Hurrah for Horrible Histories!

I’ve had a little girl off school this past week with a nasty tummy bug. For the last few days, to keep her active little brain occupied, Chip has been watching videos on DVD and youtube (with supervision, I hasten to add). One of the gems of British children’s television has to be Horrible Histories (I confess it is not just a source of knowledge for kids), and one of the best bits of Horrible Histories has to be the Kings and Queens of England song. Chip and I are still learning the words but perhaps you’ll do better:

EMDR 5: Deja Vu – Haven’t We Been Here Before?

I had my second EMDR session two days ago. It knocked me sideways again, but it’s supposed to. Here we go again. I’m sure I’ve been here before… No wonder I ended up with PTSD.

At many times in the past I’ve managed to keep going by laughing. Adrian Plass’ books saw me through some tough times, radio comedies Just a Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and The News Quiz have given me something to laugh at when I couldn’t do much else, and my Red Dwarf DVDs have made me smile more times than I can count. I’ve no idea why this is what works for me, but it does. At least, it stops me from climbing into the cupboard and pretending the world doesn’t exist. I can’t do that anyway; I have a family to take care of. I’m glad of that, too, because there have been so many times when, if it weren’t for the children, I’d have given up altogether :-/

Children truly are a gift from God, even when they’re being ‘orrible! They make the world a better place. If adults learned how to be more like children, and more able to laugh at themselves, maybe there wouldn’t be so much anger and sadness in the world.

Our family share meals together at the table every day. Frank and I believe it’s a very important part of family life. Lately at the dinner table the children have been exploring what makes a joke a joke. This is not as simple as it sounds. Prince has autism and Chip may have Asperger’s – we’re trying to get a diagnosis. They’ve both been attempting to extrapolate the components of ‘Doctor, Doctor’ and ‘Knock, Knock’ jokes. This is taking some time because their literal minds just don’t ‘get’ the idea of double-meaning, without which these simple jokes don’t function. I’m not sure you can extrapolate humour… Yesterday our fish pie dinner led to some fishy humour (pun intended).

Fluff: “Why don’t haddock eaters go to church?”

Me: “I don’t know. Why don’t haddock eaters go to church?”

Fluff: “Because they don’t believe in cod!”

Prince smiled, recognising that this was an attempt at humour. He decided to join in.

Prince: “Why don’t cod eaters go to church?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Prince (with an enormous grin): “Because they don’t believe in salmon!”

He then went through the same thing with a variety of fish, at which point Fluff and I couldn’t help laughing. Prince knew the jokes weren’t funny, but he also knew he was making us laugh, so he carried on. Chip decided to join in.

Chip: “Mummy, is this a joke? Doctor, doctor, I keep getting a headache!”


Me: “Go on then – doctor, doctor, I keep getting a headache!”

Chip: “Then go and eat some fish!”

Fluff and I completely collapsed into giggles. I love my kids. They are a real blessing. Laughter is balm for the soul.

Something else that has been keeping my humour meter topped up (and hence helping me not to completely crack up with the bombardment of memories following the EMDR):

They Say Laughter is the Best Medicine

Humour has been such an important part of my healing. I have had the wonderful pleasure this afternoon of listening to the wonderful, inimitable Pam Ayres on BBC Radio 4 Extra. I can’t count the number of laugh-out-loud moments this particular episode contains:

For my non-UK readers, here’s one you can enjoy:

and another…

Still Giggling

The saying goes that laughter is the best medicine. Words cannot express how true this is for me! Laughter (when it is not at someone else’s expense) can be genuinely healing, a release from weary cynicism, sometimes even an expression of joy. If there is one thing we Brits know how to do it is to laugh at ourselves. There is a grand tradition of witty cynicism and intelligent repartee stemming from Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde to my all-time-favourite the late great Tony Hancock. In more recent times we have the likes of Bridget Jones, Jack Dee, Victoria Wood, French & Saunders, Paul Merton, Sarah Millican, Sandi Toksvig, Miranda Hart, Ross Noble… the list goes on and on. To misquote Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ‘How do I love thee, BBC Radio 4 comedy? Let me count the ways…’ During some of the most troubled times of my life, the gift of laughter has been the one thing that carried me through. For this I thank God! Of particular worth to me personally have been the Sacred Diaries series by the wonderful Adrian Plass. Here’s an extract:


**’Wednesday December 25th

…Gerald and Anne and I left for the Christmas service. 

Enjoyed it all very much except for a point halfway through the prayer-time, when George Farmer, who was sitting behind me, stood up and began to swing his fist from side to side as he prayed fervently for goodwill among God’s people.

Suddenly felt a heavy blow on the side of my head and slumped forward, momentarily stunned. Shook my head to clear it, and realised to my amazement that Farmer was still ranting on as if nothing had happened!

Didn’t feel much good will.

I said to him afterwards, “I forgive you for punching me in the head, George.”

He said, “Did I really do that?”

Gerald said, “Yes, you did. It was on your twenty-fifth ‘just’ – I was counting.”


I can’t help but inwardly smile whenever I hear someone ‘just’ praying… Why do UK Christians insert the words ‘just’, ‘Lord’ and ‘really’ into their prayers so much? We’re just so thankful, Lord, really just for your blessings, Lord, and we ask that you, Lord, just really fill our hearts today, Lord, just fill our hearts with your love, Lord. Really just fill our hearts, Lord. These prayers are like meringues – mostly air o_O Hmm. Maybe there are more virtues than I at first perceived in the practice of silent prayer…?


**’I could be a really good Christian if other people didn’t mess it up all the time.

I’ve noticed this before…’


Just for fun, here’s Ross Noble at his insanely brilliant best:




**From The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass (Aged 37 3/4) by the inimitable Adrian Plass

10 Second Sermons

Comedian Milton Jones’ book 10 Second Sermons is witty, entertaining and insightful. Here are a few snippets that made me smile:

“There are lots of versions of the bible. AV, NIV, RSV… the easiest to use is the PVC version – you just stretch it to say whatever you want it to.”

Funnily enough, I have come across folk- who read the PVC bible. Have you? Mind you, then there are others whose bible is pure concrete, no room for anything as flexible as Grace, or Mercy…

Here’s another:

“You have to remember that the bible is often a translation of someone trying to communicate the indescribable.”

Indeed. Balaam’s donkey being one of the most fascinating examples.

“Hearing God’s voice is often like trying to hear a satnav that you’ve locked in the boot of your car because you thought you wouldn’t need it.”

I can relate to that. The number of times I have said to God, “I’m fine! I looked it up on the map before I started. No, no, really, look, I’m fine!”

Some time later I find myself repentant and lost.

Finally, this little gem:

“Church should be everyone arriving with one piece of the jigsaw.”


You can buy Milton Jones’ 10 Second Sermons here.