Saturday 24 July 2010

Heartfelt Thanks...

I have been overwhelmed by the "get well soon" messages, comments and posts I have received... I feel slightly guilty, because, although it is extremely painful (and inconvenient), a torn muscle isn't actually that serious... least I hope it isn't...


I shall post again later, but right now the painkillers are doing odd things to my head. I've fallen asleep three times while sitting bolt upright at the computer keyboard trying to write this post. Time for a little nap, I think!

Not A Well Body...

Today was supposed to be the first day of my summer holiday.

I had planned to go to Mass, do some admin to help my Parish Priest (like many teachers, I get a kick out of going through stationery catalogues), sort out some household chores and then have a relaxing afternoon curled up with a book, before heading back to the church to help set things up for a "youth evening" of a talk, Exposition & Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, pizza and a film.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men...

The first bit was fine. Fr. Tim had to go off for some appointment or other, and he left me with the aforementioned stationery catalogue, a few files to print out for the Children's Liturgy group on Sunday, and some leaflets for Confession to photocopy and fold... we have three separate leaflets for young children, teenagers and adults, as the examination of conscience is rather different in each case, and I'd noticed that we were running low.

When I finished the tasks, I left the presbytery, locked the door and started to walk towards the church with all the Confession leaflets ready to put into the rack by the confessional. Suddenly, I heard (and felt) a loud "crack" and my right knee gave way. The pain was excruciating, and I couldn't put my foot to the floor. I nearly collapsed, but the wall of the presbytery got in the way, and I manoeuvred myself down onto a step. Out came the trusty mobile phone, and I called for an ambulance.

I was just debating what to do with the leaflets when a parishioner turned up to polish the brasses. I handed them over to her, and she promised to put them in the church

Two hours later, I found myself in the Accident & Emergency department of the local hospital, being introduced to nitrous oxide. As another friend later pointed out, the gas doesn't actually stop the pain, it just ensures that you really don't care about it. I was confronted by a very stern-looking nurse who insisted that I put down the "thing" I was holding (it was my rosary) and take the glass of water and tablets she had brought. I could hear what she was saying, and I really wanted to co-operate, but I couldn't actually get my hands to co-ordinate and I found myself laughing uncontrollably...

The nurse wasn't impressed, and promptly relieved me of the nitrous oxide.

To be fair, she'd probably had a really long and trying day, and a near-hysterical patient who is incapable of coherent speech is probably not the best way to round things off...

Several X-rays and blood tests later, it was decided that it wasn't a fracture or a blood clot, and I'd probably torn a muscle, and I was given a supply of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, a pair of crutches, and an appointment at the fracture clinic in seven days, just to see how I'm getting along...

Needless to say, it could have been worse, and I shall endeavour to offer it up for some poor soul... but prayers would be appreciated!

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Privileges Of Being A Teacher...

I moan a lot about how hard work is... but then I have days like today, when I realise how much fun teaching can be.

It's the last week of term and we had a visit from a couple of "animal men" who do this sort of educational animal show. I got to see stick insects, cockroaches (ugh... didn't go near them... but at least I managed to stay in the room), scorpions, various hairy spiders of the bird-eating variety (I didn't touch, but I was pretty close), tortoises, turtles, an albino axolotl, cane toads, geckos, a chameleon, a massive lizard that looked like a monitor lizard but wasn't, several large snakes, including a very large boa constrictor which wrapped its tail around my wrist and cut off the blood supply to my hand (it was well over six feet, and took two people to carry it!) and finally a fledgeling tawny owl and a barn owl.

Pretty impressive, and tremendous fun... and I got to help supervise it all morning.

And I get paid for this stuff...

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Another Few Blogs For The Roll...

Checking out my Sitemeter stats (and trying not to get too despondent over my recent dip in visitors) I discovered another new blog which shall be added to the roll.

UPDATE: Since I started the post, I've discovered several new blogs (or new-to-me blogs) all of which I feel are worthy of a shout out!

Ecce Homo, written by Clifford Carvalho, has been going since the start of July, so it is a genuinely new blog, and well worth a visit. He had the good taste to take up my prayer meme (he was tagged by none other than Defend Us In Battle.)

While I'm on the subject of new blogs, check out this one too... Protect the Pope is highlighting all the anti-Catholic bias which is building up in anticipation of the Holy Father's visit.

Shadowlands has a great blog, Living In The Shadowlands...

And I have just discovered Once I Was A Clever Boy by John Whitehead - a Catholic historian at Oriel College, Oxford.

Remember to tell them I sent you!

Ouch !

I'm not entirely certain how one of our intrepid trio managed to cycle into a stationary lamp post... no doubt it jumped into Gregory's path...

Seriously, though, Gregory is recovering after a rather nasty collision; he has, however, been told that he cannot cycle for 7-10 days, and so, after a brief stay with some of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, he will be making his way to Rome by train.

Anna-Marie and Joseph, the dynamic duo, will continue to cycle Romewards. You can still donate (out of sympathy) by visiting their fundraising page.

Monday 19 July 2010

Prayer Meme...

I haven't seen a meme for ages, not counting that one over on Bara Brith, so I decided to start one of my own.

The rules, which need to be posted: Name your three most favourite prayers, and explain why they're your favourites. Then tag five bloggers - give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme... The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I'm more interested in people's favourite devotional prayers.

First prayer choice for me is the Hail Mary - particularly the bit that asks for prayers at the two times we need them most: now and at the hour of our death.

I found myself praying that prayer particularly fervently as I spun round on the motorway after being hit by an articulated lorry... It occurred to me that I wasn't praying to be saved from the accident (which, as it so happens, I was) but rather I wanted Our Lady to be there as I died. After all, one doesn't normally expect to survive turning upside-down on a motorway in the morning rush-hour when one is in a tiny little car. I still don't know which side of the crash barrier I ended up on. I just know that I closed all six lanes of the motorway, both directions... and it took the fire brigade over 45 minutes to cut me out of the wreckage.

Second choice of prayer is the one to St. Michael the archangel. I like the reminder that the angels are fighting to defend us. I also like the reminder that St. Michael triumphs by the power of God - a salutary antidote to the pride of Satan, who would not serve.

My third prayer is the Stations of the Cross - the version by St. Alphonsus, that is. I am not a fan of the modern versions of the Stations which focus on how "some people" are guilty of various sins... usually with a social justice or environmentally friendly slant. "We pray for those who..." is a phrase which annoys me, in what should be a reflection on what I, personally, have done to offend God, and what I, personally, need to address.

Now, limiting myself to five tags will be difficult, but I want to leave plenty of scope for everyone else. I always hate trying to find someone to tag only to discover they've been tagged already... here goes...

First, I shall plump for Leutgeb over at Bara Brith, as she got me thinking about memes in the first place, so it's sort of her fault. Second, I shall pick Dominic Mary from Libera Me, as he's probably at a bit of a loose end now that the elephants have gone. Third is Clare from Battlements of Rubies, for no particular reason other than I'm interested. Fourth blogger is actually a cheat - Joe and Brian from Defend Us In Battle... whichever one of them answers first. Fifth tag goes to Paulinus, In Hoc Signo Vinces, because he used to do lots of memes...

Of course, if you can't wait to see if someone will tag you, you can tag yourself, and mention it in the com-box!

Sunday 18 July 2010


Why is it that people get so exercised over the Catholic Church's declaration that she cannot ordain women to the Priesthood?

Being a priest is not a simple matter of playing a part, or performing a role. Ordination is a Sacrament which changes the soul for all eternity.

It's got nothing at all to do with power or equal opportunities.

Men and women are equal before God, but that is not to say that they are the same.

What is so difficult to understand about that?
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