An eccentric absurdity

15 Aug 2022
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Last Sunday I attended a Carol service in a small chapel a couple of miles away down a narrow country lane. It began with the preacher saying “I welcome you all to our Carol service in July” and, after a momentary pause, she added “How eccentric is that?” Later on in the service, she referred to its being an “eccentric absurdity”, admitting that she had deliberately not asked us to sing In the Bleak Midwinter as that was a step too far!

 

I looked up the meanings of “eccentric”- unconventional or slightly strange- and “absurdity” - the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable.

As we sang Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem and the like, through the window I glanced the blue sky and piles of hay in the graveyard. It occurred to me then that service was certainly unconventional, rather than ridiculous, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

 

After the service, we gathered outside in the sunshine to partake of the mince pies and Christmas cake on offer. It was then that I noticed one member of the congregation emerging from the chapel. He was a Father Christmas lookalike complete with long white beard and sporting a bright red shirt with a Christmas pattern on it. He had really entered into the spirit of things which brought a smile to my face!

 

I like being unconventional. When my grandson was born, I decided I would not be called Granny, Grandma or Nanny (this last one reminds me of a goat) so chose Oma, a word of Germanic origin. I spent my working life as a teacher and had to conform, so now I enjoy the freedom of not having to toe the line. My choice of clothes nowadays is completely different  –  I enjoy wearing maxi dresses and skirts  (which remind me of my hippie-influenced teens!) And still on the topic of clothes, when I was confirmed at the age of 11, I refused to obey convention by wearing a modest all white outfit, choosing a green mini dress instead. I think deep down I have been a natural rebel all my life!       

 

So do you like being different? Would you describe yourself as eccentric or do you think others see you as that? Are you a rebel?

 

And the reason for a Carol service in July? In 2009, the Big Freeze made it impossible for the usual Carol service to be held at the end of December. So it was decided to delay it until the Summer months. The congregation enjoyed it so much that it’s been held every July ever since!

Welshgirl

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

vicky

Aug. 16, 2022, 5:26 a.m.

Good morning , your blog today was just what I needed sometimes we need to feel we are not the only eccentric around and I love the carol service in July how wonderful ! Ive been quite swept up in coping with grief and loss but have arrived at a good place now and am starting to rebuild ,my 'odd' thing is i'm just going through the second year of a themed Christmas tree ...I read the Queen keeps hers up till Candlemas I thought that would now be for me , February the 2nd came and thought its nearly valentines day ! and so we go Valentines, fabulous red love hearts ,the Spring lovely spring flowers and bunnies , then Summer[ which i particularly like ]a Cocktail bar tree with parrots and garlands and blue flashing lights, next will be Halloween and then ofcourse its original Christmas purpose Its in my own personal living /bedroom so I can enjoy it just myself !! Ha HA

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Mary Wednesday

Aug. 16, 2022, 5:44 a.m.

Oh, that's absolutely wonderful! I hope you have your lights up too!

Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:23 p.m.

Thank you Vicky for your reply. I agree with Mary -how wonderful! It’s given me an idea now!

the room above the garage

Aug. 16, 2022, 5:26 a.m.

I love this beautiful absurdity so much I’d like to sell up and move there! C’est magnifique.

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Vivien

Aug. 16, 2022, 9:48 a.m.

Me too!!

Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:25 p.m.

Excellent! I’m glad you, and so many others on here, like absurdity as much as I do!

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 16, 2022, 5:43 a.m.

As a Style Consultant, I encourage my clients to dress in a way that expresses their inner being. For some, like you, that dress is unconventional. In fact, my advice to some people is, "Never buy anything ordinary!" My own style is neat, pretty, quirky and fun. My husband, who prefers a more classic look, once said, in plaintive tones, "I love my wife but I wish she would dress more elegantly." For me, however, dressing in a classic, elegant style means I look so boring I become invisible. We need to honour who we are in everything we do, and that includes our appearance.

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:35 p.m.

I could not agree more with you Mary, and thank you for your reply.

Sally

Aug. 16, 2022, 5:43 a.m.

I love being unconventional. It’s one of the good things my family was. No two days the same, impulsive decisions to just take off. Best ever was Christmas in the mountains in a big chalet- type hotel . Lots of us children, we made our own fun, sat at the same tables, and so on.Little friends from Belgium who said “ Plaît-il? instead of the Swiss- French “ Pardon?” Or “Excuse-moi? “ The teens like my brother ate at a long teens table. On news years eve, the patronne came by with a tot of kirsch for all the teens “ to break the ice” she said . Not as radical as it sounds as there was wine and Kirsch in the cheese Fondue as it was . My brother really came out of his shell !

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:37 p.m.

Thank you Sally for retelling such a lovely story!

Teg

Aug. 16, 2022, 6:54 a.m.

Hi Welshgirl I really enjoyed reading your unconventional Post. I fully appreciate the need to break with convention. However I am not someone who does it very often. I think my SOH can be a little unusual--full of puns and silliness. There have been many people who are natural convention breakers but sometimes have found it difficult to fit in to society's norms. But they have been entertaining! Do not change your local absurdities; there is enough ordinariness in the world. Thanks for the entertainment. Txx

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:40 p.m.

Thank you Teg for replying. I have found breaking with convention has become easier for me as I have got older!

Jul

Aug. 16, 2022, 7:05 a.m.

Hello Welshgirl I can't imagine anyone admitting to or describing themselves as 100% conforming and conventional. I am sure we all consider ourselves rebellious,some more than others. Eccentric is different. I wouldn't describe myself eccentric but definitely someone who has never conformed to what society expects of me particularly after school, at university and more as the years go by. My clothes , long hair are signs I don't conform. I had peers at school who were rebellious; they wore short skirts and misbehaved, got their big brothers to drive them around in fast cars at the weekend!.I was tempted to get in with their crowd because I felt left out and boring. I really liked your blog Welshgirl. I think you'll get some interesting replies.Jul xx

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:46 p.m.

Thank you Jul for your interesting reply. Being brought up in a small town in North Wales in which four generations of my family had been born and bred, and where everyone knew who I was, made it difficult for me to be rebellious. However, I did do a few unconventional things in my youth, and even more when I moved away at the age of 18 and could really let my hair down!

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 16, 2022, 8:12 a.m.

I love this Welshgirl…I love that you get to have a carol service in July - and can sing your hearts out…maybe Christmas carols are not just for Christmas!! I love Vicky’s all-year-round Christmas tree - such fun - but am thinking as ours lost most of the needles when we moved it from it’s place, it would be a stick by now!! Not sure if I’m eccentric - I know I’m daft as a brush at times and friends know that. Many find my wild swimming antics eccentric because of continuing it during the colder months…but to all the other swimmers, it’s freeing and ‘normal’!! I’m probably conventional in my dress, the home….but I do like my fairy lights up in my kitchen all year round - makes it a happy kitchen! The same friends who find my swimming behaviour strange, think the same for the fairy lights!! So maybe I am eccentric. Thank you for a lovely blog - really enjoyable. Love and Bear hugs x x x

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vicky

Aug. 16, 2022, 8:22 a.m.

the tree itself is my now deceased mum and dads i always have a real one in the lounge but put mum and dads one in the hallway so it has

Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:12 p.m.

Thank you Bear. I am a fan of fairy lights too. In the summer, I set up lots of solar garden lights and often sit on the garden bench when it’s dark to enjoy seeing them.

vicky

Aug. 16, 2022, 8:20 a.m.

your replies are wonderful what a nice warm feeling this blog creates

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:09 p.m.

Thank you Vicky, you have said it much better than I could have done!

JO

Aug. 16, 2022, 9:10 a.m.

I like the question about whether I like being different which assume I am already! But I don’t really like being different most of the time. At the school gates I wish I could fit in and be like the other mums. At church I wish I could be like the other people there…and by the way they are completely different sorts of people! And I don’t really know what makes me me so I never really feel comfortable. But then sometimes I dress up in my ‘gypsy’ look with big hoop earrings, big eye make-up and a scarf around my head-I love that look of me but literally that is a once in a year occurrence! Generally it’s trackie bottoms if not at work and smart (boring) casual if I am! Thanks for the post

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:22 p.m.

Thanks Jo for your reply. So sorry to read that you never feel comfortable and sending out positive thoughts in your direction.

Richard

Aug. 16, 2022, 9:11 a.m.

Although it may seem eccentric to be sing carols in July in Summer. As an Australian celebrating Christmas in Summer I always found singing most carols and festive songs about snow, ect odd if not eccentric.

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Richard

Aug. 16, 2022, 9:11 a.m.

Although it may seem eccentric to be sing carols in July in Summer. As an Australian celebrating Christmas in Summer I always found singing most carols and festive songs about snow, ect odd if not eccentric.

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:28 p.m.

Thank you Richard for your reply. I had never really given the “Christmas in Summer” idea much thought until we went to New Zealand in February a few years ago and enjoyed real summer weather!

Vivien

Aug. 16, 2022, 9:56 a.m.

Hi Welshgirl, I love your blog. Fantastic. A chance to move away from routine and stuffiness - I love it! The singing of carols reminds me of when I was organising Mum's funeral. I spoke to my sisters and asked if there was anything that they felt would be appropriate. My middle sister came back and said' Mum loved 'Once in Royals David's City', maybe we should have that??' I thought, great, what fun especially as the funeral was in mid-July! However, our eldest sister said 'oh no, you can't have that at a funeral. Most inappropriate' This was duly noted and when discussing things with the funeral director et al, it certainly bought a smile to his face. On the day of the funeral, the Minister asked if anyone had any choice of music. My middle sister and I looked at each other and smiled. Our eldest sister looked daggers at us. Tee hee!!!

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:32 p.m.

Thank you Vivien for your reply. On a similar note, at my father’s memorial service, held in his local church, the last piece of music was “Ernie, the fastest milkman in the West” by Benny Hill. Watching the choir process down the aisle laughing, followed by the family mourners doing the same, was something that dad would have loved!

Vivien

Aug. 16, 2022, 3:51 p.m.

Hi Welshgirl, this is absolutely brilliant. I would have been chuckling as well! Take care

Orangeblossom

Aug. 16, 2022, 10:49 a.m.

Thanks for the great blog, uplifting, cheering & a celebration of who we are. I have described myself as ‘a protesting, Protestant, a non-conforming non-conformist & a dissenting dissenter’. It isn’t particularly acceptable to some people who edge away from me.

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:34 p.m.

Hi Orangeblossom, I think you and I are very alike in our thoughts about ourselves! Thank you for your reply.

Jane

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:44 p.m.

Oh what fun to celebrate our differences and unconventionalities! What joy!

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:48 p.m.

I agree Jane!

The Gardener

Aug. 16, 2022, 12:45 p.m.

I love this, the quirkiness - always so sad that those lovely hymns/carols only heard once a year. Tunes might fit other times, words not. I do not obey age/dress rules, absolutely delighted wedding outfit, totally new for me. Will have to frame the hat. At the moment I cannot get out of UK quick enough. Hotel appalling (been here for years) manager treating me like a me like a fool, greasy, superior (him). It is still half full of Afghan refugees, paud for by the government. OK, but they must be being paid so well that they are not bothering to make sure that people like me would want to come back. My friends who should be will me struck down with Covid, so we can't abandone here for a good pub. I have no car - sorry to use your blog for a good moan, something I disaprove of! xx

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 1:07 p.m.

Thank you Gardener - I am now imagining the most wonderful hat! I’ve always thought of the Moodscope blog as a safe space to have a good moan. One of my daughters uses the term “venting” rather than “moaning”and we all need a good “vent” from time to time!

Patty

Aug. 16, 2022, 6:43 p.m.

What a wonderful idea! I'll bet you really enjoyed that Christmas in summer. I would not say that I am a rebel, but I do like to do things that are creative and clever. I tend to follow others. I'd like to say I'm more a rebel, but I'm not. My sister tends to play to the beat of her own drum. That's okay because we're just all different.

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Welsh girl

Aug. 16, 2022, 8:27 p.m.

Thank you Patty for your reply. I am a creative person too and see creativity very much as an expression of individuality.

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