Monday, May 31, 2010

Lord of the Rings Film In Latin !

How lovely to find that this dubbing into Latin was done as a class project by Oakmont Regional High School :-)

Found on the Latin Alive blog.

"Ad multos annos" to them all :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Friday, May 28, 2010

"I Am Hutterite" - Book Review

“I am Hutterite” : The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman's Journey to reclaim Her Heritage

By Mary-Ann Kirkby, published by Thomas Nelson.

I really don’t know what I can say about this book which will do it justice. When I chose it from BookSneeze, I knew absolutely nothing about the Hutterites, and I mean nothing. Nil. Zilch. Nada. I knew a reasonable amount about the Amish, and some little about the Mennonites. Like the Amish, the Hutterites are Anabaptists , but unlike them, Hutterites live communally and worship in Church buildings as opposed to homes.

I read it from cover to cover and could not bear to put it down till I had finished it. I smiled, I laughed, I wept on one or two occasions. Admittedly, the pace of the story was a little slow to begin with, particularly when the author was “fleshing out” the background details of her family history, but I know from my own experience how hard it can be to make such information as interesting and absorbing to others as it is to us......... but it very soon picked up when the author started to write about her own memories and her life on the colony.

The details of everyday life are myriad, and in many ways it appears to have been an almost idyllic childhood, apart from the needless and tragic death of her little brother due to an elder’s apparent intransigence and desire to impose his authority over Mary-Ann’s parents. The minister does not come over particularly well in this memoir, and I did wonder how much of the author’s grief over the loss of her young brother when she herself was very small has coloured her portrayal of the Minister, who was also her uncle. Her parents did forgive her uncle, but he appears to have been unrepentant about the tragedy till his deathbed.

Life was very structured and followed a rigorous routine which would be very alien to most of us “Englisch”. I would love to know whether things are still the same now on a Hutterite colony, and how much influence the modern world has had on their way of life. I really enjoyed the snippets of dialogue written in Hutterisch, the original Carinthian Austrian dialect which the Hutterites have preserved for their everyday speech amongst themselves. Not all the dialogue was fully “translated” into English, and I was glad of my own basic knowledge of German to give me a helping hand in translating it word for word, though the gist of the sentence was always made reasonably clear by the context and the phrases that had been introduced earlier in the text.

The difficulties she and her family faced when they chose to leave the colony when she was ten years old and live in the outside word are described in riveting and heartbreaking detail. I cannot begin to imagine how hard they must have found it, but they endured, eventually prospered and appeared to have found contentment in their lives.

It would have been lovely if the author could have written more about how she found her Hutterite background influencing – or not influencing - her adult life, and the book did seem to end rather abruptly, which was a pity. Maybe she could write another one ?

This book has been an absolute revelation for me, and I have to say, this has been the best book (in any subject category) I have read in 2010.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Share with friends using the share button below.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birthdays Galore

Today is DD3's 12th birthday.........we have all had a great but very tiring day.

Many Years, my sunshine girl !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunshiney Day

Yesterday morning, after I had taken DD4 to school, I walked up to the cemetery where my brother and father are buried, to meet DD2 and Rob, who wanted to put flowers on the grave but weren't sure how to locate it in the large cemetery..

It was one of those glorious early summer mornings - brilliant blue skies, no clouds to be seen, with blazing sun and a nice breeze which made walking several miles an absolute pleasure and delight :-)  The noise of the birds singing was unbelievably loud, despite the roar of passing cars. The leaves on the many trees were rustling quietly in the breeze, bees were humming as they visited flowers, and it was impossible to do anything else but enjoy the beauty around me.

It was a day that will long live on in my memory.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Pentecost !

A joyous and blessed feast to all !

Artwork: Mikhail Vrubel, Pentecost, 1884, Fresco, Church of St Cyril, Kiev.

Found on this web page
Share with friends using the share button below.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Sad State Of Affairs

........when next week will see the broadcast on UK's Channel 4 TV of an advert for a company which provides abortion "services". The Marie Stopes organisation wants to peddle their wares and sucker even more young women into their mindset.

How on earth are they going to "tart up" what they are willing to provide at a cost  ?
"Come to us, we will happily kill your baby for you if you pay us enough ?" doesn't sound like much of  an inspired sell, even if it is accurate.......

What will come after that ? In due course, can we look forward to adverts such as :

"Come to us, we will kill your Granny/elderly/needy/ill relative!"

and then eventually "Come to us, we will even kill you if you want us to...."

Abortion is all too readily available in the UK. Why on earth do we need to have it advertised on TV ? It is a very slippery slope indeed.

I have send a strongly worded email to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, who is broadly responsible for dealing with this type of thing.

Whether any notice will be taken, I do not know, but at least I have tried...........
Share with friends using the share button below.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Exquisite !

This was on the Daily Telegraph website, featuring the work of a French sculptor

Amazing miniature food sculptures !
Share with friends using the share button below.


....for several reasons.

Most importantly, DD1, the ever-wonderful DoomHamster is 24 today ! How on earth can my baby be 24?!? She and Mr DH will be down on the weekend :-)

And number 2, I have a streaming cold.  I will spare you all the details; suffice it to say I am currently on my third roll of toilet  paper to wipe my long-suffering Rudolph coloured nose........

I did manage to sleep reasonably well last night, despite the wretched mobile phone deciding it had a low battery and that it was mandatory to bleep incessantly on my bedside table at 04.20 this morning till I got up and plugged it into charge up!

DD2 and RobRob will be home this weekend - yeah !

DD3 is in the midst of her end of year exams this week, has been working hard and seems to be doing well so far.

DD4 has had a good report at her Parent/Teacher meeting, which is good news.

The Dog Of Doom has been walked, the rubbish is outside for the binmen to collect, there is artisan bread dough bubbling in the fridge for loaf-making later today, meat is defrosting for tea for us all and a new second-hand cookbook arrived in the post today ! Hoorah !

I am now the proud possessor of "The Jewish Princess Cookbook : having you cake and eating it....." which I have previously borrowed from the Library and enjoyed :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Game To Drive You Mad !

If you are bored and want something to fill in a few minutes ( or hours!), try the Wikipedia game.

Be warned, it is utterly addictive and I have been hysterical with laughter on several occasions......
Share with friends using the share button below.

Apple Blossom


                    When I was uploading the last lot of photographs to the computer this morning,
                              I found a picture of my tree's apple blossom from the 5th of May.
                                                Better late than never......
Share with friends using the share button below.

Raindrops, But No Roses !

It was cold, wet and dismal today, but I managed to photograph some raindrops............

My fuschia plant looked almost as cold as I felt !

Share with friends using the share button below.


The male's feathers were superb. I simply had to take this photo ! As always if you click on the photo, you will get a larger version :-)

Mama with her seven lovely cygnets yesterday !

Share with friends using the share button below.

Trees And Secret Gardens

There are lots of trees near us. We are very fortunate! We walk down this road every day.

And an almost secret garden in full view of the road ! The pale blue flowers are hosts of stunning bluebells.

The gate into a world of peace and tranquillity......

A lovely wildflower meadow, which changes month by month, and is never boring......

Flowers on the trees. I love this time of year :-)

Share with friends using the share button below.

Also Finished Reading

The Amish book was utterly fascinating. It is a rather more scholarly sociological tome than many of the mainstream books about the Amish, but I really did enjoy it. 

What can I say about this one ?  If you like information such as :

" Pistachios are deadly dangerous. They are classified under Class 4.2 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods code: Flammable Solids (Substances Liable To Spontanous Combustion).  Fresh pistachios, if stacked under pressure, can burst into flames and cause a cargo fire.
Pistcahios continue to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide even after harvesting.....If there is inadequate ventilation, seamen entering the hold of a cargo ship can die from carbon dioxide poisoning or from lack of oxygen".

 - then, like me, you will love this book.

Share with friends using the share button below.

My Dog

                       The Dog of Doom, who really is a great big softie and likes to cuddle !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pondering On The Psalms

My primary prayers these days seem to be from the Psalter. What comfort, what inspiration, what joy, what fear and what sorrow they engender................

No matter how awful my day may have been, there will be something in one of the psalms I read which touches my heart.

Those for whom I have promised to pray, I remember especially fervently when I read the Psalter at bedtime.

I have no idea why I didn't start praying/reading the Psalter many years ago. I wish I had !
 Now, it is a beloved part of my daily routine and I can't *not* read it . Some days I will read a whole Kathisma, other days just a Stasis, or even one Psalm, but I am thankful just to "keep going" :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Recently Read

Most of my recent reading has been comfort reading of old favourites, but I have read a few other books too.  I loved this book. Full of unusual people, events and places which the author encountered on his travels around Wales, and even describing what some believe to be the Holy Grail, kept in a Welsh bank......

DD3 noticed this when we were rummaging in a thrift shop. Hardbacked, in immaculate condition with intact dust-wrapper, it cost me the princely sum of 80 pence ! (about 60 cents!)
Share with friends using the share button below.


Last week -

 The pair of swans nesting on our lake have hatched *7 *adorable cygnets !

Swallows, back from wintering in Africa, dipping into the lake to drink.

A pair of buzzards circling high on the thermals, very close to our house. Normally I only see them if I am two or three miles away from our house.

All our trees have leaves again !

I love Spring !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Update On Mum

Michelle, you kindly inquired after my mother's health.......many thanks to all of you who are keeping her in your prayers !

Her eyesight is deteriorating rapidly, and despite our GP altering her medications, her blood pressure still remains far too high for surgery to be done safely. Mum is becoming understandably very depressed as she is now unable to see the faces of people, follow what is happening on the TV or to read. She was able to walk a few steps into the back garden and sit on a chair, well-wrapped up, to enjoy the sunshine for an hour yesterday, which did cheer her up considerably........
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Heading Into Birthday Season !

We have three family birthdays in 10 days ahead of us :-)

DoomHamster will be 24 at the end of this week, DD3 will be 12 next week and my mother will be 74 a few days later.  Should be fun !
Share with friends using the share button below.


 Seen on two T-shirts in Blogtown recently:

"Thank God for Birds, Booze, Football & Fags."

and  "Pornstation", with the Playstation logo next to it.

The mind boggles.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weather Reports

Especially for Anastasia and all others who may be travelling to and from the UK; the UK Met Office is now issuing 5 day forecasts for drifting of volcanic ash clouds over Britain's airspace here.

At the moment, it is anticipated that the ongoing eruption will affect plane movements between Sunday and Tuesday.
Share with friends using the share button below.


...has been undertaken at this domicile and completed successfully.

Quantities of junk has been disposed of and there are equally large numbers of  assorted items to go to the thrift shops.

I am exhausted but pleased to see my clean and de-cluttered home :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Still Clueless

Updated to add:

Gordon Brown has been to Buckingham Palace this evening to hand in his resignation, which has been accepted by Her Majesty The Queen, and David Cameron has now gone to the Palace to ask the Queen's permission to form a new Government.  About time the whole sorry mess was sorted out.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  to whom is going to run the country, four days after the polls closed.

 It is absolutely ridiculous. 

We'd have none of this nonsense if only I was in charge of the country :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.


Our amazing spell of gorgeous weather has ended, with the last week being bitterly cold, wet and with frost several nights.

Of course, this coincided perfectly with my apple tree coming into blossom with the late spring gales, so the bees didn't bother coming out much and the winds have decimated the blossom.Quite how pitiful my apple crop will be, I dread to think !

Today is still cold but sunny, and bees are out, so I am hoping for the best.........
Share with friends using the share button below.

Wireless Woes

Our wireless router gave up the ghost last week. Mind you, it had given us at least four years of hard daily use......
DH installed our spiffy new one, and set it up so the two main computers and his laptop were all running. But forgot all about "my precious" !  When I pointed out this serious lapse of  memory, he found we had a grade A "Houston, we have a problem" type problem. "My precious" runs Ubuntu, and for some bizarre reason it was not allowing anyone, not even with root user privileges, to amend any of the internet wireless settings.

We were not happy campers.

 As all the other machines in the house run Windoze we decided to re-image "my precious" with Windoze to allow compatibility across all the machines........ It took DH the best part of six hours to complete and get everything working, as he resurrected old Windows XP and had to install 3 service packs and 27 updates :-)

But now I have a fully functioning "precious" which can access the internet.

Normal service has been resumed :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Communicating With Autistic Children

I found this remarkable film footage and article about Phoebe Caldwell,  a pioneering "communicator" with autistic children.

I have seen mildly autistic children go into total meltdown when the noise levels in a mainstream classroom reached  a certain pitch, and found this article and film to be absolutely fascinating.

I am very tempted to get her new book !
Share with friends using the share button below.

So What On Earth Is Happening ?

We have no idea who is going to be running the UK. It is most disconcerting !

At 4:44pm, the Conservatives have won 304 seats . They are 22 seats short of a majority, with 2 still to declare a result.

We will be having a hung Parliament, but it could be Labour/LibDem or Conservative/LibDem.

 Under the unbelievably insane regulations, if it’s a hung parliament, it’s not the party with the largest number of seats that has first go at forming a coalition - which would be the Conservatives- rather, it is the prerogative of  the still sitting Labour government.

So we continue to wait patiently for the three parties to meet, wrangle, dispute and negotiate until two of them reach an agreement.

Crazy.  We desperately need electoral reform in this country.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Happy Birthday, Tchaikovsky !

Google today celebrated the 170th birthday of Tchaikovsky  with this delightful Google doodle  :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Election Day

Today is polling day for our General Election to choose which party will form the next Government.

DH and I have been agonising long and anxiously as to how we should most profitably cast our votes. He has just been down to vote; I am still deciding. I have not asked him for whom he voted.There is no one automatically "right" party in my view, rather a case of choosing the lesser of two evils, but no matter what we choose, there are no guarantees of improvement in the nightmare which is modern Britain. 

I would really rather like to still be able to be a Christian in an increasingly anti-Christian country, so I don't think I will be voting Labour. :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Orthodox Priest Murdered

I saw this today on Felix Culpa's blog :

"Yet Anthother Orthodox Priest Found Mudered in Russia

Today, May 5, 2010, the body of Hieromonk Vadim (Smirnov) was found in his house in the city of Cheboksary, murdered by knife wounds. He served in the Church of the Archangel Michael in the village of Artemenikino and the Church of the Dormition in the village of Azim-Sirma.

This is the third murder of an Orthodox priest in Russia this year, and the second in the Chuvash Republic in the past two weeks. Archpriest Anatoly Sorokin was fond with bullet wounds to the chest on April 24 in the village of Yantikovo, leaving behind six children.

Grant rest, O Lord, to the soul of the servant, Hieromonk Vadim ".

Lord, have mercy..........
Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


The Iceland volcano eruption's ash cloud continues to disrupt UK travel; from Monday evening to this morning , much of the airspace over Scotland and Ireland has been shut down again.
Info here.

Anastasia, when were you planning to fly to the UK ? I do hope your travel plans will not be affected over the next few weeks......
Share with friends using the share button below.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Lights Go Off

Updated 19th May to add:

Mr McAlpine has been told that the Crown Prosecution Service has dropped all charges against him and there will be no further legal action. Yet all his DNA/fingerprint info etc remains on the Police criminal database...............

Go figure.


Please will the last Christians to leave Britain remember to turn the lights off before they go ?

I know I regularly say that freedom of speech is a joke in Britain, but here I reproduce an article from the Daily Telegraph today to show how bad things are in this beleaguered country of ours. There is obviously no freedom for teaching Orthodox (or orthodox!) Christian or Jewish belief  about sexuality and sin in the UK any more.

This gentleman has had his fingerprints taken as well as a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab.
 He is obviously being treated as a criminal of the highest possible order.


Christian preacher arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin
A Christian street preacher was arrested and locked in a cell for telling a passer-by that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God.

Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships.

The 42-year-old Baptist, who has preached Christianity in Wokington, Cumbria for years, said he did not mention homosexuality while delivering a sermon from the top of a stepladder, but admitted telling a passing shopper that he believed it went against the word of God.

Police officers are alleging that he made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others and have charged him with using abusive or insulting language, contrary to the Public Order Act.

Mr McAlpine, who was taken to the police station in the back of a marked van and locked in a cell for seven hours on April 20, said the incident was among the worst experiences of his life.

“I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know," he said.

“My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn't apply.”

Christian campaigners have expressed alarm that the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans, is being used to curb religious free speech.

Sam Webster, a solicitor-advocate for the Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr McAlpine, said it is not a crime to express the belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.

“The police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens,” he said.

“Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society."

Mr McAlpine was handing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” with a church colleague on April 20, when a woman came up and engaged him in a debate about his faith.

During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.

After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.

The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.

He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”

The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality. Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr McAlpine and put him in the back of a police van.

At the station, he was told to empty his pockets and his mobile telephone, belt and shoes were confiscated. Police took fingerprints, a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab.

He was later interviewed, charged under Sections 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act and released on bail on the condition that he did not preach in public.

Mr McAlpine pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing on Friday at Wokingham magistrates court and is now awaiting a trial date.

The Public Order Act, which outlaws the unreasonable use of abusive language likely to cause distress, has been used to arrest religious people in a number of similar cases.

Harry Hammond, a pensioner, was convicted under Section 5 of the Act in 2002 for holding up a sign saying “Stop immorality. Stop Homosexuality. Stop Lesbianism. Jesus is Lord” while preaching in Bournemouth.

Stephen Green, a Christian campaigner, was arrested and charged in 2006 for handing out religious leaflets at a Gay Pride festival in Cardiff. The case against him was later dropped.

Cumbria police said last night that no one was available to comment on Mr McAlpine’s case.

End quote.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Possibly The Winner

....of this year's Britain's Got Talent.

The latest broadcast auditions from Manchester and Newcastle showcased this remarkable 14 year-old girl with a truly wonderful voice and a sweet personality, who dresses like a 14 year old and not a desperate 25 year-old.

I shall be following the next few weeks' programmes with great interest :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Erk indeed.

My mother had a hospital appointment on Tuesday, for which she has had to wait, in ever-decreasing health, for many months.

It was a mammoth task to get her to the hospital, but the short story is that she desperately needs an operation but because of her health problems, it cannot be done safely at the moment.

The operation would massively increase her quality of life and prolong her ability to continue her independence, which means so much to her.

Her medication is being drastically tweaked to try to make it possible for the operation to be done, but I am not raising my hopes. Mum is very down-hearted at this news, as am I.

Any spare prayers would be much appreciated.
Share with friends using the share button below.