Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night, the night of the Memorial this year - on 30th March, or the 14th of Nisan - the day of the Passover. I hadn't realised how windy until I stepped outside the flat and my carefully prepared self was blown into something that even Strewelpeter would have found a bit messy. Anyway, we picked up Jacks, and arrived with 15 mins to spare. Maggie had saved us seats. Ron gave the talk - excellently. He is not a well man now, but it was beautifully delivered and heartfelt.

The bread and the wine was passed, although we have no-one in our congregation who takes it.

I don't know what Jacks and the Captain made of it, but I hope they thought about what they heard. Ron spoke a lot about the Biblical hope of living forever in the restored earthly Paradise.

And it was lovely to have Captain B beside me at the Kingdom Hall and to be able to hold his hand during the final prayer.

We then came back here and had a bottle of Oyster Bay and some nibbles and had a nice couple of hours together. The storm raged all through the night, and the Channel is well stirred up today. Wonderful waves beating outside our window.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Lost in (Private) Space

The Captain hauled me out for a long walk this morning - my first for ages. See his Log for the photographs. It was a perfect March day - sunny, with a strong cold wind, a glittering Channel and daffodils everywhere. And the valiant dog walkers were out on the sea front. We walked along the shore that fronts the very wealthy estates to the East. It was hard going on shingle - but a great dose of ozone. However, when trying to leave we got lost in a maze of Private Streets and Security Gated Mansions. Wonderful houses and gardens, but we couldn't find the way out. Just as I was starting to panic and wonder how long we could survive on the scrapings of caviare and dregs of champagne we would find in their dustbins, the Captain turned the right corner and off we went.We picked up Brian's picture this afternoon. It looks wonderful in our frame and has brightened up our rather dark hall. It is a copy of Plage de Villerville, Normandy by Charles Fran├žois Daubigny (1817-1878).

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Damaged Wings Redux

Still not well. I don't think i have had one day of good health since late December - moan moan. Its a good thing i am not a butterfly as that means that my whole tiny life would have been one of illness. In fact something would probably have eaten me the moment I limped painfully out of my chrysalis.
Although, getting older, I realise just how short our lives are at the moment - how little time we have to see this lovely world - and to be with the people we love.
The Captain was a hero (as usual) and took me and Audrey out on the field service as I could not drive us. It is very cold again with a bitter wind. But I got the Memorial Invitations to everyone on my tiny magazine route at least - and helped Audrey to get them to the rest of her vast route.
We saw Jacks yesterday and delivered her invite personally. She might come. But she has damaged wings too at the moment and isn't sure.
That Horseman of Sickness (of Revelation) is riding hard. But what we must always remember is that the Rider on the White Horse is riding too - so a rescue is at hand. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and will put an end to this current system of things upon the earth.
Then 'no resident will say "I am sick''' - and IF I am there, my blog posts will take a cheerier turn.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Damaged wings

While Captain Butterfly and guests have been fluttering around, Mrs. Captain Butterfly (myself) has been confined to her flower with arthritic wings. Four days into the visits I was hit by my worst arthritis attack yet. I managed to stagger about and organise food and packed lunches but the wonderful Captain B did the rest.

The Captain's Log gives the details. They went all over and hopefully had a good time. Dorothy bought us (including Jackie) a great Thai takeaway last night.

We are now back from Bea's having left Dorothy at the station. She had a good trip up to her stepdaughter. And it feels very quiet here now our fellow expats have gone. We hope they will both be back.

It was a bit of an Aramco reunion all round. We even talked to Paul via Skype. I should be at the meeting tonight but I am not able to get showered or changed. I am hoping and praying to be a lot better in the morning. Especially as i am hoping to go out on the door to door work with a young sister and don't want to let her down.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Goodbye to Roger

Roger left this morning. Captain B and Dorothy went off very early for a day's treasure hunting (they found no treasure), and Roger and I left about 9.30, he for London, me for the meeting at the Kingdom Hall.

Lovely to see him again - and quite an Aramco reunion. We talked to Paul on Skype yesterday, it was almost a reunion of the Ramadam lunch group.

Roger had requested we have:
(a) a Paul curry
(b) a lamb hot pot (Roger style)
or (c) a fish pie.

So I did a fish pie. And we had sandwiches in the evening. And had a walk round Swanbourne lake in the afternoon

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Orchid in its Glory

Bea's orchid has returned more beautiful than ever and Captain Butterfly has taken some great photos, one of which he is going to put on my blog.
We are just watching a programme about the solar wind - and seeing pictures of the Aurora Borealis on Saturn and Jupiter.
Audrey and I did some first call work this morning, but not too much as it was so cold. We did return visits after that.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Grown up driving

Had to do some grown up driving on Saturday as our field service group was witnessing in one of the country villages. I wasn't feeling too well, but managed about 45 minutes with Jean. We finished our territory at any rate. I followed Mick's car and did a lot of praying. And I gratefully note that at every one of the big roundabouts we came to, I was able to follow Mick directly onto the roundabout. That held good all the way there and back, until the very last roundabout, which didn't matter as i knew where I was then.

We had to park in a layby, and to get back out I had to reverse into a sort of tractor track. Just as I was starting the young brother in charge came over and offered to reverse it for me. Which was very kind of him. But I did manage on my own. Admittedly you could probably have got 10 tractors into the space.

I am afraid that my exploits in the Kingdom Hall car park - from which I have had to be rescued by a brother on one occasion - have not given my siblings any confidence in my reversing skills.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Four Comments (unused)

A forest of hands went up at the meeting last night after Malcolm gave his talk on the Book of Ruth, and my hand wasn't called upon. So I now have four unused comments that I think I will post here in case anyone would like them.

In case anyone isn't familiar with the Book of Ruth, it tells of an Israelite couple and their two sons who have to leave Judah because of a famine and who have to 'reside as an alien in the fields of Moab'. Things do not go well with them. The husband and the sons die, and Naomi, the mother, is left alone, with her two Moabite daughters in law, Orpah and Ruth. She decides to go back to the land of Judah, and when her daughters in law say they want to come with her, she tells them that she should stay in Moab as they are young enough to remarry and have some children of their own.

However, Ruth refuses to leave Naomi and goes back to Judah with her. And there she agrees to a brother in law marriage so as to raise up children for her dead husband and for her mother in law.

In doing so, she becomes an ancestor of the Messiah. You will find her name in the genealogical tables for Jesus in the Book of Matthew: "Boaz became father to Obed by Ruth." - Matthew 1:5

And these are four things that I found very instructive when I re read Ruth, and would have commented on had I been called on, after reading the cited verses:

Ruth 1:11 "But Na′omi said: “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Do I still have sons in my inward parts, and will they have to become your husbands?"

I thought how unselfish Naomi was. She was returning alone. She had been away from the land of Judah for many years, and as a returned expat myself I know that the land you left is not the land you go back to. She would probably have loved to have had her daughters in law with, both for the journey and to help her when she got back. But she is thinking of them, and wants them to have their chance of marrying again and having children, which would be much easier for them in their own land, among their own people.

Ruth 1:16, "And Ruth proceeded to say: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I shall go, and where you spend the night I shall spend the night. Your people will be my people, and your God my God."

I wanted to compare this with Zechariah 8:23, which says: “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘It will be in those days that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew, saying: “We will go with you people, for we have heard [that] God is with you people.”’”

Ruth recognised that Jehovah’s spirit was with the Israelites, and we are here (in the congregation) because we too have recognised that this is where Jehovah's spirit is.

Ruth 2:20, ”At that Na′omi said to her daughter-in-law: “Blessed be he of Jehovah, who has not left his loving-kindness toward the living and the dead.” And Na′o‧mi went on to say to her: “The man is related to us. He is one of our repurchasers.”

This shows that Naomi had not lost her faith in Jehovah even though she had suffered tragedies. She saw Jehovah's hand reaching out to help her and to give her grandchildren, as any children Ruth and Boaz had would be considered to be the children of her dead son, because Boaz was a repurchaser.

Ruth 3:10 , "At that he (Boaz) said: “Blessed may you be of Jehovah, my daughter. You have expressed your loving-kindness better in the last instance than in the first instance, in not going after the young fellows whether lowly or rich."

I was going to mention Ruth’s unselfishness in choosing Boaz, who was not young, because of his being a repurchaser, to raise up a name for her dead husband and for her mother in law."

Thursday, 4 March 2010


We - the Captain and I - went to the launch of the thriller 'Like False Money', by Penny Grubb, (published by Robert Hale).

It went very well. ALCS did Penny proud. A lovely venue, lots of wine and nibbles. And Pen's presentation had us laughing all the way through. There were loads of questions after, and she gave us some very sensible advice about writing.

I had wondered where the title came from, and the book jacket explains:

"False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing." Joseph De Maistre

A good quote.

We bought back signed books for Jackie and Bea, who couldn't make the launch, but who hope to get to the next one.

I am looking forward to reading the finished version in book form, as I have seen it in bits and pieces over the years on our internet writers group.

What I remember most about it from these glimpses is that it is set in Hull, has a great sense of place, and that i didn't guess who did it.

Quiet day today, although not for the Captain who swarmed off with the Treasure Hunters. I find even a day in London tires me out now! I did his packed lunch this morning - the usual pollen sandwiches and a flask of nectar - did my studying and worked on the comments that Malcolm has asked us to make tonight at the meeting. He will be talking about the Book of Ruth from the platform, and we have to make a short comment each. I have got four worked out - one for each of us (in case Maggie has forgotten) and a spare for each of us, as we don't know what points he will cover in his talk.

I should have thought to ask him.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Month of Many Weathers

I thought I would look to John Clare's Shepherd's Calendar again:

"March month of 'many weathers' wildly comes
In hail and snow and rain and threatning hums
And floods: while often at his cottage door
The shepherd stands to hear the distant roar
Loosd from the rushing mills and river locks
Wi thundering sound and over powering shocks
And headlong hurry through the meadow brigs
Brushing the leaning willows fingering twigs
In feathery foam and eddy hurryng chase
Rolling a storm oertaken travellers pace
From bank to bank along the meadow leas
Spreading and shining like to little seas..."

In fact the 1st of March was sunny, as today has been so far. But water was certainly loosed from the rushing mills etc on the last day of February.

Bea's snowdrops are still flowering on the balcony, and our narcissi are out too.

Audrey and I saw crocuses (croci?) and snowdrops when we were out on the preaching work this morning. We did half of her magazine route, and a couple of my return visits.

John Clare will be so happy when he is woken from the sleep of death and sees it all again.