Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This 'n' that

The biology exam was as bad as I feared - three hours in a stuffy room and lots of horribly complicated scientific words to mispronounce. My lovely student kindly corrects me if I get it wrong - I sometimes wonder who's the one with dyslexia! She even anticipates spelling problems such as 'xylem' (my computer doesn't know that either - I'm worried!) by telling me about the 'x'. I hope she passes the exam, bless her.

I'm showing signs of wear and tear after all the gardening, alas. I hate growing older. This time it's 'weeder's wrist' - almost certainly from yanking out huge tufts of grass from the path. I looked up 'wrist pain' on the Interweb, but none of the descriptions matched mine. Maybe I've discovered a new condition, akin to tennis elbow (which can also cause wrist pain apparently). Bah!

I love Facebook. It tells me Paul is in Marrakesh for an academic conference and has even remembered to buy sun-block. I wonder if Facebook was invented with worrying mothers in mind. Now if I don't see any entries I'm going to think his lap-top's been stolen. Worry, fret, panic . . .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Hooray for a dry May and time to spend it in the garden! I've planted up most of the vegetables and done some tidying up in the front garden, edging the lawn and pulling out a few weeds. I've made a nice sitootery outside the conservatory, surrounding it with potted plants, and I've had fierce words with Mr T over why he shouldn't use that space to mend the car - broken plants, strange substances, aesthetic reasons, that sort of thing. What's so wrong with the garage area I say? My sitootery is for sitting with a cup of tea and a book!

It's just so much more pleasant than sitting in a stuffy cupboard somewhere in the school, scribbling away. Only two more exams to go - Higher biology is one of them, my nightmare exam to scribe because of all the scientific names. There should be a scribes' crib-sheet for that one.

Fidelio's ready to go into the water. We polished her hull this evening and she's looking good. The dogs came too but were disappointed there was no walk involved. They lay sulking in the car while we beavered away.

Mum's been gone fourteen years on Sunday. It's nice to think of her at bluebell time, but I still miss her.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bloggers, Bluebells, Bridget and Bad Max

Kimberly, Queen of bloggers, came up with the idea of 'Bloggers and Bluebells'. It was a brave move, considering she's off to America in two days' time, to have a group of Piskie bloggers let loose around the rectory eating her brownies and drinking her tea, but it was great to connect faces with names and fill in some of the background. Bloggers come in all hues, shapes, sizes and ages but one thing we all seem able to do is talk - and didn't we just? The tea, coffee and conversation flowed steadily until it was bluebell time.

For the bluebells bit we went to Kilmun Arboretum. Not far, but far enough for one car-load to lose the way and find themselves at Loch Fyne Oysters. The Zebadee family finally made it to the car-park in time for lunch, just as Bad Max, on arriving at Puck's Glen, decided he'd had enough and turned tail for home. By the time he (with Rosemary and Kimberly in hot pursuit) arrived at the car-park, the Zebadees had hopped it for home too, back to the rectory. Never mind, Kimberly and Rosemary ate their lunch and plotted the sermon. Rosemary, I never knew St Catan existed but you brought him to life for us all. The midges, who were at the wrong gig - Midgebites and Candlelight doesn't happen till later, chaps - ate them. Good dog Bridget would like to point out here that she didn't think much of the Arboretum either - too many bangs. I didn't let on that it was probably our local stalker getting in the supplies of venison.

The rest of us climbed up the glen. Mrs Blethers led - check out her photos - and I rounded up the other photographers, Piglet and Stewart, who were snapping away obliviously, and otherwise might be there yet, and brought up the rear. We all met up again at the car-park, and finally joined the Zebadees at the rectory, whereupon Kimberly changed from blogger to celebrant and we had a fine eucharist in the church to finish.

Until next year then, dear bloggers?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A listening ear

Yesterday was the SEC's rather last-minute attempt prior to Lambeth to do some active 'listening' to the experiences of GLBT folk within a church context. Sixty attended - the maximum which had been allowed for - and my opinion is it was a Good Thing. As one of the six witnesses, I spoke to two groups about what it was like bringing up a gay son. I consulted with Michael and Charlie about what I was going to say and they were comfortable with it. I also made it clear that the account I gave was from my point of view as a mother, and that if Michael had been telling his own story it might be different.

I found it both a humbling and emotional experience. Emotional because much of what I had to say brought back difficult memories, especially as, given my time over again and the benefit of hindsight, I might have have handled things differently. Humbling because it was obvious from some of the responses I got that some people had not heard much in the way of positive affirmation of their sexuality in a church context. It brought home to me how very difficult it is to be Christian and openly LGBT, let alone be ordained and anything other than celibate.

The main point I wanted to get across was something I've said many times - that I'm proud of my boys, who they are and what they've achieved. It makes me sad when I hear of parents of gay children who are ashamed to acknowledge them for what they are. My advice to anyone who suspects that their child might be gay is to be accepting, be affirming and be happy with them when and if they find the person they want to spend their life with.