A Brave New World- a Whole New Century [201]

10 things to notice, enjoy and think about…

  1. Bertie picked up something about pairing your vaccine like we have paired our toilets- it’s free in England so you make a donation to fund a vaccine somewhere in the 2/3rds world- if anyone has a link for this, then do send it in. Thank you kindly. It’s a fab idea.
  1. Thank you so, so, so much to everyone who has donated food and drink and written notes of appreciation to local NHS staff. Richard is on Radio Berkshire at 7.40 on Sunday morning to talk about it. Local Schools and the local community have got behind the plan. We’ve taken about £600 worth of food and about 170 notes in to the RBH, Wokingham Hospital, Woosehill Surgery and Rose Street Surgery to say thank you, and to show that we are standing with those working so hard for our good.
  1. It’s still not too late to sign up for the Great Parish Quiz on Saturday night- do let Margaret Davies know if you still need a seat (well, to be fair, this time, you provide the seat. And the fish and chips. And the computer. And the answers. And we do the rest). Email 200 had all of the info you need.
  1. Remember the challenge Richard gave everyone on Sunday in the Notices- order an extra box of chocolates or biscuits when you shop online or add them to your trolley, put a note on the front saying “Just because…” or “Thank you” and tiptoe up someone’s drive, watching out for tripwires and sausage dogs, put it down and scamper away.
  1. Another note for Bertie, congratulating him for 200 emails: Dear Bertie congratulations on your 200th email, you clever reporter mouse. Thank you for keeping our spirits up when we needed it most. I hope you were given extra cheese as a reward 🧀. From all your 

Liverpudlian friends and Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC, who love the red on your outfit and would love a reporter as good as you.

(Is this the moment to mention that both Bertie and I are Man City fans, Liz? Asking for a friend, obviously…How did Liverpool do last night against Brighton?)

  1. Just in case we really do get snow at the weekend again, Jane Kraft has sent in a photo of her grandchildren building a snowman so we can all see how to do it and what it should look like at the end:
  1. And this is what happens next- at once tragic and adorable: Bunny eats snowman’s carrot nose – YouTube
  1. In email 197 we asked; “Where were you at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977?”                                                                                           David Ruddock says: Lesley and I were married in April 1977 and at the time of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee we were staying with a group of friends in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.

And here are Colin and Val (who, interestingly, celebrate their Golden Wedding on Saturday) back in 1977-

  1. Chris Field has asked: “What do we call a gathering of priests? What is the collective noun?” The more imaginative the better- points will be ordered for wit rather than cruelty…
  1. Finally, here is a genius reflection sent in by John Binney from their other parish (hmm, whither loyalty?) which is All Angels by the Sea in Florida (how do we possibly compete with that?) which Bertie (bet they don’t have an imaginary mouse who sends emails, though- one point to us) has insisted we include, for obvious reasons- by Fr Dave… Reflection: Who Moved My Cheese

It takes a lot to get me mad, unless I’m dealing with passwords. Nothing can get me to move from happy to angry faster than a password problem. The Google

Suite system that runs our All Angels’ email system has a super administrator

login. I have that password; although when I went to log in, the Google system said, and I quote, “We’re not quite sure you are who you say you are, please click on one of these options.” The options include sending a text to a phone number I do not recognize or an email to an inactive email account. I went to the office computer that has been in place since we went with the G Suite application. Thinking I outsmarted the system, I felt pretty good when I sat down at Linn’s desk and typed in the login information for the super administrator. But, you guessed it, Google gave me the same message. And then the anger fog set in.

Written by the same author who wrote the influential management book titled One Minute Manager, the book, Who Moved My Cheese, is about corporate

layoffs. The setting is the story of two mice who go through the same maze every day to get a piece of cheese. But, one day, the cheese was not there. One mouse decided to explore new areas of the maze; the other decided to sit where the cheese used to be and complain about it. The point of the story is that sometimes, through no fault of our own, our cheese moves. The question is what are we going to do about it.

When the G Suite application said, “We’re not sure you are who you say you are; here are some extra hoops for you to jump through because, you know, even though you are busy, and have a simple task to complete through our system, we think we know better than you, so, here’s another task.” In reality, that’s not exactly what it said but it is how it felt to me.

The fog anger does a number of things to the mind; for me in particular, anger stops creativity. For a little while, I sat like the mouse who was angered that his cheese was not there. But, after a bit, I started thinking like the other mouse who decided to explore the rest of the maze.

Lots of cheese has been moved in the past year. One of the most recent cheese moves is a letter I received from the Bishop that says we’re not to impose ashes on Ash Wednesday. Our choice is to get mad and complain or let the creative side take us somewhere new. It’s hard to get creative around waiting for the department of health to call and say your vaccine is ready but if Covid-19 has taught us anything, we’ve learned about patience and waiting. Someday I will get a vaccination, the email system will be fixed, and we will have a normal Ash Wednesday. In the meantime, let’s go explore the rest of the maze. 

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