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Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Wilderness Years...

I trawled through some of my posts in Facebook the other day, and there was a strange theme. It seems the children behave better, and I am happier, out in the wilds (or talking about the wilds). Have a look- I've spent ages tryoing to source zany photo captions for each entry:

"Went into central MK shopping centre on mission "Occupy Children Before Divorce" (wife sleeping of a night). The girls went off to buy pink items or whatever teenage girls and 4 year old girls do. I headed for coffee and Waterstones with little man. This Xmas I got loads of books about being back to nature- Deep Country by Neil Ansell about 5 years alone in a ruined farm in the Welsh Mountains. And also got "A Sand County Almanac", "Notes from Willow Farm" and "Waterlog". All on the same theme- Gods wondrous creation and no noise.

I need to move back to Cumbria and live in the mountains for the sake of my kids. They need 200,000,000 acres of back garden you can only get in the Fells, in that "difficult" after school slot. Otherwise its like Gladiator on a loop, as they give out girly slaps and cry just long enough to fool the other into offering a hug and getting another stealth slap. Im prising deregulated children covered in school glue and reward stickers off the one remaining door handle in the house every 30 secs. Its about -2 degrees, and outside is covered in dirty frozen slush and all I can offer by way of distraction between various pick ups and chores is Spongebob, clips of Rumanians falling off bikes on YouTube, or some car boot purchases stuck behind the radiator. 

Just been to Apsley Woods with kids and dog. We bought one of those tennis ball chucker things, dog 100% beasted. Kids still have enough energy for squabbling. M asked "What are shoulders for? Are they for parrots?" LOL

Great walk just off Apsley Woods- near Jobs Farm. This old ruined stables and farmhouse and then the swamp behind it. D lost both wellies in the quicksand. The ruins reminded me when I walked in Apsley Woods as a small child in about 1974-75 ish. Is it me or do I correctly remember a Ford Anglia (Harry Potter car) abandoned in a pond up there? Looked like this;

In a remote village in Gloucestershire with D and my Dads family. It rocks when men mix with their sons and grandsons, Im so blessed. Walked in this ancient forest today and if it hadn't been for D pushing a large Audi garden toy through liquid cow shizen behind us, occasionally hooting at birds, it would have been as tranquil as Eden. Amazing how the woods have grown over this old WW2 airbase as well. I felt briefly like Will Smith in "I Am Legend" only white and fatter. And with 2 other people. OK that was a bad analogy.

Just back from Apsley Woods again. It was Hoth Ice Planet, but we had a good walk and I think God spoke. About the spiritual paint stripping he's doing on me. What a season. Plus we beasted the dog to the point he was licking frost to rehydrate. I thought he would get freezer tongue, and do a massive back flip as it stuck to the ground, but alas no.

Not long back from a remote part of Apsley Woods with D. We went there yesterday and we heard the trees groaning in the wind. I told him it was a "magic tree" talking to him, and when we got home I showed him Ents from Lord of the Rings. So today he freaked out because I couldn't locate Treebeard. And then the dog galloped past him with a stick and poleaxed him. And it was raining.

 Next strange noise in the woods I will say is Jack Torrance from "The Shining". That will end any non sighting disappointment."

For a long time now I have craved a house in the forest, or on the lower slopes of a Cumbrian fell. I also have a dream of owning a smallholding, a property with enough ground to keep some easy to maintian animals like chickens, ducks, bees and maybe pigs.

But the thing is, I also dream (its a stressier dream, but I like it) of moving into a sink estate and living and loving with the people there. As a social worker I was most moved, and frustrated, visiting the lone single mother with beautiful kids who was in an occasional relationship with a violent nutcase boyfriend and whose esteem was so low she thought the beatings and the emotional distress was the best she could dream of. And also the boyfriend; to be so robbed of masculinity, and devoid of security and affirmation that he beats it out of people. The drug addict couples, and the ex drug addict couples who look 20 years older than they are; the teenage mothers doing it all too much too young....etc. No amount of paperwork and professionals meeting can put Humpty Together Again.

Frankly, nor will me living on a farm amongst the animals.

Lifes too short to mess about, and spread our callings and gifts too thinly. I was raised in some places that had issues like those above, and my teens were spent mixing with people like that, especially when I was in my punk band. It's amazing how God uses our broken pasts for His glory! I am working class, even it's got buried under Jamie Oliver books and Ikea furniture. On my birth certificate it asks "fathers profession"- he wrote "pig carcass assessor" Beat that, Che Guevera! But life is also too short to get religious and think that it doing something that is hard is more noble or fruitful. 

I had a great weekend with a good friend recently and he passed on some teaching he had digested. It came originally from a minister called Mike Bickle. In part of it having "a sober mind" was discussed. I had always translated this as "keep off the Stella" but having a sober mind is actually "the mentality that allows you to walk in reality with God in fellowship and prayer".

And you cant fellowship if youre distracted, as sobriety and anxiety are opposites. So many of us are "bothered" about stuff and this stuff is invariably "having an opinion thats not necessary"- being opionated, and majoring on minors. One of my most powerful assets!

"Just checked my pockets. Before the kids I would have money (including NOTES), sexy car keys, Radiohead tickets.

Now I found 46p in copper, part of a scooter handlebar adjustment gromit, alum key set for D's BMX, snotty tissues that isnt my own snot, car key for a Bobbins car ("Woodleigh Daewoo") a dummy, a confiscated matchbox toy still with the dogs blood on it, and two green post it notes with numbers for professionals, and two loyalty cards I havent even registered.

What happened?"

Need to think.....out in the woods.....

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