Final birthday celebration on Saturday (?). Gareth, Sharlene, Alison, Judith and I went into Nottingham for a meal at the Big Wok, booked by Gareth who had been before. I didn’t eat much (do you believe that ?); I only had the starter, main course and dessert and to be honest several helpings of each course. It is an “eat all you want” establishment for only £5.99. The food was delicious. I was very good in going for the healthy option of fruit salad for the dessert; mind you, Alison was a bit suspicious of the way I put ice cream, marshmallows and chocolate from the chocolate fountain on top of it all ! She thought it spoilt the healthy eating bit somehow.
On the evening we went to the Angel pub near where we live; packed out but eventually we all got a seat. Bit too noisy to talk comfortably but towards the end of the evening a lady recognised me as “the Vicar of Waingroves” she paid me a compliment about the recent baptism I had led and then I got an hour long tirade about all that was wrong with Waingroves Chapel, Ripley Chapel, St. Johns Junior school, the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Newcastle United. It was painful and rather spoilt the evening somewhat. It was obvious that she was drunk or at least very tipsy, loud and aggressive.
What am I to do in situations like that ? Its aggravating that people feel that because I am a Minister then I am their property to do with as they wish; its fair game to spoil my evening with my friends by taking me to task about all that’s wrong with the world and expecting me to just sit there and listen. Why is it that I have to be what other people expect me to be, but if I expect from them its a different matter ? Why is it that I have to put 60~70 hours of work in every week and still expect to be available when others demand it ? Perhaps the lesson that I need to learn from this is that I cannot take a drink in Ripley, just in case. Its never been a problem before as Alison and I had the girls and we couldn’t leave them, but now that we can is this what is going to happen ? That every time we go out we run the risk of having our enjoyment spoilt because of other people ?
And yet I don’t want to not go out in Ripley, or Waingroves, or Codnor, or Swanwiock or wherever as I believe that it is my opportunity to show the world how `normal` Ministers are.
Dilemma, with no real solution. Rant over.
Still it was great getting a surprise visit by Gareth and Sharlene and this weekend has been very special. I have been greatly blessed.