Category Archives: Rusk

Date with…

Our calendar for next week has a rather perturbing entry. On day x it says “Rusk begins to be ill” and on day x plus 4ish it says “Rusk better”.

Wouldn’t it be great to know in advance when you are going to be ill and then plan accordingly?

Why do we have this knowledge? Oh just the first batch of MMR jabs, so he might get a mild (and non-infectious) bout of measles after the usual incubation period.

Mind gone blank

Before I went back to tag my previous post, I had a list of various things to post about, but they have now all escaped my mind. Here are some things I wasn’t going to post about, due to lack of interest.

  • Raisins are a very good strategy for getting your toddler through the quiet bits of church
  • My baby sling still works with Rusk, but climbing hills is not a trivial matter
  • Does a toddler make a specified amount of noise per day? Having kept quiet in church, Rusk then shouted very loudly through lunch to make up for it
  • For the liturgy geeks among you – spotted a rather clever use of the versicles and responses in mattins – using them as responses at the end of longer intercessions
  • Every time I type something my sister (whose room I am using to avoid waking R) stirs in her sleep. Time for bed methinks

Carry on camping

We took Rusk camping at the weekend. Boy was that an experience! It never ceases to amaze me how he can increase his stamina according to whether there are interesting things going on. While he would normally have 2 naps a day and sleep from 7 to 7, he managed to get by with the odd 20 minutes of nap and stay awake while we went to a restaurant until 9pm. He entertained everyone at the table by playing peekaboo with his napkin. I was less impressed when a pigeon woke him up at 5.15am the next day, particularly since I was in the same tent as him and I had to wake up too. At least a tent is a fairly safe environment where he can play without needing too much attention from a very bleary-eyed parent.

We found a very, very good visitor centre and gift shop in Dalby Forest, along with a 2.5 mile walk that was suitable for pushchairs, although possibly better for pushchairs with slightly bigger wheels than ours. It was tough pushing at times. We rewarded ourselves with a cream tea afterwards. Rusk loves scones – probably a good thing for a vicarage child – and will keep quiet for quite a while if given chunks of scone every few minutes.

So, my top camping tips for camping with a nearly-toddler:

  • Make sure the child can actually toddle. Crawlers get very muddy knees, or have to be carried much of the time.
  • Have a small tent ready to use as playpen while putting the larger ones up
  • Take many other adults with you to play with the toddler
  • Either camp far away from other people or accept that the toddler will disturb a large proportion of the campsite
  • ALL camping equipment counts as toys, from the guy ropes to the air bed pump. Don’t bother taking many actual toys
  • Gin and tonic (for you, not the toddler)

A glimpse of today

I’m not really sure what to post, but Mr F is still bugging me about not posting anything, so here you go.

I’ve been ordained deacon nearly 2 weeks now. It is a funny thing, but it feels like a lot longer. I’ve slipped into the new life quite easily, mostly thanks to my incumbent being superb.

Saturday is meant to be my light day, a bridge between my day off and Sunday. The main aim of today is to finish writing a sermon for tomorrow. Morning prayer was at 9 today, a welcome change from the usual 8am. After wandering home through the drizzle, I went upstairs to work. A quick check of emails, a quick look at some of the bits of paper that have appeared and I was onto the internet. Sermon writing seems to work best when I am ruminating on something at the back of my mind, with other things (blogs for example) at the forefront. I’m now almost at the point of writing it – got most of the ideas, some clue about the structure and themes. Just writing a blog post to get the typing going. In true vicar-style, I am listening to Test Match Special in the background.

Lunch today was very funny. Rusk, now 13 months old, is very serious about the business of finger food. Each item must be selected with care, checked in case it is a new foodstuff, passed hand to hand several times and then sometimes placed carefully in his mouth. He makes a little pile of food to his right of things he will only eat if he is still hungry when he has finished the nice stuff. Top foods today were cucumber and Gruyère cheese, followed by pear. Chicken was rejected and hummous with bread sticks looked promising, but he offered it to us instead of eating it himself. Apparently, my giggling at his antics is NOT HELPING.

Well, back to the sermon I guess. I’m rather looking forward to it. I’m preaching (and leading) at one of the small churches, with a congregation of about 10. How many people tomorrow will be preaching on sheep and shepherds with a soundtrack outside the church of the sheep belonging to the churchwarden?

In case I miss it, I will just mention that tomorrow will be the third anniversary of this blog. It has been brilliant being a part of the wibsite and will hopefully continue that way for years to come.

Feeling moved

What a week! Finally back on the internet at the other end of the country. Just five more boxes of books (all on theology – how will I ever have time to read them?) to unpack (and a few other odds and ends).

Mr F and Rusk are adjusting well to the new place. The cats are somewhat bemused, but Esme has finally figured out how to jump stairgates so she is generally happier.

Those of you who pray, please remember us over the next couple of weeks as I am ordained deacon and start working here. Please also pray for these parishes!

Book looting

Some time ago, an item appeared on the local news. The lease on a warehouse full of books had expired and the company had disappeared, leaving it full of books. The landlords were inviting the locals to come and remove any they pleased.

This sounded like something not to be missed. I have never looted before, although this was sanctioned looting so not quite the same thing. It was a depressing sight. I went on the second day. On the first day people had taken most of the shelves, discarding piles and piles of books into mountains on the floor.

Interesting dilemma: Can I tread on books? Even to get to other, better books? I overcame my scruples and did some scrambling to get a couple of gems I spotted.

I was hampered by a couple of things from making the most of this opportunity. First, I had Rusk in his pushchair with me. In order to make this less of a problem, I had brought two bookloving friends with me who had promised to take it in turns with me to mind him while the other two of us scavenged. This meant, however, that there were 3 people plus Rusk & pushchair to fit in the (quite compact) car before we even started to fit books in.

Nonetheless, the loot was worth it. I ended up with I think about 16 books. Some (Penmarric by Susan Howatch) I had been looking for, some I had wondered about and decided not to spend money on (Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab, The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe) and some completely new to me.

It was a bizarre environment. It was quiet, like a public library. People were concentrating hard. One guy (a book dealer?) had driven his transit van in and was stuffing it full. Others had brought suitcases. There were quite a few mums with pushchairs. Some were carrying the baby, while the pushchair was stuffed with books.

All in all a very weird day. Thinking back (this was now a few months ago), I still don’t feel quite right about the whole thing – not sure why. Nearly all the looted books that I have read have gone back into the system now via local charity shops.

RC 13 – 21

Ah, yes. Lent has now been over for quite some time, it being Ascension day tomorrow. This whole not-blogging thing turns out to be quite addictive. I have been doing various things that may be blogged at a later date, but here are some brief highlights.

Rusk will be 1 in a couple of weeks. Where did that year go? He is now an experienced crawler (read ‘fast’) and spends most of the day practising standing up. Mr F is getting into being a house-husband and he and Rusk are having a whale of a time while I am stuck in my little study trying to write stuff for my dissertation.

There will be posts to come on knitting, vestments (maybe even with pictures), moving and many more things. I think the important thing is to concentrate on the books though.

RC 13-16
So you want to be a wizard
Deep Wizardry
High Wizardry
A Wizard Abroad
All of these by Diane Duane. Books from my childhood I unearthed over Easter. Pretty classic children’s fantasy.

The Biographer’s Moustache by Kingsley Amis
A free book from my booklooting (post to follow) expedition. Wouldn’t have read it otherwise, but it was quite entertaining. Kingsley Amis is one of those authors I had always meant to read and never got round to. This is a book all about character development and class. I love his use of language and the pictures he paints of upper class England.

Friendly Fire by Patrick Gale
Coming of age novel set in an English public school (loosely based on Winchester). Told through the eyes of one of the few female students, it relates the story of a group of kids growing up together, discovering and exploring sexuality, occasionally going out into the real world, but mostly set within the school.
I loved it. It has a feeling of Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris about it, but is much less creepy.

Debutantes by Charlotte Bingham
Utter rot. This was another free book. The implausible tale of three debutantes who just happen to become friends during their season. A subplot of humiliation and revenge. The most annoying and shallow character I have read in a long time. Just don’t bother.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Absolutely loved this book. Told through the eyes of three women several decades apart. Compelling opening – a small girl seemingly abandoned on a ship going to Australia. The stories of the three women are very cleverly revealed. A very sad story.

Magician’s Apprentice by Trudi Canavan
Trudi’s 7th book, the first in the prequel trilogy to the original Magician’s trilogy. Fairly predictable, but I love this world so loved reading it. Despite what it says on the cover, it really isn’t a good introduction to the series. You need to read the original trilogy first.

I’m sure I’ve left some out. I will go home and scrutinize the pile of books next to my bed and see which should also be on the list.

Practically perfect?

On two occasions in the past week, I have attempted to be extremely practical and fallen at the final hurdle.

The kitties had finally destroyed the old catflap so I bought a replacement then discovered it needed new holes drilling in the door. We bought a drill* and I set to work. The varnish on the back door is very dark so I couldn’t get a pen to make a mark on it. There was no masking tape in the house so I couldn’t use that. In the end I measured¬† from the other side and figured out roughly where the holes went. Holes successfully (well almost – there are two holes on one side – oops) drilled, cat flap inside part wedged into pre-existing hole, cat flap outside part lined up outside and screws ready to screw in. 20 minutes later, I still can’t figure out why the screw won’t catch on one side and I have to call Mr F. Turns out screws are too short. Why couldn’t I realise that? Then I would have actually managed some solo DIY.

Today I tried to change the windscreen wiper on the car. Again, after several minutes struggling with it I had to admit defeat. Turns out I was pulling when I should have been pushing, or something. Ah well.

On a practical level, I am doing better than the other female occupants of the house. The cats have not taken to their new cat flap at all. Seph will come in, but not go out. She has spent most of the day standing by it in the hope it will magically change back to the old one. I guess they will get fed up eventually and just decide to use it.

In other news, Rusk has FINALLY cut the tooth that has been causing him bother for 3 weeks.

* mmmmm a power tool of my very own


I have bought rather a strange collection of items today.

  • A butternut squash – from one of the greengrocers down the road. I had to walk past three greengrocers that were either closed until after new year or did not have any squash. There can’t be many places in Britain left where there are 4 grocers within a mile of each other
  • Four sweet potatoes – ditto. I have discovered that Rusk will eat anything if it is mixed with sweet potato. I was a bit too creative yesterday with the veg combinations and he refused both the concoctions, I think on account of using Granny Smith apples which were too sour. Hopefully this will make them edible again.
  • A row counter – just in case I start any more knitting projects before the project I am currently counting is finished
  • 24 stitch markers – in grotty plastic. I lost the will to make pretty ones when I couldn’t find the fixings I wanted to attach the beads to. I am ashamed to say that I had to resort to Hobbycraft for both of these, although I did try my local craft shop first. My local yarn shop is closed this week. How foolish of them. I was in the mood to spend lots of money. By the time they are open again I will have no time to shop.
  • A plastic box – to keep knitting things in. I now discover that I need about 3 more boxes.
  • A gingerbread latte
  • A bath mat – Mr F was fighting a losing battle trying to keep Rusk in his little bath without knocking himself out on the head of it. Now he is in the big bath, the problem becomes stopping him from rolling over or flinging himself backwards.
  • 4 pillows – Is it me or do pillows just disappear? Maybe these will last a little longer than the previous set.

I did not buy a knitting bag. The search continues.

Knitting goodness

Look at the lovely shiny things I was given for Christmas!

Knitpicks Harmony interchangeable needles
Knitpicks Harmony interchangeable needles

They haven’t photographed terribly well, but I am very excited about using them. I have decided that I must, must finish my essay and get the next two greek exams out of the way first. Or else have a rule only to use them when Rusk is awake, his nap times being prime college work time.

Esme is sitting on my shoulders chewing my hair. Bizarre animal. I think I had better dissuade her.