What I said in confession today

Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.

Do not fret, my child.  Who have you sinned against?

[*Thinks: I think you mean 'against whom have you sinned', Father, but we'll let that go for now.]  I've sinned against Tenby, Father, which is a nice little seaside town in Wales that never did me any harm.  I said before I went on holiday that it would be boring and that all there was there was an Old Wall and fish and chip shops and mackerel fishing which didn't even start until May and that I would rather be blogging in a Library anyway.  [Repressed sob.]

You're distressed, child.  Here you are.  I'm passing you a tissue through the grille.

Thank you, Father.  [Sniff. Blow. Sniff, sniff, blow.]

My child.  Where did you learn to blow your nose in a quickstep rhythm?

I suffered a lot of colds as a child but my mother still made me go to ballroom dancing classes even when I was ill.

Oh, I see.  Now, child, are you saying that you have realised the error of your ways?

Yes.  [Sniff.]  You see, I went to Tenby and ... and ...  I enjoyed myself.

A little louder, my child.  

I enjoyed myself.

I'm sorry - you'll have to speak up.  This grille is dusty.  I must have a word with the cleaner.

I enjoyed myself, Father.

But that's wonderful!  That's what you go on holiday for!  Tell me some more about the lovely things you did.

I read a whole newspaper every day.

I see.  And ....

I ate a rum and raisin icecream approximately every three hours.

Er ... newspapers and icecream.  Lovely, lovely.  Anything else?

I read five books.  One after the other.  Boom.  Boom.  Boom.   Or maybe, book, book, book.

Books.  Good, good.  And did you go for some long walks along the coastal path?

No.  But I said goodbye to my husband nicely when he set off for some.  I said I hoped he would have a nice time.

That's great, that's great.  Did you go on a boat?  I hear there is a lovely island there with monks on it.  I'm sure you'd have wanted to visit the monks.

No.  I get seasick.  No disrespect to monks.  But I said goodbye nicely to my husband when he set off on the boat trips.  And I bought a postcard with a picture of a saint on it and sent it to a friend.

Bless you, my child, bless you, for keeping the faith while you were on holiday.  And what other holiday activities did you partake of?  Did you go on the beach?

[*Thinks* I think you mean, 'Of what other holiday activities did you partake?' but we'll let that one go, too.]  No, Father, but there was a great cafe overlooking the beach which sold pieces of lemon cake about four feet square, so I sat in there and watched everyone else eating home-made cheese sandwiches with bits of beach in them.

No swimming?

I tried the swimming costume on before I went but it got stuck at the knees and refused to go further, so, no, Father.  I did go to an aquarium, though, and see fish swimming.  That was quite tiring, as the aquarium was up a hill.

And what about the blogging in the Library?

I went to the Library and it blocked all the blogs saying it didn't allow access to chat rooms as they were unsuitable.  I was gutted.  My husband had to buy me another icecream to help me get over it even though it had only been 30 minutes since the last one.

Well, maybe the break from blogging was a good thing, my child.  You seem to have had a lovely time, even without it.

I know.  It was a revelation, Father.  Maybe not as good as St John's in the Bible ...

No, I suppose not, child ... 

Maybe nearly as good, though?

No, child, that would not really be an appropriate thing to say.  You realising that blogging is not essential for life is not quite the same as what happened to St John on Patmos.

Well, never mind.  It was a good revelation anyway, even if it doesn't get a capital R.  And it was sunny all week, Father.  That makes it all so much worse.  I can't forgive myself for being so horrible to Tenby.  It was so nice to me.  What can I do in penance?

Ah, now, child.  That's difficult.  Not many people ask how they can be forgiven for insulting a Welsh seaside town.  Let me just look it up in the index.  All I have here is 'insulting a Welsh person'.  Did you do any of that?

I don't think so, Father, although if the lady on the bus who went to sleep with her mouth wide open and her legs apart was Welsh, I wasn't very nice about her.

Let's use that one, then.  Right.  I need you say three Hail Marys.

Three Hail Marys.

Er ... no, no.  Not like that.  One after the other. 

Hail ...

No, no.  You don't do this very often, do you?  You must do this when you get home, when you are praying on your own.

Oh, okay.

And then I think you should write a blog post - do you know how to do that?

Yes, Father.

And tell everyone how sorry you feel about being horrid about Tenby.

Yes, Father.  I will.

Good, my child.  Do you feel better?

I do, Father.

Great, because I happen to have booked myself a fortnight in Tenby next month.   Where do you get the rum and raisin icecreams?


  1. I 'spect that poor priest has gone on retreat - or, at least, will do when he sees you coming!

    Wonderful post, Fran. L.O.L. funny. Glad you had a great hol.

  2. Great to have you back, and obviously on good form. How will those poor people in Tenby entertain themselves now that you're gone?

    Strange word verification:- lyingeel

  3. I think you got away very lightly with only 3 Hail Marys..... I think you should have been given a whole rosary to say, in Welsh......

  4. Moptop - thanks. As long as he doesn't get seasick, I know some monks who would be pleased to see him.

    Martin - If Tenbyfolk found me reading newspapers and eating icecream entertaining, I'd be very surprised. I found it HUGELY entertaining, but it's all perspective, in the end.

    Rachel - that would be punishment indeed. Although I did find myself slipping into the accent by the end of the week and said 'fesh' instead of 'fish' on the last day. I caused myself great amusement. (No change there, then.)

  5. Don't worry, there ain't nowhere more magnanimous than Tenby. Though I've heard that Whitby is also pretty forgiving.

  6. Hi Me!! (If you say that really fast, it sounds almost ethnic, don't you think?)

    Gad, I missed you. Couldn't believe my luck that you were there to kick off my weekend. My laughter, which started at a simmer, went to a rolling boil at the beach & cheese sandwiches (say THAT one fast and see what you get) and spilled over on the stovetop at the Welsh woman with her legs spread.

    This was fabulously funny. Glad you had such a good time, although even if it had been lousy, you would have made it worth reading about anyway.

  7. Now there's a great way to spend a holiday and it didn't even rain last week!

  8. Steve - I will book a week in Whitby immediately.

    Deborah - Hi You! Thank you for missing Me. And for writing such great comments.

    Friko - Nope! The only time I got wet was when the rum and raisin icecream ran down my sleeve in the heat of the sun ....

  9. Haha! Love this, Fran! D'you think standards in seminaries have slipped to allow priests to use such incorrect grammar?

    Glad you had a good time in Tenby and that you can actually confess to it! :)

  10. Sin on. Tenby deserves all the crap it gets.

  11. Talli - They've slipped everywhere else, so no doubt.

    Brennig - Did it rain when you went?

  12. Had to Google 'Being Me Fran' to find you again - you came out top of the list of 1,180,000 results!

  13. InvisibleWoman - thank you for looking! I had to try it out myself, but I only came 2nd when I did it. Pff.

  14. I told you Tenby was great, I think, did I? If I didn't I should have done, or, just for you, should of.

  15. Oooh, Elizabethm, that's cruel! You shouldn't of done it.

  16. I love Tenby - our Sunday school trip always used to end up there.


  17. I'm glad you had a good time. "No, child, that would not really be an appropriate thing to say. You realising that blogging is not essential for life is not quite the same as what happened to St John on Patmos." -That was hilarious!

  18. Suzanne - hi! It's funny - just about everyone (in the UK anyway) has a story about Tenby. Every person I've spoken to since I got back says 'oh, I always went there with Gran' or 'we used to camp there every summer'. I like the way you say 'always used to end up' ... are you implying that this wasn't on purpose?...

    Mark - glad you appreciated my Patmos joke. I was (sadly) proud of that one.

  19. I can't believe I've never considered a vacation in Tenby before. It sounds like a lovely place. You can say good bye to your husband and he sets off on his own for long walks and boat trips? Sounds perfect to me. LOL

  20. Lesley - we've been holidaying like that for years. It's kept our marriage alive.

  21. Anonymous3/5/10 17:30

    St John didn't blog?



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