Ah, deep trauma today in the Lord H/Brooke household when I discovered that Himself was wearing socks with holes so large that you could have put the entire population of Ecuador in them. And have room for their friends. Honestly! How can I hold my head up in Surrey public life if people think that I deliberately send my husband out in such garments? My middle-class credibility would be shot to pieces. So we had to perform the ritualistic removal of said socks and drop them into the rubbish bag. There was then a further official sock inspection before we were allowed to start off for church this morning. And later I shall be checking the rubbish just in case Lord H has sneaked them out without me knowing. Ha! Foolish man. I am a Wife - I know everything, even before it happens ...
Anyway, church wasn't too bad, all in all, though it was a foul choice of hymns. Does anyone actually like the soul-destroyingly dreary "Just as I am, without One Plea"? Way too many verses, and I'm sure that by the time we've dragged ourselves to the end of it, even God has got bored and gone onto better things. And I can't say I blame him. Some surprising news though - the new priest is actually not as dreadful as I had feared from the build-up. Though he is scarily high and kept singing Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia at odd moments and forcing me to think of something sad in order to stop laughing. But that's the nature of the High Church - gay without the colour awareness. And the sermon was okay - not so bollockingly awful that I felt the need to spit in the communion wine and at least I actually went to communion this time, so it really can't have been as hellishly inhumane as the old Archdeacon's sermons. Though at a full fifteen minutes, I did consider it could have been a tad shorter. This isn't the Baptists, you know.
Interestingly, we were looking at Jesus' transformation on the mountain, and linking it back to Moses' radiant face when he met with God - and afterwards, Clare (one of the saner and more cynical members of the congregation - and thank God for them ...) rushed up to me and said how wonderfully radiant I was looking. Which means the Clarins Restore Your Youthful Radiance Cream (not its real name, but I can't be arsed to get up and look) must be working, as I used it for the first time today, hurrah! Now if only Moses had had access to such beauty aids, then he would never have needed to meet with God at all, and a lot of time would have been saved for the dust-weary Israelites. A lesson for us all indeed.
I also have to say that New Priest is far better with people (and also with me - do I count as "people"? Hell, I don't know) than the bloody old one ever was. After all, Old Priest spent years completely ignoring me while I beavered around the vestry doing my essential Sacristan tasks and also blanked me on the two occasions I tried a cry for help when things were hellish last year. The bastard. Which explains why I never signed the bugger's leaving card and am totally unrepentant about that fact ... Anyway, after the service, NP - whose name is Paul, btw - came up to me in an utterly non-demanding way (God only knows how he managed that, but full marks to him for doing so), had a normal conversation, was more than open to the fact that I'm having a serious backsliding moment, and was happy for me to come along when I felt able to without making the dreaded Big Issue of it, and then we chatted about the Whitbread Prize, art (he paints), etc. And he didn't offer to pray for me, thank God. So I am more impressed than I thought I would be - and even if our lay reader still dislikes him, well, I am prepared to admit - and surprised by it - that I don't.
Oh, and I managed to sell a copy of "A Stranger's Table" to Clare and John, so I am £5 richer than I was before I went to church. Nothing like a bit of commerce behind the pews to oil the wheels of religion.
This afternoon, I have mooched around, read the papers and napped. I think I might write a poem - or the start of one - later, but I'll see how it goes. Oh, and a friend of mine emailed to say her grandfather is dying - which would be sad, if he wasn't a bastard tosser who over an unfortunately long life has messed everyone up, including said friend. Naturally, I emailed back at once to say I hoped he died in pain (considerable if there's any justice at all) and she mustn't go to the funeral if she doesn't want to (so sod the ideas of family and so-called christian duty, eh?), and well done her for outliving him and I hoped that when he was fully six feet under that she might feel able to visit the grave with me so the two of us could spit on it and dance maniacally round the graveyard whilst laughing. Never let it be said that I don't offer appropriate emotional support when necessary. Anyway, I think she was pleased as I got a reply email with huge amounts of grinning in it. Ha! That'll show the no-good loser.
And I've rung my mother, so have performed appropriate daughterly duties for the week by offering computer/internet consultancy advice for her latest computer drama. And we've agreed how important it is not to click onto a spam email that tells her she's won something. Sigh ... still, apparently the hundred or so emails per day she's been getting since are now thinning out, and she's in the process of adding a spamfilter and a firewall to her system. Phew!
Tonight, it's "Lewis" on TV (the Morse spin-off) - bliss! As it ends at 11pm, I can see that Lord H and I will have to be in our jim-jams with our big fluffy slippers and cocoa before it starts. Never let it be said that we don't know how to party.
This week's haiku (in praise of Dan Corbett who performs the weather report as if he's doing Swan Lake - it's heaven to watch, but I'm none the wiser about the weather afterwards ...):
On the screen you dance,
hands carving weather from air.
Bright storms fill my eye.
Today's nice things:
1. The conversation with New Priest
2. Sending an honest email to a friend