Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bombs In London

Yesterday, two car bombs were found and defused in London
This was a good anaysis of the general British view on terrorism.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Watching For Rubber Ducks

No, I haven`t yet completely taken leave of my senses :-)

There is a good reason why I will be watching for rubber ducks.....
Share with friends using the share button below.

Friday, June 29, 2007


This spray of (I believe) Viper`s Bugloss was found whilst I was walking the dog a few weeks ago.
It grows in tall sprays and is really pretty !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Orthodox Roundup

Welcome back !

I have been really interested to read Katherine`s thoughts on curriculum planning for her home-schooling. Although we don`t homeschool, her resources are fantastic and I love her ideas.Can we home church the way it is possible to homeschool ? Thoughts on teaching the children the Faith within the liturgical year are here.
The prayers she intends her little ones to learn, understand and memorise this year are here, and a truly wonderful unit on the 12 Saints of North America is here. I will certainly be returning to these frequently for our use at home this summer........

HamdmaidLeah has provided two superb articles; one is the life of St Matrona of Russia, of whom I had never heard, I am ashamed to say, and am in awe at her amazing life, and the other is an interview with Igumena Varvara , the abbess of All Russia, about her life in monasticism.

The experiences of singing at the Russian reunification services is described vividly in these articles one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine . It must have been amazing to be there.

I especially loved this article about how to acquire the spirit of peace

and the article about Slurpees as fasting food :-)

Molly talks about persecution and opening our hearts, and the sacrifices it entails here. Be warned, it made me cry.......
The new Optina martyrs are described here

Why is love so difficult ? asks Fr Stephen, and talks about how to learn to know God.
I partiularly loved the bit about not reading more hours in the day than we spend praying :-)

Learn more about the Martyrs of the Boxer Rebellion in China here. Fr Elias Wen, oldest orthodox priest in the world has reposed. May his memory be eternal

James from Paradosis writes eloquently, as always, about the Saints of North America, the Orthodox slain in Russia, and about how our frenetic modern lives could lead us to an MTV type lifestyle if we do not take care to cultivate some patience, peace and tranquility of heart.

Liturgical use of English in ethnocentric parishes is the topic of discussion here.

Can you make a conncetion between St John the Baptist and The Sound of Music ? Can you ?
There is one, believe it or not :-) Go here to the RC Westminster Cathedral administrator`s site to find out how.....

Oh, and by the way, the Turkish government has decided that Patriarch Bartholomew is only leader of 3,000 Christians in turkey and is not the Ecumenical Patriarch. So try telling that to the Orthodox churches :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Currently watching.....

Season 12 of ER (last Christmas present , am on disc 4/8)

Listening to some great podcasts from Ancient Faith Radio each night on my whizzy little MP4 player via Ebay (only cost me £20)

Trying hard not to be tempted to overspend this week :-0

Nearly time to pick the little ones up from school, so I had better get a move on !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Paul Potts Album

The new album of Paul Potts` lovely voice will be on sale in the UK 11 July.

So far, dd2, my mum, my M-I-L and myself have all decided to buy it. So that is 4 copies he has sold already, at least !

For those USA based fans:-


Was $43.49 NOW $28.49

This is still for the UK IMPORT to the USA, release date still says 17th July 2007.

Hurry now before they change their minds :o)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Time Flies

I don`t know where this week has gone, I truly don`t.

The older I get, the faster time whizzes by.

It is scary.......
Share with friends using the share button below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Opera Rules part 2

Sorry _ Error correction- Paul is singing on NBC tomorrow - THURSDAY - not Friday.

Paul Potts has now been signed up by Simon Cowell in a 1 million pound multi-album record deal covering the US and UK.

Paul flies out to the USA today, and is scheduled to sing on the NBC "Today" show on Friday as well as in the Rockefeller Plaza.

In a quite amazing piece of synchronicity, Paul Potts lives in the same terraced street in Port Talbot as one of my beloved step-father`s adult grandchildren ! All Paul`s neighbours are amazed; no-one had any idea he had such an incredible voice........
Share with friends using the share button below.

Alleged Nun-murderers Captured

You may remember that some time ago, I mentioned the brutal murder of two elderly Greek nuns as their convent was being ransacked.
According to a Greek newspaper,

"Two men have been arrested on suspicion of killing a pair of nuns at a convent in the eastern Peloponnese just under two months ago, police said yesterday, adding that a third suspect has fled to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

The two suspects, one Greek and another from FYROM, and their accomplice, also from FYROM, allegedly broke into the 17th century Astrocostas Convent near the town of Astros in April and killed the nuns, aged 86 and 83, by suffocating them with pillows.

They then stole some 20,000 euros and $3,000 in cash, 21 gold sovereigns, icon offerings and a valuable cross.

Police said that the two men in their custody had confessed to the crime and admitted selling the valuables in Monastiraki market in Athens and in FYROM.

Police said they had also arrested a third man, believed to be a friend of the Greek suspect, after some of the gold offerings were found in his possession.

Officers did not give any more information about the suspects."

and some of the goods stolen have been recovered from antique shops in Athens.

Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Birth of a Ray

I have always had a great fondness for Manta Rays, having seen them at various aquaria, and having being able to touch them.
They are truly incredible, graceful creatures, which have never before given birth in captivity, until now.
A Japanese film clip shows the birth of the first captive Manta Ray - utterly amazing to see it , rolled up, then unfolding and swimming.
Go watch !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Playing Tag

Having been tagged by Dave Holford, I am racking my brain to think of something original to write about !

1/ I could never have a career change and train as a teacher, as I do not possess a pass in "O" level Maths or its equivalent, though I do have grade A in "O" level Chemistry (from the days when you had to have a reasonable grasp of algebra to calculate molar equations). So despite having a BA (Hons) degree, a post-graduate diploma and full midwifery training, I could never even teach infant school children..........

2/ I have flown birds of prey, namely kestrels, a buzzard and a goshawk.

3/ I cannot watch surgery involving eyes. Just the though makes me want to run screaming from the room, though I have witnessed many bloody procedures at work.

4/I would love to do voluntary midwifery work overseas when the children have all left home.

5/ I cannot crochet though I can knit Fair-Isle patterns.

6/ I have handled pythons at a zoo.

7/ I cannot swim. despite carrying half a stone of extra weight, I still sink like a brick, much to my annoyance.

8/ I would really love to go on a cruise ship to see the Norwegian fjords and the Arctic Circle/Alaska

I think most of the Ortho-bloggers have already been tagged, so I will have to throw this open to anyone who wants to play............
Share with friends using the share button below.

Opera Rules

No. not the browser !

Paul Potts, the hopeful opera singer, won Britain`s got Talent competition last night. And yes, I did phone to vote for him :-)
All the finalists were very good in their own fields, especially the Bar Wizards and the ventriloquist, but Paul touched my heart with his singing and his unassuming manner.

According to Simon Cowell, Paul will be in the studios this week recording his debut album, so something is in the wind.......

Here are his three performances, if you have missed them. Enjoy !!

The first:

The second:

His performance in the final:
Share with friends using the share button below.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Something You Simply Must Watch Today

If you like good music, and you want to see/listen to something quite incredibly wonderful, **please** go to the Treasured Heart blog and watch this

This is going to be one of my all-time favourites, without any shadow of a doubt......

The singer, Paul Potts, will be in the final programme tonight. I will certainly be voting for him :-)

I have watched the clip on YouTube (which is on the link above) several times, and each time it has made me cry, it is so beautiful.
Not even Pavarotti or Boccelli has reduced me to tears like Paul`s voice has.
I hope Paul wins.

Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Two encounters have made me ponder recently.

Last week, when I was walking DD3 & 4 home from school, we walked past one house with a low garden wall. There was a young lad in the garden aged about 10. As we walked past, he picked up a handful of pebble chippings form his garden and tossed them over the wall at the girls. One just missed hitting Helen`s head, the other hit Abby`s thigh and she started to cry.

I did call out to the boy that what he had done wasn`t very nice, and walked on a bit further out of range.

Helen was outraged, Abby distressed. The stone had left a red mark on her. I was tempted to walk on home , then I wondered what would happen if I ignored it and he threw more stones at even younger children. I would certainly feel responsible.

So, gritting my teeth and screwing up my courage to the max, because I hate confrontations, I walked back to the boy, who ducked behind the garden wall and hid from me. I opened the gate, and called him. I asked if his parents were home. He said that no, they were away on holiday and grinned.

I retorted that I thought it was very unlikely that he had been left alone at home, and was there a grown-up there looking after him ? He replied that his gran was there. I asked him would he mind getting her so I could speak with her.
He did so, and an elderly lady slowly made her way, leaning heavily on a walking stick, to the door.

I felt awful at disturbing her, but I said very politely that perhaps her grandson didn`t realise just how dangerous it was to throw handfuls of stones over the wall as he could hit someone and hurt them badly. She just nodded and went back inside, taking the boy with her.

He has not been in evidence in the garden on his own since, and we walk past that house twice a day..... but this child seemed to have no concern that he could hurt someone by what he was doing, which I find truly frightening. Neither did he make any attempt to apologise for what he had done.

Encounter number two was this morning.

Two gentlemen holding Bibles knocked at my door. Mentally I prepared my spiel for politely getting rid of JW missionaries.

As I was closing the door , the elderly gentleman asked if I had noticed the ants walking along the boundary wall into next door ? I said I had, somewhat puzzled, and he asked if I had a bible in the house. I said I did, and he said would I please read and see what Proverbs 6 had to say.

I have walked past these ants at least four times a day for weeks. How come I never saw this a s a lesson, whereas this elderly gentleman had visited for the first time and saw a Christian lesson there.

I have read the chapter. All of it was "a profitable word" for my soul.

I was ashamed of myself. Especially as I had "got rid" of them rather hastily simply because there was a programme on the TV that I was watching.
What a crap excuse to brush off well-intentioned Christian folk (they were not JW, BTW).

May God bless them and may He make me more humble and open-minded.

I am **such** a schmuck sometimes......
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Listening to "Confessing Between The Lines"

Today, my eagerly-awaited album by Fr Justin Mathews arrived from

Excellent service and good prices from this firm; if you like the music on The Ark radio station, such as Jimmy Santis, Kerygma and Monica Mathews, you can get it from

I have no affiliation with the company, but am a very satisfied customer. My order was placed and received in less than a week across the pond........
Share with friends using the share button below.

Congratulations Are In Order

DD1 has now completed her first week of gainful , well-paid employment at a solicitor`s office, doing conveyancing secretarial work after a difficult 9 months of unemployment after finishing her college course.

We are so delighted and happy for her to have got a job she really enjoys and is good at !

Well done, DoomHamster !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Head Count

The house seems uncannily quiet.

DD1&2 are staying with my mother tonight, as they do most Saturdays. They love my mother`s company and she loves theirs.

I am glad; she is not in the best of health, and they all have a wonderful time together. The girls are building wonderful memories of her for the rest of their lives.

I look forward to when the younger ones are older and can get to know her in the same way and look after her the way their elder sisters do.

DD3 is also absent.
Many of her schoolfriends and one of her teachers belong to a Baptist Chapel youth club, and she goes to the once monthly meetings. Tonight is a sleepover at the Chapel, followed by breakfast and family service. She was desperate to go, and will be one of the youngest ones there. Her best friend from school will be there too, so we have let her go.

Although she has slept over at friends` houses, this is the first time she will have been in a group setting.Boys and girls will be sleeping in separate building ( Chapel and Hall) with very good adult supervision, and I know she will have a great time, but our home seems so quiet without her.

I shall be glad when we pick her up in the morning after breakfast. Sadly, I doubt we will get to Liturgy tomorrow, as mother-in-law`s central heating/hot water system has developed major problems, and DH has arranged to meet a plumber friend of ours at 10 am tomorrow to try to get it sorted out for her.

I miss DD3 very much and she has only been gone an hour :-(
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, June 04, 2007

St Elizabeth the New Martyr

Some really interesting information about St Elizabeth can be found at the Alexander Palace Time Machine site.

Much of it is quite obscure, such as what happened to her husband`s remains and where he was reburied after the Church where he was interred was destroyed, etc.

Much conjecture but also many factual gems.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Orthodox Roundup

Having drawn a huge sigh of relief that family birthday season is over until September, it must be past time for a Round-up :-)

The major news is of course the re-unification between Rocor and the Moscow Patriarchate. Fr John Whiteford was there in Moscow, and has even provided a travel journal with wonderful photographs of the various churches and pilgrimage centres he managed to visit in an amazingly short space of time here
and here
and here
and here
and finally here.

Seraphim talks about the meaning of the Sunday of All Saints, and how we are not born saints but have to work hard at it.

How missionary Orthodoxy can successfully be brought to pagan cultures is exemplified by the great Russian enlightener Saints of Alaska and whose example is totally relevant to witnessing to 21st century pagans, as discussed here by Justin. The Alaskan theme continues in the wonderful story of the Life of Blessed Matushka Olga.

Alana talks about how the Feast of the Ascension leaves her feeling Lonely and Bereft

At the ever-interesting Orrologion are a whole slew of treats, including a list of where major saints` relics can be found and how Cyprus is aiming to attract religious pilgrims and tourists by publicising their historic churches and relics.

For those of you who love to collect links, the Great Book of Needs is now online for perusal, as is the Euchologion

In an interesting twist of events, S-P over at Pithless Thoughts was almost arrested for talking to a woman considering an abortion and Life with a little one is pondered lovingly by Molly, and how it allows us the chance to be still and reflect.

Fr Stephen talks about loving our enemies, with the sober realisation that probably almost everyone is our enemy....go read ! and also about how by being united to Christ, we are united to the Mother of God, the saints and the whole company of Heaven.

The Apostles`Fast and its "intrusion" into a Western Summer lifestyle is analysed nicely here, and how we have to adapt to Orthodoxy, not Orthodoxy to us......

Till next time !
Share with friends using the share button below.