Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Minimalist Halloween

Compton Durville 2009

Some pumpkins lanterns   somebody else made much earlier; put my minimalist Halloween  offerings to shame.

No callers this year. I guess the rain put them off.  It Was Not To Be. Never mind - Mr GP and I are enjoying our Haribos. And we and friends did do  our bit last weekend in the pub Halloween quiz,  some of us revealing gifts the others never realised that   we possessed. Like my knack for dredging all manner of pop and rock trivia from the recesses of my mind that even I didn't know were lurking there.  And should Mr GP be reading this, no, we're not talking Abba - Greatest Hits here!

Have a peaceful All Hallows, everybody.

Here's One I Made Earlier: Halloween

Minimalist Halloween

 Don't ask! I don't plan these things you know. No pumpkin in our veg box this morning and Mr GP had nicked the squash to go with last weekend's chicken.  Sometimes One just has to improvise: ecologically, (the mini wind-up torch inside the orange), theologically, (the Samaritan woman's bucket) and totally illogically, (the handful of frost-nipped nasturtium blooms skulking in the background). Look -  there's even a cat getting in on the act!

As for the mysterious light near the top of the picture, I've no idea where that one came from: I'd like to think it's to do with this:

Christus Mansionem Benedicat, Epiphany House Blessing 2012

For other All Hallows musings, who better to sum  up the season  than that poor, beleagured Archdruid Eileen and Antonia. Enjoy.

Dear me,   my 'Christian' stance on Halloween really  has mellowed over the years.   On glimpsing  a Harry Potter  stand in the local shopping centre this morning, my first reaction wasn't : "Oh no, not  Halloween again," rather "Crikey! I know that 'Holy Hogwarts,' like all of the Anglican Church,  is trying to nurture younger calls to the ordained ministry, but this is ridiculous!"

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Calm before The Storm

Received a welcome e-mail this morning from GP daughter, currently in NYC, who's realised by the number of messages she's received from worried friends back home that we might just be concerned for  her safety . She is, apparently,  in a low-risk district,  and does feel the UK media are ever so slightly exaggerating the situation. She and friends are how  settling in for a day spent eating pizza and watching movies.

Right then...This anxious Mum with Enneagram Sixish tendencies had best push all memories of a certain British forecaster's slip- ups 25 years ago to the back of her mind and get on with the week.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Afternoon Blogcrastination, Tea-Making Tips and Invisible Threads

It could have been made for me.  Thanks to my latest "follower," Dormouse for inadvertently pointing me towards this vintage 1940's film , "Tea-Making Tips." I'm inspired;  there'll be no more stale, or (horrors!)  "flet," tea dished up  in the Greenpatch household!

It also reminds me of a tale my mother used to tell  from her secondary school teaching in the 1960s. Apparently they were still using wartime public information films in health ed, which led to some puzzlement from the pupils: "Miss, where are all the blokes?"

To return to the creative repurposing, we're experiencing problems with frayed edges and cut thumbs. (Ouch!) I'll need to rethink the glove pattern: tracing the outline of my hands directly onto the wool isn't working and some invisible thread would come in useful for turning up the brim on my hat. Never mind, with this cold snap setting in, I'm determined I'll have both ready for when I next set off on my travels. If you should come across a slightly bewildered looking stick of rock weaving her way purposefully over the Welsh hills, do come and say hello.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Where Did You Get that Hat? Yet more Creative Repurposing

Beaker struts his stuff in a fetching ensemble of green lab coat and  matching tie, topped off with a snazzy lambswool  beret cunningly fashioned  from an old Monsoon cardigan. And there's still enough material left over to make a pair of matching fingerless gloves.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm taking this creativity thing too far...

Beer, Curry and Tractors

Before I pop off for the day, thought you'd enjoy popping over to Dave Walker's blog to find out why he doesn't go to his local church  mens' group.  Can't say I'd want to learn about chopping up logs, either, Dave, but as to handbag essentials, I'll have you know that the interior of your average women's handbag is a dangerous place; who knows what horrors lurk within! In mine, anyway.  Incidentally, our church ladies  went out for a curry recently, and a great evening we had too. I suspect we may have some secret Cartoonblog readers amongst our number...

Pigs, Papers and Penny Whistles

                                                      Threepenny Bit - seen here in Chichester, Winter 2011

I simply had to put in a good word for this brilliant Ceilidh and busking band, Threepenny Bit, who put a spring in our step and brightened up market day for us all, yesterday. Currently busking round the South of England, you can find out more about them here.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Colouring your Prayer

Here's another right-brain creative way of praying with colours that I've found both helpful and fun. "What? Prayer? Tsk!" I hear you say. Why not? When fellow fidget Sybil Macbeth was feeling  particularly  overwhelmed by friend and family prayer needs she stumbled across a simple method of drawing and colouring your prayer. No artistic ability needed whatsoever: if you can doodle you can bring your concerns before God this way. Simply draw a shape write the name of the person you're praying for inside this, add whatever embellishments, twiddly bits and colours you fancy, whilst holding the person in prayer. Repeat for the next person. Carry the picture with you in your pocket or just in your head and revisit your prayers during the day.

As the author says, this prayer style combines the  active, visual and meditative, "Active because you draw your prayers, visual because you see your prayers,
and meditative because you revisit your prayers throughout the day." I love it because although I'm fine with silence, and can come to physical stillness no problem, underneath I  struggle with the mental fidgets. I tend to live in my head overmuch,  easily filling  my prayer session with anything from planning my diary, writing the shopping list or worse still, worrying. 

Nor am I in any way  articulate either: what I call the "Dearly Beloved, we are Gathered Here," style of intercession doesn't work for me, and the alternative "Father God we just lift up Mrs Bloggs who is currently in Ward 4b, Bed 3  of St E's district with her, the surgeons, nurses and the ward cat.  Lord, we take dominion over the ingrowing toenail of our beloved sister in Christ...." and so on plain brings me out in a nervous rash!

Check out some inspiring  examples  at the Praying in Color site and blog. Doodling like this can easily be adapted to other aspects of prayer like Lectio Divina, discernment, reflection and simple sitting in God's presence. I've posted one of these last of my own here:

Forever Autumn - Top Ten Favourite Autumn Songs

The Jeff Wayne/Justin Hayward hit  "Forever Autumn" was playing when I switched on the radio this morning. How that takes me back...  How many other autumn themed songs or poems can I remember, I wonder? Here's my list, so far; what would feature on yours?

1. "Forever Autumn," Jeff Wayne
2. "Autumn Leaves," Eva Cassidy version
3. "Still, Facing Autumn," Stewart Henderson
4. "Ode to Autumn," Keats

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Season of mists...

CSF Compton Durville, Autumn 2009

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...
                                           - Keats 


Monday, 22 October 2012

Creative Repurposing- What the Best Dressed Greenpatch is Wearing

More creative repurposing.

Take one new tunic dress in blue cord with purple trim, too short for comfort. Knobbly-knee competitions are so passe, don't you think?

Take best beloved 20 year old vintage Laura Ashley skirt now do we put this delicately  -  Est-ce que mon derriere fait grand dans cela? 

Turn up best beloved 20 year old vintage Laura Ashley skirt up by  several inches then  hem.

Team the ensemble  with last year's blue boots and my old faithful M & S repurposed woolly navy  merino tights et voila! A brand new outfit that covers a multitude of tums and other body parts previously mentioned.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Recycled Greenpatch: The "D" Word

Another vintage (well, maybe vintage isn't the most appropriate word) Greenpatch circa 2008: a reprise of my reflections on "Listening to the Music of the Spirit," with updated clips. And one-two-three, one-two and three...

"God is the lead dancer and the soul is the partner completely attuned to the rhythm and patterns set by the partner. she does not lead, but neither does she hang limp like a sack of potatoes." (Thomas Merton, quoted in Listening to the Music of the Spirit: The Art of Discernment, by David Lonsdale: Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1992)

"The thorny issue of discerning God's will is mentioned but not examined. The author is forthright in saying we would "be fools to believe we knew God's will for certain." Yet the sense of seeking the will of God hovers around much of the spiritual journey he maps. Do we pray to find definite guidance, even direction, for the decisions we face? Or do we pray for courage and wisdom to make those decisions for ourselves, and so take the responsibility for the consequences instead of blaming them on God?" (Peta Dunstan in  Church Times review of Deep Calls to Deep: Going further in prayer by David Foster, Continuum, 2008)

As my course moves into a new phase, the 'green' tinge remains, but readers might notice  the not so  much dreaded as ever-fascinating 'D' word moving to the forefront. I've never been one of those people who appear to think that God micromanages one's life down to what colour socks to put on in the morning. However, the tricky issue of maintaining the delicate balance between trusting that God's will will be done and individual responsibility is one that's kept the Greenpatch thinking cap in constant use these last few years.
A friend put me on to Listening to the Music of the Spirit last week, and I'm finding the imagery of  God as the lead dancer in co-operation with the soul really speaks to me, resonating as it does with recent experience. Looking back through old photos (our silver wedding comes up in a few months time) at a rather scared looking younger self being steered up the aisle on the arm of my father - reminds me of the co-operation, trust and teamwork  that's needed in any sort of partnership, especially, as I discovered, if one of you is taller than the other. Beneath the yards of tulle a tug of war was taking place, as I made determined attempts to loose myself from his well-intentioned but rather too firm grip, (think old Victorian portraits a la aspidistra and you'll get the picture), turning what should have been a dignified glide into a sort of hop, skip and jump more often seen in a three-legged race!
Or if you've ever performed that perilous square dancing move the basket, when by supporting themselves with arms round the shoulders of the men, the women should be twirled round in the air. In my (admittedly limited experience) the move generally ends up more like this:
Women who do not want to go flying can a) push down with their elbows, b) keep the basket slow by tripping up the men, c) grab the men round the neck to strangle them or `accidently' digging a thumb in under the ear or d) determinedly lean back. Most `respectable' dance clubs prefer to keep the women under control (which leads to a faster basket); the barn dance crowd likes to show off. I leave it to the women to say whether they want to go flying, and don't do it at all in a crowded room since flying feet are quite heavy weapons.
Armed with this wisdom, I'd like to think that my dance   with God will take on all the purpose, skill, certainty  and championship quality of these people . Sadly, knowing myself only too well, I fear the reality will be more like the scenario here!

True Colours

Praying with colours: Week 6-13th October - Where Am I? Where is God?

Back to Sacred Spirals the other day, where, on our journey with the labyrinth and the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, we were looking at the Principle and Foundation, in particular  the examen, or examination of awareness:  pausing to take the time to notice God in all things - as I once wrote -  in the "bad hair" as well as the "red letter" days. It's that question beloved of spiritual directors everywhere, "Where is God in this?" in all its variations: "For what am I most grateful today?" "For what am I least grateful?" "What gives me life/drains me?" "When did I give most love/least love?"... all part and parcel of the process of discernment, "Listening to the music of the spirit," noticing what draws me closer to my centre and to God and what pulls me away. (Definitely a work in progress with me; going on past experience, I could do with the spirit presenting me with a pair of headphones!)

Any oldhow, I was thrilled when we were encouraged to use colour in our prayer *- to explore our own personal "prayer colours" to symbolise our emotions. What a wonderful idea!  As my spiritual director is wont to remind me, when first we started meeting, I described myself as an "butterfly," imaginative, intuitive, forever running after the latest "ooh shiny!" ideas,  thoughts all over the place; getting them gathered into any semblance of coherence is sometimes  even now like wrestling to fold a pop-up tent! My discovery these last few years that I can use paints, colour, art journaling, creativity in all its wonderful variety to move closer to God has been a revelation. It also, I've discovered, a crafty way of bypassing  the old writer's block and that rather mangy, motheaten "Internal Parrot."

  The artwork above though is more of a "here's one I made earlier," (child of the 60s and 70s that I am!); pre-session. I've shared with several folk recently a sense of growing integration or put another way "St Francis meets St Ignatius in the labyrinth." In  one of those funny  "Godincidences" I'd already been trying to pray the examen this way at home. I'll not go into detail about the colours I used, other than to say that I'm now realising that by intentionally praying this way, I'm (well, to be strictly accurate - God and I) are turning round events which going on past experience have all the potential to knock me spinning right off course and away from my centre.   Baby steps they might be  but for me progress along the road that I honestly didn't think possible. 

I might even venture a quiet and discreet "Hurrah!"

*Based on the ideas of Sheila Merryweather's Colourful Prayer.

Veni, Vidi, Vici, II: Cambridge Classics Revisited

I Came, I Saw, I Conkered, again. Simply couldn't resist some more recycling; all in the name of culture, you understand...Likely some dead links in these; do feel free to pop over to the originals: Latin Pro Dr Quisnam Fans and... well, I'm sure your O Level Latin is up to translating. Have fun.

Illic eram ultum sniggering yesterday ut Mr ASTUS quod EGO persevero ut reprehendo sursum in vetus Medicus Cuius. ( Pro vetus , lego David Tennant ). Permaneo night’s visum eram Incendia of Pompeii episode. Curiosus research laxus ok – Google – ostendo sum ut we âre non solus ones ut macula offensio similis inter Romanorum prosapia featured inibi quod unus ut inspired ( puteus , nonnullus of vicis ) innumerus Latin O Campester discipulus tergum in dies of yore. Etiam it’s bonus vetus Cambridge Schola Ordo Exertus totus ob : Caecilius , uxor Metella , bonus – for- nusquam filius Quintus , quod a novus addition pro Dr Quisnam, Evelina a would – exsisto sortilegus. Misericordaliter , suum canis Cerberus , eram emineo per suus absentis ; si EGO memor vere , suus jugis papilla of imbellis passersby eram super plurrimi suscito res ut venio in Inflatus. Nisi vos duco Metella’s ordinarius shopping trinus ad forum. Vos nunquam teneo , si tantum Russell Davis quod Co had been in in O Campester syllabus maybe I’d have curo praeter a grade C!
In contendo , nostrum Galifrean vicis lord’s poema poematis had nonnullus intorqueo quod volvit quod EGO certainly can’t memor via tergum in 1975. Tergum tunc , frigus res super tractus eram packaging : neon coloured leaflets in a snazzy parum plastic folder. Per vicis nostrum filia tackled suus GCSE , ( quo vicis Latin eram an ân “extra” quod tutela secundum ), is had reverto ut a boring vetus textbook at in vultus , utique , magis per versus of formido ˜Kennedy’s Eating Primer” quod EGO tolero procul a praevius schola typical text “ The nauta es sailing ut Insula prosecutus agricolum per telum quod “Medicus quod suus socius es volatilis per tractus quod vicis ut muto tractus of history per a sonic screwdriver.” Quam does ut sanus?

 There was much sniggering yesterday as Mr M and I continued to catch up on old Doctor Whos. ( For old, read David Tennant). Last night’s viewing was the ‘Fires of Pompeii’episode. Careful research later – ok, Google – revealed that we’re not the only ones to spot the striking similarity between the Roman family featured therein and the one that inspired (well, some of the time) countless Latin O Level students back in days of yore. Yes, it’s the good old Cambridge School Classics Project all over again: Caecilius, wife Metella, good- for- nothing son Quintus, and, a new addition for Dr Who, Evelina, a would-be soothsayer. Mercifully, their dog, Cerberus, was conspicuous by his absence; if I remember rightly, his constant nipping of unwary passers -by was about the most exciting thing that happened in Pompeii. Unless you count Metella’s regular shopping trips to the marketplace. You never know, if only Russell Davis and Co had been in on the O Level syllabus, maybe I’d have managed more than a grade C!
In contrast, our Galifrean time lord’s version had some twists and turns which I certainly can’t remember way back in 1975. Back then, the coolest thing about the course was the packaging: neon coloured leaflets in a snazzy little plastic folder. By the time our daughter tackled her GCSE, (by which time Latin was an ‘extra’ and charged accordingly), this had reverted to a boring old textbook – in appearance, at least, more along the lines of the dreaded ‘Kennedy’s Eating Primer’ which I endured at a previous school, typical text – “The sailors are sailing to the island to attack the farmers with spears and arrows.” “ The Doctor and his companion are flying through space and time to alter the course of history with a sonic screwdriver.” How does that sound?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Books, Books and yet more Books

One newly-painted bookshelf; great, isn't it! (We'll avert our eyes from the boxes  stage left waiting to be put onto Amazon marketplace.) 

One down, only two more to go...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Veni, Vidi, Vici

I came, I saw, I conkered!

Sorry folks, I couldn't resist it!

Always in the Kitchen at Parties

That about describes me; I'm a quiet, retiring Greenpatch at the best of times. Be that as it may , I've decided to Be Bold and have just signed up for a Grow Your Blog party, to be hosted by Vicki at 2bagsfull. Just look at that heavenly rainbow mix of yarns. They have me salivating already and I don't even knit!  It'll take place in January 2013; plenty time for me to prepare my coping strategies (maybe I'll even pluck up courage to come out of the virtual "kitchen", who knows?)  To explain, the project is aimed at folk who'd like to grow their number of blog followers. I'm really not that bothered about stats and lists, still, I must admit I've enjoyed the interaction with my small, but loyal band of  ( not sure what to call you - followers sounds a bit creepy IMO) - Greenpatch readers, especially since I moved here from my old typepad blog. Why you continue to read my inane witterings, goodness only knows but never mind, I'm sure you'd be happy to welcome some more bloggers into my virtual abode.

Thanks to Fatdormouse, aka the Wibsite's View From the Teapot for letting me know about this event. Do hop over to Vicki's blog if you fancy signing up yourself; just the thing  to brighten up those grey, cold January days.

[ New to this lark. I've a feeling I should have posted some sort of a logo here, never mind!]

Saturday, 13 October 2012

I had a black dog

...his name was depression... a thought-provoking video produced by the WHO for World Mental Health Day, this week.  Thanks to Opinionated Vicar for flagging this one up for me.   I've a copy of Matthew and Ainsley Johnstone's "Living with a Black Dog - How to take care of someone with depression while looking after yourself," on my shelves; it's been  a real godsend for me .  With happy memories of a friend's lovely  - now late lamented - black lab, I'm not that keen on the use of the doggy imagery myself but can't deny the analogy works so very well at explaining the dark maze of depression and other associated mental health conditions.  The Black Dog has cast his shadow over both sides of our family to varying degrees for many many years; anything that can help keep him in his place is  welcome.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Musical Memories - barba, ba barba, ba barba poux, barbapoux, barbapoux...

Y' avait dans mon village
Un homme qui  appelé Poux
Il avait une barbe
Qui était pleine de poux.
Barbapoux, Barbapoux, Barbapoux, Barbapoux. 

Tout au fond de la mer les poissons sont assis,
Les poissons sont assis, ah! ah! ah!
Attendant patiemment qu’les pêcheurs soient partis
Qu’les pêcheurs soient partis ah! ah! ah!
Ohé du bateau, du grand mât, de la hune,
Ohé du voilier, du grand mât, des huniers !

Il y a des vétérans tout barbus, tout fripés
Echappés par hasard des ham’çons, des filets
Et les jeunes poissons sont là aussi souvent
Egayant les bas-fonds de leurs cris, de leurs chants.....etc etc etc!
Help!! Took a trip back down memory lane to our our childrens' childhood (son is visiting this weekend), found a bumper version of  Chansons et Comptines -  a staple of many a journey down the autoroute - the track sampler is on a continuous loop in the bowels of my machine, there's no escape. Rescue me, somebody!

It's strange how evocative music can be, isn't it?  Last time daughter was home we unearthed another old favourite from way back: Jil Caplan's La Charmeuse de Serpents and were instantly transported back 15 years or more, to lazy, hazy, hot summers, (those French school holidays were looonng),  the people carrier stuffed to the windows with all the clobber needed to make a tent home from home for a fortnight, three weeks, longer... (who's counting?).

 Back then modern technology consisted of the in -car cassette player, no hand held video games, (the GP offspring were kept busy with their Hoopi Club colouring and quiz books..."Spot a man in a black beret...a field of corn....a registration number beginning with...") We listened to Times Tables tapes, Jeeves and Wooster, CS Lewis' Narnia tales. Lest readers think we were just too Good To Be True, I'm sure less "worthy" stuff eventually appeared on the playlist (Spice Girls, anybody?). I seem to remember making valiant, if half-hearted attempts to infiltrate slightly more "worthy" material into the running order - this was back in my more evangelical days, as a result of which I'm now unable to listen to any Matt Redman (actually there are other more theological reasons for my aversion but we'll not go there), without experiencing waves of carsickness. Oh and not forgetting "Delirious,"same problem there, and the rest of the family always maintained that it wasn't possible to hear these last two over the roar of the car engine on the autoroute.  Poor Matt and Co were generally reserved for the last , hot, grumbly, tense few miles on country roads, as we tried to find the campsite without coming to blows over the mapreading. This was before sat navs, don't forget.  Hence I'll forever associate worship songs  like "Undignified," with cries of "Are we nearly there, yet?" and the sickly taste of Riccola boiled sweets, before that glorious moment before we finally  drew up at our  little orange and blue tent, our home from home.  Happy days...

Funnily enough, on a camping holiday a couple of years ago,  son and his pals ended up at one of the sites that he remembers visiting with us. Funny old world. Though I suspect they didn't drive through the gates to the strains of Barbapoux! 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Monday, 8 October 2012

"Tis the Gift to be Simple" - Daybook

Thanks to LLM Calling for pointing me to a wonderful way of reflecting on your day - The Simple Woman's Daybook.  Great for somebody like myself whose middle name is "worry." Here's mine:"

Outside my window- It's been overcast and dim all day. I can see the garden path glistening with rain.

I am thinking - About my latest DIY project and wondering how I'm going to get all the paint off my fingernails!

I am thankful - For the gift of creativity.

In the kitchen - Melon, oranges, yoghurt, spaghetti bolg and soup. I love my soup!

I am wearing - Paint stained navy  cargoes and old blue T shirt.

I am creating - Just finished day one of painting the study  bookcases. Also in progress - a prayer meditation on the Ignatian movements of consolation and desolation  in my art journal using one of the psalms, the labyrinth and the poetry of TS Eliot.

I am going - Nowhere today. I've been home based apart from walking the dog.

I am wondering - Whether the paint is ever going to dry.

I am reading - The Cat, a Complete Guide, by Claire Bessant, a beautifully illustrated hardback guide and Christmas present from DH to all things feline - 70p at the animal protection shop for a good as new, book which is worth nearly £20 new. The best 70p ever spent!

I am hoping - To turn the study into that quiet, Shaker-like sanctuary I always wanted! Hoping...

I am looking forward to - Going away on retreat in a month's time.

I am learning - To be brave and step out without worrying what other people might think about me.

And the house - I'm getting there - apart from piles of books from bookcase one strewn all over the study.

I am pondering - 'Ponder' the pyjama case, hero of "Ponder and William," a favourite childhood book.

A favourite quote for today - "Tis the gift to be simple, tis the gift to be free..."

One of my favourite things - O dear..."Smooth Radio 70s." I've had it on all day as background while I've been painting.

A few plans for the rest of the week - A couple of local spirituality network events, time with Mr GP, painting project, prayer group at church.

A peek into my day - Camera lost under a mountain of books, so here's an old pic of GP cat

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Just Listen

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God, either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God, too.This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there will be nothing left but spiritual chatter...
                                                                                               - Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Long and Winding Road - Greenpatch Pilgrimage

All ready to tackle Hadrian's Wall - GP Ted  on our Durham to Iona Pilgrimage, April 2011

If you've been reading Growing Greenpatches for any length of  time, you'll have  spotted references to pilgrimage scattered here and there, especially to our Durham to Iona trip in 2011.  Now you can learn  a little more about what we got up to  on Offline Greenpatches, (think of it as an old, rather dusty, ramshackle conservatory) - home to some of my more confused meanderings, originally  inflicted on readers of "OldChurch"  parish mag. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

All Creatures of Our God and King

St Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun   (original Umbrian dialect)

Altissimu, onnipotente bon Signore,
Tue so le laude, la gloria e l'honore et onne benedictione.

Ad Te solo, Altissimo, se konfano,
et nullu homo ène dignu te mentouare.

Laudato sie, mi Signore cum tucte le Tue creature,
spetialmente messor lo frate Sole,
lo qual è iorno, et allumini noi per lui.
Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore:
de Te, Altissimo, porta significatione.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per sora Luna e le stelle:
in celu l'ài formate clarite et pretiose et belle.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per frate Uento
et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo,
per lo quale, a le Tue creature dài sustentamento.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per sor'Acqua,
la quale è multo utile et humile et pretiosa et casta.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per frate Focu,
per lo quale ennallumini la nocte:
ed ello è bello et iucundo et robustoso et forte.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per sora nostra matre Terra,
la quale ne sustenta et gouerna,
et produce diuersi fructi con coloriti fior et herba.

Laudato si, mi Signore, per quelli ke perdonano per lo Tuo amore
et sostengono infirmitate et tribulatione.

Beati quelli ke 'l sosterranno in pace,
ka da Te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati.

Laudato si mi Signore, per sora nostra Morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo uiuente pò skappare:
guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trouarà ne le Tue sanctissime uoluntati,
ka la morte secunda no 'l farrà male.

Laudate et benedicete mi Signore et rengratiate
e seruiteli cum grande humilitate.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Oh Pooh! - Earthy Spirituality

Or hearkening back to one of our son's favourite reads when we were living in France - Crotte!  Literally -  on the landing - ready to greet Mr GP as he came downstairs this morning.   GP cat has 'Toilet'  issues.   My morning 'time,' quiet or otherwise, is beginning to take on a whole incarnational dimension I'd not bargained for; half of me communing with the Almighty, the other watching out for signs that our resident feline is about to commune with our wood flooring instead of his litter tray.  (Note to self: What we thought was a regular dawn 'mad moment,' with Tigercat hurtling himself up and down stairs at 90 mph is something else entirely). Thus it was that my musings on the integration of my inner and outer landscapes  post spiritual direction visit yesterday were abruptly cut short. There's nothing, but nothing, like animals for keeping you grounded, is there?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Inner and Outer Landscapes

Southern Uplands Way: Durham-Iona pilgrimage April/May 2011

For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3 (NIV)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Epitaphs and Inscriptions - Who Was Bill Lobban?

Cairn, Loch Lomond, East side, Durham-Iona Pilgrimage 2011

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13 King James Version (KJV)

As I trawled though our pilgrimage photos yesterday in search of  something to use for a blog banner, I came across a couple  of pictures which I'm sure tell a story. This cairn and the accompanying inscription can be found not far from the Inversnaid Hotel on the Eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Not an easy stretch, with it's craggy twists and turns up and down from the shoreline; our experience of that section wasn't pleasant;  even experienced walkers appreciate the need to treat  this particular section of the West Highland Way (22Km, I think, if you take it in one hop) with great  respect.  We walked  it in several stages, our mileage that particular day being  one of the shortest in the entire trip - about 6 miles, but it was the hardest 6 miles we've ever done,  struggling through  rain and mist, only getting to the far end just in time to catch the last   ferry across to Ardlui. I say, 'ferry,' it's a small boat, which you hail by raising a buoy up a mast on the shore. By that stage, there is no road at all; if you miss the boat, your only options are either to retrace your steps right back to Inversnaid or  spend the night in a nearby bothy. (not 4 star accomodation, I can tell you, we checked!) 

Who was Bill Lobban then? What tale of heroism lies behind this inscription? I guess we'll never know. I'm not the first to ask; a quick web search shows that  many  walkers have discovered this memorial over the years,  wondered about the events of 23rd November 1975, and received no answer. His isn't the only tragedy to take place along the lochside; apparently the Inversnaid Hotel knew of two other walkers who died nearby more recently, but of Bill, nothing. Passing it, in the pouring rain and mist, just as we were about to begin the climb upwards was both a humbling and a sobering experience. Like     that of Henry West, the human story behind this simple memorial seems destined to remain unknown and untold, except, perhaps to those closest to those it commemorates. Rest in Peace, Bill Lobban, whoever you were. I guess that inscription says it all.

Spirit of Seve: Mr M's Tour de France on the Ryder Cup

Mr GP - Tour of Wessex

For all you golf fans: Mr GP's reflections on the Ryder Cup.