Friday, 30 March 2012


Bea left yesterday.  It feels quite strange without her.  I took her to the Station at lunchtime, after a long session with the Injection Nurse (who was very nice and reassuring).   She stayed with me a long time after the injection, just to be sure that there wasn't going to be a severe reaction.

Apart from the fact that I got the injection capsule upside down and tried to inject myself with the button end, the mechanics of it all went smoothly.   But that is the story of my life really.  If there is a stick lying around somewhere, that is sure to be me holding firmly on to the wrong end of it.

Today I am reminded why I am trying this drastic medication, as it is back to the painful struggle to stand up once again. The nurse said it will take about three months to know if the injections are working.

The Thai branch of the family and his sister came over for lunch on Wednesday.  Chicken salad, with hot bread, and some rather nice coconut and lime ice cream bought with my own fair hands (from Waitrose).  We caught up on the Thai news and the Home County news.  It is much harder to keep in touch since the mothers - the twins - died, as we used to all meet up regularly when visiting the maternal home bases.

Jackie had us over for supper on Tuesday night.  Prawn cocktail, pork, and meringue with ice cream. Delicious, and a fun evening with lots of laughter.

I won't make it to the group tomorrow morning, but I do hope to be able to get out and call on some not homes and return visits - and deliver that magazine for Maggie.  It depends on whether or not my knees will let me drive.

There seems to be a manufactured petrol crisis on at the moment.  One poor woman has had her life totally changed because of it, as she got badly burnt trying to fill up jerrycans of petrol.

What next?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Bigger Dandelion

We - The Captain, Jackie, Bea and me - went up to London on Monday to the Hockney "Bigger Picture" Exhibition. It was a difficult journey, coming and going, and everything was so crowded.  But it was more than well worth it.  I thought it would be fun, but wasn't prepared for how beautiful it was.  He has found Yorkshire such an inspiring subject - not surprisingly.  Well, he has found the beauty of the creation so inspiring - which is even less surprising.

I wonder if David Hockney is taking time out to think about how short a time we have to see this lovely world, and to spend with the people we love.  I hope so, because then he might start to search for the Creator.

My two favourite pictures - picking ones of a reasonable size, some were enormous and only for display in galleries - were a cornfield and a swathe of dandelions, some in flower and some in seed.

I hadn't yet seen an artist paint hay as its now - not gathered into haystacks, but into those discs.

Anyway, this seems like an opportunity to put my dandelion poem into the blog.  

by me 

She doesn’t let
Her children fly
With any wind
She holds them in
White spiky babes
The wind she knows
The wind she wants
Rushes past her
“Go, children, now”
she says
“and leave me to
 my mid-life crisis.”

Monday, 26 March 2012


Tried - but can't sleep.  One of the downsides of old age.  Might as well do quick blog.  Hall cleaning yesterday.  Apparently we have a good report from the brothers whose Hall we are using at the moment - so I hope we can keep up the standard.  Only one more clean to go, then its another group's turn.  The next time we clean ought to be in our new Kingdom Hall.  Gave the young Ghanaian brother in charge of the Cleaners a lift home.

Jackie, Tom and Jill were over on Saturday night to join the three of us in a Thai takeaway, plus a smoked salmon starter from Lidls.

Weather - hot and summery - however, we desperately need rain, as a hosepipe ban starts next week.

Was asked, on FB, what my favourite Spring poem is.  And realised it is definitely "Four Ducks on a Pond" by William Allingham.  It is about one of those moments when you see the Paradise earth.  My first such moment came at the age of 4 (perhaps early 5) when I was playing shop with a little friend in a soot-blackened stone garden in Sheffield.  It was late Spring and blossom petals were lying all around us.

I knew i was in Paradise - though I couldn't define the feeling of course.  I knew even then that "the original serpent" was still in the garden - also without being able to define it.

But now i know I did see Paradise, albeit a spoilt one.  And I also know that it will be restored. All those years at school saying the Lord's Prayer over and over - and I never realised what i was praying for, or how it connected with that childhood memory.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Identifying Butterflies

Orange-barred Sulphur
Captain Butterfly is at the other side of the table looking very fierce which means he is busy identifying the tropical butterflies he photographed yesterday at Earnley.  We - him, Bea and me - spent the day there, and Mark joined us in the morning.  The butterfly house is so small that you have to dodge the butterflies, and they are quite likely to land on you.  You have to be careful where you step too as there are a lot sitting on the floor. Amazing variety.  Great for photographers.  I would like to go there one day with Richard Dawkins and ask him how we can fail to see our Grand Creator in the artistry and engineering that goes into a butterfly.

Beautiful little gardens too - lots of garden rooms - all glass roofed but open to the air.  Bea and I sat in one of them for ages after lunch (while Col photographed more and more and more butterflies).  The air was full of perfume from the... jasmine (I forget)... and we could hear the fountain playing.  I hope to go there again.

The Thai branch of the family is in the UK on business and he is coming for lunch next week.

Monday, 19 March 2012

The House of Three Milks Rides Again

It will ride again, that is, as soon as I have done my supermarket shop and got in the soya milk for Bea who is arriving this week.  Yesterday was my first drive to the new (temporary) Kingdom Hall and back.  With a lot of praying, I managed it, and also found the road I could park the car on.  One of the brothers had given me directions - they are obviously desperate to keep me out of the Hall carpark. And who could blame them?

It was quite a long session for the elders as they had to stay on for another meeting connected with the Hall building afterwards.  It is the turn of our field service group to clean, so two of us were vacuuming, and I was darting in and out of the toilets trying to clean them, hampered by lots of siblings still in the building, and not finding out where the cleaning supplies are kept until I had nearly finished (I had bought a few basic supplies from home).

Today, the Captain is tropical butterflying - and I have been spring cleaning, ironing, studying and catching up on my emails.  A nice quiet day in.

Friday, 16 March 2012

So farewell then, Maurice the Moth

Maurice seems to have left home!   I was looking forward to many a cosy chat on Mumsnet about his two minutes old temper tantrums, the terrors of his teenage hours, and then, tomorrow, my empty nest syndrome.

But he's gone already.

Busy day yesterday.  Steve and I went to the group and then to our Student. We spent an hour and a half with him.  We were talking about who Jesus actually is and why it is so important to know.   As John 17:3 says:  "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ."

It is as important as that.  It means our life.

Col was out all day - see his blog - some great pictures of Sussex in early Spring.  So after lunch, I went off and did my route calls on the Beaumont.  I caught Paul at home - very very rare.  I think I have been delivering the magazines there for about 18 months now and have only ever spoken to him 3 times.

He was about to start his long commute to work - and looked so tired.  But, as he says, it pays the mortgage.

I hope he will read The Watchtower and Awake I left and find good news of something better.

Jacks rang to ask us to supper on Saturday.

Still no sign of rain which we desperately need. Yesterday was a perfect Spring day with a cloudless blue sky.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The first meeting at the new Hall - and I become a moth-er again

I am having to award myself a white feather for Wimpiness as Col drove me to the Hall last night - and picked me up outside afterwards.   He volunteered, I didn't ask.  But I was only too glad to accept.  I hope to do it Sunday, so that I will be able to drive myself there and back  for the first time in daylight.  Its not so much the driving as the parking. Very difficult,  Plus they have some roadworks and traffic lights right outside the Hall at the moment, which doesn't help.

Wonderful meeting though.  The teaching gets better and better and better.  If, as I hope, I am still being taught by Jehovah a thousand years from now, how wonderful will it be then?!

It must be Spring, as Maurice the Micro-moth has just turned up in the kitchen.  So I have a moth baby to nurture once again.  Although Maurice looks the self sufficient type.  Personality wise he doesn't seem to be anything like that charmer, Maurice the Mussel.

Maurice the Moth hasn't told me once yet that i look much too young to be his mother.

"That's 'cause he probably thinks you're his gran" came a voice from the kitchen.

I had better take myself out on the Christian preaching work - quick.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Last Day at the Hall

Today was the last meeting at our Kingdom Hall.  It will be demolished tomorrow. 

I did suggest that to save time and money they got me to try to reverse my car in the carpark - but I think they wondered if the consequent demolition might spread too far and affect the neighbours, who have all been wonderfully good and helpful about this.  It will mean 3 months of building work, and they have all been very supportive, even offering garden space for storing building things!

They must appreciate us as neighbours - and its good of them to show it.

We have also had some large financial contributions from neighbouring congregations, which have helped so much, as it is an expensive business.

Other than that a quiet day for me.  El Capitano was out treasure hunting in the morning and was back to watch the athletics and the rugby in the afternoon.

Hollywood still hasn't made me an offer for the rights to "Old Playgrounds" yet.  Its a mystery.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Nature, red in tooth and claw with ravine

That line, that brilliant line, is from Tennyson's "In Memoriam".   And when we were with our Bible student on Thursday morning, we were reading those lovely verses from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah that assure us that nature will not stay this way.

We read Isaiah 65:25, which says: “The wolf and the lamb themselves will feed as one, and the lion will eat straw just like the bull; and as for the serpent, his food will be dust. They will do no harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain,” Jehovah has said."

We will have nothing to fear from the animals - they will have nothing to fear from us - and they will have nothing to fear from each other.   Our student was amazed at the idea of the lion becoming a grazing animal, so we asked him to look at the first chapter of Genesis.

We read Genesis 1:29,30:   "And God went on to say: “Here I have given to you all vegetation bearing seed which is on the surface of the whole earth and every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To you let it serve as food.  And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it came to be so."

This was not a world where nature was "red in tooth and claw".  This was Paradise - a perfect world, ruled  by the law of loving-kindness.  And what the Inspired Scriptures promise us is a restoration of that world.

Our student seemed amazed by the harmony of the Bible.  As I remember being when I did my initial Bible study all those years ago.

We were there for nearly two hours.  Then I rushed home to open a tin of lunch for me and Col, and went to meet L at the Kingdom Hall carpark.  We had a part in the school Thursday night and needed to practise it. We then did about 45 minutes on the doors.

The Kingdom Hall car park was full of workmen.  When Steve dropped me back there I found my car was blocked in by a large whirring machine.  Thursday night was our last Ministry School at the old Kingdom Hall so, it was a privilege to have a part in the school.

The butterfly memberships for February flew through the letterbox today, so it has been a day of paperwork, but all the packages are now set to be taken to the Post Office as soon as I have a moment.  Actually - and appropriately - Captain Butterfly might take them there tomorrow morning, as I hope to be out on the field service.

Talked to Dan about the hard copy of "Old Playgrounds", which should take about another month.  And talked to Bea about her visit, and then to Jacks so we could liaise our get togethers while Bea is here.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Old Playgrounds

"Old Playgrounds" - edited by me - is now out on Kindle and shortly to appear in hard copy.  It is a short book of poetry, verse and prose, and hopefully a small addition to the family archive.

The Kindle version is available here:

iPhone / iPod  and iPad users can view it using the free Kindle app available here.

I hope that family and friends will enjoy it - and I hope that anybody else who reads it will enjoy it too.  We tried to make it an interesting selection.

One of the family dogs appears in it, as does Pauline's dog Scuttle.  Both sadly are long gone.  But they are definitely not forgotten.

Did I say in a previous blog that the book was to be called "A Squirrel in Winter" featuring my poem of the same name? Well, neither name nor poem made it through.  However, if I have a stunning success with this one and Hollywood buys the rights, and are later looking for "Playground 2 - The Revenge!!", at least I have something in reserve.

Did shamefully little today apart from getting out to do a big shop before the rain started, doing my studying for the day and feeding the Captain and myself.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A Unicorn at Pulborough Brooks

This afternoon the Captain and myself went for a long walk at Pulborough Brooks.  We saw innumerable birds, squirrels, three fat rabbits, lovely white cows and a unicorn (aka a white deer).   It was an afternoon of wonderful light, but quite cold. We wrapped up well.
I was out this morning on the field service with Audrey, but was not at my best.  I was very tired from our day in London yesterday - we went to the Wildlife Photography Exhibition at the Natural History Exhibition with Jackie.

We like to go every year if we can as it is fantastic.   London was sunny but very cold.  It was "the March wind doth blow and we shall have snow" weather.  The snow hasn't arrived here yet, but it might.

Jacks came over for  supper at the weekend - we had chicken casserole, followed by cheese platter and cream meringues.

Beryl came over today to view the flat and have a cup of tea.  She wants to downsize and is thinking seriously about buying into our block. We have a splendid view of the English Channel and the flats are nice and spacious.

I hope to officially put up the URL for the poetry book tomorrow, though Dan has already put it into comments.   I want to do a Poetry Book blog, and should have time, as I have nothing else planned.  Though the butterfly paperwork for the month should be fluttering through my letterbox any moment.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Pre-bluebell woods and poetry books

We went for a walk in the bluebell woods near Arundel on Friday - only green shoots at the moment of course.  There was a misty watercolour light - and everything had that touch of bleakness of the very early Spring.  If I were a painter, I would have had a go at painting it, but Col has got some great photos.
We shopped in the morning and I made a chicken casserole for tonight when Jackie comes for supper. It is packed full of veggies from the Abel and Cole box.

The Poetry Book is just about to hatch out. I hope to be posting a link very soon.

Thursday was the Bible study.  Steve took me and we were there for an hour and half, and we did some return visits on the way home.  I am off on the doors this morning with June, and its Hall Cleaning this afternoon.  The Gallant Captain Butterfly has volunteered to help.

The Channel is getting a bit stirred up and apparently there is rain on the way.