Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Summer Schools and treasure hunts

Ruth was back at work today, which was great as I’d missed her last week. It was rather quiet. She brought with her tales of gorgeous weather in Mull, peculiar fishing trips and chocolate ginger biscuits. Hmm. Lovely. Good for my circulation and my hormones – what more could one want?

This morning, I have made more phone calls from work than I normally do in a year. I rang Marian (golfing partner) to give her the name of the new National Trust property that Lord H and I visited last month as she was wanting to know it; I rang Jennifer at Goldenford (http://www.goldenford.co.uk/) to confirm whether this Thursday’s meeting is on or not. Answer – it is. So I’d better do an agenda then. And I think in that case I won’t go to Guildford Writers (http://www.guildfordwriters.net/) tonight as otherwise there’ll not be an evening in till the weekend. And I can’t do that any more. Not now I’m in my Executive Years. I also rang Guildford Museum as Lord H and I are keen to go to their showing of “A Night at the Museum” plus treasure hunt in a couple of weeks’ time. Yes, we’re just 7 year olds at heart … And it gives me an excuse to get my big torch (careful!...) out and do a lot of screaming, so what could be nicer?

In the middle of all that, I’ve sorted out various Professors, their Secretaries and all my outstanding meetings, by the simple approach of putting everything which should have been in May to the end of June instead. So they can’t go on holiday, ha! Oh. Darn it – neither can I then. Ah well. It will make June top-heavy to the point of implosion with minuting, but I’m hoping the joy of my birthday will carry me through the pain of having to work.

And it looks like I can do some of the courses on at the Diocesan Summer School this year – as the boss is okay with me taking those days off. I’m particularly keen on “Finding God’s Hidden Presence” (though the cynic in me says: well, if it’s hidden, how can you find it then?), “Renewing the Bodymind” (the same tutor did a great meditation day last year – really inspirational), “Transformation: Our Work or God’s” (heck, I would say his surely – he has to have something to do in the quiet times, doesn’t he??), and “Growing Together – an Accompanied Journey” – which is about spiritual direction. Something I’ve always been very much drawn to but have never had the courage to take that step. Hmm, funny how there’s a course on it the moment I leave church. Perhaps God does have a sense of humour after all? It wouldn’t surprise me.

This lunchtime, I walked round the lake. Windy but warm enough to sit for a while. Fresh air – it’s a marvellous thing – in moderation.

And in response to the Writewords (http://www.writewords.org.uk/) Flash Fiction II challenge – theme: anything mobile – I have written this:

On the move
Algernon Culverly-Smythe had always lived his adult life on the move. He never stayed in one town more than three months. And he liked to move countries after six months. He’d discovered the value of this since being chased by his father from the family estate in the Chilterns at the age of fifteen for selling drugs to his younger brother’s friends. His father then had told him never to darken his door again, but instead of being traumatised, Algernon had actually been rather pleased. After all, he’d run out of people to corrupt and he’d needed to try new pastures. And new pastures was what he’d tried: Morocco; Africa; Canada; the Alps; Mauritius; China; and Taiwan. Oh yes, Algie had made several fortunes with his nefarious activities. And spent them too.
Funny how he’d ended up here, back in the Chilterns. Back at the old homestead. Well, he was nearing his nineties now, and a man liked to die beside his own hearth, didn’t he? And after seventy-four years, surely all his sins would have been forgotten.
He knocked at the old oak door, using the brass imp knocker which brought back so many memories. Happy and otherwise. After a long time, the door swung open. A pair of eyes glinted at him through the gloom. He recognised his brother.
‘Arthur!’ he cried out, arms open wide. ‘It’s me: Algernon. I’m back!’
His brother harrumphed. ‘Never mind that,’ he grunted. ‘Where’s them drugs you promised me?’

Oh, and Laura Wilkinson from Myspace (http://www.myspace.com/lauracwilkinson) and also from http://www.hagsharlotsheroines.com/ has sent me my interview questions for her June magazine, so I’m going to get my teeth into that fairly soon. Thanks, Laura!

Big sigh though - I've just finished Tracy Chevalier's "Burning Bright", which in my opinion should probably be retitled "Burning Dim". I couldn't really raise any interest in it, which made me feel very guilty as it was a present from Lord H. I just didn't like the plot, the characters or the style. Sorry. It strikes me that she's a writer who seems to produce one masterpiece followed by a dud followed by another masterpiece, etc etc, and this was a Dud Moment. Um, I'm looking forward to the next one then ...

Tonight, in between interview thoughts, I’m planning an evening with Lord H in front of “Midsomer Murders”. Will have to video the new crime drama, “Holby Blue”, on the other side too – as it looks surprisingly good.

Today’s nice things:

1. Thinking about interview questions
2. Planning my social/spiritual life for the summer
3. TV.

Anne Brooke

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