If you've had enough of Deliciously Ella, Helmsley and Helmsley and even Jamie Oliver, this is the blog for you! Maverick Priest, Stand-Up Comedian and Messy Cook Maggy Whitehouse has had enough of fake food pictures. This is real cooking — down and dirty and scrumptiously yummy. Maggy is also the author of the bestselling comedy novel 'For the Love of Dog' and 16 books on metaphysics and the Bible.
57. Into the Darkness, part one.
Pretty much every night since November, I've taken Dessy, our younger beagle, for a half-hour walk before bed.
I do it because the lymphoma survivors' website says that's one of the important things to do—half an hour's exercise morning and before bed to ensure that what you eat is turned into fats for your body to use rather than sugars for the dis-ease to chomp. That's the case whatever you eat, even if it's mostly just salad and vegetables because pretty much everything except lettuce and sardines has carbohydrates in it.
A wet November is probably not the best time to start such an enterprise but, at least, the lanes around here are very quiet and in the first month we only had to deal with three cars. Both Dessy and I are attired each night in luminous jackets, I carry a powerful torch so we can be seen. Those first nights, we set of manfully (or womanfully or beaglefully) on a bit of a route-march.
We walked in howling gales and sweeping wet and in grief, despair and hopelessness and hope and anger and resentment and gratitude. Well, I did. Dessy just ran about and jumped up hedges and vanished and then raced past me again and did it all over again.
Except, that is, for the nights that she just sat by the front door with one paw up (which is her pathetic mode) and said, 'you're bonkers. Even I am not going out in this!' Given that she came from Warwickshire Beagles and was used to running fifteen miles a day whatever the weather, you can tell how bad it was out there.
N.B. The winter of 2013-14 in the UK was the wettest and windiest on record and here on Dartmoor we get every gale that's going.
Going into the darkness was awful and awe-full. Sometimes there was starlight and sometimes there was a moon but mostly there was weather. For the first two months even if there was a beautiful sky, I couldn't lift my head to see it without pain or dizziness, but that has passed, thank God. Now I can lift my head and gaze as much as I want and nothing is so very, very awful if you can lift your head and be one with the stars.
We got into a routine ... down past Razzle's Corner, past Three Fields Corner, past the Bog of Eternal Stench (where the farmers store the muck for spring muck-spreading) and down to The Far Gate Before Gooseford and then back. On nights when it wasn't too windy, we'd walk in fields where there weren't any sheep—Mike the farmer is fine with that. One night, lost in my thoughts I didn't realise we were in the wrong field and one sweep of the torch met with sixty green eyes shining at me in perplexed curiosity.
I went with the intention of finding God in the darkness and, on the nights when I wasn't too self-obsessed, I looked and listened and did walking meditations and prayed and asked and begged and pleaded and wept and hoped and asked again.
There is something about night in the country which is the epitome of the truth that you are both everything and nothing simultaneously. Some nights I felt I was carrying all the world's grief but that if I just kept walking, kept walking, kept walking, it would be lifted from my shoulders by a greater, kinder Beingness. I kept walking. Plod, plod, plod. And it was.
To read more of the story, please click on 'newer post' in black below. If you are new to this blog and want to start at the beginning, please go to the side bar and click on 'January' to find post no. 1. Thank you.
When I lived in Birmingham, I used to go to
the German Christmas Market in Victoria Square; it was an interesting sparkle
of an experience but there really never was much that I wanted to buy—or eat,
for that matter. So when we moved here, to Devon, and I discovered
that Exeter had a Christmas Market in the Cathedral Square, I wasn’t all that
keen...but I do like to get Christmas cards from the cathedral and you don’t
have much of an option if you want to visit St. Peter’s in November or
December; you can’t get there without encountering the market. And what a market it is! So far it’s my
favourite. Ever. Okay, I’ve only been to about six and I’m going to Italy next
week so I’ll report back on the Florence and Lucca Christmas Markets which may
be stunningly incredible but, trust me, if I like a Christmas Market, then it’s
a good one. I’m a total Christmas shopping cynic. How much of a cynic? So much so that I
don’t agree with the concept of chocolate Advent calendars. Advent is about
Top Tips: The Law of Attraction 101. Have you ever wondered what that Law of Attraction that's talked of so often in Spiritual and Holistic circles might be about? Here's a beginner's guide. ·Whatever you think about you begin to create in reality. This is the Law of Karma in action – what you put out you get back. What goes around, comes around. Nowadays it’s known as The Law of Attraction — similar vibrations are attracted to similar vibrations. ·This is often thought to be a ‘New Age’ thing but it’s very old — and a definite part of the Judaeo-Christian teachings. The Gospel of John starts with, ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ Our words are our thoughts in action and they create reality. Deuteronomy 30:18 sums it up: “I call heaven and earth to bear witness on your behalf this day that I have placed before you life and death; blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life that you and what you sow shall live.” We are choosing what to think every second — even if that choice …
I'm asked quite often how to cleanse spaces, whether they are at home or the office. So here is my Church's recipe for Holy Water and the blessing we use for spaces. It works — there are many other ways of blessing a space also so you should choose the one that resonates for you. If the Christian symbology doesn't work, then it's not for you and that's fine...The wording says 'priest' but you are the priest if you are saying the prayers. The Blessing of Holy WaterFill a jug with water and place about a tablespoon of salt in a small bowl.Where there is a + make the sign of the cross with your hand over the salt or the water.Over the salt say the following:I cleanse you, creature of salt, by the living God, by the holy É God, by the omnipotent É God, that you may be purified from all evil influences, in the name of the most Holy One, who is lord of angels and humanity, and who fills all the worlds with his majesty and glory. Amen.I pray to you, O God, in your …