Friday, April 03, 2020

Can you guess what it is yet?


Foxes, rabbits and Corona

This morning Husband was reminiscing about calculus.

To be specific a book he remembered from his time in university. And to be even more specific how you can use maths to predict fox and rabbit populations. And it all begins with grass. He went into a lot more detail but really I think that's enough. (Okay , I stopped listening after this point.) (Hang on in there, this is relevance to this.)

He said scientists are using calculus to track and predict the infection rate. 'In fact calculus - maths - crops up everywhere in real life.'

I did basic calculus in A-level maths but these days I struggle to add more than two numbers together. 'But,' Husband said, 'you must remember some of the things you learned in university.'

I had a think.

'Nope.'

I blame children. Hormones. Children. Age. Children.

We have some fascinating discussions.

On a different note we watched the National Theatre's production of One Man, Two Guvnors, streamed on Youtube last night. It was so funny. A lot of slapstick that made me laugh out loud and that doesn't happen often when I'm watching television.
And I see Lloyd Webber is doing a similar thing with his musicals starting tonight with Joseph! My favourite. I shall have to persuade Husband to watch it.


Thursday, April 02, 2020

Zine Day

Daughter and her children have been making 8-page zines out of one sheet of paper. I was intrigued so had to have a go.


This is what I do when I've done my exercising, walking, recording, and I'm wondering what to do next.

Or sometimes I bake.
Welshcakes, small flat fruity cakes baked on a griddle. Weight gain is definitely going to be an unavoidable by-product of self-isolation.

But this afternoon I took myself to the kitchen not to bake but to try bowls on my head. Can you guess why?

Signs of the end of the age

Our Zac's Place tribal gathering (bible study) was a bit different this week. Along with the rest of the world we're having to learn how to meet virtually. For a first attempt it was great - except Sean, who was leading it - kept freezing but didn't know it so he had to repeat a lot!
Not all of Zac's people are tech savvy so there'll inevitably be a few who will miss out but we're hoping others will be able to join us next week.

We've been going through the gospel of Mark and we had reached chapter 13, entitled ... wait for it ... Signs of the end of the age. It's the bit where Jesus describes a variety of things that will happen before 'The End', and some Christians use the verses, 'there will be wars, earthquakes and famines' to suggest we are in End Times. In fact at the end of the chapter Jesus says, 'Nobody knows when the day will be except God,' and really all we have to do is be on our guard for false prophets and teachers. So instead of it being a potentially gloomy passage it became an encouraging and reassuring one.

In verse 8 Jesus says all these signs (wars etc) will be just the beginning of birth pains, which led us into a discussion about pregnancy and giving birth. It takes a long time and it gets painful. 

In the photo above I'm in the top middle and during the meeting my eye was drawn to the figure on my wall. It was made and given to me by a sculptor friend, Tina. Here's a closer photo.
I took it down from the wall and showed it to the meeting saying I believed that in the same way as the woman protectively holds her pregnant belly, so God has his arms around the world, around us, and he will continue to protect and uphold us through the birth pains. However bad it feels at the moment as Christians we believe that God is in it with us. He's not watching from afar, relishing the pain we suffer. He's in it with us.

I know lots of you don't believe in God but I hope that whatever you believe in - or don't - that you are comforted today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Damper bread

Younger Son and two of my wonderful grandchildren.

Coming soon ...

Starting tomorrow at 11.00 am British Summer Time the podcast you've all been waiting for!

Yes, This Time Next Year is going live tomorrow - appropriately enough on All Fools' Day - and then every weekday at the same time. All back episodes will be available on the website, which I think is here.


Chasing Cats Day

In normal times dogs aren't allowed on the beach from 1st April so we took George for a farewell walk there today.
Now I admit I am probably over cautious when it comes to social distancing: Husband and I have regular arguments over how far 2 metres is in real life. I'm planning on taking the tape measure tomorrow to check out the path we most frequently walk.

I am the sort who throws herself into the bushes at the approach of others but I have noticed that they don't tend to reciprocate. Walkers usually do keep themselves to the opposite edge but joggers and cyclists, on the whole, just continue on their merry way down the middle of the path. And as they are the ones most likely to be breathing heavily and steaming that seems a bit mean.

But that doesn't explain what this packet was doing on a wall in the middle of the woods.
On the way home George surprised us by chasing a cat. He charged at it, woofing away. He was very surprised when the cat not only didn't run but bounced back when he knocked it over.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

My prophetic dream

I had a dream. (No-one's said that before, have they?) Anyway this was a prophetic  dream. in my dream I was told the answer to Covid-19 was ...

beans.

Now my dream didn't specify but I believe we are talking green beans. 

What do we do with them, I hear you ask. Well, again the dream didn't specify - God is like that, ask Joseph, he of the multi-coloured coat - but I offer up the following suggestion.

Stick them up your nose.

Then the virus won't be able to get in. At least not through your nose.

And this is why I think they're green not baked beans we're talking about. It's far too easy to push baked beans too far up, and hospitals won't be able to cope with an influx of 'I've got a bean stuck up my nose' patients.

So there you have it. My prophetic response to the virus, which incidentally I am calling Covid-20 because it sounds much more pleasing for all sorts of reasons.

For legal reasons, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Books again

The Bermondsey Bookshop
by Mary Gibson
3 *
I thought this was going to be a bookshoppy type book but was more of a family sage, in this case and East End family. 

Kate lives with her aunt and family after her mother died and her father disappeared to make his fortune. She is treated cruelly and lives with the dream that her father will one day return and take her away from all this. 

Conditions in the smelting works where she gets her first job are vividly described but it's when she takes on an extra job cleaning a bookshop that her life begins to change.

Fans of family sagas may well give this book four stars; I'm giving it ***. Perfectly readable just not to my taste particularly.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton
by Sara Collins
4*

His novel begins in the Old Bailey court rooms in 1826. Frannie Langton, a Mulatto slave, is on trial for the murder of her employer and his wife. The book tells us Frannie's story in her own words.

It took me a while to get into it. It begins on the plantation in Jamaica and I found it difficult to follow exactly what was happening. Frannie is taught to read and write and helps her master, John Langton, with his scientific research on what difference colour makes to a person's intelligence. Then her master takes her to London and gives her to his old friend/rival, George Benham.

The rest of the story is largely taken up with Frannie's developing relationship with her mistress, Margueritte, and finally, the court room trial. Now it is totally gripping. Will she be found guilty of murder?

****


Thursday, March 26, 2020

In the words of George Ezra ...

I could get used to this.

Blissful walk in the woods today listening to the birds singing, the stream babbling, and George barking because I wouldn't help him rescue stones and he 'can only carry one at once!'


I only had to dive into the bushes once when I saw another couple walking towards me. I am always very suspicious of people lurking in bushes. I hope flashers are obeying the government's instructions to stay indoors.