taking the other out to lunch

I’ve learned a lot about myself and others in recent months. My inner dictator accepts the value of differing opinions and is working hard to listen and to value those.

We are all challenged by difference, by something ‘other’ than our own world view. We may fall into the trap of using the phrase ‘common sense’ until pulled up on that by someone we grew up with. Someone who knew us when we were eighteen, and remembers what a mess we were then. “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” – Albert Einstein (quotation via The Brother)

‘Common sense’ can lead to dangerous places…

I'm not going on that bus, ever

Much can be learned, much can be changed by making time and space to listen to other views, to recognise the concerns and constraints of another. That doesn’t make it easy. It doesn’t make change quick. It doesn’t mean that my opinion will prevail. But it will mean that we begin to make progress, together.

As I am being challenged and tested and surrounded by differing opinions, I ‘ve been encouraged by a TED talk by Elizabeth Lesser. It’s about more than lunch- though that helps with the structure, venue, timing and enjoyment- it’s about working to understand those we disagree with.

In an election period, am I talking myself into having lunch with all the local candidates? Maybe I need a diary secretary?

the lull

“Santa” has been and gone and done. Parcels have been unwrapped. Chaos has been created. Mince pies have been eaten. Potatoes  have been peeled.

I went back to sleep after the presents. I had considered getting washed and dressed then, but my body had other ideas. A while later I had a shower (our new shower produces actual hot water, and it’s still a novelty) and we went out. Red dresses are the Christmas outfit of choice for middle aged women in our parish.

The turkey is cooking slowly. Soon I’ll have to go and take an active part in proceedings, but I love this quiet bit. Things are taking care of themselves, bubbling and roasting. Girls have been playing with gadgets and sparkles, and will help Nana and Grandad with creating a starter. A mid afternoon meal is eminently sensible. Relaxed, gentle and leaving plenty of time for onesies and board games.

I hope you get to spend today as you’d like. Be gentle with yourself. Hug whoever you have with you (pets and cuddly toys included).

Merry Christmas, bloggy buddies.


it takes all sorts

I didn’t want to get up. It was cold, I was cosy.

I put the Christmas playlist on shuffle- there are hundreds of songs and you’d never know what could capture the imagination and warm the day.

really georgeOops, wrong Clooney! Can’t imagine how that happened…

Then I got a bad news call. We’ve lost a friend and former colleague. A small girl, younger than mine, has lost her dad. He was late to fatherhood, the proudest of doting dads. He wasn’t a religious man, but this seemed right for him today.

Any other day, this is the song that makes me smile out loud and think of him. Our mate.