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  • OOO and the Annual Office Clear-out!

    Every year, around this time, I do a major clear out and tidy up of my office.  This year it was possibly a slightly bigger job because my office has been doubling as church for four months or so, which has included all sorts of lash-ups to position my laptop or to ensure that flowers or other symbols were in shot.

    It took all day, but it looks infinitely better and I am no longer embarrassed at the thought of someone seeing the floor.

    Packing away Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost and a chunk of Ordinary Time was quite a big task, but it does mean that when I return to work after a week of annual leave, the office will be tidy, at least for a while.

    So, the "Out of Office" (OOO) auto reply to emails is ready to go, I am logged out of Zoom (I will be Zooming to church in Manchester on Sunday and if I was logged in, the service here would be interrupted as you can't be in two places at once!) and before bed I will switch off my church phone.

    Looking forward to week of resting, reading and crafting, all based at home.  There may or may not be any blogging, but if there is, it will be done from my kitchen because the office is now closed. 

  • Smiles and Hmms

    This arrived this morning.  Isn't it beautiful.

    I love the image, the printed message, and especially the personal message on the back.

    Perfect timing after our focus on Sunday, and recent thoughts shared here and elsewhere.

    Hmms and smiles in equal measure.

  • Lasting Joy

    A week on, and the lovely flowers that arrived are still blooming and looking good.  On Sunday, I split them between three smaller vases - and Sophie cat decided to check them out.

    Thank you, they are a source of lasting joy.

  • Ironing things out...

    This week I am a little bit demob happy - on Saturday I will begin a week's leave, and though it will not take me beyond the confines of Glasgow, I am really looking forward to it.

    I am part of many Baptist Ministers' networks, and a common theme at the moment is fatigue, weariness, irritation and even burnout.  There is also a lot of self-flagellation and guilt-tripping.  My friend, and wise woman, Claire, wrote about this here. Indeed, I would recommend Claire's blog to anyone, she combines real honesty with lots of wisdom.  And she likes maths, so she must be a good person!

    In my last blog I made oblique reference to a couple of medical appointments.  It transpires that my iron levels are low, and need a bit of a boost.  So, in addition to my usual one-a-day multi-vitamin, I am adding in an over-the-counter iron supplement.  Even just a few days have made a difference - though I have been pondering how much of this is simply down to knowing I am borderline anaemic.

    It turns out that iron deficiency affects serotonin production, and depleted serotonin affects mood. For me it means I become decidedly irritable (also a sign/symptom of anaemia evidently!).

    It has given me pause for thought because throughout lockdown I have done all the 'right' things, eaten healthily, exercised regularly, been out in the sunshine, and mostly had enough sleep, but even so my iron levels have dropped  (according to my GP, I have somewhere along the line lost the ability to store iron).  That all feels like a bit of a lived parable - we can do all the right things and still find ourselves weary, sad, irritable, or whatever it looks like for us.  Sometimes we need some literal or metaphorical iron to give us a boost.

    I am really happy to know that whilst I take a needed break, all will be just fine.  Indeed, I think it will be a bit of an 'iron boost' for folk to have guest speakers for a couple of weeks. And I look forward to returning rested and refreshed for whatever comes next.

    If you are the praying type, please remember before God those whose work is to serve churches and other faith communities as ministers or equivalents.


  • Sewing Seeds of Hope...

    Hopefully sixty packets of wildflower seeds reached their recipients!

    They bring the hope of future flowers.

    And it gave me great delight to send them out!