Monday, 28 September 2015


The Speaker at the Kingdom Hall on Sunday used a climbing metaphor throughout his talk which, as I am a keen armchair mountaineer, was much appreciated.    He even brought a piton with him to show us how sturdy it is.  He called a brother onto the stage to try to bend it, and of course he couldn't.  The life of the climber hangs on that peg.

He was outlining some of the pegs and principles from God's word that our lives hang on - and it reminded me of how strongly we need to embed our faith in the Inspired Word.

Jackie is back. Hurray!   And she cooked us a lovely roast dinner last night - chicken with all the trimmings, followed by creme caramel and raspberries.

The Captain and I were out on the balcony last night in the very early hours watching the red moon. Amazing. And I have never seen Orion so big and so bright in the sky.  Its easy to see the holiness of the world in the early hours.

Apparently a Mormon sect has been assuring us that the appearance of the blood moon does not mean the end of the world...  well, of course it doesn't.  The Inspired Scriptures assure us that the meek will inherit the earth and they will live forever upon it.

Friday, 25 September 2015

My Talk - a Difficult One

I spent  Wednesday morning with Maggie, and Thursday morning with my helper, practising my talk - and having cups of tea and kitkats.

Jackie is back.  Hurray!

This is my talk from last night.   It all went OK and my helper and I stuck to time. We were overtime when we practised it yesterday morning and had to cut it somewhat.

I will add the rather harrowing passage from Judges at the end.

Ehud:   Jehovah Delivers his People
Main Hall
Study 32:  Expressed with Conviction

Setting:  Encouraging a Bible student to come to the meetings

Sue.  Hello G, before I leave, I wanted to say that if you would like to come to the Thursday meeting, I can pick you up at 6.30

G.   Thanks for the offer Sue, but I don't think I want to. I did quite like that meeting on Sunday, but I had a look at the study schedule you gave me for Thursday. And I thought that bit about the king who was murdered was awful.   The Old Testament seems so cruel to me. Why would you want to study that?

S.   Do you know G that if I had talked to you about this before I began my Bible study with the JWs, I would probably have agreed with you.  The killing of King Eglon by Ehud is described in such horrible detail.    What changed my mind was actually studying the Bible, as we really need to see the whole picture to understand what is happening, and why.  So to help us do that here, could you read Judges 3, verses 12 and 15?

G.  reads Judges 3:12 and 15:   "And once again the Israelites began doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. So Jehovah let Egʹlon the king of Moʹab prevail over Israel, because they did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes."   "Then the Israelites called to Jehovah for help, so Jehovah raised up for them a savior, Eʹhud the son of Geʹra, a Benʹja·min·ite who was left-handed. In time the Israelites sent tribute through him to Egʹlon the king of Moʹab."

Sue.  So do you see how this situation came about. Was it something that Jehovah had wanted?

G.  No.  Clearly it happened because the Israelites were not obeying him.

Sue.  Yes, had they obeyed, Eglon would never have been ruling over them.

G. Though why was it him who was killed when it was them who were disobedient?

S.  Good question.  Let's go back and have a look.  Now, in the light of these words:  "Then the Israelites called to Jehovah for help...", do you think that Eglon was a kind King?  Did he treat his people in a just manner?

G.  Well no, if  they had to call for help, I guess he must have been pretty oppressive.

S.  Yes.  I think we must assume that he was a harsh ruler.   And then we have the description of his death, which I know is horribly graphic and we won't read it again.  But was it a lingering one?

G.  No.  Horrible though it was, I should think it was quick enough.

S.  Yes, I would guess so. And also there is an interesting detail in there to show that the King was not anticipating anything bad, he didn't have to fear his execution.  It tells us that Ehud was left-handed - and I was reading in one of our publications that would mean his attack was very unexpected as the sword would have been girded on his right thigh under his garment and he would have drawn it with his left hand. The King would not have been expecting that at all.(I tried to add some gestures here, drawing my sword and wielding it sort of backhand, which I hope worked out as  have always had difficulty telling my right from my left).  So very probably Ehud gave the King a quicker and  more merciful death than King Eglon gave to others.

G.  There is a surprising lot of detail in there when you come to read it closely.

S. Exactly - the more we study the Bible, the more it has the ring of truth. But given that this account has been written down and preserved for us to this day, it must be there for a reason, to teach us something.  What lesson do you take from it?

G.   Erm  - clearly how important it is to obey Jehovah.

S.   Definitely. though I was thinking of something else too.  Do you see how Jehovah protected his people - when they called to Him for help in faith, he gave it - because, look, see how it turned out, We will pack up after Ehud has killed Eglon, from verse 26.  It shows how Ehud escaped, rallied Israel to him, and they defeated the Moabites. And then: (reads verse 30) "So Moʹab was subdued on that day under Israel’s hand; and the land had rest for 80 years"   And I want you notice that Jehovah did this through the congregational arrangement. Ehud is called a saviour of the congregation, so he was effectively one of the Judges in Israel, even though he is not given that title as such.  Now the Christian congregation has an eldership arrangement today which is a great protection for us.  And I would really love you to come along and see it in action for yourself.   They have no literal sword, let me quickly assure you, but they can all wield "the sword of the spirit", which is God's word, and keep the congregation free from all false teaching..

(Judges 3:12-30)  "And once again the Israelites began doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. So Jehovah let Egʹlon the king of Moʹab prevail over Israel, because they did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes.  Furthermore, he brought against them the Amʹmon·ites and the A·malʹek·ites. They attacked Israel and captured the city of palm trees.  The Israelites served Egʹlon the king of Moʹab for 18 years.  Then the Israelites called to Jehovah for help, so Jehovah raised up for them a savior, Eʹhud the son of Geʹra, a Benʹja·min·ite who was left-handed. In time the Israelites sent tribute through him to Egʹlon the king of Moʹab.  Meanwhile, Eʹhud made for himself a two-edged sword, a cubit long, and he strapped it underneath his garment on his right thigh.  He then presented the tribute to Egʹlon the king of Moʹab. Now Egʹlon was a very fat man.  When Eʹhud finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who had carried the tribute.  But after reaching the carved images at Gilʹgal, he himself went back and said: “I have a secret message for you, O king.” So the king said: “Silence!” With that all his attendants left him.  So Eʹhud came to him as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. Then Eʹhud said: “I have a message from God for you.” So he rose up from his throne.  Then Eʹhud drew the sword from his right thigh with his left hand and plunged it into his belly.  The handle went in after the blade, and the fat closed in over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly, and the fecal matter came out.  Eʹhud went out through the porch, closing the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locking them.  After he left, the servants returned and saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked. So they said: “He must be relieving himself in the cool interior room.”  They kept waiting until they were embarrassed, but when they saw that he was still not opening the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them and saw their lord fallen to the floor dead!  Eʹhud escaped while they were lingering, and he passed by the carved images and made it safely to Se·iʹrah.  When he arrived, he sounded the horn in the mountainous region of Eʹphra·im; and the Israelites went down out of the mountainous region, with him at their head.  Then he said to them: “Follow me, because Jehovah has given your enemies, the Moʹab·ites, into your hand.” So they followed him and captured the fords of the Jordan against the Moʹab·ites, and they did not allow anyone to cross.  At that time they struck down about 10,000 Moʹab·ites, all strong and valiant men; not a single one escaped. 30 So Moʹab was subdued on that day under Israel’s hand; and the land had rest for 80 years."

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

That Monday Morning Feeling

A lovely meeting at the Kingdom Hall on Sunday.  It was one of those talks that you wish all your family would have come to... but none of them did, sadly.

Then I shopped for the fruit cake the wounded soldier had requested (for the ingredients to make it that is), had lunch (Captain Butterfly was out hunting the long-tailed blue butterfly, with his box of cake and sandwiches, so he is clearly feeling a lot better, thank God), then made the cake.   It has turned out well - but i am wondering now if it would be better made with sherry.  I am using Brandy at the moment, as we have some in - which I must have bought for cake-making purposes, as we don't drink it.

Pathetically, just doing that exhausted me. And I fell asleep on the sofa.  That was it for the day really.  Oh, and it was nothing to do with the brandy in the cake!   I only had a corner of Captain B's slice which he ate hot, just to make sure it was OK.  It was - though not my best ever.

That Monday morning feeling is very different in retirement. I used to dread Monday mornings - most especially during the school terms in my faraway Catholic Convent schooldays.   Monday is now a day of rest for me after the weekend.   Though of course there is housework and studying to do.  But without my Bible study, where would I be?   Lost.  A sheep without a shepherd.

We know that Autumn is here when the talks start at the Wetland Trust.  We went with Terry last night - the talk was about the wildlife of Spain - a revelation to me who has never been there.  The High Pyrenees!  One of those places where it is easy to see that the whole earth was made to be Paradise.

Thinking about it makes me wish that people would listen to what the Inspired Scriptures are trying to tell them.  Because Paradise will be restored.  And, if the earth can be so lovely now, how lovely will it be then?

I was out this morning with Cathy - we did some of my route calls and a couple of her return visits. We only found one person at home - a lovely lady she has been calling on for some time. She invited us in and we had a good talk.  But I least I got some more of my magazines delivered.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Moth Rescue

Off out on Saturday morning with Jean - I didn't feel like going, as I felt terminally tired, and I am sure she felt much the same, but we made it.   Lovely field service group, and Jean kindly came with me to get my magazine route started.  And we managed to find two of my long standing return visits at home!   And placed publications with both of them.  I first talked to them back in June - but have not managed to find them in since - and haven't even been trying this month what with Captain Butterfly and all.

Oh and we found someone in at Aki's house.  Not the mysterious (and beautiful) Aki who no longer seems to live there, but a rather suspicious lady, who only opened the door a crack, but who then warmed up to us and took a magazine.   Aki stopped me on the road over a year ago, and I gave her a brochure:. "Does God Really Care about Us?"       I have called back at her house many times since then, but never, till today found anyone at home.

Talking of Captain Butterfly, which I was in the paragraph before, we found a beautiful moth in a spider's web and managed to get it free.  Jean coaxed it back to life on her hand and it soared off into space.   We were so happy.  The spider didn't look very thrilled I have to say.

I don't know whether that counts as kindness to moths, or cruelty to spiders.  We broke its web and robbed its larder.  But somehow we felt impelled to mount a rescue.

 I wonder what the webs will be for in Paradise?  Maybe they will be beautiful lacy dew-catchers, catching the morning dew in a perfect kind of irrigation system.

I hope both Jean and I and Captain B and all of us are there to find out.

I am trying to write my talk - finding it very difficult - but want to give a copy to my helper tomorrow so we can talk it over and improve it.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Entertaining the Waiting Room

I have a talk next week with a sudden change of helper - its a difficult one, with a graphic account of the death of King Eglon - its not the sort of thing you are likely to find yourself talking about on the doorstep, for example, so the setting will have to be talking to a Bible student, as my settings usually seem to be.

Captain Butterfly is doing very well, all things considered.  I am very grateful to Jehovah - and also to the NHS.   He is back to doing his blog and as I carelessly left the window open yesterday, he flew off to the Wetland Trust - in spite of all my clucking about getting enough rest, just had big operation, etc.    Jackie texted us, she is having a hectic holiday, and we are looking forward to her being back. We have a pie and mash supper waiting in the freezer for her, courtesy of Roger, who did some shopping for us while he was staying.

I have read Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.  Oh dear. Unrelieved gloom, though something of a surprise ending.  Not a surprise that it was so miserable, just a different sort of misery from what I was expecting.   Its well written, but I have to say: Why write it in the first place?

At any rate, we had a jollier time than expected on Tuesday when the Contraption was removed. They warned us we would be there for several hours - for a very good reason, as it turns out. They have to make sure everything is working without mechanical aid!    So there was a big jug of water in the waiting room, paper cups, and lots of guys tottering in and out of the loo with jugs.  And many a manly joke about it all.

However, I got the biggest laugh of the morning (unintentionally) as, when they warned us we would be there till at least midday, I trekked off to the second hand bookshop and came back with 3 large books and a packet of mints.  When I came back laden down with reading matter, everyone burst out laughing.  "I'm a realist" I said glumly, "I'm preparing for a long stay".    Though, to be fair, it was very efficient and we were out of there just before noon.

Politicians should regard the NHS as a jewel in their crown and spend their money on it, not in destabilising country after country in the Middle East.  In fact, if they are bent on destablisiing countries and producing immense amounts of refugees, then the need to spend money on the NHS becomes ever more urgent. These people are not going to be in good shape by the time they get here.

I have got back on the door to door preaching work, was out with my siblings yesterday. But I am now so dreadfully behind with my magazine routes and return visits that I hardly dare look at them...

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Two Landmarks and a Strange Fungus

We spent the morning at the hospital, while the Captain's contraption was removed. Successfully - all OK so far.  Then, far from wanting to rest, he wanted to go for an outing.  So we spent a lovely sunny September afternoon at the Wetland Trust with Terry.   The sky was a tender blue, with scudding white clouds, there are berries everywhere, along with the flowers and seeds of Autumn.

We then stopped at Terry's to photograph a rare orange fungus that is growing prolifically in the garden, and arrived back here just as the rain began.  Good timing.

Apparently we are in for some really stormy weather tomorrow and it seems to be revving up already.

What to say about the news?  Dreadful in both large and small details. The Society is preparing us for what the Bible warns is to come. But it is the darkest hour before the dawn.  And the Autumnal beauty of the afternoon spoke very reassuringly of its Grand Creator, the One who has our rescue well in hand.  It is a rescue for all who will take hold of it.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Back to the Field

I picked up Jean on Saturday morning and we worked near the Station. We had some lovely calls. I desperately need to get back to my return visits, but my mind felt too scattered.   I think it will until Tuesday is safely over, as I hope it will be.   It was a stormy day, but sunny, with lovely September skies.  To the meeting this morning - very interesting Watchtower article - what the Inspired Scriptures say will happen next.

I sent it to Anne of the Cape, and will link it:[search_id]=6c7bc244-fa44-422d-9801-ebfcac5a0a32&insight[search_result_index]=2

It discusses Jesus warning to the Jews of his day:
(Luke 21:20,21) “However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near.  Then let those in Ju·deʹa begin fleeing to the mountains, let those in the midst of her leave, and let those in the countryside not enter into her,"

Odd, because it would seem to be too late by then, when the armies had already surrounded Jerusalem. However, just as prophesied, the Roman armies came up against Jerusalem, and began to undermine the very walls of the Temple, when, suddenly, for no apparent reason, they withdrew. At that point, those who had listened to Jesus, the Christians, left, quickly.  And stayed away.

And had they not done so, there would have been no escape for them because of what happened next.

There is parallel for our day, which the article discusses.

A load of butterfly paperwork arrived, which I have got done. The Memership packages are all ready for posting.    We just watched an adaptation of J.B.Priestley's "An Inspector Calls", with David Thewlis and Miranda Richardson.  We really enjoyed it - good old-fashioned entertainment, with a strong message.

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Intriguing Anna of the Five Towns - and another Landmark

Captain Butterfly's stitches came out this afternoon.  I drove him to the doctor's surgery and even that 4 minutes was a bit much for him. I don't know how he will take the long drive to the hospital next week for the next removal.

I found a copy of Arnold Bennet's "Anna of the Five Towns" in our local second hand bookshop and have only just started it but have already come across a very interesting bit of info - a little window into the past:

"Anna was disturbed by the arrival of the milk-girl.  Alternately with her father, she stayed at home on Sunday evenings, partly to receive the evening milk and partly to guard the house.  The Persian cat with one ear preceded her to the door as soon as he heard the clatter of the can. The stout little milk-girl dispensed one pint of milk into Anna's jug and spilt an eleemosynary supply on the step for the cat."

The evening milk!  So presumably there were two milk deliveries a day?   Was that perhaps only in summer, given that nobody had fridges back then?     Plus milk being delivered on a Sunday?   This is a Methodist/Chapel sort of place, where I assumed a sabbath would be kept quite strictly.  Even though the Christian Greek Scriptures warn us that Sabbath keeping, being part of the Mosaic Law, is not binding on Christians. It is no longer a requirement.

Colossians 2:16, 17:   "Therefore, do not let anyone judge you about what you eat and drink or about the observance of a festival or of the new moon or of a sabbath.  Those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ."

Also I had to look up the word "eleemosynary" - a new one to me - and find it means a charitable donation. So it was the milk-girl's charitable donation to the cat.  Lovely.

Now I can remember milk being delivered that way.  In my granny's village just outside Manchester, in the 1950's, my sister and me used to go out on the milk cart with Farmer Vincent and we would take the large aluminium jugs and fill the small milk jugs the ladies left on the doorsteps, with little beaded cloths over, to keep the dust out.  And if you spilt even the tiniest drop on their step, they were not in the least charitable about it.

Got to the meeting last night, and all being well, I will be out with Jean on the work tomorrow. I have so many return visits to get to, but my mind feels a bit scattered at the moment.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Doctor Roger

Roger arrived yesterday and is staying for a couple of days.  It has cheered the Captain up no end. They went for a walk yesterday afternoon - Col's first since the op - and I got a phone call to say that, apparently, the Landlord of the "Honey I'm in the Pub" dragged them both in there and was forcing them to drink pints of beer.  The brute!    So could I delay supper?

As it was only soup, no problem

We had a steak and ale pie for lunch, along with cabbage, carrots and mash.  And raspberries and ice-cream afterwards.

We had planned to have lunch at our local today, but Col is not up to it yet, and so Roger has gone off to get fish and chips.

I have been thinking about how lovely The Cape is. That was my one and only trip to Africa.

Monday, 7 September 2015


Captain Butterfly is getting better by the day.  He is even going to get dressed today and Jacks will join us for coffee this afternoon.   I hope it all continues.  

I have a - RING RING,DING DONG ("Just testing to see if the bell is still working") - dental check up this morning, which is spoiling my morning with dread, but it must be done.    The soup is in the Soupmaker ready to be switched on as I leave, so there should be piping hot veggie soup ready for lunch when I return.

I have been re-reading Peter Cook's biography, and the book by his first wife, Wendy...   lots of interesting things to say about him, but whether they will make it into my blog...  not at the moment I guess.   But does everyone's life look sad when you look back?    It must really, because of the situation we, the children of Adam, are in.

I was thinking of going out on the field service tomorrow morning, as I haven't been out for a week, but Roger just rang to say he is coming over tomorrow.  It will be lovely to see him.  He is in the country very briefly, so we are happy he is making the time.   I have a couple of magazines for him too!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Butterfly and the Non-Diving Bell

The Captain has remembered the large bell that Bea gave me to summon him during my convalescence, and is getting his own back.   He started eating again yesterday  - a tiny bowl of veggie soup (homemade) and a small bowl of stewed fruit and custard for lunch - and a larger bowl of soup, plus a slice of toast and a yogurt in the evening.

Plus lots of cups of tea and glasses of water - RING, RING, CLANG, CLANG.

Oh and some grapes - Duchy, organic - which were all he ate the day before.   I am up early, have reset his glasses and his fruit bowl - no need to re-charge the bell, it is of the old fashioned Pick-it-up-and-ring-it kind.

Oh and he also had a small slice of fruit cake.

All that seems positive, but I will feel happier when the catheter is removed.  As I am sure will he.

Obviously I have not been out on the work this week - nor did I get to the Thursday night meeting - I didn't even listen in on the phone link - RING RING CLANG CLANG.  And I am behind with my studies...

However, I have managed a little - very little - internet witnessing, as some internet friends have asked some good questions. I am trying to direct them to the website and their local congregation, who will be calling on them regularly.   And I did enclose a small Bible tract in a letter I sent updating an aunt on the health situation.

Thanks to all who have phoned, emailed and sent cards.  It is all much appreciated.

Postcript:  Captain Butterfly has pointed out crossly that he hasn't used his bell once yet.  No. Fair enough, apart from a Test Ring, but the threat of it is there.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Butterfly Has Landed

Captain Butterfly is back, with rather damaged wings, but back home.   He now has his convalescence ahead of him.  He can't eat anything at the moment, but Mark, who very kindly drove him back,  had a soup lunch and some fruit cake afterwards.   It is an anxious time.

I saw Maggie yesterday morning, and took her over the smaller plastic drink container she wanted.   She seems a bit more settled now, thank goodness.  It is a nice place, and her room has a lovely view of the garden.  But it isn't home. And the older we get, the more we want our home.

The Captain is so pleased to be back.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Captain Butterfly had his operation yesterday - and his surgeon rang to say it had been a success. Which was wonderful news.

He now has to get through the post-op with all its risks and then the convalescence.  He was very out of it when I spoke to him yesterday, but was getting efficient pain killing, thank goodness.

I spent the afternoon making a big fruit cake - Cranks recipe - to welcome him home with - or, more grammatically, with which to welcome him home.   It hasn't turned out as well as the last one, but its still very good - one of those reliable recipes, but one I rarely make these days.

I hope to get over and visit Maggie this morning - the Captain doesn't want any visitors yet, just wants to sleep - which is pretty much how I felt. The body has been through a big shock and has a lot of healing to do.