Monday, 30 March 2015

The Memorial - Friday April 3rd

"Also, he (Jesus) took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body, which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”  Luke 22:19

Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death.   So, every year, millions gather after sunset on the 14th day of the month of Nisan - which falls on April 3rd this year - to memorialise this important event.

It will be held at your local Kingdom Hall, and you will be most welcome to come.   Millions join us every year.

It begins at 7.30 p,m. here - and I hope you will have received, or at least been offered, your own invitation.   We try to get to as many doors as possible. But its not easy to find you at home.

It takes about an hour.  It will begin and end with a short prayer and a song.   The bread and wine will be offered. though there are few who take it these days.  There will be a talk explaining the meaning and importance of the event.

It is through Jesus' sacrificial death that we, the damaged children of disobedient Adam, can be restored to the life and perfection that our first parents so willfully threw away in Eden.

An extra special day for me, as it is the day Captain Butterfly comes with me to the Kingdom Hall and I can hold his hand during the prayer. And Jackie comes too.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

A Tyreing Day

There was a terrible noise as I parked the car today (on my way to the Field Service group) and when Jean and I got out we saw that one of my tyres had gone!   A great start to the day.  I went glumly in to phone Colin, but two of my brothers nobly got out there and changed the tyre for me.  It wasn't easy but they did it.

I thought I had driven over a bottle, as there was glass lying around, but Lloyd said no, I had hit the kerb.   It seems strange as I never manage to get anywhere near the kerb when parking, and I hadn't this time. I was miles away.  But there was a kind of metal grate fitted into the kerb, and I suppose if I hit that, at the wrong angle....  anyway, I feel I have given everyone a lot of trouble and now we have to get a new tyre fitted, as the spare is really only a temporary stop gap.

Got back glumly to break the ungood news to Captain B, got us a soup lunch, and then hurtled off for the Hall Cleaning. We are giving it a deep clean today, as it is the Memorial on Friday, and then a wash and brush up on Friday, after the Thursday night meeting.

It has been grey, cold and rainy all day, and the Channel has some big waves.  Looks like March will be going out like a lion - as it came in like a lamb.

Off to Jack's for supper tonight.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Fear of Flying

News all day of the latest terrible aircrash, in which it seem as if the co-pilot may have deliberately flown himself and 149 others into a mountain in the French Alps    I say "may have", because that is what the black box recorder indicates,but...  can we be 100 per cent certain what happened?   We live in such a devious and twisted world at the moment.

I hope the passengers didn't know until the last moment before the plane hit. But the pilot, trying desperately to get back into the flight cabin and save the plane, did know...  they could hear him,on the black box recorder, trying to get his co-pilot to unlock the door and let him in - I think he was even trying to break the door down.    Safety measures worked against passengers and crew in this case, as the door was locked and strengthened as a precaution against hi-jackers, and the co-pilot, for whatever reason, would not let the Captain back in.

Surely Jehovah will remember all those killed on the mountain and wake them from the dreamless sleep of death when the time comes for the resurrection.

It was lovely to have the meeting to go to tonight, to be reminded that the world was not meant to be like this, and that it will not be like this for much longer. And to be reminded that there is hope that all those who died on the mountain are not lost.  

I did not get out on the work this morning.  Not only was it pouring with rain, but I was exhausted, and feeling somewhat depressed.  Col took me out to the Garden Centre, and we had a walk along the beach. I wish I could convey how beautiful the Sussex sky was - and the Channel - and the sound of the waves beating and beating on the beach.

Yesterday was a cooking day. I shopped at Waitrose, and then made a big carrot cake - a large chicken casserole, mediterranean style, 3 days worth - and two batches of veggie soup.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Remembering Jekyll

We worked at the other end of town today - long road - big houses - a lot of walking.  I am shattered. But we, plus 3 other siblings, finished our territory. And both Roy and I placed some magazines and hope to call back.   Other than that I haven't done a lot today.  Had a long talk on the phone with Lilian (ex-Planet Expat), which was ended by a ring at the doorbell (the window cleaner, for his money). And I also rang Cathy, to see how she was.

I found a poem I wrote years ago - a bit Private Eye inspired (E.J. Thribb) - when Chuck and Mary's mynah bird died.  He was quite a character.

by me

So farewell then darling Jekyll
Now no voice our guests will heckle
No seed our floors will speckle
And no beak our hands will peckle
You’re a bird we’ll not forgetle
An eagle, not a starling!
Farewell then, Jekyll darling.

I have to remember that Jehovah knew Jekyll too, as Jesus assured us that: "Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge."

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Wisdom of Badgers

I was just reading through some old copies of Private Eye, and came across this, written during the floods of  2014  that seemed to put much of Thameside under water for weeks.


Scientists claim that badgers:

a)  build homes ABOVE flood levels

b)  don't rip up hedgerows, grass, trees, grass verges and other rain-absorbing materials

c)  don't tarmac over the entrances to their homes."

(Private Eye, No.1360, 21 February - 6 March 2014)

Fair point - well made.

Jackie came for supper last night - roast lamb, roast potatoes, carrots, leeks, mint sauce, and gravy.   And a lemon drizzle pudding (courtesy of Waitrose).  Lovely evening, as always, though she is finding her new computer is stressing her out.    We had a good talk at the Kingdom Hall this morning, and the first of two Watchtower articles on marriage.  If only every one in the world would have attended... this is perfect advice from the Maker of marriage.   And on the way home, I finished my magazine route - found both at home and had a chat - and managed to finally deliver an invite (my last) to the house without a letter box.

Friday, 20 March 2015

A Bit of a Damp Squib

The eclipse this morning was a bit of a damp squib down here, sadly.  We had so much cloud cover. Apparently it was spectacular in some parts of the country. Awe-inspiring.  Here it was just a cloudy, overcast morning. In fact, I would have had no idea there had been an eclipse if it hadn't been publicised.

Still, not to worry.  IF we do "inherit the earth" as Jesus promised, then we shall hope to see many many more - and see wonderful things not even dreamt of now.   We only see the fringes of Jehovah's ways at the moment.

Did two batches of washing, washed the floors, and did some magazine route calls.  And then shopped.   And provided Himself with a hot supper the minute he walked in the door.  Also had a long talk (via Skype) with Anne of the Cape.  We talked about old times on Planet Expat when we saw each other all the time.  And we also got a card from Linda, who is visiting the Planet now for the Reunion.  She is going to come over with all the news when she gets back and I will update Anne.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

another flare-up

feeling very sorry for myself - no sleep - left arm - v v painful - typing one-handed this morning - no caps.     the first time this happened to me - many years ago - i was carted away by ambulance - they thought i had had a stroke.    the emergency doctor - saudi - said it was arthritis and i must see a specialist.  i am v grateful to him, as i had already been tested for the big a - and had tested negative - turns out the tests back then did not pick up this type of hereditary a.

this is why i find travel so difficult now - never know when its going to strike.

had a morning on the doors with jenny yesterday - nearly didn't go, as was supposed to be going with kathy who had to cancel - tempted to go back to bed - but read thought for the day* - and went to the field service group - did 2 hours walking - in a lot of pain by end - but a lovely productive morning - veryglad i went - then home to get lunch and rest - and then this full-blown flare-up took hold - am fit for nothing this morning - moan moan whinge whinge.

*yesterday's daily scripture:

Tuesday, March 17
This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.—Matt. 24:14.
Peter, James, John, and Andrew were finally alone with their Master. Jesus’ earlier comments regarding the destruction of the temple weighed heavily on their minds. (Mark 13:1-4) Thus, they asked: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matt. 24:1-3) Jesus began to tell them about events, or conditions, that would not only result in great changes to life but also identify the last days of Satan’s wicked system of things. (Matt. 24:7-12) One particular event must have intrigued Jesus’ disciples. After telling of such distressing matters as wars, food shortages, and an increase of lawlessness, Jesus foretold that something positive would also mark the last days, as recorded in today’s text.

Monday, 16 March 2015

A Good Quota of Cliff-Galloping

We are rather enjoying the new Poldark.  Wild landscape (Cornwall), wild red hair (Demelza), and the requisite amount of galloping along cliff tops (Ross and Horse).   Its good so far, though we would have been happy to have seen the original again too.  Its going to be hard to beat Angharad Rees as Demelza.

Cornwall has such happy childhood memories for me.  I knew the beach at Praa Sands when it was empty, even at the height of the summer.

Which reminds me of a joke we were told by a gentleman whose door we called at on Saturday. He wasn't interested, but said so politely and Jean and I had a friendly chat with him.  As he watched me totter down his steps he said "I'll get a lift fitted for the next time you come.  In any case, I am getting to need one myself".   And then he added:   "I am getting so old now, I can say that I knew the Dead Sea when it was only ill."

So he gave us a laugh. It was a very nice friendly road.  Even the young chap whose doorbell I jammed by ringing it (!) was lovely, and took a magazine.

We had supper at Jack's on Saturday night.  Salmon - real salmon - with asparagus, mashed potato and dill sauce, and apple pie and yoghurt for afters.  A lovely evening, as it always is with Jackie.

It was the Meeting at the Kingdom Hall yesterday morning, with an especially good talk from a visiting brother.   And the Watchtower was a reminder of the importance of the coming Memorial of Jesus' death.  I had intended to go on the door to door work afterwards as Col was out conserving things all day, but my shoulder started to play up, and I was in a lot of pain by the time the meeting ended.   I had to leave quickly while I could still drive.  My left arm/shoulder is still very painful, but its not, thank goodness, a full-blown arthritis attack.  I was able to sleep last night.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Kind Young Postman

Mike and I kept bumping into a young postman who was delivering letters, and lots of packages, on the road we were working on Thursday morning.  We offered him a Memorial Invitation.  He accepted it, and said that he really respected us for what we did!    We said that going door to door had given us a lot of respect for postmen too.

We finished our territory and I drove Mike back and then I did 4 return visits on the way home. Nobody was in.  But I did leave a couple of Memorial Invitations.  The other two calls we posted yesterday when we did our big shop. The Captain took them to the Post Office along with the Butterfly memberships (only 1 this month, lowest total ever.) I usually have to post Dave's magazines as there is no access to his mailbox unless he is at home. And he never is.  And another call's new dog guards her letterbox fiercely while she is out.  When she had her old dog, I could say: "Good girl, Leave it.", as I pushed the magazines through. And she, good dog that she was, would leave it.

Not so sure about this one. I will check with her Person, the next time I catch her at home.

In the afternoon, we had a walk along the beach - grey and coldish - and we bumped into Terry.  We are all going to the talk at Arundel next week.

The waves - and the watery sunshine - and the fisherman - all made me want to write a poem.  But my poetry writing days seem to be over.

However, I have heard from my young publisher, and it seems that my short(ish) story may now be going to be published as a novella!  I have been filling in Forms about myself and my writing.   Which makes it feel real. And I will certainly be keeping the blog posted.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Rife

Ferring Rife
We went for a walk along Ferring Rife on Monday - it was grey and cold - and we walked round the Wetland Trust yesterday afternoon - sunny, with a wonderful light.   Spring is in the air - there were beakloads of twigs going to and fro, and some macho posturing (and that was only Captain Butterfly!).  Actually, he WAS in quite a passion, as the battery on his second camera ran out mid-shot. His first camera is in hospital at the moment.
Arundel WWT
Kathy and I managed an hour and three-quarters on the preaching work yesterday morning. We finished our assigned territory and did a few return visits.   We are trying to get a Memorial invite to every home.    I must remind myself to go to the house without a letter box every time I am out this month in case I can find them at home.

Today was an at-home for me.  The Captain flew off early with his sandwiches for his conservation work, and I got on with my studying, some washing, ironing and did the floors.   I also got some daytime TV watching done.  And some internet witnessing.

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Zimmer Twins

Jean and I just about managed an hour on the preaching work on Saturday. We finished our territory, working with 2 other pairs of siblings, door to door, in just over half an hour, and then went and did some return visits on the next road, which we had worked on last month.  They were either not at home, or busy, except for one charming lady who said she had enjoyed reading the February mags, took March, and would like April.

She said she had never stopped to wonder what it is that Jesus saved us from - and why and how.  If she reads the articles in the March Watchtower she will find it explained, clearly and simply

Col and I went for a walk along Ferring Rife today. It was a cold grey day - but I love all weathers.   Obviously, no butterflies, and not all that many birds.  The ground was really wet and muddy.

Talking of weather, I have been re-reading Nick Ward's "Left for Dead".   As a young man he was the last sailor rescued during the 1978 Fastnet Race disaster.   15 sailors died, including two on Grimalkin, the boat Nick was sailing on.

The weather gave them a warning that a fearsome storm was on the way.  But it wasn't read correctly, except by one French weather station.

In the chapter "Ochre Sky" Nick Ward says this:  
"It was then that I noticed the combination of colours in the sky - reds, oranges and ochres, weird but exquisite, unlike anything I had seen before.  The reds reminded me of colours I'd seen in a Rothko oil painting. I joined Matt, Mike and Dave on the windward rail looking intently to the west, all of us transfixed by the beauty of this skyline. With sunset not due until around 8.30pm, I was baffled by the colour scheme this deep orange sun created in the sky so early in the day."

It is a gripping read.

Friday, 6 March 2015

The Team of Jane and Sue

We rode out from the Kingdom Hall in good time yesterday, and did an hour and half, with Jane kindly giving me a coffee and a sit down halfway through in her lovely conservatory. I still need to stop and rest a lot.  We also did a couple of return visits.  And had a very good talk with one lady.

I was quite late back, having assumed that Captain Butterfly would have flittered off out into the sunshine with his cameras,and his packed lunch.  I had left the window open for him.  But he was at home when I got back.  Thankfully, I had made a large chicken and veggie casserole yesterday, so it was just a question of heating portions in the microwave for our lunch.

The meeting last night was excellent - lots of experiences, some of them funny, about witnessing via intercom.  Not easy.  One sister in Japan called regularly on one householder for two and a half years, all the time talking to her through the intercom system at her flats, never seeing her.   But she is now conducting a Bible study - face to face.   It made me wonder if I should call back on my talking gate, where I left the little tract.

It is a sisters' lunch at the local pub today.  Seventeen of us I believe. Tammy has been organising tables.   And the campaign to deliver the invitations to the Memorial of Jesus' death, on Friday 3rd April, starts tomorrow. I am picking up Jean and will drive her to the group and we will work together.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Eastbourne by Sarah Wardle.

by Sarah Wardle

Each summer bought them out again,
like gulls along the beach,
to gaze on the horizon
at a future out of reach,
or watch the pleasure boat board
from an in memoriam bench,
along with the holiday horde
and its salt'n'vinegar stench.

Winter would keep them in,
though on a brighter day
they'd drive out for a spin,
or have grandchildren to stay,
but this December afternoon
they sleep tight in their graves,
and Christmas lights are up so soon
beside the ceaseless waves.

The Captain and I are so near our Eastbourne moment now...    but I was out with Kathy this morning trying to tell all who will listen that it was not meant to be like this, we were not meant to have such short lives, over before we almost know they have begun.   And that a rescue is so close for all who will take hold of it.

We - Kathy and me - drove all over on return visits, but the only people we found at home were not interested in talking to us any more.  However we can only try. Soon we will be trying to cover all our territory, giving everyone an invitation to the coming Memorial of Jesus' death.  

The Captain was home for lunch and I made us veggie soup with the leeks -  and we had the remains of the beef chile with baked potato and salad for our tea.

Monday, 2 March 2015

A Walk by the Sea and a trip to the Dentist

Iping Common
My morning was spent at the Dentist - 6 monthly check up - I had 2 x-rays, a painful and effective clean, and a filling replaced.   My teeth are OK, and, all being well I won't be seeing the Tooth Doctor again for 6 months.   Which is a relief.

The Captain left early for a day at Iping Common and he captured the beauty of the day. It was lovely. And I took myself out for a walk by the sea in the afternoon - my favourite walk to the river and back - the flood defences are still under way.    I wish I could find the words to describe the beauty of the sky and the light.

As the Psalmist says:  "The heavens are declaring the glory of God..."

Talked to Jacks on the phone - we had a lovely evening together on Sunday - and Maggie sent through another of her showbiz clips.   She is looking v.glamorous.  Who says there is no life after retirement?  It all seems to get more exciting and more interesting by the day.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Match that started March

March has come in like a lamb - a beautiful sunny spring-like day.   That means something weather-wise, but I have forgotten what it is.  It might mean it goes out "like a lion". i.e. with the return of the winter weather. Time will tell.

Captain Butterfly rushed back for The Match at 3.00 - England v Ireland.    Its all very tense - rugby bats at dawn, Ireland leading 30 love, but, if England can score double top - marvelous stuff - zzzzzzzzzzzz

I finished my last 3 magazine route calls after the meeting.  Ursula was at home and we had a long talk, She showed me some beautiful flowers in her garden that she calls Christmas roses - she couldn't remember the official name, and I have never seen them before.  Some of them are quite orchid like, but they flowered all through the cold last month.

I just looked them up on the net and apparently they are of the genus Hellebores.  I must make a note to tell Ursula when I take the March magazines and the Memorial invitation round.    

I have never been so late with the magazines I don't think. I had intended to deliver them yesterday, but it rained all day.

Jackie is coming for supper tonight. The chile is made - as are the small small things (yoghurt, grated cheese, and a salad). And Col has made three ice-creams for afters.