Thursday, 19 October 2017

Life's Too Short...

I am not sure where I read this, but I like it. I know it is important to keep the house clean, and [fairly] tidy. But saints preserve me from becoming like the parent of one of my pupils back in the 1980s. She said to me one afternoon "I cannot go out to work, I would never have time to keep my house properly. I feel bad that I haven't wiped down my skirting boards this month yet"
Her little girl must be in her 30s now. I really hope that her life does not revolve around cleaning. I shall have been really busy this past week, travelling hundreds of miles and [I hope] doing worthwhile things. I hope Bob hasn't been distressed by the undusted dadoes!
Sometimes when I'm conscious that life is really fraught for other people whom I love, or when I just want to connect [see earlier post!] I send flowers. The company I have been using for quite a while now is called Bloom and Wild. They have a wide range of bouquets, and a clever system of wrapping each bloom, and packing in thin boxes which go through a normal sized letterbox. Their flowers are excellent quality, and long lasting. Their prices are good. I can wholeheartedly recommend them. I sent some recently, and they have given me a discount code to share with friends. Passing it on to you if you want to try them [sorry, UK only] Click here

 "Why do you worry...consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, nor do they wipe down the skirting boards every month. And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Blanket Coverage Part Two

Seven weeks ago, I posted [Here] about our 2017 Christmas Tree Project. I have been overwhelmed by the response. I've received HUNDREDS of knitted squares... initially from ladies in the church, then from the Craft'n'Coffee group that meets monthly in the Church Hall, and finally little packages of squares in the post from some of you lovely friends who read this blog.[thanks, J and J!]  I am truly grateful for every contribution. Together these squares will make an amazing tree, and afterwards will be sewn into blankets to go out to Romania with volunteers from the Biggin Hill Trust. 
It's been good to have such a variety of shades of green. 
Last Sunday we collected all our shoeboxes, and the larger Family Boxes. So many gifts, lovingly prepared. 
The Trust need more volunteers to help with delivery - and already a number of church members have offered to go [at their own expense] to share in this ministry. 
THANK YOU everyone, for all your kindness. I feel truly privileged to be part of this project, and grateful to God for the thoughtful generosity and willing involvement of such good people. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

This Brummie Artist Went To Market ...

The Birmingham Wholesale Markets have been operating in the city centre for over 850 years. That is a Very Long Time. The picture above was taken over 100 years ago.
But in the new year, they'll be moving to a new site. So a local artist, Danny Howes, decided that the bustling life of the market - which opens at 1am, and does most of its business whilst the rest of us are still asleep - needed to be recorded.
So he went down to the market and observed the people at work, and painted pictures of them going about their trade. I am so pleased he did this - not all the traders are happy about the move, and it is good that they have been recorded for posterity. You can read the full story here - but I wanted to share the pictures, because I think they are great. You can feel the bustle, imagine the banter...


Fish sellers

Fish and Game

Loading up


No Deal

Staff Only

Take Away

Lunch at 8am
These artworks were in an exhibition throughout September- not surprisingly, almost all of them have been sold already.
It seems a very male-dominated environment - not many women in the pictures! But I love the little details - the creases in the jeans, the light reflecting in the tiles and on the stainless steel teapots, the plastic bag of red and green peppers, and the feathers on the game birds hanging up. Danny visited the market 6 times and took over 1000 photographs [everything moved too quickly for him to make sketches, he said] It took between 2 and 3 weeks to complete each canvas [each about 2 foot x 3 foot in size]
Thank you, Danny, for acknowledging this little slice of real life, which is about to change after so long. I hope the workers settle in quickly to the market's new location .

Monday, 16 October 2017

Only Connect

This post has nothing to do with Victoria Coren Mitchell's excellent Friday night programme. We love it - but acknowledge that it's not everyone's cup of tea.
"Hello, Grandma! Rosie, seen here with her favourite Auntie, knows exactly what to do with today's technology. Unlike previous generations, it is so much easier to make connections with one another across the miles.
Now we have mobile phones, so we can call from almost* anywhere...
No more queuing with a pile of 2p coins by the public callbox outside the University Hall of Residence.
No more standing in the draughty hall at home, by the front door, waiting for the phone to ring.
Now we have emails pinging in our in-box, so...
No more hunting for a stamp so we can post letters** to the ones we love.
No more waiting impatiently for the postman to deliver their messages to us
Now we can take a picture on our phone and share it immediately on Instagram
No more loading films into the back of the camera
No more waiting for the holiday pictures to come back from the chemists where they are being developed
*except Norfolk, mobile phone coverage is rather patchy there
** personally, I still think a real letter is a special treat

E M Forster urged us to 'only connect' - life is better when we connect, and when we share, and when we really care about others. Let's make an effort today to really conenct with someone. Make time for a proper conversation, send a text message of encouragement to someone facing a challenge, post a card - or an email - to someone miles away. You have no idea what a difference a connection like that might mean to the recipient.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

On The Seventh Day, The Lord Rested - And So Should We

This wonderful Norfolk saying just about sums it up!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Charity Begins At Home

This one needs no added comment, does it?

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Wise Man Once Said...

Just lately, I keep coming across quotes from Martin Luther King.
Looking at world events, and the politicians and their responses, this one seems quite apposite, don't you think?