Monday, September 29, 2008
Couldn’t believe how cold it was, and discussed how providential it was that my mom sent us beanies before we had even moved to Longwood…they definitely make these morning walks bearable! Came across this dinky little “Sally Army Hall” complete with roosters and neat hedges.
I shan’t bore you with the rest of the morning’s details as they were rather boring even for us…after lunch we got ourselves ready, and accidentally ran slightly late in getting to church (despite having spent the entire morning at home with no other engagements to delay us…). The service was so wonderful. I would love for you all to be exposed to Nick’s preaching week after week – the Lord has blessed him with wisdom and insights and the ability to bring it across so clearly. We are still in the book of Acts, and today Nick took an indepth look at Paul’s early discipleship. It is beneficial to think more deeply upon these events, and consider the realities of how difficult it must have been for Paul to become a Christian and then struggle to integrate into the local church as they didn’t trust him.
In the late afternoon we saw the sun for the first time in a few days – we drove home via the docks where there were several cars appreciating the sea and sun! Back in Longwood we were delighted to find the sun shining too!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This morning Nick and I took a walk, first cutting across the golf course to an access road behind it, which we walked along until it was about to take a steep downward hairpin bend. Walking in the other direction we came out behind Longwood House (Napoleon’s house). There is a donkey which we pass by in a field on the way home, so we stopped to pat its nose. It has a remarkably big head, although it’s not fully grown so its head probably looks proportionately bigger. In the afternoon all four of us took a walk to the Longwood store, for fun, and the donkey is definitely getting to know us – he runs along the length of the fence, keeping up with us as we walk, and then waiting to be patted. He’s terribly sweet and we’ve named him Puzzle (how unoriginal if you're a Narnia fan!)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Good News Club in the morning was well attended, and then we went to Pam and Jeff’s place for a cup of tea. We went briefly into town, just for some processed cheese slices and a few turkey slices with which to make snackwiches for lunch, which we did as soon as we got home. It was really windy in town, so we were glad to be back in the calmer, although colder, Longwood. Kay and Josh spent the afternoon with our boys, either here, or round and about the complex – it was sunny in the afternoon so I was really glad for the boys to be outside. The boys have taken ownership of the back bit of garden, and since the weather was good today we worked on it. Kay, Caleb and I cleared all the weeds, with Aaron and Josh sort of milling about, and then the three of us scouted around the complex for other things we could put in. We found quite a few little goodies, which we carefully uprooted and replanted. It does look very nice at the moment, but we’ll see what’s dead by tomorrow! Pam and Jeff gave us some solar garden lights which we planted in that garden too – four of them, neatly down the middle.
At 3 pm Nick left for Tammy, and I came in to sort out some beadwork…I queried my work permit yesterday, and was pleased to hear that it has been approved. It’s not official yet as I still need to pay the ₤30, but I will sort that out during the week. Kay was very keen to help with what I was doing, and Caleb chipped in too, poking holes into little bits of cardboard and then hanging earrings from them. Kay bought a pair, and then brought two friends from the complex to have a look at them too – one of them will be back tomorrow. I think I will be able to sell a lot of things by word of mouth! Kay and Josh had to leave at 5, and then I left the boys watching a DVD and took a quick walk to the shop. When I got back Nick arrived home, and then it was fishcakes for supper…
Friday, September 19, 2008
Nick spotted this plaque a week or two ago on a buttress on the Ladder Hill Road, so while driving up there today we stopped briefly so I could see it too – dedicated to those who were killed in an 1890 rockfall which dumped 1500 tons of rock on the town.
Steve and Maureen arrived at 6 pm for dinner as arranged, and everything was ready except the peas, so once those were cooked we could eat. I had made garlic bread and rice to go with the Javanese Chicken I prepared yesterday, and it was all very good and tasty. For pudding I made a self-saucing jaffa cake – basically an orange flavoured vanilla cake with chocolate chips, over which you sprinkle castor sugar and cocoa powder and then pour boiling water before baking…it was delicious and successful but would have been better with ice-cream! We played dominoes after coffee for at least an hour – apparently dominoes are making a come-back amongst the young and fashionable (Alan and Kate play with their friends, and so do our own Harry and Jenny…we thought we’d give it a go!). Who would have thought that such an old and simple game could be such fun!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Nick discovered a new shop in Longwood yesterday, not more than 100m away from our regular store. This little one is a branch of Rose & Crown, it seems, as they stock DVDs bearing R&C’s name. Very handy to have a shop right here with DVDs – saves us going all the way to town to take one out and return it! The shop also sells a mode-podge of items, from potatoes and bacon to WD40, with biscuits and tinned goods and even clothing items between. Seems a bit more expensive than the regular places though so I probably won’t do my monthly grocery shopping there!
School today was pretty good, after a few difficult days with Caleb. Aaron is very poorly though with a cold – runny nose and cough, but he got through the work anyway. It’s not often that Aaron is sicker than Caleb! Caleb seems to be quite well again. We did a fair amount of tomorrow’s work as well, so that we will be able to go with Nick to town in the morning. Speaking of school, I’ve ordered the next curriculum now. For some reason I couldn’t order it through their website again, same problem as last year, so I was phoned earlier in the evening by Sonlight in the States to get my credit card details, so they can process the order from their side. I’m very excited to have it done. Pam came by this evening to play guitar – this will be a regular Thursday thing. It’s fun, and Maddison comes along and entertains the boys.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Now, about the church buildings which were damaged in the rockfall, we have had an estimate from the government engineer that the total cost for repairing all nine buildings which were damaged is estimated at ₤414,000. We have four of those buildings, so you can see that it is going to be somewhat expensive. However, we have not had an actual breakdown yet of specific figures for each building, and it seems that to get a private contractor to come in and quote would be more efficient and cheaper. Therefore, Nick is contacting a few independent contractors (builders), to arrange for them to go to the manse and church on Friday and see about quoting. So far he has one meeting arranged. Sadly, none of our buildings were insured against rockfalls. There is a specific rockfall insurance which can be bought, but I think it’s a fairly new type of cover, and it never occurred to anyone to take it out? Also, it would cost ₤800 per annum to insure against fire, water, rocks etc, and the church only makes about ₤1200 per annum! But whatever the reason, we aren’t covered. The governor has been trying to get some funding from the UK, but since no one was killed in the rockfall it doesn’t classify as a major disaster for them and so it doesn’t seem that there will be any help forthcoming. So, where does that leave us? You can see that it will be quite impossible for us to raise the kind of money necessary, even though there have already been some attempts at fundraising (so far some people on the Falklands have raised ₤800, and people on Ascension have raised ₤700, and Nick’s CD should bring in another ₤1000). We are therefore praying that God will do the impossible and provide the funds – because it seems so helpless from a natural perspective, it would be a real testimony to His power and provision.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The tree above is actually growing like this - sideways...typical of Longwood trees which have to contend with the wind. This particular tree has been propped up in places to help it.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Caleb decided that we should bake something, which actually suited me well as I had an outdated tin of Caramel Treat in the cupboard which I wanted to use. I first opened it to see if it was any good before diving into baking a cake! Caleb enjoyed the process of creaming the butter and vanilla essence, adding the eggs, then alternating the milk and flour combinations. We made quite a mess between the two of us, but it was fairly contained so not too bad to clean up.
I was just putting the cakes into the oven when Nick and Aaron arrived home. Apparently GNC was well attended which I am very pleased about. After lunch the boys invited Kay and Josh over to watch a DVD and then they stayed on and played all afternoon, mostly inside as I didn’t want Caleb outside too much, even in the sun. Aaron and Josh dug for worms in the front patch for a while.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Caleb is coughing quite badly again. We nebulized him earlier which seems to have helped, but it’s disheartening to start all over again with the coughing, and suspected late nights!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Yesterday I took Caleb to the dentist as he had been complaining of a sore tooth,. I had a good look in his mouth before we went, and he pointed to the back of his mouth to show me where it hurt, where I saw a new molar coming out – doh! I guessed that was the problem, but thought it would be good for him to have a check-up anyway. We finished most of school before leaving at 11 (Nick and Aaron came along as Nick needed to go to town). Nick left us at the dentist and went to the manse for some books. We didn’t have to wait long before the dentist was ready for us, and he checked all Caleb’s teeth including the odd arrangement of canines, confirming that Caleb will probably need orthodontics one day. Anyway, he found where the real pain was – one of the baby molars had a huge cavity. It was too big to even fill so the only option was to extract it. I couldn’t believe it!! Caleb was very open to the suggestion and didn’t have any complaints, but when it came to administering the anaesthetic he was none too happy! Very brave though despite the horrible tasting injection and the pricks. We were sent back to the waiting room for the anaesthetic to kick in, during which time Nick arrived, so I was exceedingly glad for him to accompany Caleb for the actual extraction part. It wasn’t more than ten minutes before they reappeared, Caleb with a smile and a tissue in his hand containing the tooth. Apparently it was a very easy one. I was amazed that he handled it so well – having recently undergone the experience I know it’s not very pleasant. The tooth fairy duly visited last night.
Because it’s been so nice outside, I’ve been able to get far with the weeding of the front garden. I thought I cleared most of it yesterday, but there was still lots to do today. I’ve collected four rubbish bags of weeds now. All that is left now are a few patches around the tomato plants. I wanted to get some things planted though, so I looked around to see what could go in there – picked four sizeable geranium branches and stuck those in as well as a bit of a daisy bush. I don’t know if those will take, but at least they’ll look nice for a day or two before wilting! I also transplanted a small Blackwood tree from the porch garden. It will eventually become too big for that little space; it’s in a better location now. I don’t really know that there’s all that much point in doing what we’re doing since we most likely won’t be here long enough to really see the results of what we’re doing!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Good News Club was slightly better attended this week. Nick did a non-scriptural talk on Pinocchio which was relevant nonetheless – how we are first dead in sin, then as a Christian we are ‘alive’ but still on strings – still bound to the sinful human nature. One day in heaven we will be a ‘real boy’!
I hung up a load of washing before we went out this morning, and when we got home it was dry. It’s a miracle.
Friday, September 05, 2008
After lunch the boys walked by themselves to the Longwood shop. This is the first time we’ve let them go alone, and as it’s a longer walk than anything else they’ve done alone I was a bit nervous, but they were absolutely fine. Then we were off to town, as I had a hair appointment and Nick wanted to show Vincent, Steve and Maureen the church buildings, which they had not yet seen. I had phoned Pam before we left to ask if we could have a cup of tea with them, so after my hair I did a bit of shopping and handed in my work permit application form, then walked up to the Salvation Army hall. Nick arrived there at the same time as me, and the boys had about a fifteen-minute head start to get there.
Since the Baptist properties were so badly hit in the rockfall, the government needs to do a more detailed assessment regarding costs and action plans so that we have an estimate of what funding we actually need and what needs to happen. Where the funding will come from is still not known – it seems that the government might not be able to help after all. In the meantime, Public Works and Services is patching up the roof of the chapel to prevent further water damage. We saw them working on the roof today, with scaffolding set up in the open air schoolroom. We thought they would just be putting tarpaulins over, but they are actually using our spare roofing to patch up the holes. It’s hardly a scratch on what needs to be done, but at least there will be no further damage from the elements. The photo of Caleb and the rocks was taken by Nick – Caleb is standing on the boulder which hit the schoolyard wall and bounced back in, leaving the wall lying in the street.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
This morning we were back to the usual school timetable, although we still finished at about 11.40. I think the boys are just managing to get their first session work done quicker – whereas in the beginning it would take Aaron 20 minutes to do his copywork, he now gets it done in 5, and his reading takes half the time it used to as well. Although the workload hasn’t decreased, we’re just speeding up. I guess this will be handy for next year when the workload should increase slightly! We had left over tuna and mayonnaise on sandwiches for lunch. Last night I prepared the tuna as steaks, and I’m fairly sure it’s the best tuna we’ve had on the island. We normally have Yellowfin or mixed species, but this was Bigeye, and although the meat was slightly darker, it was also much more tender. After lunch I had a short time to carry on bead-sorting before Elza came to visit, as arranged. She wanted to see where we are living and was very pleased to see that it looks ‘homely’. We had an excellent visit. We had some sun today which was really wonderful – I pointed out to the boys that the sea had reappeared. The washing still didn’t really get dry though, so it’s in the geyser cupboard. A day in there and it’s dry and warm!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
We’ve had a very ‘at home’ day. I think it’s the first day in about a month that I haven’t been out in the car or receiving guests. School was very much better this morning for all three of us, and we finished at about 11.40. I had a load of washing on the line but it was drizzling most of the day so what I couldn’t hang on the line in the storeroom, I tumble dried. It was really just our bedding that needed doing. Did I mention that the bungalow is equipped with a washer/dryer combo? Really handy for days like this when the washing just refuses to get dry.
Monday, September 01, 2008
During tenzees this morning I needed to hang up washing but it was starting to drizzle. I had a good look in the tiny storeroom to see if there was any potential for stringing up a washline as it’s dry inside. Nick and I thought it would work, but also had a look in the garage for the first time. I had to call Nick to open the garage door as I wasn’t sure how to lift it – turns out it was just a regular swivel door like we used to have at 6 Protea Road. The garage was quite clean and empty except for one packing box, so I swept it out and it’s actually usable now for the car. I don’t know why we didn’t open it straight away! The boys discovered that they can easily climb onto the garage roof by first climbing up the wall in the courtyard which has nice open spaces for footholds. The kittens like to sit in the spaces and look out at the world, very cute. While we were outside examining the garage etc, the fish van came by, so we bought a big chunk of tuna. Isn’t it great that fresh (frozen) fish gets delivered practically to our front door?