Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Beautiful Names of Moths

Red-barred Gold, Micropterix tunbergella
Swan-feather Dwarf and Pale Tussock (and others) are featured in the Captain's Log recently.  What lovely names moths have.

And once again, what an amazing world it is. And how it tells us of its Grand Creator, Jehovah, the God of Abraham.

And how well he teaches us - lovely meeting at the Hall Sunday morning.  I can't say I did much else  beyond get lunch and supper. Which wasn't difficult as the main meal was leftovers from yesterday.  Talked to Jacks and to Bea on the phone.  And yesterday I talked to one of my route calls on the phone - she asked me to drop the magazine in this morning.   I am hoping she might invite me in for a chat next month.  And I parcelled up and posted my remaining magazines, hoping that I will be able to get to them next month...

I have an appointment with my Arthritis guy this week - the first since my fall - and I am worried about what he is going to say - assuming he will agree with the physio, that there is not much hope of further recovery.

On the Doubleplusgood side, a lovely and such a timely thought in our "Examining the Scriptures Daily"- something everybody needs to read as marriages implode and explode all around us.

Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate.Eph. 4:32.
Gracious speech is without a doubt one of the keys to marital stability. How sad it would be if marriage mates spoke to each other with less respect than they do to total strangers or even to their pets! When couples lash out with “malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech,” they erode the spiritual defenses of their marriage. (Eph. 4:31) Instead of undermining their marriage with constant criticism or biting sarcasm, couples need to buttress their relationship with words that are kind, tender, and compassionate. A husband and wife do not solve their problems by screaming or by refusing to talk to each other. Instead, they fortify their marriage by choosing not to let disagreements become habitual or deteriorate into protracted arguments. Therefore, even in difficult situations, endeavor to make what you say gracious, both in your tone of voice and in your choice of words.Col. 4:6.

Saturday, 28 May 2016


As I have been on a 3-day detox - no dairy, no wheat, very narrow food palate - I am now starting my re-tox, as Jackie is coming round for supper.  We are having a chicken pie from our excellent pie shop (Turners), mash, cauliflower cheese and carrots; to be followed by Eton Mess (the yogurt version) and cheese and biscuits.

My hope was to get a bit of energy and well-being back.  It certainly had a profound effect on me in that yesterday I got up and went straight back to bed - and slept right through until mid-afternoon.   I don't think I have ever done that before. But, as the Captain says, it is clearly what I needed.

And I must have a large sleep deficit - as sleeping was painful and impossible for weeks - just an hour at a time - and even now its hard to get really comfortable. My body is still trying to heal of course. Jane, my lovely physio, said it would take 6 to 12 months.

But I think that the hospital doctor who told me that I would get no more function back in my arm is right.  So I feel rather depressed about the state I am in...

I must draw as close to Jehovah as I can and get back to the preaching work to the extent I can.  But it is difficult.  

Such a lovely thought for the day today - and this weeks Watchtower is both comforting and worrying.  Comforting in that it reminds us how Jehovah is guiding us all the time - but worrying in that we need to pay "more than the usual attention" to what we are being taught.   And one thing clearly is that the Society do want us to use Tablets and such devices in the door to door witnessing.

I will really have to discuss this with my Resident Computer Expert.

In the Big Wide World the Brexit or Bremain Campaign goes on intensely.  Shall we stay in the EU or should we leave?

I am grateful that I don't have to worry about it, as I don't vote.  Both sides can make convincing arguments for their point of view.  My guess is that we will stay in - partly through inertia (better the devil you know), and partly because the powers that be - it seems - clearly want power centralised.

However, I don't know any more than anyone. But what I do know is that Jehovah's wonderful purposes go on - and nothing will prevent them.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Butterfly Conservation at Rustington Waitrose!

Adonis Blue, Polyommatus bellargus
We were very pleased to see that one of the Charitable causes at Rustington Waitrose is Butterfly Conservation - and will be till the end of May!

So we must rush all the green tokens we have been saving up there asap.  Might involve hiring a heavy duty lorry, but as long as we get them there.

Obviously we shopped early this morning.

This blog really does put "The Diary of a Nobody" in the shade...

I am trying to think what we did yesterday. The Captain was very busy.  He was called out on a Search and Rescue and phoned me from Rewel Wood to ask for an emergency box of sandwiches and cake.  To my horror I found I only had two slices of bread left, and only just enough cake. So the rest of my afternoon was taken up with defrosting and hacking up a loaf into giant doorsteps, as opposed to the Captain's efficiently cut slices and making a trayload of maramalade muffins.

He groaned when he realised he would have to carry the resulting sandwiches over the next week or so.

Monday, 23 May 2016

What the Blue Sky was Saying

For the first time this year, I went out onto the balcony to study, and got started on our Bible reading for this week which is Psalms 19 to 25, so the first lines I read were:

"The heavens are declaring the glory of God; The skies above proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day their speech bubbles forth, And night after night they reveal knowledge.  There is no speech, and there are no words; Their voice is not heard.  But into all the earth their sound has gone out, And to the ends of the inhabited earth their message... "

To the ends of the inhabited earth is their message - telling of their Grand Creator, Jehovah, as clearly as if they had spoken.

So of course I looked up. And there above me was, is (as I type this), a tender blue sky, with some fluffy cottonwool clouds moving slowly across it; with the Channel sparkling and glinting underneath in layers of blue.

Surely if I didn't already know that there is a Creator, who made this earth so lovely just for us, the sky and sea this morning would have made me think and wonder, and begun to wake me up - in a spiritual sense.

And talking of waking up - in a literal sense - Captain Butterfly was off very very early this morning, so I had to be up early too, to make his sandwiches, and so that he could help me get dressed.   So I got to Waitrose nice and early - lugged two loads of shopping upstairs, and then walked to the doctors for my blood test.    We are having pizza and salad tonight, and hopefully a picture of the lovely sky for my blog.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Circuit Assembly

It really needed a team of sturdy brothers to get me into the back of David's car - 6 pulling, 6 pushing. The door was small, and my knees just don't bend the way they did.  I had to sort of shuffle myself as far in as I could and then lie flat - oh dear - awful, undignified - but, somehow, between us - David, Christine and me - we did it.  

Then we had to get me out again...

And when i got to our lovely Assembly hall at Haysbridge yesterday, I found another problem. The seats are a bit on the low side for my Knew Knees, but when I waet last time, I could pull myself up with both arms. Now, of course, I can't.  So getting up and down was very painful.  My kind sister, Beryl, lent me her cushion - and for sure I will have to take some cushions next time.   But I was in a lot of pain by the end, and was really worried we would not be able to get me in or out the car.

However, it was worth it.  Because how beautifully and carefully we are taught.

The theme of the Assembly was:

"Imitate their Faith"
- Hebrews 13:7

And these are some of the questions we are asked to meditate on:

How can we take as a pattern the faithful example of the prophets?
James 5:10,11:  "Brothers, take as a pattern of the suffering of evil and the exercising of patience the prophets who spoke in the name of Jehovah.  Look! We consider happy those who have endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome Jehovah gave, that Jehovah is very tender in affection and merciful."

How do sisters benefit from imitating "holy women of the past"?
 1 Peter 3:3-6: "Do not let your adornment be external—the braiding of hair and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothing— but let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible adornment of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.  For this is how the holy women of the past who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, subjecting themselves to their husbands,  just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you have become her children, provided you continue doing good and do not give in to fear."

And today we got some very very upsetting family news.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Lost Lanes of Queen Anne's Lace

Umbillifer at Lobbs Wood
I drove Bea to Rustington on Tuesday morning.  We shopped and coffee'd and did OK.  And Bea kindly bought us a lasagne from Cooks which we had for supper.   David and Shirley came over on Wednesday and joined us for coffee and cakes in the afternoon.

The new lifeboat was launched in the evening, with BBC South Today in attendance.  Captain B made a brief appearance in the crowd as the boat was launched.

Aunt Jo rang, as did Christine, who has offered me a lift with her and David to the Assembly on Saturday.

Today was sunny and we went to Kithurst Meadow to see what we could see. Butterfly Mark and Butterfly Nigel were there - Nigel with some kind words about my Membership Secretaryship.

How Spring has moved on. We drove under green arcs of trees, there were Chestnut candles, and Queen Anne's lace along the roadsides.  We used to call it Cow Parsley in my youth - which is not quite such a glamorous name.

It reminded me of the beautiful poem Cut Grass by Philip Larkin.

Cut grass lies frail:
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the death

It dies in the white hours
Of young-leafed June
With chestnut flowers,
With hedges snowlike strewn,

White lilac bowed,
Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace,
And that high-builded cloud
Moving at summer's pace.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Philip Jackson, the Gingerbread Man, and a LANDMARK

I am going to suggest a new subject for Philip Jackson to sculpt.    http://www.philipjacksonsculptures.co.uk/Philip_Jackson/

It will be a giant Gingerbread man, golden all over.   And its inspired by the large homemade ginger cake that we bought at the Philip Jackson Open Garden day on Saturday, and which Captain Butterfly has been porking away at ever  since.  It is an excellent cake - er, or so I am told (hastily wipes gingerbread crumbs from face).

Bea and Jackie came along.  It was a perfect May day - fresh green, blossom everywhere, blue skies, white clouds.  The Jackson garden, centred round its mini-lake, looked splendid.   The statuary had all been changed since last year.  And Butterfly Mark turned up as well, which was a nice surprise.

We bought some more chili plants along with gingerbread cake and our hot dog (with real sausage) lunch.    There were more people than ever this year, so I guess the day raised a good sum for the Murray Downland Trust.

The LANDMARK was that yesterday I drove for the first time since my accident - to the Kingdom Hall and back for the meeting. I left very early, thinking it would be a perfect way to start - a short drive on the early morning Sunday roads.  And I was fine - except that it underlined how much I have lost in my arm and shoulder.  It was painful and difficult, and its hard to imagine coping with a longer drive. But if I can just get to the Hall and to Waitrose it will greatly improve both our lives.

We all - the two of us, Jackie, Bea and Terry - go to the Wetland Trust tonight. And I have physio this morning.,

Friday, 13 May 2016

The House of Two Milks

Bea arrived this morning, so now we are the House of Two Milks. Although, come to think of it we were anyway, as Col has- and I'm quoting - "proper" milk, and I have goats milk. And Bea no longer has soya milk.

Ron kindly gave me a lift to the Kingdom Hall last night.   The new meeting format is so good, so helpful.   It is our day out at Haysbridge Saturday week, and we also have  a day out in Philip Jackson's garden coming up.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bake-off Creme de la Creme

Watching Bake-off, Creme de la Creme, the professional version of The Great British Bake-off, I was wondering why it misses out on the compulsive charm of the original.  Something about the critical coldness of the judges maybe? And it seems more seriously competitive.

But I do watch it sometimes.  They made the most wonderful creamy chocolatey petit-fours last night. Yum.   And I'm afraid it wouldn't help the format much if they did hire me as as judge.  I don't think much judging would be done as my mouth would be stuffed too full of chocolate cake for more than the occasional "mmmm" and "next please" to emerge.

"I believe you" said the Captain glumly, when I explained to him why I would have to turn down the offer of a judging job if it came.

Gave myself a shower this morning!  That is a landmark.  I was in such pain yesterday morning.

Bea arrives Friday, and I got an email from an old Uni friend this morning. She wants a bed for a few nights when she is down here for a conference in September.  It will be lovely to see her and catch up a bit with old times and new.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

An Arthritis Flare-up

The pain woken me in the early hours of  Saturday morning - my right shoulder - so now I am very limited in what I can do.  I left a message for Jennifer to warn her I most probably would not be out on the work with her tomorrow.  These severe flare-ups usually last for at a couple of days and sleepless nights, and then I sleep and sleep.

Jacks came round for supper last night - it was a selection of curries from the Waitrose chill cabinet, as I wasn't up to cooking.  Plus a cheeseboard, and strawberries and Cornish ice-cream.

Dave and Maggie arrived on Thursday and we all went for lunch at the Arun View - good food, lovely view of river, sunny Spring day.  Lots of catching up to do, especially on the show-biz career Maggie now has!   Retirement can be the most interesting time of life - though I was thinking as we walked back by the river that here we are, four elderly people, four pensioners, walking along the street...yet only yesterday we were young.

You don't feel any different inside - well I don't - but full of aches and pains, and I hope happier than ever in spite of it all.   But how would I feel if I didn't know the truth - Christianity being called "the way of the truth"?     What hope would I have?  And what meaning would there be in my life?

Wouldn't I still be in the bleak and hopeless world of Darwinian Evolution?   And when you look at the world, so full of cruelty and violence every day, from that point of view, how do you cope?

Our Thought for the Day is about being grateful to Jehovah.  Yes.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Robin's Song at Woods Mill

Woods Mill nature reserve
"Can we have our sandwiches yet?" I clamoured, as the Captain and I finally arrived at Woods Mill yesterday - car parking problems - there was a lot going on there.  However, we had it much to ourselves in the early morning hours.  Whatever was going on seemed to be taking place elsewhere.  The light was wonderful as we wandered round the Pond. We were looking for the dragonfly that Col found newly hatched the day before.  I sat on a bench as he wandered round the Pond with his camera loaded.
Above my head a robin sang...  which should be the first line of a poem.  But before I could write one, I realised what he was singing!  It was "Can we have our sandwiches yet?"

I got the box out of the Captain's rucksack, which I was guarding, and crumbled up a bit of muffin in my hand.  He came straight onto my palm, but only for a second.    I didn't keep him waiting but threw down the crumbs.  Sadly, as things are now, its not safe to trust the children of Adam too much. Paradise has not been restored yet.

I had forgotten what it felt like to have a robin on my hand - their cold pattering little feet.   It was lovely, and took me right back - 15 years or more, to winter mornings at the bungalow when the Front Garden Robin would come straight to my hand for his breakfast, while I shivered in my jim jams at the front door.

Butterfly Report:  We only saw four: 1 green veined White, 1 Orange Tip,  and I can't remember the other two. Hopefully they will be accurately reported in the Captain's Log.

Butterfly Mike stopped by the Pond for a chat; and Dave and Maggie (exPlanetExpat) are coming over for lunch today.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Croissant Exupery

Many years ago, I invented a Detective - a salute to the great Christie.  He was to be called Croissant Exupery (he would be French, to Hercule Poirot's Belgian) and would have a sidekick called Hotson,

As I remember, it was part of my Wuthering Frights series - in which the Bronski sisters would consistently fail to write their best seller/blockbusting movie script etc, but their quiet and studious brother Branston, who they thought had been doing his homework in the back room, was going to surprise them with a sizzling best seller of his own.  Their gimmicky detective - Croissant - was going to be hopeless at solving anything.

My sisters and I used to have writing evenings, many years ago, when we all lived in the same town. And I wrote a few of the Wuthering series to amuse them - or to amuse myself at least.   There was a bottle of wine involved in those evenings, but we are now all in print.

Only I thought of those evenings, and Croissant and his detective skills, yesterday when I walked to Lidls.  I usually arrive by car, and so from the carpark, but, on foot, I arrived at a different door - the Out door, not the In door.   I was baffled for a while as I walked up to it, tried to get it open, pushed at it, walked up to it again, wondering why it didn't work automatically.   The door did have a big red notice saying "NO ENTRANCE", but I failed to pick up on that vital clue.  And so I wondered if old Croissant would have done any better.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Sunday or Monday?

I have to keep reminding myself that today is Sunday - because we had our meeting at the Kingdom Hall yesterday afternoon, instead of this morning.  It was a live broadcast, linking over 70,000 of us, including the tiny congregation of our siblings in the Falklands!  They all gave us a wave.

We had the Watchtower summary, conducted (masterfully) by a Geordie brother; the Branch Report and Experiences; and two talks: "Prove Yourself Ready for Jehovah's Day", and "Make Over Your Mind".

Both were wonderful and powerful talks.   I didn't take notes.  But I did make a note of these verses, I must have read them many times as before, as we continually read through the Bible. But yesterday they leapt out at me.

(Jeremiah 33:20, 21) “This is what Jehovah says, ‘If you could break my covenant regarding the day and my covenant regarding the night, to prevent day and night from coming at their proper time, only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken, so that he should not have a son ruling as king on his throne, and so also my covenant with the Levitical priests, my ministers."

We can be sure of everything that Jehovah promises, everything he convenants.

We had supper with Jacks in the evening - Moroccan chicken, rice, apple pie, ice cream and a lovely cheese board. A fun evening as always.

And this morning the Captain set off early to Treasure Hunt with the metal detectorists - then got diverted on a rescue, 18 year old girl disappeared after a night out - a very very worrying thing - but when he reached the location, they all got stood down. She had turned up safe. Thank God.

I can't say I have done much today. We watched the first half of the snooker final - Mark Selby and Ding Junhui - and I did get up the courage to do the return visits in our flats.  One not at home, one very unwelcoming this time round, and one young lad who was very pleasant and with who I had a bit of a chat, but he is not interested.

He said he is a churchgoer. So I left him with this thought.  I said that I had been a churchgoer for many years, but that I learnt more about what the Bible on my shelf says in the first 20 minutes that I spent talking to the Jehovah's Witnesses who called than I did in all my years of churchgoing.