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* * *
Saturday was a good day.  H and I went to Unravel, a yarn festival at the Maltings in Farnham.  It's not that often yarn festivals occur near here.  In fact Unravel may be the only one.  With the free tickets we had as a result of H having an annual season ticket, there was money available for yarn, and cake!

                unravel, a festival of knitting Unravel 2017

  I would have photographed my 'haul', but the light isn't good today.  Looks as if it might try to rain, hope it doesn't as there's a good breeze and the washing might stand a chance of drying.  Having been out Saturday I didn't do any then.  Consequently it's building up again.  Even with just the two of us!

  Anyhew, Unravel.  In case you don't know the Maltings was part of a brewery (surprise, surprise with a name like that.)  It's subsequently been renovated and is now an Arts Centre and hired out to local arts and crafts groups and festivals.  We'd previously been to the first Unravel festival nine years ago.  This one was bigger, with more exhibitors, more classes, more talks and MOAR YARN!  Much more yarn.

  There were stands 'personned' by independent dyers, others by LYS's from various places (Hi!  To BaaRamEwe) there were independent pattern designers (we saw Anniken Allis and Woolly Wormhead!)  There was a stall selling very artistic ceramic buttons designed by a lass living near the Dorset coast (thought I'd taken one of her cards, apparently haven't) and yarns from laceweight to super chunky, from linen, hemp, cotton, wool (of course.  From generic 'wool' to specified breeds to actual named sheep!), alpaca and angora bunnies (sooooo soft!)  After the murk of January and part of February it was worth going just to revel in the colours.

  Naturally everyone had carefully selected their best knitting to wear - socks, jumpers, cardigans, shawls, scarfs, hats, cowls . . .  Then the weather did a bit of a blip and the day was warm and sunny and gorgeous, warmest day so far this year.  Consequently a room full of exhibitors and viewers got a bit too warm.  Ah well.  We'd both worn cardigans so we could at least undo them.  H ended up taking off his cardigan, tying the sleeves round his waist (!!!) and wearing his jacket.  I don't think it harmed the jumper (much) and he was more comfortable.  I wore my cardigan with the fair-isle yoke and the grey laceweight, beaded scarf - 'blocking' it by hanging it from the straight edge and hoping the weight of the beads would open out the lace worked quite well.  Not as well as a proper blocking would have, but there we are.

  What did we get?  Two skeins of Triskelion Yarn Elen Sock in 'Wade', a lovely just-semi-solid blue for the Bigger on the Inside scarf I mentioned previous entry.  Two balls of Lang Yawoll Magic Dégradé, one in various greens which will become 'spring' socks for H, the other in purples and greens, as yet unpurposed.  See?  All that yarn and I'd bought four 100g skeins, three of them with specific uses in mind.  I was sorely tempted to get at least one skein (of I forget quite what) just to keep as a pet, it was so soft.  I resisted.

  By this time we needed refreshment, so went and had tea/coffee and a piece of tiramisu cheesecake out in the marquee which was the extention to the servery.  The day was so warm that H sat in his shirt sleeves.  I got out my knitting (commissioned baby cardigan) and watched the variations on 'English' knitting technique as used by others in the tent.  Variations mainly in the amount of movement used when 'throwing' the yarn to make stitches.  You don't have to move your whole right arm!

  Then back into the exhibition and finally down to the cellar, where a couple more skeins just leapt into my bag.  Honest, Dear Reader!  There's a wonderful light grey with rainbow colours at intervals in Exmoor Blueface (wool), alpaca and silk from The Knitting Swede (that's a Knitter from Sweden, not a vegetable that can knit, Dear Reader!)  This is gorgeous and I shall spend time admiring it before committing it to the ball winder and then the needles.

  Last of all we got a skein of The Knitting Goddess Britsock 4-ply in what she calls 'Orange and Yellow'.  Yeah.  Right.  Maybe it was a bad day and Joy couldn't think of anything better, though, fair enough, the name 'does what it says on the tin'.  The colours are Seriously Bright and Zingy!

  H reckons he'll be able to find his socks in the dark (when I've knitted them.)  This could well be a Good Thing as he often gets up while it's still dark, and will continue to do so for a couple of months yet.  I may well keep the actual knitting for Seriously Dull days, or when the dusk is gathering.  Actually it's a really pretty skein, they will be his St Clement's socks (after the Nursery Rhyme, Dear Reader) and I'm now looking for a pattern with a link to bells and oranges and lemons.

  And that, Dear Reader, was my haul.  Six skeins, four with actual patterns in mind, three cards from Tillyflopdesigns and the Unravel bag for 2017 - which is in blue cotton fabric with the six sheep design (see above) printed on one side and the Unravel logo on the other.  I like it when festivals provide you with bags for your purchases.  Even if they magnetically attract some you'd not previously considered!

  Then it was back to the station, change at Woking, get a quick cup of coffee and a bacon butty/cheese and ham panini and onto the train for home, via Basingstoke and Winchester.  H called it the Scenic Route.  It wasn't.  It was dark most of the time.  Who cares, we didn't have to get back for any particular time.  I got the baby cardigan knitted to the armholes.  Sleeves next, then the circular yoke.

  Now all I need is a blocking mat(s) and pins so I can block the grey scarf (and my rainy days shawl) properly.  Various 'shop stands' had lots of different equipment for sale, but no blocking mats.  Ah well.  Maybe an Easter present (Hint, Hint, H) it'll probably be more expensive than chocolate (even Really Good Fairly Traded chocolate) but it'll last a whole lot longer.

  That was what we did on Saturday, Dear Reader.  What did you do?  Anything interesting?
Current Location:
as usual, looking for sock patterns
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
Current Music:
The Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite
* * *
Goodness but yesterday was a change.  Last Thursday it was 'wear-a-really-thick-jumper-and-a-scarf- and-a-hat-and-a-thick-pair-of-gloves' weather.  I just had my usual gloves, which are quite thin but usually adequate.  Last Thursday I kept drawing my hands up into my sleeves it was so chilly.  Hence I dug out my Selbu mittens WIP and had a good go at the right hand mitten. (See yesterday's entry for further details.  Non-Knitter Readers will probably find it all a bit TMI and are welcome to skip that step!)

  The grey beaded scarf seems to be drying well, the lacework has opened up quite a bit.  I might get away with it!  I'll probably wear that tomorrow.  Show off!  Not at all, it'll be to remind me to look out for blocking mats and pins!

  Writing of things to look out for, BiL came up with this link to the various iterations of the Tardis.  Think I'll be looking for a sort of semi-solid blue somewhere around the Real Police Box and the Tom Baker Prop shades.  Go have a wander around the site, Dear Reader, I'll still be here when you get back.  That's the thing about Tardises and time travel!

  And, having knitted at least three new pairs of socks for H, I'm going to make a start on the commissioned baby cardigans.  I think I've chosen the patterns I want, I have the yarn (acrylic, but in a good way and at least it's easily washable, a major consideration with babies.)  I might have to adapt the patterns a bit, but WTH, it shouldn't be too difficult and I can take one as a KIP (Knitting in Public) project  on the trains to and from Farnham and Unravel tomorrow.  Hey, I may not have any grandchildren 'in the pipeline', even vaguely, but I'll be knitting baby clothes!  Albeit in acrylic.

  Dear me, it appears that even Republicans are beginning to doubt whether Donald Trump is mentally suited to the office of President.  Some mental health professionals have even gone as far as to suggest that Trump may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  Apparently people with this condition often show some of the following characteristics:

  • Grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people and a need for admiration

  • They believe they are superior or may deserve special treatment

  • They seek excessive admiration and attention adn struggle with criticism or defeat

  • Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and thosw who convey them (journalists, scientists)

Sound familiar?

  So there is an at present small prospect that the current POTUS may well have his presidency challenged on mental health grounds.

  On which thought I shall end.  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
amused amused
Current Music:
Dr Who theme music - the original Radiophonic Workshop composition
* * *
I am getting tired of knitting socks.  They only last so long - as knitting, they go on a lot longer as socks, even H's.  What I really want to knit is the Moonshine cardigan, but have neither the pattern nor the yarn.  So I've printed off the 'Bigger On The Inside' scarf pattern.  I shall check with my stash, but we're off to Unravel this Saturday (with FREE train tickets cos H has a season ticket, so that should cover the cost of some yarn) and will have a look there.  Question, can I remember quite the shade of blue of the Tardis for Doctors 4-6?  Cos that's the shade I want.  Not the darker blue it is now.  So I'm printing off the BOTI pattern.  Ooh look, there are charts.  Let's print them off now too.  Then I won't come unstuck when I try actually knitting.

  Writing of Unravel, I was going to wear something special from my handknits - beyond a jumper and socks, but the scarf and the shawl both require blocking.  Proper blocking, that is, with mats and pins and all, not just the laying-out-and-patting-into-shape required by the jumpers.  I'm currently trying a 'peg-the-top-of-the-scarf-out-horizontally-and-let-the-body-hang-down-hoping-the-beads-in-the-lace-will-help-spread-it'.  Not sure it will really work, specially for the lace.  Ah well, I'm going to a yarn festival.  Maybe someone will have blocking mats and pins for sale?

  I spent most of last Saturday afternoon and evening knitting half of the second Selbu mitten (it's colourwork) only to realise on Sunday that I'd knitted it on the smaller sized dpns and, though it does fit, it's noticably smaller than the other mitten.  I carried on and knitted the 'finger' part but really it 'needs to visit the frog pond' (as the Yarn Harlot would put it.)  Aaaarrrggh!  Ah well, the weather has turned warm again.  Well into double figures (with accompanying Sou'westerly winds and rain) so I doubt I'll be needing Really Warm mittens the rest of this week.  Shan't be re-knitting it this Saturday afternoon, we're going to Unravel (which is where that part-mitten is also going, in a different way!)  Some people learn from experience.  Here's hoping I'm one.

  I also came across another pair of mitts (fingerless) last night, which is good as the mauve ones I'd been wearing needed washing - currently hanging up to dry.  They're stocking stitch mitts so need minimum of blocking.  These are in four different colours of sock yarn in a horseshoe pattern and, pull them out straight, would have benefitted from blocking.  Ah well.

  Hmmm, have you seen the time?  Better go raid the market.  Should have done the four week menu plan last night.  As it was I forgot until it was too late.  So I shall get a selection of fruit and veg.  There's plenty of previously-cooked-and-frozen stuff which really ought to be eaten anyway.

  There, having confessed a couple of mistakes, what sort of scarf might I need today?  Shan't be needing a hat, that's for sure.

  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
raiding the market
Current Mood:
amused amused
Current Music:
Scheharezade (3)- Rimsky-Korsakov
* * *
Yesterday BiL and I did one of our 'Let's Take in a Couple of Exhibitions' visits to central London.  Yes, Dear Reader, I realise it was Valentine's Day.  I duly left a card and some special chocolate where H could find them when he got back from work yesterday afternoon.   There was a card on the dresser for me when I got home last night!

  So - we headed, yet again, to the Fashion and Textile Museum to their display of the work of Josef Frank - Patterns-Furniture-Painting (on until 7th May this year.)  Do check the link, Dear Reader.  They've arranged a slide show of some of his fabric designs.  Good fun, I thought, though they seem, inexplicably, to have omitted BiL and my favourites.  BiL did himself a Frank screensaver for his phone of one of them.
Josef Frank at FTMCollapse )

  Then off (good thing I took my stick) to a bus stop and a bus to the Tate Modern.  I quite liked the look of the outside of the new extension brown bricks, horizontal bands of windows and lots of funny planes and angles.

  Inside the Tate Modern is effectively two buildings joined at the basement, ground floor and fourth floor levels.  I think it was originally a power station, hence the names Switch House and (sorry, forgotten it.  Memory?  What's one of those?)   This, naturally, made for slight difficulties getting around, but there you are, that's Architects and Designers for you!

  We went and sat for a while (I got out the current sock and knitted.)  We both decided that, while the internal structure of the gallery as a whole wasn't bad, all that functional, almost Brutalist, concrete construction got on our nerves and just was not pleasant.  Particularly down in the basement where they'd adapted the old oil tanks, with absolutely minimal changes - like including lighting and loos!

The Radical Eye - Modernist PhotosCollapse )

  And thence, by bus, to Waterloo, where I had a coffee while waiting for the train.  Then home.

  The only downside was, after all that walking and standing around, my knees and left ankle were very upset and eventually took two aspirins and a paracetamol to shut them up enough for me to go to sleep.  Ah well.  They're quiet again today.  Must get into walking around more.  Losing weight wouldn't go amiss either.

  And that was yesterday, many thanks to BiL (in his guise as Native Guide.)  Two exhibitions ticked off the list.  Possibly another trip in the planning.  How was your day, Dear Reader?
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
Current Music:
Pictures at an Exhibition - Prokofiev
* * *
Our front room, being the one we can shut a door on, can get quite cosy, sometimes too hot.  Unfortunately there's a nasty draught which at this time of year can whizz under the door and cut you off at the ankles should you have your feet on the floor.

  This doesn't generally bother me as I have my feet up on the box-with-removable-padded-top which is my sock yarn stash.  The top is currently 'floating' on the contents.  I must knit more socks and not buy any more sock yarn for a good while**.  Hmmm, we're going to Unravel this coming Saturday!

  Anyhew, H tends to sit with his feet on the floor - when he's not lying on the settee under his blanket.  He occasionally complains about the draught.

  So the other day I had an idea, and took six (vaguely rainbow coloured) of the squares I've been knitting for a blanket for D for when she starts her nursing course in September/October.  I joined them, rainbow order, into a long strip, drew up one end, seamed the long side, then stuffed the tube with tightly-rolled newspaper and drew up the other end.  Et viola!  A draught excluder.

  After a quick adjustment, tying it (via a long piece of wool) to the doorhandle so it moves with the door, it works very well.  No ankle-slicing draught any more.  Yes, there is still a small draught around the sides of the door, but with the gas fire the room needs ventillation.

  Right, that's the draught excluded, the washing blowing out in the sunshine.  Better take the Dyson round.

  Y'all have a good, and draught-free, day now!

   *That's the insidious air currents you sometimes get, not what Americans call Checkers.  I suppose it'd be 'drafts' for American Readers?

  **Oh dear.  I've just seen this yarn.  May not look that much in skein, but knitted up (middle three pix) . . . le sigh!
Current Location:
as usual, without draughts!
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
Current Music:
All I Want is a Room Somewhere
* * *
* * *
It's trying to snow!  So I pegged the washing out anyway, reckoning if it's trying to snow then it's too cold for the washing to get any wetter!

  As 'tis 'Trying' might be a bit ambitious.  If it was similarly 'trying' to rain, I'd say it was 'spitting'.  H suggested the snow equivalent might be 'spluttering', but it's not that consistent.  'Sputtering', maybe.  Either way we'll see.

  And yes, I do realise that all of this won't count at all as 'snow' to people who measure their annual fall by the metre.  Here we get snow some years, other years we don't.  What's the snow like where you are, Dear Reader?

  More on the theme of snow - apparently last night was a full moon.  I did look but it was overcast here. Surprise!  Anyhow, this is often known as a Snow Moon (it being February and all that.)  As a bonus last night there was also a lunar eclipse, a  penumbral, around midnight UTC.  So I missed that too.  However others didn't. Pictures here.  Did you see the Snow Moon eclipse last night, Dear Reader?

  There was even a comet available, comet 45P, the New Year Comet as it appears around December-Jaunuary.  Should you have missed that it's due back in 2022.

  On, perhaps, a warmer note - you may be familiar with Carpool Karaoke, as done by Adele, Carrie Undewood, Sia and, mainly, James Corden.  Maybe even yourselves?  Have fun, drive places and help save the planet at the same time.

  Just to prove this is not exclusively for the young (George Cluney has done it too patience, it's about 8 1/2 min in) here is a Senior Citizen's Carpool Karaoke - note the red hat (which may or may not go with what else they're wearing!)


  Should you see a group of people in a car bopping around . . .  Just one thing, I know using a mobile phone while driving is dangerously distracting.  Even having a conversation while driving is distracting, so maybe don't try this on motorways?

  You may also have come across the pictures of Tamara Ecclestone breastfeeding her toddler, and the surrounding controversy.  I dunno.  If you're breastfeeding your baby and it gets hungry when you're out (babies not being known for fitting into other people's schedules) you just have to feed it.  I've done it a few times when our two were of that size.

  What's the problem some people seem to have?  It's perfectly natural and normal.  It's one of the reasons women have breasts.

  Ok, so women don't need to 'get them out' and be all 'in your face' as they breastfeed (I didn't/wasn't, most aren't), but there is a place for doing so and it definitely isn't in a public toilet!  I mean, would you want to eat your lunch in a public toilet?  Well then!  If you don't like the sight, look elsewhere!

  And Finally - proven, Knitting it is Good For You, mobile phones Are Not (used excessively.)

  So there you are, Dear Reader, set your phone to 'silent', put it down, go sit the other side of the room, pick up your 'sticks and string' and knit yourself happy!

  Y'all have a good, and productive, day now!   Hmmm, where did I put that mitten WIP?
Current Location:
as usual, knitting
Current Mood:
productive productive
Current Music:
I Like Driving in My Car - Madness
* * *
This week BiL and I chatted (via email) briefly about doll's houses and their equipping.  This morning I find an email from 'Personal', headed "Miniature silverware for your dollshouse and 1/12 scale miniature silver dollhouse collection."   Complete with a link, which I have not clicked.  I don't know who sent it me.  I don't know if it's trustworthy.  The email is now languishing in my email 'Trash' file.

  Dur?  Who else is reading my emails?

  Meanwhile I'm going to write to my MP.  Trouble is there are so many things to write about.  There's Yemen and the fact that the UK is supplying Saudi Arabia with many of the weapons they are using to bomb Yemen.

  Then there's the whole issue of Homelessness.  OK, so the government has passed the Homelessness Reduction Bill, giving extra powers (or is it responsibilities?) to local authorities to deal with homeless people in their areas.  What the government haven't said is whether they'll be giving local authorities more money to do this.  Because if they don't  . . .  It's all passing the buck and so much hot air!

  And then there're the child refugees which the UK government said they'd accept from various camps in Europe and other places.  That's unaccompanied children.  Children aged between 8 and 17 who are travelling by themselves, or who have become separated from their families.

  Often these children have people in various countries to whom they could go, who would care for them.  Some mention was made, last year, about 3,500 children at risk of abuse, trafficking etc, who would be taken by the UK.  Some say the government mentioned this number.  Others say the government promised to take 3000 unaccompanied children.

  When, eventually, late on last year, like six months after the original 'promise', children were allowed into the country there were all sorts of accusations.  Accusations like "those 'boys' look more like men!"  And complaints from some that caring for the children would 'cost too much'.  See previous entries about the UK being one of the richest countries in the world, yet, apparently, cash-strapped!

  Now, apparently, the government has said the UK will take 350 child refugees.  Seriously, folks, we are not looking good.  Doubt whether we're doing much good either, for all it's a bit complicated.  The result, though, is that we come out looking uncaring, mean, mean-spirited and word-breakers.  Plus all these children are still stuck or travelling across Europe, on their own, through a really cold winter, still at risk of abuse and people traffickers.  Aaaarrrggh!

  But while it is still dry, I shall go do a little more shopping; and be thankful that we have shops which are so well stocked (except, perhaps, with lettuces.  Although the market stall I visited yesterday had lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes etc, as well as more 'seasonal' veg!  Hmmm, how much of this 'shortage' is supermarket-induced so they can up their prices?  Cynic? Moi?  Mais certainment!)

  Think maybe I'll try running round a bit too.  I need to warm up.

  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
angry angry
Current Music:
When I Needed a Helper (Were You There?)
* * *
I finally got around to watching a TV documentary I'd recorded two months ago.  It was about people in 'unsuitable' housing - 'unsuitable' meaning 'really needs a lot of work done on it or being knocked down and rebuilt'.

  A photographer had taken pictures of people living in slums in various cities fifty years ago.  The premise of the programme was that they went looking for people who'd been photographed and found out how they were and where they were living now.  They found about half a dozen of the now grown children.  They also followed another couple of families.

  Too many of the 'original' children were still living in poor accommodation.  Not as bad as their childhood slum homes, but pretty bad.  Two of the families were 'settled' in single rooms - seven or so people (parents, teens, children, baby) in one large room!

  Two other people, a mother and her wheelchair-bound teenage son, had been housed, but far from their family and friends.  Consequently they were alone in their new area.  The house was actually quite nice-looking.  Being away from their 'support network' of family and friends wasn't.  At all.

  I'd watched another documentary about homelessness a while back.  Families, a couple with small children, a woman with a baby - all were looking for a house to make into a home.  They went to their local councils, which was no help at all; they couldn't even get onto the housing waiting lists.  In fact the council Housing Department workers shown seemed to be mainly looking for reasons, or excuses, so that they could say that people didn't 'qualify' for housing assistance from the council!

  Trouble is far too many councils just don't have the housing stock.  Mrs Thatcher instituted the 'Right to Buy' for council tenants, and many did just that.  Most of the better council houses are now privately owned.

  Then councils haven't been building council houses to replace those being sold.  For whatever reason.  Having their funding squeezed by central government being the most recent.

  So people have to go to private landlords.  Now there are good private landlord, S has one.  But too many private landlords seem to be in it just to collect the rents.  They don't maintain their properties.  They don't get in pest control operatives to remove the mice/rats/cockroaches or whatever.  They don't really bother about maintaining gas or electrical appliances.

  Should a tenant have the temerity to approach the Authorities about various things - which they are entitled to do, and the Authorities serve 'Notices to ***'  on the landlords, the next thing tenants know is that they've been served Notices to Quit.

  I am ANGRY!  What kind of society are we if we still allow our poorest to live in substandard accommodation/ whole families in single rooms?  What kind of society allows landlords to collect the rent and leave tenants in substandard accommodation, then evict tenants who dare to try to get something done?  What kind of people are we?  What kind of person am I?

  I am also confused.  I mean, if you are in difficulties - financial/housing/whatever, why go on having more children?  It's not as if contraception isn't available after all.  And why smoke?  Why burn what little money you may have to make your already precarious health worse?

  As for drinking (alcohol), well, I can see how wanting to 'escape' one's awful situation would appeal.  And drugs of various kinds are apparently so freely available, offering their form of 'escape' - which in reality is a far worse prison.  I just wonder where people who are apparently so poor find the money for such things.  Things which will only make them poorer.

  I can also see how being continually hungry, poor and in poor housing would beat you down and flatten even the most intrepid spirit.  Particularly if almost every time you tried to 'better' yourself you only got knocked back.

  Then there's gambling.  Yes, I realise how the lure of Winning might entice.  But do people not think straight at all?  Surely the cost of the gambling far outweighs any 'winnings'.  The first rule of gambling being 'The House Always Wins' and all that.

  I mean, you could spend £1 per week on a National Lottery ticket (are they still £1?)  Or you could keep the £1 and by the end of the year you'd definitely be £52 pounds up.  Of course, you'd have spent that on trying to stay alive in the meantime, but do you see what I mean, Dear Reader?

  I suppose it all depends on whether you have an 'addictive' nature or not.  If you do, and are poor, your outlook is even poorer.  If you have family as well . . .  Poor them!

  In all, the view of the documentary maker was that most people were better housed than fifty years ago.  The slums have largely gone.  Even those living in single rooms had access to indoor plumbing and sanitation.  However the number of those living in sub-standard accommodation is rising.  The number of those actually homeless, living 'on the streets', is increasing.  Things are different, but not necessarily better.  Things had improved.  Now they're getting worse.

  The government recently passed the Homelessness Reduction Bill - making it the responsibility of local authorities to actively try to do something about reducing the number of homeless people in their areas.  Whether they government will be giving local authorities more money to do this remains to be seen.  If they don't then the Bill isn't going to be worth the paper it's written on.

  I've heard tell that the UK is one of the richest countries in the world.  Certainly it's rich compared with many places.  So why do we believe the government's lie that there isn't the money available to look after the poorest, the sick, the most vulnerable?

  As I wrote before - what kind of society, what kind of government, won't look after the poorest and most vulnerable?  And what kind of people are we if we let them?  What kind of person am I?

  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
angry angry
* * *
There's a lot of talk about 'affordable housing'.  About how people can't afford to buy houses in so many areas because house builders are asking almost Monopoly money prices for their, largely, 'Executive, 4 & 5 bedroom' developments.

  Yes, well.  I'm not entirely surprised.  Besides which, what first-time buyer goes for an 'Executive, 4 & 5 bedroom' development?

  Apparently finding a deposit can be hard, specially when you're on 'minimum' wages.  Either you can pay the mortgage repayments, or you can eat, kinda thing.  Which is never going to be a good situation.

Home OwnershipCollapse )
  Do you own your home, Dear Reader?  Or are you attempting to own it, eventually?  Or are you renting?  What do you think about such things?

  Y'all have a good day now!

  *Do not sneer at a good 'cast off', Dear Reader.  Our dining table and chairs are Utility.  Well designed, well built and, apparently, quite sought after.  They're a slightly battered now, they were H's grandparents', so have seen at least two generations of growing children.  The rabbit liked to chew on the 'stretchers' of the chairs, which we didn't let him do if we caught him at it!
Current Location:
End-of-terrace, late Victorian house
Current Mood:
thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music:
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra (3) - max Bruch
* * *
Portrait of the Queen by David Bailey
                                                 Portrait by David Bailey

  It's EIIR Sapphire Jubilee - 65 years on the throne!

  Yesterday I was pointed in the direction of these verses:-

  "Let everyone be suject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."  Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

  And I thought about all the protests and marches there have been in the past couple of weeks about, and mostly against, President Trump and his policies.  Are all these people (and I include myself.  Although I haven't actually been out on protest, Readers will know my opinions as expressed in this blog.)  Are all of us acting in direct contravention of God's will?  Cos this is not a good place to be.

  Then I remembered the question which would sometimes arise thirty and more years ago, back when the Communist Bloc existed behind the Iron Curtain.  How were Christians in Communist countries supposed to act in the face of God-appointed authorities who denied His very existence and came down very hard on anyone trying to live a godly life?

  The answer?  Obey the authorities in as far as what they said agreed with what God says - basic obedience to law, good order etc, and where they put in place ungodly laws, there you obey God rather than the government, and take the consequences - which were often terrible.

  And pray for those in authority, that they would govern fairly, justly and in accordance with God's laws.  So they did.

  You know, Dear Reader, it's thought that the faithful prayers of Christians worldwide were at least partly responsible for the speed at which the Communist bloc disintergrated and the Iron Curtain fell.

  So there we are - obey the Authorities insofar as what they decree is in accordance with God's laws.

  Which means that we have to know what God's laws actually are - the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) being a good place to start.  We have to be able to differentiate between God's Laws, directions for a particular people at a particular time, traditions of any kind and what is currently 'popular culture' - which can be harder than we might think.

  We also need to remember that God's Laws were given by a loving God, for our good and our protection.  Much in the same way that we put a guard around a fire when we have small children and hold their hands and make them walk on the pavement while walking by busy roads.  We can give our children the 'freedom' to run into a busy road; but it's better, and more loving, parenting to teach them to be careful, sensible and to cross roads safely!

  So, pray for those in positions of Authority.

  "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowleder of the truth."  I Timothy 2:1-4

  Pray first for those in Authority, pray second, keep on praying.  Then write to whomever is in authority, and protest as it appears necessary.  But keep praying for them.

  Maybe God will get through to them and they will change their thinking and law-making.  Maybe they won't, and God will bring them down.

  So I'll be praying for President Trump - goodness only knows it seems as if he needs it.  And I'll be praying for our Queen - now marking the 65th year of her reign, and Theresa May as she and her government sort out the details of Brexit.  And I'll be blogging, writing letters/emails to MPs and protesting in other ways when it seems that they're getting it seriously wrong.

  And I'll be voting, when the opportunity is given.  I sometimes wonder how much of what has happened did happen because so many of us 'slept' our way through previous years and didn't either pray for those in authority then, or vote when we had the opportunity?

  Meanwhile we need to keep a careful eye on what is happening, both here in the UK and in the USA.  Too many of Those in Charge seem to be set on revoking so many changes which were for the betterment of everyone.  Thus making life generally Much Worse for those at or near the bottom of the pile.  We may not be at the bottom of the pile, yet, but if we do nothing . . .

  Billy Bragg puts it so much better in one of his songs, The Times They Are a-Changing . . . Back
    (With apologies to Bob Dylan)

  Y'all have a good (and prayerful?) day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music:
God save the Queen
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