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  • Cats 'n' Things

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    It's just about 77 hours since Sophie and Sasha entered my home, two timid little cats, with a sad back story, who wondered what on earth they had let themselves in for.  Sasha, the white one, and younger of the two soon claimed the radiator bed and made herself at home, whilst Sophie, the tabby and older remained terribly shy.  Then yesterday an "aha" moment for Sophie as I fastened her collar and she discovered new confidence to start establishing her "rights" too.  By 48 hours or so, they were comfortably sleeping in full view, and now, in the above photo, taken just a few minutes ago, they are contentedly snoozing away.

    The timing of the arrival of these two furry friends has been good, giving me something to think about apart form church in what has ended up as quite a demanding week one way and another.  Practically, with water ingress both at church and at home.  Pastorally, with several hours rightly devoted to important matters.  It's been essentially a good week, one where at the end I can look back and feel that I did OK, but I am tired.

    Watching my kitties find their feet, explore their new home and start to purr has given me some needful balance and forced me to pause amidst the many and varied demands.

  • Mysterious Ways

    This morning was set aside for sermon prep, and I was having a ball, reading a commentary on the gospel of Mark, identifying ideas for my sermon, when I thought, "ooh, I wonder what the Hebrew verb actually is in Genesis 3."

    Taking down my interlinear Hebrew Testament from the shelf, I realised it was somewhat soggy, indeed closer scrutiny revealed that two Greek textbooks and a Bible overview were equally affected, along with a pile of flags, bunting and miscellaneous other items.

    So now the vestry resembles a cross between a Chinese laundry and some kind of Comonwealth-cum-British-cum Scottish nationalist headquarters, with flags and bunting draped over chairs and blower heaters drying them nicely.  Insurance will cover the cost of replacing the books which are, after all, just stuff... no one died, as the saying goes.  In the scheme of things, this is of zero consequence.

    But, had I not wanted to check a Hebrew word (and I was correct, hurrah!) I would not have seen the soggy book, and had I not seen the soggy book, who knows how long it might have been before the water ingress was identifed and action taken?  Mysterious ways, methinks.

    Church are on the case and have already contacted the insurers.  High winds mean the roof cannot be checked today, but it is all in hand.

    Meanwhile, I suppose I had better get back to the sermon, or there will be silence for 20 minutes on Sunday!!

  • New Beginnings

    As we near 24 hours since the arrival of Sophie and Sasha, their personalities are already starting to emerge, and they are establishing their own ground-rules that have little or nothing to do with what I might think!  It's really interesting to watch them exploring, negotiating (or not), hiding, watching and so on.  I've taken a lot of photos already, that new parent sort of thing, trying to capture the moment, and failing miserably on the whole, because they are fleet of foot and, unlike Holly, are not would-be film-stars!

    Working (such as has been possible, mostly admin) at home has allowed me to watch over them as they begin to settle.  So far, so good, and I am confident to leave them later on to go out to church for another new begining.

    This evening we begin a five week taster course looking at Mindfulness as part of some exploratory midweek evening worship.  I am looking forward to it greatly (and have already blogged about it).  Somehow watching cats begin to discover their new, forever home, seems to express some of what the beginings of mindfulness might be about too.

    Which means that in there somewhere, God is nudging me in some way.



  • Slightly Surreal

    Yesterday I was back in my old stamping ground, conducting the funeral of a friend who lived there, but who I met as a result of our cancer diagnoses after I'd left there.

    I arrived at Bretby crematorium to be greeted by one of the undertakers who said, "Dave is looking for you".  Who is Dave, I thought, and then he appeared - the guy who does "front of house", who I hadn't seen for over five years, and who greeted me as if it was five weeks, seemingly not noticing the short hair instead of long.  It was odd, but nice, and helped me relax a bit.

    As I stood at the door under the canopy waiting for the hearse to arrive, I found myself recalling the last time I'd stood there, and that I had never expected to be there again.  Very surreal.

    Little had changed, the huge 200-ish seater chapel was full of people who had come to say farewell to a woman in her mid-forties.  Some I knew, most I did not.  The singing was pretty good (her relatives are mostly Catholics from an area where Catholics sing lustily), the visual tribute (photos set to music, a new development sinece I was last there) tasteful and moving, and my bits were well received.

    I got home whacked, physically tired from the travel, emotionally drained by the event, and without the opportunity for my own "post funeral rituals" which involve scruffy jeans, a huge mug of tea and an hour's walk.

    Today, back on home turf, reminded of some regional differences of funeral customs, and with a full load of important work to be done, I am reminded that ministry is never what you expect and always more rewarding and more frustrating than you could imagine!

    Now, as my kittens (cats) start to settle in to their new home, and explore the limited space they have been introduced to, I have my scruffs on, will make a cuppa and finally get my own ritualised release.

  • The Cats are Here!

    Just for the kitten fans... Sophie and Sasha have landed, are utterly gorgeous and are tentatively exploring their new home, even allowing their new human to snap a couple of photos for the waiting fans!

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    Sophie (tabby and white) had a good look round and then snuggled under the piano.  Sasha (white with black markings) preferred to be underneath the old treddle sewing machine in the hall.

    Very cute, very curious, a tad disorientated and utterly gorgeous!