Sunday, 28 May 2017

Moth City

Figure of Eighty, Tethea ocularis
Captain Butterfly assures me that our balcony was Moth City last night.    It is strange thunderstormy weather at the moment. Did that have something to do with it?  Anyway, I am glad we provided them with a bed for the night.
Maiden's Blush, Cyclophora punctaria
Heart and Dart, Agrotis exclamationis

Mottled Pug, Eupithecia exiguata

Jean and I had a lovely morning on the doors yesterday, driving round, doing our calls.  We seemed to plan it out well (for a change), and we both found one of our callees who we hadn't seen for a long time at home and got a good welcome.

The article about The Four Horsemen is proving popular and there are no more magazines left. I still have 3 route calls to do this month, but have magazines saved for them.

Jen and I called on the young minister on Friday morning and spent half an hour with him.  He had set out chairs in the garden for us, so I was in the sun, which was difficult for me.  But we had a good talk and we left him with the Trinity Brochure.  He has gone straight to the heart of the matter, in that the central doctrine of Christendom is the Trinity, which we believe is not only not Biblical, but contradicts what the Inspired Scriptures tells us about God.

He is a lovely genuine guy - with a great family.   And he heroically rescued us by throwing himself in front of the shed under construction just as it began to topple on us.  It suddenly blew down in the high wind.

There are many who would have left us to our fate!

Poor Jackie still not well...   Col did her shopping for her yesterday morning as I was out with Jean.  And we are hoping she might feel well enough to join us for a glass of wine over the next few days.

Thing seem to be happening re my Eco-thriller "Small Island" - now re-named, Name to be revealed later.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Poison

Terrible terrible stories on the news.  A family concert in Manchester was attacked by a suicide bomber.  22 dead and counting.  Many injured. Many traumatised.  Children left without parents, parents without children.  

And an awful account of the torture and murder of Paul Pass. I could not read beyond the trial headlines, but he had to go through it.

The spirit of destruction and cruelty is flourishing.

And yesterday when sorting through old files, I found this poem by William Wantling


now, upon this awkward
ball of Mud
at certain times I see
despite the poison raging through my blood
all is ecstasy

It seems strangely appropriate.   What is the poison raging through our blood - and through our whole society?

The Inspired Scriptures explain it - teach us how to deal with it, without becoming poisoned or poisonous ourselves, and they assure us of a rescue.  Has the perfect advice in Psalm 37 ever been more timely?

And it also promises us this, that  "the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace."

Exquisite delight in the abundance of peace - right here on the earth - for those of us who are meek towards our Creator, who will listen to him and obey him.

And the dead will not be forgotten at that time.

So the poet is right.  Even though he was (I assume) sick and dying, he could see there is ecstasy - not only in the breathtaking beauty of the world and the awe-inspiring universe we live in, but in the promise of more happiness ahead for us than we can now imagine.

I hope so much the bereaved families know this, or will come to know it. And that they know they will see their loved ones again.

Jean and I spent yesterday afternoon with Maggie, and Jennifer joined us.   And Jean and I had a good morning on the doors on Tuesday.   I am now trying to make myself get out to the Thursday field service group... I feel so tired, but the message is so urgent.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

YET ANOTHER Arthritis Flare up

What is happening?  I have just rung Jean to say I won't make it to the meeting today, my right leg is so painful - not the knee this time, more the thigh...   it is going to get a lot worse, so even if I could drive to the Hall, which is doubtful, I would not be able to drive back.

Is my medicine no  longer working?  If so, what happens next?  I think I am state of the art as far as the NHS can provide it.

Jean and I did manage two hours on the doors yesterday morning, but it was a balanced 2 hours in that we were doing calls. We drove and walked and drove and walked, not doing too much of either.

We started by turning up at the wrong door for the field service.   Which is our Special Skill.  But as we had planned to do calls anyway, and were starting in the same road with 3 of Jean's calls, it just meant that we got an earlier start than usual.

We had some good conversations.   The current Watchtower article about the Four Horsemen of Revelation is interesting people.  

I read today that the Hilary Step on Everest is no more!   It has gone - perhaps was damaged in that earthquake that hit the mountain,    Will it make the most popular route safer, or more dangerous?

This is of great interest to a keen armchair climber like myself.   I can't tell you many times me, my couch and a nice cup of tea have been up and down that Step.   But - no more.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Bye Baby Bunting - the Politically Correct Version

To my amazement I just found myself reading the PC version of Baby Bunting!

It happened this way.  It was a dark and stormy night... well, a bright and sunny morning actually, and I took myself off to the Post Office as Amy has requested a copy of "Till They Dropped" - she wants to review it for her blog, bless her.  How lovely is that?

And if and when that review appears, it will also appear on my blog. Anyway, I did the posting and went in to Oxfam to check out the books, and found a  Mary Higgins Clark I hadn't yet read "Daddy's Gone a-Hunting". She is an efficient thriller writer, her books are very readable. But, on the first page, she introduces her theme with a verse from the nursery rhyme, but a Bowdlerised version:

Bye baby bunting,
Daddy's gone a-hunting,
A rosy wisp of cloud to win,
To wrap his baby bunting in.

Now, am I dreaming, or in the brutal realistic days of the 1950s didn't daddy used to go a-hunting for something else?    Hadn't he gone to get a rabbit skin to wrap his baby bunting in?

Though the pain in my knee was fierce yesterday morning and it seemed to take me all my strength to hobble round the flat, I was pretty much OK by the evening which was a good thing, as it was pouring with rain, and Anne-Marie rang up for a lift to the meeting.  And I was able to drive.

It was a wonderful meeting of course. Jehovah teaches us so carefully and so gently.

Aunt Jo rang today to say that the card I had sent had arrived and she loved it. I had chosen it from the shop at the Pallant Gallery, for her.    She is so frail now though...   old age is distressing.  I can remember her and my young mother, both so young and pretty in the 1940s manner.   In one way, it seems like yesterday, in another way, eons ago.

Jackie seems a lot better, thank goodness.

But I am now worrying about poor baby bunting.  A rosy wisp of cloud is not going to keep the poor child warm, not in an English climate.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

ANOTHER Arthritis Flare up

The second one this week - the last one started Sunday night and was gone by Tuesday morning.   But now my right knee  - the artificial one! - feels like someone is slamming it in a car door.  How can that be?  There is no real knee there.   What is feeling this pain? And why?

Anyway, after a lot of praying, I did manage to pick up Jean and we visited Maggie, who was expecting us. We got such a warm welcome.   We chatted and laughed for an hour, Maggie doing her best to listen and join in, and telling us often how much she loves us to come.

A boost for all of us I hope.

And  Jean and me tottered out on Tuesday morning to do calls with the powerful article in the May Watchtower.

The Four Horsemen of Revelation are riding now - have been riding since 1914.

Revelation 1:3 says:  "Happy is the one who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who observe the things written in it, for the appointed time is near."

We can be happy if we do read and observe the things written, because of the Rider on the White Horse, Jesus Christ.  He is riding out to complete his conquest, and put an end to warfare and sickness and cruelty and wickedness.   So this is the darkest hour before the dawn.

As Revelation tells us:    "With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.  And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” "

Isn't that exactly what we need, all this suffering and sadness gone?  But can we believe it?   Revelation goes on to assure us:  "And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” - Rev.21:3-5

Faithful and true. Everything Jehovah purposes always comes about.  Isn't that the very meaning of his name?

Jehovah wants everyone to know this.  And so the good news of the Kingdom is being preached in every nation.   It is an honour to have a part in doing this. It is a work that will never be done again. Though there will be a great teaching work to be done during the Thousand Years, as surely many of the resurrected dead will know nothing of the truth.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Philip Jackson Open Day

Today - we, Captain B, Bea, and me - met Linda and John at the Philip Jackson open day.  He opens his lovely gardens with their elegant statuary once a year on behalf of the Murray Downland Trust.

Once again, he had a sunny day for it.   Though we nearly didn't make it, as our Chauffeur Captain Butterfly was on a SusSAR call out in the early hours.

Thank God the Misper was found alive and well on the beach.  So we drove off through the lovely Sussex countryside. What a beautiful month May is!

The Jackson garden is looking lovelier than ever - the garden statuary seemed taller than ever, and (to really get to the aesthetics) the hot dogs were the best ever. And the tea and cakes.

So a good day all round. And we we were all a lot rounder by the time we got outside those cakes.

Captain B then hurtled off on urgent Butterfly business - and Bea and I recovered at home.  My leg is really hurting and I hope that the Jackson Annual Garden Do isn't going to be a bridge too far from now on.

Jacks is still not well, or she would have been there with us.  I missed my companion, as she is always ready for a sit down.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The House of Three Milks goes to the Pallant

The House of Three Milks visited the Pallant Gallery yesterday.   And I (goat's milk) fell in love with an exhibition of embroidered pictures by James Gladwell.

I even signed the book to say how much I liked them - a first for me.  My favourites were a mother peacock with her chicks, and a puffball.

Bea (soya milk) treated us to lunch in the Coffee Bar - a delicious lunch too.  It was scampi and chips for her, Catch of the Day on Bruschetta for the Captain  ("real milk"), and a salad of halloumi, rocket, orange, roast beetroot, with a raita dressing for me.  I am going to try and re-create it if I can, it was so good.

Today I shopped - for Jacks too, as she is still not well... made us lunch, which was only cheese sandwiches, and then Jean and I visited Maggie, who gave us the usual warm welcome.

We had baked potato with salad this evening and all feel rather tired.

The Captain spent the afternoon at a local meadow where an exotic snake has been seen. There were some wardens out looking for it too. It needs a rescue!   He found no snake, but saw loads of butterflies and moths, so he is happy.   We are now watching Aliens.

Bea and I had a lot of laughs today thinking about old times - especially with Grandad and Delia,, who really should have been given a comedy series of their own.   How long they have all been gone.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Missing: Two Brain Cells

I am thinking of offering a reward to anyone who can find my missing brain cells - either of them.
I began Thursday night's meeting in classic style by being so busy talking to one of my sisters that I put my contribution for the world-wide work into the field service slips box.  I had to tell a couple of elders so they will know what to do with the money they find it, as we also have a box for our contributions towards keeping our Kingdom Hall up and running.

All contributions voluntary by the way.  We support ourselves by our voluntary donations, and are always grateful when those who take our literature contribute something, though we never ask. And I think everything can be downloaded free from our excellent website now anyway.

We trust in Jehovah to keep this vast preaching work going, as it was prophesied in his word.

And just before that I got in a panic as it turns out I had got my dates muddled (along with everything else) and had thought that we were entertaining the Corfu Butterfliers next Sunday.  However, they were coming this weekend, the day after the Brighton Branch.

So the Brighton Branch came for lunch on Saturday - pasta, salad, garlic bread, ice-cream and lemon drizzle cake.

More muddle occurred on Sunday,  in that one of our number (not me for once) got both time and flat wrong.   However, we did all manage to get together for a second Cooks lasagne lunch - with salad and garlic bread - a cheeseboard and many desserts,including the ice-creams from the day before.

Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves, and I now have a house full of flowers - including some beautiful tulips - and a fridge full of chocolates and leftovers.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Waiting Game

Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata
I took Jacks to the doctors on Tuesday - and we had such a long wait. We were there a couple of hours and we got to know everyone else there very well by the time it was Jackie's turn.  It's so worrying that the NHS seems to be stretched almost to breaking point.

I also got her some Waitrose shopping.  Not that she feels much like eating at the moment, but at least its there if she does.

And Jean and I had a lovely morning on the doors.  We couldn't work on the assigned territory as it turned out to be one of  those long long private roads - no public parking - so it would have been a long walk from where we could park the car to the territory - and Jean was tired even before we began. So we did calls instead.  Back to Angmering.

This is really taking all the thrill out my planned blockbusting adventure book: "I Drove to Angmering", as I seem to be doing it every day now.   If we all strolled up and down Everest every day, who would want to read books about it?

In fact, if all goes to plan, I am back to Angmering this morning - at which point my audience falls asleep - to do a couple of return visits.  But I don't want to be out too long as Bea arrives tomorrow and I still have some organising to do.  Plus it is the meeting tonight.

And having said all that I must remember to ask Jehovah in prayer that while driving to and from Mount Angmering this morning, nothing happens that would be at all worthy of inclusion in an adventure book. But it would be lovely if we could reach some hearts with the truth.

Christianity being called "the way of the truth".

The photo is of one of our mothy visitors who spend the night on our balcony.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Supper without Jackie

Jackie was not well on Sunday so we had our chile evening without her...  not the same at all.   We watched the snooker, the first part of the final, between Selby and Higgins.  Against form, Higgins is in the lead.

Now I am trying to cast my mind back over the vast reaches of a whole weekend and think what we did.

Captain B, with his Detectorist hat on, had a couple of interesting finds at the dig on Sunday. He is at the computer next to me researching them at the moment. They will appear on his blog in time.  And we went to the wedding reception of one of his colleagues in SUSSAR on Saturday night.

It was held at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge Hotel, East Grinstead,  Nice venue, the bride looked every bit as lovely as the bride should,  and they put on a very good do.  In fact the buffet was so good, I was just hobbling back to get another plateload when Captain Butterfly came surging along saying it was time to go and swept me off to the carpark. He had an early start in the morning.

I sulked all the way home.  Or at least I would have, but, wisely, Captain Butterfly pays no attention to that sort of thing, so there is no point.

I posted a poem on facebook, as there was rather a good cartoon doing the rounds about a lady drying her washing the trendy new low tech solar and windpowered way, i.e. hanging it on the washing line.  And that reminded me of my mother, and the mothers of her generation, who hung out their clothes to dry in all weathers.  And it also reminded me of a moment, an icy windswept New Year's day, when I must have been staying at the bungalow, that would have vanished in time if I hadn't memorialised it in a poem.

A Winter Washing Line
by me

Black trees rattle in the icy wind
Through gale-smashed panes, the greenhouse sings
Tights, shirts, tea-towels, bras and knicks
Dance to welcome Eighty-Six.

That must have been the winter my father's dilapidated greenhouse finally collapsed.

Jean and I had a great morning out in Angmering on Saturday.   We found some lovely people, and have quite a few return visits to make.   And I have the material for yet another in my daring adventure saga:  "I Drove to Angmering".   Though its almost getting routine now.  Amazing what we can do, when we do it for Jehovah.  Which is simply because he always helps us.

The meeting on Sunday was special, as we had an extra half hour watching this broadcast:

The Russian Courts have decided against us and the video takes us into the trial.  If you watch the video you can decide for yourself if it was a fair trial or a show trial.  We have been prosecuted under the new Religious Extremism laws.

Our Russian brothers and sisters were already having a hard time, but it will now get much worse. The State will take all our property there  - all our Kingdom Halls, our new Headquarters - and, as far as I can see, it will be illegal for us even to meet to talk about the Bible.

But the Society is appealing this decision.  And in the meantime, we can all see that a great witness is being given to Jehovah's name.

When he was on earth, Jesus said, of his Father, Jehovah:  "I have made your name known to them and will make it known,” - John 17:26

And, as the head of the Christian congregation, Jesus is still making his Father's name known.

It should be a quiet, yet busy, day today. With study and housework.