Sunday, 27 October 2019

Not the darkest day

Last week many of my friends, Prince Charming, included, changed their facebook profile picture to black #darkest day. I didn't. Not because I disagreed with them: just the night before the boys and I had discussed the imminent new marriage and abortion Northern Ireland legislation and the impact it would have on our little society. Or perhaps on Christians in our little society. My perspective was that not often are you aware that the fabric of society is changing, but last Tuesday was a milestone.

The reason I didn't change my picture, and I did think about it, was because my reading the night before had been from Psalm 118:24, "This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it". I'm working through Warren Wiersbe's Prayer, Praise and Promises book, and this is what he writes, "The psalmist was going through battles and difficulties, yet he was able to say, 'If God put this day together, I'm going to rejoice...'" And so I felt that, like Corrie Ten Boom in her lice-infested bed, I should give thanks and strive after faith. I told the boys that in this new chapter my plan was to live a life of hospitality and sacrifice. I wasn't entirely sure what I meant myself! I wondered if the sacrifice would be putting aside what others thought of me in this brave new world.

It's finally half-term, and today I am slightly hysterical with joy! I have bronze toes and a new sofa in the sunny spot and plans plans plans to embrace all things orange and to breathe deep deep deep of this gorgeous season. The year is slowing down, and in the cosy darkening we can burrow slow down into what sustains us. Now and through the wintry times.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Hunkering down

 When the strawberries were littler, there were many movies we watched over and over again. They loved, much to my amazement and delight, the Kiera Knightly 'Pride and Prejudice'. They called it 'The Man and the Lady'. Baby Mattman lived for the scene in 'Prisoner of Azkaban' where Harry Potter flies off on the hippogriff. "Buckbeak", Mattman would demand quite quite clearly before he could say much else. Later on, we all became a bit obsessed with the terrifyingly exciting 'The Day After Tomorrow', and that's exactly what I said out loud when I read this article on-line just now! I know that we're all divided by the contentious subject of snow, but just look for little Ireland in the picture above.... She is completely covered with it!

I read Greta Thornberg's little book of speeches last week - 'No one is too small to make a difference'. This week I'm reading William Morris' 'Notes from Nowhere'. I think Greta would approve of Morris' Utopia, where people live and work and have their being productively, but in tune with Nature and each other.  I hope Morris would approve of our slowly returning respect for the way things were done not long before our age of plastic and consumption. Reading 'Notes from Nowhere' is uncanny actually given the environmental concerns of today.
 I was blaming MK wrongly this week for sending us Storm Lorenzo! She was obviously wholly innocent of all charges. We've been lashed by wind and rain, with no choice but to light the fire and crochet pumpkins. If a very cold winter is indeed about to roar up to the doorstep, I'll hope that we'll stay snug, rest up, and be very grateful for the blessings of a home and a hearth. Hunkering down and able to do so. Lots of tea, lots of books, lots of projects!

The importance of thanks-giving has been much in my heart over the last two months, having been in and out of hospital very briefly, grateful for results so clear that everyone was delighted, and having loved time at home as my body knit itself back together. So I'm very gradually putting out my pumpkins like Ebenezers: 1 Samuel 7, "Then Samuel took a stone... and named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the Lord helped us."

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The Enormous Turnip (Pumpkin)

 Everything seems to come down to fairy tales at the minute here! This week I've been remembering one of my very favourite stories from when the strawberries were really very small indeed. We loved the repetition of the list and the final triumph and joy. Why I remembered this one this week was this:
I had promised myself that I would buy the very first pumpkin that I saw this year, not really expecting to find it on the 27th September! Usually they only appear in supermarkets here for Hallowe'en and you need to buy one before they all sell out. But they are never quite as beautiful, or as huge, as this sublime specimen! This is the most wonderful pumpkin I have ever had. It is hugely enormous, and just as perfect. It makes me ridiculously happy. And it was the smallest of the three sitting proudly outside the grocer's shop last Friday!

It has given us lots of pumpkin curry, lots of pumpkin soup and a tray of pumpkin seeds, which I burned. Oops. And you can see from the carving that in fact it could have yielded still more, had I not been worn out from scooping and watching the clock for last night's boy activity taxi run.

Raggedy Elf #2 was fifteen today. When I first started blogging he was pre-school and waddling out the front door of Strawberry Land in his father's too big shoes. I seem to have said, back then in 2009, that I caught a glimpse of what he would be. I think I'm still only cathing glimpses...
Happy Birthday, young man of mine. And happy October to us all. Autumn must surely be the season for which blogging was invented. And in the northern hemisphere, it's here!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

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