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Contributed by Frances Cooke

BUT-TO-FLY TO FREEDOM

 

A few years ago at about 7p.m. our doorbell rang! It was our neighbour’s son standing on the doorstep with a mini ‘hoover’ in his hand. He said his wife and young son had been frightened by a big moth in his mother’s house and that he had managed to suck it up in the ‘hoover’ and would I like to identify it? It was a Peacock butterfly and naturally I asked him if I could give the butterfly a chance to live? “Yes” he answered, “so long as you don’t tell it to return to our mother’s house”. I then happily emptied the butterfly and dust onto the top of a garden cuttings bag in our garage and hoped for the best. I knew that it may want to find somewhere to hibernate, but the following morning was full of sunshine and a blue sky, so I brought the bag out into the open. The butterfly climbed onto my hand to warm itself and I took it to a flowering plant, but it preferred my hand. I then brought it back into the garage and told it that it had the whole garage to choose from to hibernate in, and with that it took off and flew out into the sunshine. But-to-fly to freedom!

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Contributed by Ann de Veulle

In June 2005 we arrived for a two week stay at le Moulin de Fervaches in Normandy, having booked the self catering accommodation from an advertisement in “Country Life”.    We took the Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen overnight and arrived at our destination, after a pleasant drive through the Normandy countryside, at just before midday.    Fervaches turned out to be a small hamlet of a few well maintained houses and a Filling Station with a Snack Bar.     The descent down to the River Vier was down quite a long, steep, winding road passing several houses and 2 farmyards and, arriving at the entrance to the Estate, we saw that my brother and his wife had arrived just before us, having come over on the Ferry from Jersey to St. Malo that morning.

The Mill, still with the remains of the original wheel in place, is situated on a small Island opposite to the imposing granite building which was the Miller’s house “La Maison”.   This is also available to rent for holidays and accommodates about 10 people, but was vacant whilst we were there.

Having collected the key from the Caretaker (one of the houses up the hill) we unloaded the cars.   Access to the accommodation was across a little bridge over what had been the Mill race.    The ground floor of the building was used as storage and garaging for the sit on mower, used by the Caretaker’s husband to keep the large grass area tidy.  A quite large platform had been built over the sluice stream, forming a terrace where there was a table, chairs and an umbrella.   The front of the upstairs consisted of a glass wall.      The metal stairway up to the terrace was 21 steps (obviously no disabled access).   We had only just unpacked and were brewing a pot of tea to take out on to the terrace, which overlooks the weir, when my brother called out “come and see this”.    Swimming across the river just above the weir was a creature with a bunch of grass in its mouth.    The animal looked too big to be an otter and had a quite big flat tail which it used like a rudder.  We decided it was not a beaver either.   It dived down under the water into a hole in the river bank and reappeared a few minutes later heading for the wall at the top of the weir, where this particular grass was growing.   We decided she must have had quite a few babies as she was very busy collecting grass for some time.   After a while, another one appeared and they seemed to be racing each other for the nearest clump of grass.    This activity kept us entertained for hours.   We discovered from the Caretaker that these were Muskrats.    They had apparently been  introduced into France from Turkey at some time, and were now considered as pests as their burrowing into the river banks under the waterline had caused flooding in some areas.     There were 2 flat bottomed dinghies for the use of visitors and several days later we rowed up river on an exploring trip and lining the banks in one area came across about a dozen of the creatures sunning themselves.   Several of these were about the size of a small dog and were obviously the males.    I found them quite threatening and did not fancy ending up in  the water with them.

The Moulin remains one of favourite places I have ever stayed.  We actually returned there on 2 more occasions but my knees could not cope with that staircase if I did have the opportunity to revisit.

 

Contributed by Frances Cooke

WILD GLADIOLUS (Gladiolus illyricus)

In 2017 I planted some small Gladioli bulbs in a sheltered corner in our garden, they produce small flowers in various colours in June & July. But in 2019 a slightly larger gladiolus appeared amongst them. It took me quite a while to identify this ‘rogue’ and it turned out to be a Wild Gladiolus which only grows in the New Forest. It has six striking reddish-purple flowers and the Large Skipper butterfly is the only butterfly that pollinates it. They flower on heathland edges and in woodland areas amongst bracken and I think they pop their heads above the bracken which means that the ponies do not eat them. Few people know where they grow or have even heard of them. It is illegal to pick their flowers or dig the bulbs up. Although it didn’t appear the first year It was probably amongst the other bulbs   My real wish is that it might attract a few Large Skipper butterflies into our garden   …………….


Contributed by Ann de Veulle

Last year I was on a Cruise and one of our Ports of Call was Malaga, Spain.   I had visited Malaga several times so was looking for a different Shore Excursion and finally settled on A Visit to an Olive Oil Factory and the Museum of the Nativity (Museo de Belene).    The factory turned out to be a modern building set in beautifully landscaped gardens in the hills outside Malaga and attached to it was the Museum.

Our Guide to the Museum told us that it was the custom in parts of Spain and Italy for local artists and artisans to create tableaux which would be installed at towns and villages at Christmastime.   The couple who owned the Olive Oil Factory discovered that these exhibits were generally dismantled or destroyed after a while, mainly through a lack of suitable storage and decided that they had to do something to preserve these amazing creations.    The Museum was opened in 2017.

On entering the Museum you are greeted by St. Francis of Assissi (about one third scale) who stands at the foot of a sunlit path leading to a small chapel with all kinds of animals and birds around.   Inside the glass protected showcases house an endless variety of depictions of the Nativity scene in different locations worldwide from a shepherd’s hut on top of a bleak mountain to a tent in a desert landscape.  Then there are the large exhibits such as a circular construction of a Mediterranean coastal village.     A bridal couple are posing outside the Church on the hill and all sorts of people are going on with their lives selling vegetables, shoeing horses,  in one cottage, the priest is giving the last rites to a dying man, a woman is hanging out washing and the fishing boats are drawn up on the beach and, in a lean to building a baby has been born.

We were told that all these exhibits are designed by local artists and the figures and scenery are often made by their students.   Some wood and clay are used but most of it is carved from cork.

Some of the smaller cases are cleverly lit and somehow the perspective appears much deeper than the size of the case.   One I particularly liked was a scene of a bombed out street and to one side, lit by candles, there is crib surrounded by several children.

I could go on describing more of the beautiful things on display, but I will only talk about the story of the Bible. housed in a side room.   The tableau begins with Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, David and Goliath, and other major events in Jewish history and then there is the birth of Jesus, some of the miracles he performed and, as you exit, the Crucifixion and Resurrection.    Over the doorway as you leave St. Francis’ prayer “Make me a channel of your Peace” is displayed in several languages.   I went on this excursion not knowing what to expect, but I would very much like to return if I get the opportunity.   The craftsmanship is amazing, but I got the feeling that people who had created these scenes were also expressing their faith.

Contributed by Fran Cooke

JERSEY TIGER MOTH

Before writing this I asked my friend Ann De Veulle, who has joined me in writing stories in the Church News, whether she had ever seen a Jersey Tiger Moth in Jersey? She had not seen one! So I will now be able to tell you all that Alan and I have seen them fairly regularly on the I.O.W. Perhaps they have emigrated?

It is a particularly lovely moth and it flies both day and night from July to September. They roost communally in dull weather which means that is is really exciting when one is lucky enough to see a group of them together.

We saw this one near Freshwater on the I.O.W.

Contributed by Ann de Veulle

MAY 9TH 1945  –  LIBERATION DAY JERSEY

Mr. Blandin, a neigbouring farmer, told us that he was taking his family and some friends to greet the liberating troops and there was room on his horse drawn waggon for the 6 of us.   He wanted to make a day of it and  visit some of the places to which local people had been denied entry.   So my parents, grandmother and we 3 children joined the Blandin family and friends on the morning of this long awaited day.

We arrived in front of the Underground Hospital in St. Peter’s Valley at about midday, I think.     The Germans had advertised the fact that work was taking place to construct an Underground Hospital, but rumours were rife regarding the true purpose of their excavations.   Was it a Prison to keep locals hostage in the event of an invasion?   Or even Gas Chambers?   Mr. Blandin would have had to pass the end of the road leading to the site on his way to Tesson Mill with grain for milling, but there was a barrier across the road and a sentry, so that no unauthorised person could get to see what was going on.

The entrance to the underground facility was a huge archway in the concrete wall sealed by a massive solid door and a metal gate.  A large red cross had been painted above the entrance.    We all peered through the bars of the gate but, of course, could not see anything.

We all sat on the grass opposite the entrance to have a picnic.     Mrs Blandin produced an enormous pan of boiled potatoes and some hard boiled eggs and there was a churn of fresh milk to drink.   I cannot remember what Mum had managed to bring to the party, but it must have been something left from our last Red Cross parcels as, by this time, the bread ration was very meagre, and with the shortage of fuel remaining in the Island, we had no means of cooking our diet of potatoes and swede.    Anything that required cooking had to be taken to the communal bakehouse operated in an old  farm oven on certain days.   Our nearest oven was about half a mile away across the fields.

Whilst we were finishing off our meal, two Jeeps arrived with British Officers.  They came over to talk to us,  gave us some chocolate and explained that they were an advance party sent to inspect the Hospital.

The Officer in charge asked if we had seen inside and then invited all of us to go in with them after it had bee checked for booby traps etc.   I still remember the howling noise the generator made when it was switched on which was quite scarey.    Keeping good hold of the grown ups we explored through the echoing tunnel, with the occasional drip falling on your head off the concrete lining and the atmosphere was quite cool.  (I learned later that the temperature in the tunnels is constant year round).   The wards leading off the main corridor were furnished with 2 rows of 3 tiered wooden bunks with what looked like straw mattresses.    The Operating Theatre was fully equipped with instruments in cabinets and white coats hanging on hooks.   At the end we reached the unfinished tunnels where a barrow half filled with rubble and pickaxes and shovels discarded by the slave workers was an upsetting sight there having been stories of workers who died had been buried in the walls.

We were all pleased to come out into the warm sunshine and, after the horse had been hitched up, we proceeded to the Harbour to join in the jubilant crowd  carrying the soldiers and sailors along, singing and cheering.   My final memory is returning home in the waggon, squashed between my mother and grandmother, covered with a smelly horse blanket.

Contributed by Frances Cooke

All things bright and beautiful

verse 4

He gave us eyes to see them,

and lips that we might tell

how great is God Almighty,

who has made all things well.

In the last few weeks I have given you my thoughts on the previous verses, but I think the words of the last verse say it all, so I will just attach another photograph by my husband Alan.  It is of ‘Kenny’s Pride’ of ponies, taken at St Leonards, near Beaulieu.

Contributed by Ann de Veulle

MAY 8TH 1945,  the day that the war in Europe ended.   When the news reached us in Jersey, all our neighbours in Le Hocq Lane were outside cheering and hugging each other, some with tears streaming down their cheeks and sharing the information that the Bailiff would be addressing the people in the Royal Square in St. Helier later that day and the expected speech by Winston Churchill would be broadcast via the German Public address system.

My family, comprising my parents, grandmother, my two brothers Robert, (10 + 4 months), Martyn (just 4) and myself (11 + 8 months) walked into St. Helier to join the crowd assembling in the Royal Square.

The German flags and enormous swastika banners which had adorned all public buildings had been torn down and, for the first time in 5 years, not a German uniform in sight.  A Union Jack had been retrieved from its’ hiding place and fluttered proudly over the States Building.  To be amongst all these noisy, exited people was quite frightening, particularly for Martyn, who had been born into a society where the number of people permitted to meet together had been strictly controlled.   He sat on my father’s shoulders, clinging on tightly and Robert and I hung on grimly to Mum and Gran’s hands.

The Bailiff, accompanied by other States Officials and the Dean of Jersey appeared on the balcony of what had been the United Services Club and the Winston Churchill’s resonant tones were listened to quietly until he said that “our dear Channel Islands will be free” when a loud cheer went up.  When things quietened down, the Bailiff, Alexander Coutanche, spoke to the crowd and confirmed that the German capitulation of the Islands had been signed by the Kommandants on board HMS Bulldog off Guernsey that morning and that the British troops were already coming ashore there.   WE had to wait until the next day for our liberation.   The Dean offered up a prayer of thanksgiving and everyone belted out “God Save the King”.

People in the crowd were finding friends and relatives they had seen very little of throughout the Occupation.   Even though Jersey is such a small Island, restrictions on movement and curfew had made socialising difficult.    My mother had cousins who lived in the North of the Island and there was great deal of catching up and my brothers and I being subjected to “Havent you grown” etc.

My memory has faded after this and I cannot recall what time or how we got back home but we must have done it safely, as we were all eager the next day to get to the Harbour to see the “Tommies” arrive……..

Contributed by Frances Cooke

All things Bright & Beautiful, verse 3

The cold wind in the winter,

the pleasant summer sun,

the ripe fruits in the garden,

he made them every one:

If we didn’t get a bit of cold wind in the winter, which we certainly get these days, we probably wouldn’t look forward to the summer sun. Although I do not grow ripe fruits in our garden, I do grow as many flowers as possible to help the bees. Because we wouldn’t get the ripe fruits without the hard-working bees who pollinate them.

God made them everyone.


Contributed by Ann de Veulle

As I have always lived in close proximity to the Coast, it is not surprising that one of my favourite hymns is “Eternal Father strong to save, whose arm hath bound the restless wave, who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep”.

In Jersey I lived on the East Coast at La Rocque.   The Island has the 3rd largest tidal fall in the World and, on a Spring Tide when the sea goes out, a very different landscape is revealed.   Wade out through the shallow pools at the Harbour head and follow the main gulley, which becomes the only route back to harbour for the fishing boats which come back home on the turning tide, and branch off into one of the side gullies.  Here there is a landscape which owes nothing to Man’s intervention.    This scene was created millenniums ago when erupting volcanos allowed the Atlantic Ocean to flood in, creating the English Channel and separating us from the European Continent.  The continuous movement of the sea has gauged out channels through the rocks and created a habitat for thousands of creatures.

It is so peaceful here – no traffic noise, just the odd scraping sound under a rock – a crab or maybe a lobster!   Little sand shrimps and tiny fish dart about in the pools and hermit crabs and green crabs scuttle sideways to hide under the seaweed.   The bright red sea anenomes wave their fronds on the rocks under the water and two little golden “eyes” which disappear when my shadow falls on them, tell me that there is a cockle buried in the sand.   This is a place where you are truly solitary and share your thoughts with God.   Then I reach the deep water pool where locals know they can swim to find it choked with Japanese seaweed, spread around the World on the bottoms of ocean going ships.   I glance at my watch – the tide has turned and, on a Spring tide, advances at a man’s walking pace, pouring into the gullies and channels and surrounding the sand banks,   Every year too many people are taken unaware and have to be rescued by the Fire Service Sea rescue or, tragically, drown.

I make my way back to the slipway ashore.   The strong granite wall has kept the sea at bay for well over a hundred years but the tides are definitely getting higher.   I am an Islander and the sea is in my blood.  I love it, respect it and fear it and do not think that I would be content living away from it, but the ice is melting and the sea is rising.

Contributed by Fran Cooke

All things Bright & Beautiful, verse 2

The purple heathered mountain,

the river running by,

the sunset in the morning

that brightens up the sky:

The 2nd verse of this hymn means a lot to me because Cecil Frances Alexander 1818-1895, who wrote the hymn, visited Killarney in Southern Ireland where I was brought up. Her husband was Primate of Ireland at the time. The lakes of Killarney are surrounded by mountains and one of them is called The Purple Mountain.  My father had a boat and as children we went out for picnics on the various islands and we regularly sang this hymn in the boat.  I often changed the wording of the 2nd verse to include the names of the many islands on the lakes.  The sunrises and sunsets are veryspectacular.  As you can imagine when ever we sing this hymn the words remind me of Killarney.

 
 

Contributes by Ann De Veulle

After watching the TV Programmes “Heavenly Gardens” on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, which took us to some beautiful gardens specifically designed for quiet contemplation, I found myself thinking of all the thousands of people who are presently denied the opportunity to walk or sit quietly in a garden.  My heart goes out to them.

When I came to live in Lymington in September 1992, we had quite a large garden which included a good sized vegetable patch, a large rose bed, two arches covered in honeysuckle and clematis (between the lower level patio and the top garden);  apple trees and plum trees;   a lovely Summer House and a fair sized greenhouse where we raised most of our plants from seed.   There was also a grassed area in the front of the Bungalow.   It really was a beautiful setting, all thanks to my husband who had created it from its’ “jungle” state when he purchased the rundown property in the 1970’s.  However, it could very seldom be described as peaceful.    We were bordered on each side by neighbouring gardens separated with hedges or fences and someone was always bound to be mowing, strimming, repairing fences or there was a football/rugby/cricket match on in the Sports Field across the road.  Added to this a neighbour two houses down had a swimming pool and, during the school holidays, her grandchildren and countless numbers of their friends, made full use of it.  I leave the screams, yells and shouts to your imagination.   We did have mostly quiet times when we could enjoy just sitting in the Summer House and watching all the wild life that made use of our garden.    I cant remember all the species of birds, but we had a Robin who thought we were there solely for his benefit, and would stand between your feet waiting to pounce on any worms dug up, and after a bit of perseverance, he would sit on my arm and eat seeds from my hand.  Two of his young offspring were following father’s example one day, when we were horrified when a sparrow hawk swooped in and picked one up from a few inches from my husband’s foot.  For a while we were visited every day by a tatty, obviously old pheasant.  He had a bald head and had lost most of his tail feathers, but he quite eagerly took seed from my hand.  When he no longer turned up, I discovered from a lady further down the lane, that he had visited most of the houses on a daily basis, so we concluded that he must have died.    One morning, I looked up from the sink and was amazed to see an enormous bird of prey sitting on top of the bird house about 10 feet away, looking at me.  He stayed there long enough for me to identify him as a Peregrine Falcon (from the bird book).   When I told my husband he was doubtful as Peregrines usually nested on tall buildings or cliffs, neither of which were in our area.   I was proved right by an article in the Lymington Times, reporting that a pair were nesting on the cliffs of the Isle of Wight and a racing pigeon owner from Everton had said that they had taken some of his birds.

Then there was Mr. Fox.   Either side of the chimney breast in our lounge we had a narrow, full length window and when we sitting watching TV in the early evening, Mr. Fox would squeeze between the bars of the wrought iron gate at the side of the house and he would always stop at one of the windows and look in at us.   Curiosity or defiance?   He was on his way to his lair in the bank of the field behind us.  Three of his offspring came into the garden and we loved seeing them playing with the fallen apples until the vixen called them and they disappeared back through the hedge.

We were also visited by a green Woodpecker who came for the ants which he found in the rock garden.   My favourite feathered friend was the gorgeous Barn Owl which glided silently over us at dusk to go hunting in the fields at the back.   The Squirrels were entertaining, trying to get into the bird feeders but were not welcome after they killed the fledgling blue tits in the nesting box and dug up dozens of crocus from the front garden.

I now live in a flat but I have come across a Rudyard Kipling verse which I think is worth sharing  –

“So when your work is finished, you  can wash your hands and pray,                                                                                                                                                                                    For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!                                                                                                                                                                                 And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away.”

Contributed by Fran Cooke

A few weeks ago I wrote a story about the Dark Edged Bee-Fly and attached the chorus from ‘All things bright and Beautiful’. So I have decided to try and write a story for the next few weeks to go with each verse. This week I am using verse 1.

Each little flower that opens,

each little bird that sings,

he made their glowing colours,

he made their tiny wings:

After breakfast each morning I take my bicycle out and cycle around Normandy Lane which is close to the Salterns in Lymington.  Very few people are out as early as I am so one of my pleasures is trying to identify the birds by their song.  There are quite a few Chiffchaffs, chaffinches, Wrens Great Tits and Nuthatches around but my pleasure a few weeks ago was to hear a Yellow Hammer.  Some of you must remember their song if you grew up in the country – “A little bit of bread and no cheeeee’se”. They certainly hammer out their song and perhaps that is why they are called Yellowhammers. It sits in a prominent positions which makes it easy to see …… If only Christianity could be sung from the tree tops – because our clothing can be recognised but our song is not always wanted to be heard.

Contributed by  Ann De Veulle
During the German Occupation of Jersey from 1940 to 1945, the Churches of all denominations played an important part in keeping peoples’ faith and hope alive.

There was a general feeling that we had been deserted by the British Government to an unknown fate and God was our only hope and comfort.    Our nearest place of worship was the Methodist Bethel Chapel situated behind a high wall at the top end of Le Hocq Lane where we lived.   The Parish Church of St. Clement was about a 15/20 minute walk away, so we attended Bethel Chapel.

The Superintendents were a Mr. Luce  (a Solicitor) and his wife.   They had three children, Margaret, a teenager and Elizabeth and Cyril who were similar ages to my brother Robert and I, namely 5 and 7.    Thinking back I suppose there were about 20 children who attended Sunday School.   The Sunday services were at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and were well attended to hear the different circuit Preachers.   Mum and Gran always came to the morning service.  Dad not so often, as he was usually repairing his bicycle or actually riding it to the other side of the Island where he would cut the hair of the Farmer’s family and be paid in butter or eggs or vegetables.   After the first year of the Occupation, the Allies were sinking the supply ships coming from France and my father’s “wages”  meant that we were luckier than many people who had no means of increasing their ever shrinking rations.  Dad was also supporting his parents and younger brother.

To return to Bethel Chapel, Mr. And Mrs. Luce were also very kind to all the Sunday school children.   They lived in a fairly modern house which was surrounded by a large garden where they grew a variety of vegetables and fruit and they often brought apples, strawberries, raspberries etc. for everyone.  At the annual Anniversary of the Chapel I can remember reciting something and singing a solo – once it was “Oh for the wings of a dove” and, on another occasion, the 23rd Psalm.    In one Nativity Play, I was an angel and Robert was a shepherd (he refused to sing).

From time to time we went as a family to hear various Evangelical Speakers in one of the large Halls in St. Helier.   One I recall was Doctor Darling who was an ENT Consultant at the Hospital and another was a member of the Plymouth Brethren and their sermons gave many people comfort.    These Meetings were always attended by a German representative to check that no inflammatory doctrine was being preached,

The favourite hymn which was always sung was “Oh God our help in Ages past” and, when we were finally liberated on May, 9th 1945, we all joined in “Now thank we all our God”.

.

 
 
Easter Day service
Contributed by Alan Boyce
 
Were you able to share in an Easter Day service this year? For so long we have taken for granted the right to be able to worship together and particularly on Easter Day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. But of course, for many around the world this is just not possible as they live in countries where Christians meeting together is at best restricted and in many cases banned altogther. So they have to find other ways to worship and this year that is what we have had to do.
 
I decided to tune-in to the live stream of the Easter Day service from Methodist Central Hall Westminster and joined in worship with over 1,200 other people from around the world. We were invited to share from where we were watching the broadcast and destinations popped up from all around the UK as well as the USA and South Africa amongst others. Normally we would share in the act of Holy Communion but rather than miss out on this important ritual on Easter Day the service included a love feast, just like the Agape meal that Margaret Havers provided at Milford a couple of months ago. It was a really special time spent sharing in an online service with so many other people.
 
If you want to watch the service it is still available and can be found at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster

St. MARK’S FLY

Contributed by Fran Cooke

This fly is called St. Mark’s Fly because it is usually first seen around St. Mark’s day (25th April). It is easy to recognise. It hovers in the air with its legs dangling over vegetation such as grassland, hedgerows and woodland margins particularly near the coast. The male and female are very different:- the female, although larger than the male, has a small head and tiny eyes. The male has very large eyes. They are very important pollinators.

We saw this one on the I.O.W. On the 29/4/17

Winnie the Pooh

contributed by Fran Cooke

Some time ago I read an article written by Gyles Brandreth in the Daily Telegraph (7/9/13). In it he talks about Christopher Robin, whom he knew a little and liked a lot. Gyles was therefore delighted to be able to say to anybody that shook his hand “you are shaking the hand that shook the hand that held the paw of Winnie the Pooh!”  This brought back a memory of a story told to me by my mother-in-law.  Edith remembered every detail of her long life, so there were usually plenty of opportunities for me to day-dream.  But on one occasion I listened attentively, although since then I have sadly forgotten parts of the story.

In the 1930’s Edith worked in the fashion department at Harrods in Knightsbridge.  One of her jobs was to take garments out to the homes of clients.  On one occasion she was asked to take some gowns to the home of Mrs A.A. Milne.  Edith described the taxi ride there, the front door being opened by a servant and being shown into the dining-room – she told me every detail about the room, including the red poppies on the wallpaper.  She was then led upstairs into Mrs Milne’s bedroom where Mrs Milne was sitting at her dressing table and Winnie the Pooh was sitting on a chest of drawers nearby.

I asked her to write all this down for us but unfortunately she didn’t – she was a very independent lady!  But should anybody shake my hand in future I will be able to say that “I married the son of the lady that met Winnie the Pooh!”

SHARING IN LYMINGTON (Before the merger with Milford).

Contributed by Fran Cooke

Last year I was asked to help with the decorating of our church for the Harvest Festival. It is an Anglican church which is shared with Methodists. Methodists decorate the left side and the Anglicans do the right side and we are all happy!

The agreed time was 9.am. It was a very cold morning and I arrived too early. So I took the opportunity to walk around the church examining the walls for bugs, spiders or anything else that might be setting up home on the church walls; all are welcome in my mind. Imagine my pleasure when I saw a Red Admiral butterfly sunning itself high up on a wall.  I stood underneath this little butterfly and closed my eyes and shared the warmth. When I opened them again, I was lovely and warm and the butterfly had flown away – how wonderful is that?

GABRIEL

Contributed by Linda Cooke

On Boxing Day in the year of 2019 I was feeling young enough to explore our attic.  Whilst there I found a polythene bag with two teddy-bears in it.  We think that Alan rescued them from his mother’s house when he was clearing it out to put on the Market.  Now we had already decided that we had no more room for Teddy bears, so I put one of them in the garage and the other one sat on the bedroom floor for a week looking very tired and ill.   Finally I gave in and tied him up in a pillow case and put him into our washing machine.  I then put him in the ‘hospital’ airing cupboard for over a week.  Meanwhile the bear that I put in the garage, packed himself into an old suitcase and hitched a lift with the New Forest Rubbish Cart, hoping to seek his fortune ……

His friend had now left hospital although his tummy had swelled up a bit and he looked very tired.  We decided to call him Gabriel because we found him on Boxing Day and he came from above.  The other bear was a bit younger and I just hope that he finds his pot of gold on his adventures.

Contributed by Fran Cooke

Currently some of us have more time to spend in our gardens.  Have any of you noticed the Dark Edged Bee Fly (Bombylius major) enjoying itself amongst your flowers?  It likes low growing flowers, particularly Primroses and it hovers around the garden making a very loud buzzing noise and trailing its long legs behind.  We rarely get the opportunity to see it settle so that we can have a good look.  Well last week  I found a warm corner and I sat down with my book settled on my ‘book-cushion’ on a table.  To my delight this Bee Fly took a liking to my cushion and came for a long chat.  I noticed that it had his knees in a kneeling position and its long proboscis tucked underneath.
I have been trying to see one of these properly for a number of years – lucky me it obviously thought I was friendly   ……….
 
All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.

 

 

New Minister

Posted by on 5:52 pm in News | Comments Off on New Minister

Revd. Martin Keenan, previously Superintendent of the Bude and Holsworthy Circuit , from September has taken up a position as the Minister in charge of the Barton Section of the Christchurch and Wimborne Circuit which encompasses the churches at Barton on Sea, Brockenhurst and Milford on Sea.

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