Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Strange Behaviour of a Blog

A reader tells me my blog was behaving strangely in the early hours.  I don't know what was happening but can only hope it won't do it again.

Two beautiful handmade bookmarks arrived from Bea. They are made in Peru and obviously come from a scheme to provide income for those in the favelas.  They are so charming I feel they ought to be framed. I emailed my thanks.  And I replied to Kathryn and Aunt Jo  the old-fashioned horse-drawn way as neither of them is on the net.

Captain Butterfly is out getting the food for tomorrow's supper - Tom and Jackie are coming over.   Will he turn up with a deer slung over his shoulder, or a Cook's lasagne and several full shopping bags?

Its not, as Basil Fawlty would say, a proposition for Wittgenstein.

There is a weak wintery sun out now - and the Channel is calm.

I hope there will be no more blogstorms tonight.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Shrunken Island (and The Great War)

The Captain took us out for lunch to Arundel yesterday.   Roast chicken for him, veggie lasagne for me.  The light was wonderful, because the weather was so strange. One minute that intense low Winter sunlight was making all the pebbles on the island shine like jewels, the next minute there would be a violent rainstorm. The water is still high and the islands have shrunk.  More rain on the way.

The water voles and rats have been flooded out of their homes in the banks.  Surely we could and should be providing them with warm dry nests?  When the earth is Paradise again...

The commemorations of WW1,  are starting, of course.  This from yesterday's GuardianTV review page:

"It wasn't that the series demanded a great historical debate on the causes of the war – though it did seem perverse that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Balkans or European imperialism didn't get a mention – but it did require something to explain the war as more than a random series of events that happened to Britain. A week or so before the war began, there was a mass peace rally led by Keir Hardie in London: war was something few wanted and most believed should be avoided. And yet, within a week or so of the outbreak, Paxman informed us, Britain was united in a determination that this was a war that needed to be fought, without any nod to how or why the mood of the nation had undergone a U-turn.
Nor was there even a hint of an explanation as to why so many in Britain thought the war would be over by Christmas when, days earlier, the politicians had apparently been weeping at the devastation they knew was to come. Was it just that no one could conceive of a war lasting any longer or was there a collective denial? It may be there are no straight answers – easy or otherwise – but the questions do need to be asked if any sense is to be made of the war."
Easy answers?   Yes and No.

Baldrick's (of Blackadder) explanation made as much sense as any political one I have ever heard.   Didn't he say that World War 1 started when a man called Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry?

Thomas Hardy seemed to understand something of the forces behind it in his brave poem called "The Pity of It".  Yet he was not a believer in the Bible, or in God.

And on August 30, 1914, the arresting headline “End of All Kingdoms in 1914” blazed across page 4 of the Sunday magazine section of The World, a leading New York newspaper. “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy,” stated this feature article. “For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students [Jehovah’s Witnesses],’ best known as ‘Millennial Dawners,’ have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914. ‘Look out for 1914!’ has been the cry of the hundreds of traveling evangelists who, representing this strange creed, have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’”

How did they know?  Because 1914 is a very significant year in Bible prophecy.  It marks a time of great trouble on the earth, but on a "darkest hour before the dawn" basis.    I hope to get back to this as the year goes on.  

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Midsomer Dentists

A trip to the dentist yesterday. All OK apparently.  Hurray hurray.  Not that a single one of my teeth would pass muster in Hollywood of course.

Audrey is now out of hospital and I spoke to her. She seems to be managing and has help coming in daily.   I also spoke to Lilian who is managing her new life, as you have to. As Tom is, without Jill. What choice do we have?  And I also did a card for Hazel who is now in hospital having her knee operation...

As I have probably said before, when  I was a child, I used to wonder why the grown-ups kept going on about their medications and what-the-doctor-said-to-them-when-they-had-their-tubes-tilted.   Wonder no more, Sue Knight.

In fact, you would probably love to know exactly what the doctor said to me when I had my tubes... No? Fair enough. Anyway, The Tunnel told me I was OK tube-wise.

The Captain and me were watching an old Midsomer Murders - one with my favourite, Sgt Ben, in it.  He is such a hero, always rushing to the rescue no matter what the odds.   Anyway, it started with the first murder, and the "psychic" lady who found the body clutching her hand to her heart and saying: "There are going to be more killings, I can sense it."    "Lady," the Captain and I shouted at the screen, "This is Midsomer, there are ALWAYS more murders. And pay attention to the theme music."

A lot of the victims would survive if they would only listen to what's playing in the background.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Benefits Street

I was up in the night a couple of days ago. Can't sleep, and all the horrors of my hospital stay come vividly back in the early hours. And if I brood on it too much I will end up cancelling my next operation.  So I got a cup of tea, turned on the telly, and found myself watching the last bit of an episode of Benefit Street.

The title was so off-putting, I hadn't bothered watching it before.  But I was surprised and shocked. I hadn't realised there were still streets where children played out, the front doors were unlocked and open, and everyone knew everyone else.   I haven't lived on a street like that since my childhood in Fifties England  - back in the days when sabre-toothed tigers roamed the primeval forest that still covered most of the UK.

Back then of course, every house had a breadwinner. And he worked - there was plenty of work post-war. But it was not well paid and nobody had much in a material sense. And the mothers were at home rearing us children of the post-war baby boom years, so it was all very convivial.

I remember it as a happy, interesting childhood, apart from the horrors of school.

I enjoyed Benefits Street, and will try to watch the next programme.  And I anxiously wondered what on earth those people are going to do if they do shrink the benefit system even further.

Jacks invited us over for a roast chicken supper last night.  She had a family crisis on - Captain B gallantly chauffered her around - and she is now a granny again - another little granddaughter was born. Early, but not too early, and mother and child are doing well.

Dawn did her talk very cleverly, getting all but one of the allocated Scriptures in by using the "Reasoning from the Scriptures" book as her outline. It was as extempore a talk as I have ever been involved in in the Ministry School I think, and it seemed to go well. So that was another good learning curve for me.  She cast me as an unbaptised publisher, worrying about answering the questions that we get on the doorsteps.

It is never an easy thing to do - to go door to door with the Bible.  But we do know it is a real priviledge to know the truth and to be taught how to teach it to others.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

A Housebound Life and a Tropical Butterfly

an old Indian Leafwing (Kallima paralekta)
One problem is what to put in my blog...   did nothing yesterday.  Well, I did a load of washing, and dusted and polished everything that couldn't get out of my way. Apart from the bedrooms. The polish and duster are sitting in our bedroom reproaching me even as I type.  And I sat out in the balcony in the wintery sun to do my studying - we are back in Genesis again - where it all went wrong for us.   But the noise drove me back in again. They are drilling something out there.   Flood defences are being strengthened along the river.

The Captain and Butterfly Mark went to Wisley to see the tropical butterflies.  I might capture a picture to make today's blog a bit more attractive.  I packed Col a sandwich and piece of cake, but assumed they would eat at the restaurant. However, they both shared the lunch!  So I wish I had put two pieces of cake in now.  I still have freezer supplies, but must think about baking again next week.

Dawn has managed to get her talk written and is coming round at lunchtime so we can go over it. I am assuming it will be:  "What makes you think there is only one religion that is right?"

A difficult one in these days of interfaith.  But Christianity is an uncompromising religion.  And these are the Scriptures we will be using:

Ephesians 4:4,5:  "One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"   One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Matthew 7:13-14: “Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it;  whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it."       The road to life is narrow, it does not allow for many different beliefs and practices.

Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will."    The one doing the will of God... which means knowing who the true God is, studying his word, and doing it to the best of our ability.

John 10:16:  “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd."    One flock, one shepherd.  One congregation, all being taught and shepherded together, not many different ones.

John 17:20-21: “I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their word;  in order that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me forth."  One united flock, united in the same teaching, and by strong bonds of love.

I don't know how many of those Dawn will cover in the 5 minutes we have though.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Case for Sherlock Holmes

Its 8.30 this Winter morning and someone has stolen the English Channel AND our Green. In its place they have left a misty veil of whiteness. And please shut up about it being a heavy fog, as I want Benedict Cumberbatch to come round and solve it.

A reasonable nights sleep, with the beginnings of a nightmare that stopped.   The Captain and I were doing that incredibly foolish thing that people in scary stories do. We were going into the mysterious dark old house. At night. On our own. No lights working.   We stepped through the front door. All was dark and creaky, except for a small open fire burning somewhere.   "Why are we doing this?" I thought crossly, and dragged us both out again.  Outside was an atmosphere of bleakness and depression.  And then I woke up.

What it did remind me of was how bleak the world could sometimes look until I knew what the Bible had to say about it.  And I wondered again - suppose I had known from a child?  Many of the principles my parents bought me up with were Biblical ones, I am grateful to remember.

I am Dawn's householder this week, so she will be round for a practise session before Thursday night.  I warned our Service Overseer that, all going to plan, I won't be on the school again until about 2 months after my operation. That is assuming it is on time, and goes well...

Monday, 20 January 2014

Forgetting how to sleep

I seem to have lost the knack of sleep at the moment.  Is this another manifestation of old age?  Or something else?  Of course it doesn't help that my hospital experience keeps coming back to me in haunting detail in the early hours - and the temptation is to give up on the operations and settle for a housebound life.

We went to Jackie's for supper on Saturday - roast lamb - cheese and biscuits, and cheesecake. Tom was there and we had a good evening, and we talked a little about Jill.    I had 3 glasses of excellent white wine and thought it might help me sleep. But it didn't.  The Captain couldn't sleep either and we were making each other cups of tea in the early hours.

A lovely sunny day yesterday - clear blue sky - a chance for some of the floodwater to drain before the next lot arrives.

I was just reading that the new Sherlock is a big hit in China.  I hope they don't keep us waiting too long for the next one.  And could they possibly be bringing Andrew Scott's marvelously mad and scary Moriarty back?  I don't see how - but, hey, this is fiction after all.   My Own Theory - and you read it here first - is that - no - I don't think I really have one that could actually involve him coming back.

Its a good thing its not me who's writing it.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Another Hospital Day

We saw my young surgeon and one of his Dr.Watsons (to his Sherlock) yesterday. And Col chauffered me to the meeting and back.  We met two of my sisters who had been visiting Audrey who is still in hospital. Unfortunately it was a long session for me, and we only just got back in time for the meeting, so I couldn't go to her ward to say hello afterwards. She has the card though.

So far, all my recent doctors have been young British Muslims. And so far they have all been lovely. Kind, sensitive, answered my questions, taken my concerns seriously.  I am very glad that all their families took the decision to move to the UK.

Though I am dreading every second of my coming operation.  My surgeon explained to me why I couldn't have a pain pump on my knee, and I have to accept it. He is trying to protect me from hospital infections, which will go straight to the bone.  But its not so much the pain, or even the operation I dread, its the days in hospital afterwards.  You need to be fit and strong to stand up to being in hospital, and I will be just the opposite.

They are scary places too, with all sorts of people roaming round.  And that is very worrying when you can't move.  I couldn't even sit myself up in bed for about 24 hours, because of the pain.  

I wonder if I can really go through with it again, or will I chicken out?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Letter from the Tunnel

There was a letter from The Tunnel of Terror on the mat this morning. And it had come first class!  I nearly fainted, thinking they were going to ask me to rush in for treatment - or maybe to cut out the middleman altogether, and get straight round to the undertakers.   I rang Captain B - out conserving things - to be on standby.   However - and thank God - it was all OK. And it was good of the Tunnel to tell me so quickly

What a relief.  No further treatment needed. And how grateful I am to Jehovah that he helped to keep me still and inside the terrifying contraption.

Jackie came round for coffee yesterday morning - proper coffee made by the Captain, and with Julia's Marks & Sparks biscuits.  We are being good with them and rationing ourselves to one a day after dinner.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Jane Howard

Sunny today, but colder.  We did have a violent rainstorm yesterday, but the Captain was able to get out in the afternoon with his camera.  The floodwaters are receding.

An Oz facebook friend has just told me that he has read "Some Tame Gazelle" and really enjoyed its gentle humour.  He is now going to find "Four Quartets", also by Pym, and if he does, I would love to hear what he thinks.  Marcia's descent into confusion is beautifully evoked - without sentimentality. She is not in the least a sweet little old lady.

Elizabeth Jane Howard has just died.  I meant to write to her and say how much I enjoyed her autobiography "SlipStream", but I didn't.  Its well written, of course, and an interesting glimpse into the (rather depressing) lives of the rich and famous.  It also shows how much damage is done by childhood abuse. She is very kind and understanding towards her father in the book - she only touches briefly on what happened.   Her father was wonderful to her when she was a child, and gave her the love and approval she did not get from her mother, but the moment she became an adolescent, he changed in a shocking way.  Its clear from the rest of her life what damage it did.

I also wanted to write to her about this. When talking of a friend who was kind and helpful to her after she left Kingsley Amis, Elizabeth Jane Howard notes, approvingly I think, that the friend in question (Ursula) says that if the meek are to inherit the earth, she is leaving it.

So of course I wanted to tell her that the Bible is not referring to meekness as a character trait - though I'm not sure why she was so against it - but to  those who are meek towards their Creator.  The meek are those who will listen and obey.  And people of all kinds and temperaments do listen, and are listening.  And many people who are meek under the Ursula definition are not at all meek towards God's inspired word.

I am just re-reading Martin Amis "Experience", as the implosion of the Howard Amis marriage was part of his story too.    Clearly they created a wonderful life at Lemmons, for a while.

I hope both Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Jane Howard will wake up when the time comes.  Will they write more wonderful books if so?   And what would their subject matter be?  At the moment we only have one subject really. Things go wrong and have to be put right.  

What we might write about then we can't imagine now.  Lets just hope we all "inherit the earth" and find out.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Depressed and Anxious?

They gave me a Joint Info Questionnaire to fill in yesterday and one of the questions was:  "Are you anxious and depressed about your condition?"     Truthfully, I answered "no".  I am very anxious about the coming operation - anxious about every second of it - most especially about those days in hospital afterwards.
But I'm not depressed or anxious as such.   Which is thanks to Jehovah, and his word, and his organisation, which teaches so well and so kindly.

And I also got a comforting reminder of how Jehovah will extend help and "undeserved kindness" when we ask Him.   One of the young nurses who saw me yesterday was a strong young lad, a rugby player. He was fun too. The three of us laughed quite a lot over various things.  And when I was explaining the enormous bruise on my arm - from the cannula they used to inject me during my time in the Tube of Terror - he was telling us that they tried to put him in it, and he simply could not go in.  He could face a rugby scrum, but not that.  It made him literally sick - he said he threw up afterwards.

And I knew just how he felt.  That machine encloses you so tightly - every fibre of your body is telling you not to go into a space like that.  But as they slid me in I kept asking Jehovah for help to keep me calm and keep me in there - and I also prayed that He would help me to keep still, as its not easy for all that time, plus there was a time when I wanted to cough - and another time when my nose itched - and my arms were pinned at my sides!

And I got through it - me the biggest wimp of all time, with a backbone of solid custard.  So Jehovah did help.  I stayed calm and still, as the machine swallowed me, pinned me down, and clattered "papapapapapapapapapamamamamamamama" at me for a long long time.  And, apparently, they got good photos. Whether the outcome will be good, I still have to find out, but at least the info has been got.

I must now pray that Jehovah will help me to get through to people. We all need this help so much.  It is literally vital, as Armageddon approaches.  But He will help so much right now, in every way, with everything, IF we listen to Him and let Him.

He gave us free will - the ability to obey Him freely, because we love Him with all our heart.  And He will not take back that gift.  

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Process Begins

Spent most of the day at the hospital beginning all the pre-op procedures.  A taste of things to come.  I am dreading every second of it.   But I did manage to ask about pain-killing and when they looked at my files they realised I wasn't just being a big girls blouse, but that there was a problem last time, and they made me an appointment with the anaesthetist - perhaps he can come up with some ideas.  

There is clearly a reason, medical, why I can't have the usual things you get after an op.  But hopefully they will find something I can have.

It has completely exhausted me - just walking down all those hospital corridors.   I have done nothing since we got back, beyond lie on the sofa groaning - oh and put all the new appointments in the calendar and the things for the operation in their various places.

Captain Butterfly not only chauffered and chaperoned me, but got us our tea when we got back.  Beans on toast followed by a small choc ice. And most welcome it was too.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Plans of Mice and Men

I don't know if there are a lot of thwarted mice around this morning, but my plans for yesterday went agley. The Captain was out a'searching and a'rescuing all day - and I can't drive or shop -so he had to race back to the station to pick up Julia and they stopped off at the fish and chip shop on the way back and at Lidl's for desserts and fruit. All I had to do was set the table and warm the plates up.

Julia bought us a bottle of Oyster Bay - a NZ wine which is our favourite, and Jackie's.  But she bought the red version, which I didn't even know existed.  It was lovely.  And she bought us a giant tin of chocolate biscuits from M & S.  The biscuits will be lovely too course, but the tin is perfect as its not only pretty but just the right size for a cake tin. something I don't seem to possess at the moment. I left a lot of stuff behind in our kitchen in ExpatWorld when we finally left.

I spent the day tidying, polishing, and making some little cakes.  And studying.

She and the Captain have gone to the Wildlife Photo Exhibition in London today.  I wish I could have gone - always used to.  But, until I get my second new knee....  Anyway, it was good of Julia to come all the way down as he now has someone to go with.  I made them both a packed lunch (cheese sandwiches and carrot cake).

It will be nice to have Julia back in the UK once she retires, and I hope we will then meet up with her dogs again - Sophie and Mishka.  I am sure they will not have forgotten us. We have not forgotten them.

Audrey is still in hospital following her fall, but so far it seems nothing is broken.   I have a big hospital day coming up, for my Joint School.  And I spent a lot of time on the phone with my young surgeon yesterday as he tried to settle just which date my operation is supposed to be on.

I dread every moment of it, now that I know just what I am in for.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Tunnel of Terror

Had my first ever MRI scan yesterday. Into the Tunnel of Terror!  Its like being in a mad spaceship.  It talks at you all the time. Sometimes it says "papapapapapapapapapapapapa" in a metallic voice for ages, sometimes it was "mamamamamamamamamama", then "popopopopopopopopop".  And suddenly, aargh, you move further into the tunnel.  It took about half an hour I would say, and they came and injected me halfway through - with a dye and with a medication to stop the involuntary moves of the body.

Every so often the technician talked to me through the headphones which was reassuring as I knew then that the mad contraption had not taken off with me in it.  I had a panic button, but I  knew that if I pressed it I would simply have to start the whole process over again.

I prayed to Jehovah that I wouldn't panic and that I would keep still. And the Technician - a very nice lady - said they had got good photos.  "Will I live?" I asked her. She smiled enigmatically and said that I would find out later.

We had a callout at 3.15 this morning.  The Captain said he would be there for ten, and is in the process of setting off now.  I have made the sandwiches,which used up the last of the chicken.  Julia of Arabia arrives tonight, and this is where he is burdened at the moment. He will have to do the shopping for our supper on the way back, as well as pick up Julia, as I can't.   I will keep it simple and when he rings for his shopping list, I will suggest he simply gets a lasagne from Cooks, along with a tub of ice-cream and, if he can face it, visit the Greengrocers a few doors down and pick up some salad. If not, I probably have enough tomatoes in to make a small tomato salad.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Dreams in the Downland

Last night I dreamt I was hiking through the Downs - and at one point I rolled all the way down this enormous Down, just for the fun of it.  Then - and why do I do this to myself? - anxiety took over, and I realised I was lost and on my own - and after lots of walking through pretty, but nameless, villages, I decided I had better walk home along a motorway I found. It had a pavement.   Then I found a sign telling me I would have to walk for 11 miles and it began to dawn on me that I can barely walk 11 yards with crutches at the moment.

It was a relief to wake up and find myself home in my own bed with Captain Butterfly next to me.

Linda came round last night and caught us up with her trip to Amsterdam with John.  We often used to stay there for a day or two, en route, many years ago. And for a while we had friends there who lived on the Lek Dyke.  I remember swimming off the little beach opposite their house with big tankers sailing past in the deep channel.

Sunny this morning, after a stormy night.

The JW calender for 2013 ended on a lovely note.  It quoted 1 Corinthians 15:28: "The Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him."    And it commented: "When Christ concludes his Millennial Reign, he will have fulfilled God's original purpose.  Jesus will then acknowledge his Father's universal sovereignty by handing the Kingdom over to Him, that "God may be all things to everyone"."

Then, IF we are all there, after a thousand years of increasing happiness, our real lives will begin.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Shepherds Warning

Red sky at night
Shepherds delight
Red sky in the morning
Shepherds warning.

That is an old weather rhyme I remember my mother teaching me when I was a child.  And we have a strange and wonderful red sky this morning.  So what is in store?   Nothing that would delight a shepherd I assume.

It is also a "mackerel sky" - something I remember from the Cornish element of my childhood. When the sky was full of these mackerel clouds, did it mean that the mackerel shoals would be running?  Or was it that they looked like a shoal of mackerel in the sky?  I can't now remember. It was a long long time ago.  Our granny sold her Cornish house when we were very young.

The JW Calender for September and October 2013 started with:   "The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah." - Isaiah 11:9.  And it went on to comment:   "In the new world, your education will reach unprecedented heights. You will continue learning forever about Jehovah, his purpose for us, his amazing creation, and how he wants us to care for the earth. - Revelation 20:12."

And, even as things are now, with us imperfect and dying and all the stresses and distractions, Jehovah makes learning both easy and pleasant.  But we know so little now, and there is so much to know, so much to come.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Jill's Beautiful Table

I thought of Jill's lovely table setting last night, all silver and candlelight, as we entertained Tom and Jackie in the kitchen.  However, we had a good evening together as the storm roared outside.  I did oven-baked chicken with Indian spices, and served it with rice, a hot tomato chutney, a spinach curry, mint raita, and Captain Butterfly's Home Made Date Chutney. We used to make it from freshly picked dates in our Expat days.

We retired to the comfort of the lounge for cheese, ice-cream, coffee and biscuits.  And there is lots left to feed the Captain and me over the weekend.  

The sea is building up again- the tide is coming in very fiercely.

The 2013 JW calendar for July and August had such a comforting reminder for all those of us who have lost loved ones to death.   It quotes Jesus' words at John 11:25: "I am the resurrection and the life".   And it comments:  "In God's new world, Jesus will use "the keys of death and of Hades" to restore life to millions, including many who never had an opportunity to learn about Jehovah.- Revelation 1:18, Acts 24:15"

I hope so much to that my aged parents - my granny, my uncles an aunts, friends - will wake up then.

Friday, 3 January 2014

They will certainly build houses...

A very stormy morning, as forecast - with some flooding in Cornwall according to the Beeb.  There is deep heavy cloud on the horizon, with a brighter sky above, making a wonderful numinous light over the sea and the Green.  The rain has stopped for the moment, but it seems to have rained all night.   Col chauffered me to the meeting yesterday evening, so I was able to pick up my magazines and hand in my hours for the month.

Interesting meeting.  

The chicken has been marinading overnight, as Jackie and Tom are coming for supper. I am trying a new Madhur Jaffrey recipe, so I hope I have got it right.     The horrors of the tax returns loom up...  surely there will be neither money nor tax when Paradise is restored.  I hope the Captain and I are there to find out.

Medical horrors next week - but something nice too, in that Julia of Arabia is on leave and is coming to stay - weather permitting.  

The JW Calendar for May/June 2013 quoted Isaiah 65:21: "They will certainly build houses and have occupancy".  And it comments:  "Under Kingdom rule, mankind "will not toil for nothing" but will benefit fully from their labours. (Isaiah 65:22,23)   And what increasing joy they will find in their work as their minds and bodies progress toward perfection!"

So it will no longer be an earth in which some people have luxury homes on every continent, some of which are never even used, while others live on a square of pavement, or in a cardboard box. The incoming Kingdom of God, which is a heavenly government, ruling from the heavens, will ensure lovely homes for all. Including, of course, for the animal creation.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A Sunny Second

We woke up to sunshine this morning!   Col flew off - with flasks and sandwiches, and his pod (Butterfly Mark).   I am very housebound at the moment and losing my stir-craziness as my second knee collapses ever more. All I want at the moment is not to have to go anywhere.

The 2013 calendar for March and April was so topical as this has been a year of bad health for so many of us.   It starts with Matthew 9:35:   Jesus cured "every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity."

The comment is:  "In the Paradise new world, mankind's flesh will have "become fresher than in youth". (Job 33:25)  Resurrected humans will have returned with sound bodies. Formerly infirm members of the "great crowd" will have experienced miraculous healing. - Revelation 7:9,14

The great crowd are those who come through Armageddon, to form the beginning of "the new earth".

Its mid-afternoon now and no longer sunny. Apparently there are even worse storms on the way. There is a lovely but ominous light on our Green.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The New Calendars and the Old

The January 2014 calendar starts with a masterly shot Captain Butterfly took of the Clouded Yellow. It was a great butterfly summer.   And the JW calendar for Jan and Feb starts with Jeremiah 1:11,12.  When Jeremiah saw an offshoot of the almond tree, it was a reminder that Jehovah is "keeping awake" so as to carry out his word.  And the calendar reminds us that in Israel almond trees in full blossom coloured the winter landscape in pink and white.

The new year here has got off to a stormy start.   Its now mid-morning and the wind and rain coming off the sea are hitting the windows like thunderclaps. The sea is amazing, and if it gets much worse this blog may come to a sudden end in a torrential gurgling sound.

We did not see in the New Year last night, but went to bed quite early.   Nor are we celebrating the New Year - beyond both saying this morning that we are glad and grateful to still be here in 2014 and still together.

It is now a hundred years since the Gentile Times ended and the times of the end began.  So how much longer does this system of things on the earth have before Jehovah brings it to an end?  We don't know. Even Jesus didn't know when he was on the earth.  But I expect he knows now.

When I was taking down the old calendar, I was thinking what an excellent and concise summary of the Bible message it gave, so I thought, over the next six days, I would blog it. Then it has to go into the recyc.

So, for January and February 2013, the calendar quoted Daniel 7:14:   "To him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom."  - and commented:  "During Jesus Christ's 1,000 year reign, he will undo all the harm caused by the Devil.  At the same time, Jesus will ensure that the entire earth is transformed into a paradise home for his human subjects." - Luke 23:43