Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Captain Cooks!

What did i do yesterday?   ... made another batch of cakes for the freezer - for the packed lunches - and dead-headed the balcony flowers.  I found it depressingly difficult to do the deadheading owing to being so crippled in my left arm.   Jean and I got to see Maggie in the afternoon and got 2 weeks worth of a warm and loving welcome.   The Captain and I shopped this morning - Waitrose  - and I was out on the field service with one of the young pioneers this afternoon.  She is just back from a week's Pioneer Training Course and is really built up.

And the Captain will have his chef's hat on tonight as he cooks us a steak supper.  He does not trust me to cook steak (rightly so too, I like my meat very very well done - not a cheffy well done, but a proper well done.)  I am his sous-cook though and have laid the table and prepared and cut up the onions, mushrooms and tomatoes which will accompany the steak

And we have a bowl of fresh cherries for afters.  Waitrose have beautiful cherries in at the moment and I am doing some intensive research into whether or not it is possible to die of cherry poisoning.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Another Lovely Review of "Till they Dropped"

"Fantasy? Science Fiction? Magical Realism? This book is all of these. But it’s a thoughtful, imaginative, and ultimately terrifying cross genre piece that stirs both emotions and ideas.
We’re plunged into an undefined land, except that it must be the so-called civilised world, in an undeclared time, which must be the future. What is clear quite quickly is the sense of threat, unreality, turmoil and confusion. This is a nightmare place with few answers to the many questions posed.
We follow the progress, if progress it can rightly be called, of the young woman trapped in this consumerist empire ruled by autonomous machines and AI. The suggestion is that society’s overbearing urge to consume, buy, and own, has been usurped by the serving machines and AI, which have initially enabled this pointless activity, then encouraged it. Without the moral restraints of humanity, the machines, guided by AI, decide that consumers may be fair game for consumption.
This world is depicted with great imagination and superb imagery. The relentless attempt to escape the banal but murderous entity that shopping has become is described with brief flashbacks that explain how this all came about.
A nightmare, brought to life, and populated by the innocents left in this world by previous generations of unthinking, greedy, selfish consumers. Beware!"

I found this lovely review of Till by the author Stuart Aken on my Amazon site. Such a lovely surprise, and thank you so much Stuart.  I have had some lovely thoughtful reviews and I appreciate every one of them.

Jean and I were out this morning on the work - in a lovely Close, and we had some good conversations and returned home tired but happy. it is a beautiful August day - blue skies and fluffy clouds. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

A Camberwell Beauty

A Camberwell Beauty has been seen at Burgess Hill!

So now I want to post the lovely poem Kingsley Amis wrote to his first wife.

Instead of an Epilogue
To H
In 1932 when I was ten
In my grandmother’s garden in Camberwell
I saw a Camberwell Beauty butterfly
Sitting on a clump of Michaelmas daisies.
I recognised it because I’d seen a picture
Showing its brownish wings with creamy edges
In a boy’s paper or on a cigarette-card
Earlier that week. And I remember thinking,
What else would you expect? Everyone knows
Camberwell Beauties come from Camberwell;
That’s why they’re called that. Yes, I was ten.
In 1940 when I was eighteen
In Marlborough, going out one winter’s morning
To walk to school, I saw that every twig,
Every leaf in the vicar’s privet hedge
And every stalk and stem was covered in
A thin layer of ice as clear as glass
Because the rain had frozen as it landed.
The sun shone and the trees and shrubs shone back
Like pale flames with orange and green sparkles.
Freak weather conditions, people said,
And one was always hearing about them.
In ’46 when I was twenty-four
I met someone harmless, someone defenceless,
But till then whole, unadapted within;
Awkward, gentle, healthy, straight-backed,
Who spoke to say something, laughed when amused;
If things went wrong, feared she might be at fault,
Whose eye I could have met for ever then,
Oh yes, and who was also beautiful.
Well, that was much as women were meant to be,
I thought, and set about looking further.
How can we tell, with nothing to compare?

Jean and I were out on the work on Saturday and we attempted to go to the Broadcast at the Hall, but something had gone wrong with the arrangements so it wasn't on.  We think most people were at the wedding on Saturday, including our keyholder and projectionist. And I drove to Angmering yet again - on Thursday - with Jennifer - our householder wants to see us again Thursday week. 
Today we went out for coffee after the meeting, and I ran Jean and Ann Marie back home afterwards. Jacks came for a fish and chip supper on Saturday night - she treated us - and lasted till 8 o'clock. So she is feeling a little better, thank God.   
We have been watching the Athletics, saying farewell to Mo Farrar and Usain Bolt.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Peach Blossom Moth

Peach Blossom, Thyatira batis
Our beautiful visitor last night was a Peach Blossom moth.  It had parked itself happily under our balcony light and posed nicely for Captain B.
Peach Blossom
I think I have blogged before about the beautiful names of moths.

Yesterday we took Jacks for a Waitrose shop and brought back coffees and had them together.  Today, health and weather permitting, Jean and I will be off on the field service.

My main preoccupation the last few days has been my own health. How right the Bible is about "three score years and ten".  How right it is about everything, thank God, or what would I have to look forward to, what hope would I have?

I now have extra meds to take and am glumly awaiting the call from my GP about my repeat blood test, which I am sure will not have been good.

Apart from shopping and providing a roast chicken dinner, yesterday was a day of little accomplished.  I didn't even start my studying for the week. I think I just slept and slept, exhausted by one shopping trip and one cooking session.

I have been re-reading Joyce Maynard's "At Home in the World".   Now that would be something to blog about, but I think it would be a very depressing blog. Its a sad story she has to tell.

But then aren't most people's lives sad, seen in retrospect?   How can we be truly happy cut off from our Creator, Jehovah?

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberry, Fragaria vesca
This pic that Captain Butterfly bought home on Friday - from Cissbury Ring - gave me a blog title. But I now have to find the blog to go with it.

I feel a bit like Beachcomber with his stunning tabloid headline:


Underneath it read: "The story to fit this sensational headline has not turned up yet."

The story to fit this lovely photo has not turned up yet, but maybe it will.   Though probably not this morning as I am just off to pick up Jean for the Field Service   - our group is joining the Kingdom Hall group this Saturday.  Its sunny, so Captain B is off to do his transect.  His sandwiches are all ready in the fridge.

In fact - and here is the thrilling part of the blog - they are yesterday's sandwiches - because HE FORGOT TO TAKE THEM.  (Don't try this at home.)

Before he left yesterday,  I did my usual checklist.  Have you got:
1  Your lunch?
2. Your phone?
3  Is it on Bluetooth (it took me a long time to stop saying Blackberry)?
4. Your money?
5. Your keys?

He answered "yes" to every one, but, after he had left, I found the box of cake and sandwiches sitting beside the fridge. It had been removed from the fridge, but not made it to the rucksack.

So I was worrying away about it - picturing his skeletal form being found in the Downs, his arm reaching desperately towards the last strawberry of summer...   but he rang during my Skype chat with Anne of the Cape, to tell me he had bought a pasty from a cafe.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Taking Latte with Miss Jackie

We shopped for ourselves and Jacks this morning and took some lovely Waitrose coffees to Jackie's and stayed for coffee and a chat.   And I watched this little video about my Northern hometown - a tramride through time.

If I did not already know what the Inspired Scriptures say, wouldn't I be looking now - trying to find the meaning in it all?  And how do you cope if you don't know?

The streets were so empty back then - I was also watching a tramride through Sheffield in the 60s - when I was a young teenager.     When I was out with Jean on the field service yesterday we were both talking about the traffic which, even in our sleepy little seaside town, seems worse than ever.

The rain the forecast promised for this morning has arrived on time, just before lunch.  I wonder if Jean will cancel our visit to Maggie, as it will involve getting very wet.

I know I have put this poem in my blog before, but its so wonderful, plus I have been re-reading "Young Thomas Hardy" by Robert Gittings.  And of course thinking of the old Sheffield makes me think of my young parents, as they were then. And going back further to when my mother was herself a young teenager during the war, and she and her school were evacuated to St.Leonards-on-Sea, just down the coast from us.

So, I give you:

by Thomas Hardy

I reach the marble-streeted town.
Whose "Sound" outbreathes its air
of sharp sea salts;
I see the movement up and down
As when she was there.
Ships of all countries come and go,
Bandsmen boom in the sun
A throbbing waltz;
The schoolgirls laugh along the Hoe
As when she was one.

I move away as the music rolls:
The place seems not to mind
That she - of old
The brightest of its native souls -
Left it behind!
Over this green aforedays she
On light treads went and came
Yea, times untold;
Yet none here knows her history -
Has heard her name.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Persecuted, but not Abandoned

Our Russian brothers and sisters are having such a hard time.  We are all praying for them. And the worldwide brotherhood is giving all the support it can.   But above all, we can trust in Jehovah with all our hearts.

Psalm 124:2-8
 “If Jehovah had not been with us
When men rose up to attack us,
Then they would have swallowed us up alive
When their anger was burning against us.
Then the waters would have washed us away,
The torrent would have swept over us.
The raging waters would have overwhelmed us.
May Jehovah be praised,
For he has not given us as prey to their teeth.
We are like a bird that escaped
From the hunter’s trap;
The trap was broken, and we escaped.
Our help is in the name of Jehovah,
The Maker of heaven and earth.”

After the meeting yesterday, a crowd of us went to Waitrose for coffee, and sat there talking so long we were joined by two brothers who had been out in the field service!

I drove Jean and Anne Marie home, and after that did nothing much at all - beyond get tea for the Captain et moi.   We had baked potato with salad - and sausages (Waitrose) for him.  I find myself less and less able to eat meat if I have to cook it myself.

And this is the last day of July - sunny - and not as wild and windy as yesterday. We are both tired after the weekend, and will hopefully be having a quiet day together. Col is at the other side of the dining table on his computer.  I have pies thawing our for our tea - beef for Himself and veggie for me - and have made some mushroom soup for our lunch.  And there is a load of studying, housework and paperwork to do.