Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Creatures of the Night - and a Nightmare

Michael (Blencowe) gave the talk at the Arundel Wetland Trust last night - interesting, funny and very fast.  He told us that this particular talk came out of his problems with sleeping. And, yes, its hard to imagine Michael resting, let alone sleeping.

One of the most surprising things to me was the way you can hear the calls of migrating birds in the night, in the early hours.  What journeys they make.   And also how invisible bears can be, given how big they are.  Oh - and don't pick up Armadillos - at least not in the USA - apparently they can carry leprosy!

The talk included a recording of the Boom of a Bittern - something I have never heard.

Jackie and Terry came with us, and enjoyed it very much.    And we had mulled wine and homemade mince pies in the break.

I had a bit of nightmare last night - the first one for ages. I put it down to "The Creatures of the Night" being so vivid, and all those stories about the Death's Head Hawksmoth.  Just as the dream took a frightening turn, I realised it was moving into the realms of spiritism, thought "No, I am not going there". And the dream stopped instantly. So thanks to Jehovah it was a failed nightmare.

It was very cold last night, the coldest night of the year, with ice everywhere this morning, so Jean and I did not go out on the work.  I dare not risk another fall.  I made another big casserole - this one chicken - with loads of veggies, and got the two magazines I have to post ready to go, along with two copies of "Waiting for Gordo" for friends.

Captain Butterfly took me to the Post Office in the afternoon and we posted the Awake magazines, and the Waitings - one to an old school friend who lives on the Isle of Wight, and one to Gale, a friend from Uni. She too has been published this year (again) - scholarly publications though.  Not fiction,   And we dropped my prescription in to the Pharmacy.  These medical things take up a lot of time in retirement...


Sunday, 10 December 2017

It was a Dark and Stormy Night...

The wind rattled and howled round the flats last night, and we woke up to a wild world with wonderful waves (and Alotof Alliteration). Captain Butterfly left early laden with sandwiches and a metal detector at every corner.  I thought he was mad to go, given the weather, but it did begin to clear up a bit - the sun came through ominous clouds and there was a dark lilac light on the sea.

At least there was no frost on the car this morning.  Yesterday Jean and I failed to get to the group as I simply couldn't get my car thawed out early enough. But we did some calls later in the morning, and I chauffered Jean to the Hall for the broadcast in the afternoon,

It was different from the usual, as it was a broadcast of the talks given at the 143rd Gilead Graduation Class.

You can find it here:   https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/StudioMonthly2017/pub-jwb_201712_1_VIDEO


The point that stays with me from the broadcast is the reminder that all we see and all we know now are just "the fringes" of Jehovah's ways.  There is so much to know, so much to learn, and there always will be.  Which is wonderful.

Sadly the school system of the 1950s so often made learning (which children naturally want to do) both punitive and boring.   But being taught Jehovah's way is wonderful.  He is the kindest and most patient - and of course the wisest! - of teachers.

As the Bible says, he is our Grand Instructor.

By the time we came out of the meeting the storm was up and running again, so after I had dropped Anne Marie off, I scuttled home and stayed in.  Captain Metal Detector was not far behind. Having been rained off, he bought his tea and sandwiches back home and ate them here.

And I had made a big lamb casserole yesterday afternoon, so supper was all in hand.

Talked to Bea, via phone (yesterday), email today, and to Jacks.   And the Christmas cards with news from scattered family and friends continue to arrive, though I never send any now of course.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Lord of the Rings

Apparently Storm Caroline is on the way - should hit us tonight. So I am watching the Channel for signs of her arrival.    I was going to say that its quite calm, but actually the odd white horse is starting to appear - its all getting a bit agitated.

We have a project on this morning to get the engagement ring re-sized so it will fit my swollen arthritic finger - the one that Col detected some years ago (the ring, not the finger!). Its a very pretty Victorian ring.   Then it is a trip to Maggie this afternoon, followed by meeting up with a young pioneer sister as we are going to call on a lady we have been talking to for a couple of weeks now.

Its getting colder - the sea is roaring a bit - and our ring mission failed.  It would cost as much to get it altered as it would to buy a new one... or almost.  So I was looking enthusiastically in the jewelers shop windows while the Lord of the Rings (Captain Butterfly) was looking glum and thoughtful.

I suspect he will be taking his metal detector down to the beach quite a lot this winter to see if he can detect a ring in my size.    My original ring, bought in our student days,  had to be cut off my finger in Casualty while I was in the throes of a violent arthritis flare-up which caused my hands to swell up like balloons.

I am watching and loving the Masterchef Professional  Series.   So the Captain wondered why he got baked beans on toast for lunch.   Too busy watching Masterchef?!    I have offered to make him raw pigeon tomorrow, as it seems to be an in thing at the moment.

He has since decided that he loves my beans on toast.

Its pie for supper tonight - Steak and Ale for Captain Carnivore, Mushroom and Asparagus for me- with leeks.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Zimmer Sisters

The Dynamic Duo (Jean and me) hobbled round yesterday morning doing return visits and managed an hour and a half on various doors.  Jean found two of her calls at home and had some good talks.  We ended by delivering a small care package  - card and chocolates - to a lady who, while recovering from a broken shoulder, fell and broke both her ankles,,,

Jean and I have been through our share of recent health horrors and feel so much for her. Her husband told us she has been in hospital for weeks, though they are hoping to get her home for Christmas.   A week in hospital is more than long enough...  We are both praying for her.

Life is so scary and uncertain. But it was never meant to be like this.  And it will all be put right.

Please do have a look at our latest Awake! magazine:
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/awake-no6-2017-december/the-world-out-of-control/

It was the Detectorists AGM last night  - held in a nice pub not too far away.  All was beautifully organised as it was last year - 3 course meal for about 30 of us served concurrently and with the minimum of fuss. And we came away with an enormous box of chocolates to take 'oop North, a box of liqueur chocs, a travel towel, and a Tesco cheese assortment (via the Raffle).

It is the sort of raffle where everyone gets prizes.

It was the meeting this morning.  And Cousin Sheila rang this evening and we had a long chat and hope we will manage to get together next year.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Hand of God?

Terry gave me this poem, written by a good friend of his, who has since died.  He said she would have liked it to be read and published.  And this is the best I can do.

I would love to have been able to talk to her about the last line, and assure her that this was not "the hand of God", or "an act of God" as some people might define it.   It was in fact the very opposite.  What she describes so vividly in her poem happens because we are cut off from our Creator.

Anyway, here it is:

Tsunami
by Maureen Williams, written 2010

The wave emerging from the deep
Was soon to the make the whole world weep.
Out of the ocean like a ghost
Before progressing to the coast.

This line of surf moves on with speed
A silent threat to do its deed.
The people on the distant shore
Beheld this sight with puzzled awe.

The crest arrived, nowhere to run.
The place where all had had their fun,
The young, the old, they met their fate,
They watched too long, it was too late.

The sandy beach that is no more,
There's only death upon the shore.
Huge boulders thrown up by the sea
Destroyed the jetty, boats and quay.

After the tumult there is no sound.
Devastation is all around.
The cries for help, the screams of fear,
The call of birds all disappear.

Water and bodies everywhere,
Those who are left can only stare.
To comprehend is always hard
That this could be the Hand of God.

A vivid description - especially of the sudden silence in the tsunami's wake.  But I would have loved to talk to Maureen and show her what Genesis so clearly and simply tells us.  Because when our first parents made that fatal decision to cut themselves - and us, their unborn children - off from their Creator, their Source of life, they found that they could not even keep themselves alive, let alone run this beautiful and complex planet.

We, their damaged children, cannot keep ourselves alive either.  Nor can we manage the planet with its immense forces and its complex patterns.  So we have these "natural" disasters - like tsunamis... But are they natural?   Had our first parents obeyed their Creator, things would have been so different.   All the natural forces would have been under perfect control.  We would find them splendid and awe-inspiring, but we would have nothing to fear from them.

And I would have wanted to remind Maureen of what Jesus did when he was on the earth.  How he calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew 8:23-27 tells us:  "And when he went aboard a boat, his disciples followed him. Now look! a great storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but he was sleeping. And they came and woke him up, saying: “Lord, save us, we are about to perish!”  But he said to them: “Why are you so afraid, you with little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and a great calm set in. So the men were amazed and said: “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him.”"

The winds and the sea obeyed Jesus.   So when he is ruling over us as the King of Jehovah's Kingdom, he will bring the earth back into the peace and the harmony there was in the beginning.

And, wonderfully he has also been given the authority to wake the dead from their dreamless sleep.   Once again, he demonstrated that while he was on the earth. We all know about Lazarus to this day!

Jehovah's spirit can and will empower him to restore the earth to the Paradise it was always meant to be, and to awaken "many of those asleep in the dust of earth".

So when Maureen the Poet next opens her eyes, it will be in an earth ruled by the law of loving-kindness, and an earth in perfect balance. No more "natural" disaster to fear.


Captain Butterfly went up to London today to see the Natural History Photography Exhibition.  We would usually go together. Will I be able to get there next year?

I am now a bit scared of "that London" - though we lived there for many years, and had some lovely day trips in the early years of our retirement.  Jackie and I were talking about them this morning.  But she, like me, is now anxious about the idea of a London trip. And she is a London girl.

I devoted my day to shopping, making a roast chicken dinner for the weary traveller to come home to, finishing my study for tonight and practising my part in the Ministry School with my pretty young householder.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Guy and a Gal have got Engaged

Its all over the papers today. If WW3 has started, we will have to look to the back pages to find ou...   aarrgghhh... disappears in large radioactive blast.

Actually, according to Bible prophecy the two superpowers are not going to go head to head again, though the world remains divided. And I think we can understand why, given that a WW3 unleashing all the weapons of mass destruction we now have would ruin the planet for human habitation.  And the Inspired Scriptures assure us not only that Jehovah "will bring to ruin those ruining the earth", but that "the meek" (those meek towards their Creator) will "inherit the earth" and live forever upon it.

Jean and I were out on the doors yesterday - not for long as it is so cold - beautiful sky, but icy wind. We went back to a road I had many return visits on - found only a couple at home, but both were interested and we can call back.

Today, cold but sunny, I plan to be out with one of the young pioneer sisters after my visit to Maggie. We plan to call back on a lady who has taken a Bible and a Good News brochure and see if we can get a study started.   I hope at least we can point out to her a couple of important things Genesis tells us, as she has already started to read it.

But of course we have to find her in first.

Captain B has been called out on a lot of SUSSAR search and rescues recently - some of them very sad.

https://twitter.com/Crawley_Police/status/935448731197067264?s=04


Oh - and back to my heading.  I wish Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a splendid wedding - which I am sure they will have (us Brits are very good at organising these State occasions) - but most of all I wish them a long and happy marriage.  I hope they will take the advice of the Creator of marriage, as set out in His inspired word, because that advice works. 


Monday, 27 November 2017

Waiting for Reviews (of "Waiting for Gordo")

I only have 2 reviews of  "Waiting" on my Amazon page.  But they are both lovely. And I got a boost yesterday when I got an email from an Oz friend - we gave her a copy of the book when they visited us. Not only did she love it, but a visiting friend picked it up, started reading it, and was enjoying it so much that she took it back to Victoria to finish!

What author could ask for more, that people are enjoying her book?

I listened in to the meeting yesterday - as Col (off on his Detectoring) rang me to say there was a lot of ice about, and he was worried.  The thought of another fall...  The Watchtower was about courage, which made me feel a complete wimp (which actually I am), but I don't think I am going to be able to be at all courageous in the face of ice.  It is too easy to fall. And if I fall I will break something. I am still quite crippled in my left arm from that fall in Sheffield.  And also poor old Captain B will be back on nursing duty.

And then I got our calendar in a mess and double booked us for Saturday night. It was Jackie who helped to sort that one out.  Now I have managed to get in a muddle all my life, but when it happens in your seventies, it takes on a sinister overtone...

Jean and I went to the Field Service group on Saturday morning - though we did return visits, not first calls, and had some good calls. Still so hard to find people at home though.

I have a talk on Thursday night - just 2 minutes - and I have emailed it to the young sister who is my householder and she will come over on Thursday for a practice session.

We had Jacks over for supper on Saturday - beef chile with small small things (spring onions, chopped tomato, yoghurt, grated cheese) - and lemon drizzle cake with ice-cream after. I made the chile on Friday so it wasn't a rush.

It is a recipe I learnt many many years ago on Planet Expat when I did a Tex Mex cookery course.   I have cooked it many times since then, and it has never let me down.  The Captain and I finished this batch for our supper tonight.