Midnight Ma(dne)ss!

This Christmas eve, I went to Midnight Mass. If you read regularly or know me well, you will understand that I am not religious. This does not stop me banging on about different religions. I am against organised religion per say, but I am fascinated by different ones. So, Midnight Mass as an organised service in a church was perfect for me, naturally 😉 Haha. I really went to see what it was like out of curiosity – and because my sister and her friend were going anyway.

Never again.

This is not a bash against the Catholic Church and I am not insulting the religion (or anyone that follows it) in any way. I just want to give you my honest interpretation  – in my usual humorous way- about my Christmas Eve experience. Tongue firmly in cheek.

I was told by regular goers, that this particular church was an informal/uncliquey kind of one – so great to just try out as a one-off. We arrived at about half 11 – and couldn’t find the right entrance, which speaks volume in itself really 😉 We then sat on wooden pews ready to hear some great words. My sister’s friend’s Mum got up to light a candle and knelt down as she entered the altar. My sister thought her knee had gone again, but we soon realised that she was praying, as everyone did this when they get up 😉 Unless there any many people with dodgy knees in our town! Haha.

We also lit candles for our late grandparents. 10 pence a candle! I think I was very generous giving 50 pence for mine 😉 I then bumped into a friend of a friend, who I last saw on a hen do last summer. It was one of those awkward moments when you’re thinking ‘Ooh I didn’t know you were religious!’ I, instead, asked, ‘Do you come here often then?’ Which she probably took as a come on, and it definitely wasn’t that kind of church – not a singles and mingles eve! Ha!

The whole thing was all quite sombre really and it wasnt able to capture by mood of excitable/happiness/relaxation that I feel on the eve of Christmas. I kept thinking, ‘I could be at home watching Christmas films and sipping Baileys.’ But no. I was amongst other spirits…… and being told constantly to repent for my sins. Well to me, being sinful is eating that second piece of cheesecake. I didn’t want to pray to be forgiven for sins. I mean, I’m not perfect or anything, but I don’t do anything horribly wrong that I need to ask forgiveness for.

It was all just too religious for me. Silly thing to say I know. I just wanted some talk about family and importance of caring for people etc – and a few nice carols. Oh and a mince-pie and a glass of wine wouldn’t have gone a miss either!

At the end, we were meant to embrace people near us – and as I discovered after, say: ‘May peace be with you!’  – I did not do this. I exclaimed ‘Merry Christmas!’ Haha. Luckily , it was just to my sis.

All very interesting and I was in awe at all the people, who clearly attend regularly and drink in every word (as I drink in every sip of wine!)….. but as I have said before, I don’t need services like that to give me faith and purpose. I was hoping it would make me a feel a little more Christmassy that’s all. It did not. But as I always say at new experiences, ‘If all else fails, I’ll get a story for my blog out of it!’ 😉

I got home at 1.15am – and all I could think that I had to be up in 6 hours to visit family before putting the turkey in. You clearly have to be very organised and get by on lack of sleep to attend organised religious activities. Good for you, if you do. But next year, I’ll be at home singing Christmas carols wildly out of tune, drinking wine and eating snacks and exclaiming ‘Merry Christmas!’ at the top of voice. And not feel one ounce of guilt at my sins 😉

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, whether it was religious or not. 🙂

XSXS

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Christmas: the generous, the silly and the damn right disgusting!

I was dying to write a Christmas blog in a similar style to last year. (Link at the bottom to last year’s!) Christmas is a time when things become magnified-  someone does something bad and it seems worse; something silly is even more hilariously funny; a generous thought and you might as well be one of the Three Kings. So, I’ve been collecting stories for you and again and I’ve managed to find the generous, the silly and one disgusting one. 🙂

I’ll start with the disgusting story, as I don’t want you to leave my blog with a bad taste in your mouth. I’ll get this one out of the way 😉 My aunty has a bad back. Bad enough that  she has a looming operation and is currently walking with a stick. Not one to let this dampen her Christmas spirit, she put some silver and gold tinsel around her walking stick and hobbled to the supermarket early one morning. A woman barged into her and nearly knocked the stick from under her. My aunty is six-foot tall, so not easily missed – she also has the voice to go with her build and exclaimed loudly that this woman had banged into her in a ‘watch where you’re going’ kind of way. The lovely, woman’s response was ‘Well you shouldn’t be out with your bloody stick anyway!’ This is a nice blog, so I can’t repeat what my aunty replied. But there you go: no walking sticks about as they get in the way of badly tempered shoppers. Maybe this goes for wheelchairs too. And pushchairs. So watch out! Maybe red tinsel would make you stand out more?!

In strong contrast, I heard of someone being very generous this Christmas season. Full of good will. I won’t mention who it is – and I don’t personally know him anyway. But this man put a Facebook status on Friday basically saying the usual: ‘I’m not giving cards out this year, I’ll be giving to charity instead….’ (I did the same actually this year  at work and gave food to the homeless charity Hope.) He went a little further though and asked for people to  suggest charities to give to AND let them decided the amount of money. Each ‘like’ he received by 4pm would represent a £1. I think when I looked at lunch it was already £35 – I’ll try and found out what he paid in the end. Very generous thought – and cost him much more than cards 😉

Now to end with the funny festive stories. One, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before. It is more of a puzzling story but it makes me amused! Each year, we receive a Christmas card to our house address. Well I say ‘we’ it is actually addressed to my boyfriend and his twin brother.  It says inside ‘God bless, Gordon.’ Nobody in their family knows who this is! He must know who the brothers are and know us well enough to know where we live, yet I haven’t been able to return a card as we have no idea who he is! We are yet to receive this card this year, so maybe he has given up on  us! If anyone knows who it is, please let me know! It has become a proper Christmas puzzle! 🙂

Talking of cards, one of my closest friends has me in stitches last night. It was typical of her and made giving out and receiving cards a much more exciting experience! She had 3 cards that she had written but had forgotten who they were for! She knew they would be between 4-5 people, but had to wait until everyone arrived at the pub so someone could open a card each to see who it was actually for! A christmas card roulette if you will……. Very funny. Lots of swapping went on and I know have an opened card for my sister, who I have to explain to this story – and even write her name on the front! Just call me a Christmas card service!

I also went to the Old people’s home a few weeks ago to help my old neighbour write his Christmas cards. This is funny and sweet this one. He gets a little upset this time of year because he has no family and his brother is no longer with us. It was him who used to write the cards. So my friend says he can’t spell etc and asked me to help him. He only wanted about 5 writing so I figured it wouldn’t take long and we’d spend time chatting – no. It took over an hour! This was because he couldn’t remember anyone’s name! He had to keep toddling off to ask Fred’s daughter’s name who takes him out for  dinner; to ask the carer’s name who brings his Ovaltine. I suggested we just wrote them all from him and keep them blank to hand out, but he was having none of it! That idea would help my friend out above to! But where’s the fun in that? 😉

So there’s the Christmas stories for this year and I’m sure they’ll be more! Keep an eye out for the generous, listen out for the silly and just ignore the disgusting!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year readers, viewers and bloggers 🙂

 

 

Christmas 2012: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/christmas-the-good-the-bad-the-funny-and-the-damn-right-inhumane/

Massage Message

Last weekend, my sister took me to a spa day: a present for my birthday. It was a brilliant day and we went to the gym (just so we could divulge guilt-free in the later afternoon tea!), lounged by the pool, actually went in the pool and finished with a sit down in the sauna. My patient sis even sat quietly by the pool whilst I read a chapter of my book 🙂 We paid extra to have our nails done, which was great. Purple talons to match my purple dress for the evening.

The part I want to discuss mainly is the massage. It was the first one I had ever had. Especially since my boyfriend has always refused to give me one on the occasion I have asked! if you think about it massages are weird: you pay a stranger to rub you. I walked into the massage room at the spa and was greeted by candles, plinky plonky music and an overall serene atmosphere – oh and a woman at least 5 years my junior, asking me to take my clothes off and tell her when I was ready. I found it odd that the candles and ambience of the room was all eye level, as when you on the massage table, you are looking at the floor: boring, plain, grey carpet – couldn’t the candles have been put on the floor? To Friends fans out there, you will understand why this next bit is funny. I started thinking about Phoebe and when she massages Rachel and the only way she is recognised is by her shoes – and in another episode, she dresses her feet up with nail polish, ankle bracelets etc, as it is the only thing he can see with his head in the hole! So, I looked at my masseuse’s feet: but no, just plain black slip on shoes. Boring! I was part giggling to myself at the Friends reference though and also wondering to myself why I was so tense. This was supposed to be relaxing! But it’s like with anything that is supposed to be something: clubs are supposed to be fun; a dinner that took hours to cook is supposed to be more delicious; New Year’s Eve is supposed to be the nest night of the year. I wasn’t relaxed.

I gradually become relaxed though, as much as I could be in this odd situation. Head in a hole with a stranger’s hands moving across my bare back. I then realised that I did feel more relaxed and that my mouth was open and maybe I was now too relaxed! What if I dribbled on the floor? And then the masseuse  slipped over? I was back in that Friends episode! Haha. Too may thoughts were going round my head and then the half an hour was up. 

I would try it again, as everyone I have spoken to has said  it can take some getting used to. How much I want to get used to strangers touching me, I’m not sure! And as much as I prefer getting my nails done, I’ll give the head a hole rubbing charade another try! Even if it is just for the plinky plonly music 😉

XSXS