Random bits tonight, as I have spent a long time wrestling with a post that won’t be ready for a day or two.
Have I mentioned the new Rector? She will be Instituted and Inducted tomorrow night, by the Bishop of Norwich no less, in a church not far from here (not my village, but the same group). We had a practice the other night. The churchwardens (of whom I am one) have to shift themselves up and down that sodding aisle no fewer than three times. I suspect we will look total idiots. We will be carrying Staves. At one point, my lovely fellow-churchwarden and another male CW will have to shift the Bishop’s chair, as he won’t need it any more. So I’ll have to carry two staves and will, undoubtedly*, trip over one or both of them.
Do you know anything about this? Honestly, it brings out the worst in the Church of England: the love of ceremony.
First they dress up like Total Twats. Sorry. But they do. All church dignitaries are actors manqués and love dressing up. They prance up and down aisles as if anyone is looking at them. Well, we are, but in disbelief. I’m not saying this is not a meaningful ceremony; of course it is, but surely less can be more. It’s like weddings. Often, the more elaborate the wedding, the shorter the marriage (I can say this as I have been married for ages and ages and had three guests, two of whom were witnesses, at my civil ceremony)….you will appreciate that I generalise for effect and am not wishing to cast aspersions on anyone who has had a Dream Fairytale Wedding, but I have known a few where the wedding was the be all and the marriage was the end all.
Then they have too much meaningful stuff. The Rector to be has to be introduced to the door of the church, the bells, the font (and handed the Water), the episcopal seal, the chair, the altar, the oil, the bible, the bread and wine – really, it’s like Alice in Wonderland, or an Australian tale I read as a child called the Magic Pudding.
The good thing is that, at the end, we all disembark to the village school where there is food and wine (and coffee, pfft) laid on.
In preparation, this evening, I had said I’d take forty chairs from our church room to the church in question. I borrowed Al’s van – it’s a little Postman Pat van – and took it to the church. I thought, rather dismally, that I would be spending a couple of rather hard-working hours alone….but then, out of the woodwork, appeared three helpful men who let me marvel at their muscularity as they dealt with most of the work. They were marvellous. The whole thing was done in 45 minutes.
What else? I’ve done a couple of simple but tedious tasks that I have been pretending not to have time to do for a couple of weeks.
Ah yes. A breakthrough yesterday. Squiffany asked, for the first time, to use the potty. “Daddy, poo. Potty.**” He took her into her room and she started to play and to inveigle him into playing too. He thought she was taking the, um, poo, and went back to the highly important job of plumbing in the new washing machine. But a few minutes later, she called him again and this time, she followed through. Much praise and ceremony. I have a feeling that so many children are still in nappies now because disposables are so comfortable. I know a few three-year-olds, and one child of nearly five – mind you, his house-husband father is hopeless, though sweet – still in nappies. It may be no coincidence that Squiffany is in proper washable nappies and doesn’t really like them wet or dirty.
Um. I’ve probably delighted you long enough.***
*I was affronted, yesterday morning, to hear on the Today prog on Radio 4, some government chappie say, clearly and inaccurately, “undoubtably.” Really me.
**Endlessly interesting, the English language. Poo is what is done, pooh is the aroma. Pooh, of course, is the bear.
***I do trust that you all follow my literary allusions.