Saturday, 28 February 2015

Weavers Down - Can Nothing be Left Unspoilt?

The Grayling butterflies, and many other creatures, are about to be turfed out of Weavers Down to make way for another golf course.     How selfish we - the children of Adam - are. We are leaving no space for the creatures with which we share the planet.
To see how to object to this planning application please see The Captain's blog:

We were given a sacred trust - to care for them. And I know many many people find great happiness in trying to do so.  However, the world system is against us. It all lies in the hands of Satan - and he is a destroyer.

But a rescue is so close at hand.  Soon God's will WILL be done on the earth.  And he loves all his creation. One of the many wonderful things we will be able to do then is to care for it all properly - and, under the heavenly government, the incoming Kingdom of God, we will be able to restore the perfect harmony that was there in the beginning.   In the restored earthly Paradise, we will wake up every morning simply longing to go to work - as work will be the wonderful, creative thing it always should have been.

A return visit, not mine, said crossly:   "You Jehovah's Witnesses take the Bible much too seriously. We don't at MY church."   Yes.  My sibling has managed to get a very important point across to him.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Nice Cup of Iced Tea

I am off up Everest again, on my sofa, as I am reading "Dark Summit" by Nick Heil.

I came across this in the first few pages, which kind of says it all, and explains why we really should not be up there, except by sofa.

He says:   "Cholatse provided my first exposure to Himalayan climbing, and I began to understand just how formidable it can be.  On our trip, five of my team members managed to summit, but it required a strenuous twenty-four hour push from the highest camp.  One of those who made it, Abby Watkins, a professional climber from Golden, British Columbia, and as capable and fit a mountain athlete as I've ever met, told me later how someone at high camp had handed her a cup of hot tea as she'd collapsed in her tent on the way back down.  She woke up the next morning wearing her boots and parka, a full cup of tea in her hand - frozen solid."

Getting down is even more likely to kill you than going up. And she is fortunate that it was not her hand or her foot that  was frozen solid!

I made it to the field service group yesterday and Kathy and I set off from the Kingdom Hall just before 10.  We had some territory down by the station - not fond of driving there - so many parked cars you constantly have to watch for what is coming from the other direction.   We didn't cover much of our road though, as Kathy needed to do some return visits. We did a couple of her visits, and one of mine, but we only found one person at home.

We both have return visits down by the Station, as we both had a couple of interesting doorstep talks and left some literature. We hope to do them together in March.

Just that small outing tired me so much, that I did next to nothing during the rest of the day. I did my studies, finished the Book of Judges (a scary one) and, of course, got lunch and supper for the Captain and moi - veggie soup for lunch, chicken curry this evening.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Security Gates Redux

I was getting ready to go out on the field service yesterday morning... slowly and if I am honest reluctantly.  Felt so washed-out I didn't want to do anything.  But then the phone rang and it was Jean. She too was going slowly this morning and wasn't going to make it unless I gave her a lift.

So I picked her up and we ended up doing not far off 2 hours.   We were assigned a long road in the upmarket part of town and found a lot of people at home.  Had some good talks, left some Bible based literature, and hope to call back.  And we also found the long drive leading down to the security gates that mysteriously creaked open last time, though there was no-one in the mansion that lay beyond.   I hadn't remembered where they were, and didn't even remember working on that particular road.

This time I managed to work the fearsome control panel properly and something began to ring in the mansion. And somebody answered!

Me (to Gate):    "Good morning.  We are Jean and Sue, from your local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses."
Gate:    "Er, no thankyou... we are just going out." (It was a nice polite Gate).
Me:      "May we leave a small leaflet in your letterbox by the gate so you can see why we called.
Gate;    "Yes."

We toiled on down the road, finding quite  lot of people at home, until we met up with some of our siblings approaching from the other end and knew we had finished our territory.  We then did a couple of route calls on the way home.

It was such a beautiful morning - the sky was a tender blue with fluffy clouds, there were snowdrops and crocuses (croci?) in the gardens, and we had some good talks. We were both so glad we got out there.

We had supper at Jackie's last night - roast lamb, followed by a lemon tart.   All excellent as usual, and a lovely evening. Though we seem to have more and more health problems, our own and various friends and family problems, to discuss...  

There was frost on ground and car this morning, and now the sea is stormy.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

I thought I would blog the letter I wrote after a lovely talk with one of my route calls. I posted it yesterday as I fought my way through wind and rain to the Hall.  Its impossible to park very near these days.

We had been talking about her and her family's concern about the suffering of animals.  It had been a real sunny spring-like morning, but with an ominous background to it, making for a wonderful light. I wrote:

Dear Joyce,

I thought I would type out the verses we read this morning, and the ones about the promises of the restoration of Paradise on earth.

The Bible message has been so hidden from us.

Genesis 1:29-31 tells us:

"Then God said: “Here I have given to you every seed-bearing plant that is on the entire earth and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. Let them serve as food for you.  And to every wild animal of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving on the earth in which there is life, I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it was so.  After that God saw everything he had made, and look! it was very good...."

It was very good. It was perfect.  Adam and Eve lived in Paradise.  Everything was ruled by the law of loving kindness. And nature was not "red in tooth and claw".  This was not a world full of the hunters and the hunted.

And, wonderfully, the Inspired Scriptures promise us a restoration of that Paradise state.   Isn't it what we pray for when we say the Lord's prayer and ask for God's will to be done on the earth?

For example, under the rule of God's Kingdom, which is a heavenly government, nature will no longer be "red in tooth and claw".  It will return to the peace of Paradise. 

Isaiah 11:6-9 promises us this:

"The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, And with the young goat the leopard will lie down, And the calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together; And a little boy will lead them.   The cow and the bear will feed together, And their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull.   The nursing child will play over the lair of a cobra, And a weaned child will put his hand over the den of a poisonous snake.   They will not cause any harm Or any ruin in all my holy mountain, Because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah As the waters cover the sea."

The lion will eat straw, just like the bull.  The animals will have nothing to fear from us, or from each other.  We will have nothing to fear from them.

What human government could ever achieve that?

Jehovah is "the God of all comfort", and this is so comforting.    

A rescue for all the earthly creation - man and animal - is so close now.  It is what we are trying to tell you as we come to your doors.

Not one of Jehovah's promises has ever failed, or ever will.

Hope to see you next month!

love    Sue

Butterfly Mark called in for a coffee this afternoon.  Great to see him.  He is dealing with Silverfish and Firebrats at the moment.   I know silverfish - you used to find them a lot in old kitchens, especially dank basementy ones.    But I had never heard of Firebrats.  Apparently, they are a similar sort of thing, except that they love the heat and the dryness, and are found in bakeries and suchlike.

His visit reminded of our years on Planet Expat, when I don't think a day went past without people dropping in.  And we have both been thinking of that time because Mary is so ill.   She and Chuck were a big part of our expat lives.   They retired to Texas, we retired to South Coast England.  But when we lived in the same town we saw them all the time.  We visited the Barrier Reef together, many years ago. They went diving in the Maldives with Captain Butterfly while I house-sat all the animals.

I have been listening to the Sandy Denny song, "Who knows where the time goes?"

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Wolf Hall

Still loving Wolf Hall.  The hour goes so quickly.   Will now have to read the Hilary Mantel books on which it is based.  And we would love to see the compelling Mark Rylance on stage - however, what would be the chances of getting tickets now?

There was a chilling moment last night as Anne Boleyn's "fool" brutally mimicked the second miscarriage her mistress was undergoing.   A miscarriage fatal for both mother and child as, unless she bears Henry a son, she will not survive.  And of course, if Anne Boleyn survives, Mary, the child of Henry's first wife, will not.

As I am a complete wimp, with a backbone of solid custard, I did find myself thinking that it will be a bit scary when these people are resurrected during the Thousand Years.  And, of course, I hope for their sake they will be.   If I am there it will only be through "undeserved kindness" from my Creator, so I must not grudge it to anyone else.    But... scary...  only of course it won't be. And it will be so wonderful for them to wake up in an earth ruled by loving kindness, not selfish intrigue.

Jehovah doesn't want anyone to be lost, so I know if he sees something in their hearts that will respond when taught the truth, they will be in the restored earthly Paradise.

They have all ignored his command to be "no part" of the world. To be fair, they probably don't understand it.   I didn't, until I talked to the Jehovah's Witnesses.  And so we see the disasterous consequences as church and state and military combine.  We can see it now.  It is causing immense suffering as I type - but not for much longer.  Very soon, Jehovah will act.   And, according to the Book of Revelation, it is the world empire of false religion that will be destroyed first.

Once again, it is what we are trying to tell you as we go door to door.

I have had two violent arthritis flare-ups, one after the other.   They have left me exhausted, but I am so grateful to be out of that paralyzing pain. The first time it happened to me (years ago), I was carted off by ambulance as they thought I had had a stroke.  It was then I was diagnosed by a Saudi doctor. I told him it wasn't arthritis, as I had been tested but come up negative. He assured me it was, and he was right. I am very grateful to him, as I then began to get the proper treatment.

The family arthritis is, apparently, of a  kind that did not show up in the standard blood test done back them.  I think the test is different now.

Well, when the Kingdom of God is ruling over the earth, "no resident will say "I am sick"".    And I hope we are all there to find out just how wonderful that will be.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Over a Parrot and Sick as the Moon - and an arthritis flare up

Col has been watching a match of some kind, between England and France, and is alternating between being sick as a parrot and over the moon, depending on how many goals England scores.  They are well ahead at the moment, so the moon is predominating.

He spent his day in the wilds of the Sussex coastlands photographing birds, which should appear on his blog in due time.  I picked up Jean this morning and we went to the group. We only managed about three-quarters of an hour before rain stopped play.  But we did have some interesting talks on the doors.

Its now Monday- I was struck down in mid-sentence by a violent arthritis attack - right hand - so painful - wish they would give us some effective painkillers.

Friday, 13 February 2015


We were out on the field service yesterday morning - I worked with Charles and Barbara.  Mostly no-one at home, but we did find a few in, and placed some lovely Bible tracts.  There is one gentleman I think I might try to call back on...   and Charles reminded me about Jehovah's Witness broadcasting, to which I will provide a link.

We have a worrying visit to the hospital today.

The Captain and I are both troublingly near our sell-by dates, and... what will happen next?

Barbara and I were talking about this yesterday, as we went from door to door. She is not young either. How would we cope with what is happening to us, if we did not understand why, and that a rescue is on the way?

So we long to tell others.  If and when they will let us.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Mount Butterfly

On Monday I made up the membership packages for our newly-hatched members, and they winged their way to the Post Office in the afternoon.  There are a tiresome lot of queries this time, as the new system of reporting hits the iceberg of us wanting the old system back, and... but at this point I have run out of metaphor, as we haven't sunk and are still on course.

Jacks was round last night- the usual lovely evening - lots of laughs.  I made stir fry chicken and mushrooms, which we had with rice and spring rolls.  It was followed by ice-cream, vanilla, I made up the mix, but the Captain flew the ice-cream maker.

We will all be getting together again this week for the Barbara Dixon concert.

World events...   what can I say?  beyond please please find out what Revelation is telling us is going to happen next.  We must stand clear.  I did (foolishly) venture onto facebook about it, as people on both sides are busy throwing fuel on the fire. I was just trying to say, tactfully, don't throw any more fuel, Jehovah has everything in hand. We simply need to do our best to be peaceable with everyone and keep warning them.  Help them to get to the Refuge.

I did not succeed. But I hope that I can do better when I am out with Kathy this morning.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Heath Tiger Beetle

The Heath Tiger Beetle has been re-introduced to Iping Common!

Does this mean that, from now on, we will be hearing tales of disappearing hikers, of sheep horribly mauled, of a mysterious (and luminous) Beast that haunts the Iping Mire?

Probably not, as its only a tiny beetle.  And a very happy conservation story.

It featured in the last talk at yesterday's Recorders Conference at Hassocks. We had some great speakers.  We heard about wildlife conservation on the Rathfinny Wine Estate, and not only do we want to go and do the wildflower walk there, but now want to get some of their wine too.

We - or I - learnt that Fungi do not come under the heading "Flora and Fauna" but are a separate entity.  So the classification really is:  "Flora, Fauna, and Fungi"..  We learnt about Grassland fungi and how endangered they are.  Apparently the new craze for not mowing is damaging the CHEG fungi, and also a lot of wildflowers. They thrive with constant mowing, which re-creates the grazing that should be going on.   And we learnt some more about Dragonfly conservation, and about the most up to date methods of Recording.

Surely we will be doing this in the Paradise earth, as, under the perfect,loving guidance of the Kingdom of God, the heavenly government for whose coming Jesus taught us to pray, the earth is restored to the perfect harmony that prevailed in Eden.

It is a fascinating task even now - but a deeply frustrating and heartbreaking one sometimes, as the current world system is set up so wrongly, and we ourselves cannot put it right.

They also gave us an excellent buffet lunch.

A flight of Butterfly Paperwork has arrived, and I hope to set off up Butterfly Paper Mountain this afternoon.  Nigel was at the Conference and we had a talk about the changes in the way they report the new members.

Friday, 6 February 2015

A Thank You to Waitrose

And no, they are not paying me for this, nor am I getting free groceries or anything.  I just went out for a quick shop yesterday after lunch - at Waitrose of course - and must say a thanks to the guy in their carpark who helps us with our trollies.  He saw I was just about to trudge off to the Post Office with Kathryn's letter, and not only took my trolley but took the letter too and posted it for me.

That was so kind.  It was freezing cold, there was a bit of ice round the edges, and I was scared of slipping. So three cheers for the staff at Waitrose!

There were snow flurries yesterday, but nothing stayed.

Col's blog - the Captain's Log - is very "nature red in tooth and claw" at the moment, as he has been at Iping Common, photographing the Butcher Bird.   Great photos - but what a horror the animal creation has to live with, because of our disobedience.  And they carry on so valiantly, in the face of everything.

When Paradise is restored, the snipe will no longer need to be called the Butcher Bird.    

I am off to Maggie's today for coffee, which is another step on the ladder of recovery, as I don't think I have driven myself round to hers for about two years.  It was she and Don who sort of adopted me when I first use to attend meetings at the congregation as a visitor from Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

At Pulborough Brooks

We lunched at Pulborough Brooks with Linda on Monday.   Lasagne and salad for her, steak and kidney with mash and veggies for the Captain, and broccoli & potato cheese bake (with salad) for me. We had a walk, and then sat and watched the birdfeeders.

We saw the Woodpecker - twice.  And a raptor once, very very briefly, as it landed and took off. We think it was a Peregrine Falcon. At least the Captain thinks so. I am sure it was a bird, but am not prepared to venture any further. It was big, startling and quick, and its appearance caused the disappearance of the other feeding birds, including the flight of white doves.

We had coffee at Linda's afterwards, and met her new cat, Garfield, who sat on my lap and kneaded me in a flattering and painful manner.

This morning we were at Jackie's helping her clear out her garage.   We need a good clear out and Spring clean here - perhaps this will inspire us.  I have a load of stuff that needs to go to the Charity shops.    And this afternoon, I restocked the freezer with cakes for the Captain's lunches. Marmalade muffins this time.  

I did go out in the afternoon, and delivered the last of the magazines for January. I have never been so late.  But we couldn't get to Mike's door for all the scaffolding when we called last week.  He seemed pleased to see me and assured me he will read the articles and think about it...

Terrible terrible news today - incredible cruelty - the world's religions have a lot to answer for.  We are trying to get to every door to warn people what is going to happen next.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Memorialising WW2

In this week when we are remembering some of the horrors of WW2, I would like to note a lovely and productive alliance between Germany and Russia.

Two young ornithologists - one Russian and one German - noticed that a charming little wading bird called the Spoon-billed Sandpiper is on the verge of extinction.   And they alerted the world. They kept on shouting until someone listened.  The S-bS lives and breeds in a remote, unpopulated part of Russia and its migration pattern includes both Myanmar and Bangladesh.

What seems to have happened is two-fold.

Firstly, it is the food of the poor, and probably always has been. But when the new nylon nets arrived, it was trapped on an unprecedented scale.  Secondly, the problem is the tragically usual one - loss of habitat.  There are now cheap and quick methods of reclaiming the sort of wetland and deltas that wading birds need.

A serious attempt is under way to save this little bird - one that provides poor bird-trappers with another way of eating and earning some money - and one that may save some of the beautiful productive delta land where the local people fish.  But whether it can be saved is uncertain.  It is now in captive breeding at Slimbridge, just in case. Not ideal for a migrating wader, I know, but I am so glad they are doing it.

It's a real Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass sort of bird.  The fluffy little chicks are enchanting. And what have we, the children of Adam, come to, that we are set on destroying them?

As I have said before, when our first parents made that terrible decision to cut themselves off from their Creator, their Source of life, they found they could not keep themselves alive, let alone run this beautiful and complex planet.

I know about the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and its plight because Captain Butterfly and I spent Saturday at the Annual Conference of the Sussex Ornithological Society at Haywards Heath.   A very good day out.  It was rounded off by supper at Jackie's - which was,er, roast chicken with all the trimmings... which seems so brutally insensitive in this context.

We have got everything in such a horrible mess.   The original Serpent is still in the garden - but not for much longer.