Nearly Normal

Welcome one. Welcome, all. Well, we did it. Celebrate the 30th anniversary that is. We are at the end of a week off work which has been chock-a-block with stuff that used to be a bit boring but is now on a level with eating ambrosia on toast whilst riding on a unicorn across the lost cities of the Amazon (not that one).

What did we do? Well, everything we said really. We went to Ikea – you couldn’t have any meatballs unless you were willing to book seven or eight weeks ahead but otherwise all was well and I managed not to buy an armchair. We had some friends round and we let them in! (not for long mind you – no point overdoing it) We had a takeaway. It was supposed to be Chinese but they are closed on Tuesdays. (Is that a cultural thing? Tuesdays?) We went to the pictures. It was not a very well known film and we were the only people in our screening. I am not sure about the protocol around masks when no one else is there so we did what all Brits do when they are unsure about masks and spent a lot of the film with it under my chin.

We also had a day trip to London. Unsure of what to do when we got there (I didn’t let the lack of any sensible ideas stop me going) we had pre-booked tickets to the Tower of London. No – come back – the Tower of London is really good. There was hardly anyone there. Certainly no People from Many Lands. Well, I tell a lie, there was a French lady there. I was a bit confused, is France open? Anyway, if France has another wave, I can tell them who their super spreader is. Unencumbered by social distancing, she kept popping up and standing so close, I think we are probably engaged now. The lack of people meant that we could get near to things and have a good look. My favourites are always the ravens because you can talk to them and they talk back. Yes they do. HOH reckons that whatever they are saying, it didn’t seem that friendly. I have to agree. One raven, slightly bigger than a Jack Russell and pulling on what looked like pigeon entrails didn’t seem in a mood to chat. Probably best to leave him to it. We also got to see the Crown Jewels without queuing. Since we were last there, they have installed a moving pavement past the jewels so you can’t hang around plotting ways to sneak them past the 28 guards on the door. I can understand why they did it but it does give the whole thing a kind of Generation Game feel which is not that helpful when it comes to the dignity of the thing, to be frank. We continued our cultural tour of the Capital with a tour of Zara. Also, very nice with lots to look at.

We also went to church…yay! We had only been to this place a few times before the pandemic broke. The idea being that we were taking things very slowly and gently, and after the frankly rude interruption of a worldwide disaster, we went back to the original plan. Church is strange at the moment – especially if you are newish. No singing obviously and table service only at after church coffee. (I am not sure if table service in church is scriptural; surely mingling is compulsory after the meeting). The one thing that is still allowed is an action chorus (hurrah) and for those that know us and are looking for reassurance that life is returning to normal, if you look closely at this photo you will be able to see HOH and me studiously ignoring the action chorus going on around us. In an ever-changing world, some things remain the same.

It was lovely to hear a sermon again, in the flesh. It’s quite difficult to let the preacher know that you are listening when you are wearing a mask. You have to try “smiling with your eyes” like Tyra Bancks on America’s Next Top Model. Your cheeks can ache a bit by the end.

So it’s back to work and getting on with it. 30 years can take its toll as many of you will know and this old photo of us is your actual physical proof of that. But, it has been excellent finding someone to put up with me (and sometimes Aged Parent as well) and as Aged Parent was pointing out to me “My Son in Law is marvellous. He comes in here and does all my shopping and runs around after me – he’s marvellous.” There is then an awkward silence while she has a half-hearted attempt to think of anything I do for her that she feels needs any acknowledgement. Oh well. Never mind. Have a good week.



  1. Kirsten
    May 24, 2021 / 8:24 am

    Wow! What a week!
    I’m not sure about ever going back to church again (joke). At home I can knit, and when the singy bits are making me want to run screaming from the building I can use the ‘sound off’ button and think about the words and not the band. I do put my knitting down for the prayers, reading and sermon though.. .. and I love All my church family. And oh, to receive communion again…

    I keep a list of places I want to go to once I feel ready to emerge from my cocoon.

    • lesleyps91
      May 24, 2021 / 7:52 pm

      I know what you mean. We did think twice about leaving tea and toast behind with a Sunday Morning YouTube sermon. Especially as we don’t watch our local church preacher – we watch a friend who used to be our pastor and is an outstanding preacher. Not very loyal to the local church I know but we haven’t been going that long and that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

  2. Mrs Kay Stevens
    May 24, 2021 / 1:44 pm

    I loved your comment about you and your husband “studiously ignoring the action chorus”! 😉
    Sounds just like my husband and me.
    In fact, when adults are coerced into doing the actions in a church, I realise that that church is not for me.
    I’m not really an old curmudgeon – honest!

    • lesleyps91
      May 24, 2021 / 7:47 pm

      True story. Having been brought up in church and doing the compulsory teaching at Sunday School, I have done every action chorus in the world and it really doesn’t bother me. However, when I realised that some people hate it and then come under pressure to do it, I stopped doing actions because I wanted to stand with people who didn’t like it – because it is so unimportant. I mean – who cares? In a world where people are hurting and struggling and God wants to heal and help – I ain’t getting all worked up because someone doesn’t want to jump up and down like a chicken. You don’t sound like a curmudgeon to me

      • Kay
        June 3, 2021 / 1:33 pm

        Thank you Lesley. 🙂
        I used to belong to a Free Methodist Church and there were 4 ‘frees’ that were part of their beliefs and they quoted as being significant.
        One of the ‘frees’ was, “The freedom to worship as you choose”. I think that perhaps they were thinking about the more charismatically inclined members of the congregation who liked to raise their hands, dance, etc. But I took it as my own freedom not to do the actions during children’s songs.
        I have taught in Sunday School and didn’t worry about doing the actions with the children there. In fact I used to have a lot of fun with the children.
        Church can be daunting enough for newcomers or introverts without being targeted because you’re not ‘joining in’.
        Thanks again on behalf of all of us quieter people for your understanding regarding worship.

        • lesleyps91
          June 4, 2021 / 10:10 pm

          I was thinking about new people in church when I thought about this. When my husband first became a Christian, it resulted in quite a big lifestyle change. His shy and slightly bewildered Mum wanted to have a look at what had made the difference. At the evening service – the first Christian service she had ever attended – someone at the front decided they should break into prayer groups and then each person was told that everyone was to pray. Obviously she didn’t but it was all very awkward and she never attended again. Hmm.

  3. Jenny Young
    May 24, 2021 / 5:45 pm

    So glad you were able to get away. Happy Anniversary!

    • lesleyps91
      May 24, 2021 / 7:34 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  4. May 26, 2021 / 9:36 am

    We’re just past our 36 years…how did THAT happen?! We celebrated by doing nothing out of the ordinary. But we are planning a short break to the next department in the next couple of weeks. That’s the sum of our excitement! Congratulations on your anniversary.

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