Saturday, 28 September 2013

Bristol Dreams.

Do you have dreams in which you know that you are in a certain place, even though the scenes in the dream bear no resemblance to the real and actual place?

I have three such dreams, each of which (with slight variations) recur very often.  They are about.
 places in or near Bristol, U.K. -  my home City.  The references will make some sense to Bristolians.

1.  Clifton.
Clifton is an upscale residential, and student flats part of Bristol.  It has some lovely old Victorian and Edwardian homes, some fine terraces and small parks, and is right next to our treasured Clifton Downs and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
In this oft repeated dream I am walking down a steep hill. On the left there is a super terrace of Victorian homes in front of which there is a footpath and an urban garden.
I walk down the footpath, which dead ends. So I have to walk through various homes (which miraculously have access one to another).  These all lead to an small but upscale shopping mall which often terminates with a lift/elevator.
I take this lift down one floor, and then I am in the Cotham area of Bristol near to Coldharbour Road.  I am trying to get to Cheltenham Rd., but every turn I take leads me in the wrong direction.
In a variation on this dream I am trying to get up to Clifton Downs via Constitution Hill or Sion Hill, but I cannot find my way.  But I pass many beautiful old churches which are clearly shut down.
2. Easton
Easton is an old blue collar area of Bristol, much destroyed by urban renewal  (The M 32 motorway and part of the Inner Circular Road).  My mother grew up in Easton.  She would sometimes quote a Labour Party City Councilor who once said  "Easton will rise again".  It never did.
I grew up in the adjoining area called "Whitehall".  We were a cut above those who lived in Easton (or Lower Easton).
I often dream about Easton. In those dreams I am usually somewhere between Stapleton Rd  and Easton Rd (near where St. Gabriel's Church once stood),  I wander around all the while seeing big old and derelict Churches, lovely ponds, and new flats.
I am trying to get home, but I find myself on Stapleton Rd near the old railway Station, or at the intersection of Easton Rd and Clarence St.  In either case I get scared 'cause I know that my walk home will be through "bad areas"
(I had a variation of this dream the other night.  Within the dream I said "so this is not a dream, Easton is truly like this. And then I woke up!)
3. Chipping Sodbury.
Chipping Sodbury is a lovely little Cotswold town some ten miles east of Bristol.  I worked there in the Westminster Bank between 1961 and 1964.
The third of my recurring dreams often begins there.  In these dreams I am always with dear friends  (last night, 26th Sep 2013, it was my seminary classmate, Les Harman.)
In the "Chipping Sodbury" dreams I am usually trying to drive to yet more beautiful Cotswold towns.   But some of the roads are cul-de-sacs or dead ends, other roads are blocked off, or lead in the wrong direction.  I can never reach those  gorgeously beautiful towns.
Indeed these are frequently occurring dreams. 
I know that they are not about Clifton, Easton, or Chipping Sodbury.
They are about me!    (All of our dreams are about we the dreamers)
Care to take a guess about the "meaning" of my Clifton, Easton and Chipping Sodbury dreams?


Friday, 27 September 2013

Minor Surgery (2)

All went well this morning.

First I was given two Tylenol tablets for pain relief (if needed),

Then a topical  unaesthetic on the bit of loose skin hanging under my eye, together with a cold compress.

Then "snip snip" and it was gone.  The surgeon is fairly sure that it is benign.

No stiches, I simply have to wait for the scab to fall off.

In and out of the Surgeon's Office in half an hour.

I am calling this my "facial circumcision" 

Thanks for so many expressions of love and care.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Minor surgery

I will have some minor out patient surgery at 10:00 a.m. on  Friday 27th Sep 2013.

It's to remove a benign skin growth on the lower eyelid (if there is such a thing) of my left eye.

It's no more than a nuisance growth which sometimes interferes with my peripheral vision.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Rain over Frogs inside Cats paradise

The rains ended this afternoon

I opened the back door to pick some basil,

Then three wee one inch frogs jumped inside,

My  cats  were immediately   in hunting heaven..

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Bowling, church and other matters

I am an indifferent or mediocre ten pin bowler.  Nevertheless I signed up for a fall/autumn league.  We are four teams, each of three people.  Of the twelve bowlers I know six very well, three fairly well and two who were strangers until last week.

Bowling leagues and Church attendance  have some commonalities.

Some bowlers, such as I, are there just to get out of the house and to use up a few hours.

Some bowlers are there chiefly to encourage the weaker team members, and to cheer when anyone bowls well.

Some are obsessed with the minutiae of averages and handicaps.

Others are anxious to improve their skills, and work hard to perfect their skills.

A few  (and this includes me at bowling) sit back with naughty amusement at the foibles and antics of others:  the feigned modesty, the over exuberance, and the deadly seriousness with which some take the whole enterprise.

That's bowling. Those who hang around Churches will see the odd connection between league bowlers and Church congregants.


IN THE MEANTIME we in South West Florida are being treated to an excess of rainfall.  The rain, much of it very heavy, has been with us for about 30 hours. There is some localized street flooding and the ground is saturated and soggy.
Penne and I have taken quick outside trips when the rain has been light, so that she could have a decent pee.    However, despite all my words of encouragement ( e.g."have a nice poop Penne") she has not emptied her bowels for 36 hours.  Maybe she thinks that soggy ground is not an appropriate place for the gracious lady which she is.

And maybe the regularity of bowel movements is simply a obsession for old farts such as I, and is not a source of worry for canines.

The rain has it's blessings.  Our aquifers are being wonderfully replenished.  That's good.  What was not good was that the tiled entry way to the bowling alley was entirely slippery.   Oh I know this to be true.  For as I walked out this afternoon I slipped and fell flat on my backside.  The only injuries were to my pride.

Two 30 something "lads" were taking a smoke and witnessed my fall.  They rushed to pull me to my feet, and were concerned lest I was injured.

Of course I know that they saw not your friend jmp who thinks that he is still 45 years old, but an old codger sprawled out on the tiles.  "To see ourselves as others see us"!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Au revoir Seth

We said our sad au revoirs at St. Boniface yesterday to Seth Wertz who has retired after nearly 37 years as a Minister of Music. 

Seth has been a good and faithful servant of God's people.  He is deeply loved and respected as was evidenced by the spontaneous two minute standing ovation afforded him at the 9:00 Eucharist.

He has led and enabled one of the finest hand bell choirs which I have every heard (and I don't even like hand bells!).

Above all, like every wise Church musician Seth has been a faithful pastor to the hundreds of children, woman and men who have served in the vocal and had bell choirs.

We all wish Seth and his partner Alan bon voyage as they embark on this new phase of life and ministry.