Sunday, 30 August 2009

What I did in my holidays

We are back from our trip up North - got back very late on Friday night and were exhausted. Lovely to see everyone, but the Captain was so ill he could do very little. Thank goodness the athletics were on telly so he could sit and watch those. I wasnt too well myself by the end of the week.
I have made an apple and plum crumble with some of the sackloads of fruit we brought back with us and am, in theory, going to have a go at Crab Apple Jelly.
I got to the Kingdom Hall this morning for a wonderful talk and Watchtower study. And Maggie and I have made plans to go out on Tuesday and do return visits. I have so many to get to now, as I have been away.
Jacks should be back from Spain this weekend.
Our balcony flowers have survived fine - although there doesnt seem to have been much rain down here. In fact the ivy geraniums are doing so well I only hope they haven't swallowed a window cleaner or two.
Is it safe to leave them unsupervised?!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

harvest time

We are now at the Farm - fruit trees groaning with fruit, Autumn definitely in the air. I am writing this in the study, looking out over a fruit orchard. Captain Butterfly still hobbling about, unable to photograph anything. We go to York tomorrow and then back home to the South Coast. Its a bank holiday weekend coming up - bank holiday weather today, somewhat gray and rainy

Saturday, 22 August 2009

To the North

We are now up in my Northern hometown - north of Watford. We arrived yesterday. The Captain still hobbling painfully around on his walking stick. We hope to visit Hull and York before we go back down South.
I just talked to the lovely West Indian lady who knocked at my door all those years ago with her Bible and her Watchtower and began a Bible study with me. She is old and very sick now and has just lost two members of her family. But she was out on the doors preaching this morning!
I hope i am going to let that be an inspiration for me.
And I hope to see her and all the local family at the Kingdom Hall tomorrow. In the meantime we are sitting out in the bungalow garden - an oasis in the city - with Ollie the dog, innumerable squirrels and two sulky cats (who loathe Ollie as he chases them - he is a rescue dog of many breeds but one of them is certainly terrier). It is a beautiful August afternoon with a touch of Autumn. If I still wrote poems, I would write one now.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Thoughts on a Monday morning

Its a grey old morning too. The Channel outside the window very calm. Bea left yesterday. We have a quiet day ahead of us and the hospital visit tomorrow.
The poor wounded Captain is still having to spend the night in an armchair in the lounge, and can't walk very well.
Janie emailed and rang yesterday - and we had a long talk.
She and her family moved in next door to us when we were both 12. And now we are both pensioners, discussing the joys of having our free bus passes.
How did that happen?
Her sad news was that her brother Robbie - younger than both of us - died this year.
I hope he will remain sleeping safe in 'the everlasting arm' until the time comes for the dead to wake up.
I remember him as a Just William little boy - always tearing about, always in trouble.
It is going to be like this from now on - the older i get the more I feel the force of the Biblical warning that, for the moment 'death reigns as king over us'. Its sad and frightening to feel it working away inside me, as, slowly but surely, bits start to fail.
But not for too much longer as the Rider on the white horse of Revelation has begun his ride - and under his rule 'death will be no more'.
God will wipe out every tear from our eyes then, and we will be able to enjoy this beautiful beautiful world as He always intended we should, with life 'to time indefinite' before us.
This is what we are longing to be able to tell people, as we go door to door with our Bibles and our Watchtower magazines.

I thought I would add a little poem by William Allingham, describing a glimpse of Paradise that stayed with him.

Four ducks on a pond
by William Allingham

Four ducks on a pond
A grass-bank beyond
A blue sky of spring
White clouds on the wing
What a little thing
To remember for years -
To remember with tears!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Bea - and the coming Autumn

Bea is over with us for the weekend, escaping from the noise of the Shoreham airshow. We have had a very quiet day. Our kitchen shelves arrived this morning and they are now up and running and rapidly filling up with STUFF. We need another big clear out I think. A bit of a grey old day, but no rain, just a lovely blue Channel and very green green.

A poem, for the Autumn that is coming.

Autumn in Sheffield (by me)

Leaves so lately green
lie on greener grass
On mossy stones
the squirrels pass
to deeper shades of grey and green
Into woods were Winter waits
and, breathing nearer, shakes the trees
Now we start to feed the birds
The squirrel wears her winter furs.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The strange effect artists have on us ladies

We all went to the Waterhouse Exhibition at the Royal Academy today. I have loved Waterhouse since I was a child with my Golden Treasury book of Art. We saw a lot of the old favourites, like Hylas and the Nymphs, and Echo and Narcissus.

I again noted the strange way us ladies act whenever an artist walks past us. We instantly start taking a bath - or, oops, we fall out of the top of our frocks.

Yet the effect seems to lose its power once we are over 30.

I suppose we must learn how not to do it.

Or could there be some other reason?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

An invitation

An invitation arrived today for: Two Birthdays and a Wedding - the couple concerned are 140 this year and have been married for 25 years. We hope to go up North for the occasion, though in my case it will only be to celebrate the wedding, as I don't celebrate birthdays.

The invitees understand and are happy with that.

Captain Butterfly had his best day ever - see his blog.

Audrey and I had a strange morning on the doors - we met one lady who went out of her way to be very nasty to us, and another lady who was very pleasant although not interested. We tried a return visit to the lady who took : 'When Someone You Love Dies', but, as usual, could find no-one at home.

a catch up

The last few days... the Thai branch of the family came and went - apparently very much enjoying his new life in Thailand, so I don't know when we shall see him again. Audrey and I have been out on the doors. And last night i cooked the beans from Bea's garden, which we had with a quiche.

Jacks and Julian came round to help us eat the smoked salmon and maple syrup biscuits left by the Canadian branch when it visited. The smoked salmon quite different from the English version - nicer in fact. But it was proper wild Sockeye salmon.

I do think though that it will be wonderful when Paradise is restored and we no longer kill and eat the animal creation.

We will return to the world of Eden.

We are all off to London tomorrow to the pre-Raphaelites at the Royal Academy. The Captain, Jacks and I will meet Bea and Amy in London - at the cheese shop.

Pen, No.2 sister, has been on to me about getting on with the poetry book we are supposed to be producing with me editing - so I do intend to get on with that.

I might put a poem or two into my blog, I don't know.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Twickenham Convention

Back to Twickenham, first time in some years, for the Convention Sunday. The Captain very kindly drove me up and then went off butterflying. I blundered about in the enormous stadium, first getting myself into the Spanish language speaking group, then managed to get myself into the English language section and actually found a seat at the end of a row. I wanted to be be able to leave quickly at the end so that the Captain, who would be waiting for me outside, would not get held up by all the convention traffic. It worked out well too as I had a large witness family on the other side of me and had to keep getting up and down to let the kids come and go from the loo. So that was good for me, given my lung problem.

We had one of the Governing body, brother Barr, doing one of the talks! He is very old now, but bursting with enthusiasm. They are very much emphasing how suddenly the 'great tribulation' will begin - that the attack on the world's religions will come very very quickly when it comes.

They also reminded us that once Jehovah closed the door of the Ark, there was no longer any opportunity for people outside to be saved from the Deluge. It was Jehovah alone who decided when that moment had come.

"On this very day Noah went in, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, Noah's sons, and the wife of Noah and the three wives of his sons with him, into the ark; they and every wild beast according to its kind, and every domestic animal according to its kind... After that Jehovah shut the door behind him." - Genesis 7:13-16

Jehovah shut the door.

So we should have a renewed sense of the urgency of the preaching work. And in harmony with that Audrey and i hope to get out on the doors on Wednesday as well as Tuesday.

It was lovely to get back to Sussex at the end of the day. We love living here, by the sea. And we stopped at Osca's for fish and chips. I went to bed before 10, went straight to sleep and slept right through. Hoping for a quiet recovering day today.

The Thai branch of the family should arrive tomorrow for a visit, IF the work he is having done on his house has gone to plan.