Saturday, 29 May 2010
My car broke down again today. I was driving merrily down the A2 towards Bluewater, at 70 mph, when the car engine started to rattle. I really didn't like the sound of the rattle, so I pulled over onto the hard shoulder.
The A2 is actually more like a motorway at that point (obviously, or I wouldn't be doing 70 mph... or at least I wouldn't be blogging about it!) so I had to get out of the car on the passenger side.
I am not the most agile of people, so this manoeuvre wasn't the easiest to accomplish. At least this time I didn't end up with my feet stuck above the dashboard as I attempted to get over the gear stick. It didn't help that lorries were thundering past, making my little Hyundai shake.
However, I finally succeeded in getting out, and clambered over the small crash barrier at the side. I couldn't walk very far away because of the bushes growing there, but I thought I was probably at a safe enough distance.
And then it started to rain...
Luckily my breakdown service arrived pretty quickly.
The damage was self-inflicted, and I really could kick myself... I had forgotten to check the oil, and the engine, although fine when idling, is now making a nasty rattle when revved... and, since it couldn't be fixed at the road side, I was driven home again.
The engine will need stripping, and probably replacing. I wouldn't mind, but I have only just had the gearbox done... At this rate I'll have a new car by Christmas...
Friday, 28 May 2010
I was driving home this afternoon in the sunshine, and I stopped to allow a mother and her children to cross over to get to the park.
The mother obviously told her children to wave a "thank you" as they crossed.
The youngest child, a toddler, took her words to heart: he came to a dead stop in the middle of the crossing, and, facing me, waved furiously while beaming from ear to ear.
It quite made my day!
Misheard lyrics can be a source of amusement (like the one in the post title!) However, they can also really change the whole meaning of a song.
I always thought the Mamas & the Papas' classic, California Dreamin', went "Got down on my knees, and I began to pray..."
It seems that they were only pretending.
I also thought it had the line "If I didn't love her, I could leave today" whereas the actual lyrics are "If I didn't tell her..."
I think I prefer my version.
In the wake of having my illusions destroyed, I have been comforting myself with the reflection that this group really must have been strange... the woman in the middle looks as if she's desperate to go to the toilet, and is skittering around on one spot until she can escape, while the chap on the far right is trying to flick his fringe out of his eyes without moving his head too much... and the less said about his "dancing" the better...
...so I haven't been blogging.
I have almost completed all my preparations for the Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes, and am no longer hyperventilating whenever anyone mentions Icelandic volcanoes or British Airways.
However, in case I allow myself to get too relaxed, a friend sent me a little snippet from the Daily Telegraph about a kitten who crawled into the washing machine for a nap...
Luckily Sylvester is too fat to fit comfortably into the washing machine...
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
I was quite amazed to hear that the powers-that-be are attempting to restrict the numbers of people attending events during the Papal visit.
Auntie Joanna and Bara Brith summarise the feelings of ordinary Catholics quite well, and Damian Thompson has given some of the background information which might explain what's going on.
I can understand the need to have tickets for events in enclosed spaces, such as the Mass at Westminster Cathedral. I do not understand why people are being discouraged from attending open-air events.
I personally hate large crowds, and my knee and ankle problems make my attendance at such events tricky, especially if it is necessary to walk long distances. However, I am busy reflecting on whether it will be possible for me to go and line the route somewhere...
I remember the effect that the visit of Pope John Paul II had on my father...
I was 14, and had only been baptised a couple of years, and wasn't entirely sure what "being Catholic" meant. My father had been lapsed for so long that, on trying to arrange for the baptism of my sister and me, he had returned after Mass absolutely apoplectic at the fact that "it had all turned ****** protestant!" - something I didn't understand at the time. I now realise that he'd completely missed the introduction of the novus ordo, and its contrast with the usus antiquior must have come as quite a shock.
At the time Pope John Paul II visited Westminster Cathedral, my father was helping to re-fit and refurbish the Reubens Hotel, Buckingham Palace Road. He came home that evening, and, with tears in his eyes, he recounted to me how he'd stood at the front windows of the hotel and waved as the Holy Father went past... and how the Holy Father had appeared to catch his eye as he waved back.
I know that this experience had a profound effect on my father, although I never got the chance to ask him about it - he died less than three months later.
He'd never have managed (or even tried) to get a ticket...
Sunday, 23 May 2010
I have discovered that I can download episodes of various classic comedy programmes onto my iPhone... just in case the wait at the airport proved to be longer than usual!
Among my favourites are the series Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. The following snippet seemed rather appropriate... though, of course, we have had to endure centralised control of education for well over a decade now...
Sylvester has been a little clingy of late.
I am used to being woken up at 3am if it rains overnight, being headbutted by a faceful of wet, purring cat - he has discovered that this is the fastest way to get himself dried off.
However, he hasn't been out quite so much recently. I assumed that he was feeling his age... his whiskers have turned completely white and he's finding it harder to jump up on things.
It seems that there is more to it than simple old age. One of my neighbours has a new cat - a sleek, Siamese crossbreed. The newcomer has been asserting his territorial rights, and Sylvester (according to another neighbour) came off worst in a recent spat. No actual damage done, apart from injured pride. However, he has been top cat in the garden for quite a few years, and I suspect that his demotion has hit him hard...
Is it very wrong of me to consider lurking in the garden with a water spray...?
Even I have noticed the rise in temperature over the past few days. The mornings are still a little on the chilly side for me...
I got into my car this afternoon, after Mass and a couple of refreshing drinks (non-alcoholic in my case) in the parish club. I put one hand on the steering wheel, and found that it was actually too hot to hold... it felt as if I was in danger of burning myself quite badly...
Fortunately, I was able to pull the sleeves of my roll-neck jumper down over my hands to protect them while driving home...
...and, if it's this hot tomorrow, I might consider leaving off the t-shirt I'm currently wearing under the jumper and jacket.