Tuesday, 31 January 2012

More family funerals

To end the month on a sad, but hopeful note, I was at a family funeral today.  It was a simple memorial service at the Kingdom Hall.  One of my sisters, Win, had died. She was not young, in her nineties and had been in a home for nearly two years.  

Given that I wasn't able to get up North to say goodbye to my last two aunts, or to Helen's funeral (another sister) even though it was only local, I am so glad I was well enough to get to this one.

Malcolm gave a perfect talk - as near as anything can be perfect in this system of things.  And I learnt a bit more the history of this little seaside town, as Win had lived here for nearly all her life.

I also learnt how much she loved the creation, and that she especially loved trees.   So now I am thinking that maybe, when she next opens her eyes, it will be in a forest clearing, somewhere in the Paradise earth, perhaps in May when all the leaves are so new and so green.

She was also noted for being a doer - her motto being "I would rather do than not".  

Which made me worry a bit about my Memorial service should I have one.  I am hoping not to have to die at all.   But given that my special skill is Couch Potato-ing... oh dear.

And that is all I have been doing so far this afternoon.  

It was a reasonably busy morning in that I took Audrey to the bank and shopping, then we went out and finished my magazine route for January.  Then I shopped myself, picked up meds from Pharmacy (that is an occupation that takes up a fair amount of retirement - no time as yet to experience this boredom that some people have warned about), went to the Kingdom Hall to say goodbye to Win - and cooked - well more heated up - a late lunch for Captain Hungry and me and that was it.

Very overcast day and as cold as it has been.   The Channel is a calm grey blue almost disappearing into a same coloured sky.

Monday, 30 January 2012

My life as a Bond girl

You will all remember that seminal moment (in "Dr.Oh No Whatever Happened to Ursula Andress!!") when I zimmered out of the sea in my curly plastic bathing hat with matching flowery bathing costume, and offered James Bond a nice hot cup of tea from my thermos flask.  But the moment I am really thinking about is the Moonraker one.  Its when James and whatever the current girl's name was (Largechestia?) were skimming along the top of the earth's atmosphere, occasionally touching it and sort of sizzling the edges of their plane.

I identify with that quite a lot as I skim along the surface of Aspergers... and every time I touch it one of the connections in my head that makes sense of things flickers and uncouples.

It makes me realise how amazing the human brain is and what it does for us all the time.  And, if it doesn't work, then how helpless we are.

My last big hit on the Asperger's atmosphere was when we were out with a friend from Expatworld who visits us most years.  And we have known her for getting on for thirty years now.  We had driven to the Arun river walk, and she and I had got out of the car.  Then i was standing outside the car with Col getting his walking shoes out of the boot and there was a strange woman standing in front of me.

It wasn't till she spoke that I realised it was Julia, who had just got out of the car with me.  I had no sense of missing her,  no sense of having been with Julia, no recognition at all until she spoke and the thing clicked back - and James Bond drove the plane above the atmosphere again.

The brain is truly amazing.  I believe that Darwin was honest about the problem it posed for the theory of Evolution.  And of course we know even more about its complexity and capacity now, so I think if he was still with us he would have gone back to the drawing board a long time ago.

And its when it doesn't do what it should that you begin to get a glimpse of just how much it does do.

It is also a sad insight into the frozen world of deep autism, where nothing connects and nothing makes sense.

We are just talking to Bea on Skype - and I am hoping for a quiet day and a quiet week, to recharge my batteries for the weekend when we have visitors.  

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Saturday night with Tom and Jill - and the selfishness of Vikings

Captain Butterfly took me on a forced march to Pagham Harbour yesterday afternoon.  It was overcast and coldish with about 10 minutes of beautiful light as the sun came briefly through the clouds.  I hope Col caught it - if so, there will be a photo on his blog at some stage.  Later on we went to Tom and Jill's rambling country cottage for dinner, picking up Jacks en route.  Home made fish and chips - and home made orange ice-cream, plus champagne.  Brilliant.  And a lovely evening with lots of laughs, which I needed as being ill for a month has left me feeling a bit sad.

Then being back with my brothers and sisters in the congregation, being taught, and cared for this morning built me up too. Audrey and I hope to be back into our Tuesday morning routine this week.

Col is off Metal Detecting.  I suggested it might be helpful in these credit crunch days if he would find and bring back a Viking Horde, but he pointed out, with weary patience, that the Vikings didn't make it this far south.

How thoughtless of them.  Did they give no consideration to our retirement income?

Friday, 27 January 2012

Butterflies and Bankers

There should be a lovely butterfly blog on The Captains Log today, as he spent yesterday at Wisley - a reward for a day spent doing tax returns.  It is Tropical Butterfly time of year there - all those glamorous flying flowers gliding gracefully about.  I have had a small preview - and can only say, don't miss it.

How could something so exquisitely engineered and painted just happen?  They speak so clearly of their Grand Creator and Designer.

In contrast, I note that the earthly powers are rubbing my nose in it today - the day after I paid my tax bill.  It seems some Banker has just been given another massive bonus, and I am apparently to be impressed and grateful because it isn't as massive as it could have been.

I am trying to be grateful, but am feeling an unChristian desire to impress someone somewhere with something a bit painful.  However... back to my studies... quickly.

And, importantly, I got back to the meetings last night - lovely to see everybody.  I have never been away so long in all my years as as JW.  The Christian congregation really cares for all of us, and is a powerhouse of purpose and energy - directed towards getting the  preaching work done.  I hope to be back out in the field Tuesday at the latest - well, in a sense, today, hopefully, if Captain Helpful feels able to take me on my magazine route. I only have a few days left to deliver January's magazines.  There is a great one coming in February - all about Armageddon - specifically what the Bible says about it, which is the important thing.

Some people see it as WW3, a nuclear war - whereas the Bible says it is the war of God the Almighty.  And it is a war that saves the earth from ruin, not one that brings it to ruin.

Sometimes too the Day of Judgement which follows it - the thousand years, the Millennial Reign - is presented as something dreadful - something to be feared.   Yet its something to be longed for.   All who come into the judgement will be given a completely fresh start, and the opportunity to learn about their Creator in the Paradise earth and be restored to the perfection our first parents had before they chose to cut themselves off from Jehovah, their Source of life.

Its a thought to hang on to when going through all these medical trials and tribulations.

And for all of us who need encouragement, I want to end with this lovely promise from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, showing that the Day of Judgement is something to be longed for:

"Yes, for the path of your judgments, O Jehovah, we have hoped in you. For your name and for your memorial the desire of the soul has been.  With my soul I have desired you in the night; yes, with my spirit within me I keep looking for you; because, when there are judgments from you for the earth, righteousness is what the inhabitants of the productive land will certainly learn." - Isaiah 26:8,9

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Day of Visitors

We - well mostly Col, as he drove the Computer - did our tax returns today.   Aaargh.   But now they are done - and paid.   And strangely, it was a day of visitors too - and lots of phone calls.   Frances and Ella came by just before lunch with flowers and the C.O. talk for us to listen to.  And Mick and June came in the afternoon.  They sat me down with the Bible and a brochure and we talked about the Paradise earth to come.  He read the verse from Psalm 37 that I had just been using in doing a bit of internet witnessing - all about how, if we endure to the end, we will have our "exquisite delight in the abundance of peace".

They also had a chat with Col about his Metal Detector finds.

And of course I talked to Audrey and Maggie by phone.

June brought over some of that lovely homemade marmalade, so I must make his Lordship some marmalade cupcakes tomorrow.

The Christian congregation really is a warm and loving family.   And I am so grateful for it, and hope to get back to the meetings tomorrow, and restart my door to door witnessing by Saturday.  People need to hear the truth so much - Christianity being called "the way of the truth".

They need to know that this is the darkest hour - just before the dawn.

“‘I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you people of these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.’ - Revelation 22:16

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nigel Kennedy

Another great trek last night - to see Nigel Kennedy in Brighton - his home town.  Col bought the tickets - very very expensive tickets - months ago.   Would I be able to go?   My afternoons and evenings are much easier now, plus we could park next to the venue and there were no steps.  So we went - us and Jacks.

Nigel and his musicians played - and played with - the Four Seasons.   And maybe it was something like hearing it for the very first time.  A wonderful evening.

Half his musicians were beautiful young girls - and were from all over the world - from Oz, from Poland, from the UK - there was a beautiful Vietnamese-Irish singer.  There was a Nigerian singer, who took over the stage at one point, and probably fills concert halls on his own.

Beautiful young girls...   as I am going to become 65 this year, I must remember to savour the last months of being a lovely young thing of 64.

Ten years lasts no time.  Its an immensity of time when we are young.  The years from 1 to 10, the years from 10 to 20, even the 20 to 30 years seem to take a little while to go by.  But after that!

It was as I was approaching 40 that i began to truly realise just how short our lives are now.

We have seven decades - hopefully - and a bit  - to be with the people we love and be in this lovely lovely world.   It was feeling the wrongness of it, and feeling more and more conscious every day of the beauty of the world, that made me begin to look for the Creator of it,  the meaning of it.

Was there any meaning to it all?

And then I found out the truth of Jesus words - that if you keep on seeking, you will find.  But keep on - don't give up.

And I must now get back to the meetings and the door to door preaching work, as I so much want others to know that we are being offered life, to time indefinite, in the restored earthly Paradise.

I don't think Nigel Kennedy and his musicians would ever get tired of music.  Or us of hearing them.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Trek

Captain Wonderful got me to the hospital on the Friday - a masterly feat of organisation.  We called in on Audrey on the way and picked up the magazines she has kindly saved for me.  It was a long long wait for the Top Guy, but we did get to see him.  I carried a pile of cushions around to make the chairs high enough for me.

My blood tests show that I now need a whole new - and (here is the rub) expensive - level of medication.  And the thorough examination of my joints proved the same.  It went something like this :

TG:  "Does that hurt?"
Me:  "Yes"
TG:  "Does that hurt?"
Me:  "YES"
TG   "Does that hurt?  Just scrape the patient off the ceiling will you nurse."

He is very competent, with a very kind nurse, so I feel that I can trust the diagnosis.

Kindness is so important when you are in pain, so thank you to all at Worthing Rheumatology.

However, while the government can afford billions to Shock and Awe, destroy and rebuild, various countries that have never done any harm to us that I know of, they can't afford this medicine for me unless I come back in a month's time, redo the tests, and get the same results.

Anyway, I am on steroids for the moment to try to make my life a bit easier.

They worked wonderfully well yesterday afternoon, but I have regressed overnight.  Just taken my second dose and am hoping for another comparatively pain free afternoon.   And I go back in a month, hoping to pass the medication test.

Some people worry about what they will do with themselves in retirement.  To which, at the moment, I can say, don't worry as medical matters will take up most of your time and energy.  But its frustrating when you have lots of things you want to do.

However, I mustn't whinge too much as I can still type - so I can witness - and write - and do my studying.

And above all Jehovah sent his witnesses to my door to teach me the truth - Christianity being called "the way of the truth" - and I can hope for perfect health in the restored earthly Paradise.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

An Outing

I think its time I posted another poem, or verse...  I can't do much else.  The effort  of getting out of bed/chair and walking about the flat is exhausting me.  Through some wonderful engineering, Captain Butterfly managed to get me to the doctors for my blood test yesterday.  He piled up the car seat with cushions and pillows, packed me in and strapped me in and managed to extract me at the other end without the help of a Giant Tin Opener driven by the SAS.

Because I wasn't able to straighten my arms, getting the blood was a bit difficult and I now have two bandaged arms.

It was a cold wet misty day, with the occasional flake of snow. But it was lovely to be outside again.

Its grey today with a wavy Channel, but not cold considering its mid Winter.

I got some lovely emails yesterday.  One from my sister in law in Bavaria, and one from Aunt Bea.  And lots of phone calls from my siblings in the congregation.  And we heard some good news about Janet's brother!

Anyway, to the poem.  It's very short so no need to panic.  It was written many years ago, on a very different sort of Winter's day, when we were staying with friends in Thailand.

  by me

 Frangipani blossom in a plastic cup
 And the sprinklers singing
 In the cool morning air
 As the sun revs up.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Sherlock - spoiler if you haven't seen it.

Watched the last of the current Sherlock episodes. Did any one else?   Wasn't going to, as the first ten minutes of the first one annoyed me so much that, disappointed, I stopped watching. But I am very glad I saw last night's episode.  Wow!  Great!  Hope there will be another series.   John Watson's military heel click as he turned away from Sherlock's grave in that wonderful churchyard still gets me all teary eyed.

And Sherlock standing right on that edge.  With Jim Moriarty right behind him.  Although of course I should have known Jim was too posh to push.

Still frozen up, but get slightly better towards the evening - better every day - but so far a night of pain always follows with me barely able to walk by the morning.  Its one tottery step forward to several steps back.  Audrey, Maggie and Frances rang me. And Danny. And poor Captain Headcold was at home all day looking after me.

Started on the figures for the tax returns - and also am progressing the Poetry Book.  Ken sent an amazing poem about a hospital experience, and Dan and I decided we would put his Granddad's poem if everyone else OKs it.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Butterfly matters

At least I can do something.  A whole flight of butterfly memberships arrived on our doorstep yesterday and I am working away at them. The computer stuff is done - and I now have to make up and address all the membership packages. Poor old Captain B will have to take them to the Post Office though as I doubt I will be able to go out tomorrow. I have had to cancel my blood test as I simply could not get there this morning, I could neither have walked nor got myself into the car.  Let alone out of it again.  Bea skyped and Jackie and Audrey phoned, all doing wonders in the way of cheering me up.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Another bad night - and my Everest Climb

Another bad night - disappointing as I thought i felt quite a bit better yesterday.  Poor Captain Sleepless.  Every other minute it seems I was moaning and groaning as my knees locked or my shoulder locked or my hands locked. And I had to get up twice - a business akin to climbing Everest at the moment.

A bulletin re my proposed Everest Climb:  I am planning to be the first to reach the top by stairlift, as soon as one is installed.  You can sit in comfort, have lots of flasks of hot tea, and read a good book during the boring bits.  The subsequent best seller will be called "Into Thin Stair".

Its a good thing we have such a wonderful view from our flat, or I might be going stir crazy by now.  In fact, that is a retirement tip I am now qualified to pass on.  Retire to a place with interesting windows.   Because you never know.

Also, a very strange thought.  IF the Specialist can't get this under control at my imminent new medication appointment, maybe I have made my last trip North?

That is something I can't get my head round.

I am watching a calm, but rather ominous, dark grey Channel at the moment, with lots of cloud above with the risen sun coming through in patches.  And the valiant dog walkers are out on the Green.   And when the sea is stormy I can watch the waves crashing and crashing on the beach.

Obviously I am asking Jehovah for help and keeping up with my studying and even managing some witnessing, as I have been talking to people via email. Bob L from the USA had sent me an interesting site just before we went oop North, and I have had an interesting challenge in talking to him about that from the Biblical point of view.

And help came the other day in a wonderful way.  I rang up Steve to ask how our Bible student was doing - and got an update.  He has been taking a different brother and sister every week, so Mr.Student has been getting to know the congregation.  Plus he has been being taught by much better teachers than me.  And now he is talking of coming to the meetings.

It reminds me of me in my early days as I began to understand.

So it gave me such a feeling of joy, which is exactly what i needed. Jehovah is called "the God of all comfort".   I was talking to Audrey on the phone and saying that all our calls on Mr.Student over the last couple of years are starting to bear some wonderful fruit.

Thanks to Jehovah and to his spirit, which He is obviously giving to this Bible student, as you can't understand the Bible without it.

An example.  For many years I thought that the Bible said the aim for Christians was to get to heaven.  Even when I stopped believing, I still thought the Bible said that.  Yet, all the time, the Bible records that Jesus said the meek would inherit "the earth".  The earth, not heaven.

It wasn't till I began my study, nearly 25 years ago now, that I began to understand.  I so much hope that the student will continue, and will start to come to meetings, and will seek the true Refuge from the horrors of this present system of things.

Friday, 6 January 2012

A silver Sixpence

Thinking about the sixpence that Captain Detector found on the beach yesterday.  What would it have bought way back then?

24 aniseed balls from the sweet shop if my memory serves me correctly, and 6 of those pallid pastel lollies that i liked.   And perhaps 3 sherbert dabs.  I think they were tuppence.

I am frozen with my arthritis - just getting out of a chair is so exhausting and painful.  I won't be going up to London next week.  And, if they can't get this sorted out, well, I don't like to think about it.

My travelling days will be over for sure.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Scrambled Eggs

We are back home, on the South Coast.  A sunny South Coast after the storms of yesterday. I can still hardly move, and will not be able to shop, though I hope to totter about doing some ironing, and catch up on my studies. But Captain Fitness has roared off to look for (and count) the eggs of the rare Brown Hairstreak Butterfly with a fellow enthusiast.

"Eggs, brilliant" I said "That could solve the supper problem for tonight."

He paled, and at that moment a missive came flying through the letterbox questioning my position as a butterfly bureaucrat.

What did I do?!

What did I say?!

Monday, 2 January 2012


This Millennium is fairly racing along.   And we are now into our New Year.  Bea O'The Other Side of the Snake Pass gave us lunch yesterday - lamb pie and mash.   Lovely to see her again. She is already turning the new garden into a work of art.  We also had a day out at Lilac Tree Farm - yet another lovely meal - and, oh dear, another lovely pie and mash at Jim and Claire's.   I won't fit in the car by the time we leave and Captain B will have to roll me all the way home.  Its supposed to be very stormy tomorrow, so won't be much fun to drive in.