Thursday, 30 May 2013

Huge mirrors

I have just finished "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi. And I recommend it. And I hope to say some more about it when I have done a bit of a blog catch up.

She starts with an extract from "Annalena" by Czeslaw Milosz.

"To whom do we tell what happened on the
 Earth, for whom do we place everywhere huge
 Mirrors in the hope that they will be filled up
 And will stay so?"

I was intrigued by Lolita. Why Lolita?  Her answer is a very interesting and sad one.

Col fetched and carried me from the meeting tonight. I hope I can keep going up to my ops, but I am in such pain.  I also have a very bad cold, so couldn't take my fortnightly meds.  Which does not help.

Went to see the Anaethetist on Tuesday, and got a bit confused and followed the wrong nurse.  Fortunately, before they actually started to saw my old knee off, the muddle was sorted out, and those of us who had got it wrong were returned to the right bit of the hospital.

Early appointment at doctors the next morning - for blood pressure check.  They changed the venue on me at 8.30 a.m. so we had a mad dash to a more distant surgery, and then a long long wait - even though I was the only one in the waiting room. By the time he came to take my blood pressure I was so het up I expected to explode the machine.  But it was, and I quote, "lovely".

So I hope that means it was good - not that it was lovely in the sense that it was about to achieve another patient cull.

Jacks is coming for supper tomorrow - and IF I can totter off to the shops with the Captain I will make a fish pie and a summer fruit salad.  If not, it will be a takeaway.

I can't reply to anybody's email now - we have a new computer system - glitches - so apologies to those who have not yet got a reply. We hope to fix it tomorrow.

The new bathroom is finally finished!  It looks very smart.  And I am not sure that I want anyone going in there and using it and getting water on it.

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Grand-moth-er

I think I am shortly to have dozens of grandchildren, as our little moth baby has left us two batches of eggs which are being carefully monitored by Captain Moth, and when she was returned to the wild Sussex Downs, she started laying more under various leaves.

Such a short life they have, yet Jehovah has made them so exquisite. And each tiny egg, containing another exquisite ermine-robed creature, is another miracle.

Finally got my magazine route finished. Not posted yet, but all finished.

The Channel is sparkling away outside the window and there are quite a few people on the Green.

Springwatch starts tonight!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Sea, The Sea

The Channel was so lovely yesterday - the sea full in - the water like blue glass - and a procession of little racing yachts with sparkly white sails making a clockwork toy progression across it.  And we had a classic sky above it - a joyful blue with fluffy white clouds.

Carol and I delivered my talk - and the brothers had moved the furniture for me so that I could approach the stage via the slope not the stairs. That confused the next brother coming up to give his experience of years of working for us all at the Haysbridge Assembly Hall, and he entered the stage the wrong way, and had to re-enter. Which made me feel rather guilty.

However, at least I cheered someone up. As I began my marathon backing-my-car-out-of-the-non-existent-KH-carpark, a brother who is disfellowshipped (and who is coming to meetings, so who will surely soon be reinstated) was coming out the door, looking a bit down.  As I drove triumphantly off at the end of all my backing and filling I noticed he had a big smile on his face.

We had our usual lovely evening with Jacks - lasagne, salad, cheese, and an apple strudel with ice-cream.  And lots of laughing about the plights of old age - though not one of us feels old.  Its just our bodies seem to.  We all find life more wonderful and interesting than ever.  But, as the Inspired Scriptures tell us, we were made to live forever, after all. And the world, even now, cut off as we are from our Creator, is full of beauty and wonders.

I hope that Lee Rigby, the young soldier who survived Afghanistan to be hacked to death on the savage streets of London, will wake up to see it all again when the time comes - along with all those killed and being killed in the current Crusades in the Middle East.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

My Talk in the Ministry School Tonight

This is the talk I hope to be giving this evening - from the main platform.   I found it difficult to write...  I don't know whether because this has been a stressful two weeks what with all the medical stuff, and the builders in (2 here at the moment) - or that I couldn't quite get a handle on what was required.  

Anyway, its done and dusted, and I have practised it once with Captain B and twice with my householder, so I can do no more.


Setting:  A  home Bible study;   Study No.44: Effective use of  questions.
Assigned Scriptures: 2 John 9-11; Romans 16:17.

Sue.  Before we start our study today C, I wanted to ask you what you thought about the public talk on Sunday.

C.  It was interesting,  But what the speaker said about the religions of the world and how they have been misleading people has put a question in my mind. And I hope I won't upset you by asking it, but how can I be sure that what YOU are teaching is the truth?

Sue.  C, that is an important question.  It's one you do need to ask  because, well doesn't the Bible warn us that Satan is misleading the entire inhabited earth.  How can we protect ourselves from being misled?

C.  It seems almost impossible.

Sue.  It would be, without the help of Jehovah's spirit.  Think about the title of this book we are using in our study: "What does the Bible REALLY teach?  Why would it be so important to know?

C.  Because it contains the truth. It is inspired by God's holy spirit.

Sue. Exactly. It is the Rock against which we can measure what we are taught. If it is in harmony with the Bible we can be sure it's true. And the Bible gives clear practical advice on how to make sure that false teachers do not infiltrate the congregation.  Would you read  2 John 9-11 for us?

C. reads: (2 John 9-11)" Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.  For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works."

Sue. Do you see what we must avoid?

C. Those who don't remain in the teaching of  the Christ. But surely, you would have to live like a hermit to avoid all such wrong teaching?

Sue:  Yes, indeed. And, as you know we don't do that. We don't isolate ourselves - for a start we have to do the preaching work - and we have normal contacts with our neighbours, our workmates, our schoolmates, and many others. But did you notice the word "remain"?  He that does not remain in the teaching of the Christ.  So we must avoid anyone who tries to bring wrong teaching and wrong conduct within the Christian congregation.  In fact, the elders have to remove any such ones from the congregation, and we must all co-operate with this disfellowshipping arrangement.    So we all have our part to play in keeping the congregation free of false teachers.  Would you read Romans 16:17.

C: Reads: (Romans 16:17 "Now I exhort you, brothers, to keep your eye on those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned, and avoid them."

Sue:  How might each one of us keep an eye on those who cause divisions and avoid them?

C:  I was thinking about  the Watchtower study that followed the talk on Sunday - didn't the Speaker say something about apostate sites on the internet, and how important it was to avoid them?

Sue.  Yes, that is a real protection for us  An apostate is someone who has left the truth, and who then turns round and tries to mislead their former brothers and sisters. Jehovah tells us, clearly and simply, to avoid them.

C.  So you are saying that following Bible teaching is our protection against falsehood?

Sue.  Yes. Just to illustrate that, you know those antique shows on the telly where you see an expert pick up, say, a small blue and white china bowl, turn it round, have a look at it, and say: "Ming dynasty. This is worth at least £500 at auction."  Then he picks up an identical (as far as I am concerned) blue and white bowl, and says: "Made last month, shipped by the container load, and worth about a fiver". Now, how can he tell? I can't see any difference between them.

C. Well, I suppose because he has examined so many of the real thing - he sees the difference straight away.

Sue.  Yes. And so the more we examine the truth, God's word, the more we will be able to recognise false teachers for what they are and avoid them.

Carol:  We had better get on with our study then.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Paperwork - and I become a Moth-er again

Muslin Moth, Diaphora mendica
First batch of May butterfly members hatched, dispatched, and sent on their papery way. It took longer than usual though as I had a slight problem with the computer and had to enter everything twice.

I also did my studying for the day, and went through tomorrow's talk a couple of times with Carol.

Plus a trip to the Supermarket - Waitrose - which exhausted me.  They do have lovely customer service though. As the Captain was putting our shopping away and I was struggling into the car, sounding like a champion lady tennis player in the Wimbledon Final (lots of grunting and groaning) an employee appeared, took Captain B's trolley and helped me into the car.

Our plumber reappeared and did a great job - the bathroom may be finished tomorrow . Then there is a vast dusting job to do.

I am a moth-er again. We have a white moth baby with a lovely fluffy stole - its called a Muslin Moth I believe - being photographed by Captain Butterfly even as I type this.   In the way of moth photographs, this will probably be its baby/kindergarten/graduation/retirement photo.

Mind you, at the moment our own lives don't seem so very much longer.

The news is unspeakable.  A soldier has been hacked to death - it sounds like he was beheaded - on the streets of London in broad daylight.

The increasing of lawlessness...

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Circuit Overseer's Visit ends

albino Bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
I haven't been able to walk in the bluebell woods this year, but Captain Butterfly has bought them home to me in photographs.

Today was made lovely  - in spite of severe knee pain - as it was the last day of the Circuit Overseer's visit - and he gave us a wonderful talk and presentation.  Captain B the Superhero drove me up to the Hall, and Frances helped me in. We had a presentation about the work the Society has been doing in the translation field.


In his talk after our shortened Watchtower study, the C.O. brought out a point from the account of Pentecost in the Book of Acts that he said he had  never picked up on before.  And neither had I.

When holy spirit was poured out on those present and they began to speak in different tongues, Acts records this:   "As it was, there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, reverent men, from every nation of those under heaven.  So, when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  Indeed, they were astonished and began to wonder and say: “See here, all these who are speaking are Gal‧i‧le′ans, are they not?  And yet how is it we are hearing, each one of us, his own language in which we were born?"- Acts 2:5-8 

The C.O. pointed out that the common language at the time was Greek - and that very likely all, or most, of those present, could speak and understand Greek.   But Acts clearly records that each one got a witness about the Kingdom of God in their own language, the language in which they were born.

Our birth language has an emotional charge like no other - and Jehovah wants to reach our hearts as well as our minds.

Anyway, in harmony with the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Watchtower Society has teams of volunteers translating all the time.  We saw experiences from some of the parts of the world they are reaching.  These languages are not always written down - so there is no dictionary to consult; and in some languages there is no written literature apart from what The Watchtower Society publishes.

You could see how much it meant to people to have a copy of the Bible in their own language.

And the C.O. told us that in some countries the authorities have waived the import tax on our publications, as they appreciate what we are trying to do, and know that we are teaching people to read and write, where that is necessary.

Just as Jehovah's spirit empowered Jesus's followers to speak in different languages at Pentecost so that all present got a witness, his spirit is now moving and organising a witness about the incoming Kingdom of God is being given, as never before - to the ends of the earth.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The ice-axe slips again

I took another slip further towards the frightening edge last night at the meeting.  I found I was no longer able to stand for the songs and the prayer.

Its sunny today, though not very warm.  The tiler was a'tiling all yesterday and our bathroom is starting to look real now.  The man from the Bathroom Shop came to see that all was OK.  It is, as far as we know.  

And Col picked up Nute from the station about 11.00 clock yesterday morning.   We had lunch together - Cooks Thai green chicken curry, and the downmarket version of Eton Mess (yoghurt instead of cream).  Then the Captain went off to transect butterflies (count them, not dissect them!) and we had an afternoon of talking and watching The Great British Bake-Off.

We both fell asleep briefly after lunch.   And I thought, how old we are getting. And yet my siblings seem the same to me as when we were children.    But we are now living Arnold Bennet's "The Old Wives Tale" - great book by the way, if you haven't read it.

I feel I ought to be making some kind of comment on the News of the day... but all I can find to say is that I don't understand why anyone doubts the Bible's warning that "the whole world" is lying in the power of Satan. And he is called "the father of the lie". And his lies are designed to, among other things, set brother against brother.

Which reminds me that I HAVE to get my talk written today so I can practise it with my householder on Sunday.   It has taken me ages to work out how to do it. The theme is how to protect ourselves against false teaching.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

More Medical Matters

Or is it all too boring? But this is my internet diary and I need to know what and when. On the plus side, got to the Clinic early and got seen straight away.  Doctor, new to me.  Very blunt, not much of a bedside manner.   But as Mrs.Captain B, I can take that.  I would rather know where I stand. And you always know where you stand with the Captain. You may not always like it, but you know.

Anyway, back to the surgery.  People are outliving their joints -  knee replacement very serious operation - but given that you have lived too long you will have to face it (I paraphrase, but not all that much).  He laughed at my jokes. I laughed at his.  Did I understand the position re my thyroid - showing me the chart - yup, I spoke of it in terms of that very vivid dream I had years ago in Saudi that I realised was about my new thyroid medicine - he was surprised but said that, yes, that was exactly it. So more blood tests before any decisions taken there.

Same same with blood pressure. He showed me my graph - how my bp shoots up to the "Explode the Machine" indicator when taken anywhere medical, but goes down to "Pretty much Normal" when taken at home.  Which faithfully reflects my fear of all medical procedures. And my love of home.  So more tests and then another appointment.

It shows how true Inspired Scriptures are. They told us, thousands of years ago, that "a calm heart is healing to the bones".

How does anyone find time to be bored in retirement?!

Plumber here - tilers to come this afternoon, probably.  Its overcast and windy - not butterfly weather.  Looking forward to meeting tonight.  Thank goodness the kind Captain will take me, as my knees are as more painful than ever this morning.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Bad Knee Day

Knees especially painful today - read terrifying brochure about knee operation - with graphic picture of how old knees become new knees - they will make the cybermen look quite cosy.   Captain Butterfly lived up to his name and flew off to Rewell Wood with a batch of sandwiches - I studied on the balcony - and made tea for the plumber - who turned up late due to plumbing emergency - made a start on my magazine route - albeit a tiny one - talked to Audrey - we reminded each other that there will be a meeting tomorrow night as it is the Circuit Overseer's visit.  We are having a DVD rather than a talk tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it. We had Abel & Cole pasties for our tea, with veggies. Nute coming on Thursday hurray.

I have found a very interesting new blog:

I have been re-reading Helen Forrester's books ("Twopence to Cross the Mersey" and the sequels) about her childhood in the Liverpool of the 1930s. I hope we are not heading back to that. The Welfare State is a very recent creation. However I also know that, as the Hebrew Scriptures warn, "it does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step".

We have not solved the problems of poverty - and we never will. But the incoming Kingdom of God, the heavenly government, will - more wonderfully than we can now imagine.

Just think of what Jesus did when he was on the earth. And he is the annointed King of Jehovah's Kingdom.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Carry On Up the Spout

A blowy day today. But bright and sunny with blossom everywhere. We went shopping this morning, and I could barely manage it....   How much worse will I be in 6 months time?

And will I survive the operations?   With all my various health complications, who knows?  Clearly, I should have thought ahead and had my knee replacements done while I was young and healthy.

Jackie is coming for supper. And, to cheer us all up, we are having champagne and strawberries. And spatchcock chicken.

Email from Nute to say she will be coming over for lunch in a couple of weeks, as she will be down in London for work, with a day to spare.  So that is something to look forward to.   Still haven't started on my talk or my magazines, but hope to do so next week.

The bathroom seems to be on target.  The plumber is a nice guy and has advised us of a better way to site the shower.  He also - and I hope this doesn't sound like a line from a Carry On film - liked my marmalade muffins.  (You don't get many of them to the pound!)  So I had better make some more for next week. - Plumber, Plasterer and Tiler, I think.

Captain B took the second batch butterfly paperwork to the Post Office this morning.  I can no longer walk as far as that.  And he also posted my letters to Aunt Jo (update on health issues) and Richard (update on health issues, plus offer of two more books). And a butterfly sympathy card to Bavaria.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Knew Knees

Long session at the hospital yesterday.  Two full knee replacements required.  But waiting list 6 to 8 months - plus a scary discussion of health complications and hazards of operation for me - all very depressing.

A plus is that we like the Surgeon very much - and he has treated many Jehovah's Witnesses, so he has no problem with bloodless surgery.

The woods are full of bluebells at the moment - and I won't be able to do any bluebell walks this year.  Maybe next...?

How quickly life goes.

The plumber is back, doing something mysterious in our gutted bathroom so that the plasterers can come back and finish their work.  Jackie kindly babysat the workmen while were at the hospital.  I now need to get started on my magazine route calls - but I also have a talk to write as I have a part in the Ministry School this month.

Captain Butterfly has got some wonderful Orange Tip Nectaring on Bluebell shots that will be appearing in his next blog, I hope.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bathrooms and Butterflies

Our bathroom has been taken out - there is nothing but bare walls and a lot of dust.  The plasterer arrives tomorrow (we hope).  Jacks is house-sitting as its hospital day, and we will bring us all back something for lunch.

Captain Butterfly set off after lunch in pursuit of the Duke of Burgundy.   That is a butterfly, not a Lord of the Realm - this is not a civil war situation, with Captain B joining the Roundheads.  And I spent my afternoon with butterflies - but butterfly paperwork, alas, as the second batch of April memberships arrived this morning.   Anyway, its done, dusted and the membership packages are ready to go.

Audrey phoned 3 times, so I spent the rest of the afternoon talking to her about various things.

We have just enjoyed the new Apprentice, and don't think that Jaz should have been fired.

Monday, 6 May 2013


Feel very anxious today- no wonder my blood pressure is up. The thought of the coming visit to the surgeon, the possibility of operations and above all the thought of being in hospital for at least five days is keeping me awake at night and stressed out during the day.  I feel too old and ill to cope with being in hospital.

The weather is in sympathy with me this morning as a sea fret has replaced the English Channel.

On the bright side, I got to the Meeting on Sunday.  We were discussing Paul's image of the runners in the race, and being given wonderful practical Biblical advice on how to keep running in the race for life, how to pick ourselves up and keep going.  And one thing that can stumble us and make us inactive can be health issues.   And don't I know it.  I didn't get out on the doors once last month and won't this. I am still keeping a witness going, but it is not what it should be.

And we had supper with Jacks on Saturday. She cooked us a lovely roast chicken dinner, followed by lemon meringue pie. And we had a laugh over all the horrors of ageing. And admitted that we would not be young again, unless we could go back then knowing all that we know now.

But that of course is what the Bible is promising.  Well more, as it is promising us perfect health and life, right here on the earth. Which is something we, the children of Adam, have never known. We are born imperfect and dying.

We heard from the Oz branch - musical news, with soundtrack.  And today we must get the house ready for the Bathroom guys, who arrive tomorrow.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Ted & Sylvia

Yesterday I drove myself to the doctors - usual blood tests - and came back via the library. There was a disabled space vacant so I parked up and walking-sticked myself in thinking I would just get 3 books - can't carry any more - and to my amazement, I found "A Lover of Unreason", (by Koren & Negev), the biography of Assia Wevill - the other woman in the Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath marriage/suicide tragedy.

I have been reading both the Stephenson and Hayman biographies.

How important it is to take marriage seriously - to regard it as something sacred. And what tragedies can result when we don't.

The meeting was great - the teaching just gets better and better.  It was the oral review.  And Charles was pleased with our answers. Clearly we have been keeping up with our studies. And I got a new blood form from Martin - if I am to be facing some operations, I need a current one I think.  And he has asked me to keep him updated so that the brothers will be on standby to help if anything happens.

Jehovah's command not to take blood was given to Noah after the flood, and hence to all mankind.  And I do wonder if we had remembered it, would we have been more able to see how sacred all life is, including animal life.

Which brings me back to Ted and Sylvia, and the suicides.   If they had known...

A housebound day - after my outings of yesterday.  All I seem to have achieved is to have done my studying for the day, and made a batch of marmalade muffins for lunch-box purposes. Though I notice they seem to be disappearing rather fast.

Do we have mice?  Or is it a Butterfly?

The cousins yahoo group is full of news of babies currently being hatched, so the Nabbs family marches on.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Captain Butterfly paled

"What is that appalling racket?"  I crabbed.

"A nightingale singing. I recorded it today" said Captain Butterfly smugly.

"Ah - of course, what I meant was, What is that gorgeous sound trilling from your computer?"

After we had shopped - a slow business with me in tow - we lunched and he set off "to find those nightingales again".

"Bring back enough for a pie". (That would be about 500 I should think).    You will be glad to know he didn't, and we had salmon salad. Though when I think of those valiant salmon heading upstream against all the odds, I don't feel good about eating them either.

The world is so wrong at the moment.

Another housebound day. The sea was lovely. Lilian, from further down the coast, rang me, and we had a long talk. She and Dave hope to drive over for lunch one day - I have to let her know how the trip to the Surgeon goes. And of course  I had a chat with Audrey, who wanted me to print off another copy of the notes from the Haysbridge Convention for Jackie's daughter.

I am enjoying the new series of Masterchef, and I think that Natalie will win.  Looking forward to finding out tomorrow night, or rather, on Friday morning on IPlayer, as its the meeting tomorrow night.

My study today has reminded me how important it is to stress that the incoming Kingdom of God is ruling from heaven now.  It has subjects all over the earth - more and more every week - and will soon act to remove the wicked.

We all "study war no more" - and are being drawn back into one loving family, which is what Jehovah has always intended the human race to be, and what it will be.