Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Layers of colour

The Channel is a sparkling blue with a few white frills.  The green is no longer green but gold (we need some rain), and then there is a layer of bright reds on our balcony as all the geraniums are flowering.  Its wonderful to sit here and watch it. I am just about to take myself out onto the balcony for my studies.

Audrey and I were out doing return visits this morning.  We didn't find anybody at home, but it was still satisfactory as we were able to deliver invitations to the upcoming District Convention in Brighton.  This year it is:   How Can You Draw Close to God?

This is something we all need to do with increasing urgency as the present system of things on the earth comes to its end.

And I shall be driving us this year...   very nervous about that.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Sick as a parrot

I suppose I must be as England has just scored fewer runs than Germany in some match or other.   Or something.  There were a lot of shouts of 'Rubbish' and 'Get Your Specs on Ref' from Captain B who turned up to watch the second half.

All I can say, from what I saw, and from what little i understood of it, is that Germany deserved to win, but the score should fairly have been 4-2.

Another hot day - I rushed off to shop early so perhaps will spend the afternoon slumped in front of Wimbledon.  And I hope to do my studying out on the balcony, overlooking the beautiful blue and sunny Channel.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Poppies and partridges

Attached to this blog should be a photo of the mother partridge with her 3 little chicks, and poppies outside a Norfolk cottage.  The wildflowers were wonderful, as were the fluffy clockwork chickens.  I was reminded of a poem by Donna Williams in which she talks of hens on their 'stickletti legs'.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

What I did in my holidays

Where to start?

Fell in love with Norfolk - the quietness of it all.  I have never been to the Broads or in the Fenland before.  Amazing to keep seeing the famous Swallowtail butterfly.  Every time it appeared a host of us middle aged paparazzi/groupies and our cameras materialised out of every reed bed and stood round it clicking away as it posed, or not, as the mood took it.  So much nicer than the Victorian way of catching it in a net, killing it, and pinning it in a glass case.

Captain Butterfly hurtled around, non stop, all day, with Mrs Captain Butterfly hobbling along behind plaintively uttering her distinctive call of "Are we there yet?"

I still haven't learnt that, when hunting butterflies, there is no there there.

But the Captain looked after me wonderfully well - he got us our tea every evening bar one.

I am going to ask him for some photos for my blog and then I will say something about my favourite places.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

from Norwich Library

We are sitting catching up with our emails, as there is no email in our country lodge. Col has seen and photographed the Swallowtail at Hickling Broad - and a magnificent creature it is. We have seen a small deer, a red legged partridge with 3 tiny chicks, like little motorised fluffy toys, rabbits galore and all sorts of birds.  We are on a organised walk tomorrow afternoon at that Broad that Springwatch came from this year - can't remember its name - the one with the Scrape.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The team of Sue and Sue

The team of Sue and Sue were out on the doors this morning - on the long long road.  We did find quite a few people in, though none sadly wished to follow up on our initial conversations, but at least I did get back to them..  We are off to Norfolk tomorrow to find the Swallowtail butterfly - so we need a sunny week.  And Captain Butterfly is just dragging me off to visit the Speckled Woods in the local speckled woods.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Home again

We are back in our seaside flat. The Channel has been turquoise and navy blue and is a sparkling sky blue at the moment. The balcony is flourishing - the flowers are all out - and Bea's garden was looking wonderful. Col took her back home yesterday. The Brighton branch of the family now has an offer on their house - so it must be Bea's turn for an offer next.

It was great to see the family and old friends and I did wonder about what it would be like to move back up North... but we are very happy here. Especially Captain B as this is butterfly central. And I don't think I could take the winters - its not the cold, its the slippery icy slopes - the fear of falling and breaking something.

As it says in the haunting, poetic, inspired evocation of old age in Ecclesiastes:
"Also, they have become afraid merely at what is high, and there are terrors in the way. And the almond tree carries blossoms, and the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry bursts, because man is walking to his long-lasting house and the wailers have marched around in the street;"

Afraid merely at what is high. Yes, isn't the thought of going up a step ladder frightening when you get old?

And 'terrors in the way'. When we were young, we used to make slides on icy pavements to make them even slippier so we could hurl ourselves along them. It makes me feel faint to think about it now.

An icy road is a terror indeed.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Kicking Scooter out of Bed

I kicked Scooter off the bed last night - trying to get comfy I flung out my leg not knowing she was perched on the corner - and off she flew.   As she is exactly the sort of cat who would kick me out of bed any time she got the chance she is bound to think i did it on purpose and hold a grudge.

We spent yesterday in Romiley with Simon and family.   We played Hide and Seek with Anna, and Consequences.  I think Bea met Harry Potter and at least two of us got sent off to jail at one point.

Its cold and grey today but we had a walk in Lathkilldale - among flocks of sheep all with their twin lambs.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Wedding Day

It all went well and I was a proud Aunt of the Bridegroom.  A picture of Alex and Nadine should appear on this blog at some stage thanks to my resident computer expert Captain Butterfly.

It was grey and rainy all morning - but 30 minutes before the wedding the sun came out - and Nadine was able to walk through the park in the sunshine.   She looked lovely - but we knew she would.

The do went on till midnight, although I didn't last quite that long.

We stayed in an old hotel in the Spa town - Mary Queen of Scots apparently stayed there once - so you can have your evening drink in the Mary Wine Bar - the very bar where she would have ordered her evening Spritzers? - and the bride and groom stayed in the Mary Suite.

Ollie the dog joined the wedding party.  He had had a bath for the occasion - which he was not happy about - and a new collar and clip on bowtie.  I will see if Captain B has a picture of Ollie with the granddaughters for the blog
It was a lovely drive there and back through the Derbyshire Dales. Pen came back with us.

I kept thinking of the bridegroom at our wedding all those years ago.  He was a toddler then in a little suit and bow tie...

Who knows where the time goes?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

In the North

We are in my northern hometown for the wedding.  Captain Butterfly and I are minding the cats tonight and join the wedding party tomorrow afternoon.  It has been grey and rainy but apparently the sun should shine tomorrow for the wedding itself.  I certainly hope so.

Furry little feet trampled over us last night - and Something was sleeping on my leg.  A Something that got very cross when I moved and stalked off out into the night with a great crashing of catflaps.

I have the wedding presents to wrap tomorrow.  I hope it will all go really well for them - not just the wedding itself, but the marriage.

We can make each other so happy - or so unhappy. 

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Gardens in June

We had a lovely dinner at Jackie's last night - chicken kiev and asparagus, with ice cream and brownies to follow.  And we saw Jacks again today as she was presiding over the tea and cakes at the Lyminster Garden tour.   The gardens, six in all (see the Captain's Log for photos) were splendid, the weather was perfect, the water lilies had come out in the vicar's pond, the peonies were just bursting into flower and the poppies!  Wow.

All miracles.  There is a poem by Dylan Thomas that contains the line 'the force that through the green fuse drives the flower'.    And I wanted to ask everyone there - especially the Vicar - what is the force that through the green fuse drives the flower?

Would anyone have given me the answer?

Its the spirit of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, the Grand Creator.

But I didn't say anything... 

We were watching the last episode of 'Halycon River' together tonight, and Richard the photographer who has taken us through a year in the life of his stretch of the Halycon, was photographing a dragonfly emerging from its nymphal stage.   He was very moved and spoke of the amazing, brilliant engineering of it all.

Once again, he was seeing the work of our Grand Creator.  Although when Paradise is restored i don't suppose those ferocious nymphs will be gobbling up all the little pond creatures in quite the same way.

Bea arrives tomorrow and we all head up North.

Hitch up them huskies.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Duke of Fritillary

We went to Kithurst Hill yesterday, where it was rumoured that a butterfly recently only seen on the IOW had been sighted!  I cannot now remember what it was, but the Duke of Fritillary seems a good all round rare species name.  It was very hot - with a perfect cloudless blue sky.  It was a perfect summer day.

We didn't find that one, but if you look at the Captain's Log you will see he did find some interesting others.  

Very hot today too.  Jean and I worked some new territory and we each placed a 'What Does the Bible Really Teach?' book.  My book was placed with a lovely young Asian girl with a lovely name - and she asked if she could have a contact number for me as she is worried we won't find her in again as she works shifts.

It was so nice to find someone like her.  She seemed really thrilled that we had come to her door and bought the book.

We are now off to Jacks for dinner.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Shining pansys trimmed in golden lace

Once again, I want John Clare to welcome in the new month.  In his 'June' (The Shepherds Calendar), he speaks of 'the timid maid' who
"Seeks her best flowers not those of woods and fields
But such as every farmers garden yields
Fine cabbage roses painted like her face
And shining pansys trimd in golden lace"

Soon the roses will be out.    And the English strawberries will be in the shops.  We have some shining pansies on the balcony, along with musk and lavender and geraniums.  But June has got off to a rainy start.  Audrey and I managed an hour on the doors this morning before we got too soggy, but we did find two people at home who we have been looking for for ages and had two very positive calls so that was great. We got lost in the private estates.

Nute and Pen left yesterday - sad to see them go - but we had a nice and productive weekend together.  I have already entered one competition with the start of my finished thriller and have two more competition entries - both short stories - to get done by the end of the week.

My challenge is to shrink 'Till'.  I have removed a thousand words so far, but there are two thousand more to go. And I am not a very verbose writer, i don't go in for description all that much, so I don't know if it can be done.

The troubles in the Middle East come very close to home. There was a local lady on the news worrying about her partner who was on the aid ship that was attacked.   I hope she will have some good news of him before the end of the day.

How much we all need to hear what our Creator has to tell us.   And how much I need to get out on those doors and try to get people to listen.