and we will continue to have high hopes that they'll buy it! One has to live in hope!

As I type, three dogs are sitting or lying at my feet wanting out for a run. I look at the snowflakes and think a wee visit to the new house is preferable. Living in hope doesn't always mean you get what you want!