Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A lovely surprise

A lovely surprise in my mailbox this morning - some beautiful comments on my blog from a gentleman called Izzy who I had written to some time ago, via the net.  I hope so much he will keep in touch.

A cool cloudy day. The Green seems quiet without our visitors. Not that they were particularly noisy but they bought a whole world with them that suddenly vanished.

Can't say I have done much today. My foot is still very swollen but not as painful.  Audrey rang, we had a chat.  And Maggie rang to say she won't be at the meeting tonight. She always gets there early and saves a seat for me. Captain B was around for lunch today, I used up the rest of the tomatoes and made a tomato and chickpea casserole, which turned out quite well.  And Linda says she will come round and cook a Thai meal for us, which I hope she will, as she is an excellent cook.

I am re-reading Agatha Christie's "The ABC Murders". This time, I can remember who did it and how and why, but its still fun getting there and watching Hercule Poirot surprise everyone at the end.   Very ingenious.

I feel I ought to manage some great thoughts on the political issues of the day, but my brain cells aren't up to it - neither of them.  But every day that goes by reinforces my belief in the Bible's warning that the whole world is lying in the power of "the wicked one".  When I was first shown that  at 1 John 5:19, which says: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”, I did think that if that was true, it would explain so much.

And I feel that more and more strongly all the time.

But, on a much happier, note, it won't be for much longer.  A perfect rescue is at hand.

Farewell, or Au Revoir?

Our travellers have gone.  The Green seems very empty suddenly.  The Men from the Council turned up yesterday with what I assume must have been eviction notices and, as quietly as they came, they left.

I wonder if they will come next year.  And if so, I wonder if I will be able to go down and say hello. If they do, I will if I can.

We had quite a lot of rain yesterday which we badly need.

Captain Butterfly was at home all day, working on his photograph library.  I made a veggie curry out of the potatoes and carrots that needed using up, and he shopped for some new supplies.

On the last day of July, I am thinking again of how long school summer holidays were.Wonderfully long for us children - perhaps just long for our parents.  They seemed to last forever, until that terrible day when Autumn and new term started.  I always love Autumn though, and never let the prospects of school spoil my love of it.

I suppose school holidays are harder on parents now, as kids can no longer spend all day playing outside, and so many mothers have to work full time, or are single parents.

Our Watchtower study article last week was about parents and children, and I was thinking yet again how wise Jehovah's ways are. When the Israelites were his people, and lived under his perfect law, children were taught by and with the extended family. They were not jammed together in schools in large groups of their peers.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Driving Miss Susan

To the meeting on Sunday morning, with my faithful chauffeur, who picked me up after the meeting and drove us to the shops - otherwise there would have been no food for our friends last night.

Both Public Talk and Watchtower study article contained what  I needed to hear - food (spiritual) at the right time.  And Ron came over to tell me that he, Jane and two others had gone down to our Gypsy Encampment, and had a lot of good talks and placed a lot of literature!

Then I got together an easy supper.  Lidl's smoked salmon on oatcakes,  Lasagne from Cooks plus a big salad with a classic dressing. Then my usual summer pudding - Eton mess, but made with Greek yoghourt.

And Captain B made us all coffee, with chocolate biscuits after.

An enjoyable  evening, and I hope it helped the friend who is going through a lot of emotional turmoil at the moment.

I have just re-read Barbara Pym's "Jane and Prudence".  It is so funny.

I am having a violent arthritis attack in my foot at the moment and have been zimmering slowly slowly round the flat. I hate having to use the zimmer frame but, now and again, there is no alternative.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Mini-Cakeathon begins - and Stevie Smith

Got two batches of marmalade muffins made on Thursday - plus a visit to the Dentist - 6-monthly check-up - and the meeting in the evening.  That was a hectic day for me and my knees, and I am still suffering for it (whine, whine). Captain Butterfly - in his Rescue Persona - left very early this morning for his second day as a steward at Goodwood.

"You can't leave me", I sobbed.  "Suppose I get stolen by the gypsies on the Green?!"

He muttered something about my being perfectly safe unless they had a heavy duty crane on site - and off he flew, packed lunch in tow.

We had such a lovely meeting on Thursday.  And I told the elders about the encampment and they are going to try and get someone down there to knock on the caravan doors and have a talk.  I am quite enjoying having the travelling families there - I was watching all the little children and puppies playing on the Green yesterday - they were having a wonderful time, they have drawn their caravans right up beside the playground - paradise for children, and I am wondering where they are going to go next when they are moved on from here.

I am still re-reading my poetry shelf and have got as far as Stevie Smith, the selected poems of.

Here are some tasters:

"In his fur the animal rode, and in his fur he strove
And oh it filled my heart my heart, it filled my heart with love."


And this on the death of a German philosopher:

"He wrote The I and the It
 He wrote The It and the Me
 He died at Marienbad
 And now we are all at sea."

It reminds me a little of the proposed philosophers strike in "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".  "And who will THAT inconvenience?"

A quiet day stretches before me, I hope.  And I hope to achieve studying, replying to an interesting email from a friend in Oz, and dusting and polishing...  and a lot of lying down, reading poems, and whingeing to myself about my knees.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Walter de la Mare - and The Travellers

I have been browsing through  "Poem for the Day, One" edited by Wendy Cope.  Pen bought it for me, and it is a treasure of a collection. I keep finding new things along with old favourites.

And I just found this.  A quote from Walter de la Mare, as he was approaching the end of his life:     "My days are getting shorter, but there is  more and more magic.  More than in all poetry.  Everything is increasingly wonderful and beautiful."

Yes, everything is increasingly wonderful and beautiful.

Yesterday travellers arrived on our Green and there is now a caravan encampment below our window. Very very frustrating for me as I would love to be able to go down there with my Bible and some publications and knock on some caravan doors. But I just can't. It takes me all my time to walk round the flat now.

The Police have already been and apparently the legalities to move them on are under way.  And I accept that we can't have people living on the Green. But, so far, they are proving quiet and considerate neighbours.

Today I made an unsuccessful, but edible, chicken curry - a new recipe I won't be trying again. Finished the butterfly paperwork, talked to an American friend via internet, did some studying and some washing.  Tomorrow is the Dentist (urgh) and cake-making.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Cake Clarion

Once again the cry for cakes has gone up - at the Kingdom Hall - on Thursday.  The first batch will be accepted at the meeting next Thursday night.  And I hope that I will have a sackload of marmalade muffins done by then.  (Or, given the price of foundation material these days, a cement lorry load full.)

Our brothers and sisters down the Coast are now building a new Kingdom Hall.  And it is wonderful that Jehovah can arrange for everyone to have a share and to feel useful.  I would be nothing more than a trip-hazard on a building site - but I can still help out via cakes for the tea breaks.

My knees are getting worse than ever. And I hope I will be able to stagger onto the platform next month to be Rosemary's householder.  I think we will be doing the "Do you believe in The Rapture?" talk.

If so, it will be an interesting one.  It is a religious teaching that completely reverses Bible teaching - as so much religious teaching does.

The Rapture says, basically, that there will come a time when the good are "raptured" off the face of the earth, leaving the wicked remaining on it to suffer untold horrors.

Whereas the Bible says, simply and clearly:   "For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it.  As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it." - Proverbs 2:21,22

The meek will inherit the earth, as Jesus famously promised. They will not be removed from it.  But the wicked will. Isn't that what will happen at Armageddon?

A quiet day yesterday.  Captain Butterfly and his sandwiches disappeared mid-morning and had a good day out.  The photos will appear in The Captain's Log in due time.  I had a long talk to Bea on Skype, and to Audrey on the phone.  I did my studying.  They are really encouraging us to get out and do public witnessing, in some cases with portable book and magazine stalls. It is so hard to find people at home these days.   It scares me a bit - the witnessing door to door is not easy either, it scares me too - but I do hope that if my operations work, I will be able to get back out there.

And I made a veggie curry with some veggies that needed using up, and baked the cooking apples. So Captain B came back to a home-made supper.   The curry wasn't bad, but I later watched a Rick Stein programme about home cooks in India and perfect curries and felt that I had hardly got started.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A Window in Time

I have been sitting down, or rather lying down, with my poetry shelf, half of which has now been banished to the shelves of the second bedroom, swept there by a tide of butterfly textbooks.

I was re-reading "Wulf and Eadwacer" last night.  It is like a window in time momentarily opening, and a hand reaching out and grabbing you, and saying: "Listen".  But what is it wanting to tell us?  Sadness and loss and longing, but exactly what scholars can not agree.

Who is Wulf?   Lover?  Husband?  Child?  Who is Eadwacer?

It is an old English poem, found within the Exeter Book of the 10th Century.

The translation which I was reading, and which I love, begins:

"The men of my tribe would treat him as game
 if he comes to the camp they will kill him outright.

         Our fate is forked.

Wulf is on one island, I one another.
Mine is a fastness; the fens girdle it
and it is defended by the fiercest men.
If he comes to our camp they will kill him for sure.

         Our fate is forked..."

The Old English text begins:

Leodum is minum swylce him mon lac gife;
willað hy hine aþecgan, gif he on þreat cymeð.
Ungelic is us.
Wulf is on iege, ic on oþerre.
Fæst is þæt eglond, fenne biworpen.
Sindon wælreowe weras þær on ige;
willað hy hine aþecgan, gif he on þreat cymeð.
Ungelice is us.

Maybe, IF I get to be in the restored earthly Paradise, I will meet the writer and find out. There will be no need to retreat to fen-haunted islands then, guarded by the fiercest men.  All the earth will be at peace. We will have our "exquisite delight in the abundance of peace".

Rob and Catherine came down for the day, which was lovely.  We had a Cooks green Thai chicken curry, so all I had to cook was the rice, and we had an Eton Mess for afters, as it's English strawberry season. Obviously it was the Comprehensive rather than the Public School Version, being made with Greek yoghurt instead of cream.   And Captain B made us pots and pots of tea later which we had with cake and biscuits.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Butterflies Redux and Moth Babies

Brown-tail, Euproctis chrysorrhoea
Here is the Guardian article about yesterday's Great Butterfly Race:

The Wood Whites won!   Though it was an honourable defeat for the Light Brigade - the Glanville Fritillaries - as points were even. Its just that the gallant WWs found two more species.

I liked this from Comments:   Isn't it lovely seeing all these butterflies again?
Last September I was getting all excited at seeing just a couple of Small Heaths, so poor the summer had been. This year I've had my identification skills taxed (and woefully exposed) seeing quite a number of Fritillaries. I have no idea what species they are, but I don't care. What joy!

Yes. Isn't that why Jehovah made butterflies so lovely - to give us joy?   They are like flying flowers.

Moths too. One of our moth babies just hatched. We found him on the lampshade yesterday. I could see his/her lovely white ruff.  He flew out during the night as we had all the windows open, so the difficult hours of his (or her?) adolescence went by in our sleep, which seems rather a good arrangement.

Catherine and Rob are coming for lunch today.

    Friday, 19 July 2013

    The Great Butterfly Wars

    Green-veined White pupa, Pieris napi
    = 2 points!
    Today is the day of the Great Butterfly War - the Butterfly count-off between Sussex and Hampshire.

    The Wood Whites - our gallant Sussex lads - will take on the massed and ruthless hordes of Hampshire - the Glanville Fritillaries (boo, hiss).   The Wood Whites with Captain B among them, will advance bravely (and gallantly) into the bleak and fear-inspiring Hampshire terrain to count their butterflies; while the Glanville Fritillaries (boo, hiss) will invade the lovely and defenceless land of Sussex, and count our butterflies.

    The Charge of the Flight Brigade
    by Mrs Captain McButterfly.

    Half a leaf, half a leaf,
    half a leaf onward
    Into the Valley of Hampshire (and that doesn't scan!)
    flew the six hundred  (only about a dozen or so WoodWhites, but there is such a thing as poetic license)

    Butterflies to the left of them
    Butterflies to the right of them...

    Well, I hope that is enough jingoism, and I hope the day goes well, with lots of butterflies being counted.  I have been told to follow the unfolding battle on Twitter - and it should make the BBC News. There will be a camera crew there.   And Captain B is riding camera for his team.

    We are back to our normal routine at the Kingdom Hall now, so I was at the meeting last night, with the brave Captain chauffering me, even though it was the night before the battle.    And it was lovely to be back. And lovely that we have air con in our new hall, as it was a hot night.

    Our last talk was a question and answer session about why and how the young brothers can and should step forward end start to take the lead in helping the congregation and become ministerial servants and elders themselves. One elder said that he was touched to see a young brother helping one of the elderly sisters into the Hall that evening.

    And that was me, with kind young Isaac....

    But how can I be an "elderly sister"?  Just yesterday I was a young wife.

    Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    Watching DVDs with Captain Butterfly

    "What would you like for your 40th Anniversary present?" Captain Butterfly had asked me.

    "Well" I said, "What I would really really like is if you would watch "Walk by Faith not by Sight" with me one evening."

    Yes, he would.  And last night we watched it together. Which cheered me up no end. I can only hope he enjoyed it.  It is made by The Watchtower Society and was released at the Conventions last year.

    It is based on the fulfillment of that extraordinary prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem.

    At Luke 20:2-23, Jesus said:   “Furthermore, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near.  Then let those in Ju‧de′a begin fleeing to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her withdraw, and let those in the country places not enter into her; because these are days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled. Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled."

    Odd because you would suppose that it would be too late to flee once Jerusalem was surrounded by encamped armies.

    However, history records how the prophecy was fulfilled. Following a Jewish revolt against Rome in 66 C.E.  the Roman legate of Syria, Cestius Gallus, had assembled the twelfth legion of the Roman army, along with considerable auxiliary forces, to put down the rebellion. Arriving before the walls of Jerusalem during the festival of booths, Roman forces soon penetrated even to the heavily fortified temple walls. With apparent victory close at hand, Gallus suddenly and seemingly without valid reason ordered retreat. Jewish forces went in pursuit. Their attacks forced the retiring Romans to abandon the bulk of their baggage and their heavy siege equipment. Convinced that God had delivered them, rejoicing Jews struck coins bearing inscriptions such as “Jerusalem the Holy.”

    However, followers of Christ remembered his prophecy and traditional sources indicate that the Christians forsook Jerusalem and Judea at that time. Ecclesiastical historian Eusebius of the third and fourth centuries C.E. writes: “The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella.” Epiphanius of the same general period states that ‘the Christians who dwelt in Jerusalem, being forewarned by Christ of the approaching siege, removed to Pella.’

    History tells us what happened next, and the point of the DVD is to remind us how vital it is to listen to Jehovah, and to his Messiah, and obey them.

    The Book of Daniel, in the 70 weeks prophecy, also warns that Jerusalem and the Temple will be desolated, after the Messiah has been "cut off" in death.

    A very hot day today. And a cherry picker has been whirring away outside doing the re-pointing, so we couldn't have the windows open.

    Monday, 15 July 2013

    A Weekend in Housebound Retirement

    It wasn't totally housebound in that I did totter over to Jacks for supper.  Captain Butterfly was able to park right outside the house.  I have to carry loads of cushions with me now - the Arabian saddlebag cushions we bought years ago are proving very useful - as I need to have a high chair to sit on or my knees won't get me off it.

    Jackie gave us salad, chicken dijon with rice, and strawberries with ice-cream.  A perfect summer supper - with champagne too!   We sat in her lovely conservatory for hours, laughing and enjoying the long summer evening.

    Linda came over on Friday, and also joined Captain B at Arundel on Saturday to help him with his stall for Butterfly Conservation.  He would have been on his own otherwise -  I am about as much use as a chocolate teapot at the moment.

    Audrey and i phoned each other every day for a chat as just about everybody else is at the Convention.

    I had a very bad night on Saturday - very painful shoulder - could not sleep - moaned, groaned, got up, made tea, and had to take medicines - spent a couple of hours watching property programmes on the TV - saw some lovely houses on Corfu - pain began to ease - wonderful - thought I was in for another agonising 48 hours - tottered back to bed just as dawn was breaking.

    Met Captain B over breakfast a couple of hours later. "Sorry about the disturbed night" I said.  "What disturbed night?  And where are my sandwiches?"  And he flew off, fresh as a daisy, to hunt for the Purple Emperor.

    Here is a clue, in case you ever want to look for Purple Emperors too.  If you find something deeply unpleasant festering on a woodland path - something you would never want to step in, especially when wearing sandals - then you may well find a Purple Emperor feasting on that special something. They are not picky eaters.

    Friday, 12 July 2013

    A Collapsed Cake

    The big event of my day - so far - was that having spent ages slaving away over a carrot cake and swelling my feet up horribly in the process (too much standing), I managed to collapse it into lots of broken bits as I was turning it out of its tin.

    So frustrating.  My hands let me down.

    Anyway, Captain Butterfly had some bits with the rest of the custard for his tea.  And apparently it tastes alright.  But nul points for presentation.

    Linda of Arabia is visiting tonight, and we are having supper with Jacks tomorrow.

    The congregation is at Brighton for the 3-day Assembly and it is depressing that I can't be there. Maybe, by this time next year...?

    Wednesday, 10 July 2013

    Lunch with Lilies

    White Water Lily, Nymphaea alba
    The waterlilies are out at Arundel.  We had lunch there today. I can just totter from the Blue Badge parking space to the restaurant.  We had a rather uninspiring (but cheap) bowl of veggie soup and then I had a mug of foamy coffee while Col went off to photograph what was happening in the Reserve.  See the Captain's Log for details.

    He has a lovely sequence of baby swallows demanding, and getting, food.

    It was a classic summer day.  Hot. Clear blue sky. Everything so lush and green.  When Col went into the Farm Shop I waited in the car, looking over a field of waving grasses.  I can see now what I couldn't see as a child - when summer lasted forever - that there is already a feeling of the coming Autumn.

    He very kindly posted the magazines for me. And we found Bob, one of my route calls who had moved.  Tracked him down to his new flat.  He seemed pleased and asked me in - and I met the dog. Must take doggy treats with me next time. I didn't know there was a dog.

    I needed to get them all sent early this month as I enclosed an invitation to the Convention in Brighton this coming weekend.

    Monday, 8 July 2013

    Murraymint, the too Good to Hurry Mint

    We made our forty year anniversary and celebrated with Jackie, champagne, and a Thai meal. Followed by some excellent vanilla ice-cream and mango sorbet, also from Cooks.  And then we sat out on the balcony in the late evening - the cool of the day.

    We have a lovely new speckled orchid for our orchid table.  An anniversary orchid.

    And I hope that one day, Captain Butterfly and I will be celebrating our 400th anniversary, right here on the earth.  And our 4,000th.  IF we are  - if we "inherit the earth", as Jesus promised - then we will wonder at our having thought 40 years any time at all.

    We already know how quickly it goes.  

    "Would you like to spend the next 4,000 years with me, Captain B?"

    But I never found out, as he pleaded the Fifth Amendment.

    I arrived at the meeting very late yesterday morning, as I could not get the steering lock off the car.  I don't know whether its my arthritic hands or what - I had problems opening the door to the balcony the other day.  But when Captain B tried, both door and steering wheel worked perfectly for him.

    Perhaps its all a matter of personality?

    Anyway, he kindly came back early from his treasure hunt and rushed me up to the Kingdom Hall.   Which made me feel a lot better.

    Then we watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon, in a great match against Novak Djokovic.  Wow, and Triple Wow.  The rallies seemed to go on for ever, and both sides played some impossible shots, and amazing saves.

    I have come to admire the way that Andy and Kim Sears, his girlfriend, have refused to tabloidese their life.

    Its very sunny this morning, so I hope to be studying on the balcony at some stage.  And, if there is any champagne left, maybe we will have a sundowner.   Captain B just brought me my lovely morning coffee with chocolate sprinkles on the top - and my morning sweetie (Vitamin C tablet).  Purr purr.

    Saturday, 6 July 2013

    Butterfly Numbers and Unnumbered Daisies

    Butterfly numbers yesterday, but in the financial sense, in that I finally got my expense forms (for postage and envelopes) filled in and they are now scanned (by Captain Computer) and ready to go.   I must not leave them so long next time. Then just as I finished that there was a rattle at the letterbox and the next set of butterfly memberships came fluttering through!

    I wondered about having a nervous breakdown but was saved by a lovely card from Dan and Gabi that arrived at the same time - a 40th Anniversary card no less.

    Also got my studying done.   And some magazines, with letters - one to Ursula thanking her about her advice  for my hospital trip - I have met some lovely people going door to door - and one to Aunt Jo, hoping she is now re-installed in her flat.

    It was the men's semi-finals at Wimbledon today. Excellent match between Djokovic and Del Potro - and a strange one between Murray and Janowicz, which was marred by an odd argument between them over whether or not the court should have the roof put up.    It was simpler in the days when there was no roof.  They just played until they could no longer see their opponent.

    It has all been a bit too much tennis - though all excellent - the actual final could be an anti-climax after yesterday's matches.  But I rather long to be back at the Kingdom Hall where tennis does not matter in the least.

    Captain Butterfly has bought me some more lovely photos back of the world outside.  There are seas of daisies everywhere.  I don't know what they are called. When we were children we called them Moonpenny Daisies.

    Thursday, 4 July 2013

    A Fence Around the Cuckoo

    Yesterday was another of the hospital visits I must have before my op.  It was the long exhausting trek to the Lung Lady's Department.    I found when I got there that she had changed her sex and nationality, and was now a young lad from Eastern Europe.   Or it may of course have been, as he explained, that she was on her holidays. Anyway he was very nice too, and we had a good chat and I noted that he wrote the word "normal" against my test results on the computer, so that sounds reassuring.

    We then shopped at Cooks, for our forthcoming 40th Wedding Anniversary celebrations.   Col left me at the door and went off to park the car, and I tottered in, holding onto freezers with one hand, my stick with the other, and trying to taste a Moroccan chicken dish they offered at the same time.

    We ended up getting our old favourite - Thai green chicken curry - and some nice ice-cream and sorbet for afters.  So all I will have to do is to cook some plain rice.

    Andy Murray gave us an exciting time yesterday, as he lost the first two sets to Fernando Verdasco, before finally winning the match.  I used to be a real fan of Wimbledon, but somehow as so much money came into it, a lot of the joy went out.  However, being so housebound, I am following it this year.  Verdasco is new to me, though obviously not to the circuit.  But what a player!

    I have also been re-reading the first part of Ruth Park's autobiography "A Fence Around the Cuckoo".  Some amazing history in there, and how well she writes it.  She was born in NZ and moved to Oz when she married D'Arcy Niland (author of "The Shiralee", and "Call Me When the Cross Turns Over").

    She had plenty of hardship and heartbreak in her life, but at the end of her second autobiography ("Fishing in the Styx"), she writes this:   "The only thing you have to offer another human being is your own state of mind. And the state of my mind had been gladness, gladness about the world I was in, and the fact that I was in it."

    Tuesday, 2 July 2013

    Re-reading (and Spoilers)

    Walking very bad at the moment - Captain B is having to do the shopping on his own.  Therefore I am doing a lot of re-reading.  I have just re-read Agatha Christie's "Death Comes as the End" - her murder mystery set in ancient Egypt.  Once again, I fell for the double red-herring.  And, if I leave it long enough before I read it again, I expect I will next time.

    I have also re-read Mrs Henry Wood's "George Canterbury's Will".   George C, a wealthy (and elderly) widower, marries a very young and beautiful girl. She is really in love with the noble hero, but is persuaded by George C's wealth.  He makes a will disinheriting his daughters, and leaving all his vast estates to the lovely new wife, with most of it in trust for the little son of his new marriage.  Should  the little son die before majority, the vast estates would become all hers

    When George C pops his clogs, which happens fairly soon, she believes upright hero will marry her.  But he can't because of the money - he can't be party to the disinheriting of the daughters.  He warned her before the will was signed that it was an unjust will that would bring her no good.

    He also warned that it carried with it a great danger that should she re-marry the Wrong Sort of Person, then it might dawn on the new husband that the only person standing in the way of him getting all this money is the small son of his wife's first marriage.   Small son is frail, with blonde curls, and given to talking wistfully about angels (no Just William he).  

    After noble hero has turned the beautiful young widow down, a carpetbagger with black moustachios turns up and proposes. She marries him hastily with no marriage settlement. He gets through her fortune like a dose of salts and becomes surrounded by creditors. He thinks longingly of the fortune that will come to him through his wife should the small son cease being around.  Small son talks more and more of angels.  Need I say more?

    Oh, except that the noble hero marries one of George Canterbury's daughters, who gets her share of the family fortunes anyway.

    I don't know what to say about Mrs Henry really, beyond how strongly the idea of going to heaven when you die is propagated. The Bible says simply that the dead "are conscious of nothing at all", and that the hope for the dead is that Jehovah remembers them and that they will wake from the dreamless sleep of death when the time comes.

    And, for most of us, the Bible tells us, that awakening will be right here, on the earth.  As Jesus famously said, the meek will inherit "the earth" - not heaven.