Saturday, 31 January 2009

A Non-Blonde Joke...

This one was sent to me by a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless... (that way he can't take the credit!)

A golfer was in a very competitive match with a friend, who was ahead by a couple of strokes.

The golfer said to himself, "I'd give anything to sink this next putt."

Suddenly, a stranger walked up to him and whispered, "Would you give up a fourth of your sex life?"

The golfer reflected that the man was crazy and that his answer would be meaningless, but also that perhaps this was a good omen and it would put him in the right frame of mind to make the difficult putt, so he agreed. To his delight, he sinks the putt.

Two holes later he mumbled to himself, "Boy, if I could only get an eagle on this hole."

The same stranger moves to his side and whispered, "Would it be worth another fourth of your sex life?"

The golfer shrugged and said, "Sure." To his surprise, he got an eagle.

At the final hole, the golfer needed yet another eagle to win the game.

Though he said nothing, the stranger moved to his side and asked once more, "Would you be willing to give up the rest of your sex life to win this match?"

The golfer agreed once more, and went on to get his eagle.

As the golfer walked to the club house, the stranger walked alongside. "You know," he said, "I've really not been fair with you because you don't know who I am. I'm actually the devil, and from now on you will have no sex life."

"Nice to meet you," said the golfer. "My name's Father O'Malley."

Thursday, 29 January 2009

I Am Loved...!

Despite the recent paucity of posts, or possibly because of it, Phil has taken pity on me, and has given me an award. It goes by the rather dubious name of "Lovey Award" - a phrase I associate with actors and their ilk - but the award actually says:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

The difficulty is finding bloggers who haven't already received this one, especially as so many people have given out more than eight. I'm tempted to say "feel free to consider yourself given this" apart from the fact that no-one would want to seem to award it to themselves...

I will, however, make a valiant stab at passing it on. In no particular order, I'm passing the Lovey Award to...

Karen, the Gem of the Ocean, because we are so spookily similar (or so she says!)
Leutgeb, of Bara Brith (She loves the Holy Father and music, dislikes the BBC and is a teacher. She also bakes cakes. What more reason do you need?)
The Pastor in Valle at Valle Adurni, a nice surprise for when he gets back from holiday.
The Owl of the Remove, to show that I've forgiven him for not alerting me to his visit to Blighty (though I would probably have been too ill to meet up. But that's not the point!)
Newhousenewjob who's Just Doing My Best, and who possibly needs cheering up.
Fiorella, of the Monstrous Regiment of Women, because she's recovering from Woman flu (I refuse, on principle, to accept the term "person flu.")
Ukok, over at Ukok's Place, because she's having a difficult time, but is happy to share.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker, who's Standing on My Head, just because I want to...

I've Been A Baaaaad Girl...

...I haven't posted anything for the past few days. I haven't even read many blogs...

I have been completely engrossed in tidying up.

When I say "completely engrossed," that's when I haven't been teaching, writing reports, planning lessons or taking Confirmation classes... or praying, washing, eating and sleeping. That hasn't left much time in which to immerse myself in housework, but normally I eschew the housework in favour of blogging.

Half term is only just over two weeks away (the great thing about teaching is the regular holidays... though they are really necessary!) Not only do I not want to do any tidying up during this holiday, I don't want to feel guilty about not doing any. And as unattended piles of stuff breed during the night (even if the stuff is tidy and necessary) I am desperate to clear the piles of stuff which were so carefully sorted last weekend when I had my mad throw-it-all-out session.

At the beginning of half term, the Day With Mary crowd are visiting our parish, and, having cleared out so much rubbish, I find that I have a few spaces on my bookshelves. Since spaces on bookshelves also attract piles of junk, it will be necessary for me to purchase a few books. And then I can spend half term curled up on the sofa reading the books.

The one problem with all this clearing up is the effect it is having on Sylvester. He does enjoy having his sofa back, but, normally, I save major housework for mad spurts just before I go away, so that my next-door neighbour doesn't think I'm a complete slob when she comes in to cat-sit. As a result, Sylvester is in agonies of expectation, and he follows me round from room to room, as if to check that I'm not surreptitiously packing my suitcase!

Anyway, that explains the lack of posts...

Monday, 26 January 2009

Prayers Answered...

It can be a little difficult to be positive at the moment. Barack Obama's administration is doing its level best to get all the pro-life legislation in America overturned, and is pursuing an aggressively pro-abortion, anti-life agenda. 

Here, in the UK, things aren't any better: we have laws allowing the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos, and embryos for research, and so on, while the numbers of abortions go up and up, and the push, in schools, for more and more teaching on contraception is relentless. Elderly people are being urged to consider themselves a burden on society, helping society out by doing the "decent thing" and killing themselves (or allowing others to do it for them.)

It's easy to get dispirited, and to forget that, as well as writing to MPs, fund-raising, and going on protest marches, we can pray. We forget that prayer is necessary, if our work against the forces of evil which have been unleashed in our world is to succeed. And we forget that Jesus promised us that the devil could be overcome by prayer.

So it's nice to get the occasional reminder: after the fanfare surrounding the first two applications for licences for human-animal hybrid embryo research, it seems that, despite getting the licences, the projects failed to get the funding.

Not a total victory over the powers of darkness, more a tiny chink of light, but we should take heart, stay awake, and keep praying.

Sunday, 25 January 2009


I had a bit of a surprise at the end of Mass this morning. As I left my pew, a voice from behind me asked, "Excuse me, but are you the Mulier Fortis?"

Katrina and her husband Dario are, apparently, fans. Over from Italy visiting a relative for a short while, they had been to Mass in a few other churches round the area, where they had, as Katrina put it, encountered some strange practices and heard some very odd things. Reading my blog had led them to find Fr. Tim's Parish website (with directions) and so they thought they'd give it a try.

Getting lost, they hailed a taxi to ask for further directions: did the taxi driver know of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, by any chance?

They were in luck: as well as being given directions, the driver added, "I think you'll enjoy it there!"

So, Katrina and Dario (I hope I spelt your names correctly... feel free to correct me in the com-box) welcome to Blackfen. It was great to chat to you in the Parish club, and do visit again soon!

Spring Cleaning...

I absolutely hate housework. I also hate being disorganised. This means that I am constantly in a state of tension between the two incompatible facets of my personality. I achieve a sort of cognitive dissonance by being supremely organised at work (I am almost pathological about keeping surfaces in my classroom clear of clutter, and my desk in the faculty office is only allowed to get up to a half-term's worth of disorder before I am compelled to have a "filing session" after school) and being very untidy at home.

I am lucky enough to live in a two-bedroom flat, and one of the bedrooms started off as an office. This was fine while my computer was in there... I had to be able to keep it relatively tidy in order to access the internet without being confronted with lots of mess and disorder. The problems began when I got a new computer with broadband. The broadband connection was in the living room, and I made the mistake of not getting rid of the old computer immediately, so there was little incentive to get connections sorted out and the computer relegated to the office...

I was also blogging for recreation, and so didn't want it to be in the office, which was for "work" stuff. At least, that's how I rationalised my inertia. I'm good at that.

Then I had a period off work, and was feeling a bit stressed, and I had a lot of extra work-related items which could no longer be kept at school, so they got dumped in the office, instead of being sorted out properly. I wanted things to be tidy and organised, though, so I solved the problem by putting everything in bags and leaving the bags in the spare room.

I then found that there was no room in the spare room (the door would barely open) and so things lay around in piles in the living room, and the bedroom. Soon, Sylvester found that his favourite spot on the sofa was covered in books and files.

Bit by bit, the disorder got to me, and, eventually, I started to tackle the piles of books. I only seemed to have the energy during holiday periods, so it was pretty slow going, and no sooner did I get one pile of stuff sorted than another pile seemed to appear in a new spot. The spare room was, however, still a no-go area. Finally, I realised that the tidy piles of stuff in the living room would remain forever, periodically getting messy and being tidied again, (like a modern-day labour of Sisyphus) unless I sorted the spare room and turned it back into an office.

Drastic action was called for. Luckily, a friend of mine has a particular penchant for tidying up other people's houses - she says that it is an antidote to sharing a flat with someone else who is very messy: this, apparently, makes tidying her own house very unrewarding (and somewhat depressing.) I have to confess to being unable to see the logic which results in the tidying bug being worked out on someone else's house, but, as she was offering to help me, I wasn't going to argue the point.

We spent the whole of Saturday afternoon and evening clearing, cleaning, sorting and rearranging. By 9:30pm we had filled several bags' worth of items to be disposed of via the Council's re-use and recycling centre. I disposed of the bags this afternoon, after Mass. Somehow I managed to fit it all in the car...

I don't yet have a tidy flat, but the piles of books and files are all needed and all I have to do is decide exactly where I want to put them. I can also walk into the spare room without breaking any limbs.

And Sylvester has his sofa back.

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