Sunday, 28 February 2010

Travels without my couch

The valiant Maggie drove us into the wilds of Surrey for the 2 day convention that we missed in December - due to icy roads. A lovely but tiring two days. Horrendous travel this morning - heavy rain - flood warnings - streams flooding onto road, etc etc, but a much better journey back, thank God.

It was lovely to spend two days with Maggie too.

We got some news of our brothers in Haiti - the Society's help and rescue operation is up and running and they are being found and helped. The brothers have been going round the hospitals singing Kingdom songs and are managing to find everyone that way.

I know the brothers in Chile will be well organised too.

Monday, 22 February 2010

From the couch

The only times I have been out in the last week are to the two congregation meetings and for our usual Friday night round at Jackie's. She cooked us salmon, followed by lemon cheesecake and we had a fun evening, laughing about everything. I have at least managed to finish off the great mound of Christmas letters. While I don't celebrate it, I do try to reply to everyone's card and news. I have one final card to do - and a trip to the Post Office as these last are all the abroad ones. Then its done. In theory, I will then get back to my writing. Or trying to get some of my writing published. Even the Captain hasn't been out much - weather (wet) - no Treasure Hunts scheduled - but he has gone out a hunting for food and brought back the shopping. He hunted down a couple of pizzas for lunch the other day.
Dozing on my couch, I have never watched so much daytime telly. One minute Chris Tarrant is telling someone they are 15 questions away from a Million, and suddenly Hercule Poirot is fiercely questioning them - about the theft of a million? or a murder? - the carpet is very red and there are angry voices - but it isn't blood - its Colin and Justin mad as snakes because the red tiles for the kitchen aren't the right shade.
I have wimpily avoided the news and anything serious, but did see those terrifying floods in Madeira - many killed, many more made homeless. Being made homeless - in the middle of Winter... The power of water, and the impermanence of everything in this present system of things on the earth.
When Paradise is restored, we will be able to see and feel nature's power - perhaps as never before? - and be awed, amazed and delighted by it. But it will never hurt us.
Remember Jesus calming the storm? He was showing us that, as the one appointed by Jehovah as King of the kingdom, he will have power over the elements.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A couch potato

I don't think anyone has written a poem yet about lying on a sofa coughing so I can't find a good poetic title for today's blog. All I have done is manage to get some lunch for us - cold chicken and fried potatoes - do my studying - we are in Judges at the moment, which is quite a frightening book in its way - and put some information about the cross, and its not being a Christian symbol, into my Jewish internet discussion group. Oh and I replied to Jen, plus started my reply to Kathryn.

They have been for a Winter break in Lanzarote, and sent us two lovely cards.

When we were all Catholic Convent Schoolgirls, they used to come over to our house every Winter Sunday afternoon. We used to sit in the dining room, huddled by the gas fire, and talk. And eat oranges. And make ourselves big doorstop sized cheese on toasts.

How long ago that was. And how young our parents were then. And how immense the future seemed, stretching before us.

Growing older throws up new perspectives on everything.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

icicles that fret at noon

I couldn't think what to call my blog today, so have borrowed another line from John Clare's 'Shepherd's Calendar' - from the poem 'February - a Thaw'.

Thank you, John Clare. And it will be a priviledge to meet you in the restored earthly Paradise - IF I do.

I am sure John Clare will be there. The question is: Will I be?

We don't have icicles, but there was a sleet flurry this morning as I set off to drive to the Hall.

They have changed all the chairs at the Hall - so Maggie and I who have our own cosy corner, with 'our' chairs, will feel a bit at sea. It is probably a much needed shake up.

This awful cough seems to be turning into a conventional cold, which is a relief.

We had a lovely evening with Jackie on Friday -and she is cooking for us next Friday.

An internet friend from America has asked me to be his valentine. So I am all of a fluster. And I am just about to email back thanking him for making my day, but pointing out that I will be a rather elderly one.

And, in any case, we (Jehovah's Witnesses) don't celebrate it. It probably originates in the Roman festival called Lupercalia - which honoured Juno and Pan. So its something we would prefer to leave alone.

Friday, 12 February 2010

A beautiful card

A beautiful card arrived for me this morning. It was from Bea. And also from the Sussex collection - a view looking down to Eastbourne of a walk that she and Brian would do - summer and winter.

I hope they will be doing it again, when the time comes.

I had forgotten what day it was until the card arrived.

My other news is of Ginger Ice Cream. I am trying to make some. Jackie is coming round tonight for a beef chile so I thought that ice cream would make a good dessert.

Yesterday's batch turned into scrambled egg.

Today's batch seems to have worked, thank goodness. But now its a race against time to see if it sets before dessert time arrives - sometime this evening.

Which I cannot pretend is a major problem, given the news all around us, Haiti, the Congo, the never ending horrors emerging about abused children in the UK, the Middle East... there is no end to it.

We have surely proved beyond any reasonable doubt that when Jehovah warned us that 'it does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step', He was exactly right.

Why else do we pray for God's Kingdom to come?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Another driving triumph - almost

I got an emergency call from Audrey this morning, as her lift had got a punctured tyre, could I pick her up. I could and did, but when we got to the Hall there were only 2 parking places left and I needed to get into the far one so that other one was useable. Well, back and fill as I might, I could not do it. Thank goodness, one of the elders, Steve, came to my rescue and helped me.

A lovely meeting.

Captain Butterfly had flown off to a Metal Detecting Site, but no Viking Hoard today.

I am still full of a cold, coughing and coughing and feeling dizzy. I did swing by the lady who I left the 'What Does the Bible Really Teach?' book with, but there was no-one there. I have been lying on the sofa coughing and having hots cups of tea ever since.

The evenings are getting lighter and the Channel is calm.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The return of The Orchid

The orchid Bea gave us a year and a half ago is blooming again. Two perfect white flowers. It slept for a while then slowly put up its flower stalk and its buds and now the flowers are coming out, one by one. Our Lidl Orchid, the purple one, is obviously doing the same, but hasn't quite reached the flowering stage yet.

Sometimes when going door to door with my Bible, I meet people who say that they will believe in God if He shows them a miracle.

Yet the miracles are all around us.

Dylan Thomas wrote (in a poem, don't know which one) of 'the force that through the green fuse drives the flower'.

What is that force?

It is the spirit of the Grand Creator, the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.

And every flower is a miracle - a perfection of beauty.

And now I feel very guilty that i am not going to my field service group this morning to try and tell people about their Creator. But I am coughing and coughing. I did manage an hour of return visits yesterday, but it exhausted me. And I ended up coughing and coughing in a horrible manner. I hope this cold is going to go by Spring!

We had a lovely meal at Jackie's last night. She had made us an Italian style casserole with chicken and olives, followed by fresh pineapple.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


My 63rd February.

How many more will I have?

IF Jehovah keeps me in his book of life, then I hope to have unnumbered Februarys - life 'to time indefinite' in the restored earthly Paradise.

Audrey and I were out this morning, but not for long. It was a bit too cold for her. But we did a good part of her magazine route - finding no-one in though - and a couple of my return visits - finding no-one in once again. Then I took her shopping.

In his Shepherd's Calendar, John Clare wrote this about February - the sort of February where you get a false spring - then March comes in like a lion!

The snow is gone from cottage tops
The thatch moss glows in brighter green
And eaves in quick succession drops
Where grinning icicle has been
Pit patting wi a pleasant noise
In tubs set by the cottage door
And ducks and geese wi happy joys
Douse in the yard pond brimming oer

The sun peep thro the window pane
Which childern mark wi laughing eye
And in the wet street steal again
To tell each other spring is nigh...

but the poem ends like this:

Nature soon sickens of her joys
And all is sad and dumb again
Save merry shouts of sliding boys
About the frozen furrowed plain
The foddering boy forgets his song
And silent goes wi folded arms
And croodling shepherds bend along
Crouching to the whizzing storms.

So far, this isn't a John Clare February - more a Roman one. I believe the Romans called this month 'February Filldyke' as it rained all the time. We have got off to rainy start, rather than a springlike one.

But spring is round the corner.