Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Zimmer Twins

Jean and me rode out yesterday morning - well, tottered out - and did some calls.  And we got a lovely warm reception from those we found at home.   And we went to Jacks for supper - Hurray! to have her back. She cooked us one of her paellas - she lived in Spain for many years.

The evenings are starting to draw in already though.   We - the Captain and I - went to the Wetland Centre in the week - and walked among the lushness of summer, the smell of summer flowers, the medicinal smell of herbs - and also, alas, the medicinal smell of me, as my "good" arm was coated in Pain Busting cream.

Already though, in all the lushness, there was that feeling of Autumn.

And I love Autumn.  Its just how quickly it all goes.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Destruction of Sennacherib

We were reminded about this at the recent convention in Brighton, reminded how, when they trusted in him, Jehovah saved his people - how loyal God is to those who are loyal to him.

As 2 Chronicles 32:1 records, the situation for God's people looked hopeless:

 "After these things and these acts of faithfulness, King Sen·nachʹer·ib of As·syrʹi·a came and invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intent on breaking through and capturing them. "

Nothing so far had been able to stand in his way.  Many of the cities of Judea had fallen to his armies.  As for Jerusalem, though Sennacherib sent threatening letters warning Hezekiah that he had not desisted from his determination to take the Judean capital (Isa 37:9-20), the record shows that the Assyrians did not so much as “shoot an arrow there, . . . nor cast up a siege rampart against it.” Jehovah, whom Sennacherib had taunted, sent out an angel who, in one night, struck down “a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians,” sending Sennacherib back “with shame of face to his own land.”—Isa 37:33-37; 2Ch 32:21.

And it reminded me of this magnificent poem by Bryon

The Destruction of Sennacherib
by George Gordon Byron

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still.
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Pain Clinic?

Talking to Penny of Hull about my problems, she asked if I had ever been referred to a Pain Clinic.  "But I'm in more than enough pain as it is" I protested

When we had sorted that one out I had to admit it sounds like a good idea - and will ask my Arthritis doctor for a referral the next time I see him - September, I think.   Anything to help cope with the relentless pain of arthritis.

The news... what to say beyond trying to tell people that a rescue is in hand, so close now, which I have not been able to do much of this week, apart from a lovely long telephone conversation with Anne of the Cape.

It seems the latest shooting horror in Germany was not terrorist related, but a result of the killer having been severely bullied at school.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

A Pained Blog

Still in too much pain to type!   I hope this attack of whatever it is is going to end soon. I shall listen in to the meeting at the Hall tonight - and all I can say about the Brighton Convention so far is that they are really preparing us for what the Inspired Scriptures say will happen next.

And the Inspired Sciptures have never got it wrong.  Nor will they.

Monday, 18 July 2016

A Tired Blog

So exhausted after the first day of the Brighton Convention that I wasn't able to manage to see my own car with my own husband sitting in it when I got off the congregation bus.  He had to hoot and even then it took a while.

And every joint was aching.  So I gave Saturday a miss - just rested and rested and rested - and made it on Sunday.  The main problem is my "good" shoulder.  It had to to a lot of work hauling me up the stairs on Friday - lifts broken and we were making for the "Old Crocks and Crumblies" section at the top.

It is hurting so much now as I type, so I can say no more about what we learnt, and what we were reminded of, but will save that for the next blog, when, hopefully my arm will come back to me...

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Tea-Bag Blog

Roger, who left early this morning, bought me a beautiful candleholder from South Africa.  It is made by ladies who use used teabags!   They make all sorts of creations out of them. including designer frocks, and are so successful they are now importing used teabags from all over.
That is so brilliant.

Obviously the tea bag element in this practical little work of art is the sepia dye.
Captain Butterfly does not usually allow candles on the grounds that I will burn the house down with them (I am the sort of person who makes a bull in a china shop look quite dainty), but I think I might be allowed a Hyacinth-style candlelit supper or two with this one - once the evenings start to get darker.
We had an unCandlelit supper last night - fish pie, which turned out OK, and cherry crumble which turned out very well. I am never sure how much sugar to put in, but this time I did get the sweet/sour balance just right.  People had second helpings, which is a sure sign.  And we have just enough left over for our supper tonight.
It was so nice to see Roger - and for Jackie to be able to come over too - she has missed him the last two times.  We all laughed a lot.  I wish Anne of the Cape could visit us too,

Tuesday, 12 July 2016


The cherries in Jackie's garden are ripe and Captain Butterfly has picked a bucket of them - which still leaves plenty for the swarms of birds busy at the tree.  So if he cleans and hulls as I make the crumble topping we should have a cherry crumble for Roger, who arrives tomorrow.

Its the Brighton Convention Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so a busy time, with lots to prepare.

A lovely evening with Butterfly Mark and family on Sunday night - and it was a beautiful drive through the lush summer countryside of Sussex.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Carnival of Errors (that turned out well)

Went to the Broadcast at the Hall:

The story of the Witnesses from the Soviet era, then and now, is very moving. Its about 29 minutes in.

This was after a morning on the doors with Jean.  We had intended to go East, but found the road was being blocked off - roadworks? carnival? a bit of both? - so had to go in the opposite direction, where we both had some calls.  As Jean had not been expecting to do these, there was one number she didn't have with her. It was one of two doors - she knocked at the first and we were-re-directed to the second.

Now the lady at the second door, who Jean had had quite a chat with last time, was not interested and quite unfriendly.  But the first lady, having told us it was next door we were looking for and saying she was busy, actually had quite a long chat with us and took some literature. So we ended up at the right door after all!

Then it was a roast chicken dinner round at Jackie's - our second home.  And today it is the meeting and then we have been invited to a BBQ at Butterfly Mark's.  Its overcast and windy at the moment.

I was awake in the early hours Friday morning as I suddenly realised I had a load of invitations to the Convention at Brighton next weekend left. How was I going to place them? Worry worry.  I must have prayed about it, as I got some local territory and spent Friday afternoon placing loads.  I now only have two left and think I can find a home for both of them.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Red in Tooth and Claw

Sparrowhawk ♂, Accipiter nisus
I looked out to the sea this morning - about 6 a.m. - and wondered why there was a pigeon standing so oddly in our courtyard.  Why? And - and what on earth was it doing?.  Realising it was a non-pigeon - in fact, a bird of prey - a sparrowhawk maybe - tearing at its catch, I rushed through and woke up Captain Butterfly.

He rushed for his camera and then to the window, and then, having got his record shots, tiptoed to the balcony.   He clicked away until it flew off with its prey firmly clutched in its claws.

Thank goodness a rescue is on the way for all creation.  And in the meantime I can cling on to the thought that "not a sparrow falls".

Saturday night was the farewell party for our brother Josh who is leaving for Canada this week.  It was held at the Village Hall - packed - and Captain B came and really enjoyed himself.  We all bought wine - and there was a bar and buffet, some speeches and some home-grown entertainment. It was a warm family occasion.

Jackie came round on Sunday:  We had lamb cooked Middle Eastern style, with rice and veggies; and ice-creams and cheese and biscuits courtesy of Waitrose.  I shall use the lamb recipe again, as it turned out very well.  Col had the last of it last night, with carrots and potatoes.  Which brings me back to "nature, red in tooth and claw".  We don't eat a lot of meat or fish, but we do eat it.

 It was a lovely evening as it always is with Jacks.

And the team of Jean and Sue managed an hour and a half of local door to doors on Saturday morning, tottering back here for a tea and a chat before I ran Jean home. Which is just about my driving limit at the moment.

Yesterday I walked into town and back and had a browse in our lovely new second-hand bookshop. He is going to look out for a copy of Ballard's "The Empire of the Sun" for me.  I have explained I don't want a First Edition, but something I can read.

The sombre and powerful memorialising of the tragedy of the Somme last week has made me want to read Ballard's amazing book again.

But the walk, not a long one, exhausted me.  I tell myself that my body is still struggling to recover from Major Operation No.3 and that I will get some energy back. But I am in my Seventieth year, so perhaps this is par for the course?

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Moth Visitor

Heart and Dart, Agrotis exclamationis
We were coming back laden with shopping after an early trip to Waitrose yesterday when Captain B stopped us with a shout of "Moth".   We would have trodden on it if it hadn't been for his sharp eyes, as it had parked itself right in front of the lift.

The poor little soul didn't seem in very good shape.  The Captain slung it over his manly shoulders and bore it up to the flat where we dined off it...  what am I saying?! (I should not do this blog before I have had my breakfast) - where it was photographed, and left to recover in a box.

After some hours it did recover and was released to carry on its mothy life, I hope with great success and happiness.

It is called a "Heart and Dart".   Once again, I have to note what lovely names moths have.  And surely that is one of the things we were put on the earth for, to find beautiful names for the beautiful creation.

The rest of the morning I did my Watchtower study for Sunday - stuffed full of Biblical advice as to how we can get along with each other in peace and harmony. What perfect and timely advice.

In the afternoon I made the lamb curry - mild, Middle-eastern - for tomorrow night - I will do the veggie dishes tomorrow afternoon - and that was about it really.