Monday, 27 February 2017

The Meek and the Mlld-Tempered

Yesterday, I was thinking about Jesus' famous words, at Matthew 5:5, about the meek inheriting the earth.   But it reads this way in a more modern translation.

"Happy are the mild-tempered, since they will inherit the earth."

There is so much in that.  Those who are mild-tempered towards their Creator, i.e. who listen to him and obey him, will also become mild-tempered and "slow to anger" as he is.

There will be no angry and violent people in the restored earthly Paradise.  How could it be Paradise if there were?

And it is "the earth" we hope to inherit.

What lies ahead this week?  Who knows actually, as "the plans of mice and men..."    Whereas whatever Jehovah purposes always comes about.

But, hopefully, it will be a week with quite a lot of witnessing in it.  Jean and I plan to go out tomorrow and Saturday, I hope to be out with one of the young pioneers on Thursday afternoon,and with another sister in the morning.

I had a long talk with Lilian, on the phone yesterday. We are both suffering healthwise in our retirement, but I hope she is being able to enjoy it too.  Since Dave died its been very hard for her. He was such a lovely guy, took such good care of her.   But the local JWs are calling regularly and I hope she might get back to the meetings.   There is no teaching more comforting.

Captain B is bustling about as usual.   Metal-detecting (no hordes as yet), giving talks (his underwater one, full of his wonderful photos), doing his conservation work, and looking after me ("a full time job" he said gloomily)...

I am not sure how I would be feeling now if I hadn't listened to the JWs who called on me all those years ago - when I was young! -  with me now being in the death zone (under the "three score years and ten" rule) and him rapidly approaching it...    how do those who do not know the truth cope?

This seems rather a gloomy post, but it is the early hours of the morning - woke up - can't sleep - having cup of tea - intend to go back to bed and try again.

Its the strange reversal of retirement, in which Monday seems to be my day off, so IF I can get back to sleep, I can safely sleep in.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Meek

In "Slipstream", Elizabeth Jane Howard notes that one of her friends says that if the meek inherit the earth, she is leaving the planet.   And I was thinking about that when Jean and I were out on the doors yesterday- thinking about what Jesus meant when he said that the meek would inherit the earth.

He wasn't talking about a character trait, as such.  He was talking about those who are meek towards their Creator, who will be corrected by his word.  Some very forceful people are meek towards God's word, some quiet and yielding people are not.

We got talking to a very nice lady on the doorstep. She went to the local Protestant Church and wanted to tell us, kindly, why she did not agree with us.  She mentioned, for example, the idea of the immortal soul, in which she believes.

Jean pointed out, also kindly, that it is not a Bible teaching.    But God's word made no impression.  The lady had her own ideas. She was not meek towards God's word.  Not yet anyway.  We can all change

Jean and I did.

"We'll just zimmer off now", I said as a farewell to the group as we tottered across the road to our car, having finished the territory.   "No running!"  said the Elder in Charge.

So we ended on a fun note - plus with one regular call of Jean's on the way back.

Jackie came for supper last night.   I thought it was about time I tried something new, and, remembering how reliable Delia Smith's recipes are, I made a Paprika chicken. It seemed very dull and dismal till the end, when I added the green pepper and the sour cream. Then it came right, and though I say it myself as shouldn't, it was delicious. In any case, the credit goes to Delia, as I just followed her instructions.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Talky Tin

Many years ago I wrote this little story about our fierce Saudi cat, Whites.   He lived a long life and is buried in the garden of one of our expat homes.  I put some flowers in with him so that if the shifting sands return him to the surface, anyone who finds him will know he was loved.

I thought I had lost the story, but I got round to a pile of old paperwork that came from Lilac Tree Farm,and found it, so I thought I might as well blog it.  I will ask Captain B for a photo of the beloved beast.   We had the new boiler fitted, and in the wake of that a leak... so its been a week of sitting around waiting for plumbers etc to call.  Though Jean and I did get out on the work on Tuesday, and we visited Maggie yesterday. Found her very well, and very pleased to see us.  (We were both too ill to go last week.)

TALKY TIN  by me

Talky Tin sat in the window seat looking inscrutable.

At least that's how everyone said he looked. And then they said what mysterious creatures cats are.  But, although she had tried hard to see what was inscrutable about him, Emily hadn't been able to so far.  To her, he seemed very easy to read.

When he was happy, he purred and smiled.  When he was hungry, he wailed and bellowed.  When he was sleepy, he fell asleep. He fell asleep on the instant, wherever he was. Emily had found him slumped by his food bowl;  upside down in the flower bed;  snoring happily under the feeder while the birds pecked around him,

He loved people, climbing and purring over all visitors - falling asleep on them if he was sleepy - waiting at them if he was hungry.

Apparently, to be true to his inscrutable type, he should only have sat on those visitors who were allergic to cats.  But everyone was an acceptable cat couch to Talky.

He detested all cats.  And he was not at all inscrutable about making that known. He didn't even bother  to go through the elaborate fight rituals of his kind.  He fired no warning shots across the bows. Any cat coming within the invisible line Talky had drawn around house and garden met a business like set of claws and teeth instantly.

They left quickly. And they did not come back.

All in all, Emily thought that Talky was probably from another planet.  And he hadn't bothered to do his Earth homework properly.  Or perhaps he was just lazy about his camouflage.

Yet no-one had noticed.  No-one apart from her. And apparently she didn't matter.

Which left a nagging worry in her mind. If Talky knew that she didn't matter, did that mean that he had spotted her?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A Recovery

Back to the Meeting this morning, and we went to Jack's for supper last night - roast chicken dinner, followed by cheesecake.  All scrummy.  Captain B left early for his Treasure Hunting and has had a long if unfruitful (treasure wise) day.

I feel washed out after days of pain, but relieved that I am getting back my arm.   Who was it said that you have to be brave to face old age?  But there is only one other alternative... and its one I can't help hoping we won't have to face at all.

Its the talk at the Wetland Trust tomorrow night.

And here is some great news from the Newsroom on;

NEW YORK—Upon completion of their new world headquarters in August 2016, Jehovah’s Witnesses received official recognition for the sustainable design of their new facility in Warwick, New York. The Green Building Initiative (GBI), an organization which offers environmental assessment and certification programs for commercial buildings, awarded the Witnesses the highest possible rating of Four Green Globes for all seven of their buildings that qualified for consideration.
Shaina Weinstein, senior director of engagement for GBI, states: “Out of 965 projects nationwide, only 64 buildings have received the highest rating of Four Green Globes. For Jehovah’s Witnesses to receive Four Green Globes for all seven of their buildings at Warwick is remarkable. This accomplishment represents a very high level of commitment to water, energy, and environmental efficiency.”

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


It started on Sunday after the meeting, with a feeling of more than the usual tiredness.   Realising I would be tired after the day out on Saturday and the meeting on Sunday, I had got in a easy supper of an assortment of curries from the Waitrose chill cabinet.  All I had to do was to make a raita salad and do the rice.

It was a great evening with Jacks. Full of fun.

But by the next day I was in such pain.  My right arm - my good arm - had gone, was paralysed - and the pain kept me awake most of the night.

I began to feel a bit better during the morning and the worst of the pain has gone.  Very frightening though.  I realise how much function I have lost in my left arm...   poor Captain B had to cancel his conservation work this morning to stay at home and look after me.

I could not help but remember my mother's last years - when she effectively lost both of her arms to arthritis...

On the DoublePlusGood side Mark dropped in for tea and biscuits.

Sunday, 12 February 2017


By this evening Colin and Mark should, officially, be Sluggards, as they are on a day long Learning About Slugs Course.   Counter-intuitively, it involved getting up early and rushing off.  And the Captain has just left with sandwiches, cakes, tea, coffee, etc.

So that's the slugs sorted.  Not sure what Col and Mark will be lunching on.

We had a good day out yesterday at the Recorders Conference in Haywards Heath.  Chris du Feu, who is teaching Slugs today, gave us a talk called:  "Slugs, why bother?".   And that talk - along with Michael Blencowe's of course - were highlights.

We had great speakers all day - learnt lots. And Michael made us laugh while enthusing us for the new Butterfly Atlas for Sussex.  We already have our copy ordered, and I will be blogging about it when it comes.

It snowed gently all day in Haywards Heath and it was lovely to see the falling snow.  It didn't lie though, just melted away, and it seems there was no snow here.

Just off to the Meeting at the Hall - and Jackie comes for supper. As I knew I would not have much time or energy, it is going to be a curry selection from Waitrose.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Two Wheels on my Wagon

I was out with a young Pioneer sister Thursday afternoon. She drove her wagon round to my place and we set off.

Neither of the ladies we wanted to talk to was at home - and it was very cold. But we did have a brief chat with the husband of one of them.  It was too cold to keep people standing on the doors.

This has reminded me of those enormous biscuits called Wagon Wheels - an occasional childhood treat.  We never got two at once. And rightly so.

The meeting on Thursday was great. There is no other teaching like it.

Jackie comes for supper tomorrow.  I plan a curry evening.

Its snowing in the North.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

My Eritrean Brothers

JANUARY 30, 2017

Another Eritrean Witness Dies After Release From Prison

Tsehaye Tesfamariam died in Asmara on November 30, 2016. He was released from prison on September 10, 2015, because he was critically ill and did not receive proper medical care and treatment during his incarceration. He was born in 1941 in Nefasit, Eritrea, and is survived by his wife, Hagosa Kebreab, whom he married in 1973. They had four daughters and three sons. He was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1958.
Mr. Tesfamariam was imprisoned at the Meitir Camp since his arrest for unknown reasons in January 2009. On October 5, 2011, Mr. Tesfamariam and 24 other male Witnesses imprisoned at the Meitir Camp were placed in a half-buried metal building for special punishment until August 2012. After enduring through the intense summer heat with inadequate food and insufficient water, the health of several of them became critical.
As a result of their ordeal, Misghina Gebretinsae and Yohannes Haile died in the Meitir prison, and Kahssay Mekonnen and Goitom Gebrekristos died after their release. Mr. Tesfamariam’s death adds to this toll.

Many of my brothers and sisters are suffering a lot in Satan's system of things...  I hope a rescue for all of us comes soon. But it won't come until the good news of the Kingdom has been preached to Jehovah's satisfaction.

When speaking of the times we live in now, Jesus said: 
"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." - Matthew 24:14

I was out yesterday - 2 hours with one of my sisters - a long time for me these days (because of my feeble state) - and we had one very interesting call. It was our last one too.  We could easily have missed it, as it was not clear that it was on our road.  But we decided to knock at the door and ask which street he was on.

The young man who answered was a minister or helper of some kind at the local Protestant Church and seemed quite keen to talk to us.  He accepted two magazines, and was kind enough to say that no-one had explained the ransom sacrifice of Jesus to him before as we did. Which is a tribute to how well Jehovah teaches us.

He says we may call back and we plan to do so.

We also called on the young born again girl, who is still ill!  But her father was welcoming and took the February magazine for her - which has some very comforting advice in it.

Feel guilty I was not out on the work this morning, but I did do some much needed shopping, and am taking Jean to visit Maggie this afternoon, so it won't be a wasted day.

Captain B is out on his conservation work.  He left early with his box of sandwiches, but I hope we shall meet up for supper and the evening together.  I think its going to be baked potato tonight. But it could be pasta...   We are busy watching the episodes of Spooks that he has recorded.  What a twisted world the world of espionage is.  There will be nothing like that when the earth is Paradise again.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Rugball and Footby

The Matches are on again... and Captain B is enthralled.  Its the Something Nations Cup and it does seem to be Rugball - or it may be Footby.  Anyway, he is enjoying it.  We had to warn Jacks we would be a little bit late for supper Saturday night as we could not come till the match had finished.

We had our usual happy evening with Jackie - lots of laughing - and a tasty supper of Moroccan chicken, mashed potatoes, and veggies, followed by ice-cream - and cheese and biscuits.

It was the meeting yesterday.  We were talking about Jehovah's undeserved kindness through the ransom sacrifice.   And how grateful we are for it.   It helped to get me out on a difficult call yesterday, to the husband whose wife died at Christmas.  It was her I used to call on. He is not keen on us JWs.   But he is completely bereft, stricken with grief, almost destroyed by it.

When Jean and I called with the January magazine, he couldn't even tell us what had happened, he was crying so hard.  I have been trying to do a letter and card ever since, and finally got it done.   There is always a worry that I might go and say exactly the wrong thing - something to make him feel even worse - without, of course, meaning to!

Anyway, encouraged by all I had heard at the meeting, and asking Jehovah for help, I drove over after I left the Kingdom Hall, knocked at his door, and waited. But no-one came, So I put the card and letter in the mailbox and was walking to the gate when the door suddenly opened.

He still wasn't able to say very much, but he shook my hand warmly.

I have told him that if he needs any help with shopping i can always drop him in something from the shops  on my way home, and i also said that Jean and I will be happy to talk to him, and/or to go on delivering the magazines should he want us to.  I would love him to come to know the truth. Nothing is more comforting. But, unless he will allow us...

Anyway, if he will let us help in some practical way we can hopefully do that.

The Captain was out treasure hunting yesterday with the Detectorists and his box of sandwiches.   He still hasn't found the lost treasure of Alfred the Great (if there is such a thing), but, one of these Sundays...

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Sarah Wardle and the Ceaseless Waves


by Sarah Wardle

Each summer brought them out again,
like gulls along the beach,
to gaze on the horizon
at a future out of reach,
or watch the pleasure boat board
from an in memoriam bench,
along with the holiday horde
and its salt 'n vinegar stench.

Winter would keep them in,
though on a brighter day
they'd drive out for a spin.
or have grandchildren to stay,
but this December afternoon
they sleep tight in their graves,
and Christmas lights are up so soon
beside the ceaseless waves.

She is young to have written that - to have realised how short our lives are now - and to have so movingly expressed the sadness of it.    And it is sad.   We know it is.  Whereas, if we lived in the Darwinian world of evolution, as the world would have us to believe, what would be sad about death? We would do our evolutionary duty - reproduce - and then die.

Why would we need this poem?

But death is sad. And we do. We should lament it.   Jesus cried when Lazarus died.

The ceaseless waves have been pounding the beach for a couple of days, but after a bout of rain this morning, they seem to have calmed down.

The Captain was out till nearly 1 a.m. on a search for a missing person - a Misper - elderly confused.  Body found in the early hours. But not by the Captain's search crew.

Confusion now over, the missing person sleeps in death, hopefully held safe in "the everlasting arms" - safe in Jehovah's memory - with a wonderful awakening to come.

It is that, and only that, that mitigates the sadness of the poem.

It is supper at Jackie's tonight.   And that is usually a very happy occasion.