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Church, birds and Bones

This morning's bible reading brought a wry smile to the lips. Some things never change, eh. Here it is:

Meditation 138

Instructions for kings:
do not possess
too many horses,

or wives,
too much silver
or gold.

Beyond that,
it’s open house,
pretty much.

Though an occasional
flick through
the scriptures

might just,
on balance,
be wise.

Lord H and I have also been much amused - in a despairing, "surely they can sink no lower than this?" kind of a way - to read that one of our honorable MPs has charged a church donation of £5 to expenses. Which would be really pretty low on the low scale in itself. However it was also for a Battle of Britain commemoration service, so surely it can't get any worse than that?? Ye gods and little fishes, one hopes not. Mind you, it's so cunningly low and unforgivable that it's probably a work of genius and we should make the guy PM at once. After all, we need someone with a jazzy amount of deceit and dishonour in that role, don't we? Otherwise nothing of importance gets done, sigh ...

Anyway, church today was packed full of stirring Pentecost hymns (which makes sense as it is, after all, Pentecost today) and the vicar was wearing a lovely red stole (the long scarf thingy that hangs round the neck on top of the white robe) with flowers on it. Which is obviously her pride and joy. However, having admired the recent Church Times cartoon about the secret messages vicars are trying to give us in their stole patterns, we are now convinced the poor woman is desperate for someone to do her garden for her. Well, she probably doesn't have time - she's too busy trying to knock the fingers of those pesky MPs out of the collection plate before they take all our hard-earned cash.

After church, we had a very pleasant stroll round Winkworth arboretum. You'll be pleased to hear that both the foxgloves and lupins are now beginning to appear and - thanks to Lord H's superior flower knowledge - yes I do know the difference. Whether I'll remember it for next year is entirely another question. We also had the usual blackcaps falling over themselves in an attempt to get noticed, and a high number of feeding tit families fluttering about and squeaking a lot. As they do.

This afternoon, I have continued on with the great tome of Hallsfoot's Battle and I've now put a structure in place for the last few scenes as the war finishes. Simon's going to have to do some pretty nifty work with that mind-cane of his in order to save the day, but I suspect he may well be up to it by now. Thanks of course to the reappearance of Ralph in the same vicinity as himself for the first time in a long, long time. Well, I know Simon should perhaps be more wary of a man who's tried to hang him and then pursued him across the lands accompanied by the mind-executioner all hell-bent on death and destruction, but my warm-hearted if slightly confused scribe is a man who doesn't give up easily. And what's a little rope and a crazed killer between friends, eh? Not that I fear he's going to get much chance to enjoy Ralph's company for any extended time, alas, but who can tell? Those scenes have yet to be written.

Still on the subject of books, I can't say I've really enjoyed The Blue Fox by Sjon. It's a strange mix of fairy tale and surreal mystery, and I didn't really get into it at all. However, at only 112 pages, that's not too much heartache. To be fair, it started off well and interestingly enough, with the blue fox and the vengeful preacher. And I enjoyed the concept of short almost-prose poems telling a magical tale, but then somehow the interest faded and I found I didn't much care. I think it would have been better if the whole story had been told in prose poem or short poem/haiku style - that would have been truly fascinating and very brave. But I sensed that Sjon didn't hold onto the courage of his initial vision somehow. That said, it's won countless awards in Iceland (which sounds like I'm being bitchy, I know, but what the hell), so may well please some.

Tonight, it appears that (oh joy, the schedulers have heard me for once) A Night at the Museum is on again, so this time - when I'm not so head-deep in edits as I was last Sunday - I shall watch the whole of it. It's a great film.

This week's haiku:

On my back I bear
the week's slow weight and pattern
pressing me to earth.

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Church
3. Winkworth
4. Birds
5. Flowers
6. Fiddling around with Hallsfoot
7. TV - again
8. Haikus.

Anne Brooke - wondering how much she can claim back from church on her expenses sheet ...
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