Sunday, 29 July 2012

Holiday day 2

P1010953 Awandering down country lanes

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Friday, 27 July 2012

Holiday excitement

The past couple of "WIP Wednesdays seem to have drifted past me, never mind, these things happen and I have been feeling worn out and really rather out of it, as though the world were quite a long way off.

But, excitingly, on Saturday I am off on holiday for the first time in six years.  Previously I have always felt so tired and just could not face travel, but I have decided to take a step out and be brave and go away for a week.  So I am going with my parents to spend a week on a farm in Sussex.  Hardly a huge adventure or trekking in the Andes, but for me, who has not been outside London in a number of years and lately not even outside Croydon, it is a huge step.

When you are so tired and ill your world does tend to shrink, to places you have to go (hospital appointments etc.) and places you feel safe going and know you can manage, which tend to be repetitive (I can get anxious about new places) and close by.  So a distance that my parents would not turn a hair at as a day trip, becomes for me a trek and entirely new territory, new places to explore.


Naturally I am anxious about being away, about a different bed, new places, there are lots of unquantifiables, and so I am trying to quell my anxieties.  If I have been on the website of the place we are staying once I have been on a dozen times; I have examined the location and the surrounding areas and even looked on Google Earth!  I am packing things that help me cope with all eventualities such as hot water bottle and a fan and will have the internet while I am there so that I can stay in touch with my ravelry friends too.

But despite all this I am genuinely excited, I am looking forward to peace, quiet and green - being able to see the countryside and see beautiful things instead of grey pavements and tower blocks.  I know there are limits to what I can do while there, my world there will be small just as it is at home, because I am not well enough to travel miles or go for day trips in the car.  But I plan to make the most of what I can do, seeing the animals on the farm, sitting with my knitting looking at a beautiful view, enjoying the fresh air and freedom from the Met Police's helicopters.  And I have a couple of little excursions I want to make, notably to Lewes, a town I have not visited in years, but used to love going to.


If blogger's interfaces and my little Android tablet get on then I hope to blog from Sussex; if not then I shall do a post (or two) about it when I am back from my great adventure.  For now I need to finish packing (itself a tiring, anxious process) and try to keep my fear and excitement under check, now I come to think about it they are rather linked emotions; for me this has all the emotions of a ride at Alton Towers.

The photographs in this post were taken at Coombe Wood, one of Croydon's hidden gems and well worth a visit.

Monday, 16 July 2012

What I pray my church will be

Recently while praying for my church I scribbled down a list of attributes I pray my church and the church more widely will have and will further develop, suitably enough on the back of an envelope.  Then I lost the envelope for a few weeks'.

As I have now found it again I thought I would post the list here, in the order in which I wrote it down, in the hopes that it would prove helpful to you as you pray for your church and our church.  Of course the list is not comprehensive, but I hope and pray it can be a place to start from.  I dearly love the church, it is a wonderful concept, the body of Christ, a series of loving relationships changing the world, working through the world like yeast through flour, to make all things new.

Let us pray.

What I pray my church will be:

Founded in Christ – our sure foundation

welcoming, open

a window on another world

learning from the past but not bound by it

preaching the Gospel
boasting in Christ crucified


discipling one another

one as He is one

of pure heart

full of joy in Him

a lamp on a lampstand, a city on a hill, shining for all to see

full of peace




a place of healing

a place of prayer for all the nations


I will leave you with this song I discovered yesterday, which is a tremendous encouragement to pray.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

WIP Wednesday (with added biscuits)

Another bad week, I suppose it's a crash or what some people call a "fibro flare".  My mood is very mixed too which makes things extra hard, and the weather is not helping.  So in between trying to stay cheerful, stretching and trying to get the movement/rest balance right I've mostly been knitting.


I have finished the first of the Thelonious socks, which I'm very proud of although I am hoping that the second one takes less time than the first.  Hopefully it should since I now understand the ideas behind the design.  Other than more ploughing on through my alpaca cardigan I have mostly been working on my lace shawl, I've finished two more sections since last week and am into the next section.  It's a satisfying and interesting knit, good for those times when you need to focus on something to take your mind off life.


Lastly the ghastly weather has made me itch to get baking and yesterday the need to bake took over and I made a half batch of melting moments from the Edmonds' cook book, they are very very yummy and moreish, definitely something to make occasionally rather than regularly!  I'd recommend Edmonds', which is a New Zealand cook book my mother, a native of that country, introduced me to at a young age, apparently every household in New Zealand owns a copy.  It contains a tremendous variety of baking recipes that work beautifully every time as well recipes, tips and instruction on general cookery.  Thus it is a great favourite in our family.  You can find the recipe for melting moments in Edmonds' virtual cookbook, where it adorns the front cover.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

WIP Wednesday


Last week, after much dithering and a long time of wanting to make a shawl, I finally decided upon a new pattern called Fledge, by Megan Goodacre using some Malabrigo sock I got from a friend's destash.  Fledge is a very beautiful pattern, well written and clearly laid out and the Malabrigo sock seems to compliment it well, even now, before blocking, the lace is distinct and clear.  I have been taking a photo after each completed section and am now on the fourth section.


While the pattern requires some degree of concentration it is not so tricky that it is exhausting or that it feels like hard work.  The colour, called Solis, is very me, as a number of friends have commented.  I'm looking forward to wearing it as I think it will compliment my wardrobe nicely.  I'm glad I've had this to occupy me this week as I've been very tired from overdoing things earlier in June; though it does seem almost incredible that it is already July and the weather isn't helping the illusion!


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Observations in a garden, between seven and eight on a June evening

I am sitting on the old bench in the middle of the garden in the cool of the evening. Little snatches of sunshine have made their way through the tall trees to the west and are illuminating a piece of the trellis, making the bark of the wild cherry shine in a fluttering leaf-filtered light and turning a few privileged leaves of the apricot tree translucent and more intensely green.

The biggest sensation around me is the wind, first in big whooshing gushes in the taller trees, then echoed down lower in the shrubs, bushes and smaller trees of our garden. The sound is all around me, gentle, rushing and persistent, putting into sound the scritchy-scratchiness of the holly trees as the leaves scrape against one another. Most of the sound is more gentle though, a soft constant, drowning out more modern noise, lifted and enlarged by bigger gusts, varied with sudden stillnesses when only the slightest breeze travels lightly across my hands and around my body.


The tall trees are like illuminated green tents, formed by leaves caught in evening sunlight, full of life. Around them insects dance and birds fly to and fro chirruping to one another. One young bird cries persistently, as though searching for his parents, or wishing to affirm his own identity.

This is the hour when often a blackbird will sit on an ariel above a neighbour's roof, or perhaps on a convenient chimney pot, singing to all the world, but tonight he is elsewhere. Often when I sit here I am aware of the birds around me, even if I cannot see them, hearing the little scufflings and hoppings and twitterings as they go about through the trees and bushes and fences around me, communicating with one another in a constant game of, "Where are you?" "I am here, where are you?". Occasionally a bold fellow, usually the robin, will come closer to see who or what I am and what I am doing in his territory, sometimes lingering to look over my shoulder and hovering near.

If you sit still for long enough you can be rewarded by the birds coming down to the seed feeder as though you are not there, scuttling in for a piece of sunflower seed before carrying their prize into the wild cherry or holly trees to peck it into submission.

My fingers are cold now but I have no wish to go in, the evening is so perfect, the sky so blue after so much grey and rain and I can smell the already dampening grass beneath my feet, speckled with clover flowers. In between the wind bears towards me the scent of the roses and honeysuckle, both blooming profusely and other scents whose origins are foreign to me. The wind ruffles my back and I watch the golden green leaves of the biggest of the trees fluttering too and fro, the branches pitching and tossing like the sea.


The adult robin comes onto the trellis, looks around the garden to check all is well, flutters to the fence and speeds off between the houses. Leaf shadows show like puppets across pots, plants and bows and a bumble bee, out late, investigates a likely looking nasturtium, crawling bodily into the heart of the flower. A snatch of song comes through the wind, comes closer and the conversation continues across the gardens, but I must leave the garden to its true owners, it is only ever on loan to me, and go in and attend to supper.

(As written except for corrections to typing and spelling errors, 30th June 2012.  Photographs from other occasions)