Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Exhaustion and a very blue Channel

The English Channel. late afternoon, yesterday, was a wonderful calm blue, with a layer of  pale pink sky above it and then soft blue grey fluffy clouds - tenderly beautiful.  And yet a storm was raging over East Coast America - various facebook friends have been posting their experiences.  And Captain Dive Trip tells me that the Indian Ocean is stormy.  Worry worry.

I am still exhausted.  Audrey and I did just over a hour on the door to door work yesterday, and now I can barely stand up.  Its frightening to be so debilitated by a short walk.

Our first door was the local Vicarage.  You do it said Audrey.  I'm not ready I panicked. Fortunately I had my Bible verse - Matthew 24:14 - ready by the time the door opened.  It was the local Vicar.  And it was not a warm welcome.  I wasn't even allowed to read one verse from the Bible.

I will read it now, as none of his parishioners would let me read it either.

"And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

My question is this. What is it that will end, according to the Bible?

Clearly not this lovely earth, as the meek are going to inherit it and "reside forever upon it".

A related question is: what is the Kingdom of God?   A question beautifully answered in the November edition of The Watchtower.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bonfire Morning

If I were a great painter, I would be producing a series of paintings of this morning.  If I were Bea, I would be doing it in glowing silks. As it is, I will have to try to paint it in words.

I got up very early.  There was a blanket of black cloud above us, seeming to touch the tops of the terraced houses.  And there was a curly bank of cloud on the horizon like low hills. Between the cloud and the cloud was an area of pale pale blue sky with a tiny bit of pink as the sun started to burn below the horizon. And the bonfire still burned on the dark Green, sending up smokelike clouds.   Then the sky got redder and redder and the colour began to edge the clouds and reflect off them.  And flocks of seagulls were soaring in the gap - attracted by the warmth of the bonfire - and probably breakfast, as I expect there will be lots of fast food bits and bobs lying on the Green, as they haven't yet cleared up.

Everything is now a light bright pink.

What a beautiful beautiful world Jehovah made for us. And how grateful I am that He will not let us ruin it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Towards the End of the Morning

I am doing a lot of re-reading at the moment - yesterday Michael Frayn's "Towards the End of the Morning".  I had forgotten how good it is. I hope it isn't out of print.   It was first published in 1967, and is like a window in time. A very funny window too.  Erskine Morris... the new entrepreneur - the mysterious Miss Pennycuick... Fleet Street in all its old glory...  I was young then...

If you can find a copy, do read it.

I have also found a copy of "Busman's Honeymoon" by Dorothy L Sayers - and re-read that.

Crumbs!  I don't know what to say, except that I did keep expecting someone like Frankie Howard to burst in saying "Oo er missus" at various moments.   And I did feel sorry for poor Miss Twitterton, brought in to spectacularly fail to get her man, while Harriet Vane spectacularly succeeds.

The moral dilemma at the end is very interesting.   Dorothy L Sayers was an intelligent and highly educated woman, yet I wonder if she knew what the Bible actually says.   She writes a scene where Sir Peter is agonising over the fact that the murderer he has caught is about to be hanged - and yes I can imagine that would be pretty harrowing.  He has visited the murderer in jail and found him/her (no spoilers) unrepentant.  He says to Harriet: "If there is a God or a judgement - what next?  What have we done?"  Harriet, who usually knows everything, doesn't know.

So did Dorothy L Sayers know, given that she surely is Harriet?  Only the Inspired Scriptures still carry on telling us what they have told us from the start:

Romans 6:23 says: "The wages sin pays is death", and, therefore, "he who has died has been acquitted from his sin". (Romans 6:7)   So the murderer was acquitted from his/her sin by the execution.  All us children of Adam are born missing the mark of perfection -which is what sin means - and so we die and return to the dust of the ground from which we were made.  The question - the Biblical question - would be : "Will he/she be awoken from the sleep of death?"  Daniel assures us that "many" of those asleep in the ground of dust will wake up (Daniel 12:2); and Acts 24:15 says that there will be a resurrection of both "the righteous and the unrighteous".

And for all those who wake from the sleep of death it will be to a fresh start - they will be able to learn the truth in the restored earthly Paradise.

Still effectively housebound. I will have the bonfire on the Green to watch tonight, and the fireworks. I have been invited to a leaving party this evening, but don't think I can make it as they close our road off quite early, and I can't walk there.

A couple of years ago, I would have been able to.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The wildlife of the South Coast rainforests

Still have my cold, still not doing much.  While I did get to the meeting on Sunday, I have done very little else.

We, in the worldwide congregations, are coming to the end of a verse by verse study of the Book of Acts, and are soon to start on a study of Jeremiah.   And, after studying how valiant Paul and those earliest Christians were, you wouldn't think that I would have been deterred from a garden gate this morning by a giant spider and its web.  

But I was!  Shame on me.  We put it down as a not home (NH), so someone else will call.  Perhaps there should be a SAH symbol (Spider At Home) so that whichever of my siblings who returns can be one not scared of spiders.

But we did have a lovely morning - much more interest that I have found for some time.  So I hope that I will be forgiven Spidergate.

I feel so tired though. This cold won't go.

Its been wet and foggy here - the Channel disappearing into a grey-white mist. Not cold yet, though apparently it will be at the weekend.    Col found and caught an escaped budgie and rushed it down to the vets clinic.  Budgies can and do live wild on the South Coast, but if this is one that had only just escaped it may not have survived the weekend out. Snow is forecast for parts of the UK!

The ungrateful little brute gave him a severe pecking.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Blog of a Nobody

I have been struck down with an Autumn cold - caught from Captain Butterfly.  So my blog is going to get even more Diary of a Nobody than it already is.  I could list my cold medications - and if only I had two friends called Cummings and Gowing as Mr.Pooter did, I could list their comings and goings.

There are two wonderful animal rescue videos in the Mail onLine today. One is a puppy rescued from a shrinking sandbank by a passing canoeist, and the other is a baby elephant rescued from a pit, and returned to its distressed and relieved mother.

I hope Jehovah will bless and keep all the rescuers.   But it made me so sad to think of what I was taught as a young Catholic convent schoolgirl - that animals "don't matter", as "they don't have souls".   Fortunately I was taught very differently at home, by my parents, that animals do matter, and that we should care for them and be kind to them.  Both my parents were country children - my father grew up in the fields and forests of Belarus. And wild forests they were - and perhaps still are.  The fear of what was in those childhood forests came back to my father in nightmares at the end of his life.  There was a time when I had to tackle a bear in his bedroom.  My mother was from a small village in Lancashire - from the wonderful world of Nabbs Cottage, our childhood paradise.

Then also there was the religion of science which taught us that animals don't have feelings, only instincts.

How much cruelty has been and is being perpetrated because of these ideas?

It wasn't till I was nearly forty that I found out what the Inspired Scriptures say about animals.  Two Jehovah's Witnesses called at my door and, among other things, they showed me this:

"I, even I, have said in my heart with regard to the sons of mankind that the [true] God is going to select them, that they may see that they themselves are beasts. For there is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity. All are going to one place. They have all come to be from the dust, and they are all returning to the dust. "  - Ecclesiastes 3:18-20

We are souls - "nephesh" - as are the animals, and we all die, and return to the dust of the ground from which we were created.

That is why the hope of the resurrection - the re-standing to life again - is so important.  And I know even more forcefully now than I did at 40 how short life is!  Its over before you know it.   And what a short time we have to be with the people we love.  Captain Butterfly and I met 45 years ago, and its gone so quickly.  Just a moment in time.

The Channel is quite calm today, and grey, under a grey sky.  Yesterday was a day of stormy seas, and wild waves.  

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Another memorial

It was the Memorial service for Irene this afternoon.  I gave Audrey a lift there and back.  A lovely talk, about her many years of loyal service to Jehovah - and we sang "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" at the end, which reduced poor Maggie to tears, as it makes her think of Don, her husband.

Maggie and I plan to do her route calls tomorrow morning.

Its been a wet and windy day here with big seas and high tides. The waves were so big in the morning I expected them to come spilling over the Green.  I would have loved to walk along the beach, but I can't.

Audrey and I managed just half an hour on the work on Tuesday, though it took us well over an hour by the time we got there and back as we had a problem finding the territory.

My knees are very painful.  Steve asked if I could come on the study tomorrow morning, but I just can't tackle stairs yet - ever again?!  I hope our lift here doesn't break down again.

We must shop at some stage tomorrow, as I have just about used up everything. The apples Col picked have been turned into a giant apple crumble, and all the veggies have gone into a leftover vegetable soup.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Monday begins with a splendid sunrise

Another Monday begins, and I am grateful for every single one of them.    Monday is different in retirement, after a busy weekend I look on it as a rest day.  It used to be a horror of  a day in school term time.  And not all that pleasant in my working years.   But now it is redeeming itself wonderfully.

Jacks was round on Saturday night and we tested out the Abel & Cole steak and ale pie. Very good, will be ordering more.  A simple meal too, I just made veggies and a cauliflower cheese to go with it, and we had some exotic ice-creams from Waitrose afterwards.  May I recommend their lime and coconut ice-cream, combined with their mango sorbet.  (They are not paying me for this, neither is Abel & Cole. If only!)

Yesterday was the meeting, which was excellent as always.  And in the afternoon we made a difficult phone call to friends, one of whom has just been diagnosed with cancer.  We hope to see them for lunch soon, IF the chemo permits such outings.  It doesn't at the moment.

When people wonder if they will be bored in retirement, one thing they don't factor in is the amount of time that will be taken up with doctors visits, hospital visits, blood tests visits, collecting medications visits...  I didn't.   I don't know what Adam and Eve were thinking of when they ate that fruit!

It seems that Eve had been persuaded to "look for the goddess within".  Of course, she found no such thing, except perhaps a goddess complex that she has passed on to us, her daughters.   However, I am hoping to be here, on the earth, in perfect health - something I, a daughter of Eve, have never know - "to time indefinite".  I hope to see unnumbered Autumns.

They also don't factor in that life gets more interesting and more wonderful the older you get - so far, anyway...   But I have been housebound a lot over the last year and have never, yet, been bored.  For one thing, I have one of Jehovah's grand creations - the English Channel - right outside my window.  Always changing, always beautiful. And no sunrise and no sunset, no sky, is the same as any other, or ever will be.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A rainbow sky...

... but no rainbow as yet.  We are ringed by an ominous dark blue sky and some rain has spotted the windows.  But we are in sunshine and the English Channel is sparkling away.  It feels as if there ought to be a rainbow, but I can't see one yet.

Had a bad night - got up in the early hours to take painkillers with an early breakfast - then managed to sleep till about 9.00 when I found Captain B staring at me offering coffee. So i did not get to the field service group.  However, it has been quite a productive day so far.  I have cleared out my wardrobe and got three bagfuls of clothes and shoes for the charity shops.

I have admitted, finally, that i will only be wearing sturdy sensible shoes from now on, no matter what the occasion, so a lot of stuff can go.  I have scrubbed out the bathroom and Captain B has been vaccuming.

And my Watchtower study for tomorrow is done.  Its a lovely one, reminding us yet again that while "the world" may say "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me", the Inspired Scriptures say the exact opposite.   James likens one wrong word to the little spark that can start a forest fire.

"So, too, the tongue is a little member and yet makes great brags. Look! How little a fire it takes to set so great a woodland on fire!  Well, the tongue is a fire. The tongue is constituted a world of unrighteousness among our members, for it spots up all the body and sets the wheel of natural life aflame and it is set aflame by Ge‧hen′na.  For every species of wild beast as well as bird and creeping thing and sea creature is to be tamed and has been tamed by humankind.  But the tongue, not one of mankind can get it tamed. An unruly injurious thing, it is full of death-dealing poison.  With it we bless Jehovah, even [the] Father, and yet with it we curse men who have come into existence “in the likeness of God.” Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing."

We need to be so careful to keep "the law of loving-kindness" on our tongue.

Jacks is coming for supper tonight.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


A Captain Butterfly shaped mouse has been preying on my tray of marmalade muffins. There seem a lot less than there should be.

Had a lovely Wednesday evening with a young Ghanaian brother and the sister who is doing the demo with me, and her husband.  We had a cup of tea, prayed for help from Jehovah, and then we decided how we were going to do it. Hope to practise it on Captain B - if he can speak through the marmalade muffins, that is.

Ronald and I were talking about how we came into the truth (I gave him a lift there and back), and it turns out we were both very shy children who never said a word at school if possible. And now he is so active in the congregation - giving talks - organising Louise and me in our demo - and he is so young - AND he is doing it in a foreign language.

We agreed that Jehovah has done wonders with us and for us.

Its very rainy this morning. The Captain went swimming and I went shopping. And we both got very wet.  I woke him up in the fairly early hours by going through my demo talk in what I had thought was a low enough murmur.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Pig of Tilling

I have just read, and am now re-reading, "Miss Mapp" by E.F.Benson.  It is as funny as all the Mapp & Lucia books.  And EFB is so good on the charm of Tilling (Rye) and its marshy setting.

"There is not a town in all England so blatantly picturesque as Tilling, nor one, for the lover of level marsh land, of tall reedy dykes, of enormous sunsets and rims of blue sea on the horizon, with so fortunate an environment."

Yes, although I am a child of the Yorkshire moors and Derbyshire Dales, I love it all.  And that "blatantly" is very well deployed.   

There is a wonderful passage in Proverbs where Jesus, personified as wisdom, speaks to us of how he worked beside his Father:
“Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago.  From time indefinite I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth.  When there were no watery deeps I was brought forth as with labour pains, when there were no springs heavily charged with water.  Before the mountains themselves had been settled down, ahead of the hills, I was brought forth as with labour pains,  when as yet he had not made the earth and the open spaces and the first part of the dust masses of the productive land.  When he prepared the heavens I was there; when he decreed a circle upon the face of the watery deep,  when he made firm the cloud masses above, when he caused the fountains of the watery deep to be strong,  when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order, when he decreed the foundations of the earth,  then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time,  being glad at the productive land of his earth, and the things I was fond of were with the sons of men."

Jesus loved the earth and everything on it - especially us.  It is a damaged creation at the moment - the serpent is still in the garden - but we can see its beauty everywhere, and we can know that by the end of the Thousand years it will all be perfect again, as it was when it was created.

Then E.F.Benson is very funny about the Tilling tourist industry - obviously in full swing back then.   Of the
Tilling tourist he says:

"Few if any of them left without purchasing one of the famous Tilling money-boxes, made in the shape of a pottery pig, who bore on his back that remarkable legend of his authenticity which ran:
                                             I won't be druv
                                             Though I am willing,
                                             Good-morning, my love,
                                             Said the Pig of Tilling."

Brilliant!  I'd have bought one too.  And our own little seaside town could do with a Pig of Tilling.

Audrey and I were out for an hour yesterday - it started raining heavily just as we finished.  I did little else - so tired, can't sleep, steroids (whinge, whinge), did my study and some emails and got us dinner.

Jackie is back.  Hurray!   We will invite her round to test fly the Abel & Cole Steak and Ale pie at the weekend.  Talked to her on the phone today and caught up.  And made a tray of marmalade muffins for Captain B's portable lunches.

One of the ladies on my magazine route has died.  She has been very ill for a long time.  I hope she is sleeping safe in "the everlasting arms" and will wake up once again in the Paradise earth.  And she can continue to learn - as we all will - IF we are there.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

Its a rainy Monday here on the South Coast.  There are white horses on the sea and our Green is very green under the grey sky.   The balcony geraniums got a good battering in the recent storms but are still clashing away bravely.

If I were back in poem writing mode, I would be writing a poem about late Autumn and tiredness - perhaps all woven round a metaphor about the tired geraniums.  What rhymes with geranium?  Although poems do not have to rhyme nowadays. Half rhymes are nice though.   My steroids are working, but preventing me sleeping.

I would like to fall asleep over the computer, but I can't.

A quiet day ahead I hope.  Shopping.  Dropping off latest request for meds. Library. And posting the Butterfly Membership Packages.   The meeting yesterday was one I wished everybody I know could have attended.  Ronald got together with me and Louise and we are to go round to Louise's on Wednesday to practise a demo for the Thursday night.  This will be a first for me, to be part of a demo on the platform.

Captain Metal Detector found an amazing coin yesterday, which will be featuring on his blog.  We test flew the new Abel and Col chicken pie at the weekend - hot on Saturday, cold on Sunday. And we can say that it is very nice indeed.

Anne o'the Cape and i have been talking on Skype again, and she is going to see if she can get the book "The Bible, God's Word or Man's?" from her local Kingdom Hall.  She wants it to help a friend. People's faith in the Bible has been so weakened by "the world".

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis
The Backyard Squirrel
by me

The darting backyard squirrel
quickly covers peanuts with snow
and hurries back for more
She doesn't see me
watching at the door.

do you have the sense to know
snow won't be here for ever
Before the thaw,
you must collect your treasure.

If  I have put this poem in before, sorry. I was inspired to do so again by some charming squirrel photos Captain B took yesterday.  The squirrel in the poem was a bungalow squirrel, many years ago.  It was a Yorkshire squirrel. The one in the Captain's photo is a Sussex squirrel, from yesterday.

Got back to the Saturday field service group this morning and Jean and I did some calls.  Tricky driving.  We got ourselves into one cul-de-sac, with no apparent way out. There were cars parked everywhere, on corners, at odd angles, making the little turning area a nightmare.  I drove into a narrow cul de sac with garages both sides and very little room. Jean and I both asked Jehovah for help, and I did a 30 (or so) point turn and we finally got out of there.

The next excitement of our day was a trip to the Clinic for our flu shots and then to the library.  And we pioneered the new Abel & Col chicken pie for lunch.  Very good it is too.

Strictly Come Dancing tonight!

The Butterfly paperwork has finally arrived and I must get that done so i can post the new membership packages on Monday.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Waves

Its overcast today, with heavy rain showers, off and on.  I am looking out over a very green Green to a turquoise Channel, surging with white horses and splashing up white foam just behind the hedge.  Its hard to stop watching it.  All that power and all that beauty - telling us over and over of the qualities of its Grand Creator, Jehovah of armies.

I hope so much my dear aged parents will wake up one day to see it all again.   They holidayed in Cornwall, as a young engaged couple, in another lifetime, and they loved the wild Cornish coast.

Yesterday Audrey and I managed about an hour on the doors, in a very swish part of town, with lovely Autumn gardens. We both placed some literature, so we must call back.  More driving on that big grown-up road with its big boy roundabouts...  Did shamefully little else - 55 minutes plodding slowly from door and door and I feel exhausted.  Its ridiculous.

Have done a little better today so far.  Shopped. And got two loads of washing done. Captain Coppice is on his way back from coppicing and clearing duties - so what I have to do now is to get a lamb casserole in the oven for tonight and do my day's studying.

Then a quiet night in in front of the telly.  At the moment, that is my absolute favourite way of spending the evening.  I think its the last episode of Mrs.Biggs tonight too.  Well written, well cast, and gripping.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Free Lighting For our New Kingdom Hall?

It was a hospital day today and I have been x-rayed so much that I will probably glow in the dark - and I will light up the whole Hall on these darkening nights, thus saving on the electric bills.

Anyway, it all went as well as it can, and time will tell.

Oddly I feel quite a bit better - maybe a bit of my self-help is working?

Captain Butterfly ordered me the first part of the collected "Mapp and Lucia" from Amazon, and I have been keeping myself happy with "Miss Mapp".  The duels between her and Diva over the dresses - wonderful - and the duel between Colonel Benjie and Captain Puffin - SPOILER ALERT! - the nearly duel - the early train as they both try to escape from each other - wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

The book also has the Mapp and Lucia map of Rye, and IF I can get a bit better then the Captain and I hope to have a few days there next year, and we will tread the very streets that they trod.

There is a wonderful light on the Green as I am typing this. It is fluorescing two fat seagulls who are waddling across it.  There are a few children playing quietly in the playground, lit up by the low Autumn evening sun.