Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Wednesday, June 29

Predict sleepless night

The office refeshment club has ru out of decaff coffee.

So I've been drinking the hard stuff.

Suddenly I've remembered why I drink decaff - I have very freqeunt top-ups. Now I feel full of caffeine-induced stress and tension. I suspect I won't be sleeping much tonight!

Disabled Parking

Spot the well-designed disabled parking bay at Llanes on the north coast of Spain

Friday, June 24

Health update II

Still improving - several long (approaching 1 mile) walks in the last few days

Monday, June 20

Health update

Mrs has been on Humira for over a month now.

Overall, I wold say that she is slightly better (for which we praise God), though she still has a lot of pain. It's hard to tell because she changes form hour to hour, and also she is still phasing out the prednisolone steroid.

More pet hates

  • my children's habit of leaving lolly sticks on the floor, on the sofa, anywhere except the bin

  • ditto wrappers thereof

  • people who put empty boxes (eg cereal) back in the cupboard.

  • ditto packets of biscuits

  • Similarly, people who don't put used envelopes in the bin.

  • generally, anyone who does mundane things differently form me.

Thursday, June 16

Priest's poem

I found a link to this brilliant poem about the stresses of the Vicar's job at elizaphanian:

Today’s pet hate

Today’s pet hate is people who get to the office kitchen before me and have to meticulously clean things. It’s not good enough for them to give their cup or fork a quick swishle under the tap. No, they have to use detergent and a scourer. Then they have to dry everything with a paper towel. Now turn it round and dry the other end. No arrange everything in a neat row and wipe down all the bubbles left in the sink, and wipe the work surface. Now move their row of cutlery out of the way and wipe that bit too. And of course all of this is done slowly, while chatting to a friend, oblivious of me waiting to get to the tap. GET A LIFE!

Previous (ongoing) pet hates: (remembering of course that I am an empathetic, tolerant and loving Christian ????)

  • coat hangers - always tangled, always breeding in corners of the house, but never there when you need one.

  • cat food - the smell sticks to your hands to sniff for the rest of the day.

  • dog lovers - they all swear that they poop-a-scoop but the streets are still covered in poo.

  • people who drive at 40mph whether they are going round a hairpin bend next to a school or on the motorway

  • People in the UK who use the left hand lane to turn right out of a one way street

  • TV auditions that mock contestants

  • Police cars that park illegally and break speed limits while not on emergency calls

  • Things that fall out of cupboards no matter how carefully you stacked them last time.

  • People with big expensive cars but can't drive them, e.g. don't have the skill to park them between the white lines.

Wednesday, June 15

Gloom lifts

Had a peace conferene on Monday. She s much better at initiating these things than I am.

Disussed our respective positions, and explained things that were expressed badly in the heat of the original argument. Cleared up some misunderstandings. I actually found I was able to say sorry for some things, and while 'sorry' is rarely in her vocabulary she did agree to note some 'lessons learned'.

So we are friends and kissy again.

Monday, June 6


I keep falling asleep at my desk, following last night's failure to drift off.

Asked a colleague to slap me at intervals, but he has failed completely.

How am I going to drive home?

Gloom II

I wrote some words in that card. Messed up - too many ambiguities - but I only had one card and it was too late. Gave it to her anyway, left on her pillow while she was in the shower. Came up to bed later (I sleep in a seperate room anyway - a nomad in my own house - because my snoring disturbs her) - she had switched the light off and shut the door, so no welcome there.

But Sunday seemed to go better. Apart from a row at lunch becasue I told the baby off for screaming at me and she took the baby's side. It was genuinely a better day: good church services am and pm and a good time at the 'newcomers' tea' at the vicarage. God was clearly speaking to me about my role in the new church.

Until evening, when she said 'About your card....'

She wants us to re-learn friendship. Sound good, but it basically means she doesn't consider us friends at the moment, let alone married, and any intimacy (even formal kissing) is off for the forseeable future. She wants to limit talk about issues to once a week, on Sunday evenings, becasue she can't cope with more than that. Well neither can I. I suppose its moving in the right direction, but its not right. I think I am more positive towards her than she is to me, even though I genuinely feel that I am the aggrieved party this time. But I'm not allowed to think that!

Only slept 10 minutes last night.

Friday, June 3

Forgiving others

A collect that I need to take note of, copied brazenly from

Almighty God, in obedience to your command to forgive, I commend to you N. I forgive his sins against me, especially ______________. I acknowledge that you are the only one righteous, and that like N., I stand as a sinner in need of your grace. I know also that I have from time to time committed similar sins, and even worse. Please forgive N., and forgive me. Please bless and heal N., and help him to grow in relationship with you, that both he and I would come to delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.

Lord, help me to apply this, to my wife in my present hopefully temporary row, but more importantly to the conspirators at my old church. Amen.


So we had a row.

Very Abbreviated ...

You're judgemental!You can't handle criticism!You're worse!
Your're selfish!No I'm not, you are!
Shall we start writing divorce papers!?

Of course there was a lot of evidence supplied by both parties to supposedly back up those accusations.

That was last Saturday.

Since then;
We have gone through the SILENCE stage
We have gone through the GRUNTS stage
We have gone through the EXCHANGE ONLY ESSENTIAL IFORMATION stage

I can't take back what I said - I still believe it.

Likewise I think she still believes what she said. I don't think she was serious about the divorce, but who knows? She has said things like that several times before, but you can take that either way.

On sunday she dodn't come to church. In the afetrnoon she took the kids for a walk, explicitly without me. She has now booked a summer holiday for herself and the kids to deliberately exclude me, but she still expects me to drive her there and back. And similar stuff.

I find it very hard to initiate a serious conversation with her, whether for confession of my faults or for helping her to see her own, or for starting a reconciliation. The time is never right. the mood is never right. I can't think what to say. I'm scared of her reaction. And I simply don't have the guts. So we stare blankly at the telly and pretend to be tired. The elephant fills the room.

I have bought a blank card in which to write some conciliatory words. But I can't think what to write. 'Conciliatory' words lie. But the truth fans the flames.

I find her instensly frustrating. I sometimes wish I was free of her. I have given myself to her so much I don't know who I am anymore. I feel drowned. I almost felt the rustle of threatened divorce papers was like the rustle of the first refreshing breeze on a hot stagnant day.

But fundamentally, I love her deeply.

Partly because this is my role. My function. My calling as a Christian; a sacrificial servant.

But in fact, I do actually love her anyway.

What's the next step?