curiouswombat: (Anya)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:10pm on 27/04/2014 under ,
A young man whose family attend our church is a teacher in Nottingham, and his school is involved with a charity in Uganda.

We have asked what we can do to help; raise money perhaps? Actually, said Richard, a collection of clothes really would be useful. He is going out in July, and others also do, regularly, and they take a suitcase or two each.

Whilst football kit for young boys is greeted with glee, there are actually two things that are especially useful.

The first is basic school uniform, as parents have to pay school fees and send the children in uniform, or the child will be sent home. So plain black or grey trousers and skirts, plain white school shirts, and school shoes, are very useful.

That is more or less as you would expect. But there is something else which is really prized, and much needed. Before I tell you what, think back to how they get these clothes there...

They need bras. Many of the women in the poor areas cannot afford bras. And as those of you who are female will know, unsupported breasts can be downright uncomfortable, to say the least.

So I have just been checking my underwear drawer so that I can help to, literally, support Ugandan women!

And I still get the giggles at the idea of this rather serious young man carrying a large suitcase full of bras as his main luggage :)
Mood:: 'amused' amused
curiouswombat: (Spring)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 07:46pm on 21/04/2014 under ,
Easter Sunday is a day of joy! I started the day with coffee in bed, because I have a good husband - then I got up, put a large chicken ready to go in the oven so that said husband could put it on to cook whilst I was out, and gathered up all my bits for Sunday School.

We have been considering 'Christ the superhero' and had a prayer, and colouring, related to that theme, and then we thought of small kindnesses and small braveries... as epitomised by Saint Veronica who was brave enough to step out of a jeering crowd to carry out her small act of kindness in mopping blood and sweat from Jesus' face. This is a level of bravery and kindness an eight or nine year old can cope with in real life.

Then we went on to think about the way in which we incorporate the pagan symbols of new life into our celebration of the resurrection. And to put that theme together with the small kindnesses by making something for ourselves and something to go and give to someone else at the end of the service.

I have put pictures of the, very colourful, outcome of this under this cut... )

The chicken dinner, followed by the Very Chocolate Trifle (a layer of chocolate chip muffins soaked with a little chocolate Bailey's, a layer of cherries, a layer of vanilla custard and a layer of chocolate custard, topped with whipped cream and served in small bowls) was good.

We visited Mum in the afternoon to take her her Easter Egg and a couple of large fairy cakes from Saturday's baking, and then D-d had another complete dinner before going home as it was so good!

I have a Lindt Egg, and a Thornton's one. I have eaten just a few of the chocolates D-d chose to go with the Thornton's one.

Today has been a beautiful day, the temperature actually reached 20C. And I have finally (don't laugh) tried taking pictures with my phone and downloading them onto the computer - I was finally told by D-d that I still needed a cable to do this - they didn't actually 'do it wirelessly if only I knew how' :) I know, I can be very tech unsavvy sometimes!

To celebrate this moment of enlightenment I've taken a few pictures in the yard, using the phone, which are under this cut.... )
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
curiouswombat: (Brooch)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:27pm on 18/04/2014 under
This morning I went to church; a joint service with a local Methodist church.

This is from that Service. As much for me to remember, but I think it worth sharing.

We come here today to remember a man. A man…
who had dreams,
who had those dreams shattered,
who needed time to think and pray,
who knew he was likely to die for what he believed…

A man of extraordinary religious insight.
A man who did die - a cruel death.

On this day we look at the cross, and we remember…
the betrayal of friendship and its consequences,
the casual cruelty of Roman authority and execution,
and how unreliable others proved to be in a crisis.

On this day may we also remember
that religious bigotry, cruelty and unreliability
are still a part of our everyday lives.

On this day, then, may we learn some new precepts for living…
do not avoid contact with suffering, or close your eyes before suffering;
do not maintain anger or hatred;
do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest, or to impress people;
do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature…

On this day we remember. (Edited – M Dobson, M Morwood, Thich Nhat Hanh)
Mood:: 'pensive' pensive
curiouswombat: (Reminiscing)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 06:35pm on 17/11/2013 under ,
I have been deeply entrenched in social history over the past few days - primarily involving the periods of the two World Wars.
Since my last entry I have actually read the book of 'letters, diaries and memories of the Great War', that I wrote about, and I found it fascinating - and not just because one of my great uncles is in there!

Read more... )

But as well as reading This Terrible Ordeal, I have been doing a task for Church for which I happily volunteered.

Historically we have kept a Cradle Roll of the babies christened in church. Some time ago we decided to frame all the old ones, which are historic documents, separately, rather than them all being piled on top of each other in one frame. And I offered to copy over some of the faded names on the first one. But there were big problems - which I wrote about, with a couple of examples, here.

We then had more problems - not only did we have a lot of names that couldn't be read, and names stuck on top of other names, but it was actually very difficult to source new Cradle Rolls now, too! Then our Baptism Record book had been taken to Ramsey by our 'interim minister' and he kept forgetting to give it back - and so on.

But this week I got the new rolls, and the baptism book, where two other members of the congregation had spent an afternoon marking all the 'missing' children. And I filled in the last empty spaces on that old roll, and began to write new ones for those whose names had been obliterated on it.

I think I now understand what had been going on - the children whose names had been stuck on top of other names, three and four deep in places, were actually all baptised between 1939 and 1952. I think the person responsible may have either just been saving money or, even more likely, couldn't actually get a new blank roll...

The baptism record is, however, a fascinating piece of social history in itself... Read more... )

All in all, I really have been steeped in social history over the past few days.

And I have promised D-d, who flies home for the weekend coming, that I will hang onto the Baptism Record until after she goes back as she, too, wants to spend time studying it.
Mood:: 'nerdy' nerdy
Music:: The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
curiouswombat: (Poppies)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:31pm on 10/11/2013 under ,
Like so many others I have taken time to pause today, and remember those killed in all the conflicts of the last 100 years or so.

Both my family and S2C's were fortunate; his grandfathers both survived the 14-18 war - although one of his grandfathers fought at Gallipoli, and then lost a leg in the trenches in Europe, despite actually having enlisted in the navy, not the army.

My grandfathers also both survived that war; my maternal grandfather was called up whilst ill with Scarlet Fever, and had to go over to England despite this or be declared a deserter; he went, was so ill they thought he would die, and they discharged him as unfit within a couple of weeks. My paternal grandfather fought, as a bugler, in the Second Boer War but was in a reserved occupation in WW1 as a docker in Liverpool.

S2C's father is too young to have fought in the 39-45 war, and my father, and my uncle, both fought in it and survived, although my father was wounded and this contributed to his very early death at age 52.

However, we are still a fortunate family.

Last year, for the act of remembrance in church, I told the story of Walter. This year my sister read out the story of another young man whose name is on our church memorial. Read more... )
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 05:30pm on 27/10/2013 under ,
I spent all yesterday evening doing something completely new to me - I took part in the recording of a major BBC TV programme.

UK friends will realise, from the heading, which one. Songs of Praise is exactly what it's name would imply - a 40 minute long, weekly, programme focussing mainly on Christian song, shown on BBC1 on Sunday evenings for the past 52 years. It is recorded in churches, and sometimes other places, around the British Isles. And this week they were recording two episodes in our cathedral.

(And yes - we may only be a small island, but we have our own Anglican bishop and, therefore, a cathedral. It is small, not as big as some UK parish churches, and very simple, but it is a cathedral!)

Many of the congregation gathered from all corners of the island were gathered as 'choir' and had rehearsed for two or three hours earlier in the week - they filled all the middle of the cathedral. Those of us with 'congregation' tickets for just one of the two recordings were sat at the sides and in the transept (the 'short arm' of the cross shape.)

I was in the south transept, mainly behind one of the camera booms and near the machine that produces water vapour throughout - so I don't expect to figure largely when the programme is shown on December 1st, but it was fascinating.

Read more... )
Mood:: 'content' content
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
I mentioned yesterday that I had some pics for my occasional 'old churches' series - here they are.

Lonan Old Church is on an ancient Christian site - the first keeil was built here by Irish monks in the fifth century.

In 1188 the small chapel, first known as Keeill-ny-Traie (The Chapel by the Shore), was given in land to the monks of St Bees and the building was rebuilt.

When the island was sold to the English in 1399 the land was divided into parishes in the English style; Keeill-ny-Traie became known as St Adamnan, the parish church of Lonan (Kirk Lonan). It was never anywhere near the centre of the parish, or even any of the villages - but as it was already there, so it got the job!

In 1733, Bishop Wilson was petitioned by parishioners for a newer, bigger, parish church, somewhere more sensible, and the new church was finally completed a hundred years later, in 1833. At that time the old church was left to decay. Bit the vicar of Lonan at the end of the nineteenth century thought it sad that it would simply fall down, and began to see that at least some restoration and preservation work was done occasionally. The Friends of St Adamnan's was formed in 1968 'to ensure it remained as a working historical site and House of God'.

It was impossible to preserve the whole ancient chapel - I gather the roof was in such a state of disrepair that only one end was usable even before the move to the new church (which, incidentally, is not a good deal closer to the main centre of habitation of the parish anyway!!). So today what you see is this -

Lonan old church 008

Which, as you can see, is only one end of the old church in use, and the remains of the far end.

For more pictures click here... )
Mood:: 'lethargic' lethargic
curiouswombat: (Summertime)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 08:58pm on 08/07/2013 under , ,
Traditionally the church children have a special service in July to celebrate the end of term as we do not have children's lessons over the summer, so many of them are off-island, and it gives the teachers a chance to charge our own batteries.

This service was on Sunday - and our theme was sheep! We looked at a number of the times sheep occur in the Bible a few weeks ago - and then we made sheep! Lots of sheep. And rehearsed a story, and made more sheep...

I took some pictures -

Read more... )

In other news - it is definitely summer today - S2C has taken his jumper off. And even his sweatshirt for an hour or two!

Actually the temperature was about 25C today - and I met one of my patients who has a small son, about 18 months old. She said he was a bit fretful in the heat - but then it occurred to us that it has never been as warm as this at any time in his life - no wonder he was making strange!
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 06:36pm on 07/07/2013 under , ,
We are having some very nice weather at the moment. When my sister organised a church outing, yesterday, for afternoon tea in the cafe at the top of our only mountain, it might have been expected to be the only cloudy day in the week - but no! The sun shone!

My sister and I, and Dawn, our new minister, decided to travel from Douglas to the station at Laxey, where you get onto the Snaefell Mountain Railway 'trams', on the even older Manx Electric Railway, so more or less making a day of it.

So there are a lot of photos under the cut of the views from the top, one or two people, the Snaefell Mountain Railway - and a couple of odd notices I came across as we waited to change trams...

A Grand Day Out.... )

Today was a special service in church, and I have photos, but I'll share them in a day or two.

Oh - and an enormous hurrah! of joy and relief for Andy Murray.
location: On a warm, sunny, small island
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 09:44pm on 23/06/2013 under , ,
I haven't posted for a few days - here's a quick résumé of the week!

Hmm - shoulder still a bit painful if I forget and either try to reach around behind me, pick anything heavy up, or type much; so the next chapter of The Valinor Trail is mainly handwritten on bits of paper.

D-d and I have been deep in discussion about having a few days together in London in August - S2C would as soon not bother. So - I am meeting her in London after I've been to Coventry for the [ profile] writerconuk get-together on the 9th - 11th August - I'll go down by train and she'll fly over to meet me. Much trawling of hotel websites, which is part of the fun of the whole thing, and we have a good deal at a hotel in south Kensington, in the museum quarter, with a few nice extras thrown in, like free tickets to Kensington Palace, which neither of us have visited before.

Yesterday our new minister at church had her induction service - it was lovely - but I was too busy helping with the catering to take pictures. Also yesterday was The Parish Walk - which is not, as the name might suggest, a pleasant ramble around a country village - but a gruelling long-distance walk the route of which takes the participant to every parish church on the island - a total of 85+miles. Most people set themselves a personal goal of which church they will reach - only a few actually aim for the full distance.

Now whilst, as a non-Anglican church, we are not one of the parish churches on the route, it did affect our service as some of the congregation were walking, or supporting a family member - so my sister took part in the service, but couldn't stay for refreshments as she then had to get to Peel (the 32 mile mark) which is the point Slightly Goth Niece was hoping to reach. Which she did, in a time of 8 hours 56 minutes. (Mind you, the mother of three of the church children got there over an hour ahead of her, and one of the other mums made it to Jurby - the 45 mile mark!)

D-d? She took part in the long-boat races last week** - and helped run a feeding station with workmates for the Parish! Mind you she is organising a team for the Isle of Man Relay for Life so she is certainly not joining me in a sedentary lifestyle - good lass.

**Her team is not in that bit on YouTube - but it gives you the idea.

And here are a couple of pictures, just because I have to cross a wee bridge over this little river and waterfall to get to the house of one of my patients - and it makes me smile.

riverlet in Patrick

Mood:: 'content' content


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