Saturday, 26 December 2015

A Night with Scooter

Scooter spent Tuesday night with us. I was conscious of her walking across me at intervals and found myself rather cramped at one point as she had got most of the bed.  She gave me a little squeak of welcome and a kiss when we arrived Tuesday afternoon.  Wednesday i had my accident and am now hors de combat - one-armed and in pain.  Nute produced best turkey dinner ever yesterday - and the little girls seemed happy.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Supper at Jackie's

Jean came with me on Saturday morning and helped me finish my magazine route for December, and get a few more not at homes done.    Then after a quick lunch we met up again at the Hall for the Broadcast:

There is an item about our brothers and sisters in the Congo, and also a very interesting experience from a brother in Ghana.

Then I made the cakes for Col's Detectorist get-together on Sunday, and in the evening we went to Jackie's for a roast lamb dinner. We had our usual lovely evening - great food and lots of laughs. Sunday was the meeting at the Hall - followed by an attempt to do some return visits, foiled by my having the addresses written down wrong.  I think I was more discombobulated by the Captain's operation than I realised.  I don't seem to have a proper record of calls I made in September.

I will have to be content with having placed some information with - well, whoever they were - and hope that if they are looking for the truth, they will recognise it when they hear it.    There was an experience from a Convention of someone who was walking along a beach and picked up a bit of paper that was blowing along the sand, intending to wastebin it.   It turned out to be half of one of our small tracts, the one with the address of Bethel on it. The small amount of information on that little piece of paper caused him to contact Bethel, start a home Bible study, and he is now a baptised brother.

This has taught me to write down a bit more info about my return visits in future.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Suegull

Captain Butterfly and I have had a busy day.  He very kindly drove me out to Ford to do my calls this morning.  They had all got the magazines I had to post due to the flu and I got a warm welcome. Well, I hope it was the truth that got a warm welcome, Christianity being called "the way of the truth".  I then did some Not Homes.   I am trying to get caught up to at least a reasonable extent before the holidays start.

We lunched off soup and toast, and had an afternoon walk in some local fields looking for fungi. We found some lovely little creatures - and the Captain is across the table now trying to identify them all.

Talking of such things, he has taken some bird photos that he hasn't yet been able to identify.  So I have been lost in a daydream in which he has photographed a bird new to Science, and he decides to name it after me - The Suegull.

Though I don't suppose my dream will survive Mark the Birders's first look at the photos.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Bermuda Petrel

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
We went to the talk on the Bermuda Petrel at the Arundel Wetland Centre on Monday night, picking up Jacks and Terry en route.  The Centre always gets brilliant speakers, full of knowledge and enthusiasm, and this one - Andrew Cleave - was up to their high standard.   But what was especially good about it was all we learnt about the island of Bermuda.

I had supposed it to be in the Caribbean.  It isn't. And I had no idea it was so small, so low-lying, and so highly populated. And also that it was so orderly and so well looked after.   It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1503, but it was an uninhabited island, with flock upon flock of the Petrels, and it wasn't actually settled until the Brits arrived in the next century.  It is a tiny island, packed with people from end to end, and the Bermuda Petrel was almost extincted.

However, they are now doing a great job of conservation under the circumstances.

The Centre gave us mulled wine and home-made mince-pies in the interval. And Terry won me a Poinsettia in the raffle, which is now sitting redly among our orchids.

Yesterday, I did not go out on the Field Service- but made the fruit cake instead.  That took me all morning somehow.  Col and I walked on the beach in the afternoon - wonderful high and stormy seas. The river was starting to flood on the opposite bank.  And then I got on with polishing my dive thriller.  I am having to cut and cut and cut, and just hope it doesn't end up as a short story.

It is also about how we are ruining the earth, but as I was writing this (I began it years ago, am a very slow writer), I was learning what the Bible really says, and of Jehovah's promise that he will "bring to ruin those ruining the earth".  So it ends on a hopeful note, where "Till" does not.

I am planning to visit Maggie today and hope to do some more calls on the way back.  The Captain will be occupied with his Conservation work, clearing Downland for the Duke (of Burgundy - butterfly - not Member of the Aristocracy).

Monday, 14 December 2015

During Wind and Rain

Hair Moss, Polytrichum commune
The weather, the year coming so quickly to its end, and my seventieth year approaching rapidly makes me feel it is time for Thomas Hardy.

by Thomas Hardy
(Moments of Vision)

They sing their dearest songs -
He, she, all of them - yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
     And one to play ;
With the candles mooning each face...
     Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss -
Elders and juniors - aye,
Making the pathways neat
     And the garden gay ;
And they build a shady seat...
     Ah, no; the years, the years;
See, the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all -
Men and maidens- yea,
Under the summer tree,
     With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee,,,
     Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them - aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
    On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs...
    Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

I walked to the shops this afternoon, taking my library books on the way.  Captain B had my car as he was at Jackie's trying to fix her computer, which seems to have gone awol during her illness.

We - the Captain, Terry, Jacks and me - are going to the talk at the Wetland Trust tonight.

And I sent a copy of "Till they Dropped" to Lilian of Expatland, with a little card and a Kingdom tract.  I am hoping she has resumed her Bible study.  And I got a thank you card from Dave - a gentleman on my magazine route who I never see and who I have to post the magazines to every month.  I haven't heard from him or seen him for years now... and have wondered if I have been sending the magazines, cards and letters into the void.  So the card was very encouraging.

How often Jehovah sends us encouragement when we are feeling a bit down.

Sunday, 13 December 2015


Jacks came round for supper last night, so, hopefully, we are back in our routine!    We had chicken curry, rice and raita, by me, a dahl by Waitrose, chutney by Captain B, dessert by Lidl, plus cheese & biscuits,  and Thornton's chocolates (from Jackie).

The weather here is alternating between stormy, and damp and mild. There have been some fabulous seas.  Jean and I were out yesterday, picking up on some of our calls.  She had long chats with two people, and I found two at home.  One was a lady I called on months ago, and have not found since. But she remembered me straight away - took the magazine eagerly -and very definitely wants to see us in the New Year.  So that was such a worthwhile morning.

I didn't get to the Field Service Group on Thursday - getting to the meeting in the evening was about all I managed.    And on Friday, the Captain and I shopped in the morning, and I made the curry in the afternoon. And just that exhausted me.  In my youth, I would have shopped and cooked after a day at work, and thought nothing of it.  Anyway, I am very grateful to be here, to be enjoying retirement so much, and simply to be able to walk about.

If all goes to plan, I will be out on the doors with one of my siblings this afternoon.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Empty Trees

Arundel WWT
Its been days of beautiful skies, silhouetting the empty trees, in between rain and storm.  I spent yesterday morning with Maggie and we enjoyed the view of the tender blue skies, and fluffy Sussex clouds from her window. She is a lot better now, thank goodness, and we hope to see each other again tonight at the meeting.  The Captain and I went to Arundel Wetlands on Tuesday, but I did get out on the doors on Monday and Wednesday.  And hopefully I will go out today, though I won't make the group this morning.
Field Maple leaves, Acer campestre
I am so far behind with my calls that the worry of it is keeping me awake at nights.  Which is making me ever more tired.   With some I have tried - many times - but I simply can not find them again. With others...  I got back to one road yesterday and for the life of me I can't remember working on it. Have I got the wrong road down?  It has been a distracting year with the further health issues, but still.

On the plus side, I have managed to find a couple of people who remembered my call, and who  took more literature and who say I may call back in the New Year.  And one lady took my last copy of the November mags, which set out God's view of war,  as she said she had been praying about the continuing wars in the Middle East.  "See you next year!"  I said, as I left.  And hopefully I will.

Jackie came round for a cup of tea, after Captain B took her for her latest hospital tests.  And all being well, she will be round for supper on Saturday. So we are all getting back to normal.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Busy Bees (or Butterflies)

Peacock, Inachis io
Got back from an early shop at Waitrose on Friday to find a vast load of Butterfly Membership paperwork on my doorstep... aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh.., the morning vanished, as I then made a giant chicken casserole with loads of veggies to see us through the weekend.  Then it was a housework and paperwork afternoon.

I was out with my siblings on the door to door work on Thursday and again Saturday morning, when Jean and I did some calls together.   And on this stormy Sunday I got to the meeting - Maggie was back hurray - and made myself do a couple of magazine route calls on the way back, plus I called on a gentleman I first called on in May and have not seen since...   All were at home, and the guy from May says I may call back in the New Year.

So many calls to get back to...  I want to be reasonably up to date by the end of the month... but.

It was the Metal Detectorists Annual Do on Saturday night, at The Six Bells.  They put on a very good do - the food was fine - the service good - maybe we will take ourselves there for lunch one day.

Though we rarely eat out nowadays.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hunting the Wild Fungi Herds

bracket fungi
We were following the fungi herds in Arundel Tuesday afternoon - we saw Terry and had a chat.   We found lots - and Captain B is just sorting them out and getting them all identified now - the photos of them I mean.   One of the many things I look forward to in the restored earthly Paradise (IF I am there) is roaming through Woodand in Autumn, gathering mushrooms to eat.

I wouldn't dare do it now, as even the most experienced gatherer can make mistakes - and those mistakes can be fatal.  So, for the moment, we stick to photographing them.

This morning I visited Maggie, and bumped into another sister at a bus stop and gave her a lift to Waitrose. I also posted the books to Maggie (Maggie of Bangkok) and to my old schoolfriend, and the magazines to Dave.  I always have to post them to him as I can never find him at home, and his block of flats has no accessible letterboxes.

Then I walked to the library to take my books back - a marathon - 15 mins there, and 15 mins back - and apart from getting our tea and a bit of studying I have done nothing else and I plan an evening slumped in front of the telly.  Its scary to be so exhausted...

On the Doubleplusgood side, Tom seems to have made a full recovery, and Jackie took herself shopping today - the first time she has been able to for about 2 months.