Wall of Jericho – Church Mag March

Quick! March!

No, that’s not a military order barked out by a parade ground drill sergeant  that my father was obliged to take notice of when he did his national service just prior to him sailing off to fight communists in 1950s Malaya along with several Royal Artillery chums. I have asked Gunner Jericho (retd.) how they managed to drag 25 pounder field guns around thick jungle, but he assures me the Lee Enfields they were issued with on jungle patrol would have far more effective had they been unlucky enough to meet up with any marauding revolutionaries.

The title of this month’s offering relates more to the instruction to us humble contributors to get a move on as the March magazine needs to be printed a week earlier than usual. This, consequently, means that 2013 is still a touch on the young side for me to have amassed much in the way of entertaining anecdotes and congregational foibles to acquaint you with. Still, this will not be the first time I have winged it and I daresay it will not be the last.

On the subject of marching, though, I was wondering about the expression tough as old boots. So many idiomatic sayings, similes and metaphors we use in everyday conversation can frequently be the opposite of what we mean. Take old boots. If they have been well used, they’ll be broken in and the leather will have become supple and we’ll be unaware even that we have them on our feet. Not exactly tough then. A new pair of boots, by contrast, and I’m talking proper working boots now, not fashion accessories, will be stiff, unyielding and certainly unforgiving of soft, human dermatological integrity. My son in law was given a pair of industrial strength boots by his employer last year. As they were not to his liking (he prefers a trainer style of protective footwear) he asked if I’d like them. Like them I would, if they were my size, as I wanted something that would protect my plates when I walk into town or to the hospital. 40 minutes each way can play havoc with the extremities without appropriate hiking gear. So, last year I became the proud owner of a pair of the most ideal walking boots that would do the trick and nor cost me a penny (always have an eye out for a bargain since my first redundancy 21 years ago, I do). Oh, but my poor legs the first time I wore them. I wore 2 pairs of socks to prevent blisters while breaking the boots in, but I wasn’t prepared for how they’d rub above the ankles. After  a few days my lower legs were sore and at the end of the week, I’d rubbed off not only the top layer of skin which is dead and would have worn off anyway, but also part of the under layer too. Ouch. Bleed.

Since then, I bandaged my legs when I wore those boots, until they were broken in. This week, finally, I think they’re there. I noticed I can get them on and off now sans the aid of pliers and I reckon that boots and I can now embark on a long and happy relationship.

Tesco are doing a triple clubcard points promotion next week on petrol and hamburgers. They’re calling it Only Fuel and Horses.

A feller at work told me that one.

One that he didn’t tell me is that 99% of Australians think that Skype is a bush kangaroo.

In my view, the mark of a great speaker is how they cope when things (e.g. technology aids) go wrong. Last week, Lydia gave her first sermon at St. John’s. I sat there in the audience thinking back to other first sermons I’ve heard when she was introduced. I know I seldom mention prayer in my ramblings, but I fired off a quick arrow asking for steady nerves for her. I needn’t have worried. From the off (no, not another horsemeat gag) she sounded like she meant business. First sermon in Langdon Hills that may have been, but if that was the first time she’d spoken in public, then you can call me Tarzan and say hi to my nephew Cheetah.

Halfway through, we had the obligatory breakdown of the filmshow, but like a true trouper, Lydia carried on with a verbal rendition of the visual we were meant to see.

Then the visual came back and to be honest, as I’m not a huge Jim Carrey fan, I preferred Lydia’s telling. All in all, though, that was a more than excellent first go. As I remarked to Colin later, I’m glad I didn’t bring my Sudoku book with me after all that day.

Right, that’s it for another month, readers. I’m Ben Jericho, shouting it from the treetops. AAA-EEE-AAA-EEE-AAA-EEE-OUCH!

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