Thursday, 5 July 2007

'There was once a man, expensively dressed in the latest fashions, wasting his days in conspicuous consumption. That is how the story of the rich man and Lazarus begins in the Message bible. Whoa. That is painful to read. I may not be a man, I may not wear the latest fashions, but do I waste my days in conspicuous consumption? Maybe it is all relative, and compared to some of my peers I don't - I try not to - but in the face of the global population all watching then I would look conspicuously consumptive. Maybe I should take hope that the verse did make me think about what I do and how it looks. Makes me think. Thought it might make you think.

Have veered from my original intention of this blog being for Bitterne fans. But while I am veering, I have found some other uncomfortable reading to share with you. In my Amnesty magazine (always uncomfortable reading - never leave it in the bathroom), I found a list of things you can be executed for in China. Crimes include: selling on VAT receipts, dealing in cultural relics and cattle rustling. Can you imagine if you were a crooked farmer with a shrine or something discovered on your land. You could die three times for committing crimes. Seriously, reselling VAT receipts? Now I am really bad at remembering the procedure for doing the petty cash in the office (find the key, open the tin, take out the book, write lots of things in it, staple the receipt on to the lined piece of paper, tear out the unlined, move the piece of carbon paper, take out the money, shut the lid, put the tin away, hide the key again) and it would be easily done that you accidentally sell a receipt that you weren't meant to. OK, maybe not easy to do, but I could easily forget to put the receipt in, for example, and it sounds like that would get me 20 years of porridge by Chinese standards.

Thanks to ME for the fab explantion of probability in the comments section on roadkill. You could be a maths teacher. Definitely you would be good at it. For information, the two dead animals were both seen on roads leading to the M27, but not on the motorway iself.

Yesterday I drove up to A31 and a little browny golden animal jumped across the road in front of me. I think it may have been a stoat. It looked like a ferret but smaller. I really hate ferrets, more than I hate rats, but not as much as I hate slugs. I know, they are all God's creatures etc etc, but maybe God was having a bad 5 minutes when he thought of slugs.

I went up the A31 to a Convent, called the Convent of St Lucy. I had never heard of her, but she had great gardens and lots of elderly, godly nuns (12) ( number of nuns, not average age) who graciously offered us hospitality for my meeting with my spiritual director (who is not a nun). It is so peaceful there, you can feel a different pace of life as you enter the gates. Here is a meditation that I picked up there, by Ann Lewin:

Cows get it about right.
Unhurried pace and gentle curiosity,
The natural rhythms of their day,
Giving them ample time to chew things over.
We could do worse than stand around like cows.

I do not wish to post a critique of the quality of writing here, as I don't think I could find anything good to say about it, please do try yourself if you like literary analysis. I like the sentiment of stopping, stilling, chewing things over and not rushing on to the next thing.

Only Bitterne fun this week was an NRG session as usual on Tuesday in the main hall with Sarah. There is judo or something going on on the other side of the curtain, and this week they were being unusually enthusiastic with grunting and shouting. Could barely hear the music or the groans from my dear friend Lou as we did the outer thigh exercise. And she was on the next door mat.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I went on a business trip to China once. I was going through the receipts and found one that I didn't recognise. I got a chinese colleauge to translate it and he said it was for underground car parking - most unusual as I didn't have a car when I was out there. Must have been given to me by a taxi driver who bought it off a car parking attendant who is now most likely an ex-parking attendant.

On a completely different subject Kay, how does one go about finding a spiritual director?

Steve.