Saturday, December 31, 2005

Random Things

As it is New Year`s Eve, it is time to sort out some unfinished business !

Ages ago (well, Dec 18th !) Dave Holford tagged me to declare five random things about myself. When faced with something like that, my mind goes blank. I was unable to think of anything at all.

Now I have decided you will get however many random things I can mention before Abby wakes up :-0

I am a fanatical collector of the children`s author Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, especially her Chalet school books. I also write short stories for the Chalet Bulletin Board based on characters mentioned in the Chalet School books.

I have every Brother Cadfael book written by Ellis Peters, and I am busy collecting all her detective fiction too. I never ever guess whodunnit till the author tells us. I would never be any good in the CID !

I would rather get rid of the TV and spend the licence money on books, but I am consistently outvoted on this , LOL.
I do like radio, though. I am rather boring and listen to Radio 4.
As a tangent, I also collect books written by Libby Purves, one of the Radio 4 presenters.............

I love playing "guess the illness" and "who`s going to die in this episode" when watching medical dramas. Sad, I know.

I cannot do Sudoku. Not even the easy ones targeted at children.
I simply do not have the right sort of brain for it.
Word games, though - now you`re talking !
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Monastic Diurnal Coming Soon !!

I am so thrilled !!
The Lancelot Andrewes Press is re-publishing the Canon Douglas version of the Monastic Diurnal ........... which is the version used at Christminster WR monastery and by their Oblates.

I will be putting aside my birthday money for this :-)

Bounces with excitement.
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Sand and Snow and Cabin Fever

On Thursday we took the children for a LONG walk in the wholesome fresh air to shake off the cabin fever that was starting to affect us all.

It had been -8 degrees overnight, and it was equally bitterly cold out. We were all warmly wrapped up, and as there was a stiff breeze, we took the children`s kites with us.
It was so cold there was frost on the sand on the beach, and on the sand dunes !! I have lived in this town for forty years, and I have never seen frost on sand before.......

The kite flying was a brilliant success, and I have decided that we will purchase more kites so that DH and I are not reduced to begging the children to let us have a turn ! :-)
On the way back we stopped at mother-in-law`s house to say Hi, and we stayed for about an hour before walking back home.

After lunch, it started to snow heavily, turning the ground white very quickly so we now have film of the girls playing snowball fights in the back garden for DoomH to watch when she comes home...........we have burnt the footage onto a DVD so we can take it for the grandparents to see !!
Sadly, in the evening, it strated to rain and it rained all night and is still raining now, much to my disgust .

I wanted to go kite-flying again.
Pout :-(
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Family Ties

On Wednesday, after taking the children to a local fast-food outlet as their post-Christmas treat, DH and I were inspired to visit the local branch of Tesco, buy some flowers and go grave visiting, as he wasn`t well enough to do so before Christmas.

Suiting action to the idea, off we went, along the scenic route through the very large hills all the way to Porth, where my father-in-law is buried with many members of his family. We laid flowers there and sang Memory Eternal, and then I was inspired to boldly knock on the Sexton`s office door and ask him if he could help me to find a grave which I knew for a fact was there, that of my mother-in-law`s grandparents.

He looked rather surpised, but very kindly looked it up on his database and then got out an enormous grave register, the earliest entry dating back 150 years double-check. He even let me look, and lo and behold, in the very next-door grave to the one I was looking for were my mother-in-law`s great grandparents !

So I copied all the details down, and clutching the map which the Sexton kindly printed out for me, we set off to the very old section of the graveyard to lay flowers on these two unmarked family graves. The family was too poor to afford headstones.

So at long last we know the resting place of Mary Ann Beaverstock, died aged 25 years and buried on the 18 October 1904, two of her children, Evelyn ages 2 years and Thomas aged just 9 weeks, who died within two days of each other from Pneumonia and were buried together on 14 December 1899, and her husband Thomas who died aged 74 and was buried in 1949. All together in one grave. We have taken photographs and made careful notes.

On the way back, we visited my father`s grave and laid flowers for him too, and sang Memory Eternal.

None of them will be forgotten.
Memory eternal !!
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Seasonal Bugs

DH has now been ill for a whole week, with a vile cold that ended up being a rip-roaring chest infection. He has been barking, coughing, snorting etc day and night , and he is consequently suffering acute sleep deprivation !!

He caught this from Abby, who was given it at school. I am profoundly thankful that at least Abby managed to escape the Scarlet fever which a child at her class contracted, and who was still attending school because their clueless family doctor didn`t know what the rash was !!

Abby has been coughing and spluttering for about 10 days now, but she was thoroughly checked over during a routine hospital appointment on the Friday before Christmas, when the paediatrician assured us with a smile that this particular cold/cough bug seems to be taking up to three weeks to clear up.................

So only another two weeks of an ill husband to go , LOL.

I would rather be ill myself, frankly :-)
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Christmas Past

Despite the "Twelve Days of Christmas", it still seems a little anti-climactic now that The Day has been and gone.

The children loved all of their presents, and Helen solemnly informed me that this was the best Christmas ever :-)
We have taken camcorder footage of the mayhem - um - "present-opening" for DoomHamster`s delectation, and of Christmas lunch.

There were nine of us at lunch, and there was a lot of cooking - beef, turkey, roast pork, stuffing, roast potatoes, new potatoes, brussel sprouts, roast parsnips, peas, carrots, bread sauce, gravy, bacon and sausage rolls etc.

It was wonderful to sit at the table and see everyone enjoying the food I had made, with the glow from the lit lampada shining over us all.
What a blessing.
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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christ Is Born !

Christ is Born !
Glorify Him !

May you all have a Happy, Blessed and Joyous Feast of the Nativity, and a happy and prosperous New Year :-)
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Friday, December 23, 2005

Blast Update

My aunt and my cousins have been allowed to return to their house in Hemel Hempstead.
The company which owns the refinery is being held resposible for the blast and has had to pay for the damage caused to the houses.
My aunt`s house had all its windows and doors blown out by the force of the explosion.
The air pollution is still so bad that one of my cousins, who is a severe asthmatic, cannot leave the house even to go towork.................

But of course, we don`t hear about this on the news or in the papers. They have to live with the aftermath of the problem.

Please, of your charity, remember my uncle Tony in your prayers.
Christmas Eve will mark the 7th anniversary of his death, and my aunt will probably not be able to go to the cemetery to lay flowers on his grave, as the area was still "out-of-bounds" when my mother spoke to her on Wednesday.
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Missing Teaspoons

For a pre-Christmas giggle, read about the bizare case of the missing teaspoons................;jsessionid=F3TURBIWX0DDVQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2005/12/23/nspoons23.xml
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Icon Corner News

This is so exciting, to me at least, that it deserves a newsflash of its very own !!

Several months ago, I bought a hanging lampada for my icon corner.
It was lovingly hung up today for me by my dear husband, and it is perfect.

It was a joy and delight to say evening prayers with the lampada lit tonight, and I can thank God every day for the kindness of my husband in hanging it for me.

I will only be using tea-light candles in it, as DH has requested that it only be lit during prayer times, and that it never be left unattended when lit, due to the antics of the young ones.

All perfectly fair requests, knowing what our girls are capable of......................
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Family News

I slept much better last night, thank you :-)

Helen thoroughly enjoyed the Narnia film, which was their class`s end of term treat, and Abby loved the puppet theatre show which was her class treat.

One of the nursery nurses in Abby`s class is leaving, and we had a collection to get money for a really nice bouquet of flowers for her. I was nominated to present it, and make a short speech, which I did and everyone was tearful. We will all miss her greatly, she is truly wonderful at her job, but she really does need time away at the moment because of personal issues.
She is constantly in my prayers at present.
Abby`s teacher knitted each child an exquisite red and white miniature Christmas stocking, so Abby`s is on our Christmas tree :-)
Abby also came home with the most gorgeous Christmas crafts she had made in school, so they are all in strategic important places round the house. I foresee tears when they have to be packed away on Twelfth Night.........

DoomHamster continues her love affair not only with Matt, but also with America ! She is having a glorious time, and has emailed me again, which I really appreciate. Especially as it was to find out details about the nearest Orthodox church. ......... Matt is going to be in for a bit of a culture shock, bless him.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I woke up at 3.30 am , cold and unable to go back to sleep. DH is snoring gently, and rather than lying grumpily in bed, I decided to get up and brave the cold living room to do some peaceful blogging........

Today will be the young ones` last day of term in school.

Helen took in her presents to give to her teacher and the classroom assistant on Monday, as her class is going on a cinema trip today to see the new Narnia film, as that has been their classroom reading book this term.

Abby`s presents are all packed up ready for her to take in today; her class are having a visit from a puppet theatre. I have seen this puppeteer`s performance before, and it was really good.

We are all still eagerly awaiting news of the imminent arrival of a new School baby ( a member of staff is now overdue with her third baby).

I will be going to town to do last minute shopping on behalf of grandparents, who find it hard to know what to choose when confronted with the ridiculous and bewildering array of toys on display in the shops.

Oh Joy, Oh bliss !
Fighting my way through the Christmas crowds - but at least it will be quieter than it will on the weekend, I suppose.

That`s all, Folks !
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Nativity Revisited.

We had a lovely surprise on Monday; one of the mums from Abby`s class gave me a video copy of her camcorder footage of the school Nativity play for my husband to see, as he wasn`t able to get time off work to go to the performance.

It was great fun to see it again, and DH was in stitches.......and of course, next year, we will be able to take our footage of the Play !

DH is looking forward to taking plenty of footage over Christmas, for DoomHamster to watch on her return from the States, so she won`t be missing out too much on what happened at home .
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Clothed and Unclothed.

On Sunday, we took the girls to the local country park to see the Reindeer being fed. We hadn`t been before, and we were all really looking forward to it, so warmly dressed for the December weather, we set off.
There was also a craft fair, so we saw that first, and had a snack there, believing that there would be mammoth crowds to see the feeding, and that we would have plenty of time to see the tail end of it all and miss the worst of the crowds :-)

Helen wanted to have her face painted, and once it was done, Abby was so impressed that she asked for hers to be done too, which was a surprise, as she doesn`t normally like that sort of thing...........she sat there happily and looked lovely afterwards, albeit very - pink.
So we made our way up the castle steps, to the area where the deer feed was happening.
We obviously had pitched the timing just right, as we could see people starting to make their way down the steps to go to the Craft fair.

Imagine our surprise, on a cold December day , to see, halfway up the seriously huge flight of steps, an amateur photographer and his model doing what could only be euphemistically and charitably called a "glamour shoot".
She was just about dressed, but wearing very little, and we were hysterical to see them carrying on regardless as if it were the most normal thing in the world to be doing a semi-lewd photo shoot on steps which rapidly became a swarming crowd of parents and children in search of hot drinks at the craft fair.........I came out in goosebumps in sympathy for this poor woman, and I was wearing thermal clothing !!

Surprisingly, our little ones didn`t seem to notice how little the woman was wearing in their eagerness to see the reindeer, and we were thrilled to find that the reindeer were still in front of the castle terrace in good numbers, feeding happily, and we were able to get a grandstand view at the very front of the castle terrace.

DH managed to get some brilliant shots of them with our brand-new camcorder, and he spent the rest of the afternoon editing the footage and burning it all onto a DVD, so we could watch it on the TV.
The girls thought it was wonderful to see themselves on film, and we ahve seen it several times already , LOL.
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Saturday, December 17, 2005

News From Abroad

We have received emails from DoomHamster and she is having a great time with Matt and his family.
It is very quiet without her, though.........
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Fuel Crisis

A friend of ours has an LPG powered Range Rover car, and it has been working fine with no problems until Thursday afternoon, when I had a frantic phone call from her, with her very shaken and in tears, asking me if I would pick her son up from school when I collected my own little darlings, as her car had caught fire.

Luckily she was not hurt although she was obviously very shaken and distressed. The car had caught fire very suddenly, and she had to get out just outside the supermarket car park, blocking the delivery van parking bays.

Fortunately a British Gas repair van was passing and the crew saw the flames, so they sprayed the car and the surrounding area with their foam fire extinguishers to minimise the risk of the whole tank exploding.

An office nearby phoned for the fire brigade, and they took 20 minutes to arrive, although the fire station is less than one minute`s drive away.

Ironically, the supermarket delivery van driver then asked my friend if she could move her burning car so he could park his van......
Hello ?
Does this man have a brain ?
Would *you* get back in a burning car to move it ?
I certainly wouldn`t............

Needless to say, she said "No", in no uncertain terms :-)

The car is a wreck, and will have to be scrapped, but the insurance company will compensate.
Not a pleasant experience.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Abby in the middle again :-) Posted by Picasa
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Abby`s Nativity Play; Abby is in the middle of the front row. Posted by Picasa
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Concerts, Concerts !

Yesterday was the Day of Concerts.

Abby`s Nativity play in the afternoon was so sweet. She was an angel (Ha ha!) and looked lovely. Positively angelic. And I knew it was too good to be true...............

She had fallen over in school and hurt her knee, and when she got bored in the play, she lifted up her dress to examine the injured cut knee in great detail, lifting her leg up so high that her foot was obscuring her face at one point, before kissing her "baddie knee" better !

Later on, she decided to see what would happen if she plucked some of the feathers from her costume and blow them up in the air...... it did make a very pretty although unscheduled special effect.
Needless to say, the costume was looking a bit threadbare by the time came to take it off !

I have taken photos, but I need my DH to come home from work tonight to upload them to the computer - I still can`t do it. I know, I should be ashamed, after having had the camera for a year, but I am a technophobe.

Helen`s "Nine lessons and Carols" concert went well, and she sang beautifully.
Three of the carols were "arranged" anew, and worked surprisngly well with honky-tonk piano effects......

The undoubted highlight of the concert was one carol, called simply "Mary`s Song" . It was a paraphrase of the Magnificat, and was absolutely exquisite, sung by a group of five of the older girls. It was sweet, simple, poignant and amzingly effective. I will ask Helen`s teacher if I can have the words.

The Baptist Minister`s Address was really rather good; he showed slides of photos of celebrities and of the teachers of when they were young children, and then of them as they are now, to show what they have grown up to be.
He then tied this in with the birth of Jesus, and how that was just the start of the Story, and that He grew up to lead an adult life . In that same way, as we celebrate Christmas, we need always to bear in mind the rest of the Story, as they form part of a whole.

I know I am being horrible and picky, and this is another one for my Confession list, but hearing the extempore prayers including "Lord, we just want to ....." does rankle and make me edgy.
What on earth is wrong with having a prepared,solemn, beautiful proper liturgical prayer to express the same sentiments succinctly and eloquently, rather than blathering on in appalling English ? That was the only part of the Concert which was ineffective and ugly.
And it was an unnecessary shame.

Other than that, it was a great day.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Adventure Begins....

DD1, my baby DoomHamster, has just been taken by her grandfather to catch the coach which will take her to Heathrow airport to catch her flight to the USA.
For her, the adventure begins anew, and I know she will have a wonderful time.

But I miss her already. Just walking past her open bedroom door made me tearful.

Now for several hours of worrying and praying till I know she has got there safely...............
asking the prayers of St Tatiana, St David of Wales, St Nicholas the Wonderworker and St John the Wonderworker for the handmaiden of God Tatiana.

06.25 She is safely on her coach. Barring traffic snarl-ups, she should arrive at Heathrow at 10.30, ready for her flight at 13.30.
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Blast Update

We have heard from my aunt who lives in Hemel Hempstead, where the big explosion took place yesterday. She lives near the refinery depot, and was blown out of bed by the force of the explosion, but was not hurt, and my cousins are all safe too.
They have been evacuated from their homes until the fire is under control completely.
Scary stuff...........
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday of the Old Testament Righteous

Today is a double celebration, as it is the Name day for both our precious youngest daughter Abigail, and of my precious god-daughter Ruth.
It was my privilege to escort them both for Communion this morning :-))

Many Years to the handmaidens of God, Abigail and Ruth.

Many Years also to Dave Holford`s little Abigail, who celebrates her Name day on the WR date. May she be doubly blessed !
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After Liturgy today, I was talking with Father and he showed me the new red cloth used at Communion.
Having admired it, Father said that the old cloth had met with an unfortunate accident.........Father hand washes the soiled cloth repeatedly in water, in a special container, and then reverently disposes of the rinsing water.
On this last occasion, he had placed the cloth in the tumble dryer, and it had become irrevocably covered in white lint fluff, so much so that a new cloth was needed.

Hence the one I admired toay, which actually was a very lovely large red linen napkin, which had come in pack of six, and as Father said, might well have been specifically designed for the use in church, so perfect was it.
"Of course", he said, with a twinkle in his eye, "I cut off the label before using it. You`ll never guess where it came from, by the way. It said Made in Turkey......."

As we are a Greek parish, I am sure you get the joke :-)

For my non-Orthodox readers, just think of the feelings of Spiro the fiercely patriotic Corfiot taxi-driver in Gerald Durrell`s immortal tale, My Family and Other Animals, LOL.
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Prayers please

Prayers please for those living in Hemel Hempstead; there has been a huge explosion there and we have not yet heard that our family members living nearby are safe yet.
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Another Lovely Gift Book

Another must-have Christmas-Tide book is "Wenceslas" by Geraldine McCaughrean .

This glorious children`s book is large-format and lavishly illustrated with stunning oil pastel pictures.

Our girls know the carol about good King Wenceslas, and it is nice to see it in an illustrated narrative form at last .

We even see Wenceslas in church, with icons visible :-)
All good stuff !
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A Must-Have Book

The girls and I are currently thoroughly enjoying Louise Carus` book " The Real St Nicholas - Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World".

It is a wonderful resource, and has enough stories for a new one every day in December, so that is our bedtime story book this month.
Some of the stories need to be parentally edited for length and occasional gruesomeness, in order to avoid nightmares, but it is a lovely, lovely book about the miracles and stories associated with our beloved saint.
Of course, it has the added advantage of being the December bedtime book for may years to come, so it is a good lifetime purchase :-)
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Packing is a moot point in our house at the moment.
Yesterday , whilst the two young ones were in school, DH and I packed up all the children`s Christmas gifts and squirreled them away in the attic, away from prying eyes and busy little fingers :-)

But there is another sort of packing afoot......................

DD1, the much-loved and infamous DoomHamster, is preparing to fly from London-Heathrow to Denver, Colorado, to spend a whole month with her fiance Matt and his parents. Matt`s family are having an extended- family, open -house gathering for DoomH to meet them and them to meet DoomH.

I know she will have a wonderful time, but we are going to miss her soooo much..... Blub.
She is flying on Tuesday, so all prayers for safe travel for her will be very much appreciated !
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Rat Count

Despite numerous trips past our little lake this week, I have seen only one rat.
Thankfully !
A few weeks ago, I was almost half-expecting to see the Pied Piper of Hamelin appear......
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Christmas Shopping

DH and I went to our local town yesterday to do some Christmas shopping for edibles to put into the girls` Christmas stockings.
In one shop we had great success (ie cheap!), but in the course of our shopping I was saddened to see a "flashing Santa" figure.
No, this was not "flashing" as in "lighting up intermittently", but "flashing" as in the battery-operated figure opening its red Santa coat widely to expose its underwear.
I suppose I should have been glad it was wearing underwear, being in a "family" type shop, but it made me very sad.

Why on earth would someone think that an indecently dressed Santa is an ideal Christmas decoration for their home ?
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy St Nicholas` Day !!

The Joy of the Feast be yours !!

My young ones dutifully put their slippers outside their bedroom doors last night, and this morning they found a bag of gold chocolate coins, a striped candy cane, a colouring book printed by me from illustrations at the St Nicholas website and a Nativity set each, to end the squabbles over whose layout of the main downstairs Nativity scene figures is best :-)

Great was their delight and loud the exclamations,
and very close was the shave by which we made it to school before the bell rang,
so long did they tarry playing with their nativity sets !

Seriously, a Happy, Blessed and Joyous feast of St Nicholas to you all !
Holy father Nicholas, pray for us !
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Monday, December 05, 2005

Gratuitous Theft

The saga of my recycling boxes continues.
I know it is pathetic to get so het up about something so trivial, but anyway... :-)

On Thursday morning I was about to put the recycling boxes (DH gave me a spare one from the garage to make up for our previously stolen one) out for collection when DH had a brainwave.
We would spray-paint our house number on them in bright red paint, so even our apparently illiterate binmen and neighbours could work out that our boxes belong to our house.

DH suited action to the word, and our boxes were soon sporting a very fetching red double digit.
We then went out shopping.

When we came home, the recycling collection had taken place.
Loads of other people`s recycling boxes were sitting emptily outside their houses.

Not outside our house.

We had only one of our marked boxes; the other has apparently either been abducted by aliens, eaten by the refuse lorry, or - and my money is on this one, folks ! - stolen by the sad person who removed our last box under the cover of darkness.

So now, someone has **two** of our boxes, one marked with our house number in bright red paint and one unmarked.
I give up.

What annoyed me most was that someone just took them.
If that person had asked if I needed both of mine, or would it be possible for him/her to borrow one, I would have happily and instantly given the box(es) away with my blessing.
I just don`t like theft.

I know I shouldn`t get angry about it, but I am, and I do wish that I wasn`t angry.
Perhaps that is this Nativity Fast`s lesson for me - control your anger. Do not hoard things. Love Thy Neighbour as thyself.

Or perhaps the fact that recycling is bad for your temper and mental/spiritual health :-)
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Books For Sale

I am trying to sell the following books in order to raise money to help the appeal to purchase the land on which St Seraphim`s Church in Walsingham , Norfolk is situated.

I will be happy to ship the books worldwide, but bear in mind that airmail shipping is very expensive, and surface mail takes up to 10 weeks.

All books are used, but in pretty good condition.

Journey to the Holy Mountain - Meditations on Mount Athos
by Christopher Merrill. HB book, written by non-Orthodox. £1.99

St Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony
HB £1.99

An Englishman in the Court of the Tsar by Christine Benagh
HB £1.99

The Fathers Speak (St Basil the Great, St Gregory Nazianzus and st Gregory of Nyssa)
By Georges Barrois PB £1.00

Touching Heaven - Discovering Orthodoxy on the island of Valaam
by John Oliver, PB £1.00

Orthodox Prayer Life - The Interior way
by Fr Matthew the Poor
PB £1.50

The Sacred Gift of Life - Orthodox Christianity and Bioethics
by Fr John Breck
PB £1.50

Letters to Spiritual Children
by Abbot Nikon, pb £1.00

Letters to a Beginner, on giving one`s life to God.
by Abbess Thaisia, PB, £1.00

The Theology of Illness
by Jean-Claude Larchet
pb £1.00

Beloved Sufferer - The Life and mystical revelations of a Russian Eldress, Schemamnun Macaria
by Gennady Durasov, PB £1.00

Walking in Wonder - Nurturing Orthodox Christian Values in your Children
by Elizabeth White, PB £1.00

The Philokalia, vols 1 and 2
PB £2.50 pair.

The Blessed Surgeon - the Life of St Luke Archbishop of Simferopol
by Archdeacon Vasily Marushchak, pb £1.00

The mountains of Serbia - Travels through Inland Yugoslavia
by Anne Kindersley. Published in 1977, this HB provides photos and much detail about monasteries and churches subsequently damaged in the Troubles in Serbia.

Anglo-Saxon England by Lloyd and Jennifer Laing
PB illustrated, £1.00

Treasury of Jewish Quotations by Leo Rosten
Lots of quotes from the Midrash etc.
Old pb, £1.00

If interested, please email me
orthodox(dot)mum(at)ntlworld(dot)com !
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Xmas Lights

If you remember, this time last year we had to have our Christmas Tree set up in order to have any lights in our living room, due to the house re-wiring in progress.

This year, we have the Christmas Tree and wall lights !
We are feeling rich :-)

DH was desperate to put our tree up this weekend, (though I like to leave it till much later in December - preferably the Saturday before Christmas Eve) mainly so he could then enjoy putting all the Xmas decoration storage boxes up in the attic in the newly boarded space, LOL.

We also went to my parents` house and the girls decorated their tree, which has been the tradition for the last 19 years.
Doing it this weekend meant that DoomHamster was able to help, before she jets off to the USA on the 13th to spend Christmas and the New Year with Matt and his family.
She is under orders to produce twice weekly blog updates, preferably with photos, so we can keep in touch.
I am likewise under orders, so she can see photos of her sisters` Nativity Play and Carol Concert.

Thank God (most seriously) for Blogger and the Internet !
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Mission Accomplished.

It has been a busy weekend, but WE HAVE OUR HOUSE BACK !!

DH spent Saturday laying boarding in the attic for all our miscellaneous bits and pieces, and they have all been put in their allotted spaces in the attic.
The house is clear of junk; my kitchen has no storage/packing boxes at all.

We have, more or less, finished unpacking from the house move, and that was only 22 months ago :-)
Yippee !
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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bolting The Stable Door.....

Some time ago, I blogged about a particularly nasty strain of E Coli food poisoning that was occurring in schools in our area, though thankfully not in our town or our immediately neighbouring towns.
There have been no further new cases for a few weeks now, so imagine our surprise when we went to pick up the girls from school on Wednesday, to be given a letter from the Headmaster outlining the contents of a directive he- and all the other schools in the County Borough- had received and been ordered to implement.

Basically it means that the much anticipated treat for the little ones of having class chocolate Advent calendars, with each child getting the chance to open a window and eat the chocolate inside has been cancelled.

The staff`s normal practice of giving each child a small chocolate treat as a Christmas End of term gift has been cancelled - even if it is fully wrapped and sealed, and was bought in a shop !

The School`s Christmas Fayre has been cancelled, as no food is allowed to be brought into school .
All the baked goods which the parents donated to this event, and for refreshments at the school`s Nativity play can no longer be brought into school.

The Nursery class can no longer have fruit in a fruit bowl for the children to eat. The Nursery Teacher can no longer prepare fruit at home for the children to eat in school. Try explaining to a class of three and four year olds why they can no longer have their morning fruit each day.

The list is endless, draconian and utterly pointless.

If the local Council were truly concerned about being sued by parents if their children could provably have contracted E Coli via food provided or prepared in school, why are they still providing school dinners, which is how the E Coli was spread in the first place...................... ?
And why on earth were these draconian measures not implemented right at the beginning of the outbreak, when they could then conceivably have helped limit the spread of the infection ? Not now, several MONTHS later.

Talk about bolting the stable door when the horse has not only bolted, but died of old age and been sent to the knacker`s yard..................
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