Once more dear friends, once more…


As today is St George’s Day (and William Shakespeare’s birthday), it is with the Anglo-Saxon blood of my ancestors thrumming in my ears I thought I should share with you one of the most famous Shakespeare speeches ever delivered. It is from Henry V and was the King’s speech on the eve of the battle of Agincourt (transcription below):

KING HENRY V:
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

And, if you want a bit more of Henry V (or Kenneth Brannagh) here is one of my all time favourite pieces of film music to enjoy too:

Stamford Military Hospital/Dunham Massey


We had a trip out today (it has been Easter Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK) and we visited the stately home and deer park at Dunham Massey, which is owned by the National Trust. We went because the weather was promising to be good (for once) and there was a display that I was particularly keen on seeing.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, the House has been turned into a museum. It was a military hospital during the conflict, run and staffed by Lady Grey, the widow of the 9th Earl of Stamford whose family had owned the property for hundreds of years previously.

It was fascinating to see just how stately homes such as these were turned into military hospitals at the time and to see what kind of medical treatment was actually available then. As you may know, I’m studying the history of medicine and society for an Open University module towards my degree, and as military medicine is a part of that study, to actually see it laid out before me helped me make sense of what I have been reading about recently.

As today was a public holiday there were also some “living history” actors performing in the museum, which I thought was fantastic. They helped bring the human side of the story to life, and the “nurses” also managed to portray what a change in the prospects of young women had been brought about because of the war.

Here are some photographs I took of the museum part of the day today. I will post some more of the rest of the house another time.

Also known as the "agony trolley", the men used to get anxious when it was time for the dressing trolley to do its rounds. Understandable when you think that this was in the days before antibiotics and wounds would have been putrid with infection without the agonising cleansing they received
Also known as the “agony trolley”, the men used to get anxious when it was time for the dressing trolley to do its rounds. Understandable when you think that this was in the days before antibiotics and wounds would have been putrid with infection without the agonising cleansing they received
A jar of anti-parasitic powder for military use.
A jar of anti-parasitic powder for military use.
Fascinating insight into the tools of the nursing trade here. The feeding cup on the right shows how invalids would have drank their tea or soup, and the inhaling bottle on the left is an ingenious contraption to help patients with breathing difficulties breathe easier.
Fascinating insight into the tools of the nursing trade here. The feeding cup on the right shows how invalids would have drank their tea or soup, and the inhaling bottle on the left is an ingenious contraption to help patients with breathing difficulties breathe easier.
The rules of the Stamford Hospital. Note that the patients were expected to assist the nursing staff with other patients, and that each day prayers were said at a set time.
The rules of the Stamford Hospital. Note that the patients were expected to assist the nursing staff with other patients, and that each day prayers were said at a set time.
A view of the arrangement of beds in the ward. This would have been one of the family's function rooms when the house was not being used as a hospital, and I counted 16 beds arranged round the room and in the window bay. Can you imagine what it would have been like to have had all those patients crying out in pain or with shell-shock in the night and being so close together?
A view of the arrangement of beds in the ward. This would have been one of the family’s function rooms when the house was not being used as a hospital, and I counted 16 beds arranged round the room and in the window bay. Can you imagine what it would have been like to have had all those patients crying out in pain or with shell-shock in the night and being so close together?
Detail from the inhaling bottle.
Detail from the inhaling bottle.
One of the living history actors. Here the nurse is hand-rolling bandages for future use. They would  have been delivered by the Red Cross in huge long lengths and one of the nurse's jobs was to shorten them and make them ready for use on the patients.
One of the living history actors. Here the nurse is hand-rolling bandages for future use. They would have been delivered by the Red Cross in huge long lengths and one of the nurse’s jobs was to shorten them and make them ready for use on the patients.
A view of the operating "room". Actually, the space where this young man was having open brain surgery was in the gap at the bottom of the stairwell. There was a small room to the side with a sink where the surgeon would have washed his hands but that was it as far as infection control went here. It was basically in a corridor between to rooms and at the bottom of the stairs where anyone (and everyone) could see. No dignity here!
A view of the operating “room”. Actually, the space where this young man was having open brain surgery was in the gap at the bottom of the stairwell. There was a small room to the side with a sink where the surgeon would have washed his hands but that was it as far as infection control went here. It was basically in a corridor between to rooms and at the bottom of the stairs where anyone (and everyone) could see. No dignity here!
A typical patient record at the end of the bed. This poor chap had trench-foot in his right foot. You can't see here in the photograph but he had a nasty infection too because his temperature was all over the place.
A typical patient record at the end of the bed. This poor chap had trench-foot in his right foot. You can’t see here in the photograph but he had a nasty infection too because his temperature was all over the place.
This contraption was set up at the end of a bed to feed an antiseptic solution into a wounded leg. It would have been painful and extremely restrictive for the patient to have been treated with this, but as it was the only way to keep the wound free from infection there was no choice about having it done. Horrible.
This contraption was set up at the end of a bed to feed an antiseptic solution into a wounded leg. It would have been painful and extremely restrictive for the patient to have been treated with this, but as it was the only way to keep the wound free from infection there was no choice about having it done. Horrible.
Another view of the operating room. You can see the doorway to the next room in the background, and the small tray of sterilised instruments to the assistant's side.
Another view of the operating room. You can see the doorway to the next room in the background, and the small tray of sterilised instruments to the assistant’s side.
A typical supply cupboard on the ward. There were two of these in the museum with medical supplies in - you can see bandages, cups, linament and bottles for the male patients to urinate into. The other one had blankets and linen in it.
A typical supply cupboard on the ward. There were two of these in the museum with medical supplies in – you can see bandages, cups, linament and bedpans etc The other one had blankets and linen in it.

 

I found the visit really useful for my studies, and it brought it a lot closer to home, making me realise that this was literally only a hundred years ago. The set-up at Dunham Massey and the Stamford Military Hospital was typical of what would have been replicated in stately homes all over the country for young men recouperating and healing after horrific injuries in the war. I hadn’t realised that military hospitals like these were for a very select few – the ones who had a chance at being healed and cured, and who could withstand the 3 or 4 day journey from the front-line. Those who were considered too far injured weren’t even given the chance to get back home to hospitals such as these.

What amazed/surprised/astounded/disgusted me was that in many cases, once they were patched up here they were sent back to the front line to fight again.

The museum and the house were fascinating and I would heartily recommend you go and see for yourself if you can. The display is on til November I think, but if you’re studying A218 with the OU as I am, then try and go and see it before June 3rd. It is helpful revision!!

 

 

Daybook Entry – Easter Day 2014


021114_2314_DaybookEntr1.jpgFOR TODAY
Outside my window… my pea plants have been blown over in the hurricane blowing across Manchester at the minute. It is also rather chilly.

I am thinking… about going to bed soon. It has been really busy recently with the build up to Easter and I’m feeling emotionally and physically drained. Happy, but drained.

I am thankful… that my roast beef turned out perfectly today. We can’t usually afford the luxury of a joint of meat for Sunday lunch but as today is a special day we splurged on a joint of beef. I was a bit nervous of cooking it and ruining it but I am so thankful it turned out well. Phew!

In the kitchen… we had roast beef, roast potatoes, carrots, cabbage and broccoli for dinner and I made the gravy from the meat juices myself. It was deeeeeeee-lish!

I am wearing… blue t-shirt, beige kecks. (“Kecks” = Mancunian for “trousers” or “pants”. Non-Mancunian pants are “knickers”, so I hesitated to say beige pants because I don’t want to discuss my underwear in public and as my legs are covered by loose trouser-things that aren’t actually trousers I tried to clear up any misunderstanding by this horrifically long and complicated explanatory sentence.)

I am creating… I have finished my shawl and am in between craft projects at the moment. Looking forward to planning my next now.

shawl 3 shawl 2 shawl 1

I am going… out for the day tomorrow with my husband and my son. We are planning on going to Dunham Massey, which is a National Trust property set in a deer-park close to us. During WWI it was used as a military hospital and to commemorate the centenary it has opened as a museum for now. It fits in with my OU studies and will be a nice change of routine for us.

I am wondering… what the weather will be like tomorrow. Will it be shorts and t-shirt weather, or should we plan on wearing thick jumpers and waterproofs??

I am reading… “Backlash” by Lynda la Plante.

I am hoping… I can catch up with my studies this week. Yes, as ever, I am behind with the schedule! This time in my defence, I have had my hands full with spiritual things leading up to Easter and the history of medicine has had to take a bit of a back seat.

I am praying for… my family; my church family; a friend who is suffering with some mental health issues; a friend who needs some direction and stability at the moment; Holly and Lilly who were baptised today during our Easter morning service.

I am looking forward to… our day out tomorrow.

I am learning… more about how to look after terrapins. We have “inherited” Terry the Terrapin from Emma who doesn’t have room for him in her new flat.

Around the house… is the remains of a comfortable family Sunday.

I am pondering… what clothes to take with me next Monday…but I can’t tell you what for yet but after next Tuesday I can tell you where I have been filming!

A favourite quote for today: “He is risen!!!”

One of my favourite things… is praying with people during Communion.

A few plans for the rest of the week: day out tomorrow, hospital appointment Wednesday, Ethan’s Pathway interview at school on Thursday, band on  Friday.

A peek into my day…

DSC_3937
Close up of the altar in St Paul’s Blackley this Easter morning
easter 2
The cross now covered with a “death shroud” demonstrating that now Easter has arrived, our sins are over. Done. Dealt with. Forgiven.
easter 1
The cross with purple ribbons representing Jesus bearing our sins.

 

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Good Friday Reflection


Today is Good Friday in the Christian calendar, the day that commemorates when Jesus Christ was crucified. 

We had a service in church this morning that looked at the last seven sentences that Jesus spoke during the time on the cross, and members were asked if they wanted to provide a reflection on them. I wanted to speak and I was given the sentence “Woman, behold your son; son, behold your mother”. It was the third sentence Jesus spoke, and he said it to John his favourite disciple and Mary his mother.

The video at the end was also used during the service and formed the basis for our reflections.  The text below is my reflection on that piece of scripture. I have written it as it was intended to be spoken, and the pauses are written into the text.  God bless you.

Behold your son: behold your mother

If you have children you’ll know that feeling…when they are learning to walk and they bump into things…when they fall over and skin their knees or split their lip…when you see them leaning over the bannisters at the top of the stairs and your heart disappears into your stomach as you reach out to try to stop them hurting themselves.

Later on, when they are beginning to find their own way in the world and you stand by watching them mess up friendships…make mistakes at school…get frustrated because they don’t understand some bit of homework or something and you reach out to try and rescue them from the pain of their misunderstanding.

Each time they are ill and your sleep is disturbed with endless trips to the bathroom either to rub their back or to clean up after them… or to change their bedding after little accidents.

As teenagers, struggling with the hormone soup raging through them…wishing desperately that you could take some of that angst from them and getting upset because *they* are upset.

You feel proud of their mini triumphs and successes, and as you see them grow, you are happy that they are beating their own path, wondering at where that special wisdom they have all of their own came from.

You can imagine how Mary felt at the foot of the cross that day… proud of her son because he is fulfilling his destiny…yet…horrified at the torture he has already been through…living through every agonised breath with him, knowing that she couldn’t take him in her arms and comfort him as she would have done when he was a child…knowing that there was only one outcome here.

Behold your son.

The agony of your heart is up there…nailed to a cross…laid bare…his flesh is your flesh…he is dying…and you can do nothing but stand there with him.

And yet… in the middle of this agony…your son speaks. His concern is for you.

He knows that after today, without him, your life is over too…no one to look after you, no one to take you in, no one to feed you or clothe you, no one to provide shelter for you, no one to care what happens to you. And he speaks…

Behold your son: Behold your mother.

Words spoken to John, his closest friend…and to Mary his mother.

He is handing over the status of “son” to John, effectively pairing Mary together with him as mother and son so they will both have a future.

A chance at living life.

A chance for Mary…avoiding certain destitution…a chance for John too, to experience the privilege of being known as Mary’s son. Urging them to adopt each other.

Just as God adopts us into his family, Jesus asks John and Mary to adopt each other for the same reason.

In the throes of his own death, Jesus puts the needs of the two people who he loves most before his own pain and suffering.

As a parent, it is the most natural thing in the world to put yourself between pain and your child.

But for Jesus, with a habit of turning things on their head, the most natural thing for him to do is to put himself between pain and his mother.

 

 

 

Maundy Thursday


maundy thursdayToday is Maundy Thursday in the Christian calendar. It is the day before Good Friday and commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his Apostles. The Last Supper is an important event for Christians because it is where Jesus demonstrated his love for his disciples and his status as “servant king” by washing their feet before they ate their meal. Jesus issued his new commandment to them: “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another as I have loved you”.

The term “Maundy” comes from the that phrase in Latin (Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos) – “mandatum” meaning “commandment”.

The Last Supper is the event where Jesus revealed God’s new promise, that by his death and resurrection, sin was washed clean and death was not the end of life. He broke bread, representing the breaking of his body, and shared wine with them which represented the spilling of his blood on the cross. It was part of the Passover feast which is a Jewish tradition where a sacrificial lamb was eaten in thanks to God for him sparing them, setting them free from Egyptian slavery some 3,300 years earlier. Christians recognise Jesus as “the lamb of God”, the one who was sacrificed so that everyone else might live.

There are several traditions around Maundy Thursday, particularly in Europe. Among them, here in England, the Queen distributes “Maundy Money” to selected people in England, a tradition that dates back over 1600 years. Before the tradition died out about 400 years ago (possibly because the risk of catching a fatal disease from them proved too great for the King), the monarch would wash the feet of the recipients of Maundy Money too. Nowadays, that particular practice is carried out by some Catholic priests as part of saying mass, and it is symbolically done in churches all over the world by others.

Other Christians refer to Maundy Thursday as “Holy Thursday”. I know it is a Holy day, but I do like the history and quirkiness attached to “Maundy Thursday”. I think some antiquarian terms are worth hanging on to, especially when we understand where they come from.

What about you? Do you call today “Maundy Thursday”, or “Holy Thursday”?

Do you know anyone who has received Maundy Money from the Queen? Do they like to talk about it? Can you stop them talking about it??

Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.

 

Book Review – Lady of Hay


lady of hayTitle: Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Background/plot:

The hard-hitting, tough journalist girl-about-town Jo Clifford is doing some research for a series of articles for a women’s magazine into regression and past lives, and finds that she is a very good hypnotic candidate herself. Whilst hypnotised she experiences a sequence of events that indicate she is tapping into/has slipped into the memories of Matilda, the Lady of Hay in the title of the book. As the story unfolds, Jo gets drawn into Matilda’s story more and more, and the line between the present and the past get more and more blurred.

Who are the main characters?

In the modern day, the central characters are Jo Clifford, Nick and Sam Franklyn and various hangers on. The historical characters were mainly Matilda and William de Braose, Richard de Clare and Prince (later King) John.

Where is it set?

The main locations are London and various castles in Wales.

My overall impression?

I first read this when I was about 17 or 18 at college in the 1980’s and the idea of past-life regression has fascinated me ever since, as had this particular book. The edition I read had a bonus short story as an extended epilogue, bringing the story right up to date which is why I picked it up again, and I was looking forward to reading it again. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed this time round.

First of all – the character Jo. She is billed as this tough, go-getter who takes no messing from other people. We are led to believe she is strong and independent, and yet throughout this book she is pushed around by everyone she meets. She is totally incapable of functioning without either a cup of coffee or a bottle of Scotch on the go and she comes across as so weak it’s as if the blurb on the book is talking about a different character.

Secondly – the book is overlong by about 30%. It was far too repetitive and could easily have been wrapped up without the long winded middle bit. I did enjoy the new addition at the end…but that again was a bit long and could have done with a bit of a trim.

Thirdly – there were far too many characters to keep track of. I get annoyed when characters share similar names (I kind of skim through names as I’m reading so if there are two characters with the same initial I get slowed down differentiating them) and this book had “Jo” and “Judy” to contend with. Also, until about half way through I kept getting the characters Nick and Sam confused in my head. They were badly drawn to begin with and I ended up not caring which was which. And that’s before we get to the 12th Century characters…

On a positive note, I did enjoy the “historical” story of Matilda and William and I did care about what happened to them, and I did like the way that the two stories were interwoven in the book. Barbara Erskine cannot be faulted for her historical research into the stories of the 12th Century figures and her knowledge of historic households and relationships.

Will I read the next in the series?

This was the original “past meets present” book from Barbara Erskine and I have read several of hers since then. Each one is different, but kind of the same if that makes sense? This one is the only one I’ve read where the present goes back to the past (Jo regresses to the 12th Century) and the others are all where the past comes to the present. They have all book good reads and no doubt I will read another in the future.

Would I recommend it to my friends?

Hmmm… I wouldn’t give it a thumping big endorsement, but neither would I steer people away from it neither.

It would appeal to anyone who is interested in historical fiction, and to anyone who is interested to read about hypnotism. I would warn you that there is absolutely no scientific proof that hypnotic regression actually exists, so this book is pure fiction in that respect.

 

 

The Three Sieves


3 sievesEmily came rushing into her grandma’s house. “Gran, Gran, there’s something I’m dying to tell you…”

“Wait a moment,” her grandma broke in with a wise smile. “Whatever it is you want to tell me, have you shaken it through the three sieves?”

“Three sieves?” Emily asked, puzzled.

“Yes, my love. Three sieves!” Let’s see whether your story will go through the three sieves. The first sieve is the truth. Have you thought about whether what you are going to tell me is true?”

“Well,” hesitated Emily. “I heard it from someone else, so I’m not absolutely sure…”

“Right,” said Gran. “That was an honest answer. So let’s try it through the second sieve. This is the sieve of goodness. Since what you are going to tell me is not necessarily true, then is it at least something good?”

Emily lowered her eyes. “Well, no,” she admitted. “Not really. In fact, quite the opposite.”

“Well,” the wise grandma continued, “Let’s use the third sieve and see whether what you are going to tell me, even if neither true nor good, is at least necessary.”

“Well, not exactly necessary…” Emily sank into a thoughtful silence.

“So,” Gran said, giving Emily an understanding hug, “since what you were going to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor necessary, I suggest that we bury it deep in the ground of forgetfulness, where it won’t cause any heartache to anyone ever again.”

 

Source Unknown

 

 

Book Review – The Shack


The Shack book cover
The Shack – William Paul Young

Title: “The Shack” by William Paul Young

Background/plot:

The novel begins with Mack receiving a note in his mailbox from “Papa”, saying that he would like to meet with him that coming weekend at the shack. As Mack hasn’t seen his abusive father since he left home when he was 13, Mack is confused. It dawns on him that the invitation could be from God, whom his wife Nan refers to as “Papa”. With great trepidation and suspicion, Mack sets off for the shack without telling his family. Will this turn out to be a hoax? Is someone playing a trick on him? If it is true then why would God want to talk to him of all people?

My overall impression?

I thought this was going to either be a wishy washy evangelical attempt at a novel that would leave me cold and a little bit embarrassed, or it would be a thumping good read that would stretch me and make me think. I am glad to report it was the latter.

When Mack travels to the shack he has no idea what is going to meet him when he gets there, or how the weekend was going to play out and that was kind of how I felt about starting to read this book. I tried a couple of times to start it and (ironically enough) it was on my third attempt when I got hooked into it. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away because it really would spoil it for you if you decide to read it yourself, but I can tell you that it is a fantastically multi-layered story that gave me plenty of food for thought.

Mack does indeed meet God and over the course of the next few days they talk. And talk. And listen. And talk some more.

The content of their conversations are fascinating and they made me think a bit differently about the spiritual side of life and made me think a lot about relationships – how they are the glue that hold us together, how love never ever dies, and so much more. It made me think a lot about judgement, and forgiveness too in ways that hadn’t occurred to me before.

On the downside some of it was pretty far-fetched, even to a very openly spiritual person like myself. I didn’t like the personification of God in the way that was done here, although I can see why it was done that way. (As before, if I tell you how that is done then it will spoil the book if you read it yourself). I can also see how the book would challenge the established church, but by the same token who’s to say that they have all the answers anyway? 

Who are the main characters?

The central characters are Mack and of course God, and the story is told in the third person by Mack’s friend Willie. Mack’s wife and children also figure in the story, especially his daughter Missy.

Where is it set?

The American Northwest, specifically Multnomah Falls and Oregon. The countryside is described beautifully and it is somewhere I would love to go and visit myself someday.

Will I read the next in the series?

I’m not sure. I believe there is a book called “The Shack Revisited” but I think that everything that needed to be said was said in this one. I can’t imagine what else could be added with another book. Unless there is someone else who is working through some pain and grief in their lives in the same way Mack was but then, what would I learn new from the next one that hasn’t already been told in this one?

Would I recommend it to my friends?

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Christianity or who has questions about how others see how God works. It also works as a classic “whodunit” to a certain degree, although that part of the story doesn’t resolve fully. If you have any thoughts yourself about spirituality, or have questions about the holy trinity then this is one that would certainly give you something to go at.

 

 

 

 

 

Daybook Entry – 7th April


021114_2314_DaybookEntr1.jpg

FOR TODAY
Outside my window… it is a dark and stormy night out there. My newly planted pea plants are drowning in the deluge – I just hope they recover when the sun starts to shine again!

I am thinking… that I need to recover my mojo for blogging. There has been so much going on recently and I have been working hard at my studies that it has taken a bit of a back seat recently. To be honest I’ve missed the interaction with all my bloggy friends as much as anything. Hopefully now things have calmed down a bit at home and with essay writing I can dedicate a bit more time online. (Don’t worry, I’ve been absent on email and Facebook too!)

I am thankful… to see the end of my latest assignment for the OU. I don’t know why this one has been so much harder than the rest but I really had to grind out my 1500 words for today’s deadline. I think being so poorly last week set me back a bit, and I’ve had other responsibilities at church to deal with first so it has all been a bit of a juggling act. The topic was to present my opinion on what were the three biggest developments that had impact on patients in the 19th Century, which was fair enough. The trouble was that every time I tried to argue that something was good for patients I managed to end up arguing myself out of it and saying that it had more impact on the practitioners than the patients. ARGH! I’ll be happy with a bare pass for this one, I was just so glad to see the back of it.

In the kitchen… I made my spicy beefy tomatoey pasta for tea tonight. I’ve not been up to cooking much recently and it made a nice change.

I am wearing… typically for my daybook, I’m ready for bed in my t-shirt and sloppy joe bottoms.

I am creating… I am halfway through crocheting a summer shawl for myself. I have been promising myself that I would make something for myself for months and months now, and I have been doing a few minutes here and there when I’ve needed to clear my head in between everything else. It is made out of cotton and quite lacy so should be nice for cool evenings. I’ll share a picture with you when it’s ready.

I am going… to start getting my revision notes together soon. My OU exam is about 8 weeks away so I need to start pulling together the themes of the course and preparing for the final assignment and the exam. EEEEK!

I am wondering… about my future. Things have changed a bit recently and I am being drawn more and more into church life. I have also been put on the preaching rota for next month which is a tiny bit daunting and a heck of a lot exciting. I wonder if the experience will show me that I am on the right path or if I need to change direction.

I am reading… “The Lady of Hay” by Barbara Erskine. I first read this book when I was at college back in about 1987 and just fancied reading something a bit familiar again. Feeling a bit mard I guess.

I am hoping… that the pain in my chest and the swelling on my stomach goes down soon. It’s getting really uncomfortable now and if it doesn’t go down of its own accord I will need medical help to shift it. Come one tummy you can do it!!

I am praying for… my daughter Emma who is away with the Navy at the moment. I spoke to her today which was lovely but she has been a bit ill whilst sailing the past few days and has only managed to eat properly for the first time today since Friday. I am also continuing to pray for my friend Rita who is about to take her third round of chemotherapy.

I am looking forward to… hitting the books again tomorrow. It’s always nice to start a new chapter and tomorrow I will be looking at the development of the germ theory.

I am learning… lots about the history of medicine! I am also learning a lot about the thing inside me that connects to those things outside of me in a spiritual way. And it is an exciting journey.

Around the house… I have had a house full of spring flowers this past week – daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and several potted mini-daffs that Emma brought for me for Mothering Sunday last week. The house has smelled divine.

I am pondering… what to preach about when it’s my turn next month. I don’t know what is expected of me yet so it could be on a reading of the day, or it could be some sort of personal testimony. Hmmm not sure but no doubt the solution will reveal itself shortly.

A favourite quote for today: “Whenever you feel sad just remember that somewhere in the world there is an idiot pulling a door that says PUSH”

One of my favourite things… is finishing assignments.

A few plans for the rest of the week: back to studying tomorrow, Lent group Wednesday night, band Friday. It’s a bit quiet this week hurrah!

A peek into my day…

fireplace
Hyacinths and tulips on my fireplace
mantlepiece
My favourite – daffodils on the mantlepiece

 

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A random collection of thoughts, musings, rants, lists, descriptions and arguments about an eclectic mix of subjects

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