Saturday, 26 September 2009

Appearances, Perfect, Imperfect,

Good morning friends, thank you for popping into read my latest blog !and thank you to those of you who have added a comment. It is always nice to see that whatever you are wrting is being read !!

I was reading lately that the Bible is still the world best selling book - what did surprise me was the claim that it is also the most shoplifted book. It seems odd to think of someone stealing a bible - what do they do when they come to the 10 commandments and read 'You shall not steal'? Do they take it back?
Bookstores say that the most common reason people give if they are caught is that they believe the Bible ought to be free to whoever wants to read it - but those who steal it seldom take the cheap paper-back version, it's usually the leather bound, red-letter, gold leaf edition that goes missing.
The packaging doesn't change the message, each Bible still has only four gospels, but the appearance, the binding, the type-face, the cost, all seem to affect how people look at it. It's just one more illustration of how we have been 'sold' false values. The more 'expensive' the product, the greater its value, and the more we should desire it - after all we are 'worth it' - aren't we?
But its all just packaging..
We know it, but seem helpless to resist it, in every area of life..
As part of their campaign to lure shoppers back, for example, many supermarkets are introducing a 'basics' range. This includes items like fresh fruit and veg which might not LOOK perfect, but which are just as nutritious. Carrots have kinks, marrows are curved, tomatoes have bulges, apples have marked skins.. the taste and the calories are the same as their more 'perfect' cousins. But even when we KNOW that there is no health or financial advantage to buying the more pleasing looking product we insist that if it looks better, it must be better.
But its all just packaging
I was wondering if we see people in the same way? If they look a bit rough, not particularly clean, perhaps dare we say it of a different colour , maybe they have a limb missing or have a blemish on their face, use a wheelchair, It would be a good idea if we were all to remember that everybody is quite unique, special, different and good - regardless of how we are packaged

Monday, 21 September 2009

Agraphobia, Panic Attacks, Bath Visit

I have a friend who now lives here in the village and when I was away in Canada she had a wonderful day in Bath with a young friend....nothing unusual about that I can hear you say....However my friend has suffered from Agrophobia and Panic attacks for many many many years and this outing was a real challenge for her. She wrote such a lovely account that I thought you might like to read it as well, and so asked her if she would mind if I used extracts from her letter to me and she has given me permission to share this with you all. I know that quite a few of us may know people who also have panic attacks and perhaps even suffer from Agrophobia and I hope that by printing this it may in some small way help them.

I did the day in Bath with Justi, can't really express what an achievement that was for me after so many years (with no mention of agoraphobia or panic).
Hello, I am writing this whilst the day is fresh in my mind. It is probably the most amazing thing I have done for decades and decades, taking Justi to Bath and having a long and successful day. I went into Chippenham on the earliest bus I can use my pass, and that one gets held up by the dustbin lorries in Park Lane but it did not matter, as the one we wanted to go back on was behind me. Justi was waiting with her cap on and looking very sweet with tiny plaits. We went down to Bath. I then took her to the Pump Room for coffee and a croissant and there was music on the piano, violin and cello. The chandelier was lovely and the whole atmosphere very impressive. We had a small glass of the warm spring water and looked at the fountain and the King’s bath. Then we went on the city bus tour sitting on the upstairs top front seat with our little headphones plugged in, she to Polish and me to English. After that we went to Hands for lunch which was so slow, but the sun had come out by then, so it was not so bad to rest awhile. We then walked up to the Costume Museum where I had never been before and Justi chose that rather than the Roman Baths as, like any girl she likes clothes. There just is not enough time to do it all. We did several other things like looking around the market, Corridor, and university outfitters which is lovely but really, really expensive, and posing with the various buskers in the Abbey courtyard. I’ll send some photos. We ended up at Sally Lunns for tea and I had a really delicious Sally Lunn tea-cake, actually they serve half they are so big, with cinnamon butter and cream and a pot of tea. Justi had jam and cream. We went down into the kitchen exhibition in the basement and,also saw the layers of excavation exposed from medieval times. The person at the desk asked where we came from and was lovely to Justi saying - Welcome. We would have gone again on the other bus trip as the ticket is valid for 24 hours, but it was too late and the boat wasn’t going either so we wandered through The Podium and sat in there until the bus home.

You can't imagine how happy I am for my friend it is something that she did not know that I had been praying about for such a long time.

We have had another two lovely days here in Box. The sun still shines although it is a bit colder in the early morning and the days are certainly getting shorter. We will soon be changing our clocks and dark nights will be the order of the day....I do not look forward to winter at all....Today was the start of the new Wesley Guild sessions which will be held each week now till April. Although there were a few who were unable to attend we had 14 so I was quite pleased. They were all given their new programme and seemed to be happy with what we have organised for them I hope that perhaps in the weeks to come we may attract more members.
Thats all the news for tonight so don't foget to ....

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Photographs, Jane Austen, Bath,

This is a bit of an experiment...I think that you may be able to view all of the photographs that we took whilst we were in and around Toronto. Rather than me trying to put one or two on at a time. You can choose to look at them....or not ..." type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" />

I think perhaps you will only have to click on the blue area ? please let me know if you do manage to see anything !! Mind you there are some odd pictures amongs them and some that are fairly good. I have not edited them in any yet...

Now that that is over !! I can start again, How has your Saturday been. It has been a glorious day here in Wiltshire with lovely warm sunshine, we are certainly having an Indian Summer, long may it continue.
As you know on a Saturday we always go to Sarah and John's for our coffee, they had a visitor this weekend who is very much into Jane Austen ( I expect most of you know of Jane Austens books ?) anyway she (Jane Austen) stayed in Bath at one time and there is a Jane Austen Ass. etc etc. Once a year they have a Jane Austen Weekend and this weekend tried, and I would think succeed, to have more couples dressed in costume than have ever gathered together for a parade from the Pump Rooms through the centre of town and up to the Assembly Rooms. It would have been a lovely thing to have seen but we did not go into Bath in the morning. However Sarah and John took Sheala into town and dropped her off and this afternoon Mary, Sarah, John and I drove into Bath and met up with Sheala in the Pump room for a Jane Austen theme afternoon tea. It was really delightful to be sitting there under the beautiful chandeliers, piano playing in the background, surrounded by many ladies and gentlemen dressed in the finery of the day. I managed to get a couple of photographs but have not downloaded them as will see them one day I am sure. Whilst we were waiting for tea...there was a HUGE queue and about a 30min wait.. we left John and Sheala in the queue...Sarah Mary and I sat out in the Abbey Church Yard people watching,when there we were entertained by a very good sounding busker and suddenly there were cries of "make way, make way" and comming along were around 8 very very old style bicycles with riders in suitable attire !! no brakes on these old things !! it was such fun though to see them, and all the people jumping out the way !!
Once we returned home it was still pleasant enough for Mary and I to sit out on the deck and enjoy the last of the sunshine, Peter appeared having been at a football match this afternoon and so he stood and had a chat, then another neighbour Rob appeared and joined in the chat so almost an hour passed before we realised it and it was almost time for Mary to go on her merry way back to her own home !! Since then I have been playing about with the photographs ! and I am now going to watch one of my favourite TV programmes called "Casualty" it has just returned for the Autumn/winter season.
So it is good night from me xx


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Holidays, Toronto

Hi Friends,
Well Mary and I have returned after our lovely 10 days in and around Toronto. we have had a really lovely break. we were blessed with some wonderful, not warm...HOT sunshine every day. The hotel we had chosen proved to be a winner and we have seldom had such helpful and friendly staff, not one grumpy face in the place, in fact we had wonderful service from everyone we met. we discovered that our hotel was the biggest in Toronto and it certainly was the busiest!! never a dull moment. We were very lucky to be able to stay one night down at Niagara in the Sheridan Hotel, where we had a room that looked directly over onto the Falls which was every bit as spectacular as everyone had said it would be. It would be hard to say when the falls looked their best, in the clear afternoon, or early morning when the mist hung around, or in the evening when they were lit up in many colours just like a giant curtain.

Falls by night
I can hardly believe it !! I have managed to get a photograph to appear. Thank you Jeanette.
Now that I have done it once hopefully I will be able to do it again.
Once we were back in Toronto we mainly walked and walked..or in my case trundled !! Poor Mary's legs were nearly down to stumps. we had thought there would be accessable transport as most of the public transport here is now wheelchair friendly, however we soon realise that was not to be. The first day we were there we had booked a "HIPPO" tour this was a city tour by a bus type vehicle that could also go on water what fun it was...however we had to get to the starting point and that meant a then we had not yet got our we oredered a taxi to cost $10c the doorman asked if we would like a wheelchair access taxi and I said yes, only to discover that would cost $25c !!!! guess what I said to that, so an ordinary taxi was called and although the wheelchair I accept is very heavy, the taxi driver was quite ok about it. (That is something that would not be allowed in the UK as it would be classed as discrimination to cost more than double the normal costs). The costs of most things we found quite high. There were some lovely parks around and Mary and I did a good deal of sitting around them ! also in center of town was the lovely Nathan Square and people watching was fun there. Many weddings took place in the Civic Hall and it was fun watching them come and go...Another day we took a taxi down to the waterfront and managed to get a cruise round Toronto Islands and also visited a lovely shopping mall down that way and I was delighted to find a museum there that had an exhibition dedicated to Innuit Art. I am most interested in this lovely art so was doubly delighted to be able to see it. Next time I am on I will try to add some more photographs
Mary and I have had a touch of jet lag since we came home I had forgotten about that !!!
So this is just a quickie to say that we are back and say Hi to you all


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Happy days, Puppies Pugs,

Good evening friends, This will be a short note as I am going to have an early night. Mary and I will have to be up real early as we are leaving here at 6am. The packing is now finished. I wonder how many people like packing ? I find it quite a challenge as I have to travel as lightly as possible as everything for both Mary and I has to be able to be transported on the well as me !! I have even got Mary's down to a fine art, she puts so much out we might need a transporter if left to her own packing !!

I had a lovely weekend. friends were down visiting my sister Sarah and we met them on Saturday morning. I had Dee my wee dog with me and they were delighted with him and said that they thought that they would have to have another dag...their last one having died at Easter...however they were very sure that they wanted a "pug" and they were very hard to get... as they explained that I suddenly remembered that in our local paper I had seen an advert for just that pug dogs...when I told them they got so excited. I promised to look for the paper when I got home after Mary and I had been shopping in Chippenham..this I did but by that time they had gone out and didn't return till 3.45 when I called them with the news telephone number etc. Sarah phoned down shortly afterwards to say that they had ..gone...for puppy over to took them about 3 hours to go there and collect the wee pup 9 weeks old so were not back to Sarah's utill 10.30pm. Such excitement it caused. I was so pleased for them. I can't say that a Pug would be my choice of a dog but they sure love him...

Now I will close with a wee poem that my Brother in Law has just recently written. It was written about and for Bill who was their very elderly neighbour...I hope that you will all enjoy it ...


I was in the back garden for a look at the sky
When a movement next door, upstairs, caught my eye.
The back bedroom curtain was moving about
I thought “Something is in there, I’ll give Bill a shout”
So I went to tell him and loudly I told
“I will go and investigate” – him being old.

As I entered the room, was it feathered or furred?
But there in the window, as I’d hoped, t’was a bird.
It must have come into the eaves in the gloom
Down the loft hatchway and into the room.
So gently I caught this dark bird, What a thrill!
Then carefully downstairs, to show it to Bill.

“You are honoured” he said “For that bird never lands
and now you are holding a swift in your hands”
Then I took it outside and said a goodbye
And it went like an arrow up into the sky.

John Mitchell. August 2009

It is a timely reminder that Autumn is fast approaching as the swifts have now gone to warmer places. The leaves on the trees are turning brown and by the time Mary and I return on the 15th. I have no doubt many lovely colours will be showing.

Until we return. Look after yourselves and always remeber to.