Saturday 31 January 2009

Folk Night for Africa Aid

Our friend Dave Ford runs Africa Aid - a charity devoted to helping poor people in Africa [including taking medical supplies to a maternity hospital in Morocco] He hosts an annual fund-raiser in the form of a Folk Night, at Quorn Village Hall, and Bob does the PA for it. So last night we were out from 5pm till gone midnight [the event itself was 7.30-11ish] Dave is an ebullient, enthusiastic, in-yer-face sort of Christian, and it was good to see 100+ people there,  supporting him and raising funds for the cause. Julie, his wife made some superb refreshments -platters of sandwiches, cakes and fresh fruit, plus assorted drinks were available.



The MC was a delightfully eccentric chap [sorry, have forgotten his name] who also does charity work [but in Eastern Europe] He  played his accordion and brought along 2 girls who did gypsy dancing.

They were really enthusiastic - and in view of the limited space, did some amazing moves!


There were loads of acts, including The Daze [Ian, from church is in this. I like their stuff] Doreen and John [who come from Walsall, and she writes her own stuff, which is beautiful] Eric The Turtle [he finished with a singalong to "Gordon Is a Moron"] Sheila - who sang a capella, with a wonderfully melodic voice which reminded me of Maddie Prior, and The Desperate Dogs. This lady [name forgotten again,sorry!] sung "Streets of London"

   Have you seen the old man IMG_2399
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
And held loosely at his side
Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news

    So how can you tell me you're lonely,
And say for you that the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London, I'll show you something to make you change your mind

    Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She's no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.
    In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man is sitting there on his own IMG_2407
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
Each tea last an hour
Then he wanders home alone
    And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman's mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn't care

Isn't is sad that Ralph McTell wrote that song forty years ago - and you can still see these characters in our capital?

As you can see, Bob was concentrating intently - some of the performers required complicated arrangements of microphones etc.

IMG_2396 Here he is just before we started, prior to the lights being dimmed.

One act I wasn't too keen on was the George Formby Tribute. I just feel GF was a Dirty Old Man who is best forgotten!

Here's a picture of him, with accomplices, singing "Swimmin with Wimmin"

IMG_2405 The night before the event, Dave had a last-minute phone call from someone offering to perform. He said his twin loves were Africa, and folk music.

So we enjoyed listening to "The High Commissioner to the Cameroon". No, seriously! that's not his stage name - Syd Maddicott IS Her Majesty's representative to those people!

He sings very well.

Here's a picture of him last night - and the official website shot

IMG_2403  Syd-Maddicott HC Cameroon                                                                I wrote a note on Bob's Clipboard "Where is the Cameroon?" and he scribbled back "It is a sort of biscuit!" [I have since looked on a map - it is central west Africa, between Nigerian and Congo]


By the end of the evening, everyone was very relaxed and full of food and drink. Quorn Village Hall has recently got new chairs [very comfortable] stage lighting, and excellent new toilet facilities - but is still remarkably cheap to hire for an evening.

Dave sang "Amazing Grace" and spoke about his work, and his Saviour - and challenged us all to respond to the claims of Christ - on our lives, our time and our bank accounts! The the final act IMG_2406 - called Bohemian Repair Company, or something similar, did some good songs.The group featured Nigel The Harmonica Player, an amazingly tall thin guy, all in red [he was teased for coming dressed as a stick of rhubarb] Compare his height to that of the bearded guy on his right!! We sang John Denver's "Country Roads", and the Beach Boys "Sloop John B" with gusto.

The we packed up all the gear and came home. I got into bed 19 hours after I got out of it.

She feeds you tea and oranges...

It feels cold and wintry today - and according to Amanda Ursell [the nutritionist in The Times] "January is not a month for surviving on crispbreads and lettuce!" So although I made a healthy chicken salad for lunch, I decided to follow it with a Proper Pudding. Extreme busy-ness this week hasn't left much time for "faffin' in the kitchen" so this morning I put on a pretty pinny and made a proper pudding.

I did make a chicken salad for first course - and dressed it with an improvised mustard&maple syrup dressing. [I roasted some cubes of potato, dusted with salt and smoked paprika, in the oven whilst cooking the pudding, to give a little warmth to the salad]

IM003207 The pudding was a variation on a recipe from the paper a couple of week's back.Yet another 'magic' pudding with a sponge top and sauce beneath.

I halved the quantities and served it with natural yogurt.


This pud mystically produces its own puddle of zesty sauce below a light, soufflé-ish sponge [from a recipe by Lucas Hollweg ]

Serves 2

- 75g butter, plus a blob for greasing

- Finely grated zest of 1 orange

- 90g caster sugar

- 2 eggs, separated

- Juice of 1 orange made up to 200ml with milk

- 25g self-raising flour

- Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a round 18cm ovenproof dish. IM003206 Cream together the butter, zest and sugar with a wooden spoon until it forms a coherent mass, then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until well incorporated. Mix in the juice and milk. Finally, fold in the flour. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks when you lift the whisk, then gently fold into the mixture. Tip into the greased dish and place the dish in a roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the tin around the dish so it comes about halfway up the sides. Bake for 40 minutes until the top is firm and golden. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream or natural yogurt.

It looked really good in my blue enamel bowl - and it tasted satisfyingly warming! I am drinking lots of tea too, that always helps to keep me warm. I am enjoying the Redbush Tea which Liz had here at Christmas. I hope Bob feels duly fortified, now he has gone out for an afternoon of Pastoral Visiting.

Once I have done all the other things which need to be sorted, I shall try and unload [from Bobs' camera] the photos taken last night. We went to a Folk Evening and had lots of fun, fund-raising. But we did not get to sing "Whose Pigs are These" unfortunately.

Romans 16:16

Rachel sent me this today. I had heard Richard Stilgoe sing it before, but not seen the YouTube version. I suspect that there are probably Mrs Beamish characters in our village [so I pray for our Rector, in case they go to the Parish Church!]

Thursday 29 January 2009

Those Were The Days...

victorian farm

Continuing to enjoy "The Victorian Farm" very much. Tonight's episode showed Ruth learning to use a Treadle Singer machine and make herself clothes from a Victorian pattern. I am grateful for my modern Janome Electric machine!

We saw the Gloucester Old Spot piglets [cute] and Ruth made Shropshire Fidget Pie and brawn from one of the pigs which had fidget_pie been slaughtered. Not so sure about the cooked brains and eyeballs! Fidget is apparently a dialect word - from 'fitched' meaning 5-sided.

Then they had their May Day party, and sang for the pig. Bob and I particularly appreciated the Folk Singer - as he played his squeezebox and sang a traditional song which we both knew - and so we joined in

Whose pigs are these?

Whose pigs are these?

Oh they are John Stott's

You can tell 'em by the spots

And they come from the Vicarage Garden!

People who were on holiday at Baptist Missionary Summer Schools in the 60's and 70's may remember that one too. Actually the original version was "John Pott's" - but in deference to the eminent Anglican, we Baptists preferred to sing "John Stott's"!!

At the end of a long hard day in the classroom, with some particularly challenging children, I need a bit of Victorian Silliness. I could do with a mug of tea and a slice of Fidget Pie too...

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Keeping the Heat In!

An unspeakably long day - school, then a lesson-planning meeting, home for 45minutes to grab food, then back to church for Sewing Club, and now home again to get more school preparation done. Feeling guilty that I am not at the Church Meeting, but then I very rarely miss one, so I shouldn't feel too bad...

Just had to have a five minute break for a cuppa and a bit of blogging though, in order to post this splendid cartoon which Carole sent me


"The Knitting Circle are playing their part in our Heating Efficiency Programme"

Tonight at Sewing Club we had yet another new girl - plus a load more fabric which someone has donated. My contribution to Heating Efficiency is insulating the loft with lots of bags of fabric!!

Right - relaxation over - now back to preparing school work and picking hymns for the service I am taking on Sunday night!

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Lady in Red

We had a really lovely evening yesterday - went for a meal to my friend Lesley's home. She and I have become great friends through aldi continental plum the Knitting Group - but this was the first time our husbands had met up. We had a superb meal - Lesley had made a lovely chicken and tarragon casserole and I supplied dessert [Aldi Continental Plum Tart and cream] and we had great fun discussing the merits of Thrift and Aldi Shopping. Ant was pleased to demonstrate his new Espresso Machine [also from Aldi!] Then L&I retired to the other room, where aldi she showed me the progress of her quilt. I was annoyed with myself for not having a camera. The red quilt is utterly beautiful.

Lesley's target was to make a quilt in a year - and this one was started in Feb 08. I think she will get there! It was cut with scissors [not a rotary cutter] and stitched by hand. It is all in splendid shades of red, and her daughter Emily [who has claimed the quilt for her own once it is completed] says it reminds her of the colours of jams [strawberry, raspberry, cherry...] In view of the patches of red and white gingham, I suggested it should bebonne maman jam called the Bonne Maman Quilt, as Lesley is definitely a very good mother!!

We returned to the table to find the men chatting like they had been friends forever -mostly about coffee, church PA and Billy Graham's hat.

Apparently Billy Graham has done the Presidential Inauguration Prayer for years, and this year sent the hat which he always wears to billygrahams hat Rick Warren, to keep his head warm! I think this must fall into the category of Elijah's Mantle [I Kings 19 - So he ...found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing...and Elijah cast his mantle upon him.] I tried to find a picture of Rick in Billy's hat, but I couldn't. I think it is this hat though.

I am concerned that Rick's head may be bigger than Billy's [do you mean physically or metaphorically? said Bob!]

Back to Lesley's quilt. It is based on one in Jane Brocket's book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity [which Lesley has kindly lent me] I have brocket been looking through the book. JB is a gifted writer and photographer - but her world is miles away from the one inhabited by people like Lesley and myself. She used to work for Sanderson, and her quilts appear to be made of wonderfully expensive pieces. I actually prefer Lesley's 'thrifted' quilt because it is stitched with memories and treasured scraps.

The basic template for the blocks is this imageone, and the whole thing is 8 rows of 10, so that's eighty blocks of lovely handstitching.

I came home inspired, and eager to make another quilt myself. But I am sure if I do, it will be a machined one, not handsewn. But that will have to go on to the list of "projects I will do sometime when I am not too busy..." I think. Today I have to prepare for tomorrow's school and sewing club.

Speaking of being busy - how will that lady in Los Angeles cope with octuplets? I hope and pray she gets plenty of support. I think Lesley and I are both quite content to each be the mothers of just TWO children who arrived one-at-a-time!

Steph texted this morning to say she has being doing some market research for a hair dye product. And now her hair is rather redder than it used to be! I am waiting for a photo, but will probably not put it on the blog. Some things are best kept within the family!

Sunday 25 January 2009

Matthew 8:3 - Be Clean!

shredder This morning's service was just amazing - so many different elements came together to make it extra special. Bob was preaching on the passage about the healing of the man with leprosy in Matthew 8. The Children's Slot involved two children writing down the bad things we do - and then feeding the paper into a shredder - and the words were gone! God forgives our sins and remembers them no more!

We are not the sort of fellowship that has an appeal/altar call/whatever-you-call-it after every sermon, but Bob made one today. And the response was thrilling!

God so good. We came home for lunch on a real high!

We also sang a new song [It goes to the tune of "Lord of All Hopefulness"] I was quite taken with the words..

Come, wounded healer, your suff'rings reveal

the scars you accepted, our anguish to heal.

Your wounds bring such comfort in body and soul

to all who bear torment and yearn to be whole.

Come, hated Lover, and gather us near,

your welcome, your teaching, your challenge to hear:

where scorn and abuse cause rejection and pain,

your loving acceptance makes hope live again!

Come, broken Victor, condemned to a cross -

how great are the treasures we gain from your loss!

Your willing agreement to share in our strife

transforms our despair into fullness of life.

Saturday 24 January 2009

A Very Good Read!

Just finished "The Bible Jesus Read" by Philip Yancey. I really enjoyed it. Confession - this is the first book by PY I have ever read! I am afraid that there was a spell when people kept raving about his work and it really put me off! However, I saw this in the local library and decided to give it a try.

IM003200 Yancey begins by admitting that like many Christians, he usually avoided the Old Testament, but once he started reading it, he made some great discoveries.

I confess that I got a little frustrated at the beginning - I grew up in a home where the OT was seen as a vital part of scripture, and "the Scarlet Thread of Redemption runs through every book, to point us to Christ" etc etc. So I have always loved reading it [not to mention all the stories and poetry and history...] I wasn't sure how someone who was a scholar, from a strong Christian family grew up without being encouraged into a love of the OT.

But Yancey's book is interesting and informative - and very accessible - you do not need to be a theology student to enjoy it. I kept quoting bits to Bob as I read [he's very patient with me - he was trying to read a different book at the time!] Like this bit...

...The old Jewish story of the little boy who went to the prophet and said "Prophet, don't you see? You have been prophesying now for fifteen years, and things are all the same. Why do you keep on?" And the prophet said "Don't you know, little boy, I'm not prophesying to change the world, but to prevent the world from changing me"

Two other unrelated comments - the picture shows my library book, with the place marked by my bead&ribbon bookmark. It was exactly the right colour to go with the cover and I had to photograph them together. The bookmark was a Christmas gift from Adrian and Marion two years ago, and it is SO good.It doesn't slip out, and when I am reading, I can slip it over my wrist like a bracelet, and then slide it on to the book when I want to mark my place. It definitely fulfils Wm Morris' rules about being both beautiful and useful.

speaking volumes Secondly, I have been known to mutter occasionally about the limited range of books in our little village library. One thing they do have is a splendid collection of Christian Books. That's because our Churches Together gave a whole set, which we purchased through the Speaking Volumes scheme. I can really recommend this arrangement as a way of getting good books into schools/libraries/hospitals whatever. The SV organisation has done all the hard work, selecting good packages, and negotiating incredibly good prices . You get a set of printed labels to put inside the books - detailing who gave them, and when, and details of the SV website [which is an initiative of the Christian Book Promotion Trust]

Oh - a final word from Yancey. He writes about Moses, and the Hebrews in Egypt, and the slang word 'Hapiru' - the name the Egyptians gave the Hebrews. It means 'dusty ones'! Yancey says this...

Dust,"hapiru","the dusty ones", the old Egyptian slang word for the Hebrews-God remembers that we are dust. As Moses taught so clearly, evil is unpreventable and punishment inevitable. But we have a God who consciously forgets our sins and consciously remembers our frailty. We have a God who travels by our side, who "tabernacles" among us through the vast and dreadful wilderness. We have a God of grace, who loves even the dusty ones - especially the dusty ones.

Now I really must go and use the vacuum cleaner, as Bob, the dog and I are in danger of becoming Hapiru!

The Ultimate Flatpack!

Ikea has just announced its intention to start selling cars

ikea car

allen key Swedish Instructions included.


Good luck!!

Covenant or Contract?

chief rabbi Lovely piece in The Times today by Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi. It is all about President Obama, and the fact that he understands the difference between a covenant and a contract.

Dr Sacks says "There is a fundamental difference between contracts and covenants. In a contract, two or more individuals, each pursuing their own interest, come together to make an exchange for mutual benefit. When we pay someone to do something for us, implicitly or explicitly we make a contract.

A covenant is something different. In a covenant, two or more individuals, each respecting the dignity and integrity of the other, come together in a bond of mutual responsibility to do together what neither can achieve alone. It is not about interests but about loyalty, fidelity, holding together when events seem to be driving you apart. A covenant is less like a deal than like a marriage: it is a moral bond. "

Two thoughts come to mind....

  1. so many people these days regard marriage as a contract [and therefore easy to break, and get out of, when things don't suit them] but marriage is a covenant relationship
  2. I am so glad that God has made a covenant and not a contract with us - and that He is eternally faithful, even when we are weak and sinful. And that at Calvary, the Old Covenant with Abraham has been superceded by a New Covenant of Salvation through Christ.

        I have a lot of respect for the Chief Rabbi, he is a good man, a man of faith [and close friend of my friend David Coffey!] and I believe that at this time it is very important that we pray for him, as the Jewish community looks to him for words of wisdom. Whilst the BBC argues about publicising the DEC advert, I quote from Dr Sacks' website

        "The time has come in Britain for the supporters of Israel and the supporters of the Palestinians to work together, to bring aid to the injured on both sides, comfort to the bereaved of both sides, and passionate commitment to the peaceful coexistence of both sides. These past three weeks, we have all shed tears. Now let us work together for a future that is not yet another replay of the past. Let us hear the cries and fears of both sides and let us work together for a future without tears."

        Psalm 122 reminds us

        Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you." For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.

        As the song says "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me"

        Thursday 22 January 2009

        One Song To The Tune Of Another!

        My sister-in-law Marion sent me this link to The Mom Song which I share with all mothers and their offspring. Hope you enjoy it!

        Pass The Paracetamol!

        paracetamol "Still, when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache . . . Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture" - this verse [Ps 73:15] was at the top of my Bible Reading Notes this morning. I quite like the way Peterson has changed "it was too painful for me" to "I got a splitting headache" !! Most of the time I prefer to read and study from the NIV, but occasionally looking at a different version brings some thought-provoking freshness.

        It was especially good, therefore, as I was sitting in the Staffroom discussing the complicated Iroquois Creation Myth [don't ask - it's part of the RE teaching plan!] when another colleague suddenly said "Ooh,I was reading the story of Creation in 'The Message' last night - it was great! - have you got a copy of 'The Message', Angela?" I said I had - and told her about the headache verse I had discovered this morning.

        We all went off to teach our afternoon classes- but just a brief exchange like that, with a friend, about the Word of God, really brightened my day!

        text message Tomorrow I start a stint covering a Year 3 Class for another friend who is having a minor op on her foot. About 5 weeks of teaching 3 days a week whilst she convalesces. So I may neglect the blog a bit.

        Colleagues were most amused this afternoon by a text from Steph asking "R U 2 still alive?" - "That is the sort of text I send my son if he seems to be too busy to ring home. Not the other way round" said Diana. I felt like a naughty teenager, and promptly sent a reply pleading a very busy week [schools, meetings every night, watching the Inauguration, a funeral...] You can tell it has been busy - I am 5 days behind with "The Archers"

        I am all prepared [I think] for tomorrow - so I am planning a nice warm bath and an early night now.

        Wednesday 21 January 2009

        A Local Protest


        "No" to correctly placed apostrophes, presumably!

        Tuesday 20 January 2009

        In God We Trust

        obama family 2

        I got home from school and installed myself in front of the TV for two hours, to watch history being made. I found some parts of the inauguration incredibly moving, and admit to shedding a few tears. I wished my father had been alive to see this day - then Rick Warren said something about the company of heaven rejoicing, and that set me off again!

        Barack Obama and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

        [With amazing forethought, I prepared a chicken casserole in the Slow-Cooker at the crack of dawn this morning, so we were able to sit down to a hot meal at 6pm before Bob had to go out again! Even at momentous times in world history I strive to keep the Pastor fed]

        Feeling Rather A Knit!

         knitting needles

        I went to Knitting Group last night - but discovered when I arrived that I only had ONE of my needles. I asked around, but nobody had a spare one in the correct size [many other sizes offered, but not the correct one] Spent a while nattering to various friends, then came home early. The group has therefore coined a new phrase

        "This is Angela, she is one needle short of a jumper!"

        Of course, when I got home, there was the needle sitting forlornly on the table. Perhaps I should try to use circular needles more - but I am reluctant to set aside all those lovely vintage pins inherited from Bob's Mum and others.

        knitted brains

        Perhaps I should knit myself a new brain like this one produced for the Boston Museum of Science!

        Monday 19 January 2009

        Two Lives in Words and Pictures

        RIP this weekend to two men who brought much pleasure - first the john mortimer playwright John Mortimer. I have enjoyed many of his books - not just the Rumpole canon, but also the 'Paradise Postponed' saga about the Simcox family and the odious Leslie Titmuss. [I hope they repeat the TV production of that]

        It is about 7 years since Leo McKern - the quintessential Rumpole died - but BBC radio has continued to broadcast

        recordingrumpoles of these stories.

        After McKern's death, they recorded a number of the stories featuring Timothy West as Rumpole and his real-life-wife, Prunella Scales as "She Who Must be Obeyed"

        Then there was news of the death of Tony Hart, a wonderfully gifted  artist who loved to help children [and adults] develop their creativity.

        His motto tony hartwas "Don't tell them, show them" As a child I adored "Vision On" - it ran from 1964 to 1976, and was primarily aimed at deaf children, although it was part of mainstream children's programming.

        It was Tony who gave us that wonderful creature "Morph" - the forerunner of all those wonderful Aardman animations, Wallace and Gromit morphetc.

        Tony Hart was also the man who designed the Blue Peter badge. He was incredibly gifted and understood how to relate to children.

        According to the Guardian "When Take Hart was being broadcast on Tuesday afternoons in 1978, children would rush home from school to see it. It was estimated that no less than half those in Britain aged between five and 14 were glued to the TV set. They sent in up to 8,000 items each week, often displaying originality and humour, as with gold-painted macaroni. By 1979, Take Hart was being screened every morning."

        blue peter badge

        Someone on the radio this morning commented on the recent death of Oliver Postgate, and that in just a few weeks we have lost two icons of Children's Television. Iggle Piggle and Tinky Winky just do not compare!!

        Sunday 18 January 2009

        Brothers and Sisters in Christ

        It is the week of prayer for Christian Unity, and I have just got home, and I am listening to the Sunday Half Hour hymn singing on Radio 2 which is celebrating that. We've just been to a united Churches Together service. It was hosted by the Roman Catholics, and everybody seemed to be there - RCs, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, United Reformed, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all!

        IM003180 Some very friendly young people met us at the door and gave us our service sheets.

        We began the service in darkness, then the clergy processed in from the back carrying candles. Then more lights came on and a ladies choir from the Cameroon came down the aisle, singing, and dancing, as they brought the Bible to the front and placed it on the altar and someone read John chapter 1.

        The preacher was Bishop Tim, the Anglican bishop of Leicester, and Dianne Tidball [our Baptist Regional Minister] read a reflection. Father John Joe, the Catholic priest, led the service, and various people from other local churches [including Bob] took part.

        IM003184 Sue [our Churches Together Secretary] had asked me to take some pictures for the C.T. archive. I couldn't take photos during the service - but immediately afterwards I climbed up to the balcony to get some shots of the congregation leaving.

        Then when I came downstairs again, I discovered they had put chains across the stairway, and I was very nearly trapped!!

        The refreshments were splendid and the Catholic Ladies had worked very hard. We all enjoyed further fellowship over the buffet supper.

        IM003190 IM003188

        I looked around for clergy to photograph, but they had all gone to disrobe- apart from this one [who had not been robed in the first place]

        IM003191I said to my friend that it reminded me of a story my Dad used to tell, about a Civic Parade he was once involved in. All the clergy were walking together, and the Baptist Pastor was just wearing a suit, not vestments. A child in the crowd called out "look Mummy, a Real Man!"

        Anyway they all came back in eventually, and I got some pictures of them in their ordinary clothes!

        Here is one of a Baptist, a Catholic and an Anglican.

        That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke!


        And here is the BishopIM003195

        I got a great shot of Dianne with Father John Joe as they enjoyed the food.

        I think Bob is going to put that one on his Facebook page!

        A good time was had by all. We brought our passengers back to the village, then called in at Rock Solid [our Sunday night youth group at church]

        IM003197 You can tell by the overcoats that the weather is quite cold this evening - although it has not been as bad as the forecasts suggested yesterday.

        Oh, I forgot to say, the Bishop preached on the Corinthian passage about being reconciled, and God entrusting us with the Ministry of Reconciliation.

        But we are back home, and now it is time to relax. I love Sundays, but I am glad when they are over and we can wind down a bit!!

        Saturday 17 January 2009

        Saturday Stuff

        Off to M&S at crack of dawn - I had some reward vouchers to use up, and they were doing their "two can eat for a tenner" offer. I got two lots of food! So that's two Sunday lunches sorted out [and paid for!] And there will be plenty left for another day, as I shall make stock from the chicken carcase, and cut the pies into quarters...

        Then to Staples for paper [our Administrator is off work,  convalescing, so Bob has to prepare some orders of service she would normally sort out] and Maplin [because it is next door to Staples - and one never misses a chance to go in!]

        Then I did some sewing - my friend at school asked if I could come up with an applique patch for a sleepsuit for a baby doll, on a stars/moon sort of theme. I downloaded two designs from the Janome website onto the memory card, and the machine sewed them beautifully.


        The theology of this one is a bit ropey, but it stitched ok!


        This one took two attempts, I had problems with the bobbin tension at the very end when it was doing the script. I shall use the nappy-liner technique to make two patches for my friend to sew on.

        After lunch we both sat and read for a bit - rather frantically, as the books were on one-week-restricted loan and needed to be returned to the library. I finished off "Killer Heat" by Linda Fairstein. This one was rather topical, being set on Governor's island, New York - just slightly due south of where the plane landed on Thursday night!

        Then I returned the books, had a chat with the librarian about the "Pound A Day" one [she had seen a TV interview with the author, and reached the same conclusions that I had!] Very pleased to find the "Down River" novel which Steph recommended. I also picked up a Phillip Yancey [I don't just read detective/legal fiction you know, I have the occasional foray into spiritual literature too!] and a craft book.

        Back home, I attempted to recover a favourite teeshirt. Quite old, this white scoop neck got three ineradicable stains at the neckline, which neither Vanish, Shout, nor bleach could shift!


        So while the embroidery machine was out, I sewed some flowers, then embellished with a few beads and sequins.


        That will be OK for a few more wearings now. I was very conscious of the fact that the beadwork is extremely fiddly and time consuming! I was working with my wonderful magnifying lamp,so I could see clearly - but I really do not see how people in the third world who produce beaded clothes for the UK market can be being paid a fair rate. And I do not just mean Primark - M&S are selling a number of bagm&s bags which are decorated with beads and sequins at under £20. I do not know how they are managing that.

        M&S have also reduced their "bugle bead" dress from £75 to £12. Which suggests they had a pretty high mark up on that one to start with.

        It is so hard to shop ethically! If I am concerned about the dress and bag being made by underpaid, under-equipped third world workers, does that mean I shouldn't take advantage of the M&S offer on a cheap chicken, and apple pie, because that is helping the company's profits?

        Bob will no doubt be spending the evening on sermon prep, so once I have sorted out my Sunday School class, I shall do the ironing in front of the TV. Hope there is something good to watch!