40ACTS2019 :: 13,14 :: Green & Leg Up

Hello! So here we are again, playing a little bit of catch up. Today I work from home, preparing for next week, and (as we’re coming to the end of the month) sorting out my bills. As we’re coming to the end of March I also have a nasty little form to fill in giving details of teaching through the year…It’s really complicated, and I hate doing it – partly because I forget each year what I need to do!! Hey ho, a day (and possibly more) of administrative tasks. Shudder!! There are also several household tasks requiring completion (Joyful, Joyful!!) so I have a day to look forward to.

But I start with the joy and challenge of my 40 Acts blog.

Yesterday’s Act was “The Green One”

PROMPT: It’s far from the token green day. As we act to protect our environment, we’re acting generously for those not even born yet, helping to create a world that can keep on giving and sustaining people, beyond the limit of our own lifetimes


ACTS:Green: Ever had an environmental charity stop you in the streets, only for you to breeze right past them? Look up their website. See what they actually do.

Amber: See how many times you can use one plastic bag this week. Once you’re done, pass it on to someone and ask if they want to continue the challenge!

Red: Go meat-free at least one day a week. Skipping meat and dairy is the single biggest way you can personally cut your environmental impact. (Vegans and vegetarians get an amber day!)

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 NKJV)

Well, of course I’m concerned for the environment. Isn’t everyone?! I do loads of things.

I pat myself on the back.

But actually, when I consider, I don’t do much, except lament “Oh, there’s so much plastic!” as I add more to our bin. Our biggest plastic users are the cats: they are fussy eaters and really only eat food that comes in pouches. Four cats = 8 pouches. We’ve tried tins, but the food just gets wasted, as they refuse to eat it. So I’m at a bit of an impasse there. I could write to Felix (the preferred brand. Other cat food brands are available) asking them to explore other ways of packaging whatever they put in pouches – be it aluminium, recyclable barquettes or into tins. But I’m sure I’ll get fobbed off with an anodyne reply. If I had a sewing machine I could make natty bags out of them…but I haven’t. So I can’t.

So…Well…I have bought little fabric bags to put loose veg in at the supermarket – but we’re not very good at using them (we forget to take them to the supermarket) So we could try to increase the use of these… We use Bags for Life, or fabric bags for the shopping, and I carry a reusable bag in my handbag, so the Amber option isn’t really suitable.

As we are on a budget we do tend to shop more at Lidl – the meat and cheese comes wrapped in plastic. As do a lot of the vegatables – but I’m not sure it’s feasible to start buying everything loose…it’s a monetary cost I don’t think we could stand – although I’m aware that the environmental cost needs to be thought about!!

I’ve already introduced “Fishy Monday” and “Vegetarian Tuesday” into our meal planning, as well as trying to have a reduced meat meal too. And while Mr FD is tolerant of these efforts he does have a habit of saying “That was OK, but it would have been nicer with some meat in it…”

Maybe Helen’s suggestion of reducing water consumption would be appropriate…I’m really a bit stumped here. For now, I may try investing in a few beeswax wrappings – someone on 40 Acts FB page said she makes them, which would reduce our (fairly minimal) use of clingfilm. Mr FD puts his sandwiches in plastic bags, which get washed and reused, but do eventually wear out. Perhaps I should get some sandwich wrapping pouches too. Any other ideas, anyone?

And then we get to today’s Challenge…

ACT 15


PROMPT: Real generosity leaps into action to bless others, even when it comes at a cost to us. Give away something that you could charge real money for. You may not think you’re particularly great with technology, but if your granny really needs to know how to use a computer, then you can do as good a job as any at showing her. Teach a beginner some guitar chords. Do bike maintenance for kids on your street. Share your skills, at a cost to yourself.

ACTS: Green: Look over your teachable skills. If you can, schedule a lesson with a newbie today.

Amber: If you usually charge for teaching a skill, today do it for free.

Red: Take on a new client or student, long-term, for free.

“Wealth and honour come from you… In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all… [W]ho am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given only what comes from your hand.”
(1 Chronicles 29:12–14

I am a teacher. It’s my job. Sorry, 40 Acts I’m not doing it for free today, or anyother day. Admittedly today I’ve only got one lesson, so it wouldn’t be too much hardship, but it’s too confusing to try to explain in French what I’m doing.


The 21€ that I earn today will not go in my pocket. Tonight I will give a 21€ donation to Phone Credit for Refugees on their Friday Conga. This is where people all over the world donate money, one after another, and post on the PC4R FB page, to encourage others to give. Maybe you could do the same? You need to become a member of the group, but it’s a great charity to support. And even if you can’t donate, by posting on the “Conga” you still help the charity (something to do with algorithms, I believe) So I am (sort of) sharing my skills…


Regular readers know that I enjoy zentangling. New readers may have no idea what that is. Here is an example or two


(click on the pictures to see them in more detail)

I’m not fast, and I am forgetful, but if you’d like me to do you a zentangle picture, then leave a comment in the comment section, telling me what you’d like me to zentangle for you (I do mostly animals, but have also drawn a Beatles inspired zentangle, a knitting zentangle, several crosses, a tree, a Doctor Who tardis, and other things too.) I will try, eventually, to get round to it, but it may take some time…

Or, if you’d prefer a “Celtic” initial, I could do that:

Happy to share my skills. It’s a pleasure, but it does take time!

Is this what 40 Acts meant by “Leg Up”??

2018 40 Acts :: 5 :: FAVOURITE

Hello dear ones!

So Week of Chemo commences! I am getting apprehensive, and my stress-related IBS has started to kick in, but other than that I’m fine. I went to see my friend Claire, who is the local district nurse, and she talked me through stuff. We made appointments for my weekly blood tests and generally helped me feel organised. She also persuaded me to go to see a magnétiseur – I’m not sure what the exact translation is, but I think it’s hypnotherapist. This man apparently has very good results at reducing side effects of chemo with his patients, so I’m hoping to make an appointment with him today. I don’t know how convinced I am, so maybe if I go as a sceptic it might not work, but quite honestly, I’m willing to give it a go!

I’ve booked my taxi/ambulance to take me to the hospital – Mr FD can’t take me as he has an interview for a job! It’s not really what he wanted, I don’t think (there was a job he applied for at the hospital that he quite fancied, but he’s not heard anything from them) but beggars can’t be choosers. Especially when it’s a CDI! He will however come in to see me when his interview is over. I need to make sure I’ve got a couple of podcasts downloaded onto my phone – I’ve purposely not listened to the last couple of Kermode & Mayo film reviews – plus a good book and some music. That should keep me occupied.

Anyway, let’s get on with 40 Acts:


You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God.”
(2 Corinthians 9:11–12 NET)

favourite flavor

The prompt reads:

What are your favourite things? Favourite film? Favourite coffee shop? A view where you go to be alone? Get ready to fly in the face of your impulses – and give those personal favourites away. Give away the novel. Pass on the scarf you think someone would look fantastic in. Share the introvert hang-out spot.

GREEN: Share a favourite. Think of a favourite book, film, piece of music, or recipe. It might seem small, but sharing your own enthusiasm is part of the fun.

AMBER: Share an experience. Think of a favourite walk, bike ride, or local hangout. Take a recipe you’ve loved cooking for years, and make it for someone else.

RED: Share sacrificially. Share a favourite restaurant, or tickets to your favourite artist/show/sports team with someone. Push past expectations and pick up the bill.

On a day when I’m not going anywhere (except we are being taken out for dinner) I’m not sure how to do this, except…except…there’s a niggly little voice (Hello, God)

You may remember (or not…) that I gave this book a rave review

You can read more about it here

I will send a copy to someone who comments on this page…If you’d like it, leave a comment and I will draw one of the names and organise a copy to be delivered to you. I’ll contact you in about a week if you’re the winner to get your address.

There you go! A favourite book, recommended and promised to someone.

JUST ADDING: It’s no good just “liking” the page. If you vwant to be entered into the Giveaway, I would like you to actually comment

Celtic Knotwork

A couple of days back, I promised you a “reveal” of what I’ve been spending possibly too much time doing. I’ve been enjoying the creative side of this, but also the mental processes required – measuring, calculating etc.

And so…

the first I tried was this:

That one took me about two hours to do.

Then I went for this design:

I like this, but the circles are too thin. Despite following the instructions on the YouTube video, the design shown on the video was more compact, and the “ribbon” is definitely much thicker on the demonstration piece. I might try this again but with different dimensions. I filled each circle with a different zentangle pattern. Here’s a close-up:

(but of course, with my dodgy photographic skills, it doesn’t show much detail. Try clicking on it; I think it would make it clearer. But then and again, maybe not!)

Finally, yesterday, I worked on this Triskalé pattern:

They’ve all got mistakes in them, but unless you know where to look, I don’t think they are too obvious. All of them are on A4 paper.

Now I’ve created them, I don’t know what to do with them – for me, the pleasure is in the creating, not the keeping. If anyone who is reading this would like one of them I’d be happy to send them to you. Just say in the comments which one you’d like, and if there’s 2 (or more) who would like the same one I’ll either do a draw, or draw another one. I’ll give you a week or two to comment.

A Kind-of Giveaway for Lent

Goodness me – two posts in one day! I could have put this over on Fat Dormouse – & I will probably link from there to here – but I felt this sat better on this blog than on that. Although there isn’t really that much differentiation between them, if I’m honest.

I am looking forward to Lent 2017 (only 19 more sleeps to go!) because that’s when 40 Acts starts. I have taken part in this for three years now, and I really enjoy it. Do Lent Generously is the tag-line, and I encourage you to go over & explore the site, and hopefully sign up.

But I’m also going to do something else, this Lent. A few years ago a friend gave me a box of beautiful postcards from the Bath Abbey Diptychs by Sue Symons

The BBC site says:

Sue was inspired by Bach’s St Matthew Passion to create the artwork which depicts the life of Christ in 70 images grouped together in pairs or ‘diptychs’. She embarked on the panels in 2005 as a retirement project which combines her two artistic passions: textiles and lettering.

Each of the 35 diptychs includes a text from the Gospels in beautifully decorated calligraphy, alongside a panel of needlework that offers a personal interpretation of each step in the story.“The sheer beauty and invention of the diptychs is stunning”, said Alan Garrow, Vicar Theologian at the abbey.

Panel from One Man's Journey to Heaven

“It represents an inspired marriage of the ancient skills of calligraphy and illumination with all the freshness of a contemporary interpretation of the life of Christ.”

I have kept these  postcards safe, looking at them from time to time, but really, postcards are meant to be sent, seen and enjoyed.

So this Lent, I’ll be sending these to friends I’ve lost touch with, family members and others. If you would like to receive one then please leave a message in the comments box. If you can give me some way to contact you privately (email address or whatever) then I will get in touch, so I can have your postal address.  I’ve already sent one (though the person doesn’t know it’s on the way!) but if you’d like one then please let me know. They are beautiful.

This is N° 1 already on its way to someone.

Here’s another…

40Acts2015: Acts N° 17 and 18

I read yesterday’s prompt before leaving for work, but I didn’t really have any opportunity to put it into action:


(more often used as an imprecation in this household – Oh BOGOFF! – but never mind!)

We love this one! Most people enjoy getting a bargain, but today your challenge is to pass the joy forward. If you spot a BOGOF deal in your local supermarket, snap it up and send it on. Buy one, give one free. Every little helps!

I’m not going out/I’m on a budget:We’ve probably all got things at home we can share. A spare nearly-new toolkit, two copies of the same book … you get the idea. What could you share with someone else today? Snap a photo and post it on social media, letting your friends know they can have it for free.

Bogof: Jaffa Cakes. They’re our personal favourite. Just in case anyone wants to send some our way. Stock up on the deal of the day and share the love with your office, toddler group or wherever you happen to be today.

The Full Whack:Head to your local trusted café or corner shop. Put some cash behind the counter and ask them to give everyone’s order for free until the money runs out.

I wasn’t buying anything being at work all day – although I did pop to ShCarrefour to buy some oven chips and Rins-Aid for the dishwasher on the way home. But I’m afraid I forgot about the challenge! But it’s certainly impinging on my conciousness. We are not exactly rolling in dosh, but at the moment things are looking reasonably rosy, so I can afford a couple of generous gestures. Tomorrow, together with some Ninja notes, I will leave a couple of 5€ notes for people to find “Let me pay for some of your shopping”. I’m also going into Clermont with a friend on Thursday, and I would imagine that we’ll encounter a few people begging. So I will also buy a couple of Carrefour Gift cards so that I can give them to those I see, so they can buy food at Carrefour.

I’ve also (in the spirit of the “green” traffic light) got a Giveaway going on at my other blog, should you wish to join in.


18: Apologise

OneRepublic were wrong. It’s not too late to apologise. Saying sorry is generous because it offers the first step to healing and restoration in our relationships. There’s also an enormous amount of freedom in an apology: both for the person who says ‘sorry’ and the one who hears it.

ONLY ONE TRAFFIC LIGHT TODAY: Apologising isn’t easy, so there are no easier options today. Bite the bullet and say what needs to be said. Choose the most appropriate time and method, and respect the fact that the person may not be able to forgive you straight away. The important thing is to take the first steps to put it rightThis one is between you, the person in question, and God.

No need to share today, unless you particularly want to!

This one needs thinking about… there are some apologies that come to mind that are quite easy – Sorry I haven’t been in touch recently, sorry I missed your birthday, sorry I forgot to do that thing I said I’d do…

But then there are other deeper hurts. At the moment I am not sure what needs to be done or said. But I’m sure that, with this seed planted, God will give me the push I need when I need it.

For now, I will keep the thought that I don’t always need to be right. I don’t need to justify, I don’t need to say “Ah but…” If I have done something wrong, that’s it. Say Sorry.


40Acts2015: Act N°15: Insert Verse Here (+ Giveaway!)


The Bible is for living. It’s for weaving into conversation, for encouragement, for good times, for hard times. It has something to speak into every situation, and it’s a generous gift to give, so give it to someone that needs it today.

Go Easy: If you can’t think of a particular person to encourage, then share your favourite verse or encouragement on a social network.

Got a little more time? Spend ten minutes praying or thinking about someone you know who is experiencing a tough time. Send them a text or a card with an appropriate verse inside it, and let them know you care.

Get creative:Set aside some time to read the Bible with someone. It can be great to unpack the more difficult ideas and verses alongside another person.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

When I read the “tease” for this Act yesterday – I can’t quite remember what it said, but it was something about sharing the Bible – I shuddered. I find it really difficult to talk “religious” except in (what I consider to be) the appropriate setting. In a Bible Group, in Church, when preaching, even when someone asks me,even on the blog, but just coming out with it, er – no thanks. Excuse me while I run for the hills…

But actually, this isn’t too bad. I can think of two people I can send cards to, one of whom is dying with cancer. She has decided to stop the treatment, as it was making her feel so awful, and to face what is coming. If you have a mind to, please pray for Pat.


I will also prepare some more Ninja Notes to leave in shopping trolleys today, but this time I will write Bible verses. I sometimes include The Father’s Love Letter (in French) but my printer isn’t playing ball today, so I can’t print them out.

I suppose the reason I am so wary about sharing the Bible is that, despite being a Lay Preacher, despite studying Religious Studies, despite being a Christian for quite a few years, I don’t find the Bible easy to read myself and don’t really know it that well…I have started many different Bible reading schemes and never been terribly successful with any of them. I would say that I will commit to reaing the Bible more myself – but I know it would be a hopeless venture from the start!

RESPONSES from previous Acts:

We had a lovely meal with friends yesterday (Act N°2)

I received a Thank You note from the Mayor for my Thank You note to the Town Council (Act N°6)

As part of Act N°6 I also sent a card to my rector & his wife, saying Thank You. On Saturday she came to me and said that the day it had arrived she’d had a really shitty day and was wondering why she did what she did and how everything was getting on top of her…and my card arrived. And helped a lot. Usually the post would get the card there the following day (it’s not bad, the postal service here…!) but, for some reason – and I think we know why that is, don’t we?! – it was delayed by a day.

My friend cried a bit when I gave her some flowers (Act N°4)

I bought Fair Trade bananas on Wednesday (Act N°5) but that left me in a quandry…The FT bananas were wrapped up in extra packaging which kind of went against my principles following Act N°12. What is better? Buying FT bananas wrapped in extra plastic, or eschewing the prewrapped bananas for loose ones, which are not FT? Opinions please!


I have almost completed the first of several ZIA that will be sent to people unexpectedly (Act N°10)

Yesterday I managed to find something to say to each of my nephews & nieces on FB, and they’ve replied with their own little comments, which has been nice. I don’t see them much, so it was good to have contact. (Act N°14)

And I have a small Giveaway going on over at my other blog, if you are interested…

Winner! Winner!

By my “random generator” (i.e. look at the number of comments, randomly pick a number between 1 and the number, scroll down and count until you reach that number…) the winner of the GYB Giveaway is Alex.

She has requested a piece of zentangle inspired art showing a sheep. I have started it and will show it to you before I send it to her. It’s going reasonably well.

Thank you to everyone who commented, and I hope that some people will continu to read, and maybe occasionally comment on The View from the Teapot.

Giving away a bit of village life

The Sapeurs Pompiers – fire service – in St Just are a volunteer force. They are not only the fire service but first call for medical emergencies too. We have several friends who volunteer: Clare, who is a district nurse, is the medical officer, her husband Jean and another friend Jerome, are both fire fighters. Just like in Britain, they can be called on to face fairly horrific incidents, sometimes that has happened to friends and acquaintances.

Because they are volunteer, they raise money for their Fete de Ste Barbara (patron saint of firefighters, I believe) by selling calenders at the end of the year. We bought ours, of course (we wouldn’t dare say no to Clare!) but I thought it might be quite fun to offer it as a Giveaway…Who would like to add a flavour of St Just to their office or kitchen with the pin-ups of the fire service?


All you need to do is leave a comment. I’ll randomly choose one of the commenters in a couple of weeks time. This is open to anyone from anywhere. Go on – you know you want to!