Friday, 28 October 2016

The March of the Toadstools

Sulphur Tuft, Hypholoma fasciculare
Picked up Jean on Wednesday, and we visited Maggie. She is definitely a bit brighter. I think they have got her eating properly, which is making a difference.   It was another beautiful Autumn afternoon.  Took Jean to the Opticians afterwards to get her new glasses.

It was foggy yesterday morning - the Channel and the Green took a while to appear again.  The Captain and Butterfly Mark were off chasing the fungi hordes - and I went out with one of the young pioneers in the afternoon.  I still haven't got back to the Field Service groups, except for Saturday. Oddly, this cold seems worse in the morning, I am hoarse and coughy.  Maybe next week.

But I did manage to get out Tuesday afternoon and move my magazine route along a bit...   had two very nice conversations with 2 ladies I have been calling on for ages.

The big bonfire has been built, ready for Saturday night, and the fairground attractions are arriving.   Jacks is coming over - first time we have seen her for ages! - and also John and Linda.  To watch the fireworks.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

A Family Saturday

Linda and Rob came for lunch yesterday - and told us they are now engaged!  Which is wonderful.They are in the process of house buying and  looking forward to their new garden. Then Cousin Linda rang and she, and her daughter in law, and the shiny new granddaughter arrived.

We had a lovely day together - like old times when we used to meet up regularly at the houses of the twins.

Lunch was lasagne, salad, and garlic bread, followed by ice-cream.  And tea and biscuits for the later arrivals.

Time moves along...   new perspectives all the time. Once again I wonder what it will be like looking back from the perspective of a thousand years... and that first thousand years will be a momentous one.  It will see the resurrection of the dead - both "the righteous and the unrighteous".

I hope we are all there to see it.

The meeting this morning was so encouraging - and this week I hope to re-start my working with the young pioneer sisters.   I had a routine of field service before my accident - nearly a year ago now - and am only just beginning to re-establish it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Not Going Out

We were supposed to be going out tonight.  To a Murray Downland Trust talk.  The sort of occasion we don't usually miss. But... the Captain was off early to do his conservation work for the Trust, and I set off early for Waitrose.  I need to get a particular space in the carpark where I can't be blocked in. My knees are not very flexible now and if someone parks close to my driver's door I can't get back in the door.

One of the unexpected things about getting old is having to make innumerable calculations of this sort.

Anyway. I shopped.  Lugged the bags slowly and painfully up the stairs - our lifts are out for a few days - awaiting a new thingummybob - and cooked a chicken so we can have chicken salad for the next couple of days. After lunch I rang Jean, picked her up, visited Maggie, stayed about an hour and a half, she seems very well all things considered - dropped Jean back home - toiled back up the liftless stairs - collapsed on sofa - Captain B arrives and says he has decided we are not going out tonight. He can't face any more driving.

I was so happy!   I feel terminally tired and a quiet night in in front of The Great British Bake-off is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Toadstool Autumn

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria
Col and Mark were out today looking for, and finding, some amazing fungi, such as this splendid Fly Agaric.   I was at the meeting - ran Jean home afterwards - did a quick shop - and made a carrot cake.   Col and Mark have been getting through a lot of cake recently.
Fly Agarics
Yesterday the Team of Jean and Sue rode out from Micah's.  It was quite a way to the territory, and what with me driving, Jean map reading, our poor old eyes, and just the one brain cell between us, we drove clear through our territory and found ourselves on one of those fast roads that was probably trying to take us to Brighton.

"There has to be a roundabout at some stage", I bleated to Jean as she despaired over the map.   And there was and I got round about it, and we tried again - this time arriving successfully at the territory. Most people were not at home, but we had two very interesting calls.

At one door we found a young girl who had just become a "born again Christian", and she had some questions to ask us.

She asked why we didn't believe Jesus died on a cross.  And we explained that, if you look at the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures in an interlinear Bible, you will find that the Greek word rendered “cross” in many modern Bible versions is stau·ros╩╣. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale.

So we understand that Jesus was executed on a stake, a single piece of wood.

Right at the last minute I had put my Reasoning book into my bag, thank God.  And so I read her a quote or two from it.

For example:
The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons (London, 1896), says: “There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross. . . . It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as ‘cross’ when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting ‘cross’ in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape.”—Pp. 23, 24; see also The Companion Bible (London, 1885), Appendix No. 162.

I then said that when this was explained to me, I wondered why it mattered, whether it was a cross, or a stauros - a single piece of wood - as the Bible describes - but then I began to think of all the things that have been done under the banner of the cross...

She really did stop and think about that.   We had a long conversation and plan to call back.

We didn't see Jacks on Saturday sadly. We all decided to cancel because of this wretched cold I have.  We remember what happened this time last year when we all got colds.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

A Visit from Dr.Who?

As I was making Captain Butterfly's sandwiches the other morning, he was busy making himself a flask of nice hot tea, so Autumn is well underway, and Winter is coming.  No problem. I love all the seasons. Its just how quickly they come and go these days.

Nute and Pen had a more difficult journey back than they had coming here, but they got back safely which is all that counts. Another thing about getting older is how fragile everyone and everything feels - how uncertain.

Jackie is back. Hurray!   We plan to see her on Saturday night for supper, IF I am ok. Don't want to share my cold around.  And Dan, my young publisher, has made it safely back from the States where he had a great time and did some networking.  And Jane came round yesterday morning to practise our talk for tonight -   I have asked Captain B to get me some throat lozenges...  hope I will get through it.

We were not able to visit Maggie as I dare not take my cold along there. She is so frail. And this involves so much coughing.

The Captain has just supervised my fortnightly arthritis jab.  "Get on with it!  Don't be such a wimp!" Its quite painful - but necessary.  I am hoping that Dr.Who's Tardis time machine never turns up in our flat, or the Captain might be tempted to hitch a lift back to Newcastle Uni in the Sixties and make a different and arthritis-free marital choice.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Sisters' Visit - and a Cold

River Arun from footbridge
We are having a Writer's Weekend -

 - hampered by my having gone down with a terrible cold - out of nowhere and overwhelming.  I haven't had a cold for ages.
Still we did manage an outing yesterday - a long leisurely lunch at the Arun View and a walk back along the river.  We were all tired afterwards and went to bed early.  We are older and it shows.

There are so many layers of memory going back for us. What must it be like when you have hundreds of years behind you?  And thousands?  Well, I hope we will be in the restored earthly Paradise to find out.

Anyway, my edits for Small Island are done - plus I have picked up on a couple of small but important changes I feel that I need to make and am running them past my siblings.  Fantastic Books editor has done an excellent job.  For example she has removed an exclamation mark which makes the sentence preceding it so much more powerful.

Captain Butterfly left early on his marshalling duties - earning money for SUSSAR - but he made us all breakfast before he left.

We will be making him roast chicken and veggies for this evening, and probably baked apple and custard to go with it.

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Circuit Overseer's Visit

The C.O is visiting our congregation this week, and he gave us our first talk on Tuesday.  I am going to try and make some sense of my notes from the excellent first talk he gave us.

I hope I will make it to the talk on Sunday... but my sisters are coming down for a writers weekend and I rarely see them, so it will depend perhaps on if they want to come to the Hall with me or not.

The team of Cathy and Sue rode out twice this week - on the door to door preaching work - with some interesting results.

Cathy found a young man just leaving for work - his father was giving him a lift and pulled up in his car as we arrived on the doorstep. So it was a very brief call. But enough for Cathy to find out that this young lad was very worried about what was happening in the world, and he gladly accepted some literature that pointed him to our excellent website:

She also spoke to another younger lad.  I couldn't see his face as I was standing at the bottom of the steps, but his body language was very teenagery and Keviny.  But he took the literature. And Cathy said that as she spoke to him, his eyes filled with tears.  He is deeply distressed about something. And Jehovah is "the God of all comfort", so we hope he will find that out.  She will call back on both.

And I am trying to find a few of the people I was talking to before my fall (shudder... the horror of which still haunts me and makes me want to stay at home in a box of cotton wool - it is thanks to Jehovah that I am out and about again) - where was I?  Yes, a couple we had a long talk with, back in June 15!   Never managed to find them again - and then had this terrible fall...  Anyway, I thought probably some of my siblings have talked to them since, but nevertheless I felt I ought to try myself.  They were not in.  But, because I was in their road, I called at a house I left a tract at back in June last year. I had managed to find them in one more time and left a magazine, but we had never really talked. The tract I think I had left with the mother, the magazine with the young daughter.

I only knocked at the door because we were walking past the house. Young girl opened door. Very pleased to see us, Took two magazines, one for her, one for her sister. This was on Wednesday. They said they planned to come to the meeting on Thursday night!    So we were able to tell them that this week the meeting was on Tuesday - because of the C.O. visit - but that they could come on Sunday. And we left them the meeting times.

This is another reason I would love to be there on Sunday, to see if they do come.

It was an effort for both Cathy and me to get out. Neither of us is young, neither of us is well. But how glad we are we did.  We feel we have been useful to Jehovah this week.  A small small thank you for all he does for us.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Last Minute-ing

What with everything that has been going on this month and general tiredness...   I spent yesterday rushing frantically around trying to get my last few magazine route calls finished.  I have done them all bar 3.  I have an appointment to have tea and a chat with Sue this afternoon, and Col is taking me to the last 2 which are just beyond my driving comfort zone (due to shoulder and arm pain). We might go after we have taken Jerry round his supper - which will be leek and potato soup. It may depend on the weather.  It is alternating between torrential downpours and bright sunshine, with lovely blue skies at the moment.

Flu jabs done this morning - and the internet is terrifying me with tales of what is actually in them. What to do? But Captain B has made up my mind for me, thank goodness. We are having them. Full stop.