Friday, October 24, 2008

Location, location, location!

Singing Owl offered this week's RevGals diversion...My daughter, her husband, and their toddler, Trinity Ann, are moving from Minneapolis, Minnesota to our place. It's a long story, but the short version is that they will be loading a Ryder truck on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon we will unload it into a storage unit in our town. They will move themselves, their two cats and their BIG dog into our place. Yes, there will be issues, but this Friday Five isn't really about that. (Prayers for jobs for them and patience for all of us are most welcome, however.) This post is about locations. My husband has lived at 64 addresses in his life so far (16 with me) and he suggested the topic since we have moving trucks on our minds.
Therefore, tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?

1. 23 Avondale Road, St Leonards-on-Sea
Till I was 18 we only lived in one house...the rather unbeautiful chalet-bungalow that my parents had moved into the year before I was born. They had had fun moving pegs around to change the relative proportions of the rooms as they bought the house while it was still being built...My mother had a long term heart condition, which meant that living without an every-day upstairs was a huge advantage: (the room on the 1st floor was our guest room)....My earliest memories involve lying in bed in the room that shared a chimney space with the drawing room, and hearing my father playing Mendelssohn Songs without Words or Chopin waltzes on the piano next door...It was the rather wild garden of this house that was the site of my earliest camping expeditions...The ground was too bumpy for a lawn mower to cope, so my father cut the grass with an old fashioned sickle, and always left enough to form a jungle to be explored...Behind the rhodedendrons was a magical world that nobody else knew about...When I was older, I came home after a night sitting up setting the world to rights with a group of my friends, and timed my entrance through the back door into the kitchen so that it coincided exactly with my father's entrance from the bedroom, as he began the day by making a cup of tea. I'll never forget the look on his face...I went to bed pretty speedily, that's for sure!

2.15a St Matthew's Gardens, St Leonards-on-Sea (I love that it was St Matthew's...clearly the saint and I were designed to do business together from a relatively early stage)
From there, with my parents' death, I moved to another flat, still in the same small seaside town...An Edwardian house with high ceilings, dado rails and a wonderful stained glass window on the stairs, this was lovely. It was the first place I'd been responsible for, and with all the panache and certainty of 18 I decorated, furnished and set out to prove to the world that I was in fact grown up.

3. 53a Cleaver Square London SE11
Graduation from Cambridge, a year of research in Durham and then it was time to find a job...All the cool jobs were in London, so I decamped there and after three months of exhausting commuting found an affordable flat in Kennington, SE11. The flat was most unbeautiful outside, but with wonderful surroundings in one corner of a Georgian square, which WW2 German bombers had "remodelled" - so that I had a convenient modernish flat with fabulous neighbours.

4. 93 Leathwaite Road, London SW11
Our first married house...a Victorian terraced number, still south of the Thames in an area that was awash with young marrieds, mums and babes. It was such a fun place to play at being grown up...with its ornate cornices, its bay windows and the lovely pseudo farmhouse kitchen. It also had a mad baroque bathroom, all over dark red paint, gilt angels and mirrors in unexpected profusion. If ever a bath were designed to encourage champagne consumption, this was the one...decadent right down to its curly claws!

5. Lower Farmhouse, Great Rissington (we moved from here before our first digital at some point I will have to go and take photos...we still own the house, LCM's workshop is in the barn there, and we have tenants in the house itself, so photography isn't an impossibility...and it is a seriously pretty house)
the Georgian dollshouse that was our family home for 15 years, and one reason why I was quite as stubborn in my refusal to respond to God's call. When I was a child I had dreamed of living in a Georgian house in the country, with an orchard and a porch full of gumboots. I was 30 when we moved there and it matched my dream to the last shutter and flagstone. I loved that house so much and its generous garden was the setting for all the significant events of my children's early years...The Dufflepud was born there...The Best Dog ever shared our life for 13 years there...It was there that I began to grow into myself.

Since then, there has been Privet Drive (aka The Curate's House) and now, delightfully, the splendid new vicarage...Barring university living, that's all the homes I have ever had....and the only one I left without regret was the Curate's House - but then, I was far too busy weeping over the church that I was leaving behind to care tuppence about a house that was perfectly adequate, but never exciting. When the time comes to move on from here, a good long way into the future, I suspect I'll see things quite differently.

Living in a "tied cottage", as all Church of England stipendiary clergy do, will obviously mean that the future holds more moves...and that the attatchment I may feel to any home will be inextricably entwined with the web of parish relationships I develop. I really don't enjoy house moves at all and having lived in my dream home already I might never have moved on, were it not for this strange and wonderful calling...I guess it's another lesson in travelling light - and the strange thing is that, once the wrenching grief of departure had abated, it's actually FINE to be somewhere else.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What did I say

about the unreflected life?

There has been a fair bit of living going on recently, but precious little reflecting. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa...
I've been chasing my tail rather, hunting for lost and essential bits of paper all over the study, starting too many admin projects at once, not doing anything like enough visiting...
That tends to be a bad combination - majoring on the areas where I have least competence (admin and time management) and neglecting those that are part of my core being.
Just as well, then, that there is the Eucharist to call me back to myself three or four times each week, and last week there was the added joy of a deanery Healing Service.

I never did work out quite how I was included in the (now dissolved, pending reconstitution) Diocesan Healing Advisory Group - but group membership meant that I was, apparently, qualified to help arrange the liturgy when FabBishop visited the deanery on St Luke's day for a special Eucharist...
As this came in the wake of all those special services in Hill & Vale, I began to doubt my sanity. Why had I agreed to this?

Preparations with my lovely colleague in the host church (she's an Overworking Curate who is valiantly holding a very busy parish together during a vacancy) led us both to wonder if hip flasks might be a better ordination gift that oil stocks.
There was much to-ing and fro-ing of orders of service as FabBishop's Chaplain confirmed that all was decent and orderly.
There was panic that nobody would actually attend (Saturday night AND the same time as Strictly Come Dancing).
There was my own private personal panic when I discovered just before I set out that I was to act as Bishop's Chaplain for the service...

But then the service started, and it all came together most wonderfully.
We'd agreed in advance that FabBishop would do any anointing, while Overworking Curate and I took care of the prayer and laying-on of hands. FabBishop's sermon had already explored something of the variety of ways in which healing might come, and we certainly weren't looking for piles of discarded crutches in the porch.
From my perspective, what happened was even more unlooked for and extraordinary.

I had forgotten the overwhelmingly healing impact on the ministers of praying for a long line of people, using simply the words provided in Common Worship.

In the name of God and trusting in his might alone,
receive Christ's healing touch to make you whole.

May Christ bring you wholeness
of body, mind and spirit,
deliver you from every evil,
and give you his peace.

I did know, really...
I've experienced it before..the way when you pray with sustained attention for each individual in turn, you become aware of God enfolding you, placing loving hands beside your own...
I don't know how it was possible to forget - but while the service continued on Saturday night, I knew with huge clarity exactly what I am for.

Monday, October 20, 2008

As always time is short, diversions are infinite and the things I ought to be doing seem oddly unattractive.
However, I 'm not going to allow myself any serious blogging till I've got to grips with at least some of them, so I'll just tell you quickly about this morning's assembly at Church School in the Valley.
The theme of the week is "Enjoyment" - so clearly the best thing to do would have been to take Libby in, together with a pile of autumn leaves and then let puppy and children live out the theme for 10 chaotic minutes.
I want to be allowed back, though, so we just talked about the things that bring us joy, that turn our lives from black and white to full colour...We noticed that often we could find unexpected enjoyment in things that might appear to be uncomfortable - all of us could remember times when we had fallen over our feet and laid in a heap giggling helplessly.
Then I read a poem I'd found on the rather useful Assemblies website and we gave those things that we would enjoy a thumbs up as I read about them
It's neither great literature, nor great philosophy (and it is attributed to so many authors that I think we'll allow Anon to take the credit) - but it hit the spot

If I had my life to live over again,
I would try to make more mistakes next time;
I'd try not to be so perfect;
I'd relax more, I'd limber up;
I'd be sillier than I've been on this trip;
In fact, I know of very few things I'd take quite so seriously.
I'd be crazier … and I'd certainly be less hygienic;
I'd take more chances … I'd take more trips …
I'd climb more mountains … I'd swim more rivers …
And I'd watch more sunsets.
I'd burn more petrol,
I'd eat more ice cream – and fewer beans.
I'd have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I was one of those people who lived sensibly,
hour after hour and day after day.
Oh, that doesn't mean I didn't have my moments,
But if I had it to do all over, I'd have more of those moments,
In fact, I'd try to have nothing but wonderful moments, side by side.

I was one of those people who never went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had it to do all over again, I'd travel lighter next time.

If I had my life to live all over again,
I'd start barefoot earlier in the spring
and I'd stay that way later in the fall.
I'd play the fool a lot more;
I'd ride more merry-go-rounds, I'd pick more flowers,
I'd hug more children,
I'd tell more people that I loved them.
If I had my life to live over again …
But, you see, I don't.

What I failed to tell the children, of course, was how much I enjoy working with them.
Even when I'm low on inspiration, it's just a delight.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's something about a clergy day...

which makes me slightly twitchy.

No matter that ours mostly take place at Cheltenham Racecourse (which feels very much like home territory, as it's where Greenbelt happens)
No matter that I love meeting up with friends and colleagues from right across the diocese
No matter that the subjects under discussion are nearly always both engaging and challenging.
There is something about concentrating all of us in one place that makes me very very idea why...

So, today's offerings were mainly a response to last summer's flooding...a theological response, that sought to remind us of our mutual dependence and responsibility for the earth and her (excellen) account by the Chief Executive of the County Council of what had happened last year and what might come next... stories from city and countryside about how the church was involved...lots of good material, things to celebrate and to reflect on.

Someone wondered whether, in the light of our responsibility for the earth and her resources, the current economic crisis might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.Who knows?
If it helps us to reconnect with our communities, to explore the simple life more determinedly, then maybe that might just be so, though there aren't many places in which it would currently feel safe to float that idea.

But I was very conscious of the things we weren't talking about...the people in our parishes who are trying to work out how ends might be made to meet in the months ahead, and (issues touched on by our first speaker but then largely set aside)the impact of climate change on the poorest of the poor.
I'm glad, truly, that in our local floods the churches were visible and active in making a difference....but I worry that we can get so focussed on local responses we run the risk of forgetting that we are part of something far far bigger.
So, for me the best line of the day came from our social responsibility officer, who was asked what the church's response to the credit crunch should be
"Well" he said "we have the choice when it comes to penny pinching. We can abandon W****r*s* in favour of A*d*...and then go home and give more to Christian Aid."
He's so right.
We have the choice..."Cutting back" means something so different for most of us, even those parishioners I encounter looking worriedly at the contents of their purses while doing frantic calculations at the supermarket checkout are unlikely to actually go hungry...We need that reminder that for so many of our brothers and sisters it is, truly, a matter of life and death...and we belong together...we are responsible for their well-being under God.

There were also some silly one-liners that cheered up the day no end. You had to feel for the Chief Exec, who after a run of techie glitsches reacted to the next one with an entirely natural
"Oh, for God's sake...."
and then paused as he realised just who his audience were. It brought the house down...
And I'm still giggling over the pictures conjured up by my own slip of the tongue while discussing future job possibilities with a friend over lunch
"After all" I said "The Church of Oyster is your England."

So there you have it! Happy Wednesday, peoples.

Friday, October 10, 2008


That's how the staid and sensible Radio 4 described the state of the money markets at lunchtime today...I know things are grim, but it does seem to me that the media generally have been fanning the flames of economic cataclysm for some months now, predicting dire things at every turn. Events may well be proving them right, but I can't help wondering if there is at least a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy too.

However, there's no denying that things are looking bleak.
The C of E has recognised this by producing a special prayer


Lord God, we live in disturbing days:
across the world, prices rise,
debts increase, banks collapse,
jobs are taken away, Loving God,
meet us in our fear and hear our prayer:
be a tower of strength amidst the shifting sands,
and a light in the darkness;
help us receive your gift of peace,
and fix our hearts where true joys are to be found,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As responses go it's not bad - but when I met with a small group of clergy for theological reflection earlier this week we noted that there is no suggestion of penitence, of accepting a measure of responsibility as beneficiaries of an unsustainable system, or of longing for change implicit in the prayer. It's all about a personal reaction to a very frightening situation - and in that respect it's entirely reasonable.
But as the Church of a God who has a bias to the poor, maybe we ought to have a wider agenda.
Repentence - that we have grown rich as others struggle
Hunger for a juster sharing of resources
Visions of a world in which interdependence replaces ego-centric independence - so that we are once again in the business of nurturing communities designed for mutual flourishing (Diane has a fine post exploring the need to rediscover community in the face of crisis ... well worth a read)

What with a church full of pets in the valley, and the excitement of Harvest AND Bishop up the hill I didn't get to preach on the Philippians passage set last weekend - which saddens me rather. At a time when every news bulletin talks about loss at some level, the perspective of one who has been able to set aside all his material credentials to focus his all on relationship with Christ surely has something to say to us.
But I'm not sure that, as they look at us, our secular neighbours would actually see much that is distinctive in the reactions of Christians facing economic calamity.
Of course on one level I'm as fearful as anyone- that the children won't find jobs, that the world that they have just begun to discover and celebrate will be closed to them by the need for austerity and retrenchment at every turn, - that the benefits we take for granted will all disappear overnight and (perhaps most of all) that old age will mean poverty, as our pension provision is scant and any degree of comfort depends on our selling the big house when the time comes, and investing the profits to live on. I'm good at being scared - but I do believe, without any wavering, that what really matters, ultimate well-being for the whole of creation, is assured...that God is for us, that the love that brought us into being remains constant.
And I want my life, and that of my church, to demonstrate that core belief.
Faith needs to make a difference, doesn't it?
Having promised reflective blogging, I'm instantly descending into frivolity with a meme on business trips. Before ordination I was mostly a mummy (I guess that's pretty much still applicable) so business trips weren't part of the picture, though there were a few day conferences which went with my job as a charity administrator. On the whole, though, business travel is something that other people indulge in...probably people with whizzy jobs and high incomes. Still, I'm always willing to have a go - so here's this week's Friday Five courtesy of Mother Laura

1. Does your job ever call for travel? Is this a joy or a burden? Most of my work related travels are between my two communities on the hill and in the valley - but I do get to go on the occasional clergy conference, and CME event - sometimes overnight, though rarely far afield. A glorious exception to this, of course, was my month in India in November 2006. To be sent to a country that I'd dreamed about, to live as one of the family with Indian Christians I could never have hoped to meet otherwise, and to get to call it "work" - quite amazing. I still miss it.

2. How about that of your spouse or partner?
Longsuffering Clockmaker is self-employed so when he does do a business trip, it tends to be an overnighter to the Big City to collect and return clocks he is working on. He stays with friends and it all seems to work very happily.

3. What was the best business trip you ever took? Can't beat my month in experience that was a huge part of my rather belated "growing up" as an individual, as opposed to simply a wife and mother, and also helped me to define what is really important in my ministry - priesthood beyond the walls of the institutional church, where people look to the church to make a difference.

4. ...and the worst, of course? Oh...that would be when I took a party of German teenagers to London to do the sights while I was working as a TEFL teacher, while I was in 6th form. The kids were only slightly younger than me, but I was responsible for two dozen of them, hauling them round the sights of London....counting them in and out of St Paul's Cathedral, umbrella aloft. It was August and there were dozens of similar groups swarming around the capital - so that I did at one point find myself minus at least one of my charges but with his place taken by no less than three random Scandinavians. It all got sorted out in the end, but I can still feel the knots in my stomach remembering. That evening we went to see The Mousetrap, and I treated myself to a gin and tonic in the hotel bar when we got home. I felt I'd earned it.

5. What would make your next business trip perfect? How about another trip to the US, to do a field study of the work contexts of blogging women ministers? Sounds OK, I think. More realistically, I have dreams of a sabbatical course in one of the Indian theological colleges - perhaps at Vellore or Madurai. I long to revisit that wonderful country, but would so hate to be "just a tourist" having lived there as family for a month.

Six months in

I was licensed to these parishes on 6th April, which means that this week has seen my half anniversary, maybe a good time to stop, breathe and take stock of the good, the not so good and the "really could do with changing"...not so much in the parishes as in the pattern of my ministry here.

The first thing I must say thank you for is a really warm welcome. Both my two church families and the wider community in the valley specially often ask me whether we're all settled in, how I'm getting on, whether I feel at home.
And, of course, the answer is a very positive "Yes".
I can't begin to fathom the "God-chemistry" that is at work when a priest presides at the Eucharist in her own parish - I just know that it is unbelievably powerful and engages me totally and reliably time after time after time. This is my place...I am supposed to be here.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I think we have our worship "sussed" - even by imperfect human standards. There are all sorts of tweaks I'd like to try in the weeks and months ahead,- a good friend is about to start a new job as diocesan worship advisor. Maybe he would come and do an audit in the new year...that would be good. We could usefully spend a bit of time ensuring that there is consistency of practice no matter who is presiding, assisting, serving...I'm hoping that FabBishop will come and offer training in leading intercessions as a Deanery event that I can encourage all our lay intercessors to attend. Though on the people of the hill generally have more confidence than those in the valley, there's only one person willing to lead the intercessions up there - and it's such a difficult art, to enable the prayers of others without being over directive, guiding them while not telling them exactly what they need to say. I'm sure we could all use a little help - and perhaps offering training might just encourage others to give it a try.

Generally, perhaps there's rather too much focus on Sundays. We don't, it seems to me, have a sense of our common life beyond worship. When we were preparing for the Summer Fete, I produced a leaflet to let the community know what we could offer. It's title page announced with confidence
"Your church serving your community, - not just on Sundays"
but the truth is that I couldn't actually identify many groups and activities that were going on during the week, beyond my own ministry and, of course, the ever wonderful mid-week Eucharist and coffee in both churches. I know that many of the congregation are quietly getting on with living their faith in their own daily context - and that is something to celebrate with great joy- but it would still be good if we were also doing some things together because we are the body of Christ in this place. Sure, I believe in the Austin Farrer definition of the priest as walking sacrament - but I believe, too, that the whole people of God is called to practice incarnational Christianity - to live as good news in our community. I'm not sure yet that our neighbours would be able to identify a difference in the way we live our lives...or to say "I'm glad the church is there, even though I never worship, because its members do things that make hill and vale a better place to live".

As we're confronted by the harsh reality of the economic melt-down, there will be many on our doorsteps struggling to make ends meet...The combination of hearing Sara Miles speak at Greenbelt this year, an amazing harvest of tins and packets and knowing a little about how life is for some of the people of the valley makes me wonder if we can explore a small scale "help yourself" store ourselves. Feeding the hungry is now closer to home than we'd like to imagine.

What else? much...
The congregation on the hill are demonstrating their amazing gifts as fundraisers of distinction, and work begins on the roof there in just 10 days time. I am looking forward to exploring with them how they are church even without their precious building. I don't think it will be easy - but I'm hopeful that we might begin to encounter God in ways that challenge and liberate.
Though there are only a handful of families present at our monthly All Age Communion, there really is huge potential to build on the good links that exist. I need to keep reminding myself that I'd been at Ch K a year before we launched OpenHouse - and that was with years and years of loving work with Little Fishes to build on. I need to remember that on the whole family life here is harder work ...there are more single parents who are just about surviving...Things won't necessarily work in the same way here, where even the schools find it hard to get parents to come to social gatherings aimed simply at building community. If I'm honest, I'm disappointed that last week's Pet Service didn't bring in the crowds, though the 8 assorted dogs plus Peregrine the guinea pig seemed pretty happy with the proceedings...but it's a start. And the home team were very relaxed about this intrusion into their normal worship - they seem willing to try most things, which is a real gift to me (though there will, of course, be the odd mutter and mumble afterwards, usually not to my face - this is a real congregation, after all! worship needs careful thought and prayer. I do have the delight of being welcomed into school every week and the excitement of our first Messy Church event which has enthused others so that going monthly in the New Year looks like a real possibility. I need to work out how and where to fit in a toddler church of some sort - not in competition with the toddler group, but maybe riding on the back of it. I don't know....I simply know that Little Fishes nurtured both mums, children and clergy - and that it seemed the very best pool into which to launch the newly baptised. Baptisms do happen here (not enough as yet - but that will grow)...but finding a way of maintaining connection in the pre-school years is going to take careful consideration.

Personally - I need structure. I continue to flounder around timekeeping, ricocheting between manic activity that demands long hours and total focus and fallow periods when it's hard to see what I'm actually achieving.
I'm struggling to find a solid pattern of prayer that works for me (though I'm moving towards it, I think...and learning to beat myself up less too, thanks as always to BestSpirDir ever)
I miss WonderfulVicar and the daily routine of praying the Office together morning and evening. I miss our walks to and from church, the opportunity to reflect on what was happening and where we might see God amid the work. I miss the way that fed into my own reflections, and I miss having someone to talk to about these things - so that's where you come in, dear readers.
I've just discovered that it was Socrates who asserted that "the unreflected life is not worth living"...That might be putting it a little strongly, but to have the experience and miss the meaning in this wild and wonderful calling would be little short of tragic.

So as part of my personal six month review, I'm pledging to attempt a return to regular reflective blogging. I'm writing that here in the hope that may make it really happen. If you'd be so kind, watch this space.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


For Annika, aged 7, who is having her third liver transplant as I type...Her mother, Moreena, is a blogger of remarkable courage - indeed, the whole family is remarkable. Today is also little sister Frankie's birthday - so I'm asking God for a double celebration, please.
Anni has been through so much - much more than most of us will ever have to contend with.
I'm lighting a candle for her now.
Please, loving Father, see her safe through, guide the hands of her surgeons and surround each member of the family with your love and peace.

ETA Annika came through the surgery but is having a rough ride now. Moreena is updating regularly - please don't stop praying.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Forgiven? What a disappointment

This morning began, as Thursdays always do, with the BCP Communion at Church on the Hill.
It's a gentle service, with a small but focussed congregation and it's something I always find valuable, despite my linguistic struggles.
No problems with the liturgy itself, you understand - I'm old enough to have grown up with Series 2, so "thous", "thees" and "oblations" may not be the stuff of everyday, but they're still on my mental map - but the readings, particularly from Paul, are a different matter altogether. After all, his thought processes are pretty compressed and dense even in modern language. He's dealing with Big Stuff here and he doesn't believe in diluting it unduly.
Add to that the confusion of words whose meanings have evolved and changed over the decades, the way subclause within subclause unfolds (or doesn't) and verbs hide themselves away at the end of the sentence to jump out on the unsuspecting reader, and the whole thing becomes a real challenge.
Some weeks it is like nothing so much as leaping from the topmost diving board, without knowing for sure if there's sufficient depth of water to allow you to survive . .Some weeks, even when I know the passage well, I don't feel that I've made it sound remotely comprehensible, and worse still, I don't know that my listeners actually expect to understand it.

This morning was one such...A chunk of Ephesians (the passage set for Trinity 19 under the BCP lectionary) proved almost incomprehensible, so I thought I'd base my minimal homily on the Gospel, Matthew's account of the healing of the man "sick of the palsy".
As I read, I wondered how he would have felt when Jesus, the man with this huge reputation as a healer, turned to him and said
"Your sins are forgiven"
Do you think he was even conscious of his sins?
I'd imagine he was, actually, hugely disappointed.
Other cripples were walking home singing, lepers were hugging their wives and children and setting off for a party - and him? He was still sick of the palsy.
Worse still, he was becoming the subject of a religious controversy over whether or not Jesus was qualified to offer the forgiveness that he himself hadn't sought at all.
Not only was he being offered something he didn't want, but this unsolicited gift was causing no end of trouble.
Then, almost as an afterthought, he gets what he thought he wanted all along - but it comes couched in disconcerting language
"So that you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins - arise..."

And there it was.
The miracle he had waited for, hoped for, maybe even prayed for.
But not as he'd expected it.
Merely as an incidental to this other matter, the forgiveness of his sins.

I wonder how often the rest of us miss the real miracle as we strain after something else, something that we think we need beyond everything...
I wonder how often we take the miracle of our forgiveness as read.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Time for a puppy post

The lovely Libby is growing by leaps and bounds (of which there are plenty) - but is distressingly camera shy. Even asleep, she seems to have a 6th sense when I move towards my camera, and wakes and moves out of range instantly.
However, there have been a few successes, and I thought it was time to cheer the blog up so here we have a selection from the past couple of months.
She still thinks she is about the same size as Tallis, so frolicks about with him and then wonders why he objects to being sent flying by an irresistable force...This is from back when they were reasonably well matched in size.
Nowdays she's more of a lolloping steam roller - but that
as my offpring will remind you, was very much the point
of getting a Big Dog.
And she is nothing if not charming - even at six in the
morning - though I guess I could be biased.