STILL, unbelievably, only three builders on the horizon showing any interest at all in the chapel project: two local and one from 60 miles away. We’ve contacted nine! Meanwhile I read in the Telegraph that yet another house-builder is laying off 500 men as work grinds to a halt. I feel like ringing them up and saying can we have one, please? Nice location, friendly folk (us) and – oh yes: guess what? We’ll pay. I’ve spent a fortune on printing plans which sit forlornly on the fridge, waiting to be posted. I’m feeling quite fed up about it all.
And then I spot something else in the Telegraph – where else? Namely, that scientists have discovered a “misery gene” that turns us (some of us) into Victor Meldrews. Oh, really? So it’s not absent builders, call centre musak, savings disappearing down the pan, bankers’ bonuses, falling house prices, three million unemployed and £30,000 government debt for every man, woman and child in the country. No, it’s us – or rather me, with my genetic predisposition to grumpiness. Now I’m really angry.
Then I get an email from an old friend from Whitley Bay days, reminding me it’s Lent. Since I stopped going to church – another story – I’ve lost track of its seasons. I did remember it was Shrove Tuesday, mind you (pancakes) so Ash Wednesday should have been a doddle. But no, it went straight out of my head until Jill wrote:
“Dismal time of the year isn’t it – am so tired of the headlines, either terrorism, stabbings or global economic disaster BUT I’ve found something to do for Lent which I always find a depressing period. The word from Holy Trinity is don’t go giving something up like sweets or whatever (I’ve always thought that was a waste of time) just try counting your blessings instead.
“SO I have grumbled so much about our “downsize” although the move brought us so much joy in other ways that I am downloading a photo of one of the shanty towns of S.Africa or S. America and pinning it up in the kitchen to remind me of how so many millions have to live. That should make me think about the warmth and cosiness to say nothing of the sanitation of this little dwelling” 🙂
She’s right, of course. And tomorrow we’re going to the funeral of a friend’s 24-year-old daughter who died last week after fighting cancer for more than a year. So – not much to complain about after all.