Saturday, 30 April 2011

Feeling tired and down

Oh for some energy...    However, I did manage to get to the Field Service group this morning and worked with Frances for the first time in ages.  Jean and Maggie came with us.  We had a good morning.

I am now trying to get the energy together to sort all my things out for the Assembly in deepest darkest Surrey tomorrow, and must go straight away and make up packed lunches for myself and Captain B, who will drive us there and then go off Treasure Hunting.

Which is so kind of him.

I have tried to persuade  him that the treasures on offer through the teaching we will get tomorrow are worth  more than all the Viking hoards ever found - and that ever will be found. 

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding Effect

Amazing!   I went to the Supermarket after Audrey and I had been out on the doors.  Usually the car park would be so full by late morning on a Friday that I wouldn't even try - but I thought given the day, there would be spaces.


There were only about 10 cars in the whole place.  And no queues at the CheckOut.

And Audrey and I found nearly every one of our magazine route calls at home.  They didn't want to talk much as we had called them away from the wedding on the telly, but they were at home.

The Monarchy still has a lot of power and magic about it.

I watched a few minutes.  Nice frock.  All very understated, which I liked.

But the religious side of it is very frustrating for me.  It seems that the Church of England had the whole world listening in.  What an amazing opportunity that would have been to tell people something of what the Bible actually says.

Col is off wearing his Captain Butterfly hat doing his butterfly surveys.  He has a new computer now, to which quite a bit of yesterday was devoted.   I did next to nothing yesterday, as I was pretty much seized up by the arthritis.   But I did have a walk in the woods - to the Butterfly Glade - on Wednesday evening (I think).   More of a sort of zimmer through the woods really, but at least I went.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Royal Wedding

Jean just pointed out to me that on Friday people will be glued to their tellies watching THE Wedding.  Or that at any rate is what is expected.

Should Audrey and I go out on the door to door work as planned?    I think we probably should as we may find people at home and nobody has to stop and talk to us if they don't want to.  They can get straight back to the wedding with barely a moments interruption if that is what they want.

I won't be watching much of it myself, except, as I am a girly, I expect I shall want to see  what the bride is wearing.

I just hope they can keep all safe and secure - these being very difficult and stressful times.  As the Bible says, we live in "critical times, hard to deal with".

Audrey and I did 45 minutes out yesterday - working near the Station.  Not many at home, so we finished our territory and then went and found Audrey her new alarm clock.

Monday, 25 April 2011

To the Woods

It almost seems like Summer - the trees are all green, there are flowers everywhere, the chestnut candles and the laburnum are blazing away.   We drove inland today, and it was a surprise to me how lush and green it all is, as I haven't been out much - apart from the door to door preaching work locally - as I have been in so much pain.

Captain Butterfly assured me it would be a short walk...  and I suppose it was in his terms.  Just once up Everest and back down again.  We met up with a fellow butterfly enthusiast at Kitthurst Hill and she came along with us to the woods.

I managed to get myself lost and had to be talked back to their woodland glade by mobile phone.

Maggie just rang to ask if I can pick her up tomorrow for the group, so it will have to be an early start as I also have to take Audrey shopping first thing.  Maggie is in a lot of pain too.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Basking Sharks

I didn't see any basking sharks in The Channel today.  And, in fact, I never have - and don't expect to.

A real do-nothing day today owing to debility from arthritis pain (moan moan).   Creaked off to the meeting this morning, which was lovely. We had a Spanish brother giving us the talk and a lovely Watchtower study about seeking righteousness.  Please note not self-righteousness - which is of no use to anyone.  I gave Jean a lift back afterwards.

I did manage to get a load of washing done and make a roast chicken dinner for us, but that was the extent of it.

Col has some lovely butterfly photos from today.

Got an email from Lilian which I hope to think about and reply to tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Buttterfly Courtship

It only dawned on me on Friday that it was Good Friday.  So I have no chance of seeing the arthritis nurse till well into next week.  That may be why they didn't get back to me as promised. They have all gone on their holidays.

Captain B came back with some amazing photos.  And he gave me a startling demonstration of the butterfly courtship that he witnessed - with lots of whirring wings and growlings.

Can that be right?

Anyway a picture of the lovely lady who was being courted - a Miss Pearl Bordered-Fritillary - is now gracing my blog.   Hopefully she is "Mrs" by now.

Bea is coming to stay in May.

Louise and I went out on the preaching work Thursday afternoon and we did the not-at-homes from the little closes that we did on Tuesday.  We did find some more people at home.  It was the meeting in the evening - wonderful teaching as ever, but I felt very tired and was in quite a lot of pain.

Jackie is back.  Hurray!  We spent the evening with her catching up with all the news.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Her Indoors

I have been Her Indoors again today - resting my legs and feet from the rigours of last week - while Captain B has been flying around various butterfly sites photographing newly hatched flying things.   And now I have been so busy watching "Britain's Best Dish" that I have overcooked the baked apples for our tea.

Audrey and I went out yesterday, on territory new to us both.  We and 4 others worked three little closes that I didn't even know existed.  There wasn't enough territory for an hour so Audrey and I did half an hour, and, while the others went off on return visits we went to Sainsburys as Audrey need to get some things in, and she doesn't drive.

David, an internet friend from Oz, has got in touch again and we are in discussion.  And I sent off a third email to Anne on The Cape as a continuing answer to her questions about whether or not Christians are required to tithe.

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Hollywood Emergency!

I am busy trying to make an appointment with the arthritis nurse for a... I keep wanting to say "a silicon injection" - but that would be for a Hollywood style emergency.  I think I must be requiring a steroid injection. Hopefully she will know.  IF I can get hold of her.  This is an arthritis emergency.  I am seizing up - and very painfully so too.

Anyway, I was able to get out and do a share of the Invitation work.   The Memorial of Jesus Death last night was beautifully kept - all over the world.  Our Kingdom Hall was so full that the brothers had to stand at the back.

The talk was clear and powerful.  The bread and the wine were passed, although I don't think we have anyone who takes it in our congregation.   And I had Captain B beside me to hold my hand during the prayers, which made it an even more special day.

The valiant Maggie had kept two seats for us.

What I have been wondering is if, after Armageddon, and Paradise is being restored, will we be asked to go on keeping some form of commemoration on Nisan the 14th?  Or not?

I hope I am there to find out.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

An Invitation to Lobbs Wood

Lobbs Wood is in the process of being transformed into its lush summertime self.  We were walking there this afternoon.     When Audrey rang she said that she and her field service group had been delivering Memorial invitations in that area.   Jean and I were in the next district East, and had a road to ourselves.  We did about an hour and a quarter, and got some nice responses to the invite.
It made us both happy to think of all our brothers and sisters worldwide delivering the same invitations.

I am trying to find out from all my email acquaintances if they have had their invite yet.

The Captain and I did a big shop at Tesco's.

The Ishtar Bunny

The Encyclop√¶dia Britannica comments: “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians.”—(1910), Vol. VIII, p. 828.

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us: “A great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring. . . . The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility.”—(1913), Vol. V, p. 227.

In the book The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, we read: “What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, . . . as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. . . . Such is the history of Easter. The popular observances that still attend the period of its celebration amply confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character. The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Pasch or Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now.”—(New York, 1943), pp. 103, 107, 108; compare Jeremiah 7:18.

(Extracted from "Reasoning From the Scriptures", published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)

Jeremiah 7:18 says:  "The sons are picking up sticks of wood, and the fathers are lighting the fire, and the wives are kneading flour dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the ‘queen of the heavens’; and there is a pouring out of drink offerings to other gods for the purpose of offending me."

So when the Israelites turned to goddess worship it offended the true God, Jehovah.  And the Christian Greek Scriptures tell us that everything written down in the Hebrew Scriptures is for our instruction. We must learn from it.

“ALL the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

So we don't celebrate Easter - but we memorialise Jesus'  death as the Bible asks us to do.

The furry fellow in the photo is no Easter/Ishtar bunny - just a fluffy little chap who lives on The Downs. And I hope very much he still does.  Col tells me there were some birds of prey circling.

My blog is nothing but moaning at the moment, as I am suffering this morning from having been out for two hours with young Ronald - note the "young", i.e. his feet and legs work properly - delivering invitations to The Memorial.  We had a lovely time though and talked and talked as we went round.  I did little else but rest my feet when I got back.

I hope to be out again this morning, if I can get the body to work.  Its a grey old day and The Channel is either lost in a sort of sea fret or is so much the same colour as the sky its hard to tell where it starts and ends.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bluebell Woods

We spent the afternoon in the bluebell woods.   Another reminder that Paradise will be restored.

In the morning Maggie and I did her magazine route, with the Memorial invitations, and I tried to find some of my not at homes at home, without success.

Its the Ministry School at the Hall tonight.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


To Mill Hill with Col this morning as he was determined I should see a black adder, even though it was cold and overcast.  We made our way along a precipitous chalky path and down a horrendous slope, and finally found one little black fellow streaming through the grass and under the brambles.

So now I have seen a black adder.   I thought he looked young, fresh and glossy and hope he has a happy life ahead of him.

Came back, had our sandwiches, fell asleep on sofa but managed to drag myself to the kitchen to make us a curry dinner (veggie).

Am just off to do  my studying - looking forward to Springwatch which starts tonight - and I did manage to email two invites to the Memorial on Sunday - one to Lilian and one to Linda - both friends from Planet Expat.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Three Pictures

Lying on the bed yesterday morning - exhausted from the tremendous effort of having a shower and getting dressed - I was looking at 3 of the paintings we have in the bedroom.  They are all of woods - seen from an angle that cuts the tops off the trees.   One is by Susan Alison, and it is of the edges of a wood - there is a bit of fence - its in sepia tones, with lots of pale sky showing through the trees.  It is a welcome home present from Penny and George - welcome home from our 25 years of expatting.   The second is of much denser woodland - tree trunks seen through tree trunks.  It is by my dear Aged Father and is of Poland's Bialowieza Forest - the ancient woodland which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus.  He was a child of those fields and forests.  The third one is by Ken - Ken Reah, my brother in law - and is of Endcliffe Vale Park - the strip of water and woodland that runs almost from the city centre to the moors at Ringinglow, It is a place with layer upon layer of memories for me, as perhaps the Bialowieza Forest was for my father.

And of course all three pictures make me think of the Paradise earth to come - and how unimaginably lovely it is going to be.

Captain B has bought home some video of adders - a fighting and a courting.   They move like water.

He is having a wonderful time now the weather is so good - able to spend all day outside.

Audrey and I had a morning on the doors.  I was able to deliver all my magazines for April - together with the Memorial invitations.  We  did a return visit each, and we went to the Bank and Audrey did her shopping.

We are at the Kingdom Hall for an hour tonight to do our Watchtower Bible study as there will be no meeting on Sunday morning because it is the day of The Memorial.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Its depressing...

... how much I have deteriorated.  The recent visit to Sheffield confirmed how much less I can do now and how little i can cope with strange beds and chairs.  Six hundred pages of medical moans will now follow, or, as Victoria Wood once memorably wrote: "As the doctor said to me when I had my tubes tilted..."

However, I had better not.  And I haven't yet had to have my tubes tilted, though I have come pretty close to it.

What has brought this on is that i have been "busy" for the last three days and today everything aches and I feel so exhausted that the prospect of doing  the basic housework and the shopping looms like Mount Everest, without oxygen and a team of sturdy Sherpas to help me.  AND I have the valiant Captain B to help, as he always does the vaccuuming and will pitch in with the rest if asked.

Yet I haven't even been busy in the sense that I would have once used the word.   All I did yesterday was go to the Hall for a couple of hours Bible teaching, which is refreshing and comforting and keeps us going through the horrors of the crumbling system of things - half an hour on the door to door work (delivering April magazines) - a shop - and then home.  Oh and i did manage to cook bangers and mash for Col's tea.

So my plan today is to get that housework done, shop, change the library books, study and then collapse. We are not going out tonight.

I expected the Black Adder pictured in The Captain's Log to look more like Rowan Atkinson than it does.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

An invitation

Audrey and i went out yesterday morning delivering invitations to The Memorial of Jesus death on the 17th - which will be held at your local Kingdom Hall - after sundown.

All are welcome.

And last night Jacks cooked a lovely roast pork dinner for Tom, Jill, and us.

My arthritis was so bad during the night that I felt feverish, and thought for sure I wouldn't be able to get out on the doors this morning, but I did manage it.  Jean and I did nearly two hours, delivered  many invites to the most important night of the year - and had some interesting conversations.

People are troubled by what is happening - and are wondering who or what they can put their faith in.  We met a lovely lady who is looking after her husband who has Alzheimers.  That is a 24/7 occupation and a harrowing one.  She is not young or in good health herself.  She would like me to deliver the magazines next month which I will feel privileged to be able to do.

And we met a couple of young lads from Liverpool who were doing up an empty house.  "We can't come love, we're going back to Liverpool the day after tomorrow".

But we gave them the invite anyway to read.  It says on the front:  "JESUS "Takes away the sin of the world.""

"I wish he would", said the young lad with real feeling.

We are trying to assure people that he will.  And that Jehovah will restore the earth to Paradise, and obedient humankind to perfection.

How wonderful it will be if suddenly more people are going to listen, even in such well-worked territory as this.

Captain Butterfly had his treasure hunting hat on today and set off early with his box of sandwiches.  He will be leaving even earlier tomorrow, with another packed lunch and his Rescuer Hat on (People not Whales this time).

Thursday, 7 April 2011

What did I do yesterday?

...  help... this is supposed to be my diary... as I can no longer manage to write much more than an address on an envelope...   Oh yes, I did send off a reply to a question about my tax code from the Taxman him/herself (the letter didn't make that clear).

I tried to do it by phone, but its a Kafkaesque nightmare.   If you want such an such, press 1: if you want such and such, press 2; and so on for lots of numbers.  You press the one you think is right.  It starts again.  If you want (a slightly different) such and such press 1; if you want a (slightly different) such and such, press 2; etc etc.   And so on.

After a while, I pressed a number which got me out of that particular nightmare, but that led me into a seemingly endless loop of repetitions of "Your call will be answered soon".

So I had to send a written message by the London Stagecoach - in fact the Bradford Stagecoach if I am remembering right.  Hopefully no Highwayman will interrupt its journey, and my carefully sealed scroll will convey its precious message to the Taxperson.

That didn't leave me a lot of time and energy but I did two loads of washing from our hols, plus the ironing.  A good drying day, as today will be.  So you will gather from that it was (and is) a sunny day.  Plus we did a big shop.

I am trying to source the ingredients for some proper Thai cooking, as I have promised Thai for the next Tom and Jill evening.   I used to cook a Thai buffet for my fellow expats, but that was many years ago, and the ingredients were easy to find.

I also finished the A.N.Wilson biography of C.S.Lewis.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Eagle has landed

We got back home to the English Channel yesterday evening.  We travelled back via lunch with Alex and Nadine.  The new house is great - amazing what they have got done already and the situation, by the River Derwent, is even lovelier than Google Earth suggested.  I hope a picture will appear on the blog in time.

We looked at the baby scan pictures.  All is fine apparently.

I wonder what the artists of old would have done with the baby scan paintings that various nobles would have commissioned from them, had such things been available then?

We were both tired when we got back - and I have had a bad night which doesn't help.   Today will be shopping, getting the vast mound of washing done and then getting back to normal routines tomorrow hopefully.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Hopefully there will be a picture of Scooter the Dread to go with this blog (in time), although, in her perverse way, she was as good as gold last night.  Purred happily at us even after we had fed her, slept on us all night, purring away, not huffing off when we dared to move or breathe.

The York Branch, in the shape of Keith, Janet and Charlotte came over for a curry lunch, and Ollie's parents returned from their wanderings in the North - to a rapturous greeting.

We have had April showers today.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Barking mad

Ollie told us in no uncertain terms how he had missed us during the day - and the noble Captain took him straight out for a walk.  It was a long lonely day for him, but we won't be going out again while on Sitting duty.

We drove over The Snake to visit Bea.  We are impressed by the new bungalow.  It is almost picture perfect, but still awaits its new garden, which starts to arrive over the next few weeks.  I do rather envy the brand new kitchen and bathroom.

We went to the Hare and Hounds for lunch, and had dessert and a cup of tea at Bea's after.  Simon and family joined us.  We then drove back over a sunny Snake to rescue Ollie from his loneliness.

Driving the Snake pass brings back such memories of my parents and my childhood... we used to drive over it so often to our childhood Paradise of Nabbs to visit granny.   We went out into its foothills on sunny Sunday afternoons, to picnic, to pick whinberries - and for icy walks along its moor tops on winter days.  The Captain and I drove out to its pubs for lunches on Sundays when we were a young married couple.  And now, hopefully, we will be adding a fresh layer of memories as we drive over to see the family in Romily.

What will it be like to be in the Paradise earth and have maybe 2,000 years of memories behind us - all so happy?

I hope and pray we will be there to find out.

The apple crumble for tomorrow is made and I am wondering if I can face tackling the dahl now - or shall I do it tomorrow?

On that note of sizzling suspense, I will close my blog for today.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Scooter the Politician

Scooter was all charm last night.  I couldn't get to sleep for her winding and purring and gently licking my arm.  I kept telling her that I had already put her food in her bowl and she was wasting her charm (and keeping me awake) but it took her ages to realise.  I fell asleep to the sound of cat biscuits being crunched.

Then she woke me up by clawing my foot as it carelessly slid out from under the duvet.

If she ever stands for election, she won't mind what she promises.  But  please expect a good clawing afterwards.

It was chutney-making day yesterday, with two giant pots of chutney simmering on the stove.  I took over the stirring while Captain B took Ollie for his walks.  That was my only contribution.  

Yesterday made me realise how much I have deteriorated over the last year.  My energy meter seems to be set on minus figures.

I am reading Hilary Mantel's amazing "Eight months on Gaza Street".