My Last Two Months in Facebook Statuses
Watched the last Harry Potter with some sadness. End of an era. We started on them in 2002, had each book delivered at the crack of dawn on publication day, I read each of them to the kids, we saw each movie as soon as possible. We’ve listened to the whole series on tape. What a rich, complex, enchanting world! What a pity it had to end!
Like · · 24 July
So Zoe returned from her Creative Writing week at Arvon in love with poetry, literature and writing!! She’s reading “The Puzzle of God,” and declares she adores philosophy, which she’s taking as an A level. I’ve never had much time for philosophy, and neither has Roy, so it’s good to see the kids stake our their own territory and interests!
Like · · 24 July
Had a superb dinner of sausages and homegrown baby potatoes, and homegrown swiss chard and leaf chard. In my 40ies, and I have just learned a) that potatoes have purple and yellow flowers B) that new potatoes are ready to be harvested when the plants flower. Duh! The asparagus we planted this spring looks beautiful–and will be ready in 2013. 2013!!
Like · · 31 July
So, my little skeptic, Irene, just called from the Lymington Rushmore Christian Adventure camp to say she is SO MUCH deeper spiritually and “100% converted.” ( She added that her best friend, Alice, who went with her, and with whom she’s lovingly competitive, is only 80% converted!!) Zoe is at a 16-18 year old Scripture Union camp in the Lake District, and Roy and I are enjoying the peace and quiet.
Like · · 01 August
Leaving tomorrow for Sweden. Both girls completely packed, with rooms tidied for the housesitters. The mum, however, has spent the day nursing her laptop, playing on her beloved blog, getting her iPad working, tethering her iPhone, so that her internet deprivation won’t be too severe. Roy hasn’t started thinking about packing. Zoe Mathias says, “We think if we were the parents, things would be so much better” Humph!
Like · · 11 August
Okay, Stockholm is FAR, FAR more enchanting than I imagined. Magical. Yesterday, we hiked in the Tyresta National Park right in Stockholm. Today, canoed around the Stockholm islands for hours. Exhausting, but fun. Also walked for a couple of hours around Gamla Stan, the medieval quarter with tiny hairline alleys, barely 3 feet wide!! and pastel painted overhanging buildings. Fun!
Like · · 14 August
Enjoyed Carolus Linnaeus’s garden in Uppsala, an interesting specimen garden, and Uppsala Cathedral, the largest in Scandinavia, massive with lovely paintings on the noble granite. Now in Gothenburg–visiting the amazing botanical garden–with the largest hothouses in the world, larger than Kew, with Scandinavian orchids. Night walk on the beautiful beach on which we are wild motorhome camping!
Like · · 17 August
Had a lovely day on Sillvik Beach, near Gothenburg Sweden. Basically spent the whole day lolling out on the smooth grey rocks, unusually indolent for me, but incredibly relaxing. Tried some more good, down to earth, hearty Swedish food in a beach cafe for lunch, and liked it.
Like · · 18 August
Overheard in our motorhome. Irene whispers to Zoe, “Mum is cross with me. Will she be cross all holiday?” Zoe whispers back to Irene, “You know Mum. She won’t remember tomorrow. She’s a new person each morning.” And thus reassured, we all go to sleep, murmuring together, “Star Light, Star Bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight.” Good night!
Like · · 18 August
So Zoe got her GCSE results today. All A*’s and A’s, thank goodness, and more A* the highest possible grade than A’s. She took Greek, Latin, French, Drama and History as her optional subjects. Now she starts A levels–Theology, Philosophy, French and English. Hey, I half wish I were 16 again and studying them!!
Like · · 25 August
oe and Irene caught a plane to India today for 10 days–just 48 hours after we returned from Sweden. Roy and I are spending the long weekend at the Greenbelt Christian Festival. It started today, but alas, I was fighting a fluish cough and decided not to go. Also, it’s feels good to be home after 2 weeks hectic exploring of Sweden–which is a very beautiful country, with nice people.
Like · · 26 August
Well, after 12 years of the whirlwind that Irene has been, we are not devastated to share her. Irene and Zoe are in India for the week, visiting my mother, while her namesake visits Williamsburg, Virginia, our old stomping ground. Stay safe, friends in Williamsburg!! I still remember Isabel!
Like · · 27 August
Roy and I have had a perfectly wonderful and very peaceful week, puttering, pottering, reading and writing while the girls were in India. They left on the 26th Aug. and will be back tomorrow. Imagine a sweet shaggy sheepdog and a big bounding golden retriever invading a sanctum of quiet middle-aged bliss. Yes, you’ve got it!
Like · · 03 September
Okay, so Zoe, Irene, 4 suitcases and bags of presents, and lots of noise and excitement are back home. Roy spent yesterday tidying their rooms and baking and icing them cakes with their names. “I like them,” he said. “They are nice girls!” Well, I agree on both counts, but fortunately, have never tried or learnt to bake a cake!!
Like · · 04 September
Ha! Nothing like starting the weekend with a nice, clean, tidy house. My grumpiest day of the week is Thursday when the impending visit of the cleaner is our cue to get everything put back in the right place. I am really cross then at the waste of time, but then, on Friday evening, to see everything clean and tidy=bliss!! Irene has a friend over, in her immaculate room, and of course, is pretending we always live like this!!
Like · · 09 September
Inspiring, Holy Spirit filled service at St. Andrew’s, North Oxford. Highly recommended! Our family moved there from St. Aldate’s around Easter, and though we miss aspects of Aldate’s, this does feel like a place of blessing, healing and creativity for our family. Though we hope to see lots of you around town, FB friends from St. Aldate’s!!
Like · · 11 September
Overheard at our house. “Mum, what should I write my religion and philosophy term paper on? He said, “Choose whatever you interested in.” Me, “Write on whatever you are interested in.” She, “But I need you to tell me what I am interested in.” Me, “How should I know?” She, “Mum, whenever I NEED you to have an opinion, you have none.” Yeah, mums are awkward like that!
Like · · 12 September
I go away for three weeks in August, and my garden turns feral! It’s suddenly feels so overgrown, and the work to turn it into a tidy English country garden seems overwhelming. Tempted to wait until everything drops off of its own accord, and start next spring with secaturs. However, our Rocket autumn/winter veggie garden is coming soon, so off I go to the veg garden.
Like · · 14 September
We’ve got one of those body fat measuring scales. Roy’s body fat logs in at 18%, and his metabolic age at 34. My metabolic age, that scale says, is 54! Grr. And I’m not even 50! Okay, then to the garden I go, to heave dirt and build muscle.
Like · · 14 September
Hey guys, check out t. guest posts on http://dreamingbeneaththespires.blogspot.com/2011/09/meek-shall-inherit-earth-guest-post-by_3384.html on the Old Testament statement echoed by Jesus–The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth. To come: Dick Woodward, Virginia Lea Woodward, Jan & Karoline Sassenberg etc. Much flack from Roy who claims I’m assembling the evidence on the rewards of meekness before I commit! No, this fiery, feisty girl honestly wants to become gentler & sweeter
Wow. Stuck on a line I didn’t understand. Which is–can you guess?–“The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth.” Discovered a great resource which collates numerous commentaries. Scroll through to the bottom. It’s great. Okay, studying over, now to the doing of it. Sigh!!
There was a talk in the Greenbelt programme this summer, “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth.” The speaker seemed to assert they do. I had a hard time with this concept, and kept puzzling over it. I have invited a series of guest posts on my blog on this theme–Dick Woodward will be writing tomorrow–and now am trying to write my own post. It’s a core Scriptural value, and so I praying for wisdom and insight to see how it might be true!!
Like · · 16 September
Okay, after keeping the kids TV free for 16 and 12 years respectively, one has succumbed. And to what? Irene watched The Great British Bake Off obsessively–and baked several delicious cakes this weekend. Like a true chef, she prefers creating to savouring. And guess who does the savouring. Sigh!!
Like · · 20 September
In the good old days, I researched and chose family DVDs myself. Now, the girls chose 50 percent of them. So this weekend, we watched “500 Days of Summer,” which was cleverly and innovatively presented, but essentially silly and vapid, and “Annie,” the musical. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy them a bit, but then one asks, “Well, what was the point of THAT?”
Like · · 20 September
Roy has been using this great time-management strategy for the last 3 weeks. http://dreamingbeneaththespires.blogspot.com/2011/08/best-way-i-know-to-dramatically.html. It’s amazing how we’ve cleared the most urgent things off our plates, have nothing “urgent” on them anymore, and are generally feeling more relaxed and caught-up!! And it was relatively simple!
Aaargh. I seem to be getting lots of colds of late. I am sure it’s the change of season, but obviously my immune system could be stronger. Any tips? What can I do about this period of one sniffle after another. Sigh!!
I will be blogging for the Big Bible’s (http://bigbible.org.uk/) new initiative, Digital Disciples, which focuses on being a disciple of Christ in our digital age. I will be guest-blogging on the 24th of every month, from October (skipping Christmas Eve, of course) on “The Vocation and Ministry of Christian Blogging and Writing” My family suggests I write a post on what NOT to do as a Christian blogger; friends from St. Aldate’s Church will appreciate that in-joke 🙂
”God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” (Ephesians 3)
Like · · 29 September
Zoe and Irene visited India on their own this summer–reprising their solo visit in 2009. Zoe now has a new complaint, “Mum, you’re being all Indian.” “Don’t be so Indian, mum!” It’s 27 years (to the day!) since I left India for Oxford–and the first time I’ve been accused of being Indian. My crime:telling Irene reading or studying was a better use of time than baking (her new passion) or watching “The Great British Bake-off,” her latest passion.
Like · · 29 September
Roy has been working from home since June 2010. He’s become super-organised, and usually has something in the oven for when the girls come home. Lancashire hot-pot today. Beef stew, lamb roast, and roast duck are some of his other specialties. His latest saying, “Men should run houses; we do SO much better!”
Like · · 03 October
Ah, Roy’s latest culinary achievement–pretty darn good homemade, whole wheat bread. And it wasn’t too hard either. Thanks, Klaudia for giving us the idea. I think he is going to go on experimenting until he’s got it perfected!
Looking forward to a quiet family weekend of movies and maybe board games. Thanks to Ruth and Matthew for introducing us to new ones in my first board games evening in years. I also enjoyed having Lesley Crawley, AlanCrawley, Erika Baker and Klaudia Schwenk here for lunch. They motivated me to get my house all picked up and tidy:)