Sunday, 15 February 2009

Weekend Woman's Hour [or Two]

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 6o seconds worth of distance run..." wrote Kipling*** - and I am coming to the conclusion that in our family just lately we do seem to be cramming as much as we can into every waking minute [and dreams seem equally busy too!] So when I sit down to watch a TV programme, I spend the ad breaks reading my library book or doing the crossword - and if Bob does something in his 'spare time' he manages to find a use for that activity as a sermon illustration or something.

theremin Bob's been repairing a theremin for Jon [full techie details on Bob's blog of course] That's the weird instrument used to produce the theme for Midsomer Murders. It is the only instrument which you play without touching it in any way. You just wave your hands near the aerial. On MM it has an ethereal quality - Jon's device now makes noises, but as yet the fine tuning isn't quite sorted out. So this morning it went off to church with us, and Bob managed to get TWO points from it for the children's slot. The first was that the Bible story today was about the Gadarene Swine - and he had volunteers trying to make the Theremin sound like a pig [well done Ian!] and the second was that the hands get closer, so the sound changes. As Jesus is closer to us, so He changes us.

The worship group led the rest of the service up to, and after the sermon, and for the last hymn chose a favourite of mine

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand

Yesterday, first thing, I returned my library books - including the one down river john hart Steph recommended - Down River, by John Hart. It was OK - but I am not sure that it was quite in the John Grisham league. At first I was really enjoying it - then I sort of ceased to care whodunnit and why!

I did look in case the library had any more by him, but they didn't. The librarian said that the book I ordered weeks ago had finally come in - The Thrift Book by India Knthriftight [subtitled 'Live well and spend less'] I think it was Tina in Scotland who first mentioned this on her blog last year.

It is full of lots of useful website addresses, and I think if you were new to the whole idea of thriftiness would prove a handy resource. It's a bit London-centric though. I got a bit frustrated when she kept on about popping into Selfridges or the local woolshop/deli/butcher/baker/

whatever. And I know they have an online store now, but unless you have been in person to MacCulloch and Wallis in Dering Street, you have no idea what a wonderful haberdashery it is! I found the instructions for growing cress on a flannel just a teensy bit patronising!

I think it is aimed at younger women. Sentences frequently seemed to start with "If you are under 30" - and I kept muttering "I am over 50" I shall encourage Liz and Steph [living in London and under 30] to get it from their libraries, and see what they make of it. When I have time, I shall check out a few of the recommended websites.

The other non-fictiontrinny & susanna clothes I picked up was Trinny and Susannah's "What your clothes say about you"

I haven't really watched many of their programmes, and was not sure what I would get out of this one. They had various categories [working girl, young mum, menopausal woman, can't be bothered with clothes etc] I decided I was in the "50+, don't want to spend time/money on clothes" groups. Apparently many women my age make the mistake of letting their wardrobe go grey and shapeless! We should aim at Statements - so if wearing beads, do not wear one necklace, wear three or four.

So this morning, put on typical 'going-to-church' gear - shirt, waistcoat, skirt - and then FOUR long strings of beads! [white, blues, ambers, multi-coloured - all colours in the brocade waistcoat, vintage charity shop] "Is this OK, Bob?" I checked [he seemed to think so] So off I went. It was quite surprising - I had at least seven people comment on my appearance, and say how attractive the beads were etc. I've worn that combination [without all the beads] before but this obviously made the necessary Statement!

However I am not sure that multi-beadedness is going to be a regular feature of my style - I was alarmed to find myself fingering them in a rosary -like way at one point, and I had to take them off when I got home, they got in the way of lunch preparation! T&S also advocate fishnet tights, killer heels and showing off your cleavage. I do not feel these are quite in keeping with my image!!

I am reminded of a poem by Ogden Nash


He tells you when you've got on too much lipstick

And helps you with your girdle when your hips stick

queens I made a Queen's Pudding today, using breadcrumbs from the heel of Friday's loaf. It is so satisfying to turn leftovers into such a scrumptious pud. Served it with plain yogurt in the interests of health and calorie cutting!

Here's Delia's recipe

300ml milk

5g butter

60g breadcrumbs

25g caster sugar + 1 tsp

2 medium eggs

2 tbsp jam

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

You will also need a 500ml pie dish, generously buttered.

First, pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, breadcrumbs, 10g of the sugar, and leave for 20 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to swell.

Now separate the eggs, lightly beat the yolks and add them to the cooled breadcrumb mixture. Pour it all into the pie dish and spread it out evenly. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until set. Meantime, in a small saucepan melt the raspberry jam over a low heat and, when the pudding is ready, remove it from the oven and spread the jam carefully and evenly all over the top.

Next, using an electric hand whisk, lightly beat the egg whites in a large scrupulously clean bowl until stiff, then whisk in 15g of the caster sugar and spoon this meringue mixture over the pudding. Finally, sprinkle the teaspoon of caster sugar over it all and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

Note - I put the meringue topping on before baking the base- and stuck it in the oven [on auto-timer] so it all cooked whilst we were at church. Not quite as good- but still enjoyable.

***Do you like Kipling? I don't know, I've never Kippled!


  1. I ordered 'The Thrift Book' from the library ages ago, too... perhaps there is only one copy in the whole country and it is slowly doing the rounds between you, Tina and myself.

    I don't expect much of it after yours and Tina's reviews, but its worth trying... never know when I might learn something :)

  2. It's interesting that so many people noticed your beads. I am not very good at accessorizing, but whenever I wear a necklace (my friend Danielle picked me out a very nice one a couple of years ago) I get all sorts of compliments. You'd think that would have me piling on necklaces left and right, but I have a hard time remembering. Wonder what kind of notice you'd get if you wore fishnets to church? I think you should try it, just once, and then report back to us.


  3. Sera -The library computer in November had no listing - but the book was actually issued to another branch in October- I suspect all the librarians were reading it before it went on the public shelf!!

    Frances - I promise I will let you know about the fishnets-at-church issue. Need to psych myself up for that I think!

  4. That is so funny about the theramin, as my hubby and my vintage friends fiance' were just talking about one. They are also techies.
    I love the poem and so fitting for my life, as I always ask my hubby now if my lipstick is okay and if my girdle looks smooth under my skirt.


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