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.