Friday, 30 July 2010

Caterpillar dreams

Is cocooning a dreamless sleep?
Will Vic remember his caterpillar life when he emerges in Moth form?
If I get to live 'to time indefinite' in the earthly Paradise, will I find the answers to those questions?

Maggie and I were out on the doors this morning.  It was a slow and painful business due to my arthritic ankle, but at least I was able to drive us, for which I am grateful.   We did the rest of Maggie's magazine route and 3 of my return visits.  And I expanded my driving repetoire yet again, by taking Maggie to the big Sainsburys.

Jacks cooked us a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings, plus melon and cheeses and cheesecake.   And it rained for about 5 minutes.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Au Revoir to Bea

Col drove Bea back home this morning - while I did my studying, and the washing and some other housewifely things. 

Vic is still transmogrifying in his box.  Our darling little caterpillar has turned into a sulky adolescent - sleeps all day - won't speak to us.  Sigh.

They grow up so soon.

A lovely meeting at the Hall tonight.  I am taking Maggie on her calls tomorrow, so had better get myself off to bed.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Perfect Frame for Find Them?

I think so - and hope so.  But what does the artist himself think?

In time a picture should appear with this blog so that you can judge for yourselves.
We went over to Durrington this morning to pick it up - and it wasn't ready!  So we sulked off to do some shopping, which proved to be very profitable.  Bea found the dress (for the wedding) that she had been looking for for ages - and I was able to nip into Marks and Sparks and get some nice dips and nibbles for tonight as Jackie is coming over.  And then when we got back to the shop we were given a discount on the frame!

So we are all happy.  Plus Bea treated us to lunch at our local - and she bought me over three Agatha Christie's I don't have.  I am trying to rebuild my collection.

Our little lad is growing up

Vic is cocooning in the corner of his box!   Col is taking even more photographs.  I will ask for one for this blog, so you can decide which one of us he takes after.

Monday, 26 July 2010


Young Vic is still eating happily at his leaves, but not doing much else.   We seem to have acquired a sibling for him  when he achieves his moth persona.   A silvery something flew past my couch last night.  Without thinking I said 'Look! a moth' - then suddenly realised it might be - horror of horrors - a carpet moth.

But no. Col stayed calm and said that, yes, he had brought it in yesterday, to save it from something or other that was after it.   It joined us in the bedroom last night and nested on the bedside table.

I finished my July magazine round after the meeting yesterday - and Bea is on her way over.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

On the doors with Jean

On the doors with Jean this morning.   We met a very cross lady at one door.  'I can't believe' she snapped 'that i have had to lock up five - five! - dogs just to answer the door to you Jehovah's Witnesses'.

My thought was that, given she had  five dogs, she would always have to lock them up when someone rang the door bell, not just us.   Its kind of a lifestyle choice, not really the fault of the unfortunate bell-ringer.

However, we didn't say that as we are not there to upset people.   As far as we could tell, she is worried by the blood transfusion issue.  Perhaps she thinks that we might become very numerous and powerful and try to stop people having them?    If she would have talked to us, we could have set her mind at rest.  

As Christians we try to be 'no part' of the world - we don't even vote - so we have no political power or influence and can't force anyone to do anything.   All we can do is ask people to listen to us.  If they don't want to, that is it. We go away. We wouldn't want to force anything on anyone anyway. What would be the point of that?  It certainly would not be Christian to do so.

So I felt sad she wouldn't let us explain.  But overall we had a lovely morning and managed an hour and a half out there. It was very hot. And I hope we can work together next week.

I got back to find that Captain Butterfly had flown the coop.  In spite of his bad knee, he has gone off on a butterfly hike.  So I very lazily lunched off a packet of crisps, a choc ice, and a cup of tea - a bit like a child let loose in a sweet shop.  A rather elderly child of course

Friday, 23 July 2010

A new baby

We have a new love object in Vic the Vapourer moth - see the Captain's Log - although we haven't quite agreed on his/her name as yet.  He is very pretty, is eating his leaves in his little box, and was found crawling up our wardrobe.

The Captain is busy taking photographs of Vic in various cute poses - while I am knitting him a little woolly chrysalis for the winter.

He may be a cunningly disguised carpet moth - as in 'I will vapourise your new wool carpets' - but if so, please don't tell Captain Butterfly.

I had coffee with Audrey this morning - tea, strictly speaking - and Jean popped in this afternoon with wine and chocolates and biscuits and a thank you card for Col from her and Maggie.  He came to our rescue on Friday when I was unable to drive (I could hardly walk) and took them to Brighton.  

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The perfect frame

We went to the Frame Shop in Durrington and found the perfect frame for Dan's picture.  Dan - the groom - made us a present of an abstract he had painted - the one that Col uses as a screen saver.  Which was a lovely surprise, as we had intended to buy it along with one of Gabi's.   But we have to agree on a Gabi picture - so far we both like different ones. We are waiting for the one that we can agree on.  There can only be one unless we buy a bigger flat as we have limited wall space.

Anyway, we went to the shop.  We tried this frame and that frame.  Some clearly did not work. Some would do... but...

Then the guy said that he had got some rather unusual frame in this morning - and he brought it out to show us.  It is absolutely perfect. 

We get the picture back in a week and then I will ask El Capitano to photograph it, and put it up on my blog, and you can see if you think I am right.  I can't wait to see it.

That is such a good shop - and not expensive either.   The last time we went was with the enormous landscape that Brian did.  And once again we tried this frame - we tried that frame - some did not work - some were OK - then I looked round a corner in the shop and found a distressed cream frame that was just right.

Audrey and I were out on the doors yesterday - and had a good morning.  I found two people who I had been looking for since April.  I have called many times but they have never been at home.  One is already talking to us on a regular basis, so I can now safely leave that, and the other, a gentleman who recently lost his wife says he is going away for a month but we can call on him when he gets back.

I can't pretend I detected any wild enthusiasm, but who knows?

Then I took Audrey to the shops.  The traffic was awful - so I got lots of trialsome traffic dilemmas to (hopefully) hone up my driving skills.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

To Brighton and BACK

Well, after a lot of praying, and a lot of help from Maggie, I got my precious cargo safely to Brighton and back today and Saturday.   Lots of traffic tonight, as it was a sunny day in Brighton.  I don't think I will ever make a driver.  I find the roads in England terrifying, nothing like our cosy little expat camp.

Anyway, I think Jehovah must have answered my calls for help and got us there and back safely, for which I am deeply grateful.  I managed to get to Maggie's just after 6 this morning - and we arrived at the Brighton Centre at a quarter to seven.  That means an hour and a half wait before the doors open, but the point is that we get a premium spot in the carpark and are one of the first in the queue so we can get good seats.  It is always very full - there were 4,000 plus of us there today.   And there were 14 baptised yesterday.

Maggie likes to get a certain set of seats at the front, and although she isn't young (anymore than I am) I don't think that Seb Coe and Steve Ovett in their prime could get past her when those doors open. She is just a blur of scarfs as she heads for the seats we want (the scarfs are to mark the seats as ours) - I follow along in real time.

We then go and have a cup of tea and wait for the programme to begin.

The teaching gets better and better and clearer and clearer.  And the emphasis is very much on practical application of all that the Bible contains.

Our theme this year was 'Remain CLOSE to JEHOVAH'.

I got back here at 5.30 having dropped Maggie, Ken and Jean off, and even managed to make a hot dinner for Himself - who was out with his Metal Detector hat on today.

No Viking Hoards though.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Scooter Redux

The Berlin Walls between dog and cats and cat and cat are still in place, so we shared a bedroom and a catflap with Scooter.   She seemed to have forgiven and forgotten my kicking her off the bed last time we stayed - by accident I must quickly add in case I have any RSPCA lurkers! - and she woke me up every morning at about 5 to fetch her an early breakfast. 

I would be woken up by little claws pressing gently against my foot, then she would amble up to my arm and there would be a soft head butt and a purr.    And I would stumble out of bed and fill her saucer up with cat biscuits.

However, it all went wrong last night.  We were woken up at about 3.30 by Scooter chasing around our suitcase in hunting mode - and it turned out there was a baby mouse cowering behind the suitcase.

While i ran round like a headless chicken screaming Don't Panic, Don't Panic, Captain B surged manfully to the rescue.   I tried to distract Scoot with an extra early breakfast of cat biscuits, while he opened the door to the garden and tried to persuade the mouse through it.   Not to be fooled, Scooter made a run at it, so I grabbed her tail and Col grabbed her by the scruff.

The mouse got away and Scoot ran under the bed.

And I can see it only too clearly from the Scooterian viewpoint.   There she was, about to enjoy a midnight snack, when these two brutes in her bedroom suddenly attacked her...

Will she ever speak to us again?

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Wedding at Lilac Tree Farm

Back to Saturday, which was hot sunny, a perfect July day of blue sky and clouds.

Is there something special about July clouds?

The wedding went very well - the gardens at the Farm looked so lovely - and were decorated with ribbons and balloons.  I was once again the proud aunt of the bridegroom, Dan, who looked dashing, and a proud aunt-in-law of Gabi, the bride, who looked lovely.

We arrived at midday and took Gabi's parents to the Registery Office.  They are so young!  I haven't yet adjusted to being one of the older generation at the family occasions.

We stayed at Lilac Tree till gone - a late late night for me.  Its was wonderful sitting out there in the night garden with the bride and groom and the family - we couldn't tear ourselves away.

We met the best man, Ebbi, an old schoolfriend of the bridegroom, who made just the right sort of speech, short, funny and to the point.  We met (among others) Gabi's family from Poland, including her tiny youngest sister Emmie  - sweet and funny - and a very interesting lady called Janet, who made a fantastic cake - see the Captain's Log. It not only looked good - completely personalised for Danny and Gabi - but it tasted good too.

We bought some back to the bungalow and had it for lunch.

We are off to Jen's tonight - an old schoolfriend too.

The wedding party flew off to Poland today - the home of the bride - and are all set for more celebrations.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

in Grimpen Mire

Some people - Jane Fonda types - get to be On Golden Pond - but I found myself struggling in Grimpen Mire, with no Sir Arthur Conan Coyle to write me out of it.   We went to a reserve in Lincs on the way back from the wedding - which I shall blog about but not till I get the photos - which should be lovely (a great wedding) - we were looking for the Large Heath (which, counter-intuitively, is not a very large butterfly).

So we were looking for it in a large heath.  Be careful where you tread, said Col casually.   Why?

Its all swamp. 

Yes, it was.  And I found myself with my walking shoes sinking into the Mire, squelching along, while being badgered and bothered by large flies - attracted by the smell of insect repellent.   Oh, and having to watch Col hurl himself over barbed wire fences in pursuit of the Large Heath.  I might ask him for a photo for this blog too, given how much effort we put into it all.   He is watching The Match at the moment - no score as of yet - but the German octopus has apparently said Spain to win.

I wonder if it will agree to be the new England manager?

Thursday, 8 July 2010


We happily celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday, and went out with Jackie to an Italian restaurant and concert - Nicola Benedetti, who seems to get better and better - although I did think she was playing Mozart when it was Vivaldi.  But that was my tin ears not her playing.
We are up in my Northern hometown getting ready for the next family wedding, via an interesting drive incorporating various butterfly reserves - see the Captain's Log.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Packing again

We are off up North again tomorrow for the wedding at Lilac Tree Farm. The weather has changed today, its very cloudy. I am busy using up all the leftover veggies in a soup/stew for lunch and we go to a concert tonight with Jackie.  As it is our wedding anniversary, we are all having dinner at an Italian restaurant first.

Audrey and I did some first call work yesterday morning - delivering invitations to the upcoming 'Remain Close to Jehovah' Convention in Brighton.   And we also did some return visits - one of which proved to be very good as the lady we talked to said she would like to come to the Hall again for the public talk.

She liked what she heard.

And I took Audrey to the bank.

We walked in our local woodland in the afternoon - and shopped.

Retirement would be almost perfect, if it weren't for worrying health issues, and of course the 'increasing of lawlessness' worldwide, which is worrying, if expected - by those who pay attention to the Creator.   I was just reading the book by the Central Park Jogger - the lady who was so brutally attacked in Central Park and left for dead.

She is a tiny little thing, and it is amazing how she survived and what a recovery she has made.

Could I in similar circumstances?

Only - ONLY - if Jehovah helped me.  Not otherwise.  I don't have anything like her inner strength.   But I am very glad she has felt able to tell her story.

One interesting thing is that she - her name is Trisha Meili, and her book is 'I am the Central Park jogger' - remembers nothing about the attack.  She remembers turning down a dinner invitation from a friend at 5 o clock on the day of the assault - and then nothing until nearly six weeks later.  

That is how badly she was battered.   But at least the attack itself can't stay in her mind and hurt her - it is the damage it did her that she has to deal with - plus the affect on her family and friends.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Through the Looking Glass at Southwater

Hopefully there will be a wonderful portrait of a silver-washed fritillary, looking very determined and very Alice in Wonderland on my blog today, if Captain B remembers.

It puts me in mind of the Bread and Butter fly in Alice.

If you see it there, please think of the artistry and engineering that went into its creation.  Could something as wonderful as that really come about by a series of random accidents? 

The woods were alive with butterflies - they frilled and fluttered in every sunny corner.   We met 4 fellow enthusiasts, two pretty young girls and their horses (Shadow would have been thrilled to see horses - and woods) and a middle aged gentleman walking his two middle aged dogs.   Well, the dogs were more than middle aged. They were slow and elderly, like me on a bad arthritis day.  But given that there are baby deer in the woods, I was glad they weren't active dogs who were likely to go into hunting mode.

I have done nothing since - been lying on the sofa reading an absorbing biog of Tony Hancock, but hope to go off and do my studies now.

Captain B is in the kitchen making his ginger beer.

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Our visitors have now left - Julia yesterday afternoon, heading back up North before her return to Expatland, and Philip and Seppi left at lunchtime, heading back over the English Channel any time now.

It was lovely to see them all and it sort of worked out well having them at the same time (i can only hope it did for them).  And Jacks came over last night to join us for a roast chicken dinner.

We could do with another bedroom really, but short of Captain Butterfly (with his metal detector hat on) finding a Viking hoard or me writing a bestseller - thus enabling us to buy and expand into the flat upstairs - it isn't going to happen.

The four of us had a Skype chat with Bea this morning and then walked on the beach - a lovely morning too - and El Capitano has already left to butterfly on Cissbury Ring.  I am starting to tackle the washing mountain, reading a book about Everest, and chilling out.  I won't have to think about food or cooking for the next couple of days as the fridge is full.

I am not bothering to watch Wimbledon this afternoon as the outcome seems so predictable, but we are looking forward to the men's final tomorrow.