Sunday, 23 September 2012

Lines


I haven’t been here for a few days, because I’ve been writing writing writing.

I had to finish off this book, which will be published next March.



It’s a book that a person could work with on their own at home, just for their own forays into the Bible, their thinking and questioning; but mostly it’s written for small groups.

I’ve led a variety of small groups from time to time, and always wished a book like this had been available, so I thought it was time to write one.  In leading a group (I don’t even much care for the term ‘leading’ really) I’ve never felt inclined to be too directive.  I always felt the group should be a place for the insights and wisdom of its members, and for the comfort and encouragement of sharing and affirming.  And for praying and singing and ministry and drinking coffee and laughter and friendship.

The Bible study materials I managed to find always had too much in.  What I wanted was a theme, a Bible passage, a short commentary on the theme to get us thinking, and some searching, open questions to help start the discussion.  And nothing else.  No complicated timed exercises or directives starting with “Now get the group to . . .” and interrupted by “call a halt to this after five minutes.”    There were always instructions like “Each person in the pair should report back to the full group on their partner’s story”; and this never worked because either the pair had spent ages listening to one story and run out of time for the second or else they didn’t want to tell the other person’s story – they wanted to tell their own.

Oh, I have been a hopeless study group leader.  But we drank a lot of coffee and had a lot of fun, and now I’ve written my own book.  You can’t ‘Look Inside’ on Amazon yet because I’ve only just sent in the manuscript.  But if you lead a study group and think the book looks interesting, and you’d like to test-drive a sample, let me know and I’ll send you a few to have a go with – and then you can let me know how it went.  There are sections on Bible characters, the life and ministry of Jesus, the dominant themes of each of the four Gospels, the Christian character, the liturgical year, and insights from the Law and the Prophets.  The main approach is not on filling our heads with data or telling us what to think, but encouraging us to find links between our own lives and the stories of the Bible – discovering that this Book has our story in it.

So, look out for it next spring – I’ll remind you nearer the time – and I hope you enjoy it.  And I’ve just rushed panting from finishing that to starting on a Lent book of Bible studies / devotions, which I have to have well underway this autumn.

But that was just explaining where I’ve been – what I really wanted to say was something else, about lines.

You would think, from perusing media articles on ageing, that the really Big Deal about growing old is getting wrinkles. 

When I was a young teenager, helping my mother take Meals-on-Wheels to frail elderly people in our village, we used to take a meal to Mrs Alsford.  She was old and fat with rheumatism and wild white hair stained tobacco yellow all round the front from smoking.  She was deaf from bomb blasts during the war; a Cockney who had somehow ended up in a small estate of bungalows for old people in our little corner of rural Hertfordshire.  And Mrs Alsford used to say to my mother, and her voice was sad, “Don’t grow old, duck – don’t grow old.”

I don’t think it was the lines on her face she had in mind.

I’ve nursed a woman with cancer erupting from so many places on her abdomen it was hard to find a patch of skin to stick the dressings, a woman with necrotic pressure sores infected by perpetually oozing diahorrea who screamed every time we entered the room (yes, don’t ask, I’ve worked in some grim places), a man gone deaf and blind with gangrene starting in his toes who sat motionless all day in his chair, a woman who sat crying pitifully for her mummy, and another one who occupied the small hours of the night smearing shit around the walls and the carpet and putting her coat on over her nightie and under her dress before escaping from her room to ride up and down in the elevator.   Wrinkles are not the worst thing that can happen to a person. 

I see many lines in my face reflected in the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning.  But they are lines of poetry – Leonard Cohen meets Emily Dickinson meets Sylvia Plath or something.  Life has been writing poetry on my face, and when I read it I am surprised by its kaleidoscopic observations.

The lines life has written on my face sound something like this


and it scares and haunts and delights me.

How strange life is.  I never would have believed.  But I tell you what – with all that I have seen and gone through, and even with all that may lie ahead – I am glad I got to come here and be part of this.  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.


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365 366 Day 267 – Sunday September 23rd



Er . . . right . . . I think this is a pillowcase.


365 366 Day 266 – Saturday September 22nd



Oh, this was a jolly nice long tunic-y t-shirt-y kind of think in a really pretty colour.  I got it dirt cheap on eBay and it fitted just right.  Only problem was, it didn’t suit me.


365 366 Day 265 – Friday September 21st



Aaagh!  A nylon slip!  Must have been a desperation purchase – you know how it is when your skirts crawl determinedly up your legs when you walk fast?


365 366 Day 264 – Thursday September 20th



Some books, obviously.


365 366 Day 263 – Wednesday September 19th



Oh dear – this was a back-scrubbing brush for the shower the Badger and I bought during our very happy holiday in Penzance visiting his unusual and interesting family.  It looked just like the Really Good one we have at home, but first use disclosed it to be in fact a Really Useless one, more of a back-stroking brush.  We put it on the fire.


365 366 Day 262 – Tuesday September 18th



This is a man’s perfume that I bought anyway because it smells lovely.  My perspicacious mama said if it’s a man’s perfume why don’t you give it to the Badger, you can still smell it then.  So I did.


365 366 Day 261 – Monday September 17th



Stuff for polishing brass.  But I don’t.  If I need to polish up my brass candlestick I sit out on the back step and scrub it with sand from the Wretched Wretch’s sandpit.  So this went to our Hebe who uses Brasso in the process of painting coffin plates.


365 366 Day 260 – Sunday September 16th



“What Does the Bible Really Teach?”  Came from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Certain difference of opinion here.  But I like how they call Jesus “the Faithful Witness”.  I think that’s beautiful.  They get that from the Bible too.  We do have some things in common.


365 366 Day 259 – Saturday September 15th



Sample pots of paint.


365 366 Day 258 – Friday September 14th



Yet another table lamp.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Some earth


Not a lot to say really except my last post seemed a bit miserable so I thought I’d throw some earth over it and move on.  Here follows the earth.

First, I wanted to show you this wonderful bench my Badger made when he had a few days holiday from his work.  



It is one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture we have.  He was working with scrap wood lying around here, and the constraints of what he had available meant it turned out an inch or two shorter (height not length) than he would ideally have liked.  Happily, this makes it perfect for me, as dining chairs/benches are invariably an inch or two taller than I can sit on comfortably, so that I either have to sit sideways with my feet up, go and eat somewhere else – or just put up with it!
So now, lucky people, you have Seen the Perfect Bench.

I wondered how I would get along with just candlelight in my Tiny Room once the days grew shorter, and now I have found out.  The answer is that I can’t.  I like to read in the evening, and because I work on the computer so much, it’s hard for my eyes to acclimatise to reading by candlelight (especially after working on a backlit screen all day).  Also, when I am working on a book – which is mostly – I often need to work into the evening; especially when, as now, my editor has begun making wistful noises about how helpful it would be if he could have the MS before the deadline!  So I have imported an electric lamp into my room for reading and working.  I know it uses the resources of Mother Earth, and I know if I lived off-grid I’d have to make do without one – but there it is.

However, the upshot of this is that I TEMPORARILY have a bedside table made from a cardboard box with a book as a tabletop - an arrangement I think you will agree is simply shocking in a civilised world in which I have the blessed fortune to be married to a man who makes such beautiful furniture.


And I also wanted to share with you something that I observed a few weeks ago.  My hair is slowly growing back, and Jesus and I are patiently waiting and watching it grow (Jesus is the only one interested in the length of my hair apart from me, and He only cares because I do).  While sorting some photos a while ago, I came across this one of me with my hair long.



I think, as I grow older, I am getting to look like John Rocha.  



I am quite excited about this because I like John Rocha’s face a lot.  I like the clothes he designs, but I like his face even better.  The only thing is he is smilier than I am, and his smile is very beautiful.  I must practice smiling.

[The photo of John Rocha is the one from the Wikipedia article about him.  I cannot see any copyright information about it, and having read their page on copyright carefully I have concluded that it must be okay to reproduce it here.  If it is not, please will someone let me know and I will just link to it.  I wanted to put the photos side by side so you could see what I mean.]

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365 366 Day 257 – Thursday September 13th
Ooh.  Tomorrow is the Badger’s birthday!



Well this is a mere tin. Very small.  I thought it worth the stature of photodom because small tins are exactly the kind of thing I am inclined to hang on to and reluctant to throw away.  So sweet.  So useful.  AWAY with your sweetness and usefulness, Little Tin!  Off to the recycling with you! Into the Crusher! Oh!  Gasp!     :0\       Goodbye Little Tin . . .


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Child



In the town yesterday, by the bank, I watched a man and his little boy.  The child was maybe three – still on reins but looking a bit old for that.  You would have had to keep me on reins too, to make me stay with that man.   Tall and meaty, glum, tattooed, buzz-cut hair, surly.  The child cried persistently.  Every now and then the man said to him “Shut up,” in a dispassionate, uninvolved kind of way.  Through his tears the child was trying to tell him something, ask about something, protest about something.  The only reply he got from his father was “Shut up.”

After a while, his voice full of weak despair, the child said twice, heart-felt: “Go away.”

What do you do?  How do you help?  Please don’t suggest to me I might strike up a chummy conversation with the man.  He wasn’t that kind of man, and I’m not that kind of woman.  Please don’t ask me how I know the man was the child’s father – what else would have induced him to spend five minutes of his precious time with a small child? 

There is no defence in me against this. 

I don’t go into the town very much, because there is so much evidence of similar family relationships, and it twists me up inside.  I do my shopping on the internet.

The Wretched Wretch is permanently on the go and requires constant attention.  I have never once heard his mother say to him “Shut up”.  When he cries she stops, goes to him, holds him, asks what the matter is.  If he has a tantrum she stops, talks it through with him, waits until he has command of himself and asks him to explain, then deals with the problem as he sees it.  I am a lot less patient.  Sometimes I will say, “Oh get a grip!” or “Give it a rest!” or some such unsympathetic thing.  But I cannot imagine the situation arising in our home where a child would be reduced to saying, in a voice emptied of everything but despair, “Go away”, to his parents.  I and our children’s father have character flaws by the handful, but we usually had time to listen, and we were on their side.

I tried to put this incident out of my mind, prayed the Ho’oponopono prayer all round town to soak the interface between my soul and that family with peace; but today it is still with me, and the child’s hopelessness and defeat is lodged in the pit of my stomach like a dark damp stain, bleeding into me.

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365 366 Day 256 – Wednesday September 12th
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)


About a million bits of assorted hardware, all Freecycled.


365 366 Day 255 – Tuesday September 11th  


 A bin.  And something that looks like the top of a lamp.  Plus whatever else was stashed inside.  What we could of these sort of bits and pieces (most of them) we Freecycled.  For the rest, our town dump had (no longer has - but the one at Mountfield has) a shop for re-usable items.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

About love


A few days ago, Gail posted in a comment:
“I've been thinking a lot about loving others lately and sometimes I find it doesn't come easily to me. I like most people but haven't quite got the love bit yet. Of course it's easy to love family and friends but the person I don't know; well it's difficult. Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and how you manage it.”

That really caught my attention, because as it happened we’d been sitting round talking about this very thing in our household just the day before.

I wish we had more than one word for “love” in English, because I think it isn’t helpful that we have this command from Jesus to “love one another”, as clearly nobody can be commanded to experience the deep and abiding visceral affection that “love” means to us.

So here is a digest of what we thought and said here – though now I can’t remember who said what; and then thoughts of my own.

It all started because someone mentioned a recent visit by the Wretched Wretch to our household, touching upon the habit he has developed of saying to us, quite often and quite sincerely, “I love you.”  This is not just a learned jingle for him, he really means it: “I love you, Mumble, very much,” he’ll say.

Talk moved around what he meant by it (The Wretched Wretch is three), and the consensus settled on the evaluation that he was describing a passing impulse of affection, a warm upwelling of positive emotion.  In a different mood he was given to saying “I hate you,” but discovered that didn’t go down too well with his mama.

So, “I love you” at three years old might mean “Here in this moment my soul opens to you, I feel a bond with you, I feel affection towards you”: one of the “warm and fuzzies” the Transactional Analysis people used to talk about. 

Before this emotion and its articulation can begin, other kinds of love – or other kinds of expression of love – have to happen.  His mother’s endless patience with him (this is not an especially easy child), her self-sacrifice in doing everything for him, being unfailingly kind and gentle with him, sitting up nights with him, always being there for him, giving up so much for him.  That’s love.  When he comes to our home, we don’t always feel like seeing him of course, but he is always, always welcome.  Toys and books are provided for him, and a sandpit and juice and cookies, space to play.  Sometimes – eg in a church home group – he has been somewhat inconvenient as a guest, not noticeably in sync with anything else going on; even so he was unquestionably included, always welcome.  That’s also love. 

So love as we commonly mean it sometimes has warm and fuzzy emotion attached to it, sometimes not.  His warm and fuzzy feelings towards us are rooted in the compost of the patient kindness of his mother and the welcome he receives with us.  Thus love doesn’t always feel warm and fuzzy but does produce warm and fuzzies at times.  Sometimes we look at him and think, “Awww – you’re so sweet”; and sometimes we don’t.

Then there’s adult to adult love.  The keyword here is “appropriate”.  Love is not love that feeds off another in neediness.  A mother might L O V E her son – insisting on endless attention, in competition with his wife, furious if he forgets her birthday.  Is that in fact love?  She thinks so, I don’t.  Without respect, without boundaries, without firebreaks, love goes rotten.

I love my (now adult) children.  I would do anything for them, but I don’t do everything for them, if you see what I mean.  “Appropriate”: that’s the word.

But there’s another thing that became the focus of our conversation here about love.  Our family . . . well  . . . we are not (any of us) the clingy type.

People think of love as outgoing, as attachment, as affection.  Love is portrayed and expressed in hugs and kisses, in touch and contact and time (lots and lots and lots of it) spent together, in gazing into each other’s eyes and doing things together, in saying “I love you” and multiple other endearments.

In our family a different rif is strumming.  Something like “Love me but leave me in peace”.  Yes, we love each other, and that is understood.  But we are all people who value – need – solitude; space to think and breathe and be.

In the near future Alice has to go to hospital to have her wisdom tooth surgically removed.  The Badger will take her and collect her.  Hebe will go with her, staying with her until she is safely home.  Here, we will all watch over her and get her everything she needs.  In that way, we will love her.  But I’d be surprised if any of us ever said to her “Alice I love you” in her entire life.

And in my marriage (and the one before and the one before that), sure, it’s a sacramental covenant relationship to be honoured until death.  Within that, the aim is to make home a sanctuary of welcome and peace, a refuge, a safe place to be.  But I don’t need a husband.  I’m glad I’m married, but if I leaned too heavily what will happen if he moves – falls ill, becomes disabled, dies?  Responsible love, in my view, stands on its own feet.  There are times when our relationship can be turbulent or when big spaces open up between us, but even then we are vowed until death do us part, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, as long as we both shall live.  That’s non-negotiable, for me - and for the Badger.  Tomorrow is our sixth wedding anniversary. We are not always warm and fuzzy, but we are in it for the long haul.  Even so, nothing lasts forever.  At the very least, one day one of us will die.  Too intertwined a soul life is not wise even if it is wonderful.  But maybe I say that because I have the kind of soul that does not entwine?  I look at people’s gushing about their husband – “my hero” etc – and think “Really?  OK.”  I am at a loss.  That is not my kind of love.  I am a cat that walks alone.  I do not readily or often feel love, as the Wretched Wretch does.  But I would give anything (appropriate) and do anything (appropriate) for the ones God has entrusted to me.

So then we come on to loving our neighbour.  “And who is my neighbour?” someone asked Jesus long ago.

Jesus went on to expand the concept of “neighbour” beyond what I have talked about here – those close to us, those we know, those who belong to us, part of our circle. 

In some ways, the less immediate the relationship, the harder to ascertain what is appropriate – what is, therefore, in an adult sense, “love”.

There are some countries far away which need huge support.  Decimated by famine, AIDS, war, unscrupulous government, the lives of ordinary people hang by a thread.  So I wonder, is it right to mop up the consequences of civil war with overseas aid?  Doesn’t that encourage the citizens of the country to export responsibility?  But then someone says the international politics are complicated.  That colonialisation and free trade rules favouring us and disadvantaging them underlie the causation of war.  That dispossession from multi-national conglomerates whose products we consume have impoverished the land, the people and caused the wars.  And I hesitate, confused.  Then I look at their dictators with their tanks and guns and limousines and palaces – and I ask myself if perhaps that country doesn’t need to get its priorities straight internally.  Is foreign aid only confusing the issue?  But then I discover that why we are so much richer than they are is because we manufacture and sell them the arms that their people have used against each other.  And I see the stick-thin limbs, the bloated bellies, the huge eyes full of despair, and all I know is these people need lots and lots and lots of what I have very little of to give.  In such circumstances, which one among so many that I cannot reach is my neighbour, and how can I possibly help her, when she is so very far away?  What is love, what is appropriate, in such a case?

In our actual household, we give according to our means as we think best.  I give just a little each month to MRDF, the Badger gives hundreds of pounds regularly and often to support a young African woman through university.  She calls him “Daddy”, and not without cause.  But their despair, which I share, is greater and more powerful than my love.  Their despair is a flood and my love but a drop in its ocean.  If my love for these people might be measured by the sorrow I feel when I see them (and then turn away) it might be something.

I think Jesus, in telling us to love our neighbour, was onto something.  He meant (I think) that if a person has in any sense entered our lives, to that extent they become, in a sense, our responsibility.  If they have showed up in our lives, we are family.  There’s some good stuff about this in the Ho’oponopono teaching. Um . . . let me look . . .

This explains it somewhat.

The Ho’oponopono approach is a prayer (expressive of a sincere inner intention):
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you
which is repeated (internally) over and over as a mantra to soak its good vibes into any situation exhibiting dysfunctionality or distress, to clean away the accretions of disharmony and bring all to peace.  One doesn’t have to feel any emotion in praying it, just send it forth with the true intention of one’s soul, trusting that it will find its application because on the plane of reality there is continuity, there are no divisions.  It’s jolly good and (to put it crudely) it works.  It proceeds on the understanding that we are all one, that there is no separation, so I can address within myself what I see in you, and that if something – anything, anyone – shows up in my life in any sense, I am empowered to take responsibility for it and address it.  That doesn’t mean everything is my fault – whose fault things are is immaterial, blame is just one more part of the problem.  But to heal things, you take responsibility for them – this is what Jesus does, in his work on the Cross.

My thought have got tangled and it’s lunchtime, so that’s enough for now.


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365 366 Day 252 – Saturday September 8th 
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)



 A couple of duster things.  But we have several others.  We aren’t that focused on dusting.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Sunshine bought us lunch

In 2000 I’d bought a tiny two-roomed apartment for £26,000.  This was in a rising market, and prices climbed steeply, taking a huge hike up at some point (I forget which year) About two or three years before the economy crashed, our Rosie was working for the Inland Revenue.   There came a point, about two to three years before the economy crashed, when Rosie said anyone wanting to buy a house would do well to hold off, because it was all going to crash.  She said it was bound to crash, because people were borrowing way too many times their income to sustain their mortgage repayments, and a whole lot of repossessions would be coming down the line in the next few years.  Then the economy crashed, leaving all our politicians wide-eyed and open-mouthed with innocent amazement.  Apparently nobody knew it was going to happen but our Rosie.

In 2006 I married the Badger and had gone to live in Aylesbury with him.  Hebe and Alice were living in the tiny apartment and very happy there, but I didn’t like the leasehold arrangement which put us at the mercy of property managers, never an ideal arrangement. I wondered what to do.

While we were living in Aylesbury, the Still Small Voice (which deals with practical matters not just the holy stuff) whispered in my heart; sell the apartment.  Now! Go go go!  So I did.  The inhabitants felt a little rushed, but gamely participated in presenting it beautifully.  With its huge windows flooding the rooms with light, remodelled kitchen all custom made in reclaimed wood with Victorian sink and taps, adorable pot garden and ceramics and stained-glass studio, it was a peach of a place, and sold very quickly at the asking price of £100,000.  This was good news for us, but needless to say such a climb in property prices over a period of five years was not matched by a climb in local wages.  The tiny apartment could certainly be considered a "starter home",  The much discussed housing crisis of present days probably has a lot to do with the inaccessibility of starter homes created during those five years, and will not be solved by the government's plan of building housing estates all over the green belt.  Anyway, we sold the tiny apartment in August.  The market crashed a month later. Phew!

Then the Still Small Voice said that for me, ministry and family were bound up together and I should go back to Hastings.  So we did.  We took a small loss on our Aylesbury home but, trading like for like, came out okay; and because Hastings housing is way cheaper than Aylesbury’s we had some money in the bank for necessary repairs on what we bought.  Over the next few months the family shifted around into our present households – the Wretched Wretch and his Ancestors becoming the owners (they bought it, but at just over half the – now falling – market price) of the small house that had replaced the tiny apartment.  Hebe and Alice and Fi and me and the Badger moved in to our present house, which was Very Dilapidated – think collapsing kitchen ceiling and a number of buckets catching the drips from the roof. 

My dear papa considerately went home to Glory, allowing us to complete the necessary refurbishments, one of which was the installation (the Badger’s suggestion) of solar panels on the roof – tubes to heat our water, photovoltaic cells for general electricity.

At the time, the English government had a serious commitment to Green thinking.  They had made an offer for electricity supplied by householders to the National Grid.  Those who signed up in the first year of the offer would receive 41p per unit, the amount offered decreasing annually, but the amount received subject to incremental annual increases for each person who’d signed up.  Under the mercy, our timing was such that we were in on the first year.

Then England decided that everything wrong with the economy must be the Prime Minister’s fault, and in the next general election voted in the Opposition.  The Prime Minister and Treasurer of the new government belonged to this club in their younger days, and that gives you a good sense of their values and priorities, and those of the families in which they were brought up. 

After a year or so in government their true colours are showing as the care of young children and disabled people is eroded, school playing fields are sold off, the wise, pragmatic Minister for Justice is replaced by a hard-liner, and moves to sell off our precious national green-belt land to make a quick buck are put in place.  One of the first things they did was scrap the energy deal on householders supplying solar power – but they had to reinstate it as howls of protest rose over the inevitable decimation of all the new solar energy business infrastructure that had grown up because of the deals.   So the deal was on again, but at a much reduced offer; though all the people who had signed up in that first year (and the second year too, maybe?) had their deal protected and their contract honoured.

What does this mean for us as a household?

It means that in April we turn off our boiler (US = furnace) and don’t use it again until October, and even then our water heating is substantially done by sunshine, the boiler only brings it up from warm to hot in the cold, short, overcast days of winter.

It means that we run our electrical appliances on sunshine.  Our bills are tiny (£44 a month for gas and electricity combined for a big old Victorian house with high ceilings and five people all living, cooking, washing, reading, running computers . . .).  As everyone else's bills have been going up, ours have been coming down, especially as we have a woodstove for space heating, and fill hot water bottles or pile on the woollies before heating the space.  

We have a “generation meter” measuring how much electricity we generate from our solar panels.  However much or little we actually uses, 50% is deemed to have been used by us and 50% exported.  We are as conservative as we can be in our use, because we want to supply as much clean energy as we can to the National Grid, because we love Mother Earth.  Once a quarter I send in a meter reading, and receive a cheque (yes, we spell it that way in England!) for however many units I we are deemed to have exported.

So it was that £500 landed in my current account yesterday, for the summer quarter.  At the time I had £61 in my current account and needed some new Really Good Bras (scroll down to Poem 2). 

And instead of being really careful with money because it was already Wednesday and we don't get the housekeeping money out until Friday, I went to Marks and Spencer (and see their food ethics here), and bought not only the bras but some delicious seasonal juices they had on offer, some of their heavenly dried fruit and some half-fat crème fraiche to go with it, some glorious half-baked ciabatta rolls, a tiny piece of Cornish Cruncher cheddar, and some Little Gem lettuce hearts.

Some people love the sun and some people complain about it, but yesterday the sunshine bought us lunch and two Really Good Bras, and I say that rocks!

P.S. Further good news - we just had our water bill in.  This summer I have bought 700 litres worth of rainwater storage, we have been really careful and mindful in our use of water, washing up in as little water as it is still clean to do, taking short showers not baths, and saving up all the water that comes from running the hot tap to get hot water, to use for other things.  As a result of the careful stewardship, our water account is £118 in credit, and our monthly bill will be going down from £45 to £27.  What blesses the Earth blesses the people.  Every time.   It really is worth making Green choices.

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365 366 Day 251 – Friday September 7th 
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)


A large, useful box.  Of course, the fewer things one has, the fewer large, useful boxes one needs. But, in its largeness, it was useful for giving some of the things away in.
  


Monday, 3 September 2012

Today is Julie Faraway's birthday


Happy birthday, Julie!




May this year hold the key to unlock



Beauty



Joyous moments (plenty of them)



Peace



Contentment



Wellbeing



Silence



Hope



Opportunities



Hidden treasures



Friendship



Time to dream


And the odd crazy moment



Oh, a year is a long road



The way ahead is hidden in mystery



But may you be provided for in unexpected ways



As well as finding happiness in the familiar and loved




May your hand find the hand of Jesus and never let go




May you walk in His way and never falter



And may you know yourself loved abundantly



Happy birthday, Julie xxx