Category Archives: Rusk

A moment

I’m hosting a meeting at home this evening.

Rusk and I made cakes this afternoon (he is good at stirring) and they are sitting in the kitchen by the kettle.

Mr F is upstairs, out of the way of the meeting.

People will arrive soon.

The living room is tidy.

Everything is peaceful.

The cat is asleep on a chair (this won’t last long once people get here)

After a very busy day combining work with toddler-minding this is a welcome oasis of calm.

I’m making the most of it.

Northumberland

I mentioned yesterday that we went up to Northumberland in September.

Resorting to google maps to find where it is, I discover it is Beadnell Bay. There were a group of people kite-surfing along the bay – looked most impressive.

It proved to be a good place to continue Rusk’s education into the finer points of sand-castle building. Living in the North of England, he has learned that a good, thick, waterproof coat and wellies are the most appropriate things to wear to the beach. We went back a couple of days later, but I misjudged the tides and we had about 12 square feet of sand to play on. The first castles we built were washed away a few minutes later – Rusk got quite cross about this, but it is an important lesson to learn. He got over it.

Unintentional Blog Fast

What do you mean its November?

I’ve not been paying much attention, so it seems that I have neglected the blog for a couple of months. Sorry.

To start the ball rolling, a few snippets of life.

  • Rusk (now age 2 and 5 months) can talk in sentences now, and does so constantly. Phrase of the week is “What’s that noise?”.
  • The leaves on the trees have gone, so I once again have a sea view from my desk.
  • I may be able to see the sea, but I can’t see my desk because of all the things piled up on it.
  • We only have one cat now (Seph). Esme had acute kidney failure and died a couple of weeks ago. Sad. Seph seems to be over it, since she has started hunting again. Yuck.
  • Knitting socks is taking over my life. Photos to follow.
  • Handwashing all the knitted socks is becoming more of a chore. It really isn’t easier to knit another pair instead, but it sometimes seems that way.
  • Anyone got any ideas for an advent beach hut? I’ve been offered a night in a beach hut in December, but I don’t have any ideas of what to do with it.

Captions?

Rusk through the looking glass

I was working today so I missed the pre-school summer trip. However, this picture seems to suggest it was quite an interesting day! Can you improve on the caption?

And relax

It has been a very relaxing couple of days.

Yesterday included a trip to the beach, meeting up with some people from college. They kindly took over the sandcastle building duties and kept Rusk busy for a couple of hours. Sensible boy: he point-blank refused to paddle in the North Sea. I had thought that this week might be my only chance of a warm day on the beach and a swim in the sea, so I tried. I really tried, but it was just too cold. My friend who had accompanied me corroborated my story of only intending a paddle (to mid-thigh) in the first place. At least the Irish Sea feels warm after a little while – I knew it was a mistake to come East.

Checking out a new tea-room came next. Three Cheers! There is somewhere to buy fairtrade, decaff coffee within 2 miles of home, and they do take-away. We admired the piglets and pigs who were sunning themselves in their enclosure, then headed home to play Bananagrams. This is a totally addictive game and I recommend it to any people who like to play with words.

When I got up this morning, Mr F asked me why I hadn’t gone out last night. Oops – funny how meetings just slip your mind when lovely people spontaneously come to visit. I discovered subsequently that the meeting had just assumed that because it was my day off I wouldn’t be there. Normally I wouldn’t have, but having had the rare occurrence of a week without evening meetings, I had planned to go. No-one (except you and the person I talked to about it this afternoon) need ever be the wiser.

I had book group this morning. I think we talked about books only a couple of times in the hour, but very much put the world to rights. I’m currently waiting for the second Steig Larsson, having devoured the first one a couple of weeks ago.

This afternoon I took Rusk to a parish coffee afternoon. He was at his most charming and spent a good half hour climbing in and out of the patio. He collected half the toy stall and put it ready for us to take home, but then changed his mind and put it all back on the stall. He also became fascinated with the tombola drum – this got quite expensive and we didn’t even win anything!

Finally, after Rusk was in bed (his big bed for only the second night), we settled down to watch the finale of Doctor Who with home-made curry and a cold beer.

Phew! This relaxation lark is tiring.

Post-ordination thoughts

First time at my desk since the ordination. Thank you all very much for your good wishes and prayers. It was a lovely day and we’ve had a bit of a holiday in the south since then.

Legoland in half-term on a very hot day = quite an ordeal, but worth it for Rusk’s face when he met Lego Bob the Builder (bigger than he is).

Our tour of the M25 took in visits to some very lovely people, including a good friend’s wedding. Fantastic day all round. Rusk spent his time charming everyone, even playing football with the mother of the bride for half an hour. The next group of people we saw had a lovely garden, complete with climbing frame and slide. Mr F’s face when he saw Rusk had climbed to the top of the climbing frame by himself was a picture.

We were also introduced to the game of Bananagrams. Anyone else play? There is a Facebook app, but it doesn’t do the game justice. Marvellous fun.

Sunday morning was my first normal Sunday since the priesting. The vicar took the opportunity to have the day off so I was left to my own devices, ably assisted by the usual team. I was totally astounded when a lovely couple who had been very unsure about women priests came up to the rail and received communion. They have been very kind to me and we’ve had some good discussions about it over the year, but I really wasn’t expecting it. So lovely. Still brings tears to the eyes to think about it.

In other news: inauspicious, abnegate, writerly, efficacious, honorific, ostentation, sedulous, fallible, vinification, desuetude, pilose, ideate, arriviste, gimcrack, muliebrity and revile. Quite a collection of words to take in from my word a day calendar since I last looked at it.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new…

DECADE!

I often wondered how I would feel about turning 30 and now I know. Any possible distress at no longer being in my twenties has been assuaged by lots of goodies and a really nice day (so far).

Rusk gave me a new mascot, but seems a bit confused about who actually owns it. We may have to share. Still no name for it. I’m sure it will come. Rusk has been lobbying for it to be called ‘doggie’, but there are several items in his possession already called this so I’m holding out for something else.

knittedcharacter

There were lots of knitterly goodies:

newyarn

Including lots of reading material. I’ve already read most of Yarn Harlot, laughing out loud many times, but only being reduced to tears twice. You thought knitting was dull? Seriously, it is an emotional roller coaster at times.

newbooks

This evening I am off on a diocesan training course. A compulsory one. Don’t worry, that is not how I would choose to spend my birthday evening. I’m going to take my knitting. Cue – “It’s my birthday and I’ll knit if I want to”.

Long day

Rusk woke me up (a rare happening in itself – it usually takes a mighty stramash to pierce the depths of sleep) at 5am today, well at 4.59 to be precise. Waking when there is a 4 in the hour seems so much more extreme than a minute later would have been. After taking ages to get back to sleep, the snooze button on my alarm was well and truly abused until I looked at the clock and there was only 5 minutes before morning prayer, at Church, 2 minutes walk away. Not a great start to the day. I am leading prayers this week – who knows what or who I prayed for during the intercessions, but my incumbent didn’t raise eyebrows too much, so it can’t have been too random.

The meeting with the local Methodist minister followed on straight afterwards. My incumbent is getting used to my first thing in the morning, after a disturbed night, bleariness, so fed me toast and decaff until I looked more human. Lovely man!

General admin until lunchtime followed this, then the final week of the Lent courses, with a bread and cheese (really good cheese – brie, wensleydale and stilton) lunch. The conclusion to the course was to try and persuade people to view PCC (parochial church council = church meeting) meetings as a time to integrate the gifts of the Spirit, that we see in those around us, with the opportunites in the community. i.e. start by recognising gifts and only then plan strategy, avoid starting projects when you don’t have the people to run it effectively. We looked at the beginning of Luke 10 and an interesting question was raised: why do we (i.e. the CofE) persevere with ministry to every community when there must be some where there is no welcome there? Why don’t we do as Jesus taught the seventy and shake the dust from our feet and walk away?

Evening prayer was just me, so after praying the office, I spent some time reading Thomas Merton – The Seven Storey Mountain. I like autobiography, but he comes across as so arrogant and rude, particularly towards the Anglican Church (although the passage I read today had a rather scathing account of the Quakers). I’m persevering with it a bit at a time, mostly because of the picture of him on the front cover. He is such a smiley person – it will be interesting to see the influences on him becoming a monk. I’ve only got to the beginning of his time at university at the moment – some way to go.

Now I’ve just got some hymns to pick for Monday’s Tenebrae service and then I might have a bit of a go at the next Settlers level.

A day with Rusk

This is a very dull post – don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Lent marches on. Today has been a day off, spent almost entirely with Rusk, due to Mr F’s continuing battle with the lurgy.

Rusk decided that we would play with tractors today. There is a large box in his bedroom with about half a dozen tractors of various sizes. Some make noises, some travel by themselves, one has a track to travel on and makes appropriate animal noises as it goes past the sty, duck pond etc. The one I find most bemusing is the tractor and trailer with a sheep attached. If you hold the sheep and the trailer firmly and pull apart, then set them down on the floor, the sheep retracts into the trailer, a hook between the sheep’s legs pulls up the gate at the back of the trailer and the whole shebang sets off across the floor, to market presumably. Rusk doesn’t quite have the strength to pull it so there was a lot of asking Mummy to help.

During his afternoon nap, I played a level of The Settlers:Rise of an Empire – the latest in my favourite series of computer games.

Late afternoon saw us headed for the beach, or rather the promenade at the local town. There is a long stretch of prom that has reasonable barriers on either side (i.e. no sheer drop to the beach) so Rusk was able to run about without reins or holding hands. This means he can run further than I have to walk = tired toddler and not so tired Mummy. We bought an ice cream and shared it. He doesn’t really like the coldness of the ice cream so only had a bit. Marvellous! There were only a few encounters with large dogs. I was under the impression that leads were to keep dogs away from danger, frightening small boys etc. Apparently not, although it is ok because “he (the dog) won’t hurt him”.

At teatime, he ate marmite on bread. This is a real breakthrough – he has refused spreads or toppings of any kind on bread or toast for the last two months. Looks bad when you give him dry crusts, but really that is all he will eat usually. Hurrah for marmite (bet he doesn’t eat it again for weeks).

After his bedtime, I finished the Settlers level (and another one) before a spot of catching up online before my bedtime (now a couple of hours ago – ah well).

So that, in case you were interested, is what the clergy do on their day off, at least this clergy on this particular day off. I cannot guarantee that the next day off will be the same. Nothing too exciting.

In other news, I am knitting another sock, having ripped a complete sock back to nothing. Oh, and the foghorn is going so I’m guessing the weather has reached us.

A bit of a break

We were hoping to get away for a few days over half term to spend time with my sister, who teaches and so is limited to school holidays. Ash Wednesday falling in half term meant an even shorter break than planned, but still lovely. We borrowed a cottage from friends and spent a couple of days in the Lake District.

We are now back. Rusk has actually gone to sleep without fuss. Mr F is catching up on stuff we’ve recorded and I am relaxing with Chopin on the headphones while I finish off my sermon for tomorrow. This particular congregation asked for something more interactive. We’ll see whether they still want it after tomorrow! I’m looking forward to finding out how Lent was marked 80 plus years ago in this area.

This is the first time I’ve deliberately used someone else’s sermon as a starting point for mine. Our Lent course includes an Ash Wednesday sermon in the front as an introduction, with the suggestion that you make it your own by adapting it. Useful exercise, although I’m not sure whether the person who wrote the original would recognise what I’ve come up with. The vicar preached on something else on Wednesday so I’ve grabbed this for tomorrow instead. Editing is easier than starting from scratch, particularly when there is no pressure to keep it recogniseable. There are bits from the Lent book I’m reading in there as well – the idea that Lent is not something you do alone, that the fast (whatever form it takes) is more meaningful when it is the whole community doing it. If this Lent course is part of the fast for our parishes, then it will work better if more people are doing it. Here’s hoping.