Friday, 29 January 2010

The light on the Channel

The light on the Channel is so lovely in this late afternoon. We have just had a flurry of snow and the sky is a blue grey, becoming very blue to the horizon where it meets the bright turquoise edge of the Channel, and the sun is shining through onto the green. The tide is going out (I think) and there is a flock of seagulls very white and sparkling out in the shallows.

Another glimpse of Paradise.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Reading Barbara Pym

Just finished 'An Unsuitable Attachment' and started 'Jane and Prudence' and have had to tear myself away to make the carrot cake. Which is a bit of an improvisation, with a tin of apricots rather than pineapple, owing to the fact that my store cupboard is a bit bare at the moment.
I think a big shop is called for.
I was at the shops this morning, taking Audrey to the Bank, but didn't really have time to do much beyond grab a quick lunch for us from Cooks.
But what can I say about Barbara Pym that hasn't already been said?
She is so funny - and sad too (in her later books) with a wonderful Autumnal melancholy. And she recreates a vanished world - a world that I saw vanish. I must find some quotes and put them in a blog.
I managed finally to find the gentleman who was made redundant at home, had a brief chat, and he took the article I bought him - and said he will read it. Its from an old 'Awake' magazine and is full of practical and common sense ideas to help all who are looking for work.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A January weekend

What were the highlights of our weekend... think think... a whirring sound as of two brain cells colliding in the middle of a vast empty space...

Jackie invited us over for a lovely pork roast on Friday night and we had a good talk about the recent horrible letter she was sent. People are getting nastier and nastier - well some of them. Not all, thank goodness.

Col very kindly agreed to act as chauffeur so I could do my return visits in our local Cathedral Town. No-one was at home, except the lady who lives in the lovely close in the shadow of the Cathedral. She sent her husband to the door to tell me she wasn't interested.

Its sad as I had asked her what she was praying for when she asked for God's Kingdom to come. She didn't know, and seemed ready to discuss it. And she had accepted some literature.

We then had a browse in the splendid second hand bookshop at the bottom of the hill - and i found two Barbara Pym's. I am trying to rebuild my Pym collection. And we treated ourself and did our shopping at the butcher and the deli opposite. And we popped in to a couple of Charity Shop. They can get quite upmarket donations round there.

I roasted the lamb today and very nice it was too.

Today Captain Butterfly metal detected with his flock, and brought back a Roman coin. It will probably appear on his blog.

I went to the meeting at the Kingdom Hall - wonderful as ever, but as always a reminder of how much of a struggle i need to put up to even come close to putting on 'the new personality'.

They are stressing love so much.

Got an emergency call from Audrey this morning. Her usual driver is sick - lots of colds in the cong at the moment. Could i pick her up? So I left much earlier than usual and collected her and we were first into the Hall carpark!

The point being that it fills up very quickly and don't usually manage to park on the same road, let alone the car park. So I hope its another driving landmark - as i have never driven into the Hall car park on a meeting night before - too scared in case its full - and i have do some amazing things backwards to get out again.

I called in on another lady who I have talked to and placed a 'What Does the Bible Really Teach?' with. But yet again, she was out. Her husband was in and seemed quite keen to chat, but i felt awkward being on my own, so didn't stay.

There was a feeling of the coming Spring in the air.

Monday, 18 January 2010


Woke up to a misty morning - sea fret all round. The Captain just rushed out onto the balcony to take some photos as there was a moment when the sun began to shine through from the West and bits of blue sky began to appear at the top of the heavenly screen.

I followed him onto the balcony and heard the roar of the waves and realised that somewhere out there in the mists was a stormy sea.

But the fret has come back stronger than ever. Now we can hardly see the Green, let alone the Channel, which disappeared this morning.

What an amazing world it is. Never the same from one day to the next.

It was my trip to see the Arthritis lady this morning. She also diagnosed my mysterious lack of balance, but I have forgotten what she said it was. Its a condition called Something Something Something, and i may have it for 6 months!

I have medicine in case the nausea gets worse.

She was very amused by the cutting short of my new found gym career as I would hardly dare to go on any machine that requires balance at the moment. But she thinks it a good idea, once I can balance properly again.

Friday, 15 January 2010

A gym bunny

I have finally become a gym bunny, as I had my induction at the local fitness centre this morning. No sign of Mr.Brittass thank goodness.

On the same day, I managed to develop vertigo, which might slow my new athletic career down.

Although it would be hard for it to be slower than it already is. The machines will be set on 'Elderly Tortoise' when I use them. The 'Hare' setting will slowly rust.

Jacks is coming round for curry. The veggie curries are made, just need to be heated up, and I will cook the chicken and rice when she arrives. We are finally opening Linda's homemade chutney to serve as one of the small small things to go with the meal.

Chocolate mousse for afters.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

in the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, with the snow being gone from the coast, we went for a birdwatching walk with Paul and 3 other Birdies. Saw some wonderful flying things (see the Captain's Log for the technical details and photos).

I was trailing along behind the rest as my eyes don't work well with binoculars nowadays. By the time i have actually tried to look through them, turned them the right way round, looked through them again, tried to focus, got them focussed, tried to understand the cries of 'There, under that tree in the field" - there being nothing but trees and fields all round - the bird has already migrated.

I was thinking how beautiful it all is, even at this bleak time of year - a very grey mid January day, cold and damp, grey slushy snow melting - the trees stark and skeletal. But it was lovely lovely lovely and full of colour. The rushes were gold, some of the branches of the bushes were a dark red, it was still so green, so many shades you couldn't count them - and in the distance were the snow-covered downs.

We met three friendly horses and I wish I had thought to bring some carrots.

And then we spent a long time at the beach at Ferring. While they watched some dots way out in the distance on the water, I watched the breaking waves. And was reminded of a wonderful documentary we saw some years ago, about an African couple - father and daughter - bushmen of the Kalahari i believe - and a Dutch girl - who were taking two lions across the desert to the sea.

They had never seen the sea before - at the least the Kalahari Bush people hadn't. And talking about it afterwards, the father said: "I don't know how God made it so beautiful!"

Yes. Absolutely. I don't know how He did either, but am very grateful for it.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

a quiet weekend

A quiet weekend. Our field service and meeting at the Kingdom Hall was cancelled as it is so icy underfoot and on the side roads. Although so far we haven't had this extra snow that the rest of the country seem to have got.
We shopped on Saturday morning and restocked our kitchen. Captain B went for a walk both days and did some metal detecting, and I studied, cooked, did the usual housework and tried to make a start on catching up on letters and emails.
The highlight of our weekend has been watching the Darts on the telly.
I tried to ring Anne today but she wasn't around so left a message. We spoke to Jacks who was hoping to get over to Chichester Theatre, and there have been a flurry of emails in the cousins groups as we all update each other on the weather conditions. The Oz Branch of the family reports that it is very hot.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A chauffer driven morning...

Luxury this morning, as Captain Butterfly, who is worried about my ability to drive in ice and snow (I have never done so, as there wasn't any such driving in Saudi Arabia) very nobly offered his driving services for me and Miss Audrey this morning. He took us off and about. We did only manage 35 mins on the doors as it was very cold, but we both managed to deliver some of the January Watchtower and Awake magazines, and we also took Audrey to the bank.

We then took Miss A home and went and shopped ourselves.

It is supposed to snow tonight and we had rather not have to go out tomorrow if possible.

Although, in theory, Kaya is coming for me tomorrow at 11.30 and we are hoping to do an hour of return visits.

We will just have to see how the weather goes.

Nick and Linda came round yesterday - and we had a Thai takeaway in the evening. They have still not exchanged on the house - problems with the garage.

We lunched off the remainders of the Thai takeaway, with a nursery pudding of jelly and yoghurt afterwards.

I am probably going to sleep now. This cold has exhausted me.

Friday, 1 January 2010

A new day, a new year

I wrote this poem many years ago - in our travelling years. The new year arrived while we were flying between Hong Kong and Oz, and I woke up to a wonderfully strange cloud formation and the sun just beginning to light up the horizon.

A New Day, A New Year
by me

The morning fires burn
Behind the long line of the horizon
Cloud covers come off
Grey flocks fold in sheets
All flat and squashed
Stars have fled West
Us passengers wake cross
To airline tea
And airline toast.

And here is another one from my poetry writing days - about a new year in my Northern hometown.

by me

Black trees rattle in the icy wind
Through gale-smashed panes the greenhouse sings
Tights, shirts, tea-towels, bras and knicks
Dance to welcome eighty-six!

How long ago that was...

I don't know what i would write about this new year, if I still wrote poems.

What rhymes with 'bad cold'?

I have put up the new calendars, started my new diary, and read the wonderful new introduction to 'Examining the Scriptures Daily' for 2010.

Our Yeartext is from the perfect description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 - specifically verses 7 and 8: "Love endures all things. Love never fails."

We are being reminded to hold fast to Christian principles and Christian teaching in the face of all that 'the world' (and our own imperfect natures) can and will throw at us this year.

That is the challenge.