Tag Archives: ponderings

Noteworthy Good Service

Despite my frequent gripes about train travel we are incredibly fortunate to have two very, very good teashops – one at each of the local stations and they do make life considerably more tolerable… so much so in fact I’d like to share my great joy from todays experience.

On returning to the larger of my local stations, I grabbed a drink from the aforementioned place.  As part of my ‘health kick’ I’m often opting for soy milk in drinks rather than dairy.  This is a regular occurance but today was the first time it was met with the following response.  After expressing my desire for chocolate on my drink, the assistant asked me whether I had a dairy allergy before adding it to my drink.  I was really impressed at her courtesy and awareness.

The other notably excellent tea shop can be found at the other central station, in fact just across the road from where I work.  They are mostly notable for selling rather excellent tea, called Teapigs.  I would very highly recommend the tea, and the pigs are a very good fun way to get a wonderful brew.

Horray for good tea shops which make the journeys tolerable.

Still Not Having a Heart Attack

On Wednesday morning very, very early, I woke up with a rather bad pain in my shoulder.  It’s still there and is the reason for a rather interesting week.

After a few hours, and knowing the doctors surgery was open I arranged to go and see an expert.  As all the doctors were all busy I went to see a lovely nurse who did all the tests she could, arranged for a doctors appointment for later in the day.  Then she asked if I had pain in my chest – I had pain in all of my upper left side so the answer was yes.  Then the fun started.

During the ECG the fire alarm went off, so the nurse, healthcare assistant and myself were trying to work out whether we needed to evacuate.  Fortunately we didn’t and I managed to get seen by the doctor during this quiet time.  It turns out that I hadn’t had a heart attack (part 1).  Some blood tests were requested, and after about an hour I left the clinic with no less blood than I’d arrived with and only the knowledge that I didn’t have a heart attack.

The following day, still being in pain and still needing to have bloods taken I went back.  We established that I still had pathetic veins but I still got no more information and was advised to try the hospital on Monday.

On Friday one of my congregation took her physiotherapist hands to my shoulder and made it better for a while, but it didn’t last.  It turns out that my shoulder is not capable of sitting through The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  It worked out that the weekend, a time hoped to be highly enjoyable and relaxing, was rather focussed around my shoulder.  Eh well.

On Monday I went to the hospital for the blood tests (I do have blood after all).  After the tests I went to A & E.  Once again I was checked out for heart attacks (still not had one).  After a couple of hours it was finally decided that I have a frozen shoulder, I was given some appropriate medication and sent home.  Yay, I thought.  While the problem could last for months it was an answer.

So, after taking the tablets (and thus being able to go back to work) I thought I’d keep going like this, and go to the doctors next week if the problem was still there – as per instructions.  Life carrys on, I thought.

So this evening, the phone goes and it’s the GP.  He wants me to go into the doctors tomorrow for an ECG… *sigh* I still don’t think I’m having a heart attack.

A question of worship

I very nearly entitled this entry “What do you do in worship, and what does it do in you?” but thought I’d psyche myself up to the question…

To provide a little context, there is a person I know who responds to worship quite differently from those around him, and the way expected by convention. He often arrives in plenty of time before the service, doesn’t rise or noticeably respond to any of the spoken prayers nor hymns, and even (I’m led to believe) will walk out when he feels he’s benefited sufficiently from the time of worship. During the service he draws. He sits there, sketchbook in hand, and responds visually. He produces very challenging and beautiful images which, during a meeting, we were given the opportunity to explore. His images don’t necessarily present the stories in the way you’d expect but can offer very interesting interpretations – far more striking (and debatably more relevant) than many sermons or sermon illustrations.

The group who were looking at these images consisted of many people, like myself, who are familiar with leading worship. We were challenged to think how we’d respond to someone in our own congregations acting in such a manner. I said that I’d like more people to do things like that in the services as it means they’re engaging with, and having a direct response to, what is shared. It harks back to my desire, by choice, to lead services with interactive elements and another preacher said similar in our meeting. We talked about the way people are frequently very passive in traditional style services and what we can do about that. I said I’d like to knit (but then I’d like to knit in most places).

With all these thoughts and discussion in my mind I would like to ask anyone reading this to comment on the initial question – and also what (if any) interactive things they’ve done in worship and valued.

Strange the way life takes you

I realised today that I should have graduated this month. If I had completed my degree I would have graduated on July 4 with a BSc. When I mentioned this to a friend earlier, he said something along the lines of ‘so that part of your life is over’ and I replied that it was three years ago. In the last three years I have lived in 5 different places in three different parts of the country. I spent 6 months in a convent and discovered blogging. I developed some of the best and strongest friendships I have. I have held down 4 paid jobs and two voluntary ones, been on different styles of retreats which I had not done before. I’ve been a member of three churches – sort of and even started Local Preacher training. I started a job that terrified me and is one of the best jobs in the world. 😀 I’ve traveled round more of the UK than I could possibly imagine and even been to abroad! I’ve put myself together and even worked out what might be worth exploring in the future. I also discovered that planning the rest of your life away is an interesting game when you don’t know what’s around the corner.

I’ve proven to myself that I can live on my own, survive and even enjoy it. I have also proven to myself I can live with a fantastic collection of older women, live by rules, survive and even enjoy that.

This time three years ago, I made the decision not to return to university to complete my degree. Considering what I’ve done in the mean time I certainly think I made the right decision – no doubt about that. Even so there was a little twinge when I realised that I could have been Never Conforming BSc this month. The thing is, ask me to make the decisions again – the ones that led me both to and from uni, even with the intervening steps – and I’d do it again. No hesitation. Hopefully I won’t be asked again. Been there, done that, didn’t buy the t-shirt but still have the memories.


I’m not often angry but today I heard a story that made my blood boil. I’m originally from a sleepy little backwater and my family still live there. I generally am a little condescending about it but love it really. Anyway, it always disappoints me when my condescending remarks are proven to be justified.

My family have lived in the same house for, ooh, 30 years… almost since the house was built and my sister and I grew up there. There are very few families left from that long ago and we’ve seen the area evolve – not necessarily in a bad way but evolve nevertheless. It is normally quite friendly and until a few years back, everyone knew everyone. Today I hear that one of the residents (identity unknown, probably in more ways than one) called the police on my sister! What was she doing? Drunken debauchery, dealing from the front garden, making excessive noise, threatening to kill people? No (to the best of my knowledge she doesn’t do any of those things) – she parked her car. On the pavement. Yes it’s annoying. No it’s not the end of the world. She currently works shifts and gets in at I don’t know when in the morning. Occasionally she discovers that the antisocial neighbours appear to have randomly discarded their cars all over the allocated parking spaces and there is nowhere left for her. At 3 in the morning, even in a sleepy little backwater, I wouldn’t suggest wandering around on your own, having dumped your car miles away. It’s not even that someone had a gripe that bothered me. It’s that someone had a gripe and took it to the police. What happened to, say, leaving a note under a windscreen wiper, or waiting to see who owned the car and coming and talking to them? Well, I suppose in order to do either of those you need to have at least some semblance of a spine! So the police phoned my sister, she tried to explain *why* it had happened, got told if she does it again she’ll get fined.

What happens to the neighbours? Well, not a lot. They can wallow in their self-righteous, ‘superiour’, cowardly, shallow selfishness. My sister won’t kick up a fuss but is deeply upset at what happened – and understandably so. I’ve threatened to do all sorts of things – the more serious of which includes dropping a note through each letterbox on the street asking people to park considerately. If everyone used their drives (where they have them and are safe), and parked considerately there would be no problems. Or at least considerably less. Another plan is getting in touch with the councillor. Maybe if there are viewed to be enough problems maybe people would agree to paint (or at least somehow mark) parking bays on the road. I doubt it though. If those don’t work, I suggested that she writes to the local press. If that doesn’t work, I will! (And so many of the locals (and for that matter my new locals) wonder why we leave ‘such a beautiful part of the country’ – oh let me count the reason!) It should be admitted that there were a fair few less sensible suggestions like getting my sister and mother to see how much of the road they can legitimately park over. I’m guessing the equivalent of 5 spaces with their two cars. I also think that the situation would not be improved by that.

Anyway, should the stupid neighbours accidentally happen upon my blog (and stranger things have happened), I would like to suggest that next time they have some consideration. Also that talking to my sister generally doesn’t kill anyone 😉 and she’s more than willing to listen to complaints and serious suggestions about ways to improve the situation. She’s lived on that road, and in that house for over 20 years. She’s a considerate soul, which is more than can be said of you!

Disgusted (formerly) of Devon – Ottery St. Mary.