Monday, 28 December 2009

the year comes to an end

The year is coming to its end. We - the Captain, Bea and me - are just back from our trip up North. It was the perfection of Winter on Thursday. We woke up to thick snow, snow on the trees, squirrels, and many birds on the feeders. Even parakeets - who are a new arrival in my Northern hometown.

It was a nice family time. Everyone managed to negotiate the fact that I don't actually celebrate Christmas anymore.

The three little girls seemed to have a good day. Nute has it all well organised. Jen and Kathryn came over the next day - and Helen dropped by to show us the boots she got in the Sales. They were gorgeous - but she does have a model figure and long model legs.

I managed to develop a horror of a cold on the way up so had to miss out on the trip to see Janie and Mrs.Lee, but the Captain went. And I was only able to talk to Willhelm on the phone. But it was lovely to hear her voice.

Sometimes I do wish we could have the days back when we all lived in one town, and our aged parents were with us again, but just try to tell myself that it was wonderful that we did when we did, and be thankful for that.

As long as we all meet up in the restored earthly Paradise.... when the time comes.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Thai curry on a cold night

Jacks came round this evening and we had a Thai curry, followed by coffee and carrot cake. She said she was skidding all over the place as she drove into the flats. I could feel the cold starting to get into the flat as the sun went down. We have to drive over to meet Phil and Laila for lunch tomorrow and I just hope the roads will be OK.

Had a chat with Maggie on the phone this morning, did some studying, and continued the online discussion about the cross, and what it is actually a symbol of.

Otherwise did very little beyond the routine housework.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

There blooms no bud in May...

This is the right time of year for a beautiful poem by Walter de la Mare. It doesn't seem to be anthologised. I only found it because I was reading a book by someone, a short story maybe? - I can't remember now - and they quoted the last verse. I took me years to find the poem, but I did find it. In a De la Mare anothology I found in a second hand bookshop in Brighton. So here it is.


Walter De la Mare

There blooms no bud in May
Can for its white compare
With snow at break of day
On fields forlorn and bare.

For shadow it hath rose.
Azure and amethyst;
And every air that blows
Dies out in beauteous mist.

It hangs the frozen bough
With flowers on which the night
Wheeling its darkness through
Scatters a starry light.

Fearful of its pale glare
In flocks the starling rise
Slide through the frosty air
And perch with plaintive cries.

Only the inky rook,
Hunched cold in ruffled wings,
Its snowy nest forsook
Caws of unnumbered Springs.

What a wonderful world we live in. And how joyful Walter De la Mare will be when he wakes from the sleep of death and finds himself in the restored earthly Paradise.

We will all have 'unnumbered Springs' to look forward to then.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Snowman, Snowman

I think my heading today is the title of a Janet Frame collection of short stories.

Woke up to snow blanketing everything. Louise and I decided to cancel our afternoon return visits, and Maggie rang to cancel the trip to Surrey tomorrow. The snow is much worse inland and there is more on the way tonight.

Captain Butterfly is supplying the Snowman photo to go with today's blog.

Audrey came round for tea this morning.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Winter arrives

Very cold today, snow on the way apparently. Audrey and I managed an hour of return visits and magazine deliveries. We didn't find many in, but at least we tried.

There have been two deaths in the congregation recently - one very sudden. The first funeral today, which I could not get to, but - depending on when Bea arrives Tuesday - we might manage to go to the second one next week.

I hope they are both sleeping safe in 'the everlasting arms', and have a wonderful awakening ahead of them into the restored earthly Paradise.

Captain Butterfly and I have done nothing much for the rest of the day. I have caught up on emails a bit, him on paperwork, but we have been couch potatoeing really.

I have the Dentist tomorrow morning, and a blood test on Thursday.

A lot of retirement time is taken up with these medical things.

I was thinking about our childhood winters - how we loved snow. There seemed to be a lot more of it then - or at least there was in our northern moorland town.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

To a Cathedral town

A lovely evening at Jackie's last night. She made us ham, baked potato and salad, followed by cheesecake. All delicious and a fun evening.

But it was such an effort to get up and get going this morning. I really had to remind myself of how much Jehovah has done and is doing for me, and all of us. And then when I finally did get in a better frame of mind and set off to drive to Sue's for the field service I had trouble with my car - the front screen windscreen - or rather the thing that is supposed to clear it - doesn't seem to be working properly. I nearly turned back, but anyway, I didn't and arrived late.

The maps were for our local Cathedral town today. Sue very kindly drove me and we had nearly two hours out. We finished our territory - placed quite a few magazines - and did a couple of return visits too. It was cold, but quite sunny. And we were working in the shadow of the cathedral - a magnificent and imposing building, but...

I now have to wrestle with cheesecake again. Captain Butterfly is off to the Annual Do of the Treasure Hunters tonight and was asked to bring the dessert. So I have made a giant chocolate cheescake, which we now have to extract from its container, slice, and package for the journey.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Jacks is back!

And should be arriving any minute for a glass of wine and a catch up.

Another rainy day, although the rain held off for an hour or so this morning and me and Audrey and the rest of our Field Service group had sunshine for our morning door to door work. Audrey and I did our part of the map - found very few people in - and then did some of Audrey's RVs. including delivering a Daily Text for 2010 to a lovely lady who seemed really appreciative.

Umbrellas is finished I think.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Still struggling with Umbrellas

And not because of the weather, though its been raining again, and the waves in the Channel are wonderful. Its my short story, it is finished but in rough form. I got Pen's comments in today, so I can start the final polish.

Its nice having Captain Butterfly back - and I hope the exotic creature is going to settle down for a while. He admits to being tired, but i don't know how long that will last.

Phil and Mrs Phil (friends from our expat days) will be over next week, so we hope to meet them for lunch.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

a stormy start to winter

December arrived with cold rain and storms. I feel a bit flat as my visitors have now left. I took No.1 sister to the station on Tuesday, and No.2 sister yesterday. A new bit of driving for me - and I had to reverse into the station car park space - there were plenty of spaces or I could not have attempted it. i ended up parked across two of them, but as it was only for a quick goodbye it didn't matter.

They are both so busy, so I am grateful they came. We had a lovely time and I even cooked. I must get back to cooking actually especially now its winter.

I now have a short story to finish - today!

Plus a blood test, and the meeting at the Hall tonight.

Captain Butterfly has appeared on my computer screen every afternoon, looking brown and happy, very brightly coloured (tropical shirts), and with palms waving in the background. His blog is full of the wonders of the Indian Ocean.