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KILRENNY CHURCH CHRONICLE
ISSUE 10 Sunday 24th May 2020.
Kilrenny Church website
East Neuk Covid19 Emergency help numbers:
0800 999 6543 - 07818 414178.
Worship and personal reflection:
'our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''
The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ
Praise CH 4 Hymn 132. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD2e2N9Nvbk
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small,
in all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
all praise we would render, O help us to see
'tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
Today, we celebrate the promise of God in Jesus Christ to never, ever leave us alone. Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, also called Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven.
Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter (following the accounts given in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:2), although some Christians recognise it as a day of great significance, others not so much and some moved the observance to the following Sunday.
The thoughts for today are based on the first gospel reading in todays’ lectionary.
The Ascension of Jesus is described only in the Gospel of Luke and in Acts, which is really part two of the Gospel of Luke. The other Gospel writers only refer to the Ascension of Jesus, but they don’t describe the event.
We are told, the Ascension of Jesus is that event in which Jesus, after having been raised from the grave, and after having appeared to the disciples and others, ascends to heaven to sit at the right hand of the God the Father Almighty.
In our Acts passage the Ascension is vividly described and we get a sense of holy majesty and divine grandness as the heavens open up to receive the risen Christ. Unfortunately, scholars have long dwelled on the “how” of the Ascension: How did it happen? Did it really happen at all? Just where did Jesus ascend to? Is heaven really “up”?
This is unfortunate because the “how” is not the point at all. We want to know “how” because to know is to claim control. Well there are some things in life, in the human condition, that we don’t know and we never will. That has been tragically illustrated by the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. Who would have thought just three months ago that the world would have been reeling from a pandemic; let’s face it, ‘we’ had become used to thinking that modern medicine had the answer to every disease which came along? The world now has become less sure about what lies ahead, and how it will adjust to whatever follows.
That’s what Jesus is getting at when he says, “It is not for you to know the times or the periods that the Father has set up by his own authority” (Acts 1:7). Jesus knew that he was completely dependent on his father. To the extent that ‘we’ are realising our dependence on God, ‘we’ are being conformed a little bit more into the image of his son Jesus.
No, the point of the Ascension is not the how, but why, for what purpose. That’s what we’re meant to know, and that’s what serves us in our human condition. It’s enough to say that after being raised from the dead, Jesus ascended to the Father. That is to say, Jesus departed from this worldly existence, but continues to live a real life in the heavenly realm. But the story of the Ascension doesn’t end there. If it did it would only be about Jesus. No, the meaning of the Ascension includes all of humanity as well.
Remember that great fear of being left alone that we all harbour within our human condition? When we say we feel like we’ve lost control we’re having to admit that there are circumstances around us that are beyond our control, circumstances that can rob us of our very lives, and throughout human history, this fear of being robbed of life, the fear of death has scared us the most because we’ve interpreted death to be the ultimate aloneness.
Jesus knew that the greatest human fear was to be left alone. Jesus not only knew it, he experienced it and he conquered it. At his Ascension, Jesus announces the end of aloneness. Jesus promises at his Ascension that his disciples will receive the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). And then he ascends, he leaves them, he goes away!
This passage shows us clearly that Jesus’ disciples had unrealistic expectations of what He had meant by His kingdom. In many of His parables Jesus had spoken about this kingdom that was already at hand (Mark 1:15). The Parable of the Sower was disclosing to them ‘the secrets of the kingdom’ (Luke 8:10), and the three short parables in Matthew 13:44-50, the ‘Hidden Treasure’, ‘The Pearl of Great Price’ and ‘The Net’, all spoke of some impending era which was very close, so close it had already come. But they still didn’t understand, for they thought this kingdom was going to be centred in Israel, with Jerusalem as a world capital. Jesus now firmly dismisses that idea. They must wait for the Holy Spirit to be given in a special way and then they would be enabled to embark on the task God was about to give them.
Then Jesus was taken from them and it must have seemed that they had been abandoned. The clue to the ascension is that the physical presence of Jesus, which could only be present on earth in one place at a time, was going to be replaced through the gift of the Spirit, by His spiritual presence which could be present in every company and in every land across the entire world.
Now, at the Ascension, they’re given the ability to understand the whole of Scripture and Jesus’ place in God’s great plan. Now, at the Ascension, they realise they will never, ever be alone. They realise that even though Jesus ascends to the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit will provide them with the power and the presence they need to survive the moment, whatever that moment may come to be in life…or in death.
And isn’t that what life boils down? Surviving the moment, whatever that moment may be in life…or in death? Is it not a comfort to know that whatever moment is thrust upon us we have the ability through faith to not only survive that moment but to thrive within that moment? Is it not a comfort to know that, while we may not be in control, God is; and that no matter what catastrophe or chaos comes into our lives we will not be abandoned, we will not be left to face it alone?
In many ways the Ascension of Jesus Christ is an incomprehensible event, but that is no reason to dismiss it, just because we can’t fully understand how it could have happened. The meaning of the Ascension we can comprehend, the meaning that gives meaning to our human condition is found in Jesus’ promise to never abandon us. The Ascension of Jesus was not the end of Jesus’ earthly presence, it was only the beginning.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, human beings would be given the power (and power is the right word here), the power to live in the presence of the risen Christ through the gift of faith. As people gifted with this faith, we are not alone, we never will be alone, no matter what moment we are facing in life or in death. Aloneness has been conquered. Our calling is to share this Good News with the world as witnesses, as living testimonies to the gift of God’s abiding presence.
We are not alone in this life, and we will not be abandoned in death: that’s our Good News! The Ascension of Jesus Christ seals this promise and frees us from all descents into aloneness.
We’ve been promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift of power and presence, the gift of one another right here in Christ’s Church.
Yes, ‘life is difficult’! Yes, there can be a sense of abandonment as the disciples must have had when the risen Lord left them – apparently alone. Yes, there will be problems, suffering, temptations and trials. Jesus promised no less.
But there is the presence of the ascended Christ, and His Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us. In our own strength we are quite unable to face the unfinished task. But in our weakness Christ’s strength is made perfect, for His grace is always sufficient.
Let us pray.
Gracious God, you desire unity for your people in the world, and unity between heaven and earth.
We thank you for drawing us together as a community of faith, united in your love even in times when it is hard to gather.
Equip us to witness to your promise of resurrection and new life as we serve you in the world.
Hear us as we pray for your world.
(With thanks to George for leading worship today).
Praise: CH 4 444
Out of sight, the Lord has gone
into heaven, now his home;
told his friends, before he left,
that they'd never be alone.
Jesus Christ we call him still,
and we love him as our friend;
close to god, he prays for us,
so we trust him to the end.
Work for Jesus, wait for him,
all his wisdom learn to know;
walk his ways and love his friends,
help his kingdom here to grow.
Let us pray. (Allan)
Thank You for the joy that comes from worshipping together
even when we are separated by pandemics.
When we are together we are truly united as the people of God.
Thank You for our Kilrenny family of Faith
United in following Jesus.
Thank You for those with whom we have laughed
making this world a more cheery place.
Thank You for those with whom we have shed a tear
and shared a sorrow in our time of needing solace
We take great comfort from their compassion.
We are blessed with those we have worked beside
sharing a common task, making the work more manageable
sharing our dreams in a common purpose
striving for an agreed and happy conclusion.
Thank You for our congregation, we miss worshipping together in Your House in Kilrenny and pray for the day when we can all be together again
Listening to your voice and seeking to see you face to face.
Forgive us our selfishness that made us want nothing but our own way,
our intolerance which blinded us to all but our own view
and our self assertiveness that made us want to impose our will on others.
Forgive us for arguments in which we lost our temper and used bad words, where we wounded with sarcasm and said things in haste that cut to the quick and we now bitterly regret.
So forgive us Father and show us how to be better people in the days to come.
We will strive to live in unity with each other, love one another as you love us and follow your example.
Heavenly Father, we give you this our prayer. Amen
And a personal prayer:
Let us take some silent time and offer a personal prayer for Gordon (James Guthrie) as we remember him, his life and his witness as a member of Kilrenny Church, and also pray for comfort and peace to be granted to Fiona and all his family at his passing.
Our Lord's prayer
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen
Praise: CH 4 182
Now Thank we all our God
Kirk Services online
Orwell & Portmoak Church
Weekly Worship service available on-line at:
(recommended by Archie)
Church of Scotland: www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship - for a list of churches providing online services
Newport Church - Rev Dr Amos Chewachong:
Live online service of worship 10:45 for 11 am
If you wish to join please visit the Newport Church website for details.
ASCENSIONTIDE REFLECTIONS Rev. Ian W. F. Hamilton ASCENSION…..WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”
The Chapel of the Ascension is a small domed octagonal building on the top of the Mount of Olives which marks the spot where Jesus is said to have “ascended into heaven.” It was here, a Sabbath’s day’s journey from Jerusalem, that the risen Christ departed from his disciples, having encountered them throughout the forty days after the crucifixion.
What exactly took place at Ascension, and what is its significance?
The resurrection you will recall was followed by this period of forty days during which Jesus appeared to his disciples. The gospel tells us of some of these experiences , but we’re not given a connected account, it’s difficult to fit them all together. Some take place in and around Jerusalem, some in Galilee, but wherever these post-resurrection appearances occurred the risen Christ certainly came among his friends, not only did they see him, they talked with him, they ate with him and they touched him.
However Jesus never came back fully to his “old self” or his old life. He seemed to have a body certainly, but it clearly wasn’t subject to the limitations of time and space as are our bodies…..and as his own pre-crucifixion body had been. Jesus was there but he wasn’t the Man from Galilee who sometimes went weary and often hungry. But moreover – and this is the point – he didn’t stay.
One must wonder just why these appearances went on for so long, but surely this was so in order that the disciples must be absolutely convinced beyond all doubt that Jesus had risen and was alive! But they had to stop, so forty days on, it was time for Jesus to appear and withdraw for the last time…..and he did so in a highly dramatic and significant way! “He blessed them with uplifted hands, and in the act of blessing, he departed from them.” Luke records.
Of course the question which naturally follows is “What actually happened?” But as is the case with many other matters in terms of the faith, perhaps, today, this is the wrong question to ask. After all, our contemporary knowledge of the universe makes the question difficult to answer. In pre-scientific days there was no difficulty….in the days when people believed that the earth was flat and above the earth, in the sky, was heaven, God’s dwelling-place. The people of the day simply believed that Jesus “went up” to heaven. And of course we must ever remember that the greatest truths can only be expressed in the language of poetry and of symbol……and much of the Bible is symbolic language….and especially much of the Bible’s language about Christ – the unique Christ!
No, “What happened?” is the wrong question, perhaps the most relevant question should be, “What does it mean?”
The Ascension is best described as an enacted symbol. Jesus withdrawing in this way was displaying to the Apostles great truths about himself.
The experience, whatever it was – and remember we must always make room for mystery where God is concerned - certainly meant and indicated the rounding off of Jesus’ earthly ministry but it was more than that, it showed clearly that not only had Jesus been raised from death, but that he was also exalted into glory! “A cloud removed him from their sight,” Acts records. A cloud is a common image in the Bible which is symbolic of God’s presence. Suffice to cite the pillar of cloud by day which led the Israelites from Egypt to God at Sinai. And then it was on the Mount of Transfiguration that “….a cloud took Jesus from them.”
However, there, as in the story of the Ascension, the cloud which took Jesus into the presence of God, marked not the end, but merely the beginning! Jesus was taken into the presence of God, but God was never absent from his people. As Paul writes in Galatians, “He who descended is no other than he who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill the universe.”
This is the great dream or vision of the Christian faith, that he who was crucified is not only risen and alive, but he has become the power that fills the universe, inseparable from God, sharing again the kingdom, the power and the glory of God, with whom he was co-existent in the beginning. The Ascension certainly “rounded off” the earthly life of Jesus, but it showed also that not only was he raised to death, but exalted to Glory!
But not least there is one more great truth revealed in this holy experience. “With uplifted hands and in the act of blessing, he parted from them,” says the writer of Luke’s gospel. In other words, Jesus departed, but the blessing went on, and in consequence the disciples left the hill of Ascension, not empty, bewildered, and lost, but with the continual blessing of God upon them, and we’re told that they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and spent all their time in the Temple praising God!
Jesus – physically – once and for all had to leave the world of time and space……… Jesus had to be raised up, exalted to glory, the glory he shared in the beginning with God his Father. And now, high exalted, with outstretched arms, Christ’s continual blessing is readily and universally available and lovingly given! Now his power and his blessing fills the universe!
What actually happened, we’re not exactly sure…..but certainly this, at least, is what the Ascension of Jesus Christ MEANS! (Ian)
Postcard from Kingskettle
Once more, Greetings from Kingskettle!
As the weeks go by, I find that the concept of time has become rather strange. Maybe that’s been caused by the ever-lengthening evenings: that wonderful compensation we have in Scotland for the gloom of the winter when it often seems like we never see the Sun.
In the Medieval era, time was also important, but measured in different ways from our ways of reckoning. Those of you who’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore - better known as The Duomo - in Florence will hopefully have a chance to look at the beautiful clock above the main entrance.
The clock only has one hand and time was measured in 24 hours, but not from midnight to midnight, rather the day began at sunset and ended at the following sunset. With only one hand, there was little concern with minutes and seconds, rather people needed to know the hours of prayer through the night as well as the beginning and ending of the working day and when the city gates would close each night. The clock hand also moves anti-clockwise – very medieval indeed! It’s beautiful but impractical, as the sunset changes day by day so the system of weights and pullies required to keep it right was incredibly elaborate.
In ancient times, time was measured even more slowly: by days, by the lunar month and by seasons. Some of you will have visited Stonehenge or the Callanish Stones or the Ring of Brodgar. All are believed to be an elaborate means of celebrating time and the beginnings and endings of the Solar or Lunar cycles.
Our obsession with time, really arrived with the Railways in the nineteenth century when it became important to know when trains would arrive and leave and all of this had to be coordinated to the minute: in Switzerland & Germany down to the second! For me, arriving a minute late for a lecture – as the lecturer – is always seen as something of a faux pas. On the other hand, a student, arriving 20 minutes late is a right of passage, as they brave the glare of the lecturer. Both of us might have had good reason to be late, but only one gets away with it!
I suspect that the experience of the past few weeks is helping many of us to slow the pace of the lives we’ve been living. Not commuting, reducing the number of deadlines we must meet are helping many of us reduce the levels of stress we experience. Learning to appreciate a slower lifestyle will have some health benefits. But for those whose income has been seriously hit, these days must be stretching out in an agonising way as they wait for the country to re-open and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Time really is a curious concept. God created everything in seven days, but as the Psalmist says: “A thousand years to you are like one day; they are like yesterday, already gone, like a short hour in the night” (Psalm 90: 4). For those desperately needing to get back to work, each day must feel like an eternity. For those whose lives were high-pressured and stressful, these past few weeks might have been the bonus they could only dream of. For each of us we need to make the most of the time we have and try to look for the positives wherever we can find them. And we can dream once more of stepping into ancient sites and wonder at how our ancestors conceived of time and the God(s) they worshipped.
A Favourite Hymn from John Ford
There are several hymn books in my possession and some of them have a particular section of hymns for younger people – variously entitled 'For Little Children', 'Home and School', 'Hymns for the Younger Children' but CH4 gets round the title problem by having the presumably more apt hymns distributed throughout the book. Many of these hymns bring back good memories of Sunday School - sitting in a circle and in early days on small quaint wooden chairs.
During the year there was always Anniversary, picnics and a Christmas party to look forward to. At Anniversary time the girls always came in their prettiest dresses and many teenage romances started at that time of year. Sometimes a show or concert was arranged as the Kilrenny Sunday School did for many years in the pantomimes etc.
So I have selected the hymn below which is not in CH4 but is in CH3 this time. Written by a Mary Butler in the 19th Century it was popular and, incidentally, one of Irene's favourites too.
Looking upward every day,
Sunshine on our faces;
Pressing onward every day
Toward the heavenly places;
Growing every day in awe,
For Thy Name is holy;
Learning every day to love
With a love more lowly;
Walking every day more close
To our Elder Brother;
Growing every day more true
Unto one another;
Leaving every day behind
Something which might hinder;
Running swifter every day;
Growing purer, kinder,--
Lord, so pray we every day:
Here us in Thy pity
That we enter in at last
To the holy city.
(click on MIDI file for music)
A Daily Prayer
First thing, My Lord and God,
as day begins refresh in me
Your presence and Your peace.
First thing, My Lord and God,
as day begins forgive in me
unworthiness and sin.
The day ahead is thought about and
concerns are held before God.
First thing, My Lord and God,
as day begins restore in me
Your purpose, and Your will.
Worker, healer and saviour,
In the midst of this day’s activity,
I pause and listen for Your voice.
A time of quietness is kept.
I offer up the business of today
for You are a part of it.
I ask you to bless my part in it.
Consider the morning’s activities,
and what the rest of the day will bring.
Through my work, my words,
my thinking and my resting
may Your Kingdom come.
Last thing, Holy Spirit,
mysterious yet intimate,
before the day concludes
I give to You the people, places and events
of which my waking hours have been composed.
In quiet think back over the day.
What was good? What was not good?
Are you anxious about tomorrow?
Living God, Father, Son and Spirit,
bless now my sleeping
that tomorrow I shall wake refreshed
and ready to know and love and serve You once again.
Ascension Day customs across Europe
Ascension Day is one of the earliest Christian festivals, dating back to the year 68. It marks the end of the Easter season and occurs ten days before Pentecost.
Ascension Day is usually celebrated on a Thursday, the 40th day of Easter. This year Ascension day is Thursday, 21 May.
In many European countries Ascension Day is a public holiday, although not in the UK.
In Netherland, a very popular custom is to go “Dauwtrappen”. This means getting up before dawn and go for a walk or a bike tour.
In Belgium, the Procession of the Holy Blood takes place on Ascension Day. Prior to the procession, citizens in carts or on horseback perform stories from the Old Testament, talking about the life of Jesus Christ.
In Sweden, people go into the woods in the morning to hear the birds at sunrise. It is said to be good luck if a cuckoo bird is heard from the east or west.
In Germany, it is also celebrated as Father’s Day
In France, some Christians may attend special church services, but for most people, it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.
In Norway, people traditionally spend this day outdoors or in the garden. It is common to take Friday off too, creating a long weekend holiday.
In Portugal, Ascension Day is associated with wishes for peace and prosperity. Traditionally, in rural communities, people make bouquets from olive branches and sheaves of wheat with poppies and daisies. The olive and wheat are symbolic of abundant harvest; the poppy stands for peace and the daisy for money. Wheat is kept in the house throughout the coming year as a symbol of prosperity.
In Britain there is a tradition that says if it's sunny on this day, it will be a warm summer – if it rains, it will be a poor harvest and livestock will suffer from a disease.
Other ancient customs across Britain associated with Ascension Day are the various 'water' festivals ranging from Well Dressing in Derbyshire to the Planting of the “Penny Hedge” at Whitby, Yorkshire.
Well Dressing in Derbyshire
Every year at 9 am. on the eve of Ascension Day the ceremony of the Planting of the Penny Hedge, takes place in Whitby’s upper harbour on the east bank of the River Esk and the hedge that is built must be strong enough to stand three tides!
Also, “Beating the bounds” involved beating boys with willow branches as they were driven along parish boundaries, not only to purify them of evil but to teach them the limits of their parish. In modern times, it involves people in the locality walking around their farm, church or civil boundaries pausing as they pass certain trees, walls and hedges that denote the extent of the boundary to pray.
It is also said that eggs laid on Ascension Day will never go bad!
(don't think I will risk that! Corinne)
Gordon James Guthrie
Ecclesiastes 3. To everything there is a season.
It is with great sadness that I record in the Church register that Gordon passed away on 21st May, 2020.
Gordon's funeral will be held on Friday 29th May, in a private family ceremony at Kirkcaldy crematorium due to the coronavirus restrictions. Fiona and family invite all who wish to do so to link in to a live stream of the ceremony (from 14.55hr - 15.35 hr on 29th May) using the following login details.
Christian Aid Week
I am aware of course many of you may have made a donation directly to Christian Aid online or by post, but I just wish to thank all of you who have sent/delivered/promised a donation via our church. The total raised by Kilrenny members is £630, and I will do a bank transfer to Christian Aid under our group name. I am sure the funds will be put to vital use helping people whose lives are very difficult even in the best times.
As I said last week, we have enjoyed a safe chat through Jim's 'office' window when we have seen someone coming to the door.
Thank you again,
Christiin Aid Co-ordinator
Edith and John Clark - the big move!
'At long last we’ll be making the big move to Kirkcaldy at beginning of June. Of course I will miss you all but will try my best to come along to as many fundraisers as I can as I hope to meet up with you all again'.
(I'm sure all members will join with me in wishing Edith and John every happiness in their new home. Kilrenny will miss you, so please visit us often. (Corinne)
Allan's quiz- answers
Note: Answers to the Christian Aid Quiz in issue 8 - will be available next week.
Answers to last weeks' (Issue 9) quiz
1) CUSTARD CREAM 2) GINGER NUT
3) JAMMIE DODGERS 4) SHORTBREAD 5) DIGESTIVE 6) TUNNOCKS WAFER 7) CHOCOLATE FINGERS 8) HOBNOBS 9) GARIBALDI 10) MALTED MILK 11) RICH TEA 12) VIENNESE CREAMS 13) BLUE RIBAND 14) FRUIT SHORTCAKE 15) FIG ROLL 16) PINK WAFERS 17) BOURBON CREAMS 18) TEA CAKES 19) CRUNCH CREAMS 20) PENGUIN.
Allan & Sybil's Quiz
On what would have been the fourth Kilrenny tea, this week’s quiz is all about sandwiches, savoury bites and some sweet favourites.
- CHECKS A LAD IN 7.5
- MENS HEADACHE 6.3.3
- SCREED GANGS 3.3.5
- BARREN CAR BINDERY 4.3.9
- ONE CHAINED NOSE 6.3.5
- FEATHERBRAINED SASH DOORS 22.214.171.124
- OVEN VAULT 3.2.4
- OUR SALES LAG 7.4
- OH ACQUIRE LINER 6.8
- SNAKE CAP 8
- KNOBS CAN 8
- FRESCO UNITS 5.6
- RUSTIC LIFE 5.5
- DARTS CUT TAR 7.4
- RICE PIE SUBMITS 6.8
- SURF LEFT 8
- A DRY CROOK 5.4
- BATTLE 6
- TRY TARTAR BREWS 10.4
- BAGGIER NERD 11
answers next week.
An Early Bedder’s Lament
Snug in yer bed o’ winter’s nicht
Frae storm and blast yer happit ticht
Ye coont a few elusive sheep
And then faw soundly aff tae sleep.
Then suddenly yer dreams are shattered
Yer random thochts are ruddely scattered
In crawls the wife frae fit ta heid
Cauld: as if she wis something deid.
Wi frozen feet and legs and knees
Like some great fish frae polar seas
And what a daurnae write in verse
Worst o’ the lot – frozen ---- (bum).
And then tae show her fond affection
She wriggles ower in your direction
And plants that icy muckle hummock
Richt in the middle o’ yer stomach.
Wi anguished gasp and in-drawn braith
Ye shrink frae icy touch o’ daith
But still she wriggles till she’s captured
That warm space where ye lay enraptured.
And tho ye feel aboot ta perish
Ye promised aye tae luv and cherish
So dae yer duty in style superior
And warm the lassies cauld posterior.
But thank the Lord that by the law
Ye’ve only got yin wife tae thaw.
News of those wearing a Dog collar!
Doddie's diary and the trials of Ann
During “Lockdown” I am sure, like me, you have been watching more television. We have certainly been bombarded with lots of vignettes telling us to stay at home, work in teams etc. One such word picture made me laugh. It was of a little family where Daddy, holding baby, was kissing Mummy. Baby does not like this at all and yanks Daddy’s head round by pulling his beard so that he is kissing her and not Mummy! In a similar fashion we phone our daughters every evening and there must be extra warmth in our voices from normal conversations and Doddie is temporarily disregarded. He immediately starts to pester for attention. He jumps at me but I can ignore him by standing up. However, the crafty little chap knows what will get my attention. If he attacks Dad’s trousers ankles and feet he knows that I will be up and at him to protect Dave’s poor old feet and legs. It works every time!! However, I am one step ahead and now I either have him in the naughty corner already or his mouth is stuffed with a chew!!
Doddie up to mischief!
Sheena and Hamish
Another week has gone by but at least we were blessed with blue skies and sunshine (until today - Friday).
This week Hamish found himself a new toy that kept him amused and me demented. I heard a commotion coming from somewhere in the hall and as is my new routine, I went to investigate. He had snuck into the bathroom and got hold of the end of the toilet roll and was pulling it with great enthusiasm towards the lounge, like an Andrex puppy wannabe!
He received a gift of a squeaky rubber chicken (large puppy size because there is no way that could be demolished by such a dainty wee beast.....) from his cat cousins in Inverkeithing. It was supposed to be indestructible but of course, within a couple of days Hamish managed to suss it out - he bit through the beak and that stopped the squeak. Good grief!
Missing everyone and hoping you are all safe and well.
A windswept Hamish
The Naughty Choirboy
Just a wee story to lighten the load, you might say.
Copyright honestly and honourably nicked with the best intentions.
A doctor, a lawyer, a wee boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane.
Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble, and despite best efforts of the pilot, it started to go down.
The pilot shouted to the passengers that they had better jump, then he grabbed a parachute and bailed out.
Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes left.
The doctor grabbed one, saying "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live" and jumped out.
The Lawyer said "I'm a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live." Then he grabbed a parachute, and jumped out.
The priest handed the last parachute to the wee boy, saying, "My son, I have lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace".
The wee boy handed the parachute back, saying "Don't worry Father, that isn't the last parachute. One of the smartest people in the world just jumped out with my back pack!"
A few years ago we were staying in a caravan on a site in Edzel, which was a perfect site. It was beside a small lochen, with swans and signets and in the evenings we would sit and watch the woodcocks landing and John would return the owls calls.
There was a woodland next to the site, where we saw lots of red squirrels and deer, just perfect.
Then one day John decided we’d go to visit the reservoir, as he’d heard the osprey visited it. While he was studying and drawing the birds I decided to have a walk up the hill at the back, next thing I was screaming my head off, I’d nearly stood on an adder!! John shouted up to me “what’s wrong”. Crying, and with my eyes tightly closed I shouted ‘adder.’
His answer to that was “keep your eye on it, as I’d love to see it.”
As far as I was concerned, it couldn’t slither off fast enough in the opposite direction!
Memories of my early childhood at Milton Crescent
I was made in Scotland and I was born in Edinburgh, so that makes me Scottish! This is what I told anyone who dared to taunt me and say I was English when they discovered who my parents were.
We moved to Anstruther when I was six months old and our first house was a flat at the Old Manse down the Esplanade. This belonged to Joe Urban who owned the TV shop in the one way street.
We moved to Milton Crescent as soon as the houses were ready and there’s a picture of me standing on an unfinished pavement outside the house waving a flag for the Queen’s Coronation in June of 1953.
The furthest memory I have going back is the day my sister was brought home from Craigtoun Maternity Hospital later that year. I was two years and two weeks old and was being looked after by the Hennings. Everyone swarmed round my Mum when she came in the room with a new baby It must have been my first experience of jealousy being left to sit alone on the settee.
As we grew up, our mode of transport was my parents’ bikes -I sat on a seat in front of my Dad and my sister at the back of my Mum. We had to hold on tight as we bumped and shoogled along the cobbles on the High Street down from the Dreel Tavern. When we eventually managed to buy a car it was a black Austin 7-DBJ 565. Whenever we went out in it we had to bang our hand on the side wall depending whether we were turning right or left as the indicators always stuck!
In those days we didn’t need to go far as all our friends were in the Crescent. We had both families from McKenzie and Spark, the Electricians living close by and when I went to play with Janice. her Mum would say, ‘come in ma lamb’ and if I went to Catherine’s door, her Mum would say, ‘come on in hen’. I thought this was hilarious to be called a sheep or a chicken!
I would often play in our back to back neighbours’ garden where the Harleys lived. They had a blackboard and we’d play at schools. I’d copy my teacher Mary Murray with her flash cards, making my own set of used bus tickets with an elastic band round my wrist!
My best friend was Eileen and I remember the delicious tomatoes her Dad would pick from his greenhouse to give me as a treat. Also the time we stayed over at her house and her Mum gave me a spoonful of oil for my ear instead of cough mixture. It’s a wonder I’m still here to tell the tale!
In those days there were no houses at the back of Milton Crescent, only a field and we’d play at houses, building up the cut grass to make walls and taking rhubarb from Henry’s garden and dipping it in sugar for a snack. The old slaughter house was beyond the field and it was a place to explore, until our parents told us off.
The Crescent was a great place to roller skate, skip, play marbles. and chalk peevers on the pavements. Someone always produced an empty shoe polish tin for a marker. When I look back, most of our toys were second hand, but we were content. One Christmas we awoke and went downstairs to see what Santa had left. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw a doll’s pram for me and a tricycle for my sister, both the very same colour of pale blue with dark blue trimmings. How clever of Santa we thought! I remember the Ingin’ Johnny coming to the houses in Milton Crescent on Christmas Eve and my Mum asked him in for a cup of tea. I often wondered why a man would come all the way from France to sell onions on Christmas Eve!
I started the wee school when I was only four years old and can remember we were all allowed to watch the old building being pulled down by a wrecking ball, creating such a noise with dust flying everywhere, also the outside toilets we had to use and the sound of the cleek factory chugging away over the wall. The memory of warmed milk from the bottles being sat beside the radiator, ensured that I would have a dislike for milk for ever more! One day the elastic in my knickers snapped and I’d to waddle home at lunch time to change! On a Friday I was given threepence pocket money and I loved going into Tom Wood’s grocery shop to buy a threepenny lucky bag.
As springtime came, my sister and I were taken to Kirkcaldy to choose an Easter bonnet for church and that was also when we got our brown leather sandals for summer. They were always bought too big so my Mum used a flattened Cornflakes packet to draw round the soles, cut out and make insoles. They would get a bit soggy over time, so we had to hurry and eat more Cornflakes so we could get new insoles! I knew never to ask if I could take off my liberty bodice until the end of May. Even my Mum knew the expression, ‘ Ne’er cast a cloot ‘til May is oot’.
We attended Chalmers Memorial Church and our seat was two from the front on the left hand side. It was a great seat where we could see clearly all that was going on, but that had its disadvantages too as we could also be seen by the congregation. If Dad was on Elder duties, my sister and I would squabble and poke each other until Mrs Watson behind us leant forward and gave us a sweet each!
Those were the days, mostly happy carefree days and I’ll always remember them. We left Milton Crescent when I was 10 to cross over the burn – but that’s another story!
What are your Memories of Coronation Day?
Christine's story and photograph made me think about the Coronation.
Queen Elizabeth was crowned on 2nd June 1953, and it is the 67th anniversary on Wednesday.
I'm sure you all have interesting stories about where you were, and what you remember of the day, or if too young, what you were told. I'm sure everyone would love to hear stories of Coronation Day & If you have a picture that would be great!
Let us have a 'Memories of Coronation Day' section next week please.
The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.
Doxology CH4 806
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.