Sunday, June 08, 2008

a year in the provinces

It's been a year since my family downshifted to the North and I was just wondering whether Strife in the North would ever be as successful as the Mayles and the O'Reillys had been before me when Milly ran into the kitchen. ‘Mummy’ she cried, ‘The vicar just parachuted in to the back garden!’ This was no surprise of course. It’s a large parish here in The North and the last incumbent had made it quite clear he was taking his bicycle with him when he retired. I followed my daughter outside where a large familiar grin appeared from under a billowing pile of red silk. ‘Oh bloody hell!’ he said, ‘where the fuck am I?’ I had rather hoped that after falling ten thousand feet from a plane and my face being the first thing he saw then some witty comment about seeing angels might have been the least I could have expected. Obviously a protestant, I thought. I didn’t hear that kind of language from Cormac Murphy O'Connor when he dropped in, and he went right through the roof of the greenhouse after his reserve failed.

‘I was sure this was the airfield!’ He said, ‘I saw the runway!’. ‘That was my drive dear’, I explained. ‘But what about that great big fucking cross on the grass?!’ he added. Well, I make no apologies for my herbaceous borders being arranged to show The Almighty where to concentrate the little amount of sunshine he saves for The North. My Church of England suspicions were confirmed when I saw that he was jumping with an organisation called the Red Devils. It was all for charity, it was explained to me. I just hope this doesn’t make people think only Anglicans are concerned about others. The Archbishop of York may have joined up with the Paras to raise money for charity but our very own pope already joined the Hitler Youth for their humanitarian work years before.

'This is all very embarassing', confessed the bishop, 'You won't tell anyone about this will you?' he asked. I smiled reassuringly. I thought I might mention it on my blog but that was the next best thing to keeping it a secret. The parachtists began arguing amongst themselves (yes, definitely Church of England) so I decided to leave them to it and quietly returned to pondering how I could break with the legacy of the downshifting memoir and reassure readers I wasn't just making it all up, sigh...

13 comments:

Expatmum said...

Bwana from Heaven. I don't think I will be able to stop laughing at that one. Too, too funny.

lady thinker said...

Fact or fiction - we don't care - just so long as you keep on blogging Rilly dear.

aims said...

My goodness Rilly! Has it already been a whole year! Where has time gone?!

Darling - you do have the most atrocious things happening to you. Perhaps the move to the North WAS a good thing. More has happened to you here than in - well - you know where....

Hadriana's Treasures said...

"Peter Mayle without the (sun) flowers"...love it, love it, love it! When will you get a blog to book offer...that's what I want to know! My order's in with Amazon already.

travelling, but not in love said...

‘Mummy’ she cried, ‘The vicar just parachuted in to the back garden!’

Marvellous! And I thought my life was exciting....

OK, so I found you via my chum Aims - I find all the good via Aims. Love your writing - very funny.

I hoping to find a Dauphin or 2 in the bathroom when I - finally - move to Paris at the end of the month....

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Rilly darling, this so reminded me of our parish priest when I was but a child. He often stood up in front of a packed church and told us to "eff off and enjoy the rest of our Sunday". But only when he'd been at the Communion wine.....

Pig in the Kitchen said...

How very bizarre. Almost unbelievable! Congrats on a whole year...i thought it had been longer??!
Pigx

aims said...

TBNIL - Lots of my friends find you as well through me...funny how that works..

rilly super said...

expatmum darling, the tags are the best bit of this blog I'm afraid, sigh

lady thinker, as long as people say kind things like that how could I stop?

aims, actually I think it's been longer but strife in the north time doesn't agree to normal time. You are quite right of course. Sentamu is quite barking but still one of the sanest of the lot of us I fear

Hadriana, amazon order times are bad enough as it is sometimes so I would'nt key in the credit card details for my novel quite yet, sigh

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Arthur Clewley said...

I don't think our vicar could open a church fete, never mind a parachute

Stinking Billy said...

I give you ten out of ten for "I thought I might mention it on my blog but that was the next best thing to keeping it a secret." Oh, Lordy me! I'm in tears of laughter.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Sentamu is delightful...falling from the sky....as one does

FFF x