Friday, 30 November 2012

Went in young, came out... different

Captain Butterfly dropped off his sprightly young wife at the Physiotherapy unit this morning, and, an hour later after her treatment, picked up an elderly lady with a brand new NHS walking stick.  He didn't seem to notice any difference though.  We shopped at Waitrose afterwards and lunched off a cod ready meal. Quite nice too.

What have I been doing. So little.  Got to the meeting last night - the good old Captain not only took me there and back, but picked up and returned Audrey as well.  And all while he was on a shout for a rescue.  He dropped me off at the door and hurtled off into the cold night. He didn't get back till 2.30 apparently. I knew nothing about it until I woke in the morning and was relieved to find him there.

It was a wonderful meeting of course. How could it not be?

Guilt making though - the difference between what I should be and what I am.

We - the congregations worldwide - have started on a study of Jeremiah, with special emphasis on what we can learn from the life of the prophet. We too have a message of a coming judgement to give - not a popular message with "the world" - with the promise of a wonderful rescue for all obedient mankind.

A quote from the book "God's Word for us Through Jeremiah":

"We will approach the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations as gifts from God to help us live as Christians today. (Titus 2:12: "Instructing us to repudiate ungodliness and worldly desires and to live with soundness of mind and righteousness and godly devotion amid this present system of things.")...  As you consider each chapter in this volume, look for points you can use. There is no doubt that the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations will underscore what Paul wrote: "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

It was many years before I realised that, as a Christian, I needed to study and understand the Hebrew Scriptures - or Old Testament.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Housebound, redux, squared

I have failed to get to Haysbridge for the Convention this time.  Just have to hope that my new med and the - gulp, dread - P.E.lessons (sorry Physiotherapy) will have kicked by the time of the next Assembly.

Or maybe they will have killed me by then...

Round at Jack's Saturday night for the first time in ages - she has been away, Col has been away, she has been ill, we have been ill, and so it goes.  A lovely roast lamb dinner.  She buys her meat from Bairds Farm Shop and then cooks it properly.  It is not half raw a la Masterchef!   Col ate two enormous platefuls - and I ate every scrap of my plateload.  I usually leave half of whatever red meat I am given "whining" (and I am quoting from "The Thoughts of Captain Butterfly" here) "whining that its got fat on it, even though it hasn't, and its perfectly good meat".

I think that is why the good Captain had to have a second plateload - he didn't get half of mine this time.

Chilling review in Sunday papers of a book about the father of the atom bomb, Robert Oppenheimer:

I am deeply thankful for Jehovah's promise that He will "bring to ruin those ruining the earth".  We could never sort out the mess we have made of it.  Interesting that those words are from the Book of Revelation, the events prophesied in which started in 1914.  When John was inspired to write to those words, two thousand years ago, it would have seemed unimaginable that we could have brought a whole planet to the brink of ruin.

But we have.  

We had a sunny morning yesterday after all that rain. Don't know which way it will go today. Terrible flooding in the Midlands.  Was supposed to be starting on my new med this morning but the nurse is ill!   

Friday, 23 November 2012


Odd, this furore over the vote against women bishops in the General Synod of the Church of England.   Surely the real question is not whether women should be bishops, but why have bishops and archbishops at all?  Why Bishop's palaces? Why is there a paid clergy?

Did my Blue Badge interview yesterday with a very nice young physio - a British Asian guy who went to Uni in my hometown - so we had a chat about that. As he is a physio, I feel I must accept his verdict on whether I get a badge or not without complaining.   He can see clearly how the arthritis is progressing.  If I don't get the badge, I can appeal again in a year. And, if this new medicine does not work, I will be a lot worse by then.

A sign of the times. They had a security strip round the wall, so wherever you were in the room you could press for help!   And they don't give you the verdict on the spot. It comes by post.

I suppose that is to stop us rejected candidates from springing across the table and thumping the physio delivering the verdict.  It says something about the increase of violence that it's needed though.

He was safe enough from me however and could have given me the verdict then and there. Even if it had turned out unfavourable, my days of leaping across tables and attacking people are long gone. In fact, they never existed.  I don't think people attacked doctors and nursing staff back then.

Mark is coming for lunch today - fish and chips and Waitrose ice-cream, so no cooking required.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Old Playgrounds redux

The sky and sea are grey this early morning, but clearly delineated. The sky is a blue grey, and the sea is a deeper grey, very slightly green-grey.  There are white horses - it was a stormy night.   We have been watching the slide show of  Captain Butterfly's pictures from his day out in Derbyshire.  He had a wonderful day in the light of the low Autumn sun - and he has done it justice.

The top photo shows the Captain (or at any rate his shadow) in the landscape, and beneath is Derbyshire in late Autumn.

What a privilege it was to grow up with the Dales on our doorstep.  In my young days, on a sunny Sunday, we would take the bus and a picnic and spend the day out there. In the Autumn we picked whinberries. All of us picking all afternoon would make about one pie, but it was delicious. My mother was a great pastry cook.  We took it all for granted at the time of course, which is natural.  And then as young marrieds, we moved back up North and spent a lot of time out on the moors.  We used to have our Sunday lunch at the Grouse - they did a great beef sandwich.  I remember a tramp across the moors with Dennis on a New Year afternoon - blue sky, ice everywhere, strangely with ladybirds frozen into it.

And, as I got older and more thoughtful, I wondered about it all.  About what Janet Frame calls "the sadness that belongs to the world".  It so beautiful, but its sad.  Why?  If only?  If only what?

And then, years later, I found out when the Jehovah's Witnesses who called at my door showed me that the answer had been in the Bible on my shelf, all the time.

And now I should be out there teaching others. And I can't this morning, as my car has collapsed.

We visited the garage this afternoon, more or less to say goodbye. It has reached its sell-by date...  I can't help but have a fellow feeling.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The beauty and the glory of the world

The sun is setting over the English Channel.  The sea is a pale clear blue, with a soft pink sky immediately about it shading into blue.  There are birds flying across the colours - notes in the sunset - and people out on the Green still.

The Circuit Overseer in his talk today reminded us never to take the beauty of the world for granted. And I hope I don't.  That first paradise moment in the blackened stone garden in Sheffield with May blossom lying everywhere came back to me vividly as I approached middle age, and I began to look for the Creator of it all to thank Him.

And I found the truth of Jesus words, that, if you keep on seeking, you will find.

Captain B phoned me from Derbyshire.  He should be back tomorrow. And I managed to get out on the work this afternoon and yesterday afternoon. Only 15 minutes in each case.  Yesterday wasn't too wonderful, though I did manage to deliver my last but one set of magazines on my magazine route.

The Watchtower for this month has an article explaining what it is we are praying for when we ask for God's Kingdom to come.  I  wonder how many people who say that prayer know how the Bible explains it. I didn't, until I talked to the Jehovah's Witnesses who called.

And then I knew.

Today, having gritted my teeth and done the long (for me) and grown up (for me) bit of driving required, I found the householder I was seeking at home. She remembered me - from over a month ago! - wanted the new magazines, and would like me to deliver December's.   I hope to be able to talk to her a bit more next time. She is a young mum.

I hope to be able to take Maggie out on her magazine route tomorrow, and Audrey on Tuesday.  I think I feel marginally better today - though my shoulder is playing up horribly.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


view from Heyshott escarpment
Hard to know what to write about. Except that I did get out yesterday - an hour on the door to door preaching work - and then to the Kingdom Hall in the evening. We have an extra meeting this week as we are being visited by our new Circuit Overseer.

He gave us an inspiring talk - though guilt-making in my case, as I can't claim to be doing all that much of the preaching work at the moment.

I am embroiled in trying to chase Audrey's wheeled shopping bags through the strange world of buying things by post from a mysterious catalogue. After several eons waiting on the phone (as it told me how much it valued my business and played music at me) I was clicked through to what may have been the planet Neptune.   I was tempted to start humming music at the Neptunian who answered and telling him how much I valued being his customer, but i controlled myself and spelled out my problem.

The Spaceman seemed to know about my order - so they had clearly cashed my cheque! - knew which planet I was on and what my space code was.  They had been "trying" to deliver the order to me - apparently - but had failed.  They would try again.  Could they give me a time - to the nearest eon?  Sharp intake of breath - more than my jobs worth etc.

But their spaceship would arrive with the goods.  Or it wouldn't.

It hasn't improved my temper any - and these steroids are not helping.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Bea is almost back on line!   We got a brief, truncated email a couple of days ago, and then a phone call.  She now has Windows8 and needs some help from her Technical Advisor (Cousin Simon).

I am still using Windows1066, and sturdy little peasant pixels still load my requests into their wooden waggons, harness up the horses, and drive them to the Googleface.  I am content with it, but for how much longer will it be allowed?

Not able to go on the work this morning as my visit to the doctor and library yesterday afternoon have almost crippled me...   hardly any distance either... its ridiculous.  But I must get to the meeting tomorrow and recharge my batteries.  I hope to have some achievements for today, but they will have to be achieved without my moving much.

Could I manage some great thoughts and commentary on the results of the American Presidential elections?  I couldn't yesterday and can't today, as surely "the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places" remain in charge whoever gets in?   And they will do so until we have "the new heavens" - the new rulership from the heavens, the incoming Kingdom of God for whose coming Jesus taught us to pray.

And under those "new heavens", we will have a new society on earth.  A new earth.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Joys of Arthritis

This will have to be a very short blog, as i can't actually think of any.  I am sitting here on a sunny Autumn day and would love to do my favourite walk down to the river and watch the tide coming and going, but I can't, as I can't move much.

I really understand what my mother and grandmother went through and hope i can stay as cheerful and stoical as they did.

At any rate, I have the internet, which they did not - and can chat to people all over the world. I can witness to sometimes even though I can't go out.   I am in the middle of an email at the moment about the holidays of Halloween and St.Valentines - and why a Christian should not be celebrating either of them.

Captain Jet  has gone hurtling off on a Metal Detecting weekend, with his usual package of sandwiches.  I was able to use up the last of his welcome home chicken in them.  And with that spell-binding and dramatic fact, I had better finish before i send my readership to sleep.

I suppose I could say something interesting and to the point about the American election results...

... no, sorry, I can't think of anything.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Captain is back on shore...

... after 10 days mainly spend under the Indian Ocean with the Shoal.  He has had a wonderful time - bought back more amazing photos - even of some tropical butterflies which seem to be thriving on the tiny island.  See the Captain's Log for some tropiciana.

It is cold but sunny today. Audrey and I managed an hour on the doors, but I am very slow and creaky.  I think I overdid it a bit yesterday, getting the flat fettled for the Return, making the apple crumble etc.  I also had a doctor's visit and took my library books back.  Nothing at all a few years ago, but this year, rather like a marathon.

Audrey has a part on stage in the Ministry School on Thursday night.

Here is a tiny poem I wrote about a trip to the tropics (Thailand) many years ago:

Breakfast in Asia

Frangipani blossom in a plastic cup
and the sprinklers singing
in the cool morning air
as the sun revs up.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


The last Autumnwatch last night!   However, there will be a Winterwatch - I think and hope from the same beautiful spot in Scotland.   Highlight for me were the beavers getting in their cache of logs for the Winter, with the babies helping by bringing their own twiglets.  And two little beaver kits getting hold of the same twig, having a tug of war over it, and knocking themselves into the water.

There were twigs galore too!  No need to fight, but Suecius she say: "The twig in the other kit's mouth is always greener".

They all looked so happy and contented, busy with satisfying work, the little ones both learning and playing. We also saw a brief interaction between beaver and otter.  There was a little bit of dancing at each other in the water, but otherwise it was fine. Apparently beaver and otter families have been known to happily share the same lodge.

Perhaps we could learn something...

And the horrendous fights of the stags for their herd of lady deer - after which, once the ladies come into season, they go off and choose their own stag anyway.  And the fight between two male hedgehogs for a beautiful, if prickly, lady.

They excelled themselves in AW this year - I am just sad it was so short.

Very overcast this morning.  Apparently it is snowing, or will snow, on the Brecon Beacons.  I hope to get out on the door to door work, but it wont be for long, as my knee and shoulder were keeping me awake last night.  But we so much want people to know about the wonderful promises in the Bible, how the whole earth will be brought back to Paradise - nature will no longer be "red in tooth and claw" - and the meek (those meek towards their Creator) will inherit it - and "reside forever upon it".

Thursday, 1 November 2012

History written in advance

Yesterday was a busy morning only in the phone-call sense:  Captain Dive Holiday, Bea, Jackie, Maggie and Audrey all called for a chat. Which was very nice as I had no plans to go anywhere or see anyone.   Weatherwise, it was like a mad March morning - strong wind, blowing and blowing, big waves racing at the Green, and a blue sky with scudding white clouds, with a brief monsoon.

The sound of the sea was wonderful - the power of the waves!  And it was a wild and stormy night.  Calmer today though.  And, now, mid-afternoon the sky is blue with big fluffy clouds and the sea is turquoise, white horses racing along.

Hobbled out to Waitrose, and then its the meeting tonight.  Its the Theocratic Ministry School Review  - 10 questions mainly about Ezekiel and Daniel.

Daniel contains that spine-tingling 70 weeks prophecy, which not only told the Jews the year that the Messiah would appear on the earth, but said that he would be cut off in death with "nothing for himself", and that afterwards Jerusalem and the Temple would be desolated. As they were, when Titus and the Roman armies came up against Jerusalem in 70 C.E.  The Arch of Titus stands in Rome to this day as a reminder of how exactly that prophecy was fulfilled.

The strengthening thing about studying fulfilled prophecy is that it gives such an assurance that everything else Jehovah has prophesied will come about.