Friday, August 31, 2007

Decisions, decisions

After pondering the property details of a house for a fortnight, we bit the bullet today and went to view it.

It is detached, lovely, spacious, closer to school, on the main bus route, and did I mention it is detached ? LOL.

So now we have to decide whether to sell our house and move. It did have lots of space for the icon corner, as DH pointed out :-)
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A number of you have commented on the books visible through the close up view of the fishtank :-)

We like collecting political memoir type books.
We have the biography of the ex Prime Minister John Major;
Edwina Currie`s political diaries and one of her novels (signed),
Bill Clinton (as you have all noticed!),
Margaret Thatcher (signed),
two novels by Ann Widdecombe MP , one of which is signed.

For the sake of historical completeness, we even have a copy of the memoirs of the royal butler turned weasel, Paul Burrell, and the Prison Diaries of Jeffrey Archer :-)

DoomHamster is currently reading the collected works of Winston Churchill, on loan from her grandparents, and is thoughly enjoying them.
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mimi !!

Happy Birthday,
Congratulations and
MANY YEARS to dear Mimi !

Have a great day :-)
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Our computer - admittedly elderly- has been playing up as of late.

When typing, it suddenly stops displaying the characters and takes 3 to 4 seconds to display what you have last typed, which did make producing the latest Roundup rather......interesting, shall we say :-)

DH has investigated and found that Firefox (my browser of choice) has been leaving a horrendous number of tracking cookies which clogged the system to a crawl. He is a firm advocate of Internest Exploder, which I personally loathe and despise, but in deference to his technical prowess, I am using the wretched browser he advises.

Therefore, this post has been brought to you via Blogger and the infamous Internet Exploder.
Bleugh! But he is right, and it is working much better :-)
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I was just about to hit the publish button on this Roundup when the computer went crazy and navigated itself **off**the page to the Blogger sign in page.

For a few crucial seconds, I was on the verge of tears, thinking I had just lost the entire hour`s work on the roundup, plus all the links, and in despair, took the dog outside to do his business, when I remembered that Blogger has now got an automatic saving program, and when I re-logged in, behold, virtually the entire text of the Roundup was there in the edit folder, and I only had to add a few lines.

I still have no idea why the computer navigated away from the page when I was in mid-sentence, typing !

Tears have been averted :-)
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Orthodox Roundup

....strikes again :-)

Because I decided I would keep up with the Rounup yesterday, on the Feast of the Beheading of the Forerunner, I simply have to start with this gem........a RC priest, Fr Dwight, reminesces that he used to know a nun who was HeadMistress of the local parish school dedicated to St John Baptist, and she would regularly answer the phone with the immortal words "Hello, this is the head of John the Baptist speaking"...........

Pilgrims using the Vatican` special pilgrim airline to tourist shrines were rather distressed when under the strict anti-terrorism laws, their holy water form the RC shrine at Lourdes had to be discarded before flying home because the bottles , shaped like a statue of the Virgin, contained more than the regulation 100ml of liquid....

The wonderful Byzantine blogger MaryPoppinsNOT and her family are taking part in a 40 day prayer vigil outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility due to open near her. God bless all those who witness for life and love in this way !

A delightful musing on St Anna, the grandmother of Christ has been penned by missingbecheery.
The great Feast of the Dormition has been an important focus this month, and Laura Nee has written about the ending of the Life of the Theotokos. Magda has written about how she and her family were able to use technology to take part in the Paraklisis during the Fast, and Fr John talks about the icon of the Dormition.

Alana gives us "worship on steroids"!

Some really quite sobering thoughts on the Priesthood, which I had never considered, are picked up on here, and Antioch Abouna ponders why he became and remainanOrthodox and a priest here. Fr Peter talks about a recent Sunday here, which made me giggle.

I`ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks reading Harry Potter fanfiction, and was delighted to read Matt`s article on the subject of Harry`s very Christian Patronus.

Visible Christian things are also on Abouna`s mind when he talks about the ancient English custom of well-dressing here.

Items of immense value for daily living are worth reading ; Grace provides two of them with keeping offenses in perspective and being the fond and foolish parent of our thoughts.
Fr Joseph provides the other via Elder Paisios.

James from Paradosis has had an amazing trip to Orthodox Africa, which I commend to you in its entirety over at his site, from the end of July to the beginning of August. A recent post of his cracked me up- the subject of Orthodox leftovers.......... as did C`s new post on Sunday morning headaches !

Life in a one storey universe and death in a two storey universe are very well worth a read - fascinating, thought provoking and have stuck in my mind since I read them first.

Molly talks about being taught to serve Christ in the less fortunate by her daughter, and gave me much food for thought.

Dixie blogs about an ancient Orthodox church found in Tiberias.

Maryleah discusses the icon of the Holy Mandylion and also St Gregory Palamas' thoughts on the necessity of holy icons.

Katherine gives us a feast of articles, quite literally ! Go read how to build a tetrapod of your very own here, and take a visual journey through the Orthodox church here, and see the Twelve Great Feast Montessori style !

Another take on WWJD ? is given by Dave, who also blogs about icons on a BBC tv programme and the trials and tribulations of Christian student bodies in a non-Christian tolerant Britain. He also gives us a link to fun quizzes - thank you!

Papa herman is blessed to be going on pilgrimage to Fr Seraphim Rose`s grave at Platina this coming weekend. May his trip be both safe and richly blessed !

Although the recent dreadful fires in Greece now seem to be under control, thank God, there is widespread devastation and suffering in many areas. You can help IOCC help the Greek folk by visting Fr Joseph`s link .

That`s about all folks. Hope you enjoyed it !
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Close Up :-)

A rather better photograph of the fish, LOL.
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Fish Photos

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Fires In Greece

Satellite view of the dreadful fires in Greece here.
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Declining Bird Population

In the Daily Telegraph today, there is an article about British wildlife in danger. Apparently, the country`s house sparrow population has reduced by over 50% in the last 25 years.

Not in our garden !
We have a large bird feeder, which we are currently re-filling every single day with seed, and which is the magnet for a flock of sparrows which stay in our garden and next door`s garden, and which number 12 to 20 birds at any given time of day :-)

Starlings are a different kettle of fish. As equally declining in numbers as the sparrow, I have never seen a starling in our garden, or even in this part of Blogsville.....
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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Future Of The Roundup

I am debating whether to continue with the Orthodox Roundup or not.

I find that by bookmarking things of interest, when the time comes to write about them for the fortnightly Roundup, I have lost the impetus to talk about them because they are now "old news" in the blogosphere and most of you have already read them elsewhere, most likely.

Also, it gives me less to write about on a day to day basis for my blog because I am keeping all the "good bits" for the Roundup, and I feel the blog is becoming less interesting.

Thoughts would be welcomed, as always :-)
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crazy Weather

The current fires in Greece are causing tragedy and devastation in equal measure.
At least 47 people have died, with many more injured and the fires continue. Coverage here and here.

DH said that when he was watching the news, video footage was shown of people doing their very best to put out the flames, led by their Orthodox priest blessing them and their endeavours with his blessing cross.

Quiet the opposite problem is faced by people in Orthodox Romania, where huge flooding has caused chaos.

Lord have mercy on us all........
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Babies !

One of my cousins and his wife have just had twin babies, a boy and a girl.
Parents and babies are doing well, and the little ones (who were six weeks premature) should be home in a fortnight, God willing.

On the home front, we have resurrected our old fish tank and we are now the proud possessors of five cool-water guppies and a pink catfish, swimming happily in their tank in the living room. Abby is particularly thrilled, as she has been desperate to have pet fish for over a year., and now we have them !
Rockford, Cadfael, Columbo, Charlie, Princess and Angel have joined the family :-)

Pictures will follow in due course........
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The Slipper Saga

I have just realised I didn't regale you all with the great Slipper Saga !

Last week, DD3 & 4 were officially deemed in dire need of new slippers. One would think this is not a difficult mission, but it proved otherwise......

At our favourite shoe shop, where the children`s feet were carefully measured, it was found necessary to purchase size 3 and a half slippers for DD3 and size 12 for DD4. They did have a gorgeous pair of pink and fluffy slippers in size 3 and a half, so they were duly purchased with some glee, but the size 12 slippers were a tad too narrow although the perfect length, so we decided to go elsewhere.

There were two other places in Blogsville which stock slippers, and we had absolutely no joy there at all, so DH decided we would drive to another emporium a few miles away. They had no slippers of any description and would not be receiving stock till the end of September, which wasn't much use to us at the back into the car we all piled and drove to Blogstown.

On our second shop in Blogstown, we hit the jackpot. One shop was having a massive sale to clear stock prior to the shop being refitted, and we purchased two pairs of slippers in different sizes for DD4 for the price of the one pair of DD's, plus a very nice pair of slippers for myself :-)

Despite it taking us nearly three hours, the mission was accomplished to everyone`s satisfaction and at a reasonable cost :-)
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Tsarevitch and Anastasia Found ?

It seems possible that the Tsarevitch and Anastasia ' s remains may have been discovered.

Full story here.
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Laughing Out Loud

Dd2 sent me a link to an EBay auction she thought I might enjoy.

I have no desire to buy the item, but my goodness, this lady can write wonderfully !

Check it out here......
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Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Lovely Photo

There is a truly delightful photo over at The Traditional Frog.

Go have a look; it will make you smile :-)
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Good Read

I have been utterly absorbed in reading some books by Jasper Fforde.

They are quirky, unusual, and utterly refreshing, leaving me breathless and laughing hysterically in the space of a very few minutes, which is something that not many authors have ever managed to do :-0

The first is The Eyre Affair, and I have to say, you really do need to have read Jane Eyre in order to fully appreciate what Jasper Fforde has managed to do ......

This is what said about it:-

When I first heard the premise of this unique mystery, I doubted that a first-time author could pull off a complicated caper involving so many assumptions, not the least of which is a complete suspension of disbelief. Jasper Fforde is not only up to the task, he exceeds all expectations.

Imagine this. Great Britain in 1985 is close to being a police state. The Crimean War has dragged on for more than 130 years and Wales is self-governing. The only recognizable thing about this England is her citizens' enduring love of literature. And the Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's cherished literary heritage and holding them for ransom.

Bibliophiles will be enchanted, but not surprised, to learn that stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, but Hades has escalated his thievery. He has begun attacking the original manuscripts, thus changing all copies in print and enraging the reading public. That's why Special Operations Network has a Literary Division, and it is why one of its operatives, Thursday Next, is on the case.

Thursday is utterly delightful. She is vulnerable, smart, and, above all, literate. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. You will only remember Mr. Quaverley if you read Martin Chuzzlewit prior to 1985. But now Hades has set his sights on one of the plums of literature, Jane Eyre, and he must be stopped.

How Thursday achieves this and manages to preserve one of the great books of the Western canon makes for delightfully hilarious reading. You do not have to be an English major to be pulled into this story. You'll be rooting for Thursday, Jane, Mr. Rochester--and a familiar ending.

End Quote.

I have just finished reading the second book and thanks to the generosity of a good friend, I am about to start the third :-)

If you love literature, you might want to give these a try.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dormition Snakes

The miracle of the Virgin`s snakes has taken place this year.

For a full account and great photos, go here.
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Worrying Times

I read this today.
It made my stomach churn.

Especially as I know two serving police officers, who have told me that they always keep close watch on their own children precisely because they do know what goes on behind the scenes - they see many things in the course of their work, and hear information that most folk are not privy to, and would not imagine could be happening anywhere near them.

There are some nasty people around, and a seriously flawed legal system that can allow such people to be released early instead of life imprisonment meaning life.
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My early morning cup of tea Mug :-)
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Big Bad Basil

Looking very sweet and innocent whilst lying on the Newspaper TV guide :-)
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We thought that Big Bad Basil had destroyed the climbing Passionflower, so imagine my delight when we found this flower last week !

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Dormition of the Theotokos

May all of you have a truly happy and blessed Feast Day today !

May the most holy Mother of God shelter us all under her Protecting Veil and extend her holy prayers for all of us and those whom we love !
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Catching Up

Last night, I had the opportunity to go out without the young ones (thanks to DD1 for excellent babysitting service!) and spend a few hours in the company of three of my four very dear childhood friends.

Since leaving school, we have scattered across the United Kingdom, but serendipitously, last night we were able to meet up in my home town. We had a simple meal out and we laughed and talked non-stop for three hours.

We caught up on news (some good, some bad) of family and friends and showed photos of how all our respective children have grown since we last met up. Between the four of us, we have 12 children from 21 down to 2; if another very dear friend had been able to join us, we would have had photos of 15 children to delight over.

It was wonderful.

Glory to God for His blessings, especially that of having good friends upon whom one can rely !
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Dental News

Last Thursday, I made a block booking for myself and the two young ones at our dentist`s surgery.

DD3 merely had a tiny chip which needed attention, causing no distress at all and less than a minute in the Chair.

DD4 required only a top-up repair to the sealant on the tooth she had root-canal work on at Easter. Again, the work of a minute or two, with no distress.

Then me.

I knew that I had lost a chunk of filling and it would need attention, but I did not expect it would become a major undertaking involving about 20 minutes and industrial levels of novocaine, causing the whole left side of my face to be completely numb and with cross over to the right side of my nose , LOL.

DH was outside with the children, in the waiting room, and I was aware of plaintive comments on the lines of just how much longer was Mummy going to be ........... I was in THE CHAIR, wondering just how much longer Mummy was going to be also !

Once the novocaine wore off, the fun began. I took maximum doses of ibuprofen, and confidently expected the pain to dissipate.
It didn't.
Not even after an hour.
I ended up going to bed due to the pain; it was just as bad as when I was hospitalized to have four impacted wisdom teeth removed under general anaesthesia.

I really didn't expect this, and was on the point of phoning up the dentist to ask advice, when in desperation I had a very hot cup of tea and held a mouthful in the affected side of my mouth. Within seconds, the pain vanished and didn't come back.

How weird was that ?

Needless to say, I am not looking forward to my scheduled appointment with the hygienist and another with the dentist to do "just a tiny filling" .
I think I will take a flask of hot tea with me ;-)
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Mother Gavrilia Speaks Profitable Words

I though you might like the available text of Mother Gavrilia`s sayings :-)

Mother Speaks :-

1. Any place may become a place of Resurrection, if the Humility of Christ becomes the way of our life.

2. You may sleep, as long as you are in a state of watchfulness.

3. There are some who stay awake for a few, and some who stay awake for all.

4. Orthodox spirituality is knowledge acquired through suffering rather than through learning.

5. Do not wish for many things, whether they are within or out of reach. Instead, take care to sanctify the little you have.

6. To learn how to love God: this is the one and only Education.

7. There is nothing cheaper than money.

8. Better Hell in this world than in the other.

9. It is not what we say, but what we live. It is not what we do, but what we are.

10. I put on the Rasson (Monastic habit) and do not speak unless I am asked. The Rasson speaks.

11. If you have love for all the world, the whole world is beautiful.

12. Someone said that a Christian is he who purifies love and sanctifies work.

15. Our purpose should be to have the Paraclete* in our heart, even when we have the... Parasite in our head.

16. We become a reflection of Heaven by saying: «Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven».

17. He who loves is not aware of it, as he is not aware of his own breathing.

18. When doors are open in Heaven, they are also open on Earth.

19. When the mind is not distracted by worldly matters and remains united to God, then even the «Good day» that we say becomes a blessing.

20. By saying «no» and by refusing, we forfeit our purpose.

21. We must not «exist» in the presence of the other person, who is God's «image and likeness».

22. In the early steps of our life we need the presence of someone we love. As we advance, the One, God, fills us with His Love and Joy so much that we no longer need anyone. The soul does this at the beginning because she does not know yet Whom she loves, and thinks it is this or that person.

23. Many times what God expects from us is the intention rather than the act itself. Our readiness to follow His Commandment is enough for Him.

24. Jesus Christ gave us the golden mean: both alone and with others.

25. When God created us, He gave us Life and breathed His Spirit into us. This Spirit is Love. When love deserts us, we become as dead as corpses. We are not alive any more.

26. A Christian must have reverence for the Mystery of Existence in everyone and everything.

27. To reach the state of non-existence, love and love and love until you identify yourself completely with the Other One, whoever this may be at the time. Then, at the end of the day you may ask yourself: Is there anything I want? No. Is there anything I wish? No. Is there anything I lack? No... So, that's it!

28. The spiritually advanced person is the one who has reached a state of «non-existence» and has deeply understood that whatever happens to him is either because God Wills it or because God Permits it.

29. True inner progress begins only when a person stops reading anything but the Gospel. It is only then that, united with God through the Jesus Prayer, he can hear God's Will.

30. Never wish for anything but the Will of God and accept with love any trials that may come your way.

31. Never identify a person with the wrong way in which he is treating you, but see Christ in his heart.

32. Never ask:"Why has this happened to me"? When you see somebody suffering from gangrene or cancer or blindness, never say: "Why has this happened to him"? Instead, pray God to grant you the vision of the other shore... Then, like the Angels, you will be able to see things as they really are: Everything in God's plan. EVERYTHING.

33. A wise man said: If you are to live only for yourself, it would have been better if you had not been born.

36. A person's most vulnerable spot is found in much talking and discussing.

37. To be meek is to wish never to have a guilty conscience.

38. When thoughts of passing judgement on another person cross your mind, pray God to take them away at once, so that you may love this person as He does. Then God will help you see your own faults. If Christ were visible, could you have such thoughts?

39. If you do not like somebody, think that you see Christ in that person. Then, you would not even dare utter a word of criticism.

40. We must love people and accept them in our hearts as God presents them to us. It has been thus ordained by the Lord Himself and by the Orthodox Tradition.

41. No one should become the servant of another man. We are only servants of God. «For ye are bought with a price», says the Apostle (1Cor.6:20). Therefore, there should be no servility in human relations.

42. What we say remains in Eternity.

43. Only when you are perfected in Love can you reach the state of Dispassion (Apatheia).

44. Only those who act without true love face adversities.

45.The faculty of judgement (Krisis) comes naturally to man. Criticism (Katakrisis) and reproval spring from malice. Discernment (Diakrisis) is a gift from God and we should pray for it. It is essential to our protection and progress.

46. The life of the Church extends beyond moral discipline and religious duty. It is the transcendence of Morality to Spirituality.

47. An irresolute person does not participate in life.

48. When we must be helped, God will send someone to us. We are all fellow-travellers.

49. The voice of God is silence.

50. Whoever lives in the Past is like a dead man.Whoever lives in the Future in his imagination is naive, because the Future belongs to God. The Joy of Christ is found only in the Present, in the Eternal Present of God.

51. Our destination is to worship God and love our fellow-men.

52. We find happiness and peace only by living according to God's Commandments.

53. The most essential act of Philanthropy is to speak well of our fellow-men.

54. I could not get worried, even if I tried. When we worry it is as if we say to God: "I do not agree. You don't do things right". Besides, this is sheer ingratitude.

55. To speak in the presence of Beauty is superfluous. It disturbs its harmony.

56. Through the invocation of the name of Christ, we batter our Ego.

57. It is the oil-lamp of our soul that must be always lighted, burning forever.

58. We are the first to feel the joy we give to others.

59. Better a prayer of the lips than no prayer at all.

60. Let God intervene between you and your purpose, instead of letting your purpose intervene between you and God.

61. The agony of dying is the effort made by the soul to free herself and run towards the Lord.

62. Correspondence is the only way that combines solitude and company.

63. Miracle is the normal course of events according to God's Will. What we call a Miracle is only what is natural to God.

65. If we meet with an adversity, let us not ask who is to blame. Because the blame is only ours. We shall find the reason if we ask for it in our Prayer: perhaps we have not loved enough, or we have disobeyed another Commandment, or we have mishandled the situation, or we have moved faster than we should, or we have relied on the wrong person.

66. When we lose something, let us say: «In this manner, Lord, deliver me also from any evil thought I may have for my neighbour».

67. Anxiety is for those who have no Faith.

68. Love is only on the Cross.

69. Human relationships become difficult when the «I» stands above the «You».

70. God loves your enemies as much as He loves you.

71. Do you want to Pray? Prepare yourself to meet the Lord in secret.

72. By God's Permission some people become instruments of the Power of Darkness for our own testing and progress.

73. You must not get upset, because a restless heart drives away all Help.

74. If one can live in the world and yet not mix with it - just as the oil and water do not mix in the oil-lamp - then he can live in God. He is in this world but not of this world.

75. We are all vessels, sometimes of Light and sometimes of Darkness.

76. Keep your mouth shut in the hour of crisis, when a problem is acute. Do not say anything, because you may regret it a thousand times. Instead, tell it to the Angels so that they may place it at the Lord's Feet, and pray the Lord for an Angel of Peace to calm your soul.

77. Sometimes people ask for your advice or instruction, so that they may put the «blame» on you afterwards if things go wrong. Quite probably though, whatever you say will be ignored, in which case it will all be a waste of trouble.

78. When the «I» breaks and becomes «You» and the «You» also breaks so that they may both become «He», then we all become «His».

79. If you ever feel fear in your heart, close your eyes and say the Jesus Prayer: «Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me»...

80. Only when we are still, do we give the Angels an opportunity to do something.

81. Do what you must do, and God will do what He must do.

82. When you feel a fluttering in your heart, a deep yearning for something, this will come true after a lapse of time determined by God.

83. We ourselves cannot get rid of any of our faults. He takes them away from us, one by one.

84. We should ask God everyday to break our will and make it His, so that we may become as He wants us to be.

85. We must not «surrender» to His Will. This is what soldiers do. We, who are His Children, must offer Him our own will along with all our being - in whatever pitiful state we may be - and tell him: «Lord, take all my faults and imperfections and set them right».

86. The Grace of God comes when we raise our hand. It is Faith that draws God's Grace to us. God is «pouring down» His Grace, but where is the hand reaching out to receive it? Instead, we are wearing hats or carrying umbrellas...

87. If a foreigner speaks evil of Greece and the Orthodox Faith, do not identify the man with his words. Still, never speak to him about such significant events like the discovery of Holy Relics and other miraculous things that happen here.

88. You must not talk about persons who are absent.

89. We live in Vanity, and believe that this is life. How pitiable we are!

90. O Lord! Forgive us if we sometimes walk in pride, like little cockerels that think they are great.

91. Poor human beings! We consider the perishable as Immortal and the Immortal as non-existant.

92. Poor onion! It also offers what it can.

93. How beautiful is the «Mystery», the «Sacrament» of Tomorrow!

94. A person takes his lesson only once. If he does not learn the first time, it means that there is something wrong in his subconscious which prevents him from doing so.

95. The Lord said: Whoever wants something, believing, he will receive - As long as the request is in accordance with God's Commandments, that is to say, with Love.

96. Do not deny others the crumbs falling off your table from the Bread of Life which is given to you whole by the Lord. So many hunger and thirst for Love, like Lazarus who fed on the crumbs falling off the table of the rich man.

97. We have no right not to reflect the Light of the Lord. Nothing should be left in the shade, «under the meal-tub».

98. Everything has two sides, like a two-edged knife. What creates today, destroys tomorrow. «Let him understand, he who may understand».

99. Some of the sailors on a ship may quarrel and fight each other, but the ship sails on and reaches its destination. The same is true of the Church, because Christ Himself is at the helm.

100. If you knew that you are not Here, you would be There.

101. Love alone is enough to make a miracle happen. Neither Prayer nor the Komboskini (Prayer rope) have such power.

102. Experience has taught me that no one can help anyone, no matter how strong his wish and love may be. Help comes only in the Hour of God, from the One.

105. We are useful only when we do not exist for ourselves. And vice versa.

106. We must not take decisions on behalf of others. We should leave this to the Angels for they always find the best solution.

108. Like Simon of Cyrene, we must be always ready to rush to the help of our fellow-man.
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Sunday, August 12, 2007


Yesterday we went to the Summer Fete at the village hall around the corner from where we live.

We staggered home utterly laden with goodies, at bargain prices. Ten videos for £2, including some Disney ones for the small fry; ten children`s books for £1 (one of them was an omnibus edition of the first three Lemony Snicket books for 20 pence !), and assorted small toys.

DD2`s boyfriend was thrilled to find a complete roulette set for £1. He spent much of the afternoon working out the balance of probabilities of various numbers coming up. I have visions of he and DD2 playing roulette for stakes of Skittles sweets, LOL.

We didn`t even go inside the hall, as it was so packed with bargain hunters, but to be honest all the things we were interested in were outside in the garden anyway :-)

It`s nice to find bargains.
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Interview With An Iconographer

BBC radio 3 has an interview with the iconographer Aidan Hart online.
The direct link if you wish to save the podcast is here.

We have one of his icons in our parish and it is truly lovely.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Should I Buy ?

I have a dilemma.

Nothing new in that, but.......

I still have a substantial chunk of my birthday money which I have not yet spent. There is a book (however did you guess?) which I have to admit, I really do covet.

It is the Orthodox Old Believer Horologion, which has the *complete* cycle of services, including the Inter-hours, as well as the Lenten texts and Troparia and kontakia for every day of the year.

The exchange rate is very favourable if I want to buy books from the USA at present, but the shipping will be pricey as it is a big book, and may cost a bit more than I actually have in birthday money.

However, if I delay, I may not be able to afford it for years once the exchange rate changes.

Opinions, please :-)
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Having Fun

The young ones have a schoolfriend of Dd3`s over for the day. His family have to attend a funeral a long distance away, and he is staying with us until this evening.

They are all upstairs playing on his Wii console, which he kindly brought over to show them.

I have to say, this is the quietest my girls have been all holidays and I can actually sit at the computer without having shouts of "Muuuum !" wafting round the house every ten minutes or so.

They are having fun and I am having fun :-)
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My brother ( who lives at the other side of the UK to us) was being driven by his wife to his local train station last week to journey to London, when they came across an accident involving a motorcyclist and a car.

Being my brother, and a keen motorcyclist himself, he immediately got out to help. Luckily he is a very proficient qualified First Aider and was able to keep the injured man stable and immobile until the ambulance crew, summoned by his wife, arrived.

When I was doing my Midwifery training, we had a whole chunk of the course devoted to legal aspects of our work, and we were all taken aback to be advised, in the strongest possible terms, by our most senior Tutor, that if we were on our way to work and came across an accident, that we should simply phone the Ambulance and do nothing else at all.

Apparently the Good Samaritan aspect would not preclude us being sued by the injured party or their extended family and dependants if we should inadvertently do *anything*, however minor, which could be construed in court as having compromised the injured party in any way whatsoever.

Ironically, we could not be sued for standing by and watching someone die, even if we were capable of helping them, but we could be sued for helping if anything went wrong subsequently. As we were not trained doctors or paramedics, but were training to be midwives, we were warned that we should do absolutely nothing outside our strict remit and sphere of practice.

Needless to say, I was appalled by this, and my brother would certainly have no truck with such a viewpoint, as he showed by his actions last week.

I could not stand and watch someone deteriorate and die, knowing that I had the ability and knowledge to help them. Could you ?
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Raising Kids

Last week, DD2 paid for her boyfriend, two younger sisters, and myself to go to the movies with some of the money from her very first paycheck, which was a very sweet thing to do. She had to work, so couldn`t accompany us :-(

Standing outside the cinema door, waiting for the staff to finish cleaning and let us in to see The Simpsons Movie, we had ample opportunity to "people watch". DD2`s boyfriend was particularly interested in the fact that DD3 & 4 stood quietly and waited. One boy, who was about 7 or 8, turned to his mother and said "Well, we can always just go in and ask if we can get to our seats, you idiot". The tone of voice , laden with contempt for his parent, had to be heard to be believed.

My two young ones just looked at each other and their jaws dropped. DD2`s boyfriend looked at me and asked quietly what I would have done if either of the young ones had said that to me.

I simply grinned and replied calmly that I would have grabbed said child firmly by the collar, frog-marched child immediately out of the cinema complex and back home, regardless of how much money it would have wasted. then the child would have lost all privileges ( computer access, Playstation, DVD etc) for at least a week. Then the non-cheeky sibling would have had extra treats including going to see the movie which she had to miss through no fault of her own, as soon as could be managed.

If you let a child get away with treating you with such contempt at age 7 or 8, at age 11 they will be uncontrollable and basically feral.

All my kids have been taught that they speak to all adults with respect. It is possible to disagree with an adult and state an alternative point of view whilst remaining respectful.

And the film was great - if you like The Simpsons. My mother is going to see it next week with an elderly friend of hers......
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