Such wickedness

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In light of all the recent events here in the UK, terrorist attacks and other unreported things too numerous to mention one would think we were helpless to do anything much to prevent it. In a way that is true because we, as human beings are blemished, we are not perfect though we were meant to be that way and indeed for all who believe, we were designed to be perfect. To put it bluntly we have wickedness within us all. Another term would be sin within us. We have this idea that all will eventually be right when in the passage of time we learn to be different. We place that hope in our own capabilities to change for the better. The sad fact is we are incapable but many don’t realise and continue in the vain hope they have that somehow we can change the world. We cannot. We are tainted and stand as filthy rags before a perfect Creator God but many refuse to accept that fact. What would your idea of God do with us all? Should He destroy that which He loves or allow things to remain the way they are?  I have to tell you that God has chosen the latter but will always continue to hold out His hand to those who will take it. That is love, to reach out continuously to those who hate Him and to die for them who have sinned which is all of us. Jesus paid that price because of His love for you.

Shirley Anne

Most Evil

Most Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matthew 13:24-30

The parable of the weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed ears, then the weeds also appeared.

27 ‘The owner’s servants came to him and said, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?”

28 ‘“An enemy did this,” he replied.

‘The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”

29 ‘“No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”’

In this short story, Jesus tells why God allows evil to continue in the world. According to Jesus, if God uprooted all the evil people (the weeds) now, others (the wheat) might be uprooted along with them.

For now, God’s allowing evil doesn’t mean he condones it. Rather, God is waiting for people to turn to him and accept his leadership in their lives. After all, if tonight at midnight God wiped out all the people who hadn’t yet trusted in him, where would you be in the morning?

Verse 30 gives us an image of the final separation that God will initiate at the end of time. On that day, God wants to gather you, as one of his people, into his heaven. Won’t you accept that gracious offer?

Taken from NIV The Journey Bible

Shirley Anne

What a relief!

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At last we have some cool and refreshing weather after days of unbearable heat and humidity. I write this on Thursday morning at home with the fresh air wafting in through the open windows. Again I had slept upon the bed rather than in it because of the high overnight temperature and humidity but perhaps this evening I will be able to have the duvet cover me! Enough of that. I woke early enough to have breakfast but fell asleep again and was late getting up. It was ten-thirty and I allowed myself only a fruit drink until lunch. I had a job to do at home, one of those things we promise to do but keep putting off. I say ‘we’ but in this case it was an electrical job which of course not everyone would do anyway unless they had the knowledge. At home we have a large hot water storage cylinder where the water is heated either by the immersion heater or indirectly by an internal coil through which hot water heated by the boiler circulates. Most of the time we have the boiler heat the cylinder. Our boiler is in a room in the cellar and the cylinder is two floors above but not directly above. This means the circulation pipes are long and have to be well insulated, which they are. The boiler ‘knows’ when to heat up the circulating water because there is a thermostat exactly as the one shown above on the cylinder to send that signal when necessary. Now then, for some time the cylinder water temperature has been excessively hot which isn’t a problem in itself but can be hazardous if we are not aware of it. The thermostat was positioned too low on the cylinder and set at too high a setting. The water at the bottom of the cylinder was being monitored rather than that higher up the cylinder which is the normal way. I had to replace the supply cable to allow the thermostat to be re-positioned. Not a big job but a little awkward and I had it done in a half-hour. The benefits resulting from such a simple job are well worth the short time it took to do it so I wonder why it took so long for me to get around to it!

Shirley Anne

An’ the livin’ is easy?

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A blast from my past, one of a number of songs I remember from my childhood days. Life for me (and my siblings) was often filled with lazy days, especially in the summer time. Over the past few days I have been lazy but that laziness was brought about by the hot and humid weather which for me is oppressive. We have experienced quite a number of hot and humid days lately but those kind of days just don’t cut it for me. Maybe by the time you are reading this conditions here will have tempered somewhat. I sure hope so. I must have used an awful lot of water keeping the garden plants not just healthy but alive. I have spent too much cash on garden plants to simply let them die through lack of  water. The livin’ sure is easy ‘cos it’s too hot for anything else. Summertime might be for lazin’ about in and from that point of view easy but I’d rather it was cooler to allow me to do some work.

Shirley Anne

And now….

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I just want it to be fresh and a little cooler but as I write this on Monday it appears we have a couple of more days of really hot weather to endure yet. I have little doubt it will get hot again within the next couple of months but I need respite. I’ve said it before and I say it again, I do not like hot and humid weather except perhaps if I have a sea or an ocean to dive into. well there is a sea close-by to where I live, the Irish Sea but it is hardly a sea I want to go swimming in as it is too cold for the most part.

A map of the Irish Sea. Major ports shown in r...

A map of the Irish Sea. Major ports shown in red; freight-only ports shown in blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The beach we have here is nothing like the ones found in tropical places though there is plenty of sand! When the tide turns we have to walk a mile or more if we wish to reach the water and when the tide turns again we have to move quickly or get trapped on a sandbank. There are channels, quicksand and mud to contend with in certain parts too. Further along the coast people have lost their lives through ignorance or refusal to respond to the warnings. No, the waters I like to dive into cannot be found hereabouts though there are many beaches round the Irish Sea which are nice, and safe too. As I haven’t taken a beach holiday for many years and am unlikely to in the foreseeable future I have to cool off in other ways. It doesn’t help though when I take a walk somewhere and get all hot and sticky in the process. Funny thing is it seems only to be a problem once I stop. Again I went for an even longer walk today (Monday) and ended up all hot and bothered as they say. I did cool off soon enough though once I was indoors and had taken a cool drink of water. I do take water with me whenever I go walking, even in the cooler months I put a bottle in my bag. It was a week since I did any electrical work and that turned out to be something different to what I had expected. I had been asked to check out a power outlet which wasn’t working but wasn’t told that it had been that way for a long time. I discovered that myself when investigating the fault. A single outlet in a room above their kitchen was the one I had been asked to check but in fact none of the kitchen outlets were working either as they were all on the same circuit. However in order to resolve the problem it would require the floor boards above the kitchen to be lifted. Now then, there was a train set layout covering most of that floor with furniture covering the rest. Below all of that was a carpet of course. They weren’t prepared to put up with the upset to have the work done so I was paid for my time, the minimum charge I levy for any job. In any event I wouldn’t have taken on the work anyway it being more suited for a younger person to do. Well after all I am no spring chicken now! In this heat who wants to be doing anything anyway?

Shirley Anne

A scorcher

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It was very warm yesterday, that is Saturday 17 th as I write this but today was even hotter and may be hotter still on Monday. Summer certainly has arrived but during the month of May we did see plenty of warm and sunny days too. By the time you are reading this the weather here in the UK has probably turned fresher but still warm. Nice as it may be for many I am not so happy, it’s just too oppressive. I suppose though it is better than sub-zero temperatures and icy-cold winds. Winter is fine with me, in fact all the seasons are fine, it all depends on attitude. It really doesn’t matter anyway as we cannot change a thing. All we can ever do is put up with it or move elsewhere. E had gone out for the day around seven in the morning and I had a day all to myself. After breakfast I took a leisurely walk into town via the back streets and was going to return via the sea front but at the last-minute decided to walk back along the main street, Lord Street (Southport) and then along Rotten Row to once again admire the flowerbeds there. The route into town was quiet as I had expected but once in town everything changed and there were people everywhere. I do not like being in crowds of people so my route back was on the opposite side of the road to the shops. If you know Southport you will know that shops only occupy one side of the main street. This shot was taken by myself about ten to twelve years ago one very early bright and sunny Sunday morning in Spring. The picture is of Lord Street showing the view in the opposite direction to my home. I took many pictures on that day and as it was so early there were hardly any folk around. Later in the morning the streets would begin to fill with people. I don’t know why people flock to towns when it is warm and sunny but suppose it is to be part of the ‘scene’. I was out for a walk but never visit the town centre shops unless my journey is solely to buy something. I simply walk through otherwise as I was doing on Sunday. I was away from home for two hours and it was now just after twelve and roasting hot! There was nowhere to escape the heat except to remain in the cellar where one or two of the rooms never get warm but who wants to spend all day in the cellar? I sat out on the patio under the parasol for a while until it was time for lunch at two o’clock.It was after three before I returned outdoors but the day was now at its hottest! It remained hot and sticky until well into the evening. I did a little gardening later in the afternoon but it really was only a little, it was too hot to do much else. What a scorcher!

Shirley Anne

Too hot

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English: Sheep in the shade. On the road from ...

Sheep in the shade. On the road from High Forest Farm to Clough Head. It was an extremely hot and humid day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is the same every year, I (we) moan about the dreary dull wet days of winter and when it gets hot and sunny I do the same, never satisfied. When it is cool (and dry if I’m outdoors) I can get on with the various jobs that need doing and special jobs I call my projects but once it gets too warm and humid I don’t feel much like doing anything. So it was on Saturday. I had slept in a little longer than usual but that was due to my not getting off to sleep sooner. I hadn’t done much on Friday so wasn’t as tired as I might have been. There wasn’t any reason for me to get up early anyway. By the time I arrived downstairs it was already bright, sunny and warm. I had a little something to eat and went out on to the patio to enjoy the sunshine. I had it in mind to do a little gardening but wasn’t in a hurry to start. In fact it wasn’t until mid-afternoon before I did anything. E went to her monthly meeting at one o’clock and I wanted to eat lunch before doing any work but it was too early to eat. I went back to the patio and lay down for an hour then had lunch. The work I wanted to do in the front garden was to pluck out weeds, plant a small holly bush in the mound, one that had been growing in a pot but needed putting in the ground and then to water the garden too. It was very hot in the front garden as there is no shade from the sun at all in the afternoon. Once I had finished there it was into the rear garden to water the plants there and again there was little or no shade there either! It’s all too much like hard work in the summer when all I want to do is relax. It isn’t that I don’t want to work but the heat and humidity make it so uncomfortable, for me anyway. E arrived back home around four-thirty and we both spent an hour on the patio, she to lie down, me to just sit this time and chat. She would be off again very early in the morning to spend the day at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham to a food festival being held there. It is an annual event she and a couple of others attend. I would have to either go somewhere or sit it out at home trying to relax in the heat. Either way it would be uncomfortable for me. Roll on the cooler weather!

Shirley Anne

Isn’t it just?

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I’m smiling in response to life. Isn’t it just the way that things which are supposed to happen often don’t and conversely things which ought not to have happened do? I have been enjoying my ‘freedom’ from work, that is my electrical work, since I pulled my advert from the local newspaper. Work is work however and I haven’t been idle though the work I have been doing is just different. I haven’t as yet fully committed myself to full retirement and to that end I am biding my time on making a decision. I have done a couple of electrical jobs however but they have been infrequent. I suppose it is better that way as I can ease myself into a different way of life rather than simply switching off entirely from what has been my routine for many years. Today, Friday (16th) as I write this, was supposed to be a warm and pleasant day though not sunny. It turned out completely different in that it was cool and breezy! Well they can’t get it right every time I suppose. It did get warmer later in the day but too late for any ideas of relaxing in the garden. Yesterday, though windy was sunny and I took the opportunity to get the lawn mowed once more. My but it grows quickly at this time of year! E had gone to the hospital with her mom as her mom had an appointment and on her return home immediately saw the lawn had been cut though she had jokingly accused me of sitting around doing nothing. I told her I had taken it to within an inch of its life by cutting it so short. I had set it to the minimum height and have to admit it was hard-going. In fact, where I would only normally empty out the box of cuttings two or perhaps three times this time I had to empty it out about ten times! Hopefully it wouldn’t need cutting again for two weeks. So a day in the garden for both of us on Friday just didn’t happen. The weekend weather was set to change and be hotter and sunnier. I could take advantage of that but E could not as she would be spending her time away from home though not to relax in the sunshine and I too would be spending at least some of the time working. Isn’t it just the way?

Shirley Anne

Are you justified?

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Justification

Romans 3:23–24

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

We live in a culture that thinks hard work gets us what we want or what we think we deserve. This is especially true in the workplace. If we work hard enough, we get a raise, bonus, or promotion. And if something goes wrong, we can usually work hard enough to make amends. We live in a meritocratic culture.
But God’s kingdom functions differently. He has given us something we don’t deserve: right status before him.
The doctrine of justification tells us that we are considered righteous before God, not by our obedience to the law—for no one can fulfill the law’s requirements—but because of the perfect work of Christ. He alone lived perfectly according to the law and fulfilled it. Because of Christ’s work, God no longer sees us as sinful or guilty. He sees us as righteous and holy. Therefore, we do not have to fear God’s wrath, because our sins are forgiven and the weight of our guilt has been removed.
In his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion, reformer John Calvin says that no sinner could ever justify himself. Not only that, but wherever there is sin, there also “the wrath and vengeance of God show themselves.” Conversely, a justified person is one “who is reckoned in the condition not of a sinner, but of a righteous man; and for that reason, he stands firm before God’s judgment seat while all sinners fall.” This happens when we trust not in ourselves and our own works—because we will find nothing righteous within us—but in the righteousness of Christ through faith. That’s good news!
Connecting
As human beings, we are constantly trying to justify ourselves before others. Fearful of our inadequacies and sins being exposed, we work tirelessly to prove ourselves. This leaves us only exhausted and joyless. But when we begin to grasp the truth that in Christ we are wholly accepted by God regardless of what we do, we experience a peace that allows us not to be preoccupied with ourselves—our successes or failures. Further, we can have confidence as we perform the work God has set before us, even with all of our human limitations. The doctrine of justification brings an incredible freedom in our work, because if God, the ultimate judge, has already deemed us righteous, then no one and nothing can steal our security or status in him.

Taken from NIV Faith & Work Bible

Redemption:  deliverance from sin; salvation.

Why does anyone need redemption is saying why does anyone need salvation? For those who are not believers in God the words are meaningless and they are meaningless to them because they have no conception of sin. If you are an unbeliever for you there is no such thing as sin and therein lies the danger. Let’s get one thing straight, we are all sinners. Believers know so but unbelievers do not know they are sinners. Then what do they believe? They have no need of a creator God, they are all sufficient and in control of their own destiny. Most haven’t a clue about God and Jesus Christ because their minds are closed books yet they will most certainly form their own opinion about such matters. Their fate is sealed in their ignorance, they condemn themselves. They remain in their sinful state oblivious to the danger. ‘Nothing happens when we die’, is what they say. How do they know that? The same question is levelled back at the Christian, ‘How do you know’? The answer is as true as it is subsequently disbelieved. The Christian knows they are redeemed, forgiven and their sins no longer can condemn them because God’s Spirit is in them.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Why? Because Jesus took the punishment for the sins of mankind upon himself thereby setting free those who believe and accept this free gift of life. God now doesn’t see the sins that cover us because Jesus has set us free, washed us clean and we have been redeemed and saved for all eternity. What about the unbeliever? Whilst there is breath in them they have the opportunity to repent and have that same assurance. The alternative is total separation from God forever! Do you really want to take that chance because of your refusal to turn to God? Reach out and take the hand of Jesus……

Shirley Anne 

Tiring work

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English: It's just so tiring eating allday!!!

It’s just so tiring eating all day, especially in this heat!!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday proved to be very different from the days surrounding it as the temperature rose to a level more suitable for a summer’s day. Alright it wasn’t quite officially summer but the seasons do not stick to a regimented date do they? It was warm and sunny especially in the afternoon but the day had started dull and overcast though it was still warm. I had nothing to do and didn’t really want to be working anyway. I pottered about in the garden during the morning digging out a few weeds and montbretia plants which are still popping up here and there. It is after all the growing season for montbretia and of course weeds seem to grow whatever time of year it is! Nothing really arduous though and afterwards I got out the hose and gave the garden a good watering. It had been raining in the previous days but at this time of year it is soon dry again. A little more time pottering about inside the house before E and I went to the pub for our belated lunch. It would have been pointless to have gone there earlier as it is always packed between noon and say two-thirty which was the time we arrived. As usual the staff were at their best and soon we were served. On our return home E told me she had to go out again to post a letter she had forgotten to take with us earlier. Usually she drives to the post box even though it is less than three hundred metres away and that only because of her condition. I offered to walk there and post it for her while she put her car in the garage. When I returned a few minutes later I stopped by our next-door neighbour’s house to chat for a minute. She had her decorator painting the outside walls of her house, something her husband used to do every five years until he died three and a half years ago. The poor guy had been working at the front of the house for quite a few hours and hadn’t stopped for lunch. As he said, who wants to resume work after eating a meal? He was right, I missed lunch very often when out working and for the same reason. She had provided drinks of course, something he couldn’t do without especially in the heat of the day and especially as the front of the house was in full sunshine during the day. It must have been very uncomfortable and tiring. I am sure I wouldn’t have liked to do it. I was thinking later that perhaps he should have started the work by painting the rear of the house first as it would have been shaded throughout the day. The sun almost never shines on the rear wall of her house. The following day, Thursday was forecast to be cooler with a slight breeze blowing, much better conditions for working in but as he told me earlier he hadn’t checked the weather forecast. What would he have done if it had begun to rain soon after he had started the work? It is always wise to check the forecast before doing any work outdoors methinks.

Shirley Anne

Ahead of myself

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‘Jump the gun’, might be another description I assign to myself at times. Why? Well it is because I am a forward thinker and a person who when has a project often sees it finished before it had begun! I often think too forward into the future as I like everything to be organised and well planned out. I like things to run smoothly as I plan them to but that is never always possible due to events and circumstances beyond my control. I get annoyed in those cases.

The Strombus thinker. What is he possibly thin...

The Strombus thinker. What is he possibly thinking about? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problem with thinking too far ahead is that we can miss what is happening in the present. Much of my time has been spent in the garden over the last twelve months carrying out alterations and additions, removing unwanted plants like bluebells and montbretia (may need more work on these next year too) and general maintenance. E and I were talking about the garden and the wildlife we get in the relatively small area at the rear of the house, other gardens. I was talking about the method I used when deciding how to populate the flowerbeds I had been working in these past six months. I told her that I think forward to how I imagine the bed would look like in winter and how much greenery we would like to see there at that time of year. Not all the trees and plants in our garden are evergreen but I like to keep deciduous plants to a minimum so that there is always some green foliage to see during the cold moths. I have also to bear in mind how fast they will grow and to what size and all this helps in the decision-making. Anyway we got to talking about the wildlife, owls, foxes, squirrels, mice, bats and a huge variety of birds all live or spend time in the rear gardens to our property. They all have to plan ahead too don’t they? The forward planning I make has taken a different route lately, for one I am planning less because there is less to plan for though there are still some things I, we need to plan ahead for in the coming months and some of them I wished were already done and dusted. At this time of year when the weather is warm and sometimes humid I don’t feel much like doing anything but I know if at least I don’t make any plans to get things done later they may never get done. Now, at the Summer Solstice my thoughts are elsewhere for a time.

Shirley Anne

Dreams, walks, weather and health

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It was unusual for me to have had a dream on Sunday night, nothing to do with the day of course but for some time now I don’t recall having had a dream. Perhaps it was because I had written a post about dreams earlier in the day and had reminded myself about things. The very short dream I had involved an old friend or two, a bar, two strangers and a dark confined place in which it all took place. The barmaid was a friend who had moved out of the area a few years ago and has since stopped communicating. She never was a barmaid but worked as a safety officer for a large biscuit manufacturer so why she was serving drinks I have no idea. The other friend who has also moved away was socialising with me in the dream. We often socialised in the short time we knew each other, about six or seven years but she too has stopped communicating. In the dream she had put on some weight whereas she had been tall and slim. Behind us in the cramped space were two strangers who in the dream seemed not to be. The male was trying to attract my attention to his friend or partner’s face which appeared to have something wrong with it though I hadn’t noticed. On my right higher up and sitting on a bench were two more people who spoke with me but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. The rear of the bar was dark and empty, devoid of anything tangible. That was it, the end of the dream.

I had planned to walk into town early the following morning so I retired to bed early too but couldn’t drop off to sleep for some time. It had been very windy for a few days and was to continue that way for another day. I dislike the wind but was determined to take the walk anyway as the plan was to buy some toiletries. I wanted to walk all the way there and back simply for the exercise which is what I did. There was no hurry, I had no appointments and had nothing to do at home that I was in the mood to be doing so I took my time. I took the more sheltered route to keep out of the wind as much as possible by walking the back streets. I like walking there because I take in the scenery, the buildings (I like architecture) and also the private gardens along the way to admire the plants. Surprisingly I was only away from home for an hour and a half.

‘I’ve had to book my appointment two weeks in advance, so we’ll both sit here until I feel unwell.’

I was sitting in the lounge when the house phone rang but I didn’t answer it. If it was for work they would call my mobile phone. Well my mobile phone rang a minute later and it was the doctor’s surgery asking if I would like to receive a vaccination against shingles. At first I declined but then changed my mind and accepted the offer. It is free anyway. I would receive it late in the afternoon. I only accepted the offer because as a child I had contracted chickenpox and could therefore be at risk. The virus which causes chickenpox can lay dormant deep in the nervous system for years and if it re-emerges can cause shingles. The vaccine is offered to adults over the age of fifty……………I just squeezed in………Ahem…….(I was born in 1945)

Then I received a call for my electrical services despite my still not advertising! It was a small job I would do on Thursday.

Shirley Anne

In dreams

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I wandered through the streets of dreams,
Of changing scenery,
And I could see in every place
A vision that was me.

It was as if my whole life through
Was there before my eyes,
Yet every part of that long dream
Did take me by surprise.

I wondered if my journey’s end
Would hasten unto me,
For I was being chased around
And wanted to be free.

My legs felt heavy, just like lead
My arms hung by my side,
The monsters now pursuing me
Left me no place to hide.

Yet as I looked into their eyes
I saw a glint of hope,
Until they took a hold of me……….
‘Twas then that I awoke!

Copyright Shirley Anne 9 Feb 04

Joseph Recounting His Dreams

Joseph Recounting His Dreams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe you had a dream like that, maybe you have lots of them. Our dreams are trying to tell us something. I had a dream like this at some point before I wrote the poem and at a time when I was experiencing much turmoil in my life. I believe there are two types of dream. The first type is those which arise from our daily experiences, when in our subconscious dreams we attempt to make sense of what happens to us when we are awake. We may have troubles in our lives we find difficult to deal with and they end up giving us restless nights, bad dreams. Sometimes our lives are filled with happy times and we continue living them out in our dreams. The second type of dreams I believe are those in which we receive supernatural messages, messages from God. God says in His Word (Scripture, The Holy Bible) that men (mankind) will have visions and dream dreams. There are many instances of this throughout Scripture. It is one of the ways that God communicates with us. Not everyone will experience the second type of dream or if they do they may not recognise its source but everyone has dreams of the first type whether good or bad. In each case I believe dreams should be taken seriously because we can learn from them. Many of my own dreams or parts of them which I remembered are listed in my pages above. Some are old recurring dreams that change a little each time I experience them but I am never quite sure why I dream them over and over though years apart. Unresolved issues? Reminders? Sometimes we cannot know. Most of my dreams are simply strange and I cannot make head nor tail of them but I don’t worry about it. If I feel however that a message is being communicated I would like to think I will respond. How about you?

Shirley Anne

The dust is settling

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Day to Day Dust

Day to Day Dust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that the dust is settling in the wake of our general election recently perhaps we can begin to roll up our sleeves and get on with things. It seems to be the way with many folk who can talk about a job for hours yet have difficulty in actually getting down to doing it. I once worked in a place employing many engineers but I use that term very loosely. Quite a number of them only wanted to put in the time but very little effort, to be frank they were simply lazy. Some had no academic qualifications either which didn’t help much. One or two however were keen to learn. The guy whom I was allocated to work with or rather team up with for a number of years was one of those who liked working and was keen to learn. He had academic qualifications in joinery but had practical experience in mechanical services. He had little knowledge of electrical things but with my help he soon picked things up. We were a good team and things got done. He was eventually promoted to a higher rank suitable to his academic and practical abilities. He was my second in command if you like and I could always rely upon him to do most things when I wasn’t there. In certain areas he was far better qualified than I was and I left him to do that work whilst I got on with something else. When I left the organisation to become self-employed he was left in charge and no doubt would have coped well. One morning I walked into a very wet plant room, it was extensively flooded to a depth of 300 mm caused by a burst cold water pipe which must have been leaking for many hours judging by the amount of water on the floor. The ‘engineers’ in charge and working the night shift hadn’t spotted the problem because they hadn’t done their duty in carrying out a  regular walk-about as they were supposed to. There wasn’t an inquiry as far as I can remember and everything was forgotten about though at the time my colleague and I kicked up a lot of noise about it. We were often let down by the night-shift group not having done their work as they should have. Well the dust settled after a while and all was put into the past. Throughout our lives we may come across similar situations and we kick up a fuss about them yet in the end the dust settles and we forget about them. When we look back at such times we wonder why we got all uptight about it though at the time we probably had the right to be. Life goes on though once the dust has settled……….until someone stirs it up again. Remember, ashes to ashes, dust to dust……………

Shirley Anne

 

What a cock-up!

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Well today, Friday, we received the results of the General Election held here in the UK. The existing political party controlling government, the Conservatives (Tories) although remaining the largest party in terms in terms of both votes and Parliamentary seats lost a bit of ground over the next largest party, Labour who actually made gains. It meant that the Conservatives now do not have the overall majority of seats as they had before the election. The Prime Minister, Teresa May, need not have called for an election and indeed it wasn’t necessary but thought it best to attempt to increase her existing majority in view of the forthcoming negotiations with the European Community in order to strengthen her hand in those negotiations.

She now has to carry on with a weaker hand. It will now prove more difficult to get Bills passed through Parliament. I sometimes wonder why people do things the way they do. Aside from reducing her majority other issues have arisen in the wake of the results. I believe the country to be in political turmoil much more now than it was twenty-four hours ago and I just hope we can find our way through it all. I am glad I am not a politician. We all would like to think we could do better but unless we take up the challenge we will never know. As you can imagine there has been much coverage of the election results and the aftermath over the media and I for one have taken a great interest but there is only so much I can stomach. I watched television during the morning but finally switched it off and went for a walk down toward the beach and calling in to the pub on the way back. Today I dined there…..well there’s a surprise! The weather had turned out warm and sunny for the day but wetter conditions were again on the horizon, just in time for the weekend.

Shirley Anne

Polling day

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Polling station sign, London. UK general elect...

Polling station sign, London. UK general election (and local council elections), 6 May 2010. This sign was outside a polling station (normally a primary school) in Camberwell, London SE5. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here in the UK today, Thursday, people have been going to the polling stations to cast their vote for which political party they want in government for the next four years. As I write this on the day it will be Friday morning before we know the results of the poll. I was up early for I wanted to cast my own vote soon after the polling station was open at seven o’clock but only managed to do it at eight-thirty. I returned home for breakfast. It wasn’t a particularly nice morning for we had blustery wet weather. By noon however that changed as the sun began to shine. I was in two minds as to whether to eat out or stay at home. There has been much political turmoil over the last twelve months since the country voted to leave the European Community which was only to be expected considering the small majority of supporters over those who wished to remain. I voted to leave and still think it was the right thing to do. I don’t believe we should have entered in the first place. Voting of course is an essential part of any democratic process though but some people persist in resisting the tide of opinion against them rather than offering support to strengthen our nation. The opportunity to change things will still remain at the next poll. That is how it works, or should do. When I was younger I took little interest in politics but no so now though that interest is still small. What voting means to me is that I have the opportunity to be a part of the process which affects us all. Whatever the result of the poll I have to go along with it, we all do.

Shirley Anne