Bertie’s back where he belongs [251]

It is I, Bertram, back where I belong and do my very best work- at the keyboard, sharing vital news with my fans and subscribers. First off, Richard massively over-exaggerated in his last email- it was a bad piece of brie, nothing else, nothing to do with the gallons of fermented cheese curd I gave a home to. In my tummy. Complete coincidence. Enough said. Moving swiftly on… here are five things you need to know tonight…

1) If you’re not on the Church Electoral Roll (which I choose to interpret as a list of my friends) then what are you waiting for? Teri Austen is the person to give you an application form, no questions asked.

[I feel obliged to intervene here and say that questions will definitely be asked, but they are very easy ones, like what is your name, and have you worshipped regularly for 6 months in the parish. Richard. Carry on, Bertie… ]

2) Vanessa has asked me to make sure that everyone looks in their wardrobes and behind the chest of drawers to find clothes they don’t need any more and can donate tomorrow at the Parish Rooms- see email 250 for full info.

3) My distant cousin Claude has asked me to come to this excellent looking flower festival at our neighbouring Church of St Catherine. Bearwood this very weekend- I’ll be there- why not come along and chat to us both?

4) I might need a bit of help after all of those refreshments, and the cheese incident which we are not talking about because friends wouldn’t do that, would they?- so don’t forget the St Sigfrid Pilgrimage from York to Vaxjo (where our link parish in Sweden is) which passes through Reading and along the Thames on the 20th and 21st of June- you are welcome to join them and be part of the journey on behalf of the parish.

5) Also, on a similar theme… I wrote this note earlier. It reads quite well. I’m quite proud of it… excellent piece of journalism…

Hello. Bertie here. I am almost, almost at a loss for words. It doesn’t happen often, but I am trying hard not to take offence at the message I received yesterday. Apparently, my recent spell of good cheese and wine has been misinterpreted as gluttony, and I have been enrolled on a neighbourhood scheme, designed for health, exercise, community spirit and competition.

This is where I’m calling on your sense of fun and asking you to offer me moral support. It would be brilliant to have as many people taking part in the Beat the Street Game as possible. The principle is really easy:

  1. Pick up a card from Morrisons, the library or Emmbrook Food and Wine.
  2. Register it at Beat the Street
  3. Select the team “Bertie Churchmouse needs some exercise”
  4. Get walking, scooting, running, cycling, hopping and skipping between Beat Boxes and collect your points. A map is provided on the website so you do know where to find them!

It is primarily about a community game, getting out in the sunshine and encouraging us to walk rather than drive when we can. More details are on the website link above. There are boxes at St Paul’s School, Mount Pleasant and the end of Holt Lane so your walk to church alone could count.

Really, I need as many people to help me as possible. It is very hard for a little and slightly rotund mouse to climb the lamp posts to reach the boxes. And All Saints are registered and I have bet on our victory with my churchmouse ‘friend’ there. There is a whole piece of Barkham Blue riding on it and he will be so smug if he beats us. And, if we were super keen we could try and win the vouchers to buy some sports equipment for the young (and not so young) people here and their church groups. And if we’re not super keen we could just have some fun being out and about in our community.

Please, everyone, I urge you … put down the cheese and biscuits, lock away the cars and let’s Beat the Street. The competition has already started, so hurry, and do not waste another day! I will wait at the bottom of a lamppost for you to come along and help me, dear colleague and esteemed teammate.

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