Virginia Barton

12 March 2014: Lent, the first week


12 March 2014


ChardonnayTwo days after Ash Wednesday and VB put away one and a half glasses of tissue-restoring Chardonnay. Since VB gave up alcohol (and chocolates) for Lent, she must face/fess up to this lapse.

It reminds me of the lines in the song: “… pick yourself up, dust yourself down, start all over again.” The culprit can only plead the funeral, some distance away, of a dear friend of nearly fifty years.


If you believe in God and the Resurrection you cannot grieve for a very old person, especially when you know that they, too, held the same beliefs. But you can grieve for the children, and for what had been, and now would never be again. I rejoiced that our dear old friend’s considerable earthly sufferings were ended — until the Pipe Major started up The Mist Covered Mountains as he escorted the coffin from the Chapel. Then the tears flowed.

It was a very posh funeral in a Victorian Gothic church in the middle of a park. It required black, a hat, and proper shoes. It was a warm spring-like day, too warm for the planned outfit; so VB scrungel’d***  herself into a dark navy trouser suit, last worn thirteen years ago. Plus hat, same. The gloves were black but all-wrong-winter-woollie, because a daughter had “borrowed” the best pair. (Self-confessed magpie, that one.)

Suffice it to say, five hours later VB was necking the Chardonnay. Mea culpa.


chocolate_wrapping250Did I mention chocs? Also on the Lenten list of things not to do. Within this week BH and I have been given:

A box of Slovakian truffles;
A bar of dark chocolate from Iceland;
A box of orange and chocolate sticks from France;
A box of very superior handmade chocolates from Krakow;
and a drum of chocolate-covered plums also from Poland.

On a positive note, the American Snickers bars, yum, on Special Offer were resisted.


More seriously, the Jean Vanier book, chosen to read in Lent is inspiring, humbling and holy; a book to be read twice.

VB notes smugly, that BH has not yet opened his Lenten read…


*** (You may not know the verb to scrungel, pronounced with the ‘g’ as in gel. That is because I made it up. It exactly describes trying to squeeze a size 16 into a size 12.)





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