Friday, 30 June 2017

A Savage Arthritis Flare-up

These days, I always feel tired.  Old age, arthritis, par for the course. But when we got back from seeing Maggie on Wednesday afternoon - where we got our usual warm welcome - I felt terminally tired.   I had to make soup for supper.  We have a soup machine. I had bought a packet of ready chopped sweet potato and pumpkin, so all I had to do was to chop one potato, one carrot, one onion, a bit of celery, herbs, add water and stock cube and turn on. On, and put the garlic bread from the freezer into the oven.  Next to nothing. But it felt like climbing Mount Everest.

Then they had  a Patients/Doctors meeting at our local surgery that evening to discuss all the things that are going on - thousands of new patients, difficult in recruiting doctors etc.   It was comforting to know what they were doing - and be reminded what nice, if tired, doctors we have.

I wish we could have a government that would regard the NHS as a jewel in its crown.

But during the meeting I began to feel this worrying pain in my left leg - upper.  Please God this is not my hips going... the thought of having to be back in hospital, in the horrors of the wards...

Anyway, this was the beginning of what has to be my worst flare up so far. Neither the Captain nor me got much sleep that night.    At one point I did pray to Jehovah for some relief - and I did then manage about an hours sleep, which was a lifesaver.   And yesterday was a nightmare of pain.   My leg is still very painful this morning, but nothing like it was. I was able to get myself to the computer, albeit on my trusty zimmer, to try catch up.

I couldn't even get myself to the loo yesterday.  Captain B was wonderful.  A tower of strength. And at least we were able to sleep through tonight.

He is still finding exciting moths on our balcony every night. They really are exquisite.  I am beginning to wonder if next years calendar should be a Moth one, though it would have to include a Swallowtail butterfly as he got such great photos on his little holiday in Norfolk with Dan.

And, re Maggie and our regular visits.  When we were at Dan and Libby's party on Saturday we got talking to a lovely young physio called Heather.   She works with Aspergers and Autistic patients, so we started to talk about the amazing human brain, and I was telling her about Maggie and how she would be completely blank as to who people she had known for ages were, until  you showed her their name in her address book. Then she knew. So the info is still there - its how to find the path to it. Though sadly I think the paths are closing all the time.

But she doesn't need an address book for us now. She does know us and can usually get our names without prompting.  And she knows if we ever miss a Wednesday!  Which we try not to do. But sometime the Nursing Home itself is closed to visits as they have an infection going round,

Anyway Heather confirmed how important routine is - that we always go on a Wednesday. And she said that even though Maggie might not remember we had been for long, the physiological effects of our visit can and do linger on.  Apparently there is a big rise in endorphins during and after a visit.

All Maggie can really say now is that she loves us, and she loves us to come. Truly.  She always adds the "truly" with such feeling,  So we too get a boost every time we see her. Who doesn't want to be loved and wanted?

Monday, 26 June 2017

Swallowtail Moths

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)
The Captain called me out to the balcony last night to see these two Swallowtail moths resting by our light,  They are exquisite.   Jehovah, with Jesus working alongside him as a master worker, made an awe-inspiring world for us to live on and in. The tiniest detail is a masterpiece of artistry and engineering. We have made such a mess of it, but they are coming to our rescue fast.
Swallow-tailed Moths
I was saying to someone on facebook this morning that the procession of tiny tiny egg, to caterpillar, to larva, to butterfly is a miracle in plain sight.  They agreed.

The creation tells us day and night of its Grand Creator. And the Inspired Scriptures tell us his name, ,Jehovah, the God of Abraham.

We had two items of news today. One very sad.  The wife of an old University Friend has just died.   We knew him and his first wife many years ago when we were students at Newcastle University. In fact I shared a room/flat with Diana and Col knew Pete as they had been to school together.  And that is how the Captain and I met - and the rest they say is history.   ("And we know what a miserable business history is" I seem to hear the Captain crabbing from the other side of the table.)

Diana died some years ago. And now his second wife - also a lovely lady - has died.   But we are all in the death zone now.

And we also heard that Paul, a friend from PlanetExpat, has now retired and is back in the UK.

And we had another news bulletin over the weekend.  It seems we are going to become a great aunt and uncle yet again!

A generation is coming, and a generation is going...

It was Dan and Libbys's wedding anniversary party on Saturday.  A special do, as it was their Twentieth.   They chose a lovely venue - a farm with an enchanting rambling garden.  The weather had changed though - it was grey and windy.  Not that I minded.  I am not one for the heat.

We left quite early though - as we were both so tired. The Captain was exhausted after a very difficult day - early start to get to his annual walk - car developed radiator problems...   and I had quite a busy morning - pick up Jean, to group, on the work, then onto the Kingdom Hall for cleaning duties.

And it doesn't take a lot to exhaust me these days.

Jackie is still not well, and I took her in a load of shopping after the meeting yesterday.

Friday, 23 June 2017


Jean and I had a good morning out on Tuesday. We didn't go to the Field Service Meeting at the Kingdom Hall as Jean had a doctor's appointment.  I took her there, and we both had some calls in the locale and got those done.  We finished in time for me to get to Waitrose to do Jackie's shopping for her.

On Wednesday morning I sent a card off to Marcin, in intensive care in Sydney, and also posted Dave's magazine to him. I usually send it at the beginning of the month and was surprised to find I hadn't done so this time.  They both got sent one of the lovely bird cards I got at the launch of The Sussex Butterfly Atlas.

IT IS SO HOT. in the nineties.  Jean and I braved it to Maggie's and found to our relief that the window in her room was open and the door propped open. She doesn't allow that. Ever. But she wasn't there.  We tracked her down to the lounge where she was sitting over a cold drink and she was so pleased to see us.

We had a thunderstorm yesterday.  Which we needed.   Jen and I sheltered in my car until it was over.  So we only managed 15 minutes on the doors but it was quite a productive 15 minutes as we have arranged to see the guy next Friday.

Tomorrow is the annual party at Dan's. It is their twentieth anniversary, which is good going.    I can't say I have done much today - done my study for Sunday, a load of washing, made lunch (soup again), and - well, that is about it...

It is much much COOLER now. Thank goodness.

I have been going through the official version of my Dive Thriller - launch date to be announced any day now. Will anyone buy it?

I think my writers royalty income has been about one hundred pounds so far.   Not exactly J K Rowling.   I would love to be able to make some money for my young publisher though.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Swallowtail Moth and Pedro Conejo

Swallow-tailed Moth, Ourapteryx sambucaria
Our balcony seems to have become a Moth Hotel, hopefully a good one and well recommended, as more and more keep coming, including this giant fellow.
Peter Rabbit with Adonis Blue, Polyommatus bellargus
Dorothy of South Island left on Monday with her travelling companion, Peter Rabbit, or Pedro Conejo as he is known since his recent travels in Peru.  He sends regular bulletins and photos back to Dorothy's little granddaughter.   He recently appeared in Kithurst Meadow, helping Captain Butterfly with his transect.

We had a bit of an Aramco reunion on Saturday night, with both Dorothy and Linda there.  Jackie joined us, although she didn't eat much.  But still, it was a start.  We had lasagne, salad, garlic bread, a set custard with raspberries and blueberries, champagne, wine and coffee.   I Cooksed it, rather than cooked it.   And on Sunday we had lunch at The Steam Packet. It was good.   Roast pork for them - fish and chips for me.

I did get to the meeting on Sunday - and this morning I have to take Jean to the doctors and then we might do a few calls in the area.

The talk at Arundel last night - the end of the talk season - was great - on Madagascar - but sad as the flora and fauna there is unique - and so threatened, so beleaguered.  It needs all the eco-tourism it can get to keep the small reserves going.

And it was so hot.  Terry came with us.  And we all got very very hot.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A Towering Inferno

The fire at Grenfell Towers in West London has killed who knows how many people.  Will we ever really know?    There will be so many enquiries and post mortems, but at the moment who can really say why it went up like a Roman Candle, leaving no time for those trapped on the top floors to escape.

They were going about their business, in their homes, and were suddenly engulfed by a nightmare.

As the Christian Greek Scriptures say "all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together".  But when the rescue comes, the dead will not be forgotten.   So I hope all those killed in the fire are held safe in "the everlasting arms" and have a wonderful awakening ahead of them. They fell asleep in a nightmare, but will wake up in the restored earthly paradise.

I was out this afternoon with one of the young pioneer sisters, trying to tell all who will listen about the incoming Kingdom of God. And Jean and I spent the afternoon with Maggie yesterday.  It was very hot.

Dorothy of South Island arrives tomorrow, so much of today was taken up with dusting, polishing, and getting the washing done.

Captain B drove Jacks to her hospital visit, and she came back here for tea and a biscuit and to pick up the soup I had made for her - leek, potato and basil.  At last she seems to be getting better - and may even join the Captain, me, Dorothy of the South, and Linda on Saturday night.

I must think what to cook - or, more probably, what to Cook (what to buy from Cooks.

Some wonderful news from the Brighton Branch of the family.  Amy has got a First!!  

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Norfolk Swallowtail

Swallowtail, Papilio machaon britannicus
We - that is to say Jean and I - managed to get it into our heads on Saturday morning that the Field Service Group was cancelled because the children of the household were ill.   So we set off, on our own, early,  and started on our calls.   We always have lots of calls to do.  Return visits, magazine route calls, we never catch up. I doubt that any of us do.

Anyway, as we drove along - stopping, starting, in and out of cul-de-sacs -we kept meeting our brothers and sisters who were also out on the preaching work. Which was lovely  - and also informative, as we found out there was no problem with the group at all.   Something had gone wrong with the grapevine.  Or, more likely, Jean and I had simply forgotten to activate our shared brain cell that morning.

Then I ran Jean back home, rushed back had some lunch and picked her up again and we went to the Hall for the Broadcast.

We had tea and cakes and then stopped afterwards for Hall cleaning.  It was such a hot day - and I had a headache by the evening.

Captain Butterfly is back from his butterfly weekend in Norfolk. They had a wonderful time.   Swallowtails galore.  One of these Swallowtails will surely be appearing on next year's calendar.

I have poached one of his lovely photos for my blog.  What a beautiful world Jehovah has made for us. And what a lovely thought to fill it with flying flowers.

A mountain of butterfly paperwork has arrived - there has been a Membership Drive, clearly successful.  Everyone will be rejoicing except the poor beleaguered membership secretary - myself.

So that is today taken care of. But first I must get to Waitrose to do Jackie's shopping.  She is still not at all well.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Stormy Weather

It was so wild and wet on Tuesday that Jean and I did not go out on the work - though we both did go out, separately, in the afternoon.  It is still windy, and we have had some wonderful seas.   We visited Maggie on Wednesday and got our usual warm welcome.  We are quite good at getting ourselves in and out through all the locks now.

Sunny today, though still quite a wind.    We - Jennifer et moi - plan to visit the young man we have been calling on - hoping he will be at home.   I said we would leave him a fortnight to read and digest the Trinity Brochure.

I was just leaving the Kingdom Hall this morning when I was caught in a very short, very localised, downpour.  Heard thunder, saw no lightning.It has been sunny since, but breezy.   Some brothers and sisters had come over from Worthing to help us reach the deaf people in our area.  Clearly they know how to sign.

We had a very interesting talk at the door and have left some more information with our householder - this time about God's name.    Jesus taught us to pray that his Father's name be hallowed, or sanctified, be made holy. And he said that he had made his Father's name known.

At John 17:26 Jesus said:  "I have made your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them."

So we feel that, as Christians, we too must make Jehovah's name known.

Anyway, I hope that we have planted some seeds.   He did think for quite a long time about God's name and why it was never mentioned in the church he attends.

And of course I now have yet another chapter for my interminable series "I Drove to Angmeriing". The thrill is wearing off even for me, never mind my poor readers.  And of course for those driving behind me as I never get out of third gear these days.

Jackie is no better... I hope to do some shopping for her over the weekend, but it won't be till Sunday as I have a very busy day coming up tomorrow, if all goes to plan.

Captain Butterfly is off on a Butterfly expedition with Dan.

And I chose the cover for my about to be published thriller!   I had a choice of two - both of which I liked.  Title to be revealed soon - it will have a blog of its own.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Troubles

We woke up Sunday morning to news of another terrorist attack in London - 6 killed and counting,  many injured, many traumatised.  Once it was the IRA killing us and now its Islamic fundamentalists.

Who will it be next?   IF the present system of things on the earth continues long enough for the next terror group to arrive.  Hopefully it won't.

Once again I have to ask what have the world's religions been teaching their people down the ages they have had such power and influence.

The talk at the Sunday meeting could hardly have been more timely as it was all about how we do not need to fear the future, IF we trust in Jehovah with all our heart.

Monday... the terror attack is still all over the News.  Are we building up to something... I keep thinking about what the Book of Revelation says will happen next.

On a more mundane level, I did some routine housework - and went to clinic and pharmacy to get Jack's latest medicine, which I delivered in the afternoon.  Stayed for tea and a chat and we both hope hope hope that the new med is finally going to do the trick.   The Siren voice of Butterfly Mark was heard over the phone in the morning and Captain Butterfly flew off, laden with cameras and cakes and sandwiches to look for the emergent Meadow Browns.  

That made me realise that one job for this week is cake-making.

I have done my studying for the day, and did my Expenses Form.  I hate doing it and got rather bad-tempered.  Captain B asked when the next meeting at the Kingdom Hall is.   "Thursday" I snapped.  "Not soon enough!" he barked.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Return of the Hilary Step?

It may not have gone away at all according to this article from the Guardian:

So who knows?  I won't be going up to have a look myself. I will have to wait for the next Sofa Expedition before I can suss it out.

Thanks to Bea's kind thought of getting Jack's some flowers to cheer her up, I now have a vase full of beautiful lilies, as Captain B bought us both some.  

Jean and I were out yesterday morning with some of our brothers and sisters. We finished our territory and did a couple of Jean's calls.    The next glamorous undertaking was that I cleaned out the fridge and made supper - salmon salad.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Launch of the Sussex Butterfly Atlas - by Blencowe and Hulme

The Butterflies of Sussex launch poster by Mark Avery
The Good Ship "The Butterflies of Sussex, a Twenty First Century Atlas" by Michael Blencowe and Neil Hulme had a very successful launch on Thursday the 25th of May. Which is suddenly last month, as we have rushed headlong into June.

It was held at the Booth Museum in Worthing - an incredible place, and the perfect venue.
Michael gave us a talk with slides and music - and it was the best show in town.

I am looking forward to reading our copy of the Atlas - not only informative but entertaining. With some great photos - some by Captain Butterfly himself!

Jean and I visited Maggie yesterday afternoon - her room was baking, but she was lying under the covers and wearing her big woolly cardigan.  Jennifer joined us and we all sat in the lounge for while, which was cooler, and a lovely young Polish nurse bought us a jug of lemonade.

What is going to happen after Brexit?  Will she still be there?  And if not, how will they replace her? And with who?  Will it be with someone as kind and patient as she is?

And Jean and I had a good morning on the work on Tuesday. We covered our territory with the others and then did a couple of calls.

Jackie is still not well...  we did some more shopping and I made her some leek and potato soup, keeping it as bland as possible.

I am now trying to make myself go to the Field Service Group this morning...   all I really want to do is to go back to bed.  Yet I had a good night's sleep.