Rev'd Joe's blog aka "Stuff".....


Outside my 'office' window is a massive yew tree. I say 'my office', it is neither mine nor an office really. I share it with Callum (17 years old) and his X-Box, and theoretically anyone else who cares to use the room. Happily no-one else does and happily Callum is in Scotland at the moment on legitimate seasonal work/'A' level revision. No offence to the lad, but it is soooooo nice to have a space I can - in a suspension of reality - call my own, with just my own clutter and not someone else's; where I don't get irritated by cups left lying around and the bin overflowing with Haribo's, Monster cans and Pringles tubes. All I have to do now is to soundproof the 'office' and I can get my record player working to its full potential without disturbing the rest of the household. I will then be in a state of bliss and equilibrium with the world. And a kettle, yes a kettle would be nice, to go with the Japanese teapot and little cups Jeanette got me for Christmas. And perhaps a home brew kit in the corner. And a rocking chair. And a verandah where we could sit each evening in the summer watching the world go by and hear the crickets chirruping and woodpigeons cooing.

Maybe next year. Anyway, back to the massive yew tree that I can see out of the window. It's an ugly beast really but it has been there for around 300 years or more and will probably see me out. It is at a slightly Pisa-ish angle which is a mild worry, but if it falls it will crush the neighbour's car, not the house, so that is reassuring.

It can also be seen out of the bedroom window and there is one particular branch that looks like a friendly dinosaur waving at you every morning. It gently bobs in the breeze with a beatific and welcoming 'hello', as if to say 'Good morning, lovely to see you, welcome to a new day'. I shall miss it if it dies but doubt it will miss me if the reverse happens first. Perhaps it will though. I like talking to plants - as you may recall from earlier Stuffs - and occasionally feel guilty about eating them, but don't travel too far down that particular route of logic otherwise I will starve to death. What do you eat if you won't eat meat or plant life? What is 'beyond vegan' even?

This is a train of thought I probably wouldn't have had if I hadn't been sitting here writing this Stuff. One of the pleasures of Lockdown, of 'waiting', is the chance to have flights of fancy. I know this won't apply to all of you - especially those whose children are not older enough to palm off on relatives in Scotland (he wanted to go, we didn't make him!) or who really don't get on with their other halfs - but waiting for what happens next has its positives which we should try not to waste. As Jesus said, "Does worrying add a single hour to your life?" (6:27). He said this not to a well-resourced, scientifically advanced, stable-governed populace but to an occupied, authoritarian-governed, scientifically unadvanced populace who had much to worry about. So, although I am preaching from a privileged, relatively reactive, pampered point of view, I am also preaching from an attempt to get a deeper understanding of what being human actually means. Jesus wasn't a middle-class, Western European at the the other end of an online Tesco delivery, so what was he getting at?

As I wait, I am glad to be alive, glad to have family and friends, glad to know that someone cares about me and glad to have a massive yew tree waving at me each morning, from an office that isn't really mine. We will wait and see, play our part, be thankful for those who are looking after us and look forward to a summer that will surely come.

Jeanette found this hymn yesterday. I had never heard it before but it prompted my musings for today. Have a listen. It has some unusual images in it that acknowledge tragedy as well as joy.

Peace and prayers, Joe