Messy Church

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Messy Adventures and Hairdryers

Posted by Lucy Moore on 19 Jun 2017 (2 comments)

Let it not be said that the Messy life is a dull one. A busy weekend for the team, with Martyn at a Meet-up in Chester, Jane running her own Messy Church, me in Durham on a Growing Messy Leaders Day for Durham Diocese with CPAS's Pam Macnaughton, then a Sunday with all of us plus Dr Dave and a team of keen Messy scientists to run the launch of Messy Church Does Science at the beautiful Ely Cathedral. The photos are up on our Facebook page - as you can see, it was a huge success in many different ways, and lovely to have Dr Dave himself with us and his equally scientific wife, Carolyn.

So much I could share, but you might most enjoy my Travelodge experience, out of Schadenfreude, if nothing else. Waking early in the heat of Saturday morning at the Scotch Corner Travelodge (because nothing beats the glamorous life of an itinerant Messy Churcher), I showered, dressed and popped down to reception to borrow the communal hairdryer. Getting back to my room, I found my door wouldn't open: the key wouldn't even turn. The receptionist came up with the master key, but still no action. Still in the wee hours, about 6.30, the manager came up with a sure-fire way of breaking in, involving shoving bits of plastic into the crevices of the door... but alas, the door remained resolutely shut. The panel came off with a screwdriver, but the lock, Alcatraz-like, remained locked. I dried my hair while we pondered what to do. 'I'm happy to climb up a ladder and get in through the window,' I suggested. 'We don't have a ladder and the windows only open a few inches,' was the gloomy reply. I was wearing DMs and thought of suggesting kicking the door in, but decided I would rather not damage the DMs, so kept quiet. Running through my head, like a liturgy of lament and mild panic, were the thoughts: 'I'm due in Durham at 8.30. My phone is in my room. I can't let Anne or Sharon (the organisers) know what's going on. My car keys are also in my room. I can't get to Durham. Everything I need for the training day is in the car: my laptop, the boxes of Messy materials, my notes... Can I do anything to make this situation any better? I can ask the Travelodge to google Sharon's mobile number and let her know what's going on. Then I shall just commit it all to God and count my numerous blessings, not the least of which is: hoorah, I didn't go to fetch the hairdryer in my pyjamas.'

The staff were very kind and gave me a breakfast box and bottles of water. They called the locksmith, but, after waiting for a non-existent reply, decided to put me in a taxi to Durham. I arrived late and with nothing on me except the clothes I stood up in (to everyone's relief), and by the grace of God, the fact that Pam had the PowerPoint presentation and the generous understanding of the Durham delegates, we had a great day. 

A lesson in depending on God rather than on material possessions.

Or in taking my own hairdryer with me next time.

Or indeed, in the total confidence that nobody, not even the CIA or MI5, will be able to break into your Travelodge room without actually dynamiting the door.