Monday, October 29, 2007


There is a highly contagious illness out there, folks !
Prepare to giggle!

Check out OMCDI syndrome.
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Fun & Games

Ever wanted to be a surgeon ?
Now you can play simulated open-heart surgery !
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It was a little unnerving, to say the least, to hear a cockerel crow three times whilst Father was reading the pre-Confession prayers for me yesterday after Liturgy :-)

The cockerel (who lives, with his flock of hens) in the garden behind the Chapel had been quiet all through Liturgy !

It was a great blessing to receive absolution, and to receive the Holy Mysteries. It was a good day.
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Daylight Robbery

When we arrived at the Chapel for Liturgy yesterday, my beloved godmother and Presbytera was looking subdued.
Not surprisingly, as whilst working on Saturday, she had been robbed of her purse and mobile phone.

It appears that it was a just out of jail junkie, from snippets of information from other witnesses.We are hopeful the CCTV will have helpful shots of the perpetrator, and that he will soon be apprehended.
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When I was about 13, I was taken on holiday to Athens.
I loved Greece, and delighted in being in an Orthodox country and seeing so many churches and shrines.
Reading this gorgeous post about Ochi Day in Athens has made me homesick to go back........
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Erudite or Not ?

Your Vocabulary Score: A+
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!You must be quite an erudite person.
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You may remember I posted about a vile youth who urinated on a lady as she lay dying in the street.
The magistrates referred the case to a higher court so that tougher sentencing could be allowed.

This has now been done, and he has been sentenced to three years in prison. I hope this will serve to teach him some compassion for others.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007


DH and I were on our way home after walking the dog.

We came back through the village, and just ahead of us, I saw a very little girl trip up and land heavily and painfully full length, face down on the paving slabs. The lady who was with her just picked her up, grabbed her hand and carried on walking with her.
This little mite, who was only about 18 months old, was sobbing her heart out and obviously needed someone to dust her down, give her a big hug, look at where she hurt and kiss it better. The person she was with, presumably her mother, just carried on walking with the little girl crying all the way down the street.

I know I should not be judgmental, but I was in tears myself. I am not ever going to be a candidate for the World's Best Mother, but I could not have done that to one of my children when they were that age.
They would have been hugged, kissed, and if necessary, carried for a short while till they felt better. Each step that little girl took would have been causing her pain at that point, having hurt her knees.

I cam home feeling really sad.
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Hard Of Hearing

DH has been complaining recently that he has developed impaired hearing in one ear.
He is right; he has the TV at blasting level, even for me, and I am a bit deaf :-)

He trotted off to the doctor's this morning, wherupon the doctor checked his ears witha n otoscope and told him he had earwax impaction, and would need to use drops three times a day to soften the wax, then have the ear syringed at the nurse's clinic next week.

He then went to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled. When he got home, we literally howled with laughter. I thought he would have been prescribed medication to loosen and partially liquify the wax, as is done by many docs. What he was prescribed was......


He came home with a 75ml bottle of Olive Oil !!!!!

Up until last year, he would have had to pay in excess of £6 to have this prescription filled. Luckily, prescriptions in Wales are now free, subsidised by the Welsh Assembly.

I would have been cross at having to pay over £6 for a tiny bottle of Olive Oil.
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Pink Day

Today is Breast Cancer Awareness Day at our school. The children are allowed to not wear school uniform provided they wear something pink and make a donation to the charity via the school.

Needless to say, my girls were delighted.
Abby wore pink **everything**.
Helen wore 90% pink

Some of the boys had pink hair gel; some of them couldn't bear the thought of wearing pink items and wore red items instead :-)

Tonight is the Seasonal Disco party at the school. The Head asked the PTA to call it a Seasonal Fancy Dress disco so as not to offend the tender sensibilities of some hardline parents who object to Halloween. We are not a faith-affiliated school, so I don't see why these parents were getting their panties in a wad. They do not have to let their children attend the disco if they feel that strongly, after all.......

The PTA were happy to accede to the head's request; after all, as a Seasonal themed disco, the children can come dressed up as vegetables for Harvest, fireworks for Bonfire Night or Halloween costumes. Plenty of scope there for costumes :-)
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fires From Space

Some horrifying images of the Californian fires are available from Nasa here.

Truly scary.
Lord have mercy and protect all those living in the affected areas, and upon the fire crews who put their lives on the line in order to try and save others. Their heroism is amazing.
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Sputnik Science

Ever fancied making your very own Sputnik satellite ?

This site shows you how.

It is actually surprisingly cheap and simple, but quite how anyone could ever afford to pay to send it into space, I'm not sure :-)
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Savage Britain

I was appalled to read that the thug who deliberately and unprovokedly punched and partially blinded a 96 year old war veteran on a tram has escaped a jail sentence

Purely as a matter of interest, what would be a typical punishment for such a crime where you live ? I sincerely hope that it would be a jail sentence.
People as aggressive, stupid and undisciplined as this man should not be walking the streets knowing they can thump anyone who gets in their way and that they will get away with it........
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Icon Visit

The Kursk Root icon will be touring Britain later this year, much to my delight.
It was whilst praying in front of this icon that St John the Wonderworker reposed.

I wasn't able to go and venerate it when it was last in Britain five years ago.
I really hope to be able to take the girls to see it if it comes within reasonable and affordable travelling distance of South Wales.
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Apologies for the delay in posting; I plead post-birthday party recovery :-)

Abby's party went extremely well.
We had 24 children and 22 accompanying parents going to the pool in total. We did fill the shallow end completely , LOL.

They had double-booked us, but we were willing to be flexible about going in the pool earlier than planned and the staff made every effort to make Abby's party fun for her. After swimming, the children had ameal in a themed seating area, then into the huge run around/soft play area. We finally got home at 7.30pm and boy, I was ready for bed at that point.

This week is the school's Harvest Festival.
While I applaud the sentiments of encouraging food donations to be FairTrade items, I found it rather sad that fresh fruit and vegetables were forbidden. The elderly folk in the area who will be the beneficiaries of the school's food donations are a traditional bunch who like having fresh fruit and vegetables with which to prepare their own meals.

I don't think having a packet of Fairtrade cookies or sugar is quite the same as having a nice armful of "real food"...............imagine being ill in hospital and someone bringing you a bag of sugar instead of a nice bunch of grapes :-)
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

First Snow in Fuschl

As I have previously mentioned, happy memories of a childhood holiday in Austria prompt me to regularly check the webcam at Fuschl am See.

When I logged on first thing this morning, the weather conditions appeared to be atrocious, but I thought it was just heavy rain and mist I was seeing.

Logging on now, it has just stopped snowing and the rooves of the chalets are white. It looks like they are in for a lot more snow:-)
I would love to go there in the wintertime.
One day !
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Despite Abby's delight in her new bedroom, it is a long way down the corridor from where she used to sleep, and from us. Most nights, although she plays with relish in her room, at bedtime she asks to trot to her sister Helen's room and sleep on the fold-down guest bed there so she has company.

At first I thought Helen might resent the invasion of her space and privacy now she is 9, but to my delight she was thrilled that her little sister wanted to share her room to sleep, and happily reads her bedtime stories after I have done the requested story for that night :-)

So tonight, I supervised teeth-cleaning , made them hot water bottles, helped them kiss their icons, tucked them into bed, said their prayers with them and kissed and blessed them.

Now I have the time to do last-minute preparations for Abby's 6th birthday tomorrow. DH won't be back from working away till Abby's bedtime, but we have ordered a cake, which I will pick up from the baker's tomorrow. DD1 and 2 will be visiting after work tomorrow , as will my mum, to give Abby her presents.

It will be fairly busy, and on Thursday after school will be her swimming party !

My heart is full to overflowing with joy, for I have been so richly blessed in my family.

God grant you Many Years, my precious youngest child !
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The Ikon In The Home

For a glorious article about the role and place of icons in the home in pre-revolutionary Russia, go here.

What a delightful read !
I must keep my eyes open for the book; I already have a copy of his "With the Russian pilgrims to Jerusalem" :-)
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The English Schindler

An elderly Englishman has been nominated for a Nobel Peace prize for his work masterminding the safe transport of 700 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to England just before WWII began.

Sir Nicholas Winton worked tirelessly and fearlessly to save as many children from the spectre of the Nazi camps as he could, and at the age of 98, still prays daily for the 200 children he couldn't save, who were on trains due to go to London on the day the Prague borders were closed, the Nazis took over the train and the children were never to be seen again.

Thank God there were such men who were willing to sacrifice their skills, time and very lives , if need be, to save others from harm.
May God richly bless him.
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Friday, October 12, 2007


I found an amzing widget the other day.

Have you ever wanted to have your own handwriting as a font for your computer ?
If so, go here and you can buy one for $9 .....

I am tempted :-)
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Schloss Fuschl

One of my fondest childhood memories is visting Fuschl See, in the Salzkammergut region of Austria.

My grandmother, now reposed, walked round the entire lake with me one day, and at the far end of the lake was the Castle, now an extremely exclusive hotel.

I found this photo on the web and just had to post it :-)
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Abortion on Demand

Britain is about to become even more a country of abortion on demand than it is at the moment.

Proposals are being recommended which will allow medical (drug) terminations of pregnancy to be completed "in the privacy of a woman's own home". Far be it for anyone to be put to the incovenience of going to a clinic as they kill their own child, of course.

And this is supposed to be a step forward for society ?

These drugs are only relatively safe compared to the known risks of pregnancy and birth; they are not absolutely safe.
Just wait for the first pregnant 13 year old to die a messy death along with her child at home from the side-effects of these drugs and wait for the howls of outrage.

God help us all.

Full story here
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Changing Rooms

The real-estate battle over DoomHamster's old bedroom has been settled in favour of Abby moving out of her tiny room into the big room, and Me being given Abby's old room for my very own -albeit tiny- study !

Woo-hoo !!!!!

I currently have a table, chair and small bookcase in there. I need a much bigger bookcase, which I hope to buy this weekend and also some storage boxes for my family history stuff.

Doing the happy last I will be able to leave work in progress in a safe place without having to clear it off the dining room table or rescue it from the depredations of the children or the dog !

Abby is absolutely thrilled with her new big bedroom. I am amazed at how much stuff she had managed to cram into her old room :-)
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Thursday, October 04, 2007


ITV4 has started to show series 1 of Jericho, the post-nuclear bomb survival programme.

I am a happy camper; I have been waiting ages for it to be shown again on TV, as I missed it first time round.

One of the problems of watching so little TV to start with is that I often do miss things that I would have enjoyed.......

Jericho now brings my TV viewing time to *two* hours per week :-)
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pilgrimage to Istanbul

There are some truly glorious photos in Cardinal O'Malley's blog about the Boston RC/Orthodox pilgrimage to Istanbul and St Petersburg, including ones of the Church at Blachernae !

Go have a look.
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Monday, October 01, 2007

DoomHamster Has Left The Building

My precious eldest , the irrepressible and talented DoomHamster, has now moved out of the family home into her own flat a stone's throw away from where she works.

It is an ideal spot for her, and her flat is lovely. She has been very lucky and has been donated a three piece suite, dining table and chairs, cooker, fridge, freezer and bed from various members of the family, so she has had to buy very little.

It is all taking shape very nicely, and DH will be building flatpack bookcases and minor furniture for her next weekend.
She has her icons safe, and is looking for a suitable piece of furniture on which to place them.

Asking the prayers of her heavenly patron, St Tatiana the Martyr of Rome, for her !
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Happy Feast !

I wish you all much joy on the Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos !

We have a large icon of the Pokrov, and we celebrate this as our family's patronal Feast.

Tes presyas tou Theotokou, Soter, soson imas !

Through the prayers of the Theotokos have mercy upon us and save us, O lord !
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