Sunday, 28 January 2007

Grill the Vicar!

The other night our village met in the village hall to grill the Anglican vicar, the Methodist minister, and the Baptist pastor. It was quite well attended, and some serious and well-though-out questions skewered the ecumenical trio.

One aim of this scorching event on a cold wintry night was for us all to get to know one another better. Although the Baptist pastor has served in the village for donkey’s years, both the other clergy have not been here quite the year, and their responsibilities include three to four other nearby village churches. By the time the collective sweat was mopped up from the three at the end of the grilling, we all walked away feeling very fortunate to have their spiritual leadership in our midst.

Prior to the grilling on the stage, the first dinner was served, which probably said a lot about the religious affiliation of the churchgoers present:

The Anglican vicar served his homemade chilli and rice in two very large black cauldrons. By all accounts the chilli was quite spicy. Angilcans know how to party!

The Methodists doled out generous helpings of Shepherd’s Pie cooked with authority by the lay lady who runs Auntie’s Kitchen (not to mention the Methodist minister!). She also made sure there was not one, but two fantastic puds on offer and both topped with thick cream:

    1. A lovely fruit crumble;
    2. A creative type of Black Forest gateau, but with a very naughty plain
      chocolate icing, and sans the Kirsch – a true teetotaller’s delight!

And the Baptists? They brought an abundance of healthy appetites!

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Saturday, 13 January 2007

Diary Daze

Here it is, close to the middle of January, and I’m just now deciding on a 2007 calendar for us to hang on the wall in an obvious place for both of us. I thought it would be safer to buy one online this year, instead of walking into a bookstore to find one, and depleting the bank account further after the holidays.

Bookstores are like candy stores to me, and like the library I grew up going to in Colorado. I can never walk out the doors with just the one item! My senses go on overload – the sights of stacks of books waiting for me to explore, the smells of aged wooden bookshelves, the cosy atmosphere of hidden reading nooks and crannies, the sounds of hushed tones, or the quiet voids filled with thinking people mulling over the prose and literary architecture of works they are reading… but I digress.

So to the Amazon my fingers flew and into the search field I type only one word: calendar. Forty-one thousand, four hundred and sixty-eight possible choices appear. But, wait! I need a large cup of home brewed coffee and some yummy bits to nibble while I peruse this massive selection. As I take my first sip of brewed coffee from the freshly ground coffee beans I ordered online from Whittard’s and have poured into one of my many Starbuck’s mugs, it appears from first glance that Amazon does not seem to have organised their protracted selection of this year’s calendars, not even alphabetically.

What kind to buy, and how many calendars do we actually need?

As I scan the titles and thumbprint pictures, the obvious calendar types are revealed: the Dilberts; the Simpsons; the many Far Sides; nature; your favourite celeb; sports; movies; cooking and cuisine; fire fighters; Klimt and other artists; gorgeous bodies (women); gorgeous abs (men); gorgeous engines (trains); Cats and dogs and yet more cats.

I’ve culled about 20 of the calendar titles from the few pages that sort of screamed at me. I did not have time to read all of them, order one (or two), and enjoy the rest of the things I have to do today. So here they are, not in any particular order:

  1. Why Do Men Have Nipples Page-a-Day 2007 Calendar: Mercy! And why not?

  2. Get Ready for 2007: I feel so guilty for procrastinating.

  3. Stitch and Bitch Calendar: Where does that needle go?

  4. The Sacred Journey 2007 Calendar: Daily Journal for Your Soul: Followed by …

  5. Messages from Your Angels Perpetual Flip Calendar (A Calendar to Use Year after Year): Author, Doreen Virtue.

  6. Mum’s Family Planning Calendar: These seem ever trendy and ready to burden Mum with more baggage for her to keep up with– they come with assortments of stickers and fridge magnets.

  7. Retro Mama 17 Month Keep-It Planner/Calendar: August 2006 to December 2007 with Other (Calendar): I could order this with ‘Apples for Jam (Recipes for Life)’ and get such a deal! Comes with ‘Handy pocket for notes and reminder’, but there’s a catch – it started in August 2006, and I already feel SO behind! I guess that’s the point with being retro, so NO guilt here!

  8. Cliff Richard – Bachelor Boy 2007 Calendar Includes A2 Poster: Good grief! Won’t he be celebrating his 61st birthday this year? He tries too hard!

  9. Witches Datebook 2007: Hmmm … this one gets a four-star rating, and is followed by …

  10. Nuns Having Fun Calendar (Wall): A fond reminder of my days as a chirpy Single. Rated R for ‘Righteous’, or ‘Rollicking for Singles’? (Cliff Richard should be so happy.)

  11. The 2007 Calendar of Bunny Suicides: Oddly enough, Amazon informs me that ‘Customers who purchased this item also viewed’ the ‘Nuns Having Fun’ calendar. And the correlation is…?

  12. Insight from the Dalai Lama: 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar: Anne Geddes also has some inspirational thoughts to share with us. Surely Joel Osteen has come out with some current gems of wisdom for sale this year? Could help Bunny if Bunny has money.

  13. Audrey Hepburn Square Calendar 2007: When was Audrey Hepburn ever square?

  14. Sudoku: 2007 Page-a-Day Calendar: Will this daily workout insure against any memory loss for this year?

  15. The Original Sudoku Calendar 2007 (Page-a-Day Calendar): Now I’m confused.

  16. Mensa 365 Brain Puzzlers Page-a-Day Calendar: Ahhhh …here's the answer!

  17. Homeland Insecurity (Complete News Archives): How can this help?

  18. Official ‘CSI’ Calendar 2007: Wow, ‘no image available’… must be really gruesome compared to last year’s!

  19. How to Insult, Abuse and Insinuate in Classical Latin: Man-oh-man! All that time wasted in the bazaars of Kandahar and Cairo, not to mention sitting in classes for French, German, and Spanish.

Which brings me to No. 20 ...

Fact or Crap: It’s Your Call (Page-a-Day Calendars): Amazon's Perfect Partner to this is ‘The Best of 14,000 Things to be Happy About Calendar 2007’.

A calendar purchase is certainly a personal and revealing statement. So I ordered two – one for hubby and one for me.

Now, which other wall is crying out for Calendar No. 3?

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Tuesday, 9 January 2007

An Open Door for 2007

After a LONG but much-needed break, it's time to renew my mind and post some thoughts afresh!

I have missed the terrific Blogging Buddies made last year, and am looking forward to catching up with you all in the days and weeks ahead.

So until the next cup of coffee during my break from practicing (piano!), peace and blessings be yours...


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