Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Struggle of Faith

  Beautiful light is born of darkness,
so the faith that springs from conflict is often 
the strongest and the best.
R. Turnbull 

God Bless


Friday, 26 August 2011

Zentangle Challenge 36

This week's challenge from
has shown me how little I know about tangles.

I really must research the multiplicity of designs 
instead of making up my own
as my inventiveness is so limited.
Why reinvent  the wheel after all?

All  this being said this week's challenge is to use the design called
I love the story of it's invention.
Do take a look at blog mentioned above and read about it.

Anyhow here are my attempts.
I think the garlic I'd used last night crept into this one.
This next one is so different and just a sort of blizzard of Assunta
Oh well, back to the drawing board as they say.

Have a good weekend.
Especially if you are a Brit looking forward to a Bank holiday.

God Bless

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Easy Corner Brightener

Just picked these lovely glowing harbingers of autumn 
and made the same easy posy for the house
that I used to when I was a girl back in Wales.

In case you haven't done it yourself yet,
just pick a large round nasturtium leaf that's a bit bigger diameter than your vase.

Fill vase with water and pop your leaf on top of the vase like a lid, them gently poke the nasturtium stems
  through the leaf wherever you want
to form your arrangement.
The leaf will will act as your natural flower holder.

Guess you knew all that already didn't you?
Thought I'd share it in case you hadn't thought of it yet.

God Bless

P.S.  If you don't get back to me on Disqus I'll never know how much you know and how much I've got to learn!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Never Totally Trust the Weather Forecast

You know I was having a bit of a pity party about not being able to get out and about
yesterday on what the forecaster's had said was to be
the only good day of the week?

Well they didn't get it right at all!

Though we did have the forecast rain in the night,
today dawned bright and sunny and warm.
Better yet
I got out and about!

It is only a fifteen minute drive from where we live to the lovely old  town of Kenilworth,
home to an ancient castle, abbey ruins,
and some of the loveliest quintessentially English cottages,
so off we went.

The photo above is the restored Abbey ponds.
It is the site where the abbot of the original Abbey of Saint Mary's, and his monks 
would have kept their stock of fish to live off.

The pool is drier than we have seen it for some time.
Usually we can watch a heron or two fishing from the edge of the reeds,
but whether it was the children thronging the Abbey Fields that put them off, 
or the dryness of the pool, they were not in evidence on this,
my first visit for some three months.

Interestingly the brook
that runs alongside
the footpath bordering the pool
didn't seem very depleted at all
and our walk was accompanied
by the chuckling water song
that I love to hear.

There is usually a dog or two
enjoying a good splash here
with as like as not a disgruntled owner
trying to entice said canine friend
to leave the water,
come ashore,
and head for home.

This spot running near to the old castle walls is one of the doggy favourites but today the children won out
and made it their own.

Our short walk took us past the castle walls,
and I stuck my camera through the railings
to take this shot of the interior.

It was in this castle that Robert Dudley entertained
Elizabeth the First
in the hope of wooing her to be his wife,and
herein is the root of the castle's mystery.

In 1560 Earl Dudley's wife Amy Robsart
fell to her death,
and despite his acquittal it is still believed that
his urgent desire for a royal wife
may mean that
she died here at her husband's hand.

(Can you imagine the spooky mood music?
Sadly I'm too technically challenged to supply any).


Below is the dried up moat, at the side of the path I stood on to take the photo of the castle ruins.
As you see it is full of reeds and bull rushes at present, but soon to be re-filled by the autumn rain no doubt.
So there we were back to the car,
with still enough energy to make a brief call on some friends
who have been poorly.

When I came to think of it I was believing more
than the negative weather forecaster yesterday.
At some level I was listening to the ominous whisper
that I wasn't going to regain my strength this time around,
and it was this that had really been weighing me down.

                                        I know I'm too prone to listen to the promises of doom,
hardly able to credit that what I fear are merely shadows
that I am not meant to live within.
If I'm physically below par,
I recognise it's even more likely I'll have to struggle to stay positive;
yet even as I write that I remember 
the many many times I've been granted
the grace to have joy 
in the most unlikely of places.

I remember the words of Is 43:2:-
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; 
the flames will not consume you".
Living Bible translation

Why on earth do I build my days on believing weather forecasts
or my own gloomy, disatisfied thoughts?

May you be wiser than I.
God Bless

Monday, 22 August 2011

Thinking Small

I took this photo some weeks ago after a rain storm.

It was one of those days when sunshine lit 
the raindrops to diamond brilliance
as they sat there all fat and full.  

This morning there had been no rain.

What moisture there was seemed to be the remains 
of the cool night dew.
Still, as I ate my morning toast on my favourite bench at the top of the garden  I came face to face with the abundant leaves of some nasturtums which are flinging themselves in all directions
over the edge of a large tub,
and saw there were 
some shy droplets left on the leaves.
Quite hard to spot compared to their flamboyant friends aren't they?

Still as the saying goes
Small is Beautiful

The question is
do I really believe that?

In these days when my life is cut back by physical weakness to that smaller space that I should have become used to by now,
why am I so easily discouraged,
and disatisfied?

I, who can remember praying some fity years ago,
for just enough strength to get out of hospital,
keep house, and care for my child,
and my husband am now
 a grandmother, and great grandmother,
still asking, 
"More please".
Not that there's anything wrong with wanting more health and strength
 of course.

It's the smack of ingratitude that makes me uncomfortable.

The hiddeness of my small life often chafes though,
even while I know it's value. 

 Isn't it our hidden self that's the true self after all?

"For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."  Luke8:17

But oh, it is sometimes so hard to settle for
the hidden place
when I know there is so much I might contribute,
so much I could enjoy,
in that wider world,
at the centre of things.

I do not of course mention how much I might be appreciated as well.

A faint echo that has been playing in my mind comes to the fore.

“Be faithful in small things

because it is in them 

that your strength lies.”

 Mother Theresa



I trace my disatisfaction back
to the weather forecast that told us
today would be the best day of the week,
and that after today
rain was sweeping in.

The fact is haven't the stamina to go out and
"make the most of the day", .
and my own disatisfaction is stopping me
making the most of it right where I am.

Yes, I'm a slow learner alright.

I get up and make my way through my sunlit garden
 to the washing machine that chimes it's need to be emptied.

I have the liberty to do it at my own pace.
There is no rush.
No demand on me greater than I choose to make for myself.

Beginning to learn again.
God Bless

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Strange City

Today we made an early-ish start for the University Hospital 
which lies on the other side of the city from us.

It was a glorious morning of brilliant sunshine after a nippy night
that had seemed to be the first whispers of autumn already.

We took the bus to avoid the hassle of trying to find parking space
at the hospital and as we wound through the streets 
I had that same feeling that comes when you are
in a strange city.

Perhaps you know what I mean?
The buildings look curious and interesting. 
We passed the other side of this, Coventry University Libraries.
The early shadows are sharp and dramatic.
Suddenly it seems if as every person 
going about their ordinary lives is
a cause to wonder.
What sort of life is it they are going about? 

Is it so different from our own?
What sort of home have they left? 
What sort of day awaits them?...

I was pondering whether this feeling of seeing with fresh eyes
was because I've mostly been at home for so many weeks
following my op. when hubby leaned near and said,
"Do you know,
I feel as if we are on holiday in a new place,
looking for our hotel somewhere that we've never been before."

Taken by surprised I wondered what made us both catch that 
sense of strangeness
at the same moment?

This week's Zentangles Challenge from 
(click  on and have a go),
is to design a tile within a tile, and thus make a frame.
and here's my attempt
Come to think of it
perhaps it was the framing
of what we were looking at out of the bus window
this morning that had somehow slipped
to affect the way we saw things.

We usually go on holiday in the late autumn 
so maybe something in  the light of this nearly-September sunshine
had triggered a hidden Pavlovian response.

The simple truth is we do really need a holiday,
and the wish was probably father to the thought.

Whatever the cause it made the day, 
(even the visit to the hospital)
feel special.
This fountain is in the Bull Yard, Coventry
On our return trip we stopped off in town to shop,
and sat for a few minutes on the rim of the fountain
in the city centre sipping a drink.

Still wearing my "holiday specs" 
I looked around at the milling crowds, 
with the sounds of their voices 
and snatches of music melding 
with the continuous rush
of the waters behind me,
and simply felt grateful.

God Bless