Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fasting during Lent

Before Ash Wednesday I decided that as part of my Lenten practice I would eat only simple food during the day - and then join my family for the usual evening meal.

I have managed to keep up with this practice for most of Lent, eating either dry bread or plain couscous, rice or bulgur wheat - and it has been an interesting journey.

There were a number of thoughts and feelings going on inside me.
First there were feelings of how boring it was to eat such plain food. No fun, no excitement, very limited variety.
Then came the feeling of slight guilt - because the food I was complaining about was perfectly good and nourishing, and many people across the world have nothing and would LOVE to have food such as this on a daily basis!
Then came the awareness that I was actually provided for. I never went hungry. However simple the food was, it sustained me perfectly.
And more recently I have started to find that this simple food is actually a blessing. I don't have to think whether I want cheese or ham, whether we have run out of jam or whether the shop does not stock my favourite sandwich variety ... I simply grab a pitta bread and go. In some strange way this simplicity has made my life easier and enriched me!

Do I look forward to the evening meal? Oh yes, I do!
This Lenten fast has given me an appreciation for the wonderful food that we have readily available. It is not something I should take for granted.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mothering Sunday

The tradition behind Mothering Sunday:

 "Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. Although it's often called Mothers' Day it has no connection with the American festival of that name.
 Traditionally, it was a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and family.
 Centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their home or 'mother' church once a year. So each year in the middle of Lent, everyone would visit their 'mother' church - the main church or cathedral of the area.
 Inevitably the return to the 'mother' church became an occasion for family reunions when children who were working away returned home. (It was quite common in those days for children to leave home for work once they were ten years old.)
 And most historians think that it was the return to the 'Mother' church which led to the tradition of children, particularly those working as domestic servants, or as apprentices, being given the day off to visit their mother and family."

Let's hear it for all mothers!

Here is a picture of MY mum climbing trees at 70.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Counting your blessings

LLM Calling is asking people to count their blessings (10 each to get us going) and send them to her.

Here are mine (in no particular order):

  1. My family
  2. Friends
  3. Nature and its seasons
  4. A secure income
  5. Our health and wellbeing
  6. My faith and my supportive church family
  7. Creativity
  8. Technology, which enables me to connect with people across the world
  9. Random acts of kindness
  10. Prayer, rest and relaxation
What are yours?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The return of the frogs

Last year was the first year we put tadpoles in our pond to watch them change into frogs.

So I was very excited to see a couple of them return to their birthplace for mating. Here is hoping for a new generations of tadpoles!


Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less

- C.S. Lewis

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back on the allotment

After a long winter break, I went with my husband to our allotment today.
Thanks to his hard work during the winter months everything is looking quite tidy and ready for the next season.

   This is the new cloche for the carrots. The cloche covering will help them stay warm, even if the weather is still quite wintery. So hopefully we will have some young tender carrots in a few weeks time!

This is our new water collection system.
Okay, it's a fancy term for a couple of pipes hung from the roof of the old dilapidated shed, leading into two old water tanks.

Last summer was very dry and there is no running water on the allotment, so we want to be prepared!

The new rhubarb is beginning to come through the ground. It won;t be too long before we can enjoy the first stems.
I am hoping to get enough of our three rhubarb plants to make some jam and - if possible - some wine.

We are quite excited about the new growing season.
We have doubled our plot in size since last year, so we are hoping for plenty of fruit and veg this year!