Friday, August 28, 2009

Also Read



The 1066 book left me with very mixed feelings. It was very detailed about the events of the fateful year in question, but the author's own feelings and prejudices against some of the major protagonists were to the forefront which meant that I found it difficult to be objective myself, which I don't particularly like in a historical book.
It is quite an old book, but it irritated me intensely. I really was disappointed.






The Pasta cookbook was also on oldie from the charity shop, but crammed full of yummy recipes which I shall enjoy trying out :-)
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Just Finished...



Finding Happiness is an interesting book, written by the Abbot of the RC monastery of Worth Abbey. Much of it centres around the teachings of St John Cassian, and provides much food for thought. I would like to read an Orthodox writer's views on the teachings of St John Cassian to see if there are any significant differences between current RC and Orthodox views on our Saint-in-common. Does anyone know of anything suitable ?



Shepherd of Souls is the life story of the renowned modern spiritual giant of Romania, Blessed Cleopa Ilie. It is a privilege and an inspiration to be able to read this book. Go read it; you will not be disappointed.
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First Fruits



The Lavender, duly harvested, dried and bagged up for storage :-)




The first plums harvested from our tree!
I picked more last night, before the wasps got to them, and will have to pick more tonight, as they are ripening so fast..
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Morning Prayers



These were the books on my table this morning for prayers at the icon corner :-)
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Sunset Clouds








I took these a few weeks ago in my back garden and apparently forgot to post them !
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Even Gloomier Than Eeyore....

.........That's me.

Today it is cold, very wet, miserable and overcast.


Rather like me, except I'm not actually wet because I am safely indoors and hoping I will not have to venture into the Great Outdoors today.

My brother was *very* confused and disorientated yesterday morning, according to the hospital staff. As his liver fails even further, it will increasingly affect his brain. Mercifully, he was much brighter in the evening, when Mum went to visit him.

I think I need to go light my Lampada and pray.
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Looking For.....

an online Akathist to St Mark of Ephesus .

Is there one?

Is there one in printed form, even ?

I would love to be able to pray this for my brother.
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New Akathist

I have put new Akathists, this one To All Saints Of Western Europe,



and this one to St Michael the Archangel



on my Akathist blog.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Liturgical Delights From YouTube !








DD3 and I have been singing these this morning :-)

I specially like that if you click to watch them on YouTube, they have the words in transliterated Greek, as I didn't know all the words for Axion Estin :-)
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Guess Who

- just appeared in my back garden, for the first time in weeks ?

My resident robin redbreast!

Summer is definitely on the wane.
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Blueberry And Lavender Ice-Cream

I kid you not.

I so have to try making this !!
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Mozart

I am having a blast listening to Mozart on YouTube.
I was thrilled to find the Laudate Dominum :-)

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Waffle Recipes

At the request of the young ones, I made waffles for breakfast this morning.

We use an ancient recipe in one of my late father-in-law's cookbooks, but I was wondering if any of you have favourite waffle recipes you would be willing to share ?

We'd love to try something different :-)
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Definitely Autumn

The season has changed, no doubt about it.

My honeysuckle climber is shedding its leaves at a rate of knots, turning the courtyard into something approximating an ice-skating rink for slipperiness, but as it is raining I cannot go out and sweep it clean.

It is getting cold in the night and early mornings, and the nights are drawing in rapidly. We need to order in our firewood for the winter very soon. I am sitting here wearing a jumper over my T- shirt, and my light cotton trousers have been abandoned in favour of nice warm track suit leggings :-) But if the sun breaks out later, it will really warm again.

The year is turning.
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The Latest Reads



Sam Bourne's second book is a good thriller, though I felt the ending let the rest of the book down. I enjoyed it, nonetheless :-)




"Making Money" was one of the few TP books I looked forward to and felt let down after I read it for the first time. Having now re-read it at least half a dozen times, I do actually enjoy it, though it is nowhere near as funny or as innovative as "Going Postal" was. It was a fun way to while away a few hours over the weekend.





I have very nearly finished "Gifts of the Desert" so I decided to photograph it and upload it with the other books. It is an excellent book. I do hope we get to hear more about Bishop Maximos in a new book soon.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

For those of you who have asked for the recipe :-)

It is rather fun to make these, and give them to people and ask them to tell you what they think the "secret ingredient" is. Many people find it hard to guess....


I'm giving this recipe in Metric/Imperial/Cup measurements.

Please source your lavender carefully; do not use lavender from gardens where pesticides/herbicides have been sprayed within the last few months. It is usually possible to buy culinary/food grade lavender from a herb shop.


Ingredients

115g/4oz/ half a cup Unsalted butter

50g/ 2oz/ quarter cup caster (superfine granulated)sugar

175g/6oz/ one and a half cups plain flour

30ml/2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh lavender florets OR 15ml/1 tablespoon dried lavender

30ml/2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine sugar) for sprinkling.

Makes approx 16

Method

1/ Cream together butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add flour and lavender, and combine into a soft ball of mixture. Cover and chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

2/ Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6

3/ Roll the dough onto a lightly floured board or worktop. Stamp out the biscuits using a cookie cutter. I use a heart shaped one, about 2 inches across, so they look pretty :-)

4/ Put them on a heavy baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes or until pale golden.

5/ Leave them to stand on the tray for about 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with the caster sugar/superfine granulated sugar.

These will keep in an airtight container for a week, but mine never last that long......
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

DoomHamster Thrives.

DoomHamster has settled in very well to her new flat and is busy exploring the Big City in which she now lives, I am glad to report.
Matt arrived safely in the UK :-)

My young ones have been stricken with a very nasty cold, so our house resembles something approximating Emergency Ward 10........

The weather continues to wreak havoc with my poor apple tree; only half a doxen apples in varying stages of growth are still hanging on the tree. The plums are ripening and seem to be benefiting from the inclement weather, for some strange reason. My lavender bush has now been stripped of the heads, which are drying nicely in the kitchen in a large shallow dish. I will be using them to make my favourite lavender shortbread cookies in due course !
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Reactions

As you can see, I have given in and added Blogger Reactions to my site.

If you enjoyed a post, thought it was interesting or boring, you can let me know without having to make a comment.
All too often, I read great things on other people's blogs but can think of nothing pithy or pertinent to add to all the other comments left before me.

Reactions is the answer :-)
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BBC Report on Tinos

The shrine of the Panagia on Tinos island has been reported upon by the BBC here, complete with short video.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Found !

At long last I have found an online copy of parts of St John Moschos' "The Spiritual Meadow" here.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DoomHamster Moves

DD1 is moving to her shiny new flat in the Big City today.

She will be within fairly easy walking distance of the GO Church there :-)

I must own to being rather envious of her proximity to an Orthodox church........
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Ripening



Not a very good shot of one of the few apples left on my tree after recent high winds.....






My plum tree is faring rather better, to my delight ! It always amazes me how some of the fruit ripens so much faster than the rest.....

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Fact And Fiction



"The Mountain Of Silence" is a book that I read at least once or twice a year, and each time, I learn - or re-learn something of value in the spiritual struggle.





"The Island" is a book I had never even heard mentioned before. Purely by chance, I picked it up for 10p in a rummage sale, took it home and devoured it, which is unusual for me to do with a work of fiction these days.
It deals with a young woman, on holiday to her maternal ancestral village in Greece, and what she learns about life, love, Greece, herself and her mother.

I loved it. I am now afraid to even look for any other books by Victoria Hislop in case they fail to match up to this standard.
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Completed Books



"First Amongst Sequels", which I just finished, is a classic Jasper Fforde. I simply loved the portrayal of Friday Next as an adolescent :-)




"Let Me Eat Cake" is an engaging autobiographical portrayal of the English love of cakes, sweets and afternoon tea. 99% of it was thoroughly enjoyable, and then the author decides to includ some graphically sexually explicit material which was completely crude, unneceessary and did nothing to enhance the book. If that one scene had not been included, I would most likely be now buying my own copy of the book, instead of returning this to the Library.




"Fatty Batter" should be de rigeur for anyone who loves cricket. My own technical knowledge of cricket is sadly lacking, but I can thoroughly enjoy watching it on TV. I enjoyed pretty much every page of this book. Any sport which has officially sanctioned breaks for a substantial afternoon tea is my kind of sport, LOL.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dormition, Updated

Edited to add a correction :
Sorry to have caused any confusion, Meg, but what I am looking for is a text of the Liturgy in Greek, but written phonetically in a normal English alphabet, so we can read/sing the responses in Greek without being able to read the Greek alphabet.

A tall order, I know, but we can't be the only Anglo family in the Orthodox world worshipping in a partly Greek-using parish :-) We are under the omophorion of Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, but in accordance with the Archbishop's wish, as we are a mission parish, the majority of our services are in English, with some Welsh, with Greek/Slavonic used whenever we have members attending who are Greek/Russian.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++






I slept much better last night, thank you all for your prayers !

Today we were able to go to the Liturgy for the Dormition. It was so strange, going into the Chapel and not seeing Presbytera Celia there. I found it even harder standing near the prayer desk with the service books where she would stand and lead us in chanting the responses at the services........it was a lovely service but I felt bereft , this first time at Liturgy without my Godmother's physical presence, but I was blessed in having my Godfather and my "God-brother" with me.

We had flowers blessed today, and also some artos bread and koliva, for Presbytera Celia's Memorial service


DD4 sang the Liturgy responses with me and followed the texts in the service book all the way through, singing in English and the smattering of Greek she has. We were blessed to have three native Greek speakers with us today, so we had more Greek than usual :-) DD4 was miffed that she could not read the written Greek texts.
Does anyone know of the any resources in transliterated Greek for the Liturgy ?


A Blessed Feast for those of you who are celebrating today. My prayers for a blessed Dormition Fast for those of you who are not yet celebrating !
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Nightmares

The stress of the current situation is obviously increasingly heavily preying on my mind, judging by the number and intensity of unpleasant dreams I have been having, despite bedtime prayers and falling asleep with my chotki in hand and reciting the Jesus prayer each night.

Lord have mercy on us all.........

On a happier note, I had my post-operative follow-up at hospital today and I have now been discharged as having fully recovered from my gallbladder removal.
I must admit to feeling really well, better than I have done for quite a long time. Apparently my gallbladder was so swollen and inflamed that it must have been causing me problems for a very long time.
Interestingly, since its removal, I have lost half a stone in weight without any effort on my part or any particular change in diet/lifestyle......added bonus :-)
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Deja Vu....

You may remember I recently blogged about an elderly lady having an accident near our home.

This morning, after some hard work buying both new school shoes and trainers for DD4 (which cost us £64 in total), DH and I were in sore need of a sit down and a coffee.

We headed up to the seafront where we sat and enjoyed the view and the sunshine, sipped our coffee and DD4 enjoyed her iced slush drink. All was calm, tranquil and peaceful. Lots of folk were ambling past, enjoying the fresh air, when WHAM!

An elderly lady lost her footing and fell onto the concrete and brick decorative paving no more than ten feet away from us. She fell very heavily on her face and arm, and was much more hurt than the previous lady had been. An ambulance was summoned, the cafe provided a wet clean cloth and a drink of water, and we helped as best we could, as did several other folk. She was very distressed and very shaken. We waited until the paramedic First Responder arrived and we knew she was in safe hands.

I would hate to think of my Mum having an accident like that and no-one stopping to help............
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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Life Of Orthodox Monks

Loads of wonderful photos of Righteous Elder Cleopa of Romania in this :-)


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Fr Moses Berry Documentary

This is another documentary I really want to get and watch !

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Vladyka John Videos

I wanted to post this, though I am sure many of you have already seen it......I wept just to see Vladyka's smile of immense inner peace in the video footage.



and a shorter version :

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The Last Anchorite, Parts 1 and 2

Wow.
These are interviews about Father Lazarus, an Australian-born Coptic anchorite/hermit monk, living on St Anthony's mountain in Egypt.






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A Welcome Guest To The Garden !



Seen in the garden this week, a lovely Speckled Wood butterfly, which did stay still just long enough for me to run indoors and get my camera :-)
These brown butterflies are particularly interesting as they do not feed from flowers, but on aphid honeydew.
And yes, I do have a lot of aphids in the garden.....the joys of refusing to spray pesticides on our apple and plum trees.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Fantastic Orthodox Photo Site

...you will absolutely love it !

It takes quite a while to load, so be patient.
The photographs are utterly stunning, the majority are of Orthodox churches, Feasts and Customs.
There is a lot of commentary, often in Romanian, but some photos have English descriptions too.
My favourites are about a quarter of the page down.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did !
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Especially For Meg !

Seen in the Daily Telegraph:








Bride wears dress made of wool


Shepherdess Louise Fairburn loves her sheep - so got married in a woollen wedding dress made entirely from shearings from her own flock.

Published: 8:00AM BST 08 Aug 2009

Louise Fairburn also carried a Bo-beep style crook instead of a bouquet, guests were give chocolate sheep-shaped favours and the ring bearer's cushion was made from a fleece.
Mrs Fairburn amazed guests with the unique gown she designed herself made with wool from one of her Lincoln Longwools called "Olivia".

And she extended the woolly theme to the rest of her big day with groom Ian, 42, also wearing a woollen waistcoat made from one of the couple's flock.

Mrs Fairburn also carried a Bo-beep style crook instead of a bouquet, guests were give chocolate sheep-shaped favours and the ring bearer's cushion was made from a fleece.

"I suppose I am sheep-crackers, but the idea just came to me and I designed the dress myself with a little bit of help," she said.

Guests at the reception also tucked into lamb dishes from the couples' flock prepared by chef Rachel Green.

But it was the unique dress that made the greatest impact during the wedding held at a methodist church in Market Rasen, Lincs.

"It always occurred to me what a waste it was to turn this beautiful long wool into carpets," she said.

"But I remembered seeing an advert with dresses made out of carpets and it twigged that I could have a dress made out of wool."

The couple are successful sheep breeders at their farm in Risby, Grange, Lincolnshire, and won the honours at at last year's Lincolnshire show.
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Family News - Good, For A Change !

DD1, the DoomHamster, has had **good** news.

She has now signed the tenancy lease for her new flat in the Big City, where she also works. She is able to move on the 18th August. The area in which she is currently domiciled in nearby BlogTown is becoming increasingly rough and unpleasant. Her new home has security alarms and intercom entry, as well as secured parking, and the area is more prosperous and calm.


And even more excitingly, her fiance Matt has now got his officially sanctioned "Visa with permission To Wed whilst in the UK", and he is flying over on Thursday. So we will be planning a small and quiet wedding for them in the near future :-)
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Buying Even More Books




I just had to buy these. First edition set of Winston's Churchill's magnificent opus, the history of the Second World War. I got the whole set of six volumes for the princely sum of £3 in my favourite charity shop. It would have been a crime to leave them there.

A piece of history.
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Friday, August 07, 2009

And Part 2 !




"To The Baltic With Bob" was an interesting travel book. I had no idea that the comedian Griff Rhys Jones is a fanatical sailor - and I mean a sailor, not merely a driver of an engine-powered boat. His adventures with his highly eccentric crew on board the small wooden yacht Undina as they travelled the shores of the Baltic was compelling reading, especially considering how vulnerable a very small boat, primarily powered by wind and sail, can be in such treacherous waters. If you have ever read "Swallows and Amazons", this is a version strictly for grown-ups. On occasions the language can be salty and so can some of the exploits......




"Fast Food Nation" is an old book, I know, but one I had never read before. It was extremely interesting, and quite reassuring in a way, knowing that the food industry has had to clean up its act very considerably in the intervening decade between publication and now. I would still treat all fast food with a modicum of caution, nevertheless..... but we went to the Big M's for a celebratory lunch on Transfiguration, and my fish burger was lovely :-)




"Sixpence House" is pure delight.
An American family sell their home and relocate to Hay on Wye, nestled just inside the Welsh Border. Hay is a town of Books, quite literally.
Books and the selling of books are the primary industry of the town and its occupants, and the Hay Literary Festival is seriously big business. Several years ago, DoomHamster went with one of her friends and her family. They met Bill Clinton there, when he was promoting his book, and also Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Hay is one of the few places where the hoi polloi can rub shoulders with the rich and/or famous, and those who fancy themselves Big Names in the Literary World. The author ended up working for King Richard (the self-declared King of the autonomous kingdom of Hay), owner of the Castle bookshop.

A delightful read, and I was so sad when the book came to an end. I won't say anymore, just in case any of you decide to read it :-)
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Just Finished, Part 1



A friend sent me Startling Beauty. Not the sort of book I would have chosen to read, but she recommended it and it was a sobering read, dealing with one married woman's survival of a rape in her own home and how she and her husband faced dealing with their emotions in the subsequent pregnancy with her attacker's child. They chose to keep the baby and remain a family, a decision which initially caused much heartache and took immense courage. Both she and her husband are united in saying that the decision was the right one for them and the baby has brought them much joy.




I do love The Year Of Living Biblically. I know it is lightweight and written in a humourous fashion, but there is so much information and food for thought that it is really enjoyable.
'nuff said.




Peter Mayle's A Year In Provence is a classic. When I found this edition en francais in a thrift shop, I just had to buy it to see how much my A level French had atrophied.

My ability to speak French has undoubtedly vanished without trace, but I can still read and translate with a reasonable amount of facility, which is nice to know :-)
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More Flowers

These lovely flowers were a gift from my friends Mary and Susan :-)





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Flowers

The beautiful flowers that DD1 gave me as a "Get Well Soon" wish on my return from hospital. They lasted for two weeks and gave me so much pleasure :-)






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Marking The Territory !

As you approaches DD4's room, this is what greets you:







And as you approach DD3's room :





And of course, they spend virtually all their waking hours playing happily together in one or other bedroom. I'm not quite sure at whom the signs are directed, but they are most definitely not applicable to siblings..... LOL.
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Sunset

Sunset from my back garden last night :-)







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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sunshine And Shopping

Edited to address dear elizabeth's questions :-)

Children here move to Comprehensive School at age 11. Is that the same as your Middle School ? I imagine so.

Jasper Fforde is an author about whom I can wax lyrical indeed ! His first book, "The Eyre Affair" is summarised well here. Set in an alternative and quite hilarious Britain, where people still travel in airships as public transport and croquet is an obsessive national sport.......it just gets funnier and funnier.


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Our local Superstore (well, about 7 miles away) runs a free bus three days a week so folk who don't have access to cars can shop there.

Today, the young ones and I took advantage of it. DD3 needs an extensive selection of stationery etc for when she starts Comprehensive school in September, and this particular store has a good promotion on these items. And I wanted chocolate :-)

The journey took 45 minutes, as it travels a circuitous route, taking in not only our town but four other little communities as well. This gave us one and a half hours to shop, and get back to the bus stop.

I deliberately only chose a small shopping trolley, knowing full well that a big trolley would be full to the brim by the time we finished, and we still would have to carry the shopping home from the bus stop :-)

We managed to get DD3's supplies, for the princely sun of £3.94. Not to mention the young ones at last have new headphones for their MP3 players, so they are blissful about that.

I am particularly blissful at finding a new Jasper Fforde paperback about Thursday Next which I haven't yet read, namely "First Among Sequels" for £3. I was also able to indulge my desperate need for Hummus and Matzo crackers, as well as a few more groceries.

You will be glad to know that I was very restrained and only bought one bar of economy chocolate for 27p.......though I was sorely tempted to buy more !
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Atheism

- Makes Perfect Sense, LOL.

(Borrowed from Fr Luke Hartung's Mailing List, with thanks)




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St John's Shrine Online !

Only a few months ago, I was actively searching the web for a site showing info about St John the Wonderworker's Cathedral in San Francisco, and was really disappointed to be able to find nothing suitable for my needs.

Whist idly web-surfing today, purely by chance following a link from a link from a link, I discovered the Cathedral has an amzing new website, available in English or in Russian, and you can even submit prayer requests online for the weekly Saturday Molieben served at St John's Tomb.

Holy Oil from St John's Shrine Lampada can also be requested.

I am so happy. Holy Oil has been requested for our parish, and I have submitted a list of names to be prayed for :-)
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Surrounded By Noise

I am, quite literally, surrounded by noise. Not *in* the house, where the loudest noise is currently the dog snoring, but outside.

Our detached neighbours on the right are having work done on their house, necessitating lots of banging and hammering from 08.30am every day.

Our attached neighbours on the left, who are tenants, currently have no way to get out of their house to the pavement as the landlord has had the front garden dug up in order to put a double parking drive instead of the front garden. So there is a digger parked in their garden, which currently looks like a bombsite.........And of course, we currently have torrential rain so all the holes and ditches next door are full of muddy water......

The gentleman tenant came round to see me last night and very politely asked if it would be possible for them to jump out of their front doorstep onto our garden path (the intervening wooden fence has had to be temporarily removed so that the digger can do its work) so they would not have to traverse acres of muddy ditches to access their car parked on the road nearby. That is most certainly not a problem and they are welcome to use our path as needed till they have a decent walkway back through their own garden, poor souls !

And the house directly at the back of our rear garden is having a loft (attic) conversion and extension done, so there are generally at least two workmen there all day every day, swarming up scaffolds and hammering and banging.

I shall be glad when the current mania for DIY and Home Improvements dies down in my immediate vicinity, LOL.
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Monday, August 03, 2009

Oops !

Forgot to mention that if you click on any of the photos of the Church, you will be able to see larger and higher quality photos :-)
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An Historic Church Part 3

In the South Porch, all these can be found :-)




The grave stone of a Norman knight, now vertical.




A very nice wooden statue of Our Lady of Walsingham in the niche above the South Door, where once upon a time a wood mounted copy of an icon of the Forerunner stood.




The original stone Piscina. or Holy Water stoup, which is still used for its intended purpose.
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An Historic Church Part 2



Part of the Reredos, the original solid stone altar mensa, which survived the Reformation, and one of the Aumbry niches which has been converted to be a Tabernacle for the Reserved Sacrament with an icon door and a vigil light above.




More wall paintings.






A very fine example of Burne-Jones' magnificent stained glass windows, depicting St Peter, Christ "The King of Kings" and St John.
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An Historic Church Part 1

I thought you might like to see some photos of a beautiful 11th century Church in Wales (Anglican/Episcopalian) church only five minutes walk away from my home :-)




Tudor wall-painting, only recently discovered beneath many layers of paint and plaster.





A modern original icon of the Forerunner, to whom the Church is dedicated.





The hammerbeam roof, complete with bosses, is particularly fine :-)
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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Quality Of Life

I was delighted to hear, when I phoned my mum last night, that my brother had had a really good day after he had not been so well on Friday when we saw him.

Yesterday, he had permission from his doctors to leave the ward for one hour, by wheelchair, to visit the coffee shop and small shopping complex downstairs in the hospital foyer. So he was taken down by my Mum and her friend, and they had a lovely hour, browsing the shops and my brother had *two* cups of cappuccino, which he throughly enjoyed.

As his feeding tube fell out on Wednesday, he is no longer having the high calorie tube feeds, and as a result he has been feeling hungry, and to enjoy eating normal food again, although in fairly small quantities.
He has been eating sausages, pate, toast, puddings, ice cream, soup and fish. This has got to be far more fun than having the special tube feed, which smells vile, going straight into his duodenum and makes him feel really sick. It was undoubtedly effective, but not nice..........

Mum said he was a constant beam of joy for the whole hour, though he was really tired by the end and glad to get back into bed.
We hope he will be allowed out for an hour each day, so he can see something other than the same four walls of the ward each day, and feel that he has some control over his life.
He really loved being able to go the shop and browse the selection of sweets and be able to choose what candy *he* wanted to buy, for the first time in twenty long weeks :-)

And this morning, my brother phoned me at 8am and asked where DH had put my brother's memory card for the laptop when DH fixed it for him. We were able to tell him, and he was delighted - he had woken up this morning feeling well enough to use his laptop, and needed something that was on the card.

I am just amazed that he was well enough to be able to use his mobile phone to phone me, as he hasn't been able to do that for twenty weeks, either......it is good to hear him sound so happy.
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Computers ? Huh !

Yesterday, the family's main computer, downstairs in the study, decided to go belly-up.

When started, it rapidly displayed an interesting variant of the Windows "blue screen of death", stating that a System_5 intitialisation failure had occurred.

It did this repeatedly, but DH the computer hero managed to access it in Safe Mode and salvage all our crucial files (ie family photos) onto a flash drive and then did some strange and mysterious things which meant that after several hours hard work, the computer is now fine again.

Our precious family and holiday photos have now been archived onto an external hard drive, the other computer *and* the flash drive, so all I have to do now is REMEMBER to put all the new photos I upload into the new file labelled "to be backed up" and not just dump them in any old folder as I have been doing :-(

Back-ups will now be done fortnightly, and scheduled. I own to being very remiss about this in the past, solely due to my laziness......mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa !
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Tuesday's Doh !

DD2 and her lovely boyfriend came down to spend the day.
As she is now working away across the border in England, it was such a treat to have her come home to see us :-)

After a while, I thought I could hear a drip drip drip. Further investigation revealed a quite steady small flow of water through the ceiling of the dining room, about three feet away from the icon corner. We checked all the upstairs taps, all off. No sign of water leaking from the pipes in the batthroom or the toilet. No one had used the shower that morning, so it was a complete mystery where the water came from.

I phoned the mother of DD3's school friend, whose husband is our plumber, and was advised to turn off the water at the mains and drain the cold water, so I did, after filling the kettle to the brim so that I would not be tea-less for hours :-)
It didn't make much difference, so towels were laid down to absorb the water and our plumber friend arrived quickly. Floorboards were lifted, pipes were checked. It was all very thorough.

Guess what the problem was ?

A small gap in the seal around the top of the bath, which was allowing water to seep down behind the tiles when the shower was used. The water then tracked down to the floor joist,which had absorbed so much water it was like a sponge, then when saturated, was itself dripping and that water was tracking down through the ceiling into the dining room.

Luckily the ceiling there is wood-panelled, so it hides a multitude of sins :-)

Floorboards were left up for a few days to allow the wood to dry up, then all is fine again.
But as we had our friendly plumber there, DH phoned and asked him to have a look at our toilet flush, which has been very temperamental for several weeks, and for him to replace it. This has now beeen done, and we now have a very whizzy push-button flush, which is simple, extremely quick and effective, and environmentally friendly as it uses much less water.

So what could have been a domestic fittings disaster ended up a rather good day, and of course I had the delight of my precious daughter's company :-)
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Doh !

I just realised that there are lots of things I fogot to blog about last week :-)

Monday morning, DH called me in a slight panic.
From the upstairs study window, he saw an elderly lady had fallen and hurt herself on the opposite side of the road. A lady cyclist had stopped to render aid, and by the time I got out, an ambulance had already been summoned.

A kind motorist also stopped and had helped her to sit up, and covered her with his jacket. I took tissues and wet wipes so we could clean up some of the blood and see how badly she had cut her head. She was lucid, though badly shaken, and her elderly husband was very shaken too.

She had a nasty cut to her head, which had bled a lot initially but quickly stopped, and some nasty grazes to her cheek and chin. I was glad an ambulance was on its way as her eye was starting to swell shut and I was worried that she may have fractured her cheek bone/eye orbit, which is horrifyingly easily done in an elderly person who falls.

We stayed with her till she was safely aboard the ambulance, and her husband had notified other family members of what had happened and he went in the ambulance with her.

I do so hope she is okay, as I worried about her a great deal. I am glad I was able to render a little assistance.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Orthodox Antactica

Did you know there are two Orthodox chapels in Antarctica ?

Trinity Chapel is served by some of the monks from the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius, just outside Moscow. The chapel is lovely, fully appointed and has celebrated baptisms and a wedding !
Lots more info and pictures here.

The other little chapel of St John of Rila is mentioned here.....

Enjoy !
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Blessed Dormition Fast

To those of us on the New calendar, a blessed Dormition Fast.

Tonight I chanted the whole Small Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God, and received great comfort by doing so. I will endeavour to recite at least one Ode a day during the Fast.
(We are not having services in Church at the moment due to Father's bereavement and his committment to minister as Chaplain at a Church camp.)

Thank you, dear Meg, for reminding me to speak to our Holy Theotokos ......funny how even the most sensible and obvious actions can be completely forgotten when one is under stress !

I was able to take the mad dog out for a half hour walk today, and was even able to break into a gentle jog for about 50 yards before my tummy start to protest a little, whereupon I immediately went back to walking. I have actually lost half a stone since my surgery, but am now totally unfit..... but all things in due course.

No point in trying to rush and end up with more problems......
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