Monthly Archives: November 2005

Goodbye November

And so we end another month. There are only 25 days left until I turn 41 and my life starts moving downhill at an ever increasing rate towards life’s buffers.

I can’t believe that in the last 12 months I’ve gone from happy bachelor to contented husband; from member of a congregation to youth leader, deacon, preacher and Tearfund Rep & Campaigner. I now believe that life does indeed start at 40 but what worries me is what happens in the next 12 months.

I’ve made new friends, and probably lost a few as well. I’ve been to Greenbelt again after a 20 year absense. I’ve been reunited with one of my old school mates and, after briefly finding her, lost touch with a former church friend.

I’m more dissatisfied with work than ever but am unable to discover the way in which this part of my life will change. As possible avenues are opened they then close soon after. I’m not moaning about these changes but am very excited at what will now take place. The last year proves that, no matter how settled you think your life is, someone up there is always willing to prove you wrong.

Actually the biggest surprise came yesterday. After telling me about the Wibsite the First Wife finally updated her site, over 12 months later. Miracles do still happen!!!

Maybe I’ve started my mid life crisis! If so, I’ll keep you all updated. Now where did I stash that money for my mid life Aston Martin……

George Best RIP

Being a football fan of a certain age I can just about remember the end of George’s career. He was not the Greatest Football Player who ever lived but he was up there in the top 10.

Coming from a small footballing country there was never a chance of him playing on the grandest stage, the World or European Cups, and football was not televised to the extent it is today. Yet everyone seemed to have heard of him.

He really was one of the most skillful and talented football players I have ever seen. He could do things that others couldn’t, and still can’t, do. As a player he was the ideal that many young people looked too.

Balanced against this was George the Playboy & drunkard. He was one of football’s first media stars, up there with Booby Moore and Pele. He was seen with models, TV stars, Bunny Girls and various others. If there was a bottle and a beautiful woman in sight George would be there.

Many of the tributes say what a shy and polite man he was. He’d always talk to people and sign autographs. Yet he never seemed to find real happiness. His mother died an alcoholic and now he’s gone the same way.

One would have hoped that the liver transplant would have been a wake-up call but in the end the booze was more important to him than his health and life. Even the implantation of anti alcohol pellets didn’t seem to do the trick.

In the last few years he went from media darling to a figure of fun and contempt. The people who had built him up turned and either bit him or ignored him.

The thing I also wonder at such times is who helped him? Were there Christian people there who tried to help? Was there someone who tried to talk to him about a better alternative to the life he led?

I hope that there was and that he’s now lining up with Booby Moore, Danny Blanchflower, Billy Wright, John Charles and Duncan Edwards and playing the best football ever. I’m sure heaven has the perfect playing surface and stadia for them to perform in.

Sunday Sunday – A Day of Rest???

Sunday saw yet another great sermon. Well I thouoght it was when I wrote it anyway and I’ve not been attacked by plagues of locusts, frogs or lost my first born to any mystery illnesses. Does the fact I don’t have a first born doesn’t negate this?

It was a very odd feeling to find that, at the service start time, we only had 10 people in the chapel, excludng children. Then, just as I got up, our numbers swelled as another 3 people turned up. This is unusually low even by our standards. Maybe they don’t like my sermons!!

With me feeling under the weather on Friday, having gone to bed at 00:30 and then woken up by a call from Malaysia at 05:00. I was running 24 hours behind on my timetable and had to get up at 07:30 on Sunday to do the final edit.

In the course of rushing around I’d forgotten that I’d need something for the kids. Standing in front of all these people meant that I was a little nervous as I had to do an improvised talk that was made up on the spot. Thankfully no one noticed.

The sermon seemed to go ok. I got the laugh at the beginning and no one seemed to fall asleep, go into a coma or die. Always a sign that you are doing something right in my experience.

Sunday was spoilt a little by the announcement that one of our deacons is standing down and leaving the fellowship at the end of the year. It’s not a great surprise as they had done this in July but then changed their mind. They have not been happy for a long time and it maybe the best for all concerned. Its never good to lose a member of the fellowship but, if there discontent with everything is standing in the way of progress, maybe its necessary.

Sunday afternoon saw the Youth meeting. Having just been made the Tearfund Respresentative/Campaign Organiser for our church I decided to start by preparing for Fairtrade Fortnight next March. Even though we only had 6 of the kids there I couldn’t believe the response. All of them want to take part and are willing to attend that Sunday morning to take part in the service.

My philosophy is that if you can get the kids on board then the adults, whether their own family or others, will be willing to listen too. Now I need to get things moving and decide what we’re going to do. I know that the other Tearfund reps in the county are also aware of the campaign so maybe we’ll make a big noise and get people to listen.

Mystery Guest

I have received some responses with regards to naming the missing guest. I do like the suggestion of calling the guest Deranged Deacon but this would be confusing, as there are so many of us out there, and too easy.

After careful thought and rumination I have therefore decided to award them the title of:

Neighbourly Folk Abbotted Wombat

Their full pedigree title would include “On My Knee” at the end but this would be a truly disturbing image, for all concerned, and First Wife may then do nasty things to my train set.

I would like people to note that I’m now being referred to as “Only Husband”. We came to this arrangement after I pointed out that, though I may marry after her demise, First Wife would not have this option as I promised to return and haunt her if she did. In addition there is no other man out there who could manage to match my unique charms.

Thanksgiving & Things

On Saturday evening Sport Hater and I attended a Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the delightful Real Sport Hater. One must complement Real Sport Hater and, her better half, Deprived Husband for a wonderful meal and somewhat mediocre company supplied by one or two of the other guests.

During a fun packed evening, that included making paper planes from After Eight wrappers, I was told that my post would be eagerly anticipated to find out the names chosen for the various people present.

In order to obtain a Cast Name for appearances on this Log one must do something extraordinarily special to warrant inclusion. Some of those present did/have and are therefore included below:

Invertebrate With Bite
Limited Film Buff
Merry Smiler
Cheeky Laugh

Those who attended will notice a missing name. This is purely because people who request names are automatically denied pending investigation by the Tired & Emotional Accreditation Approval Panel. Reasons for not granting admission can include:

1. Being a fan of neighbours,
2. Singing and listening too music with a finger in your ear,
3. Not liking sport but liking very poorly acted and badly written Australian soap operas’
4. Paying to see members of said soap appear in pub bands that do covers of successful and talented people,
5. Inability to accept that animals can actually talk and therefore films such as Chicken Run are accurate portrayals of real life,
6. Being able to make better paper planes than Limited Film Buff,
7. Visiting site of said soap while on holiday in Oz. There are much better things to see and do there you know.
8. Liking The Princess Diaries and thinking that this has artistic merit when compared with Casablanca, The Godfather or The Searchers.

Things that may offset such deficits include:

1. Liking “Real” Ale,
2. Knowing the words to Vole Love and Wombat on My Knee,
3. Plying Tired & Emotional with vast quantities of alcohol over New Year,
4. Making irreverent words to popular hymns and chrouses,
5. Appreciating that Tired & Emotional is her intellectual and cultural superior,
6. Being a Deacon and slightly deranged.

We will therefore consider the application and make a ruling in due course. Submissions in support, or against, will be accepted.

The Walls

While beginning to write draft 4 of Sunday’s sermon I got distracted by my music collection. This is not an unusual thing to happen.

I’ve begun tranferring my CD collection to my PC ready for installation on my MP3 player. With the amount of driving and travelling I do its very useful to be able to carry it around with me. You never know when you’re going to want to hear an old track.

What distracted me tonight was the amount of christan music I have accumulated. Some of this is standard stuff by Larry Norman, Daniel Amos & Randy Stonehill. However I’ve also found my Dylan albums (Saved & Slow Train Coming) and a track, called Hymn, from a 70’s prog band called Barclay James Harvest.

I first heard Hymn on BBC 2. At the start of the 80’s BBC 2 used to have a “Modern Music” weekend over the August Bank Holiday weekend. You’d get documentaries and concert films from many different people and old clips of The Old Grey Whistle Test. At the time Top of The Pops or The Whistle Test were most people’s only chance to see groups on TV.

I remember that I got to see Floyd’s Pompei film, some Hendrix and Who. However the one that stood out for me was the Barclay gig from Berlin.

In the background was the ruined Reichstag and the Wall. In front are a band little heard of in the UK but big in Germany, much like David Hasselhoff’s singing career. The concert had both concert footage and one or too little films showing people escaping over the Wall.

Then at the end was this song about Jesus. Its simple and gives a very basic, and not completely theologically sound, life of Jesus. There are these Germans singing along to what is evidently a crowd favourite.

When we visited Berlin 2 weeks ago we stood in front of the restored Reichstag. The Walls has, of course, gone and the area in front of, and around, the Reichstag is landscaped and developed. Yet my mental image remains of about 10-15,000 Germans listening to an English band sing about Jesus.

Here I am, preparing a sermon on Nehemiah rebuilding the temple, thinking of the planning that went into rebuilding the city walls. Yet my mind keeps thinking of that Wall that divided a city for almost 30 years. They can not only be used to protect you from enemies but also divide you from loved ones.

Its strange how the images remain with you. Maybe its time to dig out my copy of Floyd’s The Wall….

Country Undetectable?

While checking my traffic figures I noted that there are visitors from many areas of the world. However, despite an A level in Geography and working in the logistics industry for 20 years I have never heard of Country Undetectable.

I’ve searched Google, checked atlases and even asked other people but no one and nothing has heard of this. Then it struck me…..

Maybe Wibblethorpe is on a list somewhere. Well obviously it must be as people are always making lists of things, including lists of lists. What if we’re being monitored by the CIA or, even worse, the French? I mean its Thanksgiving tomorow. Could the Texas Dodo be checking us for anti-American propaganda?

I’d like to say now that Americans are lovely, kind hearted, peaceful, God fearing people. They are a pleasure to work with and too know. Well except for the religious maniacs who think that God speaks to them personally and says that they have the right to annex vast areas of the world by both military and commercial means. THEY SUCK!!!!!

So, tomorrow I’ll celebrate American Free Day, as we people who work for US companies refer to it, by giving thanks that, despite attempts to portray them as insular, narrow minded, inbred simpletons, they are really nice people who are misunderstood by those too lazy to get too know them!

Yes, McDonalds & Microsoft are indeed evil entities that should be taken outside and shot but they are not truly representative of American culture. Now I know that someone, who sounds like a timber like substance, will now start ranting about how they are responsible for 98% of what’s wrong with western society and someone else, who sounds a little annoyed, will say that the other 2% is their fault as well.

Remember, as Christians, we are taught to be tolerant of others as, those of you who are not Welsh, are not perfect either.

So if the CIA or the French are reading this post – hello both. Welcome to a world where people love others and do not feel the need to bomb, betray or stab others in the back. Join us, you may enjoy yourselves!!!!

Clarification

I have received a post from a reader concerned at my refering to Sport Hater as My First Wife.

This is done purely to reflect the fact that:

1. She is convinced that she will out live me. Just because I’m 7 years older and men tend to die earlier than women. However, life is never that predictable. I could out live her yet. I therefore retain the right to remarry some nice young floosey at a later date. After all its what she’d want 😉

2. At any time she could be attacked by a T-Rex that has thawed out by global warming; or been discovered in a remote land under the polar ice caps or on South American mountaintops. It could happen people…… Remember there have been previous cases of this happening!! I remember seeing the news reports at the cinema and on TV.

3. It means that she won’t take things for granted and become complacent.

Weighed against this are the facts that:

1. I love her.

2. I intend staying with her until either one of us does indeed snuff it.

3. She makes exceptionally superb banana cake.

As you will see, all of the above are convincing arguments to support our marriage. I hope that allays any concerns that people ma have.

Follow Up

As a follow up to yesterday’s confession I must advise that Sport Hater is also a closet model lover. What I can do on the electrical side she can do on the scenery side.

We have now formulated a plan to begin practising in readiness for a larger project by setting up a very basic layout to keep the Troublesome Trucks happy when they come to visit. Of course, unlike some people I’ve heard about, I will be allowing them to use the system and not hide it in my attic.

I think my love of railways, both model and live, comes from my dad. I always remember the happy times we had before my sister arrived. He’d built a layout in the back bedroom and would spend time in there playing with himself. His standing instruction was:

“Don’t let that bloody boy in here!”

It is therefore my avowed duty to ensure that my nephews do not get the same treatment meeted out to them. So long as they are supervised I’m perfectly happy too let them play as well.

I must admit that finding ut that I can share this with the wife is a great bonus as well. Now I won’ get told off if I play with it at other times. As an insure policy I have allowed her use of my new guitar – The Valkyrian Axe. It was presented to me by a woman’s hand from a nearby puddle to the accompaniment of Wagner’s Ride of The Valkyrie.

She told me that, having managed to retrieve the embedded axe from a nearby cliff, I was the true descendent of the old Celtic Axelords. I am therefore a descendent of Llewellyn the Axelord, the last of the Axelords murdered by the English in the 12th Century.

When I pointed out that I’m a Christian and don’t believe in such pagan myths the postman said, “Right you are mate. Just sign here then”.

Funny how life turns out. Eh? (The Eh? is a blatant attempt to appeal to my Canadian reader.)

Confession

My name is Tired & Emotional. After 40 years I have decided that it is time that I confess to my addiction – well other than sport, politics, reading & music.

I AM A MODEL RAILWAY ENTHUSIAST.

Yes, I confess that, despite my manly & blokeish exterior, I too have an inner geek. It may not be as bad as wearing hats and pretending to be a wizard or goblin. It is definitely nowhere near as bad as being obsessed with Star Bores or Bored of The Rings.

During the deacon’s meeting yesterday I was told not to proceed with an informal service as there had been some complaints when this was tried a few months ago. It seems that a vocal minority (aren’t they always) did not like the discussion format and felt pressured to contribute.

So, throwing away my planned talk, and, deciding that my reserve sermon was not appropriate at this time, have started on the follow up to my previous sermon. As we are beginning a review of our church life and aims I’ve decided to carry on with the theme. So this brings me onto the reason for my dramatic – well it would be if I inserted sounds – confession.

As I’ve covered the need for the church to work together in planting seeds in the community I’ve decided that I’ll continue with Nehemiah. The need to plan what you’re doing.

Before you can build a good model layout you need to plan things through. What size will it be? How many tracks will it have and how many controllers will they need? Will I have scenery and buildings?

I’m sure that you get the drift….

I’m hoping that the chapel will forgive one of their deacons for hiding such an indecent and sinful habit for so long. As an unwise man once said, “Its so wrong, on so many levels, in so many shades!!”