Lent so far: one spectacular fail. I have more opinions than I ever thought humanly possible. I suppose discovering this is of itself useful to the soul.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
The very last thing I have to do as PCC secretary in our church before I hand over with wild joy and exhilaration is produce the huge meeting document for the APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting). This extensive piece of paperwork contains reports from all aspects of church life. Because of the length of time it takes to get them in, format them, collate them, and print them off, all in time to be available a fortnight before the meeting, I have to start sending out reminders in January to people who every year have to send in their reports at this time but do nothing unless reminded.
Some people, even if reminded, ignore the deadline which was the last day of February this year.
So I had a phone call this morning.
Caller: “I haven’t had a reminder to send in my report for the APCM.”
Me: “I have sent you two reminders.”
Caller: “Oh? Well, I haven’t received them.”
Me: “The deadline was last Friday but as I am still waiting for some people whose reports are in late, I can still add yours in if you send it in today. Do you still have my email address?”
Me: “Do you have a pen and paper to hand? Yes? Well, here it is. Okay, I’ll say it for you first, then spell it for you, then say it again to check you’ve got it. Are you ready? Here we go.”
[I spell it out with lots of s-for-sugar, b-for-bertie, m-for-mother etc to make sure my friend cannot possibly get it wrong, then read it back to check it has been correctly transcribed and make them affirm that it has.]
Me: “Okay, well if you send it in today I can include it. But I did send two reminders to the address I had last year.”
Caller: “Oh, well I have changed my email address.”
Right. That’ll be the problem, then. No wonder you didn’t receive my emails.
It is Lent, so I will express no opinion about this conversation.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Okay. Lent begins. No more opinions until Easter. Ooh, how very, very restful. I tell you, this day was full of opinions.
Oh – for those of you feeling bewildered and not knowing what I’m talking about: I’ve chosen to give up opinions for Lent.
This does not mean opinions won’t arise within my mind, I’ll just keep them to myself.
I intend still to express preferences – so if someone says, “Would you like some cheese on that or not?” I won’t be responding: “Whatever.”
I expect I’ll still say what I think, but try to express it as something other than a judgement/evaluation. So I can say I really like yoghourt with prunes but not that yoghourt with prunes is delicious. I can say I love the sun but not that sunlight is beautiful. At first glance that may seem rather pedantic, but I suspect it will be liberating.
I was born into a family with decided views expressed in certain terms. Its members never perceived the boundary between objective reality and personal viewpoint. Thus it was that I grew up believing purple to be ugly, vulgar and hideous, “settee” to be a socially inferior term and sweet sherry to be contemptibly infra dig. I was thirty before I came out about my penchant for Lemon Puffs, forty before I admitted to preferring sweet sherry and hating dry wine, and I never wore anything purple before I joined a religious organization that insisted upon it.
Opinions have bludgeoned me into submission my whole life long. Being released into the wilderness where no opinions are looks like one glorious six-week holiday from here.
You are not bound by this foray of mine, of course: you will be entirely free to tell me as often as you like that in your opinion what I have just said is an opinion: because the great thing is I won’t be able to tell you if I agree with you or not. You can just say it.
Me eating yoghourt with prunes. In the sunshine.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
So I bought this jumper (yes, that’s what we call a sweater in England) on eBay. This one. This was the photo:
And it came today. Surprise!!
I tried it on.
It was a bit of a shock.
But I quite like it.
Partly because it cost me only £3.00. Partly because in a strange way I think it suits me.
And partly because when the Badger and I go shopping in the big grocery store and set off with our noses to separate trails, he always has trouble finding me again.
Not any more.
Not even in the dark.
P.S. That’s not blusher gone mental. Have you heard of “the niacin flush”? Neither had I. Well, that’s it.