Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Borrowing Arundel Castle

Gale arrives today, en route to her Conference.  She was such a good friend in my Uni years.  And she is the success story of our group - being big in the world of Anglo-Saxon Studies to this day.  I was tempted to ask the Duke of Norfolk if he would mind moving out of his castle and loaning it to us for the night - "just our little place in the country". However, sanity prevailed. And we do have a lovely sea view, and a spare room, and what more does anyone need?

There was such an interesting article posted on facebook yesterday, about the current state of politics, which took me right back to what the Bible told us about the march of the world powers more than two thousand years ago.  And here it is, the situation as described in the King's visionary dream.  We are living in it right now.

The article that caught my eye said, in part:

"Obama’s handler Zbigniew Brzezinski, a big-time New World Order globalist insider, put the matter rather bluntly by asserting that it was now harder to control, but easier to kill, a million people.
Specifically, he said that “new and old powers face” an unprecedented situation; the “lethality of their power is greater than ever”, but, sadly for the NWO globalists, their “capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historical low.”

This is a surprisingly straightforward statement of "the problem" - government with such immense and lethal power in its hands, but less control over the masses than ever before  

Thank goodness a rescue is on the way!

This is how Daniel described the visionary dream the King of Babylon had that troubled him so  much.   Daniel 2:31-33: “You, O king, were watching, and you saw an immense image. That image, which was huge and extremely bright, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying.  The head of that image was of fine gold, its chest and its arms were of silver, its abdomen and its thighs were of copper,  its legs were of iron, and its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.

Daniel's inspired interpretation of this dream tells us that it is about the march of the world powers, and it tells us where we are in the stream of time, with relation to the coming rescue. We live in the time of the iron mixed with clay.   And Daniel 2:41-43, the dream is explained:  “And just as you saw the feet and the toes to be partly of clay of a potter and partly of iron, the kingdom will be divided, but some of the hardness of iron will be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with soft clay.  And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile.  Just as you saw iron mixed with soft clay, they will be mixed with the people; but they will not stick together, one to the other, just as iron does not mix with clay."

And the Commentary on Daniel says this:

"Now that we are in “the time of the end,” we have reached the feet of the image. Some of the governments pictured by the image’s feet and toes of iron mixed with clay are ironlike—authoritarian or tyrannical. Others are claylike. In what way? Daniel associated the clay with “the offspring of mankind.” (Daniel 2:43) Despite the fragile nature of clay, of which the offspring of mankind are made, traditional ironlike rulerships have been obliged to listen more and more to the common people, who want their say in the governments ruling over them. (Job 10:9) But there is no sticking together of authoritarian rule and the common people—no more than there could be a uniting of iron with clay. At the time of the image’s demise, the world will indeed be politically fragmented!
Will the divided condition of the feet and toes cause the entire image to collapse? What will happen to the image?"

"Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy", published by The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 2006A

And that brings me back to the comment in this article, that  "the lethality of their power is greater than ever”, but, sadly for the NWO globalists, their “capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historical low.”  

Surely exactly as pictured in Daniel?     And, if you read on, you will see that means that the rescue we pray for when we say the Lord's prayer is so close now.

Daniel 2:44, 45 tells us what is about to happen:   “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever,  just as you saw that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the copper, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The Grand God has made known to the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Note that the Kingdom of God, which crushes and puts an end to all human rulership, is "cut not by hands".  It is not a human government, but a heavenly one.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Toppling into Autumn

When we were in Devon we were surrounded by the lushness of Summer, just at that moment before it topples into Autumn.  It could not get any lusher, so it had to fall into Fall.

And, when we went to Arundel a few days ago, it was clearly Autumn, even though I don't think Autumn officially arrived till yesterday.    I love all the seasons, and I love the idea that when Adam first opened his eyes it was in an Autumn garden.  We think that is so, as that is where the Jewish year begins.  But every year goes faster.  And we are now approaching the Winter of our lives.

Not that Captain B has been brooding about that. He is off out trying to get more shots of the Red-Backed Shrike.   See the Captain's Log.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Arctic in Arundel

Jacks invited us round for supper on Saturday. Hurray!   A lovely evening, as always.  We had Moroccan chicken, new potatoes and broccoli, followed by creme caramel.

Then suddenly Summer vanished and the Wetland Trust began its season of monthly talks.  So the Arundel Four: the Captain, Jacks, Terry and me went to the talk at the Centre on Monday night.

The speaker was Ian Rumley Dawson on "Arctic Svalbard".   A fascinating part of the world, and a part he clearly knows well. It ended with two amazing close up shots of polar bears - or maritime bears as they are apparently sometimes called.  So powerful - and you can see the intelligence in their faces.

The Captain and I had plans once to go to the Arctic on one of the Russian cruise ships, and see the polar bears.  But I can't go now.  I am so shaky on my feet, and IF I should fall and do myself some damage, it would be a nightmare for all concerned trying to get me to hospital.  Perhaps they would just leave me out on the ice for the bears?

So the talk at Arundel is about as near as I am going to get.

Today I picked up Jean and we spent the afternoon with Maggie. She seems a lot brighter - I think because they have got her eating again.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Lost Poems ; "The Year the Rice-Crop Failed" & "Dog Otter"

Ever since retirement I have been looking for these two poems. They were winners (if I remember it right) of the National Poetry Competition 2005.  I had the Poetry Society magazine which published them, but somehow it didn't make it back to the UK with me.

Wonderful poems.  Delighted to find them.

The Year the Rice-Crop Failed

by Melanie Drane

The year we married, rainy season lasted
so long the rice crop failed. People gave up
trying to stay dry; abandoned umbrellas
littered the streets like dead birds. One evening
that summer, a typhoon broke the waters
of the Imperial moat and sent orange carp flopping
through the streets around the train station,
under the feet of people trying to go home.
The stairs to the temple became impassable;
fish slid down them in a waterfall, heavy
and golden as yolks. That night, I woke you
when the walls of our home began to shake;
we held our breath while the earth tossed,
counted its pulse as though we could protect
what we’d thought would cradle us –
then the room went still and you moved away,
back into sleep like a slow swimmer,
your eyes and lips swollen tight with salt.
The next morning, a mackerel sky hung over Tokyo.
The newspaper confirmed the earthquake
started inside the sea. I watched you dress to leave,
herringbone suit, shirt white as winter, galoshes
that turned your shoes into small, slippery otters.
After you were gone, I heard hoarse and angry screams;
a flock of crows landed on the neighbor’s roof,
dark messengers of Heaven. Did they come to reassure,
to tell me we’d be safe, that we would find
our places no matter how absurd it seemed,
like the fish sailing through the streets,
uncertain, but moving swiftly?

Dog Otter

by Kevin Saving

He senses danger and is gone,
the water bulging in his wake.
You needn’t ever count upon
this sight again, and so should take
the memory and then move on?
You’ll never know what rendezvous he’ll break
with liquid arabesques – nor how he’ll trawl
fresh eddys, find new shoals to dredge.
His underwater playgrounds call
within him like a lover’s pledge.
He’ll wear the river like a shawl
in slicked–back freedom, near the water’s edge.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Earthworm has Landed

We arrived back home, yesterday, mid-afternoon.  A much much easier journey than the one going. It was a beautiful sunny day all the way, until we hit Bognor, when it rained a bit.

Roger has left our flat in apple-pie order and left food in the fridge and a box of excellent Belgian choccies by my chair.  We will broach them the next time Jackie is round, and eat a chocolate (or two) to Roger.

The Captain's alarm clock went off startling early this morning, as he is off on Detecting Business - helping to man their Stall at a Plough-in.  Perhaps I should say "person" their stall?  I don't want to have my blog closed down by the Thought Police.

So I had to get up early, as he has to help me get dressed.  Anyway, it meant I made an early start - shopping, washing, ironing etc.   Helen from downstairs called in to see if we have problems with our balcony.  Apparently the top flat has had their balcony power washed and she is wondering if the debris from it is what has landed all over her balcony. However, nothing on ours, so presumably not. Its all a bit of a mystery.

Butterfly Mark rang asking if I could help with a name for his Clouded Yellow blog.  We decided on Andrew Marvell's "The Garden" for inspiration - and here are two lovely photos of one of the loveliest of butterflies:

Jackie has invited us to supper.  Hurray!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Meeting a Real Legend

We were on the local beach on Monday and saw a couple of girls with baskets gathering seaweed and various things from the sea-shore.  That is just the sort of thing ffyona Campbell would be doing, i thought idly.

"What a graceful girl the tall one with the long hair is", I thought enviously. I am the exact opposite of graceful and the arthritic limbs have not improved the situation.  In fact, as the Captain has pointed out, I can make a bull in a china shop look quite dainty.

My thoughts continued (both brain cells at full stretch)   "She is as graceful as ffyona is in all her pictures". So, as we drew close. and  Col stopped to ask them what they were gleaning,  I blurted out "Are you ffyona Campbell?"

She was.  And we had a long talk.  Especially Captain Butterfly.

A wonderful encounter.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Butterfly Wall

We went for a walk in the early morning sunshine before Captain B tunnelled off to his earthwormery. And we found that the farm has a lovely bee and butterfly hedge of ivy.  It is abuzz with creatures

I saw the Beast again!!   It was being helped up a ramp into the back of a landroverish sort of vehicle by its kind person.    So it may just be an elderly arthritic labrador rather than the Hound of the Bittiscombes. And clearly there is no point in Captain B rushing off to buy the Tea Shop and Tea Towel concessions.

I do feel for the poor Beast, suffering from arthritis as I do myself.  I creak round this lovely cottage and garden, unable to tackle the steps to go back and see what is happening at the Butterfly wall and beyond, until the Gallant Captain appears to help me.

We are having a chicken pie from the tiny village shop tonight.  Not a farm shop sadly. With potatoes and carrots. And yoghurt/fruit/gingerbiscuits in any combination for afters.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Legendary Beast of Dittiscombe

Looking out of the tiny bedroom window of our lovely cottage - The Owlery - this morning I saw a large black creature in the tangle of green in the meadow rising above the cottage. It was either a large black lab out for a walk in the pouring rain with its gallant person, OR it was a rare sighting of the Legendary Beast of Dittiscombe (which I have just invented).

Lovely cottage - in classic Devon scenery. But it was a dreadful journey down - traffic hold ups all the way.

Captain B is off on an Earthworm Course today.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Light Shining in a Dark Place

We were studying Psalm 119 at the meeting at the Kingdom Hall last night.   Among all its gems of wisdom, it contains these words:

"Your word is a lamp to my foot, And a light for my path."

Many years ago, Captain's Butterfly's Aunt Thelma gave him a Revised Standard Bible - and she had written those words on the flyleaf.  As I remember them, they were: "Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my roadway".

I often thought about them.   At the time, I never considered the Bible to be the Inspired word of God, I wasn't even sure there was a God - or at least not one who cared about us.  I could see, vaguely, that there had to be Something, some First Cause.    But we were all to believe that Genesis was a "creation myth" back then.

It wasn't for many years that the beauty of an Autumn afternoon in my Northern hometown told me, as clearly as if it had spoken, of its Grand Creator.

But those words resonated - and stayed with me down the years,   The need for guidance in a dark dark place - I looked for it in many different places..  But I only found it when I began my Bible study with the Jehovah's Witnesses who knocked at my door all those years ago.

That twenty minute visit changed my life - immeasurably for the better.

The Roger is stranded in London at the moment still trying to get his papers done and dusted. The rule change seems to have caught everyone by surprise.   So he will be staying here while we are away, and will probably be here to welcome us back with a nice cup of tea - and to hear all about our adventures in the Cream Tea Cafes of Devon.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

A Hot and Humid Afternoon

Maggie was very taken with my fan this afternoon.  The Nursing Home was so hot and it was a boiling afternoon. She likes the heat, so is fine with it - was even lying under a blanket!  She seems much brighter at the moment - was expecting me - and is still keeping up her daily diary.

We talked about the past.  Her husband and the children. And of course the Kingdom Hall. She always says how much she loved being there and seeing everybody. She and Don were always there, faithfully, week after week.

We decided she has some lovely memories to sustain her.

The Roger is absent at the moment - we don't know yet if he is coming back tonight or tomorrow - or not at all if he has finally got his citizenship papers.  We expect a phone call tomorrow if he does not appear tonight.  

I have been washing and packing and sorting - all the tiring things you need to do before you go on holiday.

Its The Great British Bake-off tonight- hurray!  I plan to relax in front of that.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

No Cake and No Snake

It rained all day Friday - much needed rain - and it rained again yesterday evening.  Our Green is looking quite green again, and there is a lovely numinous light this morning, as the sun shines through the damp air.  The balcony geraniums are glowing.

Jacks came for supper last night. Roger makes her laugh so much she could hardly eat.   He treated us to a Cook's Moussaka, followed by a selection of Cook's desserts. All of them excellent. I provided the salad and the dressing.  We had a great evening, but I noticed we were all exhausted by 10.  Poor old things that we are.

Mind you Roger had been travelling. He arrived back from his daughter's late afternoon, laden with Cook's loot. and Col left early to meet Mark for the Snake and Lizard walk. They didn't find any snakes, but did find some lizards. And at least they know exactly where to look for the elusive snakes when they go out again.   And I forgot to put in a cake for Mark!  He always has a marmalade muffin if there are some going.

And I was off early Saturday morning too, picking up Jean. The Field Service Groups was at the Hall yesterday.  We did over an hour- there were 4 couples and a flurry of little ones.

Today was the meeting at the Hall. They are really preparing us for what is to come.  Roger and I lunched off cheese sandwiches- the Captain, off Treasure Hunting, had taken his with him - and watched a Brittass - and the soup is already to go for tonight - to be be followed by banana custard.

Captain B is just back with some good coins, which will appear on his blog in due time.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

A Beautiful Brimstone Visitor

Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata
Since Captain B put a brighter bulb in our balcony light, we are having lots of mothy visitors, including this lovely fellow.  Or lass?    I can see they will all  have names before long and I will be putting out saucers of milky horlicks every evening.

Roger went to have lunch with a long lost sister today, and Captain Butterfly went off to photograph - well - butterflies - with a box of sandwiches and cake.   So I had a quiet lunch of the leftover soup and the leftover toast from breakfast.

I got myself up to speed with the week's studying and then got over-ambitious and walked to Lidl's and back.  I can hardly stand up now. And yet its no way at all.  A few years ago it would hardly have seemed like a walk.. moan, moan, whinge, whinge.

The first day of September today and a real feeling of Autumn in the air. There are leaves on the ground - probably because we are in desperate need of rain - but still, they look exactly like Autumn leaves.   And the new photo on the Captain's beautiful calendar is a Silver-studded Blue.

As we are about to go on an Earthworm Recognition Course, I am having a few worries about what might be on his 2017 Calendar,