Sunday, 31 July 2016

Blob Thing Rides On The Psychedelic Sheep in Wrecsam

Blob Thing's person is suitably chastised.  Today she is going to stay quiet.  Unless Blob starts talking about her again.  He and Winefride were treated to a fantastic day yesterday and he's quite forgiven his person for talking so much about religion and for using long words like substantially and sacramentally.  It's true that they were dragged into not one but two churches on their excellent day out and that they would have been dragged into a third had it not been locked.  But on a day with such a fun play area, a river, woods to play in, and lots of surprises Blob didn't mind.  Even though one of the churches wasn't even a church anymore, just a few ruined stones covered in moss.  He did complain a little about that one but not too much because he liked the feel of the moss and Winefride pressed herself against it and laughed a lot.

She was so brave yesterday.  She did all kinds of things and you would think she had been exploring the world for years.  She wasn't even that worried when she was clambering on a high branch and fell from it.  Eight feet.  Blob's Person would have complained a lot if she had fallen eight feet from a high branch.  Winefride just lay there a bit dazed for a moment and then pointed upwards as best a person with no arms can and smiled.  Blob thinks it's because she was watching the way the light was playing through the leaves of the trees.

This post isn't about yesterday's adventures though.  Lots of pictures were taken and Blob will share them on other days.  They also took a video on the big slide in the deserted playground.  Winefride did the sliding properly.  Blob decided that rolling would be a better option but half way down decided that was just a bit too scary so he slid the rest of the way.  Blob's person slid too but much more slowly and got a bit stuck near the bottom because slides are not usually created for people with such wide bottoms.  Everyone had a lot of fun and Winefride especially enjoyed being taken on a swing.  She seems to like swings but has to ride with Blob's person or she would fall off.

This post is about an adventure from part way through yesterday.  Blob Thing was trying to tell you about it in the last post but then his person got in the way.  This is his Blob.  He's happy to talk about God and spirituality and all kinds of things.  He's less happy when his person takes over and talks about them.  But seriously?  She really believed all those things and didn't even doubt them?  That, with no practical evidence whatsoever, a wafer or a sip of wine was actually Jesus?  Just on the say so of a big organisation?  Blob doesn't want to attack anyone's beliefs but he finds it all quite amazing.  If he believed something of that kind and there wasn't some big organisation backing him up and teaching a version of an interpretation of an old book people wrote about God then everyone would think him crazy.  Maybe that wafer, locked away in a metal box behind a curtain, is Jesus.  Maybe the wafer is transformed in a ceremony.  Maybe.  Blob doesn't believe it though.  He does quite like the story.  Blob likes stories.

Blob is going to shut up now about it.  He told his person to shut up about it yesterday.  And then he starts talking about it.  Blob isn't a Catholic.  And even if he was that would be quite difficult.  He would never be allowed to receive Jesus.  Never.  The Catholics wouldn't baptise him.  They only baptise humans, not small pink soft toys.  And they definitely wouldn't confirm him.  He could attend services but he would never be counted as part of the church.  No salvation for Blob Thing or Winefride.  He supposes that's okay because they don't need saving.  They and God - or Spirit, or the universe, or Being, or Life, or Love, or whatever name you give that which is nameless get on well anyway.  They don't need saving from Hell.  They don't need saving from the wrath and judgment of some crazy God who can only forgive through some kind of blood cult and through killing.  They can certainly stay away from the Catholic Mass without risking not going to some heaven on day.  It's a nice story.  Millions and millions and millions of people believe it's the truth.  Literally.  They get a great deal from it and find the meaning of life within it.  Blob's person used to but Blob Thing is very, very glad that she doesn't anymore.

Blob Thing didn't shut up.  He got carried away.  That's okay.  As a book he was browsing last night would say, "When you get carried away with a special interest you deserve more love, not less."  The book says that quite a lot in one section.  "You deserve more love, not less."  Blob likes that book he thinks.  Bits of it are a bit weird and he doesn't believe it all.  But he fervently believes in the mantra.  For all of us.  "You deserve more love, not less."

This post is about an adventure a week ago.  In Wrecsam.  Or in Wrexham.  Or both.  Blob's person says that he really ought to get on and talk about it or it'll be his fault that his blog has gone off the rails today and not hers.  Pain the Bear is looking at us and is saying that the sheep adventure would be a much better subject than Blob's lack of relationship with the Catholic Church or with any other church or religious organisation.  Blob's going to a not Church today for the first time.  It's the Sunday Assembly.  He's looking forward to that a lot.  It's a bit like church.  But without all the talking to a sky God parts or having to talk about not believing in a sky God but having to talk in sky God language.  The Sunday Assembly will not be using talking to a sky God language.  It's going to be great.  He's a bit worried that Winefride will be overwhelmed.  She's going to the Sunday Assembly too.

In Wrecsam, Blob and Winefride met a couple of sheep.  Yes.  That's the adventure.  They met a couple of sheep.  They weren't normal sheep though.  For a start, they weren't living in a field out in the countryside.  On of them was living in the ticket office of the railway station which is not a normal place to find a sheep.  The other was living in a churchyard.

They were amazing sheep.  Most sheep are white or black or some simple pattern of simple colours.  The two sheep in Wrecsam were the most amazingly coloured sheep that Blob Thing had ever seen.  They weren't anything like the ones he had seen in fields when out walking or when looking out of bus windows.  These were brilliantly coloured and must have been the most exciting sheep in the world.

And they were both very very friendly too.  They didn't run away.  They didn't shout or scream when Blob and Winefride approached.  They just stood there and smiled at the two toys.  And then they did something very special indeed.  They allowed Blob and Winefride to ride on their backs.  That was an amazing feeling.  Blob shouted out that his person should take lots and lots of pictures because it was such a stunning experience.  Of course she was glad to oblige.

To begin, three pictures of Blob and Winefride on the station sheep.  Just look how happy they were.  Especially Winefride.  She was even happier than Blob.  Blob thinks that if Winefride had a book filled with that many colours then it would become maybe her favourite thing in the world and she would just look at it, get really really close to it and trace all the colours with her bow.  Blob Thing loves his sister.

Blob and Winefride had enjoyed the sheep immensely so when they saw a second sheep in a big churchyard they couldn't believe their luck.  And when they were allowed to ride on that sheep too and the sheep promised not to run away with them still on its back they couldn't have been happier.  Blob's person took a lot of photos of them.  A lot.

Winefride liked the colours on this church sheep.  But not as much as all the colours on the first sheep.  Blob thinks that maybe she should be introduced to art and encouraged to play around with colours for herself.  Blob thinks that she would have a lot of fun and wouldn't worry about putting down the wrong colour because all colours are beautiful.  Most of them anyway.  Blob says that he would probably enjoy doing some art sometime.  He doesn't quite know how they would manage it but there has to be a way, even for people with the physical attributes they share.

Here are the photos of the siblings on the church sheep.  Ending with a close up that Blob likes a lot.  The way he has nestled himself into Winefride and the way she looks so happy about it makes him feel very happy every time he looks at the picture.

So that in essence was Blob's adventure.  He and his sister sat on a couple of sheep.  In Wrecsam.  As adventures go it was something small.  They're not going to make a big Hollywood blockbuster action movie out of this adventure.  But it was an adventure for Blob and Winefride.  And they enjoyed themselves.  There can't be many other small pink or small stripy blob toys who had ridden on fantastically colourful sheep.

Tomorrow Blob wants to tell you about one of his solo adventures.  It amazed him at the time.  He wants to tell you about the time he rode on some sheep.  And then there's more to tell you about Wrecsam too.  Something quite brilliant happened there and a photograph was taken that will make Blob smile for as long as he lives and it will probably make his person smile for that long too.

[1718 words today.  41777 words in July.  Good grief.]

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Blob Thing And Winefride Go Riding On Some Welsh Sheep

We're not going to write much today.  We know we say that almost every day.  But this day it's true.  At least, we think it's true.  We're very tired and we want to go out so we neither have the brain power nor the time to write as much as Blob Thing usually seems to write or say.

Today Blob Thing wants to think back to Winefride's first day out.  It was only a week ago.  We're writing this in the morning so can say that a week ago Winefride had never been outside.  She was looking forward to it we think, although she didn't know quite what "outside" meant and can't have had any idea of the varieties of things out there.  Winefride has been doing marvellously in the last week.  She's been out again - enjoying the view from a coach, dancing in a cafe, eating apple pie and custard in another, and she and Blob had a good time by the seaside too.

But this was Winefride's very first trip outside.  And it was a big one.  She was going to go to a different country.  A place where the words are all different.  A place where even Blob doesn't understand the road signs.

The trip was to Wales.

Blob Thing was extremely excited.  He had never visited another country either.  And this was his first time being out with his sister and that couldn't have been a more special feeling.  What would they see?

During the day they visited two places.  Rhiwabon and Wrecsam.  Those places are also known as Ruabon and Wrexham.  Rhiwabon was very small.  Blob had wanted to eat lunch there in a cafe but there was only one cafe in the entire town and that had shut at noon.  Obviously there isn't a lot of demand for lunch in Rhiwabon.  Perhaps it's a missing meal and everyone just jumps from breakfast to dinner.  Why else would the only cafe in a town shut before lunchtime?  Fortunately everyone was able to buy a little bit of food otherwise they would have felt very hungry.

The most exciting thing in Rhiwabon was that Blob's creator found a little footpath and at the end of that footpath was a play area.  It had swings and lots of other play equipment.  And it was deserted.  Nobody there at all.  The very first picture of Winefride enjoying the world was taken there.  Blob shared it with you a few days ago.  But he likes it so much that he wants to share it again.

She's so amazing.  Her first day out and he just got on and did everything and smiled at it all and managed not to get too overwhelmed at the sudden rush of experiences.

Blob's creator and his person liked the play area too.  Blob's person had ten goes on the zip wire, having been a little afraid of it to begin with.  And they both really enjoyed lying down in a little bucket roundabout and being pushed round and round and round.  It was a wonderful feeling.  Everyone enjoyed the swings of course.  And they went on nearly everything.

After visiting Rhiwabon, Blob said that they should go to Wrecsam and have a look round.  On the way, his person was distracted by the local church and dragged everyone in and she was suitably impressed by all the stained glass and statues.  She would have preferred just to be able to look at things rather than having someone there try to tell her all about the history of everything.  She's sure that all of that is very interesting but she doesn't cope well with enthusiastic people telling her about everything in a church building.  They give her a maze of names and dates and so on and she tries for a while but nothing gets retained and in the end they might just as well be telling her a list of random words for all the difference it makes.  She was told about statues and windows and tombs and carvings and the font but all she can tell you about them now is that they were statues and windows and tombs and carvings and a font.  Some were old.  Some were pretty.  And some were connected with some rich family or other.  Blob's person isn't good at taking in verbal information.

So the four travellers went to Wrecsam.  Blob's person dragged everyone into another church.  Blob wants to know why she keeps insisting on going into churches.  Sometimes it can be fun.  He's visited several churches in Newcastle.  He made some friends in Jesmond and some more in the cathedral and he's done some bell ringing too.  But sometimes he confesses he finds it a bit boring.  What's he meant to do in a church?  It's not as if any kind of god exists in a church more than they would outside of it.  Blob is very tempted at this moment to start talking about god and God and all his theories about it.  People go to a church building to pray to some God or other.  But even in the teachings of those religions that God is everywhere and isn't any closer in a special building.  So why not pray wherever the person is?

Blob's person tells him now that for some religions, even though they teach that God is everywhere, God is somehow closer in a special building.  For a Sikh, the special building is the Guru's house.  So it's special.  For a Catholic, the special building is where Jesus lives, locked away in a metal box and hidden behind a curtain most of the time.  Because obviously that's how Jesus would want to live.  Catholics are funny about their quest to protect Jesus - who they believe exists in a form where he looks, smells and tastes like some wheat wafers but is actually fully Jesus and alive.  For a Catholic, the risen Jesus is closest to them when he's being a wafer and that wafer is the most special thing on earth and needs to be kept away from anyone who isn't a Catholic.  They have lots of rules and beliefs about that and Blob's person used to believe them all very strongly and that wafer was extremely important to her.  To Blob's person that wafer was Jesus, his body, blood, soul and divinity.  Substantially present.  Sacramentally present under the form of bread.  Blob's person used to believe all that.  Now she doesn't.

Blob says that his person should shut up about Catholicism now and about her past when she was so devout and when every line of liturgy gave her something.  Blob wants to move on to talk about what he wanted to talk about today.  Himself, Winefride, and sheep.  Yes, that church in Wrecsam might have been important once to Blob's person.  But that was a long time ago and the sheep experience was only last week.  Blob's person's faith is gone.  It's a very different faith now.  But the sheep experience was only a week ago.  And Blob is here.  Now.  And Winefride is here now.  And so Blob's person should type about them not about herself.  If she wants to type about her religious history she's got a blog of her own for that or she could just write a book.  People say that a book about her life would be very interesting but she always says that she doesn't agree and that it would be pretty dull.

Oh dear.  Blob's person says that it's time to stop writing.  They need to get ready to go out for the day.  Because she's talked so much about her own life, Blob hasn't got time to talk about his own.

Blob isn't happy!  This is his blog.  It's not fair.  It's not fair at all.

Please don't sulk Blob Thing.  You've got a day out to look forward to.  And I'm very sorry about it but you seemed to be enjoying the discussion we were having about the churches.  And visiting that church in Wrecsam was really very weird for me.  I promise that tomorrow we can just talk about Winefride and you and the sheep.  I promise.  At least, we'll try to stick to topic.

To close.  Just one of the six photos that Blob had planned to share.  Here he is with Winefride and a sheep outside a church in Wrecsam.  It's not the best of the six photos.  There are better.  And Blob will share them tomorrow.  Just look at Winefride.  She's ever so brave to do so much on her first day out.  Blob Thing is very proud of her.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Blob Thing Introduces A Friend: 2. Pink Pig

Yesterday was a good day.  It really was.  My person took me and my sister out on an adventure.  It was a mystery adventure.  She didn't tell us where we were going.  I think the main reason she didn't tell us is because she didn't know where we were going either.  She says that when we were still at home her plan was to take us to a big museum in Newcastle.  When we were walking to the Metro station her plan was to take us to another museum.  In Sunderland.  That one has a big room full of plants and I'd like to go there.  I'd like to see the one in Newcastle too.  That one has a big room full of things to play with.

Then when we were on the Metro her plan was to take us to a place called North Shields.  I've been there before, at the end of a walk I want to tell you about soon.  Then we would go on a boat.  I've been on the boat and it was very excellent.  But Winefride hasn't been on a boat and I think she would love it.  And then we would go to a place called South Shields.  I fought a dragon there once.  And then, when the Metro was sitting at a station, my person suddenly changed her mind about the adventure and said that big adventuring might be too much for her.

Instead, we would go on a bus.  We would go to a place called Ashington, look at the charity shops, visit a cafe, and then go home.  And that would be more than enough for her.  I've never been to Ashington but my person has.  Last time she was there she received a phone call full of bad news.  I think she should go back and experience it on a day when she doesn't receive a phone call full of bad news.  That would be good.  The bad news day turned into a good day and it's an important one for my person but it did make her Ashington visit difficult and I wasn't even there to help her through it.

We looked at the time tables at the bus stops.  The bus to Ashington leaves every ten minutes and we wouldn't have long to wait.  I was looking forward to it and told Winefride that if she looked out of the window at the right time then she would see a giant naked woman.  Winefride didn't think that was a very special thing to see.  I could tell by the way she looked at me.  But then I told her that she was made of earth and if we ever climbed up to the top of one of her breasts we could probably roll all the way down to the bottom.  Winefride liked the sound of that a lot.  She hasn't tried rolling before but she got quite excited thinking about it.

But then our plans changed.   My person decided that we would get on the next bus that came, if it was one that went away from Newcastle.  We would go wherever it took us.  Yes, our day was a real mystery and we could have gone anywhere.

Anyway, I'm not meant to be telling you about yesterday.  We took pictures and I'll share them soon.  I want to share all of the pictures I've taken with Winefride.  I love my sister.  Yesterday was her birthday too.  One week old.  Exciting.

Today I want to tell you about one of my friends.  I've got lots of friends here living with me.  Less than a week ago I got two more friends.  A monkey came to live with us and a bear came too.  They're really nice.  Lots of friends and I want to introduce you to them all.  My person hardly had any friends a year ago.  There was just a little dog that sat outside, and an old bear that was lying neglected in a bag in the wardrobe.  Poor thing.  Now she has lots and lots of friends.

The first new friend she got was Amethyst.  I've already introduced you all to Amethyst.  I did that over a month ago in my twentieth blog post.  I've been meaning to introduce you to my other friends but life has been very busy and I've had so much to share.  I am incredibly lucky for a small toy.

Here I am with Amethyst.  What a good friend to have.

Today I want to introduce you to another friend.  A small friend.  So small that he is even smaller than me.

This friend is called Pink Pig.  He's pink, mainly.  And he's a pig.  My person is sometimes not particularly good at naming her friends although my creator says she is very good at it.  My person used to have another pig friend.  That one was called The Little Pink Pig.  He was little and was pink.  He was even smaller than Pink Pig.  My person quite misses The Little Pink Pig.  He is lost and my person doesn't know where.  I tried to help her look for The Little Pink Pig but we couldn't find him.  It's sad.  He's lost and we don't even know whether he still lives with us or whether he moved to live somewhere us.  Very sad.

But Pink Pig lives with us.  He's great.  So cute and clever, but a bit of a show off sometimes.  You can always count on Pink Pig to add some liveliness to any day.  Here's a picture of me with Pink Pig.  Two friends together.

Pink Pig came with us to Manchester one time.  That was exciting for him.  He was able to meet my creator and was able to meet all her friends too.  It's good that she has friends.  I found it funny yesterday.  My person filled in a little questionnaire in the street where we went.  It was all about a museum she had never heard of and will possibly never visit at all.  One of the questions asked her who she was with when visiting that place.  She spent ages deciding what box to tick.  Should she tick that she was on her own?  Or should she tick that she was with friends?  Because she was with friends.  Two of them.  There was me.  And there was Winefride.  But in the end she decided that maybe the people who had made the questionnaire would think that was silly.  Maybe they were only talking about human friends.  Not soft toy friends.  And maybe not dog friends either although we weren't with a dog.  So she ticked that she was alone even though it was obvious to us all that she wasn't.

Oh yes.  Pink Pig.  I think he enjoyed Manchester.  But he's pleased to be home.  At least I think he is.  I don't know quite what he's doing right now.  I thought he might be here to help me write about him but where is he?  I don't know.  He's not in the place he likes sitting most.  He's not in his second favourite place.  Maybe he's somewhere with all the other friends.  I wish he was here at this moment and then he could tell me what to right.  But he isn't and I'll just have to deal with it.

Pink Pig isn't just pink.  His feet are white.  His legs and his nose are green.  And his wings are green too.  Yes.  Wings.  Pink Pig has little green wings.  That's not the most common anatomical structure for a pig to possess.  But he's got wings and he's not afraid to use them.

One more picture.  Here's Pink Pig.  Isn't he marvellous?  He's good to have around.  But I don't love him like I love my sister.  Tomorrow I'm going to talk about my sister some more and share one of the things we did on her first day out.  It's hard to believe that was less than a week ago.  It's hard to believe that less than a week ago she had her first day out and she did ever so well even though we went to a different country where they speak another language.  Yes, tomorrow I talk about Winefride.  I love my sister.  Did I say that already?

Pink Pig, wherever he is, is good fun.  But as I said, he does like to show off.  Because he has those fabulous green wings and I can tell you that he uses them well.  You wouldn't think little wings like those would be enough to lift such a round pig off the ground.  But they are.  I don't know how.  Science says that Pink Pig should remain on the ground.  But he's magic.  I'm magic too.  How else do you think I do all the things I do?

His magic is such that not only can he take off, he can land safely too.  He likes to land in different places and quite often spends part of the day on the top of the book shelves, basking in the light and looking at the view.  And then he will jump off and just as you think me might crash down onto the carpet below and hurt himself he flaps those little green wings of his and swoops upwards and he laughs.  Once he knocked a box from the top shelf when he jumped off.  Luckily nothing broke but it took us all ages to get it back up there.

Pink Pig likes to show off his skills.  He's not being mean or anything.  He just wants to be the best version of himself that he possibly can be.  And naturally enough that means he wants to fly as much as he can and develop as many acrobatic skills as he can.  He doesn't just want to fly.  He wants to live.

Adunno tells me that in the house he used to live in - before he had surgery to become an autism friendly unicorn and came to live with my person - the people there had a little book that they sometimes read.  It was one of their favourites.  That book was called Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Adunno says that the way Pink Pig flies around reminds him of that book.  He's a bit like Jonathan Livingston Pink Pig.

So that's Pink Pig.  He's my friend.  I need to introduce you to all my friends eventually.  I haven't even introduced you to Adunno.  He's an amazing unicorn.  Even more amazing since the surgery I mentioned.  Not that I knew him before that and I bet he was a pretty marvellous unicorn already.  Yes.  More friend introductions are needed.  But not tomorrow.  Tomorrow I want to talk about my sister.  Perhaps I'll just dictate from my head again.  Or perhaps I'll get into more discussions with my person about it all - and Winefride will be with us of course - and we can put my thoughts into a more coherent form rather than just forcing my person to type a torrent of words so quickly that she has to tell me to slow down because, even with advanced typewriting qualifications, she can't keep up with the stream of thoughts that are coming out of my mouth.  Just like then.  But that time I was talking too fast for her on purpose and her fingers were struggling a lot.  I should stop.  I love Pink Pig.  I love all my friends.  But I love my sister more than all of them and in a different way.  And she's not even two-hundred hours old yet.  Amazing.

[1944 words]

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Blob Thing Gets Creative With A Simple Quaker Lunch

Blob Thing says:

Oh yes, I was having a very good time at the Quaker place.  Much as I like a good sing and even a dance sometimes I do like the quiet and the worship there had certainly been quiet.  I was glad that my person had given me something to read so I would have a better idea what was going on and that the whole thing wasn't just a bunch of people in a room having a nap or thinking about what to have for lunch or whether they should give Henrietta some flowers or some chocolates for her birthday.  Knowing that something meaningful might be happening within each of the people there was excellent.  And perhaps too there was something happening between them, even though it was so quiet.

Only three people spoke.  The first one got it wrong.  She started off by saying that she was sure that at that time everyone was thinking about a particular subject.  Well I wasn't thinking about it at that time.  I was thinking about what I was reading and then I'd looked at people's faces and then I'd started wondering why the worship room contained a piano when the worship didn't include any music.  My person told me later that she hadn't been thinking about that particular subject at that time either.  Maybe lots of people hadn't been.  At that moment she was still thinking about the two words she had spotted in the book I was reading.

It's true that the subject was worth thinking about.  A few days previously a Member of Parliament had been murdered and that had touched people.  I wonder how much it still touches people.  It seems to me that humans are quick to forget and any promises they make to change things are soon left behind when the next event happens.  Each tragedy becomes an excuse to not do anything as a result of the previous tragedy.  And then very little changes most of the time.  And some of those people in parliament even use a tragedy for their own purposes.  When everyone is distracted they quietly make a law that would cause an outcry if anyone noticed.

Now, I am autistic but I am quite happy to sit quite still for an hour.  I just can.  But I know autistic people for whom it would be very difficult.  I think my sister Winefride might have a lot of difficulty with it.  She would want to get up and enjoy the flowers and the light and the way the pieces of dust play in that light which is something I find intricately beautiful too.  Winefride can spend ages watching the light and I know she enjoys it so much.  She tells me so in her face and in the manner even though she can't tell me in spoken words.  I love my sister.  My person says she knows autistic people who say that they wouldn't be able to sit still for the hour, at least not without it becoming majorly painful in their head.  They would have to get up and pace around or get really flappy.  Or just not be there.  And I wonder whether the inclusiveness of Quaker worship could cope with someone pacing and flapping and being gloriously who they are.

Anyway, worship was over and someone said there would be lunch downstairs.  We were nearly last to get down to the lunch because my person wanted to take some pictures first.  I wanted to go and look at the art work too.  I like art work.  I like it that there was art scattered around the building.  Not just that colour wheel, but tapestries, paintings and lots more.  There were even some poems someone had written.  They were all sitting on a table as if that person had written their verses and made one copy of each to be picked up by whoever saw them.

I like that Quakers like creativity.  The book I was reading was just the first chapter of a big book called Quaker Faith and Practice.  It's a good book.  Some of it is a bit boring I think, just dull information on how the different meetings happen and how the organisation functions.  I don't need to know any of that but I guess it's all very useful and interesting if you are a Quaker - or a Friend as they are really called.  The book has an entire section called Creativity.  It contains lots of good writing from different people.

I am happy to learn that the Quakers have been able to change.  One of the writers tells how the Quaker founder was against all kinds of music because it "burdened the pure life, and stirred people's minds to vanity."  Now they see music as important and that for some people it is an essential part of their spiritual lives.  I am glad.  Another writer in the book says he believes in the "absolute necessity of the arts."  If anyone has the book, he's writing in paragraph 21.36.  It's pretty glorious.  He says the arts "make possible the impossible and reconcile the irreconcilable."  Isn't that special?

Gosh I do like this book.  It's so much more full of life than other church things I've read.  In comparison, Calvin comes across as the dead man he is, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England seem devoid of the life of God, and even the Catechism of The Catholic Church feels very bland, no matter how well written it is and how well it explains Catholic belief.

Enough about the book.  It was time for lunch.  Lunch.  I like lunch.  As we walked down the stairs my person explained that lunch would be simple.  Quakers believe in simplicity - at least in their lunches.  We would be having bread and soup and cheese and fruit.  I liked the sound of that.  It was great.  We had three different soups to choose from, all of them home made.  I chose this one and it was very, very tasty.

And after my bowl of soup and some bread and some cheese I was satisfied.  But there was soup to spare and I decided that a second bowl would be very nice indeed and I'd try one of the others.  And it was very, very tasty too.

We were sitting with some interesting people.  Creative people.  One of them did a lot of music performing and some writing.  One of the others said that she runs a theatre company for young people and is involved in other theatre things too.  My person says that there are quite a few creative people who go to worship in that place.  I think everyone is creative.  Everyone has the spirit of creation within them and can meet with it, harness it and become creation in the world.  It might not necessarily be writing or dancing or painting or music.  It might be the creativity of science or the creativity of relationship building or the creativity of running a beautiful social project.  But everyone is creative.  Everyone.  You.  Yes, you.

And so I sat with the people around me and I joined my person in chatting with them.  It was very nice.  I liked it that the silent people upstairs were not silent people downstairs.

After lunch, when it was time to go, I had a little walk round the building.  There were lots of pretty things to look and, and a library of interesting books too.  There was also a visitor book.  I must try to remember to get my person to sign it for me if we go again.  The Quakers have a regular magazine.  Here it is.  the Friend.

I think the advice in this picture is advice that we could all do with hearing, listening to and heeding.

Make time for the friend.  Or at least make time for a friend.  Friendship is very important.  I don't know what I would do without my friends.  It would be very lonely.  I know that some people haven't got friends and there might be lots of different reasons for that.  It makes me sad.  So make time for a friend.  Maybe make time for someone who is without friends.

One last picture.  My person has got lots of pictures to share too but she's a bit lazy and has hardly written anything for her blog in ages so I don't know when or even if she will manage to share her pictures of the meeting house.  Outside the back of the house is a little garden.  The flowers were so pretty.  Once a month they have something called Meeting for Worship for Gardening.  Gardening is worship.  Meeting is worship.  I like that.  I like it a lot.

I was really glad that my person had taken me to the Friends' Meeting House.  It had been a super, super experience.  I don't know that I'd want to go there every week or even join them.  But I'd like to visit again sometimes and be among these good people and their religious service that doesn't have sermons.  Yes, I'd like to go again.

And at that point Blob stopped talking and fell into silence.

[1544 words]

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Blob Thing Visits The Quakers of Newcastle

Blob Thing has more to tell you about his sister.  He is looking forward to going on some adventures with her soon too and they can have fun together exploring and experiencing all the good things that they can find.

But today and tomorrow he wants to tell you about somewhere he visited last month with his person.  He must have quite liked it - he's been back again,

It was a Sunday morning.  Blob's person used to go to church every Sunday.  Sometimes she would go several times, to several different churches.  She was quite enthusiastic about it all.  When she moved to Newcastle she had been a faithful Catholic and would go to Mass every Sunday morning - and sometimes on a Saturday evening too though that wasn't compulsory.  She would never miss that Sunday Mass without good reason.  Oh yes, she knew the rules too well.  She knew that the threat of Hell hung over her if she missed that Mass.  What if she were to die between missing Mass and receiving sacramental absolution through the Sacrament of Confession?  What then?  She would be doomed.  The rules of the Roman Catholic Church said so even though some Catholics tried to pretend otherwise.  Blob's person hadn't minded because, for a time, she had loved being at Mass.  She even went to Mass during the week.  Sometimes every single day.  And at home she would pray and pray and pray and read Catholic books and the Catholic faith was her safe space.

But that all changed and much to her surprise she left the Catholic Church.  And joined another church.  Half an hour later.  She was liked there and it wasn't long before she was given responsibilities.  To lead liturgy.  To preach sermons.  But that came to an end too when she told the world about her being transgender.  An ordained minister of the Church of England told her this:  "I'm sure you will agree that it would be inappropriate for you to continue to preach or lead anything in case anyone is ever worried."  Those were the exact words.  It made Blob's person very sad indeed.  Sad enough to leave the church.  They were happy to have her preach when she was still pretending to be a man.  They loved her sermons and she had been told quite a few times by people that they thought she was the best preacher in the place.  But now she was living honestly, they didn't want her.  Oh yes, she could sit in a pew and be told she was loved.  But love and rejection don't go together too well.

Blob's person had explored other churches.  She had been visiting them even when she was preaching and now she visited lots.  She settled in one of them too.  It was a place of love and acceptance.  The kind of love that is actually love.  That became her spiritual home for a while until she took the step of leaving it at the beginning of Lent this year.  Blob was proud of her for that.  It was a big step towards freedom and towards becoming fully herself.  He knows it was hard for her to leave because church and God and Christianity were the core of her life for twenty-five years.  They were her main reason for getting up in the morning.  They were the source of her hope and the meaning she gave to everything.  Quitting meant all of that was gone.  The core was removed.  And as Blob knows, without the core the warp engines won't go.

On this Sunday, Blob's person had decided to go back and visit one of the places she had explored already.  She invited Blob Thing to come with her and see the place.  She told him that he would be fine.  Where they were going was also a place of love and acceptance.  It was a place filled with people who like to seek peace, social justice, inclusion and who can usually disagree about the details of a spiritual journey.  Blob agreed to attend after he was reassured that nobody would be trying to convert him and nobody there would ever warn him about the dangers of Hell if he didn't go.  Nobody would say that their way was the only way and that anyone who didn't follow it was doomed.  They wouldn't even say that their way was the best way, that they were closer to some form of sky god than the outsiders.

There would be people there who had a strong, quite conservative Christian faith.  And there would be others who didn't believe in the sky god at all.  There might be a Buddhist, a Sufi, and there would be people who meditate in different ways.  Lots of variety.  Blob decided that it might be safe to be among such people.  He quite liked the sound of them.

So Blob and his person set out and walked to the place where the people met.  Here it is.

Blob spent a moment reading the sign.  Quakers.  Blob wasn't sure he wanted to do any Quaking.  He thought it a very strange name.  Blob's person told him that the word came about when the King of England insulted someone in the early days of the movement.  She also said that around the world there were lots of different kinds of Quaker.  Most of them have services that include singing and a kind of sermon based on the Bible.  But the ones here wouldn't be doing anything like that.  He would just have to see for himself what would happen.

Blob and his person were greeted at the door.  Everyone was smiling and very welcoming.  Perhaps the sign was true when it said "All welcome."  Perhaps everyone would be welcomed there and seen as equally wonderful too.  Lots of churches had signs up claiming that everyone was welcome there but in many of them Blob knew that you weren't really encouraged to be yourself.  You were encouraged only to conform and to be a sheep - and not a sheep living free in the fields either, cared for and encouraged to be the best sheep possible, but a sheep in a tiny pen in a dark barn, constrained in the way you were told to live.

Blob's person took him upstairs to where the main meeting room is.  It felt peaceful and all the chairs were arranged in a circle round a central table.  Blob Thing sat himself on the table for a while before deciding where he wanted to sit for the service.  Blob's Person told him that she had a copy of the book on the table and that there was much in it that he would enjoy reading.  She had picked up a little book at the bottom of the stairs.  It was called "Advices and Queries" and contained chapter one of the book on the table.

Blob sat down and waited for the service to start.  People kept coming into the room and sitting down and nobody was talking.  And then someone came in and shut the door.  But still nobody spoke.  Nobody introduced a service.  Nobody started to sing or said a prayer or did anything else.  They just sat in quiet.

Blob didn't quite know what to do.  What was happening?  Were people enjoying this and what were they all thinking about?  He hadn't realised that anything with the word "religious" in the name might have a meeting like this.  His person made signs and opened up Advices and Queries for him and that told him what he wanted to know about what was going on.  He stopped reading and settled into Quaker worship.  Blob likes it that everyone there is called to expectant waiting and that there is a belief that Spirit will speak in the heart of each person.  He likes that anyone can stand up and speak.  Certainly the "gathered stillness" he had just been reading about seemed to be evident.  During the whole meeting only three people spoke at all.  And none of them spoke for more than a minute.

Blob's person told him that when he had been reading her eyes fell on two words and they stayed with her through that meeting and - as we're typing this - she's told him that the words stay with her still and she wants to write about them one day.  Blob Thing says that she shouldn't say what the words were here.  It's his blog and he's already allowed too much talk about his person for one day.  He didn't mind including it.  Blob and his person have talked about faith quite a lot and her story interests him.  It's the story that led up to today.  It's the story that led up to her life including Blob in such a meaningful manner.

After the meeting there were some announcements and then a piece of art was unveiled.  Blob Thing thought it was beautiful.  Everyone in the meeting some months before had been asked to write words to describe their experiences of Quaker worship and of being a Quaker - a Friend - or someone who spends time with them.  The words were all printed onto crayons and made into this wonderful colour wheel.

It's lovely.  Blob wanted his person to take lots of pictures.  And when they went back a month later he wanted her to take lots more pictures.  She will blog about them one day, just as she blogged about her very first visit to the Quakers.  Blob Thing thinks it's funny.  He's blogging about his first visit.  And she did too.  He wonders how many other people have written about their first visits.

Blob Thing sat himself down on the table again.  It had been a marvellous meeting.  He had enjoyed it and he hadn't been forced to listen to a sermon either.  Nobody had told him what to believe or how his spiritual life should develop.  He was happy that he had worshiped with Quakers that morning.

It wasn't over either.  During the announcements someone had said that downstairs there would be a lunch available.  Blob decided he wanted to stay for lunch.  To spend a little more time with these people.  It had been nice to sit in silence with them.  Now he would get the chance to meet them properly.  He was looking forward to it and wants to tell you about what happened.  Tomorrow.  Not today.

[1750 words]

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Blob Thing Has Some Extremely Good News To Tell You

During the last week, Blob Thing enjoyed a holiday.  He accompanied his person and they went to stay with his creator for a few days.  Blob had a good time.  He would have had a good time anyway but on the first night of his holiday something amazing happened.  Something he could never had expected.

We are pleased to announce the birth of Winefride on July 21st 2016, sister of Blob Thing.

Blob says:

Yes.  I've got a sister.  Isn't that amazing.  I hadn't even known that it was possible for me to have a sister.  I hadn't even thought that a sister could be born.  Witnessing her birth was a giant privilege.

I have a sister!  I can't tell you how excited I am to have a sister.  It's brilliantly brilliant.  As brilliant as all the facets in the largest diamond in the universe if you added their brilliance together and multiplied by three.  I have a sister!

It was my creator who decided that it was possible and that it could and would happen.  I watched the whole birth process from start to finish, from the choosing of material for my sister to the moment at which my sister came to life and was a living, breathing toy rather than a collection of fabric and stitches and stuffing.  It was a magical experience and I thought back to my own birth and my feelings as a new born Blob Thing and the surprises I've had.  And now I've got a sister and I'm ever so proud of her.  My creator created my sister too but this time she had a lot of help from my person.  My person isn't good at creating but chose Winefride's colour, cut her pieces to size, made some of her face, stitched all the way round her middle to put her together and stuffed her so she's not just a flat circle.  My creator guided my person in how to be a co-creator and she made the rest of Winefride's face.  She also made her dress and her pretty bow.  My creator did a very good job.  Winefride is as perfect a sister as I could imagine.

On Saturday 23rd July, Winefride felt ready to accompany us all on an adventure.  We went a very long way on a train and Winefride was excited by the whole thing.  She hadn't seen a train before.  Or a bus.  Or even a road.  Everything is new to Winefride.  She seems to be enjoying it all and have a real lust to experience things.  She is just jumping into life.  And she smiles and smiles and joy beams from her face when she's finding something new.  She's wonderful.  She can't talk, or doesn't talk.  But she's wonderful.  I love her.  I love her.  I have a sister!

On our adventure we found a play park.  It was fantastic.  It was quite deserted and we have ever such a long time.  I played and Winefride played and my creator played and my person played too.  My person allowed herself to enjoy herself and had ten rides on the zip wire and found to her surprise that being swung on the round swing felt good.  She had a smile almost as big as mine, which was very good to see.

Here are Winefride and I on one of the play things in the park.  It was a lot of fun.  My creator had a go to and then my person was brave enough to try even though it sprung back so far that she nearly bumped her head.  My creator made a video of my person enjoying it.

A close up.  Look how excellent Winefride is.  I love her.  I've got a sister!  She's younger than me but she's bigger than me.  It's funny how that happened.

It's also funny that Winefride has a name that people might think is a much more proper name than Blob Thing.  I wonder what my name would be if I wasn't called Blob Thing.  But I am called Blob Thing so that's that.  Winefride was named after Saint Winefride, who had her head chopped off by a nasty man and then had it magically reattached to her dead corpse by Saint Beuno.  It's a good story and it's got a holy well in it too.  For some reason my person kept talking about Saint Winefride and other stories while doing the sewing.  And Winefride seemed like a good name for my sister.  I've got a sister!  I am so so so excited!

Later in the day Winefride and I were able to sit together on not just one sheep but on two sheep.  We've got some more pictures to show you of the weekend and we think one of them is very funny.  They were such nice men!  But that's for another day.  We've got a video too of us dancing with a red panda.  That was a lot of fun.  But for now here is a picture of us on one of the sheep.

And here is a picture of us on another sheep.  I love this picture.  I love my sister.  She's amazing.  She finds joy in her life.  At least, for a few days.  She's only young.  She was born five days ago.  And she's already adventuring.  I don't know if she'll want to come out as much as me.  We'll find out.  We're only just beginning to get to know Winefride.  Like I said before, she can't or doesn't talk.  I think she's autistic too.  But different to me.  All autistic people are different.  I think she's non-verbal.  That's okay.  I hope she doesn't get overwhelmed as easily as I can or my person can.  That would be a bit sad.  I think Winefride is that best sister in the entire world.

The next day we all went to a lake.  We had been meaning to go somewhere else.  To buy boots from a car or something like that but the place we were going didn't exist so we couldn't go to it and we didn't quite know what to do but then this lake appeared and it was very nice and it shows that even when things go wrong, life can have a way of giving you something just as good.

Here's Winefride by the lake with some ducks in the background.  We had a good time.  My person got very worried in case Winefride fell in and drowned.  She likes to be careful with us but that didn't stop me falling off something the day after Winefride was born and she was resting in the house from being born.  Being born is quite tiring.  I fell off and there's a photo of me falling off.  Fortunately I wasn't hurt and didn't fall into a lake.  I wouldn't want Winefride to fall into a lake.  I love my sister.

Yes.  That's my sister.  I am proud of her.  And I am very very extremely very happy that she is part of my life now.  I thought my life was amazing.  It just got more amazing.  I have a sister.

Isn't that the most brilliant thing you've heard in a very long time?

[1206 words]

Monday, 25 July 2016

Blob Thing Relaxes In Super Natural Cafe, Newcastle Upon Tyne

A quick post today.  Blob is exhausted after his holiday in Manchester and his person is exhausted too.  So he doesn't want to talk much and she doesn't want to type much.  Tomorrow, if he has the time, he wants to write about the very special thing that happened while he was away.  It's something that he hadn't expected at all and he's very happy about it.  Blob Thing is also very happy that he had his dress fixed so it won't keep falling off.  He feels a lot more stylish now.

Today Blob quickly wants to share some photos that were taken on a visit to a cafe in Newcastle.  This is Super Natural, which has recently opened on Grainger Street, having moved from a quieter location.

Blob's person had been having an awful time in town a couple of weeks previously and had failed to get into the cafe, instead shutting down almost totally in the street outside and only just and only eventually managing to get herself the twenty metres to the bus stop to wait for a bus to get her home.  She wanted to try again.  She wasn't going to be defeated by terrible head days.  Blob applauds her determination.

They went back to the cafe together on a day on which she was feeling a lot better.  It was ever so comfortable inside and they were able to share a lovely sofa.  They ordered themselves a drink and decided that it was a good place to be.  The man behind the counter even turned the music down for the two friends, which they much appreciated.  Blob's person has been learning from Blob's creator that asking for music to be turned down is allowed.

Much exhaustion.  Much.  So here are a few photos.  And not much more.  Blob's Person thinks that after yesterday's long ramble from Blob anyone would be very grateful for brevity.

Here's Blob posing, with the opposite wall in the background.  All the cards under the clock were hand made and were being sold in aid of two animal charities.  Not only that, all profits from the cafe go to the charities too.  Blob is glad.  Nobody is there to get rich but any spare money from his drink might help to make a cat happy.

Here's Blob posing on the arm of the chair with the length of the cafe and the counter behind him.  He thought it was great.  The ceiling left something to be desired but he knows it would have cost so much money for the cafe people to make a new ceiling that they wouldn't have made any money to feed the cats.

Here's Blob Thing posing.  Again.  He likes posing.  And, you must admit, he does it so well.  Isn't the table wonderful too?

And here is the view from that comfy sofa out of the window.  When he entered, the chairs were occupied by some people having a discussion group.  He thinks they were philosophers of some kind.  One of them had a book that looked very interesting but Blob wasn't quite interested enough to note down the title.

Beyond the window you can see part of the Anglican Church of Saint John the Baptist.  One random piece of information Blob knows about that church from his reading about Newcastle is that it contains the oldest known depiction of the three castle symbol of the city.  Sometime he wants to have a good look round.  Last week he was touring another church in the city and he's still a bit excited by his memory of ringing the bells.

One final picture.  Here is Blob's person in Super Natural, sitting with Blob.  The book she's failing to read due to Blob having sat on top of it is On The Edge of Gone, a young adult book about the aftermath of a meteor hitting the world.  The main character is autistic, as it the author.  Blob was glad that an autistic person was writing the autistic character.  It meant that the depiction was realistic and that autism became part of the make up of that character rather than the character becoming just a set of stereotypes - like in a certain very popular novel that Blob couldn't finish because every chapter seemed to be about a different stereotype and not about a person at all.

Blob and his person have returned to the cafe.  He'll tell you about that visit sometime.  On that day they shared a healthy lunch, chatted with a philosopher, and then later accidentally stayed on for tea and cake with some unexpected people.

So that's it.  A short post.  Blob can head off to his bed now.  He's looking forward to it.

And tomorrow?

Tomorrow he will share the good news.  It is very good news.  VERY good.

[806 words]

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Blob Thing Dresses Up As The Bishop of Hexham

Blob Thing is going to try to keep a promise today as he tells of his final big adventure in Hexagon.

He promises that he will try to write less.  He's feeling a bit sorry for anyone who has stuck with reading of his adventures all this time.  He hadn't been expecting to be able to be so free when writing about them or that his person would allow him to get quite so carried away in talking about all kinds of other things.  Today, less.

He thinks it might be an easy promise to keep.  He is sitting here in Salford on a hot Sunday afternoon, dictating his ideas to his person and wondering why she never allows him to talk in the first person in his blog.  Perhaps, he says, she should think about that.  It's not as if he hasn't got a mind of his own.  Blob says that he should be able to write, "I fought a dragon," or "I travelled on a boat," or "I think that there is an inner core within us all that is love and peace and that all people are fundamentally good."  Blob says he should be able to write of "My creator" and "My person" rather than having to talk in the third person all the time.  His person says that he is making a valid point.  Just for today she's agreed to have a go at just typing whatever Blob Thing says to her.  And so:

I am very tired at the moment.  It's been a very long weekend and there have been so many exciting adventures.  And I have to say that the most exciting thing of all is something that is already changing my life and I want to tell you all about it and I am going to but not today because I want there to be photos ready so I can do it properly but it is a very exciting thing and I think you'll all be thoroughly thrilled when you read and hear my news and and and and and and and and wheeeeeeeee and cha-cha-cha-cha-cha and and and

At this point Blob has stopped talking altogether and is happily flapping away.  I, Blob's person have to agree about the news being very exciting indeed.  I can quite understand his reaction.  You will be able to see some problems inherent in this blog becoming a first person monologue.  Blob writes long run on sentences.  Sometimes he gets distracted halfway through the sentence.  Through editing his words as I do, his ideas and his experiences are filtered into something which I hope is at least partially readable.  A straight typed dictation might get very hard to read.

Right.  Okay.   Blob Thing is calmer now.  We're going to try again.

I had a pretty perfect day in Hexagon.  Apart from the bit when I got scared and overwhelmed.  But you know what?  Being scared doesn't need to ruin a whole day.  And being overwhelmed is okay.  Well, it's very not okay.  But it doesn't have to become the focus of a day.  I don't have to say, "My day was rubbish because this bit was horrible."  My person had a horrible time a couple of days ago.  In the past she might have said, "Oh dear, what a rubbish day" and focused in on the rubbish bits.  But now she's learning to see the joy.  Other things that day were great because she chose them.  It's not that the rubbish bits weren't rubbish.  I think they were.  It's just that there is always more to be grateful for.  And of course on that day I was feeling very grateful indeed because to the very exciting thing that's changing my life.  I went dancing today.  I'm going to share a video of that soon if I can.

Hexagon.  Yes, Hexagon.  It's not really called Hexagon of course.  I just like the word.  Really - and I haven't been allowing my person to say this but I am going to since it's the final post - really it's called Hexham.  Hexham.  It's a town in Northumberland and I liked it a lot and want to go back sometime soon and maybe find the river or walk along the river from somewhere else until we get to Hexham.  I would enjoy that a lot.  My person says that we'll go back.  I think she might just want to go back to one of the charity shops where she bought herself two very pretty dresses.  I want to walk by the river though and listen to the birds and the water and try to spot how many different types of flowers or grasses I can.

I was having a wonderful time exploring Hexham Abbey.  It's a beautiful building with amazing stained glass.  We were in a church yesterday that had beautiful glass and I wanted to be able to sit and gaze at it and take in every detail.  There were so many and the colours were so rich and I hadn't spent enough time there but the people I was with seemed like they were in a hurry so I had to go.  It was a fun town to be in and we all had a stunningly staggeringly sumptuous time in a playground there.  All four of us.  Ooh, perhaps that's a clue as to what the very very very very exciting thing was.

After visiting the crypt - and everyone should go and visit the crypt, EVERYONE, because it's so great - I asked my person if we could go and have a little look at the exhibition about the abbey.  We might learn something or we might just see some pretty things.  As it turned out I didn't learn anything much at all if I'm honest.  We looked at lots of things and read lots of panels of information.  But can I remember it all?  No.  No, no, no.  I've forgotten the lot.  It all felt very interesting at the time.  My person says she's forgotten it too.

While walking in the abbey I had sat myself on a seat.  It was like a Bishop's throne and as I sat I wondered what it would be like to be a bishop.  I wondered too what I might wear if I was a bishop and whether they would be able to make those fancy clothes in my size.  Here's me on the seat.  I think I look good, as if I am telling some people about spiritual things and giving them tips on how to find the answers for themselves.  Because the answers aren't just the words of a book.  The answers aren't found in the quotes from others, no matter how amazingly beautiful and uplifting the quotes are.  At least that's what I believe.  I think all those books, and quotes, and stories, and all the legends and all the exciting things others have taught are all good.  They can all help us a lot.  Reading them and thinking about them is good too.  But they don't actually contain the answers.  Sorry.  I'm not meant to be getting distracted.  I'm not meant to be writing much.  I am meant to just share a few pictures today.  Sorry.  It's just too easy to get distracted.  There are so many awesome distractions.

Okay. Quick. Let's go.  In the exhibition I got my change to learn what wearing ecclesiastical clothes would feel like.  There was a dressing up section for children.  And since I am child I wanted to dress up too.  My person said that it might be a bit difficult due to my size but I insisted.  I wanted to try it.  What was the worst that could happen?  And what was the best that could happen?  The best won.  It was a bit like applying Pascal's Wager to my life.  Except application in the case of "should I try on a robe and see what happens?" seems to me to be far more valid than the original application of "should I believe in God and become a Christian."  I don't think that version makes sense if anyone stops to think about it for longer than about six point eight nine two four one seconds and a little bit more.

So here I am, dressed up.  As a bishop.

Wow, I look amazing.  That style of hat suits me.  I could be bishop.  I could do it.  Except to tell the truth I don't want the job.  They can keep it, they're safe, I'm not applying.  And I do have to say that if I was a bishop I'd have go get a hat that fit me.  That one would keep falling down over my eyes or even over my entire body.  And I think I'd have to get it made in a different colour.  That one doesn't suit my fur tone at all.

After dressing as a bishop I got to dress up as a monk too.  They have a very funny hairstyle and I was able to wear a wig with monk hair.  I look at this and I want to laugh.  I couldn't have a monk hairstyle.  With my fur type it would be an impossible cut so the only way I could be a monk would be to be part of an order that didn't say you could only be part of the club if you got yourself a stupid haircut.  I really don't think a stupid haircut would improve my relationship with any god or help me to pray or do good deeds.  It would just make me look a bit daft and when I approached people would keep on saying, "Here comes that daft monk again with his silly haircut."  My person gets stared at a lot and I think if I had that haircut I might be stared at almost as much as she gets stared at with a perfectly sensible haircut.

Finally, after seeing what a fun time I was having, I got my person to agree.  She would have a go at dressing up too.  I liked that.  She's tried lots of new things recently.  I held the camera and took a picture of her even though she was embarrassed and was finding it difficult to enter fully into the experience.  Compare my facial expression with hers.  She looks miserable.  Miserable.  Or perhaps minsterable.  She's telling me that she wasn't miserable but she was going to the look of a solemn monk, on her way to a service or half way through a three hour Carthusian style marathon of singing plainchant the proper way.  She says monks traditionally weren't meant to look happy or to boogie around to the music.

Apparently having fun when worshiping was seen as very disrespectful to God.  Isn't that stupid?  I would have thought it would be the other way round.  Not having fun and not enjoying worshiping God is surely far more disrespectful to God.  "I adore you God but that gives me a sad face" is a concept I don't understand.  If it was me I would say "I adore you God and in the face of infinite love and in the face of all the hope my beliefs and doctrines and dogmas give me, I have this stunningly super smile on my face and I shout my Hallelujahs out with whooping and cheering because you're just so amazing."  Not "You are my everything and I look as miserable as my person does in this picture."

Right. Okay. That's it.  That's my day out in Hexham, or Hexagon as I've been calling it for a week.  I hope you enjoyed at least something about it.  If you've got to the end, very well done indeed.  Give yourself a pat on the back if you can.  Otherwise just smile internally and know that I'm very grateful for anyone to be willing to spend their free moments reading about a small pink soft toy.

From Hexham Abbey we walked back to the bus and went home.  We'll go back though - but we say that about most of the places we have visited in the last few months.  So I don't know when we'll have time to go back and there are a lot of other places we haven't visited at all yet.  My life is very exciting.  Most lives could be more exciting if only people would embrace the thrill of this amazing world.

Thank you for reading.  We're going to have a rest now and then we're going to go and meet my creator at a train station and then come back and rest some more.  Tomorrow I'll be going back to my Newcastle home.  I'm sure that there will be lots of adventures for me there.  They aren't waiting for me.  Adventures don't lie in wait around corners - well sometimes they do, good and bad ones.  Most adventures are the ones we make, not the ones we are given.

My challenge to you, if you're still here, is that you would sometime this week make an adventure.  Go somewhere new.  Do something new.  Take a risk.  But not a silly risk.  And see what happens.  It might be rubbish.  But that's okay.  You can try another new thing next week.  But it might be good.  It might be spectacular.  And it might just change your life forever.  Go for it.  What's the worst that could happen?  And what's the best that could happen?  Yes.  Go for it.  Have an adventure.

I am sorry.  I didn't keep me promise did I?  I said I would try to write less than I have been.  And then I wrote more.  Maybe that's another danger of my person allowing me to just dictate every word.  Maybe we should go back to the other way tomorrow and maybe try this again sometime.  I'd like that even if I do talk lots and lots and lots and lots.  Maybe I'll even learn to edit myself eventually.  Hmmm.  Perhaps not.

[2344 words, written in a state of much fatigue, by a Blob Thing who obviously has a lot more energy than his person]

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Blob Thing Discovers An Ancient Crypt And Sees An Ancient Abbot

Blob Thing is happy.

Last night something very special happened.  He and his person are currently staying with his creator.  And last night they shared in a meaningful experience.  He will tell you all about it when he gets home.  For today though he wants to continue telling you about his adventures in Hexagon.  He's not going to write as much - unless he gets totally carried away - because he's on holiday and wants to go out and have some adventures if he may.  But this is Blob Thing.  He might get carried away anyway.  It wouldn't be the first time!

Blob Thing had been enjoying walking round Hexagon Abbey.  Everything was so pretty and he could almost sense the air resonating with the voices of the thousands who worshipped God there over a thousand years, lifting themselves to heaven in hymns and prayers.  The air was rich with the memories of sacred moments, coexisting between each molecule, to be breathed in or seen or even heard by anyone open to the idea of bringing those memories into the sea of their own being.

Then Blob spotting something exciting.  There, in the middle of the church, were some steep steps leading downwards.  It looked like they led back in time into a forgotten past.  And the air down there looked to be even richer and each particle bounced against each other particle and sang out of the lives and deaths and purposes of every person who had walked there in that past, or knelt before an altar and cried out to their God for mercy, or blessing, or in thankfulness for the harvest, or for their families, or perhaps even for surviving a Viking raid.

Blob almost had no choice.  He was under a compulsion.  He had to go down the steps and explore what lay below, to touch the walls and to seek even to become one with the past, to see those men of faith live lives of piety - and sometimes lives far from true piety.  Blob Thing felt that he might be able to join them in those lives and to know by intuition a little of what it would have been like to worship among them.

Blob Thing descended the stairs and at the bottom he sat and breathed in the air, letting the past between the molecules enter him.  He doesn't quite have words for the experience but he recommends it.  While he's grateful to have the photos that follow he things that his person would have been much better off joining him in entering the past than she was in recording the present.

Blob opened his eyes again and before him saw an altar.  It didn't look like it was the original one but Blob knew that the original altar had stood on the same spot, 1300 years before.  That it was perhaps here that Saint Wilfred had brought holy relics of Saint Andrew.  He knew that he was walking where Anglo-Saxon monks had walked before him and prayed.  Blob could feel their presence lingering in the infinite spaces.  He could almost hear and see them and was able to catch just a glimpse of a robed abbot raising the Host high at a Mass that had been celebrated in AD 698.  Blob isn't saying how he can be so exact about the year.

Blob Thing wanted to become even closer to the past.  He sat on the altar and let himself fall further into the background in hope that the distant days would become the now.  Remembrance becoming a bringing forward of the past into the presence - just as the Catholics claim is happening each time there is remembrance in their Masses.  The ancient abbot would be bringing the death and resurrection of Jesus into his present - if he believed in the story.  Blob would be bringing the abbot's re-enactment of Jesus into his present. 

Blob has lots of thoughts about the Jesus story.  His person's room still contains quite a lot of Jesus books, even though she no longer goes to church or believes the things she used to.  Blob Thing has read some of the books - or at least browsed them.  There are some he is very impressed with and others which he looks at and wonders why his person ever believed the things she did.  He is glad that she has been able to move on.  The Jesus she believed in didn't really bring her happiness.

Blob walked further round the special crypt and touched the walls.  He was able to sit in the walls too in a little hole between the bricks.  It was then that he noticed something that was, to his mind, even more amazing than anything that had gone before.  The walls.  The walls.  Oh, how good the walls felt.  They told of an even more distant past.  Because while the sacred altar room was Anglo-Saxon, the bricks that made up the crypt were Roman.  Yes, Roman.  Blob was so pleased and surprised that he happily flapped about it so much that he almost fell out of the hole he was sitting in.

Some of the stones even had ancient Roman inscriptions.  One of them was over 1800 years old.  It talked about "Emperor Lucius Septimus Severus Pius Pertinax and his sons the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius Pius Augustus and Publius Geta Caesar" but there were words missing and it didn't get as far as talking about the things they did.  Blob has been researching it a bit and is over-excited to discover that some of the missing words are about a murdered emperor and how his name had to be erased.  That's a big story.

Blob Thing notes that today we have politicians who spend a lot of time being nasty about each other rather than spending their time getting on and trying to do good things.  He hears parliamentary debates quite often on the radio after his person falls asleep and every day people are very mean.  Especially in the debates where the actual leader of the country is being asked questions.  The last leader was mean.  He said too many things that had no substance in order to insult good people.  The present leader doesn't seem to be turning out any better.  Blob believes that the leaders of the country need to stop being like that.  Sometimes when he hears the debates he feels very ashamed that such things are allowed to continue.

Unfortunately Blob Thing can't do anything about it.  He's not entitled to vote, let alone to join any political party or campaign as an independent candidate.  He probably wouldn't want to do it anyway.  He doesn't feel that his calling is to lead the country and he knows he probably wouldn't have the necessary gifts to manage it.  He knows his calling is to be the best possible autistic little pink blob that he can.  Others may lead.  Blob must be true to himself.  He will never become Prime Minister.

Our leaders may be mean people when they are leading.  But at least the leaders in our country aren't going round murdering each other and trying to erase the names of party leaders they have murdered.  Not literally anyway.

It was time to leave the crypt.  Blob Thing looked back up the steep stairs, out of the half-light of the below and into the three-quarters light of the above.  From the stairs he could see a beautiful stained glass window.  Light shone into Hexagon Abbey from outside.  Maybe that's a picture too.  The abbey being a place of darkness filled with people who go there to seek the light when a much greater light is found outside the abbey.  Perhaps it is a picture of people of faith missing the point, finding some light and holding true to it, while missing the Light.  Blob will stop this paragraph right now.  He's got wildly carried away with his spirituality too many times recently.  He's determined not to do it again.  Blob's person has to admit that for a small pink toy who is still less than seven months old, Blob has an amazingly developed spiritual outlook.  It's more developed than her own!

Blob looked at the time.  He knew that he and his person would have to go and catch the bus home very soon.  That was disappointing.  Even with his earlier worries it had been a fantastic day.  And now it was over.  Except it wasn't.  There was one more adventure to be had before heading to the bus with lots of memories - and with some charity shop purchases too.

[1446 words.  Damn!  Blob wasn't planning on writing much at all today.  He and his person have things to do and they need to get ready to go out now and seek out life in abundance this day.]