Friday, 3 July 2015

He Would Always Walk Tall!

The death was announced of Val Doonican, the Irish singer, who passed away yesterday at the age of 88. My parents really enjoyed listening to this gentle, humble man, whose charming voice brought laughter and smiles into many homes with his TV show [it ran from 1965 – 1986] We even had the LP! My Mum particularly loved his jumpers – and his rocking chair.

val doonican

I suppose my own two favourite songs were Walk Tall [I have tried,despite my diminutive stature] and Paddy McGinty’s Goat. But Mysterious People [and also The Special Years] were two that my Dad liked – celebrating the joys of childhood innocence.

Children are people who live in a land

Made of raindrops and puddles and pebbles and streams

Silently watching a twig as it sails

On a clear crystal pool to an island of dreams

There go a pair who have just built a city of mud,

And it's real

They know that mud doesn't look very pretty,

But ooh, how it feels!

This little boy greets the snow with a smile

That little girl has discovered an isle made out of pillows

One little fellow is friends with the wind in the willows

All of them children and all are mysterious people

I can remember when I was a boy

That my bed was a ship that I sailed through the night

And I remember the world as a place

That was eager and loving and shiny and bright

Where is the boy who was friends with the rainbow

And once rode a pawn?

Where is that shy and mysterious person?

Oh where have I gone?

I can remember I once said my prayers

But now I stand by while my children say theirs

Watching them kneeling

And I could cry

That one day they'll forget all that they're feeling

Oh, what a shame that our children should grow into people

I was never quite sure about Elusive Butterfly – the first time I heard it on the radio, it was a Mondegreen Moment – I thought “The bright elusive butterfly of love” was “The bride, a loose-leaf butterfly of love”!

RIP Val, thank you for all the melodies you shared – and in this day and age, a happy ‘showbiz’ marriage lasting over 50 years is something to be celebrated. May God comfort your widow Lynnette, your daughters and their families.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

An Interesting Looking Cove

definition COVE [noun]

  1. a small bay or inlet, usually between rocky headlands
  2. old fashioned term for a fellow; chap

P1010672Here’s my own favourite cove, paddling at Lulworth Cove on Tuesday. We enjoyed the most gloriously sunny day off together. We arrived in time for breakfast and went to Brody’s Cafe


Bob declared sausages excellent. I had a bacon and mushroom roll. After eating we wandered down to the beach and walked along the shingle, paddled, and sat on a rock to rest for a bit. Then we climbed the cliffs to see even more of the natural beauty. Our day out also took us to Winfrith, Wool and Wareham. On the way back, we drove round the Cordite Factory Site at Holton Heath, so Bob could look at the WW2 buildings. Home via Lidl to buy cheap ice lollies! then to friends in the evening for a BBQ. A Very Good Day Off!

lulworth wareham and wool

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Family Trees

After the speeches at the wedding, Bob and I, plus Martin and Elaine [Mark’s parents] received gifts from the Bride and Groom. Lovely floral arrangements for the Mums [which Steph had arranged for my SIL Marion to collect from the village florists earlier in the afternoon] bottles of something tasty for the Dads - and these necklaces and cufflinks following the woodland theme.


I love the little footpaths round the fir trees! Each gift bag also contained a beautifully worded thank you card from Mark.P1010659

25 years ago, Steph’s teacher called me into the classroom one afternoon. She said they had been trying to think of words beginning with ‘gr’. The children had offered grow, green, and grass- but Steph’s hand shot up, and she suggested gratitude. I am very pleased that our children have remembered the importance of saying ‘Thank you’ even though they are now an old married couple!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Sew Long Ago!

Rupert Annual 1958 inside origamiSomeone at Saturday’s Craft Event asked me how long I had been doing crafts.

I said I couldn't remember I time when I hadn’t made things. I was sewing and knitting before my brother was born [he arrived when I was 7½] and I loved doing the origami models from my Rupert Annual [which came every Christmas]

Then I wondered what was the oldest piece of my own craftwork which I still have. I think it must be this little fabric box, which I made at school in 1967. It is about 6” across and 2” high.


We had to design a box in two colours [many of my friends opted for the yellow/green colourway, because they were supporters of Norwich City FC] and we were allowed a third thread colour. I chose red/blue, with black. I had been to a few theatres, and was very taken with the tragedy/comedy masks, so based my design on that. We had stitch the lid, make the box, line it with cream fabric, make a tassel and then put everything together. I gave the finished box to my Mum, and it was on her dressing table for the next 34 years, she kept her necklaces in it. After she died, Dad gave it back to me. Looking at it now, I cannot believe how neat my blanket stitching was back then, or how straight that central seam.

What is the oldest piece of craftwork you still have? Is it from your school days? Do you still practise that particular craft?

Monday, 29 June 2015

Our Crafty Coffee Morning

One weekend I am busy with bunting and cakes …and the next, I am busy with bunting and cakes…[next weekend may be different, who knows?] Our Crafty Coffee Morning for Christian Aid went incredibly well – over £200 raised, and great fun had by all. The crafts included cake decorating, card making, parchment craft, crochet, nylon flowers, box-making, kusudama flowers, knitting, punching, stamping…and we had good tea, coffee and cakes to fortify us through the morning [thank you Steve and others in the kitchen] Well done Alison for being the Chief Organiser behind this worthwhile event. The Hall was absolutely buzzing with people enjoying themselves creating lovely little things. We charged £5 a head entry fee – all craft materials and refreshments were donated. People could visit as many different craft tables as they wanted.

xn aid crafty coffee

As well as demonstrating the kusudama flowers, I made a Pergamano Parchment Owl card and a little nylon flower [notice my amazing pink gel thumbnail – special treat for MOB last week! Thank you to Heather and Luise for teaching me two new crafts today!



Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Second Wedding Hymn

Chosen because it fits so well with the woodland theme of the day!


O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the works Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.


P1010579And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And there proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


Saturday, 27 June 2015

“They’re Christians, They’ll Bring Casseroles!”

…so said Liz back in March, when I was marooned in Cornerstones because of my wrist injury. But she’s right, we do have a responsibility to give practical love and support as well as spiritual comfort. The epistle of James reminds us
Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don't give them the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.
Providing for the needs of others has been an important principle since Jesus sorted out the wine at Cana and the bread on the hillside. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I have concluded we’re called to help globally, locally and personally.
Globally Christian Aid Week has come and gone – but the work lasts all year. Today we are hosting a Crafty Coffee Morning at Church.
The money we raise will help people on the other side of the world, who we may never meet – but it is still important for us to show love and support where we can.
Locallythere may be people in our local community we can help – particularly if nobody else does. Bob and I recently watched “The Overnighters”  Someone reviewed it on their blog a few weeks back, so I checked it out [thank you – I am so sorry, I cannot remember which blog it was!] It is a documentary about a community in North Dakota which had been overwhelmed by an influx of men and women seeking work in the new ‘fracking industry’ and how the pastor of the local church responded  [Interesting reviews here] The film won awards at The Sundance Film Festival, and it is very thought provoking. Not going to post any ‘spoilers’- but the Pastor’s Wife is an absolute Saint, and maybe all pastors-in-training should watch it.
shepherds pie in foil
Personally when friends go  through a testing patch, whether good or bad [illness, new baby, bereavement, moving house] then a casserole, shepherd’s pie, or fruitcake can prove a real blessing – especially when words may seem trite or unhelpful.
And I thank God for the thoughtful people who put those casseroles and pies in foil dishes with instructions [so that the recipient can freeze it to cook later, and doesn’t need to worry about returning precious plates or Pyrex] …and those who also supply a carton of custard to serve with their apple crumble. I am praying that one particular home back in Leicestershire is going to be especially blessed in the next few weeks with such signs of love.
shelter for those who have lost their homes
support for those who have lost their dignity
some special meals for children who’ve just lost their Mum
All of these are part of the work of God’s Kingdom.
My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it? 

update - thrilled to hear that my friends have been supplied with meals in these past few days - I always knew the good folk at KMFC would be there to help!