Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nine Holes

As I was leaving the house this morning I discovered why I keep a collection of unwanted umbrellas at the bottom of my coat stand: Mary had had hers destroyed yesterday by a drunk in the library, and as she told me this (on her way to the library today) I was able to offer her two good-as-new ones to replace it. She was delighted. She then asked where I was off to.

"Oh, just to visit one of our old people who is house bound," I said.
"Ah, that's nice," she said. "You do that kind of thing do you? How lovely!"

I confessed Gill did most of it, but as she is on Safari in Uganda...

And the person I was visiting this morning is John Murphy. John was warden when I first came here, and my total hero. In a period where no-one really got what I was about, he supported everything I did and watched my back assiduously. When I see him now, (and he's just a week shy of his 85th birthday) we talk of the church, its life, its people, its glories, its problems, and I confide in him freely. I learned to trust him. He is a good man.

But I was in for a surprise today, which I think would have quite shocked Mary. John and I had nine holes of golf.

On the Wii.

I've never played on a Wii before, so the old man had to take me through it. He loved my incompetence. We had three practice holes first - well, they would have been for real, but somehow at fourteen shots over, I managed to wipe the game... Terribly unfortunate. So we began again. And this time, I said, "I am competitive you know."

John looked at me disdainfully. "You don't say," he replied.

The first hole was still his, a birdie to a bogey. But it was closer. I hit a par at the second - whilst this time he struck a bogey. At the third he had a torrid time and went four over, which put me in the gleeful lead - a position I never thereafter gave up.

"Oh dear," I said, "that was difficult."
"That you best pastoral manner?" he enquired.
And then when he hit the bunker at the sixth I asked, "Have you played golf before?" to the man who has lived half his life walking between greens.

It was a good job I'm half his age.

Pastoral visiting has never been so much fun! But should the pastor beat the parishioners? Oh well, I'll ask Gill when she gets back from those mountain gorillas. She'll know the answer. There's probably a part of her famous Visiting Course - "Wii believe".


Ceri said...

I think I've sussed this blogging business now. Are you practising to reach the church spire as you've had such a golf-influenced week? You may get a birdie there - if you get a bogey then you need to see a doctor. Try the bowling wii - it's great fun.

Marcus G said...

Somebody at church proudly told me they had a Wii for Christmas.

I only just managed to keep my eyebrows on my forehead - and you know what a space that is - before I worked out what they had actually said.

BTW - well done on the whole letting us know who you are thing, Ceri: welcome to the wonderful world of Blog!

Markio said...

There are some fantastic worship songs here:

"Wii stand and lift up our hands"
"wii bow down"

and my personal favourite:

"Wiill your anchor hold"

Ceri said...

Do I really want to be here listening to your daily rants AND see you on Sundays looking ever so much more worshipful. Looks like I am. Joyce invited you up to wii on Boxing Day but you just looked vague at her. We had a great time and 83 year old Bill beat us all with a magnificant score on bowling! Take him on Marcus - continue the competitive streak for a change!! Can we do another new song on Sunday please with some life to see if anyone raises their hands?!

Marcus G said...

There - that was it. I mean, it's one thing to be invited up for lunch on Boxing Day, but quite another when a smiling and wonderfully spiritual lady in your church invites you to come to her house for a Wii.

That look wasn't vague...

Startled, covered over with pastoral expertise. That's what that was.

But now it seems all our seniors are at it. Wii-ing. We'll have to plumb something into our church hall plans.