(Most of) the year in pictures.

On the last day of the year (decade!) I thought I’d show you one photo for each month…However, with a new computer, I find that I don’t get a display of the photos, but just a IMG number for each one. So for each month I’ve just literally picked a random photo, from its number, and posted that.

JANUARY:

I have no idea where this lake is! I suspect it was the fishing lake/bird reserve lake in Roanne, where I sometimes go for a walk, but I can’t be certain!

FEBRUARY:

I know this one! It was on a walk not too far from here. This was when I was still keen on getting my 600 km walked before my 60th birthday. That didn’t last much longer!! I think I was ill, and lost momentum, and then couldn’t be arsed!!

MARCH:

Fairy cakes made for the family next door as part of 40 Acts. The family have now moved on, not having had much success in the hotel, but there’s a new family moved in. We await developments…

APRIL:

Not the best photo I have of me with Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, but it was the one that I picked at random! This was at the weekend for the consecration of Mark Edington as our Bishop. A wonderful weekend!

MAY:

The card I made for my mum’s 90th birthday – before deciding it wasn’t “special” enough, and making another!

JUNE:

We visted the caves at Lascaux with the Cycle Club, on our weekend away. Happily, this was one of my favourites of the wall paitings. I love the “fat ponies”!

JULY:

The “infinity” card I made for Flynn, the son of Friend Alison. I never got round to giving it to him though!

AUGUST:

On holiday with Mr FD, we visited the town of St Guilhem le Désert. It was rather too crowded for our tastes, being labelled as one of France’s most beautiful villages. A victim of its own success, one can’t help feeling….

SEPTEMBER:

The inside of a card made for Friend Huw, after the untimely death of his wife. I actually made, and sent, a different one, but with the same sentiment inside.

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

I think that as a result of my depression I wasn’t in the mood for much photo taking. I certainly failed to download any onto the computer! Hopefully that will change now.

Here’s to the start of a new year, and a new decade. We don’t know what’s ahead, so let’s just trust that it will all be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end!

Still here!!

Hello Dear Readers! I hope you have all had a splendid Christmas season, whatever you were doing. Our Christmas day was quite quiet – we went to Friend Alison’s for lunchtime drinks, but otherwise listened to the radio, watched TV and enjoyed a meal of capon – which Mr FD cooked beautifully. While it would have been nice to share it with MiL, which had been the plan (it came to naught when she found out how much it would have cost!), with the industrial action going on in France at the moment, things like getting home would have become too difficult.

I was working on both 23rd and 24th, which is a departure from my norm, but as there was – for the first time in several years – a Christmas Eve service at church, I was going to Clermont anyway, so it made sense to put a lesson in as well. The service was led by Revd David Reid, who has fairly recently joined our congregation, with his wife Anne. The service was based around “A Christmas Carol” and you can read his homily here, should you wish to.

The “Twixtmas” period, between Christmas and New Year celebrations has been quiet too – with me starting to get to grips with a new computer! I have a laptop for the first time, so I’m getting accustomed to it. It’s connected to my big screen too, but I want to use it more in my teaching, so I have to get used to it. I keep asking Mr FD (my personal IT helpdesk) rather daft questions, but he’s being very patient.

Things in general are picking up – I mentioned a while back that I was feeling mildly depressed, but the doctor prescribed anti depressants which have really helped. I feel almost back to normal now, which hopefully will mean that I’ll feel more like blogging again. It has been a great pleasure for over 10 years now, and I hope that people also enjoy reading whatever I woffle about, so I’m looking forward to blogging a bit more again in the future.

I’m preaching next Sunday so sometime this week I’ll have to write my sermon, and I’ve also got to sort out my lessons for the following week, but I’m sure I’ll pop in sometime here at the Teapot.

Off Menu

One of my favourite bloggers to read is KatyBoo, over at KatyBoo1’s Weblog

She writes amusingly well and honestky about her trials and tribulations, the books she reads, her mental health issues, and health issues. She’s opinionated – in a good way – and I really enjoy reading her blog. In her latest post she writes about her “Off Menu Menu”inspired by a podcast that she enjoys.

So, for those of you who don’t know the premise, Off Menu takes place in a fantasy restaurant with a genie waiter who can get you any food you like from any time, place etc. You choose still or sparkling water, poppadoms or bread and then your starter, main, side dish, drink and pudding of choice. I liked the idea, so I thought I’d share my Off Menu menu with you, dear readers.

Still or sparkling water- Sparkling water for me, please. People have told me I shouldn’t drink it because it’s not good with a meal, or that it increases flatulence, or other things, but I like it. I have considered a Soda Stream, as the bottles can’t be good for the environlment, even if we do recycle them, but I’m afraid I find it hard to give this up! I’m not a Sparkling Water afficianado, but I like San Pellegrino.

Poppadoms or Bread– definitely bread. And as the premise is that one can eat as much as one likes and get neither full or ill, a big basket of warm rolls, of different varieties- seeded, white, poppyseeded etc. And loads of salted butter to go with them.

Starter – Hmm. There are three starters that I’ve had that stick in my mind, two involving pastry. One was an extremely rich bowl of snails in a creamy garlic sauce with a puff pastry lid, another was a mille feuille of mushrooms. And the third we had recently on holiday in the Cévennes. It was: Tartare de thon, et sablé nois, glace saumon fumé  Which I described as Tuna tartare, with a hazelnut biscuit and smoked salmon ice cream. It sounds weird – but it was delicious! There was more to it – with a wasabi cream and wasabi peanuts, plus something else crispy that I don’t know what it was, and little preserved peppers which were sweet…We kept making “yummy noises” as we were eating it! I think, on balance, I’d go for the last one.

Main Course- I think, in the end, I’d have to plump for duck. It is one of my favourite meats. Cooked in a fruity sauce…Or actually, possibly Peking Duck, with more-than-enough pancakes, plenty of cucumber and spring onion and lashings of hoisin sauce…Yes, I think that, please.

Side Dish – This doesn’t have to complement one’s main course at all (it is, when all’s said and done, a Fantasy restaurant) so I think I might follow Katy Boo’s example and go for an Indian side dish. She chose dhal. I’d go for Saag Bhaji, which I love.

Drink – I like champagne, a good single malt, and various other luxurious drinks – but finally, a good rounded fruity red wine would be fine. It doesn’t need to be expensive.

Dessert – I’m not a huge pudding eater, but I’d want something fruity, and not too creamy. Quite fresh and flavourful. I’m not sure that one could do better than the dessert we had at the same restaurant as my starter: white chocolate with a frozen cheesecake-y filling and a centre of apricot purée, served on a crunchy biscuit crumb with plum compote. Gorgeous!!!!!

 

A Pause in Advent…

Angela over at Tracing Rainbows is hosting “A Pause in Advent” where bloggers blog each week about Advent, giving us a pause from the business and maelstrom of Christmas preparations to think about what is coming…

I haven’t joined in as I wasn’t sure how much I’d feel like blogging (see Black Dog post from earlier) but I thought I’d add a few links…

Black Dog

My last post was a little worrying for some people – I had someone contact me to ask if my cancer had returned, and this was one of the “dark times” that I needed God for. No, dear reader, don’t worry.

I am going through a mild depression – brought on my my hormonetherapy treatment, and also, according to my doctor (although I’m not totally convinced) my morale (which was brave and courageous through my treatment) has just gone whoosh. (His words, not mine!) I find myself getting over anxious about minor things, and generally can’t feel as upbeat about stuff. Happily, I enjoy work, so I haven’t got the worry of that on top of other things. It would be awful if I hated my work.

I don’t think my “dog” is a black dog. He’s probably just grey. But for anyone who is living with depression, or living with someone with depression maybe this video will help