Lent challenge

Lent Challenge – “Sacrifice”


This picture speaks for itself, but whether you are a parent or a partner, a Christian or person of other faith, this is what sacrifice looks like.

The giving up of your own wellbeing for the sake of others is what we do, and during Lent especially, it’s what Christians think about when we think about the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.

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Lent challenge

Lent Challenge – “Love”


There are so many ways to express what love is, aren’t there? For me, love is not just something that we say or that we show in gestures and is something much deeper than that.

Today’s photograph shows some daffodils made by some of the children at my church’s Monday morning toddler group last week. Daffodils are my favourite flower anyway, but these little beauties just made my heart melt because they were made with love by little hands of children who I love dearly.

 

What I love about these little flowers is their cheerful yellow colour and the fact that their little trumpets are looking towards the sun. I learned from one of our mums that in Poland, daffodils are called “sun-heads” which is a beautiful way to describe them.

The thing that I love most of all about daffodils is that they are a signal that Spring is definitely here, a season of renewal and rebirth, a time of clean air and fresh breezes, of seeds and bulbs pushing their way out of the sleepy earth and of buds growing and bursting forth with new life.

There is only a short window where daffodils are out, and I love them all the more for that. It reminds me to make the most of today, and to enjoy the beauty in God’s creation right now. My children and my husband know that if they want to show me they love me in flowers, I appreciate a bunch of daffodils more than any extravagant bouquet of flowers. I think I would love it even more if they were to make me one of these paper ones!

 

Lent challenge

Lent Challenge – “Family”


Now then, there are so many ways to describe “family” aren’t there?! My church family, my band family, my friends family, my family’s friends family… but I thought you would like to see my actual family.

This is my crazy crew family pictured 9 years ago at the start of our Coast to Coast challenge. We cycled from Morecambe to Scarbrough, camping overnight (on a farm and then on a racecourse) and we raised a lot of money for the Parkinson’s Disease charity (now named Parkinson’s UK).

We do things like that. Camping in random places, doing daft things like cycling up mountains, carrying a bag of stones from one side of the country to the other… that’s just the way we roll!

I couldn’t do anything without my family, whether it’s my blood family or my church or band family. Whatever I am today it’s because I am surrounded by these people and upheld in the hand of God.

Lent challenge

Lent Challenge – “Hospitality”


Here’s my take on today’s #LentChallenge prompt of “Hospitality”.

We were treated to a carvery tea tonight by my lovely littlest brother and his equally lovely other half to celebrate a couple of recent family birthdays. It was nice to sit and eat together as a family and to catch up on what’s happening in each other’s lives at the minute. The place we ate at was very hospitable, with plenty of good food and happy smiling waiters. The photo above shows the meat counter where we got loaded up with our slices of meat and our ginormous Yorkshire puddings before we moved onto the vegetables and the rather excellent roast potatoes.

My take on “hospitality” is the sharing that we enjoyed tonight. The sharing of company, the sharing of food, the sharing of stories, the sharing of laughter and the sharing of the cost. Thank you little bro, you’re a star.

Daybook

Daybook Entry 28th January 2018


For Today 28th January 2018

Looking out my window… one could almost imagine Spring is round the corner. Having said that, the weather forecast is said to go down to -9oC again this week. Brrr….

I am thinking… that the throat infection and flu I had over Christmas didn’t fully go away. I have had a pretty rough night last night and day today with swollen glands, fever, sore throat, aches and pains – oh my word the pains! I have just about had my morning shower (and it’s nearly bedtime now).

I am thankful… for the simple medication of paracetamol and the wonders it does.

One of my favourite things… is seeing the Spring flowers poking their heads up.

I am creating… a film script exploring different angles of “loss”.

I am wearing… my favourite rainbow crocheted blanket round my legs. For comfort more than warmth.

I am reading … “A Game of Thrones” by George R R Martin. Yes, I know. I am one of the 0.1% of the population who has either never seen the show nor read the book!

I am praying… for healing in a world of brokenness.

I am learning… that “showing” and “telling” work differently in real life than they do when writing drama and prose.

In my kitchen… Kevin made our dinner tonight, a lovely chicken “stewp”. It was halfway between a soup and a stew and absolutely delicious.

Post Script… It is four weeks now until the annual brass band “Area” contests take place, and we are well into rehearsals preparing for our performance at Pemberton Band. The “Areas” are qualifying competitions that are held each year in different areas of the country, and the winners of each section go through to a national final held later in the year. The Pemberton Band organisation is in the North West of England, so we compete in the North West Area contest, held in Blackpool. Ours is the first one this year, and the Yorkshire Area is held the week afterwards, with others around the country over the following weeks.

The bands who compete are graded according to their ability, with the best bands competing in the Championship Section, down to the Fourth Section (a bit like the Premier League down to the Second Division in football). Each section has a designated piece of music to perform on the day – the same pieces across the country – which are more and more difficult the higher up the sections they are played in. So, the Fourth Section piece is usually quite straightforward and tests bands on their attention to the “basics” of individual and ensemble playing rather than technical skill and as the sections go higher, the pieces get more technically difficult.  We are lucky at Pemberton that we have two competing bands – the “A” band (mine, which competes in the Championship section) and the “B” band in the section below, as well as a youth band and a training band.

The pieces are chosen by a panel during the summer and are announced at the finals in September  so that all competing bands have the same amount of time to prepare them.  There is always contention about the selected pieces being either “too difficult”, “too easy”, “not a test of skill”, “no music” in them and so on, and some pieces suit some bands more than others depending on the strengths or weaknesses as individual players and as an ensemble. The piece we are rehearsing at Pemberton is called “Odyssey” and it is technically quite a challenge to me as a player even with all the years of my experience. I’ll let you know how we get on.

A moment from my day…

 

Meet Terry, the terrapin. He’s our adopted pet. I wasn’t too keen on him to begin with, especially when we were told that he would outlive us, but when you look at the exquisite detail on his skin and on his shell, how can you not love him? I could tell you about his little “moods” – which is something to behold, him being a reptile and all. But I can read him like a book and I know when he’s hungry, when he’s playful and when he’s bored. He lives in water but we get him out of the tank every now and again to dry him off completely and to allow him room to roam round the house. He is great in the garden when it’s sunny and quite often brings himself back in and heads for his tank on his own. He loves prawns. And carrots (don’t ask how we found that out…)

Closing thoughts… I am so fed up of feeling ill now – I wish this flu bug would just GO AWAY!!!

 

 

 

General/Journal

A Friday View


It’s been another mixed day today so I thought I’d share a few photos with you.

First, my daughter’s car. It’s a lovely little car, almost a year old now, and perfect for her to run around in to work and the gym and so on. I quite like it myself to be honest, especially all the automated features like windscreen wipers that come on on their own when rain is detected. Or the medianav device that connects to my phone so I can listen to my own music without trailing wires all over the place.

One thing it is NOT good art its opening the bonnet to replace the screen wash. Exhibit A…. my dad helping me work the stupid bonnet out and filling the stupid water bottle.

Next, this headline in the newspaper today: Music is good for dementia, which is great news for most of the people I know because we enjoy so much music we have got a huge pool to choose from in later years in case we need it to keep our little grey cells working.

Now, like every good story arc, there has to be an element of tragedy, or disaster, or downright nastiness. My next picture shows a group of youngsters attacking not one, but TWO buses near home this evening.

These kids were goading the drivers and trying to damage the vehicles. The drivers had it well in hand, but even so, it saddens me to think that this is what passes for entertainment for kids like this.

And finally, the best bit of the day, my other band room – Todmorden Community Brass Band. This its the band I conduct on a Friday and where my poor husband gets a load of stick from me as he sits on the top chair as Principal Cornet.


We are currently in our post Christmas spell and we are looking at potential pieces to play in our forthcoming anniversary concert so and over the summer for our outdoor gigs in and around the local area.

So that’s a little peek at my Friday this week. I also did some studying and some work for church but I didn’t take photos of that. I could perhaps share with you a little something I watched as part of my studies if you like?

Go on then. Here’s a bit of Laurel and Hardy from 1928. I hope you enjoy it.

Blogging, Daybook

Daybook Entry – 9th January 2018


For Today 9th January 2018

Looking out my window… I can see the frost on the ground that has still not disappeared from this morning.

I am thinking…that sometimes, it’s the small things that affect us more than the big ones. For example, the papercut on my finger is distracting me beyond measure, yet the sore throat that I thought I had got rid of with antibiotics is now about half-way developed again and until I try to speak or swallow, it is not bothering me at all. And still, that papercut is making me feel utterly miserable.

I am thankful… for the easy access we have to medicine in our world. I know there are places on earth that don’t have ready access to even the basic medical care, so for those people, the throat infection I have had might have proved to bring a totally different outcome than the one I had.

One of my favourite things… is hitting on a great story idea and starting to plan out the characters and plot points to tell it properly. One of my least favourite is editing it once it has been written. Feels so much like destruction for a while, and then it gets creative again, but that initial destruction of an idea is one of my least favourite parts to writing.

I am creating… I made myself a long, chunky scarf a couple of weeks ago and I am trying to create a hat to match it. I am on for my fourth attempt so far (completed and undone to save yarn) and I am still not happy with it. The colours are great, but I just can’t get the right shape of hat. It’ll come!

I am wearing… warm clothes today. It’s not that cold outside, but as I’m still under the weather a little, I am feeling chilly in my bones.

I am reading … “Origin” by Dan Brown. I started it last week but I haven’t really been in the mood for reading since, and I am still only about three-quarters of the way through it. I will do a proper book review when I’ve finished it.

I am praying… for a tiny baby born too small for his gestational age and who is facing some complex health issues; for an old friend who has to face a serious operation in the next few days.

I am learning… to take care of my health. Not easy because I don’t like to say “no” to things, and because I have a tendency to push through things just so I can keep going. I have learned particularly over Christmas that that is not always possible – or advisable.

In my kitchen… we are “budget cooking” at the moment, and the challenge is on to find nutritious and filling yet inexpensive meals for the family. We are eating a lot of inexpensive protein, such as grains and pulses, which turns out to be a bit healthier too. Win win!

Post Script… You may already have a prayer pattern which you use daily, but if you haven’t or are perhaps looking for something different, why not give this a go? It is the Examen prayer as defined by St Ignatius of Loyola and is something I have used quite a bit and I find it useful when prayer is difficult.

St Ignatius of Loyola

Shared Quote… “The beginning is always today.” Mary Shelley

A moment from my day… Just your average Grandma playing about with your daughter’s Navy uniform…

Closing Notes… I am struck again by the valuable contact that I have through the people who come and read my blog. Thank you all for making yourselves known to me and for our conversation and debate we strike up online. Social media has such a bad reputation, but when I make contact with friends through my blog I am minded that we shouldn’t just take a reputation blindly, and be thankful for those times we buck the trend.

 

 

I like to do the Daybook entry now and again, and it is hosted by Peggy at http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com. Please hop along and have a go yourself if you’d like to link up with her.