Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shakespeare, 31st August

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
Where sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight.
                  Midsummer Night's Dream, Act ii., Sc. I.

Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit the clout.
                       Love's Labour Lost, Act iv., Sc. I.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday blinks

Can men and women be ‘Just friends’? Good advice for us all. Also, here is another similar post specifically for the women from Girltalk.

23 Signs You’re Secretly and Introvert. Oh yes. I have once or twice been called intense, and an old soul, I prefer to communicate in writing (and find it tiresome when people refuse to communicate in writing), I have low blood pressure, I do have that penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies (I refuse to spend money on “action” movies, which I find totally uninteresting) …

What we should have learned from Blue Like Jazz A post about evaluating books. Yes. “We Reformed folks like our theology like our fourth down measurements: precise. And this is good. But, it tends to make us reactionary. When we read a sentence that smells the faintest bit unorthodox we tend to dismiss the entire work.” I read Blue Like Jazz twice (and I certainly don’t agree with everything Don Miller is on about).

Some might think I've gone and lost it over this, but I stumbled upon Dr Phil's Ten Life Laws, and found them rather helpful. I was particularly interested in No 8, as I thought about what my contribution is to allowing a situation that I am finding stressful and discouraging to continue as it is. (There's overlap here with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and Growing Yourself Up by Jenny Brown.) I also liked Mikey's Emotional 'sins' to raise your kids to avoid. These things probably come effortlessly to some, raised in the right environments, but to others take more conscious work.

Shakespeare, 30th August

                Let still the woman take
An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
So sways she level in her husband's heart:
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are.

Twelfth Night, Act ii., Sc. 4.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shakespeare, 29th August

God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.

Merchant of Venice, Act i., Sc. 2.

Earthlier happy is the rose distill'd
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.

Midsummer Night's Dream, Act i., Sc. I.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shakespeare, 28th August

I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world:
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
I cannot do it; yet I'll hammer it out.
My brain I'll prove the female to my soul,
My soul the father; and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
And these same thoughts people this little world.

King Richard II., Act v., Sc. 5.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Something to say about Frances Ha

I’m operating at the moment on the principle that it is better to write nothing than to fill up blog feeds and the interwebs with uninspired posts. Cath has written a very eloquent and poetic post on Wintering, and I could just say touché to that. We were talking about this phenomenon and as it applied to blogging the other evening. (Cath and I originally became friends through blogging - I like to tell people “we met on the internet”-  and we never fail to be able to talk for hours.)

On the weekend we went and saw the movie Frances Ha. I basically had no idea what I was going to see (I trust the judgment of those who persist in reading this blog) and found it pleasantly entertaining as a “friendship comedy” (what do you call a romantic comedy that isn’t romantic?).

As you may already be predicting, it is the story of two friends, one of whom is particularly struggling as a 27-year-old to find the course of her life. From one aspect, it is a moving portrayal of female friendship (though at times you are left wondering as to the nature of that friendship, as I wasn’t sure what the final scene was trying to say, but no spoilers here). From another aspect it is sadly dysfunctional, with one friend clinging in over-dependence to the friendship while the other is moving her life onwards independently (I think we are meant to observe this imbalance and dysfunction). Several times in the movie Frances says of herself and Sophie “we are the same person”, which is not, as we know, the most psychologically helpful way of referencing a friendship. I also felt that the intensity of the friendship was more akin to teenagers than women in their 20s, yet this too was, I think, part of what we were meant to understand (I read it somewhere described as a "coming of age film about a woman") as we heard numerous references the immaturity of Frances.

It was both good and sad to walk along with these two women as they disentangled their college friendship and learned how it could function and flourish while they grew into independent women, no longer “the same person” yet retaining what was best about their friendship. I enjoyed it. Going in I wasn't aware that it belonged in the category of comedy. It probably doesn't have the pathos or depth of insight to be in any other category, but it's reasonably thoughtful, and unusual enough to be surprising.

Shakespeare, 27th August

O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains.
                                      Othello, Act ii., Sc. 3.

Great floods have flown from simple sources.
                     All's Well that Ends Well, Act ii., Sc. I.

Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
                            Taming of the Shrew, Act i., Sc. I.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shakespeare, 26th August

Can snore upon the flint, when resty sloth
Find the down pillow hard.

Cymbeline, Act iii., Sc 6.

A kind heart he hath.

Merry Wives of Windsor, Act iii., Sc. 4.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shakespeare, 25th August

Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
That keep's the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night! sleep with it now!
Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
As he whose brow with homely bigger bound
Snores out the watch of night.

King Henry IV., Pt 2., Act iv., Sc. 5.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Something to say about Unapologetic

So, I did finish Unapologetic: Why despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense by Francis Spufford last week. Wow. As a theologian I asked about it a few days ago said “What a terrific (if slightly shocking) read!”. That about sums it up. It’s not for the faint-hearted or the easily offended (beware the language), and the author is disappointingly liberal on some of the usual points. And yet, this is a book I deem worth reading, though that could perhaps depend on who you are surrounded by and who you interacting with.

I especially liked his early argument in response to those who believe “that we’re good underneath, good by nature, and only do bad things because we’ve been forced out of shape by some external force, some malevolent aspect of this world’s power structures”. It baffles me how anyone can actually believe this, but I have come up against this very argument amongst anarchist friends (see here). He goes on:
It’s a theory that isn’t falsifiable, because there always are power structures there to be blamed when people behave badly. Like the theory that markets left to themselves would produce perfectly just outcomes (when markets never are left to themselves) it’s immune to disproof. But, and let me put this as gently as I can, it doesn’t seem terribly likely.
As I read his response to this, I actually felt more convicted of my own “sin” (he gives that concept a good teasing out also) than I have in a long while, and my participation in the general HPtFtU (human potential to f**k things up). I defy anybody to read it and consider themselves "inherently good". The chapter called The Crack in Everything (oh yes, we all love Leonard Cohen for that) was perhaps my favourite.

I also loved his response to the stupid atheist bus campaign that told us that there was probably no God so we should “enjoy your life”, as though our life was a product we could step back from and evaluate. (There’s an abridged version of what he has to say here, about the fourth paragraph down, but there’s more to the argument in the book.)

If you find yourself at times engaged in conversation with people spouting new atheist arguments, or you find yourself in any way disturbed by those arguments, you might benefit from this book.

Shakespeare, 24th August

Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach and no food;
Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast
And takes away the stomach; such are the rich,
That have abundance and enjoy it not.

King Henry IV., Pt 2., Act iv., Sc. 4.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Shakespeare, 23rd August

Youth, the more it is wasted the sooner it wears.

King Henry IV., Pt I., Act ii., Sc. 4.

Let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action.

Hamlet, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shakespeare, 22nd August

He hath a heart as sound as a bell and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks his tongue speaks.

Much Ado about Nothing, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Where care lodges, sleep will never lie.

Romeo and Juliet, Act ii., Sc 3.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shakespeare, 21st August

O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
Whose house, whose bed, whose meal, and exercise,
Are still together, who twin, as 't were, in love
Unseparable, shall, within this hour,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity.

Coriolanus, Act iv., Sc. 4.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The woes and the gluttony of book lovers

I considering myself very lucky blessed at the moment. On the weekend I was given a Kindle (because a friend was given a Kindle and they already had one). I haven’t embraced e-books at all yet. I’m not one of technology’s early adopters generally, and I like real books, a lot. But I am fast running out of space to keep real books, and something had to be done.

When I bought the small MacBook Air, because I knew I wouldn’t be buying an iPad anytime soon, I thought that the one thing it would not be so good for was reading e-books, because it is just harder to sit on a train or in bed with a laptop open than holding an iPad. But I just read this article (H/T Jean), where it mentions that the Kindle is better for single-tasking, and so I am now extra pleased that I have a Kindle for reading rather than an iPad. This article on An End of Books (worth a read – my favourite local bookstore café is closing down, and it’s all sadly true) says:
As soon as ebooks moved from the Kindle to the iPad, the magic of reading was threatened by the opportunity (“for just a second”) to check on email, Words with Friends or an incoming text message.
Yes, and I am sure I would do it too. Social media is one of those things where I find my use of it creeping up over time, and every now and then I just have to take stock and wind it back a bit. So, yay for this Kindle.

I also loved this article (also H/T Jean) on 17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand. Uh huh. Then there was this article from Tim Challies on being a Book Glutton. Uh huh to that one too. I am trying to be less “precious” about books. (Seriously, I don’t know what some people do to them and how they manage to ding them up so badly in the process of reading them, but I try to let it go. However, let me just take this opportunity to make one suggestion, for when you borrow books off a “book person”: if you carry it around in your bag, keep it in a small plastic bag, please. I always carry my own books around in my handbag in a small plastic bag that actually has a draw-string on it, and they never end up completely trashed.) But back to this book glutton thing and some advice to counteract it:
When your bookcases have reached their capacity, practice the add-a-book, remove-a-book principle. Every time you add a book to your library, remove another book, either by throwing it away, selling it, or giving it to someone else. This will continually prune your library, ensuring it gets better, even without getting bigger.

An unread book does no good to anyone. It is far better to have someone else read a book and benefit from it than to have it remain unread on your bookcase. If it is a worthwhile book and you know you will never read it again, pass it to someone who will.
... Gluttony can manifest itself in books as much as in donuts. Loan your books freely and expect to experience some attrition. If someone else will get more benefit from the book than you will, give it to them as a gift. Practice generosity rather than gluttony by holding to your books with open hands rather than closed hands.

Shakespeare, 20th August

                   Chaste as the icicle
That's curdied by the frost from purest snow
And hangs on Dian's temple.

Coriolanus, Act v., Sc. 3.

Is she not passing fair?

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act iv., Sc. 4.

Monday, August 19, 2013

34 seconds of beauty

Indulge me for a few seconds here. I do have a penchant for melancholy music, and this piece, called Of Death and Dying, written by Hans Zimmer for The Power of One soundtrack, is really rather terrible and mournful, but in it, beginning at 1:15, is about half a minute of music that I find exquisitely beautiful. There are times I have wished I could just loop that fragment.

Lies we believe about singleness

Friend and former colleague Emma Thornett has written an article on Satan's lies about singleness, that may be of interest to some.

(Of note, in it she suggests living with others. Hmm. This is perhaps a good idea for many, though I think it is preferable if you can stay in one place while the flatmates come and go, which is potentially less arduous than having to find a new flat and physically move while also finding a new flatmate every couple of years.)

Shakespeare, 19th August

Be cheerful; wipe thine eyes:
Some falls are means the happier to arise.

Cymbeline, Act iv., Sc. 2.

                 Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low an excellent thing in woman.

King Lear, Act v., Sc. 3.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shakespeare, 18th August

And she is fair, and fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues.

Merchant of Venice, Act i., Sc. I.

To revenge is no valour, but to bear.

Timon of Athens, Act iii., Sc. 5.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A few of my favourite things

As promised, some pictures of my old volumes of George MacDonald's poetry.

I'd love to get my hands on his "Works of Fancy and Imagination" in ten volumes, mentioned here.

Lunch in the Elephant Boy cafe in Bowral, decorated with old books. I tried to take these photos surreptitiously, so my object of focus is a bit weird, but what was curious is that the company I work for still publishes some of the legal journals they are using as decor on the shelves.

I made a little cardy for my nephew on the way. I actually started this years ago and abandoned it, because the 3 mm hook I was using had a sharp point that kept splitting the wool, but I dug it out and persevered.

It's hard to believe a person could ever be this small. This is supposed to fit at 3 months, but I think it is even smaller than that.

And old boat by the pond out the back of the motel we stayed at in Bowral.

Knitted toys and clothes at a hilarious little shop we found in Bowral run by elderly volunteers. (I'd have taken more photos of the piles of booties in the counter, but I was trying to be surreptitious again.)

The old church in Berrima.

The church in Bowral. We assumed this was deliberate.

Shakespeare, 17th August

There be some sports are painful, and their labour
Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task
Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead
And makes my labours pleasures.

Tempest, Act iii., Sc. I.

Friday, August 16, 2013


And since I have mentioned inciting incidents, I appreciated the quotes in this post from Georgianne. I have Death by Living by ND Wilson waiting in line to be read and am looking forward to that.

Also, how cute is this new mammal species discovery. Exciting findings. I need to work out a way to get me one of those.

Friday funny

For you fellow crafters, with your GSOH on. I saw this on Facebook and burst out laughing.

(And I know, I know, a boyfriend is not the solution to life’s problems, and it should probably say spend more time reading your bible and be creative about telling your friends about Jesus and go serve in a soup kitchen and all instead … but still, it is funny. And if I ever do make clothes for my nieces' guinea pigs (which was actually my sister's suggestion, not mine), you can all intervene.)

Shakespeare, 16th August

What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State-statues only.

King Henry VIII., Act i., Sc. 2.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An inciting incident

Yesterday I had an inciting incident in the plot of my life. I have actually been praying recently about the desire to make a change or two to my life, because I don’t want it to just continue as it is indefinitely, which is what happens unless you make a change, or change is precipitated upon you. So, I guess I got change, though it is not quite what I had in mind.

My flatmate came home and told me she is moving out. This is not entirely unexpected, given her own inciting incident. But it has catapulted me into turmoil all the same.

For starters, I doubt I will find anyone I know who wants to move into the apartment I am in. My church is on the other side of the Harbour, so this is not a likely spot for anyone from there to want to live. And I don’t want to live with any random person, and have home be a place where I simply keep my stuff in a space shared with a stranger. Home is too important to me for that. And I don’t even know if I want to find someone else to move in here, because, like I said, I want to make a change that is bigger than continuing on as I am with another flatmate.

I have also have too much stuff, and am too old, to just move into someone else’s spare room. And I don’t really want to do that either. I’ve had well over 30 flatmates now, and I’d like to put an end to the moving at the mercy of other people’s decisions and the temporary flatting.

So my preference at this point in time would be to live on my own. But that is very expensive anywhere close to the city, so I’d have to move a long way out to do it, which would probably precipitate other changes.

And I had also just made the decision to look for another job, not necessarily here in Sydney, so I don’t want to lock myself into a new lease either.

Thus my dilemma.

I didn’t get much sleep last night because I lay awake thinking about what I might do. Consequently I had a moment of feeling sorry for myself at my desk today and wishing I had a more permanent kind of flat mate, who wouldn’t just make their own decisions to move out. But I know there are no guarantees of that ever being the case, and that the only person you can totally rely on to always be there in this life is God, and he has promised he will never leave or forsake us. So, I shall hold onto that and trust that something will work out.

Still, I do need to make a few decisions, quickly.

I am tempted to just put my stuff in storage, resign from my job, and go away somewhere to think about it, so I don’t have to make a hasty decision and end up in a job I don’t really want or a living situation I don’t really want. But I doubt that is the wisest move, and a person needs to work. So I now need to go on some kind of frenzy of looking through my options. (I also need to do my tax and get my car registered.)

If I go quiet for a time, I shall be back when I am in whatever the phase is after an inciting incident (and when I have been through all the stuff I have accumulated, which I shudder at the thought of packing up and shifting). Stories aren't especially interesting without these moments, in whatever form they come (which is not always circumstantial), so I am a teeny bit excited about what may happen.

Shakespeare, 15th August

               Fare the well, great heart!
Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound:
But now two paces of the vilest earth
Is room enough.

King Henry IV., Pt I., Act v., Sc. 4.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shakespeare, 14th August

For who shall go about
To cozen fortune and be honourable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.

Merchant of Venice, Act ii., Sc. 9.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A waffle about apologetics and unapologetics

I feel rather like I am missing out on something tonight, that being Life, The Universe and Nothing, a debate between Christian apologist William Lane Craig and the atheist Lawrence Krauss, happening right now in the Town Hall. I hesitated in buying a ticket before I went away, then while I was away the event sold out.

I’ve actually heard William Lane Craig speak quite extensively at a Credo apologetics conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, many years ago. As part of that conference he debated a “famous” atheist from Stockholm university one evening also. As I recall that debate went very well, to the point that the atheist (whose name escapes me, and I have discovered that my notes from this time overseas are one of the few things left in the wardrobe at my Mum’s place) wound up saying, I kid you not, that he wasn’t prepared to say that God does not exist. It sounds like the debate a few days ago in Brisbane here did not got quite so well as per this post from Nathan Campbell. I am not the biggest fan of the method of public debating. I feel stressed just watching, especially when I have such a vested interest in the presentation of one side.

Speaking of apologetics, I am still reading Francis Spufford’s book Unapologetic. Last night I read the chapter Hello, Cruel World. I wasn’t with him in this chapter, his discussion of the problem of suffering (though I did like the ending, and his teaser that the next chapter, titled Yeshua, has something more to do with his “answer”), in his views of God's sovereignty, and was not entirely sure what he was trying to say about Genesis. You really have to keep reading and make sure you grasp the nuance and the subtle shifts with this author. He begins his chapters by dumping us all right in the middle of the worst things that have ever been thought and said about Christianity (these are worth reading for some pre-emptive fuel), then attempts to get us out of there, and you need to hang on while he indulges some of those arguments along the way.

Still, it is quite fascinating, and his way of thinking a thing through is novel, if nothing else. And every now and then you get startled into laughter, like when he writes “To anyone inclined to think, in a happy wafty muddly way, that nature is God, nature replies: have a cup of pus, Mystic Boy” (consider yourself warned about his use of language). I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I have a memory like a sieve when it comes to recalling apologetic arguments. Occasionally in conversation I have thought ‘I know there is a good way to counter what you’re saying, if I could only remember and articulate what it was ...’. And while I know I am learning a good amount from this book, I’d struggle to actually explain to you too much of what that was. I feel like such things soak into and lodge in my own assurance base down deep somewhere (the fact that there is a way out from the worst things that have ever been thought and said about Christianity), and feed my own personal satisfaction with what I believe to be true, but I don’t seem very adept at dredging them up later to be of any great benefit to anyone else. I need a better mental filing system.

Do not fear to hope ...

Here's another little poem by George MacDonald that I came upon in my new little books.

Within and Without -  A Dramatic Poem

Part V

AND do not fear to hope. Can poet's brain
More than the Father's heart rich good invent?
Each time we smell the autumn's dying scent,
We know the primrose time will come again;
Not more we hope, nor less would soothe our pain.
Be bounteous in thy faith, for not mis-spent
Is confidence unto the Father lent:
Thy need is sown and rooted for his rain.
His thoughts are as thine own; nor are his ways
Other than thine, but by pure opulence
Of beauty infinite and love immense.
Work on. One day, beyond all thoughts of praise,
A sunny joy will crown thee with its rays;
Nor other than thy need, thy recompense.

George MacDonald

Shakespeare, 13th August

A noble life before a long.

Coriolanus, Act iii., Sc. I.

As poor as Job, but not so patient.

King Henry IV., Pt II., Act i., Sc. 2.

Green in judgment.

Antony and Cleopatra., Act i., Sc. 5.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I know what beauty is - a poem

I am back at work all too quickly. I haven't quite got my headspace sorted yet, and didn't manage a whole lot of reading, but while away we went to Berkelouw's Book Barn in Berrima, where the new open fireplace amongst the books is quite perfect, and it was my Mum who actually spied an old two-volume set of George MacDonald's poetry, dated 1911. George MacDonald and I are old friends, as some readers will know, but I had not yet seen his poetry collection, and I am so chuffed with these books. (I will take photos soon.) Here is one poem from his Organ Songs (curiously, there is another version online that I found, which is really quite different).

~By George MacDonald (1824–1905)

I KNOW what beauty is, for Thou
   Hast set the world within my heart;
   Of me Thou madest it a part;
I never loved it more than now.

I know the Sabbath afternoons;
   The light asleep upon the graves;
   Against the sky the poplar waves;
The river murmurs organ tunes.

I know the spring with bud and bell;
   The hush in summer woods at night;
   Autumn, when leaves let in more light;
Fantastic winter’s lovely spell.

I know the rapture music gives,
   Its mystery of ordered tones;
   Dream-muffled soul, it loves and moans,
And, half-alive, comes in and lives.

And verse I know, whose concord high
   Of thought and music lifts the soul
   Where many a glimmering starry shoal
Glides through the Godhead’s living sky.

Yea, Beauty’s regnant All I know—
   The imperial head, the thoughtful eyes;
   The God-imprisoned harmonies,
That out in gracious motions go.

But I leave all, O Son of man,
   Put off my shoes, and come to Thee,
   Most lovely Thou of all I see,
Most potent Thou of all that can!

As child forsakes his favourite toy,
   His sisters’ sport, his new-found nest;
   And, climbing to his mother’s breast,
Enjoys yet more his late-left joy—

I lose to find. On fair-browed bride
   Fair pearls their fairest light afford;
   So, gathered round Thy glory, Lord,
All glory else is glorified.

Shakespeare, 12th August

O England! model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
What might'st thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!

King Henry V., Act ii., Chorus.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shakespeare, 11th August

It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.

Merchant of Venice, Act i., Sc. 2.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shakespeare, 10th August

               In thy face I see
The map of honour, truth and loyalty.

King Henry VI., Pt II., Act iii., Sc. I.

The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.

Comedy of Errors, Act v., Sc. I.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Shakespeare, 9th August

A beggar's book outweighs a noble's blood.

King Henry VIII., Act i., Sc. I.

The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Shakespeare, 8th August

The flighty purpose never is o'ertook
Unless the deed go with it.

Macbeth, Act iv. Sc. I.

To fly the boar before the boar pursues,
Were to incense the boar to follow us
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.

King Richard III., Act iii., Sc. 2.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Shakespeare, 7th August

O, that estates, degrees and offices
Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honour
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
.    .    .    .    .    .    .
How much low peasantry would then be glean'd
From the true seed of honour! and how much honour
Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times
To be new-varnish'd!

Merchant of Venice, Act ii., Sc. 9.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Shakespeare, 6th August

For where is any author in the world
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?

Love's Labour's Lost, Act iv., Sc. 3.

A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women's fashion.

Sonnet XX

Monday, August 05, 2013

Shakespeare, 5th August

                      Never anger
Made good guard for itself.

Antony and Cleopatra, Act iv., Sc. I.

Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain.

Love's Labour's Lost, Act i., Sc. I.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Shakespeare, 4th August

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Julius Caesar, Act ii., Sc. 2.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Describe a person well and you win the person

If you are wondering who in the world is Ed Welch, and why I would go to a day full of teaching, here is his latest blog post. I like this. (And here is another post, by Paul Tripp, who used to be part of CCEF, that he happened to post on my birthday, which seems fitting.)

Shakespeare, 3rd August

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.

Merchant of Venice, Act v., Sc. I.

Friday, August 02, 2013

A short break

In case you hadn’t noticed, I have run out of steam recently here on the blog. I feel like I have run low on energy for just about everything lately. But the good news is that I am having next week off!

I am going to a teaching day with Ed Welch in the city tomorrow, which – apart from the fact that I need to be in the city by 9 am as that is quite a Saturday morning feat these days – should be great! Then in the evening my Mum is arriving for a visit. We are going to chortle down through the Southern Highlands next week, which should be very pleasant. My Mum grew up down that way and used to take holidays to the Southern Highlands as a child to visit relatives, so she is looking forward to reliving days gone by, and I am just looking forward to a rest, plus exploring more of what is down there.

So, I think I shall promise nothing and take a break from the blog and see what I come back with (I keep telling myself I should wind this blog back to the good old days when I wrote a post when I actually had something to say, but then I continue merrily on just collating stuff here that I find about the place ...).

Hope you all enjoy the week.

(Tonight I am going with some of the girls in my connect group from Church to Haberfield in search of baked cheesecake. I have heard it’s good there. Have I mentioned how much I love baked cheesecake? Anyway, I do. I don’t let myself eat it very often, because, ahem, the calories, but when it’s near birthday ... The fact that we threw this little posse together on relatively short notice has put a little dent in my illusions that most people in the city have their social life diarised for at least three weeks in advance (which is not the way I live). You might have to extend a little grace over food photos if I post a photo of baked cheesecake.)

Friday photos

So something I was hoping on wasn't snitched from the post. I received this gorgeous Folio book in the mail from a dear old friend, telling me it reminded her of her childhood and she thought it might do the same for me. Yes.

And it came with this card.

And about 15 book recommendations inside, that spilled to the back of the card and the other side of the paper, as well as poetry, lyrics of an Icelandic hymn and news of childhood folk. She's a kindred spirit. It's a blessing to have held onto this friendship throughout so many years.

And I also thought I'd show you my latest thrift shopping haul. I actually happened to go wandering in one weekend and be standing near a door in the shop when one of the staff came out with a trolley that had two bags of this wool on it. I spied it and asked if I could look at it. It's a yarn that is usually $10.95 a ball in the shop (which I would never pay for yarn!), so I broke my don't-stash-any-more-yarn rule and bought it, all 15 balls of it.

I don't yet know what I will make from it, which is that yarn-stashing thing to be avoided, except when you are in op shops! The colour is a little masculine to me, but I am sure I can think of something.