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… in a few weeks. I was intending to post my Australia journal and photos a day at a time; however, a house guest has kept me from accessing my desk for a couple of weeks now (as it is in the spare room), and the redecorating project we were expecting to start in May has been brought forward (when my desk will be relocated), so it will be a while before things return to normal. My apologies.

In the meanwhile, I have managed a ‘short’ post on my hen blog, so do go and take a look if you have a minute to spare!


The second ‘Butterflies’ shawl is finished …

So time for a variation … dragonflies …

I suspect it might take  a little more yarn as it’s rather less lacy, but I intended to use an extra ball of yarn for  a slightly larger shawl in any case. I’m pleased with the pattern and enjoyed working out the placement of the motifs. The basic pattern has a repeat of  16 stitches so in theory there are numerous variations possible!

The clamshell blanket is taking a while to complete, but I’m about halfway now.

I’m still loving these colours!

I have been a little distracted … I keep a bag of yarns ends handy, to try out any new stitches I see, so recently I set up a zig zag pattern with scrap baby wool to see if I like it enough to make a blanket … I’m still not sure, but I’ll finish my sample piece as a pram blanket.

Perhaps I will like it more in a thicker yarn, so I will put it on hold. The thing is, I have a stash of pinks I want to use after all those blues … but I may have a plan. Someone somewhere (? Facebook) mentioned corner-to-corner crochet (C2C) … so I looked it up, and gave it a try …

My sample was only a small square, but I really like the effect. I can see something cot-sized in pink being fun to make! However, there is no easy way to sew in the ends, and I have not yet found a satisfactory method of working them in as I go, so I need to work on that. And of course, I still have a blue butterfly shawl on the go, small enough to carry around with me. So perhaps my slow progress with the clamshell is really a lack of focus?!

I’m aware that there is rather more on this blog about crochet just now than anything else, so have been considering starting another just for my yarn adventures … but I have found a plethora of such blogs out in the ethernet, and am not convinced any contribution I might make would be of any real value. So I don’t mind if you skip a post or two!

… continuing a conversation God has started through his Word and his grace.

Keller, ‘Prayer – experiencing awe and intimacy with God’ , p.48

My husband’s first degree was in German, Russian and medieval languages … but I am a dunce at learning foreign languages. My excuse is that I wasn’t well taught at school, and that might be true, but my main difficulty is having the courage to speak anything but English. It’s not that I’m unintelligent: after all, I did well enough learning Koine Greek when at Bible college … but I didn’t have to speak it, you see!

However, I am giving it a try (to my husband’s delight … and it helps keep him occupied on long car journeys). I started with Duolingo, added in Quizlet and a Collins guide to grammar, and allow my husband to confuse me further from time to time. I’m making slow progress … and I need somewhere to store some grammatical notes from the Duolingo site, so hence a new category here. 

I learn mostly on my tablet/android, but can only view the Duolingo notes on my PC … so I shall cut and paste them here to have access from the lounge of an evening, if you see what I mean?!

Thanks for your patience … in future, simply ignore posts in the category German!

German Plurals – The Nominative Case

In English, making plurals out of singular nouns is typically as straightforward as adding an “s” or an “es” at the end of the word. In German, the transformation is more complex, and also the articles for each gender change. The following five suggestions can help:

  1. -e ending: most German one-syllable nouns will need -e in their plural form. For example, in the nominative case, “das Brot” (the bread) becomes “die Brote,” and “das Spiel” (the game) becomes “die Spiele.”
  2. -er ending: most masculine or neuter nouns will need the -er ending, and there may be umlaut changes. For example, in the nominative case “das Kind” (the child) becomes “die Kinder,” and “der Mann” (the man) becomes “die Männer.”
  3. -n/-en ending: most feminine nouns will take either -n or -en in all four grammatical cases, with no umlaut changes. For example, “die Frau” (the woman) becomes “die Frauen” and “die Kartoffel” becomes “die Kartoffeln.”
  4. -s ending: most foreign-origin nouns will take the -s ending for the plural, usually with no umlaut changes. For example: “der Chef” (the boss) becomes “die Chefs.”
  5. There is no change for most neuter or masculine nouns that contain any of these in the singular: -chen, -lein, -el, or -er. There may be umlaut changes. For example: “das Mädchen” (the girl) becomes “die Mädchen,” and “die Mutter” (the mother) becomes “die Mütter.”
German Feminine Plurals – Nouns Ending in -in

Feminine nouns that end in “-in” will need “-nen” in the plural. For example, “die Köchin” (the female cook) becomes “die Köchinnen” in its plural form.

I long to understand prayer. If God knows all things before we even begin, what is the point? If it is simply that in prayer we draw near to God and shape our lives and desires by it, why are we encouraged to present (our) requests to God … Philippians 4:6 NIV … Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God?

Another verse I love is Isaiah 40:31 NIV … but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength. In the ancient version from which I learned memory verses all those years ago it reads, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (KJV) … I can cope with prayer as ‘waiting upon God’. But somehow that’s not enough. It doesn’t fully explain the transaction of prayer … for I take it that prayer is a two way process.

As I was thinking about these things yet again this morning, I remembered a mnuemonic I worked with a few years ago –


Starting with praise lifts our focus onto God’s faithfulness and his provision in every area of our lives. Then we realise how little we deserve his grace and mercy, so we come in repentance. Only then do we see the full glory of our Father God, so we bow in adoration, yielding our lives to his service and purposes. At that point, we wait … in expectation, trusting in his promises. Finally, we make our requests, shaped now by his love and character, confident of his sovereignty yet also his imminence.  The journey can take only minutes, or hours (and it’s good to spend hours in prayer from time to time) but even this morning I found it restoring … and immensely humbling.

Philippians 4:7 NIV

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It’s no good … blogging just isn’t high enough up my priority list for me to write a daily post, but yesterday I did manage three short times with God during the day, working through various daily reading schemes for Lent. However DH has taken up the challenge to write a daily blog during Lent … he has a blog with a direct link to the church website … and I am really enjoying reading his thoughts. I often wish he would write more. He doesn’t write every day, but writes an entry for every day, even if he has to catch up with two or more entries occasionally.

I spend far too much time on the ‘net some days … but I hope I am discerning as to what I read … I skim a lot of stuff my friends post on Facebook, for example! I have found a number of articles on the Gospel Coalition blog of some interest recently … written mostly for an American audience, but often easy enough to interpret for our rather different church culture here in the UK. I regularly read various other blogs, whether Christian in content or craft or chicken based. There are very few I read absolutely every day, and I will pass over nearly all of them if I haven’t read for a number of days and entries are backing up (I use Feedly as a blog reader), but I learn such a lot from them all, including news of friends to use as prayer fuel.

I try not to turn my computer on at all some days, DH’s day off, and some Sundays.  However, now I have the tablet … so the boundaries are somewhat blurred. My desk is upstairs, and it feels a bit isolated, so I have enjoyed using the tablet in the dining room or lounge with others around … and I have managed to programme it to use as a remote control for the television so I always have an excuse to have it with me! In fact, I enjoy the tablet so much I bought one for DH for our anniversary. But it is quite frustrating to write anything of length on a touch screen (I wish there was a backspace key!).

Enough for today … I need to be a little more sociable since we are both in the same room at the same time … and besides, Question of Sport is on!!

The first challenge this year is to start a journal … I’m not sure I can make it a life commitment, but I might manage 40 days. Rather than keep a paper journal, I’m far more likely to stick to something digital. However, today’s entry will be short … I am currently away on a clergy wives conference.  Actually, conference sounds rather formal, and this is anything but … it’s a lot of fun, but this year it’s also full on with barely a free moment.

So I have to go now … but I’ll be back to tell you more about it tomorrow.

I’ve recently updated my photo blog … a selection of the images I want to keep … what my husband calls my ‘arty’ stuff! So it  isn’t the family photo album, just my view of the world around me. If you’re interested, do go and take a look at My View

I haven’t blogged much for a while …  and I miss it. I’m not sure why … because I’m never short of something to say! Perhaps it’s because I’m not sure that anything I have to say is of any interest to anyone else?

Nor do I have anything specific to say now! But I’m sitting quietly listening to DH practice some piano pieces – he promised DD1 a long time ago that if ever she took grade 8 he’d do it with her … and that time has come! I love to hear him play, and it’s especially nice to hear so many new pieces in a short space of time. For years we have listened to DD1’s pieces over and over again … and DH himself has a fairly limited repertoire – more because of lack of time than of interest. But now he has something to work on … and it’s proving a major distraction! Although, tbh, we’ve been so busy for so long, it’s a good thing.

I’d have more to say if I shared the story of our hens with you … but I have another blog for that, and I suspect you would become quite bored  if you don’t share our interest :) Just one observation then … we recently rescued some Barn Hens. I once used to buy Barn Eggs as being cheaper than Free Range but a more responsible purchase than eggs from caged birds … but these birds have convinced me that intensively farmed chickens suffer just as much as caged birds … yes, their legs are stronger, but that’s about all the advantages I have seen.

I haven’t actually bought any eggs for nearly three years, and bought Free Range before that for many years … but it makes me sad to think that I was complicit in supporting the industry at all. I suppose many would make the same claims for chickens bred for meat … at least their suffering is of much shorter duration. I know that’s not good enough. I hope I do what I can (most of our chicken meat comes from the Co-op) but I wish I could do more.

Posted Image

That’s it for now … but I’ll work on it :)

From: The Hen Garden

It’s been a while …

… since I last posted; there’s been a lot going on. But while I’ve not had time to blog about the hens, they’ve not been neglected! Now that the building work is finished, we are able to let the hens out to free range … it took a while for the Three Amigos to find […]

Who’s the King of the Castle?

We had a bit of a move round to give us access the one last raised bed I still need to empty. The girls are now in a much more open space on some fresh grass – but I’m still reseeding much of that side of the garden after moving the other beds, so we will continue […]


That was easy! As the new girls began to show signs of laying – their comb getting brighter, and crouching – we began to take the back off the Eglu Go, so they had to go and share the nest box in the Cube when they wanted to lay … there were a few spats, […]

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