Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Apple harvest

This beautiful apple tree stand on our allotment plot ... and apple season is upon us!
We are not quite sure what variety of apple it is, but we like it.
It can be eaten raw (although it is not terribly sweet), but it also great for cooking and baking. And it stores pretty well too.

This week I climbed into the apple tree to try and get the best fruit.

The unblemished apples are in the shed for storage and should keep until the new year or so.

The others are turned into apple puree and apple rings.
Here is the handy dehydrator which my clever husband built. It runs on two light bulbs and a computer fan.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My fathers

It's that time of year when we especially remember our loved ones who have already died and left this earthly life before us.

I especially remember my two fathers - the one who gave me life and the one who raised me.

My stepfather died earlier this year after several years of poor health. I must be honest - we did not always get on and I was not always the easiest step-daughter. In fact I spent many years hating him!
Only when I moved away, grew up and matured and had my own children, did my feelings towards him mellow. In the end I grew to love him and appreciate that he was the father who raised me to be the woman I am today.
I am glad for the many years we have shared - the good times and the not so good ones.

My biological father died in a sudden car accident when I was 3 years old. I have no memory of him and that pains me.
I have stories, which my mother told, and I have photographs. I look at those and study his features carefully. I see a resemblance with my brother and even myself - but the face I look at is really a stranger.
I wish dearly that I had a real memory of him, anything at all! The best memory I have of my father is me. The genes he passed to me. I hope that he will live in me and my children and children's children.

So I remember both fathers with love and gratitude.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Foodbanks - right or wrong?

I have been a supporter of the local food bank for a long time. It enables people who are in temporary financial need to receive basic food to tie themselves over for a few days. Typically this affects people who have lost their job and are in the gap between their last pay cheque and the kicking in of benefit payments.

But the question remains why in 21st century Britain food banks should be needed at all? And growing at alarming speed at that?

As Jack Monroe puts it:
But the need for food banks, in one of the richest countries in the world, is a devastating testimony to the inequalities in our supposedly developed and forward thinking country. While the rich enjoy tax cuts, the poor are turfed out of their homes to pay for it. When the rich enjoy marriage tax breaks, the poor won’t even be able to afford the ceremony. While discussing worldwide poverty and hunger at the G8 summit earlier this year, our Prime Minister tucked into fillet beef and violet artichokes.
Read her full blog here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Praying thank you

I guess harvest time is a time which makes me aware of the need to be grateful. And how much there is to be grateful for!
The many daily provisions and encounters and blessings - many of which I simply take for granted.

So I have decided to make October my month of gratitude and thanks-giving. Making myself aware of the things which give me joy and which I am grateful for will be my main form of prayer this month.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” 
Meister Eckhart