Day 8: Pause for thought

Works of art often prompt thought and question, and thus become signs. Here what seems to be a sign (?), has become a work of art. I wonder what it may be saying to you? 

Good people think before they answer, but the wicked speak evil without ever thinking. 

Proverbs 15:28 

Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:7

 Counting on … day 26

9th December 2021

Pens can be recycled at Ryman stores who participate in the Terra Cycle scheme. This includes all writing instruments (except for wooden pencils and chalk) are accepted : Any brand of pen, felt tip, highlighter, marker, correction fluid pot, correction tape, mechanical pencil and eraser pen regardless of their composition.

Counting on … day 25

8th December 2021

Following on from yesterday’s thoughts, what happens to people who do stand up and protest? And why do they take the risk of ending up in prison? 

The following piece comes from one of XR’s newsletters:

Emma Smart, 44, from Weymouth, Dorset, has been on hunger strike since 16th November. On Friday 26th November Emma was moved out of her cell onto the hospital wing at HMP Bronzefield.

Speaking from the prison, Emma said:

“The window of my cell in the hospital wing is blocked up and there is little natural light, in my previous cell I could see the birds and trees that line the prison fence. I have less time to go outside in the prison yard for exercise now. All of this is testing my resolve to continue, but I feel that not eating is the only thing I can do from prison to draw attention to those who will have to make the choice between heating and eating this winter.

“Not standing by while our government commits treason against the people of this country feels like the most important thing I will do in my life.”

Counting on… day 24

7th December 2021

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shefftim/
51075999778/in/album-72157718795475528


Often we count on others to demonstrate on our behalf. We may agree with the sentiments of the protestors but may be don’t have the time or the ability to join in. Not all the women who wanted the vote were able to protest. Not everyone who opposed the war against Iraq were able to protest. Not everyone who wants the Government to give better leadership over the climate crisis is able to protest.

But what do we do if the Government determines to curtail the right to protest?

The following article comes from the Campaign Against Climate Change:

In contempt for the democratic process, Priti Patel has added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill an additional 18 pages of amendments after the Bill has gone through the House of Commons and after second reading in the House of Lords. This is a clear attempt to bypass Parliamentary scrutiny. The Bill as it stood was already a dangerous assault on the right to protest. The new amendments turn it into something which which you would expect to see in a dictatorship, not a democracy.

Protest to #KillTheBill

Next Wednesday, 8th December, the House of Lords will begin amending the Bill. A protest has been called for 5-7pm in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster.

We’ll update our website with details and links to solidarity protests in other cities as we hear about them. If you are on social media, check your local campaigns for news, search #KillTheBill, and there are also national accounts for Kill the Bill on TwitterInstagram.and Facebook.

Can’t make a protest? See below for information about writing to your MP etc: ‘What you can do

Further information including Liberty’s useful summary can be found on their web site https://www.campaigncc.org/police_bill_new_threat

Counting On … day 23

In the last people were often reliant for their survival on the generosity of others. The young man, who became St Nicholas, lost both his parents due to a plague. Maybe he realised that money itself was not a guaranteed source of security. Instead he turned to the advice of Jesus and sold his inheritance and gave the proceeds to those in need. One such recipient was a poor widower with three unmarried daughters. With no money, he could not afford dowries nor could he afford to look after them. The remaining option was slavery. Nicholas came under cover of dark and threw three bags of money through the window of their house, and saved the family from destitution. 

Some 1700 years later and people still find themselves trapped in poverty and needing to count on the generosity of others. This time of year many charities that provide relief look to us for funds.  

A gift secretly given, needing no receipt.

A gift freely bestowed -no strings attached

A gift that meets your needs, no questions asked, 

nor application forms to fill

A gift to free your children from poverty

A gift to restore – not diminish – your pride

A gift you do not have to earn.

St Nicholas’s gift.

Counting On … day 22

Reduce reuse and recycle are the three “R”s for the well being of the environment. In the run up to Christmas use the three “R”s as often as possible. Take wrapping paper, for example:-

Reduce = buy less: it is easy to think I’ll just buy an extra roll in case we run out, only  to find three half  used rolls from last year.

Reuse = make a habit of keeping wrapping paper after unwrapping your gifts. Flatten and fold it neatly ready to be reused. You can ease the future re usability of paper by using string or ribbon or elastic bands rather than sticky tape. You can also reuse things like paper bags or sheets of newspaper as wrapping – the Guardian’s middle page is often a full spread picture which can make an ideal gift wrapper.

Recycle = when the paper is beyond reusability, recycle it. NB plastic coated paper cannot be recycled – if after scrunching the paper it springs back, it most likely has plastic in it.

Counting On … day 21

The title Counting On has the meaning of counting and also of someone or something we are relying upon. In the character of this blog, it is who or what we are relying on to  resolve the crises that threaten our world, our ecosystems.

Money can be significant both in adding to these crises and in alleviating them. Banks who look after our  current and savings accounts, also act as lenders. Depending on where and to whom they lend, they can contribute negatively or positively in achieving, for example,  net zero carbon emissions. How does your bank measure up? 

There are now a number of websites who will give you a rating for your bank and if need be, advise you of alternative banks that may offer a more responsible approach. 

https://www.switchit.money/ This web site will also give advice on the performance of energy supply companies too.

 Counting On … day 20

3rd December 2021

Christian Aid has already prepared  a giant Christmas card to send to Boris Johnson signed by over 50,000 people with a message letting the Prime Minister know that when it comes to the pledges made at COP26, the proof is in the pudding. The lives and well being of so many people, plants and animals are still at risk. You can still join the campaign by sending your own Christmas postcard.  https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christmas-card

Counting on … day 19

2nd December 2021

Updating an earlier Count Down action, more supermarkets are now collecting soft plastics for recycling. Soft plastics are best described as  scrunchable plastics – plastics you can scrunch up without them cracking or shattering – such as plastic pouches for coffee beans, wrappers from packets of biscuits, the film from the top of a plastic tray, crisp packets, and plastic bags for rice and pasta. Most Coop stores collect soft plastics including those in Putney and Twickenham.; and some Tesco stores including Tesco Metro in Richmond. A trial is being operated by some Waitrose stores but not as yet here in London.

NB compostable packing even if it looks and feels like plastic can’t be recycled as plastic. Instead it should go in your compost bin or food waste bin.

Counting On …. Day 18 

 1st December 2021

During Advent I have a YouTube series with a short story and activity designed for children but just as enjoyable for adults. Today’s episode shows you how to make a paper angel. Over the course of the whole series you will find instructions to make several Christmas decorations and a crib set.