Saturday, 30 April 2016

Just a little thought.


John Knox House Edinburgh.

Having given thought to some of the stories from religious books I realised that so many of those stories we ignore because they are too simple to believe or give value to.

I have heard over the years so many clever arguments about the impossibility of some of the stories. Yesterday I was giving a humorous look at the creations story. As I thought of it I remembered some of the amusing interpretations given by children.

So I thought I would share another this morning.

At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings.
Little Johnny, a child in the kindergarten class, seemed especially intent when they told him how
Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs.
Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said,
"Johnny what is the matter?"
Little Johnny responded, "I have a pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife."
And another:

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages.
Suddenly something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it closely.
What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages.
"Momma, look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's suit!"

Have a good day. I am off to walk in the snow.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Life Explained, Simple.


Heading For Home.


I like many others I suspect am reaching the point when I just wish all elections were behind us and we return to some kind of reality. Where we here about a bit more than the same old promises being churned out day after day with just a little change in the slant. 

My paper bin is filling rapidly with election leaflets many unread because i have already had three exactly the same before.  

On the other  side of this I am often disturbed when I hear people being interviewed on the street and they tell the interviewer they are just not at all interested in politicians. Yesterday I heard a couple proudly boasting that at the age of seventy they had never ever cast a vote. There is nothing worse than a totally closed mind. The politicians love people like them because they do not have to make any promises to them.

I remember my own youth and my dear father who made sure that I was politically aware. He was not interested in the fact that I supported a different party than he did, he was just happy that I did.

Life is not about burying our head in the sand. Nor it is about thinking only for ourselves.  Let me share with you a little thought about life. 

On the first day, God created the dog and said:

"Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said:
"Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?"

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said:

"You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said: "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years... How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"

And God agreed again. 

On the fourth day, God created humans and said:

"Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."

But the human said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "you asked for it."

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. 
For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. 
For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain those younger than ourselves. 
And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service. I really should have been a politician not a minister or teacher, but it is too late now. But I will make sure that those who are do not get away with cheap promises. 

Have a great day. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

You did not tell him.


Along the Hedgerow.


The other day there I was making a visit to the supermarket, not a big shop so I thought this would not take long. I so hate wandering around stores. All was going well but as usual just as we were about to head for the checkout my wife decided there were two things she had forgotten. Strangely it happens all the time.

So I stand waiting patiently. What I do know is that I am putting nothing on that belt until she returns. Too often I have been caught out. All the messages are through the till and sh has still not returned with the two items. So I stand aside and wait. Three people managed to get through the till and I was still waiting. Just as she was about to return a couple with a huge basket of goods stepped in front of me. I said to my wife, I thought quietly, we just missed that did you get lost? Her reply was, "Why did you not just put stuff on the belt?" Like a shot the lady who had just gone before me said, "Simple you never told him too." 

I could have answered but felt the better tact was to say nothing and just wait. 

It reminded me of the man who put his set of encyclopaedias up for sale. The advertisement read,

FOR SALE BY OWNER.
Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes.
Excellent condition, £50 or best offer. No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything.

Or the advertisement for a wedding dress a lady was trying to sell. Her advertisement read.

WEDDING DRESS FOR SALE .
Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

 it is a matter really of from where you happen to be looking. The differing sexes always seem to see things from a different point of view. But a little humour always helps. There is not situation that does not have its funny side.

While I was remembering those two advertisements I also remembered two others nothing do do with the difference of the sexes. But you have to laugh at the owners of these two dogs.

They both had unwanted pups they were looking for good homes for. Both put notices in the local store window, in turn they read.

FREE PUPPIES
1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour's dog.

FREE PUPPIES.
Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Now I have a feeling in spite of my telling you those four ads you are still smiling at me being put in place and the store checkout. But that is alright by me as long as your day starts with a smile.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Read the Labels


The Incoming Tide.


A new food store opened not far from where I live and being in the vicinity I thought I would give it a visit. I will not name the store for obvious reasons. Having looked around I saw on or two items that I have purchased in other stores. Well, when I say similar I mean they have been called the same. I thought I might just give them a try, so took them to the cash out and that was evening meal organised for the next two nights.

 On opening the packet my nose was assaulted by a strong smell of garlic. This was not at all what I expected for a venison burger. Never daunted i cooked them along with some wild mushrooms and potato fries. This is not a normal meal for me but a little self indulgence. How I wish I had not bothered it was such a let down. I could not taste venison all I could taste was garlic. I returned to look at the packaging and sure enough pretty high up the list of ingredients was garlic. 

I suppose I should have read the label, especially because I knew of the lady who had a very similar experience. She tells of her experience while in the shower and conditioning her hair. 

While doing this she took time out from signing loudly and read instead the label on the bottle, a bit like what you do with the cereal packet at breakfast. 

Having read it she was in deep shock! The conditioner which also runs down over the entire body read, "For extra volume and body!"

She wondered why she had never read that before, "Now I understand why I am so full figured," she thought. 

She promptly decided from then on that she would in future use "Dawn" dish soap.

On the label of this product it says clearly, "Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove."

It certainly pays to read labels.You never know might do exactly what it says on the tin. 


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The End is Nigh!


The Conspirators.

I remember when I was doing my assistant ministerial year something my sense of humour just could not resist. I was serving as assistant in a great church in a beautiful little coastal town. The church sat on the main road through the town just on the bend as you arrived in the place. Directly opposite there was a small cobbler shop. That was in the days when people still got shoes repaired.

The cobbler had decided to run a special promotion so he had placed a large poster in his window. The poster read, "Special offer heels saved here at reduced prices." I just could not resist designing a poster for the church noticeboard directly opposite his poster. My poster read, "Souls saved here absolutely free."

Later in my ministry now no longer an assistant but a minister with my own parish. Next door to my church stood the Roman Catholic  church. The place I lived in had a long history of dispute between catholics and protestants both with small letters because the conflict was between the non attending of both persuasions. I could never understand this and was determined to foster good relationships between both congregations. 

So various things were tried to bring the two at least into a friendly and working relationship with a great measure of success.

This reminded me of the two ministers working to help the town in which they lived. The two Ian, the Protestant minister and Patrick the Roman Catholic priest were seen erecting a poster at the edge of the road.

The poster read,

"THE END IS NEAR. TURN YOURSELF AROUND NOW, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE."
As a car sped towards them , the driver leans out his window and yells, "Leave people alone, you religious nutters. We don't need your ##### lectures."
 From around the bend they hear the screeching tyres and the big splash.
 Shaking his head Father Patrick says, "That the third one this morning."
 "Yes," Ian agrees, then adds, 
"Do you  think maybe the  sign should just say:
"BRIDGE CLOSED"?

Simplicity of word and action is usually the best way. 

While on the thought of life and death I am sitting here smiling at what I am remembering. I remember my gran saying to me on many occasions that she had stopped read the death columns in the weekly local paper. "I am getting so old," she would say , "that one day I will read my own name in there.
This is exactly what happened to a man by the name of Gallagher. he was reading the paper and noticed he was listed as dead. There was no doubt about it it was him.

He immediately got on the telephone to his best friend. "Have you read the paper Jim? It says that I have died."
"Yes," says Jim, "I saw it. Where are you calling from?"

Have a great day. 


Monday, 25 April 2016

Patrick makes a promise!


Textured Abstract 

If there is anything I enjoy one thing I do enjoy is being in the company of those who are happy to have a laugh at their own expense. It is wrong I know to stereotype people and many of my lessons to students in first year was to emphasis just that. Yet it is true that there are some stereotypes that do seem to have a grain of truth within them. it is very true that there is a world of difference between the humour of the Celtic nations as measured against the humour of the English. 

I have to admit that when I see a programme on the tv schedules under the heading comedy I just know that i probably will not find this in the least funny. There are of course always exceptions to the rule, I did find Victoria Wood funny and her humour will be sadly missed. 

I remember while acting as chaplain to a large part of British Steel  while minister in Motherwell a group of Irish workmen who had me in fits of laughter every time I met them. Not only did I laugh at the things they said but I often could not believe what I saw them doing.  I remember watching one of these men filling the diesel tank on a compressor from diesel he had brought  to the machine in a wheelbarrow. He was using a wellington boot to make the transfer. 

I remember another one telling me of his pal and him looking for a parking place in Edinburgh, always a difficult place to park.  His pal had an important meeting to attend and could not get parked.

Looking skywards he was heard to say, "lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday and for the rest of my life i will give up the Whiskey!"

Almost miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Patrick looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."

 He tells the other story of the time they were visiting in New York  .
He was patiently waiting and watching the traffic policeman on a very busy street crossing. The policeman every so often would stop the traffic and shout, "OK pedestrians," then he would let the traffic move on again. 
He had done this several times, and Patrick was still standing watching and listening.
After the policeman had shouted, "Pedestrians!" for about the tenth time, Patrick strode over to him and said, "is it not about time you let the Catholics cross?"

There are times when we hear not what is being said but what we want to hear and life becomes less than it could be. 

Have a good day and remember make no rash promises. 



Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Parrot.


Summer Will Come Again.


This is one of my recently painted abstracts. It is one of two I painted using the same palette other than I added red to the later one. Inspired by the feeling of new life around as  things spring back to life. The first signs of summer on the way. it is comforting to know that the cycles continue and that the summer and sun come again. Nature has a marvellous way of telling us that nothing is lost and despair does not need to be the case. This too will pass and life will return.

I know that some people have seen in this and many others of my abstracts something of my theological and ministerial past. I carry an almost complete image in my head for ages before committing it to canvas or paper. In the frenzy then of putting paint to canvas there has to  be times when my subconscious mind comes back to the fore and finds its way to my brush.  

It is like so many of the stories I carry around in my head. It takes only little trigger to bring them to the fore.  The other day there I was leading a group of people on a thoughtful walk around Falkland Estate. At one point we were listening to the birds singing and I was identifying them by their songs. I made a comment about them at least still being able to sing unlike myself. 

Signing was at one time one of my great loves in life now I rejoice that I am still able to speak. That is another tale. 

The birds though reminded me of two stories about pet birds. The first one I am allowed to tell you because I do have difficulty with my voice.

A man wanted so much to own a parrot. He had a very bad impediment in his speech so realised he might have difficulty teaching it to speak, but he felt he would be able to speak to it because it would not be judging his voice.  He visited a pet store to make enquires about the purchase. Sadly the shopkeeper also had difficulty speaking. So with great difficulty in the conversation the shopkeeper eventually took the man through to the back shop where he kept the parrots and other birds. 

The man got his eye on a beautiful blue parrot. "Can that parrot speak?" he said with much difficulty. before the shopkeeper could reply the parrot said, "yes and a lot better than you two."

Mrs. Smith's dishwasher was needing repaired so she called the engineer.

He couldn't accommodate her with an evening appointment, and since she had to go to work the next day, she told him: "I'll leave the key hidden and where to find it. 
Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll transfer the money. By the way, don't worry about my Rottweiler. He won't bother you. But, whatever you do, do not under any circumstances talk to my parrot!"
When the engineer arrived at Mrs. Smith's apartment the next day, he discovered the biggest and meanest looking Rottweiler he had ever seen.
But, just like she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet, watching the engineer go about his business.
However, the whole time he was there, the parrot drove him nuts with his incessant squawking and talking. 
Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled: "Shut up, you stupid bird!"
To which the parrot replied: "Get him, Brutus!

It is a joy to be able to sing and to speak but there are times when it is better to listen.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Horse Riding.

A Day Beside The Sea.


Not far from where I live there is a large equestrian centre. If I cycle along that road on a Saturday or Sunday then there is nothing surer than my following a number of large horse box trailer vans. At the centre itself it is good to see so many young people preparing their horses for whatever it is they are about take part in, either lesson or competition. 

The young people themselves are immaculately turned outing it is obvious there is a great sense of pride and love in the air. Of course there are also a lot of idolising parents around taking the pictures. 

In many cases there will have been many sacrifices made to assist the youngster in fulfilling the dream of riding a horse. 

This reminds me of a few stories I picked up as I moved among the farming community of my parishes.

One day a man passed by a farm and saw a beautiful horse. Hoping to buy the animal, he said to the farmer: 
"I think your horse looks pretty good, so I'll give you £500 for him."
"He doesn't look so good, and he's not for sale," the farmer said.
The man insisted, "I think he looks just fine and I'll up the price to £1,000."
"He doesn't look so good," the farmer said, "but if you want him that much, he's yours."
The next day the man came back raging mad. He went up to the farmer and screamed, "You sold me a blind horse. You cheated me!"
The farmer calmly replied, "I told you he didn't look so good, didn't I?"

Maybe he allowed his enthusiasm to get in the way of actually listening to what he was being told. 

A city dweller came to a farm and saw a beautiful horse. He decided he had to have the animal.
He bargained with the farmer and the farmer finally sold him the horse. 
The city man jumped on the horse and said, "Giddy-up!" The horse didn't budge.
The farmer explained, "This is a special kind of horse. He'll only move if you say, 'Praise the Lord.' To stop him, you have to say, 'Amen.'"
Keeping this in mind, the new owner yelled, "Praise the Lord!" whereupon the horse took off with great speed. Soon horse and rider were headed for a cliff.
Just in time the rider remembered to say "Amen!" 
The horse came to a screeching halt right at the edge of the cliff. 
Relieved, the rider raised his eyes to heaven and exclaimed, "Praise the Lord"

There is a time and a place for everything and this certainly was not the time to praise anyone other than the horse.

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, 22 April 2016

No Please No!


Maisie Den

The other day there I went out round my route in Falkland Estate. This is the waterfall as of that day. Not nearly so furious as it was durning the winter but a bit more colourful. Today I am taking a group of walkers round my route to trial and sample my thoughtful walk. I am a bit apprehensive about leading a group of strangers while at the same time sharing my thoughts and stories. 

It is rather easier doing that from a blog where I can sit alone and hardly ever really know if it is being read or not, apart from the few comments and messages from those who do read it . I was a bit more difficult as a preacher sharing stories and thoughts but once again we had the protection of the pulpit and the robes of office. 

The bottom line is that this morning my blog will be another simple one of shared memories and stories. 

I was talking to a friend yesterday about the stories I had repeated on yesterdays blog. As I spoke I remembered another event that took place in a medical setting. It was the school doctor and nurse. The event took place in the very first year of schooling. 

It was the day all of us in our first class had to gather with our parents for immunisation. 

One of the girls was determined that nobody was going to put a needle anywhere near her arm. As soon as the nurse approached her she began screaming. "No, no, no! " she yelled at the top of her voice. 

"Lizzie," scolded her mother, "thats not at all polite behaviour."

With that Lizzie yelled even louder. "No, thank you! No thank you! No thank you!" 

At the other end of life and its precious journey. My friend and I often remember some of the funerals we conducted that even in all their seriousness made us have to smile. 

The funeral that took place on a dark and direct day, one of those days that Scotland is famous for.  

The committal had taken place and the mourners stood around in a respectful silence. The husband of the deceased stood with his head bowed and his hat in his hands as the rain bounced off his head. 
As he stood there , there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a bolt of lightening and a further clap of thunder, a further bolt of lightening and more thunder rumbling in the background.
Putting his bonnet back on his head he turned to the minister and calmly said, "Well she has arrived then."

 I hope there are no dark clouds this morning as I head out to do my six mile walk with my group. I hope there are no dark clouds spoiling the prospect of your day and that the sun will shine if not in the sky in your heart this day. Have a good one. 



Thursday, 21 April 2016

Conversations Overheard.


Looking Back The Eighth Hole.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. it was so nice I just could not stay indoors at all. I spent the morning cutting my lawns and then giving them a feed. I tidied up the borders then sat in the garden to read a chapter or so of my latest book. 

I then took the car and drove to a nearby nature reserve and went for a walk. The nature reserve is built around two smallish lochs. it has neatly prepared walking paths around each. It is possible to walk one or the other or combine the two to make one walk. The combined walk is only one and a half miles, so I would normally do this circuit three times to give a reasonable distance. 

yesterday I was on my second time round and I passed two proud grandparents walking with their grandson. They were all smiles and chatter obviously happy to be out and about with the young lad. Although he was able to walk well and talk even better the grandmother still had him on a harness for safety.

As I passed the grandmother made comment to me that I had been fast in my walk round the two lochs. before I got a chance to say anything the young lad made some comment about how he could be fast too if he did not have his grandad with him. We all just smiled.

Once again the honest thoughts of a child brings  a smile.

A very similar tale is that told me by another grandmother who had been out cycling with her granddaughter along a similar track to the one I was walking yesterday. The grandmother was enjoying the time with the young girl called Carol. Getting a bit wistful about it she said to Carol, 

"In ten years," I said, "you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.

Carol shrugged, "In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway." OUCH!
Another grandmother tells the story of taking her grandson to see the doctor.
While sitting in the reception awaiting out turn a woman wheeled an elderly man in in a wheelchair. The woman went to the receptionist desk and the man sat alone and silent.
The grandmother was just about to speak to the old man when the young boy slipped off his seat and walked over to the old man.
 Placing his hand on the man's hand, he said, "I know how you feel. My Mum makes me ride in a wheelchair  too."
One other little event that came to my mind as I walked happened again in the doctors waiting room.
A mother was sitting quietly in the waiting area nursing her child. A young girl walked over to watch. She was intrigued by what she was seeing and full of all sorts of questions which the mother with great patience answered.
After mulling over the answers, she remarked, " My mum has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them"
Looks like another lovely day here. I think I will cycle over to those two lochs park my bike and try a little run twice round. You never know there just might be some innocent child who will brighten my day. Maybe I might also be able to brighten the day of another it does not take much to bring a little smile to another. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

IF


Ollie.

Is it not amazing how we so easily slip into a routine and how upset we get when the routine is disturbed? This has nothing to do with age or retirement . If we are really honest we do it all the time. 

When I left school and began a life of work and earning, I used to travel each morning on the bus. I caught the bus from Rosyth to Dunfermline at about 5-30 am. Now even at that time of the morning I was not the only person on the bus. The journey was not a long one I think just about four miles. Nevertheless I liked to sit in the same seat every morning, I can still remember the feeling I had when "my" seat was taken.

Routine makes us feel comfortable, and we all like that warm comfortable feeling. 

I have to admit that as we get older  we have a tendency to slip into the "Victor Meldrew "complex. For those reading this who do not remember Victor he was a character in a situation comedy programme. He had this wonderful saying, "I don't believe it." He just did not believe that that people could upset his daily routine.

The trouble with the comfort blanket of the daily routine is that we lose the sense of adventure. With the loss of adventure comes the loss of that sense of achievement.  So I was just thinking about some of the routines it is so easy to fall into that I think we should be aware of. 

Some of these I am certainly guilty of and maybe I need to make an effort to break the chain. So here is a little something to think about to start your day. 

We could call this the IF list.

IF you can start the day without caffeine.
IF you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains.
IF you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
IF you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.
IF you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time.
IF you can take criticism and blame without resentment.
IF you can conquer tension without medical help.
IF you can relax without alcohol.
IF you can sleep without the aid of drugs.

THEN you are probably....

The Family Dog!

Now they certainly have got it sown up, but they do not paint masterpieces and they do not get a hole in one. They do not get that feeling of success when things go right.

Have an adventurous day.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Bear.


Dunfermline Glen 

The above painting was inspired by a picture taken by in Dunfermline Glen and shared on a FB page. I have spent many a happy moment at this part of the glen walking and as a youngster just exploring.

While sitting working on this I was thinking back to the 1st of April morning. I was in Coniston in the Lake District. I was out for an early morning walk with my son and daughter in law who probably did not realise what date it was. As we were walking through the woods I very excitedly pointed and said, " Wow do you see that? A bear, just over there."  They of course got caught with the excitement and began looking and asking where. I laughed and said, "April fool." They took it in great fun and realised they had been caught napping. 

I was reminded of the story of the man and the bear in the forest out in the wilds. 

An atheist was walking through the woods. As he walked he was having wonderful thoughts.
"What majestic trees!"
"What powerful rivers!"
"What beautiful animals!"

 
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charging towards him.
He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him.
He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.
At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"
Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
A bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. 
"You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." 
"Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?
"The atheist looked directly into the light, 
"It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?"
"Very Well," said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke: 
"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from your bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."
Beware what you ask for in life because you just might get it but not how you expect to get it. Have a wonderful day. The sun is shining here so I am going to have an afternoon out on the golf course. The way I play golf it will be good walk wasted, but i am not going to ask for it to be different I will just play the best I can and enjoy.




Monday, 18 April 2016

Oh To Be A Celebrity.


Almost Home.

I still have great problems with the modern obsession. What do I mean by the modern obsession? The love of celebrities and the desire by others to become such celebrities. You can see it daily on the television news programs presenters new to the programme in a very short time get bitten by the bug and want to become "celebs".  They want to get onto the celebrity programmes such as,  "Strictly."

Good quiz programmes have to follow route of celebrity. So we get all sorts of celebrity programmes, often without a single celebrity that I recognise. But then I do not read all the celebrity magazines to find out all the little details about the lives of such people.

So let me give you a little quiz this morning. Please do not fret about answering the questions just keep reading until you reach the end. 

  1. Name the five wealthier people in the world.
  2. Name the last ten sports personalities of the year.
  3. Name the last three Miss Worlds
  4. Name ten people who have won either the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
  5. Name the last six Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last six London Marathon Winners male or female.


Yes, there will be some who will answer some of the questions but few who will answer them all.  So how did you do.

The pint is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. The people mentioned above are not second rate achievers. They are the best in their field. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners. 

Here is another short quiz. How will you do with this one?

  1. List the names of a few teachers who influenced you and helped you through school.
  2. Name three friends who helped you in difficult times.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile knowing.
  4. Think of a few people who made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with. 


Now was that not so much easier?

The lesson!  The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.

They are the ones who care.

Don't worry about the world coming to an end. it is already tomorrow in Australia. have a good day and say thank you to somebody who makes you feel good. The celebrities will always be with as but they will continue to matter little in your corner of the world. 



Sunday, 17 April 2016

Just a little bit of painting.


Falkland Estate Two Days Ago.


Well another week is over and as I look around the garden I am slowly but surely getting there. Most of the moss has been removed from the three lawns. There are hardly any weeds at all left in the borders. The potatoes are planted and the first one already starting to poke its head through the mound of soil around it. The fruit bushes I purchased and planted seem to all have taken hold and beginning to show some signs of new growth. The rhubarb plants I got from my previous allotment have taken root and I have already had my first rhubarb crumble from them.

So all and all not at all bad. 

I also look at all the new gravel I put it around the place and it is looking well. The paintwork of the brickwork at the bottom of the house walls is now looking not too bad either. The change of colour from a dirty yellow to black has made a big difference.

Even more importantly the aches and pains of all that painting and lifting and spreading gravel is going and I am feeling good.

It would have been nice to have had a help with the painting and the heavy jobs, I was thinking, until I heard  this true story.

A young  girl in her late teens, wanting to earn some extra money for the summer, decided to hire herself out as a "handy woman" and started canvassing a nearby well-to-do neighbourhood.
She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any odd jobs for her to do.
"Well, I guess I could use somebody to paint the porch" he said. "How much will you charge me?"
Delighted, the girl quickly responded, "How about £20."
The man agreed and told her that the paint and brushes and everything she would need were in the garage. He  went to the garage with her and helped her get them all together. He even managed to find a pair of dungarees to help protect her jeans and t shirt. 

The man's wife, hearing the conversation, said to her husband, "Does she realise that our porch goes ALL the way around the house?"
"That's a bit cynical, isn't it?" he responded.
The wife replied, "You're right. I guess I'm starting to believe all those silly teenager stories."

A few hours later the girl came to the door to collect her money..
"You're finished already?" the startled husband asked.
"Yes," the girl replied, "and I even had paint left over so I gave it two coats."

Impressed, the man reached into his pocket for the £20 they had agreed  and handed it to her along with a £10 tip.
"Thank you," the girl said.  She turned to walk away, stopped and turned  "Oh and, by the way, it's not a Porsche, it's a Lexus." 
Maybe it is often better to just grin and bear it and do things for yourself. 
Have a marvellous Sunday.