Little Boy Lost Blog 13-2017

Some time ago our six year old grandson came to stay and when it was time to go to bed he wanted his Mummy so we drove him home again. Today I was thinking about this and asked Doug how he felt after losing his Mum at the age of six. “Did you wish you could have her back?” I questioned. “I knew my Mum had passed away,” he responded, “I saw her funeral procession but I don’t think it dawned on me that this was a forever thing. I guess I felt lost, I didn’t have a family anymore and somehow was a bit disassociated from everything.”

Doug was starting to reminisce and I was all ears, I knew at times like this I often learn some little morsel of information which I have not heard before. He continued, “I was twelve when my father returned from Melbourne after the war and I was so pleased that I was going to live with him again. It wasn’t until one day when we, Dad, Nancy and Lillian were sitting around the fire toasting crumpets that I suddenly realised Mum wasn’t there and never would be again and I burst into tears. Later, when I was an adult and my sisters had moved away, Dad would tell me stories about Mum and I wished that I could meet someone like her.

Doug continued, “My sister Nancy and her husband Jim returned to Maryborough when I was twenty six and I was so thrilled. They brought two beautiful little girls with them and soon after a baby boy joined us, I felt at last that I had a proper family.”  The reminiscing was over, subject closed.

There isn’t much for me to add except that two years after Nancy and Jim returned to Maryborough my family arrived on the scene and even though he didn’t like this city girl in the beginning Doug and I ended up getting married. The years have come and gone we have been blessed with four beautiful daughters and 14 grandchildren including a new batch of little boys to whom he is devoted. He’s no longer a little boy lost in fact he found Jesus too so he is doubly not a little boy lost .kevs pics724 Douglas

The only picture we have of Doug about 9 years old

Doug’s story can be read in my book ‘icecreams’ a trilogy – contact me via Facebook

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That special touch. Blog 12-2017

After filling the cotton ball container in my bathroom the other day I was surprised to find it empty when I went to cleanse my face. It was then I recalled that our three year old grandson had been with us in the morning. Steven is a great explorer; he has to investigate the whole place every time he comes to visit. I looked in the drawers and the cupboards and finally concluded that said cotton balls must have been flushed.

Many years ago I read that once a child is six years old their sensory abilities are fully developed and he/she knows instinctively the texture and feel of something without the need to touch it. How then does that apply to adults who on seeing a ‘wet paint’ sign can’t resist touching the paint to find out if it is indeed wet? Does their curiosity get the better of their knowledge?

When visiting the V & A in London back in 2013 I noted a sign on what might have been Queen Victoria’s Bed. It read something like ‘Do not touch’ and I interpreted that to mean don’t sit or lie on the bed. But that’s not what it said. Clearly, do not touch, meant exactly that. When I gave the bed a little prod to see if it was hard or soft the loudest of sirens sounded. Oh dear! How embarrassing.

‘Touch’ is one of the five ‘love languages’. Physical touch, Gifts, Words of affirmation, Acts of service and Quality time. My primary love language is Quality time, so have a coffee with me and a nice chat and I feel really good. However, I have to remember Doug’s love language is   Physical Touch; he likes to hold hands, have a hug and feels really loved if I take the time to put  sunscreen on his face or a band-aid on a cut.

The gospels record Jesus as touching many whom He healed, including the untouchable leper.  I think one of the loveliest stories about touch is the one about the woman who had a haemorrhage for twelve years. (Luke chapter 8) This woman couldn’t get near Jesus for the crowd but she thought that if she only could touch the hem of his garment she would be healed.  When Jesus felt the healing power leave Him he asked “Who touched me?”  Trembling she fell down on her knees and confessed. “Daughter your faith has healed you.” Jesus said, “Go in peace.” Twelve years of misery wiped away with one touch. One special touch!

Cotton Balls

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Good! Blog 11- 2017

The other Sunday I walked into church and saw ‘He is Good’ on the back wall of the stage. I loved it, as I thought about the truth of the statement later, I pondered on the word ‘good.’ Have you ever thought about the number of times we use the word ‘good’ and in how many contexts? The marvellous thing is that one always knows what someone means when they say it.

If we say someone is good we are thinking, that the person is decent, moral, and generally of good character. Someone we hold in high standing. If something is ‘good’ it is of superior quality, well made, maybe sturdy or pleasing to the eye. When we say a movie is good we might mean enjoyable, delightful, a good storyline or well filmed. We often say someone is good at their job and anyone we are speaking to understands that this ‘good’ actually means skilled, capable and competent.

A ‘good’ friend is someone who is reliable, trustworthy and a joy to be with. A good day generally means the weather is fine, pleasant, mild or sunny. We tell our children they are good when they are polite, well behaved and obedient or when they have achieved a certain goal. If we say something is good for us we mean advantageous, beneficial or of help. I could go on and on but I think you get my drift. I have never been asked, “What do you mean by ‘good’?”

The first line of a Hillsong Worship song reads:- “You are good, you are good, when there’s nothing good in me,” it’s true on both counts. It’s undeniable that God is always good. His attributes include all of the ‘above’ and so, so much more. He is totally wisdom and knowledge; He is faithful and true, gracious and full of Mercy. His love knows no bounds. He never changes and though He knows all about us and the times we are anything but good He continues to love us.

It would be ‘good’ for us to remember this Easter that our Good God has done it all. He sent his Son to pay the price for our sins and all He requires of us is to acknowledge this, say we’re sorry and embrace the love He offers.

He is good_2848


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‘I no like the Jumpy Castle’ Blog 10-2017

The other day while cleaning up some of the icons on my desktop I came across the enclosed photo. It was taken a few years ago at the Royal Melbourne Show. It was taken by Yvette and is of Peter, Daniel and Michael on the Ferris wheel. While Peter looks fairly unconcerned Daniel is not feeling at all safe or secure. In fact his look is one of trepidation. The picture pulls at my heart strings and I want to grab Daniel and hold him close.

This reminds me of the time we were at a market and the boys were anxious to get to the Jumping Castle. As we hurried across the lawn Daniel, who was not quite three years old said in a plaintive little voice. “I no like the jumpy castle”. My heart melted. This was not a ‘toughen up’ time, or a time to show him what fun he could have, or how safe it was. I just stopped and looked at him and whispered. “Sweetheart, if you don’t want to go on the ‘jumpy castle’ you don’t have to.

Many years ago we heard a Pastor remark when reflecting on how we talk about the ‘Father Heart’ of God, that maybe we should call it the ‘grandmother heart’ of God. He related how his daughters went to their grandmother’s house for a sleepover. She allowed them to wreck the bedroom, carry the mattresses through to the dining room and set up a tent under the dining room table, where they all camped overnight. He suggested that only a grandmother would allow  that and not consider how much work would be involved in putting it all back together the next day.

If God was physically walking around this earth today I am sure He would have compassion on a little boy who feared a ‘jumpy Castle’ and allow young girls to spend the night camping under the table regardless of the workload it created. Our great God has such a heart for us that His compassion is never ending and He would do anything for us. The fact is he did. He gave his only son as a sacrifice to set us free so that we could live with Him forever. In 2 Corinthians 1:3 Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” Niv.

PS: Two Saturdays ago we went to a children’s day at one of the garden centres nearby and Daniel now a seven year old couldn’t wait to get to the Jumping Castle.

Baby Twins Peter Daniel and Michael

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A box of Derwent pencils Blog 9-2017

The other night the programme ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ visited the Derwent Cumberland Pencil Company in Lillyhall, Cumbria. Later I got on to YouTube and it was fascinating watching the pencils being made. Did you know that for a long time this area was the only place in the world where graphite was mined? These days the factory produces one million pencils a week and exports to between seventy and eighty countries around the world. But I digress.

A number of girls at my high school had Derwent pencils and I thought they were the best pencils ever. My mother could not afford Derwent’s’ which did not worry me, though I did decide that one day when I had money of my own I would buy myself a packet.

I was about sixteen years of age when I bought a box of 72 Derwent pencils.  As I remember they cost £7.96 which is roughly $105.00 in today’s money. These pencils were my pride and joy; I guarded them with my life. The only person allowed near them was my sister, Celia. She revered them nearly as much as I and one day bought her own box also.

When I say I guarded them with my life, I mean until my daughters came along. Fiona our first daughter was very careful with them but gradually as the other girls arrived the pencils were lost along the way. Part of the problem was that priorities change and the Derwent’s had been replaced,  my pride and joy was now my little girls.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when a parcel arrived from Fiona some time back. Inside was a tin of Derwent pencils and a couple of colouring books. In Luke Chapter six Jesus is quoted as saying, “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over….”

I didn’t really give my Derwent’s away they were just replaced with something of greater value but as they say ‘what goes around comes around’ and here I am a good fifty years later with a box of Derwent pencils.


A 1960’s box of 72  Derwent’s

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King Alfred and the cakes. Blog 8-2017

Source: King Alfred and the cakes. Blog 8-2017

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King Alfred and the cakes. Blog 8-2017

Songs of Praise was filmed in Winchester the other Sunday and concluded with a prayer by Alfred the Great. We were shown his statue which was unveiled on the occasion of his Millenary and mention of him was made during the episode.  Now this caught my attention because all I knew about King Alfred was that he burned the cakes. So, I decided to take a look and find out some more about him.

For those who like me knew of nothing except the cakes here are a few things I discovered. Oh no! One of the first things I learned was that the story of Alfred and the cakes is documented as only appearing three hundred years after he died (around 1200AD) and probably a myth. So that means the only thing I knew about him was a myth. However, his real story is much more interesting than burned cakes anyway.

Alfred the Great, King of Wessex ruled from 871 to 899.  When he died he was just fifty years old which means that he became king at the age of twenty two. He was the forth son of the Saxon King Ethelwulf. Because his three elder brothers had all died Alfred had Kingship thrust upon him and it seems he had a sense that he had been especially destined for this high office.

Not only did he manage to keep the Vikings out of Wessex but achieved the liberation of neighbouring areas from Viking control. He paved the way for the future unity of England which was brought to fruition by his son and Grandsons. By the mid tenth century the England we are familiar with was ruled as one country for the first time.

Alfred promoted himself as the defender of the Christian Anglo-Saxon faith and held the view that all in authority in church or state could not act justly or effectively without the knowledge or wisdom acquired through study. He set up schools to ensure just that. Alfred translated Latin works into Old English and encouraged the nobles in his court to read and study.  He wrote an in depth Law-code and revolutionized the country’s legal system. Known as Common-Law it was basically the same law we have today, one law for everyone rich and poor alike.

Alfred is quoted as saying “He seems to me a very foolish man, and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world.” Well, we would agree with that I’m sure. Why would you not want to make the most of your time here on earth to improve yourself, learn as much as you can and let it influence your everyday life.

At the end of one of King Alfred’s translations he wrote a prayer, this is the latter part of the prayer used on Songs of Praise. “For thou art my Maker and my Redeemer, my life, my comfort, my trust and my hope. Praise and glory be to Thee now and forever and unto endless ages. Amen.” Some King eh?

king Alfred



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Its okay to be eccentric- Blog 7 2017

Doug and I like to watch Great British Railway Journeys presented by Michael Portillo on SBS. However, I must admit that I am almost as interested in what Michael is wearing as I am in the amazing scenery and interesting places he visits. Why? Because Michael wears brightly coloured jackets and sometimes trousers. In one episode there will be a number of wardrobe changes. I always look forward to seeing what he will wear next.

Tim Wonnacott is the presenter of Bargain Hunt, he wears brightly coloured spectacle frames, generally, these match his bow tie and clothing. Tim must have more pairs of glasses than any man on earth. He may indeed be the Imelda Marcos of Spectacles. While I am on the subject of coloured clothing, I can’t believe how many British males wear pink trousers, what is that all about? Maybe it’s because British men obviously are not afraid of colour.  Back in the renaissance period men wore cotton, satin and velvet in bright colours and designs often trimmed with lace.

Back to the subject, according to the dictionary eccentric apart from obviously meaning off-centre is defined as unconventional, individual and a free spirit. Doug always makes a point of stopping and saying hello to young people with crazy hair colours or styles because he reckons their style is saying notice me, I’m an individual, so he does just that.

Twenty odd years ago we were discussing a relative and I concluded that the person was quite eccentric. Doug looked at me with that silly grin he has and asked. “You do know you’re eccentric, don’t you?” “Me!” I exclaimed, “Do you think so?” This was news to me and I was even more surprised when he listed some of my so called eccentric ways. “Well,” I concluded just a little miffed. “If I’m eccentric what are you? “Oh! That’s easy.” He beamed “I’m feral.” We both burst into laughter and I added “Well, I don’t mind being eccentric if you are feral.”

I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with being eccentric. As I have grown older I can see that we are all a little eccentric and I find that refreshing when I see it in people. How horrible if we were all robotic and programmed to conform to the Status quo for being proper. (Whatever that is?) Maybe we should celebrate our difference and pray the words of the Psalmist.”Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous – how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14 The New Living Bible.


Michael Portillo – Great British Railway Journeys

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Pride and Prejudice blog 6- 2017

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”— so goes the introductory line in the first chapter of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.  It seems that 200 years ago that was the notion of the parents of single daughters whenever a young man with a substantial income moved into the community. We don’t know of course what the young man in question might have thought of this notion.

Fast forward a hundred and fifty years and now it’s the late 1950’s and quite young women are out in the workforce earning a wage and making their own financial decisions to some degree. My first job paid three pounds nine shillings and sixpence. It was not a lot but it always went just far enough and one always knew that come next week there would be more.

Did we dream of a single man in possession of a good fortune coming our way? Of course we did! Though I doubt any our mothers were as embarrassing as Mrs Bennet. Imagine a mother being so keen to marry you off that she would choose a Mr Collins character just so she would not be homeless when her husband died.

Methinks the mothers of today would rather have a man in possession of good character than a good fortune, one who is kind, generous and loving. There is a saying that all a man needs is a damsel in distress to save and all a woman needs is a knight in shining Armour to save her. I thought of this when watching Millionaire Hot seat last night. One of the contestants shared how she was in an airport queue and not having a good grasp of English was quite perplexed about what to do next when the man behind her in the queue saw her distress and helped her out. They had now been married for seven years.

So, back to the first line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged….” I know another truth universally acknowledged on every continent and in every nation. Not by everyone it is true but, of the 6.9 Billion people on the earth in 2010 2.2 billion people accepted this truth. The truth is “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John:3:16 Niv)


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‘I’ve read your book’ Blog 5 2017

In the 1970 film “Patton” the movie star George C Scott who played Patton, says to himself,  “Rommel….I’ve read your book.” He was supposedly talking about the book ‘Tank Attacks’ and the lines were spoken in jubilation as the Americans won a very decisive tank battle.  Patton was in effect saying; I knew your strategy because I’ve read your book. The truth is of course that he hadn’t read the book because Rommel never published it. Some of the manuscript in the form of ‘The Rommel Papers’ was published in 1953 well after the war ended. However, Rommel did write a book on the Great War (WW1) about infantry tactics but it is thought Patton wouldn’t have known about it because it wasn’t released in English until 1943. Only the other day I heard ‘I’ve read your book’ quoted and attributed to General Patton. Hollywood never did let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Today, when we were talking with a friend, Doug was lamenting that his employment was terminated when he was 69 years of age. He had desperately wanted to work until he was 70. I chipped in about the circumstances and then remembered that our friend had ‘read the book’. I stopped and said to her, “you don’t need me to explain because you have read my book”. She looked at me and smiled, “Yes, that’s right; I’ve read your book.”  (Ice creams pages 301-302)

There is one other place I have heard this phrase and that is in church and among Christian friends. Mostly it has been said in relation to people being under attack, physically mentally or in some other way. Pastors have pointed out to us that the problem is the devil does not realize that we have ‘read the book’. If he had he would know that in the end he loses. The book is the Bible which tells us that in the end the devil finishes up in the lake of fire and we finish up in heaven. Forever!

I’m so glad ‘I’ve read the book’ it gives me such assurance, especially when tragedy has struck and we have felt like we were under attack. In Revelation 21:4 KJV we read “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, or sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” And 1 Thessalonians 4:17b reads “…and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” KJV


This is George C Scott – saying those famous fictitious words.


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